Sen. Orrin Hatch Marks LGBT Pride Month On Senate Floor, Urges Compassion, Help For Suicide Prevention

Utah’s Daily Herald reports:

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch commemorated LGBT Pride Month Wednesday with a speech on the Senate floor. Hatch, whose National Suicide Hotline Legislation passed a House subcommittee Wednesday morning, spoke about suicide risk for LGBT youth on the Senate floor as he urged the House of Representatives to pass his proposal.

“Today in honor of Pride Month, I wish to devote a significant portion of my remarks to them, my young friends in the LGBT community,” Hatch said. “No one should ever feel less because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Hatch discussed the bullying and discrimination LGBT youth face, saying that many even face estrangement from their own families. “The LGBT community deserves our unwavering love and support, and the assurance that not only is there a place for them in this society, but that it is far better off because of them,” he said.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

“No one should feel less because of their orientation,” Hatch said from the Senate floor. “They deserve our unwavering love and support. They deserve our validation and the assurance that not only is there a place for them in this society but that it is far better off because of them.

Hatch, who is retiring at the end of the year, was a top cheerleader for the Defense of Marriage Act, which said states didn’t have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and prohibited the federal government from recognizing gay marriage, barring couples from receiving benefits afforded opposite-sex marriages.

Hatch added that a person’s gender identity is not a choice and “these young men and women deserve to feel young, cared for, and accepted for who they are.” “We all have a stake in this,” Hatch said. “We all have family or loved ones who feel marginalized because of gender identity or sexual orientation, and we need to be there for them.”