The 2017 legislative session was dominated by the “bathroom bill” debate. Do you believe the state should require people to use the bathroom designated for the biological sex listed on their birth certificate?
One positive outcome of this issue has been a unification of interests across multiple political factions. In addition, I have seen many members of the LGBTQ community putting themselves forward for public service, from this Governor’s race on down the ballot. The lower offices are of particular importance because these candidates are actively engaged in block walking and presenting themselves at candidate meet & greets and forums. As these stellar candidates come forward and introduce themselves, their spouses, and children, they help with every knock to break down barriers in our diverse communities. I don’t think these actions can be overstated in the role they play in further socializing our LGBTQ brothers and sisters into our communities. For people of my generation, I don’t think we see divisions along LGBTQ lines. Most of us have close friends or have had colleagues who are LGBTQ, so we don’t see this community as being separate from our own. Having said this, I think we cannot underscore enough the fact that generational and other cultural divides still exist. So, it is important for us to keep working toward building connections. Nowhere is this more important than when we need to protect the rights of our citizens against a small vocal minority. I can respect beliefs, but I cannot respect beliefs that rise to the level of taking policy actions that infringe on the rights of fellow citizens.
Needless to say, I do not support discriminatory bathroom legislation, I hope the state has learned its lesson, and I stand ready to keep fighting to protect LGBTQ rights.