MOBILIZING FOR ENDA: ON THE GROUND
CITIES & STATES: WHERE WE’RE FIGHTING NOW
out OLYMPIANs: MEGAN RAPINOE & LORI LINDSEY
TRANSGENDER ACTIVISM: THE STORY OF A FAMILY
WIll Actions Follow
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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
BRIDGING THE GAP
my home state of Arkansas, right now the outlook seems a lot less hopeful. No employment protections. No anti-bullying laws. No adoption. And certainly no marriage equality. We have made transformative and unprecedented progress this year. Now, we’ve got to work harder than ever to unite these two Americas under a single banner of fairness and equality. Where you live should never determine the future you can achieve. And HRC is fighting at all levels — in communities, in state legislatures, in Congress, and on the steps of the Supreme Court — to ensure that full, national equality isn’t a question of “if,” but “when.” And I know that if you’re holding this magazine in your hands, you believe — like I do — that the answer to that question is “right now.” Sincerely,
Chad Griffin President P.S. Please help HRC keep pushing our movement closer to the day when full equality is a reality for all LGBT Americans in all 50 states. Thanks for your dedication and support.
Photo: Todd Franson
NOW, WE’VE GOT TO WORK HARDER THAN EVER TO UNITE THESE TWO AMERICAS UNDER A SINGLE BANNER OF FAIRNESS AND EQUALITY.”
or all the positive headlines we’ve seen in the past few months, you’d think the fight for LGBT equality was just about over. The IRS will now treat legally married gay and lesbian couples the same way it treats married straight couples. LGBT advocates stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the March on Washington alongside civil rights icons. And now, Pope Francis has sent a hopeful signal that the Catholic Church hierarchy may step back from a decades-long campaign against LGBT people in this country and around the world. But all of these positive headlines can sometimes hide the fact that we have an enormous amount of work still ahead of us. Here in the United States, for an LGBT person living in one of the dozens of states where even the most basic protections of the law are nonexistent, a story in the paper about equality’s progress somewhere else only does so much good. Today, we’re faced with a simple fact. Right now, this country is divided into two Americas when it comes to LGBT equality. In one America — while there is work left to do in classrooms, church pews and around dinner tables — full legal equality is nearly a reality. But in the other America, in states like
HRC SENIOR STAFF Chad Griffin President Michael Cole-Schwartz Communications Director Ann Crowley Membership & Online Strategy Director Robert Falk General Counsel Andrea Green Finance Director Allison Herwitt Vice President for Government Affairs Anastasia Khoo Marketing Director Don Kiser Creative Director
I NS I D E
Jeff Krehely Chief Foundation Officer Ana Ma Chief Operating Officer Brian Moulton Legal Director Cathy Nelson Vice President for Development & Membership Jim Rinefierd Vice President for Finance & Operations
Marty Rouse National Field Director Fred Sainz Vice President of Communications & Marketing Susanne Salkind Vice President of Human Resources & Leadership Development
8 Cover Story: Catholic Confusion What Are we to believe?
Christopher Speron Development Director Cuc Vu Chief Diversity Officer HRC EQUALITY STAFF Janice Hughes Publications Director Robert Villaflor Design Director Sarah Streyle Senior Graphic Design Specialist Jessie Sheffield Marketing Assistant
11 SHIFTING INTO HIGH GEAR FOR A BIPARTISAN VOTE ON ENDA
13 THE MCBRIDES a story of a family 16 In the Cities, In the States HRC Presses Ahead Across the Country
20 OUT & KICKIN’ OLYMPIANS MEGAN RAPINOE AND LORI LINDSEY are OUT FRONT AND FEARLESS
Photos (top to bottom): Suzi Brown, Judy G. Rolfe, Shane Bitney Crone, (at right) Malek Naz Freidouni
Jay Brown, Michael Cole-Schwartz, Alison Delpercio, Limor Finkel, Justin Giaquinto, Shannon Greenwood, Sharon Groves, Ellen Kahn, Cassidy Karakorn, Anastasia Khoo, Mollie Levin, Jason Lott, Adam Marquez, Rose Matias, Jeremy Pittman, Marty Rouse, Chris Speron, Hillary Wilk
23 BRIDEGROOM NEW FILM BREAKS RECORDS, CHANGES HEARTS
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 2013. 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.
27 MUSICIANS INSPIRE A NEW GENERATION FOR EQUALITY
In Every Issue
To join HRC, call 800-727-4723, visit www.hrc.org or TTY at 202-216-1572.
5 Up Front
Are you an HRC member? Have a question? HRC’s Member Services team, led by Dana Campbell, works every day to provide HRC’s more than 1 million members and supporters with the best membership experience possible. To contact Member Services, email 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.
