NEW YORK -- Lambda Legal today launched a nationwide survey that aims to examine the experiences that people who are LGBT and people living with HIV have had with law enforcement, prisons, courts and schools.
"From schools, to courts, to prisons, many law enforcement officials and agencies continue to abuse the power of the police and the criminal justice system to target LGBT and HIV-positive people," said Holiday Simmons, National Community Educator at Lambda Legal. "Because there often is no one monitoring the police when LGBT and HIV-positive people are the victims, this survey will provide critical information for our entire community and help shape Lambda Legal's work to hold government officials accountable."
Protected and Served? Survey of LGBT/HIV Contact with Police, Courts, Prisons, and Schools will survey individuals and organizations to learn about the experiences and interactions with law enforcement faced by people who are LGBT and people living with HIV.
Specifically, the survey will examine the experiences of LGBT people and people with HIV in areas including: police harassment, profiling and mistreatment; police failure to protect and serve; misconduct in prisons, parole systems and courts; school discipline and other school-to-prison pipeline issues.
Lambda Legal has a long and proud history of standing up to biased government conduct. This work includes: Lambda Legal's historic U.S. Supreme Court victory, Lawrence v. Texas, striking down all remaining state sodomy laws; efforts to limit the use of criminal solicitation and related laws against gay and bisexual men; challenges to selective enforcement and other improper uses of criminal laws against people who are LGBT and people with HIV, including for example the City of Atlanta's raid on the Eagle Bar; and lawsuits responding to police assaults on those demonstrating for gay rights, unwarranted strip searches of LGBT people, improper government disclosure of individuals' sexual orientation or HIV status, and arrests of transgender individuals for using rest rooms appropriate to their gender identity.