© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
All of us at Buffalo Toronto Public Media are heartbroken by the senseless tragedy that occurred in our great City on Saturday, May 14th. We are grieving with our community and are committed to helping it heal. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, friends, and the employees and customers of Tops Friendly Markets.

Despite Supreme Court decision, still much work to be done for gay rights

A pioneering gay activist is suggesting the Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriages across the country may be the easiest part of the struggle for gay civil rights.

Jonathan Katz, director of the visual studies doctoral program at the University at Buffalo and an art historian, says issues remain of job discrimination and housing discrimination.

Katz says, though, a major problem area is kids struggling to be comfortable with being gay in the face of personal attitudes.

"It marks them as distinct, as weird," says Katz. "They're still killing themselves. They're still isolated. They're still in psychic pain. There are exceptions, of course, in the major metropolitan areas and in certain neighborhoods. But the vast majority of queer kids in this country are still struggling."

Katz says there needs to be more education in the society at large of gay people and history. He says there are still major problems in Red states which have often fought gay marriage.

"Where there is actual, in some instances, real physical danger in coming out, where people are still shunned, where churches control and constrict social life. We have been an urban movement because that's where the bulk of the people in the United States live and that's where the bulk of the queer community lives," he added.

Despite the challenges, Katz says it is remarkable how much public and legal attitudes have changed so quickly.