In an op-ed for Politico, civil rights leader and American for Marriage Equality Julian Bond calls for all Americans to come together to support of LGBT equality.
While LGBT Americans have achieved degrees of equality in the last few decades, laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are critical in the fight for equal treatment, according to Bond.
"[The Employment Non-Discrimination Act] follows in the mold of life-changing civil rights laws that, for decades, have prohibited employment discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, age and disability. However, there are some who feel that ENDA must allow religiously affiliated organizations — far beyond churches, synagogues and mosques — to engage in employment discrimination against LGBT people. We haven’t accepted this in the past, and we must not today."
Just as individuals during the civil rights movement argued that they couldn’t serve African-Americans or accept interracial marriages based on religious beliefs, so too do opponents to LGBT equality.
“We weren’t willing to say that African-Americans were only mostly equal,” said Bond. “Today’s struggles are similar in that we shouldn’t accept only partial equality for LGBT people.”
Read his op-ed in its entirety on Politico.