“Together, we can make equality for LGBTQ+ people a reality. “
Everyone deserves the opportunity to participate fully and fairly in this world. We are all God’s children. And we can only make the solemn promise of America real for everyone by seizing every opportunity to protect our citizens from discrimination. So, it is on all of us to rise to the challenge of healing the wounds of hate and division that have tarnished our legacy for too long.
Our nation – including our own community – has made important strides toward advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) Americans. But we have more work to do.
After decades of hard work and relentless determination, the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans were affirmed, in part, by the Supreme Court this summer. In the landmark 6 to 3 Bostock v. Clayton County ruling the Court found workplace protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to unmistakably apply to LGBTQ+ Americans. Yet, I understand the struggle for equality is not over – there is still progress to be made. As your congresswoman, I will work to make Florida and our nation free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. That includes but is not limited to areas of healthcare, housing, education and credit.
I believe that building the society we want requires both persuading judges and politicians together with justly making our community safer for, and more inclusive of, LGBTQ+ people.
That is why I will work to:
- Extend to Floridians, and all Americans, the fair housing, public accommodations and public services protections already provided to LGBT people in 21 other states.
- Update the law so all LGBTQ+ Americans – whether eagerly volunteering to faithfully serve our country in uniform or simply trying to find a ride home – no longer fear government sanctioned discrimination.
- Bring people and resources together to end the scourge of violence and discrimination directed at transgender Americans, notably trans women of color, and instead promote equality and human rights to demonstrate that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination is wrong.
- Ensure LGBTQ+ young people are never forced to sleep on the streets without the safety, stability, and support of a family or a home. In our hearts we know that no young person should ever be living on the streets. Yet, over 100 young people experience homelessness without a parent or guardian every night in Northeast Florida. Sadly, LGBTQ+ youth and young adults make up a disproportionate number of homeless young people – 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Without a place to turn, too many LGBTQ+ young people are at a high risk for suicide, substance abuse and victimization on the streets. We have a responsibility to protect our young people and their God-given potential.