Twenty-one of the nation's leading
Hispanic organizations are backing a campaign aimed at greater
acceptance of gay rights among Latinos.
es Familia was announced Sunday at the National Council of La
Raza's (NCLR) annual conference in Las Vegas.
Organizers say the bilingual campaign
is aimed at “strengthening Latino voices to build support within
the Latino community for acceptance of LGBT family members.”
Participating groups include the League
of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Cuban American National
Council, Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF)
and the National Puerto Rican Coalition.
“The polling shows that many in the
Latino community already understand that there is one struggle for
equality, a struggle that benefits from appreciating common mission.
Familia es Familia is a campaign that will help to deepen the
understanding that a discriminatory deprivation of rights on any
basis is a cause of concern for all. Together, we can overcome all
of the irrational biases that adversely affect any member of the
Latino community,” MALDEF President Thomas A. Saenz said in a
“Since its inception, LULAC has
fought for the equality of minorities,” said Brent Wilkes,
executive director of LULAC, the nation's oldest Latino civil rights
organization. “All individuals regardless of their race,
ethnicity, country of origin or sexual orientation, deserve equal
Freedom to Marry, the nation's largest
group devoted to the issue of marriage equality, provided the seed
funding for the campaign. The Gill Foundation has also committed to
providing additional resources.
“A growing majority of Latinos in
this country know that every gay or lesbian person is part of
someone's family – a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a loved
one – and the more conversations we have, family member to family
member, the more support for the freedom to marry grows,” said Evan
Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry. “Latino gay
couples seek the freedom to marry to affirm and strengthen their
love, their commitment, and their ability to take care of each other
and their families; government should not be putting barriers in
their way. Freedom to Marry is proud to be supporting the Familia
es Familia campaign to lift up Hispanic voices and stories as
together we make the case for ending the exclusion from marriage.”