Press Releases
LGBTQ Organizations Issue an Open Letter: Ferguson to True Freedom PDF Print Email

LGBTQ ORGANIZATIONS ISSUE OPEN LETTER: FROM FERGUSON TO TRUE FREEDOM

WASHINGTON, DC, December 9, 2014 —The National LGBTQ Task Force, in coalition with other national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations, today issued the following open letter:

An Open Letter: From Ferguson to True Freedom

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Queer & Trans* Liberation Includes the Eradication of Anti-Black Racism & Police Violence! PDF Print Email

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Queer & Trans* Liberation Includes the Eradication of Anti-Black Racism & Police Violence ~ This Struggle is Our Struggle!

 

Contact: jen self, Publications and Communications Chair, pubcom@lgbtcampus.org

 

December 1, 2014

 

The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals stands in solidarity with our members, communities, and all communities who are deeply saddened and disappointed by the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr. This decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson, as well as the actions and opinions that led up to this decision, speaks to the structural racism that is embedded in our judicial system.  The Consortium remains steadfast in our stance against police brutality, the excessive use of force, and the militarization of police forces, specifically as it affects Black communities and other communities of color.

 

As articulated beautifully by a student leader from a university in the Northeastern Region, “The struggle for queer liberation includes Black bodies, imprisoned bodies, and those who are constantly targeted by police violence. This struggle is our struggle.

 

As stated by the NAACP, “the death of Michael Brown and actions by the Ferguson Police Department is a distressing symptom of the untested and overaggressive policing culture that has become commonplace in communities of color all across the country.”   

 

We support the passage of the End Racial Profiling federal legislation as well as the following reforms that could prevent such needless tragedies:

 

  • National standards on the use of lethal police force.

  • Training to facilitate ending police bias and racial profiling when dealing with people of  color.

  • Making body cameras standard police equipment.

 

The Consortium stands in solidarity with peaceful protestors as they demonstrate their civil rights not to be violated as they redress their grievances.

 

The Consortium encourages the Justice Department to review Michael Brown’s death to determine whether civil rights violations charges should be filed. We further encourage our members and wider LGBTQ communities to become involved in activities and organizations working for the end of police brutality, racial profiling, and militarization.

 

The Consortium extends our thoughts and commitments to Michael Brown’s family and the people of Ferguson, MO. Before we can say all lives matter, we must understand and believe that Black Lives Matter.

 

 

 
LGBTQ Allied Organizations Call for National Advocacy & Charges Dropped for LGBTQ Survivors of Violence PDF Print Email

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 30, 2014

LGBTQ Allied Organizations Alarmed by Trend of Prosecution of Survivors for Self-Defense; Call for National Advocacy and Charges to be Dropped Against LGBTQ Survivors for Defending Themselves

We, the undersigned allied lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations are deeply concerned by the national trend of prosecuting survivors of anti-LGBTQ hate violence for defending themselves.  Currently Eisha Love, a young African American transgender woman, who was violently attacked by a group of people in a transphobic hate violence incident in her own neighborhood, is facing first degree attempted murder charges for defending herself from this attack. Eisha was the only person arrested. Eisha is currently being held by the Cook County department of Corrections in Chicago. 

This case comes immediately after the sentencing of  Luke O’Donovan, a White queer man from Atlanta, Georgia, who was recently charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as one count of attempted murder for himself against a group of homophobic attackers at a party. Luke accepted a plea deal and will be serving a two year prison sentence, in addition to eight years of probation and banishment from the state of Georgia.  Nate Mancha, a gay man of color, is on trial right now facing attempted murder charges for purported self-defense during an incident earlier this year in Colorado.

In 2012, CeCe McDonald, a transgender African American woman was sentenced to 41 months and served 19 months in Minnesota for defending herself against a racist and transphobic hate violence attack.  In a now infamous case in 2006, the New Jersey four, a group of four African American lesbians were sentenced to prison terms of up to eleven years for defending themselves against a physical attack by a man who physically accosted them and threatened to sexually assault them.

LGBTQ communities face severe and deadly violence in the United States.  NCAVP’s most recent national report documented 18 hate violence homicides in 2013. Transgender women of color in particular face disproportionately severe violence in the United States.  Transgender women made up 72% of the 18 homicides in 2013 while transgender women of color represented 67% of those homicide victims.  Additionally, there have been seven homicides of transgender women of color in recent months.  In addition, according to a survey and report by Lambda Legal, LGBTQ individuals, especially LGBTQ people of color, low income LGBTQ people, and transgender and gender non-conforming people experience police misconduct, hostile police attitudes, police harassment and assault, false accusations, and false arrests at alarming rates.  Given this alarming reality, LGBTQ people who defend themselves from violence are often fighting for their lives.  In a society where violence against LGBTQ people is all too often condoned, ignored, and unsolved, prosecuting survivors for self-defense minimizes anti-LGBTQ violence and reinforces a transphobic, homophobic, and biphobic culture.

LGBTQ communities know that LGBTQ survivors of hate violence, particularly transgender women and LGBTQ people of color, often face biased and discriminatory treatment from law enforcement, courts, and other first responders.  We are concerned that these survivors may be facing discriminatory charges based on their identities.

NCAVP and our allies call for the charges against Eisha Love and Nate Mancha to be dropped, and for community members, anti-violence organizations, and public officials to take immediate action to support survivors of anti-LGBTQ violence.

ACTION STEPS

Sign the Petition: Join Change.org in calling on Cook County to drop the charges against Eisha Love.

Support Nate Mancha: To learn how you can support the campaign to have the charges against Nate dropped visit www.justice4nate.com.

