Press

Task Force applauds historic resolution for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights adopted overwhelmingly

Date: 
September 12, 2006

The resolution was adopted at the National Latino Congreso convened in Los Angeles on Sept. 6-9

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the National Latino Congreso for the passage of a historic resolution calling for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights equality and civil rights protections. The resolution was adopted at the Latino/a community gathering on Sept. 6–9 in Los Angeles, Calif. The Task Force also praises the work of the many Latino/a LGBT activists and allies who promoted this resolution, including Bienestar, Equality California, Lambda Legal and the Latino Coalition for Justice–Los Angeles.

“The passage of this historic resolution brings new meaning to the concept of ‘familia’ for the Latino community,” said Matt Foreman, the Task Force’s executive director. “The acknowledgment behind this resolution is that no one should be left behind and that when the Latino community speaks about ‘familia,’ it is talking about embracing everyone, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Latinos. We are deeply grateful to the activists and organizations that made possible this resolution and we honor the courage of the Latino Congreso in putting out such a powerful statement to the Latino community.”

“True equality, full justice and our community’s well-being can only be achieved through a unified front,” said Oscar De La O, president and CEO of Bienestar. “As an organization that advocates for Latinos, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Latinos, we are pleased to see that the broader Latino community is placing the well-being of all Latinos on the agenda.”

Resolution co-author Marlon Morales, of the Latino Coalition for Justice–LA, said, “Passage of this resolution represents not only a historic moment, but in practical terms assures that Latino policy-makers have a mandate to consider how their future policies and legislation will contribute to securing full human and civil rights for LGBT Latinos.”

“Equality California was thrilled to collaborate with Bienestar, Lambda Legal and the Latino Coalition for Justice–LA in presenting this important resolution to the Latino Congreso,” said Dannie Tillman, Equality California's director of communications and coalitions. “We are ecstatic that the Congreso voted to stand up for equality and fairness and to oppose discrimination against any family or individual.”

The resolution was adopted at the largest convening of the Latino/a community since 1977 and calls for, among other things, the expansion of legal benefits, protections, responsibilities and privileges for all families and individuals; support for national, state and local legislation and policies that would protect Latinos/as from discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity; opposition to restrictions on parenting and adoption by LGBT people, same-sex couples and unmarried cohabitating couples; support for Latino/a LGBT persons to openly serve their country in the military; support for legislation and policies that would enable LGBT Latino/a same-sex couples to sponsor their loved ones for purposes of immigration rights and benefits; support for giving LGBT Latinos/as the choice to legally marry; opposition to anti-same-sex-marriage constitutional amendments; and rejection of efforts to exclude LGBT Latinos/as from the larger Latino/a United States familia.

“We created this coalition for particularly this type of opportunity — to show that the Latino community stands behind their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Latino community members,” said Francisco Dueñas, co-chair of the Latino Coalition for Justice–LA, adding that representatives from Latino/a organizations from across the country overwhelmingly showed their support for their Latino/a LGBT familia against discrimination and inequality.

For more information on the Latino Congreso, visit www.latinocongreso.org.

For more information on Bienestar, visit www.bienestar.org.

For more information on Equality California, visit www.eqca.org.

For more information on Lambda Legal, visit www.lambdalegal.org.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.