Given the Trump administration’s attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, support for and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community is more important than ever. Republicans in Congress routinely draft legislation to deny the LGBTQ+ community basic employment, housing, healthcare, and education. This discrimination effects LGBTQ+ people from an early age: youth in this community experience disproportionately high rates of bullying, homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse. Currently, 40% of all homeless youth in the United States identify as LGBTQ+.

The right of the LGBTQ+ community to be free of discrimination at school, at work, and in the military is not something we can compromise on. We need to pass the Equality Act, which would expand existing civil rights law to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity illegal.

Additionally, any universal healthcare plan needs to take into account the unique physical and mental struggles faced by LGBTQ+ patients, as should sex education in schools. It’s time for everyone in this district to have someone representing their interests in Congress. Lives are at stake.

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