Recently America has started to become much more supportive of civil rights for the gay and lesbian community then they have been in the past. Despite this recent change attitudes of homophobia are still very prevalent among individuals in the United States. Homophobia is not only prevalent on the individual micro basis but as well on the macro basis. On the federal level homosexuals are still not protected from hate crime legislation and work place discrimination. Under federal law they are also prohibited from marrying and openly serving in the military. Although gays are usually better protected at the state the level that in not always the case. 30 states still have nondiscrimination laws that do not include sexual orientation. As well statesstill prohibit gay couples from adopting, as well as some states have state or constitutional amendments that prohibit same sex marriage.
Homophobia on a Regional Basis
Cities such as Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco are known to have the highest amount of partnered gay populations as of the year 2000. There are many myths that homosexuals are gravitated to big cities because they are known to be more tolerant than small towns or rural areas. Although it is true that there is a higher concentration of gays living in large cities, as well as it is true that areas such as the Northeast and the west coast are known to more accepting then that South or Midwest it is still true that homophobia is everywhere. Even though people from areas such as the west coast describe that by living in such an accepting area with many gay rights movements has made them more accepting to gays people in these liberal areas still do report seeing homosexuality as well as hearing school yard terms such as “gay” or “faggot”.
What homophobia means for families
Homophobia still being prevalent in many different areas even more liberal ones can be a devastating thing for families. One example of how it can affect families is if a child who is gay has homophobic parents. The parent’s homophobia could cause a rift between the child and their parents if the parents are never able to accept their child. Homophobia can also have a negative affect on a child who has two same sex parents. With several states having laws against gay couples adopting it can be difficult for each of the same sex partner to have equal parental rights over the child. That can become very difficult in the event of a parents hospitalization or death.
The following YouTube clip shows an example on how homophobia can negatively affect a family.
The next YouTube clip explores how parents who are uncomfortable with their child’s sexuality can deal with meeting their child’s same sex partner.
1. What do you believe are some ways to end homophobia on a micro level?
2. Can you think of any examples you know of a family being personally affected negatively by homophobia.
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