Monday, September 19, 2011

A Meeting with NC Senator Kay Hagan

Today we hear from Linda Stroupe, a PFLAG mom from Greensboro, NC…and our South Atlantic Regional Director:

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with one of my North Carolina Senator's, Kay Hagan, in her Greensboro office. I was joined with PFLAG transgender advocates including, Joan and David Parker, along with three women, Maddie Goss, Marcia Rogers, and Roberta Dunn, who shared stories about transgender employment discrimination and how that adversely impacted their lives. 

The meeting went very well. We had been told that we were allocated fifteen minutes and that it was possible that Senator Hagan would have to cancel at the last minute. Despite these time constraints, she not only met with us, but asked thoughtful questions and spent almost 45 minutes talking about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (S. 811/H.R. 1397). 

Senator Hagan started the meeting by telling us how disappointed she was about the actions of the NC Senate and House last week when they voted to put "protection of marriage" on the NC ballots in next May's Republican primary elections.  

The main purpose of our meeting today was to share personal stories to help Senator Hagan understand how difficult life in the workplace is for LGBT people, especially transgender and gender non-conforming people, and to encourage her to consider signing on as a cosponsor for ENDA.  As you may know, the Senator is already a cosponsor of the Student Nondiscrimination Act, and we are very hopeful she will soon support ENDA as well.

I had met Senator Hagan in person several times before, and we are both Greensboro residents, Wake Forest University graduates (graduate school for her, undergraduate for me), and Presbyterians.  She was very receptive to all of us, and we think our visit will help her continue to "evolve." 


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