AVP Demands Justice for Layleen Polanco

On Monday afternoon, AVP mobilized over 600 people at Foley Square to mourn the loss of, and demand justice for, Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, a 27-year-old Afro-Latinx transgender woman who was found dead in her cell at Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers on June 7, just eleven days before her next scheduled court date.

The news of Layleen Polanco’s death is particularly hard as it comes during a string of reported deaths of trans women of color. Whether the result of racist and transphobic hate violence, violence from a partner or date, or from neglect and abuse in ICE detention, these deaths highlight an epidemic of violence against trans women of color, particularly impacting Black trans women.

We organized the rally to hold the city and the Department of Corrections accountable and to demand the closure of Rikers. Layleen Polanco’s family, including her sister, mother, brother, along with other family members and close friends were in attendance. Layleen Polanco’s sister,

Melania spoke on behalf of the family, sharing her grief and anger over the lack of answers about the untimely death of her sister. Our support of the family and demands for justice continue.

The Anti-Violence Project calls for transparency and a full, and timely, investigation of Layleen Polanco’s death.

For more information on the rally, see some headlines below:

CNN: She was sent to Rikers Island because she couldn’t pay $500 bail. Now, she’s dead

NY Times: After a Transgender Woman’s Death at Rikers, Calls for Justice and Answers

Washington Post: A transgender woman died in her Rikers cell. Now her family is demanding answers.

For direct updates and information about AVP’s work, join our mailing list, here

For future AVP rallies and demonstrations, text ANTIVIOLENCE to 555-888.

While the Trump Administration Turns Their Backs, AVP Supports All Survivors

Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the nation’s largest LGBTQ specific anti-violence organization, issued the following statement on the Kavanaugh hearings and VAWA re authorization:

The treatment of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was just one more demonstration of this Administration’s disrespect and lack of concern for survivors of sexual violence. I watched the hearings with a knot in my stomach, not only because Dr. Blasey Ford was questioned and challenged as if she was on trial, and many senators and the President showed a complete lack of concern that a Supreme Court Justice nominee has been accused of sexual violence by multiple women. But I watched knowing the many steps this Administration has taken, and continues to take, to cut direct services and roll back protections for survivors of violence.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three women and more than one in four men in the U.S. experience rape, physical violence, or stalking from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Still, the President and his administration have been systematically eroding federal support for survivors of sexual violence which has been particularly harmful towards LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities. This Administration has cut funding for programs that directly serve survivors, proposed deep cuts to public benefit programs that help survivors escape violence situations and remain independent, and is attempting to prohibit domestic violence survivors from seeking asylum. AVP has already lost critical federal funding that helps keep our services available and free to LGBTQ survivors.

Congress has the opportunity to take a positive step for survivors by reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but they are dragging their feet. Since its introduction in 1994, VAWA has provided almost half a billion dollars in funding to nonprofits and community organizations that support survivors of violence. In 2013, AVP and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), which we coordinate, worked tirelessly to ensure that the LGBTQ community was explicitly included in VAWA, and as a result, VAWA became the first, and so far the only, piece of legislation passed by Congress that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. Because of these protections in VAWA, LGBTQ survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence have greater access to services. But if conservative law makers have their way, the protections for LGBTQ survivors under VAWA could be severely stripped.

As we saw yesterday, and we’ve seen over and over, Congress and this Administration aren’t capable in supporting survivors of sexual violence. At a time in this country when more survivors are bravely speaking up, and many of us y are calling for accountability and access to services, the least Congress can do is to ensure that those of us who know how to support survivors have the resources to do so.

Every day, AVP staff provide a lifeline of support and advocacy to LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence who are disbelieved, discredited, retraumatized, and revictimized by those who are supposed to help them.

Today, you can help make sure AVP can keep providing free and affirming services for LGBTQ survivors of all forms of violence.

Contact Congress and ask them to:

  • Call for a full investigation into the accusations against Kavanaugh
  • Reauthorize VAWA with full inclusion of LGBTQ survivors

And support AVP today.

Anti-Violence Project Condemns Travel Ban

MEDIA CONTACT:
Eliel Cruz, Director of Communications
ecruz@avp.org, 212-714-1184

The New York City Anti-Violence Project unequivocally condemns The United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the unjust, overtly racist travel ban from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea. This policy, enacted by Trump’s Administration through presidential proclamation, is rooted in islamophobia and white supremacy, architected to harm those who are, and perceived to be, Muslim.

