H U m A N
R I G H T S
c A m P A I G N
SPR I NG 2010
Lee Daniels On MAKING precious, hollywood & homophobia & His Next movie, Selma
also… Mobilizing veterans HRC pushes to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” Speaking Out Straight Ally & Wrestling champ Exporting Hate U.S. Fundamentalists in Uganda
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
HRC SENIOR STAFF Joe Solmonese President 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 Fred Sainz Vice President of Communications & Marketing Susanne Salkind Managing Director David M. Smith Vice President of Programs Christopher Speron Development Director
or veterans of the Human Rights Campaign’s long battle to win equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, the past several months have proven that persistence and hard work really do pay off. Our biggest strides forward have been in the effort to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that bars lesbian and gay Americans from openly serving in the Armed Forces. In a stunning advance, both the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — our nation’s highest-ranking military officer — and the secretary of defense publicly joined President Obama in calling for an end to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. This development was followed by U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., introducing legislation to overturn the discriminatory law. Even former Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in, expressing support for ending the ban.
There have been other victories, such as marriage equality in our nation’s capital. And now, we’re involved in implementing the new, historic federal hate crimes law. In this edition of Equality, we underline how HRC, which lobbied relentlessly to get the law on the books, is deeply involved in training Justice Department officials — who work in local communities across the country — on the topic of sexual orientation and gender identity. After many years of tireless work and hardfought gains, the push for LGBT rights appears to be approaching a “tipping point” — the moment when change becomes unstoppable. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close. As we move closer to equality, the enemies of fairness are becoming more desperate — and more dangerous. Understanding that the end
of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” could be the straw that breaks bigotry’s back, the forces of intolerance are lashing out as never before. That’s why HRC needs your continued commitment to keep the pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” swiftly, push forward to expand marriage equality and other partnership protections at the state and federal levels, enact a ban on anti-LGBT employment discrimination, and enlist more fair-minded Americans to join the fight for equality. If you haven’t yet renewed your HRC membership for 2010 or sent a special contribution recently, please do so today. You can give securely online at www.hrc.org/spring or mail your donation to HRC using the enclosed reply form and envelope. Thank you.
Cuc Vu Chief Diversity Officer HRC EQUALITY STAFF Janice Hughes Publications Director Carolyn Simon Staff Writer Sarah Streyle Senior Graphic Design Specialist Robert Villaflor Design Director OTHER CONTRIBUTORS Tricia Benson, Ty Cobb, Tiffany Dean, Justin Giaquinto, Sharon Groves, Gabriel Hemphill, Trenard Hodge, Ellen Kahn, Anastasia Khoo, Don Kiser, Jamie Kors, John Lake, Jason Lott, Timothy Mahoney, Megan McKellar, Mike Mings, Anthony Moll, Cathy Nelson, Susan Paine, Donna Payne, Karin Quimby, Allyson Robinson, Marty Rouse, James Servino, Ben Shallenberger, Quincey Smith, Chris Speron, David Swanson
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. As the forces of intolerance pull out all the stops in their last-ditch effort to derail our advance toward equality, HRC needs your support now more than ever before. Please help us leverage our recent breakthroughs to secure full civil rights for LGBT Americans — by sending your most generous donation possible today.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. Companies such as these have advanced the cause of LGBT equality through their own policies, and we encourage you to consider them when making purchase decisions. For specific scores, criteria and more information on the Corporate Equality Index, please visit www.hrc.org/CEI.
INSIDE Photo: Cassidy Duhon
HRC’s Mission: Repeal DADt HRC Works To Mobilize Broad Support for Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Law
Taking It to the Front lines We Have a New Hate Crimes Law. Now What?
EQUALITY Interview: Filmmaker Lee Daniels On Hollywood, Homophobia and His Next Film, Selma
On the Cover:
Photo: Scott Spychala
Photo: Dakota Fine
Acclaimed director Lee Daniels spoke recently with Equality Managing Editor Janice Hughes about being openly gay, shooting his next big work — a film about the Selma (Ala.) civil rights march — and lots more. See the interview, p.15.
