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Press Statement March 24, 2023

Eight Leading Human Rights Organizations Form The Greater Than Hate Coalition to Fight Back Against Extremists

Pride Photo - LGBTQ Parade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 24, 2023

CONTACT:

HRC Staff | press@hrc.org

Washington D.C. – Today, eight of the nation's leading human rights and equality organizations – the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Everytown for Gun Safety, the NAACP, the National Education Association (NEA), the National Women's Law Center, Equality Federation, Asians Fighting Injustice, and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) – announced the launch of the Greater Than Hate Coalition, a collective, multi-racial, multi-cultural movement with the aim of fighting back against extremist politicians and their growing and loud campaign of hate. 

In Congress and in state houses across the country, extremists are enacting discriminatory legislation, banning books and abortion, spewing hateful rhetoric and propaganda, and preventing debate about sensible public safety measures that could protect the lives of queer and transgender people, people of color, women, people with disabilities, children, teachers, and public workers. Since January 1, 2023, 435+ anti-LGBTQ bills, including more than 185 bills that specifically target transgender people have been introduced in state legislatures, according to the Human Rights Campaign. As of March 1 of this year, 37 state legislatures have introduced abortion bans that would ban all or most abortions.

This hateful legislation and rhetoric has led to a staggering increase in violence and discrimination, especially directed towards women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ Americans. In 2022, for example, there was a 3x increase in anti-LGBTQ+ incidents and in 2021, there were at least 57 reported deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people — 73 percent of these were with a gun. According to the National Abortion Federation, reports of violence against abortion clinics increased 125 percent from 2019 to 2020. In the same year, death threats against abortion providers more than doubled. 

At a time when extremists dominate the news cycle and actively spread fear, the Greater Than Hate Coalition represents the vast majority of Americans who believe that hate has no place in our society and that everyone — no matter who they are, who they love, or how they identify — can live freely.

The Greater Than Hate Coalition will serve as a public education campaign and rapid response team that will:

  • Call out the alarming surge of attacks against marginalized people;
  • Recruit more people to collective action and;
  • Bring to bear our collective power to stop dangerous anti-LGBTQ+, white nationalist, and anti-women proposals, and the extremist politicians and organizations trafficking in hate.

To accomplish these goals, the coalition will invigorate our base, identify opportunities for shared actions, and serve as a rapid response hub as extremist rhetoric continues. 

"The last several years have scared so many people to their core. We've watched as, both on the national stage and in many states, people have seen long-settled rights stripped away and looked on as their transgender and LGBTQ+ friends and family and colleagues have been targeted for who they are," said Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "We're at a crossroads. Do we protect the most endangered and marginalized groups among us, or do we ignore them? Do we protect our reproductive rights, or allow them to be rolled back? Are we invested enough in our future to keep our schools and streets safe from violence? I believe we are. I believe we will. I know that we can. I know that together we are Greater Than Hate. I'm so energized to be part of the new coalition - because we have to work together to win.

"The volume and intensity of hateful rhetoric, propaganda, and legislation attacking women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals have been growing dramatically over the past few years. This hate results in the rollback of basic rights to bodily autonomy, violence against our communities, and the criminalization of learning the history of this country. Together, we say enough, " said Fran Hutchins, Executive Director of Equality Federation. " We must join together as a collective - across race, class, gender - to stop extremists from furthering their campaign of hate. This fight needs all of us."

"Politicians have decided hate is a winning strategy — at the expense of the health, safety, and even lives of women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color, and disabled people. These attempts to legislate hate just end up hurting us all. They can try to ban abortion, to ban books, even to ban transgender people out of existence, but in the end, they will fail. Together, our organizations, and the majority of people in the United States who believe in equality, opportunity, and freedom, will unite to stop the hate." said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center

"Hate armed with a gun is deadly, and in a country where extremists have near-unfettered access to firearms it's far too often queer people, women, and people of color who bear the brunt," said Angela Ferell-Zabala, Senior Vice President for Movement Building at Everytown for Gun Safety. "The fundamental truth is that hope is louder than fear, and the power of our coalition is greater than a hateful agenda. We are proud to stand alongside our partners in this fight, and we will continue to advocate tirelessly for a future where everyone is safe and no one's existence is up for debate."

"Educators are working hard every day to provide all students, regardless of their color, gender or ZIP code, with a great public school education that gives students the freedom to pursue their dreams," said NEA President Becky Pringle. "But some politicians are injecting their culture wars into our public schools, dehumanizing transgender people, banning books and restricting what educators can teach and what students can learn — while ignoring the real issues facing students and public education. Across race and place, parents, students and advocates are coming together to demand the public schools our students deserve and make this a country where every child has the freedom to learn, grow and thrive."

"Although AFI is currently focused on ending Anti-AAPI hate, we are Asians Fighting Injustice and not Asians Fighting Asian Injustice," said Derrick Leon, executive Director at Asians Fighting Injustice. "We fight against hate in all forms, and will stand with those being targeted because of what they look like, how much they make, what they believe in, or who they love. Our only hope of achieving a truly equitable society, is by uniting not dividing, which is why we are proud to stand with the Greater Than Hate Coalition."

"When extremist politicians spew hateful rhetoric against the transgender community, when they introduce and pass laws that strip away our rights, and when they send the message that we don't belong in society – these actions have real consequences," said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director at the National Center for Transgender Equality. "Transgender people's very lives are being placed up for debate, and there is a direct link between this dangerous rhetoric and the increasing violence we experience. It is time for the many of us who believe in freedom and justice for all to rise together, across our diverse backgrounds, to demand change and end the political, social, and physical violence against all our communities."

"The NAACP stands firm in its commitment to our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ+ community," said Derrick Johnson, President & CEO, NAACP. The fight to thwart efforts to codify discrimination into law requires the inclusion and strength of members of all historically marginalized communities as civil rights activists and influencers. "The exciting formation of this new coalition allows us to fight and defend their rights and dignity and dispel social and political attempts to uphold a hate culture in this nation."

The Greater Than Hate Coalition is a collective, multi-racial, multicultural movement united against the forces of violence and discrimination. For more information, visit: https://greaterthanhate.org/ 

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Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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