WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 6, 2018: The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund succeeded in both ballot initiatives it campaigned for: protecting transgender rights in Massachusetts and expanding voter rights in Florida. The results of the election tonight are a rebuke of Donald Trump’s sexist, anti-LGBTQ, and racist agenda. The American people have spoken resoundingly that hate’s too late and no one is going back in the closet.
The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund calls upon the new leaders of the House of Representatives to hold Donald Trump accountable for his lies and corruption. Furthermore, if these newly elected leaders are to maintain their control of the House, they must do everything within their power to halt the Trump administration’s destructive agenda.
The Task Force Action Fund is proud to see the voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts support transgender and non binary rights and pass Question 3.
Rea Carey, the Task Force Action Fund’s executive director, was overjoyed by the results in Massachusetts and stated: “Today the people of Massachusetts voted to uphold the rights of their transgender neighbors to be free from discrimination and told the forces of hate they are too late, no one is going back in the closet. While groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom used this ballot initiative to push ugly myths against transgender people, progressive activists did not push lies or spin. We succeeded by simply telling the stories of everyday people that would have been impacted had this anti-discrimination law been repealed.”
Carey added that, “When given the option to stand with their neighbors or follow the path of bigotry, Massachusetts sent a message loud and clear — love trumps hate.”
Naomi Washington Leapheart, the Task Force Action Fund faith director said, “Massachusetts voters took advantage of an opportunity to commit to what is right. As a minister, I am especially proud of Massachusetts people of faith, who used their vote to proclaim that one anti-trans religious viewpoint does not fit all.”
The Task Force Action Fund sent nearly a dozen staff to support the efforts of the campaign to support transgender and non binary people’s rights as a part of our Queer The Vote campaign. Victoria Kirby York, the Task Force Action Fund’s deputy director of advocacy and action explained that, “This campaign has trained a fresh generation of queer, trans, non binary people of color who will better our movement for decades to come.”
These results are a major setback for ADF and its allies that have been using falsehoods to push anti-transgender ballot initiatives around the country and anti-transgender and non binary policies within the Trump administration. “Yet the fight isn’t over, we must come together and push back against the federal government’s attempt to erase transgender people,” said Kirby York. “The Trump White House must be checked.”
The Task Force Action Fund was also happy to see the voters of Florida support Amendment 4. Stacey Long Simmons, the Task Force Action Fund’s director of the advocacy and action called the victory on Amendment 4 in Florida, “A huge win for democracy.” Simmons went on to say that, “Florida voters have re-enfranchised 1.4 million people with the passage of Amendment 4. Now those that have served their time will have a pathway to be a voter again. This includes the over 40 percent of incarcerated women who identify as part of the queer spectrum.”
Simmons also stated that, “Black issues are LGBTQ issues, which is why our staff canvassed in predominantly Black residential neighborhoods.” In Florida, 21 percent of Black people have had their right to vote revoked by the state government. And overall 39 percent of LGBTQ individuals in the United States identify as people of color.
It is also important to note that LGBTQ individuals are incarcerated at higher rates and often serve longer sentences than non-LGBTQ people. Shockingly, lesbian and bisexual women make up over 42 percent of the overall women’s national prison population. In comparison, only 3 percent of the general national population identify as queer women.
Victoria Kirby York added that in Florida, “This initiative heavily impacts queer women who are 42 percent of the women incarcerated in this country even though they are less than 5 percent of the population. Criminal Justice is LGBTQ justice.”
The Task Force Action Fund supported both ballot initiatives providing organizers on the ground. In total Task Force Action Fund organizers reached out to over 10,000 voters in Florida and Massachusetts.
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