Support the Equality Act and WA Comprehensive Sex Ed

Official Daily Action for Wednesday April 3, 2019

Yesterday, Seattle's Rep. Pramila Jayapal told a very personal story in the house, about her own child who came out as gender non-conforming last year, and how the freedom to do so impacted their life. Watch the video. It's beautiful. We are lucky to have her.

HR 5, The Equality Act, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and would provide protection against discrimination in housing, employment, schooling and more, for LGBTQIA people across America. Currently, more than half of LGBTQIA Americans live in the 30 states without such protections.

At the same time, our own State Legislature seems to be poised to disappoint, by letting the Comprehensive Sex Ed bill (ESSB 5395) die in committee. The State Superintendent of Education asked for this bill, which would teach medically accurate sex ed, inclusion of LGBTQIA people, and affirmative consent. The bill has passed the State Senate. Even worse, Speaker Frank Chopp and Education Committee Chair Sharon Tomiko Santos (supposedly) represent Seattle, and can bring it up for a vote. This inaction is inexcusable. Make sure they know.

TODAY is the last day to bring the Comprehensive Sex Ed bill out of committee.


Action 1: Ask your MOCs to support HR 5 The Equality Act

Action 2: Call Washington State Legislators about ESSB 5395 Comprehensive Sex Ed

Call the state legislative hotline, and insist that they pass the Comprehensive Sex Education Act out of committee and bring it up for a vote, before it is too late.

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal: DC - 202-225-3106; Seattle - 206-674-0040

  • Rep. Adam Smith: DC - 202-225-8901; Renton - 425-793-5180

  • Sen. Patty Murray--DC 202-224-2621; Seattle 206-553-5545

  • Sen. Maria Cantwell--DC 202-224-3441; Seattle 206-220-6400

  • Washington State Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000 (TTY 800-833-6388) They will ask for your address, and leave a message for your state legislator.


Script for Jayapal

“Hello, I’m [name] from [city, zip]. I'm calling to thank Rep. Jayapal for her beautiful and important speech yesterday in favor of the Equality Act, and sharing the story of her own family. I stand with the Representative and her child, and I want to see HR 5 become law."

Script for Smith

“Hello, I’m [name] from [city, zip]. I'm calling because I strongly support HR 5, The Equality Act, and want to see it become law. All Americans should be free from descrimition, including descrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identiy. I was moved by Rep. Jayapal's speech about her gender-non-conforming child yesterday. I want Rep. Smith to stand with her, and do everything in his power to get HR 5 passed, including co-sponsoring and speaking out in favor of this bill."

Script for Murray and Cantwell

“Hello, I’m [name] from [city, zip]. I'm calling because I strongly support HR 5, The Equality Act, and want to see it become law. All Americans should be free from descrimition, including descrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identiy. I was moved by Rep. Jayapal's speech about her gender-non-conforming child yesterday. I want [Senator] to stand with Rep. Jayapal and her family by introducing companion legislation in the Senate."

Script for State Legislature

“Hello, I’m [name] from [city, zip]. I'm calling about the Comprehensive Sex Ed bill ESSB 5395. I understand that TODAY is the last day for it to be voted out of committee, and I am outraged that has not yet happened. Our young people need real, factual sex education that teaches them how to respect each other and stay safe, including medically accurate information on contraception, affirmative consent, and inclusion of their LGBTQIA peers.

"I would like to leave this message for Speaker Chopp and Education Committee Chair Santos, in addition to my own representative."

Background

Video of Jayapal's moving speech: https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/04/02/gender-nonconforming-child-pramila-jayapal-equality-act-house-judiciary-sot-vpx.cnn

Reuters explainer about the Equality Act: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lgbt-equalityact/factbox-what-would-the-equality-act-mean-for-lgbt-americans-idUSKCN1RE2KW

Washington State Comprehensive Sex Ed: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/04/02/39793912/the-comprehensive-sex-ed-bill-is-basically-dead

Bonus Action

If Pramila Jayapal is not your representative, but you would like to let her know how much you appreciate her sharing her personal story in support of this legislation, consider sending her a postcard at

Rep. Pramila Jayapal
1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510
Seattle, WA 98101

Postcards are better than letters or cards with envelopes, which have to go through additional security screening.

Good News

Lori Lightfoot will become Chicago’s first openly gay mayor — and the first African-American woman ever to serve as chief executive — after cruising to a landslide victory on Tuesday that transcends the city’s tribal politics. https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicago-mayoral-election-2019-results-lightfoot-preckwinkle/