Action Alert: Tell Congress Not to Go over Fiscal Cliff

The “Fiscal Cliff” is Looming. But how does it impact transgender youth, adults, families, friends, and allies? And what should we do?

If we don’t speak up now, going over the “fiscal cliff” in early January 2013 could have drastic consequences for thousands of Massachusetts residents–including transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people and all people living with HIV and AIDS. If Congress and the president fail to reach an agreement in time to avert the fiscal cliff, automatic cuts will happen–with dire consequences.

Just imagine access to life-saving HIV and AIDS medicines being cut off while treatment and housing for the most vulnerable patients, many who are also transgender, are trimmed down to nothing. Resources for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes are likely to be moved elsewhere. Budgets for programs like the National LGBT Aging Resource Center and the LGBT Refugee Resource Center will be slashed if not cut entirely.

MTPC urges you to raise your voice now. Call your US Representative and Senators and urge them to work with President Obama on an agreement that protects Bay Staters most in need–including transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth, adults, and families and all people living with HIV and AIDS.

To look up and call your elected officials, click here. 


Be prepared to provide examples of why no agreement hurts LGBT Americans.

If Congress fails to reach an agreement it would:

  • Hurt LGBT workers and threaten their employment security because federal agencies would have fewer resources to investigate claims of employment discrimination.
  • Compromise LGBT health by reducing programmatic funding used to address the health care needs of LGBT Bay Staters.
  • Remove critical resources from government agencies currently working to combat bullying and school violence against LGBT youth.
  • Limit the federal government’s ability to address the high rates of homelessness among LGBT youth.
  • Limit the government’s capacity to prevent discrimination in housing against LGBT renters, tenants, and potential homeowners.
  • Hamper the government’s efforts to prevent violent crime against LGBT people through enforcement of hate crimes legislation and other similar federal initiatives aimed at preventing violence in this community. 

To email your elected officials, use this form. 

An example of what to write:

Dear [put in your Representative or Senator’s name]:

As a constituent and voter, I am concerned about the threat of major cuts to the federal budget that would cause dire circumstances for vulnerable Americans, including low/no income transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth, adults, and families and all people living with HIV and AIDS. I know the economy is still in a difficult place, but I urge you not to abandon Americans who are most in need right now. Without access to critical federal programs that impact basic needs like food, housing, healthcare, and education, many low income Americans will slip even further into poverty.

As a supporter of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, I am particularly concerned with the impact proposed budget cuts will have on LGBT Americans and people living with HIV and AIDS.

As a first world nation, it is unacceptable to deny nearly ten-thousand low income Americans access to critical HIV/AIDS medication or drastically reduce budget dollars from programs that provide housing, but this is what automatic budget cuts could mean.

By limiting or slashing funding for federal hate crimes law enforcement or resources that protect older LGBT Americans and LGBT refugees facing violence in their home countries, this will significantly hamper the government’s efforts to prevent violent crime against LGBT people. This is particularly poignant, as at least one transgender person is murdered every month in this country due to hate violence.

Removing the safety net of federally funded programs from low/no income Americans will not further our economic growth; it may well hamper it. I am asking you to be a champion for low/no income youth, adults, and families, all people living with HIV and AIDS, and LGBT Americans by protecting these critical programs.

Like you, I value my neighbors, friends, family, and communities. Therefore, taking a balanced approach to solving the budget crisis will put those values first.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

To read the complete report on how LGBT Americans are caught in the middle of this epic battle, see The Center for American Progress and The Task Force’s report Caught in the Budget Battle: How the “Fiscal Showdown” Impacts Gay and Transgender Americans.

The bottom line: Transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people and all people living with HIV and AIDS in Massachusetts simply cannot afford to be caught in the middle of the fiscal showdown. The consequences of not reaching an agreement will be particularly painful and everyone will feel it.

Please call your member of the US House and Senate TODAY and tell them to reach an agreement to avert heading over the “fiscal cliff”!