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LGBTQ RIGHTS

Trump attended and spoke at a hate group meeting: “…the Family Research Council unquestionably supports baseless and bigoted claims about the LGBT community with no basis in scientific or statistical fact (such as the idea that gay men are more likely to be pedophiles), Republican politicians have been fixtures at the annual summit.” (Palma, snopes.com, 9/14/16)

Trans person who needs support? Please call the Trans Lifeline 877-565-8860 (US) 877-330-6366 (Canada)
Happy National Coming Out Day!

(Scroll down to take immediate action)

UPDATE 10/15: CA now recognizing nonbinary as a third gender. (KQED) 10/12: Trump to become 1st POTUS to speak at anti-LGBTQ hate group. (UK Independent) 10/4: (1) US votes against UN resolution to condemn the use of the death penalty to target LGBTQ individuals. US eventually provides its explanation (NBC News). Note: In several countries, being LGBTQ is punishable by death (Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen) and Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq and Syria allow it in some areas. Qatar, Pakistan, Mauritania, and the UEA allow it but don't enforce it often. (2) Jeff Sessions instructs federal agencies to accommodate those who claim their religious freedom are being violated by, for instance, being made to hire LGBTQ individuals, providing services to LGBTQ, and so on. Religious organizations can now hire based on "religious beliefs" and adherence to a "code of conduct" (ABC News). 8/25: White House directed Pentagon to implement Trump's military new recruit transgender ban; Dept. of Defense given some leeway to determine status of current enlistees; court action coming. (CNN) (see below to take action) 7/27: (1) Joint Chiefs of Staff to troops today: no immediate change of policy regarding transgendered individuals (NBC News). (2) AG Sessions filed a brief with US District Court of Appeals regarding a 2010 case, arguing that federal civil rights laws do not (!) protect individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity (ACLU). 7/26: Trump attempts to ban transgendered individuals from the military (CNN), citing costs and "readiness." Costs, however, are estimated at only an .004% (4/1000s of ONE percent) increase in the Defense Dept's healthcare budget, because there are fewer than 5K trans in the entire military, and most do not get reassignment surgery. Pentagon confused. 7/13: ACLU fighting for Congress to reject unconstitutional amendment denying care to transgendered individuals and their families. OLDER UPDATES.

LEARN. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer or Questioning community and allies are, understandably, concerned about Trump’s presidency. Last year, aTrump employee who identifies with the gay community sued for harassment and discrimination (Villarreal, The Advocate, 10/24/16). Trump's cabinet nominees have a collective record of homophobia, as described in the Boston Globe story, Trump’s cabinet—a who’s who of homophobia (Signorile, 12/15/16).

LGBTQ rights have been threatened by Trump's executive orders this year. Note that his legislative efforts have failed to produce a single piece of legislation; instead, he's issuing orders using a typically little-used power. These orders must still be vetted by the judiciary; as we've seen, many of them have been blocked by the courts. Trans? Know your rights.

TRUMP'S LGBTQ EOs: Will these attitudes result in even more restrictive action against the LGBTQ community? Unfortunately, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, supports the anti-LGBTQ First Amendment “Defense” Act HR2802, and his Vice-President, Pence,

...was not only against hate crimes protections, he supports conversion therapy and actually advocated revoking HIV funding in order to pay for it. Trump can reverse Obama's executive orders on LGBTQ rights, including a workplace non-discrimination mandate that protects employees of federal contractors, and a Department of Education order that safeguards trans students. Trump has already endorsed legislation to enshrine ‘Kim-Davis-style discrimination. (Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 1/13/17)

Here is a concerning quote from a Los Angeles Times article entitled, Don't buy Trump's flip-flop on marriage equality:

In allowing legal discrimination against LGBT people, Trump plans to go even further. He has previously expressed his support for the First Amendment Defense Act, a piece of legislation that’s strikingly similar to the anti-LGBT legislation passed in Indiana by his second-in-command, Gov. Mike Pence. The bill would allow businesses, landlords and even healthcare providers the right to deny services to LGBT individuals based on their religious beliefs by preventing anyone from taking action against them for doing so. Thus, it could soon be legal for a caterer to decline to host a same-sex wedding or an employer to fire you for being gay...Trump has pledged on his first day in office to “cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum, and order issued by President Obama.” If so, he will nullify crucial protections for LGBT workers. In 2014, Obama signed Executive Order 13672, which states that federal contractors cannot be fired on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Just 19 states currently have such protections in place, and Obama’s executive order was seen as a crucial step forward toward nationwide equality. (Lang, 11/14/16)

Much of Obama's EO protecting LGBTQ was rescinded in spring of 2017, including allowing transgendered individuals to serve and receive healthcare in the military. That, as well as Trump's most recent EOs, are being challenged in the courts.

