While there has been significant progress over the last few years to help protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* (LGBT) people in this country, much still needs to be done before we have full equality under the law. As a member of the LGBT community, I care very deeply about these issues and want to see an end to all forms of discrimination.
It is still legal in most states to fire someone or deny them the right to work simply because they are LGBT. Having access to employment is one of the most basic of human rights; it's time we passed an employment non-discrimination act in congress that would protect the rights of LGBT people to work.
LGBT people, especially LGBT youth, are much more likely to be homeless due to high rates of family rejection and ongoing discrimination in employment. LGBT people can also be denied an apartment or access to a shelter simply because they are LGBT. We need to pass legislation that would prevent people from denying housing to someone that is LGBT, ensure that people are not turned away from shelters because they are LGBT, and expand existing services to help homeless LGBT youth.
LGBT people face many barriers to accessing healthcare including denials of coverage from health insurance providers, dismissing attitudes from doctors, or even outright denials of treatment. This discrimination leads to substandard levels of care, poor health outcomes, and sometimes even death. Under no circumstances should any healthcare provider deny coverage or treatment to a person simply because they are LGBT. We must pass legislation to ensure that LGBT people have equal access to the same professional standards of care that others enjoy.
It should not be legal to deny a sale or service to someone simply because they are LGBT. Any place that is open to the public must respect all customers and serve them equally; any business that is unwilling to do so shouldn't be in business in the first place. It is wrong to refuse goods or services to people of color, and it's just as wrong to refuse goods or services to LGBT people. It's time for the law to reflect this.
We need to ensure that LGBT people have access to all public spaces. Throughout the country, we are seeing conservative lawmakers trying to pass legislation that would ban trans* people from being able to access appropriate restrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms. As a trans woman I find this trend to be very problematic as these kinds of laws do not protect anyone or solve any problems; they only exist to create barriers for trans* people trying to live normal and authentic lives. No one should be prevented from accessing the restroom, and no one should be forced to use segregated facilities. It is important that we fight against laws that try to restrict the rights of trans people having access to public facilities.
LGBT people deserve full equality under the law, no excuses or exceptions.
Equality Utah 2016 Voter Guide
According to Equality Utah,
Equality Utah’s 2016 Voter Guide was developed to help voters better understand where candidates running for office stand on LGBTQ issues here in Utah.
The scores in this guide were generated from data collected through a digital survey. The survey consisted of ten total questions, six of which were directly related to our policy priorities. Candidates were only graded on the questions that relate to our policy work and received either zero points, one point or a half point where appropriate.
The survey was sent to all candidates running for U.S. Senate, regardless of party. Out of these candidates, only Stoney Fonua (American Independent Party) and I completed the survey, and I was the only candidate for U.S. Senate to earn a rating of 100 percent.