As we head in to the new year, things are going to be different than what most of us were anticipating. Many people are concerned – and some outright frightened – about the potential loss of rights, legal discrimination, and our families being torn apart.
Thanks to you – we’ve made extreme progress, but in the upcoming year we anticipate we’ll have to fight new battles along with those fought before to maintain this progress.
The staff, Board and our broader membership are committed to ensuring that we fight back, and we’re prepared to continue protecting the advances we’ve made – with your help!
That’s why I’m asking you to make a generous tax-deductible contribution to the LGBT Bar Foundation, so progress will continue to happen.
As we approach the end of a very eventful 2016, I want to thank you for being a leader by encouraging lawyers to come out -- creating notable progress in the business community and opening the pathway to broader diversity in the legal community.
With your donation, we remain nimble and able to respond immediately to situations like finding lawyers to provide assistance and help defray court and filing fees for families after the Pulse Night Club tragedy – and to build upon our diverse coalitions to take action against hate and injustice.
2017 may not be the easiest year ahead of us, but our effective track record is on our side – and with the ever-increasing visibility of successful LGBT professionals, our culture has become much more accepting of the community making us better equipped to advocate for equal rights!
Our access and partnership with the ABA provides us with the unique opportunity to make a quantifiable difference in the lives of LGBT legal professionals and the broader LGBT community.
In the aftermath of this historically divisive presidential election, there has been a surge of bias-motivated and hate violence across the nation targeting many groups, including our own families and straight allies, especially those of us who are women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color., or those with disabilities.
To that end, we have worked with sister bar organizations to assist our members who may be part of or work with communities affected by hate violence. We co-created a Hate Crimes Resources Toolkit, which has information about reporting incidents, supporting community organizations, offering legal services, and coordinating with government agencies.
We urge you to personally join fellow colleagues – like the LGBT Bar and other diverse bar groups have already done - in calling on our elected officials to denounce the rising tide of hate. We encourage them to take steps to combat these incidents and promote an inclusive America where all receive equal protection under the law.
The most vulnerable among us are the most frequent targets of attacks, especially following the nationalistic and hateful rhetoric of this campaign season. In a number of countries around the world, individuals are killed for their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. For LGBT immigrants, whether or not they stay in this country can become a very real life or death situation.
Earlier this month we co-sponsored “Life or Death: Immigration, Intersectionality, & What You Can Do to Help” to provide additional resources to combat this very real and likely growing threat, and we’re committed to continuing education in the new year on this critical topic.
Within the past few weeks, we also provided programs addressing some of the work that we have focused on over the past few years; we have fought for a number of policy initiatives, including one to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to vote and serve on a jury.
Please consider a year-end contribution to the LGBT Bar Foundation.
With your and other members’ support, the New Year will allow us to continue our important work fighting the so-called gay and trans “panic” defense – along with ensuring that the U.S. Military enforces updated policies for open transgender service and changes military records for transgender veterans.
With Much Appreciation,
D’Arcy Kemnitz, Esq.
The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated LGBT legal organizations. The Association promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.