It's Pride, Gun Violence Awareness, and Elder Abuse Awareness Month: Your civic action to-do list for 6-10-19

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3. LGBTQ individuals across the country are facing an alarming wave of prejudice, but lack legal protection from discrimination in 30 states. As the administration continues to roll back LGBTQ rights in the military, health care, education, and housing, federal law must put a stop to this disturbing trend.

In a nutshell: The Equality Act prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, education, housing, credit, and jury service. The Equality Act passed the House on May 17th with bipartisan support, but the Senate has yet to follow suit.

Take Action: If your Representative voted in favor of the Equality Act, thank him or her! More importantly, urge your Senators to support the Equality Act (S.788) and uphold LGBTQ civil rights this Pride Month.

2. June is Gun Violence Awareness Month, coming just one week after a mass shooting that killed 12 people and wounded four more in Virginia Beach's Municipal Center. All but one of the two dozen major Democratic presidential candidates have seen a mass shooting take place in their state while in office. Numerous pieces of legislation aimed at reducing this senseless violence have been introduced in Congress, but they are currently stalled.

In a nutshell: Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced the Background Check Expansion Act of 2019, which requires a background check for every gun sale. Currently, individuals prohibited from purchasing guns based on criminal record, domestic violence convictions, and mental illness can purchase them without a background check at private sales, gun shows, and online. The House passed its companion bill to close this loophole more than 100 days ago, and we cannot allow the Senate impasse to prevail – lives depend on it.

Take Action: Tell your Senators that the Background Check Expansion Act (S.42) is essential to efforts to curb gun violence.Forty-one Democrats have already cosponsored this vital legislation – be sure to thank them for their stance.

1. Lastly, we bring attention to the abuse, neglect, and exploitation that older adults experience this Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Older adults must be treated fairly, and we all must work to reduce their risk of abuse.

In a nutshell: Courts name guardians to protect older adults from harm and mistreatment; however, in some circumstances, guardians are the perpetrators of abuse. Recent reports by the Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlight reprehensible cases in which guardians have taken advantage of their positions.

Take Action: What can an advocate do when a guardian becomes an abuser? Sign up here for a free webinar from the National Center on Law and Elder Rights to learn.