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The Florida state legislature today passed Senate Bill 1834 House Bill 1557s, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, broad and vague legislation that would ban discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grades or were “not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students,” effectively erasing LGBTQ+ students, families, and LGBTQ history.
The bill would also force teachers and other school administrators to “out” LGBTQ+ young people to their parents or guardians, potentially putting them at risk of harm. Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law, which will then go into effect on July 1, 2022.
Florida Senate Passes "Don't Say Gay" Bill | Battleground Florida with Evan Donovan youtu.be
Former Teacher, Senior U.S. Department of Education Official, and Lambda Legal CEO, Kevin Jennings has issued the following statement:
“Let’s be clear: This bill is not about improving the well-being of our young people. Instead, this bill will further stigmatize, marginalize, and isolate a group of already vulnerable young people who experience disproportionate rates of harassment and violence in school.
Instead of erasing LGBTQ+ youth and their families, lawmakers should be working with school administrators and educators to ensure all students are safe, welcome, and have equal access to education. In a calculated political move ahead of state elections, politicians in Florida, like in states all over the country, are playing politics with the lives of LGBTQ+ youth by making them pawns in a bid for power. Without a doubt, these deplorable actions protect no one but rather give the ‘green light’ to teach intolerance, allow harassment, and fail to confront violence against LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
“Just like recent actions in Texas that encourage surveillance and harassment of transgender young people and their families, this bill and others like it, serve only one purpose: To erase LGBTQ+ people from every facet of public life. In response we have a message for LGBTQ+ youth in Florida, to transgender youth in Texas, and to LGBTQ+ people everywhere: You are not alone and we will fight for you.”
About Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.
A new LGBTQ Victory Institute report shows queer cisgender women* run for office at significantly lower rates than queer cisgender men — but when they do run, queer cisgender women candidates consistently outperform their men counterparts on Election Day.
The analysis of 1,088 LGBTQ candidates endorsed by LGBTQ Victory Fund from 2016 to 2020 shows queer cisgender women won their races 69 percent of the time, compared to just 59 percent for queer cisgender men. It also found endorsed trans women candidates won their races 54 percent of the time.
The findings are remarkably consistent with a 2017 Victory Institute analysis that reviewed endorsed candidates from 2007 to 2016. It found queer cisgender women won 70 percent of the time, compared to 61 percent for queer cisgender men. Other existing research suggests heterosexual men and women candidates win elections at similar rates, making the findings for queer cisgender women candidates even more notable.
While queer cisgender women win at higher rates, the report also shows they run for office in much lower numbers, resulting in a disparity of representation among LGBTQ elected officials. If they ran at the same rate as queer cisgender men, queer cisgender women elected officials would outnumber queer cisgender men elected officials for the first time in the year 2037.
Among the key win rate findings:
- Endorsed trans women candidates won their races 54 percent of the time, while trans men candidates won their races just 18 percent of the time. However, the sample sizes for both – and especially trans men – are small.
- Non-binary/gender non-conforming candidates won 64 percent of the time, however the sample size is also small for these candidates.
Among the run rate findings:
- Queer cisgender women run for office at lower rates than queer cisgender men, accounting for just 380 (35 percent) of the 1,088 endorsed candidates across the five years, compared to 646 (59 percent) who were queer cisgender men.
- Thirty-nine (4 percent) of the 1,088 endorsed candidates were trans women, 11 (1 percent) were trans men and 11 (1 percent) were non-binary or gender non-conforming.
LGBTQ women face many barriers to running for office – from sexist campaign tactics to misperceptions of their own qualifications – along with anti-LGBTQ bias. Yet overcoming those obstacles makes them strong contenders by the time they run. LGBTQ women candidates tend to wait to run for positions they are qualified – and often over-qualified – to hold.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute
"Their experiences as women and as LGBTQ people also often make them better politicians, portraying an authenticity and sensibility that resonates with voters. LGBTQ women make fantastic candidates and when we run, we win. But we will not achieve representation equitable to LGBTQ men until we start running in much higher numbers,” Mayor Parker said.
The complete report, including visual representations of the data, is available at victoryinstitute.org/fiveyearanalysis.
About Victory Institute
LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.
As Women’s History Month gets underway this March, the National Women’s History Museum has distributed an online Resource Toolkit that is fun, accessible, and easy to digest.
