Such rights include legal protections against discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit based soley on a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation. Currently only 15 states and the District of Columbia have such laws in effect that protect against such discrimination in the USA. That means that shamefully it's currently legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in these areas in 35 states!!!
In other words, a gay or lesbian person can be denied or fired from a job, refused an apartment or right to buy a house, be denied a hotel room, be denied service at a restaurant, or entrance to a club or credit simply because of who they are in 35 states and can't do a damn thing legally about the injustice! Technically, a heterosexual can be discriminated against too!
There are no federal laws in place to protect gay and lesbian people from such discrimination. Although a bill is pending in Congress that would at least outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, the republican controlled Congress won't allow it to come up for a vote on the floor!!! Some republicans claim we need hearings to determine the need, but refuse to hold any. Others like to point to costly frivolous lawsuits as an excuse for not supporting it, yet fail to reconcile that against their own claims that homosexuals only make up 1% of the US population! Others who make religious objections, refuse to admit that the bill provides exceptions to religious organizations!
Further, passing such laws would not stifle free speech against homosexuals anymore than existing laws against religious bigotry outlaw the right to speak against religious extremism!
Contrary to the assertions of right-wing religious extremists these are not special rights but an extension of civil rights that heterosexuals and other minorities take for granted. We already have laws that protect against religious bigotry, which is a choice and a benign characteristic unlike race or gender. Thus a person's choice to live openly as a homosexual should be extended the same protections under the law.
In regards to homosexual relationships, gay and lesbian couples currently only have some form of legal protection of their relationships in 4 states through either marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships. Since such arrangements are only recognized in 4 states, gay relationships have no protection in 46 states!
These protections among other things offer security to the couples and promote stability!Such relationships, for example, assure that their assets won't be stolen by the family of a deceased partner upon death leaving the surviving partner in the street. Again, marriage, or whatever you wish to call it, is a right to security that heterosexuals take for granted that extends beyond procreation. Gays and Lesbians shouldn't have to incur unnecessary costs trying to provide for their partner through costly legal documents that are often challenged in court by families and invalidated!
Gay rights are human rights, not special rights!!!!
Gay Americans should have some right in the USA to legally have their relationships recognized as a basic human right!