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“The UN Can Go Pound Sand!” Abbott Rails Against Criticisms of New Anti-LGBTQ State Laws

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Source: keranews

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s recent dismissal of criticism over new state laws targeting LGBTQ individuals has drawn attention and sparked debate over human rights and legislative actions.

In response to a letter sent to the United Nations last month, accusing Abbott and other state officials of infringing on the rights of LGBTQ Texans, Abbott bluntly told the international organization to “go pound sand.”

Abbott’s retort, delivered via social media, echoed similar sentiments expressed in 2021 when the U.N. Secretary-General advised Texas to lessen its dependence on oil and gas for future prosperity. The governor’s response underscores his firm stance against external interference in Texas affairs, especially regarding controversial legislation.

The letter sent to the United Nations by four LGBTQ rights groups highlighted concerns about targeted actions against the LGBTQ community during Texas’ last legislative session. 

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ALSO READ: LGBTQ+ Members Advocate for “Stripper’s Bill of Rights” to End Police Raid on Gay Bars

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Texas lawmakers introduced at least 55 bills in 2023 explicitly targeting LGBTQ individuals, accounting for a significant portion of anti-LGBTQ legislation filed nationwide.

The focus of the appeal to the U.N. was on seven bills signed into law by Abbott, including measures restricting gender-affirming healthcare for minors and transgender athletes’ participation in school sports. 

POLL — Should Laws Be Enacted To Protect LGBTQ+ Individuals From Workplace Discrimination?

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The joint letter from Equality Texas, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and the ACLU of Texas argued that these laws represent a systemic attack on the fundamental rights and identities of LGBTQ individuals.

Criticism was also directed at actions taken by Texas officials leading up to the legislative session, such as the state Attorney General’s opinion equating gender-affirming medical care with child abuse and Abbott’s directive to investigate parents of transgender minors for alleged child abuse.

ALSO READ: ACLU Records Rise in LGBTQ Legislation in 2023

In addition to calling for the repeal of these laws, the letter urged the U.N. to advocate for stronger nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals at both the state and federal levels. It also criticized the Biden administration for what it perceived as a lackluster response to anti-LGBTQ laws, accusing the federal government of failing to hold states accountable and violating international treaties.

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While the U.N. has previously expressed concern over anti-LGBTQ legislation in the U.S., the recent exchange highlights ongoing tensions between state autonomy and international human rights standards. 

As debates continue over LGBTQ rights and legislative actions, stakeholders remain divided on how to address these complex issues effectively.

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