The Campaign for Southern Equality’s online LGBT Rights Toolkit (www.lgbtrightstoolkit.org) provides support services and an online resource center, all with a goal of helping LGBT people in the South (1) know and protect your rights under current laws and (2) access LGBT-friendly legal, advocacy and health information and services from a broad range of organizations.
The hostile legal climate in the South means LGBT individuals and families must take extra steps to access the few basic legal protections available. This online toolkit is designed to help LGBT Southerners – especially those in the rural South – understand and protect their rights.
The LGBT Rights Toolkit consists of Health Care Power of Attorney forms for every Southern state, LGBT-friendly attorney and physician lists, links to legal and mental health resources, and Name and Gender Change Guides.
“LGBT people in the South live with great dignity and courage and are often savvy navigators of the legals system, but the reality of discrimination persists and must be addressed,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
The new online toolkit complements CSE’s ongoing series of free Community Law Workshops which provide legal education and legal services. Since launching in 2011, the Campaign for Southern Equality has reached thousands of LGBT Southerners with these free services through Community Law Workshops on topics such as name changes, health care power of attorney forms and family rights.
During 2014 alone CSE ran 13 Community Law Workshops across Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. Free legal education was provided to 830 people and 526 individuals completed a Health Care Power of Attorney form on site.
DISCLAIMER: The LGBT Rights Toolkit only contains legal information and should not be interpreted as legal advice, nor should it be used in place of legal assistance. CSE recommends that any person with a question about the law or how it applies to them should contact an attorney. CSE is currently growing its referral list of LGBT-Friendly Attorney Referral List across the South. If you are an LGBT-friendly attorney based in the South and would like to be added to our referral list, please contact our Legal Team Coordinator, Meghann Burke, at firstname.lastname@example.org.