LGBTQIA+ Rights and Protection

People are people and every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. As a nation, we have struggled with this concept and, as a result, have discriminated against those who appear “different” from the mainstream. Beginning in the 1980s, this began to change for the LGBTQ+ community. Collectively, we have made great strides in recognizing the rights and issues of those of us who do not conform with traditional hetero stereotypes. For example, in June 2015, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, in June 2020 a divided court affirmed that a worker cannot be fired for being gay and, as of this January, transgender people can now openly serve in armed forces – again. But there is still a long way to go.

The hate-filled rhetoric that permeated the Trump Administration has meant that discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ is the highest in a decade, especially when gender and race are taken into account. Transgender people in particular face significant barriers on multiple fronts, such as in getting adequate healthcare – a very real hurdle during a pandemic. Even in Northern Virginia, which is relatively diverse and accepting, elderly LGBTQ+ patients struggled to find care providers even before COVID-19. To really turn things around so we can begin realizing true intersectional equality, we must: 

  • Establish a universal single-payer healthcare system that provides everyone affordable, high-quality, nondiscriminatory healthcare 
  • Pass Do Not Harm Act to amend RFRA from granting exemptions to crucial civil rights laws 
  • Pass Safe Schools Improvement Act to help LGBTQ+ students get the support and protection they need in schools
  • Address the housing discrimination that LGBTQ+ youth and older adults face
  • Fully enact the 2020 Older Americans Act to protect elderly LGBTQ+ 

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