Gay groups are mobilizing members and
reaching out to donors to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
“As lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people, we know and have seen the power of a family
standing together in support, and the pain of it falling away,” the
Community Response to the Crisis in Haiti Fund says in its plea
for donations. “Being part of the human family also comes with
responsibility to our larger family. Today, our Haitian brothers and
sisters are facing an enormous crisis and need our support.”
The fund was set up by SAVE Dade, a
Miami-based gay rights group.
Haitian officials estimate the loss of
life from Tuesday's quake in the thousands. The 7.1 magnitude
earthquake turned the city of Port-au-Prince into rubble, leaving
millions homeless on the island nation.
San Francisco-based Rainbow World Fund established its Haiti
Earthquake Relief Campaign with a $50,000 gift. As the world's first
and only LGBT-based humanitarian aid organization, the all-volunteer
group has been involved in Haitian relief efforts since 2004.
“Rainbow World Fund's work is about
serving humanity, gay and straight alike,” Jeff Cotter, the group's
founder, said in a statement. “LGBT people in the United States
worked actively on relief efforts for Katrina and the tsunami, and we
will do the same in response to the crisis in Haiti.”
organization Housing Works announced on Thursday it would work
with a Haitian coalition of AIDS groups to provide desperately needed
medical services and supplies to HIV-positive quake victims in Haiti.
Housing Works President and CEO Charles
King said his group was taking action because previous disaster
relief programs had done little to address the needs of people living
HIV/AIDS. Haiti, King said, has the worst HIV/AIDS rate in the
And leading gay and lesbian cruise
operators say they've already raised thousands for victims of the
Haiti quake. Olivia, a cruise line that specializes in lesbian
travel, Atlantis and RSVP have joined forces to set up a dedicated
donation site in partnership with the American Red Cross. The
three companies gave an initial $37,500 to the fund, which is being
managed by the Red Cross.
“Now is the time for us to lend our
gay dollars to a compelling human tragedy that knows no gender or
sexual orientation,” Judy Dlugacz, president and founder of Olivia
Companies, told the San Francisco Chronicle.