An Ally’s Guide to LGBT Issues

Ally's GuideTomorrow the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is scheduled to take up — and expected to send on to the full Senate — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a long-pending bill that would outlaw employment discrimination against LGBT people.

In honor of this new ENDA push, we dusted off our copy of “An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing LGBT Americans,” a guide that was collaboratively produced by a number of LGBT organizations.  It addresses what some would call “The Gay Agenda,” giving data and background on the following LGBT wish list:

—  The opportunity to earn a living and provide for ourselves and our families (fair and inclusive workplaces; access to workplace benefits)

— The ability to pursue health and happiness (access to health insurance; physical and mental health; access to competent and welcoming health care providers; access to identity documents needed for daily living; and freedom from discrimination)

— The ability to take care of the ones we love (freedom to marry; securing legal ties between parents and children; caring for a sick partner or child)

— The ability to be safe in our communities (inclusive hate crime laws; safe schools; and welcoming faith communities)

— The chance to serve our country (military service; public service)

As ENDA again begins moving through Congress, we will undoubtedly hear much more in the coming months about the inequities and injustices LGBT people face.  But this document, which “incorporates information current as of August 15, 2012,” is also testimony to how far we have come.  In less than a year, we have won marriage in many more states, overturned DOMA, increased our access to health insurance, improved our access to accurate identity documents, and much, much more.  We still need this Ally’s Guide, but we have reason to hope we won’t for much longer.

An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing LGBT Americans can be found at

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