LGBT lawmakers nationwide call on Trump to advance equality
Hundreds, including Georgia LGBT lawmakers, sign letter to president
By PATRICK SAUNDERS
Four Georgia lawmakers joined 152 other LGBT elected officials across the country in calling on President Donald Trump to advance LGBT equality during his presidency. The message was sent in an open letter on Jan. 13, saying there were “grave concerns” over the president-elect’s Cabinet appointments.
“Nearly all hold anti-LGBT views aimed at denying our community acceptance and inclusion in American society. Many proudly tout legislative records opposing basic rights for LGBT Americans, and others express disdain for our lives and relationships,” the letter read. “Intended or not, these appointments signal a Trump administration preparing to roll back recent advances for LGBT people, and an administration opposed to LGBT people living open and free.”
Joining the lawmakers in signing the letter were state Reps. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta), Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) along with Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan, who recently announced a run for Council president. U.S. Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) were the two federal-level lawmakers joining 154 state officials.
“These LGBT elected officials represent America at its best – diverse leaders who make the values of inclusion, fairness and justice the cornerstone of their policy positions and decision-making,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President and CEO of Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, in a statement. “This letter urges the president-elect to govern by those core American values, and to put forward legislation and policies that improve quality of life for all Americans. They are using their collective voice to demand continued progress on equality, and to make clear they will oppose any efforts that threaten our rights or families.”
More than 40 LGBT lawmakers began work on the open letter during a closed-door strategy session at Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute’s International Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. last month.
“We sincerely hope you aim to be a president for all Americans – including LGBT Americans of every race, ethnicity, gender and religion,” the letter concluded. “As representatives of the LGBT community, we will hold your administration accountable for actions that infringe upon our rights and opportunities, and will oppose presidential appointees who denigrate or harm our community. But we much prefer to work with you to continue the incredible progress toward LGBT equality – to have you stand with us on the right side of history. We hope you voice your support for existing rights and protections for LGBT Americans, and commit to furthering LGBT equality during your presidency. We promise to be a strong and persistent voice for equality either way.”