Equality March for Unity and Pride Platform Issues

 

Biphobia

 

We affirm the significant contributions of the bisexual+ community to LGBTQ+ liberation movements.  We recognize that many within the bisexual+ community have been actively silenced and their identities erased.  We acknowledge the responsibility of the LGBTQ+ community at large to acknowledge our contribution to biphobia and bisexual erasure.  We must work diligently to educate ourselves and others. We likewise acknowledge the staggering disparities faced by bisexual people, related to physical and sexual violence, suicide, employment discrimination, and physical and mental health.  We support efforts to increase resources to further research and advocacy focused upon the bisexual+ community. We call on all people to support bisexual individuals openly and publicly, confronting biphobic stereotypes within lesbian and gay communities and organizations, and proactively working for bisexual inclusion. We demand accurate and inclusive reporting and representation in the media.

 

Disability Rights

 

We affirm that the intersection of the disability, Deaf and LGBTQ+ civil rights movements are forever connected. Together they share the goal to break barriers, to fight for inclusion and independence and seek agency over thoughts, bodies, decisions and expression of our identities whether visible or invisible. We support LGBTQ+ who identify as Deaf or people with disabilities who advocate for affordable and accessible healthcare, including mental health parity, access to an equal education and jobs with a fair wage, innovation to drive assistive technology, a private vote and civic engagement, sexual independence and reproductive choice, and freedom from fear of authorities, police and institutionalization and more. We also believe all nations around the world should answer the call to ratify and join the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will increase access and inclusion for over a billion people with disabilities.

 

Elder Rights

 

Elders of the LGBTQ+ community fought for decades for our hard-won victories to date. Their dedication and sacrifice should be championed and recognized by all age groups. It is our charge as a community to protect our elders’ rights and access to care. We urge Congress to pass a reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) which would provide extra protection under the law to vulnerable elders who face multiple barriers that aggravate economic insecurity, social isolation, acquired disability and various health challenges related to aging. We support protections for elders to live without fear of loss of housing, access to food and transportation and allow them to maintain independent choice in inclusive spaces regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

 

Faith and Religion

 

Religion has been a source of both solace and suffering for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans. For while many LGBTQ+ Americans have been raised in an organized religion — and many continue to cherish their faith community — too many have been forced to leave those communities behind because of condemnation of LGBTQ+ people. We oppose efforts to weaponize religion, faith and ideologies and use doctrine against any person’s right to free expression and to live their identity. We support communities of faith who welcome LGBTQ+ people as members and worship partners. We applaud the many religious organizations that have taken supportive stands on the issues that affect LGBTQ+ people in America, such as the fight for freedom from discrimination, the solemnizing of same-sex marriage and the ordination of openly LGBTQ+ clergy.

 

HIV/AIDS

 

Both domestically and globally, LGBTQ+ people continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS, particularly young gay men and trans-women of color. The multiplying effects of racial, economic, age, sexual orientation, gender-identity, and HIV-status discrimination exacerbates the impact of HIV and undermines the ability for community to respond. At the same time, while treatment has made it possible to both prevent transmission of HIV, protect oneself from infection, and live full healthy lives throughout the world, access to these services remains unequal. Interventions such as PrEP remain disproportionately available and accessed within our community. Access to treatment both domestically and globally is starkly affected by economic status. We demand full investment into HIV research into new treatments, prevention, vaccines, and a cure for HIV, a global response against HIV, non-discriminatory and universal access to healthcare services for both prevention and treatment of HIV and other opportunistic infections, and universal protection against discrimination against people living with HIV in all aspects of life including our housing, work, and family lives.

 

Immigration Justice

 

Today there are nearly one million LGBTQ+ adult immigrants living in the United States and over a quarter of them are without a path to citizenship. With a world where 80 countries criminalize people based on their gender identity and sexual orientation, we will continue to see more waves of LGBTQ+ immigrants coming to the United States. Immigrant justice encompasses language justice, criminalization reform, blazing a path to citizenship, and more. As LGBTQ+ people we know immigration is also a transgender and queer issue, we will continue to fight so we can ensure that families aren’t separated and that we are a welcoming and safe-place for HIV positive, transgender, and queer immigrants.

 

Income Inequality

 

LGBTQ+ people are more likely to live in or near poverty than the general population. Income inequality especially affects LGBTQ+ people who live at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities, like people of color, immigrants, persons with disabilities, transgender and gender nonconforming people. We support a fair tax policy. We support an economic justice agenda that provides for a real living wage, affordable and accessible housing, erasing homelessness, and increased access to education, jobs, healthcare & HIV care, criminal justice, food and financial services.

