“Today, we witnessed history as the authentic lives of diverse LGBTQ people were lifted up, respected, and dignified, and the nation’s need for passage of the Equality Act made clear. The lives of millions of beautiful and diverse LGBTQ people in this country, and our families would be improved through the Equality Act, a fact this hearing showed when Rep. Marie Newman (D) said: ‘No American should have to live a lie… you will feel deep depression, anxiety and yes, suicidal.’ This is what is at stake for our community. Our lives. Our children’s lives. Our friends’ and families’ lives.” We appreciated the witnesses who spoke for the Equality Act and shared their compelling and powerful personal stories.

We advocate on behalf of people who are incredibly diverse, people living at the intersections of multiple identities and are often at the margins; students and other young activists; people who are Black, Indigenous, and of color; and many who are transgender and gender nonbinary people. Each of us has unique talents and gifts and is deserving of health, safety, love, and dignity. Our ability to be a great country is made possible when we create the conditions for everyone to thrive.

In response to two of the most active topics of conversation related to religious freedom and equal opportunity in sports, I offer the following:

I believe in God and respect faith traditions, and I know that the Equality Act and religious freedom are compatible.

I played women’s sports and I support women’s sports and equal opportunity for women and girls. Existing approaches to the participation of transgender girls and women already exist and work just fine; no change is needed. The Equality Act does not propose to change that.

Those opposed to the Equality Act, including both elected officials and supposed “experts,” tried to undermine the bill by engaging in double-speak, displaying their own bias against LGBTQ people. One of their favorite tactics was offering outlandish exaggerations of ‘the sky is falling’ type to sow division and fear. LGBTQ people and our allies have seen this kind of thing before. Opponents of equality for LGBTQ people like to take shameful verbal aim at our community’s precious children. Here they also tried to demonize transgender women when all evidence shows that it is transgender women who face an epidemic of violence aimed at them by those who hate.

U.S. voters are fair-minded, and when made aware of the gap in LGBTQ people having enduring federal civil rights protections, 83+% support passage of the Equality Act. This figure includes a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

The gift of this moment is to look deep inside of our collective selves and ask, “What are the limits of Love and Justice?” We believe they are unlimited. We need to do the work to prove it.”

Kierra Johnson, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director, Following Senate Judiciary Hearing on Equality Act

Cathy Renna, Communications Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
crenna@thetaskforce.org, 917-757-6123

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund is at the forefront of advancing the rights of all LGBTQ people and communities in America. Our mission is to conduct grassroots organizing and lobbying on legislation and ballot initiatives to achieve justice for LGBTQ people.

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