To fight for the rights of the Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community by advocating for fairness and equality, and affirming Latino LGBTQ culture.
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This past week, the Supreme Court of the United States formally declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry across the United States. The Association of Latino/as Motivating Action (ALMA) joins the millions of people who are celebrating this historic decision. The decision means that many LGBT families now have the respect and dignity offered to heterosexual couples.
Today’s decision is a result of countless years of grassroots activism, of LGBT people bravely coming out and sharing their stories. LGBT Latinos specifically have been at the forefront of the movement for LGBT equality. Leaders like Sylvia Rivera, who was active in the Stonewall Riots, and local Chicago leaders like Commissioner Mona Noriega, who has worked tirelessly to build bridges between the LGBT and the Latino community, and author Carlos Mock, who has been a fierce advocate for equality, have all three been at the forefront of the activist movement for years.
ALMA has been a leader in the fight for marriage equality, especially in the Latino community. In Illinois, we led the coalition of LGBT Latino leaders and community members who organized in our communities, and educated Latino elected officials to support marriage equality. In Illinois, the last poll before the historic vote in the General Assembly that passed marriage equality revealed that the Latino community was the most supportive of marriage equality; our collective work then led to the whole entire democratic Latino Caucus to support marriage equality. We continue to thank all the members of the Latino Caucus who stood up and supported us.
The Supreme Court decision’s has huge ramifications, specifically for the Latino community. Gay and lesbian Latino/as account for a significant portion of LGBT parents. Having our families protected was not just a matter of equality, but of safety and protection, and ultimately of love. For Latinos, the decision was a no brainer. All the latest polls showed that a majority of Latinos support marriage equality in huge numbers. For our community, this has always been an issue of families. Latinos understand the importance of family, and recognize that there are many different types of families. At the end of the day, familia es familia, and love is what matters.
The work will continue.
We also recognize that the fight for true equality is far from over. LGBT students continue to state that they do not feel safe at school, many youth are still kicked out of home simply for being LGBT, transgender individuals are more likely to be victims of hate crimes and be targeted by the police, and LGBT immigrants are often ridiculed in detention and deported to often violent home countries. While today’s victory is a step in the right direction, far more work lies ahead. We celebrate this victory, and tomorrow we will continue to work until all LGBT Latinos and our families are safe, treated with dignity, and live to their fullest potential.
ALMA and other LGBT Latino leaders at the March in Springfield for Marriage Equality.
ALMA and other organizations came together under “Latinos for United Families: Immigration Reform and Marriage Equality Now!” to demand marriage equality in Illinois and a compassionate immigration reform at the federal level.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing arguments on the constitutionality of bans to same-sex marriage. Meaning that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the same-sex couples challenging those bans, marriage equality will finally be a reality in the entire country, not just in some states.
We know that that arriving to this moment has not been easy. Just here in Illinois, passing marriage equality was a difficult fight, but one that was worth it. As an LGBT Latino organization, we continue to thank our allies in the General Assembly’s democratic Latino Caucus for standing up and voting in favor of marriage equality.
While we wait for the Supreme Court, the fight does not end here. LGBT Latinos continue to face many obstacles — from the murders of trans women of color, to high number of LGBT homeless youth, to the criminalization of LGBT immigrants. Our work does not end here, we will continue to take action.
And the most important action we have taken, and will continue to take, is coming out, sharing our stories, and our love — not only to ourselves, but to our families. We know that the reason why Latinos continue to overwhelmingly support marriage equality is because marriage is about love and families. Our community understands that, and our families support us. We know that love, our families’ unconditional amor, will help us win and reach the level of equity and justice we deserve.
The Association of Latino/as Motivating Action
For the first time in the history of Chicago, the City Council will have not just one, but two, openly out, gay, Latino aldermen.
The Association of Latino/as Motivating Action (ALMA) congratulates
Raymond Lopez (15th ward),
& Carlos Rosa (35th ward)
in their victory this election season.
Rosa won his election in February’s election, and Lopez won his election in yesterday’s run-off.
We look forward to working with both Alderman-elect Lopez and Alderman-elect Rosa.
The National LGBTQ Task Force convenes its 28th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Chicago, January 20–24, 2016 at the Hilton Chicago. Celebrating 28 years of building grassroots political power of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the 2016 Creating Change Conference will be big, bold, and bountiful.
As wrap-up work continues on the record-setting 2015 Creating Change Conference held in Denver and attended by 4,300 people, the Task Force turns full attention to Chicago, to Illinois, and to the great Midwest region of the United States.
