We list here quick actions you can take to advocate for timely issues. The action might entail calling your elected officials: in these cases, consult Contact Elected Officials for information on how contact and effectively communicate with key federal, congressional, and state officials. For more long term advocacy opportunties, consult Volunteer or contact us.
Call WA State Elected Officials to Thank for their Support
Some good news! Two bills that impact our LGBTQ community, the Uniform Parentage Act SB6037 and Restricting the Practice of Conversion Therapy SB5722, recently passed the Senate and are on the Governor desk, waiting for his signature to be made law. Note that SB5722 passed with bipartisan support—a positive sign of change. Thanks to all who made efforts on behalf of these bills.
- Call the sponsors of each bill to thank them for their efforts. If you click the bills (above), you can see the sponsors names, which link to their contact information.
- If your elected official voted in favor of these bills*, you might call to thank them as well, which is particularly impactful. Again, click on the bill (above). You can see the vote details via the ‘view roll call’ green link at the end of the summaries for each chamber on the bill summary. (If you don’t know the name of and/or contact information of your elected official, consult Contact Elected Officials.)
*In our Eastside districts (1, 5, 41, 45, 46, 48), all state senators and legislators in all these districts voted ‘yes’ for SB6037 and SB5722, with the exception of District 5. In District 5, Senator Mark Mullet (D) did support both bills, but Rep Jay Rodne (R) voted ‘no’ on both and Rep Paul Graves (R) voted ‘yes’ on the conversion restrictions but ‘no’ on the parentage act.
Help Defeat the Anti-Trans Proposition in Anchorage, Alaska
On April 3rd, the ballot for Anchorage, Alaska’s municipal election will include Proposition 1. If passed, this measure would regulate bathrooms, locker-rooms and other spaces on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity and thereby amend a 2015 law passed by the Anchorage Assembly barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public facilities. Even if we don’t live in Alaska, we can still work to defeat this proposition.
- Participate with the Stand by Anchorage Phone Bank, which is hosted by Equal Rights Washington, which takes place each Wednesday of March at 7pm at the UFCW 21 in Seattle. For complete details, see the Event pages on top of their Facebook wall.
Oppose the Military Ban on Transgender People
In response to the current ban on transgender military troops, PFLAG National released this statement: “In today’s military, there are brave transgender people serving our country openly and proudly with 134,000 retired veterans having done so with honor and sacrifice. The Commander-in-Chief demeans them with his latest tweetstorm proclamations. PFLAG stands proudly with them, their families and future transgender individuals who would put their lives at risk for all of us and our country. We urge everyone to call their federal elected officials and protest this dishonorable and offensive action.”
Although the ban was issued, it currently is on hold at this time due to multiple federal court rulings. The Pentagon confirmed at the end of February 2018 that one transgender soldier has signed on since the Jan. 1 date for transgender people to enlist.
- Use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter to oppose the ban and ask your network of family and friends to do the same. In particular, you might share this powerful new ad campaign entitled “Patriots” and produced by the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, the American Military Partner Association, and Gender Justice League.
- Write a letter to the editor opposing the ban. (Here are some guidelines.)
- Sign the ACLU petition against the ban.
Speak up for persecuted gay and bi men in Chechnya
In August of 2017, news outlets reported that Chechen police had detained, beaten and tortured at least 100 gay men. These policies toward LGBTQ people continue under Chechnya’s current leadership. Last April UN Ambassador Nikki Haley UN released a statement that this violation of human rights cannot be ignored, with no follow up statements to date. On October 31, 2017, the US Congress unanimously condemned anti-LGBTQ violence in Chechnya.
- Contribute to groups that are working on behalf of this issue. In particular, these groups have all taken effective and powerful steps.
- Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.
- ILGA-Europe (European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) is an international non-governmental umbrella organization bringing together 490 organizations from 45European countries.
- Rainbow Railroad focus efforts on assisting LGBT people who have faced physical violence or face an imminent threat of violence, imprisonment, or death. According to their executive director Kimahli Powell, after receiving initial reports of the persecution of gay and bi men in Chechnya, Rainbow Railroad immediately re-classified Eastern Europe as a priority region: “This means we’re expanding our on-the-ground contacts as well as increasing our capacity to identify and assess new or alternative safe routes out of Chechnya.”
- Russian LGBT Network is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. They unite and develop regional initiatives, advocacy groups (at both national and international levels), and provide social and legal service.
- Contact the Human Rights Campaign to let them know you support their #EyesOnChechyna campaign and that you want this issue to be a top priority. You can also follow the #EyesonChechyna campaign for up-to-date information.