Wednesday, January 6, 2016

PFLAG National statement on marriage order from Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore



PFLAG National has issued the following statement from Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Kohm, regarding Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's order to continue that state’s ban on same-sex marriage:

“In June 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling on the freedom to marry. Six months later, in his State of the Judiciary report, Chief Justice Roberts stated that the courts '...should not miss the opportunity to help ensure that federal court litigation does not degenerate into wasteful clashes over matters that have little to do with achieving a just result.' It is clear Chief Justice Moore missed both memos.”

Monday, December 21, 2015

FDA Final Rule on Blood Donation Deferral Policy


PFLAG National Statement on FDA Final Rule on Blood Donation Deferral Policy regarding Gay and Bisexual Men and Transgender People (issued on Dec. 21, 2015)

The FDA final rule is long overdue to remove the lifetime ban for MSM and transgender people but leaves intact a flawed concept that remains a vehicle for discrimination and stereotyping. A blanket ineligibility policy if someone has had MSM sex within the year regardless of their individual risk assessment is replacing an outdated ban with a stigmatizing celibacy test.  PFLAG fully supports the goal of having the highest quality blood supply and that our policies should be based on science -based practices but is disappointed that individual risk assessment as the policy construct was examined but did not shape the final rule. We believe that evidence-based decisions must be applied universally to be fair and that a health history review that measures individual risk should be the gateway for eligibility to contribute to our nation’s blood supply.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Kohm, Interim Executive Director, PFLAG National | bkohm@pflag.org (202) 467-8180 
Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally organization. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has more than 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit pflag.org.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An announcement...with gratitude

Dear PFLAG Members and Supporters:

After more than a decade leading PFLAG National in its efforts to bring about full societal affirmation and equality to people who are LGBTQ, I wanted to share that, on Monday, December 20, 2015, I will begin a three-month sabbatical from the organization. During my time away, my second in command--our excellent Deputy Executive Director, Beth Kohm--will take the leadership reins as Interim Executive Director. She and the staff are already hard at work preparing for what promises to be an exciting and busy time for PFLAG.

As you may know, sabbaticals have been a long-time standard practice in academia, and are now increasing in popularity and practice in the nonprofit sector, including in many national organizations focused on LGBTQ equality. The benefits of these programs have the potential to extend not only to the executive taking the sabbatical, but also across the organization. Sabbaticals provide an opportunity for staff to take on different roles and responsibilities beyond the scope of their usual work, allowing for further creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. They also offer an opportunity for board members to gain new insights into the organization as they engage with staff in their temporarily expanded roles. 

I am very grateful for the opportunities this sabbatical will provide me, and will spend my time engaged in professional and personal development activities in a variety of areas that will not only benefit me in my continued growth as a leader, but will also serve to strengthen PFLAG National as a whole. 

I am grateful to the many people who are making this sabbatical possible: To our national Board of Directors, under the leadership of president Jean Hodges, who support me in this endeavor; to the small-but-mighty staff of PFLAG National; to the members of the Regional Directors’ Council who exemplify the best of what volunteer leaders are; and finally, to all of you who make PFLAG what it is. Each day and in every way, you make me proud to be a part of this extraordinary organization.

With gratitude,


Jody

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby on Obama Administration Endorsement of The Equality Act


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2015
Contact: Liz Owen, Director of Communications, PFLAG National | lowen@pflag.org | (202) 657-4026  

PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby on
Obama Administration Endorsement of The Equality Act
WASHINGTON, DC—PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby reacted to today’s endorsement of the Equality Act by the Obama Administration:

Each day that goes by without the nondiscrimination protections the Equality Act would afford, our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children and loved ones are at risk of being denied access to public education and federally funded programs, and of losing their homes and their jobs. PFLAG’s values are America’s values and that means full protection from discrimination for all people, including those who are LGBTQ, women, and people of color.  We thank the Obama Administration for its endorsement of the Equality Act; PFLAG--with its hundreds of chapters and thousands of members across the country--is committed to working toward its passage in partnership with Congress and all who believe in the value of fairness.

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Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally organization. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has more than 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit pflag.org.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

PFLAG National statement on Houston Prop 1 vote

PFLAG National has just issued the following statement from Executive Director Jody Huckaby, in response to today's result on Houston's Prop 1:

“We are disappointed with today's result on Prop 1 and heartbroken that so many good and decent Houstonians were misled by false information and fear mongering. PFLAG is committed to continuing to educate people about the LGBTQ community so that we can undo the harm that has been done, both by the harmful, hurtful, and false messages that were circulated about our family members, friends, and loved ones in advance of this vote, and the outcome of the vote itself.”

