WASHINGTON, DC—PFLAG National—the nation's largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)—today spoke out in honor of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), who announced that she would retire in 2018.
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has been a commanding Congressional presence and partner in legislative work for civil and human rights, demonstrating historic leadership in legislative gains for the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV and AIDS.
She served as a lead sponsor—along with Congressman John Lewis—on the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, an adoption, foster care, and child welfare bill, in support of which PFLAG National co-chairs a national organizational coalition. Her standout acts of unity included leading on trans-inclusive bills such as The Equality Act, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Student Nondiscrimination Act (SNDA), and hate crimes prevention legislation; and championing bills to support people living with HIV and AIDS.
Diego M. Sanchez, PFLAG National Director of Advocacy, Policy and Partnerships, shared his thoughts on his longtime colleague. “As an adopted, immigrant, Latinx, transgender man, I feel blessed to have had Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen fighting for me, and all intersecting communities, as the first Latina and Cubana U.S. Representative. Fueled by her love for her kids, including her openly trans son—my friend Rodrigo—she has always shared PFLAG’s values, putting people before politics, and has been a champion for fairness, dignity and equality. I will truly miss her.”
PFLAG National’s advocacy and policy work has helped move legislation forward at the federal level and in every state across the country. For more information, visit pflag.org/advocacy-101.
PFLAG is the nation’s largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy, and has more than 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit pflag.org, like us on Facebook (/pflag), or follow us on Twitter (@pflag).