York, NY, Feb. 1, 2012 -Queer/LGBTIQA2Z Occupy Wall Street, a caucus of the NYC based Occupy Wall Street movement, will protest a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) gala honoring Goldman Sachs Feb. 4, 2012 at the Waldorf Astoria.
In contrast to the $650 a plate Gala, the Queer/LGBTIQA2Z Caucus will host a "Guerrilla Potluck" on the sidewalk outside of the prestigious hotel at 50th Street & Park Avenue from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Queer Caucus: 1. Condemns HRC for honoring Goldman Sachs, 2. Calls upon HRC to adopt a strategy of Full Equality by 2014, and 3. Demands that HRC create a transparent process that includes the grassroots.
1. The Queer Caucus condemns HRC's decision to honor Goldman Sachs in a time of financial collapse caused by their unethical business practices and greed, and deplores the use of our cause and suffering for corporate public relations. HRC honoring Goldman Sachs at this time reveals all one needs to know about the corporate LGBT lobby, and its disconnect from the 99% and the LGBT people it purports to represent.
2. The Queer Caucus calls upon HRC to embrace the grassroots demand for Full Federal Equality by 2014 — the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
To address this, the Queer Caucus calls on HRC to take The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality to seek and secure full non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identify for all people.
LGBT Americans suffer vast psychological harm rejected by their families and society, are driven to suicide at 5 times the heterosexual norm by tormenting, minority stress afflictions, and lost hope.
Some 40% of homeless youth identity as LGBT, 66% of transgender people have been fired or not hired for a job, 60% of our youth are taunted and feel unsafe at school, and LGBT people are 6 times more likely to have multiple mental stress disorders due to societal discrimination.
"Homo/transphobia in America is a public health and economic emergency for our community" said Michael Tikile, an occupier and Duke University graduate. "We are not safe in school, work or housing. How are we supposed to live, pursue happiness or achieve economic equality?"
3. The Queer Caucus also demand that HRC open the process with transparency and grassroots inclusion.
Queer/LGBTIQA2Z Occupy Wall Street says HRC operates under a closed, hierarchical system, controlled by a financial elite, insulated from grassroots input. HRC's key sponsors includes a long list of big businesses that contributed to recent economic and environmental distress, including Citi Bank, Bank of America, Chevron, BP, Shell, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, Deloitte, Lexus, Prudential, and Ernst & Young, the group claims.
"With all of these companies, you'd expect the power to be on our side! But instead, our community is simply a tool and pawn in the political system" said Tanya Walker, an original occupier and transgender activist.
The Queer Caucus demands equal non-discrimination protections under the 1964 Civil Rights Act because equality is the only true antidote to LGBT abuse like it has proven to be for race, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability — long protected from discrimination by law.
"Equality and non-discrimination are universal values that define basic human dignity" said Todd (Tif) Fernandez, a human rights lawyer and grassroots activist. "It is our civic duty as Americans to protect and respect the LGBT community immediately."
There is a Take the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality (by 2014) (http://bit.ly/the2014pledge).
Queer/LGBTIQA2Z OWS Caucus meets Sundays at 1pm, 60 Wall Street or on FB http://on.fb.me/QueerOWS.