31 Gala Events
National Corporate Sponsors
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 six 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.
www.google.com/diversity © 2012 Google Inc. All rights reserved. Google and the Google logo are trademarks of Google Inc
Board of Directors Lacey All WA, Bruce Bastian UT, Terry Bean OR, Vanessa Benavides TX, Les Bendtsen MN, Michael Berman DC, Paul Boskind TX, Wally Brewster IL, Chris Carolan NY, Bill Donius MO, Tim Downing OH, Anne Fay TX, Chris Flynn MA, Jody Gates LA, Kirk Hamill DC, LeeAnn Jones GA, Tom Knabel MN, Chris Labonte PA, Joan Lau PA, Joni Madison NC, Joshua Miller NV, Patrick Miller LA, Michael Palmer VA, Cathi Scalise TX, Linda Scaparotti CA, Meghan Stabler TX, Alan Uphold CA, Frank Woo CA, Lisa Zellner OH
Photo: Adrian Matanza
Foundation Board Gwen Baba CA, John Barry IL, Bruce Bastian UT, Terry Bean OR, Vanessa Benavides TX, Les Bendtsen MN, Deiadra Burns TX, Todd Canon TX, W. Lee Carter III NC, Edie Cofrin GA, Jane Daroff OH, Lawrie Demorest GA, Bill Donius MO, Anne Fay TX, Chris Flynn MA, Charlie Frew GA, Sandra Hartness CA, Sheila Kloefkorn AZ, Britt Kornmann TX, Joan Lau PA, Andy Linsky CA, Joshua Miller NV, Patrick Miller LA, Michael Palmer VA, Henry Robin NY, John Ruffier FL, Cathi Scalise TX, Judy Shepard WY, Faye Wilson Tate CO, Frank Woo CA Board of Governors Robert Abernathy IL, Steve Amend NV, Carl Andrews TX, Andrew Arnold CA, Karen Aronoff OH, Matthew Bacon MA, Jennifer Bajorek TX, Phillip Baker AZ, Vanessa Benavides TX, Jay Biles NC, Scott Bishop NC, Eric Blomquist NY, Doris Bobadilla LA, Ronna Bolante PA, Chris Boone WA, Brian Bourquin MA, Dawn Brown IL, Linda Brown OR, Brian Buzby TX, Rory Cahn OH, Nancy Caldwell TX, Frank Caliguri OH, Torey Carrick CA, Steven Cayton GA, Jeffrey Caywood OH, Dawn Christensen NV, Camille Cook TX, Jeffrey Coop WA, Angie Cottrell MO, Thomas Cowley CA, Dani Daley CA, Jamie Depelteau CA, Brad DiFiore GA, Candace DiGirolamo OH, Robert Dogens NC, Michael Dunning MO, Patty Ellis NY, Tamra English TX, Alexandra Ernst VA, Michael Fifield UT, Steve Fisher CA, Brian Flanagan NJ, Donna Flynn TX, Patrick Gamble AZ, Matt Garrett GA, Cherie Green NC, Melinda Greene GA, Deb Guidry LA, Ron Guisinger OH, Jonathan Gundersen PA, Mark Halsell TX, Suzanne Hamilton OH, Randall Hance TX, Jim Harrison TX, Jason Held IL, S. Kelly Herrick CA, Gary Hilbert NJ, Latoya Holman NV, Ted Holmquist CA, David Horowitz AZ, Tim Jenkins IL, Deanne Jockish MO, Dean Keppler WA, Kathrin Kersten TX, John Kim WA, Kyle Klatt IL, Kevin Knoblock MA, David Lahti CA, Jason Lambert FL, Jason Laney DC, Chris Lehtonen CA, Ryan Levy TX, Michael Dell Long OR, Jeff Marsocci NC, M. Mason OH, Bob Mason CA, Dan Mauney NC, Lori Megown NY, Andrew Melissinos CA, Patrick Miller, James Minor CA, Missy Morgan NV, DyShaun Muhammad MN, Derek Osterman MA, Bryan Parsons CA, Ed Patterson GA, Lester Perryman LA, Arouna Phommasouvanh MN, Steven Pospilsil MN, Hank Provost CO, Robb Puckett TX, Ron Quinn NV, Catherine Reid WA, Michael Reiser MO, Chad Reumann TX, John Rivers NY, Mario Rodas MA, Andy Rubinson MA, Jonathan Russell GA, Carmen Salgado CA, Cathy Sarky OH, Thearon Scurlock FL, Jon Shaffer OH, Mark Shura MA, Molly Simmons GA, JR Simon TN, Ashley Smith DC, Corey Smith MN, Michael Smithson OH, LaRence Snowden TX, David Steiman CA, Skye Stoulig LA, Dan Tanner FL, Timothy Thomas TX, Paul Thompson CA, Tiffany Tosh TX, Lauren Verrusio NY, Benjamin Waldman WA, Willis Ward NC, Melissa Warren LA, Daniel Weaver DC, Claudine Wessel AZ, Ed Westreicher GA, Amy White WA, Andrew Winters OH, Sharon Wong MD, Julie Wood GA CURRENT AS OF 6/31/2013
UP FRONT 210 Schools
20 States That’s where you will find Welcoming Schools this fall. Only two years ago, the HRC Foundation project was in 11 pilot schools in 3 states. In the last school year, Welcoming Schools staff and regional consultants also have led workshops at 35 professional conferences for educators and school administrators. The aim? To create a school climate that ends bullying and name-calling, avoids gender stereotyping and embraces family diversity. Learn more at www.welcomingschools.org.
LOVE IS LOVE! … Coupon giant Groupon recently released a YouTube video of Groupon employees, LGBT and allies alike, talking about why, in personal terms, they support marriage equality. In the video, the company and its employees urge the Illinois Legislature to pass S.B.10, a marriage equality bill. “Love is Love!” is the video’s refrain. Groupon, an early supporter of the bill, is a member of HRC’s national Business Council for Workplace Fairness.
