Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Justice Department's LGBT liaison talks bullying, hate crimes
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Erica Demarest, Windy City Times
2012-03-14

This article shared 3015 times since Wed Mar 14, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Veteran civil-rights attorney Matt Nosanchuk made headlines in August 2009 when he was appointed to serve as the Justice Dept.'s dedicated LGBT liaison. A former U.S. Senate staffer, Nosanchuk's varied resume includes work in the nonprofit sector and a position under retired Attorney General Janet Reno.

In his current role as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general, Nosanchuk has been largely responsible for implementing hate crime legislation and seeking new ways to further LGBT rights.

During a recent trip to Chicago, Nosanchuk talked to Windy City Times about hate crimes, President Obama and prospects for 2012.

Windy City Times: You've been charged with overseeing the implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Can you tell us more about that?

Matt Nosanchuk: The bill was passed in 2009, and it's the first federal law to protect civil rights that includes explicit protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

One of the big parts of our implementation efforts is educating local law enforcement about the law and the importance of partnering with LGBT communities so that when these crimes do occur, people feel comfortable reporting them.

We want to emphasize to law enforcement that we're doing all we can to spread awareness and that we're going to take a stand against these dehumanizing crimes when they occur.

WCT: Why is it important to reach out to local officials?

Matt Nosanchuk: If you think about it, when a hate crime occurs, it's not like the FBI's going to show up and pounce on you. First responders are going to be local police or community organizations that hear from people.

[Hate crimes] are motivated by such hate and a desire to dehumanize the victim. ... You want to emphasize to law enforcement that these really are different kinds of crimes. It's not efficient to just prosecute them as assault or a crime of opportunity.

WCT: How do you decide which cities or precincts to visit?

Matt Nosanchuk: We started by going to the five states that have no hate-crimes laws at all—Georgia, Arkansas, South Carolina, Wyoming and Indiana. We wanted to go to those places and say, now, for the first time, there's hate-crime protection. We had training conferences to educate local law enforcement.

We've also gone to jurisdictions that have shown an interest in doing this kind of training. We had a hate-crimes training here in Chicago, which we co-sponsored with Attorney General [Lisa] Madigan's office. We've been to California, Texas, New York, Boston … and many jurisdictions throughout the country.

WCT: And how is law enforcement responding? Have you seen results?

Matt Nosanchuk: We did training in Arkansas and, sometime after, a hate crime occurred. Someone who had been at the conference recognized this incident as a potential violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. law, and it ended up being one of the first cases where we achieved conviction.

It was really important because it addresses the community concern that inevitably results from a hate crime. There's a level of fear and a desire to see a strong response that shows your supported by law enforcement. People need to have trust [in police], and if you have a police department that has a history of harassing the LGBT community, that just doesn't work.

WCT: What else has the Justice Department been working on?

Matt Nosanchuk: We've been doing a lot of work with the Department of Education on Title IX and the Civil Rights Act. That basically empowers us to hold school districts legally responsible when they fail to address harassment that occurs on the basis of various characteristics, including the sex or sexual orientation of students. ... LGBT students have been bullied because they fail to conform to gender stereotypes, like a boy who's been bullied because he's effeminate or a girl who's bullied because she comes across as masculine. Where this type of bullying has occurred in schools and the district hasn't done anything about it, [we step in].

WCT: What's in the works for 2012?

Matt Nosanchuk: We're looking to continue to identify ways in which we can use existing legislation. The prospect for getting new LGBT protections through Congress … I don't want to pre-judge it, but it's going to be an uphill battle.

The executive branch does have opportunities to use regulatory power, whether its requiring hospitals [to provide] visitation rights for same-sex partners or enforcing anti-discrimination rules.

We're looking at how we can use that authority to advance and expand rights for LGBT individuals. At the civil-rights division, we want to continue to work on bullying issues. ... It's a problem that's receiving a lot of attention, but there's still a lot more work to be done. People still need to step up to the plate.

WCT: Part of your job entails meeting with LGBT community leaders. How have people received you?

Matt Nosanchuk: At times, the LGBT community has definitely challenged the administration, and they've put me on the hot seat. As president Obama has said, he doesn't expect people who are pushing for civil rights to be patient. And it's not for him to tell them to be patient. So he expects that the community will continue to press and advance rights to areas needed.

