SAVE joined Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, husband Dexter, and son Rodrigo to launch "Family is Everything," our new PSA on the importance of dignity and respect for all. Watch it here. >>
"Family is everything," states the Congresswoman at the opening of the advertisement. "Every transgender person is part of someone's family and should be treated with compassion and protected from discrimination," she says, flanked by her husband, Dexter Lehtinen, and her son, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen.
The advertisement, produced in both English and Spanish-language versions, emphasizes the importance of protections from discrimination for all Americans -- including people who are transgender.
Rodrigo is transgender and has been working in the LGBTQ movement for many years. In 2014, he and his mother made the decision to talk publicly for the first time about Rodrigo’s transgender identity in a thoughtful joint interview with CBS4’s Jim Defede.
The interview with the Congresswoman and her son was a nationwide hit, and it came just as the issue of transgender rights was reaching a new level of public consciousness. In part because of the immense amount of work he performed in changing American hearts and minds by appearing on television with his mother, SAVE awarded Rodrigo with the honor of Champion of Equality last year.
The Congresswoman, Dexter, and Rodrigo are the perfect spokespeople for the idea that family ties and respect for one another are universal American values. We think they did a beautiful job articulating the importance of protecting everyone from discrimination.