Equal Protection for Other Groups

Many Hispanics and Latinos were deprived of their right to vote and forced to attend segregated schools. Asian Americans were also segregated and sometimes banned from immigrating to the United States. The achievements of the African American civil rights movement, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, benefited these groups, however, and Latinos and Asians also brought lawsuits on their own behalf. Many, like the Chicano youth of the Southwest, also engaged in direct action. This brought important gains, especially in education. Recent concerns over illegal immigration have resulted in renewed attempts to discriminate against Latinos, however.

For a long time, fear of discovery kept many LGBT people closeted and thus hindered their efforts to form a united response to discrimination. Since World War II, however, the LGBT community has achieved the right to same-sex marriage and protection from discrimination in other areas of life as well. The Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990, has recognized the equal rights of people with disabilities to employment, transportation, and access to public education. People with disabilities still face much discrimination, however, and LGBT people are frequently victims of hate crimes.

Some of the most serious forms of discrimination today are directed at religious minorities like Muslims, and many conservative Christians believe the recognition of LGBT rights threatens their religious freedoms.