On Saturday a group of radical anti-gay and anti-choice extremists will descend on Orlando. "Operation: Save America," has chosen Orlando as the location for their 2011 national conference. While they are in town, they have pledged to spread their dangerous message by harassing the men, women and teens who access health care through Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando.
Who is "Operation: Save America" (OSA)? Formerly "Operation: Rescue", OSA is a radical, right-wing, anti-choice and anti-LGBT group. They've spent decades threatening family planning doctors and their staff both outside of their clinics and in front of their homes. And they regularly protest outside high schools for having support groups for LGBT teens.
Groups like "Operation: Save America" are clear examples of why LGBT and pro-choice advocates must stand together. Equality Florida is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our colleagues at Planned Parenthood to demonstrate the strength of fair-minded Floridians in challenging their dangerous messages.
Sign the pledge TODAY! Help us reach our goal of 2,000 people standing up to extremists like OSA. Together we will send a message that these attacks on women and the LGBT community will never go unchallenged.
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Why does choice matter to LGBT equality?
There have always been connections between the LGBT movement and the Feminist Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. As women gained control over their reproductive destinies, they also gained control over their own sexual pleasure. The freedom and legitimacy of sexual activity without reproduction as an outcome is as fundamental to the liberation of LGBT people as it is to heterosexual women and their male partners.
Legal decisions that have been crucial for the LGBT community are based on legal precedents set by the women's movement and the right to privacy. Landmark cases like Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey, paved the way for the 2003 Supreme Court Lawrence v Texas decision decriminalizing same-sex relations between consenting adults.
There is a right-wing political agenda that targets both reproductive freedom and LGBT rights. It would control sexuality, gender conformity, reproductive choice and the legal definitions of family. Those behind this agenda seek to change the make-up of the Supreme Court to roll back the hard-won gains of both our movements.
Policies that hurt the LGBT community also often attack women. For example, sex education programs that promote "abstinence until marriage" serve to deny young people information about "safer sex" and prevention of pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. They also further marginalize and alienate LGBT youth by deeming their sexuality pathological. Health insurance policies often refuse to cover contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion.