Statement of National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director Kierra Johnson, responding to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address:
"I watched President Biden's State of the Union address at home talking, texting, and tweeting with my family and friends, while the Ukrainian people fiercely defended their lives and freedom from Russia. As I learn more about the hundreds of thousands fleeing death and violence, becoming displaced and homeless, my support only grows for the Ukrainian Resistance. While different, there is a Resistance growing here, in the United States as well. This Resistance is in direct response to the extremist attacks on the most vulnerable, the most silenced, the most harassed and the most dehumanized in our communities. My heart goes out to all who have experienced hate, discrimination and violence growing in the streets and the halls of state legislatures across the country. And to my LGBTQ+ community who live in fear of a brutally anti-LGBTQ+ regime invading their homes and communities, we are with you and fighting for all of us.
It is critical that President Biden took up kitchen table issues like minimum wage, canceling student debt, cutting childcare costs, the child tax credit, affordable prescriptions and depoliticizing COVID-19. The right to vote and access to the ballot are essential to our Democracy, and President Biden urged passage of key voting rights bills.
In fact, all the issues the President highlighted impact LGBTQ communities, more often than not disproportionately, and the Task Force will continue to advocate across all of them.
Directly addressing issues impacting LGBTQ people, the President urged passage of the bipartisan Equality Act, saying "Send it to my desk for signature." This legislation is 45+ years overdue and enjoys the support of a majority of Americans. We urge the Senate to bring the Equality Act to a vote — let history show us who is on the side of full civil and human rights for LGBTQ+ people of color and women, and judge those who refuse to stand with us on these basic protections.
The President expressed outrage at the onslaught of state legislative attacks on transgender young people and offered his support. But we need to do more than have their backs, we need action, support, and resources from the White House to address the escalating attacks on our humanity and our rights as well as the rights of parents of LGBTQ+ youth.
The harsh reality is that across the United States, conservative political extremists are launching wave after wave of political attacks to further codify white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppressions that threaten the people of this country. Extremists are attacking our Democracy with lies and more. We must, and we are, zealously fighting back. We should all be concerned about the impact of this three-pronged attack we face, as local and state communities battle attempts — and successes — to shut down access to information, restrict bodily autonomy and block our ability to fully participate in our Democracy.
I close with a call to action: We must take our civic responsibility seriously and, in huge numbers, vote in the November 2022 Midterm Elections. And we must send a message to elected officials that we will hold them accountable for their actions — and for any failure to act when our rights and our lives are at stake."
Kierra Johnson is executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund.
The Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with the National LGBTQ Task Force. The Task Force Action Fund is the oldest grassroots LGBTQ network in America advancing LGBTQ liberation on both local and national landscapes to promote more vibrant and livable communities for LGBTQ people throughout the country. The Task Force Action Fund's goal is to enlist and mobilize citizen activists that will help ensure that LGBTQ inclusive public policies are adopted at the federal, state, and local levels.