Las Vegas, a pioneer outpost in the Mojave Desert, has always been a happening place. There were the Mormons, the miners, the railway, the Manhattan Project, legal gambling, over-the-top entertainment, on and on. It also was one of the first U.S. cities to fully embrace its LGBT residents and visitors, notes Latoya Holman of HRC’s National Board of Governors. Recently, the city’s iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign switched to rainbow colors, reported HRC Field Organizer Adrian Matanza in HRC’s blog — thanks to efforts by HRC Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Association of Pride, Inc. and city convention officials for the city’s 30th pride celebration.
“Over and over, people came to our tent, burst into tears, and said, ‘I’m so happy you’re here.’” — Excerpt from The Atlantic, quoting HRC Religion and Faith Director Sharon Groves (photo, p.3) about her staffing an HRC booth at an evangelical gathering in rural North Carolina. The article highlighted how a shift among people of faith is moving public opinion and changing gay Americans’ lives. Most religious Americans support gay rights, as polling by HRC and others has shown.
Proud to be as diverse as our customers
Bank of America thanks the Human Rights Campaign. At Bank of America, we stand with our people, knowing that our differences â€” in thought, style, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation and experience â€” allow us to make stronger connections. The Human Rights Campaign shares that belief and we congratulate them for the way they champion diversity, pride and equality. And we are proud to say, for the seventh year in a row, that Bank of America has scored 100% on
the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for supporting LGBT individuals and their families. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is helping us to create not only a great place to work, but also an environment where our employees, our customers and our communities around the world can reach their goals and connect with each other. www.bankofamerica.com/diversity
the hrc Building, Bayard Rustin, the March… and Fighting Bigotry Together
Photo: Chantal Dussuel
his year, HRC is toasting the 10th anniversary of its headquarters, a well-established presence in Washington for education, organizing and celebration. The eight-story building — sleek, contemporary, with a huge glass entryway and open spaces — is a beacon of hope and pride. Every day, people of all ages from across the country stop to take photos in front of the HRC logo. The building opened its doors in 2003 after HRC carried out a complete renovation and highly successful capital campaign. Bayard Rustin, the architect of the 1963 March on Washington and a key strategist in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s many campaigns for justice and equality, was honored recently by HRC on its front façade. HRC unfurled a 45-foot banner to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of the historic civil rights march and Rustin, an openly gay, African-American man. HRC also co-sponsored a march and rally at the National Mall, attended by tens of thousands and hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Martin Luther King III and the NAACP. Alongside a roster of several nationally known leaders, HRC’s Donna Payne and Rev. MacArthur Flournoy spoke in front of the Lincoln Memorial, highlighting the importance of fighting a united front against bigotry. “It’s not enough that we stand tall, but we stand together,” said Flournoy, who also appeared on an MSNBC panel about the growing inclusion of LGBT equality as a part of the civil rights conversation. Additionally, HRC hosted a panel discussion and film at the HRC building to honor Rustin’s legacy.
Overheard at the Lemonade Stand
In a major study, men having sex with men who took “PrEP” medication were at least 44% less likely to get HIV infection than men who didn’t take the medication. “PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and some believe that its use — along with condoms, testing, and risk reduction counseling — could significantly reduce HIV infection and transmission. To learn more about PrEP and whether it’s right for you, talk with a healthcare provider knowledgeable about HIV or visit www.cdc. gov/hiv/basics/prep.html.
Thirsty Neighbor: What is HRC? Sam, age 11: The Human Rights Campaign. … It’s an organization focused on equality for all, including equal marriage rights. TN: But doesn’t everyone have the right to get married now? S: Yes, kinda. Now it is up to the states, and too many states will never vote yes. So, we still have a lot of work to do. TN: Thanks, and here is an extra tip. Great cause! — A conversation at the lemonade stand (and bake sale) set up by Sam, 11; Ella, 9; and friends in front of their house in Manlius, in upstate New York. (They raised $160 for HRC.) As recorded by a proud mom.
CATHOLIC C What Are We to Believe? By Sharon Groves
Pope Francis recently made headlines when he articulated a vision for the Roman Catholic Church that calls on its leaders to return to the core teaching of Christianity “the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” The Gospel asks us not to judge and Pope Francis told us we should not only refrain from judging priests but all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
s the leader of the Catholic Church and a symbolic leader for many people of faith across the globe, Pope Francis’ words were met by many with great joy and thanksgiving. Pro-LGBT Catholics have been living in a spiritual wilderness watching the faith they love cause harm to the people they love. Indeed, 71% of lay Catholics in the United States say that homosexuality should be accepted by society. For them, this new Pope seems to be ushering in a new day of reconciliation. Are they mistaken?
A few days after the Pope’s uplifting interview, news came out that the Vatican had excommunicated a priest because of his support for women’s ordination and marriage equality. The timing of this incident is important. While reported much later, the incident took place early in the Pope’s papacy and likely the process began under Pope Benedict. Questions remain unanswered: How directive was this Pope in the excommunication? What were the exact reasons for the action? Were there extenuating circumstances that have not yet come to light?
