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Equality Act would protect millions of LGBTQ people

LGBTQ people face discrimination in all areas of their lives

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16-year old high school sophomore Stella Keating, a trans girl, testifies at the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Equality Act. (Screenshot via C-SPAN)

LOS ANGELES – The Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law released information Wednesday collated from research data that shows the tremendous benefits to LGBTQ people should the Equality Act pass the Senate and President Joe Biden were to sign it into law.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing  on the Equality Act, as reported by The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson, put on full display Wednesday the use of fear mongering about women’s safety and the integrity of women’s sports as a tool to thwart attempted progress on LGBTQ rights, although more traditional objections based on religious liberty also played a role.

The Equality Act, H.R. 5, is federal legislation that would expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, education, public accommodations, housing, credit, and other settings. The Equality Act passed the House in March.

LGBTQ people face discrimination in all areas of their lives. Recent Williams Institute research has documented discrimination against LGBTQ people in employmenthousingpublic accommodationshealth care, and other settings.

“The Equality Act would make clear that discrimination against LGBTQ people is prohibited under federal law,” said Christy Mallory, Legal Director at the Williams Institute. “It would also help to remedy the widespread harassment and discrimination that LGBTQ people experience at work, school, and when trying to access services.”


Demographics and Socioeconomic Characteristics

  • There are an estimated 13 million people ages 13 and older who identify as LGBTQ in the U.S.
  • 22% of LGBTQ adults live in poverty in the U.S. compared to 16% of non-LGBT people.
  • 27% of LGBTQ adults experience food insecurity compared to 17% of non-LGBTQ adults.
  • LGBTQ people of color are more likely to live in poverty than white LGBTQ people: 37% of Latino/a LGBT people, 31% of Black LGBT people, 23% of Asian LGBTQ people, and 22% of multiracial LGBTQ people live in poverty, compared to 15% of white LGBTQ people.
  • Among LGBTQ people, 38% of multiracial people, 37% of Black people, and 32% of Latino/a people report not having enough money for food in the past year, compared to 22% of white LGBTQ people.

Employment

  • There are approximately 8.1 million LGBTQ workers ages 16 and older in the U.S., including 7.1 million LGB and 1 million transgender workers.
  • An estimated 4.1 million of them live in states without statutes prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment.
  • 9% of LGBTQ adults are unemployed compared to 5% of non-LGBTQ people.
  • Williams Institute analysis of data collected by Gallup found that 60% of LGB people report being fired from or denied a job compared to 40% of heterosexual people. 

Housing

  • There are approximately 11 million LGBTQ adults ages 18 and older in the U.S. An estimated 5.6 million of them live in states without statutes prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in housing.
  • Williams Institute analysis of Gallup data found that 15% of LGB people report being prevented from moving into or buying a house compared to 6% of heterosexual people.
  • 17% of LGB adults and 30% of transgender adults have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, compared to 6% of the general population.

Education

  • There are over 3.5 million LGBTQ students ages 15 and older in the U.S. An estimated 2.1 million of them live in states without statutory protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination at school. 

Public Accommodations

  • An estimated 6.9 million LGBTQ adults live in states without statutes prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in public accommodations. 

LGBTQ people would also gain express protections under the Equality Act from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in credit, jury service, and federally funded programs.

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Los Angeles

LAPD: Body found on fire hanging in tree in Griffith Park likely a suicide

The person’s age, identity and gender have not yet been determined, but they are believed to be a person who frequents the park

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Screenshot/YouTube KABC ABC 7 LA

LOS ANGELES – The body of an unidentified person deceased found hanging from a tree near the Griffith Park’s merry go round was likely a suicide a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department said Tuesday.

The body was discovered at around 12:30 p.m. on fire and hanging from a tree. Los Angeles City firefighters put the flames out and LAPD detectives investigated and found no signs of foul play, determining that most likely the cause of death was suicide.

“It appears to be self-immolation,” said LAPD detective Michael Ventura. “This is going to be somebody who brought some gasoline, brought some lighters. We have had, they are rare, but we do have cases where people will self-immolate. Or they choose to set themselves on fire.”

The person’s age, identity and gender have not yet been determined, but they are believed to be a person who frequents the park on a regular basis Ventura said.

