Join leaders and friends at PFLAG National for Moving Equality Forward, a virtual event to honor legislative champions of equality, learn about PFLAG National’s new initiatives to support LGBTQ+ people and their families, and to hear how PFLAG National is continuing the work of changing hearts, minds, and laws.

Tickets and sponsorships to this special event will support PFLAG Connects, our program meeting LGBTQ+ people and their families where they are, as they are, through online meetings with PFLAG chapters, live broadcasts on social media, digital resources, and much more.

Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm Eastern Time 

Location: Virtual link to be sent to registrants before the event

Individual Ticket: $35



Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Gold Sponsor

David Bohnett Foundation



Beverage Sponsor

Questions? Contact Maggie Ardiente at [email protected]

PFLAG National is the nation’s first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. With over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters across the country, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed. 

PFLAG National is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.


Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Founding Co-Chair, Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus

Tammy Baldwin has committed her life’s work to public service, fighting for fairness, equality and opportunity because she believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal – not less.

Born and Raised in Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised by her grandparents in the Badger State. Her grandfather was a scientist at the University of Wisconsin and her grandmother was a gifted artist and seamstress who became chief costumer of the UW Theater Department.

When Tammy was nine years old, she was diagnosed with a serious childhood illness similar to spinal meningitis.  She spent three months in the hospital.

Her grandparents had health insurance, but they weren’t allowed to list Tammy as a dependent.  Their insurance wouldn’t cover her care. They were forced to make great sacrifices to pay for Tammy’s health care.  Tammy got better, and her grandparents looked for an insurance policy that would cover her in the future.  But they discovered that, because of her previous illness, they couldn’t find such a policy. Not from any insurer.  Not at any price. Tammy had been branded with the words “pre-existing condition.”

Now, because of the Affordable Care Act, championed by Tammy in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate, children have protections that they didn’t have before and can’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

As her grandmother grew older, Tammy served as her grandmother’s primary caregiver – an extremely rewarding, but also challenging responsibility. Growing up in a grandfamily and being a caregiver shaped Tammy’s future in public service, as she led the bipartisan effort to support family caregivers by sponsoring and passing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act in the Senate.

A Commitment to Public Service:

Tammy graduated from Madison West High School and went on to double-major in political science and mathematics at Smith College. In 1989, she received her law degree from UW-Madison.

In 1986, while in law school, she served on the Madison Common Council, filling an aldermanic vacancy.  Tammy was elected to four terms (1986-1994) on the Dane County Board of Supervisors.  In 1992, Tammy was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly as a State Representative for the 78th District, serving three terms. In 1998, Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District shattered the state’s glass ceiling and elected Tammy as the state’s first female member of Congress and the nation’s first openly gay challenger sent to Congress. She served seven terms in the House of Representatives, serving on the Budget Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Shortly after Tammy was first elected to Congress, she voted against letting Wall Street and the big banks write their own rules — one of only a handful of members of Congress who voted no on repealing the Glass-Steagall Act.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tammy was a champion of middle class economic security. She helped craft the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, leading the effort to include the provision that now allows young people to remain on their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26. She was the lead sponsor of the Buffett Rule to ensure tax fairness, fought for student loan reforms to make higher education accessible and affordable and developed a strong record of fighting against unfair trade deals that have shipped American jobs overseas.

In the Senate:

Tammy was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 6, 2012, winning a hard fought race and making history as Wisconsin’s first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate and the first openly gay member elected to the Senate.

In the Senate, Senator Baldwin is committed to working across party lines to strengthen the essential pillars of economic security for the middle class - investments in education and workforce readiness, quality health care for all Americans, building a strong manufacturing economy, and ensuring retirement security for today’s seniors and future generations.

