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Wednesday , September 19 2018
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Home | Tag Archives: lgbt

Tag Archives: lgbt

El Paso PRIDEFest Celebrates 10 Years with Parties, Events and Parade

With events scheduled from Wet N Wild in the West to a PRIDE Night with the Chihuahuas to a downtown parade and party, El Paso Sun City Pride‘s annual PRIDEFest is truly an community event.

Carlos Salais, EPSCP’s Parade Director says the blossoming of the event year to year, shows the city’s progress.

“El Paso has come a long way, there is more acceptance to the LGBTQI community but there is still more to do,” Salais says, “we are lucky to have the support of our elected officials and city as a whole.”

For their 10th anniversary El Paso Sun City Pride, and their Pride Partners the EP Chihuahuas, will have Chico as this year’s Grand Marshal for the annual Sun City Pride Parade.  The Parade is set for Saturday, June 3 and starts at 10am, with the route starting at Houston Park and ending in downtown. (see map below)

Joining Chico will be Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez, an ally in the Texas Legislature, and a defender of LGBTQI Rights.

According to their website, the El Paso Sun City Pride (EPSCP) Organization was established in 2007 to serve as the Social Directors of the El Paso LGBT community and to bring the great City of El Paso a PRIDE Celebration it rightfully deserves.  Since that day ten years ago, the organization has overseen celebrations that have grown, both in attendance and popularity.

One of the main goals of  EPSCP and the PRIDEFest events is to help raise awareness to the on-going struggle for civil rights within the LGBT community and help fellow residents discover the thriving community in El Paso.

As for the next 10 years, Salais sees big things.

“It will be Amazing!!! This year we have built great partnerships….we just finished our first major event of PRIDE 2017 at the El Paso Zoo…we had over 700 guest, and it was amazing seeing families come to our event. We are now also partners with Walgreens, so the next 10 years will just be bigger and better.”

In addition to the PRIDE Week events, EPSCP helps the community by “providing scholarship opportunities to increase the education in our community and increase the diversity, visibility & unity, in and between, the LGBT & Straight communities of El Paso and the surrounding areas.”

Of their overall mission, and the goal of PRIDE Week, Salais simply says, “It’s simply about  the love and acceptance of one another.”

For a complete schedule of events, and to purchase tickets, visit El Paso Sun City Pride’s website.

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New Website Offers Culturally Sensitive Referrals for LGBT Community

The Department of Public Health’s HIV Prevention Program works tirelessly all year to reduce the incidence of disease in our community while searching for innovative ways to make prevention and testing more appealing.

Thanks to a micro grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the University of Texas at Austin, a new website titled “The Purple Pages” will help connect clients to the services they are looking for.

“We know from research and experience that clients are more likely to follow through with testing and treatment if they are connected to the right people,” said Irene Ovalle, Program Manager.

The Purple Pages website is more than a referral list of LGBT-friendly health care and social services providers, it is also a sign of commitment to the community. Purple Pages is a searchable, standalone website optimized for mobile devices.

The development of the list began in 2013 as a response to community stakeholder concerns over cultural insensitivity in care settings for their LGBT clients and patients. Less than a week after going live, the website has had over 1,000 unique visitors from around the world.

The Purple Pages website is a project of the HIV Prevention Community Mobilization whose members invite the media to their next meeting in order to recognize those who helped make this endeavor possible. The meeting will take place on Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 901 N. Virginia St.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health extends its sincere appreciation to the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Project Vida, Aliviane, University Medical Center, Outright Community Center, PFLAG El Paso, and other community partners for helping make this project possible.

The website will be continually updated. Local clinics and agencies interested in being a part of the program should send their contact information to support@thepurplepages.org.

The Purple Pages can be accessed at www.thepurplepages.org

Report: Passing Anti-LGBT Bill Could Cost Texas Billions

Some state leaders are prioritizing a so-called anti-LGBT bathroom bill for the upcoming session of the Legislature, but a new report warns that passage could cost Texas billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

The Texas Association of Business has released a study pointing out that the backlash from passing a bill forcing people to use the toilet of the gender on their birth certificate could cost the state’s businesses up to $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs.

Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas, an LGBT advocacy group, says one business segment is likely to be the hardest hit by protests and boycotts.

“There are certain industries that are on the front line of damage, and those would be those that deal with travel and tourism, conventions, sporting events and entertainment events,” he points out.

Some state leaders, particularly Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, have put the bathroom bill, which sponsors say protects religious freedoms, at the top of their agenda. But others, such as House Speaker Joe Straus, say there are more important issues.

Smith says there are other bills that have been, or are expected to be, filed that would limit the rights of the state’s LGBT community.

“There has been legislation filed that would prohibit Home Rule Charter cities in Texas from passing non-discrimination ordinances,” Smith points out. “The legislation would also nullify any existing non-discrimination ordinances.”

Smith adds that recent polls show about 75 percent of Texans oppose measures that target groups for discrimination. He says passing that kind of law could damage the Texas economy.

“We are supportive of the effort to educate people about how damaging this discriminatory legislation could be for our state’s economy, for our state’s brand and for the business community, which accounts for the majority of the tax revenues in the state,” he states.

Smith says states such as North Carolina and Arizona lost hundreds of millions of dollars after passing “religious freedom” bills aimed at LGBT and other groups.

