US: HRC and Lambda Legal Urge Protection of Postal Service

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The Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal — two of [America’s] largest LGBTQ civil rights organisations — have sent a letter to Congress, urging passage of the Delivering for America Act, which will protect and strengthen the United States Postal Service.

“The US Postal Service is a critical lifeline for so many in our communities – including transgender people and everyone living with HIV who rely on the Post Office to deliver life-saving medications. It is not just about voting and mail-in ballots, but about a service that has been essential since the beginning of our republic. The U.S. Congress needs to act now so that this lifeline remains reliable for those whose very lives depend upon it.”

Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO

The Delivering for America Act would prohibit the USPS from implementing any new changes that would impact mail delivery until January 2021, or the end of the COVID-19 pandemic; provide $25 billion in emergency COVID-19 funding that USPS requested; require USPS to treat all official election mail as First-Class mail; and explicitly reverse any changes already implemented to the operations or policies of the Postal Service that delay mail delivery.

HRC recently published a research brief outlining the particular health risks faced by the LGBTQ community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. LGBTQ people are particularly at risk of having health complications due to coronavirus, because they are more likely to have compromised respiratory systems.

For example, 21% of LGBTQ people have asthma compared to 14% of non-LGBTQ people.

Read the full brief here.

The United States Postal Service’s importance goes well beyond the election. Many in the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender and people living with HIV, are especially dependent upon the mail for prescription medications.

The reliance on the postal service is also profound for those in communities of advanced age or with disabilities, and/or those living in rural or Native communities, who often lack other affordable delivery options. There are nearly 4 million LGBTQ people living in rural America, and 3 million LGBTQ people 50 years of age and older.

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