Harassment and Discrimination Have No Place in Our Community

CRLA Raises Awareness on Rural LGBT Issues

For decades, CRLA has advocated for justice on behalf of the rural poor in California, regardless of the source of the threat or injustice. CRLA attorneys and staff members fight to safeguard the basic human rights that often hit low-income people the hardest, ensuring that all individuals feel safe in their own communities, without fear of harassment or discrimination.

While LGBT people are becoming more visible in rural California, homophobia and transphobia - hostility towards gay and transgender people - remain entrenched. In 2009, hate crimes targeting LGBT people were the second most common type of hate crime in California.

In the fall of 2010, the media brought national attention to the important issue of LGBT harassment after a wave of gay teenagers committed suicide. Unfortunately, many LGBT individuals face threats, bullying and tragic outcomes, like what happened with a Tehachapi teenager last year.

To raise awareness about anti-LGBT bias, CRLA has joined a multi-agency Hate Crimes Task Force organized by the U.S. Department of Justice. The 2009 Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act gives federal law enforcement agencies jurisdiction over hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity bias.

LGBT Conference.In November 2010, CRLA co-sponsored the Stockton Transgender Day of Remembrance. CRLA worked with local leaders to bring community members together, including the first-ever elected transgender judge, to discuss the impact of hatred on the LGBT community and to remember the victims who have been killed because of transphobia.

In 2011, CRLA will sponsor an Anti-Bullying and Hate Crimes Conference to further address these issues. Please stay tuned for more details on this Conference.

In addition, Proyecto Poderoso, a joint project of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and CRLA, seeks to build a dialogue that would help close this gap and overcome cultural barriers that prevent families from fully accepting and embracing their LGBT family members in Spanish-speaking Latino households. In partnership with San Francisco State University's Family Acceptance Project and Radio Bilingüe, CRLA is launching the on-air premiere of our radionovela series, a Spanish-language soap opera that will air on Radio Bilingüe stations across California from February 11 through March 31.

To listen to podcasts of the radionovela, visit www.RadioBilingue.org.

Hate crimes and bullying-related suicides represent the worst-case scenarios when it comes to homophobia and transphobia. With your support, CRLA will continue to raise awareness in rural California about the problem of harassment and hate crimes directed at LGBT communities and create meaningful solutions with schools, law enforcement agencies, and community based organizations.

The radionovela-"Bienvenidos a Casa"-will premiere between 6:00-7:00 p.m. on February 11, 2011 on Radio Bilingüe's "Rock-in da House." It will be broadcast a total of 10 times from February 11 through March 31 on Radio Bilingüe stations across California, and will be available at www.RadioBilingue.org.



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