Republican congresswoman releases TV ad urging people to embrace the trans community (VIDEO)
A Republican congresswoman has launched a new campaign – ‘Family Is Everything’ – encouraging parents to support their trans children.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen stars in the advert alongside her husband, Dexter, and their trans son, Rodrigo in a campaign aimed at improving trans rights.
“We loved him as Amanda, and now as Rodrigo. At first, we had a lot of questions, but as parents we love and support our children,” she says in the ad.
“Every transgender person is part of someone’s family, and should be treated with compassion, and protected from discrimination.”
“Family is about acceptance and love.”
Her husband, Dexter, adds: “We’re really proud of our son Rodrigo. As parents, we all want our children to have a fair chance.”
The family have launched the campaign on behalf of LGBT-rights group SAVE and broke down at a press conference introducing the public service announcement.
An early supporter of same-sex marriage, the congresswoman said she began supporting LGBT equality after her son came out seven years ago.
“The thing to realise is they haven’t really changed fundamentally. Character and work ethic and humanity doesn’t change,” she explains.
However, Mrs Ros-Lehtinen may still have a lot of work to do before she convinces transphobic Americans to stop discriminating against the community – starting with her own party.
A wave of Republican-backed ‘bathroom bills’ have spread across the US aimed at rolling back LGBT rights protections, ostensibly to stop transgender people from using their preferred bathroom.
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Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump had initially joined the congresswoman in breaking with his party’s official stance, claiming last month that trans people should be allowed to use the bathroom that they want.
However, as he bids for unity with the Republican bigwigs, the billionaire has revoked his support, claiming earlier this month: “It’s a new issue and right now I just don’t have an opinion, but what I would like to do is see the states make that decision.”
Appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, Trump went even further, suggesting that states like North Carolina should be free to set their own anti-LGBT laws without government interference.
Watch Mrs Ros-Lehtinen’s ad – which is also available in Spanish – below: