IDAHOT/ Equality Act statement

Advocates for Youth applauds the House’s passage of the Equality Act

Advocates for Youth applauds the House of Representatives’ passage of the Equality Act (H.R.5) with a vote of 236 – 173. This historic bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act is a necessary step towards protecting all marginalized communities from the bigotry of a malicious administration.

It is incredibly fitting that this historic vote occurred on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Since 2005, May 17th has been a day to educate and speak out against hate against the LGBTQ community and to celebrate how far we have come in the fight for equal rights. Even as we celebrate the worldwide advancements made for equal rights, IDAHOT is a day to educate our leaders and communities and to call out discrimination and violence.

In the wake of IDAHOT, it is important to look at the state of LGBTQ rights in our own country. Since proclaiming himself a friend of LGBTQ people, President Trump has made a concerted effort to roll back the gains in civil rights that we have made under the Obama administration. From banning transgender servicemembers from the military, to the Department of Education refusing to protect transgender youth from bullying in school, to supporting discrimination of LGBTQ people in healthcare and employment, this administration has underscored its desire to codify homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and discrimination.

The continued discrimination and barriers experienced by the LGBTQ community, both abroad and within the U.S., demands that elected officials act in the best interest of their constituents and vote for legislation that prohibits discrimination. Advocates for Youth believes we should be working towards a present and a future where discrimination is condemned, and we will continue to fight towards the recognition of every human’s rights to live a life of dignity.