Legalized discrimination exists in the forms of:
- Federal and state laws and amendments that prevent same sex couples from marrying, allows employers to fire or not hire people simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and others that limit other freedoms that straight people take for granted
- Private organizations and clubs, such as religious groups and the Boy Scouts of America, which have the legal right to exclude LGBT from membership and employment.
Legalized discrimination not only limits the rights of LGBT people, but it also dehumanizes and stigmatizes an entire class of citizens. It increases the chances of violence to them and hurts family relationships. Even the perception of not being straight or being the friend of an LGBT person has exposed people to harassment and violence.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has and will continue to work to change legislation national and locally to end this discrimination. At this time, marriage and civil unions are legal in several states and domestic partnerships are allowed in some others. A Federal Hate Crimes Law was passed, and PFLAG continues to work for an end to job discrimination via the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA). As bills are introduced in Congress, PFLAG will continue to lobby for the ones that will help to end discrimination in all of its forms.
Individual PFLAG members work against legalized discrimination in many ways such as:
- Lobbying their state representatives
- Writing letters to the editor and to their elected officials
- Speaking to local organizations
- Talking to their friends, family and acquaintances whenever possible about these issues
PFLAG is determined to end abusive policies and practices. We seek a just world in which all people receive understanding and equal acceptance and protection.
(Adopted 9/7/92; Rev 1/15/2001; Revised July 24, 2011)