Exporting Hate U.S. Fundamentalists Push To Criminalize Our Lives in Uganda & Elsewhere
The Mormon Proposition Movie Looks Closely at Church’s Role in Fighting LGBT Equality
Athlete & Ally College Wrestler’s Advocacy Draws National Attention
IN EVERY ISSUE 4
Scene Out Upcoming gala events National Corporate Partners
Your children will be trapped in classes taught by drag queens and transgender activists.” Traditional Values Coalition ad opposing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill now under consideration in the U.S. Congress. To help end employment discrimination, visit www.passENDAnow.org.
“Sexual orientation is irrelevant to voters in this state.”
David Cicilline, Democrat, the openly gay, two-term mayor of Providence, R.I., who is running for an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. If elected, Cicilline would join three other openly gay representatives in Congress.
“Siento que tengo algo importante que compartir, que le da una cara humana y muestra las verdaderas consequencias de una politica que promueve la desigualdad.”
Walker Burttschell, a former U.S. Marine, who was discharged under the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Burttschell, a fourth-generation Mexican-American, is an HRC organizer in South Florida. HRC held a bilingual panel discussion with Latino/a veterans in Miami on DADT. “I feel that I have something important to share, that gives a human face and shows the true consequences of a policy that promotes inequality."
Board of Directors Lacey All DC, John Barry IL, Bruce Bastian UT, Terry Bean OR, David Beckwith CA, Les Bendtsen MN, Ken Britt GA, Stephanie Carreon TX, Dan Cochran NY, Jane Daroff OH, Tim Downing OH, Linda Elliott AZ, Anne Fay TX, Jody Gates LA, Kirk Hamill DC, Sandra Hartness CA, Mike Holloman TX, John Isa DC, LeeAnn Jones GA, Barry Karas CA, Tom Kovach NV, Jani Lopez TX, Anton Mack CA, Joni Madison NC, Michael Palmer DC, Terry Penrod OH, Dana Perlman CA, Steven Reid AZ, Henry Robin NY, Mirian Saez CA, Cathi Scalise TX, Linda Scaparotti CA, Meghan Stabler TX, Faye Tate CO, Rebecca Tillet NY, Alan Uphold CA, David Wilson MA, Frank Woo CA, Lisa Zellner OH Board of Governors Robert Abernathy IL, Rick Aishman TX, Lacey All WA, Lili Alpaugh LA, Steve Amend NV, Andrew Arnold CA, Karen Aronoff OH, Varo Asorian CA, Matthew Bacon MA, Jessica Bair CA, Phillip Baker AZ, Joel Baldazo TX, Kevin Bass CA, Vanessa Benavides TX, Bob Berry IL, Blake Beyer TX, Dana Beyer MD, Scott Bishop NC, Wendy Blenning OR, Eric Blomquist NY, Patricia Bolton WA, Chris Boone WA, Sarah Booth DC, Ebonee Bradford GA, Byron Brady NC, Daniel Brennan TX, Tim Bresnahan IL, Barbara Browning MA, Brian Browning TX, Charles Buchanan TX, Deiadra Burns TX, Nancy Caldwell TX, Todd Canon OR, Carlos Carbonell FL, Christopher Carolan NY, William Castellani DC, Jeffrey Caywood OH, Fidel Chavoya CA, Kevin Cheng CA, Luana Chilelli UT, Dawn Christensen NV, Lisa Conner NJ, John Cramer TX, Jeremy Davis TN, Fiona Dawson TX, Candace DiGirolamo OH, Robert Dogens NC, Michael Dunning MO, Nikki Eason NC, Patty Ellis NY, Jill Federico CA, Steven Fisher CA, Brian Flanagan NJ, Tom Floyd CA, Donna Flynn TX, Jennifer Foster FL, Bruce Franck MN, Ralph Freidin MA, Charles Frew GA, Tucker Gallagher DC, Jeffery Garofalo NV, William Gautreaux LA, Krystal Gilliam TX, Madeline Goss NC, Amos Gott TN, Deb Graves MN, Paul Guillory TX, Ron Guisinger OH, Edward Guzek MN, CM Hall OR, Suzanne Hamilton OH, Jim Harrison TX, James Healey NV, Jason Held IL, Ted Holmquist CA, Miranda Hooker MA, Ajit Joshi DC, Douglas Kauffman OH, Eric Kenney CA, John Kerrigan TX, Thomas Knabel MN, Thomas Kovach NV, Christopher Labonte PA, Jason Lambert FL, Stephan Lampasso FL, John