Letter Against Discrimination

Dear Community,

The United States has had its share discrimination in the past.  There are many forgotten examples of discrimination and many examples still fresh in our minds. Some will say that in recent years, discrimination has gotten worse, while others will say it has improved. However, one thing is certain… discrimination still exists today. In 2015 and 2016, we have noticed an increased amount of discrimination, especially from individuals that should be leading by example.

Following the freedom of the slaves in 1863, the Jim Crow laws were introduced, promoting the idea of “separate but equal.” Nearly 100 years later, figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and Malcom X stood up for equality. Women couldn’t vote until May 1919, which was a major gender inequality. They stood up for equality. In 1969, a pivotal moment in LGBT history occurred with the Stonewall Riots.  We made history in 2015 when marriage equality was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. We finally got equality… well, some.

Today, we continue to face discrimination on the legal front. In 29 states, it is still legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Hate crime status does not include sexual orientation or gender identity in over 20 states. There are even some states and cities that believe they can render consensual sex between two adult males illegal. These are just some of the examples of discrimination that LGBT individuals face today.

Recently, our presidential candidates were asked their views on marriage equality. Each major Republican candidate, including Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich came out against marriage equality. All of the Republican candidates, with the exception of Kasich, promised to work to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision. We find this tactic, as well as the other forms of discrimination being used during this campaign season, to be immoral and discriminatory.

As a result of the political discrimination, our organization has adopted a non-discrimination theme for Mansfield Gay Pride 2016. Today’s society has no room for discrimination. So, let’s not debate, stop the hate! Join Mansfield Gay Pride Association this summer to help stand against discrimination and propose LGBT protection laws for Mansfield, Ohio.

Thank you for your time and your support,

Kevin Kincaid-Shoaf
Mansfield Gay Pride Association