Mar 22, 2023
As advocates working to support LGBTQ+ youth and adults in Rhode Island, we are greatly alarmed by a comment made by Rhode Island Representative Quattrocchi at last week’s hearing of the House Committee on State Government & Elections, in which he asked Representative Kislak, one of two openly LGBTQ+ representatives in Rhode Island, if she is a “pedophile.”
The resurrection of such dangerous rhetoric based in bias and disinformation is part of what is fueling the flames of increased harassment and violence and a sweeping campaign of legislative attacks targeting LGBTQ+ people – primarily young people – across the country. There is no place for such ugly ignorance in Rhode Island. Committee Chairs have a responsibility to ensure that legislative debate does not devolve into hateful rhetoric.
Rhode Island has been a leader in recognizing and protecting equality for the LGBTQ+ community. The people of this state are proud of that legacy. Our representatives should be working to ensure safety, dignity, and equity for all residents, not perpetuating dangerous, false comparisons that undermine the humanity of LGBTQ+ people.
Janson Wu, Executive Director, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
Bella Robinson, Executive Director, COYOTE RI
Rush Frazier, Executive Director, Youth Pride, Inc.
Thundermist Health Center
Jodi l Glass, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology; Community Advocate
Ruth E Horton, M.Ed.
Alicia Gauvin, Executive Director, SHIP
LGBTQ Action RI
Ryan Vigneau, Chief of Staff, RI Queer PAC
Catherine M. Gorman, Board Chair, Pride in Aging RI
Colleen Daley Ndoye, Executive Director, Project Weber/RENEW
Monique P Paul, VP, President Pro Temp, TGI Network of RI Inc
Gretchen Raffa, Vice President Public Policy, Advocacy and Organizing, Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island
Jocelyn Foye, The Womxn Project & The Womxn Project Education FundJulio E. Berroa, Executive Director, Haus of Codec