Nevada is home to a vibrant, diverse queer community, and the percentage of adults living in Nevada that identify as LGBTQ+ is the third-highest in the nation. That beautiful tapestry was on full display at this year’s Las Vegas Pride Parade in October, where Elizabeth Warren donned a rainbow feather boa and marched down the streets of downtown Vegas alongside LGBTQ+ activists, organizers, allies — and Drag Race Super Star Shea Couleé!
It was another example in a long history of Elizabeth showing up for our community. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has fought hard to secure LGBTQ+ rights in solidarity with community leaders and organizers. But despite decades of progress and enormous strides toward justice for all, the path to full LGBTQ+ equality is far from over.
The Silver State is leading the way on inclusive policies and LGBTQ+ rights, from protecting trans Nevadans and outlawing conversion therapy to banning so-called gay or trans ‘panic defenses.’ But that hard-won progress is under attack. Ever since Donald Trump took office, LGBTQ+ people in Nevada and across the country have been under siege from an administration hell-bent on rolling back our protections and stripping away our rights.
Today, we’re less than one year out from the most important election of our lives — and everything is on the line. With so much at stake, we need a leader who will lift up LGBTQ+ voices and stand up to discrimination. That leader is Elizabeth Warren.
Elizabeth’s plan to secure LGBTQ+ rights is thoughtful, bold, and unwavering — just like her. She’ll start by working to pass the Equality Act to explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. But the work cannot end there. From Day One of her presidency, Elizabeth will use every tool at her disposal to ensure that no one feels unsafe because of who they are or who they love. Under Elizabeth’s plan, the country also will follow Nevada’s lead by banning conversion therapy and ‘panic defenses’ nationwide.
For many LGBTQ+ youth, family rejection often means home is not a safe space either. Queer or trans youth are two to four times as likely to be homeless. In Clark County alone, nearly half of teens experiencing homelessness are part of the LGBTQ+ community. As president, Elizabeth will develop a comprehensive LGBTQ+ youth homelessness prevention program to give this problem the national attention it deserves. And she won’t stop there. Elizabeth also will increase the supply of affordable housing, prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and repeal laws that criminalize homelessness.
As a survivor of the Pulse shooting, I’ll never forget the sound of relentless gunfire and the smell of blood and smoke that filled the air as a man fueled by hatred opened fire on us. The sad reality is that my story isn’t unique – hatred and gun violence have infected every corner of this country, as those who experienced the horrific events of Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas know all too well. But rather than combat hatred, our government has chosen to embolden it. And too often, the most vulnerable among us are caught in the line of fire. Enough is enough.
Elizabeth will strive to unite our country and lift up traditionally marginalized voices, instead of trafficking in the darkest elements of hatred and bigotry just to score cheap political points like the current occupant of the White House.
Every Pride parade is a celebration of our country at its very best: inclusive, united, and hopeful. Elizabeth is fighting to build a country that reflects those same values, where every LGBTQ+ person can live without fear of discrimination or violence, and with the dignity and respect we deserve. In a Warren administration, the LGBTQ+ community will have an ally in the White House. And together, we’ll fight for a future in which each and every one of us can dream big, fight hard, live proud — and feel as safe and strong as we do every year at Pride.