Lambda Legal Urges Senate to Continue Push to Protect Runaway and Homeless Youth

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April 23, 2015

“Congress must ensure that federally-funded programs that serve at-risk runaway and homeless youth support and affirm them rather than allow providers to subject these vulnerable youth to the very same rejection they experienced at home.”

(New York, NY – April 23, 2015) – In a 56-43 vote yesterday, the U.S. Senate narrowly failed to pass the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, which would have markedly increased protections for the nation’s most vulnerable youth. Though the majority of the Senate voted in favor of the act, it missed the necessary 60 vote requirement. Following the vote, Lambda Legal Senior Attorney and Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project National Director M. Currey Cook released the following statement:

“While we applaud the majority of senators, led by Senator Collins (R-ME), Senator Leahy (D-VT), Senator Ayotte (R-NH), Senator Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Durbin (D-IL), who voted in favor of increased support and nondiscriminatory services for all youth, we challenge the rest to do the right thing for the most vulnerable youth in our communities.

“Forty percent of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ. The majority of these youth have been pushed out or kicked out of their homes because of who they are. Once homeless, they are at markedly increased risk of commercial sexual exploitation and entry into the criminal justice system. 

“All members of Congress need to stand with their peers in support of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act,  to ensure that federally-funded programs that serve at-risk runaway and homeless youth support and affirm them rather than allow providers to subject these vulnerable youth to very same rejection they experienced at home. Nondiscriminatory services not only improve public health outcomes for youth, but help LGBTQ youth become stable, productive members of our society.”

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Contact Info

Press contact: Eseosa Olumhense, C: 646-831-4107, eolumhense@lambdalegal.org. Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

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