Today, leading national LGBT advocates issued an urgent call for action on climate change, and announced their strong opposition to President-elect Trump’s nominee for the Environmental Protection Agency. Scott Pruitt’s confirmation hearing is being held today before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Every day we work to make life better for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth—to help families understand and support them, and to build safe and supportive schools and communities. But we are also deeply concerned about the physical world LGBT young people, and all the nation’s young people, will be inheriting—potentially one with more extreme droughts, dangerous heat waves, destructive floods, deadly storms, frightening diseases, and disappearing coastal communities. If we do not take decisive action now, these changes will gravely threaten our communities’ health, economic security, and their very safety in the years to come—and we are already seeing the effects today, all around the country and the world. No one can look at the decisive science and enormous implication of climate change and say “this is not my issue.”
It is against this backdrop that, advocates for LGBT communities, we must strongly oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Pruitt has worked relentlessly to undermine the EPA’s mission of ensuring clean and safe air and water and protecting workers, consumers, and communities from potentially deadly environmental risks. Pruitt is a die-hard climate change denier who continues to traffic in lies about the science of energy and climate. As the New York Times reported in 2014, Pruitt has regularly allowed energy-industry lobbyists to draft his correspondence to federal officials.
Pruitt also has a long record of active opposition to LGBT people’s dignity and legal equality. He has denounced and tried to resist federal court rulings on the freedom to marry, and is helping spearhead a lawsuit seeking to ensure that transgender workers have no protection from workplace discrimination—yet as head of the EPA he would be responsible for ensuring equal employment opportunity at a major federal agency.
Climate change is likely the most serious issue facing us all in the years ahead and right now. We call on every single member of our communities to commit to civic action to prevent catastrophic climate change. We further call on President-elect Trump to withdraw the nomination of Scott Pruitt, and if he does not, we call on the Senate to reject him.
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Believe Out Loud
Family Equality Council
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Photo by Gage Skidmore