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As an astute social worker and professional policy advocate, once you have selected and identified a social problem, you begin the process of creating and implementing a policy that addresses that social problem. One of the first things you do in the implementation process is an analysis of the social policy you identified.
In Part 3 of your ongoing Wiki assignment, your group analyzes the selected social policy.
Address the following items within your group’s Wiki page for Part 3:
- Evaluate the policy’s strengths and weaknesses. (Please provide 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses) (Use 3 APA references
- What is working?
- What is not working?
Make sure that your assertions are supported by appropriate research and reputable resources.
This is the completed Wiki to date
The LGBTQ community has made great strides in their efforts to push social change, but there are still problems affecting this group that needs to be addressed. Members of the LGBTQ community are fighting for positive change and the right to be recognized as a venerable population under the law. The Equality Act would ensure members of this vulnerable group receive the same protections under the laws as other venerable group in society. Currently, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not recognize this population. As a result, they can be discriminated against in the workforce, at schools, and in some states, they can be denied service simply because of their sexual preference.
The LGBTQ community has come a long way in terms of equality, but there are still many changes that need to be made. In the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2017), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a bakery that denied service to a gay couple (Morris, 2018). The court based this ruling on the First Amendment, but if someone was denied service because of their race or age, it would be considered illegal. If the LGBTQ community was protected under the Civil Rights Act, there would be no question about service. Even though major changes have occurred in society, many members of the LGBTQ community hide their sexual orientation for fear of backlash in society.
The LGTQ community has gained some rights over the last couple of decades, including the right to marry and to serve in the military without backlash, but the LGBTQ community is still fighting for total equality. Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans report having experienced discrimination in their personal lives (Myers, 2016). While society is more accepting of this community, there has been no rush to ensure they receive the same protections and rights as heterosexuals in society. The new policy would ensure members of this community receive the same protection as other vulnerable groups in society, such as minorities or women.
The Equality Act would be a federal statute, so it must be accepted by most of the society to become a law. The new policy is supported by the LGBTQ community and advocacy groups in society. It is also supported by a large percentage of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. The Business Coalition for the Equality Act is responsible for funding and lobbying efforts to get the bill passed (Human Rights Coalition, 2018). This group consists of 150 businesses that joined together to push for the policy change.
Aspects of the Policy
To ensure the LGBTQ community receives the same protection as other vulnerable populations, the proposed policy, The Equality Act, must be supported and advocated for. The Equality Act “amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation” (Human Rights Coalition, 2018, para. 2). Members of the LGBTQ would have the same rights and privileges as other members of society. Groups covered under Title Seven of the Civil Right Act are considered protected populations. Businesses or education institutions that discriminate against this group would be vulnerable to being investigated by the EEOC and sued by the victim.
Civil Rights laws decrease discrimination. Through the Civil Rights Act, African Americans, women, and other vulnerable population have received comprehensive protections in society. Adding members of the LGBTQ community to the Civil Rights Act would eliminate the ability of anyone in society to deny them service or to treat them differently in the workplace. The policy is not currently a law but has been presented to a House committee for review (Human Rights Coalition, 2018). Majority support by the House and the Senate is needed for the Equality Act to amend the Civil Rights Act.
The current policy is The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964 (Simmons, 2000). Simmons (2000) explained that Americans expected the President, the Congress, and the courts to fulfill the promise that the 14th amendment made, which was to ensure equal protection to all American citizens. Our country has used this policy to ensure equality for all citizens, but it still does not protect everyone. This is why the Equality Act has been introduced and will make it illegal to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
Support and Opposition
The Equality Act was originally introduced on July 23, 2015 (Congress.gov, 2016). The act died quickly after Republicans shot down a committee hearing for the bill (Valens, 2017). The Equality Act was then reintroduced on May 2, 2017 (Congress.gov, 2018). A lead sponsor of the act, Cicilline, stated that the legislation “reflects the simple idea that everyone, including members of the LGBT community, is entitled to equal treatment under the law and right to live free of discrimination” (Johnson, 2017, para. 3). Johnson (2017) explained that this act has a greater number of cosponsors in both the house and senate than ever before. There are currently 196 Democratic cosponsors and only 2 Republican cosponsors (Congress.gov, 2018).
There is broad support for the Equality Act, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), found that 70 percent of the nation was behind this act. Not only has this bill been backed by most Democrats, Republicans, and Independents but also by the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, a group of more than 105 major companies with operations in all 50 states (Equality Act, 2018). Not everyone is in support of this new legislation. Members of the civil rights community fears the consequences of moving the Equality Act to the floor. It is their belief that this act will amend a huge portion of the Civil Rights Act (Johnson, 2017).
The Equality Act is the proposed change to the current policy. This change will add protection for the LGTBQ community. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for an employer to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges or employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (Simmons, 2000, p. 4). The Equality Act is proposing that sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity be added to that list (Congress.gov, 2018).
Congress.gov. (2016). H.R.3185 – Equality act. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house…
Congress.gov. (2018). H.R.2281 – Equality act. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house…
Equality Act. (2018). Human Right Campaign. Retrieved October 6, from https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act
Human Rights Campaign. (2018). Equality Act: H.R.2282; S.1006. Retrieved October 5, 2018 from https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act
Johnson, C. (2017). In uphill fight, Democrats make case for Equality Act. Retrieved October 6, 2018, from http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/05/02/congress…
Morris, B. (2018). History of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social movements. Washington, D.C. George
Myer, I. (2016). The elusive promise of LGBT equality. American Journal of Public Health, 106(8), 1356–1358.
Simmons, L. (2000). The civil rights act and equal employment opportunity commission. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED462359.pdf
Valens, A. (2017). The LGBTQ equality act is headed back to congress – but it faces a tough crowd. The Daily Dot. Retrieved from https://www.dailydot.com/irl/lgbtq-equality-act-ea…