Human Rights Campaign boss: We are sorry for failing the trans community

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The President of the Human Rights Campaign has apologised for his group’s previous lack of integration with the trans community.

HRC President Chad Griffin made the comments in a keynote speech at the Southern Comfort Conference for trans people in Atlanta.

In the speech he admitted the organisation had failed in the past to include trans people at the heart of its campaigns, and pledged to “urgently” change the way that HRC deals with trans issues.

He said in part: “HRC has done wrong by the transgender community in the past, and I am here to formally apologize.

“I am sorry for the times when we stood apart when we should have been standing together.

“Even more than that, I am sorry for the times you have been under-represented or unrepresented by this organization.

“As the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, HRC has a responsibility to do that struggle justice, or else we are failing at our fundamental mission.

“I came here today in the hopes that we can begin a new chapter together. But I also came here to tell you the truth. We’re an organization that is evolving. We may make mistakes. We may stumble.

“But what we do promise is to work with you sincerely, diligently, with a grand sense of urgency, listening and learning every step of the way.

“In the next session Congress, HRC will lead the campaign for a fully-inclusive, comprehensive, LGBT civil rights bill.

“A bill with non-discrimination protections that don’t stop at employment, but that finally touch every aspect of our lives—from housing, to public accommodations, to credit, to federal funding, to the education we all need to succeed and thrive.

“And I’m going to keep being honest with you, this is not going to be an easy fight.

“But I want to say something here today. Whenever the inevitable chant about ‘bathrooms’ begins, they’re not just attacking you, they’re attacking me, they’re attacking us.

“We can’t let them win. We must hold the line. We will tell the truth. Because these are our lives, and this is the moral thing to do.

“I promise you here, with my sweet Southern mum and all of you as my witness, that we won’t stop fighting until everyone in this room and everyone across this country has the equal protection, equal opportunity, and equal dignity that we all deserve as human beings.”

The full speech is available here.

The move echoes those of LGB rights group Stonewall in the UK, following the beginning of a consultation process with the trans community.