Human Rights 11 July 2014 6 1171
Since 2003 the US Supreme Court has said that States can’t make consensual private homosexual activities between two adults a crime. Yet gay people in the US still have a long way to go before they can enjoy the rights and freedoms equal to those straight people have. Some American States still exercise blatantly discriminatory anti-gay laws and only 17 out of 50 permit gay marriage. This programme focuses on life for gay men in America; they explain why it is important to them to be able to marry, go to church and be accepted by society without having to sacrifice their true identity.
We follow the stories of several people, including several gay men, who talk about their lives and struggles.
Frank Schaefer is a defrocked Methodist pastor. He has two gay sons and one lesbian daughter. As the United Methodist church, and Christianity in general, forbids homosexuality, he was stripped of his rights to exercise the functions of the ordained ministry as a result of him officiating his son’s gay wedding.
However, there exists several Methodist churches across the country who accept people of all sexual orientation, including gays, lesbians, and others. This is known as the “reconciliation movement”.
We meet Will Green, who is an openly gay pastor at one of these churches.
Peter Sprigg is the Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He explains his viewpoint that homosexuality, or being gay, is unnatural. He maintains that people are not born gay, and that being gay carries with it many health problems, both physical and mental.
We also meet a gay couple who own a business together. They got married several years prior in Las Vegas, though the gay union was not recognized by the state and thus not legally binding.
Only around 17 out of 50 US states have legal gay marriage. Without a legally binding union, gay and lesbian couple can’t benefit from the legal aspect of marriage. These include such things as being someone’s “next of kin”, sharing health insurance, and life insurance inheritance.
Despite the fact that gay marriage is slowly becoming legal in more states, and soon on the federal level, gays, lesbians, and all member of the LGBT community continue to face discrimination and disdain.