H U M a N
R I G H T S
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nom exposed Espousing tolerance while bashing equality: the real story behind the National Organization for Marriage
AA STARBUCKS STARBUCKS LOVE LOVE STORY STORY ____________ was drawn to ____________ the minute ____________ saw ____________ was drawn to ____________ the minute ____________ saw (name 1) (name 2) (pronoun) (name 1)
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____________ at Starbucks, they both ordered extra ____________ and sprinkled ____________ at Starbucks, they both ordered extra ____________ and sprinkled (noun) (topping) (noun)
their ____________ with ____________. Then ____________ called ____________ their ____________ with ____________. Then ____________ called ____________ (drink) (condiment) (name 2) (name 1) (drink)
a ____________. They looked ________________ each other’s ____________. a ____________. They looked (into, ________________ (pastry) at, toward, etc.) each other’s ____________. (noun) (pastry)
(into, at, toward, etc.)
The moment was ____________. The moment was ____________. (feeling) (feeling)
In love, ____________ and ____________ know best. In love, ____________ and ____________ know best. (name 1) (name 2) (name 1)
Our employees know best too. They know just who they are, and we love that about them. employees best They know just for who they two are, decades. and we love them. That’s whyOur we’ve offered know benefits totoo. domestic partners nearly Andthat for about the past That’syears, why we’ve benefits domestic partnersEquality for nearly two decades. past three we’ve offered scored 100% ontothe HRC Corporate Index. Of courseAnd it’s for thethe right three years, on the HRC Corporate Of course it’s the right thing to do, butwe’ve it alsoscored makes100% us a stronger company. Find Equality out moreIndex. at Starbucks.com/careers. thing to do, but it also makes us a stronger company. Find out more at Starbucks.com/careers. Starbucks is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse work team. © 2010 STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NSPOTH100TH-00586 Starbucks is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse work team. © 2010 STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NSPOTH100TH-00586
Around here, being yourself is a job requirement. When we encourage Googlers to express themselves, we really mean it. In fact, we count on it. Intellectual curiosity and diverse perspectives drive our policies, our work environment, our perks and our profits. At Google, we don’t just accept difference – we thrive on it. We celebrate it. And support it, for the benefit of our employees, our products and our community. We are proud that Google’s spirit of inclusion has been recognized with a 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index rating for four years in a row. We congratulate HRC for all of its work furthering equal rights for the LGBT community and look forward to our continued partnership. To learn more, visit us online at www.google.com/diversity © 2010 Google Inc. All rights reserved. Google and the Google logo are trademarks of Google Inc.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
HRC SENIOR STAFF Joe Solmonese President Michael Cole Press Secretary Ann Crowley Membership & Online Strategy Director Robert Falk General Counsel Andrea Green Finance Director John Greene Human Resources Director Allison Herwitt Legislative Director Anastasia Khoo Marketing Director Don Kiser Creative Director Cathy Nelson Vice President for Development & Membership Betsy Pursell Vice President for Public Education & Outreach Jim Rinefierd Vice President for Finance & Operations Marty Rouse National Field Director
Big Challenges, Big Opportunities With the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality facing serious tests in the weeks ahead, the Human Rights Campaign is counting on our members and supporters to help keep our push for full civil rights moving forward. This issue of Equality highlights one of our top concerns: the outcome of the 2010 congressional elections. Right now, our momentum toward LGBT equality is threatened by right-wing groups like the National Organization for Marriage, which are funneling millions of dollars to anti-LGBT candidates. So HRC is pulling out the stops to elect strong advocates for equality across the country. In this edition of Equality, we unveil HRC’s new hard-hitting campaign to blow the lid off of NOM’s deceptive and hateful efforts to oppose marriage rights for same-sex couples. In the past two years, NOM has emerged as the most vicious and dangerous enemy of marriage equality, playing a leading role in the tragic votes that stripped away the right to marry from same-sex couples in California and Maine. And this year, they’re spending millions to defeat champions of fairness and elect anti-LGBT extremists at the federal and state levels. But NOM doesn’t like telling the truth or playing by the rules — instead, it shamelessly slanders LGBT Americans at every turn and flouts campaign reporting laws nationwide. So through our new NOM Exposed website and high-profile media events, HRC is focusing a spotlight of truth on its lies, unethical tactics and illegal
attempts to conceal the identity of its donors, hide its election activities and eviscerate public disclosure laws.
Fred Sainz Vice President of Communications & Marketing Susanne Salkind Managing Director David M. Smith Vice President of Programs Christopher Speron Development Director Cuc Vu Chief Diversity Officer HRC EQUALITY STAFF Janice Hughes Publications Director Carolyn Simon Staff Writer Sarah Streyle Senior Graphic Design Specialist
Also in this issue, a thought-provoking interview with openly lesbian Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry explores the growing role that LGBT people and the fight for equality are playing in America’s labor movement, while abroad, LGBT Ugandans live in fear because of the extreme anti-gay sentiments in their home country. With the future of the fight for equality hanging in the balance, I’ll be counting on your continued support of HRC more than ever before in the months ahead. Thank you in advance for helping HRC make the most of the challenges and opportunities before us. Gratefully,
Robert Villaflor Design Director OTHER CONTRIBUTORS Joanna Blotner, Mary Breslauer, Tiffany Dean, Ryan Fleury, Justin Giaquinto, Emma Horesovsky, Darrin Hurwitz, Ellen Kahn, Anastasia Khoo, Don Kiser, Mollie Levin, Tommy Lodge, Jason Lott, Timothy Mahoney, Adam Marquez, Mike Mings, Mayu Mishina, Brian Moulton, Cathy Nelson, Susan Paine, Jeremy Pittman, Allyson Robinson, Chloe Rome, Margot Rosen, Marty Rouse, James Servino, David Stacy
Equality is a publication of the Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Equality (ISSN 1092-5791) is published quarterly by HRC, 1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: Free to members. Printed in the USA. The Human Rights Campaign and HRC Foundation names and Equality logos are trademarks of the Human Rights Campaign and HRC Foundation. To join HRC, call 800-777-HRC3, visit www.hrc.org or TTY at 202-216-1572. Are you an HRC member? Have a question?
Joe Solmonese P.S. During this pivotal moment in the fight for LGBT equality, HRC urgently needs more resources to fight every battle — and win. So please consider rushing a special contribution to HRC today or giving online at www.hrc. org/2010fall. Better yet, please think about elevating your personal commitment by becoming a monthly HRC Partner or joining our Federal Club program.
