We ask you to join us in sponsoring the 24th annual Fighting for the Majority. We are preparing for a challenging election cycle in 2022, when we will be defending our majorities in both the House and Senate and the first LGBTQ women members in the state Senate: Claire Wilson and Emily Randall. We’ll also be protecting the majority of our state’s first female and openly-LGBTQ Speaker, the fabulous Laurie Jinkins.
Democratic majorities have continued to prioritize the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. In the 2021 session, the legislature enacted protections for gender-affirming medical treatment and major police accountability reforms. This continues our work over the last three years for the LGBTQ community, including new laws 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.
By contrast with the dozens of state legislatures that have attacked transgender people in the last year, our legislature is working hard to protect all people. 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.
We know from history that the first midterm elections with Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic president are very difficult. Members will be running in newly drawn districts and at a time when many people are frustrated. 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 28th in order to be recognized in the printed invitation for the event. We look forward to seeing you at our 24th annual Fighting for the Majority event on Tuesday, October 26th at 5:30 pm!
Linda DiLello Morton and Michael Mattmiller, Co-Chairs, Fighting for the Majority