msnbc | March 02, 2012
>>> the community is celebrating another victory in the fight for marriage equality .
>> the bill is signed.
>> there you have it. with that maryland becomes the latest state to make same sex marriage legal. it's the eighth state to do so. on capitol hill , though, an advocate is stepping down. olympia snow of maine voted for the repeal of don't ask don't tell, which right now sits with nothing being done. janet mock and robert trainer joins us to talk about this. it's great to have you both here. i wanted to start talking about something on the positive end of things. this weekend i'm hosting the service members legal defense network dinner. the first since the full repeal of don't ask don't tell. there's one who can't be there.
>> unfortunately, i cannot attend the 20th annual national dinner this weekend. i say this with prize in my voice because my military obligations are keeping me from coming.
>> work is going to keep him home that night. on capitol hill , is doma the next biggest obstacle?
>> there's no question about it that the marriage act was passed in 1996 by bipartisan support and signed by president clinton . it's outdated. that's the next hurdle for president obama . republicans have come out and said this marriage act that we voted for in the 1990s is probably impe tent and obsolete and not relevant today.
>> when we talk about job security , we have seen our military. the average american does not have that same job security that's offered. take a look at this. 29 states where you can be fired simply for being gay. totally legal. there are 34 states where you can be fired for being transgender. so i don't want to pointing in out that none of us are thinking, but all three of us sitting on this panel could legally be fired right now if our employer chose to. is this the next biggest obstacle so people realize this exists in the country.
>> i definitely agree with you. it's so important that we realize that lgbt people want to be able to make a living for their families and themselves and have the right to do whatever they love to do. for me when i stepped forward as a transwoman to share my story, i was apprehensive because i was afraid that a job that i love as an editor and writer, i would lose that job by stepping forward. legally, i'm not protected.
>> when we talk about needs to be done though, especially with the nondiscrimination act, how do you think as a country we can get together as a community, as a people, to move something like that forward?
>> the fight for equality for all is an ever evolving thing. we have to realize that, you know, you may not agree with our lifestyles or who we are, but who we are as americans is an embracing place and time. we need to extend those discrimination protections to people who are lgbt.
>> let's talk finally about marriage equality . the neighbors to the north in new jersey, the governor vetoing legislation allowing the same thing. in your estimation politically, is it the people pulling politicians along? or politicians helping to pull people along?
>> i actually would go a third way and say it's a powerful interest lobby. particularly black pastors, specifically in maryland, that could be the hindrance of this. when you look at the polling data, a lot of straight americans say my neighbor is gay. or my brother is gay. i know someone in the transagen transgender or gay and lesbian community . that does not offend me. however, when you ask a pastor that's nongay that's traditionally conservative, they would say, you know what, this offends me to a certain degree. so they have the power and the resources to go to the elected officials and say we cannot stand for something like this. it's a vocal minority that's hindering the right of many.
>> janet mock, and robert, thank you for being here. it's important. i want to pass along to all of you. we're going to be writing more about this issue. you can check it out there.