Washington, D.C. — Laura E. Durso, Director of the Center for American Progress’ LGBT Research and Communications Project, issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate failed to include reauthorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, or RHYA, as an amendment to the human trafficking prevention legislation currently being considered. The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), contained protections for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, youth, and while the amendment received support from a bipartisan majority of senators, it failed to reach the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.
We are disappointed that despite a bipartisan majority vote in favor, the U.S. Senate has failed to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, which funds programs and services for many of America’s most vulnerable youth. Providing resources for homeless youth and ensuring that every young person has equal access to those lifesaving programs are critical to preventing human trafficking and should unite members of Congress of all ideologies and every party. We will continue to work with members from both parties to reauthorize RHYA and to provide homeless LGBT youth with the basic nondiscrimination protections that they both need and deserve.
Related resource: Seeking Shelter: The Experiences and Unmet Needs of LGBT Homeless Youth by Andrew Cray, Katie Miller, and Laura E. Durso
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