My Letter To Senator Schumer: Pass the Equality Act and Protect Obergefell and Lawrence
January 27, 2022
Dear Senator Chuck Schumer,
I’m writing to you, hoping that you understand the desperate need for federal protections for LGBTQ+ people. There seems to be no sense of urgency coming from any level of government, including the city council. Why haven’t you and the United States Senate done something? The only way we are going to be able to pass the Equality Act, which would fully protect LGBTQ+ people under federal law, is to change the Senate rules.
All over America, the Republican Party has introduced and passed extremist bills that will destroy civil rights for LGBTQ+ people and will continue to erase us from history and society. Bills that will also require teachers to out their students to their parents if they expect the student to be a part of the community. Make no mistake Senator Schumer, this is legal and institutional genocide of my community.
The Florida State House has just passed the most extreme anti-LGBTQ+ bill this year. The Don’t Say Gay Bill, also known as HB 1557 and the “Parental Rights in Education Bill”, will effectively ban all talk of LGBTQ+-related content in the school’s curriculum. Out and proud Gay teachers will have to go back into the closet just to be able to teach children. Out and proud Gay students will have to go back into the closet and not talk about who they are to their friends. Students and teachers will not be able to discuss their gender identity and pronouns. This bill will kill kids. Don’t take my word for it? Data from the Trevor Project reported in 2021, 42% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered taking their own life. While data from the same nonprofit also shows that 23% of LGBTQ+ youth who were taught about LGBTQ+ history and people in schools were less likely to attempt suicide. These numbers are from LGBTQ+ children who are comfortable with and open to taking the survey — the real number is higher.
Last year was the worst year in modern history for LGBTQ+ rights. Hundreds of Republican state legislators packed state governments as they overturned decades of progress for the LGBTQ+ community. Now, the same homophobic and transphobic people are going after Obergefell v Hodges and Lawrence v Texas. If Roe v Wade is overturned this spring, Obergefell and Lawrence will soon fall. If we can’t get our elected officials to pass federal protections now, how are we supposed to believe that you will have our backs when Obergefell and Lawrence are overturned?
As hate crimes on LGBTQ+ people are increasing at rapid rates, state legislatures are erasing LGBTQ+ people, health care services continue to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, and the possibility that Gay relationships will be criminalized again, we need your leadership. It’s time to change the Senate rules to pass the Equality Act and to protect Obergefell v Hodges and Lawrence v Texas. Will you protect me, a Gay and Queer person, Senator? Will you protect my friends, Senator?
This letter was emailed to Senator Schumer on January 27, 2022.