Lauds NY State Crime Victims Board Extension
of Surviving Partners Policy
Executive Order Will Now Be Applicable to All Partners
Today representatives from the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP) praised the New York State Crime Victims Board (CVB) for moving to extend Governor Pataki's 9/11 Executive Order granting surviving partners of gay victims of the terrorist attacks benefits equal to those that spouses receive. Once the policy is in
effect, domestic partners of all homicide victims, will be eligible to receive benefits equal to those received by heterosexual spouses. Currently, such benefits can total $30,000 per year.
This policy change will go a long way to providing great solace for our clients who have lost partners to violence," said Basil Lucas, AVP's Bias-Related Violence Victim Advocate. AVP reports that in recent years, they've tracked anywhere from six to ten bias-related murders
annually. Information was not readily available on how many of those victims had surviving partners.
We have worked hard for years to move the State forward in its recognition of lesbian and gay families and have pressed for change in CVB policy on survivors' benefits for more than a dozen years," said Richard Haymes, AVP's executive director. "The issue of non-recognition of "gay families" is most pressing for our clients in domestic violence situations who remain unable to access Family Court, but the State's ongoing and callous disregard of the loss and suffering experienced by lesbians and gay men who have lost a partner to violence has been extraordinarily hurtful, and this change in CVB policy can begin to remedy that," said Haymes.
"We were quite pleased when Governor Pataki issued his executive order providing CVB benefits to same-sex surviving partners of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and truly hoped that that would open the door to the extension of benefits for all our community's surviving partners in perpetuity – the lack of that provision was
always a tremendous inequity. This move by the governor and CVB gives us hope for the future opening of doors to lesbian and gay families," continued Haymes.
"It's also important to acknowledge the hard work and collaborative efforts of the Empire State Pride Agenda on this issue. They have been a true force for change at the state level," concluded Haymes.
The New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP) is the nation's largest service agency for victims of bias crimes against the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and HIV-affected communities. For twenty-two years, AVP has provided counseling and advocacy for thousands of victims of bias-motivated violence as
well as for survivors of pick-up crimes, domestic violence, sexual assault, HIV-related violence, and police misconduct. AVP documents incidents of
bias-motivated violence, educates the public about violence against or within our communities, and works to reform public policies impacting all lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and HIV-affected people. AVP provides free and
confidential assistance to crime victims through our 24-hour bilingual hotline (212-714-1141).
Director of Community Organizing & Public Advocacy
The New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence
Building a Safer Community for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual & HIV-Affected New Yorkers
24-Hour, Bilingual Hotline:
Worldwide Web: www.avp.org
To make donation to AVP, call 212-714-1184, x21,
click here: https://magenta.site-secure.net/avp/donate/donate.htm