Tell Your Rep: Don’t Play Politics with LGBT Domestic Violence Victims
May 15, 2012 by Ty Cobb, Senior Legislative Counsel
The House could act as early as tomorrow on a domestic violence bill that ignores the discrimination experienced by LGBT victims of domestic violence. We don’t have much time to act – please, call your representative and tell them to oppose H.R. 4970 because it fails to include all victims of domestic violence - including LGBT victims.
LGBT victims face discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity when they seek refuge from abuse. They are turned away from service providers, laughed at by law enforcement, and struggle to get protective orders from judges. Often they are left without any option but to return to their abuser.
The Senate passed a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill last month that is LGBT-inclusive. That bill passed through the Senate with a strong bi-partisan vote of 68-31. It includes three important provisions for LGBT victims. It ensure services for LGBT victims of domestic violence are explicitly included in two key VAWA grant programs. It also prohibits any program or activity funded by the bill from discriminating against a victim based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. H.R. 4970 eliminates these provisions, as well as many other critical provisions.
The Senate VAWA represents the input of more than 2,000 advocates, including local programs, state and federal grant administrators, national resource centers, and other key stakeholders. H.R. 4970 ignores this input.
Now is the time to call your representative to tell them to oppose H.R. 4970. After finding your representative, call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
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