The New Year is off to a robust start as several LGBT Grassroots Organizations approve the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality by 2014. Supporters anticipate that the pledge will enhance the collective voice of the LGBT community and eventually protect sexual orientation and gender identity rights from discrimination.
LGBT civil rights activist, J. Todd Fernandez, plans to present the pledge to the General Assembly later in January and calls upon Congress to pass LGBT equality legislation by 2014, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Fernandez leads the American Equality Bill Project, a group of major donors in the LGBT community driven to advance legislation that will end legal discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public places, schools, programs funded by the federal government, and access to credit.
The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality by 2014 is the first document of its kind from LGBT Grassroots Organizations that demands the federal government to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and sets a deadline for the passage of the legislation.
This pledge has already rallied support by active LGBT grassroots organizations from around the country such as: GetEQUAL, The American Equality Bill Project, Join-the-Impact MA, the Arizona Trans Alliance, No Longer Silent-Clergy for Justice, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (San Fran), the Direct Action Network (San Antonio), Marriage Equality New York, Marriage Equality USA, and others.
The text of the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality specifically mentions to expand the protected classes of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to include gender identity and sexual orientation. Therefore, if the federal government passes legislation that meets the requisitions of the pledge, fair housing advocacy will be impacted throughout the nation. Not only will members of the housing community need to recognize these protections in the sale, rental, and finance of dwellings, but government agencies have the obligation to educate on this amendment and adapt fair housing enforcement procedures for the protected class.
In the midst of same-sex marriage campaigns and electing the first openly bisexual person to Congress, Krysten Sinema, who joins six openly gay and lesbian members in the most demographically diverse Congress in the U.S, now is the time to protect the basic human rights of this population. Government at all levels should work to end the discrimination of all people. As a resident and participant in society, they deserve nothing less.
To learn more about the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality by 2014 and the LGBT Equality movement, go to:
By Morgan P. Davis, Fair Housing Policy Director