The backlash to successful movement forward for equality continues to grow, week by week, with state legislatures looking to erase existing protections and enact bills harmful to LGBTQ people.
Yet, no matter what state or community you’re in, you will find PFLAGers mounting battles, counting victories, and providing education about why these attempts are so harmful and how they run counter to American values--and PFLAG’s values--in 2016. Not only are PFLAG voices and stories read and heard in letters to the editor, rallies, lobby and advocacy days, meetings, and testimony, the impact can be seen and felt when someone speaks up and says, “I have a neighbor and their child is transgender.”
Nowhere can the battle for basic dignity and fairness be seen more clearly than in North Carolina where the dangerous and discriminatory HB2 is now in effect. While local legislators have reduced that law down to a “bathroom bill,” it is more far-reaching than that: HB2 overrides local anti-discrimination ordinances, prevents new anti-discrimination ordinances from being enacted, and prevents people from seeking appropriate legal recourse if they are discriminated against. With support from the national office and more than 10,000 palm cards in hand, fifteen PFLAG chapters in North Carolina and their members are reminding their fellow Carolinians #WEARENOTTHIS.
PFLAG is elevating the family and ally voice to speak out not only in favor of fairness, but in favor of basic dignity and respect. The outcry has been powerful across the country, and reached its peak when Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice spoke with such simple eloquence when announcing the federal lawsuit against the state.
PFLAG National is here to support all members in their on-the-ground efforts to make states safe and affirming for people who are LGBTQ and the people who love them, and we echo Attorney General Lynch’s sentiment when in her comments she directed this to the transgender community:We see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward. Please know that history is on your side. This country was founded on a promise of equal rights for all, and we have always managed to move closer to that promise, little by little, one day at a time. It may not be easy – but we’ll get there together.