LGBT.Logo.Final.cmyk

 

 

 

Justice for all in Maine? Not yet...

But with your help, we can make it happen for LGBT people.

YOU can provide a critical safety net through the LGBT Justice Fund. Join Bill and co-founders Sarah McDaniel, Arnie Macdonald, Teresa Cloutier, Jodi Nofsinger, and Jon Doyle in making a significant gift to the LGBT Justice Fund.

Imagine having your house, your health benefits or even your children taken away. You feel helpless. You don’t know what to do or where to turn for help. Now imagine you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Your situation just became more difficult and risky. And if you don’t have the income to get legal representation, you are left with virtually no place to turn.

The movement for full equality for LGBT people has seen incredible progress in a short time. But there are still many threats to the laws that protect LGBT people. Not only do they face discrimination in employment and housing, they also find that current laws do not address their specific needs and concerns.

We must make sure that every LGBT person has access to justice. They ought to be able to rely on civil legal aid providers to get them the help they deserve. We need to be sure that they know how to get the services they need. Are they aware of the rights they have? Do they know how to defend themselves?

From domestic violence and custody battles to evictions and restraining orders, most Americans have no idea that there is no constitutional right to a lawyer. And while these types of situations can be devastating for anyone, it’s particularly tragic for LGBT people living in poverty. Poverty issues have a disproportionate impact on LGBT people.

Civil legal aid is the only safety net for thousands of Maine residents each year who find themselves in desperate need of legal assistance, but cannot afford it. The dedicated people providing civil legal aid don’t have enough resources to help everyone who needs it. They are forced to turn away many deserving people looking for aid.

THE LGBT JUSTICE FUND

Bill Robitzek was a successful trial lawyer for over 35 years before starting his current practice as a mediator, arbitrator and trial consultant. As a Bar Fellow and president elect of the Maine Justice Foundation, he has clearly seen the need for justice for all, especially for LGBT people. So Bill decided to do something. He created the LGBT Justice Fund at the Maine Justice Foundation.

This important endowment will provide funding for nonprofit organizations that address the civil legal aid needs of low-income and vulnerable LGBT Mainers. A Grant making committee will make the recommendations each year for the distributions of grants from the endowment. The committee will include representative founders, grants committee members of the Foundation, and people involved in the work supporting LGBT people.

The LGBT Justice Fund will be pooled and invested with all the funds of the Maine Justice Foundation. The foundation’s investment policy will guide the investment management of the Fund. Most importantly, the LGBT Justice Fund is designed to provide an ongoing source of income and to last for generations. When funding sources are scarce, this fund will still be providing support for LGBT people.

Be a Founder. Create your legacy of support for LGBT Mainers. Bill wants to build a significant endowment and invites you to join him in this vital effort. Become a Founder of the LGBT Justice Fund of the Maine Justice Foundation. Be a leader in this effort to fund civil legal aid providers addressing the particular needs of LGBT people. Create a legacy of your support for LGBT people who need your help now and will need your help into the future.

With your commitment to justice and your charitable investment in this special fund, we can increase funding for legal aid programs that help the neediest of LGBT Maine residents who face life-altering civil legal issues. Resources are severely limited. We need your help now.

YOU can provide a critical safety net through the LGBT Justice Fund. Join Bill and co-founders Sarah McDaniel, Arnie Macdonald, Teresa Cloutier, Jodi Nofsinger, and Jon Doyle in making a significant gift to the LGBT Justice Fund.

The Young and the Old

Young LGBT people are especially vulnerable. Rejected by their families they face homelessness, loss of healthcare and other essentials. Even when families accept them and provide a loving home, at-risk youth find a world that is discriminatory - and worse. LGBT youth and the children of LGBT parents experience harassment and discrimination regularly in institutions like schools and welfare programs.

LGBT teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts. According to some groups, this is linked to heterocentric cultures and institutionalised homophobia.

Lack of relationship recognition has had a huge negative financial impact on all LGBT Americans, particularly LGBT seniors who have faced a lifetime of discrimination and unequal treatment. Thus, LGBT seniors are more likely to be poorer and less financially secure than non-LGBT seniors.

Aging LGBT individuals and couples are concerned about social and geographic isolation, declining health, the risks of financial fraud and elder abuse, the complexities of the health care system and the availability of services to help them stay safe in their homes and communities. These concerns are compounded by fears their sexual orientation will affect the personal care and other services they need, both at home and in an assisted-living or nursing home setting.

Poverty is an LGBT issue

Using federal poverty guidelines from 2007 to 2014, recent reports show that LGBT adults regardless of relationship status are more vulnerable to poverty than heterosexual adults, same-sex couples are more vulnerable to poverty than different-sex married couples, and transgender people are the most susceptible to poverty as they are four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000/ year compared to the general population. As a result, the LGBT community is more likely to receive government assistance like cash assistance, Supplemental Social Security (SSI), and SNAP (also known as food stamps).