Friday, October 16, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: PFLAG TO CELEBRATE POSITIVE CHANGE ON LGBTQ EQUALITY LANDSCAPE, PREPARE TO PUSH FOR MORE CHANGE TO COME AT 2015 NATIONAL CONVENTION

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2015
Liz Owen | lowen@pflag.org | (323) 404 - 3185

PFLAG TO CELEBRATE POSITIVE CHANGE ON LGBTQ EQUALITY LANDSCAPE, PREPARE TO PUSH FOR MORE CHANGE TO COME AT 2015 NATIONAL CONVENTION

Families, Friends, and Allies Gather in Nashville, TN for Education, Support, and Celebration
NASHVILLE, TN—PFLAG National—the nation's largest organization of families, friends, and allies united with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)—holds its 2015 National Convention, We Are The Change, October 16-18 at the Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel. The three-day gathering, which includes a day of giving back through local volunteer projects, is a highlight for PFLAG leaders from across the country, hundreds of whom will come together to take advantage of opportunities for networking, learning, celebrating, and sharing their stories, all focused on being leading changemakers for LGBTQ equality in their own communities.
This year’s conference theme—We Are The Change—signifies the changes that occurred on the equality landscape in the two years since the previous National Convention, the crucial role that PFLAG’s unique family and ally voice played in affecting that change, and how that change-making work must continue in order to achieve full equality for people who are LGBTQ. This is the first time in a decade that the biennial national convention will be held outside of Washington, D.C., in support of the strong and years-long presence--and actively growing membership--of PFLAG chapters in the South.
First, PFLAG leaders, members, and supporters from across the country will put their volunteer skills to good use on Friday, October 16th with PFLAG Gives Back, a day of local volunteerism with The Pet Community Center; Launchpad (a community for homeless youth), and The Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Each project will give PFLAGers an opportunity to give back to Nashville, the convention host city.
After PFLAG Gives Back, PFLAGers will receive the message of the changemaking work still needed courtesy of opening keynote speaker Michelangelo Signorile, a journalist, commentator and author of several books, including the groundbreaking bestseller, Queer in America, and his latest, published this past April, titled It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia and Winning True Equality.  He is the host of the SiriusXM radio show "The Michelangelo Signorile Show" and an editor-at-large of Huffington Post Gay Voices.
Next, a panel of leaders from a variety of faith traditions will take an in-depth look at the intersection of faith and equality, an intersection that is often at the heart of the work that PFLAG chapters engage in, especially in the south, where PFLAGers are often called to meet people where they are, and to be willing to engage in difficult conversations in order to educate other while on their journey of understanding and affirmation. The panel will be moderated by Justin Lee, founder and executive of The Gay Christian Network, and will include Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell and Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, both from Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Managing Director of Programs at the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Mark E. Fowler, Rev. Stan Mitchell, senior pastor of GracePointe Church, and conference partner Eshel’s Reuven Moshe Grant.
In addition to the panels and speeches, over 50 learning sessions will be offered covering a wide variety of topics including safe schools work, working in faith communities, intersectionality with other communities, HIV/AIDS, ally skills, and numerous sessions on working with people who are transgender or gender-expansive and their families.
This year’s convention will also celebrate the work of PFLAGers--and non-PFLAGers--at an awards luncheon to be held on Sunday, October 18th. The luncheon will include the presentation of The Betty DeGeneres Advocate Award to Esther Jenner Avry, mother of Caitlyn Jenner. Ms. DeGeneres, a long-time PFLAG supporter—and PFLAG mom herself—will present the award to Avry’s daughter Pam Mettler, accepting on Avry’s behalf. Also to be celebrated will be Flag Bearer award honoree Lori Duron, author of the award-winning book Raising My Rainbow, based on the popular blog about raising her gender-creative son, C.J., and chapter leader June Horner from PFLAG Columbia-Howard County, who will be honored with the Starr Award, named for Adele Starr, the first president of PFLAG National.  PFLAG chapters will also be recognized with awards to honor demonstrated leadership in PFLAG’s three-pronged mission: Support (tie: PFLAG Columbia-Howard County/PFLAG Portland); Education (PFLAG St. Charles, MO); and Advocacy (PFLAG Indianapolis).
“The national convention is always an inspirational and productive time,” said PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby. “And this year promises to be better than ever, with PFLAGers motivated by this summer’s win on marriage equality to keep the momentum going. This is a critical time, when we must meet backlash with education and understanding, sharing stories of our families as only PFLAGers can do. We’ve been doing this work for over 43 years now, and no one knows better what is at stake: the dignity, health, and wellbeing of every member of our extended LGBTQ family.”
Learn more about the 2015 PFLAG National Convention: We Are The Change on the official website at pflag.org/2015convention. You can also follow the convention live throughout the weekend via the hashtag #WeAreTheChange.
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Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally organization. Made up of families, friends, and allies uniting with LGBTQ people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and celebrating diversity through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. Now in its 43rd year, PFLAG has more than 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in nearly all 50 states. To learn more, please visit pflag.org.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

PRESS STATEMENT: Jody Huckaby on SAMHSA Report on Danger of So-Called "Reparative Therapy"

PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby has issued the following statement regarding the important new report, released this morning by SAMHSA, on the harms of so-called "reparative therapy:


"PFLAG's concern for LGBTQ youth is at the heart of our collective efforts in providing support to families and education in our communities. PFLAG National applauds the Administration's bold leadership in releasing the report Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth. Thanks to this leadership we now have even further scientific research that supports our long-held position, for which we have persistently advocated: This harmful practice must be banned."