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Our Voices

BIA Rules Domestic Violence is Grounds for Asylum

Though domestic violence is a serious problem in countries all over the world, not all governments offer help and assistance to survivors of domestic violence. And even in countries where survivors can seek help, LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence may not be able to come forward due to fear of persecution and discrimination by governments that do not recognize—or actively disparage—their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Yesterday, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), after a...


The Schedules That Work Act

Involuntary part-time work. Unpredictable schedules. Fear of employer retaliation for taking time away to care for a sick child. These are all incompatible with reproductive justice, and yet this describes the current employment situation for many low-income workers. This is particularly true for women, since women are still disproportionately the primary caregivers, while also acting as the primary breadwinner in 40% of families. Moreover, women in the LGBTQ community are especially...


Beyond Equality: Combating Violence Against Trans Women of Color

On July 30th, a 15-year old trans girl was stabbed on a metro platform in Washington, D.C. Though it has not yet been formally designated a hate crime, given the facts surrounding the incident, it seems clear that this young girl was attacked because of her gender identity. This is sadly the case for most violence against trans people, particularly trans women of color. While the victim of this horrendous crime is fortunately in stable condition, this is not the case for many of our sisters...


High Court Strikes Massachusetts Abortion “Buffer Zone”

Today, the Supreme Court held that a Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot buffer zone for patients at clinics that provide abortions was too broad, but affirmed that laws in line with the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act are valid, and implied that smaller anti-harassment zones could be valid. Buffer zones are important protectors of patient safety and clinic access, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights joined the National Women’s Law Center and several other...


STD Awareness for LGBTQ Youth

April is National STD Awareness Month! STD, short for “sexually transmitted disease,” actually refers to a whole spectrum of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Unfortunately, there are quite a few myths about STDs, especially concerning how vulnerable the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community is to contracting them. Three of the most dangerous myths are addressed below: Myth #1: Only gay men get HIV/AIDS. While HIV/AIDS has historically been more prevalent...


Sexual Assault in the LGBTQ Community

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month is a reminder that through a combination of stigma and myths, sexual assault in the LGBTQ community is often rendered invisible or dismissed outright, despite CDC statistics that show the sexual assault rate for LGBTQ individuals is comparable or higher than the sexual assault rate for heterosexual individuals. Approximately 1 in 8 lesbian women and nearly half of bisexual women experience rape in their lifetime, and statistics likely...


Support the HEAL Immigrant Women and Families Act!

Though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will go a long way toward ensuring access to quality healthcare for most LGBTQ individuals, many LGBTQ immigrants are still prohibited from obtaining the affordable health care they need. Despite being authorized to live and work in the United States, many immigrants—including LGBTQ immigrants—are ineligible for affordable health coverage and care through vital programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Many immigrants are...


Every Child Deserves a Family—Respect the Right to Parent

November is National Adoption Month, and there are currently more LGBTQ parents waiting to adopt than there are children in the foster system. Unfortunately, some LGBTQ couples are denied the right to parent—and children are denied a home—because of discriminatory state policies governing same-sex adoption, and policies that allow adoption agencies to give preference to different-sex couples. Anti-LGBTQ bias and discrimination in the courts further leads to LGBTQ parents being denied custody...


Abortion Access Is an LGBTQ Issue

September 30th marked the 37th anniversary of the enactment of the Hyde Amendment, the federal provision that bans Medicaid coverage for abortion-related healthcare. The Hyde Amendment has been one of the most devastating attacks on the ability for low-income families to access healthcare. Since the Amendment passed, people relying on Medicaid for health coverage have effectively been prevented from accessing crucially important abortion-related care. This tragic anniversary comes at the end...


“B” Visible

This week, the White House hosted a historic roundtable discussion on the issues facing bisexual people. In the first-of-its-kind meeting, administration officials gathered activists and community members to explore the many policy concerns that are particularly relevant to bisexual individuals. Bisexuals—the “B” in LGBT—face unique issues that are sometimes overlooked in LGBTQ advocacy efforts. Bisexuality refers to an individual’s attraction to more than one gender. This often includes but...


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