Equality delayed is equality denied

How long must some Americans wait until we are all equal?

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase in the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Yet, scores of Americans who identify as LGBTQ+ are denied these Inalienable Rights. Although these words are written and part of the birthing of our Nation, they are not legally binding. However, we rely on our Government to grant these rights to its citizens, and further, to protect these rights. It is appalling that members of our legislatures refuse to confer full protections to LGBTQ+ individuals.

Life is essential to all citizens. LGBTQ+ people must all be free to pursue the life we choose. Yet, the lives of gays, lesbians bi-sexual and trans people are too often cut short through murders and other hate crimes.

Liberty is freedom and independence. LGBTQ+ people must all have the privilege to enjoy these in our lives.

The pursuit of happiness is not possible without the absence of fear. LGBTQ+ people live in fear every day. Fear of bodily harm…fear of ridicule…fear of losing jobs and homes and livelihoods.

We cannot stop the hatred of those who choose to destroy lives.

We can, however, petition our government to pass laws to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.

It is the responsibility of Congress to pass the Federal Equality Act (H.R. 5),and the Pennsylvania General Assembly must pass the Fairness Act (H.B. 300).

If you are interested in passage of these bills, please contact your federal and state representatives.

This article was originally published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on October 17, 2021.