Trans United Fund, Freedom For All Americans Urge Solidarity Post-Election Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 10, 2016
Contact: Rebecca Juro, 848-391-3703, email@example.com
WASHINGTON — Today Freedom for All Americans (FFAA), the campaign to win full LGBT nondiscrimination protections nationwide; and the Trans United Fund, a trans-led c4 organization and political action committee, responded to this week’s presidential, federal, and state races around the country and reflected on what’s to come for pro-transgender candidates and transgender equality going forward.
“This election represents a serious setback for transgender people and our allies. Trump and Pence have been explicit in their commitment to roll back progress for all trans people and to champion policies that will endanger those in our community that are already living at the margins,” said Andrea Jenkins of Trans United Fund.
“On election day, it was reported that the 24th trans woman of color (Nooni Norwood) was found dead in Richmond, VA. And yet there are bright spots to found in red states like North Carolina where Democratic challenger Roy Cooper appears to be in the final stages of unseating the Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory, an anti-trans leader and HB2 champion; to blue states like Massachusetts, where every single state legislator who voted to expand non-discrimination protections to transgender people was re-elected; to the two incredible trans women who made history by running for U.S. Senate and collectively garnering over 325,000 votes in Utah and Colorado respectively; to the tens of thousands of people who voted for a vision of our country where trans people are truly valued. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that trans leaders and our allies redouble our efforts to better understand and support one another, to struggle through our differences together, and to bring our collective wisdom and experience to bare in building a movement and a strategy that can make that vision a reality,” said Jenkins.
The defeat of North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory would be a notable victory as it would follow McCrory’s full-throttled defense of HB 2, the anti-LGBT law that made North Carolina the first state in the country to ban transgender people from using public restrooms. Attorney general Roy Cooper ran his campaign on a platform that moves forward transgender equality, and it is increasingly likely that it pushed him over the edge of victory.
“This week’s Election Day results yield an uncertain future and demonstrate why it is so important that we drive forward a strong, clear, collective narrative about who transgender people really are and why our protections are urgently needed in order to come closer to attaining the support and understanding from the rest of the country that we need to live our lives freely and fully in all 50 states,” said Kasey Suffredini, chief program officer of Freedom for All Americans and director of the group’s Transgender Freedom Project. “Our organizations must work alongside each other in partnerships that help build national momentum for transgender rights no matter what the political climate is in America — from Massachusetts, to North Carolina, to Capitol Hill, we will make sure that the transgender community wins the protections that it needs as quickly as possible.”
Massachusetts was the only state this year to pass a law ensuring explicit protections for transgender people in public places, including bathrooms and locker rooms. Last week, anti-transgender mailers were delivered in districts targeting state Representative Michael Day and others who had supported the law. But by the end of Election Day, voters had reelected every legislator who had voted in favor of the transgender law many times by overwhelming margins — including legislative leadership, key sponsors of the bill, and several Republicans.
Openly transgender candidates Misty Snow and Misty Plowright ran strong congressional races, ultimately not capturing the seats, but changing history by winning their primaries and blazing a trail that makes it easier for future trans leaders to run for office. They were the first-ever openly transgender candidates to secure congressional nominations for a major party.
For the last eight years, the Obama administration has moved forward a number of executive actions to secure equality and broaden equity for transgender Americans, including:
- An executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
- Equal access in housing in HUD programs for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
- Comprehensive guidance on the interpretation of Title IX, stating that public schools that receive federal funding must treat transgender students fairly
- Public endorsement of the Equality Act, which would pass comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people
A Trump-Pence presidency could threaten these steps going forward. Donald Trump has said during his campaign that he would sign the federal First Amendment Defense Act, which would enable taxpayer-funded discrimination against legally married same-sex couples and their families. Former Indiana Governor Mike Pence has cost Indiana’s economy millions of dollars in lost business, tourism, conventions, and thousands of jobs by forcing a law that allows businesses, individuals, and organizations to discriminate against LGBT people.
About Freedom For All Americans
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.
About Trans United Fund
Trans United Fund was launched to unite the voices of trans people and our allies to combat the endemic levels of violence and discrimination faced by the trans community, and the well-funded and coordinated attacks by the conservative movement against trans people. Our Advisory Committee is comprised of a multi-racial, multi-generational team with identities across the gender spectrum.
Trans United Fund is the (c)(4) arm of Trans United and represents the only national express advocacy political group centering trans lives.