National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Weekly Update
January 8, 2008

In the News:

Task Force Action Fund hails passage of NJ bill bolstering
      transgender protections
Task Force’s work leads to more federal dollars for
      runaway and homeless youth
LGBT Latina/o activists to gather at Creating Change
Seattle Leadership Awards this weekend!


Task Force Action Fund hails passage of NJ bill bolstering transgender protections

“On the heels of a year that closed with Congress stripping transgender people out of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and pulling LGBT hate crimes protections from the Department of Defense authorization bill, this is an important and much-needed victory.”
— Matt Foreman, Executive Director, Task Force Action Fund

By a 65–10 vote, the New Jersey Assembly yesterday approved legislation making the state’s anti-bullying and hate crimes laws two of the strongest in the country by making transgender-inclusion unequivocal and significantly bolstering the two laws’ enforcement mechanisms. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund partnered with Garden State Equality and the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey to provide drafting and strategy support for the measure.

[ Read our full statement ]


Task Force’s work leads to more federal dollars for runaway and homeless youth

The federal omnibus measure recently signed into law includes a $10.5 million increase in funding for runaway and homeless youth. Our Policy Institute report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness, which received extraordinary media attention, proved enormously helpful in lobbying for the additional money.

Our report found that between 20 and 40 percent of homeless youth in this country are LGBT. Following its release, the New York City Council funded an actual count of homeless youth in the city. That count, released in December, found that almost one-third of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Read our release.


LGBT Latina/o activists to gather at Creating Change

Many know that Latinas/os comprise the largest minority group and a fast-growing voting constituency in the U.S. What many do not realize is that LGBT people are among the top three voting blocs. Put these two groups together and you’ve got one powerful, winning combination. That’s exactly what’s going to happen on the heels of Super Tuesday, when LGBT Latinas/os join with 2,000 other activists to strategize and organize for the coming year at the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, Feb. 6–10, in Detroit, Mich.

The conference provides opportunities for everyone to learn the skills to advance LGBT equality. There will be more than 100 workshops, caucuses, meetings, receptions and social events. Also, the Task Force Academy for Leadership and Action premieres this year with a highly challenging training curricula for organization leaders.

Get a taste of the conference by watching this video — and make sure to register! Our room block in the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center is already sold out, but we’ve acquired overflow rooms in the hotel across the street.

Also watch the video of Task Force Communications Coordinator Pedro Julio Serrano as he talks about some of the conference highlights related to LGBT Latinas/os.

[ Watch the video ]
[ Read the press release: Spanish and English versions ]


Seattle Leadership Awards this weekend!

Online ticket sales for the Seattle Leadership Awards close this Friday at 11 p.m. (PST). Don’t miss this great event on Jan. 12. We’ll be honoring Louise Chernin (pictured), executive director of the Greater Seattle Business Association, the largest LGBT chamber of commerce in the nation. Get your tickets now!

[ Get more information and purchase tickets ]


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