Gay-Straight Alliance Combats Struggles of LGBTQ Community

By Grace Oliver | Reporter 

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court modified the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution to accommodate the new ruling. “The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State,” the amendment states.

This was a major victory for the LGBTQ+ community, but there is still a lot to fight for said GSA President Rachel Hubbard.

Avon’s GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club is doing everything they can to help and include people, no matter who they are.

Junior Rachel Hubbard, President of GSA, said that GSA and the LGBTQ+ community still face struggles in the future.

“The biggest problem right now is ignorance… the amount of bigotry that we face in the community just because of ignorance is huge and it’s a huge problem that we try to solve at GSA,” Hubbard said.

GSA has been a club for four years. The club is a place for members of the LGBTQ+ community to gather in a safe space where they can have a good time and not worry about being harassed and ridiculed, which they may experience at school and at home, said Hubbard.

Junior and member of GSA D Harting contributed her opinion on inequalities the LGBTQ+ community still face.

“We still have to fight every day for housing, our Trans fellows who are getting kicked out of the house just for the fact that they’re Trans. We’re fighting for the equality of job security and the ability to adopt. There are still so many things to fight for and I feel like we’re going to hit an even bigger of a wall than we did for marriage equality,” Harting said.

Despite there being a lack of equality even after the marriage equality act, said Harting, there is still much to celebrate in the eyes of Junior Abby Westman, treasurer of GSA.

“The legalization nationwide of gay marriage this past summer was a major step. It shows that as a country, we now see the LGBTQ+ community through our similarities, and not through our differences,” Westman said.

Hubbard, Harting, and Westman all voiced that their friends and allies in the community were overjoyed by the legalization of gay marriage, and that even though the older generations aren’t as jubilant about the law, the LGBTQ+ community isn’t going to let that fact stop them from continuing to fight for equality.

“My wish is that everyone continues to be treated with respect and value. Equal rights for all is the goal!” Westman said.

Illustration by Hailee Smith

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