National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Legislation & Policy

LGBTQ Summit North Dakota

In October 2019, NCLR jointly organized the LGBTQ Summit North Dakota, with Dakota Outright, and North Dakota Human Rights Coalition. Other organizations participating in the summit included Red River Rainbow Seniors, the Pride Collective, the Equality Federation, the Human Rights and American Campaign, the ACLU, and the Trevor Project Foundation for Suicide Prevention. One focus of the summit was youth, and a number of students from several GSAs in the state also participated in the summit and gave a keynote panel about their work.

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Legislation & Policy

Rural Pride Summit Vermont

In April 2018, NCLR and Green Mountain Crossroads hosted a Rural Pride Summit in Vermont. Other participating organizations included Outright Vermont, Vermont Legal Aid, Safe Harbor for Trans Teens, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, Vermont Cares, Pride Center of Vermont, Just Roots Farm, Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, and Vermont Psychiatric Survivors. Elected officials Bill Lippert and Becca Balint also participated, along with representatives from the offices of Rep. Welch and Sen. Sanders.

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Legislation & Policy

National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network

NCLR co-founded the National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network in October 2018 and co-coordinates the Network with The Vaid Group. The mission of the Network is to end poverty in the U.S., advocate for economic justice, and pursue solutions to economic, racial, gender and social disparities as they specifically impact low-income LGBTQ people. It seeks to do this through research, organizing, learning, public education, and advocacy in coalition with organizations and individuals working within and outside of the LGBTQ movement.

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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

Rural Pride Summit New Mexico

In September 2019, NCLR together with New Mexico Legal Aid and co-sponsor Equality New Mexico hosted a Rural Pride Summit in Taos, NM. Presenters and speakers included experienced trans and HIV activist, Mattee Jim, Jess Clark from Solace Crisis Treatment Center, Adrien Carver of Equality New Mexico, Michelle Garcia from New Mexico Legal Aid, Joan Lamunyon Sanford of New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Adrien Lawyer of the Transgender Center of New Mexico, and judges Jeff McElroy and Melissa Kennelly.

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Legislation & Policy

LGBTQ Rural Pride Campaign

The Rural Pride Campaign elevates and addresses the needs of LGBTQ people living in rural communities across the country. It began in 2014 as a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA no longer partners with NCLR on this campaign, but the work continues.

The goal of the campaign is to challenge the stereotype that LGBTQ people live only in metropolitan areas by elevating the voices and stories of LGBTQ people living in rural America. The campaign also raises awareness of the particular issues faced by LGBTQ rural communities, including increased rates of economic insecurity, lack of family protections, lack of nondiscrimination protections, and the heightened challenges facing rural LGBTQ youth and rural LGBTQ people of color.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a series of day-long summits hosted by NCLR and local partners based in rural communities across the country. These summits focus on the unique needs of the rural LGBTQ community and identify next steps to ensure all rural communities have access to the resources they need to thrive.

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