By Isaiah Valcin, Senior
On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar. Stonewall riots were a way for LGBTQ+ members to fight back and protest. Stonewall Riots are widely considered to constitute the most important event: the debuting of the first Federal Gay Rights bill in 1975. It was introduced to to address discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Despite the progress made, the United States continues to introduce directives that show inequity. For example, on November 30, 1993 President Bill Clinton signed a military policy directive that prohibited openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military, but also prohibiting the harassment of "closeted" homosexuals. This policy was known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." On the contrary, positive strides for the LGBTQ+ include the United States v. Windsor Case and Obergefell v. Hodges. Transpiring on June 26, 2013, The United States v. Windsor was a legal case that ceased Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage ceased. This civil rights case ruled same-sex marriages are permitted to take advantage of federal benefits. June 26, 2015, the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case resulting in the ruling that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples, and after disputing reached the verdict that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
Similarly, President Donald Trump presented a directive that prohibits transgender individuals from serving in the military. Laws like this will only increase the oppression that LGBTQ+ activists have fought so hard to cease.
Even though there are many activists that advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, there are still many laws that continue to be passed that undermine the community. Now, the question arises: Is the LGBTQ+ community safe?