Your state government has the power to protect the LGBTQ+ community through legislation, ballot initiatives, and more. Tell your Governor and State legislators to protect and expand LGBTQ+ rights in your state.
Already in 2023 over 40 states have introduced - and 10 states have enacted - anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. This is on top of the 36 states that introduced – and 13 states that enacted – anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in 2022. Many of these bills – alongside executive actions and other local policies - target gender-affirming medical care, ban transgender youth from participating in sports, and limit discussion of LGBTQ+ topics in schools. Whether Oklahoma’s anti-trans bathroom and sports laws, Florida’s Don’t Say Gay laws, or even the directive in Texas that has opened way for "child abuse" investigations into families of transgender youth, queer identities are being targeted on the state level. Many of these policies have specifically targeted LGBTQ+ youth, and the impact is already evident. The Trevor Project found that 45 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously consider suicide and one in five trans and nonbinary youth attempted suicide in the past year. However, they also found that “LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not.” Now is the time to make our communities more inclusive and affirming, not hateful and harmful.
Even states that are not enacting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation this year have room for growth. Only seven states explicitly require LGBTQ+ inclusion in state curriculum, and only 20 states fully ban conversion therapy for minors. Most states also do not fully protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, education, or credit.
We must pursue proactive policies that protect LGBTQ+ rights. Tell your Governor and state legislators to protect and expand LGBTQ+ rights in your state.
Judaism teaches that all human beings are created b'tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image (Genesis 1:27). The belief that the stamp of the divine is present in all humans is fundamental to Reform Judaism and teaches us that we cannot tolerate discrimination against any person because of their identity. Judaism also specifically teaches about gender identity. In fact, our Jewish legal texts mention at least six different genders across the gender spectrum.
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