HRC’s Member Services Team, led by Dana Campbell, works every day to provide HRC’s more than 750,000 grassroots members and supporters with the best membership experience possible. To contact Member Services, e-mail email@example.com or call 800-727-4723.
All advertisers in Equality magazine are Human Rights Campaign National Corporate Partners. Because of HRC’s commitment to improving the lives of LGBT Americans in the workplace, all of our National Corporate Partners must demonstrate their own dedication by achieving a score of 85 percent or greater on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. Companies such as these have advanced the cause of LGBT equality in the workplace. For specific scores, criteria and more information on the Corporate Equality Index, please visit www.hrc.org/CEI.
Cover illustration: Brian Hubble
INSIDE FEATURES 8
Repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ Building a Broad Coalition of Support
Photo: Pat Ryan/HRC
11 four questions for U.s. rep. patrick murphy The Pennsylvania Democrat and Iraq War Veteran on Why He’s Fighting for Repeal of DADT
13 Momentum for Marriage Future of Wedding March at Stake in Fall Elections 15
palin, part two Outspoken Bigot Christine O’Donnell Rises To Prominence in Delaware
NOM Exposed Shining a Light on the Shady Secrets of the So-Called National Organization for Marriage
Photo: © Robert Durell
19 Organizing for Change Lesbian Union Leader Mary Kay Henry on Family, Immigration and Marriage Equality 22
Living in Fear LGBT Ugandans Hide Their Faces — But Share Their Stories
Photo: David Contreras Turley
IN EVERY ISSUE 4
Scene Out Upcoming Gala Events National Corporate Sponsors
I told my son for the first time that I was truly proud of him and asked him to live his life for himself, not for me or anyone else.” Jose J. Rocha, the father of a sailor who endured harassment and was eventually discharged because of the U.S. military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Rocha wrote these words in a letter to Defense Department and military officials as well as members of Congress to ask them to push for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so his son and other openly lesbian and gay veterans could rejoin the military. The letter was released by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a Human Rights Campaign coalition partner.
“Why are we concentrating on taking away love from people? Who are we to say we need less love in the world?” Grammy Award-winning artist P!nk, who was slated to receive the Ally for Equality Award at HRC’s National Dinner on Oct. 9th in Washington, D.C.
“I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman. As a legislator, I have consistently supported the constitutional marriage amendment that protects traditional marriage.
Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, a vocal opponent of equality, in a statement on his official campaign website.
Board of Directors Lacey All WA, John Barry IL, Kevin Bass CA, Bruce Bastian UT, Terry Bean OR, David Beckwith CA, Les Bendtsen MN, Stephanie Carreon TX, Dan Cochran NY, Jane Daroff OH, Tim Downing OH, Linda Elliott AZ, Anne Fay TX, Chris Flynn MA, Jody Gates LA, Kirk Hamill DC, Mike Holloman TX, John Isa DC, LeeAnn Jones GA, Barry Karas CA, Tom Knabel MN, Tom Kovach NV, Chris Labonte PA, Jani Lopez TX, Anton Mack CA, Joni Madison NC, Josh Miller NV, Michael Palmer DC, Terry Penrod OH, Dana Perlman CA, Henry Robin NY, Mirian Saez CA, Cathi Scalise TX, Linda Scaparotti CA, Meghan Stabler TX, Faye Wilson Tate CO, Rebecca Tillet NY, Julius Turman CA, Alan Uphold CA, David Wilson MA, Frank Woo CA, Lisa Zellner OH, Board of Governors Robert Abernathy IL, Rick Aishman TX, Steve Amend NV, Andrew Arnold CA, Karen Aronoff OH, Varo Asorian CA, Matthew Bacon MA, Jessica Bair CA, Phillip Baker AZ, Joel Baldazo TX, Ian Barrett MA, Vanessa Benavides TX, Bob Berry IL, Dana Beyer MD, Scott Bishop NC, Wendy Blenning OR, Eric Blomquist NY, Patricia Bolton WA, Chris Boone WA, Ebonee Bradford GA, Daniel Brennan TX, Tim Bresnahan IL, Barbara Browning MA, Charlie Buchanan TX, Deiadra Burns TX, Rory Cahn OH, Nancy Caldwell TX, Frank Caliguri OH, Todd Canon TX, Carlos Carbonell FL, Christopher Carolan NY, Bill Castellani DC, Steven Cayton GA, Jeffrey Caywood OH, Kevin Cheng CA, Luana Chilelli UT, Dawn Christensen NV, Jeff Coop WA, Thomas Cowley CA, John Cramer TX, Jeremy Davis TN, Fiona Dawson TX, Brad DiFiore GA, Candace DiGirolamo OH, Robert Dogens NC, Michael Dunning MO, Nikki Eason NC, Patty Ellis NY, Brian Endicott OH, Jill Federico CA, Michael Fifield UT, Steven Fisher CA, Brian Flanagan NJ, Randy Floyd NC, Tom Floyd CA, Donna Flynn TX, Jennifer Foster FL, Charles Frew GA, Patrick Gamble AZ, Jeffery Garofalo NV, Sepi Ghafouri CA, Krystal Gilliam TX, Madeline Goss NC, Amos Gott TN, Deb Graves MN, Cherie Green NC, Deb Guidry LA, Paul Guillory TX, Ron Guisinger OH, Jonathan Gundersen PA, Edward Guzek MN, C.M. Hall OR, Suzanne Hamilton OH , Jim Harrison TX, James Healey NV, Jason Held IL, Katie Hill TN, Ron Hirth OH, Ted Holmquist CA, Miranda Hooker MA, Brian Irwin TX, Deanne Jockish MO, Ajit Joshi DC, Eric Kenney CA, John Kerrigan TX, Sheila Kloefkorn AZ, Tom Kovach NV, Jason Lambert FL, John Leonard TX, Tedd Lesch CA, Billy Leslie TN, Ryan Levy TX, Char Ligo OH, Alex Lindquist CO, Michael Long OR, Raymond Manci CA, John Mancuso MO, John Marez CA, April Martin KS, M. Mason OH, Robert Mason CA, Keith McCoy IL, Sharlea McMurtry CO, Lori Megown NY, Beth Mejia MN, Andrew Melissinos CA, Ryan Messer OH, Gwen Migita NV, Patrick Miller LA, Tim Morneau CA, Kevin Moser WA, Dyshaun Muhammad MN, Christine Nelson MA, George Page TX, Joseph Palacios DC, Bryan Parsons NY, Darrell Parsons TX, Ed Patterson GA, Lester Perryman LA, John Piedrahita DC, Hank Provost CO, Anna Prow DC, Catherine Reid CA, Michael Reiser MO, Susan Reyes LA, Brian Rice CT, Wendy Ringe TX, Andy Rubinson MA, John Ruffier FL, Jonathan Russell GA, Terri Rutter MA, Minita Sanghvi NC, Creg Schumann MN, Jon Shaffer OH, Lynn Shepodd CA, Mark Shura MA, Molly Simmons GA, Ashley Smith VA, Corey Smith MN, Michael Smithson OH, LaRence Snowden TX, Steven Spencer-Steigner CA, Colte Suggs DC, Deb Taft MA, Dan Tanner FL, Donna Tarabella OR, Andrea Torrence MO, Marjorie Troxel-Hellmer MO, Ben Waldman WA, Willis Ward NC, Julie Watson MN, Pete Webb NY, Bill Weeks IL, Richard Welch MA, Edward Westreicher GA, Amy White WA, Sharon Wong MD, Julie Wood GA, Kathy Young AZ Foundation Board of Directors Lacey All WA, Gwen Baba CA, Bruce Bastian UT, Terry Bean OR, Ken Britt GA, Lee Carter NC, Dan Cochran NY, Edie Cofrin GA, Lawrie Demorest GA, Anne Fay TX, Sandra Hartness CA, Garry Kief CA, Andy Linsky CA, Hilary Rosen DC, Judy Shepard WY, Mary Snider DC
Photo: Jim Mone / AP
YOUR HEALTHCARE, YOUR RIGHTS Are you prepared in the event of an emergency? It’s not pleasant to think about, but you could end up in a situation where you are unable to make medical decisions or state who you want to visit you at the hospital.