That being said, the Obama administration has taken historic steps to further the civil rights of LGBT individuals with moves like repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and passing a hate-crimes law.

The administration has also been able to impact the lives of LGBT individuals on a smaller scale with measures like creating a grant program for LGBT foster care, developing jobs for LGBT liaisons and funding a resource center for LGBT seniors.

It doesn't necessarily make it to the top page, but it has a real impact on the lives of individuals who are affected.


This article shared 3015 times since Wed Mar 14, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

CTA proposes reduced fare changes 2021-10-22
- During a time when the prices of just about everything seems to increase, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proposing the opposite, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. The CTA has proposed slashing some fares to boost ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker announces campaign to increase COVID-19 booster rates among older Illinoisans 2021-10-20
--From a press release - CHICAGO — With 1.5 million Illinoisans currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot and millions more set to become eligible in the coming weeks, Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) ...


Gay News

EI celebrates Pritzker for increase in LGBTQ leaders appointed to state boards, commissions 2021-10-19
--From a Equality Illinois press release - CHICAGO — On October 1, 2021, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker released his 2021 Boards and Commissions Appointment Demographics Report. The bottom line of the report is that a wider cross section of Illinoisans are applying and ...


Gay News

Ald. Maria Hadden encourages community to be active participants 2021-10-18
By Cris Villalonga-Vivoni - AIt was Chicago Ald. Maria Hadden's friends who convinced her to run for city council as the 49th Ward's alderperson. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hadden moved to Rogers Park 20 years ago after graduating from The ...


Gay News

Lightfoot, Chicago to celebrate WNBA champion Chicago Sky Oct. 19 with parade, rally 2021-10-18
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The City of Chicago will celebrate the 2021 WNBA Champion Chicago Sky on Tuesday, Oct. 19, with a downtown parade and rally. The parade will begin at 11AM when the team departs from Wintrust ...


Gay News

Colin Powell dies from COVID-19 complications 2021-10-18
- Colin Powell—the first Black U.S. secretary of state, whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape the country's foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st—died from ...


Gay News

WORLD Plus magazine, The Guardian, Dutch princess, anti-trans ruling 2021-10-17
- The largest circulated HIV publication in the country, Plus, unveiled its 25 Amazing People of the Year, per a press release. Just a few of the individuals are actor Billy Porter; Mandisa Nikita Dukashe: South African ...


Gay News

Activists speak about former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's LGBTQ legacy 2021-10-14
by Max Lubbers - LGBTQ+ advocates reflected on former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's legacy at Center on Halsted Oct. 13, discussing his role in the city's Human Rights Ordinance and outreach to the LGBTQ+ community. A display of 1980s Windy ...


Gay News

Rosa Escareno named interim head of Chicago Park District 2021-10-13
- Former Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Commissioner Rosa Escareno has been named the interim general superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. In an Oct. 13 statement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ...


Gay News

President Biden appoints Debra Shore to key EPA position 2021-10-12
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today President Joe Biden appointed former LGBTQ Victory Institute board chair Debra Shore to be the next Region Five Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency — representing six states in the Midwest and ...


Gay News

WORLD Japan politics, video games, lesbian tennis player, Mr. Gay World 2021-10-10
- LGBTQ+-rights activists were hoping Japan would finally allow same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage, became the country's next prime minister—but their hopes were dashed. Japan's ...


Gay News

Chicago Park CEO resigns amid sexual-harassment scandal 2021-10-10
- On Oct. 9, Chicago Park District CEO and General Superintendent Michael P. Kelly announced his resignation amid a controversy over sexual harassment and abuse, WGN-TV reported. Kelly released a statement to the public and Board President ...


Gay News

Activist Rick Garcia seeks to be MWRD commissioner 2021-10-09
- Longtime LGBTQ- and human-rights activist Rick Garcia announced he is running for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD), and has asked Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to appoint him to the seat Debra Shore is vacating to ...


Gay News

Homophobic comments from N.C. lieutenant governor surface 2021-10-08
- Controversy is swirling around North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson after video surfaced of what he said at a June event, according to ABC11.com. There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child ...


Gay News

Toni Preckwinkle addresses security incidents 2021-10-08
- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released a statement regarding two recent situations connected with her security detail. "In the past few months, there have been two separate incidents when members of my Executive Detail have ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.