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March 11, 2022
The United States Association of Prides
Condemns "Don't Say Gay" bill
The United States Association of Prides (USAP) condemns the Florida legislature's horrific "Don't Say Gay" bill, which is trying to erase young LGBTQI+ people and prevent youth from living authentically and peacefully. The official name of the legislation is the "Parental Rights in Education" bill. Plainly stated, the bill unfairly targets the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) community.
USAP represents Pride organizations that touch over 20 million individuals in communities across the country annually. We call on Governor Ron DeSantis to veto this bill. We call on all citizens to fight legislation intended to isolate and degrade LGBTQI+ youth and reject who they are, and deny their existence. We call on all corporate sponsors of Pride programs to denounce this anti-LGBTQI+ bill. Let's be clear, a companies' political spending supporting political candidates who oppose measures favored by the LGBTQI+ community is not acceptable.
The measure bans "classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity" in primary schools. It also prohibits such teaching "in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students," which critics say could be interpreted to extend to all grade levels. If passed, alleged violations may be grounds for parents to bring lawsuits upon school districts.
The Parental Rights in Education bill, which was passed in both Florida legislative bodies, has added fuel to actions being taken by legislators across the country. Our youth should not have to fight for their place at school and be seen in the world. They deserve welcome and safe environments, not book bans, Pride flag removals, and bills that target the well-being of LGBTQI+ youth.
LGBTQI+ youth face higher rates of depression, bullying, and an increased risk of suicide than their peers. We already know that school is not always a safe place for LGBTQI+ students. Most LGBTQI+ students frequently hear anti-LGBTQI+ language and experience harassment related to their sexual orientation and gender expression. The majority of LGBTQI+ students feel unsafe at school and are likely to skip class or even entire days of school to avoid the anti-LGBTQI+ name-calling, bullying, and harassment they face daily. Educators, advisors, and counselors make a big difference for youth. For many students, simply knowing that allies exist can be a source of support. Research shows that LGBTQI+ students with many supportive educators feel safer at school, skip fewer classes, and earn higher grades than students without supportive educators.
This bill and scores of bills across the country have nothing to do with so-called "parental rights" and everything to do with vilifying LGBTQI+ people as dangerous predators and banishing LGBTQI+ narratives and kids from schools. Don't be fooled; these bills are legislative tools of hate designed to portray LGBTQI+ people as a violent force preying on children.
We will be vigilant! Make your vote count and elect political leaders to local educational agencies that support LGBTQI+ students and provide safe learning environments that protect the health and safety of LGBTQI+ students and will support instructional guidance, law, and policies.
We will not stop until every life, regardless of age, gender expression, or sexual orientation, is valued.
The Premier Association Supporting & Enabling Pride Organizers in the United States
The United States Association of Prides (USAP) was established in 2018 with the primary purpose of engaging in activities to promote public education and awareness of the personal rights and civil liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals. USAP has a United States geographic focus.
USAP is focused on helping to build vibrant and robust US Pride organizations through collaboration, support, networking, providing resources, helping to develop a national identity of Pride, and offering support and advocacy for its members.
We welcome any LGBTIA+ organization that produces Pride events for their respective community as one of its purposes or activities. Pride events may include a parade, march, rally, festival, arts festival, cultural activity, event, or activity organized for people identifying as Lesbian, Gay Men, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, or other emerging sexual identities.
Working hand-in-hand with InterPride, USAP focuses its efforts on national activities while InterPride focuses on issues of international concern. There are several regional Pride groups, including NERP (Northeast Regional Prides), POSE (Prides of the Southeast), and MPO (Midwest Pride organizations). Pride organizations in the western US are directly affiliated with USAP.
contact: Ron deHarte
United States Association of Pride Launches Fund to Help
Pride Organizations During COVID-19 Crisis
Crisis Response to Directly Support Pride Organizations
Palm Springs, CA - Friday, April 10, 2020 - The United States Association of Prides (USAP) has launched the Pride Operational Support Fund to respond rapidly to organizations at greatest risk from this health crisis.
Charitable tax-deductible donations can be made online at www.usaprides.org.
Pride organizations in the United States mobilize more than 20 million individuals in communities across the country through their annual events. The COVID-19 virus has forced nearly 100 nonprofit U.S. Pride organizations to cancel or postpone fundraising events, impacting their ability to deliver on their mission and serve the community throughout the year, possibly threatening their future existence. USAP is focused on developing a national identity of Pride and building vibrant and strong U.S. Pride organizations through collaboration, support, and networking; providing resources and advocacy for its members.
“The United States Association of Prides is deeply concerned by the continuing global spread of the novel coronavirus and the resulting impact on Pride organizations. To promote solidarity and help support financially struggling local Pride organizations impacted by COVID-19, we are calling on individuals and our corporate partners for donations. These donations are needed to help make emergency grants to nonprofit Pride organizations working on the frontlines as beacons of hope and connectivity, providing our nation’s most vulnerable with human rights and social justice community-based support,” said Ron deHarte, co-president of the United States Association of Prides.
“Pride organizations serve vital roles in their community engaging hundreds of volunteers, employing local contractors, hiring businesses, and in some cases, providing assistance to other nonprofit organizations that support emergent needs, as well as provide food security, essential living expenses, rent, and utility payment support,” added deHarte.
The USAP Pride Operational Support Fund provides a one-time grant award to organizations that, due to COVID-19, have had to cancel or postpone critical fundraising events and programming, resulting in a significant hardship on the organization. This general operating
support grant can help with general operating and other non-recoverable expenses.
Donations will be made available for Pride organizations in the United States hit hardest by the spread of coronavirus due to cancelations or postponements. Grants will be available through USAP for unexpected costs and losses related to the COVID-19 virus.
“Many are not aware of Pride budgets entail – beyond simple overhead costs, several organizations might also have staff to worry about regardless of whether their annual event takes place. They depend upon Pride happening as usual, and similarly, so do our community
partners, who plan to volunteer annually and receive mini-grants from Pride to support their own nonprofits,” explains USAP Co-President Marsha H. Levine, who continues, “Some even depend on those funds in order to remain open and offer much-needed services to the public. There is more than just a celebration missing for June or the year; there’s a whole cascade effect felt within the LGBTQ+ community. Our ability to offer survival grants helps them hold on – and weather this together.”
What is USAP?
The United States Association of Prides is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Established in October 2018, the United States Association of Prides was formed with the primary purpose to engage in activities to promote public education; and awareness of the personal rights and civil liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals. USAP is focused on developing a national identity of Pride, and building vibrant and strong U.S. Pride organizations through collaboration, support, networking; providing resources and advocacy for its members.