Take steps to ensure that the people you choose may visit you and make medical decisions on your behalf by completing advance healthcare directives. It’s crucial to make sure those documents are available to you at all times — and they will be, if you use the services of DocuBank®, the nation’s largest electronic storage and access service for healthcare directives. When you store your healthcare documents with the company, you receive a customized card that makes them instantly available via automated fax or secure webpage. A special discounted rate for DocuBank’s services is now available for HRC members and supporters. See www.hrc.org/docubank.
CAREER BOOST FOR TRANSGENDER WORKERS Many transgender people face huge obstacles in the workplace. In 38 states, it is still legal to fire someone just for being transgender. And in the last year, nearly half of transgender people surveyed reported being fired, not hired
The number of immigrants who received free legal counsel and assistance in applying for U.S. citizenship at a recent Ya Es Hora workshop in Las Vegas, organized by the Human Rights Campaign, Harrah’s Entertainment and 16 other organizations. Nationwide, the Ya Es Hora campaign has assisted more than 1.4 million permanent legal residents in applying for U.S. citizenship.
or denied a promotion, according to a 2009 survey by National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In response, the Human Rights Campaign, in partnership with Atlanta-based Career Beginnings Inc., a trans-owned career development agency, is offering two-day workshops to unemployed and underemployed transgender people in three major cities.
The workshops will help attendees define career-focused objectives, create and update resumes, and develop networking and interviewing skills. The first 30 people who sign up for the workshop in each city will receive personalized services after the workshop, free of charge. To find out more or to sign up for the workshop, visit www.hrc.org/backtowork.
Her HRC: One Celebration. One Weekend. For Women. Save the dates: Jan. 15–16, 2011. Join thousands of women across the country and the Human Rights Campaign for one weekend to celebrate women. HRC Steering Committees from coast to coast will host 30-plus special events specifically designed to unite women and engage them in our fight for equality. To learn more about how to volunteer, support, help plan or attend, please visit www.hrc.org/herhrc.
American Airlines is proud to support the community that supports us. That’s why we’re the ﬁrst and only airline to score 100% on the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index every year since 2001.
AmericanAirlines, We know why you ﬂy, AA.com and AA.com/rainbow are marks of American Airlines, Inc. oneworld is a mark of the oneworld Alliance, LLC.
EQUALITY: THE NEXT GENERATION Queer college students across the country are already taking on leadership roles in the fight for equality. For the second year in a row, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has awarded $2,000 scholarships to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied student activists as they pursue their goals both in the classroom and in their push for LGBT rights. Three students received a GenEQ scholarship for the 2010–2011 school year: Ernesto Dominguez, who is beginning his first year of school at Portland Community College (Ore.), was founder and president of the gay-straight alliance at his high school, youth leader at Portland’s Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, New Roots Fellow at
Come Out and Celebrate! National Coming Out Day — which has its roots in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on Oct. 11, 1987 — is an opportunity for people to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or as a straight ally. Thousands of people across the country mark National Coming Out Day every Oct. 11 by attending workshops, rallies and other events.
Basic Rights Oregon, member of The Trevor Project’s Youth Advisory Council, and leadership board member of the National Latino AIDS Action Network, among many other local and national activities on LGBT issues; Kevin Hatcher, a senior at Georgia’s Emory University, serves on the advisory committee for Emory’s Center for LGBT Life and on the Georgia Gay & Bisexual Men’s Task Force for HIV Prevention and Planning; and Paul Saltz, a returning second-year student at Columbus State Community College (Ohio), helped found the gay-straight alliance at his campus and coordinated the school’s firstever Day of Silence event this past spring. Additionally, Charles Girard received the GenEQ Honorary Mention and a $500 award. Girard is in his third year at University of Mary Washington (Va.). He serves on the executive committee of UMW’s PRISM and is co-founder and current president of the Gender-Neutral Housing Project on campus.
To find out about events in your area or for more information about how you can celebrate National Coming Out Day, visit www.hrc.org/ coming_out_day_2010.htm or www.facebook. com/humanrightscampaign The Human Rights Campaign offers a number of resource guides for those people who are considering coming out to someone. To download or request a free copy, visit www.hrc.org/ comingout.
A VOICE FOR PRO-EQUALITY CATHOLICS American Catholics are among the strongest supporters of equality of any religious group in the United States. Yet too often, the official voice of the Church has run counter to the feelings of supportive Catholics — and, some argue, the social justice teachings of the Roman Catholic faith — when it comes to issues of equality and freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. This growing divide between lay Catholics and the Church hierarchy prompted Human Rights Campaign members Fr. Joe Palacios and Phil Attey to launch Catholics for Equality. The organization, which was founded with seed support from HRC’s Religion and Faith Program, seeks to empower pro-equality Catholics to put their faith into action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families. Visit www.catholicsforequality.org for more.