Leonard TX, Tedd Lesch CA, Billy Leslie TN, Ryan Levy TX, Alex Lindquist CO, Michael Long OR, Raymond Manci CA, John Mancuso MO, April Martin KS, M. Mason OH, Robert Mason CA, Keith McCoy IL, Sharlea McMurtry CO, Martha McQuade VA, Lori Megown NY, Andrew Melissinos CA, Ryan Messer OH, Gwen Migita NV, Patrick Miller LA, Tim Morneau CA, Kevin Moser WA, Dyshaun Muhammad MN, Heather Nevill CO, George Page TX, Paul Palmer FL, Bryan Parsons NY, Darrell Parsons TX, Lester Perryman LA, Steve Pospisil MN, Anna Prow DC, Michael Reiser MO, Susan Reyes LA, Brian Rice CT, Wendy Ringe TX, Mark Robertson NY, Jason Roundy CA, Andy Rubinson MA, John Ruffier FL, Terri Rutter MA, Minita Sanghvi NC, Elizabeth Schleigh TX, Heidi Schreiber MN, Darren Sextro MO, Jon Shaffer OH, Lynn Shepodd CA, Mark Shura MA, Robert Sikorski TN, Molly Simmons GA, LaWana Slack-Mayfield NC, Michael Smithson OH, Steven Spencer-Steigner CA, Chuck Stephens GA, Brian Stranghoner AZ, Dan Tanner FL, Andrea Torrence MO, Nathan Treanor AZ, Marjorie Troxel-Hellmer MO, Timothy Walker OH, William Weeks IL, Richard Welch MA, Bruce Wessler MO, Edward Westreicher GA, Pam Wheeler TN, Sharon Wong MD, Julie Wood GA, Kathy Young AZ, Lisa Zellner OH Foundation Board Kim Allman MD, Gwen Baba CA, Vic Basile MD, Terry Bean OR, Lee Carter NC, Edie Cofrin GA, Lawrie Demorest GA, Anne Fay TX, Garry Kief CA, Marty Lieberman WA, Andy Linsky CA, Hilary Rosen DC, Judy Shepard WY, Mary Snider DC * As of April 2010.
Photo: Cuc Vu
Photo: Dakota Fine
“In the greatest of all democracies, it hurts my heart that in the year 2010, we would still treat some members of our society as 2ndclass citizens, and use them to score political points or gain votes or power.”
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in an address at HRC’s Los Angeles Gala. A longtime HRC ally, Boxer was one of only 14 senators to vote in 1996 against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Recently, she unveiled a bill to extend equal COBRA benefits to LGBT families.
A large LGBT contingency — including HRC’s Sharon Groves, seen below, and other staff and members of HRC — was among the tens of thousands of people who recently rallied in Washington for comprehensive immigration reform. LGBT immigrants, supporters and their families came out to draw attention to the Uniting American Families Act — a bill that would allow U.S. citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration benefits.
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. — here with HRC’s Nick McCoy — is leading the charge in the Senate to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was one of the few senators who voted against the legislation in 1993. “I did not find the arguments used to justify ‘Don’t Ask,
76,000+ Number of HRC members and supporters who stood with Constance McMillen, 18, of Mississippi, as she fought — with the help of
Don’t Tell’ convincing when it took effect in 1993, and they are less so now,” he said at a recent committee hearing. “What matters is a willingness and ability to perform the mission — not an individual’s sexual orientation.” Levin spoke at HRC’s spring board meeting in Washington. (See p. 10 for more.)
the American Civil Liberties Union — her county school board, which canceled a high school prom rather than allow her to bring her girlfriend. Students and parents held a privately organized prom and sent Constance to a “fake” prom elsewhere. HRC members and supporters signed a petition condemning the school board’s actions.
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CHEVRON, the CHEVRON HALLMARK and HUMAN ENERGY are registered trademarks of Chevron Intellectual Property LLC. ©2009 Chevron Corporation. All rights reserved.
