Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Persons, Rights of

The legal rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual/ transgendered (GLBT) persons in the United States largely depend on the state in which individuals reside. Whereas other historically marginalized American populations have federal constitutional or statutory protections, no federal constitutional or statutory protections, including federal hate crime laws, specifically address GLBT people, as laws do in most European and Scandinavian countries, Further, there are specific federal penalties in the United States for being “publicly queer,” that is, being honest and open about one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity. These penalties include involuntary separation in the armed forces; spousal employee benefits considered as taxable income for domestic partners/civil union spouses; and the federal rejection of legal domestic partnerships, civil unions, and “gay” marriages under the ...

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