On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that marriage equality is legal nationwide. It was a huge victory for LGBT equality, but the fight for LGBT acceptance is far from over.
In many states, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, and even legally married gay couples face obstacles to their rights to familial leave, adoption, and more. 31 states lack fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in housing and employment. From discrimination in the workplace to public bathroom restrictions, transgender people constantly face obstacles simply based on who they are. And despite the fact that it has been categorically denounced by medical experts, so-called 'ex-gay conversion therapy' is only banned in four states.
A recent survey by GLAAD showed that a large number of non-LGBT Americans are unaware or unconcerned about the biggest issues in the LGBT community. For example, over a quarter (27%) of non-LGBT Americans said that violence against transgender people is not a serious problem, and 37% of non-LGBT Americans said that homelessness among LGBT youth is not a serious problem.
The way in which transgender people are repeatedly dehumanized, from being prevented from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity to employment discrimination, leads to a disproportionate amount of intimate partner violence and hate crimes. Additionally, 41% of transgender people reported that they attempted suicide at some point in their lives, compared with 4.6% of the general public.
Even though marriage equality is the law of the land, new laws are popping up across the country that look to limit LGBT rights further. Five states currently have legislation forcing students in schools to use the bathroom according to their sex assigned at birth. North Carolina recently passed an especially harsh law, which got rid of protections for transgender people and prohibited cities from passing any non-discrimination bills at all. Other so-called "bathroom bills" are popping up around the country.