Teachers can still be fired for discussing gay issues in the classroom
The discussion of LGBT issues is still banned in a number of states across America.
Although same-sex marriage might now be legal in all 50 US states, a host of anti-LGBT laws remain in operation across the country.
Arguably one of the worst of these is the ‘No Promo Homo’ state laws, that ban discussion of LGBT issues in public schools.
Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah all have some type of legislation, restricting discussion of homosexuality in the classroom.
As a result of such laws, any teachers in these states who do address LGBT issues in the classroom may risk being fired.
Activists are now hoping that these laws will be addressed following the Supreme Court ruling in June.
However some fear there is still a long way to go to achieving LGBT equality in the US.
“The gay rights movement has been so focused on marriage rights that other discriminatory laws have been overlooked or ignored,” writes law student Ryan Matthews.
“My hope is that instead the decision will be a stepping stone towards eradicating these laws across the nation,” he adds.
“Hidden in education laws, they restrict the promotion of homosexuality in public school classrooms by prohibiting the teaching of homosexuality or requiring its condemnation.”
Lawmakers in North Dakota recently announced plans to remove a defunct same-sex marriage ban – which was voided by the Supreme Court ruling.
In November 2004, 73% of voters in the state approved the law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman and prohibited the recognition of same-sex relationships as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships.
However, a legislative committee in the state is now discussing whether to alter the state’s constitution and statutes to reflect the ruling.
Though the laws are now effectively pointless, state lawmakers may choose to leave them on the books as a protest.