From Brian Schatz <[email protected]>
Subject I want to talk to you about the efforts to silence and discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community
Date June 12, 2023 10:20 PM
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͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌Brian Schatz - for Hawaii [[link removed]]
Most of the country recognizes June as Pride Month.
While we celebrate, it’s also hard to miss the surge in efforts to silence and discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community in our country. According to the ACLU, nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced at the state level this year -- including five in Hawaii.
These efforts target trans youth and education in particular. Nearly 300 education-related anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this year and more than 180 measures target trans youth -- including book and curriculum bans. It’s not just state and local politicians behind these attacks either. House Republicans passed a bill that would ban trans students from participating in women and girls’ school sports.
These bills are particularly cruel when you consider the fact that LGBTQ+ students are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges than their peers. Every child should feel safe at school and have the right to live authentically and openly.
I’m proud to stand with the LGBTQ+ community -- during Pride Month and every other day of the year, too.
I am a strong supporter of the Equality Act which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I introduced a measure condemning the recent attacks on LGBTQ+ students and demanding equal education opportunities and basic civil rights for all K-12 students. I also introduced a resolution celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility and recognizing the achievements and courage of the trans community as well as the discrimination they still face today. And I have continued to work to fix the records of veterans who were less than honorably discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Our work to ensure equality, acceptance, and civil rights is a team effort, and I’m grateful that I can count on you to be a part of it.
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