Why Do We Celebrate LGBTQ History Month?

National LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queerquestioning History Month (980 x 700 px)

National LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning) History Month is meant to highlight and celebrate the history and achievements of everyone in the community, past and present. It is a time to highlight role models, raise awareness, and continue the fight for equality.

Some individuals you can learn more about this month:

This month is recognized in October for several reasons. First, it is meant to coincide with National Coming Out Day, which is on October 11th. However, it also to celebrate the anniversary of the National March for Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 14, 1979. This was the first march on Washington for this purpose that united advocacy group across the country. LGBTQ groups were able to demonstrate as a unified voice. Goals of the march included a bill that stopped all discrimination against LGBTQ people in the military and federal jobs and demanding that Congress include sexual orientation in the Civil Rights Act of 1954. Marchers also fought for family protection laws that would allow LGBTQ parents to receive fair custody trials.

To this day, however, many of the goals of LGBTQ activists of the past have remained unfulfilled. Although LGBT people can now serve openly in the military and federal government, they still experience discrimination in the workplace and in their daily lives. The government has relied on individual states to pass legislation around LGBTQ issues instead of passing nationwide protections for the community.

In individual states, there are both active bills and current legislation that discriminate against the LGBTQ community. In relation to adoption and foster care, at least ten states have passed religious exemption laws that allow discrimination in the child welfare system. These laws allow adoption and foster care agencies to make decisions for children based on religious beliefs, which means that well-qualified families can be legally denied for being LGBTQ. This is extremely harmful to both the prospective families and the children who are denied greater access to loving families.

At EVOLVE Family Services, we have implemented policy, and follow MN Statute, regarding actively supporting LGBTQ+ youth. Relevant statute is as follows:

-Licensed foster parents are required by statute to “actively support the child’s racial or ethnic background, culture, and religion, and respect the child’s sexual orientation.” (Family Foster Care Licensing Rule 2960.3000, Subp. 4E).

-Furthermore, they are statutorily required to “nurture children, be mature and demonstrate an ability to comply with the foster child’s care plan and meet the needs of foster children in the applicants care.” (Family Foster Care Licensing Rule 2960.3000, Subp. 4J).

We take this month to recognize the importance of equality for LGBTQ people and the intersectionality of issues involved in this fight. We are committed to dismantling oppression, racism, and other forms of discrimination in all areas of our work to ensure that the children, families and communities we serve receive excellent care and services that enhance and advance their quality of life.

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