WATCH: Rashida Tlaib on Why All Legislation Must Protect LGBTQ Rights

By Ayana Byrd Jan 28, 2019

This weekend, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) gave a speech at the Creating Change Conference that connected her fight for LGBTQ rights to her mission to use her Congressional power to protect all Americans.

The conference is organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force and was held over four days in her hometown of Detroit. Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress, spoke on Saturday (January 26).

In her remarks, Tlaib discussed the work that she intends to do now that she is a member of the 116th Congress, including ending the political silence that she says surrounds LGBTQ issues. “We must make sure that every piece of legislation takes into effect [sic] the experiences and needs of the LGBT community,” she said.

While Tlaib was sworn into Congress this month, she told conference attendees that she is “an organizer, community member and activist first.” She continued, [Politicians] have to fight against transphobia, homophobia, racism, anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism—you name it. Because we know that these things are intertwined, they are so connected. We know that those that advance hate, they are trying to deny it for all of us, they are trying to deny all of our existence.”

Watch the entire speech above. Her comments begin around the 30-minute mark.