A significant part of our long struggle to achieve equal dignity and rights as LGBTQ+ people has been to enact and advance equal protections under the law. The folks attacking us at Stonewall over 50 years ago were not random thugs. They were police officers. And while we’ve come a long, long way since then, many of us know firsthand that we still have a long way to go.
But, even when we have allies in positions to create and advance public policy (which, itself, requires constant vigilance these days), it is increasingly difficult to make any progress without robust data underpinning your arguments. We know inherently that LGBTQ+ people receive disparate treatment under the law, but it is crucial to quantify that disparity in a way that helps both LGBTQ+ policy-makers and our allies make the best decisions for our community.
Enter Lambda Legal, and the 2022 Protected and Served report.
Funded in part by a Leonard Litz Advocacy Grant, the report builds on Lambda’s groundbreaking work in 2012 exploring government misconduct and harm by police, prisons, school security, and courts against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV in the U.S. As the report notes, “Our hope is that this updated Protected and Served report will support new research, advocacy, litigation, and policy efforts to address discrimination, bias, harassment, and violence against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV by the criminal legal system. Additionally, we hope that this project will contribute to conversations about abolition and reform, two important movements seeking an end to systemic oppression and violence against marginalized communities in the name of the ‘law.'”
The report will be shared with policy-makers at every level, and we invite you to peruse it for yourself, as well. Most of us already know what it says, but the data does not lie.