Action Plan for LGBTQ Rights
Feed Our Democracy believes that each of our small actions can add up to big change.
This Action Plan for supporting LGBTQ Causes & Rights gives you some simple steps you can take to make a difference.
Don’t just vent on social media: Do something. We’re here to make it easy to make a difference and #FeedOurDemocracy.
So what’s at stake? Here’s some BACKGROUND INFO on the issues
- It’s 2018. Most people oppose discrimination against LGBT people, but it’s still commonplace. We need to update our federal laws to ensure comprehensive protections.
- 31 states still lack clear, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, meaning that LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, denied housing, and denied services for who they are or whom they love.
- Our country’s current anti-discrimination laws are full of holes. There are laws protecting people based on race, sex, disability, and religion – but there are no explicit protections for people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas of public life.
- In 2015, 85% of LGBTQ students reported being verbally harassed at school. Of the students who chose to report these incidents of bullying, over 60% said that school staff did nothing in response.
Here are a few actions you can take now.
- CALL your representatives. Tell your representatives in Congress tell them to support the Equality Act. Learn more here: Legislative talking points on Equality Act, Why Equality Act? and Pass the Equality Act Now. Find current bills on the legislative agenda and talking points on each here at PFLAG and GLSEN.
- VOLUNTEER a little or a lot of your time. Most organizations listed have many volunteers opportunities: (1) Call or text Equality Voters. (2) Join the Equality Corps. (3) The Trevor Project volunteers accomplish societal and individual change by creating safe spaces for LGBTQ youth in crisis. (4) Join GLSEN Up for Action takers.
- ATTEND an EDUCATIONAL and/or PRIDE EVENT. The LGBTQ community is well-organized and has lots of events from small to large scheduled. Attend one. Here are the schedules: Trevor Project, Lambda, Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN.
- HOST a Feed Our Democracy dinner/potluck/coffee (Click here for our ToolKit) to engage friends in action.
- DONATE to groups below dedicated to protecting and supporting LGBTQ persons and rights (see list below).
focused on LGBTQ Causes & Rights.
- Human Rights Campaign: improves the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people by working to increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.
- Lambda Legal: the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
- The Trevor Project: leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under 25.
- GLSEN: leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.
- PFLAG: Uniting LGBTQ people with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.
- ACLU: The ACLU works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.
- Southern Poverty Law Center: an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation.
- The Equality Act: would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. (Why the Equality Act)
- Education: Only 14 states and DC have laws that prohibit discrimination against students in public education on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. On the federal level, organizations like GLSEN have introduced legislation (Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Non-Discrimination Act) to protect LGBTQ students and create safe school environments for all. (Legislative Papers: Safe Schools Improvement Act and Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti Harassment Act)
- Conversion Therapy: The nation’s leading medical and mental health organizations have come out against conversion therapy practices because of the serious health risks they pose for LGBTQ youth. Currently only 13 states and DC have passed bills banning this harmful and discredited practice.Recent estimates by the Williams Institute at UCLA indicate that over 20,000 LGBTQ youth are at risk of experiencing this trauma at the hands of a medical professional. (Support Bans on Conversion Therapy)
- Parental Rights: LGBT people become parents in a variety of ways, including adoption, foster parenting, donor insemination, surrogacy, and from previous heterosexual relationships. We’ve made great progress in protecting the relationships of LGBT parents and their children. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Parent-Child Relationships FAQs by LAMBDA and Every Child Deserves a Family Act)
- Hate Crimes: All but five states (Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Wyoming) have laws addressing the scourge of hate crimes, but there is variation in the list of protected classes. (see more here)
- Transgender Rights: Transgender people experience rampant workplace discrimination,challenges to their parental rights, lack sufficient access to quality healthcare free from discrimination, and face discrimination in housing and public places, including restrooms and schools.
Get a downloadable version of this Action Plan here. And share! Together we’ll #MeetEatActivate and #FeedOurDemocracy
- PFLAG Legislative One-Pagers
- PFLAG Resource Center
- Human Rights Campaign Resource Center
- Human Rights Campaign Organizing Toolkits
- GLSEN Research Center
- Lambda Legal Fact Sheets & Toolkits