Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Celebrates International Transgender Day of Visibility

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is proud to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31. It is essential to feature and amplify the voices of transgender people as they seek full, lived equality throughout the country.

One of the many Mayors in our coalition is Jess Herbst, of New Hope, Texas. For the past two years, she has served as the Mayor of New Hope, a small town in the Lone Star State. She has been an active member of our Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition, one of the core programs of Freedom for All Americans that brings together 300+ mayors from nearly every state in the country to push toward inclusive nondiscrimination protections.

“Today is a day for celebrating the trans people who have not only survived, but thrived. Trans people have thrived because of our visibility,” she said this week in celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility. “The more visible transgender and gender diverse people are in every aspect of our communities, the more opportunity we have to help our fellow Americans understand that we want what so many people want – to be able to work hard, to provide for ourselves and our families, and to be seen as individuals. As the first openly transgender mayor in Texas I am proud to lead the people of New Hope, Texas forward and to show in my small way that transgender people are just as able to represent their community as any other person.”

We thank Mayor Herbst for sharing her story, and all the members of our coalition who have taken a stand for the rights of all LGBTQ people.


Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Oppose Anti-Transgender Military Ban from White House

March 26, 2018 by admin

Late Friday evening, March 23, the White House made clear that — despite multiple legal challenges and injunctions — it is committed to seeing through a discriminatory policy that bans transgender Americans from serving their country. The administration is signaling its intention to move forward with supporting a ban that is largely identical to that originally announced over Twitter by President Trump last summer.

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, a national nonpartisan coalition of more than 250 mayors from nearly every state, issued the following statement:

“As mayors, we oppose the transgender military ban that would weaken our military, contradict the values that we stand for as Americans, and be devastating to transgender service members and their families. The Administration is wasting valuable time and resources by targeting talented and dedicated soldiers for discrimination. Every American who is qualified, can meet existing military standards, and is willing to risk their life to keep our country safe should be free to serve. Four separate federal courts already have ruled that a ban on transgender service members in the military is unconstitutional, and we’re confident that this attack on transgender service members will not stand the test of time.”

Four different courts have ruled against the ban, resulting in stays being issued on implementation and clearing the way for transgender Americans to officially and openly take steps to enlist on January 1, 2018. In all cases, the judges ruled that the ban was not valid military policy, but rather, outright and indefensible discrimination.


Minneapolis Mayor Speaks Out for LGBTQ Equal Treatment Following Historic Election

March 14, 2018 by admin

In January of this year, newly elected Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jacob Frey, signed on to our nationwide coalition, Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, which features more than 300 mayors who have signed a pledge in favor of comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

Mayor Frey has a history of allying with the LGBTQ community and has worked for many years to make positive change in the North Star State. In 2011, the state’s LGBTQ community was under attack at the ballot due to a proposed constitutional amendment against marriage equality. In response, Frey and his wife, avid long distance runners, organized an event known as the “Big Gay Race,” which mobilized more than 2,000 Minnesotans from across the state and raised over $250,000. The race came months ahead of the November 2012 election, when Minnesota made history by becoming the first state to defeat and permanently stave off a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to different-sex couples.

Minneapolis itself has also worked hard to become a welcoming environment for LGBTQ people, in particular transgender people, who often face disproportionate amounts of harassment, violence and intimidation.

The City of Minneapolis established a Transgender Issues Work Group in March 2014. The Work Group looks at issues facing the Transgender community, and the group’s goal is to examine issues, engage the broader community, and make policy recommendations for City government that will affect the lives of Transgender residents of Minneapolis. The group includes participants from City departments, City Council offices, the Mayor’s office, and the community. The group is taking a systematic approach to examine issues and develop policy recommendations that could be adopted by the City, and areas of focus include criminal justice system reform, employment, health, civic participation, and public spaces.

In November 2017 the city took another huge step forward by becoming the first city in U.S. history to elect an openly transgender person of color to city council. Andrea Jenkins became the first transgender woman of color elected and Phillipe Cunningham became the first black transgender man elected to City Council. Read more about Councilperson Phillipe Cunningham here.

Mayor Frey commented:

“I am so proud to be the Mayor of a city that just elected two transgender people of color to our City Council [in November 2017]. Prior to being Council Members, I worked with Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham and others to approve a resolution in February 2017 that established the Transgender Equity Council. The council serves as an advisory board to the City and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on matters of importance to the transgender, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary community. The council’s work will include studying issues, courses of action, policies, and programs as well as making recommendations.”

Frey has made it clear that the wellbeing, safety, and security of transgender people are an important concern to him and his administration, as demonstrated by his actions past and present. We’re grateful for his work as we welcome him to the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition!