A handful of Democratic House members have invited sexual assault survivors as their guests to the State of the Union address at the end of this month.
NBC News reports that an aide of Representative Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat, confirmed that some Democrats will “be bringing survivors of sexual assault and advocates,” as their guests in order to highlight the issue. Frankel indicated that she will extend an invitation to a woman involved in #MeToo but hasn’t finalized her plans. “What we want is to really continue the conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace,” the congresswoman told The Hill.
It seems that Democrats will not invite any of the 19 women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment and assault. NBC News reports that two Democratic congresswomen said that there had been “discussions” about inviting Trump’s accusers before the idea was “killed.” It’s unclear who ended the discussion about inviting Trump’s accusers, but NBC strongly implies that it was Nancy Pelosi.
News of the invites comes one day after Representative Jackie Speier called on lawmakers to wear black to the State of the Union. The suggestion was championed by the Democratic Women’s Working Group, which consists of all of the Democratic women in the House. In a statement, Pelosi said that she, as well as many of her colleagues, will wear black to support “the brave women in every industry and every corner of the country who are making their voices heard.” That effort was also helmed by Frankel, the chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group. Frankel told Jezebel that the decision to wear black, “members of Congress are showing solidarity with a movement that is demanding economic justice and a cultural shift that enables men and women to work side by side in safety and dignity, free of sexual harassment, and be paid equally for the value of their work.”