Since the 2016 national election, our greatest fears are proving true in Washington. The new administration rolled back protections for LGBTQ youth in schools, advocated for religious exemptions to our non-discrimination laws, announced a prohibition on transgender people serving in our nation’s armed forces, and attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the critical care it provides to countless LGBT people.

Here in Maine, we faced bills that would be harmful to our community, a closely divided legislature, an administration that does not view the rights of LGBT Mainers as a priority, and extremists like Michael Heath who continued to try to undermine our
non-discrimination laws.

The good news is that our resistance is working. We fought back in Congress, and the ACA remains the law of the land. We fought back in the courts, and transgender people will be able to enlist starting on January 1. We fought back in Augusta, and all four anti-LGBT bills were defeated. We fought back in public opinion, and Heath’s latest initiative collapsed due to lack of support.

As we look ahead, we know it’s not enough to just resist. And it’s not enough to just survive these challenging times. We need to keep doing the work that creates real change to improve the everyday lives of each and every person in our community.

In the upcoming year, EqualityMaine will:

  • Work to pass LD 912, a bill to protect LGBTQ youth from the discredited and harmful practice of conversion therapy.
  • Be a vigilant watchdog of our hard-fought victories, making sure our voices are heard by elected leaders in Augusta and Washington DC.
  • Mobilize our community to elect pro-LGBT leaders in 2018.
  • Expand access to trans-inclusive health care.
  • Push for full implementation of our non-discrimination laws to ensure protections for LGBT Mainers are enforced.
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