Source: Mara Keisling – National Center for Transgender Equality
Washington, 2004 Aug 7 – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT human rights organization, adopted a policy to only support federal anti-discrimination legislation that is trans-inclusive.
At HRC’s regular Board of Directors meeting today, a delegation of transgender activists including NCTE Board members Donna Cartwright and Diego Sanchez as well as NCTE Executive Director, Mara Keisling, met with the HRC board to discuss federal legislation.
Keisling noted, “This is an historic day for the transgender movement. The LGBT community’s most connected organization in Congress has finally embraced transgender rights equally with those of lesbian, gay and bisexual rights. We are confident that Congress will hear this message.”
NCTE has been working with national LGBT organizations to establish policies that make transgender-inclusion non-negotiable in federal legislation. Twelve other national organizations have already adopted this policy. According to Donna Cartwright, “with the addition of HRC, we are now reaching the critical mass at which Congress can no longer ignore the solidarity in the LGBT movement.”
The decision today caps more than 10 years of work in the transgender community to convince our LGBT allies that we must move forward together. This initiative began in Washington on July 29, 1994 when transgender pioneers Phyllis Frye and Karen Kerin reached out to Senators about our need to be protected from discrimination.
Transgender Rights Attorney of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Lisa Mottet, who also presented at today’s meeting, commented, “We have been proud to work with NCTE and the transgender community to enact laws on the state and local level while also advocating for non-negotiable trans-inclusion in ENDA. We welcome the continuing unification of the LGB and T communities and look forward to working with Congress until a trans-inclusive ENDA passes.”
Sanchez said, “I am delighted that HRC agreed to support non-discrimination for my community and me. It is fair and indicative of what the country needs from HRC.”
Congressional Summer School, NCTE’s effort to coordinate education of members of Congress with visits in their home districts during summer recess, runs through August 30. Keisling adds, “We are energized by the fact that our Congressional Education Teams can now incorporate this strengthened support for transgender equality in their Congressional visits. Because HRC is the LGBT community’s most significant presence on Capitol Hill, their support is vital for moving Congress forward.”
Other invited presenters at the HRC Board meeting included Transgender Law and Policy Institute board members Kylar Broadus, Paisley Currah, Jamison Green and Shannon Minter, as well as activists Reed Bogle and Donna Rose. NCTE appreciates the opportunity to work with such dedicated and wonderful colleagues.