Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the first openly gay man to be elected governor, criticized the push for anti-LGBTQ laws in Republican-led states.
“Look, words matter. Laws matter. When a group of people, LGBTQ youth, feel targeted by the words and laws that some politicians espouse, of course, it can increase anxiety, depression,” he said during an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Just six weeks into 2022, more than 150 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced across the country, according to USA Today. States such as Florida are going as far as prohibiting classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity and requiring teachers to inform parents of their child’s sexuality if they identify as LGBTQ.
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Polis expressed concern for the youth that might be affected by that type of legislation, many of whom already are dealing with challenges with their family. Eighty-five percent of transgender and nonbinary youth said their mental health was negatively impacted by the surge of anti-trans bills, according to a recent Morning Consult and Trevor Project poll
The governor criticized the GOP for latching onto an issue “the American people have long move past” and accused the party of “overreach.”
“These hard policies about saying certain youth can’t play sports, and certain people aren’t allowed in certain places, or micromanaging what restroom people use and mandating what they do are really, frankly, un-American and are an example of Republican overreach, which will ultimately hurt their party, if they can’t espouse the full diversity of the American people,” he said.