February 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC—PFLAG National—the nation's largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)—issued the following statement from Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Kohm on today’s confirmation of Betsy DeVos—decided by a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence—to the post of Secretary of Education of the United States.

“On behalf of the thousands of PFLAG members across the country, who called their Senators to share their stories, experience and concern, we would like to thank those who listened to their constituents and voted NO on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to be the next Secretary of Education.

We remain deeply concerned that the protections that are so critical for our children risk being cast aside. The fact that Vice President Pence cast the deciding vote does not assuage our concern that the critical protections for LGBTQ youth and children living with disabilities will continue at the US Department of Education. We are thoroughly disappointed that Ms. DeVos supports policies and procedures that fail to buoy the public education system. We remain concerned about a family track record supporting policies of discrimination including their support of so-called “reparative therapy,” which is an ill-informed, damaging message that no educational leader should send to youth.

There is no one more fierce than a PFLAG mama bear, and they--and PFLAGers everywhere--will closely monitor Ms. DeVos’ actions , from every zip code across the country. We will expect her to affirm policies and guidance which support youth—including LGBTQ youth, those living with disabilities, and other marginalized youth—with the tools they need to access education safely and equally.”

PFLAG has more than 400 chapters across the United States, including Puerto Rico. To learn more about PFLAG National’s advocacy work, visit pflag.org/wherewestand.

PFLAG is the nation’s largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy, and has more than 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit pflag.org.

 

Liz Owen, Director of Communications
lowen@pflag.org
(202) 467-8180 x214
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