News | Trayvon Martin

35 LGBT Rights Organizations Sign Open Letter Calling for Justice for Trayvon Martin

Thirty-five LGBT groups, led by the National Black Justice Coalition and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released an open letter today calling for justice for Trayvon Martin:

MartinAn Open Letter:

Trayvon Deserves Justice

We cannot begin to imagine the continued pain and suffering endured by Trayvon Martin's family and friends. We stand in solidarity with them as they continue to fight for justice, civil rights and closure. And we thank everyone who has pushed and will continue to push for justice.

Trayvon Martin deserves justice and his civil rights. We support the organizations and community leaders who are urging the federal government to explore every option to ensure that justice is served for Trayvon and that his civil rights are honored and respected. But our work does not end there: we will honor Trayvon Martin by strengthening our commitment to end bias, hatred, profiling and violence across our communities.

We represent organizations with diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituencies. Our community has been targets of bigotry, bias, profiling and violence. We have experienced the heart-breaking despair of young people targeted for who they are, who they are presumed to be, or who they love: Rashawn Brazell, Lawrence King, Ali Forney, Brandon Teena, Brandon White, Matthew Shepard, Marco McMillian, Angie Zapata, Sakia Gunn, Gwen Araujo and countless others.

Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety.

Justice delayed is justice denied and in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "a right delayed is a right denied." We honor Trayvon by seeking justice for all people.

See the full list of signatories, AFTER THE JUMP...

All Out
American Civil Liberties Union
Believe Out Loud
Bisexual Resource Center
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Equality Federation
Family Equality Council
Freedom to Work
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network)
Harvey Milk Foundation
Human Rights Campaign
Immigration Equality
Lambda Legal
Movement Advancement Project
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National
The Trevor Project
Trans Advocacy Network
Transgender Law Center
Trans People of Color Coalition

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  1. Good.

    For gay people, who are subject to bashing and death, this stalking and killing of people who are considered "other" and less than human, really should be a no brainer.

    What surprises me is that occasionally I see bigoted statements here, but then, I can only hope those people are just trolls.

    The fact you are including this here certainly raises my respect for your site.

    Thank you.

    Posted by: Factoid | Jul 15, 2013 7:18:49 PM

  2. Every day, across the nation, there are people saying that our court system has denied them justice. We want perfect justice, but we will never get it, partly because we want what WE believe is justice and not what the laws and courts and juries say it is.

    Posted by: bierce | Jul 15, 2013 7:23:58 PM

  3. Pat Mahaney, 46 year old man beaten by 4 or 5 teenagers a year ago in a suburb of Cincinnati, "just 'cause we were bored," has died of his injuries. Care to guess the ethnicity of Mahaney? How 'bout that of the teenage murders? Guess? How 'bout some media coverage of that "incident?" Where be 'da Rev. Big Al "Tawana Brawley" Shawp-ton and his National Action peeps? Google the name. Will Towleroad post it?

    Posted by: argeejay | Jul 15, 2013 7:27:03 PM

  4. Wasn't there just a trial and jury of his peers that found GZ not guilty? Seems they're looking for only a verdict of guilty not justice.

    Posted by: Enough | Jul 15, 2013 7:30:13 PM

  5. I spoke too soon.

    I hope his site does something about the racism.

    At least put on a moderation filter, which most sites have at this point to screen them out.

    Posted by: Factoid | Jul 15, 2013 7:30:16 PM

  6. @factoid. utter pathetic and racist of yourself to downplay and ignore other horrific crimes.

    Posted by: gomez | Jul 15, 2013 7:47:24 PM

  7. These "groups" do NOT speak for me. I was not there, I do not know what happened. The media fanned the flames resulting in the original charges that could NOT be proved in a court of law. Now the Rev Big Al "Tawana Brawley" and Duke LaCrosse fan Shawp-ton wants the media to continue to fan the flames. I refuse to be a part of it. Shame on you, Towle. I never realized until now just how much of a "sheep" you are.

