Climate Justice is LGBTQ+ Justice: Electing Leaders Who Will Protect Our Community from the Climate Crisis

Jun 28, 2024

Craig Auster, LCV Action Fund Vice President, Political Affairs, Janelle Perez, LPAC Executive Director

Imagine your community has been hit by a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire, and you have nowhere to go because you don’t have resources and shelters discriminate against you for your identity or for being transgender. This is a devastating reality for many in the LGBTQ+ community. A young transgender woman in Florida faced this reality when a hurricane forced her to evacuate, and she was turned away from multiple shelters because they didn’t accept transgender people. She ended up sleeping in her car, terrified and alone, with no access to the resources she desperately needed. 

Our communities are experiencing the dangerous impacts of last year’s hottest year on record, and we are on track to break the record yet again this year. Although the impact of the climate crisis will be universal, its effects will not be felt equally, which is why this Pride Month, LPAC and the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund (LCVAF) are spotlighting the dire need for strong leaders who will protect our LGBTQ+ community from the ravages of climate crisis and pollution. LGBTQ+ communities, often invisible and excluded from mainstream discussions about climate disasters, face disproportionate health impacts from increasing extreme heat and weather.

When disaster relief discriminates against LGBTQ+ people, it leaves us with nowhere to turn, exacerbating our already unstable situation. LGBTQ+ people already face housing instability, socio-economic hardships, and discrimination, making our communities especially at-risk during natural disasters. Our community cannot always rely on our families for support — instead, we depend on chosen families, who are often dealing with the same struggles. This makes the impact of disasters even more devastating. Our communities need strong leaders who will advocate for protections for those most impacted by some of our most pressing issues, including the climate crisis, extreme weather, and pollution. 

LGBTQ+ leaders are crucial in this fight. LPAC and LCVAF-endorsed champions like Senator Tammy Baldwin, Representatives Becca Balint, Sharice Davids, Angie Craig, and Congressional candidate Emily Randall are making significant strides for LGBTQ+ communities and our climate. They advocate for policies that acknowledge and address our unique challenges, ensuring we are included in the climate justice movement. Representative Sharice Davids, for instance, has fought to include LGBTQ+ provisions in transformational climate legislation, making sure that our needs are included in disaster planning and response.

The climate crisis is not just an environmental issue — it’s a human rights issue. Discriminatory practices in disaster relief highlight the urgent need for inclusive policies. We need infrastructure that is resilient, emergency plans that are fair, and recovery efforts that don’t leave anyone behind. Discrimination in housing and urban development compounds the risks for LGBTQ+ individuals, making it clear that tailored approaches are essential to ensure we have access to safe shelter.

This Pride Month is a reminder to ensure our voices are heard and our needs are met so we can create a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world for everyone. Our community’s resilience and strength are our greatest assets. Electing leaders who represent our communities, prioritize LGBTQ+ inclusive climate policies, and understand the intersection of climate justice and LGBTQ+ rights, is crucial to build a more just and equitable future where no one is left behind. Together, we can protect our chosen families and ensure that our community is safe and supported in the face of climate change.

Paid for by League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and LPAC, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.