Earlier this year, New York City Anti-Violence Project proudly joined an Amicus Brief with Immigration Equality, The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, The LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, The Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Bar Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.

As noted in the Amicus Brief, this policy will inflict unique harm on LGBTQ communities by removing potential forms of escape from often life or death situations:

“For LGBTQ individuals, this shutdown is not simply a bureaucratic inconvenience, but potentially a matter of life and death. A family-based visa delayed by the Proclamation is, in effect, a visa denied. Visa approvals thwarted by the Proclamation mean LGBTQ individuals must remain in hostile and unsafe conditions indefinitely, delaying reunification with family members in safe communities. The danger is heightened because merely seeking visas from local consular officials, while citing a same-sex relationship as the basis for a waiver, reveals applicants’ sexual orientations or gender identities to local communities and government officials. Moreover, because the Government will only provide waivers to applicants with ’formal’ and ‘documented’ close familial relationships, LGBTQ individuals — whose relationships are neither sanctioned nor documented by their countries of origin — stand to be disproportionately excluded from these waivers.”

AVP is acutely aware that policies like this one further enables hate violence and puts vulnerable communities at risk. The hateful rhetoric pushed by both the current administration as well as by a growing number of Americans fuels hate violence against those who are, and are perceived to be, Muslim. As an anti-violence organization, as Americans, and as queer people we refuse to stand by while the normalization of this hate based rhetoric grows.

AVP will continue to stand in solidarity with and support our Muslim community members. Join AVP today in New York City in Foley Square at 6pm to #StandWithMuslims.

As always, AVP is here for you. If you experience or witness violence you can always reach out to our 24/7 billingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141. If you need legal services, reach out through the hotline to set up an intake with our Legal Department.

About New York City Anti-Violence Project: AVP empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy. We envision a world in which all LGBTQ and HIV-affected people are safe, respected, and live free from violence.

 

 

 

Trump Administration Continues Erasing LGBTQ People In Data Collection

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

Trump Administration Continues Erasing LGBTQ People In Data Collection

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the nation’s primary source of information of criminal victimization. Data is obtained from approximately 225,000 persons nationwide on both reported and unreported crimes. Respondents provide information about themselves like age, sex, race, marital status, education, and income. The survey includes voluntary questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for respondents aged 16 and older. The data collected is crucial to policy around hate crimes, intimate-partner violence, and other victimization subjects.

According to an announcement made this week by the Department of Justice (DOJ), “the minimum age for these questions will be raised to 18 due to concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions for adolescents.” A 2015 national study from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that LGB teens are at an increased risk for experiencing violence. If this population is not correctly accounted for in data collection that helps curb violence and create policy then how can we correctly respond to their crises?

Last year, another department of the Trump Administration was hard at work erasing LGBT health resources from the internet. The Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project found that a webpage devoted to lesbian and bisexual health, links to LGBT topics, and other references were removed between September and October 2017 from WomensHealth.gov, a website maintained by Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health.

In December 2017, the Trump administration pushed to prohibit the CDC from using a list of seven words in 2018 budget documents: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” Suggesting that CDC employees not use words like “transgender” or “vulnerable” can change the direction of policies and research priorities at the CDC, our leading publicly funded, public health agency.

In March 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quietly removed questions about LGBTQ elders from research and LGBTQ-specific questions were removed from the census; another example of the Trump administration’s larger strategy of ignoring LGBTQ and other marginalized communities.

These actions from multiple departments from the Trump administration together show a concerted effort to erase LGBTQ people and our experiences. When data isn’t being collected on our communities and their needs, we are left out of public policy, funding decisions, and public health programming. We must continue to demand transparency and responsibility from our publicly funded programs and insist that all communities are supported on the state and federal level.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Contact your representatives to let them know that you want to push for LGBTQ and especially TGNC inclusion in policy and programming.
  • Join the conversation online using the hashtag, #CantEraseUs

 

And you can always:

  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Get involved—volunteer with AVP!
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

 

Further reading:

Words Matter

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

Words Matter

On Friday, in a meeting at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Trump administration pushed to prohibit the CDC from using a list of seven words in 2018 budget documents: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The erasure of science-based, evidence-based policies and the erasure of marginalized, vulnerable communities is a way for this administration to push their own agenda — one that has nothing to do with public good.

The Director of the CDC was quick to say that the list of words and phrases wasn’t a formal, outright ban; however, even suggesting that CDC employees not use words like “transgender” or “vulnerable” can change the direction of policies and research priorities at the CDC, our leading publicly funded, public health agency. Transgender people are already rarely included in public health research, meaning we have less information on the health and wellbeing needs of transgender communities. We must fight for transgender and gender non-conforming people to be counted too.

In the same way that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quietly removed questions about LGBTQ elders from research and LGBTQ-specific questions were removed from the census, this is another example of the Trump administration’s larger strategy of ignoring LGBTQ and other marginalized communities. When data isn’t being collected on our communities and their needs, they’re left out of public policy, funding decisions, and public health programming.

We must continue to demand transparency and responsibility from our publicly funded programs and insist that ALL communities are supported by the CDC.

 

Here’s what you can do. 

  • Support the National LGBT Task Force and National Partnership for Women & Families protest at HHS by sharing this video of Monday’s rally and amplifying their Wednesday rally—follow @TheTaskForce for the most updated information.
  • Contact your representatives to let them know that you want to push for LGBTQ and especially TGNC inclusion in CDC research and programming.
  • Join the conversation online using the hashtags #CDCbannedwords and #CDC7words.

 

And you can always:

  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Get involved—volunteer with AVP!
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

 

Further reading:

Washington Post: CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity
PBS: CDC director says there are ‘no banned words’ at the agency

#DefendDACA

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

 #DefendDACA

 Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), arguing that it was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch of the previous administration. In 2012, after Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act, President Obama initiated DACA through an executive order, allowing some young undocumented immigrants brought over when they were children to apply for a two-year commitment of “deferred action” on deportations from the federal government. Since that time, DACA has protected 800,000 young adult undocumented immigrants from deportation and has allowed them to work legally. Most DACA recipients have spent the vast majority of their lives in the US, and this is the only home that they have known.

This heartless move by the Trump administration puts already vulnerable people – including at least 36,000 LGBT DACA recipients nationwide – at risk of deportation, losing their jobs, and violence. During the “wind down period” announced today, we ask that our supporters pressure Congress to act and to take to the streets to show your support for defending DACA. About 30,000 of at-risk DACA recipients live here in New York City. Should you need legal advice or assistance, AVP’s Legal team is here to help. If you are concerned or frightened or just need to talk, you can call our 24 hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline to talk with a counselor. We are here for you and we are here for one another.

Here’s what you can do.

Immigration resources

  • Trans and gender nonconforming DACA recipients can contact the Transgender Law Center’s Trans Immigrant Defense Effort to explore other forms of immigration relief.
  • Immigration Equality has a DACA FAQ for folks who might be affected.
  • You can also reach out to AVP’s Legal team through our hotline 212-714-1141 for assistance.

 

#DefendDACA activism and advocacy

 

Join AVP in working to end all forms of violence

  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Get involved—volunteer with AVP!
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

 

Further reading:

The Guardian – Trump ends ‘Dreamers’ program, leaving fate of 800,000 uncertain
Autostraddle – LGBT Immigrants Brace Themselves for DACA’s Devastating End
Vox – 9 facts that explain DACA, the immigration program Trump is threatening to end
National Immigration Law Center – Top 5 Things to Know About the Announcement That DACA Is Being Ended

AVP Action Brief: Take a stand against white supremacy; hate breeds anti-LGBTQ policies

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

 White Supremacy is connected to Homophobia and Transphobia

 This weekend, we were horrified—but not surprised—by the outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. We watched footage of the horde of white supremacists storming through the streets of Charlottesville and across the University of Virginia campus yelling anti-Semitic, anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ and other hateful chants. Three people lost their lives as a result of this violence, including two state troopers, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, left, and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, who were killed in a helicopter crash, and Heather Heyer, a counter-protester who was killed defending justice and peace.

We condemn this violence and the hateful ideologies that have led to it. We know that we cannot end homophobia, transphobia, white supremacy, or the violence this hatred breeds by ignoring it or assuming it does not exist where we live.

In the words of our Executive Director Beverly Tillery, “Yes, white supremacy looks like a band of Nazis with torches, but it is also looks like the Muslim ban and building a wall. It looks like efforts to reverse affirmative action, gerrymandering, and restricting voting rights of people of color. And white supremacy breeds the homophobia and transphobia that undergirds the crisis of violence our LGBTQ communities are facing right now.”

See the action steps below for ways to get involved in speaking out and standing against white supremacy in your life and your community.

Hate Breeds Anti-LGBTQ Policies

Meanwhile, this is happening as the federal government continues to try to roll back protections for LGBTQ people. A proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to remove anti-discrimination protections within the Affordable Care Act that are intended to protect LGBTQ people and women who have had abortions, most likely enabling this discrimination under the guise of “religious exemption”. And the Department of Justice is considering reversing existing protections for transgender inmates, in light of a lawsuit filed by cisgender women inmates arguing against those protections, on the grounds of privacy and religious freedom.

Once again, we recognize these flimsy “religious freedom” arguments for what they are: bigotry. We will not stand for any diminished protections for our already vulnerable communities. We refuse to let hate take hold.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Join the protests and actions around New York City this week. Here are some tips for staying safe while out in the streets. If you’re not in NYC, find an action near you on the Indivisible database.
  • Sign the MoveOn petition – President Trump: Disavow White Supremacy and Fire Bannon and Gorka.
  • Call out white supremacy, racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and all forms of hate when you see them, and have conversations that help shift our culture around hate. Some ideas that may help can be accessed here.
  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Get involved—volunteer with AVP!
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

 

Further reading:

BuzzFeed – The Justice Department Is Evaluating Obama-Era Rules For Transgender Prisoners
The Hill – Trump expected to roll back LGBT protections in ObamaCare
Vox – How to find your local “Solidarity with Charlottesville” demonstration

AVP Action Brief: Transgender people are not a “burden” or a “distraction”

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

The federal government is taking actions this week to make the country less safe and more hostile for LGBTQ people with two serious threats: to bar transgender people from military service, and to exclude LGBTQ people from civil rights protections in the workplace. Find out more and take action below.

Transgender people are not a “burden” or a “distraction”

This morning, President Trump announced on Twitter that he intends to ban transgender people from serving in the military. The president cited “tremendous medical costs” and “disruption” of having transgender people serve in the military to justify this action. Transgender people are not a “burden” or a “disruption,” and this kind of language coming from the president puts the safety of our communities at risk. Further, transgender people deserve access to health care and employment, both of which are being undermined by this new Trump pronouncement and time and again by the policies of this administration. While we don’t know exactly how Trump’s tweets will play out in terms of policy, we do know that they create a nation that is more hostile and more discriminatory towards transgender and gender non-conforming people, and this is unacceptable. AVP has signed on in support of tonight’s NYC Rally Against Trump Decision to Ban Trans Military Service. Come out – 5pm in Times Square – and let your voice be heard!

Sessions continues to try to roll back LGBTQ protections in the workplace

This week, it appears Attorney General Jeff Sessions will try to limit the protections for LGBTQ people have against discrimination in the workplace. Sources close to Session state that the Justice Department plans to file a brief in an employment discrimination case before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals claiming that LGBT workers are not protected by Title VII, a civil rights law that bars discrimination in employment. This action would try to reverse recent interpretations of Title VII by former Attorney general Eric Holder, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and numerous courts.

In NCAVP’s most recent report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016, more than 1 in 6 LGBTQ people who reported experiencing violence to NCAVP said that they had experienced violence in the workplace. With such a large percentage of hate violence against LGBTQ people occurring in the workplace, this attempt to roll back protections puts our community at greater risk for bias, harassment, discrimination, and violence.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Tweet at Trump and your representatives using the #ProtectTransTroops and let them know that you do not support reinstating the ban on transgender people serving in the military.
  • Use #ValueTransLives in your calls to action to honor and uplift the transgender and gender non-conforming people in our communities, workplaces, and families.
  • Read our latest report to get the full picture of hate violence and learn more.
  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Get involved—volunteer with AVP!
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too. 

#NoMuslimBanEVER

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

#NoMuslimBanEVER

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed part of President Trump’s travel ban to go into effect until it hears oral arguments on the case in the fall. The ban, created by Presidential executive order, bars people from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States for 90 days and bars all refugees for 120 days. The Court said that anyone who can show a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” will be exempted from Trump’s 120-day halt on refugee admissions or the 90-day travel ban.

While the ambiguity surrounding the terms “bona fide relationship” and “person or entity” appears open to interpretation—or just sows confusion—the reality is that there should be no Muslim Ban ever. Trump’s executive order fosters Islamophobia and contributes to the hate violence which has been on the rise post-election.

Our LGBTQ Muslim and refugee community members are directly impacted, and we stand with them today—and every day. AVP filed an Amicus Brief with NQAPIA, Immigration Equality, and Skadden, Arps in the State of Hawaii v. Trump case which was one of the two cases that halted the executive order most recently in the courts. AVP plans to file another Amicus Brief for the consolidated cases that will go before the Supreme Court in October. Additionally, AVP’s counselors and legal team often work with refugees and immigrants, and are here if you need us. If you are directly affected, or if you are feeling fearful or anxious in response to this action by the court, please call us at 212-714-1141.

Resist Religious Exemptions

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a court case concerning the owner of a cake shop in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, saying it infringed upon his religious rights as a Christian. The importance of this case cannot be overstated for our communities. If the high court upholds the Masterpiece Cakeshop’s owner’s right to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on religious grounds, the floodgates would be open for many others to try to discrimination in public accommodations against people who are, or are perceived to be, LGBTQ.

In NCAVP’s most recent report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016 the majority of survivors experienced violence by someone they know, including landlords, neighbors, employers, and family members. Everyday environments such as schools, shelters, and workplaces are already unsafe spaces for our communities, and they will be made even less safe should religious exemptions become protected by law. We must call out and resist religious exemption arguments and advocate for increased legal protections for LGBTQ communities on the state and federal level.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Speak out and let your voice be heard! Call your reps—click this link to find out who to call.
  • Join the Religious Exemption Executive Order conversation online using the hashtag #LicenseToDiscriminate.
  • Read our latest report to get the full picture of hate violence and learn more.
  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Get involved—volunteer with AVP!
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

 

Further reading:

The Advocate – Neil Gorsuch Is Already Going After LGBT Rights
New York Times – Questions and Answers About the Travel Ban Case

AVP Action Brief: #LicensetoDisriminate; Trans health at risk under Trump

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

#LicenseToDiscriminate

Tomorrow, President Trump is expected to sign a Religious Exemption Executive Order. This Executive Order will seek to allow discrimination based on religious or moral objections to LGBTQ identity, abortion, contraception and more.  In other words, companies, agencies and individuals can use religion as an excuse to refuse to serve or hire LGBTQ people. This sends the message from the highest seat in our government that it is okay to hate, it is okay to discriminate, and it leaves our communities vulnerable to violence.

In the wake of the election AVP has seen a 45% increase in hotline calls, a 46% spike in reports of hate violence, and a 67% increase in new clients seeking counseling. We know that discriminatory Executive Orders, laws, and national discourse increases the violence we face, putting all of our lives, and especially the most marginalized among us, at risk. We will organize against this and any other hate-based legislation or executive orders that are advanced.

And if you witness or experience anti-LGBTQ violence, or if you are feeling fearful or anxious in response to this Executive Order, please call us at 212-714-1141.  AVP continues to find ways to make our services and programs safe and accessible for all. We offer counseling sessions by phone, or in person in all 5 boroughs. We are here for you, now and always.

Trans health at risk under Trump

Yesterday, the Trump Administration signaled that they will allow discrimination against transgender people seeking health-related services, including gender affirming surgeries. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to transgender people and finalized a rule barring discrimination against transgender people in health care. This rule has paved the way for thousands of transgender people to receive gender-affirming healthcare.

This rule was challenged in court, and this week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made a move to take this issue away from the courts so it could be sent back to HHS which will likely rescind the rule. Two of Trump’s appointees, Jeff Sessions (DOJ) and Tom Price (HHS), are now working together to deny healthcare for transgender people. Denying transgender and gender non-conforming people access to health care is a form of violence and LGBTQ communities and allies must speak out loudly and boldly on this issue, as well as against the many ways this administration is denying the humanity of transgender people.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Call the White House comment line: 202-456-1111 or White House switchboard: 202-456-1414 and tell President Trump that a Religious Exemption Executive Order is a license to discriminate against our LGBTQ communities.
  • Join the conversation online using the hashtag #Licensetodiscrminate
  • Put pressure on your representatives and tell them that you support the Equality Act. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #EqualityForward.
  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent government actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:

BuzzFeed – Civil Rights Groups Are Ready To Sue Trump If He Signs A Broad Religious Freedom Order 

Washington Blade – DOJ signals plan to undo rule banning anti-trans bias in health care

The Advocate – Trump Moves to Dump Trans-Inclusive Health Care Rule