The number of followers of the Human Rights Campaign on Facebook. Stay in touch with other HRC members and supporters by “liking” HRC on Facebook — and get breaking news and information about the fight for equality. Visit www.facebook. com/humanrightscampaign for more.
All Children-All Families reaches Milestone Great news for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families — more and more adoption and foster care agencies are embracing inclusive policies. Seattle-based Casey Family Programs recently became the 50th organization to sign the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s All
Children-All Families Pledge of Commitment, which signals an agency’s desire to evaluate and update its policies to reflect that all potential qualified parents — regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or marital status — be given equal consideration for foster parenting or adoption opportunities.
When an agency achieves each of the 10 benchmarks outlined in the ACAF process, it is awarded the ACAF Agency Seal of Recognition. Currently, nine agencies have achieved the seal. For more information on the ACAF initiative or to find a welcoming agency near you, visit www. hrc.org/acaf.
REPEALING ‘DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL’
BUILDING A BROAD COALITION OF SUPPORT The fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is continuing. Last month, a Republican filibuster blocked debate in the U.S. Senate on the National Defense Authorization Act, to which the repeal of the military’s discriminatory law is attached. To be sure, the vote was a setback for military readiness and national security in this country. But the Human Rights Campaign firmly believes that repeal of the military’s ban on openly lesbian and gay service members can and must get done in 2010. Following the Senate vote, HRC released a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, calling on him not to appeal a recent federal district court decision that ruled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” unconstitutional. Additionally, HRC is calling on its members and supporters to petition Holder to decline to appeal the case. “We still have a fighting chance to repeal DADT through congressional action, but in the meantime, the best interests of our men and women in uniform — as well as the country — are served by doing everything we can do to get rid of this discriminatory law,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We expect the Justice Department to recognize the overwhelming evidence that proves DADT is unconstitutional.”
Since it was signed into law 17 years ago, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been responsible for the discharge of more than 14,000 qualified members of the military. These have included service members with skills deemed critical by the Pentagon, including hundreds of Arabic linguists, trained medical and warfare specialists and more. Throughout this time, HRC has worked tirelessly to get Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In 2007, HRC launched the “Legacy of Service” tour in collaboration with Servicemembers United to share the stories of lesbian, gay and straight veterans who served under the law. The tour made 50 stops across the country and, along the way, amassed an overwhelming amount of local and national media attention, including coverage in the military itself. After another national tour in 2009, HRC stepped up its efforts even more by launching the “Repeal DADT Now” campaign in February 2010. This campaign continued to increase public education about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” while also mobilizing American citizens to exert political pressure on our nation’s elected officials. HRC partnered with other key groups — including Center for American Progress, Servicemembers United and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network — and sent 24 field organizers to the key swing states of Florida,
‘Nay’ to Ending Discrimination In late September, 43 U.S. senators stood in the path of ending the ban on openly lesbian and gay service members in the Armed Forces. The following senators blocked debate on a Defense Department spending bill that included a provision allowing for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
EQUALITY fall 2010
Indiana, Nebraska, Virginia, West Virginia and Massachusetts to mobilize support on the ground. Understanding that veterans serve as the most credible voices in this fight, HRC mobilized more than 10,000 U.S. veterans to speak out for repeal of the law. It brought more than 300 of them to Capitol Hill to lobby for repeal on Veterans Lobby Day. In May 2010, the Senate Armed Services Committee adopted language to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the National Defense Authorization Act. The U.S. House of Representatives followed suit, voting 234-194 in support of repeal. Following this victory, HRC launched a nationwide push to organize veterans, generate media coverage and target key states critical to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. Ahead of the Senate vote on the issue, HRC had expanded its field work to Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, Virginia, New Hampshire, Montana, the Dakotas, Arkansas and Nevada. Through local, regional and national efforts, it had also gathered thousands of postcards, petition signatures and handwritten letters — and prompted hundreds more phone calls — in support of repeal. HRC’s work toward repeal will continue in anticipation of another Senate vote after the November elections.
Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. Bob Bennett, R-Utah Kit Bond, R-Mo. Scott Brown, R-Mass. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. Jim Bunning, R-Ky. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. Susan Collins, R-Maine Bob Corker, R-Tenn. John Cornyn, R-Texas Mike Crapo, R-Idaho Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
By the Numbers
HRC’s Work to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
Number of e-mails generated that urge members of Congress to support repeal
Number of pro-repeal veterans mobilized
Number of stops on the Voices of Honor tour, which was organized in partnership with Servicemembers United. During tour stops, straight service members and lesbian and gay military veterans spoke out for the prompt repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Number of pro-repeal handwritten communications gathered by HRC and sent to Congress
Number of grassroots lobby visits, both in Washington, D.C., and in-district
John Ensign, R-Nev. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa Judd Gregg, R-N.H. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas James Inhofe, R-Okla.
Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. Mike Johanns, R-Neb. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. George LeMieux, R-Fla. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. John McCain, R-Ariz. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Number of HRC staff members on the ground in six priority states with senators who were identified as key votes on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Four of these six senators voted to support repeal.
Mark Pryor, D-Ark. Harry Reid, D-Nev. * James Risch, R-Idaho Pat Roberts, R-Kan. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine John Thune, R-S.D.
David Vitter, R-La. George Voinovich, R-Ohio Roger Wicker, R-Miss. * Reid, the Senate majority leader, voted “no” in a tactic that leaves him the option to bring up the bill for another vote. He is an outspoken advocate of repeal.
Reach for the stars Since inception of our Diversity & Inclusion initiative in 1994, Deloitte has recognized that the strength we gain from the diversity of our talent fuels our growth. Our people are encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work, which allows for more creativity and better collaboration, enhancing the success of our teams, our inclusive environment, and the careers of all our professionals. To see how we help them reach for their own unique stars, visit www.deloitte.com/us/diversity
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Copyright © 2010 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved. Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Four Questions for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy In the past few years, Rep. Patrick Murphy has emerged as one of the most vocal and visible allies for equality in the U.S. Congress. In 2009, the Pennsylvania Democrat stepped up as the lead sponsor in the U.S. House of Representatives of the bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory law that prohibits openly lesbian and gay people from serving in the U.S. military. As a veteran — and an Iraq war veteran, at that — and a congressman, his advocacy has been particularly compelling. Time and again, Murphy has spoken from the heart about his support for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — on the House floor, in the mainstream media and on the Voices of Honor tour, which was co-organized by the Human Rights Campaign and provided lesbian, gay and straight veterans the opportunity to speak out for repeal.
Recently, Murphy spoke with Equality about his experience in Iraq, his words for LGBT service members who are still serving under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and being on the right side of history Equality: What motivated you to take a leadership role on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Rep. Murphy: When I served with the 82nd Airborne in Baghdad in 2003, I didn’t care about the sexual orientation of the men and women beside me. I cared if they could do their jobs, handle their M-16s, and help lead convoys down Ambush Alley. That’s what mattered.
Still, I saw highly qualified and competent troops get kicked out of the military solely because they were gay. It made no sense to me that — in the midst of fighting two wars and with our military stretched thin — we’d kick out infantrymen, pilots and even desperately needed Arabic translators.
Equality: What was your reaction when the House voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Rep. Murphy: I felt deeply grateful to the many individuals — within the military and without — who have dedicated years of their lives toward achieving that milestone. That vote was just another reminder that we are on the right side of history. And I felt a renewed commitment and sense of urgency toward getting full repeal over the finish line. Equality: What was your reaction when President Obama declared the end to combat operations in Iraq? You have supported this move for years. Rep. Murphy: Having served in Iraq in 2003
and 2004, I witnessed the failed Bush policies firsthand. I returned home and decided to run for office because I believed that we needed
Every American should have the same opportunity I did to serve our nation, and it’s my hope that soon they will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to do so. In May, the House voted 234-194 to repeal the ban. Legislative repeal stalled in the Senate in September, but HRC is adamant that it be brought to the floor for a vote again after November elections. (See pg. 8 for more.)
Not only was the policy outdated and discriminatory, losing these qualified and highly trained individuals was detrimental to our national security and a massive waste of 1.3 billion taxpayer dollars that had gone toward their training.
a change in foreign policy. We needed to wind down our operations in Iraq and refocus our efforts on going after the terrorists and al-Qaeda networks that attacked us on Sept. 11th — in Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan. But we cannot forget the 50,000 troops who remain in Iraq and continue to serve their country bravely and honorably. Equality: What do you say to LGBT service
Photo: Pat Ryan/HRC
members who are still serving under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Rep. Murphy: I thank them for their service and for bravely wearing the cloth of their country despite the added personal sacrifice that comes with it. Every American should have the same opportunity I did to serve our nation, and it’s my hope that soon they will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to do so.
Take pride in who you are...
...and where you are going.
You’ve got a vision, and there’s nothing that’s going to stop you. With your tenacity and our technology, you can accomplish anything. At Microsoft, we believe people are free to be themselves, and be amazingly successful at it. We applaud the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign to achieve equality around the globe.
EQUALITY fall 2010
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty
Momentum for Marriage Future of Wedding March at Stake in Elections It’s the question everyone’s asking: What’s going to be the next state to embrace marriage equality? Well, several states are poised to do so — but a lot is at stake in the elections this fall. The governor’s races in Minnesota and New York, as well as key legislative races in both states, will be crucial to winning marriage equality in these states, said Marty Rouse, the Human Rights Campaign’s national field director. There are likely enough votes to pass a marriage equality bill in the Minnesota Legislature, according to news reports, but a fair-minded governor is needed to sign it into law.
“Minnesota is pivotal in the march toward equal marriage rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans,” said Rouse. “It would deepen the roots of marriage equality, proving that it can be embraced all across middle America — not just on the coasts.” HRC is spreading the word about what’s at stake in this election for fair-minded Minnesotans. Two full-time field staff members are on the ground in an effort to mobilize LGBT voters, and HRC contributed a total of $150,000 to support state groups’ efforts to elect pro-equality candidates. Meanwhile, LGBT New Yorkers have gotten very close to realizing their dreams of marriage equality — only to have their hopes dashed by a few
state senators who blocked the legislation. It has been passed by the Assembly three times since 2007, but has stalled in the Senate. “We’re just a few votes shy of a pro-marriage equality majority in the New York Senate,” said Rouse. “If New York passes a marriage bill, it would double the number of LGBT Americans who have the right to marry.” HRC’s Campaign for New York Marriage has raised more than $150,000 to defeat state senators from both parties who voted against equality. A new HRC campaign, New Yorkers for Marriage Equality, features video testimonials from New continued on page 25
New Yorkers Say ‘I Do’ to Marriage Equality
Some very public people are sharing their very personal feelings about marriage equality in New York. Celebrities such as Julianne Moore, Kenneth Cole, Moby, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Fran Drescher and Kyra Sedgwick are speaking out to their fellow New Yorkers in a new
set of video ads by the Human Rights Campaign.
tion on a marriage equality bill in the near future.
“We all deserve the right to marry the person we love,” said Moore, a straight ally who recently starred as a lesbian mom in the critically acclaimed film, The Kids Are All Right.
“I’ve always believed in the power of matching pairs,” said Cole, a fashion designer who has collaborated with HRC on several exclusive T-shirts.
The new video campaign is laying the groundwork for legislative ac-
org/NY4marriage. View the videos instantly by scanning the Microsoft Tag below with your mobile phone. Get the free mobile application at www.gettag.mobi.
To view the videos or add your name to the chorus of voices for marriage equality, visit www.hrc.
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Palin, Part Two Outspoken bigot Christine O’Donnell Rises to Prominence in Delaware Christine O’Donnell, a rising star in the Republican party, is among the most virulent, anti-equality voices to emerge in America in quite some time. She won a decisive victory in the Delaware GOP primary and now has her eyes set on the U.S. Senate. O’Donnell has a long history of extremist views on everything from abortion rights to HIV/AIDS.
Photo: Rob Carr / AP
She has scored endorsements from ultraconservative figures, such as Sarah Palin and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., plus far-right groups such as the Tea Party Express network, the anti-abortion rights organization Susan B. Anthony List, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America.
As founder of Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth, a pro-abstinence group, she appeared on C-SPAN in 1997 and claimed, among other things, that AIDS is caused by people practicing a certain “lifestyle” that “brings about the disease,” and that the federal government has spent too much money on AIDS research. While serving as the press secretary for Concerned Women for America, O’Donnell bashed a decision by Coors Brewing Co. to extend health benefits to employees’ same-sex partners, saying that it “legitimizes the homosexual lifestyle.” She also called homosexuality an “identity disorder” in 2006.
Not surprisingly, the Human Rights Campaign vigorously endorses O’Donnell’s opponent, Democrat Chris Coons, for the Delaware Senate seat. A New Castle County executive, Coons is a steadfast supporter of equality who has pledged to be a voice for fairness in the Senate. “Chris Coons will serve as a strong antidote to the poisonous extremism of Christine O’Donnell,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “While Coons respects all families, O’Donnell’s stances go well beyond the debate over equality — they are crafted from lies that harm our children and our families.”
“People are created in God’s image. Homosexuality is an identity adopted through societal factors. It’s an identity disorder.”
“Our approach to AIDS, when you’re in a high-risk behavior, is to eliminate — Wilmington News Journal, 2006 interview with O’Donnell the consequences so that you can (actual quote did not appear in article) continue in your lifestyle which brings about this disease.” — C-SPAN, 1997 “I consider myself an authentic feminist. Not as defined by the modern movement. And, let me clarify that a little bit more. I was an English major, so break it down: -ist means one who celebrates. As a feminist, I celebrate my femininity.” — Americans for Prosperity’s RightOnline Conference, July 2010
a Conservative Resume
Press Secretary, Concerned Women for America
Republican nominee, candidate, U.S. Senate race, Delaware
Marketing Consultant, Republican National Committee
Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Intercollegiate Studies Institute (conservative publisher)
Head of Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth
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Rogues’ Gallery NOM’s key players, including founders, board members and consultants, have long histories of impeding the march toward equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
“Same-sex unions are not marriage. Same-sex marriage is not a civil right, it is a civil wrong.” — Brian Brown, President of NOM
Founding president Maggie Gallagher and current President Brian Brown are NOM’s most vocal and visible leaders. Gallagher has said polygamy is preferable to samesex marriage, while Brown likes to make the case that “same-sex marriage is not a civil right, it is a civil wrong.” More than a dozen other key players are profiled, including Board Chairman Emeritus Robert George, the co-author of the Federal Marriage Amendment, and Orson Scott Card, who represents the Mormon Church on NOM’s board and has advocated for the criminalization of homosexuality, according to People for the American Way.
It’s hard to know where to begin. The boast by the National Organization for Marriage about its prominent role in the Prop. 8 campaign in California in 2008? Its leaders admitting that much of its initial funding came from Catholic Church donors? Its role as the No. 1 financier of Maine’s ballot initiative in 2009, which invalidated the state’s new marriage equality law? Or its meteoric climb in fundraising and political electioneering during the country’s greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression? The truth is that in just a few short years, NOM has emerged as the No. 1 opponent of marriage equality, espousing tolerance while keeping company with longtime antagonists of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Religious Bonds NOM is believed to be largely funded by the Mormon and Catholic churches, and has deep ties to those organizations as well as to rightwing evangelical pastors and groups. In fact, NOM and the Portland Catholic Archdiocese contributed 83 percent of the money raised in Maine’s Question 1 battle. In California’s Prop. 8 campaign, nearly $16.5 million came from Mormons who donated $1,000 or more to www.ProtectMarriage.com — more than 50
EQUALITY fall 2010
percent of the funds raised. In fact, some media outlets referred to NOM as a “Mormon group” during the Prop. 8 debate. NOM Board Chair Robert George authored the Manhattan Declaration — a document denouncing marriage equality, civil unions and relationship recognition measures. The Declaration brought together a wide group of Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders who also opposed stem cell research.
What Ethics? NOM repeatedly insists that it does not have to comply with state campaign finance laws and claims that its contributors have been subject to threats and harassment. In reality, NOM remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for failing to register with the state as a ballot question committee and refusing to
disclose the donors to its campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009. This past June, the Maine Ethics Commission unanimously denied NOM’s latest request to dismiss the state investigation into the organization’s finances.
warning from Iowa’s state ethics agency. As part of its efforts to overturn a marriage equality ruling by the state Supreme Court, NOM asked its supporters to contribute to the Iowa campaign in a nationwide e-mail by saying, “… Best of all, NOM has the ability to protect donor identities.”
NOM has flouted its practices of evading state campaign finance laws, prompting a strong written
With the 2010 midterm elections upon us, NOM has also become a big player in state elections nationwide as it attempts to defeat friends of equality and replace them with candidates who oppose same-sex marriage and other measures of fairness. On top of it all, NOM is highly secretive, and has challenged campaign finance laws to stop voters from seeing its political donor base. That’s a snapshot of the genesis for an ambitious new project by the Human Rights Campaign, in collaboration with the Courage Campaign. NOM Exposed is an interactive new website that finally reveals the full picture of NOM, its leaders, allies and questionable underpinnings.
NOM wants the public to believe it’s a tolerant, reasonable group speaking for anyone who cares about marriage, family or faith. In truth, NOM more closely resembles a radical organization with deep ties to hateful anti-LGBT zealots. Working in collaboration with the Courage Campaign, HRC will continue to expose the lies of this organization and let the public know that NOM does not speak for most Americans. Take action today — sign HRC’s petition to tell lawmakers and the media that NOM doesn’t speak for you, at www.nomexposed.org.
Here’s a preview of what you’ll find when you explore the groundbreaking new site.
Follow the Money NOM went from raising $500,000 in 2007 to a goal of $10 million in 2010. Gallagher even bragged about raising $600,000 in just a few days to pay for ads and automated calls — part of a summer 2009 plan to defeat a marriage equality bill in New York. NOM’s expenditures have increased more than 16-fold in three years — from less than $500,000 in 2007 to $8,000,000 in 2009. The group works — and litigates — to keep its donors private. But NOM has acknowledged receiving funding from far-right organizations such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.
