On Monday, June 15 the LGBTQ community took a step forward in the protection of their civil rights. The Supreme Court ruled that the federal Civil Rights ACT from the 1960s protects gay and transgender workers against discrimination. As the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization LULAC celebrates this amazing victory, with the additional joy that it takes place during the commemoration of PRIDE month.
LULAC celebrates PRIDE month
In the Pride Month of June, established some 40 years ago to commemorate the birth of the LGBTQ+ Movement with the riots and protests at New York’s Stonewall Inn and San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria, we find ourselves reflecting on the unfinished struggle for fundamental rights at the 51st Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It is important to celebrate & honor trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson, a Black Transwoman, and Sylvia Rivera, a Puerto Rican-Venezuelan Transgender Woman, two powerful activists, who used their voices to say enough with harassment, violence and police brutality and rallied the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies for LGBTQ+ visibility, respect and equality.
“LULAC urges everyone to remember that Pride began as a struggle against an unjust system that condemned a group of people because of who they are as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer, or by who they love or by how they present to the world. Social change cannot be accomplished without brave people demanding humanity for all within and beyond our Latino comunidad,” said Maria Salazar, Chair of the LULAC LGBTQ Committee.
LULAC rejects homophobia and transphobia which still plagues our society, particularly at this moment of national social unrest. We stand against the violence on LGBTQ bodies and the attacks on equal opportunities and protections of LGBTQ lives. Together, we must fight against injustice in all its forms and manifestations.
We are firmly committed to being an active and loving ally by centering the stories and voices of our LGBTQ familia in the struggle for human dignity. “And especially to our LULAC Latinx Queer members,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President, “We see you. We embrace you. We hear you. In our community, you are loved. We honor your contributions to the LGBTQ movement. We stand with you in the fight for visibility, respect and equality.”
The fight is not over
But the fight for civil rights is not over. On Friday, June 12 the Trump administration announced that it is rolling back Obama-era health care protections for people who are transgender. The rule will impact transgender patients’ ability to fight against discrimination by doctors, medical facilities, and health insurance providers.
“This is a deliberate and hateful act directed squarely at human beings in every corner of our country; our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, trans, and gender-nonconforming family members who are now being deemed unworthy of the most fundamental rights enshrined in the spirit of our nation’s Constitution,” said Rudy Rosales, State Director of Texas LULAC. Rosales is the first gay man ever elected to the organization’s highest office in the state where LULAC was founded in 1929.
The increased protections for all segments of the population were included in the Affordable Care Act created in 2010 under President Barack Obama. In 2016, the Trump Administration vowed to eradicate these provisions and have dismantled them in housing, education, employment and now, health care. The Department of Health and Human Services will no longer recognize gender identity as a valid basis for transgender patients claiming discrimination if denied medically appropriate services or coverage.
“What makes this action even more offensive is the timing of its announcement on the four-year anniversary of the massacre of our LGBTQ+ community in Orlando, Florida and during Pride month, one of the most important observances to many Americans every year. There is absolutely nothing that can justify the insult and damage this Administration is inflicting on innocent transgender people whose only cry is for the same treatment every other American receives, no more or no less. This only strengthens our resolve to fight back and restore protections each and every one of us rightfully deserves, ” said Rosales.