What we do know is that people of faith, especially Catholics, deserve an explanation. Over the years, they have had to watch the hierarchy become increasingly intolerant of LGBT people in the priesthood and in the pews. As Professor William Dohar of Santa Clara University recently quipped, “Judgment of gay people has been categorical and negative ever since ‘homosexual’ made its way into the Vatican lexicon fifty years ago.” Indeed, the vast majority of Bishops refused to speak in support of the Pope’s recent remarks and many argued against them.
Photos: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
In the United States, Catholic church leaders have been far from silent on LGBT equality. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently wrote members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, outlining their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Also, church leaders were the second largest donors in the fight against marriage equality last fall, investing nearly $2 million in the failed attempts to write discrimination into the
Minnesota constitution and stem marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington. Given the enormous anti-LGBT machinery working within the Catholic hierarchy — machinery that has caused eight people in the U.S. to be fired just this year from Catholic schools and institutions — it is not surprising that there would be bumps on the road to full inclusion. Indeed, we see these bumps in Pope Francis’ own history. In 2010, as Argentines were considering a law in support of marriage equality, Pope Francis — then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio — wrote “the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children” were at stake and called the law “destructive to God’s plan.” As the measure was discussed among Argentine bishops, Cardinal Bergoglio suggested civil unions as a compromise and the “lesser of two evils.” But priests who supported the marriage equality measure were reprimanded — and at least one was suspended. When the law passed, some note that the Church took a more welcoming approach and the Argentinian hierarchy returned its focus to more familiar Jesuit issues, like assisting the poor and sick. Fast forward to July 2013 when Pope Francis answered a question about gay priests
M + 29 71
of lay Catholics in the United States say that homosexuality should be accepted by society.
with “Who am I to judge” and then expanded and clarified recently to include all Catholics. The excommunication of Father Greg Reynolds, a Catholic priest in Australia and outspoken supporter of marriage equality and women’s ordination, was the latest twist in the story. Father Reynolds’ Archbishop cited actions that were “contrary to the teaching of the church” as the reason for his excommunication. Reynolds had expected to be sanctioned by the Church for his LGBT-supportive actions, but he hadn’t expected excommunication. The Pope — like all leaders — should be judged by both his words and actions. On the one hand, it seems LGBT and allied Catholics may be radically more welcomed by the Church today than they were under Pope Benedict XVI. But it also seems as if antiLGBT dogma hasn’t changed. The potential to have an LGBT-accepting and affirming Catholic Church is stronger than it has ever been in modern times. But the path forward is shrouded in questions. The Catholic laity deserves answers. It appears right now the work to uncover them is only just beginning. Groves is the director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program. See www.hrc.org/religion for more.
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shifting into High Gear for a
Bipartisan Vote on ENDA
Photo: Jason E. Miczek / AP
he Human Rights Campaign is a leading partner in an intensive, bipartisan campaign to pass the historic Employment NonDiscrimination Act in the U.S. Senate. In July, HRC and a coalition of diverse groups launched the $2 million effort to mobilize support for ENDA in the Senate, among Republicans and Democrats alike. A vote is widely expected this fall on ENDA, a federal bill that bans workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. A “war room” for the campaign, Americans for Workplace Opportunity, has been set up at HRC headquarters in Washington to coordinate field organizing, research, polling and media outreach — similar to the successful model brought together by various groups as the Supreme Court considered the two marriage equality cases and also during our successful “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal campaign. “We’re building the strongest campaign on ENDA this country has ever seen,” says HRC Deputy Field Director Jeremy Pittman. “With this level of investment and effort, we can get this passed.” In mid-July, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the bill in a 15-7 bipartisan vote. Three Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Orrin Hatch of Utah, voted for the measure. “If you listen to the folks back home, this is important to them,” Murkowski told reporters after the hearing. She said she re-
ceived more than 1,170 postcards in support Workplace Project. HRC’s Business Council of ENDA from constituents around her state. for Workplace Fairness — a group of leading A key goal of the campaign is to identify U.S. employers that support ENDA — keeps and mobilize voters in nearly a dozen states growing: HRC President Chad Griffin anto press their lawmakers, on both sides of nounced that a record 100 major employers the aisle, to vote in favor of the bill. In Arizona, are members of the council. Recent signers for example, the campaign is mobilizing HRC include Procter & Gamble, General Electric members and others to contact Republican and Hilton Worldwide. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake to vote “This country still needs a federal stanfor fairness. In Pennsylvania, the focus is on dard that treats employees the same way,” Sen. Pat Toomey, another Republican. The campaign has Support for Workplace Protections: launched grassroots efDemocrats 85% forts in seven top priority Independents states: Arizona, Arkansas, 78% Nevada, New Hampshire, Observant Christians 77% Ohio, Pennsylvania and Deep South Residents 72% West Virginia. And there is significant work in other Republicans 70% key states as well. Matt Seniors 69% McTighe, who successfully Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, December 2011 led the effort to bring marriage equality to Maine, is the campaign manager. said Griffin. In the meantime, a patchwork of A number of companies are speaking state-level laws are in place — or not. Twentyout for ENDA, too. For years, the private secnine states lack state-level protections that tor has been ahead of the federal governexplicitly bar discrimination based on sexual ment on this issue. Nearly 90 percent of the orientation. And 33 states lack such protecFortune 500 companies have implemented tions with regard to gender identity. non-discrimination policies that cover sexual Most Capitol Hill observers agree that orientation; 57 percent have policies that there is considerable momentum for Senate cover sexual identity — thanks in no small passage this fall. Further, a strong bipartisan part to relationships forged by the HRC vote there could put pressure for members of both parties in the House of Representatives to send the bill to the president’s desk. Those involved in the campaign are the ACLU, the American Federation of Teachers, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the American Unity Fund, Communications Workers of America, Gill Action, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Service Employees International Union.
