We’re only a few of weeks into the new legislative session and we’re already seeing countless anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced. The numbers are shocking. And that’s saying a lot considering we ended 2022 with over 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in states across the country. We aren’t even at the end of February and there already are over 200 anti-LGBTQ+ bills. It’s hard to imagine where we will end up by the end of the session.
Family Equality and our movement partners are working hard to fight these harmful bills. We’re advocating for the freedoms of LGBTQ+ parents and their children across the country.
But you may be wondering, “What can I do? How can I make a difference?” Here are six ways you can get involved and protect LGBTQ+ families.
Support LGBTQ+ rights organizations and advocacy groups like Family Equality. These organizations work to protect and defend the rights of LGBTQ+ families through lobbying, legal action, and public education campaigns. Stay informed. Sign up for our action alerts and follow your state equality group.
Get involved in local politics. Many times negative policies and laws start where you live. Attend city council meetings, write to your representatives, and work to elect LGBTQ+-friendly candidates to positions of power including for school board and city council. And most importantly–vote in all elections.
Support LGBTQ+-inclusive policies in your workplace or school. Talk to your employer or school administration about implementing policies that protect LGBTQ+ families, such as non-discrimination policies and benefits for same-sex partners.
Participate in pride events and other LGBTQ+-centered community events. Show your support for LGBTQ+ families by attending Pride parades, festivals, and other events that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Is your local university hosting an LGBTQ+ speaker? Attend the talk. Is your local library hosting an LGBTQ+ author? Attend and show your support.
Be an advocate. Support your LGBTQ+ friends, family members, and coworkers. If it’s safe for you to do so, speak out against hate and discrimination when you see it, and educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues so you can be a more effective ally for yourself and others.
Share your story. If it's safe, tell your story. Speak out. Write or call your legislator and ask them to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ bills and support bills that further equality for LGBTQ+ people and our families. Your story has power. Share it if you can safely do so.
Last year, 91% of the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that was proposed, failed to pass. And that is thanks to individuals and organizations taking action. Join the fight. Together we can and will protect LGBTQ+ families.Stacey Stevenson is the CEO of Family Equality.
Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, Equal Pride.