National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Legislation & Policy

National LGBTQ/HIV Criminal Justice Working Group

NCLR is a member of the National LGBTQ/HIV Criminal Justice Working Group, which is a network of nearly 50 organizations and individual stakeholders working to reduce the unique harms of the U.S. criminal legal system experienced by LGBTQ+ people, people living with HIV, or those at risk of acquiring HIV, through research, education, and policy advocacy.

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Legislation & Policy

Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019 (B23-0318)

NCLR supports the DC DECRIMNOW Campaign to pass the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019 (B23-0318), which would decriminalize consensual sex work for those who are 18 years of age or older and create a task force to monitor the implementation and effects of the act. NCLR has been an active member of the camaign by helping to lead the efforts to build support for the legislation by moblizing LGBTQ organizations and educating the DC LGBTQ community on the need for sex work decriminlization to address the health and saftey concerns facing sex wokers.

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Legislation & Policy

Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act (H.R. 2415/ S. 1243)

The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act makes would make needed reforms to the U.S. immigration system, including ending mandatory detention, ensuring that only those who are a threat to the community are detained and creating a presumption of release, establishing a presumption that vulnerable individuals–including LGBTQ individuals, young people, and victims of crimes–should be placed in community-based supervision programs rather than detention facilities, removing the minimum bond amount of $1,500 for release, requiring immigration judges to consider an individual’s ability to pay when setting a bond, and other changes.

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Legislation & Policy

SAFE SEX Workers Study Act

NCLR supports the “SESTA/FOSTA Examination of Secondary Effects for Sex Workers Study Act,” or the “SAFE SEX Workers Study Act.” The bill requires a federal study on how losing access to online platforms impacts the health and safety of people in the commercial sex trade.

In 2018, Congress passed SESTA/FOSTA, which vastly expanded the civil and criminal liability of websites for hosting information related to the sex trade. In response, dozens of websites closed, displacing sex workers who utilized those websites to earn a living in order to stay housed, fed and safe. The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act seeks to understand the collateral consequences of the SESTA/FOSTA and other measures to shutdown online platforms.

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Legislation & Policy

SESTA/FOSTA

President Trump signed SESTA/FOSTA into law in April 2018. The law expanded civil and criminal liability for online platforms by expanding liability for platforms used by third parties to engage in sex trafficking. It also created a new federal crime promotion or facilitation of prostitution, which could include communities collecting and distributing information about violence, connecting with clients for the ability to screen or workers directly sharing safety techniques on-line.

NCLR worked with sex worker rights, LGBTQ, anti-trafficking, and technology organizations to oppose the bill. While NCLR opposes trafficking, we believed sex workers who warned they would be harmed by the law, because it would cause them to be kicked off-line and forced back on the streets where its more dangerous to trade sex.

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Legislation & Policy

LGBTQ Prisoner Advocacy

NCLR works at the local, state and federal levels to ensure that LGBTQ prisoners are as safely housed as possible and have access to life-saving medical care.

LGBTQ people housed in prisons and jails face dire problems related to their sexuality and gender identity. They are often placed in segregated housing “for their own protection,” which deprives them of jobs, education, and other programming that could shorten their sentences and better prepare them for release.

When prisoners are placed in solitary confinement, they typically spend 23 hours a day alone in their cells with only an hour to exercise or bathe (also alone). Solitary confinement is extremely dangerous to prisoners’ mental health. Transgender prisoners also encounter serious problems obtaining hormones and other medical care, and are at extreme risk of being sexually assaulted by staff or other inmates.

We will continue to work with local, state, and federal officials to ensure that LGBTQ prisoners are as safe as possible, that transgender prisoners are housed in accordance with their gender identity, and that LGBTQ prisoners have access to proper medical care.

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