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Meng Wang (Melody)

Doctor Carlisi
ESL 33B- Project 3 Essay
28 November 2016
Discrimination Against Homosexuals
Comparing with other countries, America is always on the top of chasing equality of
races, religions and other civil rights. From the beginning of the United States of America,
Americans never stop fighting for their freedom. Most Americans will agree that
discrimination is terrible no matter what it targets. American government also has many laws
and policies to help people get equal civil rights. However, we cannot deny that the
discriminations still remain now, especially for homosexual people: lesbians, gays, bisexuals,
and transgenders. That is true that Americans works a lot for LGBT. In hundreds of years
ago, they might be killed because of religion, but now, homosexuals get marriage quality
around America. In spite of this, there are still many barriers in homosexuals lives. They still
face on discriminations, especially against employees and students. No employment will say
that they do not hire LGBT in public, but according to the research by Christaforea and
Leguizamon, the homosexual employees still have lower salaries than others (2013).
Moreover, in Kimmels report, students who are LGBT get more bully at school and cannot
get enough attention from school officials (2016, 2011). Therefore, although the American
government has made many laws and policies to reduce discrimination against the LGBT
people, organizations and schools should do more work to help LGBT students and
According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, there are estimated 3.8% Americans who
are LGBT (2016). Since there are so many LGBT people in America, all Americans should
care about how their life is. As we all know, Americans can marry with their lovers no matter

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what their genders are, but there is still discrimination against homosexuals. The
discrimination is a typical and old prejudice in America. The most important reason for this
discrimination is religion. In the thirteenth century, people thought that homosexuals were
deviants, and it became a crime in Europe. In Noga-Styron, Reasons and Peacocks srticle,
the Catholic Church commanded that homosexuals should be burned or hanged if they
showed their sexual feelings in the past (2012, 371). Later on, when the European colonies
came to America, they brought this view to America and used it to conquer and exterminate
native people (Noga-Styron, Reasons, and Peacock 2012, 372). It was not only
discrimination against homosexuals, but also became a way to occupy the new continent.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, those European settlers expanded Catholic in
America and Mexico (Noga-Styron, Reasons, and Peacock 2012, 372). They punished and
exterminated native homosexuals so that they could get the natives land and property. In
1810, a judge in Maryland convicted that the crime of sodomy is too well known to be
misunderstood and too disgusting to be defined (Katz 1976). However, the serious
punishment cannot stop Americans fighting for their lives. With time goes by, Americans
began to try to fight for their freedom.
In the twentieth century, homosexuals got more freedom in America. Because of World
War II in 1940s, so many people joined the army and it broke the normal patterns of sexual
sociability and caused sex segregation in America (Noga-Styron, Reasons, and Peacock 2012,
372). There were millions of homosexuals in the army in the war (Allan 1990, par1).
Although at that time, the US army could not accept homosexuals, the fact that soldiers could
not meet women in the army caused many gays. The police arrested gay men after World War
II; the newspapers reported them and the Federal Bureau of Investigation monitored the gay
community (D'Emilio 2000). The persecution to homosexuals could not stop the movement
for homosexuality. In the 1951, America had founded the first gay organization in Los

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Angeles by Harry Hay. Later on in 1950s, there were company published homophile
magazine and protected their right to publish by the US Supreme Court when the US postal
confiscated their magazine (D'Emilio 2000). The most significant progress was that in 1962,
Illinois became the first American state to remove sodomy laws as a crime (D'Emilio 2000).
After the Stonewall Riots in 1969, there are more and more movements for homosexual
rights. The true gay rights movement came during 1980s (Epstein 1999, 5). From 1980s,
people learned that AIDS was not a gay problem but a health problem for human (NogaStyron, Reasons, and Peacock 2012, 373).
During the long struggling from homosexuals, they have equal civil rights now, but the
homosexuals still face on discrimination, especially in workplace and school. According to
the survey by Christafore and Leguizamonb, gay employees get lower wages than other
employees when they have similar level in workplace (2013). During their survey, they found
that one in ten homosexuals had experienced discrimination in the labor market (Christafore
and Leguizamonb 2013). Homosexuals not only get lower wages and salaries, but also are
discriminated in hiring and promotion, and they may get harassment during works (Tilcsik,
2011). Although no company will say that they will not hire and promote their homosexual
employees, it is an under table problem and obstacle for homosexuality.
Besides the discrimination against employees in labor market, children also faced on
discrimination at school. People all know that children are the future of our society and they
take care of childrens education and health, but there are some mental problems that adults
did not care about. LGBT students are discriminated at school by their schoolmates.
According to Kimmels research, there are more than half students were bullied because of
their sexuality (2016). The gay students are bullied by verbal abuses and physical assault.
Moreover, they are twice as frequently as other straight students to be bullied (Kimmel 2016).
A GLSEN survey to 7989 LGBT students supported that there are 74.1% were threatened

