Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) people in America still do not enjoy the same civil rights as heterosexual Americans.

In New York State, gay and lesbian people gained protection from discrimination in 2003, but transgender people still can still lose their homes and their jobs simply because of their gender identity or expression.

The civil rights of gay and lesbian people have gained increased protection, including the right to marry in New York since 2011 and throughout the U.S. since 2015, but hard-won gains in equal treatment are under threat. There is a strong anti-gay movement seeking to roll back anti-discrimination protections and find ways to legalize discrimination on spurious “religious exemption” grounds.

Worst of all, LGBTQ+ youth remain vulnerable to harassment, bullying, and violence in schools and subject to medical malpractice through so-called “conversion therapy.” The lives of our young people are literally at risk. LGBT youth suffer disproportionately and their educational performance and life trajectories are adversely affected by the unsafe and negative environments in which too many find themselves.

At PFLAG NYC, we believe that hatred thrives where love is silent. As parents, other relatives, and friends of LGBTQ+ people, we are outspoken about issues that affect our LGBTQ+ loved ones. Advocating involves speaking out with pride, not only to our families, friends and neighbors, but to elected officials and others in positions to lead change.

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