The state chosen where there exists effective legislation for the protection of rights of people belonging to all sexual orientations from discrimination is Illinois. In the state, sexual orientation and freedom of practice of same-sex marriage was legal since 1962 till 1996 when it was finally banned. In November 2013, same-sex marriage once again regained legal recognition.
The laws of Illinois that provide protection to transgender and transsexuals are called LGBT laws (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual laws) and they define discrimination based on sexual orientation as discrimination in employment, education, domestic relation, real estate transactions, and any aspect of development based on a person’s gender or sexual orientation. According to these laws, it is disallowed to discard a candidate’s application solely because of the candidate being “sexually disoriented” and not allowing them admission in an education institute for the same reason. People belonging to all the sexual orientation groups are allowed to participate in public matters and to own property (The Free Dictionary, 2015). These laws have been made in result of a widespread debate about whether or not should people who are gays, lesbians, transgender and transsexual be given equal rights as those who are typically well oriented sexually. History has it that women were treated poorly, and laws were silent upon what is now considered as mistreatment of women in a legal manner. They did not enjoy equal rights as men and even today there are gaps in the claims of equality. Similarly, the grounds on which other sexual oriented groups are discriminated against purely bias in nature. Being the minority of the population, such subgroups are at a disadvantage of not being accepted by the mainstream public. The laws made now are supposed to enforce equal right provision to these disadvantaged subgroups.
There used to be a clear discrimination about couples engaging in physical action with each other in public places. Men and women are not disallowed to physically engage in a public place thought they are disallowed to engage in intercourse. ‘Fondling and caressing of another person of the same sex” was strictly disallowed in the state of Illinois whereas people of the opposite gender were allowed to do so publically. At this point of discrimination, Illinois was the first state to eliminate long-existing sodomy laws and allowed equal public exposure rights to the homosexuals as heterosexuals. There was one argument being held against the homosexuals that they engage in sexual activities with people who are of a very young age and who are yet not able to identify themselves as either homosexuals or heterosexuals. Where previously the age of consent was 18 years, any person below this age found engaged in homosexuality was an actor of illegal action, the age of consent was reduced from 18 years to 16 years in the state.
These laws provide protection to people belonging to other sexual groups with liberty to enjoy their public freedom. These laws also hold those employers punishable who engage into discriminatory actions due to someone’s sexual orientation. Before these laws were in effect, it was not allowed for gay or lesbian parents to adopt children who are either homosexual or heterosexual. These laws lifted the ban on doing so. Also, discrimination of gay, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals was declared as being a hate crime in the state of Illinois. In schools, workplaces and even in public places, bullying people in the state of Illinois based on their sexual orientation is a prohibited act (Amnesty International, 2015).
It is rather debatable that whether or not the LGBT laws are being successful in the provision of equal rights. Laws are there and the cases that find their way to the court of justice get served right according to the legislation. It has been noticed that in employment and education the discrimination has largely decreased, which means that the machinery of the government is successfully providing these subgroups with equal rights as the mainstream public. People know that if they are refused the right to employment or admission because of their gender then they can always knock the door of justice.
However the same cannot be said about matters that are far less documented. Laws clearly prohibit bullying of people on the base of their sexual orientation, yet it has been commonly observed that transsexuals and transgender are openly bullied in schools, offices, playgrounds and other public places. Public image about such subgroups is still not that good, and people mistreat them. The reason why people go unpunished even after having held bullying or discouraging behavior towards such subgroups is that people who are discriminated against do not bother taking legal action against the oppression. There is hence a mixed opinion amongst people that whether or not these laws are being implemented effectively enough (Allen, 2015). Another identifiable loophole in this matter includes enforcement of these laws in states of the US where major public opinion is against them and nonenforcement of these laws in states where public opinion favors their existence.
Allen, S. (2015, June 26). LGBT Leaders: Gay Marriage Is Not Enough. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/26/same-sex-marriage-is-legal-now-what.html
Amnesty International. (2015). About LGBT Human Rights. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/lgbt-rights/about-lgbt- human-rights
The Free Dictionary. (2015). Sex Discrimination. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Sex+Discrimination