The Human Rights Campaign is tapping a North Texas couple to help in the national fight for transgender rights. They will join a group of parents from across the country who will push for equality.
The newly-formed “Parents for Transgender Equality Council” was in the works before the presidential election. But an HRC spokeswoman says a Donald Trump presidency makes the council's work that much more important.
Amber Briggle is ready for a fight.
“This is a national struggle. This isn't just unique to my child in his school in Denton,” she explained.
Briggle is referring to her 8-year-old transgender son M.G. The Briggles gained nationwide attention earlier this year when they invited Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his wife over to their house for dinner. The unlikely meeting led to a phone call from the Human Rights Campaign.
“We have to continue to open hearts and change minds,” said HRC Press Secretary Sarah McBride. “We have to continue to move the ball forward at the local, state and federal level, and these parents will be a vital part.”
McBride says 19 parents, including Briggle and her husband, Adam, will work to educate the public and push back against anti-transgender efforts in communities across the country.
“As of last count, there is already over 100 bills in the works to take away the rights of LGBTQ Texans,” said Briggle.
The Denton mother says she's worried about Senate Bill 92 that is sponsored by Republican State Senator Bob Hall. If passed, it would ban lawmakers from passing local laws that "prohibit discrimination on a basis not contained in the laws of this state."
Because Texas state law doesn't include sexual orientation or gender identity, cities and counties would be prohibited from enforcing LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinances.
During his acceptance speech, President-elect Donald Trump said it’s time for Americans to come together as one people. Briggle says the Parents for Transgender Equality Council is there to make sure that's true.
“Words have power,” she said. “And what he has said in the past does not make my family feel very comfortable or safe right now.”
Briggle says the council will help the Human Rights Campaign know what issues are important in their part of the country. The campaign can then in turn help magnify the problem and solution with their national reach.