Photos: Judy G. Rolfe for HRC
sarah mcbride couldn’t sleep for six days before coming out as transgender to her family over her college winter break last year. …
arah needn’t have worried. Both her two older brothers and her parents were supportive. Well, as it turns out, especially her parents. A few months later, in fact, Dave and Sally McBride, alongside Sarah, took on very public roles in testifying at the statehouse and lobbying legislators in Delaware, where they live, to add the gender identity protection to the state’s non-discrimination law. Day in and day out, they worked closely with Equality Delaware and the Human Rights Campaign to persuade lawmakers in both houses to make the state “a place that is welcome and safe for all,” as Sally McBride says. The McBrides — special guests at HRC’s recent 2013 National Dinner —
spoke with Michael Cole-Schwartz, HRC’s communications director, at their home in Wilmington. Excerpts follow. Why are LGBT issues so important to your family? Dave: I see this through the obvious lens of a parent. I always wanted my children to marry and have families, and after we found out about our oldest son, Sean, who is gay, and then we found out about Sarah, I felt just the same. My hopes for them hadn’t really changed. … Sarah: As a family, we wanted to show the legislature, and the public, that transgender people are people, that they have friends and families just like everyone else. They have hopes and dreams just like everyone else.
That’s how things change — by creating that connection, showing those common points and those common values and those common experiences. … Sally: Every transgender child — every transgender person is someone’s child, someone’s brother, someone’s sister. As a parent, every parent, all they want for their child is for them to feel happy, fulfilled and safe. And certainly not to have to experience discrimination and to be able to accomplish their hopes and dreams. We told Sarah right from the beginning, when she came out to us as transgender, that we would be right beside her every step of the way. We knew the reason she got into politics was because she continued on p. 15
McBrides con't from p. 13 wanted to be a voice for people who didn’t have a voice. We told her that we would follow her if that’s the role she wanted to take on, and help make a difference for her and all transgender people in Delaware. It’s one thing to be supportive of your family. It’s another to testify at hearings and be put in the spotlight. Why do so? Sally: To pass the Transgender NonDiscrimination Bill was critical for our daughter … because we knew how important it was for her to come back to Delaware, for her to have a future here. … It was really critical that we be behind her, and she has been so brave and so confident and so accomplished. It’s because we love her so much that we decided to follow whatever lead she took. … So it wasn’t bravery on our part, it was our love for her and our desire for her to come home without fear. I want all my kids back here with us! Dave: I told this story when we were testifying before the Senate because I didn’t think people appreciated how great the discrimination was. The day that Sarah came out to us, I went on Google and Googled “transgender.” … The thing that most terrified me is that I read the statistics of the percentage of transgender people that commit suicide — about 40 percent. I couldn’t believe it. Then I read that attempted suicide percentages went down if the family accepted the child and
went down further if the community did. And it occurred to me that … if we wanted other people to accept and respect Sarah, we had to accept and respect Sarah, and we had to do it, if not publicly, at least obviously so that people could see that we did.
by their merits and what’s in their hearts and what’s in their minds. … We educated ourselves and our friends. And the support from our church, our friends, the Delaware community, the Delaware political community, blew us away.
Sarah: My mom said that they weren’t brave, that I was brave. I think they were the brave ones. I’m just going up and talking about myself. They were the parents that were doing something that so many families aren’t willing to do. From the perspective of our family and also a societal perspective, if a family like ours, which has so many privileges and so many blessings in our lives, if we’re not willing to step up and talk about our experience and help fight for the communities that we’re a part of, then who will?
Dave: Back in the ’90s, a corporate lawyer I worked with in Washington and New York asked me if I would represent an amicus in a gay rights case that was on appeals in the D.C. circuit about a midshipman who had been thrown out of the U.S. Naval Academy, one of the top performers in the history of the Naval Academy. He had been thrown out when he truthfully answered, when he was asked on his honor as an officer and a gentleman, “Are you gay?” and he said “Yes,” and they threw him out. I had worked on that case, and one of my partners — who was not particularly conservative — asked me with some skepticism when the case was over, “Why’d you agree to work on that case?” And this was when our children were 11 and 12 years old, and I had no idea what was in store for our family. I thought about it and I said, “I guess I just asked myself, if my children turned out to be gay, how would I want the world to be for them?” The irony of ironies is that one of my children turned out to be gay and one turned out to be transgender. I would just ask every parent, “If it was your children, if it was your child who came to you one day and said ‘I’m gay’ or ‘I’m transgender,’ what kind of world would you want them to be in? …”
Dave: One thing I learned from this is that if everybody has just a little bit of courage, then nobody has to be a hero. I’ve got to say, if our friends hadn’t been as supportive of us as they were when we first told them about Sarah, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to do what we did. It’s thanks to our friends and their support — and that was a result of the cultural change that groups like HRC have been involved in for so many years and so many people who really did have courage. Sally: It was so critical for us to make sure that Shawn and Sarah were not just defined by being gay and transgender — that they were defined by who they are and defined
In the Cities, In the States
HRC Presses Ahead A By Jeremy Pittman
t has been a stellar year for equality in states and cities across the country.
