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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Top DoJ official talks LGBT progress at the Center
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2011-09-21

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More than 30 LGBT community leaders attended a special talk by Matt Nosanchuk, senior counsel and LGBT liaison in the U.S. Department of Justice, at the Center on Halsted Sept. 15.

The Center invited leaders and allies in Chicago's LGBT community to a reception and brief presentation by Nosanchuk, who attended a conference earlier in the day on hate crimes at the Center.

The openly gay official highlighted strides made by the Obama administration for LGBT people.

Nosanchuk summed the past three years' progress in areas of youth advocacy, LGBT health, HIV/AIDS, hate crimes, family life and LGBT seniors. Those achievements included passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," expanded hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples and the development of the National HIV/AIDS strategy, among other achievements Nosanchuk said.

"We are certainly working to ensure that the [ pro- LGBT ] policies that have been put into place endure," Nosanchuk said, during a brief question and answer session.

Advocates questioned Nosanchuk on money for HIV/AIDS prevention in African-American communities and on money that was allotted to prevent hate crimes Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The act had authorized $10 million in money for trainings to prevent hate crimes. Nosanchuk said that tight budgetary constraints on government would likely stall such funding.

"Unfortunately, I wouldn't hold my breath," he said.


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