From a trans "bathroom bill" in Anchorage to "parody marriage" legislation in South Carolina, a number of new bills are causing LGBTQ advocates concern. It seems our community is under attack on a daily basis. For me, reading the daily headlines often causes anger, anxiety, frustration, and sadness. I'm sure many of you can relate. So how do we use those feelings to create positive change? By taking action. This is not the time to hit delete when you see an email asking you to sign a petition, write a letter, make a phone call, or share a social media post. Center Action Network makes it easy for you to be heard on issues that matter to the LGBTQ community. Our newsletters and website give short briefings on important policy topics and provide information on how you can take action very quickly. Join me and thousands of others in magnifying and unifying the voice of LGBTQ community centers. Your participation DOES matter and together we CAN make a difference.
Center Action Newsletter: Thursday February 22nd, 2018
Religious Refusals: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently created a new division called the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division that will allow health care providers to refuse care based on their moral and religious beliefs. This will severely impact members of the LGBTQ community, women, and many others. We must let HHS know that we are strongly opposed to any actions that will encourage a license to discriminate. The HHS is accepting public comments about this new division until March 27th. We have created an online toolkit to provide you with comment templates, recent stories of discrimination, talking points, social media posts, and more. You can even submit your comment through our toolkit, making it quick and simple. This may be one of the most important issues we battle for years to come, so be sure to submit your comments before the deadline.
Gun Control: 17 people were killed by a gunman last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As these incidents occur one after another, we are all looking for answers on how to end mass shootings. It’s nothing new to the LGBTQ community. Between 2012 and 2015, of the LGBTQ people who lost their lives due to anti-LGBTQ violence, more than half were shot to death. We need your help to stand up to the gun lobby movement. Your voice matters. Click here to see three things you can do right now to encourage your leaders to put an end to gun violence.
What’s Next For The Dream Act: The Senate failed to pass a legislative replacement to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, leaving Congress with few legislative options and only four legislative days before President Trump's March 5 deadline. Because of two court injunctions in California and New York, existing beneficiaries are allowed to apply to renew their two-year DACA permit, however it’s imperative the Senate find a path to 60 votes. The window to file DACA renewals may close. While the administration has not yet asked the courts to stop the court order allowing youth to renew their DACA, it could do so in the future. There are nearly 40,000 LGBTQ Dreamers. If these recipients lose their protected status, they will face deportation to countries they may not have set foot in since childhood and where their lives could be in danger. In much of the world, deportation is a death sentence for LGBTQ people. To learn more about DACA recipients and how you can help, visit the National Immigration Law Center’s website.
LGBT Foster Care and Adoption: Family Equality Council and the Center for American progress need your story to end anti-LGBTQ discrimination in foster care and adoption! Family Equality Council’s Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign and the Center for American Progress’s Welcoming All Families Project are excited to join together in a storytelling partnership to improve the lives of foster children. Are you:
- a parent?
- a foster youth or former foster youth?
- a child of LGBTQ parents?
- a child welfare professional or advocate?
- an ally who wants to end discrimination in foster care and adoption?
Conversion Therapy: Conversion therapy, also referred to as Reparative Therapy is a widely discredited practice that attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Practices to “cure” individuals of their same-sex sexual orientations and transgender identities include a number of techniques ranging from shaming to hypnosis to inducing vomiting to electric shocks. Conversion therapy can be extremely dangerous and, in some cases, fatal. Movement for Advancement Project’s “LGBT Policy Spotlight: Conversion Therapy Bans” brief offers an overview of laws protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy practices that have been widely discredited and renounced by groups like the American Psychological Association. The brief also includes policy recommendations to ban harmful conversion therapy practices. Track conversion therapy laws by state here. If you would like to help enact protection laws in your state, contact #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator & Youth Policy Counsel Carolyn Reyes at BornPerfect@NCLRights.org.
Rubber Stamp Reps: They’ve voted to repeal Obamacare and take away healthcare from 23 million Americans, cut taxes at the expense of the middle class, and support making it easier for anyone to carry loaded, hidden guns in public regardless of state law. These representatives have been voting in step with the administration an average of 94% of the time. In addition to supporting harmful policies that a majority in their districts voted against, they haven’t even been showing up to listen to what constituents want—many have offered very limited opportunities or none at all to hear directly from constituents in town hall meetings. They need to know this is not acceptable. While these representatives are on recess and back in their districts, we will raise our voices. You don't even have to do an in-person visit! Click here to see how you can engage.