We ask you to join us in sponsoring the 23rd annual Fighting for the Majority. In 2018, your support helped elect our first LGBTQ women to the state Senate. Claire Wilson and Emily Randall both defeated anti-gay opponents in swing districts and helped solidify Democratic control of the state Senate. You also helped re-elect our four fabulous LGBTQ women in the state House and grow the Democratic majority by seven seats, which is now led by Speaker Laurie Jinkins, our state’s first female and openly-LGBTQ Speaker.
Those majorities continued to prioritize the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. Since the 2018 elections, the legislature passed bills to:
- prohibit a criminal defendant from using a so-called “gay panic” defense based on a victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation;
- modernize the state’s 1950s-era vital records statutes, which govern birth, death, and marriage records. The revised statute will conform to our updated Uniform Parentage Act, recognizing that families come in many configurations. It also confirms in statute the right to have a non-binary gender marker on records;
- replace the term “malicious harassment” with the better understood “hate crime” and increases the punitive damages that a victim may seek;
- require sexual education to be LGBTQ-inclusive statewide so that every young person has the information and skills to stay healthy;
- guarantee access to reproductive health services regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression for all plans regulated by the state;
- create a Washington State LGBTQ Commission and designate June of each year as LGBTQ month;
- require the state school directors’ association and the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and update a model transgender student policy to eliminate discrimination based on gender expression in public schools; and
- add a prior conviction for a hate crime to the list of factors a court must consider in determining whether to issue an extreme risk protection order.
Given the unending attacks on progress at the federal level, states have become the best places to protect and advance civil rights. We are lucky to live in a state that continues to make progress, but we cannot take that for granted.
LGBTQ people in our state continue to face challenges that the state legislature can help with. These include seniors forced back into the closet as they transition to assisted living; homeless youth who disproportionately identify as LGBTQ; trans kids who are bullied or harassed in school; and LGBTQ people and allies in the Black, indigenous, and people of color community who are fighting for racial equity and police accountability.
2020 will be a particularly important election cycle, because the choices voters make will affect the redistricting process and thus the entire decade to follow. We are well-positioned to grow our majorities in both houses, but we cannot take that for granted.
Contributing to Fighting for the Majority is the most efficient and strategic way to ensure that the Democratic majority can continue to fight for LGBTQ equality. Please join me today in sponsoring Fighting for the Majority.
Click here to contribute to FFM. Please make your sponsorship by September 30th in order to be recognized in the printed invitation for the event. We look forward to seeing you via Zoom for our 23rd annual Fighting for the Majority event on Wednesday, October 28th at 6:00pm!
Linda DiLello Morton, Michael Mattmiller, and Joan McBride
Co-Chairs, Fighting for the Majority