Staff Editorial: Discrimination Against LBGTQ

State Bills Restrict Human Rights Against LGBTQ Community

In the United States, there are 27 states that aren’t fully protected from discrimination. In those states, there are no specific statewide laws protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing or public accommodations. That is more than 50% of the country excluding more than 20 million people in the U.S. because of who they are, Missouri being one of those states.

While many cite religious beliefs in anti-LGBTQ policy and treatment, there is a separation of church and state. There is no excuse to treat people unfairly because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it should definitely not have to affect their employment, housing and public accommodations.

There should not be any legislation meant to prohibit LGBTQ history curriculum in schools, such as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” in Florida or restrictions on transgender service members from serving their country. There are also 22 states where gay conversion therapy is legal, which allows parents and guardians to mentally traumatize their children by using religious force to “fix” their child who identifies other than their birth gender or loves someone else of the same gender, making them feel like there is something wrong with them.

There is nothing wrong with an LGBTQ+ child, and they don’t deserve to suffer because some adults have a prejudiced perspective. This mistreatment can lead children to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide. According to PubMed, 82% of transgender people have considered suicide, and 40% have attempted suicide.

LGBTQ kids are feeling confused, isolated and do not have the sense of belonging that they deserve. It is critical that the United States as a whole offer support for and ally with LGBTQ youth, ensuring that they are protected by law from mental and physical trauma and are treated equally and have their rights. Hate and discrimination against people who are part of the LGBTQ community needs to stop. There must be laws that hold people accountable for their hate and discrimination.