Parents of transgender children across the United States met with members of Congress on Wednesday (30 January). With them, they discussed the fight for the passage of the Equality Act.
The parents are advocates for transgender equality and part of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council.
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), chair of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force, hosted the meeting.
Nine other Democratic Representatives joined him, including: Jan Schakowsky (IL), Alan Lowenthal (CA), Mike Quigley (IL), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), Mark Takano (CA), Jennifer Wexton (VA), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA), Chris Pappas (NH), and Gil Cisneros (CA).
First introduced in 1974, the Equality Act bill seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The amendment would add the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Civil Rights Act extends to areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.
Members of congress revived the bill first in 2015. It was most recently brought forward again in 2017, though it didn’t pass.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, stated the Equality Act is a ‘top priority’ for Democrats in the House of Representatives.
Below is the video of the meeting between parents and Representatives:
WATCH: Parents of trans and gender expansive youth meet with the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force.
Posted by Human Rights Campaign on Wednesday, 30 January 2019
‘No force darker’
Kennedy, as chair of the task force, has long been a vocal ally and champion of trans rights.
When Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union last year, Kennedy brought Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King, a trans solider, as his guest. He also delivered the Democratic response to Trump’s speech.
‘For two years, transgender children have fought daily battles against intolerance in their schools and their communities, while the adults tasked with protecting them at the highest levels of this Administration offer words of bigotry and hatred instead,’ he said during the meeting.
‘Listening to these parents today demonstrated once again that there is no force greater than a parent’s love and no force darker than a government that fails to see the humanity in her youngest citizens.
‘We fight with those children and their parents because they should never doubt that they are heard and they are seen, and they should always know that they will never be erased.’
Parents fighting for their children
Rachel Gonzales stated in no uncertain terms the Equality Act needs to become law. Gonzales is a parent and member of the HRC group who met with lawmakers.
‘As residents of Texas, our family has experienced first hand the threat of both a hostile state government and cruel federal administration,’ she said.
‘Our state or zip code should not dictate whether our daughter is protected from discrimination.’