Assembly Member Lara Urges President Obama, Congress to Pass Historic Bill of Rights for LGBTQ Individuals

July 02, 2012

Historic resolution seeks to include “sexual orientation, gender identity” in landmark federal anti-discrimination laws

SACRAMENTO – As the festivities surrounding the 236th anniversary of the signing of our country's Declaration of Independence begin, today California State Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 43 - LGBTQ Bill of Rights - a resolution that calls on President Obama and Congress to include sexual orientation and gender identity in landmark Federal anti-discrimination laws.

"This resolution is an urgent call for justice. While California offers some of the most expansive protections for LGBTQ individuals, without a comprehensive response by the federal government, many LGBTQ Americans continue to be at the mercy of state and local laws that can either protect them or target them for discrimination," said Lara. "There have been recent gains in federal protections, however nothing can match the safeguards, symbolism and promise of equality for all people like the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity alongside 'race, color, sex, national origin, and religion' in our nation's landmark federal antidiscrimination acts."

AJR43, sponsored by Bienestar Human Services, Inc, (BIENESTAR), brings the issue of equal rights for LGBTQ individuals to the forefront of American consciousness. Currently most federal anti-discrimination laws withhold equal status and parity for LGBT individuals, which deny this population many basic and fundamental protections and benefits.

"Every day millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals endure tremendous injustices throughout our country. An American Bill of Rights for LGBTQ individuals is the solution that will move us beyond addressing the symptoms of homophobia and transphobia with a 'band aid' but will address the root of these problems head on," said Oscar De La O, Executive Director of BIENESTAR.

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Asm. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) represents the 50th Assembly District; he serves as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and Chair of the Select Committee on Financial Empowerment. He is member of Appropriations, Banking and Finance, Higher Education, and Water, Parks and Wildlife Committees as well as the LGBT Caucus. In the next election cycle Asm. Lara will become the first openly gay person of color elected to the State of California Senate.

Bienestar Human Services, Inc., one of the largest Latino community-based organizations in the United States addresses the social services, health promotion, and social justice issues of Latinos. Since 1989, BIENESTAR has been committed to enhancing the health and well-being of the Latino community and other underserved communities in Southern California. Visit www.BIENESTAR.org for additional information.