“There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital….”
Photo: Cassidy Duhon
d.c. marriage On the first day that the nation’s capital began recognizing marriage equality, three couples exchanged emotional vows before friends and family at HRC’s headquarters. (L-R) Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Lorilyn Candy Holmes — with D.C. Councilmen Jim Graham, David Catania and Mayor Adrian Fenty, before dozens of local and national media outlets — were among the first same-sex couples to marry in D.C. “To marry the joy of my life … is the best gift from God to me,” said Holmes. To view a video of the historic event, visit www.hrc.org/marriagedc.
And with those words, President Obama took a crucial step toward making healthcare more fair. In a new presidential memorandum, Obama directed the secretary of Health and Human Services to protect the visitation and healthcare decision-making rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It requires all hospitals that receive federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to allow patients to designate who may visit them and bars discrimination in visitation based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among other factors. HRC worked with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services in support of the memorandum, released last month. It comes as HRC released its latest Healthcare Equality Index — an annual rating of healthcare facilities, based on four main policy criteria: patient non-discrimination, cultural competency training, employment non-discrimination as well as visitation. This year, the HEI rated nearly 180 facilities.
Love, equality & the Rumba…
Photo: Bob D'amico / ABC
Louis Van Amstel — professional dancer and choreographer — competes on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” one of America’s most popular TV shows, drawing 23 million viewers weekly. “Everyone should be able to get married,” said the HRC Federal Club member on a recent episode, after dancing a piece that told the story of an interracial couple in the ’50s, banned from marrying by U.S. law. So you raised the topic of marriage equality on the show. Was there any response? Hundreds wrote in, including many straight, married, Christian women with children, saying they totally think it should be a right. They said how heartbreaking it would be if they could not marry the person they love. … The biggest reaction was from a Christian woman in Florida who absolutely did not understand the word “gay” or the
freedom to be gay. In a long e-mail, she wrote how she did not agree with it. But she said, “The way you portrayed that storyline — I got it. I believe you should have the right, even though I disagree.” Growing up, did you always know you would be a dancer? Did you know you were attracted to men? The first question, yes. I started dancing when I was 10 and by 11, I knew this would be my life. The second question, I was 15 and I was so occupied with my dancing … My mom actually said, “If you ever feel different, you know you can talk to your mom, right?” I had no idea what she was talking about. Somehow, it opened my mind. … And at 17, I had a trip to Germany. And I fell in love with someone.
There’s a new way to show your pride and support the Human Rights Campaign — the HRC Visa credit card. A portion of every retail purchase that you make on the new HRC Visa credit card, offered by Bank of America, is donated directly to HRC. Join the growing number of cardholders in the fight for equality. Visit www.newcardonline.com to apply or learn more. Or call 1-866-438-6262 and mention Priority Code: UAAS9Q. Nearly 15,000 supporters carry HRC Bank of America products — do you?
So which dance is the sexiest? It depends. … If I personally dance with Karina [Smirnoff], who is also on the show, I would say the rumba.
Diversity Diversity& &Inclusion Inclusion.. It’s the foundation of who we are.™ ™ It’s the foundation of who we are. Not only does diversity celebrate our Not only does diversity celebrate our differences, it celebrates our similarities. differences, it celebrates our similarities. We all have distinct perspectives and We all have distinct and individual talents that perspectives make us unique. individual and talents that makethose us unique. Recognizing celebrating differences Recognizing and celebrating those differences is integral to Bank of America’s commitment is integral to Bank of America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Across our global to diversity and Acrossweour global footprint and in theinclusion. communities serve, and in the thefootprint bank continues to communities build powerfulwe serve, the bank continues to build powerful alliances with diverse organizations. alliances with diverse organizations. Bank of America is proud of its partnership Bank America is proud of honored its partnership with the ofLGBT community and LGBT community and honored to with be athe Platinum National Partner a Platinum Partner of to thebeHuman RightsNational Campaign. We of the Human Rights Campaign. We recognize the accomplishments—made recognizethe thebusiness accomplishments—made throughout community—that throughout the business community—that stimulate advancement in diversity and stimulate advancement in diversity and inclusion and foster an environment and foster an environment of inclusion understanding and change. of understanding and change.
