Fighting for Personal Freedom, NORML Teams Up with an LGBT Group

 It might seem strange that two very different organizations are teaming up together.  But if we look closely we can see why. Both the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) and Empire State NORML have found a commonality in believing in personal freedom and personal responsibility.  Both groups say that whom you love is your own business and should never result in violence, and that how you choose to treat your ailments is a personal decision made in consultation with your physician that should never result in criminal prosecution. 

Empire State NORML goals are to end marijuana prohibition in New York State and honor the rights of every adult to use marijuana responsibly, without the fear of breaking the law.  To defend the rights of the seriously ill, whose doctors recommend its medicinal use and support its industrial and agricultural use as a way to bolster New York State's struggling economy.


 The New York City Anti-Violence Project was founded in 1980 in reaction to neighborhood incidents of anti-LGBT violence and the failure of the criminal legal system to respond. AVP remained an all-volunteer organization until 1984, when the first full-time Executive Director was hired. With the addition of full-time staff, AVP was able to broaden its services to provide professional counseling to victims and survivors of hate violence. AVP also began expanding our work beyond bias-motivated violence to include services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and HIV-related violence.


Today, AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) people each year from all five boroughs of New York City. The organization maintains a 24- hour, Spanish/English bilingual hotline staffed by professional counselors and trained volunteers providing professional and peer support counseling, as well as advocacy with police, courts, and social service agencies.


According to Ted Martiniuk, special events coordinator/consultant for Empire State NORML, "We are having this event jointly with the Anti-Violence Project because people should not live in pain or in fear: whether from people who do not accept their personal choices about whom to love, or from their inability to treat their ailments with the medication that provides the most relief.  Let's stop the nonsense." 


The NYC Anti-Violence Project and Empire State NORML (the New York State Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) will be hosting a joint fundraiser on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  The event will be held at Therapy, 348 West 52nd Street in NYC. 

AlterNet / By Anthony Papa

Posted at December 9, 2011, 11:00am

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