There is an urgent need for comprehensive, explicit nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people—especially for LGBTQ+ youth and families in child welfare systems. LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in child welfare systems where they are more likely to suffer from consistent harassment and abuse in foster care, juvenile justice settings, and homeless shelters.
LGBTQ+ foster youth need federal protections now more than ever. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services recently disabled their webpage that provided information about a suicide prevention hotline, LGBTQ legal services, and questions about defining gender and sexual identity. Removal of these life-saving resources is unconscionable and demonstrates why national action is needed now.
The Equality Act builds on the legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity, providing LGBTQ+ Americans equal protection under the law. The Act will also expand on public accommodations and strengthen civil rights protections for people of color, women, people with disabilities, and people of faith.
Without the Equality Act, LGBTQ+ people will continue to be denied housing, education, employment, public services, and medical care because of who they are. For child welfare and juvenile legal systems, this means that youth live in unsafe placements where they face rejection from caregivers, inadequate mental health services, and refusal of gender-affirming care.
Urge your Senators to support equality for our youth and families by passing the Equality Act today.
Join us in demanding equality now. Send a message directly to your Senators.