The Event, Hosted by the Kettering Foundation, Addressed Surging Extremist Violence
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson joined national champions for the preservation of democracy in rebuking surging political violence that has harmed LGBTQ+ communities and threatens to undermine our country’s freedoms. . The event, dubbed Kettering Conversations with Democracy Innovators, dove into historical patterns of political violence, what has been learned since the January 6 MAGA attack on the US Capitol, and what is being done to prepare for future violent efforts.
In her remarks, Robinson illuminated the connection between the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and the violent threats to democracy:
“Every time I feel like in our nation’s story and our nation’s history as we get to that point where freedom becomes more evident for more of us, the violence increases. The threats in front of us try to get us to cower and to shirk away and to go back in the closet and to hide.”
She went on to highlight the work – and wins – of the Human Rights Campaign and the equality movement in the fight for a more inclusive, fairer democracy over the past four decades.
“If you think about the progress that we have made in forty years as an LGBTQ+ community, it is phenomenal. Forty years ago, you would be fired on the spot for being out at work. Forty years ago, if you contracted HIV or AIDS, that was a death sentence that took out a generation of Gay men. Forty years ago, the idea of marrying the person that you loved was a dream, let alone plan...Today, I’m proud to say that when you look across the world, there is more out and open LGBTQ+ representation than ever before.”
Robinson closed with a powerful call to action, imploring leaders from across movements to protect democracy and advance LGBTQ+ equality by “using our political power and influence… to speak out boldly and in public and to use our relationships together to transform the institution. Because I truly believe that when I talk about protecting democracy I’m actually talking about re-imagining it.”
And to people around the country, she delivered perhaps her most important appeal: “We got to humanize this fight for progress and equality."
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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