2015 was the year of marriage equality, a goal that brought together gays and lesbians from across the political spectrum. 2016 and beyond is likely to see a continuing divergence among collectivist progressives, live-and-let live moderates, and individual-rights libertarians.
In the presidential election, the GOP looks unlikely to nominate one of the candidates who can bring the party into the 21st century on LGBT issues. Whether limited-government gay voters pull the lever for Hillary, sit the election out, vote Libertarian, or go with the Republican nominee will depend on how bad the GOP candidate is on social issues, and how bad Hillary is on economic/government overreach and over-regulation. The result (most likely a Clinton presidency) isn’t likely to be good for the country.
The institutional LGBT advocacy establishment will push for The Equality Act, which will go nowhere. The act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and expand that act’s definition of public accommodations to cover “any establishment that provides a good, service, or program” including “an individual…who is a provider of a good, service, or program.” Take, that, wedding planners, caterers and photographers!
Religious exceptions under The Equality Act would be limited to houses of worship, and perhaps only to ministerial positions, and the measure explicitly sidelines attempts to claim religious liberty rights by legislating that “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.”
The Equity Act demonstrates that LGBT activists are no longer interested in any kind of a reasonable workplace anti-discrimination bill that might obtain the support of moderate conservatives and libertarians.
Transgender issues will continue to dominate LGBT discourse. There will be greater acceptance of transgender people as part of a diverse society, but if compromise is rejected over the issue of public restrooms and, especially, gender-discordant nudity in locker rooms, expect to see more backlash. Progressives will be mystified by this.
Political correctness, with all its authoritarian-left overtones, will continue to be the dogma coming out of the progressive universities and the liberal media establishment, and it will persist in producing push-back among many Americans who value freedom of speech and freedom of religion, including the right of citizens not be to compelled by the state to engage in expressive activity that violates religious belief. Progressives will continue to be contemptuous of such intransigence.