SONG Statement + Press Release on NC Repression

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LGBTQ People and Repressive Legislation Coming Out of the North Carolina Legislature – Press Release + SONG Statement

**SONG statement following the Press Release**

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // EXCUSE CROSS POSTINGS // PLEASE FORWARD

Date: June 3, 2013

Media Contacts:

Bishop Tonyia Rawls / 704.890.2026 / bishoptrawls@gmail.com

Caitlin Breedlove / 865.310.1463 / Caitlin@southernersonnewground.org

Jen Jones/ 919-260-5906 / Jen@equalitync.org

WHAT: LGBTQ Organizations across North Carolina oppose regressive policies in our state that attack the basic dignity and rights of ALL North Carolinians. In particular, LGBTQ organizations take a stand against anti-immigrant legislation, failure to Medicaid, and Voter ID legislation.

WHEN: Monday, June 3, 2013

WHO: Southerners On New Ground (www.southernersonnewground.org), Equality North Carolina (www.equalitync.org), Freedom Center for Social Justice (www.fcsj.org), NC HEAT (www.wakeyouth.wordpress.com/nc-h-e-a-t/), LGBT Center of Raleigh (www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com)

Raleigh, NC –Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender North Carolina Leaders speak out against regressive policies

When so many LGBTQ people and our allies fought for basic dignity and rights when Amendment One was on the ballot, we knew why it mattered. We still do. Now, North Carolina faces a new set of threats to our communities from the same root. Recently, we have seen the cutting of Medicaid for half a million North Carolinians who are poor and working poor. Now, they are continuing to attack our communities by: trying to limit our voting rights, attacking healthcare rights for poor people, and demonizing immigrants.

These are LGBTQ issues. They impact LGBTQ people deeply. Here is how*:

Poverty: Children raised in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual families are twice as likely to grow up in poverty as kids raised in heterosexual households. Rural and African-American LGB people are even more likely to live in poverty, and lesbians are consistently more likely to be living in poverty than heterosexual women Poverty is not a ‘heterosexual issue’.
Many Immigrants are also LGBTQ people
For the first time, low-income LGBT Americans have access to Medicaid. Failing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, deprives hundreds of thousands of low-income North Carolinians, including low-income LGBT North Carolinians, from access to health care.
Voting Rights: Over 40% of Transgender people do not have ID that matches their gender identity. This means many of them will be harassed while trying to vote, or denied their vote. If we cannot make our voices heard, we cannot be part of our democracy.
Finally, we call on lawmakers to financially strengthen our schools in North Carolina. 84% of LGBT youth nationally report harassment in schools. Almost 1/3 of LGBT students drop out of high school—that is 3 times more than the national average. Our LGBT children in North Carolina are already struggling in schools, and need good schools.

Our organizations call upon LGBTQ North Carolinians and our allies to see that this is not a time to ‘sit one out’ in North Carolina. These are our issues, our state, and our future.

(*Williams Institute, Lambda Legal)

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SONG STATEMENT ON NC REPRESSION:

When so many of us fought for basic dignity and rights when Amendment One was on the ballot, we knew why it mattered. We still do.

Now, North Carolina faces a new set of threats to our communities from the same root. Since the rise of greed-driven representatives of the far right in our legislature, we have seen the cutting of Medicaid for half a million North Carolinians who are poor and working poor. We are witnessing the raising of taxes for 900,000 poor and working poor North Carolinians, so that 23 millionaires can get bigger tax breaks. Now, this legislature who is serving the interests of the few is continuing to attack our communities by: trying to limit our voting rights, demonize immigrants, and dismantle the quality of public education for the many while putting money into schools for rich kids. In particular, we are seeing charter schools—that only some can access—outnumbering our public schools, especially in rural areas. All kids deserve good schools.

These are LGBTQ issues. They impact us deeply. Here is how*:.

• Poverty: Twice as many kids raised in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual families are growing up in poverty as kids raised in heterosexual households. Rural and African-American LGBT people are even more likely to live in poverty, and lesbians are consistently more likely to be living in poverty than heterosexual women. We cannot afford to see poverty as a ‘heterosexual issue’.

• Schools: 84% of LGBT youth nationally report harassment in schools. Our LGBT children are already struggling in schools. Almost 1/3 of LGBT students drop out of high school—that is 3 times more than the national average. Our LGBT children are already struggling in schools. The last thing they need is less support in public schools.

• Voting Rights: Over 40% of Transgender people do not Identification that matches their gender identity. This means many of them will be harassed while trying to vote, or denied from voting. If we cannot make our voices heard, we cannot be part of our democracy.

LGBTQ North Carolinians and Allies: This is not a time to ‘sit one out’ in North Carolina. These are ‘our issues’, our state, and our future.

SONG supports the North Carolina NAACP’s call for us to speak out, take action and challenge the North Carolina Legislature to halt these repressive policies.