Senator Baldwin has made addressing the student debt crisis and college affordability a top priority, leading many efforts and introducing legislation to meet problems with solutions. She is a lead cosponsor of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow struggling borrowers to refinance their student loans and take advantage of lower interest rates – the same way people refinance a mortgage, a car loan or business debt. And after holding roundtables with students and recent graduates struggling with the cost of a higher education, Senator Baldwin introduced the America’s College Promise Act, the Working Student Act, and spearheaded the bipartisan Senate effort to save the federal Perkins loans aid program for low-income students. In 2016, Senator Baldwin introduced the In The Red Act, a major reform to address college affordability and put America on a path toward debt-free college. The legislation will allow student loan borrowers to refinance outstanding debt at lower rates, increase Pell Grants to keep pace with rising costs and make a new investment in community college.

As a co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus (CTE), Senator Baldwin has worked across the aisle to introduce reforms that prioritize CTE, STEM education, and offer stronger support for workforce readiness programs.

Senator Baldwin believes that more must be done to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. Tammy has worked to strengthen our manufacturing economy and is a leader in the Senate of the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to rally bipartisan support for legislation that would help manufacturers grow and create jobs.

In the proud tradition of Wisconsin’s state motto, Forward, she has shown a strong commitment to investing in innovation, science, research and technology so we create stronger growth in advanced manufacturing, small business start-ups and an innovative economy that is built to last and ready to compete with the rest of the world and win.

Senator Baldwin has worked to ensure Washington does more to respect hard work, invest in economic growth, and give the middle class a fair shot at getting ahead. At a time when too many Wall Street millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than some truck drivers, teachers and nurses, Senator Baldwin has introduced legislation to eliminate the carried interest tax loophole for hedge fund managers on Wall Street and make sure those at the top are paying their fair share.

Throughout her career in public service, Tammy has a strong record of working hard for Wisconsin’s veterans — making sure their service and sacrifice is honored by providing adequate funding for veterans’ health, education, and job-training programs.

In the Senate she has worked across the aisle, to ensure that our veterans, military families and wounded warriors receive the support and care that they have earned and deserve. The Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Baldwin in close consultation with medical professionals, veteran’s service organizations, and the Simcakoski family, focuses on providing safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans.

Senator Baldwin serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)

Elected in 2016, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is now serving her third term in Congress representing Washington’s 7th District, which encompasses most of Seattle and its surrounding areas including Shoreline, Vashon Island, Lake Forest Park, Edmonds, and parts of Burien and Normandy Park. She is the first South Asian American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and one of only two dozen naturalized citizens currently serving in the United States Congress.

Congresswoman Jayapal is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where she serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. She also serves on the House Education & Labor and Budget Committees. She is also the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which represents approximately 40% of the entire Democratic caucus; the Immigration Task Force for the Congressional Asian Pacific Asian Caucus; and a Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus where she is the co-chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force.

In Congress, Representative Jayapal has been a leader on immigration, including fighting the Trump Administration’s inhumane policies of separating children from their parents and crafting legislation to create a fair and humane immigration system. She has also championed legislation to address income inequality, such as the $15 minimum wage and expanded collective bargaining rights for workers.  She has worked extensively on health care issues as the lead sponsor of the Medicare for All bill in the House, and she is the author of the College for All Act, which would ensure every American has access to higher education.  She has authored other landmark pieces of progressive legislation including the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Ad, Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, the Housing is a Human Right Act, and the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.  She has also helped to introduce the THRIVE Act and other legislation to transition our economy to 100% clean energy and address the crisis of climate justice.

Prior to serving in elected office, Congresswoman Jayapal spent twenty years working internationally and domestically in global public health and development and as an award-winning national advocate for women’s, immigrant, civil, and human rights. She spent almost a decade working on global health and development for the international nonprofit organization, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), and spent 12 years as the founder and Executive Director of OneAmerica, the largest immigration advocacy organization in Washington State and one of the largest in the country.

Representative Jayapal was born in India, grew up in India, Indonesia and Singapore, and came to the United States by herself at the age of 16 to attend college at Georgetown University. She later received her MBA from Northwestern University, worked in a number of industries in both the public and private sector, and published her first book in 2000, Pilgrimage to India: A Woman Revisits Her Homeland. She has since published a second book, Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change.

