Ghadeer Alaradi/MJ

By ASHLEY FELDER, Guest Writer

Monday, October 7 kicked off the start of LGBTQ Celebration Week at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and on Tuesday, October 8, together with Equality Michigan, the Office of Student Engagement’s Jonathan Larson put together a roundtable to discuss LGBTQ rights in regards to human rights.

Equality Michigan is the statewide anti-violence and advocacy organization for the LGBTQ community. Yvonne Siferd, Director of Victim Services at Equality Michigan, was invited to be the guest speaker for the round table.

In recent years, the LGBTQ community and the rights of individuals have been a big topic of discussion nationwide. While some states and countries have given their LGBTQ communities the right to marry, as well as other benefits – something that a lot of people take for granted – many more have continued to rally against equality.

The United States is built on the idea that all people are created equal and that everyone has fundamental human rights. However, in the case of the LGBTQ community, things that others consider a given –  job security, living facilities, marriage and the benefits of being married – are being denied them due to the way they identify.

According to Karen Holland, Special Events Coordinator for the Chancellor’s office, “There are things that are wonderful in theory, but you add human beings to the mix and by nature most of us are at least a little bit selfish.”

She continued, “We want what we want when we want it. In some people’s world your civil rights infringe upon what I think are my rights and my rights are of course more important, and then you get this clash.”

In the United States, freedom, peace, and equality are assumed to be attainable by everyone. However there are those who are denied these basic rights, like people in the LGBTQ community.

Equality Michigan is working to give the LGBTQ community back their fundamental human rights through work with the government and major corporations, and in doing so giving those who may feel hopeless a voice.