Complete Equality: What's Next For The LGBTQ Community?
The Supreme Court ruling last week on same-sex marriage was definitive and historic.
But many Americans in the LGBTQ community have yet to achieve complete equality. That’s why many in the gay community see fighting housing discrimination and job discrimination as the next big barrier.
In places around the country, it’s still possible to be married on a Saturday and fired from your job on Monday because of your sexual orientation. And it’s all perfectly legal.
So, how does this ruling affect Southern Nevada’s LGBTQ community, and what protections if any are in place on the state level?
Michael Dimengo is the CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. He said there are still issues surrounding the transgender community and LGBTQ youth.
“These are some of the most pressing problems in the LGBTQ community right now,” Dimengo said.
He believes that banning conversation therapy, which supporters say can change a person's sexual orientation, is important and working for protections against discrimination in other states is the next step.
“We enjoy protections in the state of Nevada but that’s not true for everyone,” Dimengo said.
Currently in Nevada, it is against the law to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Attorney Tony Golden, who has done pro-bono work for Nevada Public Radio, said under Nevada law employers and businesses can't turn away people based on sexual orientation.
However, Golden doesn't believe the issue is completely settled because wedding ceremonies are a religious ceremony to many people. He believes that part of the issue is yet to fully come to a head.
He is hoping that the words 'same-sex' will soon be removed from marriage.
“Hopefully what happens next is we just call it 'marriage,'” Golden said.
For attorney Jason Naimi, the ruling will simplify many of the legal issues surrounding couples, including divorce, custody, adoption and taxes.
Before the ruling, something like a pre-nuptial agreement would take multiple filings and a divorce would also take several lawsuits to settle.
Beyond the practical level, Naimi supports the ruling because of the broader implications.
“I think the more exciting thing in all of this really is we finally look at this as true equality,” he said.
For Dimengo, he hopes the next step will be opening a dialog.
“I would like to see a great conversational moment,” he said.
Jason Naimi, family attorney, Standish Naimi Law Group; Tony Golden, partner, Fisther & Phillips; Michael Dimengo, CEO, Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada