FFE Statement Regarding Ralph Abraham’s ad

Forum for Equality’s statement:

Statement from Louisiana Trans Advocates:

Make sure you vote this October.

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See you at the annual meeting!

Come join Forum for Equality for our 2019 Annual Membership Meeting. We will be electing our board members and discussing what we have been working on this past year as well as what is on the horizon. There will be a cash bar with complimentary desserts.
ELECTION OF BOARD MEMBERS
The Executive Board of Forum for Equality Louisiana submits the following names for election to a two year term on FFE Louisiana’s Board of Directors: Randy Evans, Ryan McNeely, Chris Otten, Glenn Reames, Brandon Robb, Carlos Rodriguez, and Dylan Waguespack.

Those listed above will be voted on at the Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, July 10th. Those elected at that time will join the following Board Members who were elected last year for a two year term — Mary Griggs, Ramsey Marcello, Ileana Ortiz, Sebastian Rey, Julie Thibodaux, Kenny Tucker, and Michelle Young.

Facebook event posting HERE !

Renew your membership today – follow this link!

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Proud of You

2019 is whizzing by, but Pride month is a time to stop and reflect on why we do what we do. It’s easy to get caught up in the work we do and forget why we’re here. Our mission, at its core, is simple: we believe LGBTQ Louisianans should be able to live our lives wherever we call home.

Mary, we know you value this work. Will you make a gift today to support our mission?

Every donation is a valuable pledge to stand up for LGBTQ Louisianans all year long, and the best way to show you’re committed is to become a monthly donor. Also, all funds raised during June will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000!

At Forum for Equality, we see all across Louisiana just how many people dedicate their time and energy to fight for LGBTQ equality and justice. We are here because we want to make sure you and your loved ones are safe, secure, and thriving in the state you call home.

With pride,

SarahJane Guidry
Executive Director, Forum for Equality

PS: Come enjoy a bake sale with a cocktail as we close out Pride month with Pastries for Pride Happy Hour tomorrow! Doubletree by Hilton New Orleans will be slinging all the sweet treats at the 700 Club on Friday, June 28th from 5-8PM. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Forum for Equality.

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Double Your Pride!

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. We have come so far from Marsha Johnson throwing that first brick, and shattering many of the closets that have confined us. We hope that you have been honoring Pride Month with ways that remind you of how beautiful, whole and perfect you are, just as you are.  

At times, the work that we do and the environment that we live in can be taxing. To be able to live out and proud is a right that we did not always have, and in some parts of Louisiana that is still our reality.

We are asking you to honor this year’s Pride Month with action — help us expand the equal rights of all LGBTQ Louisianans by supporting our work with a gift from the heart. We have an anonymous donor that will match dollar for dollar up to $5,000 this month! A donation of $10, $100 or $1,000 will push us closer to our goal and help us push closer towards equality. Show your pride with a gift here.

As we see the progression of cities and parishes expand the rights of our community, from Shreveport to New Orleans to Alexandria to Grambling (yes, Grambling!), we know that when it comes to advancing equality, it is all of us or none of us! No matter who we are or who we love, we have pride in ourselves and each other. We will continue to march forward and build a State of Equality.

We hope that you will support our work by giving a gift from the heart this month.

With Pride,

SarahJane Guidry

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#HonorThemWithAction

Today marks the anniversary of a traumatic and painful day for LGBTQ folks. Three years ago, a gunman entered Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida and opened fire within the walls of a safe space for the LGBTQ community. In doing so, he ended 49 beautiful lives; our queer brothers, sisters, siblings and allies. The Pulse Nightclub Massacre remains one of the deadliest targeted attacks on our community in American history.

In Louisiana, this day also evokes the dark memory of the UpStairs Lounge Fire and the indelible scars of our past. Almost forty four years later, we witnessed the pain, fellowship and humbling resilience of our community with the world watching.

Forum for Equality joins a coalition of other organizations in asking you to remember the victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre through a campaign called #HonorThemWithAction. This initiative involves calling on individuals to engage in actionable efforts that improve the lives of LGBTQ folks, Latinx folks and those living at the intersection of both communities; and, in doing so, honor the memory of those we have lost.

It’s oftentimes difficult to know what to do with the lingering pain of events like the Pulse Massacre. Know that there are small things all of us can do in our everyday lives to make the lives of queer people better in our own space at our own pace. And that, in and of itself, is a beautiful way to pause and recognize the significance of an event that will always shape the history of what it means to be LGBTQ in America.

