Amy Laufer is running for the Virginia state senate in district 17. Here’s Amy Laufer on LGBTQ issues. Don’t forget to vote June 11!
Q: Do you consider yourself to be an LGBTQ ally? Why/why not?
I absolutely strive to be an LGBTQ ally everyday. I absolutely believe that we all need to stand
up for LGBTQ rights and show the LGBTQ community our support. I support codified protection
from discrimination in jobs or housing. I also believe that we must put an end to the barbaric and
dehumanizing practice of conversion therapy. As a school board chair, I passed a non-discrimination policy created by Equality Virginia to protect students and staff. We were one of only two school divisions in the state to pass this policy. As a candidate, I have striven to recruit a diverse staff, including LGBTQ people who often face job discrimination. Two of my three senior staff identify as LGBTQ, and I work to listen to, understand, and amplify the experiences of this population.
Q: As an elected official, what role will you play or push your elected body to play in promoting the safety and wellness of LGBTQ people who are parents, children, homeless, of color, disabled, tourists, new to the area?
We absolutely need to write protections for LGBTQ populations into law, but I believe that the promotion of the safety and wellness of LGBTQ people goes farther than that. We need to be creating a culture in which we accept all people, regardless of who they are or who they love. This culture-setting can be led by our elected representatives. When our state legislators espouse love and acceptance, rather than hate, we demonstrate what is and is not acceptable
within our communities.
Q: Are you safe-space trained and, if not, are you willing to be and to push your fellow officials, staff, and partners to get trained, along with training in implicit bias and bystander training addressing race and gender issues that also affect members of the LGBTQ community?
While I am familiar with the safe-space curriculum, I have not been safe-space trained. I would
be excited to undergo these trainings and encourage my peers to do the same. On the Charlottesville school board, I ensured that safe-space training was made available to staff, and as a state senator, I would continue to encourage these trainings.
Q: What else do you want the local LGBTQ community to know about you?
I pride myself on my ability to listen to the concerns of the people around me and the people I would represent. I would always be interested to hear from members of the LGBTQ community about issues that I am not sufficiently addressing or concerns that have come up. I promise to treat all people with respect, and I hope to earn their respect in return.