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Organizing for Change
At the Helm: Union Leader Mary Kay Henry
Photo: Fred Schilling
By Janice Hughes
Mary Kay Henry is among the most powerful people in Washington today. She is also considered one of the most brilliant organizers around. Henry, 52, is president of North America’s largest and fastest-growing union — the Service Employees International Union — and is openly gay. About 60 percent of SEIU’s 2.2 million members are female. Many are Latina and African-American, working in hospitals, nursing homes and home healthcare. In 2004, Henry led SEIU’s effort to put a resolution on marriage equality to a vote by 3,000 delegates at its annual convention, making it among the first unions to do so. The resolution passed, in large part due to the fact that Henry and other leaders urged delegates on both sides — for and against — to air their views fully. Henry also was a founder of SEIU’s lesbian and gay caucus, and has also spoken out strongly for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, calling for a country that
celebrates “hard work and competence, not an identity litmus test.” In May, she was elected to be SEIU’s president. On a recent morning, Henry sat down with Janice Hughes, HRC’s publications director, in her office at SEIU’s national headquarters in Washington’s Dupont Circle area — talking first about some pretty hectic mornings in Detroit a few decades ago with her nine brothers and sisters. Equality: Your organizing skills go way back — to your childhood? Henry: I remember there were things like getting the lunches packed before we had to get to the bus stop, and so the choice I had was to make them by myself or to get all these siblings to help me. It was a little micro-lesson about how it went faster and it was a lot more fun if there were more of us doing it.
lesbian? And what was your family’s reaction? Henry: Well it wasn’t in one day. It evolved. I would say it in was my second and third year in college. My siblings represented a range of reactions that is very common. Some said, “Well, yeah, we knew.” And others were very scared. There were two different reactions based on fear. Scared for me in terms of violence being done to me. Scared for themselves that something bad would happen to them because they had “one” in their family. It took several siblings years to move from tolerance to acceptance to returning to love. It was very hard for them. My parents, I would say, were role models. My parents were much more accepting than my siblings were. Equality: The SEIU was one of the first big unions to pass a resolution recognizing marriage equality. Henry: The fundamental point of unity for continued on page 21
Equality: When did you figure out you were a
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What’s next? ey.com
Mary Kay Henry cont’d from page 19
our members and leaders was that, as a labor movement, we believe in equal rights for everybody — that’s what a union contract does in the workplace. Overcoming religious differences was the biggest obstacle in the debate leading up to our convention… . Easily 80 percent of the delegates were against this thing based on religious difference … . I ended the debate, saying, “We respect one’s belief. And what I’m asking you — and this is hard for me as a Catholic, to separate the sacrament from the civil rights that it conveyed — that we want to protect and defend all workers.” So I tried to give the faith believers in the room an understanding of how it wasn’t a violation of faith to be for this resolution. There was then a voice vote. And there was a frickin’ roar — of “yes.” It moved our union profoundly. Equality: What should immigration reform look
like? Henry: We need to fix the entire system — and
so it has to be comprehensive reform. We want to establish a pathway to citizenship for the 15 million people living in the shadows. And we want to figure out a fair and just way to deal with enforcement. But primarily, we don’t believe we can rebuild the American economy, nor have workers participate fully in the recovery of our economy, unless we address immigration.
Henry: There’s something about the word “leader” that makes people feel, “That can’t be me.” The most important thing for organizers to do is to push people through that, in assuming their full power as leaders.
inequality. So if you want to give me an alternative way that we can lift up wages in this country and get America back to work again, then I’d be open to listening to your experience.” Equality: Do you usually convince people?
Equality: Your partner of 24 years — Paula
Macchello — is in union work, too. Where did you two meet?
Henry: Not in one conversation.
Henry: We met in Sacramento, in a picket line of patient care workers. I was driving the van and serving soup during the night shift, and she was the leader on the picket line that I drove up to, to serve the soup. That’s how we first met. Equality: The topic of unions draws strong reactions on both sides. What do you say to someone who has a negative viewpoint from the get-go? Henry: I would say, “Tell me about your experience with unions.” And then I would find out what it is … and then I would say, “I need you to consider that workers’ ability to form unions is the only way we can end wage stagnation and income
Equality: You’re known as a top-notch organizer. The Human Rights Campaign is very involved in organizing at the local and state levels, too. Any words of advice?
Photo: © Robert Durell
Henry: I think what the group thinks is always
much more transformative or better than what I think as an individual. And holding that out as an organizer and allowing people to think and participate at the highest level of their leadership is sort of the gift of organizing. Recently, for example, I went up to some family child care providers [who were convention delegates], asking them, “So, how long have you been a leader in our union?” And mostly — to a person — they would say, “Oh, no, Mary Kay. I’m not a leader. I’m just active.” These are people who have tremendous responsibility in their local organizations. They probably put hundreds of people on the street every political cycle… . Equality: They don’t see themselves as
Living in Fear being gay in uganda
photos by Tadej Znidarcic
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans often spend their lives in the shadows, hiding their true identities because homosexuality is illegal in the country. LGBT Ugandans are often the targets of abuse, violence, blackmail and more, and can face up to seven years in prison for engaging in “unnatural offenses.” An anti-homosexuality bill, introduced in 2009, would have made homosexuality an offense punishable by death and would punish anyone who failed to report LGBT people to the government. The bill, which sparked
“The bill has a lot of bad issues for everyone. If you don’t understand it or read it, you can support it. It doesn’t end with gay people. My relatives should report me within 24 hours. My doctor should report me. Everyone you consult with will have to report you. The bill will allow blackmailing. If I want money from you, I can report that you are gay. This affects everyone. People should expect a lot of chaos, blackmailing, fighting and killing. It will destroy families. We will be like in a prison, even if we are not taken there. I love my country, but how can I stay? My sexuality should not push me out of my country.”
EQUALITY fall 2010
an international uproar and was condemned by governments as well as human rights groups across the world, drew attention to the severity of homophobic sentiments and actions in Uganda Photographer Tadej Znidarcic recently traveled to Uganda to document the struggles faced by the LGBT people who live there. They shield their faces from the camera, for fear of being targeted by anti-LGBT extremists. Here are some of their stories.
“When the bill proposal came out, my family was at first worried since they should report me according to it. I told them to relax. The bill stressed me so much, and I just want to continue with my life. I will stay here. It is my home. I will fight it. A piece of paper will not take me abroad. I don’t want to stay here to be a hero, but it’s the only place [I know]. I love it so much.”
“I was in the papers so many times. They listed all the lesbians in Kampala, where they live. I get thrown out of many bars, so sometimes I don’t go out. Sometimes men in bars say, ‘We will rape you, beat you, gang rape you until you become sensible.’ It happens in bars when they want me, and I don’t respond to them.”
This affects everyone. People should expect a lot of chaos, blackmailing, fighting and killing. It will destroy families. We will be like in a prison, even if we are not taken there.”
