At least 18 states have passed legislation targeting LGBTQ+ community, including denying trans children access to gender-affirming care.
Congressman Ted Lieu schooled lawmakers targeting the LGBTQ+ community with a (silent) speech on the House floor. Republicans have been implementing anti-LGBTQ bills across states citing religion and the Bible. Malevolent interpretation of the religious text has seen many conservatives cite Jesus' words to label homosexuality a sin. Ted Lieu spoke on the House floor and took a page out of conservatives' book to school them. Lieu took the podium and said, “I just thought I would recite for you what Jesus Christ said about homosexuality.” House representatives waited to hear what Lieu would list but he remained silent. People anticipated Lieu citing Bible verses but a heavy silence hung in the air for a powerful 20 seconds before he yielded the floor, making his point—Jesus Christ never said anything against homosexuality.
The California Democrat made the "speech" as many of his colleagues discussed the “historic wave of bills targeting [the] rights of LGBTQ+ teens, children and their families” that are being pushed by the GOP. Lieu made the powerful statement as part of a one-minute speech addressing his fellow lawmakers reserved for before or after the legislative day. The internet couldn't get enough of the speech as it showed up those trying to use religious text to persecute and target the LGBTQ+ community.
Lieu: I just thought I would recite for you what Jesus Christ said about homosexuality:— Acyn (@Acyn) June 8, 2022
I yield back pic.twitter.com/KTMbtXMtnC
Lieu’s speech comes at a time when states with a conservative majority have passed or attempted to pass bills attacking the LGBTQ+ community, including many directly targeting trans youth. At least 18 states have passed legislation preventing trans children from playing sports with their peers, while Oklahoma and Alabama have passed legislation restricting how trans kids can access the correct restroom. Some states have banned trans kids from being given gender-affirming care, which can often be lifesaving. Earlier this year, Alabama made it a felony for medical professionals to provide gender-affirming care.
Florida passed the "Don't Say Gay" bill and governor Ron DeSantis signed it into law prohibiting “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in the state’s primary schools. Critics have said that the bill unfairly targets the LGBTQ community. The bill prohibits any teaching related to sexual orientation or gender identity “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” It also enables parents to sue school districts for alleged violations. Conservative people could sue schools for any such discussion in schools, which in turn could harm the LGBTQ community. Shevrin Jones, the first openly gay Florida state senator, gave an emotional speech pleading with his colleagues to narrow the bill's language, clearly stating that the bill would harm the LGBTQ community, reported NBC News. “I ask that you open up your hearts just a tad bit,” the Democrat told his colleagues, recalling the discrimination and bullying he faced as a gay man. “Please, do no harm.” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona called out the bill and said it violated federal civil rights. "Instead, leaders in Florida are prioritizing hateful bills that hurt some of the students most in need," said Cardona.
Last year, the Vatican declared that the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.” Pope Francis urged for more acceptance of gay people. “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” said Pope Francis, reported AP News. He also made a personal plea to families with gay children. “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” he said.