We have seen important strides toward equality for LGBTQ Americans: marriage equality is the law of the land, and there are a growing number of protections in place against LGBTQ discrimination. But attempts to use religion as an excuse to ignore these and other laws barring discrimination is a major threat to this progress.
In the name of religion, we have seen efforts to allow government clerks to refuse to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples or allow government-funded child-placement agencies to refuse to place children with an LGBTQ parent. Counselors are citing their religion as a reason to deny service to LGBTQ patients, and for-profit businesses are denying LGBT Americans goods and services. And religion is being used as an excuse to undermine nondiscrimination protections for transgender people.
Although there is an increasing public awareness of issues relating to gender identity and expression, there are currently few legal protections for transgender people. And we have seen efforts to thwart progress, including invoking religion as a reason to block the passage of new nondiscrimination provisions and to undermine existing legal protections.
We are fighting back because we believe that religion should not be used as an excuse to deny basic equality to our LGBTQ neighbors.