Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry nationwide. The historic ruling was the result of decades of tireless work by advocates and the quiet courage of millions of people who loved openly and proudly. Despite our nation’s progress on marriage equality, it remains legal to discriminate against many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, workers, customers, students, renters, and homebuyers. In 28 states, same-sex couples will be able to marry legally but also can be legally fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartments, denied credit, or refused services or goods simply because of their sexual orientation. Similarly, 31 states lack explicit protections from discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations.
All Americans deserve the opportunity to be judged on their merits, provide for their families, and live free from fear of discrimination. As with marriage, anti-LGBT discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations is a national problem that requires a national solution. To find out more about the need for nationwide, explicit protections from discrimination for LGBT Americans, read the Center for American Progress report “We the People: Why Congress and U.S. States Must Pass Comprehensive LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections.”
Sarah McBride is a Research Associate for LGBT Progress at the Center for American Progress.