The high of yesterday has settled in, and while it hasn’t worn off, I’m reminded that there are still a significant number of problems to overcome in the pursuit of equality. Here are some of the many issues facing the LGBT community:
The U.S. Senate finally passed the anti-human trafficking bill that has been held up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Prior to the passage of the bill, the Senate voted on several amendments, one of which would have added language banning discrimination against homeless LGBT youth:
One bipartisan amendment, introduced by Democratic Senator Pat Leahy and Republican Senator Susan Collins would have added language banning discrimination against LGBT homeless youth.
“A recent study found that 1 in 4 homeless youth have been victims of sex trafficking, or traded sex for survival needs, such as food or a place to sleep,” Sen. Leahy said in a statement before today’s vote. “The study also found that 50 percent of homeless youth had been solicited for sex by an adult within 48 hours of leaving home. Let me say that again: half of these homeless kids were solicited for sex by an adult within the first two days of leaving home. These kids – some as young as 12, 13, 14 years old – have nowhere to go, but we can work to make sure they have a safe place to go. That is what our amendment does.”
Leahy added that the language in his amendment “would prevent discrimination against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability,” and “is nearly identical to a provision contained in the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 which passed the Senate with 78 votes and was signed into law.”
Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted down the Leahy-Collins Amendment to protect runaway homeless youth, SA 290, by a narrow margin: 56-43. 60 votes were needed for it to pass. It needed just four more.
No Democrats voted against the amendment, but 43 Republican Senators did. Guess who was one of those Senators?
Yep. Marco Rubio was one of the Republicans who voted against the amendment. I decided to give him a piece of my mind and here is the email I just sent him:
It has come to my attention that you voted against the Leahy-Collins Amendment which would have prevented discrimination against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. The Amendment would have protected homeless LGBT youth in this country, but you chose to vote against it. Now, as a gay man, I am fully aware of your rabid homophobia, opposition to any form of equality for LGBT people, and support for a theocratic form of government that would trample on the rights of LGBT citizens across the nation, so on the one hand, I am not surprised that you voted against the Amendment.
On the other hand, I am surprised, because you, on your very own presidential campaign website say:
“Protecting life defines who we want to be as a society. All life is worthy of protection, and all life enjoys God’s love.
I believe that Roe v. Wade was not only morally wrong, but it was a poorly decided legal precedent and should be overturned.
I have a record of supporting pro-life policies, and will continue to do so in public and private life.
I believe that as a nation we must always come down on the side of life. We must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.”
Given that you’ve opposed a bill that very much would help to improve the quality of life for LGBT teens, you clearly do not support policies that promote the well-being and quality of life of citizens of this country. In other words, you are not ‘pro-life’. Or, rather, you only support so-called “pro-life” policies where fetuses are concerned. Why the disconnect? Why do you claim to be “pro-life” when you oppose measures to protect life? Why are fetuses more deserving of your support than LGBT teens? Why do you care so little for so many of the citizens of this country?
No need for a response, automated or otherwise, because I already know you have no interest in serving the needs of the vast majority of the people in this country. You are beholden to an extremist party that is increasingly ruling this country with an iron fist. I will not vote for you for any political office, including the Presidency, and I look forward to watching your train wreck of a campaign.
That said, I wish you no ill will. For all that your bigotry angers me…for all that I’m frustrated that a political leader would display such animus towards people who simply want to exist and share in the same rights and liberties as all other citizens…for all that I look forward to you making a supreme fool of yourself in the presidential primaries (and the debates, if you make it that far)…I don’t actually want you to suffer. I don’t want to see you destitute. I don’t want to see any harm come to you or your family. I actually want you to live a happy healthy life. Empty platitudes aside, I know you do not wish the same for me, or any other LGBT citizen of Florida or the country.
And that’s one of the many, many things that differentiates the two of us.
A proud gay man who is appalled at your bigotry, but is hopeful that one day you’ll rid yourself of all your nasty, hateful, bigoted views
I almost didn’t want to read this post. I think it’s because I was afraid it would force me to confront something inside myself that I didn’t want to see. I scrolled up and down the main page looking for other articles to read. As I scrolled by this one again, I thought “Dammit, I’m going to read it. Comfort can go to hell.” As I thought, I was faced with some uncomfortable truths as I answered these questions honestly. But it needed to be done. I may not have a lot of money right now, but reading these 39 questions made me realize there are a few things I can do that don’t require money (and some that require a little, but not much). One of those things is raising awareness of the problem. Another is confronting my own damn privilege and getting out of my comfort zone. It’s hard to do, but the world doesn’t revolve around me, and it is so often not very kind. This post has given me a good bit of stuff to think about.