Monthly Archives: November 2016

Living in Our Nation’s Capital

Posted on November 14, 2016 in Buying a Home

Moving to Washington, DC, may seem like something only those in politics do, but the city is actually a very diverse area. Many who work there have nothing to do with the government. The capital is home to over 670,000 people, although many more work in DC on a daily basis. That’s because many commute from the suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. In fact, during the workweek, the city has over a million people in it. The overall metro area has a population of more than six million. A good percentage of this population is a part of the LGBT community.

The economy of the DC metro area is the fourth largest in the U.S., and it has traditionally had one of the lowest unemployment rates. While the federal government does employ almost 30 percent of everyone living in the area, other major industries include law firms, contractors, lobbyists, and non-profits. Tourism is also a major industry, bringing in billions of dollars every year.

LGBT and DC

living-in-our-nations-capitalLGBT couples have been able to legally marry since 2010, plus those who don’t want to marry can join in a civil union or a domestic partnership. LGBT people can adopt children without any additional barriers, and the city does not allow discrimination in hiring, housing, and other areas. Washington, DC also has hate crime laws on the books. In short, the capital has been very friendly to those in the gay and lesbian community.

Moving to DC

Because of how open it is, many LGBT people have considered moving to Washington, DC. One downside to the city is that it is quite expensive to live in DC proper. That’s why many who decide to work in our nation’s capital city live in one of the nearby cities and commute. In addition to driving, there are also a number of trains and other types of public transportation that can get you from one of the more affordable areas to DC within an hour.

There are a number of gay neighborhoods in the city. Dupont Circle, Columbia Heights, and Bloomingdale are all great places where many LGBT people live. Of course, the apartments, condos, and homes there are fairly expensive, so you’ll want to make certain you can afford them before making the move. If you’re uncertain about the cost, you can work with a gay or lesbian real estate agent in the area to find something in your price range.

Living the LGBT Life in Kentucky

Posted on November 2, 2016 in Buying a Home

Are you considering a move to Kentucky? The state got some negative press when the state Senate passed Bill 180, what many call the License to Discriminate Bill. It would make it legal for businesses or individuals to actually deny services to those they feel violate their deeply held religious beliefs, including LGBT people. But this one bill isn’t indicative of how the entire state sees the LGBT community. Living in Kentucky can be a great experience for some. Let’s take a look at what protections LGBT couples and individuals have in the state.

Main Laws

living-the-lgbt-life-in-kentuckyKentucky was somewhat slow to decriminalize same-sex sexual activity, only doing so in 1992. The law actually stated that certain sexual activities were only illegal if done by two people of the same sex, making them legal for opposite-sex couples. This actually represented a change from the state’s original laws—Kentucky’s sodomy law, for example, was originally written in 1860 and applied to all couples regardless of gender. This was amended in 1974 to apply to same-sex couples only.

Marriage

A lesbian couple challenged the state’s idea of marriage in 1973 by applying for a marriage license, but they were denied. In 2004, the voters passed an amendment to the state’s constitution declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman. These laws were challenged in 2013 and again in 2014, and while the plaintiffs won these cases, they were appealed. Both appeals were dismissed when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015.

Adoption

The state only allows married couples or single individuals to adopt. In fact, a law was introduced that would have prevented couples who were unmarried but living together from adopting, but the bill failed.

Discrimination Protections

The Governor of Kentucky made an executive order in 2003 that made public employment discrimination based on either gender identity or sexual orientation illegal. When Ernie Fletcher became governor in 2006, he rescinded this order. However, Governor Steve Beshear reinstated the protections in 2008.

Only eight cities in the state have non-discrimination ordnances that protect LGBT people in private employment. However, a number of the state’s large employers have their own company policies that protect gay and lesbian employees. Several cities have ordinances preventing LGBT discrimination in the areas of housing and public accommodations in addition to employment.

Sexual orientation is included in the state’s hate crime statues, but gender identity is not.