 

Indigenous / Two Spirit

 

We acknowledge to the indigenous people and first nations that the violent sacrifice and displacement they experienced have allowed cities, like Washington D.C. and countless others, to flourish and grow. We acknowledge the existence of Two Spirit/LGBTQ+ individuals and their meaningful contributions to the sexual and gender communities.  We affirm and support the global indigenous justice movement that recognizes and denounces the active killings of indigenous people from all corners of the world. We march to bring our two-spirit persons back to the fireplace.

 

International

 

We call upon the people and governments of the world to abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ensure that the all people have equal protection under their laws regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Any kind of state-sanctioned discrimination and detention of LGBTQ+ populations must be eliminated and laws and policies must be established to ensure the equality of all citizens.  We call for the immediate and absolute repeal of laws within the 76 countries that criminalize same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults.  Persecution, violence, imprisonment and death for LGBTQ+ people in these countries must end. All people have the right to live with agency in safety and security.

 

Legislative Issues

 

We support the bipartisan Equality Act that was introduced with 241 original cosponsors—the most congressional support that any piece of pro-LGBTQ+ legislation has received upon introduction. The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. We oppose the introduction of FADA (First Amendment Defense Act) because it would legalize state sanctioned discrimination. This bill would allow individuals, many businesses, and non-profit organizations—even those contracting with the federal government—to circumvent critical federal protections designed to protect LGBTQ+ families from harmful discrimination. We also oppose harmful efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and attacks on the Americans with Disabilities Act (known as “Notification Bills”) which uplift and protect many in our community such as LGBTQ+ people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ elders and people living with HIV/AIDS.

 

Reproductive Justice

 

The reproductive health, rights, and justice (repro*) and LGBTQ+ movements are inseparable: we are all working for the right to choose who and how we love and how we use our bodies—without interference from the government, employers, or harmful religious entities that misuse freedom of religion as a licence to discriminate. As LGBTQ+ people, we recognize that everyone has a fundamental right to sexual health and bodily autonomy, which includes the right to decide whether or when to become a parent, to parent the children we have, and to do so with dignity and free from violence and discrimination. We support reproductive health, rights, and justice (“repro*”) movements because LGBTQ+ people need access to reproductive health care and services such as birthing, prenatal, pregnancy, abortion, gender affirming care, preventive care, and family planning.

 

Racial Justice

 

We acknowledge the precarious existence of queer people of color, who live at the marginalized intersection of racial discrimination and LGBTQ+ persecution.  We understand that mainstream LGBTQ+ movements are not exempt from the ills of white supremacy.  We recognize that queer liberation for people of color necessitates the acknowledgement and dismantling of hierarchical white privilege.  We support efforts to prevent violence perpetrated against black and brown people, who regularly face racially-based intimidation and domestic acts of terror. We acknowledge that LGBTQ+ people of color are more likely to be involved in the criminal legal system and support movements to disrupt the prison industrial complex. We acknowledge the necessity of the racial diversification of leadership within queer liberation movements and affirm that the liberation of queer people of color includes the liberation of us all.

 

Transphobia

 

We purposefully uplift members of the Trans and gender non-conforming/non-binary community as a primary focus for human rights organizing. We understand the societal stigmas TGNC people are forced to deal with, stigmas that perpetuate violence and systemic oppression. We pledge to work strategically to find solutions that prohibit discrimination against the TGNC community regardless of what form it embodies. We pledge to work as allies to challenge discrimination towards TGNC citizens, assisting in the development of discrimination and anti-harassment policies. We understand the particular challenges endured by Trans people of color, particularly Trans women. Twelve Trans women of color have been murdered in the first half of 2017. We recognize the immorality of this silent epidemic. We stand in solidarity with our Trans sisters of color as we work towards solutions to rectify this deplorable violence. We will fight to ensure the safety of Trans people of color on the federal, state and local levels. We pledge to fight side by side with members of the TGNC community to ensure their basic human rights are protected and all have a chance to live their lives in peace.

 

Youth

 

Youth experiencing homelessness is one of the most pressing issues facing a disproportionate number of LGBTQ+ youth in our country today.  According to service providers, an estimated 20-40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+, while only 7-10% of the general youth population identifies as such. Bullying is a problem that affects 1 out of 4 kids. LGBTQ+ youth face a higher risk with 9 out of 10 students experiencing harassment at school and online. We demand safe schools where all youth have equal and equitable access to education, including QPOC youth who are disproportionately suspended and expelled. We also seek inclusion, accommodation and protection from discrimination in the policing/juvenile justice system, out-of-home care/foster care, and school discipline.