The Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE — would block the harmful practice of trying to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors in New York’s Erie County.
Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke is trolling the president-elect by introducing a law banning conversion therapy under his name. Known as the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE for short — the legislation, if passed, would make the New York county just one of a few municipalities to block the practice. Currently, five states and D.C. prohibit the use of conversion therapy outright.
The name is a direct jab at Mike Pence’s 2000 campaign website, which openly supported the harmful practice of attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors.
Today, in response to a wave of anti-transgender legislation in several states around the country, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) released a personal, detailed video message standing up for transgender equality and combatting the misinformation and scare tactics that proponents of these discriminatory bills use. Gov. Markell—who is the only sitting governor to have signed laws that enforce both sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations—is uniquely positioned to address the mean-spirited attempts that seek to undermine lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, nondiscrimination laws and require discrimination against the transgender community.
Equality Delaware, the Center for American Progress, and the National Center for Transgender Equality applaud Gov. Markell for his continued leadership on behalf of transgender people and their families. In response to Gov. Markell’s video message, those organizations released the following statements:
Lisa Goodman, president of Equality Delaware, said, “Gov. Markell has consistently stood on the side of fairness and equality and today is no different. Proponents of H.B. 2 rushed their bill through the North Carolina legislature in a matter of hours because they knew that when the public has the time to learn about trans people, they respond with affirmation and support. By speaking as a governor who has worked on trans issues, and as someone who cares about transgender people in his own life, Gov. Markell has helped insert into the national conversation the compassion and facts that are missing in the actions and statements made by opponents of equality.”
Laura E. Durso, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, said, “As the LGBT community, and transgender people in particular, continue to face an unprecedented number of discriminatory state bills, it remains imperative for those of us living in states and communities with protections to stand up and speak out against hate or discrimination wherever it occurs. Gov. Markell’s video message may be one of the most personal and detailed trans-specific statements ever made by an elected official of his stature. We thank him for helping to educate the public on trans equality and urge other elected officials to follow suit and make clear to the transgender community that there are leaders around the country fighting for them.”
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, “It is so important for elected officials like Gov. Markell to vocally and consistently support transgender people and to do their part to educate the rest of the public on who transgender people are. Gov. Markell has always demonstrated solid leadership, including three years ago when he signed wide-ranging protections for all transgender Delawareans into law.”