National Center for Lesbian Rights

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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

Equality Act

The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in the context of employment, housing, credit, education, public accommodations, and jury service. It also amends Title VI to include discrimination prohibitions based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in programs receiving federal financial assistance. NCLR partnered with Black and Pink and others to educate Congress and the public on the Act’s potential to reform the U.S. criminal legal system for LGBTQ people and people of color.

The House passed the Equality Act in May 2019, but the Senate has not taken action on the bill.

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Legislation & Policy

DREAM Act

In late-2017 to early-2018, NCLR led the LGBTQ coalition advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act to provide permanent legal protections for undocumented people who arrived in the U.S. at an early age (“Dreamers”). In June 2019, The House passed the DREAM and Promise Act, which provides a pathway for citizenship for Dreamers and holders of Temporary Protected Status. The Senate has not voted on the bill.

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Legislation & Policy

2018 Farm Bill Protecting Food Assistance

During the 2018 re-authorization of the Farm bill, House Republicans passed a version that made cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP aka “food stamps”). NCLR and other LGBTQ groups joined anti-hunger and poverty groups to fight the cuts. Congress ultimately passed a bipartisan farm bill, which was signed by President Trump, that protected SNAP.

According to 2017 data from the Center for American Progress, LGBTQ people and their families were 2.3 times more likely to participate in SNAP than were non-LGBTQ people, with 22.7% of their nationally-representative LGBTQ survey respondents reporting using SNAP, a statistically significant difference when compared to non-LGBTQ respondents. Among LGBTQ people with a disability, 41.2% reported receiving SNAP.

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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

FAMILY Act

The FAMILY Act would establish a national paid leave insurance program. Specifically, it would provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of partial income to address their own serious health condition, including pregnancy or childbirth; to deal with the serious health condition of a parent, spouse, domestic partner or child; to care for a new child; and/or specific military care-giving and leave purposes.

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Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!