We invite you to a community information meeting about Creating Change 2016 on March 18 in Chicago to galvanize local support for this robust and vibrant event. Join us for a rocking kickoff event in Chicago, where the Creating Change 2016 Host Committee will be formed.
Task Force Staff in attendance: Russell Roybal, Deputy Executive Director of External Relations; Sue Hyde, Director of Creating Change Conference; Daniel Pino, Assistant Director of Creating Change Conference; Mel Braman, Coordinator of Creating Change Conference.
CC16 Kickoff Meeting Details
Wednesday, March 18
Nosh and social time: 6:30 PM
Meeting: 7:00 PM
Location: Chicago Urban League 4510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60653
Limited On-Site Parking/Copious Street Parking/Nearest El Stop: 47th Street, Green Line
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Association of Latino/as Motivating Action is proud to announce the recipients of the ALMA Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change Scholarship:
This year’s scholarship was developed in order to send young leaders who are LGBTQ Latino and/or allies to attend the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the largest LGBTQ conference in the country. At this conference our young leaders will learn new tools, network with other leaders, and get them further involved in LGBTQ social justice issues.
The ALMA Board of Directors would like to specially thank Comcast for sponsoring the ALMA Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change Scholarship. We thank you for believing in our community, and our young leaders.
Alfredo is currently the MPowerment facilitator at CALOR, where he has the opportunity to plan events, create campaigns and also provide HIV testing to clients. He is also one of the creators of the web-series, QueerCode, which gathers members of the queer community to speak on various issues affecting our community. Roberto is currently the Intake and Referral Specialist at La Casa Norte, where he provides basic case-management and supportive services to people in the community. Roberto is an aspiring social worker, whose ultimate goal is to provide support for LGBTQ youth of color. Both Alfredo and Roberto are excited to attend Creating Change for the very first time, to learn from the though-proving workshops, and gain new skills. They will also be attending the 3rd annual Union=Fuerza LGBTQ Latino Institute, where they will be among 200 LGBT Latino leaders.
Recipients of the scholarship had to commit themselves to serving on ALMA’s Youth Advisory Board for one year. The Youth Advisory Board will develop strategies to engage young LGBTQ Latinos and allies to work towards improving the our familias here in Illinois. We look forward to having Alfredo and Roberto join our inaugural Youth Advisory Board.
We received many applications from well-deserving young leaders. But due to resources, we were only able to select two individuals. Our selection committee, made up of some Board members and other leaders in the LGBTQ Latino community, deliberated long and hard. Join us in wishing Alfredo and Roberto safe travels. We look forward to all the great work they will be doing this year!
Open Letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago City Council: When a City Honors One but Dishonors Many
On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, acting on behalf of “all” citizens of the City of Chicago, honored Francis Cardinal George with the city’s highest honor, the Medal of Merit. Our elected officials inexplicably praised the Cardinal for having worked “to ensure that people of every race, creed, and social and ethnic background enjoy equal rights and opportunities” and that the Cardinal worked tirelessly “to improve the quality of life for all people.”
Unfortunately, we, the LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition of Chicago, know that the Cardinal’s actions have not supported “equal rights and opportunities” for our community. And since our elected leaders, who normally have acted as our defenders, have chosen to overlook the Cardinal’s hostility and ill will towards the LGBTQ immigrant communities of need and our allies, we are compelled to speak up.
In 2013, after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights ( ICIRR ) ( which did not prompt or sign onto this letter ) understood the positive immigration consequences of marriage recognition for binational same-sex couples in Illinois. Conscious that the LGBTQ community is also part of the immigrant community, ICIRR announced its support for same-sex marriage. Our community remembers very vividly when the Cardinal, along with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development ( CCHD ), led an effort to single out and defund any organization affiliated with ICIRR, simply because of ICIRR’s public support for marriage equality.
The man now praised and bestowed the highest honor in the City of Chicago not only worked against those seeking to have equal rights, he forcefully worked against the very organizations that were working with some of the most needy populations in the city, including immigrant men, women and children.
The most hurtful aspect of Wednesday’s City Council meeting is that our LGBTQ community and our families were ignored and marginalized. Our elected officials went out of their way to give the Medal of Merit to someone who went out of his way to cause financial pain to organizations that stood for marriage equality. It is shameful that the city’s highest honor could go to someone who acted so spitefully. It is equally troubling that the resolution by the Mayor and Alderman Burke explicitly states that the Cardinal worked to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all people. Could anything be farther from the truth?
