As President of Gay and Lesbians United Against Discrimination, I would like to bring to your attention numerous issues that affect the , Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. I am hearing stories from others saying they are being harassed, abused, neglected, and so much more! Hate crimes are an over whelming issue that we face along with harassment. On record according to the FBI's statistics in just the year of 2007, over a thousand reported hate crime offenses were committed JUST because of someone's sexual-orientation. That number will only continue to rise and increase if we do not immediately take action. Statistically speaking, many hate crimes based on someone's sexual orientation go un-reported. Also many of the members of the LGBT community commit suicide, because they are always put down, and they feel no need to live as they are discriminated upon, and frequently abused or beaten by people that have negative views on the LGBT community. Sadly, LGBT youth are up to four times more likely to successfully attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers! Plus Eighty-four percent of LGBT students report being verbally harassed at school (GLSEN 2003). Our gay community is and should be part of the one community called "Americans" Whether you be African American, Hispanic, Christian, Gay, Straight, or Disabled. We are all citizens, better yet human. Simply we want to enhance and live the American Dream known as “LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” As citizens of the United States of America we all have freedom and the right to express ourselves, as guaranteed in our state, and United States Constitutional Amendments. Banning these rights and marriage between the LGBT community, is absolutely discriminating, un-constitutional, and unjust! Rights should not be taken away from any individual because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. A very heartrending memory back in history, not too long ago when the Caucasian race was treated better then the African American race. Is that honestly the definition of freedom and equality? Now with the LGBT community we are repeating history and facing some of those habits and problem once again. Currently, one of the main changes would be that it's discriminating on someone's sexual orientation, rather then their race. We need to make our schools, offices, and all public places more friendly towards all people, no matter what someone's sexual orientation is, and so forth. This is a very important issue that must be acted upon now, before more of our community and citizens are injured, commit suicide, or get brought down. The citizens in this country have elected you for the better. Please, we all respectfully ask that you as a decision maker, speak up for equality and make this a high priority! Please sponsor, co-sponsor, and support any bill that will assure equality. I am very certain that if you do support equality, you will not only have the votes you already have, but you will also gain the LGBT votes as well. Having equality in the state will reflect magnificently upon not only the state, but the citizens, and officials too! I am in such high and strong hope that you will take this into consideration.
Gay & Lesbians United Against Discrimination
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