How Same-Sex Marriage Affects The LGBTQ Community

Ingrid Vanegas, Reporter

Over four years have passed since same sex marriage was legalized and its positive effects towards the rights of the LGBTQ community are still evident. Adoption has become easier for same-sex couples. Spouses can visit each other if hospitalized, which wasn’t possible before same-sex marriage law was passed. As well as many more benefits including taxes, ability to sponsor spouses, social security, and insurance plans have been granted to the community.

According to an article in The Atlantic, an American magazine and multi-platform publisher, the legalization of gay marriage has led to Americans being more accepting of the LGBTQ community and recognizing their rights.

“It increases the tolerance that other people have,” Junior Caleb McCarty said. “When you legalize same sex marriage, it kinda exposes the rest of society to it, and then the rest will turn to accept it more.” 

Looking deeper into the people it has changed, students are impacted by this law because they feel it has made a huge difference on how their future will pan out. According to Child Trends, an online blog, about nine out of 10 LGBTQ youth expect to raise kids someday.

“It lets us be able to know that we can still have a future because we can love whoever we want,” McCarty said. “We don’t have to be restricted to having a relationship with a certain kind of person when you don’t want to.” 

However, despite the many positive developments occurring, many same-sex and transgender couples still experience discrimination. According to Bustle, an online American women’s magazine, 72 percent of anti-LGBTQ homocides are of transgender women. McCarty, identifies as a transgender male, and worries about possible situations that might occur to him at his workplace.

“There is still transgender discrimination in the workplace, and I, as a trans male, am definitely terrified,” McCarty said. “It’s still technically not illegal to discriminate and I know it’s already in the media.” 

Allison Stephens, Gay Straight Alliance club sponsor, often witnesses the discrimination against transgender people. She noted the high statistics of murder and suicide among transgender women, especially women of color.

“I think there is a lot of work that needs to be done with recognizing trans people and their rights,” Stephens said. “Recently, here in Dallas, there have been several murders of trans women, and it’s a scary time to be a trans person.”

As an ally of the community, Stephens feels that the community has seen some very positive changes, despite the violence. 

“I think it’s important for kids and teenagers to see that our country has made some really, really positive strides towards equality for all,” Stephens said. “We certainly aren’t there yet, but within the past 10 years, people as a whole are just so much more accepting of the LGBTQ community than they have been in the past.” 

Stephens also identified how these changes may have caused a change in the views of those outside the community. This includes more support toward the LGBTQ community and less discrimination against them.

“I think part of that is being able to see that the community is gaining the rights, and it has been inspiring for maybe kids and teens who are members of the community but also just helping those who are outside of the community and anyone to see LGBTQ people are normal people, and they deserve the rights everyone else gets,” Stephens said.

Stephens believes that although the US is slowly progressing in the race for equality, America has a long way to go before society is all truly equal.

“We haven’t achieved equality as a whole in America,” Stephens said. “I think that’s something that we are still working towards. I think we are making major strides than in the past, which is awesome, and we still have a lot of work to do but there has been some major stepping stones that we have met.”