Author – Mark Richardson, Public News Service – TX

The Lone Star State Must be Open to Business for All

Technology is an engine for economic growth, and talent is its fuel. Much like oil, capital or prime real estate, talent is a limited resource for which companies compete.

However, with a shortage of science, technology, engineering, and math graduates and a recovering economy, the tech community in Texas is locked in a war for talent — competing against other states for the country’s best and brightest. In Austin alone, the local education pipeline is sufficient to fill only 23 percent of the area’s demand for tech talent, so tech businesses that operate in Texas have to be net talent importers.

In light of this talent shortage, Texas must do all it can to ensure that it remains open to business for all, including members of the LGBT community. It’s clear that talented workers of all ages value inclusion of their LGBT peers in the workplace. It’s becoming clear, too, that the workplace is no longer the only litmus test when it comes to job selection. The talented 21st-century worker is looking for not just a workplace but also a city and a state that are free from discriminatory practices and rhetoric.

Our state should not go down the path that other states have, which has branded them as discriminatory and harmed their economy.

  • In North Carolina, for instance, HB2 continues to wreak havoc on the state economy. Current estimates place the damage at $395 million and growing. In September, 53 investors with $2.1 billion of assets under management stated that HB2 is “mak(ing) hiring top talent difficult.” More than 80 tech companies agree, saying that “HB2 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers.” And a growing list of North Carolina startups and small businesses are stating that “divisive, regressive legislation like HB2” goes against the inclusion that talent recruitment demands.
  • The damage is not limited to North Carolina. In 2015, when Indiana passed a controversial law to legalize discrimination against LGBT individuals, the state suffered 1 billion negative social media impressions in just 30 days. With a workforce that values inclusion, that kind of publicity is bad news for talent recruitment. In protest of the law, an executive at Cummins, a Fortune 500 company based in Indiana, noted, “In order to get and retain the best talent, we need an open and inclusive environment.”

Here in Texas, we are faring very well on talent, and we’d like to keep it that way. In a recent study, an economic modeling firm placed three Texas counties — Travis, Harris and Collin — in its top 10 “talent attraction” scorers among large counties, and three more — Dimmit, LaSalle, and Karnes — in its top 10 list for small counties. Our quality of life, cost of living, vibrant cities and Texas values attract some of best and brightest to put down roots in the Lone Star State.

But it’s not all sunshine. In 2016, Texas missed out on the top spot in CNBC’s “Top States for Business” award for the fourth year in a row. The business network noted that Texas fell short in its Quality of Life category, pointing out that “at a time when businesses are calling on states to remove any barriers that limit the attraction of skilled workers, Texas’ [lack of non-discrimination] policies cost the state points.”

Here in Texas, we are hearing the same anti-LGBT rhetoric that has translated into economic and talent losses in Indiana, North Carolina and elsewhere. Some Texas leaders call anti-LGBT policies “top priorities.”

We in the technology community are tracking this rhetoric with increasing alarm. We invest heavily in culture, in training, in diverse workforces, and in top-notch facilities, all to ensure that we can remain competitive in the war for top talent. Our people are our businesses — they fuel the innovation, the creativity and the daily work that in turn fuels our success. We value every single one of them, and we’re proud of the inclusive cultures we’re building.

We cannot afford to lose any competitive advantage if our state begins to make national headlines as the latest place to reject inclusion and diversity. We need not just workplaces — but also communities and, indeed, a state — that talented workers want to call home.

Texas has established itself as one of the nation’s premiere tech hubs, but we are at risk of cutting off our talent pipeline if we do not send a message that the Lone Star State embraces inclusion and diversity.

 Caroline Joiner Executive director for Texas and the Southeast, TechNet

Post-Election, What Lies Ahead for LGBT Rights?

NEW YORK – There could be some trouble for LGBT rights during the Trump presidency. Donald Trump has said he would like to overturn national same-sex marriage rights, and as Indiana’s governor, Mike Pence championed what some saw as extreme anti-LGBT measures.

According to Lambda Legal’s Deputy Legal Director and General Counsel Haley Gorenberg, there are concerns that some strong executive orders and guidances affecting LGBT rights in schools and employment could be vulnerable, but she said eliminating them would not change laws.

“Many of them are based in the cases that we have won, and that our sister organizations have won,” she said. “They are interpretations and explanations to make the government work more fairly according to federal law.”

She added that, since its founding in 1973, Lambda Legal has seen continued progress in securing LGBT rights, even during hostile administrations.

During the campaign, Trump said he would consider appointing a Supreme Court justice who is willing to overturn the ruling recognizing same-sex marriage as a right nationwide. But Gorenberg pointed out that Antonin Scalia, the justice whose seat is now vacant, voted against that ruling.

“This resounding marriage-equality victory that we won in the Obergefell case was secured, even with the presence of Justice Scalia on the court,” she explained.

She also added that same-sex marriage rights now have broad popular support.

Gorenberg acknowledged there may be battles ahead. Besides opposition to same-sex marriage, this year’s Republican Party platform supports state laws limiting transgender bathroom rights, and so-called “conversion therapy” for gay and transgender youth.

“We have to take the long view and remember back from when we started that this has never been easy, and we still made our path forward,” said Gorenberg. “And we’re absolutely committed to making sure that that will continue.”

Author – Andrea Sears, Public News Service

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