June is LGBT Pride Month, a time when LGBTQI+ community members, family, friends and advocates acknowledge and celebrate the gift of diversity that is unique to each of us. Many municipalities host “Pride Parades” where LGBTQI+ community members outwardly profess their rights to live freely and openly as themselves. This is also a time to acknowledge the many accomplishments of LGBTQI+ community members both past and present as well as mark strides in our current social/political arenas. » Continue Reading.
History was made in New York State recently when the New York State Senate – after 16 very long and often disappointing years – finally passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) granting basic human and civil rights protections to the Transgender and Non-Binary communities.
GENDA had previously passed the NYS Democratic majority Assembly 11 years in a row. Also signed into law was the ban on LGBTQ Conversion Therapy, a controversial practice that attempted to change a child or youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity through highly discredited therapeutic means. » Continue Reading.
In the past two years we’ve seen an outpouring of hate, attempts at overt discrimination, attempted role back of basic human rights protections at the federal level. We are facing a potential crisis in the US Supreme Court over settled law in the area’s of women’s health, reproductive rights, marriage equality, and basic LGBTQ civil rights protections.
We’ve seen attempts to ban members of the transgender community from serving openly in the military as well as prohibit their use of public accommodations based on lies and fears of spread by homophobic and transphobic hate groups bent on our elimination from society. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who heads the Department of Justice, issued guidance stating that LGBTQ people are not covered under federal anti-discrimination laws. This opened the gates to discrimination in all aspects of our lives, including housing, employment, medical care and insurance coverage. We’ve see repeated civil rights violations of our immigrant and native neighbors. » Continue Reading.