National Security Policy is a Balancing Act Between

National Security Policy is a Balancing Act Between

Photograph Courtesy: Katrin Vasileva/iStock

In 2022, many LGBTQIA+ Americans
don’t have bones legal protections. Merely 22 states (and Washington, D.C.) have explicit non-discrimination laws and policies on the books, which means roughly one-half of the queer and trans population lives in states that don’t protect their rights, jobs or access to housing, credit and education. The upshot? A patchwork of laws that varies from state to state.

Without a comprehensive — or permanent — federal constabulary in identify that protects queer and trans people from bigotry, members of the LGBTQIA+ community will proceed to face obstacles that threaten and disrupt their lives. For a long time, queer and trans people, and their allies, accept pushed to make the Equality Act the police of the land.

While the legislation gained some momentum in Congress over the final few years, information technology has stalled, leaving LGBTQIA+ rights hanging in the balance. So, what’south going on with the Equality Act, and what can you exercise most it?

What Is the Equality Act?

Equally you may know, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation that was set in place to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, color, race, and national origin. These protections extended to education, employment, public accommodations, federally funded programs and, eventually, housing. Put simply, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in lodge to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation besides.

Although information technology’s in the news today, the origins of the Equality Act stretch back to 1974 when activist and U.S. Representative Bella Abzug and former New York City mayor Ed Koch brought an anti-discrimination pecker to the House of Representatives. Simply the attempt to bring awareness to LGBTQIA+ rights and protections didn’t make the news. In fact, “its introduction did non fifty-fifty merit mention in any media other than in the Congressional Record,” WBUR reports.

Since then, federal LGBTQIA+ anti-bigotry legislation has been introduced in all but one Congressional session. In 1996, it seemed like federal protections for queer and trans Americans might only get the police force of the land, but the Senate failed to laissez passer the proposed bill by a single vote. And that brings u.s. to today.

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The San Pedro Loftier School Pride Lodge, Fem Fellowship and Pirate Dancers participated in a silent parade and a Pause the Silence Rally on April 22, 2022 to support the LGBTQ+ customs in light of the “Don’t Say Gay” and anti-trans bills. Photo Courtesy: Brittany Murray/Printing-Telegram/SCNG/Getty Images

“On his starting time day in role, President Joe Biden signed an executive society to protect LGBTQIA+ Americans from discrimination,” writes Kate Bove in our previous coverage of the Equality Act. “Although the order marked a milestone in civil rights protections, advocates of the Equality Act want to codify these protections, and those affirmed in the
Bostock v. Clayton County
ruling, into law; after all, an executive guild can be undone with the stroke of a pen.”

This demand for federal protections couldn’t be greater than information technology is today. From Florida’due south “Don’t Say Gay” legislation to the many, many land laws targeting queer and trans youth and their families, 2022 has seen a record number of anti-LGBTQIA+ laws, all of which the American Ceremonious Liberties Union (ACLU) keeps rails of on their site. NPR reports that “[As of April 2022,] there have been more 200 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills introduced in nearly twoscore states” — a truly jaw-dropping amount.

Not but are trans students — and trans people at big — being systematically barred from using the restrooms that align with their gender, only trans youth are existence banned from sports and harassed in schools. In states like Texas, families of trans kids were targeted for affirming their children; in Alabama, information technology’s at present a criminal offence to provide gender-affirming care to trans kids.

If passed, the Equality Human action would essentially nullify these discriminatory country policies, extending protections to all queer and trans Americans. This would mean protection from discrimination, harrassment and exclusion at work and school, when applying for housing, and while in public spaces, amongst other things.

So, What’s the Next Footstep?

On Feb 25, 2021, the House passed the Equality, which means, equally of May 2022, the next step involves introducing the neb to the Senate so that it can be voted on and, hopefully, passed by those lawmakers, also. That’s going to exist hard, though; currently, we accept a tied senate and many Republicans who oppose the bill. A chunk of those opponents believe the Equality Act would infringe upon religious freedom and override the Religious Freedom Restoration Human activity.

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What many of those who oppose the pecker don’t realize is that religious freedom is well-nigh allowing people to practice their faith (or lack thereof) free from bigotry. It does not allow Person A to dictate what other people can practise — or what freedoms they’re immune.

Pride parade participants in San Francisco on June 30, 2019. Photo Courtesy: Meera Fob/Getty Images

For example, if Person A is part of a religious denomination that forbids booze, they tin’t prevent others from drinking just because they tin can’t do so. In this instance, if their denomination or church discriminates against LGBTQIA+ people, their religious freedom nevertheless doesn’t mean they tin evict, burn down, not hire, or otherwise discriminate against those exterior their religion, church, or denomination.

In short, practicioners can follow their faith without dictating how someone else lives, and they shouldn’t be able to cite their religion as a reason for discriminating against others.

What Can You Exercise to Help Garner Support for the Equality Deed?

Sure, you’re not the i who turns bills into laws, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless. In that location are plenty of actions yous can take both online and off to aid push the Equality Act closer to becoming the law of the country.

Contact Your Senators

Each state has two senators. If you live in a state where both of your senators support the bill and stated they will sign it, that’southward keen! However, y’all still need to contact them to show that you — one of the people they represent — support it, too.

If you live in a state where 1 or both of your senators oppose(s) the beak, contacting them to evidence your support for the bill reiterates where the people they’re representing stand on the Equality Act. A ringing phone is certainly harder to ignore, but you can always e-mail them if you’re nervous.

Voice Support For the Equality Act Online

The local news doesn’t cover
that’due south happening in the world or fifty-fifty the country, which is why many people don’t know that specific bills haven’t avant-garde yet. Voicing your support for the Equality Act online and raising awareness of its current stagnation can aid garner public support and involvement. In plough, that tin can event what lawmakers choose to focus on, as well.

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Voice Support For Ending Gerrymandering

You lot may wonder what gerrymandering has to practise with the Equality Human activity, but it impacts legislation and voting in all sorts of ways. Gerrymandering is the act of manipulating balloter district boundaries; politicians redraw their legislative district lines to gain the most voters in a given area. In June of 2019, the Supreme Courtroom announced a 5–4 decision, stating that unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering wasn’t their concern equally it presented non-justiciable questions.

A coffin painted with the words “Stop Killing Us” seen at the New York Metropolis-based Reclaim Pride Coalition’southward third almanac Queer Liberation March, where no police, politicians or corporations were allowed to participate. Photo Courtesy: Erik McGregor/LightRocket/Getty Images

Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, Wyoming, Vermont and South Dakota don’t have gerrymandering issues. In 2019, the Senate introduced the Redistricting Reform Act, which would crave a state-established contained commission that would crave that any redistricting plan have support from one member of the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties.

As of yet, the Redistricting Reform Act has also not passed in the Senate. Withal, advocating for the Redistricting Reform Act can help end gerrymandering and, in plow, make sure voters’ voices are heard more than truthfully and equitably.

Vote For Those Who Support the Equality Act

If yous don’t have a senator who supports the nib, notice someone who does and assistance support and elect them in an upcoming senatorial race. (You could even run yourself!)

Fifty-fifty though marriage equality became the law of the country in 2015, LGBTQIA+ people are notwithstanding denied basic rights and freedoms due to discriminatory policies that target them simply for beingness themselves. Passing the Equality Human activity would ensure the same basic protections at the federal level for all Americans — a much better framework than the current state-past-state patchwork situation today.

Recall that at that place are many ways to get involved, no matter your past political or organizing experience.

National Security Policy is a Balancing Act Between