Advocates for Youth Applauds the Introduction of the Equality Act

This Pride Month, Advocates for Youth joins hundreds of organizations from across the country in endorsing the Equality Act, reintroduced today by Representative Mark Takano (D-CA) and Senator Jeff Merkeley (D-OR).

“Many states have banned gender-affirming care for minors, LGBTQ books in school libraries, transgender girls in sports, and the ability to even discuss gender identity or sexual orientation at school. These dehumanizing laws and the dangerous rhetoric they have stirred have shown us that the federal government must step in now to protect LGBTQ youth. Nondiscrimination protections are a powerful step. The introduction of the Equality Act during Pride Month sends a strong message that our civil rights are inextricably linked to queer and trans joy.” – Amber Barcel, Director of Public Policy, Advocates for Youth

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not explicitly mentioned in current federal anti-discrimination law, leaving LGBTQ folks, including youth, with very little recourse when facing discriminatory practices; the Equality Act seeks to fix that. The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include LGBTQ people and to strengthen protections for all people — including women, religious minorities, and people of color. These protections would make discrimination in public places, schools, restaurants and shelters illegal. It would also ensure that institutions receiving federal funding cannot refuse services based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

We applaud Members of Congress for introducing this pivotal legislation and recognizing that a growing majority of Americans, across communities and ideologies, support the rights of LGBTQ communities to live free from discrimination.