“I was sexually harassed by colleagues at work. Every day I was leaving the office late. One evening a colleague stayed late in the office, pretending he has work. Then he started touching me. I told him I don’t like guys. At that time, some butch friends were coming for lunch regularly. Then there was a story in Red Pepper [newspaper] that I am dating one of them. I found photocopies of the article on the notice board at my work. I had heavy paranoia because of the attitude of people I worked with. One month after the article came out, I took sick leave. When I came back, they let me work one day, then they terminated me. Reason: ‘company restructure.’”
“I was arrested. The boda [motorcycle] guy asked me whether I was married. I said no, I love men, I don’t love women. He was interested; we exchanged numbers. We met the day after, and he took me on the boda. Then he said the fuel was finished, so I got off and there were policemen waiting. One slapped me. The one who was from my tribe said I was shaming them. He said he would call the media and put my picture in the newspaper. I got very scared. They took me to the police station. I had to write a statement that I wanted to sodomize the guy. I refused. They were humiliating and pushing me with the gun. They told me the guy wanted 1.5 million shillings. I had 15,000 in my wallet. They took it. I said I could raise only 300,000. It was money that I got to pay my brother’s school fees. I hired a special [taxi] and went to my place with two policemen. The driver and one policeman stood outside. I entered inside with a policeman and gave him the money. I was released at 3 a.m.”
“The problem is the way I dress. Everyone is asking, ‘Is that a boy or a girl?’ In clubs, when ladies can get in for free, they push us, tell us we are not ladies and that we have to pay. They scream: ‘Is she boy or a girl? Is that man or a woman?’ As a tomboy, everyone looks at you. “If I am gay and I am not disturbing other people, minding my own business, why would they take me to prison? We won’t be free, especially us tomboys. They can suspect we are gay and if the bill passes, anyone can tell the police. I will not change the way I dress, look. That’s me.”
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“If New York passes a marriage bill, it would double the number of LGBT Americans who have the right to marry.” Marriage cont’d from page 13
Yorkers who support the right of same-sex couples to marry. (See page 13 for more.) Rhode Island, Maryland, Oregon and Washington state will likely take up the issue in 2011 — and though marriage equality is the ultimate goal, states such as Colorado, Delaware, Illinois and Hawaii will soon take steps toward other forms of partnership recognition, said Rouse. “Over the past year, we have seen legislation to extend rights to our community senselessly vetoed by governors or delayed by anti-LGBT
legislators,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “This election season, we can sweep those roadblocks out of the way. With so little time left before the elections, every one of us has to get in there and fight.” Not to be overlooked is the importance of beating back discriminatory amendments that would ban marriage equality in states such as Indiana and Pennsylvania. The legislatures in these states are currently split — and if Republicans take control, we could soon see the start of the process to pass the ban, said Rouse.
In California, a federal judge ruled this summer that Prop. 8 — a constitutional amendment adopted by California voters in 2008 that stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry — violates the protections of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit put the judge’s decision on hold while they review his opinion. Oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit are set to begin on Dec. 6. For breaking news on the fight for marriage equality, visit www.hrcbackstory.org.
WHERE ARE YOU REGISTERED? “…because some things are more important than an espresso machine.” HRC’s Wedding Registry has been available since 2008, and it’s a magnet for both same-sex and straight couples who are ready to tie the knot, but don’t want or need any material gifts. Instead, these equality-conscious couples use the Wedding Registry to share their stories and support marriage equality through HRC’s work. The following is a sampling of the love stories featured online. We wish all the couples planning to marry many years of happiness and all the best with their celebrations. To read more stories of these or other couples, or to make a donation on their behalf, please visit www.hrc.org/weddingregistry. Here’s why these three couples chose to join the HRC Wedding Registry:
Latricia and Shakisha April 23, 2011 “We hope to soon have kids and continue our life journey together as a couple. We find that now, more than ever, is the time to say out loud that we are a proud gay couple. We are proud of who we are and where we have come from. We believe it’s our right to be counted and have the same rights as any other American couple. We are proud to use this time in our lives as a motivator to encourage others to donate to this cause. It’s just the right thing to do.” Joseph and Casey Oct. 2, 2010 “Among our most passionate of our shared interests is our commitment to equality for all people. We firmly and proudly believe that everyone deserves the assurance and security that marriage provides, and that marriage equality is a moral imperative.
On our wedding day, we hope to be surrounded by our most beloved family and friends. We have chosen to use our wedding as a vehicle to raise awareness and a few bucks for marriage equality, in order to show support for the cause we hold so dear, and for our many friends that do not currently have the right to marry. And, well, because some things are more important than an espresso machine.” Harun and Austin May 17, 2011 “We have never lived in a city that legally allowed same-sex marriage, though we hope someday New York will. We have been blessed in our lives and consider that we have all material things we need. We would like people to donate to HRC, which works very hard on our behalf. Hopefully, one day, we are allowed to marry each other in the city where we live.”
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1 HRC supporters Errin Fouquet and Kasey Dole work to elect pro-equality candidates in New York in the final hours of primary voting. 2 Illusionists/comedians Penn Jillette and Teller at the HRC Las Vegas Gala. 3 At a Ya Es Hora workshop in San Antonio, HRC members and supporters provided assistance to the immigrant community in their applications for U.S. citizenship. HRC has participated in Ya Es Hora workshops in at least 17 cities nationwide. 4 Rebecca Young, age 11, Pastor Cheri Holdridge and Laurie Cohen represent The Village Church at the first-ever pride parade in Toledo, Ohio. 5 HRC volunteer Tony Sandonato, left, with HRC spokesperson Mike Manning, a former cast member on MTV’s “The Real World.” 6 The HRC intern class of summer 2010 gathers in front of the national headquarters. 7 New York state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, D-Queens, with HRC Regional Field Director Sultan Shakir, shortly before Stavisky won a decisive victory in the primary election. 8 HRC’s Donna Payne speaks at the “Reclaiming the Dream” rally in Washington, D.C. The event celebrated the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963.
HRC’s Upcoming Gala Events San Francisco Gala, Oct. 23 • The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel / San Francisco • Co-Chairs: Melissa Morgan & Densil R. R. Porteous II • sfbayarea.hrc.org/dinner
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Photo credits: Event Pics Photography, David Contreras Turley
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Waste Management is a Fortune 200 company that is changing the world for the better. We are strongly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and empowering our employees. We are working with the communities we serve to fuel innovative changeâ€”and we need your help. www.wmcareers.com
From everyday collection to environmental protection. Think Green.ÂŽ Think Waste Management. www.thinkgreen.com
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