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The 84th Annual LULAC National Convention Kicks Off with Open Doors to LGBT Community

LAS VEGAS,?June 17, 2013? -?The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) opened the doors at Caesars Palace for its 84th annual National Convention. This year’s theme,?Lifting Our Voices Through Civic Participation,?is expected to attract 20,000 attendees, and today’s focus was on civil rights for the LGBT community.

At a joint press conference, LULAC and the Human Rights Campaign launched a co-branded report Growing up LGBT Latino in America (http://lulac.org/assets/pdfs/LGBT-LatinoYouthReport.pdf) to support family inclusion and anti-bullying.

“The deck is stacked against young people growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” stated LULAC Executive Director,Brent Wilkes. “LULAC is rooted in civic participation and protecting residents from discrimination or indifference along with social ostracism. While we’ve advanced significantly in the last 84 years of LULAC’s existence, unfortunately, far too many LGBT youth and adults are still disaffected and disconnected in their own homes and neighborhoods.”

While 12 states and the?District of Columbia?have legalized same-sex marriages in the last few years, there is still mounted prejudice against those from the LGBT community. It is particularly disheartening to see LGBT youth experience ostracism and even homelessness as a result of the non-acceptance in their community.

“The well-being of Latino LGBT youth is fostered by the support of family and trusted adults in their lives,” said HRC PresidentChad Griffin.? “We must do better in supporting LGBT youth who still fear rejection, being judged and ostracized in school and being rejected from their religious congregations and the broader community.”

Growing up LGBT in America is a groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13-17. It provides a stark picture of the difficulties they face — the impact on their well-being is profound. For example, LGBT Latino youth are twice as likely as non-LGBT Latino youth to say they do not “fit in,” in the communities where they live, However these youth are quite resilient. They find safe havens among their peers, online and in their schools. They remain optimistic and believe things will get better. Nevertheless, the findings are a call to action for all adults who want ensure that young people can thrive.

As part of the LULAC National Convention, hundreds of LULAC youth members from the entire U.S. and?Puerto Rico?will attend the workshops, and forums and concerts in?Las Vegas.

At last year’s National Convention in?Orlando, LULAC passed a resolution in favor of same sex unions.? The resolution supported marriage equality for all Americans, including those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community.? Furthermore, the resolution opposed the denial of basic civil rights or acts of discrimination against any American, as is consistent with LULAC’s continuing advocacy for civil rights and protections guaranteed by the 14th?Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities.? Headquartered in?Washington, DC, with 900 councils around?the United States?and?Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future.? For more information, visit?www.lulac.org.