Views from Vega
By Elizabeth Vega
In what was a huge leap for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was still just a step in the LGBT community and people striving for equal rights as heterosexual couples.
Last week, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges ruled that all 50 states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions.
Before the ruling, only 37 states allowed same-sex marriages.
With the ruling, same-sex couples will now be able to enjoy the same benefits and legal rights as heterosexual couples as well as having their spouse recognized on birth and death certificates, hospital visitation and medical decision rights for their spouse and being able to receive Social Security benefits.
Still, there are some LGBT movements to make to gain full equality.
The Supreme Court decision did not decide whether the LGBT should be treated under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, protecting them from discrimination based on their sexual orientation.
That means LGBT people can be denied service in restaurants, hotels and businesses.
In the state of Texas, it is possibe for a person to be fired based on their sexual orientation and can be evicted from their homes by a landlord.
So while same-sex couples can now marry their loved one, they are still not protected under any federal law that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in public entities, employment and housing.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said the LGBT people “ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law,” but if respect and protection is not given to the LGBT community, the states still have more steps to take to truly declare equality.