In 2013, a group of 29 prominent Catholics published an open letter to the Cardinal and the CCHD in the Chicago Sun-Times, requesting the Cardinal and the CCHD to withdraw their “cruel” threat against immigrant groups. At that time several Aldermen boldly stood up for the rights of LGBTQ persons and our supportive allies and immigrants’ groups. The Cardinal and the CCHD, however, made good on their threats and systematically defunded groups that remained aligned with ICIRR, damaging those organizations’ abilities to serve the most needy people in their communities. Yet a year and a half later on December 10, 2014 the City Council, including some of the same Aldermen and allies who previously criticized the Cardinal, spoke on record to support honoring the Cardinal with the highest award the city offers, an award that has not been bestowed in over 10 years.
The LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition of Chicago is saddened by the overly broad language of the resolution that incorrectly frames the Cardinal as a fighter for equal rights for all. He is not and that is clear. Our elected officials failed to represent the interests of an important population of our diverse city: the LGBTQ community and our allies. We deserve better from our Mayor and our City Council and we welcome a public response.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer ( LGBTQ ) Immigrant Rights Coalition of Chicag
As you know, yesterday President Obama made an announcement about his Executive Action on Immigration. The President’s Executive Action will benefit more than 4 million people in the U.S. Many will be protected, but not all are included. Sooner or later you will run into someone who will be asking questions about this broad range Executive Order. There are various aspects to this Executive Order (family based, arrival date, business related, ties to military). Here is some information you can share with them to answer their initial questions:
These are the links to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS)
This is a public service announcement from Immigration Immigration Equality, the national LGBTQ immigration legal defense organization:
This is advice against immigration scam which will unfortunately occur.
The Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI) (of which I am a member) will have an information campaign to avoid immigration scams. Let’s spread the word of caution. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Refugees (I am proud to be on its Board of Directors) will have a massive statewide campaign educating the immigrant population.
Be aware that, at the moment, there are no forms to complete. The USCIS will not be accepting any Executive Action related application for at least the next 90 days. Thus, there is no need to rush to apply. Your friends, loved ones, and neighbors should take this time to:
– educate themselves,
– determine whether or not they will qualify,
– whether or not they should apply, and
– to gather information necessary to prove their presence in the United States since at least January 1, 2010 (at least for parents of U.S. citizens and lawfully permanent residents).
I will keep you updated as more information and details on the various programs becomes available (forms, necessary documents, application acceptance start date, etc.). This is it at the moment.
I will be posting the latest information in my website: www.perrom.com.
Roberto M. Romero-Perez
The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a memo today requesting the president take specific broad actions on creating a new affirmative relief program and expanding DACA:
Our Vote Matters!
Vote with your familia in mind.
On behalf of the ALMA Board of Directors, we want to encourage those individuals who have the privilege to vote, to exercise that right!
We have come along way: same-sex couples can now marry and undocumented immigrants can obtain drivers licenses in Illinois, for example; but our work is far from over. There is just too much at stake, and too many uncertainties to stay at home on November 4th.
We can’t tell you who to vote for — but we encourage you to do your research. Where do candidates stand on issues important to the LGBTQ community, to the Latino community, to our families?
We especially want to bring to your attention two very important items on the ballot:
• Voters will be asked a non-binding referendum question on whether the minimum wage in Illinois should increase. LGBTQ Latinos are more likely to live in poverty. Married or partnered LGBT families are twice as likely to have household incomes near the poverty line, compared to families headed by a heterosexual couple. We urge you to think about the young LGBT Latinos who are disowned by their families, or think about the gay and lesbian Latino/a parents raising kids, who are working minimum wage salaries to survive. Our community cannot move forward, unless we all move forward. This is a step in the right direction.
• Voters will also be asked if they think that birth control should be covered in health insurance plans. This question is a result of of the horrendous “Hobby Lobby” Supreme Court decision, that concluded that for-profit private businesses had the right to deny birth control to their female employees’ health insurance plan, if it was against the owner’s religious beliefs. Many LGBT groups spoke out against the decision because it opened the door to the possibility of businesses denying LGBT people services based on personal religious beliefs. ALMA wholeheartedly supports that all people, including transgender individuals, should have access to a comprehensive health care.
This election is more than just about elected officials, it is about sending a clear message about our priorities. We hope that you will join ALMA, and all of our LGBT and Latino community partners this election, and vote for our communities.
Questions about the Illinois elections? Check out the State Board of Elections.
Let’s move forward, let’s demand action!
