Our community should not have to hold our breath in fear as nearly every year our rights are on the line at the now more conservative Supreme Court. LGBTQ youth should not have to suffer under the constant public discourse, discrimination, and bullying they endure as anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans bills are entered in legislatures across the country. It is time to pass the Equality Act. Here are some concrete ways you can help.
Institutions of Faith: Affirm within your congregation and publicly that you support LGBTQ people and call for the passage of the Equality Act. If you are a lay-person and unclear about where your place of worship stands, ask them. Call on your faith leaders to step up to action.
Community Organizations: There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what nonprofits can and can’t do. You are allowed to call for the passage of legislation publicly and to organize your members to call on elected officials to prioritize the passage of this life saving bill. If you are unclear about whether or not an organization you are a part of supports the passage of the Equality Act, now is the time to ask.
Elected Officials: In 2006 San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders came out in support of Marriage Equality, and in 2019 San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer came out in support of the Equality Act. Both of them were and are Republicans, proving that support for equal protection for the LGBTQ community is a nonpartisan issue. To our electeds, partisanship needs to be set aside in order to pass the Equality Act. Make this a priority. To everyday residents, if you are not sure where your elected official stands, contact them and let them know this is a priority for you.
Businesses: It is not enough to divest from funding candidates that support anti-LGBTQ legislation. We need you to invest in the organizations doing the groundwork. We need you to leverage your relationships to urge the passage of the Equality Act. Whether you have an LGBTQ ERG at work or not, if you feel safe in your employment, call on your C-suite to work towards the passage of the Equality Act.
Everyone: We all exist within networks of employment, community, family, and faith. We must do more than post on social media and block our desenters. We must engage directly. We must ask for more than platitudes and proclamations, rainbow stickers and the raising of flags. Write op-eds. Have your business, place of worship, or organization join the local and national coalitions working towards the passage of the Equality Act. Sign up personally to be notified of volunteer and direct action opportunities.
This is Pride season, a time to celebrate who we are and remind ourselves that the work is unfinished. While we are all eager to come together and celebrate in person soon, we must also find time to engage in the work. Not one activist or organization can do this alone. It will take all of us working together if we are going to pass the most comprehensive piece of LGBTQ protection in our nation’s history. This movement has come far over the generations by working together, and together we make the world safer for the next generations because together we are Resilient.
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride
Help pass the Equality Act here!