Friday, June 06, 2014

USDA summit series kicks off today focusing on needs of rural LGBT community

Nearly 10 percent of the nation's same-sex couples live in rural areas, and "these couples are more likely to be low-income and are almost twice as likely to receive public assistance. The transgender community is particularly vulnerable," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which today kicks off its Rural Pride Campaign in Greensboro, N.C.

The campaign, held in conjunction with the National Center for Lesbian Rights will consist of "a series of day-long summits to focus on the unique needs of the rural LGBT community, highlight the important federal policy efforts underway to protect this community and identify next steps to ensure all rural communities have access to the resources they need to thrive," USDA writes.

"This is the first time USDA is specifically reaching out the LGBT community," Nick de la Canal reports for WFAE 90.7 in Charlotte. Joseph Leonard Jr., USDA’s assistant secretary of civil rights, told WFAE, “It’s one thing when you go to shake someone’s hand. It’s another thing when someone walks up to you and shakes your hand. And that’s what USDA is trying to do. Many of the USDA’s programs are in more conservative areas of the country, and that’s why it was that much more important to make sure that persons are covered under this regulation.” (Read more)

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