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Letter to the Editor: Support for Jillian Gilchrest and Minority Group Rights

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To the Editor:

We have come a long way, as a state and as a country, in recognizing and protecting the rights of LGBTQ Americans. As “Kerrigan” in Kerrigan v. Connecticut, the case that ultimately won marriage equality in the state of Connecticut, I know how much effort, determination, and time it takes to secure policies that protect minority groups.

America has made incredible strides in the last 10 years, however, since Donald Trump became president, I have become increasingly worried about our hard-won progress. Sadly, these last two years have confirmed the LGBTQ community’s worst fears about the Trump Administration.

At every turn, our rights and dignity as a people have come under attack. One of the first changes that Trump made as president was to reverse the Obama Administration decision to let transgender Americans serve openly in our armed forces. And just last week, reports surfaced that administration officials were pushing to remove the LGBTQ identifier on the 2020 census.

That is why I was so appalled by Republican Mary Fay’s comments on Sunday’s episode of WFSB’s Face the State about Donald Trump and the LGBTQ community. Fay stated, “I haven’t seen anything discriminatory come out of his administration.” She then remarked that, “any backward step wouldn’t be in anyone’s best interest.”

I am not OK with a president that refuses to acknowledge Pride Month and instead recognizes June as Great Outdoors Month. Don’t get me wrong, I love the great outdoors, but we’re talking about ignoring human beings who are murdered or commit suicide because of who we love. I’m not OK with any candidate that doesn’t see that for what it is, discriminatory.

As a married mom with a wife and two young sons, who played a role in this hard-won fight for equality, I understand what we have is at risk.

I’m deeply concerned that a candidate that trusts the Trump administration to protect our families fails to see the big picture.

States are the last real protection against the hateful policies coming at us every day from Washington, D.C. Jillian Gilchrest understands the role states play when it comes to protecting the rights of minority groups.

Now more than ever, we need to elect Jillian Gilchrest as our next State Representative on November 6th. Please vote like your rights and dignity depend on the outcome, because they do.

Beth Kerrigan
West Hartford

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