Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) joined Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-2) to introduce legislation supporting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender) runaway & homeless youth. The Runaway & Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) last reauthorized in 2008 is up for reauthorization this year. Currently the legislation omits language relating to LGBT youth. The Runaway & Homeless Youth Inclusion Act (RHYIA) would help ensure that LGBT youth are not discriminated against & that grant recipients have the cultural competency to effectively serve these youth. Congressman Pocan stated, “Homelessness is one of the most pressing matters affecting LGBT youth. Young people in the LGBT community are disproportionately at-risk for homelessness, often as a result of the rejection, discrimination, or violence they face simply for being themselves. We have a moral responsibility to ensure that all of our youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have access to life-saving services & safe, welcoming places to stay. By passing the reauthorization of an inclusive Runaway & Homeless Youth Act, we can begin to address this tragic problem & provide needed support to all of our young people in times of need.” Cyndi Lauper, Co-Founder of the True Colors Fund which works to raise awareness about & help bring an end to LGBT youth homelessness added, “No young person should ever be homeless, let alone because they are gay or transgender, but when they are, we need to ensure that they are treated with dignity & respect when they seek help, I applaud Representatives Moore & Pocan for championing the Runaway & Homeless Youth Inclusion Act. Every young person, no matter who they are, deserves an even break & should never be turned away. If we want a strong future, we need to invest in all of our youth.” Current supporters of the Runaway & Homeless Youth Inclusion Act, include: Pathfinders, the True Colors Fund & the National Network 4 Youth.
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