Religious Refusals: As many of you know, in January 2018 the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Civil Rights (OCR), issued a proposed rule on Religious and Moral Convictions that would allow HHS to insert a religious and moral exemption into all of their health programs. In other words, healthcare providers could deny care to LGBTQ people, which would be particularly harmful for transgender people, women, people of color, people living with HIV and many of us who live at multiple marginalized intersections. No one should be denied healthcare. We need your help to flood HHS with real stories of discrimination and harm that will be caused if this new rule is finalized. CAN 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 site, 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 March 27th deadline.
Open To All: Movement Advancement Project has released an ad called Funeral Home that depicts a devastating scenario in which a grieving widow and her family are turned away from a funeral home and refused burial services for her wife. Discrimination like this shouldn’t happen, but it does. In 2016, a funeral home in Mississippi refused service to Jack Zawadski, after learning his deceased spouse was a man. The couple had been together for more than 50 years and were legally married in 2015. And while Jack recently passed away, Lambda Legal is representing his family in court in Mississippi. Businesses that are open to the public should be open to EVERYone. Join the Open To All coalition and sign ACLU's People's Petition, then ask your friends to do the same.
Protect Non Partisanship: The Johnson Amendment bans charities and religious organizations from engaging in partisan politics while retaining their tax-exempt status. Last fall, we united to prevent Congress from including a provision in the final version of the tax bill that would have repealed the Johnson Amendment. Your voice is needed again as Members of Congress are writing a bill to set federal appropriations for the remainder of fiscal year 2018. Some are pushing to attach unpopular or controversial provisions. This includes language to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment. Our sector builds and maintains the well-being that allows communities to reach their potential when our resources are focused on mission-related work, not political campaigns. Call your Senators and Representatives. Tell them that the nonprofit community strongly supports the Johnson Amendment and that they should publicly oppose any attempt to attach a rider to the omnibus spending bill that would weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment.
What’s Next For Dreamers: In September of 2017, the Trump administration terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and permitted only a subset of current DACA recipients, whose protections were set to expire on or before March 5th, 2018, to file renewal applications. At the time, it was made clear that it was the responsibility of Congress to pass legislation by March 5th to avert that crisis from unfolding. That has not happened. What does all of this mean for Dreamers? Center for American Progress breaks it all down. What can you do for Dreamers? Listen to and share their stories on your social media pages using the hashtags #DreamActNow and #HereToStay:
Leezia - a Canadian-born Dreamer who immigrated to Texas in 1996 as a child.
Mo, who originally hails from Mexico, attends the University of Chicago, and identifies as LGBTQ.
Adonias, a queer Dreamer from El Salvador whose father was murdered by the notorious international gang MS13.
Online Supportive Communities: Are you looking for support for parenting your transgender, non-binary or gender-expansive child? Do you need a Spanish-speaking parents group and resources in Spanish? Are you a pre-teen or teenager looking to connect with peers about topics related to gender in a safe space? For more than ten years, Gender Spectrum has worked with thousands of families with gender-expansive children. They connect with families nationwide -- and even from around the world -- in online forums that provide support, connection, information and a safe place where all parents and young people can be free to express their experiences, concerns and joys. The Online Discussion Groups allow participants to interact, in real time, using video, audio, or chat. Group members engage in lively discussions, facilitated by Gender Spectrum staff and trained volunteers. No one is pressured to participate - the groups are fun and meaningful conversations that truly provide a safe space for all. You can learn more and register at https://www.genderspectrum.org/groups/.
March For Our Lives: We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution. But with that right comes responsibility. On March 24th, youth and families will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that the epidemic of mass school shootings end. The collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement must be heard! Join the march in DC or march in your own community. You can also sign the March For Our Lives Petition here.