Major Child Advocacy Groups Join HRC, Call for Defeat of Anti-LGBT Bills

by HRC Staff

Discriminatory Measures Introduced in Many States Would Undermine Well-Being of Our Nation’s Children and Youth

WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and five leading national child welfare organizations joined forces to repudiate as harmful to children and families anti-LGBT legislation introduced in states across the nation.

The joint statement warned that the shameful measures, including a virulently anti-LGBT adoption measure a Florida Senate committee is scheduled to hear Monday, would “foster discrimination and do harm to our clients, our patients, our students, and their families.” The organizations called on legislatures across the country to cease action on bills that would “undermine protections for this highly vulnerable population.”

“These bills,” the statement continued, “ignore the fact that our duty is to ensure the best care for our children, youth and their families.”

Organizations that signed the statement, in addition to HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, are the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association.

In the statement, the organizations expressed deep concern about the harmful messages the anti-LGBT bills are sending to youth, and pointed to discriminatory action that could result if the harmful bills are passed.

  • A guidance counselor could refuse to work with an LGBT student who is seeking help with family challenges;
  • A physician could deny services to a gender non-conforming child or the child of LGBT parents;
  • A recreation center could refuse to include a LGBT teen on their soccer team;
  • A small business owner could refuse to serve a group of teens who he perceives are LGBT;
  • A mental health professional, based on their religious beliefs, could circumvent professional ethical standards by refusing to serve youth; and
  • A school could be prevented from creating appropriate accommodations for a transgender student, subjecting the school to potential liability under Title IX, the national civil rights law that prevents schools receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex.

“We, as organizations dedicated to serving the best interests and well-being of children and youth, are deeply concerned about the spate of anti-LGBT bills that have been introduced in state legislatures around the country this year,” the statement says, “including measures that would allow discrimination in adoption and foster care, criminalize transgender people who attempt to use restrooms, and, under the guise of religious liberty, give service providers the power to deny child welfare services to the very people who need our care the most.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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