In light of the recent good news out of Vermont, Iowa, Washington D.C., Washington state, and the city of Gainesville, Florida, I've been reflecting about the values of our community and the goals of our movement. As a progressive, feminist organization, NCLR was founded on an understanding that an injury to one is an injury to all. I am proud to lead an organization that is committed to protecting every person's right to dignity, autonomy, and self-determination.
Based on these deeply held values, we have advocated for the freedom to form families and relationships, to live and express oneself in accordance with one's gender identity, and to be free from discrimination and violence based on who we are or who we associate with . These core values are reflected in the breadth of work we do, ranging from our Family Protection Project to our Transgender Law Project.
Our community is at a moment where great positive change is happening, but no gain is easily won--or kept. There are many efforts at the local and national level to strip away crucial protections and undermine our hard earned protections for all members of the LGBT community. Proposed Amendment 1 in Gainesville, Florida, which, if passed, would have eliminated existing protections for the LGBT community, is a perfect example.
Thanks to the tireless and united efforts of many community organizers, Gainesville's citizens overwhelmingly rejected this hateful amendment. We should celebrate and learn from this victory, but we must not be complacent. Now, more than ever, we must stay committed to maintaining a principled, unified front in the face of an aggressive and well-funded opposition.
Our opponents are trying to drive a wedge into our community and stall the movement we have been building. As we saw in Gainesville, they are attempting to roll back protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by using bald-faced lies and outrageous scare tactics attacking the humanity and dignity of our transgender brothers and sisters. By singling out transgender members of our community, they are hoping we will splinter as a movement. We cannot let them succeed.
Mahatma Gandhi once said "Unity, to be real, must stand the severest strain without breaking." We have a long road ahead, and our commitment to maintaining a unified front will be tested many times. We will not back down or allow our opposition to divide us. At this season of renewal and new beginnings, let this stand as a resolution: we will not turn our back on any member of our community. Our strength is in our unity, and our unity is real.