Gay Primary Source

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Trudeau's Complete Speech at Parliament

" Mr. Speaker –

One of the greatest choices a person can make in their life is the choice to serve their fellow citizens. Maybe it’s in government, in the military, or in a police force. In whatever capacity one serves, dedicating your life to making Canada – and indeed, the world – a better place is a calling of the highest order.

Now imagine, if you will, being told that the very country you would willingly lay down your life to defend doesn’t want you. Doesn’t accept you. Sees you as defective. Sees you as a threat to our national security.

Not because you can’t do the job, or because you lack patriotism or courage – no, because of who you are as a person, and because of who your sexual partners are.

Now imagine, Mr. Speaker, being subjected to laws, policies, and hiring practices that label you as different – as “less than”.

Imagine having to fight for the basic rights that your peers enjoy, over and over again.

And imagine being criminalized for being who you are.

This is the truth for many of the Canadians present in the Gallery today, and those listening across the country.

This is the devastating story of people who were branded criminals by the government. People who lost their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives.

These aren’t distant practices of Governments long forgotten. This happened systematically, in Canada, with a timeline more recent than any of us would like to admit.

Mr. Speaker, today we acknowledge an often-overlooked part of Canada’s history. Today, we finally talk about Canada’s role in the systemic oppression, criminalization, and violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit communities.

And it is my hope that in talking about these injustices, vowing to never repeat them, and acting to right these wrongs, we can begin to heal.

Since arriving on these shores, settlers to this land brought with them foreign standards of right and wrong – of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Suitable and unsuitable partnerships.

They brought rigid gender norms – norms that manifested in homophobia and transphobia. Norms that saw the near-destruction of Indigenous LGBTQ and two-spirit identities. People who were once revered for their identities found themselves shamed for who they were. They were rejected and left vulnerable to violence.

And discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities was quickly codified in criminal offences like “buggery”, “gross indecency”, and bawdy house provisions.

Bathhouses were raided, people were entrapped by police.

Our laws bolstered and emboldened those who wanted to attack non-conforming sexual desire.

Our laws made private and consensual sex between same-sex partners a criminal offence, leading to the unjust arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of Canadians. This criminalization would have lasting impacts for things like employment, volunteering, and travel.

Those arrested and charged were purposefully and vindictively shamed. Their names appeared in newspapers in order to humiliate them, and their families.

Lives were destroyed. And tragically, lives were lost.

And this didn’t end in 1969 with the partial decriminalization of homosexual sex. Up until 1988, a twenty year old gay man who had sex with another man could still be convicted of a crime.

But the imprisonment and criminalization of LGBTQ2 individuals wasn’t the end of it. Other methods of oppression have been rampant throughout our society for generations.

Homophobia during the time of the AIDS crisis generated hysteria and propagated fear of gay men.

Books and magazines were stopped at the border under the guise of obscenity offences and customs regulations – the content of words and images deemed unacceptable.

And LGBTQ2 families have had to fight their own government for the right to benefits, and the freedom to marry, often at great personal cost.

Over our history, laws and policies enacted by the government led to the legitimization of much more than inequality – they legitimized hatred and violence, and brought shame to those targeted.

While we may view modern Canada as a forward-thinking, progressive nation, we can’t forget our past: The state orchestrated a culture of stigma and fear around LGBTQ2 communities. And in doing so, destroyed people’s lives.

Mr. Speaker, a Purge that lasted decades will forever remain a tragic act of discrimination suffered by Canadian citizens at the hands of their own government.

From the 1950s to the early 1990s, the Government of Canada exercised its authority in a cruel and unjust manner, undertaking a campaign of oppression against members, and suspected members, of the LGBTQ2 communities.

The goal was to identify these workers throughout the public service, including the foreign service, the military, and the RCMP, and persecute them.

You see, the thinking of the day was that all non-heterosexual Canadians would automatically be at an increased risk of blackmail by our adversaries due to what was called “character weakness”.

This thinking was prejudiced and flawed. And sadly, what resulted was nothing short of a witch-hunt.

The public service, the military, and the RCMP spied on their own people, inside and outside of the workplaces. Canadians were monitored for anything that could be construed as homosexual behaviour, with community groups, bars, parks, and even people’s homes constantly under watch.

During this time, the federal government even dedicated funding to an absurd device known as the Fruit Machine – a failed technology that was supposed to measure homosexual attraction. This project was funded with the intention of using it against Canadians.

When the government felt that enough evidence had accumulated, some suspects were taken to secret locations in the dark of night to be interrogated.

They were asked invasive questions about their relationships and sexual preferences. Hooked up to polygraph machines, these law-abiding public servants had the most intimate details of their lives cut open.

Women and men were abused by their superiors, and asked demeaning, probing questions about their sex lives. Some were sexually assaulted.

Those who admitted they were gay were fired, discharged, or intimidated into resignation. They lost dignity, lost careers, and had their dreams – and indeed, their lives – shattered.

Many were blackmailed to report their peers, forced to turn against their friends and colleagues.

Some swore they would end their relationships if they could keep their jobs. Pushed deeper into the closet, they lost partners, friends, and dignity.

Those who did not lose their jobs were demoted, had security clearances revoked, and were passed over for promotions.

Under the harsh glare of the spotlight, people were forced to make an impossible choice between career and identity.

The very thing Canadian officials feared – blackmail of LGBTQ2 employees – was happening. But it wasn’t at the hands of our adversaries; it was at the hands of our own government.

Mr. Speaker, the number one job of any government is to keep its citizens safe. And on this, we have failed LGBTQ2 people, time and time again.

It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong. We apologize. I am sorry. We are sorry.

For state-sponsored, systemic oppression and rejection, we are sorry.

For suppressing two-spirit Indigenous values and beliefs, we are sorry.

For abusing the power of the law, and making criminals of citizens, we are sorry.

For government censorship, and constant attempts to undermine your community-building;

For denying you equality, and forcing you to constantly fight for this equality, often at great cost;

For forcing you to live closeted lives, for rendering you invisible, and for making you feel ashamed –

We are deeply sorry. We were so very wrong.

To all the LGBTQ2 people across this country who we have harmed in countless ways, we are sorry.

To those who were left broken by a prejudiced system;

And to those who took their own lives – we failed you.

For stripping you of your dignity;

For robbing you of your potential;

For treating you like you were dangerous, indecent, and flawed;

We are sorry.

To the victims of The Purge, who were surveilled, interrogated, and abused;

Who were forced to turn on their friends and colleagues;

Who lost wages, lost health, and lost loved ones;

We betrayed you. And we are so sorry.

To those who were fired, to those who resigned, and to those who stayed at a great personal and professional cost;

To those who wanted to serve, but never got the chance to because of who you are – you should have been permitted to serve your country, and you were stripped of that option.

We are sorry. We were wrong.

Indeed, all Canadians missed out on the important contributions you could have made to our society.

You were not bad soldiers, sailors, airmen and women. You were not predators. And you were not criminals.

You served your country with integrity, and veterans you are.

You are professionals. You are patriots. And above all, you are innocent. And for all your suffering, you deserve justice, and you deserve peace.

It is our collective shame that you were so mistreated. And it is our collective shame that this apology took so long – many who suffered are no longer alive to hear these words. And for that, we are truly sorry.

To the loved ones of those who suffered;

To the partners, families, and friends of the people we harmed;

For upending your lives, and for causing you such irreparable pain and grief – we are sorry.

And as we apologize for our painful mistakes, we must also say thank you to those who spoke up.

To those who pushed back when it was unpopular, and even dangerous, to do so. People from across the country, from all walks of life, and of all political stripes. We stand here today in awe of your courage, and we thank you.

We also thank members of the We Demand an Apology Network, our LGBTQ2 Apology Advisory Council, the Just Society Committee for Egale, as well as the individuals who have long advocated for this overdue apology.

Through them, we’ve understood that we can’t simply paint over this part of our history. To erase this dark chapter would be a disservice to the community, and to all Canadians.

We will work with the academic community and stakeholders to ensure that this history is known and publically accessible.

We must remember, and we will remember. We will honour and memorialize the legacy of those who fought before us in the face of unbearable hatred and danger.

Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that we will look back on today as a turning point. But there is still much work to do.

Discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities is not a moment in time, but an ongoing, centuries-old campaign.

We want to be a partner and ally to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the years going forward. There are still real struggles facing these communities, including for those who are intersex, queer people of colour, and others who suffer from intersectional discrimination.

Transgender Canadians are subjected to discrimination, violence, and aggression at alarming rates. In fact, trans people didn’t even have explicit protection under federal human rights legislation until this year.

Mental health issues and suicides are higher among LGBTQ2 youth as a result of discrimination and harassment, and the homelessness rates among these young people is staggering.

And there is still work to do on blood and organ donation, and the over criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. The Government needs to continue working with our partners to improve policies and programs.

But there are important and significant changes coming – the repeal of section 159 of the Criminal Code is working its way through the House.

And, Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that earlier today in this House we tabled the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act. This will mean that Canadians previously convicted of consensual sexual activity with same-sex partners will have their criminal records permanently destroyed.

Further, I am pleased to announce that over the course of the weekend, we reached an Agreement-in-Principle with those involved in the class action lawsuit for actions related to “The Purge”.

Never again will our government be the source of so much pain for members of the LGBTQ2 communities.

We promise to consult and work with individuals and communities to right these wrongs and begin to rebuild trust. We will ensure that there are systems in place so that these kinds of hateful practices are a thing of the past. Discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ2 Canadians will not be tolerated anymore.

With dialogue and with understanding, we will move forward together. But we can’t do it alone.

The changing of hearts and minds is a collective effort. We need to work together, across jurisdictions, with Indigenous peoples and LGBTQ2 communities, to make the crucial progress that LGBTQ2 Canadians deserve.

Mr. Speaker, Canada’s history is far from perfect.

But we believe in acknowledging and righting past wrongs so that we can learn from them.

For all our differences, for all our diversity, we can find love and support in our common humanity.

We’re Canadians, and we want the very best for each other, regardless of our sexual orientation, or our gender identity and expression. We will support one another in our fight for equality.

And Canada will stand tall on the international stage as we proudly advocate for equal rights for LGBTQ2 communities around the world.

To the kids who are listening at home and who fear rejection because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity and expression;

And to those who are nervous and scared, but also excited at what their future might hold;

We are all worthy of love, and deserving of respect.

And whether you discover your truth at 6 or 16 or 60, who you are is valid.

To members of the LGBTQ2 communities, young and old, here in Canada and around the world:

You are loved. And we support you.

Canada gets a little bit stronger every day that we choose to embrace, and to celebrate, who we are in all our uniqueness. We are a diverse nation, and we are enriched by the lives, experiences, and contributions of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit.

To the trailblazers who have lived and struggled, and to those who have fought so hard to get us to this place: thank you for your courage, and thank you for lending your voices. I hope you look back on all you have done with pride.

It is because of your courage that we’re here today, together, and reminding ourselves that we can, and must, do better.

For the oppression of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit communities, we apologize. On behalf of the government, Parliament, and the people of Canada: We were wrong. We are sorry. And we will never let this happen again.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. "

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, November 28, 2017.

     Click here to see original transcript of speech

     Click here to watch the video of the speech 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Canadian PM Apologizes for Past Anti-GLBT Actions

It is our collective shame that Canadians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or two-spirit were unjustly treated – fired from jobs, denied promotions, surveilled, arrested, convicted, and vindictively shamed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. People lost their livelihoods, their families, and, some, their lives. Today, we offer a long overdue apology to all those whom we, the Government of Canada, wronged. We are sorry. We hope by acknowledging our failings we can make the crucial progress LGBTQ2 people in Canada deserve. We will continue to support each other in our fight for equality because we know that Canada gets stronger every single day that we choose to embrace diversity. "

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, November 28, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire Government statement 


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Another Court Rules Against Prez Attempted Transgender Military Ban

" ... Plaintiffs assert that President Trump’s arbitrary decision, plainly inconsistent with all available data, to exclude men and women who are transgender from military service serves no legitimate interest and cannot be reconciled with the liberty and equality protected by the Constitution...

[T]he Fifth Amendment itself withdraws from Government the power to degrade or demean . . .” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2695. An unexpected announcement by the President and Commander in Chief of the United States via Twitter that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military” certainly can be considered shocking under the circumstances..."

Judge Marvin J. Garbis, US District Court for the District of Maryland, November 21, 2017. 

     Click here to read the entire decision

     Click here to read it on the court's website (Stone v. Trump) 

Monday, November 20, 2017

SecState Marks Transgender Day of Remembrance

" On Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States honors the memory of the many transgender individuals who have lost their lives to acts of violence.

Transgender individuals and their advocates, along with lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex persons, are facing increasing physical attacks and arbitrary arrests in many parts of the world. Often these attacks are perpetrated by government officials, undermining the rule of law.

Transgender persons should not be subjected to violence or discrimination, and the human rights they share with all persons should be respected.

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States remains committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons. These principles are inherent in our own Constitution and drive the diplomacy of the United States. "

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, November 20, 2017.

     Click here to see original statement 


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PM Turnbull on Australian Vote for Marriage Equality

Click link for original video:

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, November 15, 2017.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Scotland Apologises for Past Anti-Gay Injustice

" I am grateful for the opportunity to address the chamber. Today marks an important milestone in achieving true equality for Scotland’s LGBTI community.

This morning, the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) (Scotland) Bill was published.

Scotland has travelled so far in recent years, in relation to LGBTI equality, that it still shocks to recall that as recently as 1980 – well within my lifetime - consenting sexual activity between men was still classed as a criminal activity in this country. And the age of consent was only lowered to 16 in 2001, two years after this parliament came into being. Before then, hundreds of people in Scotland were liable to be convicted as criminals, simply for loving another adult.

Presiding Officer, the words inscribed on this Parliament’s Mace set out the values which we seek to uphold and promote – integrity, wisdom, justice and compassion. Yet even within the lifetime of this parliament, this nation’s laws created suffering and perpetrated injustice.

The legislation we have published today addresses that injustice. It provides an automatic pardon to men convicted of same-sex sexual activity that would now be legal.

In addition, the bill establishes a new procedure, so that people can apply to the police for their offence to be disregarded from criminal records. This means it will never appear on a disclosure certificate.

The legislation therefore has both a symbolic and a practical value. The pardon sends an unequivocal message to everybody convicted of an offence for an activity which is now legal. The law should not have treated them as criminals and they should not now be considered to be criminals. Instead, this parliament recognises that a wrong was done to them.

And the disregard has an important practical consequence. It allows people to ensure that their past criminal record will no longer have an impact on their day to day life. That will change people’s lives.

At present, as the Equality Network and others have highlighted to us, there are some people convicted merely of showing love and affection to their partner, who still have to explain their criminal record every time they move job or apply for an internal promotion. That is unacceptable and we are determined that it will end.

So the bill we are publishing today rights a historic wrong.

However Presiding Officer, I want to go further today and do something that legislation on its own cannot do. A pardon is, of course, the correct legal remedy to apply for the convictions we are talking about today – but the term “pardon” might still, to some people, imply that Parliament sees them as having done something wrong. That is, after all, a common context in which a pardon might be granted.

However, as all of us know, that is not the case here. For people convicted of same sex sexual activity which is now legal, the wrong has been committed by the state, not by the individuals. Those individuals deserve an unqualified apology, as well as a pardon.

That apology can only come from the government and from Parliament - not from the justice system. After all, the courts, prosecutors and the police were enforcing the law of the time.

The simple fact is that parliamentarians in Scotland over many decades supported or, at the very least, accepted laws which we now recognise to have been completely unjust.

Those laws criminalised the act of loving another adult; they deterred people from being honest about their identity to family, friends, neighbours and colleagues; and by sending a message from parliament that homosexuality was wrong, they encouraged rather than deterred homophobia and hate.

So today, categorically and wholeheartedly, as First Minister I apologise for those laws, and for the hurt and the harm that they caused.

Nothing this parliament does can erase those injustices. But I hope that this apology, alongside our new legislation, can provide some comfort to those who endured them. And I hope that it provides evidence of this parliament’s determination, in so far as we can, to address the harm that has been done.

The final point I would make is that today’s legislation marks an important milestone in Scotland’s progress towards LGBTI equality. However our journey is not yet complete.

Considering how recently it is, that the laws I have just discussed were in force, it is remarkable and inspiring that Scotland is now considered to be one of the most progressive countries in Europe when it comes to LGBTI equality.

One of the proudest moments of my 18 years as an MSP – and, I know, one of the proudest moments for many MSPs across this chamber - was in February 2014, when people from all parties came together to support equal marriage.

But as all of us know, until we live in a country – in fact, until we live in a world - where no young person suffers hate or fear or discrimination or prejudice, simply because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity, then we have still got work to do.

That’s why have promised to improve our gender recognition legislation. We know that we need to ensure that it reflects the experiences and needs of transgender and intersex people.

It’s why I attach such importance to the Scottish government’s work with the TIE campaign – ensuring that our young people do not have to fear bullying in school.

It’s why we are reviewing hate crime legislation – to ensure that our laws provide the right protections against bigotry and hatred.

And it’s why I hope that today’s apology – in addition to its specific significance for gay men – sends out a wider signal to the LGBTI community. The Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament are utterly committed to delivering true equality for LGBTI people in Scotland. Wherever there are societal, cultural, legislative or regulatory barriers to achieving that, we will seek to remove them. We will never again accept laws or behaviours which discriminate against you and hurt you.

And so although today is a day for looking back and apologising for past wrongs, it is also a day which points to a better future.

And it is a day when this chamber promotes, and lives up to, our shared values - integrity, wisdom, compassion and justice. "

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, November 7, 2017, Statement on Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) (Scotland) Bill.

     Click here to watch the video of the speech

     Click here to see original statement

Friday, November 3, 2017

Marriage Equality Passes in Alderney

" THE STATES, in pursuance of their Resolution of the 18th October, 2017, have approved the following provisions which, subject to the Sanction of Her Most Excellent Majesty in Council, shall have force of law in the Island of Alderney.

Extension of marriage to same-sex couples.

(1) Marriage of same-sex couples is lawful.

(2) In the law of Alderney, whether statutory, customary or otherwise, marriage has the same effect in relation to same-sex couples as it has in relation to opposite-sex couples. ..."

The States of Alderney, October 18, 2017. [Alderney is a self-governing island of the Channel Islands, UK]

     Click here to read the entire bill


Monday, October 30, 2017

Court Rules Against Prez Transgender Military Ban

" As a form of government action that classifies people based on their gender identity, and disfavors a class of historically persecuted and politically powerless individuals, the President’s directives are subject to a fairly searching form of scrutiny. Plaintiffs claim that the President’s directives cannot survive such scrutiny because they are not genuinely based on legitimate concerns regarding military effectiveness or budget constraints, but are instead driven by a desire to express disapproval of transgender people generally. The Court finds that a number of factors - including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself - strongly suggest that Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious...

A bare invocation of “national defense” simply cannot defeat every motion for preliminary injunction that touches on the military. On the record before the Court, there is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all. In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects... "

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, US District Court for the District of Columbia, October 30, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire decision


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Senators Introduce Pro-Transgender Troops Legislation

" U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced a bipartisan bill that would protect transgender service members by preventing the Department of Defense (DoD) from removing currently serving members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity. Transgender troops have been openly serving in the military since June 2016. This legislation comes after Senate leadership cut off debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Senate did not get an opportunity to vote on the bipartisan amendment introduced by Gillibrand and Collins, and supported by McCain and Reed, that would have achieved the same goal.

“When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country,” said Senator McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve - including those who are transgender. The Senate Armed Services Committee will review the results of the DOD study on accession and will continue to work closely with our military leaders on any policy changes as we conduct oversight on this important issue."

“Despite being denied a vote on my bipartisan amendment to defend our transgender service members, we are not giving up in this fight,” said Senator Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel. “I am so grateful to Chairman McCain, Senator Collins, and Ranking Member Reed for joining me to introduce this bipartisan bill to block the Defense Department from kicking transgender troops out of our military. Thousands of brave transgender Americans love our country enough to risk their lives for it, fight for it, and even die for it, and Congress should honor them and let them serve. Doing otherwise would only harm our readiness at a time when our military is deployed around the world in defense of our country. I am proud to lead this fight in the Senate, and I urge all of my colleagues to join us in supporting this bill."

“Our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” said Senator Collins. “If individuals are willing to put on the uniform of our country, be deployed in war zones, and risk their lives for our freedoms, then we should be expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to kick them out of the military."

“The President has manufactured a crisis for political reasons, one that is discriminatory and deeply harmful to those currently serving. Transgender service members deployed today are serving with honor and distinction. The last thing they need while serving in a combat zone is to worry about being involuntarily separated,” said Senator Reed. “Congress needs to act on a bipartisan basis to do what is best for our country and national security, and that includes overturning President Trump's poorly conceived transgender ban." "

September 15, 2017

     Click here to read the entire statement 


Saturday, August 5, 2017

56 Generals & Admirals (Retd.) Slam Trmp Trans Ban

" The Commander in Chief has tweeted a total ban of honorably serving transgender troops. This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy. As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving - and who want to serve - must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.

President Trump seeks to ban transgender service members because of the financial cost and disruption associated with transgender military service. We respectfully disagree, and consider these claims to be without merit. The Rand Corporation, as well as research in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the financial cost of providing health care to transgender troops would be, at most, $8.4 million per year. This amounts to one one-hundredth of one percent of the military’s annual health care budget. As for ostensible disruptions, transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders. Eighteen foreign nations, including the UK and Israel, allow transgender troops to serve, and none has reported any detriment to readiness.

Recently, two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have taken courageous stands in support of our transgender service members. General Martin Dempsey said of our transgender troops that, ‘The service of men and women who volunteer and who meet our standards of service is a blessing, not a burden.’

And Admiral Mike Mullen stated that, ‘I led our armed forces under the flawed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and saw firsthand the harm to readiness and morale when we fail to treat all service members according to the same standards. Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require. The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness.’ Admiral Mullen urged civilian leaders ‘to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.’ We could not agree more. " August 1, 2017.

     click here to see the original and all the signatories 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sen. McCain Slams Prez Anti-Transgender Tweet

" The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.

The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are. "

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, July 26, 2017.

     Click here to read entire statement


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Malta Approves Same-Sex Marriage

" The Maltese Parliament approved the Marriage Equality Bill during its third and final reading, making Malta the 25th country in the world, and the 15th in Europe, to approve such a law. This was the first law which Government moved in Parliament during this new legislature, as promised by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The aim of this law is that of modernising marriage law through the mainstreaming of equality for all. This means that the institution of marriage is now fully gender neutral to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and genderqueer (LGBTIQ) persons are free to contract a marriage with their loved ones, be they of the same or a different sex, and also to parent children without having unnecessary references to their gender or biological make-up on their children’s birth certificates.

It also means that all discrepancies between husband and wife have now been removed. For example, both are now free to adopt or take on their partner’s surname without distinction. Their siblings would then take on the family surname that the couple chooses on their marriage day.

During the process towards the adoption of the Bill, a lot of the discussion centred on whether it was necessary to convert civil marriage to a fully gender neutral institution. Government insisted that this was necessary in order to respect the anti-discrimination provisions in the country’s Constitution adopted in 2014 relative to sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, Government indicated that both the Civil Unions Act, and the Cohabitation Act adopted in 2014 and 2016 respectively are both gender neutral, and that marriage should not be an exception.

A celebration organised by the Government of Malta and the LGBTIQ Consultative Council (a government instituted body consisting of representatives of all LGBTIQ civil society organisations) was held in front of the Auberge de Castille, the seat of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Government of Malta press release, July 12, 2017.

     Click here to see original


Saturday, June 24, 2017

California AG Bans State Travel to GLBTQ-Phobic States

" Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states. While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra; California will prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas based on discriminatory legislation enacted in each state, June 22, 2017.

Canada's Prime Minister Marks Pride with Historic Legislation

" Hello, everyone. Happy pride!

Happy pride month! Thanks for joining us today as we raise the pride flag, the trans pride flag and the Canada 150 pride flag on Parliament Hill. I’m pleased to be here with Minister Wilson-Raybould, Minister Goodale, as well as assembled ministers and MPs of all parties, as well as my special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, Randy Boissonneault.

Randy – thanks for your terrific work on behalf of the community. We really broke new ground with this advisor role, and the work you’ve been doing is essential to ensuring a more just Canada for all. Thank you.

You know, last year, when we raised the Pride flag for the first time here on the Hill, it was a historic moment for Canadians. But at this year’s flag raising, we’re doing something even more important, and even more historic.

This year’s ceremony marks another milestone as we acknowledge and work to rectify historical injustices experienced by Canadians due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. I am pleased to announce today that our government will be moving forward with a process for the expungement of criminal convictions for Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime simply for who they were and who they loved.

We will be introducing legislation on this in the House of Commons later this year. Further, we will acknowledge and apologize for the role played by legislation, programs, and policies in the historical discrimination faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians.

As we announced last month, we are committed to apologizing in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017.

I believe that it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, not to simply gloss over them. Today’s announcement and the forthcoming apology are important steps in the right direction. Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians and we’re proud to take concrete action to make that a reality.

We will passionately defend the rights of all our citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are unacceptable.

In Canada, we’ve come a long way but there is still more work to be done. There is still work to do, fights to be had, here in Canada, and more and more around the world. Canadians get that recognizing LGBTQ2 rights are recognizing human rights, and leading around the world in the fight for equality, for respect, for opportunity is something that is as much a part of Canada as the maple leaf flying over Parliament Hill and as now the pride flags are.

This is something we commit ourselves to now, in our 150th year since Confederation and every year as we move forward. Let us stay vigilant and ambitious while we work together towards a brighter, safer, more accepting future for all.

Thank you very much. Thank you my friends. Thank you! "

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; remarks at the flag raising ceremony for Pride Month, June 14, 2017.

Canada Praises Pride Month

June marks the beginning of Pride season across the country, where we celebrate all those who seek to be who they truly are, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. It is also a time of year where we recognize the many barriers Canadians from these communities have overcome, and the challenges they continue to face.

Throughout the coming months, I will join Canadians in these celebrations and, as the month of June is National Aboriginal History Month, I want to extend special recognition of two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender members of Canada’s Indigenous communities.

The Government of Canada takes seriously the responsibility to challenge stigma, violence, and prejudices wherever they occur and I remain personally committed to advance and protect our communities’ rights and address historical injustices they have endured.

Canadians recognize that diversity and inclusion make our country stronger, no matter whom each of us loves or how we identify.

Special Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, M.P. Randy Boissonnault, June 1, 2017.

     click for original


Queen's Speech Supports LGBT Rights

"... My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation. "

HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2017 Queen's Speech to UK Parliament, June 21, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire speech


Friday, June 9, 2017

Florida House Declares Pulse Remembrance Day June 12th

" A resolution recognizing June 12, 2017, as "Pulse Remembrance Day" in Florida.

WHEREAS, on June 12, 2016, an armed gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, senselessly murdering 49 people, physically wounding 53, and traumatizing thousands, and

WHEREAS, many of the victims and survivors are from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community, and

WHEREAS, Pulse nightclub is an LGBTQ+ establishment; such establishments carry historical significance and are often recognized as safe havens for the LGBTQ+ community, and

WHEREAS, on that night, communities of color were disproportionately impacted by that horrific hate crime as Pulse nightclub was hosting a "Latin Night" celebration, and

WHEREAS, the attack at Pulse nightclub has been recognized as the deadliest mass shooting by a single individual, the most lethal incident of violence against the LGBTQ+ community in United States history and the largest terrorist attack in the country since 9/11, and

WHEREAS, local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel performed their duties admirably in the siege and selflessly risked their lives for the safety of the patrons of Pulse nightclub, and

WHEREAS, following the attack, the residents of Orlando and people throughout the state, the nation, and the world expressed overwhelming support for the victims and their families, and

WHEREAS, Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old; Amanda Alvear, 25 years old; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26 years old; Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old; Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old; Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old; Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old; Juan Chavez-Martinez, 25 years old; Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old; Cory James Connell, 21 years old; Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old; Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 ears old; Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old; Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old; Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old; Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old; Frank Hernandez, 27 years old; Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old; Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old; Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old; Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old; Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old; Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old; Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old; Kimberly Morris, 37 years old; Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old; Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old; Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old; Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old; Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25 years old; Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27 years old; Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old; Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old; Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old; Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old; Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old; Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old; Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old; Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old; Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old; Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old; Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old; and Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old, tragically lost their lives in that senseless act of hatred and terrorism, NOW, THEREFORE,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Florida:

That June 12, 2017, is recognized as "Pulse Remembrance Day" in Florida to honor the memory of the 49 innocent victims who lost their lives at Pulse nightclub in a senseless act of hatred and terrorism, to support their families and the survivors, and to acknowledge the compassion and love that was displayed during the aftermath of that tragedy by the Central Florida community and people throughout the state, the nation, and the world. "

Florida House of Representatives, House Resolution HR 8077, April 27, 2017.

      bill history

US Navy Supports Pride Month

" The Navy joins the nation in recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month throughout June.

ALNAV 006/17 encourages participation in all the heritage celebrations and special observances throughout the year. The Department of Defense (DoD) began observing LGBT Pride Month in 2012.

Initially established as "Gay and Lesbian Month" by Presidential Proclamation in 2000, LGBT Pride Month recognizes the accomplishments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The LGBT community is part of One Navy Team that contributes their diverse talents, skills and service to the strength of the force.

"To remain the finest seagoing fighting force, the Navy needs men and women who are the right fit for the right job regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed or gender identity," said Capt. Candace Eckert, Special Assistant for Inclusion and Diversity. "Our goal is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the most qualified and capable Sailors. If an individual can meet the Navy's standards, they should be afforded the opportunity to be part of the One Navy Team."

The Navy is committed to recruiting and retaining top talent regardless of race, class, sex or background. A diverse, inclusive environment allows diversity of thought and innovation to thrive.

In 2016, the DoD instituted a policy change allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military as their preferred gender.

For service members, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2011 allowed gay, lesbian and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces. "

Chief of Naval Personnel, May 31, 2017. 

     Click here to see original statement 


State Dept. Supports Pride Month

" In recognition of LGBTI Month, the Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom.

We also recognize that LGBTI persons continue to face the threat of violence and discrimination. Violence and discrimination targeting any vulnerable group undermines our collective security as well as American values. When all persons are protected on the basis of equality and with dignity, global stability is strengthened. We will continue to support the human rights of LGBTI persons together with like-minded governments, businesses, and civil society organizations globally.

