#NotDoneYet - Diversity, Inclusion, Immigration, and Proyecto Igualdad

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December 23, 2014

Lambda Legal scored many amazing victories this year in the fight for the rights of LGBT people and people with HIV. But we’re not done yet. This series showcases some of our proudest accomplishments in 2014, and explores some of the work that we still need to do to achieve full equality for the LGBT and HIV communities.

Here are highlights of Lambda Legal's diversity, inclusion, immigration, and Latino outreach work in 2014 and goals for 2015.

Fighting for Equality in Puerto Rico: For more than 15 years, Lambda Legal has been working together with leaders, advocates and local community organizers to defend and secure the rights of LGBT and HIV-affected Puerto Ricans. Our marriage equality case, Conde vs. Garcia Padilla, is currently before the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bilingual “Know Your Rights” Hubs: Everyone – regardless of what language they speak – has the same rights under the law and deserves information about their rights. That’s why we’ve built three Spanish online resources ­detailing the rights of teens and young adults, employees and transgender individuals — with more on the way.

Immigration Advocacy: Throughout the year, Lambda Legal has spoken out about developments in immigration policy, pushing for a humane reform bill that among other goals would enable the millions of undocumented immigrants living in America— including hundreds of thousands of LGBT immigrants— to come out of the shadows. We also signed on to – and raised signatures for – a petition to protect asylum seekers from discriminatory treatment by immigration agents.

Outreach Within Communities of Color: This year marked the second annual gathering of “Unión=Fuerza,” a daylong event co-convened by Lambda Legal at Creating Change, the nation’s largest LGBT conference. The goal behind Unión=Fuerza is to form relationships among Latino LGBT activists, sharing resources and information, and building organizational skills. Lambda Legal also worked with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a network of black LGBT-affirming ministries, on presentations about transgender rights and equality at their conferences in St. Louis, New York and Dallas.

But we’re not done yet…

Help Stop Prison Rape in Texas: Lambda Legal is suing the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) on behalf of Passion Star, a black transgender woman who has been repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted in prison as TDCJ and its employees repeatedly refused her requests for safekeeping. One official even told her, “You’re black; you’ll be all right.” Learn more and sign a petition here.

Continuing the Fight for Humane, Inclusive Immigration Reform: Lambda Legal plans to continue fighting for humane immigration reform.  We will take on more asylum cases in 2015, representing immigrants who are LGBT and living with HIV  from countries with antigay and anti-trans laws. We will advocate — and if necessary, litigate — to address the unacceptable treatment and abuse of LGBT and HIV-affected immigrants in detention. We will also continue reaching out to diverse LGBT immigrant communities to inform them about their rights – including a transgender immigration fact sheet in both English and Spanish.  We also hope to expand our outreach to API immigrant communities.

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