Summer Lee Statement on Supreme Court Decisions Against Student Debt Relief, LGBTQ+ Rights Against Discrimination Following Decision to End Affirmative Action

Jun 30, 2023
Press

**For Immediate Release**

Contact: Emilia.Rowland@mail.house.gov | 330.212.2065

Summer Lee Statement on Supreme Court Decisions Against Student Debt Relief, LGBTQ Rights Against Discrimination Following Decision to End Affirmative Action 

(Swissvale, PA) – Today Congresswoman Summer Lee (PA-12) released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s rulings against Student Debt Relief and LGBTQ+ protections–two cases in which the plaintiffs or their claims of “harm” have been found to be falsified:

“The rulings against student debt relief and LGBTQ rights, coupled with the decision to end affirmative action, mark a significant setback for justice and equality in our nation. Just twenty-four hours after they ruled to rip away economic mobility from generations of Black youth, this unelected Supreme Court Majority ruled to strip millions of Americans of student debt relief and tear away protections from LGBTQ+ community. This reactionary, illegitimate judiciary is assaulting the rights & freedoms of Americans, leaving Black folks, brown folks, trans folks, poor folks, and other marginalized individuals to bear the brunt of their unethical decisions. In just one short year, this Supreme Court has stripped away rights of birthing folks, halted student loan forgiveness, and gutted laws that prevent our LGBTQ+ community from being discriminated against. These Supreme Court decisions underscore the urgent need for legislative action and continued advocacy to protect and advance the rights of all.”

Shocking statistics on student loans:

  • Roughly 122,500 people in PA-12 were eligible for student debt relief
  • 78,800 people in PA-12 applied or were deemed automatically eligible for relief
  • 49,800 people in PA-12 had fully-approved applications sent to loan servicers for discharge
  • 1.15 M people in Pennsylvania signed up for loan forgiveness 
  • Black & African American college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college graduates.
  • 47% of women hold student loan debt whereas 40% of men hold student loan debt
  • Even retirees feel the pressure from student loans; there are 2.4 million borrowers aged 62 or older that owe $98 billion in student loans.
  • Over 50% of Black student borrowers report their net worth is less than they owe in student loan debt
  • Black women carry the highest student loan debt burdens and finish their postsecondary education with $15,000 more student debt, on average than white women.
  • 40% of Black graduates have student loan debt from graduate school while 22% of white college graduates have graduate school debt
  • 15% of Americans with student loans are behind on their payments

Shocking statistics on the LGBTQ+ Community:

  • 41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year—and young people who are transgender, nonbinary, and/or people of color reported higher rates than their peers.
  • 14% of LGBTQ young people attempted suicide in the past year.
  • Nearly 2 in 3 LGBTQ young people said that hearing about potential state or local laws banning people from discussing LGBTQ people at school made their mental health a lot worse.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ young people said their mental health was poor most of the time or always due to anti-LGBTQ policies and legislation.
  • A majority of LGBTQ young people reported being verbally harass  ed at school because people thought they were LGBTQ.
  • Roughly half of transgender and nonbinary young people found their school to be gender-affirming, and those who did reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
  • Fewer than 40% of LGBTQ young people found their home to be LGBTQ-affirming.
  • 56% of LGBTQ young people who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it
  • 67% of LGBTQ young people reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety
  • 24% of LGBTQ young people reported that they have been physically threatened or harmed in the past year due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 60% of LGBTQ young people reported that they have felt discriminated against in the past year due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Legislation Rep. Lee Co-Sponsored on LGBTQ+/Equal Rights

  • H.R. 697- Justice for All Act
  • Equality Act
  • Ruthie and Connie LGBTQI Elder Americans Act
  • Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Act of 2023
  • International Human Rights Defense Act
  • Pride Month Resolution of 2023

Legislation Rep. Lee has Cosponsored on Student Loans/Education:

  • H.R.1741 – To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to decrease the frequency of standardized tests administered to students in grades 3 through 12, and for other purposes.
  • H.R.4117 – To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to ensure College for All.
  • Fair College Admissions for Students Act 

Legislation Rep. Lee Co-Sponsored on SCOTUS Reform: 

  • H.R. 926 -Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2023
  • H.R.927 – Supreme Court Ethics Act.
  • Term Limits for SCOTUS Justices

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