Julio, Board President
Luis, Advocacy Co-Chair
Association of Latino/as Motivating Action (ALMA)
Hi everyone, I am thrilled to share that just moments ago, the Illinois House of Representatives passed the historic freedom to marry bill! That was the biggest hurdle we faced to secure marriage equality in Illinois. The Illinois Senate, which passed the bill last Valentine’s Day, must now agree with the House version of the bill, and that should happen within hours. Then the bill heads to the desk of Governor Pat Quinn, who has promised to sign it. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote, with Chicago, suburban, and downstate, African-American and Latino lawmakers all joining forces to do the right thing by Illinois families. Illinois now joins the inevitable march to marriage equality for all gay and lesbian couples throughout the U.S. Thank you all for your support, hard work and faith in our efforts to make Illinois the blue it is!!! Board of ALMA For more information on the pasing of the historic bill Marriage Bill in Illinois go to www.IllinoisUnites.org.
Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest, largest and most effective advocacy organization for LGBT Illinoisans, stands ready to assist you, your family and the state in understanding and implementing the new Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Here are important resources: Marriage Guide – How do you convert your civil union into a marriage? What rights come with marrying a same-sex partner? The answers to those and all of the frequently asked questions on the workings of the Iaw can be found in Equality Illinois’ authoritative legal guide, Marriage Rights in Illinois. Marriage Help Desk – At 773-477-7173 and email@example.com, the Equality Illinois Marriage Help Desk stands ready to answer your questions or direct you to the correct sources to find the answer. We are open for your phone call 11 am-2 pm Monday-Friday at 773-477-7173. Or you can email the Equality Illinois Marriage Help Desk 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Marriage Forums – Equality Illinois Marriage Forums are being scheduled throughout Downstate, the suburbs and in Chicago to walk you through the law and answer your questions. We will announce the times, dates and locations on Facebook, Twitter, in emails and our website www.eqil.org as they get confirmed. Look for the events in: Aurora Belleville Bloomington-Normal Carbondale Champaign-Urbana Chicago-Hyde Park Chicago-Lakeview Oak Park Palatine Peoria Quad Cities Rockford Springfield Waukegan HELP EQUALITY ILLINOIS DEFEND THE NEW MARRIAGE LAW
Celso Cardenas & Alejandro Lopez | Chicago, IL
For Chicago natives Celso Cardenas and Alejandro Lopez, their life together didn’t begin with love at first sight. They met in the summer of 2003, when Celso had just moved back to the city after studying in Michigan, during a chance encounter with mutual friends. Alex saw Celso from across the way with a friend of his, thought Celso was cute, and quickly decided to introduce himself. Read more here.
Join our LGBTQ Community at the Mega March on Facebook HERE
March on Springfield for Marriage Equality Launches IndieGoGo Fundraising Campaign & New Website ILLINOIS Organizers of the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality have launched a new website and an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for March promotion and logistics. The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality is scheduled for Tuesday, October 22, 2013, the first scheduled day of the fall veto session for the Illinois General Assembly. Website At http://www.MarchOnSpringfield.org, people can read about low-cost travel options to Springfield, how to sign up for the MarchOnSpringfield e-newsletter, and why Marriage Equality is good for all of Illinois. Details about the March organizers, donors and supporters plus regular updates via Facebook and Twitter are also available on the new website. March Captains “March Captains may be the most important category of supporters,” said Kevin Boyer, March Co-Chair. “We need 100 people to organize 20 or more people to come to the March in Springfield from all over Illinois.” Information about becoming a March Captain is under “Supporters” on the website. Donations To fund promotional activity and logistics for the March and rally, an Indiegogo Campaign has been launched. A contribution made via http://igg.me/at/MarchSpringfield/x/3707333 will also help provide transportation to Springfield for LGBT youth and others who might not otherwise be able to afford the trip. “A $25 contribution sends a queer youth to Springfield for the March,” said Tracy Baim, March Co-Chair, “and $1,500 subsidizes an entire bus of more than 50 people. Any amount of contribution is welcome, and fully tax deductible as a charitable contribution.” Fiscal agent for the March on Springfield is the Equality Illinois Education Project, a 501c3 nonprofit. About the March The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Oct. 22, 2013, the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state legislature. The March on Springfield is part of a broad grassroots strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, already