Independent freelance journalist Vishal P. Singh, who was on scene tweeted about the incident:

KABC reported:

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or dial 988

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Los Angeles

LAPD respond after protestors disrupt LA City Council vote on homeless

All of City Council left except for Councilmembers Raman, Harris-Dawson, & Bonin who have previously voted against the expansion of 41.18

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Jonny Peltz/Twitter

LOS ANGELES – After protestors angrily voiced opposition and one charged towards the council dais disrupting the LA City Council’s impending vote Tuesday on a mass expansion of 41.18 zones, which will prohibit encampments of unhoused persons near schools and daycare centers, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Riot Squad was called-in.

The meeting erupted into chaos after a member of the public who was speaking climbed over a bench and charged toward Council President Nury Martinez. Police quickly filled the council floor to apprehend the person and another member of the public. Activists screamed at police, and at least one audience member attempted to spray water on officers.

Martinez abruptly recessed the meeting as dozens of activists in the room chanted “Abolish 41.18!” – a reference to the city law prohibiting homeless encampments at libraries, freeway overpasses and other locations.

Jonny Peltz, a freelance reporter for Knock LA, a nonprofit community journalism project, live tweeted the proceedings.

KTLA reported the Council voted to ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of city schools and day care centers after protesters again rallied against the expanded motion.

The final vote on the motion 11-3 in favor of the widespread ban.

Before the updated motion passed, camps were banned within 500 feet of facilities deemed sensitive, such as schools, day care facilities, parks and libraries but only if those areas have been designated for enforcement.

Tuesday’s vote means a blanket ban on encampments within 500 feet of every private school and day care centers in the city.

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Los Angeles

LAPD increases patrol force by 200 in Hollywood to combat rising crime

“If you come here to commit crime, you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted, you will be jailed or imprisoned,” said O’Farrell

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Courtesy Los Angeles Police Department

HOLLYWOOD – The Los Angeles Police Department has been deploying additional resources over the past seven months as the neighborhoods around Hollywood have experienced sharp increases in petty thefts, robberies, shootings and homicides.

On Wednesday, Out Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell hosted an event to spotlight more aggressive actions being taken by the LAPD and other city officials to stem the uptick in crime in the heart of the City’s entertainment district.

“If you plan to come to Hollywood to commit crime, you are not welcome,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “All Angelenos should feel safe where they live and work. By bringing additional LAPD shifts to Hollywood, we are strengthening the holistic approach my office is taking to public safety – one that brings unarmed services to people in distress, while ensuring our LAPD officers have the necessary tools to effectively prevent and address crime.”

“If you come here to commit crime, you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted, you will be jailed or imprisoned,” said O’Farrell adding; “There is no permissiveness in Hollywood. We’re not going to permit or tolerate that.”

Screenshot KABC ABC 7 Los Angeles

“That’s really basically about 200 more officers out on the street here on Hollywood Boulevard. “They’re going to be on foot, they’re going to be in patrol cars, they’re going to be on horseback, they’re going to be on bikes,” LAPD Deputy Chief Blake Chow told attendees and reporters attending the event.

Graphic via KABC ABC 7 News LA

Year to date, Hollywood has seen a 75% increase in homicides and 35.6% increase in shots fired, while robbery and theft have risen by 19.4% and 24.7% respectively, compared to 2021. This latest effort to enhance public safety follows Councilmember O’Farrell’s groundbreaking work to bring the CIRCLE program, the City’s first unarmed model of crisis response, to Hollywood, in addition to supporting a City budget that accounts for attrition rates within LAPD’s ranks.

“People need to feel safe when they’re in Hollywood,” said Deputy Chief Chow. “We’re thankful to Councilmember O’Farrell for these additional resources and look forward to quickly putting them to use to prevent, deter and address crime.”

“Public safety requires robust collaboration and an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said James Hegler, Director of Operations for the CIRCLE Program. “We’re proud of our successful working relationship with Councilmember O’Farrell and LAPD, which helps us bring unarmed services to Angelenos in need so that LAPD can focus their resources on actual crime.”

“Public safety is an essential part of a thriving local economy,” said Kathleen Rawson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hollywood Partnership. “As Hollywood emerges from the pandemic, having officers on the street and available to respond to calls is necessary for our businesses to safely keep their doors open and welcome visitors back to this iconic boulevard.”

In addition to deployment of added LAPD resources, O’Farrell on Wednesday introduced a motion that, when approved by the City Council, would strengthen LAPD’s presence in Hollywood with additional officer shifts.

The $216,000 effort would be funded directly by O’Farrell’s office as part of his comprehensive approach to public safety in Hollywood a spokesperson said in a statement.

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