Congressmen David Scott, Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones Introduce Legislation to Support At-risk LGBTQ Youth

Feb 26, 2021
LGBTQ+ Rights

Washington DC — Today, Congressmen David Scott (GA-13), Ritchie Torres (NY-15) and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) filed legislation to strengthen America’s child welfare system and support at-risk LGBTQ youth. The Protecting LGBTQ Youth Act will better align federal support programs and prevention strategies to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect.

“Black and Hispanic LGBTQ youth, in particular, experience higher rates of abuse, neglect and maltreatment when compared to their peers. This often results in LGBTQ youth entering the child welfare system, the fear of homelessness, or dealing with incarceration. Our laws must provide the appropriate oversight and reporting system in order to properly care for the thousands of children who face constant violence for simply being who they are,” stated Congressman Scott.

“Too often LGBTQ youth are treated as second-class citizens and are twice as likely to endure abuse and neglect at home without the ability to seek protection and help. I know first-hand the discrimination and the hurt many LGBTQ youth face at home, school, and amongst their peers. It usually goes unnoticed and underreported. We cannot allow that to go on any longer. I am proud to join Rep. David Scott in ensuring our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth have the necessary protections to achieve happiness and success like their heterosexual peers. It is long past time for equality and justice to be the norm for all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres.

“LGBTQ+ equality and justice means ensuring that every LGBTQ+ youth can live safely as their true self,” said Congressman Mondaire Jones. “We know that LGBTQ+ youth disproportionately experience homelessness or land in foster care due to higher rates of abuse and neglect in the home. The Protecting LGBTQ Youth Act strengthens protections under the law for these young people. It is a powerful step toward breaking horrific cycles of trauma for LGBTQ+ youth across our country. I’m proud to sponsor this important legislation to ensure that LGBTQ+ youth not only survive, but thrive.”

The Protecting LGBTQ Youth Act would also expand demographic information collected to include sexual orientation and gender identity when reporting on incidences and prevalence of child maltreatment; require the inclusion of individuals experienced in working with LGBTQ youth and families in state task forces; and open grant funding to better train personnel in order to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth.

Text of the bill can be read HERE.

Endorsed by: Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Trans Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), GLSEN, True Colors United & the Trevor Project

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