To The Next President,
Members of the LGBTQ+ community deserve more equality than just marriage equality. People may think “Oh, they got marriage equality, what more could they want?” The answer to that is simple. Let’s take a moment to remember what happened on June 12th, 2016. Classified as the deadliest incident against the LGBT community, the attack on the Pulse nightclub (a known gay club in Orlando) devastated thousands of people. Whether they were victims, family members or just members of the community, people were shocked by that event. It was named a terrorist attack, but something has never had ‘hate crime’ written more clearly all over it (The CIA conducted an investigation, they found no links whatsoever connecting the shooter to ISIS). It’s sad that LGBTQ+ people can’t go out and enjoy themselves without worrying about getting shot. Imagine what our nation would be like if everyone was accepted for who they are?
Did you know that there are 32 states that lack fully inclusive non discrimination protections? Surely you should, considering you’re the leader of this ‘free nation’ after all. With an estimated 324 million people in the United States, think of all the lives that affects. Families without insurance, people unemployed due to who they love. A journalist for The Washington Post states “Multiple studies have found that gay and lesbian people face higher rates of unemployment, discrimination and harassment, whether it’s through denial of certain health benefits, vandalism of personal property, or bias in hiring.” The fact that someone would turn down a hard worker based off of sexuality or gender identity is insane. Something needs to be done about this. All 50 states in our nation needs to have non discrimination laws. If a report gets made by an employee about discrimination, it cannot be pushed under the rug or ignored. Society only cares about LGBTQ+ news when someone is killed, and we all know that those violent attacks leading to the deaths could be reduced if there were specific laws put in place.
If you have kids, please think about them for a second. Imagine them living on the streets because of who they are as a person. “40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. 68% of those kids were kicked out of their families and homes because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, 54% reported to being survivors of abuse.” A Buzzfeed writer stated. A parent can be very supportive and loving, but as soon as their child comes out, their whole demeanor changes towards them. Family conflict is the number one result of all youth homelessness. That child could then be in danger, emotionally and physically. There should be laws set in place for kicking your child out into the street, and there should be shelters set in place that will help the child get the safety they require. There are plenty of programs and fundraisers already, but how effective are they? Obviously not very if the percent of homeless youth is still high.
Who does this affect? Let me tell you. There are an estimated 9,080,000 LGBTQ+ people in the united states, (total USA population is somewhere around 313,900,000). It affects everybody in some way. Whether it’s directly or indirectly, people will be impacted. If protections are put into place, I’m sure there’d be protests lead by homophobic people and people who view homosexuality as a sin. If you don’t put specific protections into place, you’ll continue to have protests lead by members of the LGBT community. Laws being set would allow nine million people to live easier and safer. They wouldn’t have to worry about nearly as much.
So much would be resolved simply by creating a few new laws. They don’t even have to be big or extreme, so long as they cover all points necessary. I hope my letter gave you the insight you needed in order to make your mind up about this. Thank you for using some of your valuable time to read this.
Sincerely, Sully Sullivan.