Jim Crow laws were legal regulations set in place to keep African Americans separate but equal, meaning white and black people each had separate bathrooms, dining areas, and drinking fountains. So in essence, they were equal, and yet separate.
Let me be clear before I continue, gay people are not even equal in any way yet, but there are laws that are similar to Jim Crow laws, except the target is LGBT people.
In most states in the U.S., gay people can legally be refused service at any store or restaurant, kicked off a public transportation service, and even forced to sit in the back of the bus or be required to use a separate bathroom! They can also be fired from their job if they're found out to be anything but heterosexual.
When it comes to marriage, some states have what they call a "domestic partnership" or "civil union" in which gay people are given about half of the rights that heterosexual people receive when they get married. In this case, it's not even "separate but equal" but "separate and still unequal."
So I ask that if and when your state votes on any gay rights issues, or same-sex marriage, that you vote in favor of them. It's time to put an end to discrimination in this country once and for all.