This week I talked to Sarah McBride, Campaigns & Communications Manager for LGBT Progress at the Center For American Progress in Washington D.C. Recently the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would rescind important existing workplace protections for LGBT employees of federal contractors. This harmful legislation would gut a 2014 executive order issued by President Obama that added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of classes protected from discrimination by any company or entity with a federal contract of $10,000 or more a year. The amendment's scope far exceeds the overall bill of the Armed Services Committee's jurisdiction. This discriminatory amendment comes on the heels of growing national outcry in response to anti LGBT legislation passed in North Carolina and Mississippi last month. Since marriage equality became the law of the land the backlash has resulted in over 200 state discriminatory bills pending against out LGBT community. I talked to Sarah about the importance of fighting these prejudicial bills and her spin on passing legislation like the Equality Act that could finally provide federal LGBT non-discrimination protections for our community.
When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT equality McBride stated:
I come to this work not only as someone who is transgender but as someone who has loved someone who is transgender. I met my future husband Andy fighting for trans equality and we fell in love. A couple of months after we started dating Andy was diagnosed with cancer and despite getting a clean bill of health several months later eventually his cancer came back and it was terminal. Andy and I decided to get married in August of 2014 and just 4 days after we married he passed away. For me I carry my relationship with Andy with me in my LGBT advocacy work. I carry it with me because one of the most important lessons that I have learned from that experience at 23 years old at the time was that every day matters and this fight every day matters building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest; where every person has a roof over their head and job opportunities based on their skills and their talent and their work ethnic and not on their identity. Every day matters when it comes to just being yourself and so for me that's probably my biggest personal motivation in this work. It's not just about who I am but people I love.
Sarah McBride joined the Center For American Progress after completing her undergraduate degree at American University. During her time at American University Sarah served as student body president and helped to expand opportunities and enhance policies for LGBT students, women, students of color, people with disabilities and students of varying economic backgrounds. At the end of her term Sarah made national headlines when she came out as transgender in the student newspaper. Sarah also serves on the Board of Directors of Equality Delaware the state's primary LGBT advocacy and educational organization. The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. They work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
For More Info: americanprogress.org