Friday, September 08, 2006

Historic Resolution for LGBT Rights Adopted Overwhelmingly at National Meeting of Latino Organizations

Press Release
Sept. 6, 2006

Contacts: Francisco Dueñas 323-702-1613
Laura Esquivel 202-210-2096

Historic Resolution for LGBT Rights Adopted Overwhelmingly at National Meeting of Latino Organizations

Put forward by a coalition of Latino LGBT activists and organizations, a resolution calling for LGBT equality and civil rights protections was presented at the first Latino Congreso, and overwhelmingly adopted on the very first day of the meeting being held in Los Angeles. There has not been such a convening of Latino activists since 1977.

The resolution calls for, among other things,

  • The expansion of legal benefits, protections, responsibilities and privileges for all families and individuals and separate benefits from the recognition of marital, citizenship, and/or conjugal status;
  • Support for national, state, and local legislation and policies that would protect LGBT Latinos/as from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity;
  • Opposition to restrictions on parenting and adoption by LGBT people, same-sex couples, and unmarried cohabitating couples;
  • Support for Latino/a LGBT persons to openly serve their country in the military;
  • Support for legislation and policies that would enable LGBT Latino same-sex couples to sponsor their loved ones for purposes of immigrations rights and benefits (such as S. 1278);
  • Support for giving Latino/as the choice to legally marry their partner;
  • Opposition to anti-same-sex marriage constitutional amendments; and finally
  • Rejection of efforts to exclude LGBT Latinos/as from the larger Latino/a US Familia.

The resolution came after a morning panel discussion with Latino/a LGBT leaders, called “Todos Somos Familia,” where issues particular to the Latino LGBT community were discussed in one of the better attended morning sessions.

“This kind of collaboration between Latino activists and LGBT organizations is a long time coming, and way overdue. In this case, LGBT organizations, notably Lambda Legal and Equality CA, made a significant commitment to Latino LGBT needs,” said Francisco Dueñas, outreach associate for Proyecto Igualdad, a project of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Lambda Legal is a national legal LGBT rights organization.

Erin Glenn, community organizer for BIENESTAR, the largest Latino human services organization in Southern California said, “The passing of this resolution by the National Latino Congreso is a milestone in that it signifies growing support for full equality in a critical constituency for LGBT Latinos all over the United States.”

Marlon Morales, co-author of the resolution said “passage of this resolution represents not only a historic moment, but in practical terms assures that Latino policy makers have a mandate to consider how their future policies and legislation will contribute to securing full human and civil rights for LGBT Latinos.”

“Feeling the overwhelming, and in some cases emotional, support from a diverse group of Latino/a grassroots organizers, campesinos, and national and local leaders, showed once again what I’ve known all along: Latinos put familia above all else – and today LGBT Latinos were publicly embraced and claimed as part of that familia’ said longtime activist for LGBT and Latino rights, Laura Esquivel.



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