Ricardo Lara, 37, is an out member of the California Assembly who has LGBT equality at the top of his agenda (he was recently chosen as one of The Advocate’s “40 Under 40.”) One of the politician’s most recent endeavors is the introduction of Assembly Joint Resolution 43, or the LGBTQ American Bill of Rights. Here he tells us what the legislation is about and why it’s so important:
The Declaration of Independence is the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty but its most famous words “…all men are created equal…” and have the inalienable right to “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”… are promises yet to be afforded to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals who live as second-class citizens because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Many people often have trouble understanding the struggles that LGBTQ people must endure. Usually, it’s a very tough and lonely journey. Some are fired from their jobs and rejected by their families. Others are evicted or become homeless because of discrimination or violence against them. Some families with same-sex parents are denied the opportunity to take time off from work for the birth of their child or to care for an ailing partner or child. And same-sex couples that do marry must still pay higher taxes and still are not allowed the same benefits heterosexual couples count on for the financial security of their families.
Was this the intention of our nation’s promise?
This month, as we participate in the festivities surrounding the 236th anniversary of the signing of our country’s Declaration of Independence and as we reflect on the words “all men are created equal…”, I urge you to call on President Obama and Congress to truly recognize LGBTQ individual as equals and put an end to the homophobia and transphobia that permeates communities across our great nation and tears families apart.
To read the full article, click the link above.
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