By Alison DeBoise
Following the Supreme Court ruling that made marriage equality the law of the land, the QLaw Foundation—joined by Legal Voice and many other community partners—held a community forum to discuss the work that needs to done to achieve full LGBTQ equality.
Legal Voice’s David Ward, along with attorneys from Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Washington, and the QLaw Foundation, discussed the Supreme Court ruling’s implications for continued advocacy and what lies ahead. The implementation of the ruling is important right now because, as David said during the panel, “having legal equality does not mean having lived equality,” an opinion echoed by other panel members.
Beyond marriage, there remains much work to be done to ensure full equality. To illustrate the direst needs of the community, local leaders of LGBTQ rights organizations called upon the ways in which the community’s identities are intersectional. For example, if a woman is transgender, low-income, lesbian, and a woman of color, she is put at a much higher risk for marginalization and discrimination. Moving forward the LGBTQ rights movement must take an intersectional, multifaceted approach to achieve equality for the entire LGBTQ community.
Furthermore, the community must engage in legal advocacy and grassroots organizing on issues such as:
- removing health insurance restrictions that bar transgender people’s access to care
- passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation
- ensuring all parents and families are recognized and protected by the law
- ensuring landlords follow state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination in housing
- banning conversion therapy aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity
- and many more
To watch video of the full event, please visit The Seattle Channel website.
To learn more about what local organizations are doing to continue the fight for LGBTQ equality visit their websites:
ACLU of Washington
Equal Rights Washington
Gender Justice League
Greater Seattle Business Association
Ingersoll Gender Center