She is married to Steve Williamson, a long-time labor leader and strategist, and is the proud mother of a transgender child named Janak, step-son named Michael, and 65-pound labradoodle, Otis.

Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride (SD-1)

Sarah grew up in Wilmington in the First Senate District. She has been involved in progressive and community advocacy for most of her life, including working for former Governor Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden, and in the Obama White House.

In 2013, McBride joined the Board of Directors of Equality Delaware and became the leading advocate for the state’s landmark non-discrimination legislation, which was signed into law in June of 2013. Since then, Sarah has worked with state leaders to expand health care covered by Medicaid in Delaware and, in 2017, helped secure passage of legislation protecting vulnerable youth from child abuse.

For her efforts advancing equality in Delaware, former Gov. Markell awarded Sarah the Order of the First State, making her one of the youngest Delawareans granted the state’s highest civilian honor.

Sarah currently serves as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization. In 2016, she made history when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. And this past year, Sarah taught public policy to students at the University of Delaware’s Biden Institute.

In 2018, Sarah published Tomorrow Will Be Different. The book recounts her experiences fighting for equality in Delaware and nationally, as well as her relationship with her late husband, Andrew Cray, for whom McBride was a caregiver throughout a battle with cancer that ultimately claimed his life.

McBride lives in Wilmington’s Highlands neighborhood, blocks away from where she was raised. She is a graduate of Cab Calloway School of the Arts and American University.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Jeff Merkley has dedicated himself to fighting for opportunity for Oregon’s families. The son of a millwright, he grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood where – as Jeff says – his mother “stretched a dollar as far as anyone possibly could.” Today, he still lives in that neighborhood and his kids have gone to the same public schools he attended.  Jeff has lived the American dream and has focused his whole career – both in elected office and running non-profits – on making sure that all Oregonians have the same opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Jeff’s policy studies began at the dinner table. Each night his father read the newspaper, turned on the evening news, and discussed ways to improve our communities and our nation. The first in his family to attend college, Jeff studied international relations and, at age 19, began his career in public service as an intern for former Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield – never imagining that he would one day return to hold Senator Hatfield’s seat.

Because Jeff saw first-hand at home and in his neighborhood that a good-paying job is more effective than any government program, Jeff’s top priority in the Senate has been creating jobs and laying the foundation for economic growth that benefits working families, not just the stock market.  He successfully led passage of the Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act to help local communities replace aging sewer and drinking water systems and save ratepayers money.  He expanded Buy America programs so that taxpayer dollars are spent on American steel and other materials whenever possible, and wrote legislation to crack down on unfair and illegal trade practices that threaten Oregon jobs.

Jeff has been a leader in bringing accountability and oversight back to Wall Street. He authored one of the toughest amendments in the Wall Street reform bill to separate hedge-fund-like gambling from traditional banking that businesses and families rely on. And he’s fought to keep families in their homes and end the predatory practices of the subprime mortgage crisis by writing the law that ended egregious mortgage lending practices and banned hidden steering payments, liar loans and prepayment penalties.

Jeff knows firsthand how important a strong public education system is to building strong families as well as a successful economy. He’s worked to increase investment in Head Start and K-12 education, including sponsoring legislation to boost career and technical education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching in public schools. He’s been a fierce advocate to lower student loan rates and make college more affordable for middle class families, cosponsoring a bill to allow refinancing of student loans  and introducing innovative legislation based on Oregon’s “Pay It Forward” concept that would allow more students to attend college debt-free.

Jeff believes that a secure retirement is a key pillar of the American dream, and has pushed back against both Democrats and Republicans to ensure we don’t weaken Social Security and Medicare or cut the benefits that seniors have earned with a lifetime of hard work. He introduced the Fair Raises for Seniors Act to ensure that Social Security cost-of-living adjustments more accurately keep up with the expenses seniors face, and has been an outspoken supporter of the Medicare Protection Act to prevent efforts to weaken, privatize, or “voucher-ize” Medicare.

