“It’s just a great relief, so much pressure and inner turmoil is gone. I feel whole and connected. Surgery has been life-changing, the obstacle or barrier of not feeling connected is gone. It’s amazing!!!!! Thank you!”
At the root of discrimination are barriers to access, to the opportunities, services and resources we all need to be healthy, safe and happy. NCLR’s goal is to ensure every space is accessible to everyone in the LGBTQ community. Access is justice.
NCLR’s decision to represent Adree Edmo in her case against the Idaho Department of Corrections is firmly rooted in this belief. Ms. Edmo filed suit in 2017 after the prison refused to provide her with surgery. In May of this year, after four years of legal efforts, Ms. Edmo’s battle came to an end and she was cleared for surgery. One of the foundational principles of our Constitution is that the State cannot subject people in its custody to cruel and unusual punishment, including by failing to treat serious medical conditions. Adree Edmo’s case illuminates the core values of all of our work: LGBTQ people deserve dignity and justice; equality and liberty is to be experienced by us ALL.
Access is at the root of NCLR’s work, ensuring LGBTQ people are equal under the law and anti-discrimination protections are in place in employment, education, housing, healthcare, family structure, marriage, public benefits and more.
“The city of San Francisco has allowed me to have better work, to access university to achieve my dreams, and to have love in all aspects of my life. This is all due to the asylum I applied for a few years ago. A process that was arduous and mentally exhausting. Without the professional help from organizations who never asked for money, I would not have this better quality of life.”
LGBTQ people often experience multiple jeopardy in a discriminatory system. LGBTQ people often have overlapping identities such as being LGBTQ and a person of color; or a person with a disability, or someone who is incarcerated, someone who is an immigrant, or living in foster care, or someone that has a low income or is experiencing homelessness or any other underrepresented identities results in an exponential impact from lack of access. This is why NCLR has always seen LGBTQ justice as racial, economic, disability, and social justice.
NCLR’s work is at the foundation of equality and its profound impact is not more apparent than in NCLR’s Immigration and Asylum program. Since its inception, we have advanced immigration law and assisted hundreds of LGBTQ immigrants in obtaining legal status in the U.S. and avoid being forced to return to their countries of origin where they would be targeted for abuse, violence, and even death because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. In more than 500 asylum cases, NCLR has a 100% success rate. With the administration’s relentless attack on LGBTQ individuals and anti-immigration efforts, LGBTQ individuals suffering unthinkable persecution in their countries of origin have never needed this support more than they do today.