What's On Our Mind ...
This year, the GOP has waged a consistent war against the separation of church and state and one of America’s most vulnerable populations – the LGBTQ+ community. Already this community faces unique challenges of community and self-acceptance, unique levels of discrimination, and are significantly more likely to commit suicide in contrast to the heterosexual community. In numbers, LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to seriously consider suicide, make a plan for suicide, and to attempt suicide than their peers. Adults are approximately five times more likley to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers.
Close to 200 bills have been filed in 2022 that seek to limit protections for LGBTQ+ youth and ban discussions of gender and sexuality in the classroom. As the midterms loom closer, it is clear that the GOP is victimizing this already-vulnerable population to excite a fanatic base that has lost steam since Trump lost the 2020 elections. Florida’s recent "Parental Rights in Education" bill (nicknamed the “don’t say gay” bill) has already sent a strong message to LGBTQ+ Floridians and their families: you don’t belong here. In Texas, the recent law classifying medical treatments for transgender adolescents as “child abuse” sends the same message.
The civil liberties of the LGBTQ+ community are under attack – and the psychological and physical wellbeing of it’s members are being sacrificed for the GOP’s extreme agenda.
There is hope. A March 2022 survey revealed that 80% of Americans support laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, and 68% of Americans support same-sex marriage (a 14% increase since 2014). This survey reveals that despite the GOP’s efforts to villainize the LGBTQ+ community, the majority of Americans are more accepting than ever.
President Biden’s history of acceptance is another ray of light for LGBTQ+ Americans. In May 2012 his unscripted declaration of support for same-sex marriage played a pivitol role in the 2015 legalization of gay marriage. Ten years later he is still a strong and influential ally.
This past Thursday in commemoration of Transgender Day of Visibility, Biden called the GOP’s actions “hateful” and committed to advancing “transgender equality.”
Biden knows there is work to do, but there is also hope. As he so eloquently said in his 2021 Pride speech: “So, this afternoon, we celebrate. But tomorrow, we go back to work. Progress won’t come easily; it never has. But we’re going to stand strong, stand together. And I promise you, we will succeed.” We at JAC are proud to have Pride in the White House and urge our members to support the LGBTQ+ community with the same passion they support our Jewish community.