WASHINGTON -- February -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays was recently one of 22 national GLBT advocacy organizations to sign onto the ground-breaking unity statement titled "Civil Rights. Community. Movement." After years of being accused by some of having a subversive anti-American "radical gay agenda," PFLAG was proud to sign onto a document that set forth what might fairly be called a collective agreement on an actual gay agenda, the organization said today.
Ron Schlittler, PFLAG's interim executive director said, "This is a clear listing of goals rooted in nothing more than aspirations for basic fairness and equal respect and protection under the law for all of our family members and friends."
What the unity statement did not spell out was how each group would go about achieving shared aims. Schlittler said, "In the interest of transparency -- and in articulating for ourselves what our specific goals are rather than leaving it to those who continually mischaracterize our work for their own political aims -- we are announcing today PFLAG's core goals established by our Board of Directors that shape our work of support, education and advocacy."
Here are PFLAG's long-term goals:
I. Build the capacity of the organization at every level so that it may have all the resources, in the form of information, people and funding, necessary to move forward in its work with the greatest possible effect.
II. Create a world in which our young people may grow up and be educated with freedom from fear of violence, bullying and other forms of discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation or that of their families.
III. Make its vision and message accessible to the broadest range of ethnic and cultural communities, ending the isolation of families with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender family members within those communities.
IV. Create a society in which all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons may enjoy, in every aspect of their lives, full civil and legal equality and may participate fully in all the rights, privileges and obligations of full citizenship in this country.
V. Work toward full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons within their chosen communities of faith.
In releasing this statement of strategic goals, PFLAG National President Samuel Thoron said, "We welcome the participation and support of all who share in our vision and mission and who hope to realize our goals -- whether straight or GLBT, whether relative or friend. We are redoubling our organizing efforts state-by-state all around the nation to significantly enhance and expand the effectiveness of our exceptional grass roots network."
With these clear guideposts, PFLAG's national office retains a central aim of keeping families together, but signals an equally deep commitment to educating friends and neighbors and policy makers about our concerns. Central to the work for the next couple of years will be state-by-state strategic organizing and training of members and supporters to be even more effective spokespersons and policy advocates for the their family members and loved ones in the GLBT community.
For more information on PFLAG's goals and programs, please go to http://www.pflag.org or contact the national office at 202-467-8180.