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

#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