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Pride Month
Happy family with text that reads "Happy Pride 2023"
Ruth Martin's picture

Pride Month is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and the people within it, past and present, who have fought to make our country and lives safer and stronger. [1] It is also about the importance of being able to live authentically, and moving the dial toward a world where everyone is safe, thriving, and not discriminated against in any way. And on that front, there is a lot of work left to do.

At MomsRising we celebrate Pride every month of the year and especially in June and that’s why we're calling on Congress right now to pass several important pieces of legislation that will strengthen and protect the lives and rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Add your name now to our letter urging Congress to pass the following important and long overdue pieces of legislation which will codify and strengthen protections for the LGBTQ+ community.

→ The Equality Act: This bill passed the House with bipartisan support in 2021 and would update our civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in key areas of life like employment, housing, education, federally funded programs, credit, jury service, and in public places and spaces. It would also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in public accommodations and federally funded programs while modernizing the definition of public accommodations for all protected characteristics, including retail stores, banks, and public transportation. [2a,2b] In the past year, more than 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ people reported experiencing discrimination and negative impacts on physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing as a result. [3] We need the Equality Act because right now there is a patchwork of different state laws with varying degrees of protection against discrimination, and in some states they are even going backwards and making it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. [4a,4b

→ The Transgender Bill of Rights: This year alone there have been unprecedented numbers of anti-trans legislation introduced at the state and federal level, and the rise in attacks on trans youth and transgender women of color are particularly alarming. [5] The mental health and safety of the transgender community is at risk. In fact, trans Americans are four times more likely than cisgender peers to be victims of violent crime, and 34.6% of transgender youth reported attempting suicide in the 12 months prior. [6a,6b,7,8,9] The Trevor Project has found that affirming transgender and nonbinary youth has a significant impact on reducing suicidality. This resolution, introduced in the US House and US Senate, calls on the federal government to provide protections for transgender and nonbinary people. The resolution provides a comprehensive policy framework including adding transgender and nonbinary people to the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation, protecting access to gender-affirming medical care, and enforcing civil rights. [10]

→ The Pride in Mental Health Act: This bill provides recommendations for federal, state, and local agencies to improve data collection related to the mental and behavioral health of LGBTQ+ youth and better identify youth who may be at risk of experiencing – or already experiencing – child abuse or neglect because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This legislation also increases mental health supports for LGBTQ+ youth by developing mental health resources, training for caregivers, school bullying prevention guidelines, and more. And it commissions a report on the mental health and mental health care of LGBTQ+ youth in foster care and other federal social services programs. [11]

→ The LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act: Last June, this bill passed out of the US House with bipartisan support. As our partners at CAP explain: “This landmark legislation would require the collection of voluntary, self-disclosed demographic data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations in sex characteristics…across federal surveys, while maintaining necessary confidentiality and privacy standards that govern federal statistics. An overall lack of routine data collection poses a significant barrier for researchers, policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders seeking to understand and address the challenges that LGBTQI+ communities face, including discrimination and resulting inequities.” [12]

**SIGN our letter now calling on Congress to pass these critical pieces of legislation protecting the LGBTQ+ community!

When you take time to take action with MomsRising in support of these important policies - it matters and it works. Last year MomsRising joined many other organizations to help push for the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act - and we won! The Respect for Marriage Act had bipartisan support and was signed by President Biden late last year. The law ensured protection of the marriages of same-sex and interracial couples. It also repealed the discriminatory, misnamed Defense of Marriage Act, and ensured that federal benefits are available to married couples no matter where they live. 

→ Join us in calling on Congress to take action this Pride Month and pass these critical pieces of legislation.

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