Washington has been blessed for many years to have strong leaders from our community in the state legislature who helped make our state a leader in establishing and protecting the rights of LGBTQ people. Senators Cal Anderson, Ed Murray, and Joe McDermott and Representatives Dave Upthegrove, Jim Moeller, Mary Helen Roberts, and Brady Walkinshaw served with distinction and helped to accomplish hate crimes protections, a fully inclusive law against discrimination, domestic partnership and marriage equality, and equal parentage rights. We stand on their shoulders and benefit from many years of work and carefully cultivated relationships.
After the alarming election in 2016, much that we had taken for granted seems to be at risk in our communities – as well as for people of color, immigrants, women, and members of other historically disfavored groups. In 2018, with Democrats back in control of the Legislature, we passed legislation to prohibit “conversion therapy” and to further the ability of same-sex couples to become parents. We continue to fight every day for legislation to protect the rights and dignity of everyone. The 2019 Washington State Legislature LGBTQ Caucus included: Senators Jamie Pedersen, Marko Liias, Emily Randall, and Claire Wilson, and Representatives Laurie Jinkins, Chris Kilduff, Nicole Macri, and Beth Doglio.
The 2021 Washington State Legislature LGBTQ Caucus includes: Senators Jamie Pedersen, Marko Liias, Emily Randall, and Claire Wilson, Speaker Laurie Jinkins, and Representatives Nicole Macri and Kirsten Harris-Talley. All of us are strongly committed to continuing the ongoing struggle for safety, dignity, and full equality for all members of our community. We meet regularly with community advocates, including the GSBA, Pride Foundation, Legal Voice, the ACLU of Washington, Equal Rights Washington, Washington Won’t Discriminate, Ingersoll Gender Center, the SAFE Alliance, the Gender Justice League, and many others to defend our hard-fought rights and to plan for a time when we can once again lead the country with pro-LGBTQ legislation. All of us need to stand together to make sure that the arc of history continues to bend toward justice for all people.