I recently wrote to my congressional representatives regarding the Chechen authorities’ systematic roundup of gay men. Some may be willing to ignore this disturbing report from a faraway place, but I’m just as unnerved by recent moves made by the Trump administration here at home, such as the changes to the 2020 census in which questions about sexual orientation and gender identity will no longer be asked.
I urged New Jersey U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez and Rep. Chris Smith to stand up against horrors both at home and abroad, and affirm the human rights of those in my LGBTQ community.
For Smith, this request poses a particular challenge, as he does not “construe homosexual rights as human rights.” I’m one mom of a two-mom family, and I think he’s an unrepentant homophobe. He is now in a unique position to prove me wrong. As chairman of the House panel on global human rights, he has the power to convene a hearing on this matter. I am not optimistic, as such a move requires honest introspection and brave leadership, the same things required to appear at a town hall. And we all know Smith’s deficits there.
This letter also appeared in the Asbury Park Press.