    Posted by: argeejay | Jul 15, 2013 7:52:00 PM

  8. This is why I find it difficult to support many of these groups - they jump on any bandwagon. A court of law, and a jury of his peers, found George Zimmerman Not Guilty. How is it "Justice" to keep persecuting the man? To me it seems like a perversion of the system, not justice. If you think they got the verdict wrong, were you there? Did you see what happened? Were you at the trial where all the evidence was presented to the jury? Because if you really believe that Zimmerman should have been guilty, you are basing it entirely off of TV, newspapers, magazines and the Internet. I know you weren't there because you would have been a witness at the trial. Why do you think you know better than the jurors who were given all of the evidence? Media whores, that's what these organizations are. They know nothing except that they don't like the verdict. Nobody ever promised that Justice would be what you want it to be. Get mad at the prosecution if you want to for not presenting enough evidence in the right way to get the jury to convict. Don't blame George. This thing is already going to affect the rest of his life, and his family's lives. There's this thing we used to have called "Double Jeopardy". You can't prosecute someone for the same thing twice. Now they get around that by filing CIVIL charges instead of criminal charges. The only thing a civil trial can do is levy fines against him that he can't pay. How will that help anyone? The whole thing is ridiculous and out of hand. I would have to recommend that George and his family move to another country; it's the only way they'll have a decent rest of their lives. The people in this country have judged and found him guilty, and will punish him for the rest of his life.

    Posted by: MattBMO | Jul 15, 2013 7:59:48 PM

  9. OY VEY.

    Quit it already.

    This is a disgrace that our supposed 'LGBT' orgs are now jumping the band wagon to defend that homophobic wanna-be thug trayvon martin.

    The verdict is in. The courts have spoken. Deal with it.

    Funny these are the same stupid orgs (that represent us) that lauded the same justice system that shut down DOMA and demanded that anti-gays respect the decision on that -- but here we are now going against our own values and contradict ourselves.

    Trayvon Martin needs to be exposed for the anti-gay bigot that he was, and as I explained in my blog, what killed him was not racism, but his own homophobia against Zimmerman.

    Again, here we have gays defending homophobic blacks. and then we totally forget about the GAY blacks who have been killed and beaten up. Where's their justice? Where is the media outrage for these men?


    Posted by: Jose Soto | Jul 15, 2013 8:02:23 PM

  10. Dear Andy,
    Or whoever is editing this site,
    Thank you for this article. But your comments section leaves me wondering: at what point do you decide that your trolls have taken over your comments, making any reasonable and productive discussion and debate impossible?
    I used to read this blog religiously, but lately I've been weaning myself off and reading other blogs with more intelligent views and smarter coverage. One less reader is no skin off your ass, I'm sure, but this blog is increasingly becoming identified with the racist, right-wing trolls who seem to take over any discussion. Although I am sure there are a percentage of gay men out there who are, indeed, racist, self-loathing, and uneducated, I refuse to believe that your comments section is indicative of the gay community at large. I hope advertisers will take note of this as well.

    Posted by: gwyneth cornrow | Jul 15, 2013 8:02:28 PM

  11. What racists posts?

    Racism exists but I don't see it on the posts above and censoring the site with filters so only posts that support your point of view or to control the conversation to enforce your point of view is the antithesis to a conversation that will help us heal and live in harmony.

    Way to try and stifle the conversation by calling posters racist!

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 15, 2013 8:03:48 PM

  12. I wrote my comment before Jose Soto posted his.

    To Jose Soto:
    This case has nothing to do with homophobia or gay issues. Stop trying to contaminate the already heated conversation and stick to the facts of the case.

    Using this case to inject your own issues is foul!

    ps. I doubt your name is Jose Soto. I suspect you are trying to instigate anger between the Black and Latino community. It won't happen!

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 15, 2013 8:12:23 PM

  13. I don't believe it is Andy's total fault. He's just reporting the news. Even though I suspect that he agrees with these orgs are doing, I nonetheless am thankful that this was brought to our attention again.

    Gay orgs jumping the gun on this one is really a bad move. Zimmerman was defending himself against an aggressive homophobic teen who was pounding his head on the concrete. He had every right to pull that trigger. Period. And gay orgs foaming at the mouth will not do anything to change that fact (only by growing suspicion of them).

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Jul 15, 2013 8:12:44 PM

  14. Again, Jose,

    Zimmerman is not gay and there was no evidence of homophobia in this case.

    I do agree that the jury of his peers have found him not guilty and that should be the end of that. No double jeopardy.

    I don't get how people can second guess the jury who reached a decision based on the evidence presented to them. If people have a problem with that they should be angry at the prosecutors.

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 15, 2013 8:18:56 PM

  15. I doubt these groups will be well recieved by the black community. Case in point:

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 15, 2013 8:20:14 PM

  16. I suspect Truthteller is a very dubious name for a person that refuses to learn the FACTS of the case:
    FACT: Trayvon Martin's girlfriend told him to be careful because Z could be a gay man who wants to rape him.
    FACT: Trayvon Martin suspected that Zimmerman was a gay man too, and he described Z to his girlfriend as a 'creepy-ass cracker' which is a gay slur used by blacks against gay white males.
    FACT: Trayvon Martin was on top of Z yelling and hurling anti-gay slurs.