Want to do outreach to combat homophobia, LGBTQ isolation and bullying, and transphobia, which have worsened this year? According to The Advocate, here are the most anti-LGBTQ states: SD, GA, MI, NM, OK, VA, WV, IL, SC, TN, KY, MI. They might be a good place to start! (See below for ideas on how.)

TAKE ACTION

(1) Follow state and federal policy proposals, confirmation proceedings for any new SCOTUS Justices, and remember, members of Congress are MOST concerned about their own re-election (many Senators, and all House Representatives are up in 2018). If they get the sense people will vote based on their position on an issue, they will listen! GOP representatives are closely watching polls of support for Trump. It really does take only a handful of phone calls on a given topic from a representative's own constituents to influence that member of Congress. Who are your representatives? DC House of Representatives switchboard: 866-948-8977 and Senate 866-985-2543 (in addition to your local and state Congressional reps, call the DC number when Congress is in session and/or when you feel very, very strongly and alarmed about an issue or imminent legislation). As the Indivisible Guide (how to take effective action to defeat the Trump agenda) notes, phoning is more effective than email, tweets, letters. Don't know your Senators’ phone number? Call 202/224-3121, put in your zip. You’ll be transferred. Shy to call? Don’t be concerned. You’ll likely be sent to voicemail. If you do reach someone, speak concisely and politely, telling them:

...you live in their district (for Representatives) or state (for Senators),
...you’re concerned about the rights of LGBTQ individuals,
...and you want them to:

-push for LGBTQ protective legislation to ensure that LGBTQ rights are upheld in this administration.

If you don't live in their district, tell them you'll be phoning their voters in advance of the next election.

(2) Join the Human Rights Campaign, and contribute to efforts in your state. The HRC is the U.S.’s largest civil rights organization focusing upon LGBTQ equality. They've put together an awesome list of post-election resources.

(3) Visit glaad.org’s resource page for organizations taking political action and acting in support of the LGBTQ community in a wide variety of ways.

(4) How to combat homophobia and transphobia: PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), where you can get and give support, join programs in place, find local centers, and take action. National policy guide and toolkit, education, support!

(5) Take action to prevent bullying toward LGBTQ youth. Support local programs for LGBTQ youth, searching them out on the internet and getting involved in local City Council and school board elections to advocate for support and education. Tolerance is fostered at the community level, and the younger we start, the better! Start with your own local school board.

(6) Support the National Center for Transgender Equality: "More than one in four trans people has faced a bias-driven assault, and rates are higher for trans women and trans people of color." The site provides many resources, including their Responding to Hate Crimes community resource manual, partner resources, information on the civil rights of trans individuals, and actions to take.

(7) Educator? Parent, friend, or other family member of LGBTQ youth? Learn, take action (CDC). Resources for educators and the community at large, targeting suicide prevention in LGBTQ youth: The Trevor Project

(8) LGBTQ college student, or wanting to become one? Browse Campus Pride’s site. Campus Pride’s goal is to provide the “necessary resources, programs and services to support LGBTQ and ally students on college campuses across the United States.” During the Obama years, it focused mostly on increasing tolerance and reducing hate crimes. Now, it’s moving toward protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ individuals. Evaluating colleges/grad schools for positive campus climate and affordability? Try this site!

(9) The National Center for Transgender Equality is already mobilized, due to recent “restroom bill” legislation. (Bills were introduced in AL, AZ, IN, KY, MN, MO, NJ, OK, SC, TX, VA, WA, WY). Also support the Trans Lifeline in their work to support trans individuals. Their calls have spiked since the election.

(10) Are you LGBTQ and considering traveling elsewhere to promote LGBTQ rights? Before you travel, take extra precautions to keep yourself safe when in states listed in this section, and also in the over 75 countries where being LGBTQ is a crime. Being LGBTQ is punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Iraq, Brunei, Darussalam, United Arab Emirates (Bearak & Cameron, Washington Post, 6/13/16). Information is power.

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Human Rights: Racism (Sexism interacts with racism in all cultures)

Human Rights: Women's Rights

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