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A new initiative is under way to gain a deeper understanding of the sociopolitical experiences of African-American, Latino/a and Asian Pacific Islander LGBT people. A team of researchers is undertaking a huge national survey of these diverse communities, and the Human Rights Campaign is working to invite participants for the project. To participate, visit www.socialjusticesexuality.com. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
yes, we count. Photo: Martha Gorfein
Forget to mail back your 2010 U.S. census form? Look for a census taker to visit in May or June. The 2010 census is the first ever to count samesex married spouses. The 2000 census — the first census ever to include the “unmarried partner” designation on its form — found that same-sex couples live in nearly every U.S. county. That finding was crucial in thwarting claims by anti-LGBT politicians who liked to say they had no LGBT constituents and, thus, had no reason to do anything about their civil rights. HRC has been part of the Our Families Count collaborative, a group of 100-plus organizations that has reached out to the LGBT community and helped push the government to begin counting same-sex marriages. For more information, visit www.OurFamiliesCount.org.
Actor Sarah Jessica Parker, right, joins entertainer Peppermint on stage at the HRC New York Gala to auction off tickets to the premiere of her movie, “Sex and the City 2,” slated to hit theaters in late May.
Photo: Jeffrey Holmes
Number of e-mails and letters sent to former HRC intern Mike Manning and his mom about his experience as a cast member on MTV’s “The Real World: Washington, D.C.” Mike’s parents, sister and brother stopped by HRC’s headquarters while visiting him in the nation’s capital. Viewers wrote in about being moved by his coming-out story, his family’s response, his political activism, his work with HRC and more.
Are you a marathoner, swimmer, cyclist … or thinking seriously about finally getting fit, and need an extra little nudge? Athlete for Equality, a new Human Rights Campaign program, may be just for you. It lets you use your next athletic event to support HRC’s work, and allows you to create a personal fundraising page and ask your friends and family to donate funds to HRC in your honor. Visit www.hrc.org/athlete.
CNN anchor Don Lemon was a featured guest as HRC honored a record 305 employers as the “2010 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” at the sixth annual LGBT Workplace Awards event. The 305 employers scored 100 percent on HRC’s 2010 Corporate Equality Index. The seminar and reception, hosted by Time Warner, were held at the company’s offices in New York City. For a complete list of this year’s “Best Places to Work,” see www.hrc.org/placestowork.
Military planes roared at breakneck speed through the central Florida sky, thrilling the crowd below with rolls, turns and tight diamond formations. some 200,000 spectators turned out for the two-day AirFest at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to see the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and other flight squads perform.
The military takes advantage of events like these — recruiters are out in full force, hoping to attract some of America’s finest to fight for their country. The Human Rights Campaign has been a presence at these events, urging the same people — and everyone, in fact — to join the fight to repeal the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) law, which prevents lesbian and gay soldiers from serving openly. More than two dozen HRC field organizers are on the ground in six priority states — Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia — working to mobilize broad support for the law’s repeal. Each of these states is home to a U.S. senator who is a crucial vote on the key Senate Armed Services Committee,
which is poised to vote any day now on the legislation that would repeal the law. The committee’s vote is crucial to ensuring that the full Senate votes on the bill.
Photo: Mary Schilpp
The voices of veterans could sway these senators to the side of equality, says HRC Field Director Marty Rouse. “The senators want to hear from them,” says Rouse. “They’re the ones who have been affected by this law. We are working to identify, mobilize and educate these veterans — gay and straight. Now is the time to speak out.” Some of them are speaking out on the “Voices of Honor” tour, featuring lesbian, gay and straight veterans talking about the impact of
DADT. The tour has stopped in dozens of cities across the country, drawing large crowds. Many of the veterans met with their congressional representatives or staff on Capitol Hill on Veterans’ Lobby Day, May 10-11, organized by HRC and Servicemembers United in partnership with national and state organizations across the country.
Westboro Baptist Church, fans at the NCAA basketball championship game in Indiana, university students, worshippers at church events and more. HRC is also mobilizing its members and supporters to send “Repeal DADT” postcards to their targeted senators, write letters to local newspapers and conduct in-district lobby visits with their members of Congress.
