Gay, Lesbian Advocacy-Support Group Shuts Down in Walla Walla
It seems unusual that a group dedicated to advocating and supporting gay, lesbian and transgender individuals would not be at the forefront of Washington State's, and the Mid-Columbia's discussions about the new transgender bathroom laws, and other related issues.
But after some 21 years of existence, the Walla Walla chapter of the national group known as PFLAG is disbanding. PFLAG stands for Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbian and Gays. It's one of, if not the largest, group of parents, family, friends and other allies who have gay or lesbian relatives and friends. It also includes transgender individuals as well.
For years, according to KVEW-TV, the group met in the basement of the First Congregation Church, which members say was the only church that opened it's doors and welcomed them in.
However, according to chapter members, Walla Walla is a "very conservative" community, and doesn't allow members of the LGBT community to get involved in what are presumed to be a variety of community and civic issues.
They say the city is in the don't ask, don't tell phase. Members also say due to these factors, dwindling membership, lack of members attending meetings, and virtually no volunteers, it's time to shut it down.
PFLAG banners, flags and other signage and items used by the group will be boxed and reportedly stored in the church basement.
According to the national PFLAG website, it has around 200,000 national members and around 500 chapters. There is a website for a PFLAG group that's active for Benton-Franklin County.