An American Right: The Pursuit of Happiness

By Tanisha Singh | Staff Writer

LGBTQ+, an initialism for lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender, and queer rights have come a long way, 2015  was a milestone year, bringing many changes in societal acceptance and recognition for such people seeking a chance at happiness.

Public views and support changed drastically as many YouTubers like famous beauty guru Ingrid Nelson and celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender TV personality., publically came out Caitlyn even started her own television series called “I am Cait”, which gives a closer look at Jenner’s life as a transgender person in today’s society.

One of the most memorable moments of 2015 in LGBTQ+ rights was the legalization of same-sex marriage. On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the 14th Amendment. Although thousands of people rejoiced at the freedom to openly be themselves, there were controversies regarding religious beliefs.

One controversy that received a lot of national attention was the court case Miller vs. Davis. In this case, Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, refused to authorize marriage licenses for same sex marriage to  April Miller and Karen Roberts. Davis was jailed after the federal district judge, David L. Bunning, ruled that, “she was in contempt of court for refusing to issue the licenses and not allowing her deputies to distribute them for her”. In the aftermath of this case, Mike Huckabee, republican party candidate for the 2016 presidential elections, along with supporters were out to support her. Although there have been improvements in LGBTQ+ rights this year, we still have a long way to go in terms of discrimination.  

For example, CNN reported that Missouri transgender teen Lila Perry of Hillsboro high school was refused to use the girls locker room to change. On the other hand, president Obama added transgender bathrooms to the White House and supported transgender rights.

A crowd rejoices during the Heritage Pride March in New York, one of many gay pride parades of 2015 (Photo:
A crowd rejoices during the Heritage Pride March in New York, one of many gay pride parades of 2015 (Photo: