EV offers easy way to convey disgust over anti-LGBTQ bills this GA session (DO IT NOW!)
In the words of Howard Beale from the 1976 classic Network, “… Get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”
Alright, maybe you don’t have to go that far, but if you’re as frustrated with the 2016 General Assembly’s gaggle of proposed anti-LGBTQ bills, you should at least take a few simple steps to reach out to your local elected official and let them know you’re not okay with it. And that process just got a lot easier with a new online service from Equality Virginia.
By simply entering your zip code and street address, you can let the people representing you know that you care about the damage some legislators are proposing – pretty easy right? No window screaming required.
For the uninformed, the damage this year includes refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, discrimination against gay and lesbian couples based on their marriage under the guise of religious freedom, stigmatizing trans children in schools, narrowly defining sex and gender to exclude trans and gay people from discrimination laws, preventing transgender people from accessing documents they need, and removing protections already in place for LGBT teachers.
“The delegates introducing these horrible bills really need to know that Virginians are paying attention and are saying, ‘we do not like this,’’ said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia.
Though Gov. McAuliffe said that he would veto bills that target same sex marriages disguised as religious freedom, Parrish said the LGBTQ community and should not depend on the governor’s promise.
“One of the worst habits our community could get into right now is to think we don’t have to do anything because the governor is going to do everything for us,” Parrish said.“These senators need to get an earful, up front, so the bills won’t even survive to McAuliffe’s desk and so lawmakers feel like they can’t reintroduce them when we have a different governor.”
It doesn’t help that Virginia governors can only serve one term in office, and with a Republican in office in less than three years, things could be very different for the Commonwealth’s LGBTQ population.
By emailing your representatives through this system, you not only increase awareness of these bills, you also contribute to geographic data for EV.
“It’s an easy way for people to take action and let their voices be heard but we actually see the number of actions each delegate and senator receives.” Parrish said.
Meaning they can see how many messages have been sent to each legislator as well as which areas are most active in their message sending. This also allows EV to know which areas are lacking support.
“If a certain senator in a committee isn’t getting enough emails, we can see that and go, ‘oh we need to send out an extra email or a phone tree to supporters in that area,’ Parrish said. “Because that senator’s vote is crucial and they aren’t hearing from our community.”
Though Parrish emphasized the need for the LGBTQ community to take action, he also said that it is important for allies to contribute to the fight as well.
“Allies already think we [LBGTQ community] are protected, and many are shocked when they learn that we are not.” Parrish said.
As for all the negative bills targeting the LBGTQ community, you can use EV’s mail tool here to let your Delegates and Senators know that you are paying attention and that you care.
“As much immediate opposition to these bills as we can create will not only kill the bills this year but it makes it less likely to be reintroduced in upcoming years,” Parrish said.
“… we need to protect our police but we certainly need to protect people who are unarmed and are extremely threatened and more likely to be attacked.”October 24, 2016
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