On June 26, 2015, we celebrated the Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights case ruling regarding same-sex marriage. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision ushered in long overdue marriage equality to millions of Americans who were otherwise denied. A year later, I married my partner of five 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 are being stripped away.
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. We are in a new era, the Trump era.
Another long term survey conducted by GLAAD over the past four years reveals a disturbing reality. The findings show 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. We have a long way to go.
If you haven’t been reading or watching the news, you should. 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, with his hateful rhetoric, has fostered safe spaces to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Instead of moving forward, we are moving backward. 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. For instance, he voted YES to Constitutionally define marriage as one-man-one-women. Also, he voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
I will fight for all my LGBTQ sisters and brothers by working to pass laws to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ Community. While I respect people’s religion, your religion doesn’t give you the green light to discriminate.
- Passing the Equality Act
- Allowing Transgender to serve in the military
- Increasing federal funding levels for HIV/AIDS services and research.
- Safe Schools Improvement Act. Kim believes every student deserves to have a safe space in an environment conductive to learning. Students will not flourish in an environment in which they fear.