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Four Arrested as LGBT Groups Protest Lack of Funding for LGBT Homeless Youth in NY Governor's Budget

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Four activists from the group Queer Rising — Natasha Dillon, Jake Goodman, Melissa Kleckner and Ted McGuire — were peacefully arrested yesterday afternoon following a protest by the group in front of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office. At the demonstration, group members stood beside cardboard boxes that featured the names, ages and hobbies of anonymous LGBTQ youth and chanted for action from Cuomo.

Writes the group in a release to Towleroad:

In October 2011, approximately 80 LGBT organizations and community leaders endorsed the Campaign for Youth Shelter and sent Governor Cuomo a letter calling for "an additional $3-million per year in funding for the creation of 100 youth shelter beds per year."  Cuomo never publicly acknowledged the letter.

Hours after New York State Governor Cuomo released his 2012 budget proposal — which neglected to add a single penny of additional funding to provide adequate shelter for runaway and homeless youth — outraged members of the LGBT community gathered to protest outside his Manhattan office.  Activist group, Queer Rising, organized the demonstration.  Approximately two-dozen activists participated in the protest resulting in four arrests.

Every night in New York City, approximately 3,800 youth are without stable shelter, but the state and city only provide funding for fewer than 200 beds for these youth.  Up to 40% of the homeless youth identify as being LGBT. Last year, Governor Cuomo slashed this budget by 50%.

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SicilianoIn related news, Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBT homeless shelter and resource center in New York, released the following statement regarding Cuomo's budget:

"Governor Cuomo's budget proposal is bad news for the 1600 homeless LGBT youth stranded on the streets of New York each night without access to a shelter bed. These youth, who suffer horribly and whose lives are in danger, deserve the attention and concern of their governor no less than the other members of our community.  With marriage equality expected to bring in over 100 million dollars in additional economic activity and tax revenue for the state, the LGBT community has a moral obligation to demand that our tax dollars protect the most vulnerable and desperate members of our community."

The Ali Forney Center was not involved in Queer Rising's action at the governor's office.

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Comments

  1. Hurray for QR! That's what LGBT activism looks like. Where there's a connection between what happens on the street and in Albany.

    No so for Carl Siciliano, who earns a six figure salary, and uses the folks from Queer Rising to organize demonstrations - but then he's very careful to have Towlroad point out at the end that "The Ali Fornay Center was not involved in Queer Rising's action at the Governor's office." Queer Rising is only of use to him to create the media buzz so Carl can take center stage - but he's careful to distance himself from the street activists.

    Posted by: Ted | Jan 18, 2012 9:09:11 AM


  2. These kids are not all from NYC or even NYS. Why aren't the other states where these children are from contribute something to the support of these homeless children?

    Posted by: J. Leo | Jan 18, 2012 9:34:36 AM


  3. Thank you so much for covering this action. Queer Rising is just one of many groups (and many more individuals) who are deeply concerned for the well-being of homeless youth. We will not stop fighting until all youth--LGBT and otherwise--have adequate shelter!

    Posted by: Jake Goodman | Jan 18, 2012 9:55:20 AM


  4. Queer Rising latches on to the Gay issue du jour in order to pimp publicity for its media whore members. This time is no different. However, I'm relieved that they seem to be toning down their outrageous tactics. Now, they need to tone down the "reclaimed" hate speech in their name and get serious about Gay Rights. Groups that label LGBT folk "queers" are part of the problem, not the solution.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Jan 18, 2012 5:31:29 PM


  5. very proud of my Queer Rising family. THANK YOU!

    Stuffed Animal, for those who dont' know, is certifiably insane, runs the stupidest blog on the internet, and believes that non-Christians go to Hell when they die.

    i'm not kidding. click his blog. he's insane.

    we self-identify as Queer, Stuffy. we don't label you as queer. we self identify. we're not part of the problem. it only seems that way because your dad hated "queers' and still wishes you'd kill yourself.

    that's not my fault, nor the fault of anyone else in Queer Rising.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 18, 2012 5:39:10 PM


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