With Love,

SarahJane Guidry

Forum for Equality Executive Director

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We can STILL be fired in Louisiana

Earlier this session, Rep. Joe Bouie introduced the Louisiana Employment Non-Discrimination Act (LENDA). This important legislation (HB 302) would have included employment protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Unfortunately, the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted 9-5 to involuntarily defer LENDA – HB 302. It is so shocking that Representatives still believe it is okay for state law to lack the protections for hardworking individuals simply because they are gay or transgender.

Let us take a moment to send our appreciation and gratitude to Rep. Joe Bouie for his hard work and authorship of LENDA – HB 302 this legislative session. It is because of legislators such as him that we continue to push the Pelican State forward. Send him a thank you note here.

The LGBT community wants to be judged based on performance and qualifications  — nothing more, nothing less. Louisiana’s state motto is “Union, Justice and Confidence” – this should mean a place where people know that the State values them and their hard work, period.

We will continue to fight for fairness, and to build a better life and a better Louisiana, together.

With Equality,

SarahJane Guidry
Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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FFE Executive Director’s Remarks on LENDA

 

Sarah Jane Guidry, Forum for Equality’s Executive Director, testified before the House Labor and Industrial Relations committee in support of HB 3012 – the Louisiana Employment Non-discrimination Act. Here are her remarks:

Thank you Representatives for the opportunity to address you this morning. I’m SarahJane Guidry, Executive Director of Forum for Equality. Forum for Equality is Louisiana’s LGBT human rights organization dedicated to the establishment of a society free from discrimination and to the support of good government.

We put before you this morning the Louisiana Employment Non-Discrimination Act – HB 302 authored by Rep. Joe Bouie. This important piece of legislation will include employment protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

This is not an issue new to our legislature. In fact, this bill was first introduced in 1993, and authored by Sen. Troy Carter and Rep. Marc Morial. Many things have changed over the past 26 years. Most importantly, hearts and minds.

Last year, Project Right Side conducted a survey across Louisiana. The findings are interesting:

  • 6 out of 10 Louisiana voters (60%) think it’s illegal under state law to fire, refuse to hire, deny housing or public accommodations access to someone because they are gay or transgender. Majorities across party lines think it’s currently illegal under state law (Republicans 66%, Democrats 58%, Independents 55%).
  • Similarly, sixty-six percent (66%) favor protections for gay and transgender Louisianans in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. Voters across all major geographic areas support new protections: Alexanderia (60%), Baton Rouge (70%), Lafayette (55%), Lake Charles (61%), Monroe (61%), New Orleans (72%) and Shreveport (63%).

In the past 26 years, since we first introduced this legislation, New Orleans, Shreveport, and Alexandria have expanded protections for the LGBT community. Lafayette and Jefferson parishes with Baton Rouge have expanded their protections to include LGBT city-parish employees. And, Governor Edwards signed an executive order to expand protections to LGBT state workers and contractors.

We have seen the vast majority (91 percent) of Fortune 500 companies prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and over three- fourths (83 percent) prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, compared to just three in 2000.

After all this time and despite all this progress, we still lack protections for all LGBT Louisianans. Louisianans are proud people. We stay put. We love our state and towns that we call home. There is no reason that a gay person from Bunkie or transgender person from Farmerville should be denied protections from discrimination. We are all created equal, and the time has come for Louisiana law to be expanded and updated to reflect all its citizens.

All people should be treated fairly and equally. That is why it is so shocking that it is still legal under state law to fire, demote, or even determine compensation of hardworking individuals simply because they are gay or transgender.

The LGBT community wants to be judged based on performance and qualifications  — nothing more, nothing less.

Louisiana’s state motto is “Union, Justice and Confidence” – this should mean a place where people know that the State values them and their hard work, period. Updating our non-discrimination laws to include the LGBT community would help ensure a fair opportunity to earn a living, meet our obligations, provide for ourselves and our families.

We all sit here today to help Louisiana be the best version of itself. And that means a home where people know that the State values and protects them. Help me build a better life and a better Louisiana, together, by voting in favor of HB 302.

 

Despite a room full of support, the House Labor and Industrial Relations committee voted 9-5 to involuntary defer HB 302 – Louisiana Employment Non-Discrimination Act by Rep. Dr. Joe Bouie. Unfortunately, this means that there will be no further action take on HB 302 this session.

 

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