Press Releases

Feinstein, Colleagues Team Up to Reassure LGBT Youth: “It Gets Better”

Cosponsors of Defense of Marriage Act repeal produce video to fight bullying, urge equality

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), author of legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and 12 of her colleagues have teamed up to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people not to give up, reassuring them in a video released Wednesday they are working in the Senate for full equality.

“I was proud to join my Senate colleagues to lend our voices to this worthwhile project and let young LGBT people know that Washington is working on equality for all Americans,” Senator Feinstein said. “I was also proud to see the San Francisco Giants recently became the first professional sports team to join in this important effort.”

The video is part of the It Gets Better Project, which was founded last year after a series of tragic suicides by LGBT youth who were bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The project is determined to help LGBT youth see a positive future beyond what is often a difficult adolescence. 
“At the heart of the ‘It Gets Better’ project are the thousands of videos from the president of the United States to your neighbor, who are offering LGBT youth encouragement, advice, compassion and the strength to carry on,” continued Feinstein. 
A study released by the GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network last year found that nine out of 10 LGBT middle and high school students were harassed at school. Three-fifths reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and one-third admitted to skipping a day of school in the previous month because they felt unsafe.
President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, as well as the employees of a host of major companies including Apple, Facebook, and Google, have contributed videos to the project.
Featured in the new video are Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). All are co-sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, which was introduced in March to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and allow the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where it is already legal.