Hundreds of LGBTQ Advocates from Across the Country Storm Capitol Hill for HRC’s 2017 Lobby Day

by Nick Morrow

WASHINGTON -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, held its annual spring Lobby Day, joining hundreds of HRC members and volunteers on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and encourage support for issues critical to the LGBTQ community -- from passing the Equality Act to opposing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

“As Donald Trump continues to fill his administration with anti-LGBTQ appointees and pursue harmful, discriminatory executive orders, it is more important than ever for members of Congress -- from both parties -- to stand up for their LGBTQ constituents,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, who joined the effort on Capitol Hill.  “HRC’s Lobby Day provides a vital opportunity for our grassroots army of volunteers to make the case for pro-equality policies and legislation directly to their members of Congress. We are grateful to the nearly 300 participants who made their voices heard today, and to the lawmakers who fight for the rights of their LGBTQ constituents.”

Participants held 218 meetings with Congressional offices to discuss issues critical to the LGBTQ community, including:

  • Passing the Equality Act to ensure that everyone in America has clear and consistent non-discrimination protections on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • Opposing the First Amendment Defense Act or any “license to discriminate” legislation so taxpayer-funded discrimination is not enshrined into our laws;
  • Opposing the Trump administration’s decision to rescind guidance regarding schools’ obligations to transgender students;
  • Protecting the Affordable Care Act, which ensures protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare, particularly people living with HIV; and
  • Opposing Neil Gorsuch as the Supreme Court nominee due to his anti-LGBTQ record.

Additionally, a group of parents of transgender children from Virginia met with their representatives, expressing concerns about legislation and the current landscape facing transgender students and kids across the country who now find themselves under attack by the Trump administration. Participants in Lobby Day also expressed their concerns about Trump’s Departments of Justice and Education rescinding guidance regarding schools’ obligations to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

HRC’s Lobby Day is a critical cornerstone of the organization’s federal advocacy efforts in Washington. HRC’s staff work throughout the year to win support for pro-LGBTQ legislation, at all levels of government. This work is complemented by the HRC members and volunteers who were able to talk to and influence their representatives, both on Lobby Day and throughout the year. This critical constituent feedback can help convince members of Congress to take a powerful stance on LGBTQ issues, and advocate for their constituents.

Lobby Day is an important part of HRC’s annual Equality Convention, which brings together hundreds of  the organization’s volunteers and leaders for training, workshops and other events.

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