In rapid succession, lawmakers have done the right thing — passing marriage equality laws in Delaware, Minnesota and Rhode Island, and adding gender identity and expression to nondiscrimination laws in Delaware. Just recently, city councilors in San Antonio, Texas — despite opposition from the religious right — passed a broad nondiscrimination ordinance that bars discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing and public accommodations, and in city employment and contracting. San Antonio is one of the country’s biggest cities — the seventh most populous U.S. city, with a population greater than ten states. In each campaign, HRC was on the ground early, says HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. HRC worked to bring together advocates and coalition partners, investing in field organizing and faith-based outreach, providing technical assistance, and mobilizing HRC members and supporters to take action. But there are more victories to be won this year. “It is these fights, at the state and local level, that will move the ball forward for equality in the foreseeable future,” Rouse says. “HRC is more than ready.” In San Antonio, for example, HRC was involved since December 2012 — working closely with a local LGBT coalition, CAUSA, and partnering with Equality Texas to hire staff on the ground to help with the coalition effort. HRC was the only national group to send staff and help fund the work, countering efforts by
national right-wing groups (energized initially by a small group of evangelicals), who argued the non-discrimination ordinance would diminish freedom of speech and religion. State and federal elected officials also spoke out against it as a way to fortify their ultraconservative credentials in advance of upcoming elections. Even Fox News jumped repeatedly into the fray. In the end, the city council voted 8-3 for the measure, and rising star Mayor Julian Castro strongly supported the ordinance, drawing national attention.
City-level victories are key, says Karin Quimby, HRC’s southern regional field director, who worked closely in San Antonio with the mayor’s staff and CAUSA. “Success like this, at the city level, helps build momentum for statewide measures. And importantly, once the city-level measures are passed, the measures immediately provide protection to LGBT residents in the city until we have statewide wins,” she says. There are more critical battles directly ahead, notes Rouse. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called a special session of the state legislature to consider a marriage equality bill. HRC has put organizers on the ground in the Aloha State to work with Equality Hawaii and other local partners to prepare for the special session set to begin on October 28th. Lawmakers in Illinois are also poised to take up marriage equality legislation again later this year. HRC is a key part of the Illinois Unites for Marriage campaign, with nearly a dozen organizers working to secure the votes required to push marriage over the finish line.
In New Jersey, HRC has deployed organizers and invested in the New Jersey United for Marriage campaign that is working to gain support for a marriage equality law that was passed by the legislature but vetoed by the governor. Legislators have until early next year to consider a veto override. Looking further ahead, advocates in Oregon are working to put marriage equality on the November 2014 ballot to be the first state to win a vote to repeal a constitutional amendment excluding samesex couples from marriage. HRC is working with state and local partners on the Oregon campaign and on similar marriage efforts that are being considered or are under way in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio that could result in marriage votes in 2014 or 2016. Meanwhile, supporters of equality will have to defend against anti-marriage efforts in Indiana. Anti-equality activists in the Hoosier State are trying to put a constitutional ban on marriage equality on the 2014 ballot. HRC is working with Freedom Indiana to put pressure on state lawmakers to keep the proposed amendment off the ballot. Critical campaigns to pass or expand non-discrimination laws also will be heating up. Pro-equality lawmakers across the country are looking to make more progress on non-discrimination laws, including in cities like Jacksonville, Fla., and states like New York and Maryland where current laws do not protect all members of the LGBT community. Pittman is HRC’s deputy field director.
it is these fights, at the state and local level, that will move the ball forward for equality in the foreseeable future,” Rouse says. “HRC is more than ready.” 16
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Out & K
Olympians Megan R apinoe and Lori
Olympic soccer players Megan Rapinoe and Lori Lindsey are openly gay and best friends. And, as you can guess, they’re competitive on the field and off. They even joke about who came out of the closet first. The two are almost giddy, in fact, about being role models. And especially since winning the gold in London last year, the two have been celebrities of sorts — in the media, on YouTube or surrounded by a crush of fans after their games. One recent afternoon, when both were in Washington, D.C., for a game — Rapinoe plays for the Seattle Reign and Lindsey for the Washington Spirit, in the National Women’s Soccer League — they stopped by the Human Rights Campaign for a romp of a photo shoot in HRC’s media center. Excerpts of an interview follow.
Lindsey: My parents have always taught me to stand up and be proud of who I am. As a professional athlete, I feel I have a responsibility to speak out and be truthful about it. Equality is a right. … Meg and I have a wonderful platform to be vocal and help push those rights along.
