Friday, July 1, 2011

BTMH 2011: A Summer Reading List Must!

Hot off the presses, and just in time for the Fourth of July, PFLAG National proudly presents our 2011 lobbying guide, Bringing the Message Home. For almost a decade, this resource has empowered our members, along with their families and friends, to meet with countless lawmakers and their staff, compelling lawmakers to pass critical legislation like the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act along with the legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

As parents, families, friends and allies of America's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens, our members know firsthand the impact that discriminatory laws have on our loved ones and ourselves. Clearly, no voice is more powerful -- or persuasive -- than that of a PFLAG member. Our stories of the pain this prejudice inflicts upon our families are enormously important in moving fair legislation forward and in opposing anti-LGBT bills and resolutions in Congress.

Now, with the release of our 2011 guide, we have included key pieces of federal legislation that we hope the 112th Congress will support and advance. The guide is designed to empower and encourage our members to begin or continue meeting with federal lawmakers about important issues impacting our LGBT loved ones. It features issue briefs, talking points, information to help you set up a lobby visit, and techniques for gaining the support of your Congress Members.

While the current House of Representatives poses a significant obstacle for pro-LGBT legislation to advance, we view this Congress as an important opportunity to continue education efforts vital to the ultimate passage of legislation like the Safe Schools Improvement Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, among the many other critical bills necessary to extend full equality to our LGBT loved ones and ourselves. In fact, there are over 100 new Members of Congress who need education about LGBT lives and the lack of basic civil rights.

It is critically important that our members, along with others concerned about LGBT equality, let lawmakers and the President know where we stand on important legislative and administrative priorities for LGBT communities across the country.

Remember: it is up to each of us to bring the message home that discrimination, prejudice and second-class citizenship must end, and that full civil rights must be extended to our family and friends without delay. To that end please take action today by downloading a copy of Bringing the Message Home. Research the issues, then schedule a lobby visit with your legislators. Please don't pass up an opportunity to let key decision-makers know how they can help make your families stronger by moving equality forward!

Thank you for Bringing the Message Home!