WASHINGTON — Pride Month this year comes as equality is under attack across the country. So far this year, hundreds of bills attacking the LGBTQ community have been filed in state legislatures across the country, most of them focused on the transgender community, making this the worst year in recent history for anti-LGBTQ laws The ongoing struggle for equality underscores the importance of standing with the LGBTQ community in their fight for recognition and acceptance.
“During June we celebrate our LGBTQ friends and neighbors and honor the sacrifices made on the road to equality,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “We’ve made incredible strides over the past two decades as we come closer to building a nation where everyone is free to live openly as their true self, without fear of discrimination. But the battle for equality is ongoing, and Republican state legislators have launched a cruel assault against the LGBTQ community. Democrats will continue to advocate for equality and stand up against the GOP’s heartless, bigoted legislation.”
Republican lawmakers launched a cruel assault on trans youth in particular, passing laws that would outlaw access to gender-affirming health care and prevent trans girls from participating in youth sports. The wave of hateful legislation threatens the health and safety of trans Americans and serves no purpose other than fueling the GOP’s desperate culture war.
Democratic lawmakers have stood up against Republicans’ cruel attacks and will continue to fight for equality. After Democrats won control of the General Assembly in 2019, Virginia became the first state in the South to pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community. That means in every state where Democrats have full control of the legislature, discrimination against the LGBTQ community is illegal.
The ongoing assault on equality is a reminder of the importance of representation in government. The 2020 elections saw several milestones for the LGBTQ community, with the first openly transgender legislators to serve in Delaware, Kansas, and Vermont, as well as the first LGBTQ legislators in the Tenessessee House, the Florida Senate, the Georgia Senate, and the New Mexico House. Oklahoma also elected the first openly nonbinary legislator in the country. Overall, there are 158 openly LGBTQ state legislators in office: 149 Democrats and just nine Republicans.