PFLAG Action Alert on ENDA

Sharing the following from PFLAG National:

Dear PFLAGers,

Please Call or Email Your U.S. Representative to bring ENDA to the House Floor for a vote

Contact your U.S. Representative to tell them to vote YES on ENDA when it comes up for a vote, to cosponsor if they have not and to thank them if they are already a co-sponsor of this important bill for workplace equality. Take action on ENDA today by clicking here.

Your PFLAG message: “As your constituent and as a member of PFLAG I’m asking you to cosponsor and help bring ENDA to the House floor for a vote. PFLAG values are American values, and workplace discrimination is not a family value.  If you have already cosponsored ENDA, I thank you for supporting workplace equality for LGBT people and their families.”

Please review this critical September 2013 report that bolsters the need for a fully inclusive ENDA

PFLAG National is committed to ensuring that ENDA stays inclusive, as drafted, providing for non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity as well as sexual orientation.  Please check out this very important resource for reference in case there is push back as ENDA moves forward in the House:

A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers, co-authored by The Movement Advancement Project (MAP), The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), The Center for American Progress (CAP), and The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in partnership with Freedom to Work, The Task Force, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates (Out&Equal) and SEIU. This report reveals staggering statistics about how unemployment and poverty disproportionately affect transgender workers in the American workforce.

A small sample of the findings is:

  • Transgender workers report unemployment at twice the rate of the population as a whole (14% vs. 7% at the time the workers were surveyed).

  • More than four in 10 transgender people (44%) who are currently working are underemployed.

  • Transgender workers are nearly four times more likely than the population as a whole to have a household income of under $10,000 (15% vs. 4% at the time the workers were surveyed).

These findings exist despite CAP polling showing that 73% of voters support protecting transgender people from discrimination in employment.  Passing an inclusive ENDA matters.



Sharing: Virginia Anti-Violence Project and Minority Health Consortium condemn the brutal murder of Richmond, VA transgender woman

We are sharing the following press release, sent to us by our friends at Virginia Anti-Violence Project and Minority Health Consortium.

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, our hearts are saddened by this loss and all losses due to transphobic violence, and our determination to work even harder towards support, education, and advocacy on behalf of our loved ones and friends is renewed.

Virginia Anti-Violence Project and Minority Health Consortium condemn the brutal murder of Richmond, VA transgender woman
Agencies urge community solidarity

November 19, 2013, Richmond VA

For Immediate Release:

The Virginia Anti-Violence Project and Minority Health Consortium condemn the murder of Amari Hill, a transgender woman in Richmond, Virginia that occurred on November 9.

Juan Pierce, Executive Director of the Minority Health Consortium stated, “Our community has lost another ‘gem of brilliance’ to senseless violence and backward behavior. We encourage the community to support efforts to end this violence.” Ted Heck, President of the Board of Virginia Anti-Violence Project, stated, “This is a terrible tragedy to lose a loved member of the community in such a violent manner. We stand in solidarity with the family and the community in the face of this crime.”

In response to this attack, Minority Health Consortium (MHC) and the Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP) offer support to transgender and other community members and organizations to assist in processing this violence and responding in a constructive manner. Support to victims and survivors of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) violence, including those experiencing fear and distress resulting from this and other hate-motivated violence is the mission of VAVP, along with work to prevent all violence against and within LGBTQ individuals, families, and communities. From Monica Behney, Board member for VAVP, “As members of the LGBTQ community and people of compassion, we must reach out to each other in our grief and outrage at this loss. Moving forward together to educate and advocate to prevent violence may be the best way to remember and honor this beautiful life.”

The Minority Health Consortium works with the LGBTQ community and all citizens to address the stigma and social determinants of health that impact the communities we serve through providing education, outreach and drop-in center activities that include a safe space to explore and discuss issues that impact minorities and youth. The MHC website can be found at

The Virginia Anti-Violence Project works to address and end violence, with a specific focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities across Virginia. VAVP is an organization active since 2006, and currently offers services for survivors of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking, including a free and confidential helpline for LGBTQ people in Virginia. The Helpline number is 866-356-6998. VAVP also has resources to support training and consultation with agencies, community groups, congregations, and other interested organizations. The VAVP website can be found at

For inquiry, please contact:

Ted Heck, VAVP Board President
(804) 726-1056

Juan Pierce, MHC Executive Director
(804) 641-1555

Please Call or Email your Representative about ENDA for Workplace Equality

PFLAG Action Alert:

Contact your U.S. Representatives today and tell them to urge House Speaker John Boehner to bring ENDA to the House Floor for a vote; also ask your Representative to vote YES on ENDA when it comes up for a vote, and thank them if they are already a co-sponsor of this important bill for workplace fairness, which passed the Senate November 7th with a bipartisan vote of 64-32.

This bipartisan, bicameral bill promotes workplace fairness, and prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Your PFLAG message: “As your constituent and as a member of PFLAG (name of your chapter), I’m asking you to urge Speaker Boehner to bring ENDA to the House Floor for a vote, and I urge you to vote YES when ENDA does come to the House floor for a vote. PFLAG’s values are America’s values, and discrimination is not one of America’s values.”

More information about this House bill can be found here.

Harrisonburg Group: New Meeting Location!

Blue Ridge Hall

PFLAG Blue Ridge’s Harrisonburg group will be meeting in a new location beginning this Thursday, November 7th.

The new location is on the JMU Campus in Blue Ridge Hall, Room 309. Blue Ridge Hall is located at 601 University Avenue in Harrisonburg.

Our meeting time remains the same, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., and coincides with the Shenandoah Valley YES! Alliance youth group meetings which take place down the hall in room 326.

Those interested are welcome to contact facilitator Mark with any questions!

Thursday October 24 is PFLAG National Lobby Day!

The following information is courtesy of PFLAG National. PFLAG Blue Ridge encourages all members and supporters to participate in PFLAG National Lobby Day.

Dear PFLAG Members and Supporters:

No matter where you are this Thursday, October 24th, it’s PFLAG NATIONAL LOBBY DAY! 

If you participated in the PFLAG Academy Online Bringing the Message Home webinars then you know that this year we have designated next Thursday, October 24th, as PFLAG Lobby Day, whether you are in Washington D.C. or back home. No voices are more important to legislators than yours, you who live where they live and vote where they serve.

Some PFLAGers will be here and others are writing letters for their chapter members to hand deliver, but we need all of you to call and send emails to add your voices to PFLAG Lobby Day. Some legislators will be home depending on their schedule of hearings so you might be able to meet with them in person in their district offices.

PFLAG’s values are America’s values. We believe that people should live by the Golden Rule, treating others, including our LGBT families, as all people wish to be treated.  It’s time to let our legislators know that we represent our families–and our entire PFLAG community–for fairness, equality, and affirmation.

The steps are simple:

  1. Know Your Elected Officials. Click here to find your Senators and Representative on PFLAG’s Take Action page.

  2. Contact Your Elected Officials. Identify yourself as a constituent, share your story and tell them PFLAG’s values are America’s Values–that’s the message that we urge PFLAGers across the country to make clear to federal elected officials.

  3. Urge Your Elected Officials to Support and Vote. Ask them to please co-sponsor our bills if they haven’t already, and to bring them to a vote if they already support them.

  4. Share Our Legislative Priorities. Click here to download PFLAG National’s Legislative Priorities, which can be emailed or printed and left in person.

  1. Let us know how it goes. Email and tell us about your call or meeting, what any comments were and if they asked for any further information.

Thank you for continuing to be bold, and we’ll look forward to a sea of messages from PFLAGers.

Diego Sanchez, Director of Policy
PFLAG National