UChicagoNews reports that a national survey has revealed that the priorities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth on what are the most important gay rights issues vary. The survey results compiled by The Black Youth Project and entitled “Moving Beyond Marriage: What Young People of Color Think about the LGBT Agenda,” shows that employment discrimination, bullying and HIV/AIDS were some of the issues that took top priority; even over marriage:
“For the last decade, many LGBT organizations have worked tirelessly to expand marriage rights to same-sex couples and the public has become considerably more acceptant,” [co-author of the report Cathy J.] Cohen said. “This report demonstrates that while young people grant strong support to marriage equality, young people—especially young people of color—also believe that several other policies should have greater priority in the fight for LGBT equality, including employment rights and prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.”
The main findings of the report include:
- More black (80.2 percent) and Latino (74.9 percent) youth believe the marriage equality movement has taken too much attention away from other important LGBT issues compared to white youth (64.0 percent).
- More black youth (58.0 percent) believe that LGBT issues in communities of color are not well represented by mainstream LGBT organizations than Latino (45.9 percent) and white youth (42.7 percent).
- More than a third (35.0 percent) of black youth reported that HIV/AIDS is the single most important issue for LGBT organizations to address. Latino youth reported that bullying (20.1 percent) is the most important issue, while white youth (21.3 percent) reported that same-sex marriage is the most important issue.
“While some people argue that recent advances in same-sex marriage equality are an indicator of the end of discrimination against LGBT individuals, the survey participants disagreed,” Cohen said. “Greater proportions of black youth than Latino and white youth believe that LGBT individuals experience discrimination.”
Part of the thinking in attaining marriage equality has been it would be major key toward ending discrimination. One of the points those who are fighting for marriage equality have made is being married comes with an universal understanding that provides respect and acceptance of the relationship. This respect and acceptance, it is thought, will lead to people being less discriminatory and bullying.
Others feel that the foundation to acceptance and ending discrimination begins from tackling the issues that are directly related such as bullying and employment. Once this is done, marriage equality will follow.
What do you think?