    So truthteller wants me to ignore these facts? NOT A CHANCE.

    I HATE homophobes, regardless of their race. But it appears to me that a certain race remains untouchable and its homophobia is is hereby excused. This is nothing but another form of racism.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Jul 15, 2013 8:22:41 PM

  17. Thanks for that link KEV C. Will check it out.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Jul 15, 2013 8:24:15 PM

  18. Justice for Trayvon, and for all people of color who live and die amid suspicion and prejudice, is and should be an issue for all LGBT people who have a heart, an ability to connect their own marginalization with the oppression of others, and a desire for justice and equality. Shut your selfish mouths, trolls.

    Posted by: David Groff | Jul 15, 2013 8:26:33 PM

  19. I have very little respect for these people who are second guessing the juries verdict. This was a very complicated case. The demonstrators are all jacked up about this one horrible case. Where is their outrage over the facts that THOUSANDS of young blacks are killed every year in America? Their outrage is kind of muted because the killers are young black males. It is hard to play the outraged role when the killers are from your own community. Black leaders in America have no idea how to stop the slaughter of young blacks by blacks, so they stay fairly quiet. Let the killer he of another race and they wax eloquent about what is wrong with America. They are frauds and headline hunters who do little to solve the real problems.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 15, 2013 8:30:35 PM

  20. Jose,

    I followed the trail very closely and there was no evidence whatsoever introduced in the trail of what you say.

    Can you post links to your assertions? You don't get to say something is a fact without any evidence.

    IF Martin's girlfriend told him to be careful because Zimmerman could be gay, that is on her, not him.

    I have never heard creepy-ass-cr*acker for gay people; it is racist but not homophobic.

    Zimmerman never claimed Martin used homophobic slurs against him. Hearsay is not evidence but you seem to chose the "facts" that fit your opinion and exclude all others.

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 15, 2013 8:32:16 PM

  21. Jose,

    I followed the trail very closely and there was no evidence whatsoever introduced in the trail of what you say.

    Can you post links to your assertions? You don't get to say something is a fact without any evidence.

    IF Martin's girlfriend told him to be careful because Zimmerman could be gay, that is on her, not him.

    I have never heard creepy-ass-cr*acker for gay people; it is racist but not homophobic.

    Zimmerman never claimed Martin used homophobic slurs against him. Hearsay is not evidence but you seem to chose the "facts" that fit your opinion and exclude all others.

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 15, 2013 8:32:18 PM

  22. Funny how those people who are seeking justice are also demanding that others "shut up."

    Fine. You can try and shut people up Mr. Justice for all (unless if you disagree with me). But shutting people up will not change the fact that Zimmerman is a free man and you people CANNOT prove otherwise.

    Sorry. But I don't jump on bandwagons until there is a good evidence to support its existence. This is just, and always has been, a media circus and a complete farce by race baiters. Simple as that.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Jul 15, 2013 8:34:19 PM

  23. @ David Groff,

    The trial went through the justice system. If you don't like the verdict blame the prosecutors.

    You don't get to charge someone with double jeopardy just because you disagree with the jury. They were there, you were not.

    That mindset puts us all in peril of abuse by those in power.

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 15, 2013 8:37:29 PM

  24. According to African American studies materials that I've studied, 'creepy-ass cracker' is used by blacks as a homophobic slur against white males who are perceived to be, or are, gay.

    Witnesses have stated that Martin was using anti-gay slurs. As to Z not saying anything about it is irrelevant because other witnesses did hear Martin say those slurs.

    BTW, if you really follow case law, like I do, you should know that the burden of proof lies with YOUR side and not Zimmerman. Your side had a good enough chance to prove its case with evidence. The Jury didn't buy it, and neither am I.

    What these gay orgs are doing is engaging in the lowest form of race baiting. Which is racist in of itself.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Jul 15, 2013 8:42:11 PM

  25. Glad to see that several of my fellow gays are talking sense for once! Zimmerman never should have been tried at all. Before the case became political, the local authorities investigated and decided that the law had not been broken. After various left-wing demonstrators raised enough stink, the authorities caved-in and filed bogus charges. But they weren't actually willing to frame Z. The facts were the facts. The law was the law. The jury was not willing to convict Z. unjustly to please the country's left wing. Good for them. In America, we have the rule of law.

    Posted by: ernstroehm's ghost | Jul 15, 2013 8:49:45 PM

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