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Gay and lesbian Puerto Ricans are living in a state of emergency. In the last two years, at least 24 LGBT people have been murdered on the island, including a 19-year-old gay man found decapitated, dismembered, and burned by the side of the road two years ago.
And this week -- despite a clear pattern of violence against LGBT persons -- Puerto Rico's government is set to completely remove protections for sexual orientation and gender identity from its hate crimes law.
The Puerto Rican Senate has already passed the bill. It's now in the House of Representatives -- and members are making up their mind right now on how to vote.
Jorge Sepulveda, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, just started a petition on Change.org asking the Puerto Rico House of Representatives not to remove hate crime protections for sexual orientation.
Click HERE to add your name to Jorge's petition. Every time someone signs the petition, a message is immediately delivered to the Puerto Rican government, as well as key members of the Obama administration to urge them to speak out.
Puerto Rico's proposal to stop protecting LGBT people from hate crimes flies in the face of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's landmark speech this week, in which she declared that "gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights." Secretary Clinton specifically said that "when a person is beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation," it is "a violation of their human rights."
Jorge thinks Puerto Rico's government needs to live up to the ideals articulated by Secretary Clinton yesterday -- and an international outcry can stop this law from passing.
Please add your name to Jorge's petition to stop Puerto Rico from removing hate crime protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Eden and the Change.org team