Credo Action

The fight for LGBTQ equality just got harder

Sign the petition

The petition to Congress reads:

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have achieved marriage equality but still face discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Pass the Equality Act and extend all civil rights protections to all Americans.”

    You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.

     The fight for LGBTQ equality just got harder

    Less than two years after the Supreme Court made the freedom to marry the law of the land, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBTQ) community is facing a crisis. An unabashed, right-wing homophobe – Indiana Gov. Mike Pence – is heading toward the office of the vice president of the United States. Trump is no better; Despite courting the LGBTQ community throughout his campaign, he has already demonstrated that LGBTQ people are not safe with this administration. He has nominated Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama, a vocal opponent on issues like same-sex marriage and federal hate-crimes legislation, to hold the position of attorney general.1 He has also pledged to sign the anti-LGBTQ First Amendment Defense Act as soon as he takes office.2 This is just the beginning.

    It’s clear that the fight for equality for LGBTQ Americans just got harder. But, we cannot despair and give up.

    We need to make sure that the next administration knows that we are going to stand with LGBTQ people no matter what – to push back against direct attacks and to push forward proactive legislation. We are never going to stop advocating for full civil rights for everyone.

    Tell Congress: It’s time for LGBTQ people to have full civil rights. Pass the Equality Act now.

    Anti-gay and anti-transgender Republican legislators consistently and ruthlessly attempt to legislate-away people’s rights at state levels – not to mention the attacks that we’ve already seen in the Republican-controlled Congress. Now they’re about to have the whole federal government backing them up. There are already not the same civil rights protections for LGBTQ people compared to those for other Americans at a federal level. LGBTQ (especially transgender) people report harassment at work and in public and private spaces, and significantly higher rates of unemployment and homelessness than the national average.3

    The comprehensive Equality Act is an update to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Progressive champions Sen. Jeff Merkley from Oregon and Rep. David Cicilline from Rhode Island introduced the legislation in 2015 to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in education, employment, housing, credit, and federal jury service by providing them with basic civil rights protections.4 Now is the time to speak out and show massive public support for equality by sending a clear message to Congressional leaders that we are not going away.

    Tell Congress: It’s time for LGBTQ people to have full civil rights. Pass the Equality Act now.

    A majority of Americans support equal protection under the law for LGBTQ people, but that has not stopped attacks from conservative extremists across the country. In the majority of states, people can be fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartments or denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and presentation.5 The year 2016 has seen over 100 active pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation moving in state legislatures across the country.6 From “bathroom bills,” which explicitly target transgender people by making it illegal for them to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity; to Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), which make it legal for people to use religion as way to validate their discrimination against gay or transgender people; the attacks are varied in their approach but stem from the same bigotry and intolerance.7

    Right-wing legislators are not only refusing to create a climate of safety and inclusion, they are also proactively attempting to dismantle the rights of LGBTQ people. When our elected officials stigmatize and target LGBTQ people, it contributes to a larger social context of intolerance.8 More than half of LGBTQ people in the United States expect to be a victim of a hate crime.9

    We want to be clear: the chances of a Republican-controlled Congress passing the Equality Act is a long shot. But we can’t let Congress forget for one second that it is their legislative and moral obligation to protect all Americans, including LGBTQ people.

    Tell Congress: Pass the Equality Act and extend all civil rights protections to all Americans.

    Thank you for standing for equality.

    References:
    1. Brooke Sopelsa, “Jeff Sessions a 'Deeply Disturbing' Attorney General Pick, Says LGBTQ Rights Group,” NBC News, Nov. 19, 2016.
    2. Jeff Taylor, “Donald Trump pledges to sign anti-LGBTQ ‘First Amendment Defense Act’,” LGBTQ Nation, Sept. 26, 2016.
    3. “National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Nov. 2009.
    4. Zach Ford, “The Equality Act Could End Legal LGBT Discrimination For Good,” Think Progress, July 23, 2015.
    5. “Anti-LGBT Discrimination,” GLAD, accessed June 23, 2016.
    6. Jennifer Bendery and Michelangelo Signorile, “Everything You Need To Know About The Wave Of 100+ Anti-LGBT Bills Pending In States,” Huffington Post, Apr. 15, 2016.
    7. “Anti-LGBT Religious Exemption Legislation across the country,” ACLU, accessed June 23, 2016.
    8. Emma Green, “The Extraordinarily Common Violence Against LGBT People in America,” The Atlantic, June 12, 2016.
    9. Michelle A. Marzullo and Alyn J. Libman, “Hate Crimes and Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People,” Human Rights Campaign Foundation, May 2009.