It’s Time to End Profiling of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People of Color

Your Take: The U.S. Justice Department must act to stem law-enforcement profiling of LGBT Americans of color.

People gather with then-New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio (back, left) before a vigil Aug. 27, 2013, for Islan Nettles, a transgender woman who was slain in Harlem after being approached on the street and beaten by a group of men. Mario Tama/Getty Images

* End immigration-enforcement programs that encourage and drastically expand the consequences of discriminatory profiling by local law-enforcement agencies.

Justice continues to be elusive and conditional for LGBT people, particularly LGBT people of color, homeless and low-income LGBT people, and LGBT youths of color. But just as the principles that define our nation’s character leave no room for racial bias, they also leave no room for bias against members of any community.

We need to end institutionalized homophobia and transphobia, just as we need to end institutionalized racism. Let us be sure to leave no one behind.

Benjamin Todd Jealous is the former president and CEO of the NAACP. He is currently a partner at Kapor Capital and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Andrea Ritchie is coordinator of New York City-based advocacy group Streetwise and Safe and co-author of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States.

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