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Groundbreaking Latino And LGBT Campaign Launched At NCLR Annual Conference

July 13, 2012

By Armando Cortinez 

LAS VEGAS, NV — In a first-of-its-kind endorsement, twenty-one of the nation’s leading Hispanic organizations announced Sunday at the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) annual conference in Las Vegas, Familia es Familia dot org, a comprehensive public-education campaign aimed at strengthening Latino voices to build support within the Latino community for acceptance of LGBT family members.

The debut comes barely a week after the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Latino civil rights group in the United States, passed a resolution backing marriage equality at its annual convention on Saturday.

Public opinion polls show that Latinos really do lead the way when it comes to attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Several recent studies by the Pew Hispanic Center, Bendixen & Amandi International, 2012 Opportunity Agenda and SSRS found strong support among Hispanics for a number of LGBT issues.

Familia es Familia will be a bilingual campaign providing resources and information that are culturally appropriate to empower voices within and from Latino families and communities. In addition, the campaign will provide training, technical assistance, and support to the 21 Hispanic organizations and will spearhead a national effort to educate the public through a range of viral components including: an interactive bilingual website rich with videos, resources, and publications; social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube; promoting stories and voices in the media; and an organizing campaign to engage the community through their mobile devices.

Participating groups include the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Cuban American National Council, Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF) and the National Puerto Rican Coalition.

“The polling shows that many in the Latino community already understand that there is one struggle for equality, a struggle that benefits from appreciating common mission. Familia es Familia is a campaign that will help to deepen the understanding that a discriminatory deprivation of rights on any basis is a cause of concern for all. Together, we can overcome all of the irrational biases that adversely affect any member? of the Latino community,” said Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, MALDEF.

“NCLR is deeply committed to the civil rights of all Americans, including our friends and family in the LGBT community. We are very proud that this ground-breaking public education campaign, ‘Familia es Familia’, is being launched at our Annual Conference this year in Las Vegas,” said Janet Murguia, President and CEO, NCLR.

Brent Wilkes, Executive Director of LULAC, the nation’s oldest Latino civil rights organization said, “Since its inception, LULAC has fought for the equality of minorities. All individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, country of origin or sexual orientation, deserve equal rights.”

“A growing majority of Latinos in this country know that every gay or lesbian person is part of someone’s family – a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a loved one – and the more conversations we have, family member to family member, the more support for the freedom to marry grows,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide. “Latino gay couples seek the freedom to marry to affirm and strengthen their love, their commitment, and their ability to take care of each other and their families; government should not be putting barriers in their way. Freedom to Marry is proud to be supporting the Familia es Familia campaign to lift up Hispanic voices and stories as together we make the case for ending the exclusion from marriage.”

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