UT professors discuss LGBT equality

UT’s Sex Week presented a lecture titled “After “I Do”: Beyond Marriage Equality” on April 7 at the University of Tennessee Law School to continue the discussion of LGBT rights.

//Photo by Ryan McGill

UT’s Sex Week presented a lecture titled “After “I Do”: Beyond Marriage Equality” on April 7 at the University of Tennessee Law School to continue the discussion of LGBT rights.

Current UT professors Lynn Sacco, Michael Higdon and Valorie Vojdik discussed the Obergefell Supreme Court Case ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states and its further implications for the LGBT community.

“It is the first time that the Supreme Court has basically said, ‘we see you as a community and you have value.’  Your relationships have value,” Higdon said.

While the panelists agree that this is a step in the right direction, this decision has uncovered bigger issues.

Sacco responded by questioning the very idea of marriage.  She says that it is simply a “liberal remedy” and she questioned whether anyone should receive privileges from marriage, whether straight or not.

Higdon spoke of another issue involving employment discrimination.

“You can get married on Friday, but fired on Monday,” he said.

Higdon continued by saying that the Obergefell ruling simply legalized same sex marriage; it did not eliminate discrimination.

“There’s legal change but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s hearts and minds have moved along,” Sacco said.

The panelists then took questions from the various students and faculty members that attended the event.

The audience’s main questions revolved around how they could fight for change for the LGBT community.

The panelists responded by saying that everyone can make a difference.  It is something you have to work for every day.  If you see or hear about discrimination against someone in the LGBT community, step up and do something about it.

Clay McCammon, a current student at the University of Tennessee, said this lecture was helpful because “finding out where we go next is an important thing to know.”

Edited by Courtney Anderson

Featured image by Ryan McGill