Lambda and Queer Economic Justice Network Host Forum on Government Funding of Religious Groups

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Lambda Deputy Legal Director to speak about the dangers of "Faith-Based Initiative"
June 19, 2001

(NEW YORK, June 19, 2001) — President Bush’s “Faith-Based Initiative,” which would shift federal funding for social services from secular organizations to churches and religious organizations, has ignited debates nationwide. To date, these debates have neglected to address the threat this initiative may pose for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

On Tuesday, June 26, at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, at 7:00 p.m., Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Queer Economic Justice Network are hosting a town meeting to examine how President Bush’s “Faith-Based Initiative” will affect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in New York and nationally. The program is also sponsored by Empire State Pride Agenda, The Center, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

“The LGBT community needs to be concerned about the Faith-Based Initiative because it could erode protections against employment discrimination and deny LGBT youth and adults the services they need,” said Lambda Legal Deputy Legal Director Michael Adams. He added, “Tax dollars should not pay for discrimination in employment or services.”

Topics that will be addressed at the meeting include what the Faith-Based Initiative and “Charitable Choice” programs mean for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as the implications for churches that accept money from this program. Additionally, it will explore why some communities of color are interested in these programs, and what people can do to express their concern.

Other speakers at the town meeting include Cathlin Baker from the Employment Project, Cedrick Harmon from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Ingrid Rivera from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Lambda is the oldest and largest legal organization dedicated to the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV and AIDS. In addition to its headquarters, Lambda has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta and will open an office in Dallas in 2002.

WHAT: Town meeting on how President Bush’s “Faith-Based Initiative” could affect the LGBT community WHO: Lambda Deputy Legal Director Michael Adams, Cathlin Baker, Cedrick Harmon, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Ingrid Rivera WHERE: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, One Little West 12th Street, New York City WHEN: Tuesday, June 26, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


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