Are Latinos Anti-Gay?

By David M. Perez on 05/18/2012 @ 07:00 PM

Tags: LGBT

Are Latinos Anti-Gay?

The unequivocal answer is no! Over 83 percent of Latinos support housing and employment non-discrimination protections for gay and lesbian people. Is this a new trend? The answer again is no! Looking at the nation’s leading Latino civil rights organizations as a barometer for pro-LGBT support shows significant national support for more than five years.

In 2006, the nation’s oldest and largest Latino civil rights membership organization, the League of United Latin American Citizens, founded its first LGBT council in Dallas, Texas. Next, representatives from LULAC’s 900 councils from across the United States and Puerto Rico passed resolutions in 2008 and 2009 at the LULAC National Assembly to sup- port equal treatment of LGBT brothers and sisters in the military and the workplace.

In 2011, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund featured Russell Roybal of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force at their annual Latino State of the Union in Washington, D.C. In June 2011, LULAC joined the Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality to co-release a fact sheet about Latino transgender discrimina- tion, which was featured at the LULAC National Convention among a week-long track of LGBT workshops for 30 LGBT Latino leaders from Unid@s.

In April 2012, National Council of La Raza (NCLR) co-released research with the Social Science Research Solutions debunking the widespread myth that Latinos are less accepting of the LGBT community than the general public. Several recent studies have demonstrated that over 70 percent of Latinos support either marriage recognition for gay and lesbian couples and support school policies to prevent harassment and bullying of students who are gay or perceived to be gay.

What are the next steps? Latino civil rights advocates, LGBT human rights advocates and those of us working at the intersection of these identities as LGBT Latinos must work collectively to continually educate our sisters and brothers that familia es familia and we deserve equal rights for all. We must join forces to turn these positive public percep- tions into political power and equality at the ballot box through innova- tive partnerships with Latino organizations, LGBT organizations and LGBT Latino organizations. Through this process we must also commit to building the capacity of Latino LGBT organizations so that we build our movement as we advance our collective cause of equality for all.

President Obama's remarks on May 9th have brought marriage equality to the forefront of public debate. Let's continue in LULAC's tradition of fostering positive dialogue between LGBT and Latino community advocates, who have a common goal: full equality.

Join me today to commit to using May to finding a local Latino organization or business to partner with you to celebrate LGBT Pride Month in June. In Washington, DC, the Latino GLBT History Project partnered with radio El Zol 107.9fm to broadcast Spanish language LGBT tolerance PSAs during the week leading up to the Capital Pride Parade in Washington, DC. I challenge you to ask your local Spanish language radio station to make a similar commitment. You never know what will happen until you ask… ¡Sí, se puede!

Written by:
David M. Pérez
Director of Development
League of United Latin American Citizens
www.LULAC.org/programs/lgbt

David M. Pérez
President
Latino GLBT History Project
www.LatinoGLBTHistory.org

La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Irene Graciano, LULAC National Intern

Posted on 11/21/2011 @ 12:20 PM

Tags: intern



My name is Irene Graciano and I am from Los Angeles, CA. This is my third year in college and I am majoring in Government and Sociology at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. However, this semester I am attending American University as part of the Washington Semester Program. The emphasis of my program is Justice & Law. I am interested in issues concerning national security, law enforcement, and criminology. This program gives us the opportunity to hear from numerous speakers in the law enforcement field and from the federal level in DC. The best part of the program is that we are allowed to intern in order to make our semester in DC a worthwhile working experience in the capital.

Through this program, I heard about LULAC. In my search for an internship, I knew that I wanted to do something related to civil rights and Hispanics. As a Hispanic myself, there are issues that concern me and should be addressed by those in power. I was looking for an organization that was doing something for the Hispanic community, not only at the local level, but also at the national level. I love serving the community, volunteering, and empowering them with any resources that I can. When I saw LULAC’s homepage, I immediately felt attracted to it because I saw the involvement they had – and continue to have – in order to improve the condition, and protect the rights, of Hispanics in the United States. At that moment, I knew that working with LULAC would give me a more intimate approach to the many issues that the Hispanic community faces. Maybe I would not experience one-on-one contact with each community member, but, through all of our contributions to the LULAC organization, we can reach out to Hispanics and facilitate their access to all the resources that are available to help them.

Currently, I have been working on a variety of projects here at LULAC with an emphasis on community relations. I work behind the scenes by maintaining LULAC’s key web pages, posting events online to share with others via Facebook and Twitter, and serving the Hispanic community through the Internet. The Internet has become an important tool in the world of today; therefore, it is important to improve our online outreach for the benefit of the community.

After starting my internship this September, and now with almost a month left in LULAC, I can say that the work that I am doing here will definitely reach the Hispanic community and provide them with the information necessary to make a difference. I am looking forward to learning more during the remainder of my time here as I continue to work on issues that are important to the Hispanic community.



The League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization, recruits highly talented and dedicated interns year-round to work with our national office in Washington D.C. Interns can choose to collaborate with any one of the following departments: policy, programs, communications, membership, special events, development, fiscal or executive. For more information, or to apply for a LULAC internship, click here to learn more!