The United States remains committed to human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons. Dignity and equality for all persons are among our founding constitutional principles, and these principles continue to drive U.S. diplomacy, "

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, June 7, 2017.

     Click here to see original statement


Friday, May 26, 2017

Taiwan Court Rules for Marriage Equality - First in Asia

" (1) The provisions of Chapter 2 on Marriage of Part IV on Family of the Civil Code do not allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the committed purpose of managing a life together. The said provisions, to the extent of such failure, are in violation of both the people’s freedom of marriage as protected by Article 22 and the people’s right to equality as guaranteed by Article 7 of the Constitution.

(2) The authorities concerned shall amend or enact relevant laws, in accordance with the ruling of this Interpretation, within two years from the issuance of this Interpretation. It is within the discretion of the authorities concerned to determine the formality for achieving the equal protection of the freedom of marriage.

(3) If relevant laws are not amended or enacted within the said two years, two persons of the same sex who intend to create the said permanent union shall be allowed to have their marriage registration effectuated at the authorities in charge of household registration, by submitting a written document signed by two or more witnesses in accordance with the said Marriage Chapter. "

From summary of ruling, by Clerk of the Court, by Constitutional Court, Republic of China (Taiwan), May 24, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire press release (in Chinese) - click press release.pdf for English


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Canada Honors Marriage Equality

" At an event today in downtown Toronto, Canada Post unveiled a stamp commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act, which made marriage equality the law throughout Canada. Grassroots activists, government officials and community members attended the unveiling, catching the first glimpse of the new stamp, which features the iconic rainbow symbol. The unveiling was held at and in partnership with The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGBTQ communities.

The marriage equality stamp is the fourth in a set of 10 that Canada Post is issuing to celebrate Canada’s 150th year since Confederation. Collectively the stamps highlight historic moments that have taken place in our nation over the past 50 years. Canada Post’s stamp advisory committee, which includes historians, collectors and artists, selected these 10 milestones that together have helped shape the story of Canada... "

Canada Post, May 9, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire press release

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bermuda Court Rules for Marriage Equality

… I hold that: The common law definition of marriage, that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, and its reflection in the Marriage Act ... are inconsistent with the provisions ... of the HRA [Human Rights Act] as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation. In so doing the common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage and more broadly speaking the institution of marriage.

The court examined the common law definition of marriage through the broad scope of the HRA. That scope encompasses and reflects the changing values in the modern democracy that Bermuda is. Those changing values are reflected in decisions that have emanated from the Supreme Court. The courts have struck down legislation that discriminated against a same-sex male couple from adopting a child. Further it struck down immigration legislation that treated a non-Bermudian same-sex partner of a Bermudian differently from a non-Bermudian opposite-sex from a partner of a Bermudian regarding a classification of immigration status. Against the legal, social and cultural back drop of changing attitudes regarding same-sex relationship and sexual orientation it is fair to say that notions such as marriage or the institution of marriage being predicated upon heterosexual procreation and marriage being the main and most effective means of rearing healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children, to borrow a phrase from the Chief Justice, have been turned on their heads.

Their historic and insular perspective as reflected in the common law definition of marriage is out of step with the reality of Bermuda in the 21st century.

… The common law is by definition judge made law. As such it is a creature of change... “the common law does not remain static. Its very essence is that it is able to grow to meet the expanding needs of society.” On this basis, I think that it is apt that the Court should develop the common law by giving effect to the will of Parliament as expressed in the HRA... I believe that as a matter of internal and external cohesion and legal certainty it would be appropriate for the Court to remedy those sections and grant appropriate declaratory relief along the lines of those drafted below subject to hearing counsel on the precise terms of the final Order to be drawn up to give effect to the present Judgment...

The Applicants are entitled to an Order of Mandamus compelling the Registrar to act in accordance with the requirements of the Marriage Act; and

A Declaration that same-sex couples are entitled to be married under the Marriage Act 1944.

I include below a draft regarding other Declarations and possible reformulations of relevant sections of the Marriage Act and Matrimonial Causes Act...

The definition of marriage to be inoperative to the extent that it contains the term “one man and one woman” and reformulated to read “the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others... "

Charles-Etta Simmons, PJ, Supreme Court of Bermuda, May 5, 2017.

      Click here to read the entire decision

Friday, April 28, 2017

Nebraska Court Quashes Anti-Gay Adoption/Fostering Rule

" … the injury in an equal protection case is the imposition of a barrier that makes it more difficult for members of one group to obtain a benefit, rather than the ultimate inability to obtain the benefit ... "

Nebraska Supreme Court, April 7, 2017.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Study Equates Marriage Equality with Lower Rate of GLBT Teen Suicides


We provide evidence that implementation of same-sex marriage policies reduced adolescent suicide attempts. As countries around the world consider enabling or restricting same-sex marriage, we provide evidence that implementing same-sex marriage policies was associated with improved population health. Policymakers should consider the mental health consequences of same-sex marriage policies. "

Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts," JAMA Pediatrics, February 20, 2017; Julia Raifman (Johns Hopkins), Ellen Moscoe (Harvard), S. Bryn Austin (Harvard, Boston Children's Hospital), Margaret McConnell, PhD2

     Click here to read the entire article - download .pdf file 


National Center for Transgender Equality Fights Repeal of Title IX Protection

The Title IX guidance, widely hailed by educational and child health experts, made clear that transgender students are protected from discrimination and must be treated according to their gender identities. Should the Administration rescind the guidance, trans students would still be protected under Title IX. But such clear action directed at children would be a brazen and shameless attack on hundreds of thousands of young Americans who must already defend themselves against schoolyard bullies, but are ill-equipped to fight bullies on the floors of their state legislatures and in the White House. "

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality, February 21, 2017.

