The reason it has taken so long in the United States for equality activists to begin really turning things around is due to the entrenched origin of the discrimination that the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community has suffered through for so long. There are six areas that are the origin of this discrimination:
1. Competition in and for economic, political, and social areas; power, prestige and possessions.
2. Structured institutional inequalities in national, occupational, social, political, and especially religious.
3. Conflict often consuming so many that people within a society lose sight of what is really important.
4. Traditions of prejudice stereotypes such as the lies and distortions about LGBT people that were used in; the California proposition 8 campaign, the Federal legal documentation in support of keeping both Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Don’t Pursue (DADT) from having to face Federal court. As well as the abhorrent DADT impact survey questions that are structured to increase stereotypes that result in irrational fears about LGBT service members.
5. Individual needs and anxieties; the irrational fears that a group and or groups have pertaining to another class of people. These fears are based on ignorance. If not corrected the irrational fears grow in intensity and can lead to cruel discrimination such as job loss as in the case of DADT or even worse murder that is hate crime based.
6. Low motivation and skill amongst the oppressed often leads to resentment from those that do oppress. That resentment will inspire the oppressed into taking legal actions and protesting. Those actions by those that are oppressed will increase the resentment of the oppressors. It is needed as a means of educating the public about the oppression.
It is at the point that confrontation on a national basis pertaining to the discrimination is where change ultimately happens for the oppressed of an entire country. The LGBT community has often taken on the local establishments, but was not motivated enough to take on the national establishment until recently. It is the November 2008 Stonewall 2.0 that has enabled the LGBT community to seek a fair distribution of equality, recognition, improved opportunities in diversity and leadership, as well the need to educate the public about the inequalities.
Let us not forget that it was two allied attorneys that took on the Federal challenge to California’s proposition 8. The LGBT community’s attorneys were afraid to attempt a Federal challenge. Their fear was that if we lose at the Supreme Court level that we would be completely stopped from ever achieving equality. They let their fears consume them and so their motivation for a Federal challenge was low; legal inertia.
The US Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s equality clause is a very carefully crafted law. It is "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The attorneys within the proposition 8 legal challenge knew that this law was pivotal to their case and pursued the resulting win. While also exposing the prejudice that was the basis for proposition 8.
Prior to the proposition 8 challenge the very closely related challenge from the Attorney General of Massachusetts to the DOMA law also resulted in a win for equality at Federal court. The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) lawsuit in Federal court pertaining to DADT will also result we anticipate in another win at the Federal level.
Why has it taken so long to achieve any portion of this equality? The reason is simple; we had to commit to battle back the oppression in a non violent and strategic way. Getting to the point of confrontation can and has taken many generations.
For the longest time we were happy just to get bread crumbs, but now we want our equal share of the loaf. In order to obtain that equal share it also required coalition building with members of the movement that are our allies. We had to TELL the truth about our lives to earn our allies.
Truth and the telling of it is our greatest weapon in our struggle for E Q U A L I T Y.