approved by the Illinois Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state marriage laws. Contributions may be made via Indiegogo. For more information, visit http://www.MarchOnSpringfield.org, or find the March at Facebook.com/MarchOnSpringfield or on Twitter @IllinoisMarches. To buy March merchandise, visit http://www.cafepress.com/marchonspringfield. Marcha en Springfield para la Igualdad Matrimonal lanza Campaa IndieGoGo Para Recaudacin de Fondos y Nuevo Sitio Web ILLINOIS – Los organizadores de la Marcha en Springfield por la igualdad matrimonial en Springfield han puesto en marcha una nueva pgina web y una campaa de Indiegogo para recaudar fondos para la promocin y logstica de la marcha. La Marcha en Springfield por la igualdad matrimonial est prevista para el Martes, 22 de octubre 2013, el primer da previsto para la sesin de veto de la Asamblea General de Illinois. Sitio web En http://www.MarchOnSpringfield.org, la gente puede leer acerca de opciones de viaje de bajo costo para Springfield, cmo inscribirse en el boletn electronico de la Marcha en Springfield, y porque la Igualdad Matrimonial es bueno para todos en Illinois. Detalles sobre los organizadores de la marcha, donantes y partidarios – ms actualizaciones a travs de Facebook y Twitter – tambin estn disponibles en la nueva pgina web. Capitanes de la Marcha “Capitanes de la Marcha puede ser la categora ms importante de los partidarios”, dijo Kevin Boyer, Copresidente de la marcha. “Necesitamos 100 personas para organizar 20 o ms personas a venir a la Marcha en Springfield de todo Illinois.” Informacin acerca de como convertirse en un March Captain se encuentra bajo “Supporters” de la pgina web. Donaciones Para financiar las actividades de promocin y logstica para la marcha y mitin, una campaa de Indiegogo se ha puesto en marcha. Una contribucin hecha a travs http://igg.me/at/MarchSpringfield/x/3707333 tambin ayudar a proporcionar el transporte a Springfield para jvenes LGBT y otras personas que tal vez no puedan pagar el viaje de otra manera. “Una contribucin de $ 25 enva un joven gay a la Marcha en Springfield”, dijo Tracy Baim, Copresidente de la marcha, “y $ 1,500 subsidira todo un bus de ms de 50 personas. Cualquier cantidad de contribucin es bienvenida, y el impuesto es deducible en su totalidad como una contribucin de caridad “. Agente fiscal para la Marcha sobre Springfield es el Proyecto de Equality Illinois Education Project, una organizacin no lucrativa 501c3. Sobre la Marcha La Marcha en Sprinfield para la Igualdad Matrimonial se llevar a cabo el 22 de octubre de 2013, el primer da previsto para la sesin de veto de la legislatura del estado de Illinois. La “March on Springfield” es parte de una amplia estrategia de base para asegurar la aprobacin definitiva del Proyecto de Ley Senatorial 10, el “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act”, ya aprobado por el Senado de Illinois. Una vez aprobada, Illinois se convertir en el 14 estado, adems el Distrito de Columbia, a tratar a todos los ciudadanos por igual por las leyes de matrimonio estatales. Las contribuciones se pueden hacer a travs de Indiegogo. Para obtener ms informacin, visite http://www.MarchOnSpringfield.org, o encontrar la Marcha en Facebook.com / MarchOnSpringfield o en Twitter @IllinoisMarches. Para comprar mercanca de la marcha, visite http://www.cafepress.com/marchonspringfield.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, will go down as a historic date in our country. TheAssociation of Latino Men for Action (ALMA) is very proud of the Supreme Court’s rulings, deeming the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and dismissing California’s Proposition 8 case. These are steps taken in the right direction towards equality. We are very encouraged by these decisions; however, we can’t fail to recognize the work that still has to be done. Here in Illinois, same-sex marriage is not yet a reality. Same-sex couples are not granted the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. While this ruling will change the landscape of our movement we have to continue to push forward and fight for equality! To find out what you can do, visit our friends at Equality Illinois: http://www.eqil.org El miércoles, 26 de junio del 2013, será recordado como una fecha histórica en nuestro país. La Asociación de Hombres Latinos en Acción (ALMA) está muy orgullosa de las decisiones de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, que consideró que la Ley de Defensa del Matrimonio es inconstitucional y despidió al caso de la Proposición 8 de California. Estos son pasos dados en la dirección correcta hacia la igualdad. Estamos muy motivados por estas decisiones, sin embargo, no podemos dejar de reconocer el trabajo que aún se tiene que hacer. Aquí en Illinois, el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo aún no es una realidad. A las parejas del mismo sexo no se les conceden los mismos derechos que a las parejas heterosexuales. ¡Esta decisión va a cambiar el panorama de nuestro movimiento, pero tenemos que seguir impulsando y luchar por la igualdad! Para saber lo que puede hacer, visite a nuestros amigos en Equality Illinois: http://www.eqil.org