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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Ben & Jerry’s Uses National Campaign to Support Trans Youth and Highlight the Equality Act

June 2, 2022 GMT
Ben & Jerry's takes a stand to support Trans youth and those who love them, stating: "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" with billboard campaign.
Ben & Jerry's takes a stand to support Trans youth and those who love them, stating: "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" with billboard campaign.
Ben & Jerry's takes a stand to support Trans youth and those who love them, stating: "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" with billboard campaign.
Ben & Jerry's takes a stand to support Trans youth and those who love them, stating: "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" with billboard campaign.
Ben & Jerry's takes a stand to support Trans youth and those who love them, stating: "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" with billboard campaign.

BURLINGTON, Vt., June 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- There has been a spate of hateful, anti-trans legislation being pushed in states across the nation. Right now, over 20 states have active legislation that seeks to marginalize the LGBTQ+ community in various ways. Two particular states have made actual progress on passing such legislation: Texas and Florida.

In Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared that gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth should be classified as child abuse. Governor Abott directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate families that are lovingly supporting and seeking care for their trans children—turning a state agency that’s supposed to protect children into a body actively promoting their harm. This is criminalizing parents who are creating a safe and loving home for trans children. The other 18 states are pushing similar malicious legislation.

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In Florida, Governor DeSantis’ passed the so called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation which effectively erases any discussion of LGBTQ+ related topics from the classroom, further marginalizing trans-youth. Florida didn’t stop there. The state legislature also recently passed the “Stop WOKE Act” (HB 7/SB 148) which would limit protected speech in workplaces with more than 15 employees and in classrooms by essentially making it impossible to have an honest dialogue about gender.

As part of Ben & Jerry’s ongoing body of work around advancing justice for those in the LGBTQ+ community, we are collaborating with our long-time partner, the National Center for Transgender Equality, who have asked for businesses to stand up loudly in clearly in support of the trans community.

The week of May 23rd, we will erect billboards in the capital cities of four of the states near the respective state houses that are most aggressively pushing these egregious bills: Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. These communications will focus on pushing our fans to support the Equality Act, a piece of federal legalization that aims to provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. Learn more about it here: https://www.hrc.org/resources/equality

“We are working to raise awareness around these regressive policies that are meant to disempower the LGBTQ+ community across our country,” said Matthew McCarty, Ben & Jerry’s CEO. “We will strive to use our corporate voice to share that Trans rights ARE human rights.”

To learn more about the campaign, or Ben & Jerry’s mission, and values, click here.

About Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s is an aspiring social justice company that believes in a greater calling than simply making and selling the world’s best ice cream. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and Non-Dairy/vegan desserts using high-quality ingredients and lots of big chunks and swirls. As a certified B Corp, Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices via values-led sourcing initiatives when purchasing ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s is distributed in over 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchised Scoop Shops, and via on-demand delivery services. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, a fair financial return, and addressing issues of social, racial, and environmental injustice around the globe. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, guided by Ben & Jerry’s employees, granted $3.7MM in 2021 to support progressive, justice-focused grassroots organizing around the country. For up-to-date information visit benjerry.com.

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The Latest Attacks on the Trans Community

Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we wanted to provide an update regarding the latest attacks on the trans community, and a bit of context on what Ben & Jerry’s is doing about it.

As folks are likely aware, there has been a spate of hateful, anti-trans legislation being pushed in states across the nation. Right now, over 20 states have active legislation that seeks to marginalize the LGBTQ+ community in various ways. Two particular states have made actual progress on passing such legislation: Texas and Florida.

ADVERTISEMENT

In Texas - where their Attorney General Ken Paxton declared that gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth should be classified as child abuse - Governor Abott directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate families that are lovingly supporting and seeking care for their trans children—turning a state agency that’s supposed to protect children into a body actively promoting their harm. This is criminalizing parents who are creating a safe and loving home for trans children.

In Florida, Governor DeSantis’ passed the so called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation which effectively erases any discussion of LGBTQ+ related topics from the classroom, further marginalizing trans-youth. Florida didn’t stop there. The state legislature also recently passed the “Stop WOKE Act” (HB 7/SB 148) which would limit protected speech in workplaces with more than 15 employees and in classrooms by essentially making it impossible to have an honest dialogue about gender (and also includes topics of race and racism).

The other 18 states are pushing similar malicious legislation. It also is worth mentioning that while our home state isn’t pushing these types of policies at the legislative level, we’ve been dealing with our own spell of concerning activity including the murder of a trans woman in Morristown, vandalism of the Pride Center in Burlington, and continued hateful messages and actions of local GOP legislators.

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So what are we doing about it? As part of our ongoing body of work around advancing justice for those in the LGBTQ+ community, we are collaborating with our long-time partner, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), who have asked for businesses to stand up loudly in clearly in support of the trans community.

On May 23rd, we will have billboards in the capital cities - near to the state houses - of four of the states most aggressively pushing these egregious bills: Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. The billboards will all be variations on the above example.

Locally, we will compliment the Pride Group’s amazing support of the Pride Center with a full page ad in the Seven Days reminding Vermonters that while our state may not be pushing regressive legislation, we must not ignore the fact that the similar vile rhetoric we’re seeing in many southern states is beginning to find a home in Vermont politics. We must continue to stand with our friends and neighbors on this critical issue.

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This effort will be accompanied by social media and press outreach that week in an attempt to amplify the story and drive further awareness about this issue. All of these communications will focus on pushing our fans to support the Equality Act, a piece of federal legalization that aims to provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. Learn more about it here: https://www.hrc.org/resources/equality

If you have any questions, please reach out.

Thanks,
Jay Tandan

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SOURCE Ben & Jerry’s