Support Luke O’Donovan: To learn how you can support Luke O’Donovan during his incarceration, visit letlukego.wordpress.com.  

Report Violence: If you experience violence contact a local anti-violence program for support. For help locating an anti-violence program in your area, please contact us.

If you are a member of the media, please contact:

Sue Yacka, Communications Director, New York City Anti-Violence Project; syacka@avp.org or 212.714.1184

Signatories:

BreakOUT!

Buckeye Region Anti–Violence Organization (BRAVO)

Center on Halsted

Colorado Anti-Violence Project

Community United Against Violence

Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

DC Trans Coalition

Equality Michigan

Family Equality Council

FIERCE!

FORGE

Fox Valley/Oshkosh Anti-Violence Project

Gay and Lesbians Opposing Violence

Gender Justice Nevada

GLAAD

Illinois Accountability Initiative

Kansas City Anti-Violence Project

Long Island GLBT Services Network

Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth

Long Island GLBT Community Center

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Montrose Center

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce

National Minority AIDS Council

New York City Anti-Violence Project

Oregon Anti-Violence Project

Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders – Long Island

Sojourner House

Streetwise and Safe

The Network/ La Red

Trans Pride Initiative

Transgender Law Center

Virginia Anti-Violence Project

Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

Western New York Anti-Violence Project

Wingspan Anti-Violence Project

 
Mills College & Mount Holyoke College Break the Glass Gender Binary by Admitting Trans Women! PDF Print Email

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mills College & Mount Holyoke College Break the Glass Gender Binary by Admitting Trans Women! 

Contact: jen self, Publications and Communications Chair, pubcom@lgbtcampus.org

September 8, 2014

New York, NY: The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals wishes to hail the decisions of Mills College and Mount Holyoke College the first of the 119 “single-sex” campuses in the U.S. to admit trans* women. While Mills College’s policy explicitly opens admission to trans* women and allows for the continued enrollment of trans* men, the policy does not open the door to the admission of trans* men who have legally changed their gender markers to “M.” Mount Holyoke College pushed the boundaries of gender a bit further by creating a policy that allows for the admission of any trans* person. According to Mitch Kellaway of the Advocate, The only people unable to apply and be admitted to Mount Holyoke, under the new policy, are “cisgender men — those biologically born male [who] identify as men.”

Mills and Mount Holyoke College have thrown down the gauntlet for the remaining “single-sex” campuses, in particular the remaining six of the Seven Sisters (Smith College, Bryn Mawr College, Wellesley College, Barnard College, Radcliffe College, and Vassar College). Smith, in particular, was under public scrutiny last year when they rejected the application of Calliope Wong. Smith’s Dean of Admissions, Debra Shaver has since indicated that the policy is under review and Smith has temporarily ceased rejecting the applications of trans* women.

Please join the Consortium in congratulating Mills College and Mount Holyoke College for their leadership in operationalizing the reality that “gender identity is not reducible to the body” (Kellaway, 2014).   

 

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Shared Vision and Mission Statement

To critically transform higher education environments so that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni have equity in every respect.

Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

280 Madison Avenue Ste. 912  - New York, NY 10016-0801

www.lgbtcampus.org

 

 

 
Consortium to George Fox University ~ Support & Affirm all gender identities PDF Print Email

Consortium to George Fox University ~ Support & Affirm all gender identities 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Jen Self, Publications & Communication Chair, pubcom@lgbtcampus.org

George Fox University, a small Quaker college in Oregon, has recently made the decision to prevent a student from being housed in a way that affirms his gender identity. In July, the university clarified that their sex-segregated housing policy is based on anatomical sex rather than on gender identity. George Fox has also sought, and received, a religious-based exemption to the Title IX guidelines that would otherwise require the college to respect this student’s gender identity. The Consortium is concerned about two main dimensions of this case.

First, physical sex is an insufficient measure upon which to make housing decisions. While some transgender individuals do undergo gender confirmation surgery in order to align their bodies with their gender identities, for many trans* people surgery is prohibitively expensive, medically unwise, or otherwise undesirable. Requiring a young transgender person to undergo surgery before they are prepared to do so could be harmful to that person, and is a practice specifically condemned by the World Health Organization. Moreover, defining housing under a strict interpretation of genital status ignores the existence of intersex people, who often find themselves left out of normative definitions of sex. While there are many factors that go into making a safe and educational housing environment, genital characteristics should be the least of these considerations.

Second, we are concerned that exemptions to Title IX guidelines weaken the power of this law. Title IX protections have helped many LGBTQ high school and college students successfully challenge harassment, discrimination, and inequitable treatment. The Department of Education has been very clear that Title IX protects transgender people. Selectively allowing certain institutions to withdraw from these protections will lead to a negative climate for LGBTQ people. And now the George Fox Title IX exemption appears to have influenced at least two other colleges, who have now been granted permission to expel a student or fire an employee simply for being trans*.

While George Fox may have made a decision in the case of this particular student, we urge all institutions of higher education to consider ways to be supportive of transgender students. For guidance on this, please see our document Suggested Best Practices for Supporting Trans* Students. We believe that all students should be treated with equity and respect. Towards that end, we support and celebrate the work of Safety Net, an organization devoted to supporting LGBTQA people at religiously-affiliated colleges. LGBTQA people of faith deserve to be able to pursue educations that support their spiritual convictions, gender identities, and sexual orientations. We encourage all colleges and universities to join us in working to protect the rights of LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty.

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Shared Vision and Mission Statement

To critically transform higher education environments so that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni have equity in every respect.

Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

280 Madison Avenue Ste. 912 - New York, NY 10016-0801

www.lgbtcampus.org

 
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