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Discuss gender identity and how society has evolved over the past decade in their interpretations. Within this discussion be sure to include how sex/gender differ and societal responses to this expanding understanding of gender. How might this understanding of gender cause conflict with current social institutions or practices?

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In the decade of the 2010s, one significance change regarding gender in the United States has been the achievement of marriage equality. Another important development has been increased recognition of LGBTQ rights.

In the decade of the 2000s, after the landmark 2003 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, numerous other...

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In the decade of the 2010s, one significance change regarding gender in the United States has been the achievement of marriage equality. Another important development has been increased recognition of LGBTQ rights.

In the decade of the 2000s, after the landmark 2003 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, numerous other US states recognized the right to marriage regardless of gender. Maryland was among them, but Ohio was not. In 2013 James Obergefell and John Arthur, both residents of Ohio, traveled to Maryland and were married there. Ohio refused to recognize their marriage. They challenged the state in the case of Obergefell v. Kasich, with the lead defendant being Ohio’s governor, John Kasich. This recognition was important because Arthur was terminally ill, and they wanted Obergefell to be listed as the surviving spouse on his death certificate. Based on Kasich’s decisions, including the appointment of Richard Hodges as state health director, the case became Obergefell v. Hodges. Following a number of decisions in federal district courts, which Ohio appealed, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the laws of Ohio and several other states were constitutional.

The Obergefell v. Hodges case went up to the US Supreme Court, which decided on June 26, 2015 that the right to marry equally applies to same-sex couples. The court based its decision on the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. The decision must therefore be recognized in all states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.

According to a 2019 report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which includes data for 2018, reported hate crimes directed at LGBTQ people had increased by almost 6 percent over 2017, with a 42 percent increase in those directed against transgender individuals. These increases are especially notable because overall, reported hate crimes had decreased about 1 percent. In addition, reporting hate crimes is not mandatory and the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crimes to the FBI decreased in 2018, so the number of crimes committed is likely to be higher than the number reported.

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