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because of their sexual orientation and 55.2% because of their gender expression (2016).
There are also physical bullies to LBGT students, 36.2% were pushed or shoved because of
their sexual orientation and 22.7% because of their gender expression and 16.5% were
punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon because of their sexual orientation and 11.4%
because of their gender expression (Kimmel 2016). The terrible facts show people the
situation of LGBT students at school. It seems like LGBT Americans have same civil rights
with other Americans, but American children are living in a distressing environment at
school. A more awful problem is that many school offices did not respond LGBT students
when they reported what happened to them. As a result of those discrimination and unfair
treatment at school, many LGBT students do not want to go to school any more. They missed
school and did not like to accept advises by other who had higher education because the
school cannot protect them. Then these LGBT students will get lower grades at school and
they cannot get high quality education which will make their life worse. Therefore, the
discrimination against students at school is a serious problem for our society.
Since there are discrimination against employees and students who are the two main
parts of our society, people should think about how to reduce the discrimination against
homosexuality. The government has made some laws for this problem, and the government,
organizations and schools should do more works to decrease the homophobias and
discrimination against homosexuality. First of all, the government makes laws and policies to
punish homosexual discriminations. The government made anti-discrimination laws to less
the gap between LBGT employees and others. For example, Pennsylvania had passed a law
that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at all state agencies
(Christafore and Leguizamonb 2013). In California, it also added the sexual orientation to
legislation to prohibit discrimination in companies hiring, firing and other conditions for
employees (Christafore and Leguizamonb 2013). Because of the risk of being sued by

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homosexual employees firing or not being hired by sexual orientation, the companies will
treat the homosexuality more fairly. Then the gap between homosexual employees and others
will be reduced.
Except in labor market, the government also made policies to help LGBT students at
school. In 2010, media reported that some LGBT students committed suicide because of
being bullied at school (Jesse). So in 2011, the Obama Administration held a White House
Conference on Bullying Prevention (Kimmel 2016). The U.S. Department of Educations
Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidelines to state the obligations of school that they
should reduce bullies that against the federal anti-discrimination statutesincluding
gender-based bullying of LGBT students (Kimmel 2016). The government also had
reached agreements with school that they have responsibility to respond LGBT students and
make solution to stop bullying against LGBT students (Kimmel, 2016). As a result, schools
should establish some education and training program to help LGBT students and prohibit
anti-LGBT bullying.
Besides making laws and policies, the government also ended the anti-homosexual laws.
In the past, people believed that homosexuality is a kind of illness. Parents sent their children
to see doctor and use medicine to help their children. However, now people know that
homosexuality is born as that (Cheri 2015). So California became the first state to stop the
use of conversion therapy by parents. Parents cannot send their children to doctor to treat
them to be straight any more (Marketwired 2014). There is no doctor will cure a child
because of their sexual orientation. Another law in California to be stopped is gay panic.
According to Marketwired, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law bill AB 2501 on
September 27, 2014 (2014). This bill prohibits crimes using the "gay panic" defense
(Marketwired 2014). In the past, some crimes changed their murder to manslaughter by
saying that they have gay panic. They claimed that the kills were happen by a protection of

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themselves because they have a panic to homosexuals. Now the California government
stops this law and victims can get fair and justice. The gay panic is no longer legal which
help homosexuals have a safe life now. At the same time, the prohibition of gay panic
shows that homosexuals are same as others and people cannot discriminate and hurt
homosexuals any more.
LGBT American is an obvious part in America, no one can ignore them. In 2015, the
most significant success for homosexuals happened in America: they get the equality in
marriage in all states of America. The homosexuals use hundreds of years to fight for their
civil rights and freedom but they still face discrimination now. The government makes many
laws and policies to reduce the discrimination against homosexuality in the past. Few people
will say that they discriminate LGBT to public, but we cannot deny that the under table
discrimination is still exist. The world cannot be really fair to everyone in every place. The
only thing we can do is try our best to reduce the gap between two different levels. The
government, organizations and schools still need to work on this problem. They need to use
laws, policies and more programs to spread their view that discrimination against
homosexuals is wrong, and help normal people understand homosexuals and reduce
discrimination by homophobia.

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Works Cited
Allan Brub, Coming out under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World
War Two (New York: MacMillan, 1990.
Cheri Gay Major Velma. "50 Years Later...Still Interpreting The Meaning Of 'Because Of Sex'
Within Title Vii And Whether It Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination." Air Force
Law Review 73. 2015, pp.61-109.
Christaforea, David, and Leguizamon J. Sebastian. "Revisiting Evidence Of Labor Market
Discrimination Against Homosexuals And The Effects Of Anti-Discriminatory Laws."
Review Of Regional Studies 43.2/3 2013, pp. 213-238.
D'Emilio, J.D. Cycles of change, questions of strategy: The gay and lesbian movement after
fifty years. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Epstein, S. Gay and lesbian movements in the United States; Dilemmas of identity, diversity,
and political strategy. In B.D. Adam, J. Duyvendak, & A. Krouwel (Eds.), The global
emergence of gay and lesbian politics (pp. 40-66). Philadelphia, PA; Temple University
Jesse McKinley, Suicides Put Light on Pressures of Gay Teenagers, N.Y. TIMES (Oct. 3,
Katz, J. Gay American history. New York, NY, 1976
Kimmel, Adele P. "Title IX: An Imperfect But Vital Tool To Stop Bullying Of LGBT
Students." Yale Law Journal 125.7 2016, pp. 2006-2036.
Marketwired. "California's End to "Gay Panic" Defense Will Help Families Says Family Law
Attorney Mark Baer." Marketwire (English) 06 Oct. 2014: Web.
Noga-Styron, Krystal E, Charles E. Reasons, and Derrick Peacock. "The Last Acceptable
Prejudice: An Overview Of LGBT Social And Criminal Injustice Issues Within The
USA." Contemporary Justice Review 15.4 2012, pp 369-398.

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Tilcsik, Andrs. Pride and Prejudice: Employment Discrimination against Openly Gay Men
in the United States. American Journal of Sociology, vol. 117, no. 2, 2011, pp 586
LGBT Proportion of Population: United States. The Williams Institute UCLA School of Law