The Missouri Supreme Court declined to take my client's employment discrimination case based on his sexual orientation. The Missouri Legislature is reviewing several bills providing protection against housing, public accommodation and employment discrimination for LGBT. It's predicted to fail, for the ninth or tenth year in a row. While the United States Supreme Court declared that there is a constitutional right for same sex marriage, two people getting married can legally be evicted and fired because they are gay. Is this justice?
Some people declare that they have religious beliefs contrary to gay people. I have never heard of religious beliefs mandating harassment and ridicule. For crying out loud, no laws will require people to marry someone of the same sex against his or her will, or even to hug or kiss anyone they do not want to hug or kiss. No laws will mandate changes in religious beliefs. Churches could still refuse to perform marriages contrary to the tenets of the religion. Straight people will lose no protection and anyone who is threatened by treating people with dignity and respect have a screwed up view of what the law will do.
Discrimination laws merely protect people from being discriminated against, which simply means they cannot be treated worse because of sexual orientation or sexual identity. In other words, you can't bully gay and transgender people and you have to treat them with respect and give them the same opportunities as every one else. It's simply treating others with dignity and respect. Why is that concept such a threat?
When I was a young lawyer, I thought members of the LGBT community had little chance of fair treatment. Fairness for LGBTs was a distant future frontier in justice. Last year, I had hoped that we, as a society, had finally realized the gross injustice we inflict when we allow and foster discrimination against gays and lesbians and transgender people. I had hoped I could contribute to the abolition of this injustice. It looks like I was wrong. I hope I am not.