Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Standardize LGBTQ+ hate crime laws in the United States

According to a landmark ruling in Brazil, homophobic hate speech is now punishable by a prison sentence. From the queer media outlet, them, the country’s federal hate crime law now extends to LGBTQIA+ people. 


In the United States, gender-affirming care was just outlawed in Texas, according to AP News.  The government of Canada recently posted a warning to queer individuals traveling into the United States to take their safety into consideration. According to the Human Rights Campaign, over 220 bills have been introduced in 2023 which specifically target transgender and non-binary people. 


The amount of resources, research, and re-affirming locations for the LGBTQIA+ population in the United States should automatically allow for a law similar to Brazil’s hate speech law to be applied in the United States. 


From the Pew Research Center, Brazil legalized same-sex marriage on May 5, 2013; two years before the United States would in 2015. Regardless of the separate impact tor each country, this was monumental formal legislation for this to be set in place. 


I am only able to speak from one perspective, but as a 20 year old queer transman, I could never see homophobic hate speech becoming illegal in the United States. 


Although I have been lucky enough to not have faced direct hostility from classmates and peers, I am familiar with being called slurs or facing other harassment from strangers and drivers. LGBTQIA+ teenagers, young people, and elders are still facing the treatment they have historically received, even if there has been rapid progression in the past twenty years of American society. 


Trans persons in Florida should never have to seek refuge in Canada to avoid persecution. Gender-affirming care is life-saving, and I cannot say enough how taking HRT away from trans people will exponentially increase suicide rates among LGBTQIA+ youth. 


I do not know how to sound like a broken record now, so I will emphasize this. We are in an era where information is the most readily available in human history. If you are still purposely ignoring and dismissing information which could help you understand what it is like to grow up queer in the United States, you are harming millions of people in this country, including yourself. 


The United States should take action to ban homophobic hate speech and make it punishable by prison sentence, I believe Pittsburgh would benefit from this active legislation immediately.


College students have academics, extracurriculars, and general life events on their plate, their safety outside of campus based on their expression or presentation of who they are cannot be another concern. 


As soon as people learn that hate speech is rooted in a history of violence, I would hope a “lightbulb moment” would occur where even if they have never met a queer person, you would take the time to realize that outside your realm of possibility is another person’s reality. 


As the band AJJ said in their song Death Machine, “I’m not being hyperbolic, this place is a death machine / Both literally and symbolic in the belly of a death machine,” and now is the time to punish homophobic hate speech by prison time in Pittsburgh, and the United States. 

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