CRLA’s LGBTQ+ program began in 2007 with an initial focus on providing internal training for all CRLA attorneys and staff to increase cultural competencies and substantive legal knowledge necessary to serve rural LGBTQ+ communities.
Since then CRLA’s capacity to provide quality legal assistance to LGBTQ+ people across a number of issues has increased. CRLA regularly represents LGBTQ+ clients in a variety of types of legal cases, including:
- employment discrimination
- education matters
- name and gender change petitions
CRLA addresses the challenges that LGBTQ+ people face on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as other dimensions of their lives, including race, economic class, and immigration status.
Acute problems facing rural LGBTQ+ communities include violence, employment discrimination, and school and health systems that are ill-equipped to serve LGBTQ+ people.
CRLA’s strategies to address these problems include:
- providing bilingual (Spanish and English) legal services, community legal education, and leadership development opportunities.
- building active, sustained partnerships with rural LGBTQ+ community centers, supportive organizations, and public agencies.
- monitoring and engaging local public entities that directly impact LGBTQ+ communities.