On June 26, 2015 we celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage. the landmark civil rights case of Obergefell v. Hodges was finally decided bringing long overdue marriage equality to millions of Americans who were otherwise denied. A year later I married my partner of 5 years. We, as a community, (bolstered by our allies) had been fighting long before 2004 when the first state started allowing gays and lesbians to marry. We still have a long way to go. The accomplishments we’ve made over a span of decades are being stripped away in less than a course of a year.

According to research by the New York City Anti-Violence Project[, an 86 percent increase in hate violence homicides in the US last year made 2017 the deadliest year for the LGBTQ community[1]. This is the new era of Trump.

Another survey conducted by GLAAD over the past four years shows a disturbing reality. A significant decline in overall comfort and acceptance of LGBTQ people is on the rise. And, a significant increase in LGBTQ people reporting discrimination has increased as well[2]. We have a long way to go.

If you haven’t been reading or watching the news, you should be. Within a year Trump and his administration:

  • Tried to discharge Transgender soldiers serving in the military by a tweet
  • On May 21, 2017 during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Betsy DeVos stated that states should have the flexibility to decide whether schools can discriminate against LGBTQ students even if those schools get federal money.
  • HHS is taking steps to dismantle LGBT health initiatives by rolling back regulations intended to protect LGBT workers and patients, removing LGBT-friendly language from documents and reassigned the senior adviser dedicated to LGBT health.

Trump and his hateful rhetoric has fostered safe spaces to discriminate against LGBTQ. Instead of moving forward we are moving backwards. How do we remedy this issue? We do so by electing more LGBTQ or our allies. Gus Bilirakis voting record shows that he isn’t LGBTQ friendly. From voting YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-women to voting NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

If elected I will fight for all my LGBTQ sisters and brothers. We need laws passed to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ Community. While I respect people’s religion your religion doesn’t give you a green light to discriminate.

References:

  1. A Crisis of Hate A Report of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Hate Violence Homicides in 2017
  2. Accelerating Acceptance 2018 Executive Summary