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The first-ever LGBT Latino political action committee in California was launched on Friday with a goal of electing supportive politicians and raising awareness of the specific issues the minority within a minority faces.
According to the group, Honor PAC, differences in religion, language, and social acceptance have kept Latino gays and lesbians behind their Caucasian counterparts in terms of services, political representation, and community and political empowerment.
"The fight for civil rights in our communities cannot be won until our voices are heard and fairly represented in public office," said Honor PAC president and cofounder Luis Lopez.
California is home to more LGBT Latinos than any other state, and Honor PAC hopes to address their myriad and specific needs, including immigration and cultural stigmatization.
The PAC's main goal is electing LGBT Latinos--or politicians who have shown commitment to their issues--to office. Other objectives include expanded access to health care and support for HIV/AIDS funding, antibullying legislation for gay Latino youth, equal protection for transgender men and women, expanded education access, pro-immigration policies, and supporting marriage equality.
In 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22, which banned same-sex marriage. According to exit polls, 65% of Latinos voted for Proposition 22, more than any other group.
"To overcome any future antigay propositions, we will need to be visible, organized, and take a stand that discrimination is not acceptable," Lopez said. "We will need gay and nongay Latinos to carry this message." (Advocate.com)