La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Jossie Flor Sapunar, LULAC National Intern

By Jossie Flor Sapunar on 11/21/2011 @ 12:20 PM

Tags: intern

Arizona’s SB 1070 came to me as a shock. Living in a more tolerant community in the outskirts of Baltimore City, I never perceived that Latinos would so blatantly be discriminated in an age that already fought (and won) the battle for universal civil rights. As I tried to calm my indignation, I realized the anachronism of the law. Surely Martin Luther King Jr. had triumphed in equalizing the playing field for everyone of color. Cesar Chavez paved the road for Latino rights. What, then, was this law doing in a democratic age of tolerance and equality?

As I searched for some satisfying answer, I was introduced to LULAC, the largest and oldest civil rights and advocacy group, which sought to comprehensively advance the condition of Latinos in the U.S. In my quiet part of Baltimore, I had never encountered such direct prejudice of this magnitude but I was distraught in discovering that in this great nation, so hailed as being guided by equality and freedom, that in the mighty, God-graced country of the United States of America, discrimination still prevailed. I was beyond crestfallen.

I realized that I had been living in ignorance. Others lauded my intelligence—my own father bragged to his friends that his daughter would be graduating from the Johns Hopkins University, a competitive, world-renowned institute of higher learning. Yet, this so-called intelligence was limited to mere book knowledge of academic theory and ideals. My further research confirmed that I had been shielded by my well-intentioned family of the true condition of the United States.

I knew I had to join LULAC to help them succeed in their mission.

So here I write today, sitting in the LULAC National Office. I have been a communications intern for more than a month and my time here has allowed me to write press releases, opinion-editorials, news articles, testimonies, Congressional letters, and documentary supplements. I have researched historical, societal, economic, and political issues and their impact on the Latino community. The experience has rounded me out and opened my eyes to the full reality of the U.S. Gerrymandering, racial profiling, and unequal opportunities exist, and, through the power of my words, I can help reverse their damaging effects.

Once I leave, I will continue this mission elsewhere. Others should be able to live in the same utopia I did as a young undergraduate—studying until late with brothers and sisters of every color and creed, and knowing that nothing hinders us from success except our own personal ambition. Through the continued efforts of organizations like LULAC, this vision will cease to be some lofty faraway dream and will instead materialize into a universal existence, and for that I am grateful to have participated in the LULAC mission, which, I trust will, one day, be satisfied.

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” –Andy Warhol

La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Guadalupe Yanez, LULAC National Intern

By Guadalupe Yanez on 11/18/2011 @ 12:20 PM

Tags: intern


“Nunca olvides quien eres y de dónde vienes…” Those were my grandmother’s last words as I left mi ranchito, my home in a small town located in the southern, remote part of Guanajuato in Mexico. At the age of 8, my family and I set out to the United States in search of that long-yearned “American Dream,” carrying with us our hopes and dreams of a better future as our only possessions.

It has now been approximately 12 years since I have lived in the United States, in the state of California, to be exact. With the passing of the years, I was able to discover my status according to society’s standards: a low-income female coming from a minority ethnic background with low expectations of succeeding in school as well as in life. Growing up in Salinas, a predominantly Hispanic and agricultural-based city, exposed me to the many struggles my community was vulnerable to, and I saw what I needed to overcome in order to succeed. It truly saddened me to see my community torn apart from constant gang violence, as well as a sense of loss of direction. It hurt me even more to realize the immense potential amongst my peers that was overshadowed by all the negativity and despair around us, and to see our optimism unfortunately get lost in the midst of it all. I knew I needed to do something and this is what led me to LULAC.

I first heard about LULAC when I was in the 7th grade, through my brothers’ high school event. It was not until the end of my high school years that I became a bit more familiarized with LULAC, as well as their mission, which truly interested me. Through my current school’s internship database, I found out that LULAC was offering internships, and I decided to apply immediately. One of the main reasons why I was attracted to this organization was the fact that it encompasses several different issues pertaining to the Latino population. In line with my own personal interests of helping out and making a difference in such a particular community, I simply knew LULAC was the ideal match for me. Not only am I truly enjoying my time here, but I am also learning a lot of new things as well. I have grown not only as a student but also as a person. Being in such positive and engaging environment amongst great people has enhanced not only my passion, but also my own will-power and potential to strive to be the very best that I can.

Currently, I am a third-year student attending Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California with a major in political science, a minor in ethnic studies and an emphasis in the public sector. With an intense passion for helping others, I would like to pursue a career that will enable me to work within my community, as well as outside of it. I am also interested in pursuing a career in law, for I want to advocate on behalf of my community, while also making sure their voices are not only heard but also taken into serious consideration.

There is no doubt that it takes much more to stand up for what you believe in than simply believing in something, and that in order to do so, you must be truly aware of who you are and where you come from. Although I might not know exactly where I will be in the near future, I do know for a fact that I will continue to fight and advocate for my ideals and what I believe in. With a strong heart and a positive mind, I know that if I was able to succeed when I first arrived in the United States 12 years ago, then I can most definitely continue doing so for the next 12 years and on.






The League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization, recruits highly talented and dedicated interns year-round to work with our national office in Washington D.C. Interns can choose to collaborate with any one of the following departments: policy, programs, communications, membership, special events, development, fiscal or executive. For more information, or to apply for a LULAC internship, click here to learn more!

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