In 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act to prevent federal recognition of gay marriage and to allow states to pass laws denying its legality, despite the fact that gays tried to use their political power to fight the earlier legislation.
Clinton signed the bill under protest, claiming that the bill was politically motivated and mean-spirited.
The Obama administration stopped defending the law in federal courts because it didn't think it was constitutional.
The Republican majority in the House will hire staff to defend the law in court.
The Supreme Court agreed with the Obama administration and settled the issue in 2015.
Gays are concerned about workplace discrimination.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring, firing, pay, and promotion decisions.
Since 1994 it has been introduced in every Congress except one and it has failed to get through both houses.
The issue of gay rights has come to the forefront of the American political agenda not only because the issue of gay rights has come to the forefront of the American political agenda.
The public's attention has been focused on issues that most of the public would rather remain private, because of their determination to eradicate what they see as an unnatural and sinful lifestyle and their conviction that protection of the basic rights of homosexuals means that they will be given "special privileges".
The spread of AIDS and the political efforts of gay groups to fight for increased resources to battle the disease have increased public awareness of gay issues.
The issue of acceptance of gay rights has changed more rapidly than any other issue because of more accepting values among young people.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that age is not a suspect classification, meaning that governments can pass laws that treat younger or older people differently from the rest of the population.
Young people don't have the same rights as adults when it comes to curfews, locker searches, and adult justice if they commit a crime.
Some people argue that children should have more rights in dealings with their parents.
Older people are more likely to be discriminated against in the area of employment.
Compulsory retirement at a certain age, regardless of an individual's capabilities or health, may be said to violate basic civil rights.
Congress sought to prevent age discrimination with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, outlawing discrimination against people up to seventy years of age in employment or in the provision of benefits, unless age can be shown to be relevant to the job.
In 1978 the act was amended to prohibit mandatory retirement before seventy, and in 1986 all mandatory retirement policies were banned except in special occupations.
Older people defend their interests more effectively than younger people because they can't vote until they are eighteen.
Older Americans are well organized politically and voter participation rates increase with age.
A powerful interest group with 38 million members, the American Association of Retired Persons has been active in pressuring the government to preserve policies that benefit older people.
Social Security and Medicare, programs that provide health care for older Americans, were virtually untouched in the mid 1990s because of the influence of the organization.
People with disabilities have organized to fight for their rights.
People with disabilities, people who work in the social services for the disabled, and veterans' groups are some of the advocates for the disabled.
Laws don't prevent disabled people from voting, staying in hotels or using public phones.
Public attitudes toward and discomfort around disabled people can pose barriers as insurmountable as the law.
School lockers can be searched without a warrant because discrimination on the basis of age is not considered a violation of civil rights.
Americans under the age of eight are not unconstitutional to be treated differently than others.
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the rights of more than 44 million mentally and physically disabled people in this country.
Disabilities covered under the act don't need to be as obvious as confinement to a wheelchair or blind.
People with AIDS, those recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, and patients with heart disease or diabetes are covered.
Guidelines for access to buildings, mass transit, public facilities, and communication systems can be found in the act.
The EEOC is authorized to handle cases of job discrimination because of disabilities, as well as race and gender.
Many of the required changes in physical accommodations, such as ramps and elevators, are very expensive to install.
Advocates for the disabled say that these expenses will be offset by increased business from disabled people and by the added productivity and skills that the disabled bring to the workplace.
The Eleventh Amendment, which limits lawsuits that can be filed against the states, limited the reach of the act in 2001.
Discrimination against people who are not citizens is the final category.
Is it possible that noncitizens have the same rights as U.S. citizens?