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NEA Issue Explainer

LGBTQ+ Rights

As Americans, we believe in equality and fairness for all, and together we can end discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.
NEA members hold rainbox flags NEA
At the 2019 Representative Assembly, NEA members and then-President Lily Eskelsen García participate in a pride rally.
Published: December 2, 2021
This issue explainer originally appeared on

LGBTQ+ people are subject to a patchwork of state and local laws that leave them vulnerable to discrimination in their daily lives, sending the message that they are second-class citizens. 

Discrimination against those who are LGBTQ+, wherever it exists, violates our nation’s core values.

LGBTQ+ youth are particularly vulnerable to prejudice and are more likely than their peers to be bullied, harassed, and attempt suicide.

We need federal laws that afford LGBTQ+ people consistent and explicit protections from discrimination, no matter where they live and work.

Saul Ramos
“Our students always deserve better, and we are the key to creating that success. Let’s stand with them and remind them every single day that they are perfect just the way they are.”

Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
Members march down the street wearing red and carrying signs.

Together we're stronger. Together we're heard.

You belong in the movement! Join today to belong to the movement of educators and school staff fighting for the pay and working conditions we all deserve.

Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).