The PFLAG National office will be closed on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th. As such, there will be no Policy Matters email next week. From all of us at PFLAG National, we are grateful for your time and commitment to our shared mission and vision.
Self-care note: While some of the following stories celebrate and affirm LGBTQ+ people, many cover legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans and nonbinary youth. Please be kind to yourself and use your discretion while reading this section.
Advisory: State news is representative but not exhaustive due to space constraints; feel free to forward news about your state to firstname.lastname@example.org to consider for inclusion.
California - Nine veterans inducted into LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor. The wall is located inside the San Diego LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest and honors veterans who served in all branches of the military before, during and after “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Pennsylvania - Rue Landau elected as first ever openly LGBTQ+ member of Philadelphia City Council. Landau, who is a lesbian, said, “Without a doubt, I am the first and I absolutely will not be the last,” at her victory celebration.
Tennessee - Murfreesboro City Council discusses removing all LGBTQ+-related material from public library. City councilors are citing a June ordinance banning “indecent behavior” and “indecent materials'' to justify removing LGBTQ+ books from the shelves. “Indecent” is defined in the city code as “sexual conduct” including “homosexuality;” the city previously tried to use the ordinance to ban a Pride celebration but a federal judge ruled that “BoroPride” must be allowed to proceed, which it did on October 28th.
Texas - Sherman High School reverses course - allows trans student to keep role in school musical. On November 13th, The Sherman school board directed Sherman High School leadership to allow the production of "Oklahoma!" to proceed as planned before the school principal stripped trans student Max Hightower of his role. The board also insisted the original script — and not a "youth" version — be used, ensuring Hightower will have a solo.
More women join lawsuit challenging state’s abortion ban. Seven women joined the ongoing lawsuit on November 14th, bringing the total number of plaintiffs in the case to 22 in the case to be heard by the Texas Supreme Court on November 28th; all plaintiffs argue the State of Texas denied them abortion care during their medically complex pregnancies, including several women whose fetuses would not survive after birth.
Kelly Clarkson Show features PFLAG dad, Jeff Walker, and daughter, Harleigh, for a PFLAG-inspired episode centering the stories of transgender people. The PFLAG-inspired episode, which aired on November 15th, had Jeff and Harleigh Walker of PFLAG Auburn (Ala.) as guests, along with Laverne Cox, Trace Lysette, and Patricia Clarkson. If you missed it yesterday, watch #LoveTakeActionin selected clips from the episode.
Marlon Wayans discusses trans child on “The Breakfast Club” radio show. The actor and comedian said that while the early stages of his child’s transition was “very painful,” he is proud of his trans son and loves him unconditionally.
Pink to give away 2,000 banned books during Florida concerts. The pop singer is partnering with PEN America to give fans who attend the Miami and Sunrise, Florida, stops of the singer-songwriter’s “Trustfall Tour” a copy of some of the books that have appeared on PEN America’s Index of Banned Books.
Openly gay former hockey player to tour Canada to combat homophobia in the sport. Brock McGillis announced he would visit 100 Canadian high school hockey teams on a “Culture Shift Tour” to talk about how to ensure everyone on a team can be their authentic selves.
LGBTQ+ activist Amber Hollibaugh dies at 77. Hollibaugh was a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights over the last five decades, and was active in a number of LGBTQ+ organizations, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay Men’s Health Project and the group Queers for Economic Justice, which she co-founded.