Congresswoman Barbara Lee Introduces Resolution Recognizing International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2013
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661
Washington, D.C.— Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced a House resolution recognizing the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The resolution highlights the estimated nine million Americans who identify as gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), including the 2.5 million who are school-aged youth. The resolution also outlines the specific effects of homophobia and transphobia, including that anti-LGBT violence is the third most frequent bias crime in the United States.
“Unfortunately, discrimination against the LGBT community can still be found in our country and around the world. Whether it comes in the form of exclusion, hatred, or outright bigotry, it is unacceptable. It is my hope that this resolution is one more step in the right direction towards equality and acceptance,” said Congresswoman Lee.
According to a 2011 survey, 8 out of 10 students in the United States who identify as LGBT were harassed at school in the past year due to their sexual orientation, 64 percent felt unsafe at school, and 30 percent skipped an entire day of school in the past month due to safety concerns. Today’s resolution also recognizes the likelihood of LGBT youth who account for up to 40 percent of the approximately 2 million homeless youth in the United States.
As a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, which formally endorsed the resolution, Congresswoman Lee has been a fierce champion for equal rights. Rep. Lee added, “In no school, in no community, should a young person feel unsafe because of their gender identity or expression. Ensuring the safety of our young people should be our highest priority.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homophobia and transphobia contribute to depression, substance abuse, and experiences of abuse and violence. The Centers’ research also concludes that homophobia and transphobia lead to limiting an individual’s ability to access high-quality health care, as well as negatively affects income and employment status.
Congresswoman Lee is a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. She is proud to stand with the caucus and ensure that every American is treated equally under the law, no matter their race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. She also serves as co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus and is the only United States representative on United Nations Development Programme’s Global Commission on HIV and the Law.