To make the Senate more effective in taking on special interests and working for the middle class, Jeff challenged his own leadership to support a historic reform of the chamber’s rules to prevent gridlock and promote debate.  Thanks to Jeff’s push, the Senate was finally able to put a cop on the beat to stop big banks from taking advantage of their customers and prevent the oil and gas industries from decapitating the agency charged with keeping our air and water clean.  Jeff is nationally recognized as a reformer working to break Congressional gridlock and reform the Senate so it will be more responsive to the needs of ordinary middle class families.

Jeff’s work in the Senate is a continuation of a lifetime of working to make Oregon and the world a better place.  During his term as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, Jeff led a legislative session The Oregonian deemed one of “Oregon's most productive in a generation.” Under Jeff’s leadership, the state legislature increased education funding, expanded access to affordable prescription drugs, established domestic partnerships and a landmark civil rights law to protect LGBT Oregonians from discrimination, cracked down on predatory lending, and created Oregon’s first-ever rainy day fund.  Prior to running for office, Jeff ran several non-profits in Portland, including Portland Habitat for Humanity, which empowers low-income families through homeownership.

Jeff is a member of the Appropriations Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee; the Budget Committee; and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He and his wife Mary Sorteberg, a nurse, have been married for more than twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie.

Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Mark Takano (CA-41)
Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus

For more than twenty years, Mark Takano has worked to improve the lives of Riverside County residents, both as an elected official and as a teacher at Rialto High School.

Born and raised in Riverside, Mark's commitment to public service began at an early age. His family roots in Riverside go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives.

Mark attended La Sierra High School in the Alvord Unified School District, and in 1979 he graduated as the school's valedictorian. Mark attended Harvard College and received his bachelor's degree in Government in 1983. As a student, he bussed tables to help make ends meet. During his senior year, he organized a transcontinental bicycle ride to benefit the international development agency Oxfam America.

Upon graduation, Mark returned home to Riverside and began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988. As a classroom teacher, Mark confronted the challenges in our public education system daily.

In 1990, Mark was elected to the Riverside Community College District's Board of Trustees. At RCC, Mark worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve higher education for young people and job training opportunities for adults seeking to learn a new skill or start a new career. He was elected Board President in 1991 and helped the Board and the District gain stability and direction amid serious fiscal challenges.

In 2012, Mark became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to Congress.

Mark Takano represents the people of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley and Perris in the United States House of Representatives. He serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and as a member of the Education and Labor Committee.

Brian K. Bond
PFLAG National Executive Director

Brian Bond is a former Obama Administration official and LGBTQ advocate with an extensive background in constituency outreach and coalition bridge-building. Brian most recently served as the Coalitions Director for the Climate Action Campaign in Washington D.C., working to protect clean air and promote action to limit climate change. Prior to that, he was the Deputy CEO for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

During the Obama Administration he served as Deputy Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement and primary liaison for the LGBTQ community, the first to serve in that role. After the successful re-election of President Obama in 2012, he moved to the Environmental Protection Agency to work on the Administration’s climate initiatives as Associate Administrator for Public Engagement and Environmental Education. Prior to these roles, he served as the Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and is credited with expanding the success of the organization and support for LGBTQ+ candidates during his six-year tenure, which began in 1997.

Brian is a Missouri native and has a degree in Public Administration from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.

Sponsorship Opportunities

PFLAG National is proud to partner with companies and organizations dedicated to inclusion, diversity, and equality. Become a sponsor of this year’s Moving Equality Forward virtual event and elevate your brand to a unique audience of LGBTQ+ people, their families, and allies who share your dedication to a world where all people are respected, valued, and affirmed.

Interested in creating a custom sponsorship package? Contact Maggie Ardiente at [email protected]

Gold Sponsor: $5,000

  • Name/Logo recognition on all event marketing materials and PFLAG’s event website 

  • Verbal recognition by PFLAG Executive Director during event

  • Name/Logo visibility, dedicated single slide, in sponsor scroll during intro and exit screens of event

  • One (1) tweet, tagged to your account, recognizing your support of the event

  • Name/Logo recognition on post-event email blast to all event participants with opportunity to include special promotion or marketing link 

  • Four (4) additional complimentary tickets 

Silver Sponsor: $2,500

  • Name/Logo recognition on all event marketing materials and PFLAG’s event website 

  • Verbal sponsorship recognition by PFLAG Executive Director during virtual event

  • Name/Logo visibility, dedicated single slide, in sponsor scroll during intro and exit screens of event

  • Name/Logo recognition on post-event email blast to all event participants with the opportunity to include special promotion or marketing link

  • Three (3) additional complimentary tickets

Bronze Sponsor: $1,000

  • Name/Logo recognition on PFLAG’s event website 

  • Name/Logo visibility, dedicated single slide, in sponsor scroll during intro and exit screens of event

  • Name/Logo recognition on post-event email blast to all event participants

  • Two (2) additional complimentary tickets

Host Sponsor: $500

  • Name/Logo recognition on PFLAG’s event website 

  • Name/Logo visibility in sponsor scroll during intro and exit screens of event

  • One (1) additional complimentary tickets

Friend Sponsor: $125 (for individuals only)

  • Name visibility in sponsor scroll during intro and exit screens of event 

Moving Equality Forward Virtual Event

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Moving Equality Forward?

Moving Equality Forward is a virtual event to honor legislative champions of equality and for PFLAG National members and supporters to hear how the organization is continuing the work of changing hearts, minds, and laws.


When is it?

This year’s event will be held virtually on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 from 6:30pm ET to 7:30pm ET.


Who will be speaking?

Click on the “Speakers” link on the left side of this page for a full list of this year’s speakers. 


When’s the last day to purchase tickets?

Monday, July 19 at midnight ET is the last day to purchase tickets online. If you would still like to attend after this date, please contact Director of Development Maggie Ardiente at [email protected].  


What’s your refund policy?

We will grant refunds before Friday, July 16. After that date, if you are unable to attend the event, we hope you will donate your ticket to a family member or friend. 


How is the event being broadcast?

Via our PFLAG Connects program, hosted on Zoom webinar. You will need a laptop computer or mobile phone with a web browser or the Zoom app to watch the event. 


How will I access the event?

Ticket purchasers will receive by email a unique Zoom link to access the event a day before the event, on Tuesday, July 20. You can log on as early as 6:05pm ET on the day of the event to make sure you can see the welcome screen and hear audio. We strongly encourage you to log on 5-10 minutes before the event to make sure you are able to view the event. The event will start promptly at 6:30pm ET. 


I’m having trouble logging on and accessing the event. What should I do?

Please make sure that your computer’s audio is on and that you can see the welcome screen when you log on. If you are still experiencing problems, this Zoom tutorial might help: Joining a Meeting. If not, please contact Director of Development Maggie Ardiente at [email protected] immediately. 


It’s the day of the event, and I haven’t received my Zoom link. What should I do?

Please first check your spam folder in case the email was sent there. If not, please contact Director of Development Maggie Ardiente at [email protected] immediately. 


Will I be able to see other attendees at the event?

No. Each attendee’s video will be turned off and audio will be muted. 


Will I be able to chat with other attendees?

No. The chat feature will be turned off during the event. 


Will I be able to ask the speakers questions? 

Yes, there will be an opportunity to submit questions during the Q&A portion of the live event. Your question will only be visible by the moderators.


Will an ASL Interpreter be present?



Will there be closed captioning (CC)?



I have to miss some or all of the event. Will the event be recorded?

Yes. The video recording will be provided to attendees shortly after the event. 


I have another question not addressed here. What should I do?

Contact Director of Development Maggie Ardiente at [email protected].