Nearly 800 Parents of Trans Children Sign HRC’s Letter Condemning Trump Administration

Today, in response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that it will no longer challenge a nationwide hold on protections for transgender students, nearly 800 parents of transgender children sent a letter to President Donald Trump condemning the decision and calling on his administration to fully enforce federal civil rights laws. The letter, signed by parents from 45 states plus Washington, D.C., was organized by HRC and its newly formed Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation’s leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people.

“Just 48 hours after the confirmation of his anti-equality attorney general, Donald Trump’s administration directly attacked LGBTQ equality and took aim at the rights of transgender youth,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This disgraceful action exposes transgender students to harassment and discrimination and emboldens bullies from classrooms to state legislatures. These 781 courageous parents are asking that the federal government protect their children at school, something that all families deserve. We stand with these parents and urge President Trump and Attorney General Sessions to listen to families across the country demanding basic fairness and respect for every child.”

In his first days as Trump’s Attorney General, Sessions withdrew a request to halt an order against the Obama administration’s protections for transgender students. The 781 parents, representing the thousands of families of transgender children across the country, write, “No young person should wake up in the morning fearful of the school day ahead. When this guidance was issued last year, it provided our families — and other families like our own across the country — with the knowledge and security that our government was determined to protect our children from bullying and discrimination. Please do not take that away from us.”

In 2016, the Obama Administration’s Departments of Justice and Education issued comprehensive guidance to ensure that transgender students were being treated fairly and with dignity in public and federally-funded schools, including having equal access to sex-segregated facilities, such as restrooms and locker rooms, that are consistent with their gender identity.  Thirteen anti-equality state attorneys general, led by the notoriously hateful Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, filed suit challenging the guidance. After a Texas federal judge issued a nationwide hold on enforcement of the guidance, the Obama Administration responded by requesting the court limit the hold to the 13 states filing suit.

On Friday night, just 48 hours after Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General and a day after being sworn in, the Department of Justice rescinded the Obama Administration’s challenge, allowing the nationwide hold to continue. Despite this action, transgender students facing discrimination can still file suit under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Transgender young people face significant discrimination and bullying throughout our nation’s schools. Last year, North Carolina adopted the infamous HB2, legislation that required discrimination against transgender people, including in public schools. Several states, including Texas, are currently considering similar bills. Seventy-five percent of transgender students report feeling unsafe in school, and, tragically, more than 50 percent of transgender youth report attempting suicide at least once in their lifetime.

To read the full letter, visit hrc.im/ParentsUnite.

Want to send your very own message to the Trump Administration? Take action with HRC today!

Read more

HB2 Repeal Fails, Deeply Discriminatory Bill Continues to Target LGBTQ People Across NC

Today, HRC, Equality North Carolina, and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) issued the following statements after the North Carolina General Assembly failed to repeal the state’s deeply discriminatory HB2. Full repeal of HB2 was a central part of a deal negotiated by Governor-elect Roy Cooper that included the recent repeal of Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance.

At the last minute, GOP leadership in the General Assembly blew up the deal when they sought to keep hateful, anti-LGBTQ provisions that would have maintained, potentially indefinitely, the prohibition on cities protecting their own residents. These very same inclusive protections exist in more than 100 cities, including Jackson, Miss., Louisville, Ky., Orlando, Fla., and Minneapolis, Minn., which passed them in 1975. HB2, which continues to remains in effect, was rammed through the legislature nine months ago, causing a significant national outcry, severe economic fallout, and the defeat of the state’s Republican governor — the only incumbent governor from either party to lose on election day.

“Today, the public trust has been betrayed once again. Lawmakers sent a clear message: North Carolina remains closed for business,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “It’s been 273 days since Republican state lawmakers passed the hateful HB2 law, and they have resisted fixing the mess they created every step of the way. Even after Charlotte responded to the GOP leadership’s loathsome demand to repeal common sense protections that exist in more than 100 cities, Senator Berger and Speaker Moore failed to make good on the ‘deal’ they brokered with Governor-elect Cooper to fully repeal HB2. Their shameful actions and broken promises subject LGBTQ North Carolinians to state-mandated discrimination, contribute to a heightened environment of harassment and violence, and will continue the significant harm done to the state’s reputation and economy. It’s clear today that the GOP leadership’s cruelty towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and particularly transgender North Carolinians knows no bounds. For our part, we will continue to fight to defeat all of HB2 and protect North Carolinians no matter what it takes.”

“For 273 long days, HB2 has put LGBTQ North Carolinians at risk for discrimination and violence. Every single day, we have lost businesses, new residents, tourists, concerts, and sporting events,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “Today’s failure to repeal HB2 is a blow to not just the LGBTQ community but to the entire state of North Carolina. With HB2 still on the books and the Charlotte Ordinance fully repealed we will only continue to lose businesses and put LGBTQ North Carolinians in harms way. The North Carolina General Assembly Leadership has made clear today that North Carolina remains closed for business.”

“The North Carolina General Assembly is a national disgrace,” said NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling. “In March, North Carolina lawmakers passed HB2. Last week, they made a shocking move to wrest power from Governor-elect Roy Cooper before he even took office. Today, they claimed they would repeal HB 2. As we have come to expect from these dishonest and underhanded extremist lawmakers, however, were not planning on repealing it in full. The repeal bill included a portion that bans cities in North Carolina from passing their own nondiscrimination laws for, at least, six months.This is unacceptable. The legislature’s actions today have proven that the people of North Carolina—particularly transgender North Carolinians—cannot have any faith in their shameless lawmakers. We continue to stand with the people of North Carolina, particularly the transgender people who have been harmed by HB2 and their own lawmakers’ actions, and we will continue to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with them until this shameful legislation is repealed in its entirety.”

Following passage in March of this year, HB2 triggered a national outcry of opposition, and a broad range of voices spoke out over the last 9 months demanding its full and complete repeal. The economic fallout — including more than $600 million in lost business — grew as companies concerned with protecting their consumers and employees moved conventions, trainings, operations, productions, and other events out of state. In November, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory became the only incumbent governor from either party to lose re-election this year after he championed and signed into law HB2.

North Carolina polling released by HRC and Equality NC found that HB2 was the number one issue leading to Governor Pat McCrory’s defeat — the only incumbent governor from either party to lose on election day. The HRC and Equality NC survey of 500 North Carolina voters found that 62 percent of voters opposed HB2, while only 30 percent supported the law. HB2 was also listed as the leading reason to vote against McCrory — with 57 percent citing the bill, 17 points above any other issue.

Read more