LGBT Rights

WASHINGTON, DC - Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees as well as his appointments to the Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights clearly indicate that a roll back of civil rights for the LGBT community is in progress. In contrast, under President Obama enormous progress was achieved including the following milestones:

  1. On June 25, 2015 the U.S. Supreme court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. (Trump has stated opposition to same-sex marriage and has nominated a conservative justice who could provide the swing vote to reverse this ruling should it be challenged.)
  2. The Affordable Care Act includes a non-discrimination provision that includes gender identity and sexual orientation. (Trump and Republicans are in the process of dismantling the ACA and these protections would go away, especially harming transgender people.)
  3. The Obama administration came out in favor of allowing transgender individuals the right to use the bathroom that matched their self-identified gender. This directive was based on Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment that forbids discrimination based on gender. (The Trump administration reversed the the position. And as of 03/06/17, the Supreme Court refused to hear the “bathroom case" of a transgender boy, (G.G. vs. Gloucester) and sent it back to the appeals court to reconsider in light of the new administration’s position. The case may eventually reach the Supreme Court in the next few years.)
  4. An executive order was issued that banned federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees. (The Trump White House has announced that this will remain in place.)
  5. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the Violence Against Women Act both provide explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. These laws may both be in jeopardy of being enforced with the appointment of John M. Gore to head the Office of Civil Rights in the DOJ.

Discrimination against the LGBT community continues in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) has been introduced in the U.S. House and will likely come up for debate soon. This will allow businesses to deny service to LGBT people based on “religious convictions.”Now more than ever, we must stand with our LGBT brothers and sisters and defend the progress and achievements of those who have worked tirelessly for advancing basic human rights.

Actions

Support LGBT-owned businesses.

Attend rallies, pride parades and events.

Support the arts community.

Speak up if you hear someone making derogatory remarks about an LGBT person.

Support projects that promote acceptance and inclusion in schools, i.e. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program or Rethinking Schools.

Support anti-bullying initiatives.

Advocate for local non-discrimination ordinances.

Contact elected officials when LGBT legislation comes up for debate. Request they vote NO on the upcoming  FADA (First Amendment Defense Act)

Run for office and be a voice of and for the community.

Examine your own bias and prejudice and learn tips to help others do the same at Love Has No Labels.

Local Organizations

AIDS Service Foundation of GKC – Raise money and awareness for organizations that provide shelter, medical care, and emergency services to those affected by AIDS – sponsor of AIDS Walk

CAMP Magazine – Monthly magazine for the LGBT community

Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network KC (GLSEN) – Students, parents, and teachers affecting positive change in schools

GLAMA (Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America) – Collects and archives materials related to KC”s LGBTQIA history

Good Samaritan Project – Advocacy, care and education to those affected by HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

HOPE GLBT Catholics in Kansas City – Safe, supportive, affirming environment for KC’s GLBT Catholics

Human Rights Campaign KC – Local branch of largest LGBT national organization that advocates for equal rights

Kansas City Care Clinic – Health care services including HIV prevention, to people with or without insurance

Kansas City Diversity Coalition – LGBTQIA events, fundraisers, and community outreach including The Kansas City PrideFest

Kansas City Rainbow Coalition – Awareness of equality and diversity through community outreach and education

KC Anti-Violence Project – Serves LGBTQ youth and adults who have experienced trauma, violence, harassment or neglect. Works to prevent domestic violence and hate crimes.

KC LEGAL (Kansas City Lesbian, Gay, and Allied Lawyers) – LGBT attorneys and allied partners working on equal rights

LIKEME Lighthouse – LGBT resources, meeting space, education, on-site counseling, and library

MAINstream Coalition – Political advocacy organization speaking out against extremism in Kansas

Modern Family Alliance (Formerly Midwest Alternative Family Alliance) – Supports LGBT parents to raise children in a respectful, encouraging and inclusive community

Mid America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce – Advocates, promotes and facilitates the success of the LGBT business community and their allies through the guiding principles of equality, inclusion, economics and education

Passages – LGBT youth center

PFLAG KC – Local chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) supporting families, allies and people who are LGBTQ

PROMO – Political advocacy group for LGBT Missourians

SAVE, INC. – Housing for individuals with AIDS

The Tenth Voice KKFI – Weekly radio broadcast created by and for LGBTQIA community

UMKC LGBTQIA Services – Support, education, and resources to LGBTQIA students

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