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Shutdown stops, LGBTQ activists launch social justice initiative
From a National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund press release
2018-01-23

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WASHINGTON-DC: Just days after federal lawmakers reopened the government, hundreds of LGBTQ advocates will take over Capitol Hill to bring Queer Voices on the Hill onThursday, January 25, 1:00 — 5:00 PM. Over 500 LGBTQ advocates from every walk of life and representing almost 50 states will meet with Congressional leaders during the National LGBTQ Task Force's Queer Voices on the Hill: Creating Change Advocacy Day.

"The compromise that ended the shutdown is a major disappointment - one that jeopardizes the safety and wellbeing of DREAMers — and those who are LGBTQ are particularly vulnerable. We are taking Queer Voices to the Hill to fight for them," says Rea Carey, Executive Director of the Task Force Action Fund. The Task Force, along with partners such as United We Dream, the Center for American Progress, and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance will be on Capitol Hill Thursday pressuring lawmakers to act swiftly on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ( DACA ) by passing the DREAM Act.

"The Trump/Pence administration took office a year ago this week, and the attacks on women's rights, immigrants' rights, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals have been incessant. Part of our work as advocates is to pressure our elected officials to act on our behalf and hold them accountable when they don't," says Stacey Long Simmons, Director of Advocacy and Action at the National LGBTQ Task Force. "The Task Force is convening one of the largest LGBTQ advocacy days in recent history to say: enough is enough. In law and in practice, LGBTQ people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We plan to tell our lawmakers exactly how to do so."

LGBTQ advocates and allies will share personal stories, educate lawmakers, thank LGBTQ champions in Congress and hold Congressional members accountable for achieving LGBTQ equality, equity, and justice. This year, the Creating Change Conference celebrates its 30th anniversary with the theme: Learn. Connect. Resist. The conference is in Washington, DC to spotlight one year of resistance to the most anti-LGBTQ administration in recent memory.

The focus for Queer Voices on the Hill: Creating Change Advocacy Day is on:

Nondiscrimination: Pass explicit federal protections to counter LGBTQ discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, jury service, public funding, credit and education.

Faith and Nondiscrimination: Oppose harmful religious exemptions that allow individuals or entities to discriminate under the guise of religious freedom.

Reproductive Justice and Poverty: Pass legislation that ensures abortion care is included in public health insurance programs; ensure employers or health plan sponsors include coverage for abortion care; and ensure health service providers make abortion available to individuals who are eligible to receive services.

Racial Justice and Criminal Justice: Pass legislation to prohibit racial and religious profiling within federal law enforcement and develop programs for law enforcement training, data collection, and dealing with complaints.

Disability and Bodily Autonomy: Pass legislation to mandate protections for people with disabilities in group homes, nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals.

Support Immigrant Communities: Advocate for protecting Dreamers and enacting immigration policies that respect people coming to this country.

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund builds political power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their families. We accomplish this through direct and grassroots lobbying and organizing on legislation and ballot initiatives. As a progressive social justice organization, the Task Force Action Fund works toward a society that values and respects the diversity of human expression and identity and achieves equity for all.


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