Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I join the chorus of those thanking Father Coughlin for his service and dedication and wishing him well.
I also rise today in observance of the National Day of Silence.
Today is the 14th year we have commemorated the National Day of Silence, a time when students across the country remain silent for the whole day to draw attention to discrimination toward their LGBT peers.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning youth and their allies face verbal and physical bullying on a daily basis just for being who they are, for expressing their sexuality, or for demonstrating a non-normative gender identity. I am proud that my constituents are calling for a stop to this harassment, and I encourage all Americans to join them.
Our Nation is at her best when we are celebrating our differences, not punishing individuals for being different. I am proud to say that in my district Queer Youth and allies work together to make life better for queer youth. Middle schools and high schools in my district host student-run Gay-Straight Alliances, which create a supportive space so that queer youth do not feel isolated. My district also hosts Queer Youth conferences and award events that celebrate our queer youth.
Though many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocates and straight allies are silent today, we in Congress must never be silent.