Zimmerman verdict pushes LGBT organizations to call for justice

Posted by Justin Snow
July 16, 2013 2:27 PM |

Trayvon Martin.jpg

A coalition of LGBT-rights organizations has called for justice for Trayvon Martin after a Florida jury on Saturday acquitted George Zimmerman of the teenager's murder.

"Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety," 35 LGBT-rights groups, including the National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Human Rights Campaign, wrote in the open letter released yesterday. 

Zimmerman was found not guilty of the February 2012 murder of 17-year-old Martin after a high-profile televised trial that concluded last week. Although Zimmerman will not face jail time for shooting and killing Martin, which Zimmerman's lawyers argued was done in self-defense, he could still face financial damages from civil suits that could be filed by Martin's family. The NAACP has also called on the Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

[Photo: Trayvon Martin (via public domain)]

Read the letter here:

An 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. 

All Out

American Civil Liberties Union

Believe Out Loud

BiNet USA

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)

GetEQUAL

GMHC

GLAD

GLAAD

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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