Lori Lindsey >>
What are your thoughts about the Winter Olympics? Rapinoe: The news coming out about Russia, the new laws and the Sochi games are both very sad and frustrating. These laws are in direct violation of the Olympic Charter. I think initially much more pressure could have been put on the Russian government by the IOC and Olympic sponsors that, I believe, would have helped and possibly curbed the passing of these laws. It is scary,
Photos: Malek Naz Freidouni for HRC
You’ve both been quite active lately in the fight for LGBT equality. Rapinoe: Equality is a human right. And for a country like America that touts being the land of freedom for all … until we are there, we have work to do. I don’t have all the rights that my straight teammates have. And for me that is unacceptable. I think as more people come out and as more people support LBGTQ people, the easier this fight will become. It normalizes the issue. Makes it visible for all people, including kids in small-town America who may not have role models. It teaches tolerance.
ori Lindsey — Out Front and Fearless not for the athletes so much as I do not think they will be the ones most affected, but for the citizens and LBGTQ people there now and the ones there after the games. Lindsey: It’s sad because when we think of the Olympics, we think of all nations coming together, competing and sharing their love of sport despite race, gender, ethnicity. This takes away from all of that. …I would like the IOC to step in and take more action. Both of you competed in the Olympics. How would it be, do you suppose, to be heading to Russia to compete as openly LGBT athletes? Lindsey: It’s important for me to be honest about who I am. I would feel I have the responsibility to be as open as I always am, if not to speak out even more and yet be empathetic to the citizens who are not competing and who are living through this on a daily basis.
world. …I am OUT so, yes, the issue of being LBGTQ did come up in interviews and within the team, which was so positive, I think. Especially doing interviews and being able to speak openly about it within sports — which is still very taboo in France, I think. Has being an openly LGBT athlete been an issue of any kind? On or off the field? Rapinoe: It has been really wonderful to be out in the public eye. It has allowed me the platform to talk about LGBTQ issues and equality. It has allowed me to have so many amazing experiences meeting people and being inspired by so many stories. Lindsey: The only surprise, I would say, has been the overwhelming amount of support I’ve received from fans.
<< Megan Rapinoe
Rapinoe: I would be exactly who I am. I would have my family and my girlfriend and not behave in fear of these laws. I would be worried for the Russian citizens who will not be competing in the Sochi games, which have a shield of the world’s media on their side. Megan, you play for a French team when you’re not with the National Women’s Soccer League here. How is it to play for the Lyon team? Has being openly LGBT come up in any way? Rapinoe: To be able to train with the quality of players at Lyon every day was such a challenge and a growing experience. It’s one of the best club teams in Europe and in the
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Photos: Courtesy of Shane Bitney Cone
Shane Bitney Crone (below), Tom Bridegroom (center)
or most of his life, Shane Bitney Crone says, he was ashamed of being gay. He felt he was “less than” and undeserving of love. It was his partner, Tom Bridegroom, he says, who spent years encouraging him to stand up for being who he was, what he believed in — to ignore what many of his peers, the media and conservative members of his Christian faith were saying. It was Tom’s unexpected death, however, that changed everything and convinced Shane he had to act. To be proud of their love. Shane, with much hesitancy, created a short YouTube video to tell the story about their life together, their inability to marry and … Tom’s death and its aftermath. The video quickly went viral. Well-known Hollywood writer/director Linda Bloodworth Thomason saw it, met with Shane and said that the story needed to be told — to reach people, to create change. Years earlier, she had experienced the hate and discrimination that hundreds of thousands of LGBT people had experienced: Her mother was a victim of transfused AIDS. The film, Bridegroom, tells Shane and Tom’s love story from the beginning, from their upbringing in small, conservative U.S. towns.
It is drawing enormous attention. The film broke fundraising records online at Kickstarter. Former President Bill Clinton was so touched when he saw a screening that he asked to introduce it at its Tribeca Film Festival premiere. “This is really — on one level — a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life-affirming story, and on another level, it’s a story about our nation’s struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance,” he said. Los Angeles Times critic Charles McNulty agreed. It “makes a public-service plea for recognition of the rights of same-sex couples, but at its heart, the film is a love story.” Why create the video? Has it been difficult? I made the video to honor Tom. … I was incredibly nervous about posting the video. I knew that by allowing myself to be so vulnerable it could easily open the door to a significant amount of hate directed towards me. I only told a few people about the video before I posted it because I didn't want friends or family members to change my mind. In my heart, I knew making the video and posting it was the right thing to do.
New Film Breaks Records, Changes Hearts What do you want folks to come away with? Bridegroom is not about revenge or politics. It is a film about love, forgiveness and finding the courage to be who you are when the world says you shouldn’t. I hope it will help parents understand their children better … and provide hope to teens struggling with their identity. Both you and Tom have described yourselves as small-town boys. A lot of people in all corners of the country will see this film. Regardless of people’s age, sexual orientation or the state they live in, I believe they will be able to connect to the film. At the end of the day, love is love and loss is loss. It’s not a gay or straight thing, it’s a human thing. How ironic is it that Tom’s last name is Bridegroom and the film is about marriage equality? I can’t help but think that Tom is now standing in for something even larger than himself. I don’t believe his last name Bridegroom is just a coincidence. See BridegroomMovie.com.
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5 auto insurance mistakes you can avoid today Because we’re active in the HRC community, we often get questions from members who want to avoid an unpleasant auto insurance experience. Here are five things that can help you: 1. If you’re not legally married, don’t assume your partner is automatically covered if he or she drives your car. And don’t wait until it’s too late to find out. 2. Don’t overpay for coverage — it’s easy to do. Ask about available discounts. Nationwide Insurance® offers many — including one just for HRC supporters. 3. If you’re a safe driver, get credit for it. Purchase our Vanishing Deductible option and take $100 off your deductible for every year of safe driving, up to $500.† Not every insurer sells this. 4. Consider your comfort level. Not everyone makes the LGBT community feel welcome. We’re a proud HRC Platinum National Partner — whose specially trained agents understand insurance for domestic partners. 5. Choose a company that makes claims easy and hassle-free. Four out of five policyholders who’ve had a claim would recommend us to their friends.*
4 Remember, insurance rules, like LGBT rights, vary by state. Nationwide Insurance knows how things work where you live. Call 1-888-490-1561 or visit nationwide.com/HRCsaves for a free, no-obligation quote including your HRC discount.