An all-Spanish “Voices of Honor” event was held in Miami and organized with SAVE Dade and Coalicion Unida, as just one of many HRCsupported events that amplifies the voices of Latino/a veterans.
At the air show in Florida, spectators thanked field staff and gave them high fives for their work, reminding them of the overwhelming support for repeal of the law.
HRC field staffers are reaching out to diverse audiences — spectators at the Boston Marathon, military families in Norfolk, Va., people protesting Fred Phelps and his hateful
“How can a person serve honorably if they are forced to lie about who they are?” one person asked. See www.hrc.org/repealdadt for more.
Repeal DADT By Carolyn Simon
HRC Regional Field Director Karin Quimby, left, works to rally support among civilians for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
© 2008 ERNST & YOUNG LLP
which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young LLP is a client-serving member firm located in the US. Ernst & Young refers to a global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young LLP is a client-serving member firm located in the US.
ErnstERNST & Young refersLLP to a global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of © 2008 & YOUNG
Better Bettertogether? together?
Absolutely! Our differences are what energize our culture Our That’s differences areimportant what energize culture at Absolutely! Ernst & Young. why it’s to us our to support atLesbian, Ernst & Young. That’s why importantpeople to us toand support our Gay, Bisexual, and it’s Transgender our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender and Allies—creating an environment where everyonepeople can bring Allies—creating where everyone can bring their whole selvesan to environment work. Because achieving our potential whole selves work. our Because achieving our potential astheir a firm begins withto helping people realize their potential a firm begins with helping our people their potential asas individuals. It makes all the difference torealize our success. as individuals. It makes all the difference to our success.
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Taking It to the Front lines
We Have A New Hate Crimes Law. Now What? By Janice Hughes
On a recent spring day in downtown Washington, dozens of Justice Department employees from across the country met to talk about hate crimes. For the first time in its history, the department held a training — an entire day — on the topic of sexual orientation and gender identity. It included seminars by Human Rights Campaign senior staffers as well as trainers from other LGBT groups. Several in the audience — lawyers, former police chiefs, social workers — knew very little, if anything, about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Why was the training so key? “These are the people on the front lines,” said Ellen Kahn, director of HRC’s Family Project. They make up the department’s “peacemaker” corps, or Community Relations Service — mediation professionals who work with state and local groups to settle conflicts and violence related to race, color and national origin. They help people talk to each other.
Now, under the new federal hates crimes law, they must do the same for LGBT-related hate crimes. Much of HRC’s training focused on the basics: What is sexual orientation? What is gender identity? Where do LGBT people live? Do they have families? It then dealt with some of the harder issues: A victim’s privacy. Police harassment. LGBT teens living on the streets. And more. “One of our main messages was this: Our community, the LGBT community, is truly a diverse population,” said Kahn. “We are made up of all races, backgrounds, incomes and political views. We live in every neighborhood. “And this diversity poses real challenges in assessing whether a person was victimized because of their LGBT identity, their race, where they live or go to school, or some combination of biases,” added Kahn, who led the training with Allyson Robinson, HRC’s associate director of diversity.
While passage of the hate crimes law was a crucial victory, the hurdle ahead for federal officials is how to implement the new law, said Ty Cobb, HRC’s legislative counsel. HRC is already playing a key role in making that happen. And as it does, it is finding that the law has opened up the doors to being able to teach officials about the basics of the LGBT community. “It’s a huge educational tool,” he noted. HRC is working with Justice Department officials, including individuals from the Civil Rights Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as the department plans and conducts similar trainings on the new statute across the country, Cobb said. In addition, HRC teamed up this spring with a coalition of advocates working to reduce hate crimes. They met with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service to talk about collecting statistics on hate crimes based on gender identity, now allowed under the new hate crimes law. continued on page 19
say someone keeps throwing rocks at the windows of a gay bar in a town where there is a long history of bar raids by police. Mediators need to be aware of the mistrust of law enforcement officials by the LGBT community.
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EQUALITY spring 2010
IBM and the IBM logo are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. © 2005 IBM Corporation. All rights reserved.
Lee Daniels likes to call himself a “storyteller.”
