To combat ‘ever increasing bias’
The Board of Supervisors this week approved the creation of a commission focusing on the rights and welfare of LGBTQ+ people in the nation’s most populous county.
According to the board motion by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn, such a commission is needed due to the “ever increasing bias, prejudice and hate against those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer.”
The panel will also “ensure that county policies are inclusive of the specific needs of this community,” including safety from violence.
“In the first five months of this year alone, nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced nationwide,” Solis said in a statement after the vote. “To that end, in light of the ever-increasing bias, prejudice, and hate against LGBTQ+ community members, it is clear that Los Angeles County not only needs to stand up as an ally but ensure that our policies are inclusive of the specific needs of these communities.”
Under the motion approved unanimously, county staffers will also undergo training “to better serve LGBTQ+ constituents,” according to Solis’ office.
The motion noted that research has determined that suicidal behavior across the nation was significantly higher among LGBTQ youth than other populations.
“It is incumbent on the board to ensure that positions and policies it takes are inclusive of all,” according to the motion. “One way of doing that is the creation of the county’s LGBTQ+ Commission, which would review recommendations to the board.”
The commission board will “be made up of individuals who know and have experienced the struggles common to the LBGTQ community,” according to the motion. The panel will have 15 members and serve in an advisory capacity to the board, county departments and other commissions.
The board also unanimously approved a companion motion by Solis and Supervisor Lindsey Horvath to expand “gender-affirming healthcare services that Los Angeles County offers so that transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex residents have safe, affirming, and appropriate access to medical care, mental health care, and care coordination services.”