*Information based on a survey conducted nationally on Nationwide customers who filed a claim in 2009. Nationwide may make a financial contribution to this organization in return for the opportunity to market products and services to its members or customers. Products Underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies, Home Office: Columbus, OH 43215. Nationwide Lloyds and Nationwide Property & Casualty Companies (in TX). Subject to underwriting guidelines, review, and approval. Products and discounts not available to all persons in all states. Nationwide policies are written by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company or a company directly or indirectly owned by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Not all Nationwide companies are mutual companies, and not all Nationwide policyholders are members of a mutual company. Policyholder rights and benefits are determined by policy language, underwriting company charter and bylaws, and applicable law. Nationwide, Nationwide Insurance, the Nationwide framemark, Vanishing Deductible and On Your Side® are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2012 Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All Rights Reserved. †Vanishing Deductible is an optional feature. Annual credits subject to eligibility requirements. Maximum credit: $500. Details and availability vary by state.
Musicians Inspire a New Generation for Equality Tegan and Sara, Phoenix and Others Join HRC as Equality Rocks Expands
Musicians Tegan and Sara (above) and Lauren Verussio, a member of HRC’s Board of Governors, in Huntington, N.Y.
By Shannon Greenwood
Photos: Noel Vasquez / Getty Images, Maureen McCarty (inset)
egan and Sara, Phoenix, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Animal Collective all think equality rocks. These popular musicians, and many others, have collaborated with the Human Rights Campaign in the fight for fairness. The effort, known as HRC’s Equality Rocks, is a public engagement campaign featuring videos of musicians in support of marriage equality and other initiatives for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC’s Equality Rocks started off as a benefit concert in 2000 with performances by George Michael, Melissa Etheridge, Garth Brooks and others, bringing national attention in a new kind of way to fight for LGBT civil rights. Equality Rocks has morphed into a series of videos of artists voicing their support. “Musicians, artists and performers have often loudly and boldly stood on the right side of history, particularly when it comes to LGBT rights,” says Cassidy Karakorn, HRC’s deputy director for consumer marketing. “Now, we’re seeing a new generation of artists take their message of equality and support to the stage.”
It’s also drawing a new audience to HRC’s important advocacy work, says Karakorn, who DJs in her off hours in New York and Washington. The indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara were recently featured in another Equality Rocks video, released by HRC. The Canadian twins, who are both openly lesbian, have been involved with HRC in the past, and headlined a benefit concert in New York in July. Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine joined longtime Equality Rocker Dev Hynes of Blood Orange at an HRC benefit concert in New York City in May to perform a stripped-down ballad cover of Icona Pop’s “I Love It.” When HRC later released a video of the performance as part of Equality Rocks, it immediately went viral. Welch also posted the video to her 5 million-plus Facebook and Twitter followers. HRC also created an Equality Rocks T-shirt that includes the original Equality Rocks logo from the 2000 benefit concert. Elle Dee, a Brazilian-born New York
musician and DJ, was recruited by Karakorn to be the brand ambassador for Equality Rocks and help promote the campaign and encourage more artists to join in. Dee is popular in the fashion world, having DJ’ed parties for Vogue, Elle and Glamour magazines and having opened for The Dead Weather, The Black Keys, Guns N’ Roses, Courtney Love and The Kills. As Equality Rocks expands and grows, so do the number of musicians involved, notes Karakorn. Most of the original artists involved in Equality Rocks were allies, but now they include members of the LGBT community. Check out www.hrc.org/EqualityRocks for more. Greenwood, a former HRC intern, attends the University of Missouri.
Once upon a time++... there was a little girl who read lots of books. She quickly noticed that every book recited the same story about a princess meeting her prince and living happily ever after. Sometimes there was a frog, sometimes not, but they always ended with the princess marrying the very brave prince. As the little girl grew, she read more stories about romance and weddings. Although the chapters got longer and the words were bigger, the characters were the same. This greatly confused her with the feelings she had always known in her own heart.
Could she truly not be a princess unless she found a prince? It was all so scary, yet she looked around her world and just could not ignore what she felt to be true love. Today as a big girlâ€Ś Barbara, and her wife Collette, have been living their own storybook romance for ten years.
Write your own story.
Let us provide the fairytale wedding.
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Legacy Be? A commitment to HRC through your estate can be part of your enduring legacy. Request our free legacy planning publication to find out how easy it can be. Please visit www.hrc.org/legacy. We’re Here to Help. For assistance in creating your legacy of equality, contact: Adam Swaim Director of Estate Planning 866-772-9499 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Wherever we fly, we fly together. Ever since the Human Rights Campaign started identifying the best places to work for LGBT equality, one airline has led the way. Because American Airlines has achieved a perfect score from the Corporate Equality Index every single year since it began. Weâ€™re proud to count our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their allies among our American family. Learn more on aa.com/diversity.
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