The Critically Acclaimed Filmmaker on Hollywood, Homophobia & His Next Film, Selma
That’s quite an understatement. Two of Daniels’ films — Monster’s Ball and now Precious — have shaken Hollywood and the entire country like never before. His gritty, lush storytelling is unforgettable. Themes of racism, love, prejudice, hope and poverty swirl together. The actors in his films — Halle Berry, Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and others — do work even they didn’t think was possible.
LeeDaniels By Janice Hughes
Photo: Daniel Joubert
Earlier this year, Precious won top prizes at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. Also, Daniels was nominated by his fellow filmmakers for a Directors Guild of America award — the first African-American to get the DGA’s nod.
Precious is one of the unlikeliest of Hollywood stories. The film is about a young girl in Harlem, struggling in school, severely abused by her parents, who through the help of a teacher — who happens to be lesbian — gradually learns how to read and write and believe in herself. It is based on the New York Times best-selling novel Push by the author Sapphire. continued on page 16
“How many times have I seen that girl on the street? How many times have I seen her on the corner of Michigan Avenue in Chicago, waiting on a bus…” said Oprah Winfrey, who with Tyler Perry signed on to help promote the low-budget film. There is already a buzz about Daniels’ next film — to be based on one of the nation’s most historic events ever — the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., and the people and the events that helped shape it. Shooting was set to begin by this summer. The openly gay Daniels — who lives with his family in New York City — was born and raised in West Philadelphia, the oldest of five. His father, a police officer who often bullied him, was killed during a robbery when Daniels was a teen. After attending college, Daniels moved to Los Angeles, took a job at a healthcare placement agency and, soon after, started his own very successful placement company. Eventually, he became a casting agent and talent manager and then became a producer and director.
Equality’s managing editor Janice Hughes caught up with Daniels after the busy awards season and talked about Hollywood, homophobia, his 14-year-old twins and a new idea he wants to take to Broadway. Excerpts follow.
You’re about to shoot your new movie Selma. What’s your vision for the movie? When I was approached to do this film, I wasn’t interested because I felt like we had seen that movie already. … My then-partner rented Milk — a film with so many unsung heroes who just didn’t have a voice and with complexities of the characters. It was a motivating factor because I was thinking about racism in a way we had never seen it before, because there are many complexities to the racists. … I’m exploring that like never before. Also, we are showing Martin Luther King Jr. as a human being. You know, I want my kids to grow up to aspire to be him. You’ve done a good deal of research about King for Selma. What stands out in your mind the most about him? King’s photo has always been in the local barbershop, next to that of Jesus and JFK. … So he looked like one of them. What I didn’t know was that he was a practical joker … and that he knew he was going to die. But that was insignificant to the cause. … King put his life at risk, and his
Precious … just inspires me to And provide a breath to a voice
Daniels and Gabourey Sidibe on the set of Precious
“Push” author Sapphire, Daniels and “Ms. Rain” (Paula Patton)
The historic Selma, Ala., march
Photos: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic, Peter Pettrus/AP Library of Congress, Charley Gallay/WireImage, Amy Sussman/Getty Images
kids’ lives and friends’ lives — so that AfricanAmericans could vote.
You have two 14-year-olds. How is it — raising two teens? Well, yesterday, they loved me. Today, they hate me. It just depends on the day. [Laughter.]
second men to adopt in Philadelphia. Let me tell you how it happened: I didn’t want kids, my [then] partner wanted kids. My brother was put into a situation where he and his girlfriend weren’t able to take care of the kids, so when they were three days old, my ex and I took them. It was sort of weird, because the biological mother came back into their lives and she wanted them. … So we had to go to court. When I adopted them, I thought I was doing them a favor, but I didn’t realize they were doing the biggest favor for me. It changed me. It’s a magical experience that I think everyone should experience. … My boy recently asked me, “Dad, is it OK that I like girls?” It split my heart open because he was so honest — but he doesn’t know any other world except being raised by two men. That’s the message he sends to the community. What we do is being accepted on a very natural level. That is the beauty for me. It breaks down walls of prejudice at its root.