     Click here to read entire statement


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Virginia Governor Issues Anti-Discrimination Executive Order

I hereby order the following:

I. Require future state contracting to require prohibitions on discrimination in employment, subcontracting, and delivery of goods and services, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It is hereby ordered as the policy of the Executive Branch that it will only contract with those who abide by the non-discrimination policies set forward in Executive Order 1 (2014), namely that discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status is prohibited.

II. Prohibit discrimination, including that based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in the provision of state services. Building on the requirements of Executive Order 1 (2014), I hereby order that no state employee or agent within the Executive Branch may engage in discrimination in the provision of public services based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status. Any state employee or agent who engages in such discrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action."

Virginia Governor Terence A. McAuliffe, January 5, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire Executive Order

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kerry Apologizes for Past DOS Discrimination

" Throughout my career, including as Secretary of State, I have stood strongly in support of the LGBTI community, recognizing that respect for human rights must include respect for all individuals. LGBTI employees serve as proud members of the State Department and valued colleagues dedicated to the service of our country. For the past several years, the Department has pressed for the families of LGBTI officers to have the same protections overseas as families of other officers. In 2015, to further promote LGBTI rights throughout the world, I appointed the first ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons.

In the past – as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades – the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today.

On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community. "

US Secretary of State John Kerry, January 9, 2017.

     Click here for original (unless future administration takes it down)


Wheeling WV Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Law

" In order to build an inclusive community, the City will dedicate, deliberate, and provide continuous attention to the human relations and human rights of its residents and visitors. It is the public policy of the City to provide all of its residents and workers equal opportunity for employment, equal access to places of public accommodations and equal opportunity on the sale, purchase, lease, rental and financing of housing accommodations or real property. Equal opportunity in the areas of employment,public accommodations, housing accommodations or real property is hereby declared to be a human right or civil right of all persons without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness, disability, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity. The denial of these rights to properly qualified persons by reason of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness, disability, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity is contrary to the principles of freedom and quality of opportunity and is destructive to a free and democratic society.

This City policy is based on the recognition and vision that the diversity found in our City brings forth richness in our community, a greater understanding of our world, a multitude of talent to benefit collective needs, and an opportunity for enhanced living and learning for all. Inherent in this policy is a commitment to encourage and endeavor to bring about equal opportunity, mutual understanding and respect for persons of all ages, abilities, ancestry, blindness, color, disabilities, ethnicities, familial status, veteran status, national origins, sex, races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and other backgrounds or orientations. "

Wheeling WV City Council adds sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in non-discrimination ordinance, passed unanimously December 20, 2016.

     Click here to read the entire bill

Monday, January 9, 2017

Texas Biz Org Slams Bathroom Bill

[Texas Republicans try to out-do North Carolina]

After months of debate and an unprecedented special session by the North Carolina Legislature, it’s unfortunate to see that the state chose not to repeal the discriminatory law created by HB 2. North Carolina and states that embrace discriminatory legislation will continue to suffer dire economic consequences, losing revenue and major events and disrupting job creation and investment.

That’s why the Texas business community has made clear that discriminatory laws like HB 2 have no place in Texas. We can’t afford to slam the door on the Texas Miracle, and create an environment hostile to business, unsafe and unwelcoming for citizens and harmful to our larger economy and prosperity. Keep Texas Open for Business will continue to press our own Texas lawmakers to roundly reject discriminatory bills, no matter how they’re phrased or what they’re named.

Chris Wallace, President, Texas Association of Business, December 21, 2016.

All Texans care deeply about safety and privacy, but [Texas] Senate Bill 6 isn’t about either of those things. Senate Bill 6 is discriminatory and wholly unnecessary legislation that, if passed, could cost Texas as much as $8.5 billion in GDP and the loss of more than 185,000 jobs in the first year alone.

Our communities, our families and businesses across this state face a far more uncertain future if this kind of unnecessary regulation is enacted here. We cannot afford the real human consequences and staggering economic impact of slamming the door on the Texas’ history of openness, competitiveness, economic opportunity and innovation.

The so-called Texas Privacy Act won’t make restrooms any safer for men, women and children, and it will do far more harm to them than good. This legislation will needlessly jeopardize jobs, investment, innovation and tax revenue for our state, and it sullies our reputation as an open, inclusive and welcoming state. It is also wholly unenforceable and unsupported by any public safety evidence, and will create situations that invade the privacy of Texans from all walks of life.
Chris Wallace, President, Texas Association of Business, January 5, 2017.

     Click here to read the Dec. 21 press release

     Click here to read the Jan. 5 press release