Discrimination and prejudice play a large role in today’s society. Many of

the victims consist of gay and lesbian people, women, and people of racial and

ethnic groups. Prejudice is a judgement or an opinion formed before the facts

are known. Discrimination, on the other hand, is an act toward someone or

something with partiality or prejudice. It is one thing to be prejudice and have

thoughts, but people discriminate and act out those thoughts because a group is

different. These people should be protected against discrimination in

employment, insurance, housing and in adoption cases.

There are many gay and lesbian people in the world and who are they

hurting by living that way of life. Everybody’s lifestyles are different and to

discriminate against someone because you do not agree with them is ignorant.

“Discrimination against gay people, the life-destroying impact of lost jobs,

children, friendships and family; the demoralizing toll of living in constant fear of

being discovered by the wrong person which pervades the lives of all lesbian and

gay men’s lives whether closeted or out.”(Barbara Smith, pg.8, 1999.)

Homosexuals are discriminated against everyday. According to the National Gay

and Lesbian Task Force, over ninety percent of gay men and lesbians have been

victims of some type of violence or harassment.(Crusius. Pg.525. 1998)Smith

says that the violence of homophobes causes deaths in many gay and lesbian

lives. In Washington, Gov. Whitman is part of a new ad campaign urging the

senate to ban job discrimination against gays and lesbians.(Darlene Superville,

pg.1, 1999.) Homosexuals deserve to be treated fairly and share the same

rights as any other American. Five to ten percent of the American population is

gay and lesbian, and, because of their minority status, they face discrimination

and harassment of one sort or another(Crucius pg.526 1998). When gay

activist Harvey Milk went into office in 1978 to help the gay people gain some

freedom things started to look brighter for his people. Soon after he was killed for

being a gay man and the man who killed him was prejudice to his ideas.

“Homophobia is often thought of as the “last acceptable prejudice,” because so

many heterosexuals think that discriminating against gay people-even exhibiting

open hostility towards them-is defensible on moral grounds.(Crusius. Pg,525.

1998)” That kind of thinking is why there is so much violence in the world today.

In many ways the discrimination against gays is like that of women and people of

different races.

Race is defined as a person’s ancestry or ethnic characteristics. Race

discrimination, like all other types of discrimination, happens every day. “It is

illegal under both federal and state law to discriminate in the term or conditions of

employment on the basis of a persons race or color.”(Race Discrimination, pg.1,

1999.) Legally an employer can not limit, classify or segregate employees base

on race or national origin. That does not mean that it stops it from happening.

People are turned away from jobs, thrown out of stores, and harassed on the

streets because of their color. How media treats race, talks about Exclusion,

which is ignoring people who belong to different racial groups and ignoring the

uniqueness or individuals with in each group. It also speaks of Inclusion, which

is portraying only negative images of a group of people. “The Affirmative Action

programs, which helped blacks, other minorities, and women gain access to

higher education and to jobs previously held by white males, are still in effect

today.(Crusius. Pg.479. 1998)”

Women are being discriminated against from the glass ceiling in the

workplace to the position they hold in the home. Women are looked at as baby

machines, whose job is to stay home, cook, clean and take care of the children.

Discrimination against an employee based on sex is unlawful: A woman can not

be paid less then a man for the same work. A woman can not be denied training,

promotions, jobs or hours because of their gender. If the employer provides

disability benefits for employees it is unlawful sex discrimination to deny equal

benefits for pregnancy related conditions or childbirth(UFCW, pg.1, 1999).

These are supposed to be rights and laws women have on their side but

unfortunately sometimes they are not always followed. Women will get

promotions and an occasional raise until they hit the