Executive Director Charlie Panfil is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and understands the importance of equality for the community each day. States with prejudiced governors and state legislatures have worked to strip rights from same-sex couples and the LGBTQ+ community. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports: banning conversion therapy in all forms, ensuring same-sex couples have the same opportunities to adopt children and build a family, ending workplace and hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation, and preventing business owners from refusing customers based on their sexual orientation regardless of personal or regligious opinion.
The United States of America has a disheartening history with racism and the roots it has taken in our society. Monumental work has been done by civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Justice Thurgood Marshall, Cesar Chavez, James Baldwin and leaders today are still working for total equality for all regardless of the color of our skin. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports: eliminating racial discrimination within the justice system and police departments, addressing historic racism often forgotten in history textbooks included in public school curriculum, remove Confederate monuments and landmarks to historic figures that propagated racism, and classify the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups as domestic terror groups and involve the FBI in shutting them down.
Equality for Transgender People
Gender identity has consistently been ignored or undermined at all levels of government. From state level “bathroom bills” that perpetuate a false narrative about these communities to the current federal government’s refusal to allow members of these groups from serving in the military, these actions have been and should continue to qualify as discrimination under the 14th Amendment, and as such the laws should reflect this legitimate expression of identity. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports: repealing "bathroom bills", alllowing transgender soliders to openly serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces, expanding Medicare and Medicaid to cover transistion-related surgeries, and expanding hate crime laws to include gender identity.
Equality for People with Disabilities
Despite the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act having been passed nearly 30 years ago, there is still clearly more work that has to be done to promote the equality of Americans with disabilities. According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for those with disabilities has remained twice that of the population at large, and many students with learning disabilities find themselves in separate classrooms without access to the educational and extracurricular opportunities that they are entitled to. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports: strict enforcement of the ADA and IDEA, providing incentives for teachers to gain specialized tranining in teaching students with physical and mental disabilities, witholding taxpayer dollars from public projects and universities that are not ADA compliant.