Chapter Name: Chestertown
Mailing Address:914 Gateway Drive
Phone Number:443 480 3138
Chapter News....Our next meeting will be on March 18th at 7 pm, Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River located at 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown MD Call Linda at 443 480 3138 or email: email@example.com for more information.
Well here we are again…another snow day! What are you doing on Wednesday? Want to go to Annapolis and lobby? Let us know if you are interested and we will organize some carpooling! There are three of us going for sure.
Texas and Arizona made the headlines last week with positive decisions for our community. Let’s get Maryland in the news again by finally passing the non-discrimination protection law!
You might be aware that legislation offering non-discrimination protection for Marylanders based on their gender identity and expression has passed out of committee in the Maryland Senate. We believe and hope there are enough votes in the Senate to pass this legislation, but we need to garner as much support as possible in the House of Delegates. PFLAG is preparing formal testimony, and we are asking for a show of support by as many parents, family members, and allies as possible that day. If you can join us, please do so.
If you've got it, please wear purple to show your support.
Wednesday, March 5th
1 p.m. (please arrive no later than 12:45 pm, and expect to be there until late in the afternoon)
House Office Building, Room 240
6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
In the meantime, please contact your senators and delegates to express support for the Fairness for All Marylanders Act (Senate Bill 212 and House Bill 1265).
Stephen S. Hershey Jr.
Michael D. Smigiel Sr.
Jay A. Jacobs
Steven J. Arentz
Thank you for your continued commitment to moving equality forward!
Here is the Arizona story!
PFLAGers across the country are strongly in favor of religious liberty and the freedom to worship as one chooses--after all, many PFLAG members and supporters are also people of faith--but the right to worship and hold personal religious beliefs does not give one the right to discriminate against others.
Yesterday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB1062, a so-called Freedom of Religion bill that would have greatly expanded the scope of religious exemptions from nondiscrimination laws in the state, granting the right to discriminate to any individual or business based on their religious beliefs.
This bill garnered major attention across the country: from the media, from activists, and of course from PFLAG members and supporters who made calls, attended rallies, talked to their neighbors, and volunteered long, hard hours to make sure that this bill would not become law. We were happy to see, too, the demand for a veto included many Republican leaders as well as businesses both in Arizona and nationally, including PFLAG partners like American Airlines and Marriott International. We are relieved that the Governor did the right thing by vetoing this harmful and hurtful piece of legislation.
And yet, even as we celebrate this victory in Arizona, similar bills are being introduced and voted on in other parts of the country: while similar bills were recently killed in Kansas and South Dakota, other bills in Mississippi, in Georgia, in Missouri, are still on track to potentially become law.
All of these bills have one disturbing thing in common: they all stemmed from an unfounded fear, by people who are opposed to same-sex marriage, that people and businesses would be required to provide services to same-sex couples.
PFLAG National and its chapters across the country will continue to stand strongly in support of their LGBT loved ones, speaking out against these “Freedom to Discriminate” bills wherever they raise their heads. We will remain vigilant and take action when necessary, sharing our personal truth: that being a person of faith and a supporter of equality and affirmation for LGBT people are not mutually exclusive.
And there is one more chance to parade for the Mardi Gras Season! On Saturday at 3 pm in Chestertown there is the very first ever Chester Gras Parade!
Watch for some of us with our costumes from the Dance party a few weeks ago only this time we will be parading with mules, horses, wagons and carriages! After we go around Fountain Park a few times we will end up at the People’s Bank Parking Lot tented for the Gumbo Cook off! The food and beverage sales will benefit the local Backpack Program! Come find out what it’s all about!
Back to local news…We are still trying to encourage the local high school administration to officially support the Day of Silence Event planned for April 11. There have been several attempts to reach out, but no face time yet. Congrats to the GSA youth who were involved in the production of the KCHS production of “Spelling Bee.” It was a wonderful show! More local news next week when we announce our monthly meeting!
Stop in at the Garfield on First Friday this week. We will hold an informal GSA and PFLAG friends meeting there at 5:30 since there is no school today when we would have our usual meeting time. The Garfield continues to appreciate our mission with their First Friday community based hospitality!
The previous announcement in February follows...
Recently the Historical Society of Kent County asked that PFLAG Chestertown keep good records of our activities so that we could be included in their work! Here is an opportunity to support them and several of our Washington College friends as they focus on local diversity history.
Please join the Historical Society of Kent County at the Bordley History Center on Friday, February 21 at 7 PMas we present an exhibit, The Power and Legacy of Race Past and Present in Chestertown.
In the fall of 2013, Washington College students taking a course in Environment and Public Art were asked to create proposals for a memorial that would speak to a broad range of audiences about the power and legacy of race in the area.
This Friday the Historical Society of Kent County will exhibit the proposals made for the Public Art course taught by Professors Alex and Kelly Castro. Some of the students will be on hand to discuss their ideas.
We hope you will join us to view the work created by these very talented students.
This will take place at the Bordley Center on the corner of High Street and Cross St, 7 pm Friday 2/26!
In Annapolis...it is lobby season again. Our Susan Brittain is part of this Washington Blade article.
Lobby Day for trans equality was incredible! Hundreds of supporters came to Annapolis, giving a big boost to our community's work just days before a key committee vote on the Fairness for All Marylanders Act. A huge thank you to everyone who turned out, volunteered, and helped make Lobby Day such a success.
Now we're expecting a vote in the crucial Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday. Your Senator sits on the committee and needs to hear that you support fairness for transgender Marylanders.
Take Action: Email your Senator urging a favorable committee vote on SB 212: Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014.
The Judicial Proceedings Committee has been a sticking point in our movement to protect transgender people from discrimination. But this year could be different. We have momentum and unprecedented support for trans equality on our side. Thanks to years of hard work with the community, allies, partners and activists like you, 2014 could be the year we win.
Getting the bill through the committee is the first step.
Take Action: Urge your Senator to support the Fairness for All Marylanders Act in committee.
Thanks for all that you from
EQMD Director of Advocacy and Programs
AND from your local PFLAG Chestertown!