Making It Better for All Virginians: An LGBTQ Political Update and Call for Action
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Making It Better for All Virginians: An LGBTQ Political Update and Call for Action

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I gave this presentation at the “Making It Better” symposium at Washington & Lee University on April 28, 2011. Visit www.equalityvirginia.org to learn more and to stay up to date.

I gave this presentation at the “Making It Better” symposium at Washington & Lee University on April 28, 2011. Visit www.equalityvirginia.org to learn more and to stay up to date.

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Making It Better for All Virginians: An LGBTQ Political Update and Call for Action Making It Better for All Virginians: An LGBTQ Political Update and Call for Action Presentation Transcript

  • MAKING IT BETTER FOR An LGBTQ Political ALL VIRGINIANS Update and Call for Action APRIL 28, 2012 MICHAEL SUTPHIN
  • INTRODUCTIONPresident, LGBTA of Virginia Tech (2005)Organized “Give a Damn” campaign to improve campus climate (2005-2006)Co-chair, LGBT Faculty/Staff Caucus at Virginia Tech (2010-2012)Board of directors, Equality Virginia (2010- present)Elected to Blacksburg Town Council in 2011
  • HISTORY OF LGBTQRIGHTS IN VIRGINIA
  • HISTORYSupported a lawsuit that overturned legislation threatening to revoke liquor licenses from establishments “employing or catering to homosexuals” (1991)Defeated legislation that would have reinstated Virginia’s “Family Rule,” which kept our families from qualifying for low - income loans through the Virginia Housing Development Authority (2002)
  • HISTORYLed the passage of the Small Business Insurance Parity Act, which allows all Virginia businesses to offer domestic partner health care insurance benefits (2005)Defeated legislation to ban gay adoption and then helped unseat an anti-gay legislator who sponsored the bill (2005)
  • HISTORYLost the battle over the Marshall- Newman Amendment despite winning over 1 million votes in Virginia (2006)Led the fight to defeat legislation banning gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in middle and high schools (2005, 2006, and 2007)
  • HISTORYHelped pass legislation guaranteeing all Virginians the right to decide who they want to visit them in the hospital three years before President Obama’s executive order (2007)Helped pass legislation to set up Advanced Health Care Directives so that doctors can know who is authorized to make medical decisions for loved ones in time of need (2008)
  • HISTORYLed the passage of the Small Business Insurance Parity Act II, which allows all Virginia businesses to offer domestic partner group life insurance benefits (2010)Succeeded in passing inclusive legislation in the Virginia Senate, but not the House, which would have banned discrimination against LGBTQ public employees (2010)
  • RECENT EVENTS IN THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY
  • RECENT EVENTSIn April 2011, the State Board of Social Services struck down language from proposed adoption and foster care regulations that would have barred discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • RECENT EVENTSLater that summer, the State Board of Juvenile Justice voted unanimously to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.Attorney General counseled the board not to take such an action.On its second vote, the State Board of Juvenile Justice again upheld protections for LGBTQ youth
  • RECENT EVENTSGeneral Assembly passed the so-called “conscious clause” bills in 2012.These bills enable state-licensed child placement agencies to discriminate against prospective parents and youth based on sexual orientation, if conflicts with their religious belief.Governor signed bills into law two weeks ago.
  • A national perspective:Most Americans support BEYOND marriage equality, now THE OLD DOMINION legal in six states and D.C.Hate Crimes Prevention ActNo more ban on people with HIV/AIDS from entering U.S.Gender on passports“It Gets Better” movementRepeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”
  • YES, THIS HAPPENED IN VIRGINIA © Brian Clark | The Virginian-Pilot
  • MORE WORKNEEDS TO BE DONE
  • ENDING DISCRIMINATIONWorkplace nondiscrimination bills that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public employmentLegislation to allow the state government to offer expanded benefits to LGBTQ employees and local governments to set their own personnel and health benefits policies
  • PROTECTING OUR FAMILIESBlocking efforts to restrict LGBTQ prospective parents from adopting or fostering children and protecting LGBTQ youth in the systemRepealing the Marshall-Newman Amendment and bringing about full marriage equality (long-term goal with current political climate)
  • BUILDING SAFE COMMUNITIESBringing a model school bullying policy, with enumerated protections, to local communities throughout VirginiaAssisting gay-straight alliances and opposing efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ youthSupporting protections on college campuses
  • WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
  • LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACYRegister to voteVoteSign up for Equality Virginia’s updatesContact your representatives about important legislationParticipate in EV’s Lobby DayHelp out pro-equality candidatesBonus round: Run for public office
  • Grassroots organizing:“…collective action bycommunity members FIGHTINGdrawing on the strength of “THE MAN”numbers, participatoryprocesses, and indigenousleadership to decreasepower disparities andachieve shared goals forsocial change.”—Lee Staples,Roots to Power: A Manual forGrassroots Organizing
  • GRASSROOTS ORGANIZINGPetitionsCanvassingInformation booths and visibilityLetter-writing, phone-calling, and email campaignsStudent government resolutionsSocial media and viral marketingDemonstrations, protests, and rallies
  • QUESTIONS?