The toolkit is designed for use by everyone from individuals, educators, and students, to small nonprofits and large businesses—anyone who needs to understand why observing Women's History Month is important.
The Toolkit shares resources, programs, and events for every day of the March work week. Examples of this include the following:
- March 8, International Women’s Day: Join the Museum for the debut of Heritage and Harmony: Her Art, Her Voice, a video series created by acclaimed pianist Donna Weng Friedman designed and dedicated to inspire and empower school-aged girls of color to find their true voice and see themselves in the faces of extraordinary women from a variety of artistic backgrounds.
- March 15: Follow in the footsteps of suffragist advocates in Washington, DC without ever leaving the comfort of home! See the sights with NWHM’s “Mapping Suffrage: The Push for the 19th Amendment in Washington, DC” interactive mapping tool, presented in partnership with A Tour of Her Own.
- March 21: Historic Change: Celebrate the release of the Maya Angelou Quarter and the American Women Quarters™ Program with this behind-the-scenes discussion featuring members of the team who helped bring this inspiring coin program to life!
- March 23: Celebrate Women’s History Month with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Multi-Agency Women’s History Planning Committee. This 60-minute, virtual program will include a proclamation, panel, and entertainment to honor the month-long celebration.
Download the full Women’s History Month Resource Toolkit here.
Lambda Legal has praised President Joe Biden and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra for swiftly responding with a series of actions to shield and protect youth from the onslaught of discriminatory attacks hurled at them by statehouses across the country and by state leaders like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, who continue to double down on a vile and shameless campaign of aggression targeting trans youth across Texas.
'The president has your back,' Biden says to trans youth youtu.be
The announced federal actions — which come on the heels of the State of the Union address where President Biden affirmed his commitment to having the backs of trans youth — include guidance to state child welfare agencies and guidance clarifying the rights of transgender youth and families needing access to gender-affirming care.
Below is a statement from Kevin Jennings, the CEO of Lambda Legal:
“President Biden’s commitment to defending trans youth against the shameless, monstrous attacks being engineered by malicious and unscrupulous politicians is one of the most powerful demonstrations of why leadership matters for LGBTQ+ people. Following the president’s powerful declaration this week that he has the backs of trans youth, he put his words into action — wielding the power of the federal government to put every state in the Union, including Texas, on notice that discriminating against trans youth and preventing them from accessing lifesaving medical care isn’t only wrong, it is a violation of civil rights, and it won’t be tolerated.”
“Lambda Legal this week filed a lawsuit in Texas alongside the ACLU and ACLU of Texas, not only to block Texas from putting the health and safety of trans youth at risk, but to send an important message to trans kids across the state that we won’t let this happen on our watch. If any families are in need of representation or advice as they navigate this hostile situation, I encourage them to contact our Help Desk and consult our FAQ. We are proud President Biden is helping us to further amplify that message of support, and Lambda Legal praises both the President and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra for taking historic action to shield trans youth from having the child welfare system weaponized against them by leaders who have shown that they care nothing about their welfare; to emphasize the critical need to affirm and support all LGBTQ+ youth in state care; and to promote family acceptance programs that allow young people to remain safely with their parents and never enter the child protection system.
We hope that these actions mark a new chapter in the federal government’s approach, and that the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services will finally work with us, rather than continue to fight us in court, to reinstate other important nondiscrimination protections that were illegally rolled back during the Trump administration.”
The Biden administration’s actions came in a series of announcements on March 2. An information memorandum issued by HHS affirmed “The Department of Health and Human Services and all leading national medical and pediatric associations confirm that providing gender-affirming medical care is in the best interest of children and youth who need it.” The series of actions taken by the administration includes:
- HHS released guidance to state child welfare agencies through an Information Memorandum that makes clear that states should use their child welfare systems to advance safety and support for LGBTQI+ youth, which importantly can include access to gender affirming care;
- HHS released guidance - PDF* on patient privacy, clarifying that, despite the Texas government’s threat, health care providers are not required to disclose private patient information related to gender affirming care;
- HHS also issued guidance - PDF* making clear that denials of health care based on gender identity are illegal, as is restricting doctors and health care providers from providing care because of a patient’s gender identity;
- The Secretary also called on all of HHS to explore all options to protect kids, their parents, caretakers and families; and
- HHS will also ensure that families and health care providers in Texas are aware of all the resources available to them if they face discrimination as a result of this discriminatory gubernatorial order.