Target: Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) president Andrea Lafferty
Goal: End hate-filled portrayals of transgender people through fundraising e-mail blasts.
It’s not easy being transgender, especially when you’re routinely marginalized and discriminated against. And the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) doesn’t plan on making it any easier for transgender people to be treated with understanding and respect in our society. To raise funds against the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the extremist group created an e-mail blast that cruelly belittles and berates trans-identified people. Tell president Andrea Lafferty and the TVC that the public will not stand for its heartless transphobic rhetoric.
In an e-mail titled “Mary Needs Help”, the Southern Poverty Law Center-classified hate group attempted to win support at the expense of transgender people. They focus on a fictional teacher named Mary and her transition process, calling her “confused,” while trying to make her plight seem like something to laugh or gawk at.
Part of the e-mail read, “Mary isn’t confused about whether or not the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is going to allow someone like him to keep teaching your kids while he undergoes his transformation from ugly caterpillar into a beautiful… something or other…”
Clearly, this was meant to drum up hatred against the transgender community. Statistically speaking, a survey released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2011 showed that transgender people in the United States face issues such as poverty, unemployment, and sexual harassment at much higher rates than those who do not identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. According to the findings, the unemployment rate for transgender people is twice as high as that of the general population. Moreover, 90 percent of transgender people have faced mistreatment in the workplace or hide their gender identity out of fear.
The TVC also takes credit for preventing the passage of ENDA two years prior. However, a spokesman for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Metro Weekly that the delay in the vote was due to the focus on health care legislation. The proposed ENDA bill would ensure that LGBT people are not discriminated against simply for their sexual orientation or gender identity when seeking employment at nonreligious organizations with 15 or more employees.
The TVC must be told that its bigoted attacks against transgender workers is fear-mongering rhetoric and completely unacceptable. By signing the petition below, you will tell TVC leaders to end their hate-filled portrayals of transgender people.
Dear Ms. Lafferty,
The Traditional Values Coalition’s “Mary Needs Help” e-mail was a bigoted attempt to drum up fear and hatred against the LGBT community. The Employment Nondiscrimination Act is a necessary measure that will ensure that LGBT people are properly protected in nonreligious workplaces.
By calling Mary a “confused…something or other,” you are condoning the ridicule, fear, and misconceptions of transgender people. As a severely oppressed minority group, transgender people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
It is imperative that you cease your hurtful rhetoric against transgender people and issue a public apology for this offensive e-mail blast. Please commit to taking action immediately.
[Your Name Here]