CHICAGO, United States, Jul 4 – Gay marriage may now be legal across the United States, but that doesn’t mean people won’t get fired if their boss sees the wedding photos.
A week after celebrating a landmark Supreme Court ruling overturning same-sex marriage bans in 13 states, activists are gearing up for the next stage of a decades-long battle for equal rights.
“There’s a lot of work that remains,” said Sarah McBride, researcher at the Centre for American Progress.
Less than half of US states have laws protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Which means that more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act outlawed segregated lunch counters, a Tennessee hardware store owner had every right to post a sign in his window declaring “no gays allowed” on Monday.
“It’s heartbreaking and it’s completely shocking to folks that in a lot of instances and in a lot of places this is legal,” McBride told AFP.
That type of overt bigotry is relatively rare because it is becoming socially unacceptable, said McBride, an expert in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Instead, the political rhetoric has been focused on protecting the religious freedom of business owners and government workers who don’t want to serve gay couples.