One of the most essential parts of being American is the ability to express freedoms and influence policies in our nation. Our voice is our weapon and if our morals are good, we use it for the better. However, the system of power that guides our nation has also made a point to limit those freedoms, most especially against minority groups. That prejudice is based on class, ethnicity, gender, and now sexuality. Discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people has already become subtly normalized in almost every part of our society and we see it in our justice system. Though the justice system already is blatantly intertwined with flaws of systemic racism and classism, in summary, it is founded on systemic bias.
Queer people are now being rejected as jurors. Why does sexual orientation have anything to do with influencing policy? Last I checked, romantic relationships themselves were a private matter that has no influence on a person’s ability to make decisions. The literal concept of jurors is to have a range of walks of life to make decisions in the courtroom. However, districts take advantage of their power to persuade decision making and the target is LGBTQIA+ folks. It’s disheartening and aggravating that people in power keep finding ways to keep control. The identity of an individual should not be seen as a threat to a person in power, but because our nation allows bias in this way, federal laws need to protect and assert that LGBT people will always be protected.
While jury duty is most commonly seen as a pain to sit in a courtroom for hours or sometimes days, it is an exciting task for some because of the civic influence that comes along with serving. The essence of jury duty is freedom, but denying LGBTQIA+ folks a place in a courtroom as a juror is at its core, homophobic.