Everyday, children in this country are bullied because a fellow student doesn't like that they may be gay. Too often these bullying tactics -- including several already this year -- result in suicide and the sad loss of life of a completely innocent victim.
In addition to biased-generated bullying done in our schools and playgrounds, too many children and adults are victims of serious hate crimes. They are beaten and brutalized not just because they are gay, but because of the color of their skin or their gender. With no law to prosecute violence based on bias, the federal government is limited in what it can do to punish these horrible perpetrators.
And everyday, hundreds of thousands of American workers are afraid to be themselves, to be proud of who they are in the workplace because they know their God-given natural sexuality could cause dismissal, demotion or other workplace discrimination.
For years, politicians in Congress have given us excuses. To the children who are being hurt or the workers who are afraid to show up to do the job they were hired to do, they can't afford your excuses anymore.
Nor can I.
There are three critically important pieces of legislation that should pass Congress and move to the president's desk immediately. You were elected on a promise to help people -- to make a difference in people's lives. Because discrimination is unacceptable, you should move forward now to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act, the National Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The children and workers in this country need you to protect them on the playground and in the workplace -- to allow them to live their lives without fear of getting physically or emotionally hurt -- to allow them to make a living and pay taxes like any other American worker.
With strong Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate, the three proposed laws I've mentioned above should be passed easily -- before one more life is lost, before one more hard-working American unjustly loses his or her job.
And one more thing, you won't have done a complete job if you leave out transgendered Americans. They are people too who deserve all the same rights and protections afforded to any other American.
No more excuses. Get these laws passed now and show us that you are willing to fight for these very people who so desperately need your help.
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