LGBT Rights Are Not Merely an Issue

Recognition of basic human dignity is a necessity of life.

Gay students stand behind placards that carry messages of hurt and isolation.

These are the signs of the times. Someday, the need for them may be a distant memory. (Photo via The Other 98%)

Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Now that President Obama has appeared on The View to reiterate that he has come out for same sex marriage equality (in theory at least), gay rights are front and center in the national discourse.

Unfortunately, the discussion around granting fundamental civil liberties to every American, no matter who that American shares the intimate joys and struggles of life with, has not always been conducted in a reasoned tone.

Words are easy to toss around, as if they are things that have no weight or impact. But a picture of real human consequences brought about by marginalizing, thoughtless speech and attitudes carries the weight of testimony. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center estimates that “LGB youth are nearly one and a half to seven times more likely than non-LGB youth to have reported attempting suicide.”

Thanks to The Other 98% for posting the photo reality above, and to Feministing for the tip.

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