With over 50 million Latinos in the U.S. increasingly showing strong support for LGBT equality, now seemed to be the perfect time to ignite momentum among the Latino LGBT movement for full equality.
Yesterday, December 20, Latino LGBT and ally advocates announced the launch of Unión=Fuerza, the first Latino Institute at Creating Change, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual conference that brings LGBT people and allies together for workshops and discussions about the work being done to advocate for LGBT equality. This year, Creating Change will take place from January 23-27, 2013 in Atlanta, GA.
By bringing together diverse groups of LGBT Latinos and allies from across the country to foster supportive relationships and build capacity, the Unión=Fuerza Latino Institute aims to strengthen and unify the LGBT Latino community’s voice and advocacy. “While many out LGBT Latinos are at the forefront of social justice movements, there is still much untapped growth to develop in order to reach our community's full potential and more effectively address issues facing LGBT Latinos and their friends and families,” said David M. Pérez, co-lead Unión=Fuerza organizer, Director of Development at League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and President of the Latino GLBT History Project.
Study after study shows that Latino support for LGBT people and issues is strong and ever growing:
- 59% say that homosexuality should be accepted by society.
- 54% support marriage between same-sex couples.
- 80% believe that the gay community faces discrimination often
- 83% support housing and employment non-discrimination policies
- 75% support school policies to prevent harassment and bullying students who are, or perceived to be, gay.
This is great news. Yet as with all communities, there is still a lot of work to do to achieve full equality. This includes educating the community about the importance of family acceptance and the harm that rejection of LGBT family members causes to entire families. Equally important will be to advocate for issues that impact all Latinos, including the LGBT members of the community, including access to quality health, affordable housing, education, employment, as well as advocating for immigration reform.
GLAAD is proud to be a community partner of the Unión=Fuerza Latino Institute and honored to work with its organizers to ensure its success. For a list of community partners or to sign up as a community partner, click here.