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Friday, November 04, 2005

Landmark Transgender Equality Education Campaign Launched

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign launched the first-ever advertising and landmark education campaign on transgender issues today with an ad in Roll Call, the leading publication for Congressional news and a new handbook designed to educate Americans about transgender equality. Produced in partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality, the ad in Thursday's Roll Call is first in a series focusing on the stories of hard-working Americans who have been discriminated against in the workplace because of who they are.

"The more Americans know and understand each other, the more united we are as a nation," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Our new education campaign underscores that employees, many of whom provide vital national security positions, are being denied opportunity to do their job purely because of who they are. Most Americans want a federal law to end discrimination. But no law exists. We're working on Capitol Hill and across the country to build support for that law, a law we unequivocally support."

"These moving ads put this issue in front of Congress in a big way," said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). "Coupled with the education that many of us have been doing for years, these ads will go a long way toward building the support we need to pass a transgender-inclusive non-discrimination law. This isn't the beginning and it won't be the end, but it's a big chapter toward getting this done."

The Human Rights Campaign's new publication "Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding" will be distributed to every member of Congress this week. The handbook addresses many of the challenges facing transgender Americans without legal protections, including employment discrimination, health care issues, identity document obstacles and
school issues, and was produced in collaboration with supporting partners NCTE and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute.

"I'm so proud to be a part of this campaign," said Diane Schroer, a 25-year Army Special Forces Officer who was offered but then denied a counter-terrorism job when she told her future employers she was transgender. Diane's story is featured in the Nov. 3 Roll Call ad. "I had the same skills in counter-terrorism the day they denied me the job that I did the day they offered it. When it comes to keeping Americans safe, discrimination can't be a part of the equation."

A new area of the Human Rights Campaign's website,, features the ads, the handbook and more information. Another Roll Call ad will run Nov. 10.

NCTE today also released a new publication entitled "Make Your Voice Heard: A Transgender Guide to Educating Congress. This publication is available for free download at

Today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Human Rights Campaign is also hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill (Longworth House Office Building 1539) to highlight workplace challenges for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.


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