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June 2013 E-blast: LGBT Pride, Immigration, Community Catalyst Awards, and MORE

June is wrapping up on a high note!  With historic movement in Washington, DC on immigration and marriage equality, and unprecedented celebrations at Pride events around the country, Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) lesbian,gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities have been at the center of the action!

In this e-blast, find out more information about the following:

NQAPIA Annoucements and Activities:  Intern Corner, Immigration, and NQAPIA Community Catalyst Awards

Around the Horn:   DesiQ, LGBT Pride

News and Notes:  Supreme Court, ENDA, SSA

NQAPIA Announcements and Activities

Community Catalyst Award Flyer.Front

Intern Corner:  We are pleased to welcome interns Steven Cong and Elizabeth Duthinh to Team NQAPIA this summer.  Check out their reflections and observations every week on our blog.  This week, they offer their take on what’s been an historic week in the nation’s capital.

Immigration: NQAPIA took our communities’ voices to Capitol Hill as the Senate took an historic vote on comprehensive immigration reform.  With Tony Choi, a queer undocumented immigration from New Jersey, we delivered 2,700 postcards to the Senate, meeting with Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

NQAPIA Community Catalyst Awards: We are pleased to announce our annual Community Catalyst Awards this year, which will be held at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Honolulu, HI.  Join us on Saturday, July 27 as we honor former NFL football player and LGBT activist Esera Tuaolo and UNITE HERE Local 5.  Check us out on Facebook for more information.

 

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Around the Horn: AAPI LGBT Action Across the Country

DesiQ

San Francisco, CA:  Hundreds of LGBT South Asians from around the world are converging on San Franicsco this coming weekend for the DesiQ conference.  NQAPIA is going to be there in full force July 4-6.  For more information, click here.

LGBT Pride:  We’ve been documenting local groups’ LGBT Pride contingents all month.  Cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Twin Cities, and Seattle are closing us out this weekend.  We are gathering images and stories about queer AAPIs making our voices heard.  Tell us your story at nqapia@gmail.com

News and Notes: Legislative and Policy Roundup

Photo from getequal.org

Supreme Court:  NQAPIA monitored a number of issues taken on by the Supreme Court in their recently concluded session.  While much of the news coverage (particularly in the LGBT media) has focused on marriage equality, NQAPIA weighed in on cases that were decided on issues such as Affirmative Action and Voting Rights.  We joined a national statement from the LGBT community expressing our disappointmenent on their ruling on Voting Rights.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA): Out & Equal released a new report that explores the discrimination LGBT employees face in the workforce. You can check out their report here.

Social Security Administration (SSA):  Transgender communities got good news this month when the SSA announced new policies that will improve people’s ability to change the gender markers on their identity documents, including their Social Security cards.  Our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality issued this factsheet explaining the new policies.

LGBT Advocacy Groups Stand With Civil Rights Counterparts in Disappointment at Supreme Court Ruling on Voting Rights

NQAPIA joined this statement put forward by national LGBT advocacy organizations today in response to the Supreme Court decision in the Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder.  We had joined the amicus brief submitted by Asian American organizations in support of Voting Rights and join our partners in the civil rights and LGBT movements expressing our disappointment in today’s ruling.

 

For Immediate Release 06/25/13

LGBT Advocacy Groups Stand With Civil Rights Counterparts in Disappointment at Supreme Court Ruling on Voting Rights

Washington, DC – Today, the Supreme Court struck down a central part of the Voting Rights Act, invalidating crucial protections passed by Congress in 1965 and renewed four times in the decades since. The sharply divided decision will significantly reduce the federal government’s role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of discrimination against African-Americans.

We, America’s leading LGBT advocacy organizations, join civil rights organizations – and indeed, all Americans whom this law has served to protect – in expressing acute dismay at today’s ruling. Not only had Congress repeatedly reaffirmed the need for this bedrock civil rights protection, but authoritative voices from across America had filed amicus briefs urging the court not to undermine the law: the NAACP; the American Bar Association; the Navajo Nation; the states of New York, California, Mississippi and North Carolina; numerous former Justice Department officials charged with protecting voting rights; dozens of U.S. senators and representatives; and many others.

These varied and powerful voices attest to the self-evident reality that racial protections are still needed in voting in this country. As recently as last year’s elections, political partisans resorted to voter suppression laws and tactics aimed at reducing the votes of people of color.

Voting rights protections, which have long served our nation’s commitment to equality and justice, should not be cast aside now. The court has done America a grave disservice, and we will work with our coalition partners to undo the damage inflicted by this retrogressive ruling.

 

Center for Black Equity

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

Equality Federation

Family Equality Council

Freedom to Marry

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)

GLAAD

Human Rights Campaign

Immigration Equality Action Fund

Lambda Legal

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

PFLAG – Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays Pride at Work, AFL-CIO

The Trevor Project

Unid@s

 

 

NQAPIA Statement on Tom Perez Nomination for Secretary of Labor

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) commends President Obama for his nomination on March 18, 2013 of Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez for Secretary of Labor.  From his days leading the Office of Civil Rights for the Department of Health and Human Services, to leading the Maryland State Department of Labor, Tom Perez has stood shoulder to shoulder with AAPI and LGBT communities for decades working on critical issues around labor, workers’ rights, social justice, and access for low income and immigrant communities.  As the Assistant Attorney General and the nation’s top civil rights enforcer, Tom Perez’s tenure at the U.S. Department of Justice has been marked by critical progress in areas of LGBT equality, voting rights, and civil rights for immigrants and communities of color.

“Tom Perez has been a friend and a champion to our communities  and we are pleased that he has an opportunity to head the U.S. Department of Labor,” said Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs.  “We’ve known him for a long time for his work with AAPI communities and with LGBT organizations, and when in his Keynote at our LGBT Asian American/ South Asian Lawyers Reception in October 2011, he spoke directly and with conviction about his commitment to justice for those of us who are both.”