Target: U.S. President Barack Obama
Goal: Make sure the government passes a bill protecting all women, including lesbians, bisexual, transsexual, and transgender women.
Americans celebrated the progress of the Violence Against Women Act and all that it stood for, but the Republican party has removed groundbreaking new additions from the bill. The act allots money towards finding and prosecuting those who commit violent acts against women, and the revised act, which had been passed by the Senate, added protection for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and Native American women. This was the first time that sexual orientation and gender identity were included in the bill, and so it was seen as a major step in the treatment of minority sexual orientations and gender identities.
The bill was rejected by Republicans for being “too politically driven,” however. They revised the bill and then introduced a new version to the House, which will be voted on soon. This new version has absolutely no mention of sexual orientation or gender identity, and this absence could have serious consequences. If the bill fails to directly mention sexual orientation or gender identity, then states would be able to exclude lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender women from receiving any monetary aid from the bill.
This protection is desperately needed, especially for transsexual and transgender women. They often don’t report cases of abuse because they fear the transphobia present in the American legal system today. If transsexual and transgender women are expressly included in the bill, then they will be able to reach out for help without having to fear being turned away. It is imperative that the bill includes measures to protect women of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
Dear President Barack Obama,
The newly revised Violence Against Women Act recently introduced by the Republican Party into the House of Representatives fails to address the needs of a large part of the American population. By failing to include lesbians, bisexual, transsexual, and transgender women in the bill’s provisions, Republicans will leave millions of women without adequate protection. States will be able to decide whether or not women of minority sexual orientations or gender identities will be able to receive the benefits of the grant, which is not only unjust, but dangerous.
Many women experience discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity, and this discrimination extends into the legal system. There are many cases of abuse in which a transsexual or transgender woman does not report her abuser because of fear of the way she will be seen and treated by the legal system. This sort of discrimination is dangerous, and needs to end. By including every woman in the Violence Against Women Act, the bill will live up to its name, and help ease America into a era of greater acceptance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Whitehouse.gov