SNAP: The U.S. House of Representatives will soon be voting on the Agriculture and Nutrition Act (H.R. 2) (the Farm bill), which calls for cutting SNAP benefits and restricting eligibility for the program by imposing time limits and expanding work requirements. These potential cuts will gravely impact those affected by food insecurity, including members of the LGBTQ community. The Williams Institute found that more than 1 in 4 LGBT adults (27%) – approximately 2.2 million people – experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money for the food that they or their families needed, compared to 17% of non-LGBT adults. SNAP is a critical part of the web of programs that assists people with meeting basic needs as well as helping them to thrive within their communities. Call your Representative today at 1-888-398-8702. Tell them to vote NO on the Farm Bill (H.R. 2) because it will hurt older LGBTQ Americans and their families.
Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision Day: The Supreme Court will announce their decision between now and the end of June. Our nation decided more than 50 years ago that when a business decides to open its doors to the public, that business should be open to all. That core principle is at the heart of how we treat one another. Recent findings show that 60% of Americans oppose allowing a small business owner in their state to refuse products or services to gay or lesbian people if providing them would violate their religious beliefs. Further, 70% of Americans favor laws that would protect LGBT people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. The results were published in a US News and World Report. The stakes in this case are incredibly high. A loss would open the door to much wider ranging forms of discrimination and a wider array of people facing discrimination. Sign on in support of the OPENTOALL campaign to stay updated. As a supporter, you can also share some of the resources over social media and include the #opentoall hashtag in your posts.
Emerging Consensus: The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released their annual survey based on the American Values Atlas, Emerging Consensus on LGBT Issues , which launched yesterday. Below are some notable findings:
- A clear majority of Americans (60%) oppose allowing small business owners in their state to refuse service to gay and lesbian people if doing so would violate their religious beliefs.
- Between 2013 and 2017, we have seen a double-digit increase in support for same-sex marriage among white (53% vs. 63%), black (41% vs. 52%), and Hispanic (51% vs. 61%) Americans.
- More than six in ten (61%) Americans say gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry legally, while only about half as many (30%) are opposed.
The report is based on approximately 40,000 interviews across all 50 states. This allows PRRI to explore support for non-discrimination laws, religiously based refusals and same-sex marriage down to the state level. Download the report here.
Trans Rights: Last week, BuzzFeed News reported that the administration has stripped away rights from yet another vulnerable group of transgender people - this time, transgender inmates, who already face appallingly high rates of violence. The policy gives federal officials more leeway to place transgender women in cells alongside men — a circumstance that advocates argue leaves transgender inmates vulnerable to violence and rape. Learn what you can do to protect trans inmates by visiting the National Center for Transgender Equality's Action Center page.
LGBT Older Adults: May is Older Adult Recognition Month, with Honor our LGBT Elders Day falling on May 16th. SAGE is embarking on a national awareness-building social media campaign called “Care Can’t Wait” to elevate the impact that religious-based discrimination has on LGBT older people. We must support the right of ALL LGBT people to receive non-discriminatory care—because a license to discriminate could impact the lives of millions, including our aging population. Pledge to stand with LGBT elders in the face of religious discrimination.