Vigil to be held for LGBT Rights and to protest the actions

of the Human Rights Campaign at the HRC Annual Dinner

 

Where: 

Outside the Lowes Hotel on the corner of Market & 12th Streets in Philadelphia.

 

When: 

Saturday February 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm.

 

Why: 

 

We will be holding a vigil outside of the dinner to focus attention on the exclusion of transgender Americans from the federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act and on the Human Rights Campaigns' reversal of policy in agreeing to accept a bill that does not cover the entire LGBT community. The HRC not only worked towards this exclusion of the transgender members of the LGBT community from this bill, they misrepresented their intentions in this matter to Philadelphia's LGBT leadership and to the transgender community on this extremely important issue.

 

Transgender people are the most vulnerable group in the LGBT community. Transgender people experience employment discrimination at rates that are orders of magnitude higher than the general population. In Philadelphia over 60% of transgender woman are unemployed as are over 30% of transgender men (Kenagy 2005 in Health and Social Work). The human and social costs resulting from such levels of discrimination negatively effect the entire community. The Baltimore Homeless Census released this September reported that 7% of homeless children identified as transgender. These children are often forced to leave their homes after their gender identity becomes known. The Southern Poverty Law Centers Special Report on Transgender Hate Murders "Disposable People" notes: "While the FBI reported a total of 11 U.S. murders motivated by racial, religious, or sexual-orientation bias in 2002, the Intelligence Report has documented 14 murders of transgendered people in the U.S. in that one year."  

 

Our common goal is passage of a fair and inclusive employment nondiscrimination statute. Any version of this law that fails to securely protect the LGBT community against workplace discrimination is a law not worth having and we urge you to oppose it. Several elected officials are being asked to help educate HRC on transgender issues and the need for legislation that covers the entire community.

 

We ask you join us at 5:15pm to show your support for equality for the entire LGBT community. Please consider wearing the attached sticker to the vigil and to the HRC Dinner if you will be attending. It can be printed on a standard Avery name badge (Publisher file for printing labels and JPEG for printing on standard paper) or just printed and pinned to your clothing. They will also be available at the vigil.

  

Signed,

 

Kathy Padilla
Co-President, OutFront!
 
Stephen A. Glassman, Chairman
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

Michael Hinson

Michael P. Williams, Esq.
Co-President, OutFront!

 

Stacy L. Sobel, Executive Director

Equality Advocates Pennsylvania

 

Rue Landau, Co-Chair
Liberty City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club

Ray Murphy, Co-Chair
Liberty City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club