National ‘state of emergency’ issued for the LGBTQ+ community
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For the first time, the Human Rights Campaign issued a national state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. Chris Hartman, the director of Kentucky’s Fairness Campaign, says declaring this was the only and right call to make.
“There are few times that it’s been more dangerous in our country to be LGBTQ+,” Hartman said.
The Human Rights Campaign says this state of emergency is in response to the hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been debated and passed across the country this year.
“To have to watch our very existence be debated and to have those members, those elected officials, who are supposed to protect everyone in our commonwealth to have them, actively work to strip away whatever civil rights protections that we currently have, is an act of violence,” said Hartman.
Hartman says LGBTQ+ Kentuckians faced a lot of trauma during this year’s legislative session, specifically when Senate Bill 150 passed.
“It sends the message to LGBTQ people, particularly trans youth in Kentucky, that they’re not welcome here and that they don’t belong here,” said Hartman.
Hartman says this state of emergency will do a few things. He says first, it sends a message to people outside of the country that if you’re in the LGBTQ+ community, you might want to reconsider coming to the U.S.
“We may not see an end to this state of emergency for the next decade if state legislatures across the country keep on digging their heels in on hateful legislation,” Hartman said.
Hartman says there are 25 pride festivals across the Kentucky region for pride month. He says, despite the attacks against them, they’re attending these festivals in large numbers.
“People are coming out like never before. LGBTQ people and our allies are activated and engaged and enraged,” Hartman said.
The group “Lex Have Pride” also provided us with a comment about the state of emergency. Founding member Glenn Means says, “Our community is taking the necessary steps to be cautious, but stay safe in these uncertain times.
Means goes on to say, “We aren’t going anywhere, and we will continue to exist and fight for our community.”
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