Can you talk about your experience adopting them? I think we were among the first or
How has working in Hollywood been for you? During the whole Oscar thing, everyone
A few years ago, you produced some public service announcements with a neighbor of yours to encourage young people to vote. Yes, I worked for Bill Clinton. It was a job I took very seriously. There were several PSAs to get the underprivileged to get out and vote and explain why they should vote. We mounted several campaigns to really get these kids out to vote. It was life-changing. I can’t believe I’m doing a film about securing African-Americans’ right to vote decades ago. … We have been given this liberty that we’ve taken advantage of, and it’s important.
was saying, “Oh, he’s gay,” and “Oh, he’s black,” and I would say, “No, I’m a filmmaker.” I wear my gayness as a badge and I wear my color as a badge. I can’t change that. … I loathe dishonesty. It is very difficult coming out. As an African-American, it’s so easy to be in the closet, in the work arena and in family life. What are the main challenges about being gay and black in Hollywood? You know, there is the belief that there is a gay mafia that is there. But there are people there that stop you. There is a self-loathing that is there, and it’s not just gay men, it’s also black men. Now, it’s hard for African-American men to not embrace what I’m doing now. I come in very “masculine” and they don’t know what to do with that. It throws people off. So until I tell people I’m gay, they don’t know it, then it throws them for a loop. It’s intimidating, and it takes people a moment because they like my work and they think because they like my work they have to like me and they just aren’t sure what to think. continued on page 19
go out and find another story. voice that hasn’t been heard.
The director with his daughter Mo’Nique and Daniels
Your first goal was to be judged on your ideas, not your partner. So, what’s your next goal? At Deloitte, our stance is simple: If you can do the job well, you should be on our team. For us, getting the job done means attracting the best talent from all walks of life. That’s why we: • Support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through our business resource group, GLOBE • Were named one of DiversityInc’s Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees in 2008 • Received a 100% rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for four consecutive years We know that you’ve always wanted a workplace where you would be judged on your ideas; the question now is — what will you do with it?
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 © 2009 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved. Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
DANIELS cont’d from page 17
FRONT LINES cont’d from page 13
How is it now for you — after this most recent awards season? There is no bullshit, it’s simple. Before, when I left the room, everyone was all confused, but now I’m being embraced. And I think about what’s really good about it — that it’s being passed on to a younger generation.
she was smiling. She was crying because she knew what was in store for me. I said, “Ma, I’m never going to be not OK, because I love myself.” That’s all that matters. It was a really emotional time for her because she taught me how to do that. Everything I do has been for people that don’t have a voice.
Community Relations Service Deputy Director Diane Mitchum praised the HRC team for its work. “The training has already made a difference,” she said. Kahn and Robinson “took the time to understand how we work to provide us with concrete tools that will enable us to engage more effectively with new communities.”
Have you heard from any young people about what your films, your awards, mean to them? Hundreds and thousands, in letters and e-mails. I just cry at what it is that I’m doing, because I don’t realize what I’m doing until I read some of these letters. It’s really humbling.
Have her church leaders said anything about you? Until I came out, they loved me. There is just so much homophobia going on in the church. Everything starts at the church. Just when I had all of her church folk happy, I hope I didn’t upset her.
You’ve talked at times about your father, a police officer — that he wasn’t happy about you being gay. Yes, I was 5 or 6 and I remember walking down the stairs, hardwood floors, in my mother’s red high heels. My dad was playing poker with his cop friends, who were white. That was a big deal in the ’60s, having white guys over at the house, everything had to be perfect. And here is his son wearing heels. I’m walking down the stairs and he got really mad and that began a series of beatings. I should have been conditioned not to take that walk, but it didn’t stop me.
You’ve often mentioned the strong women in your life, including your grandmother. Tell us about her. My grandmother: Grace H. Daniels. My father’s mother. She was among the first black women to graduate from Duke University. She met my grandfather there in the ’30s … She was a power to be reckoned with. She was a politician in Philadelphia, when Frank Rizzo was mayor. She stood up for gay rights. It was my grandmother who instilled in me the importance of voting.
Department mediators need a special sensitivity to an entire range of issues — as they try to make a difference in a place where there is anti-LGBT violence, Kahn noted. Some LGBT people may not be out to their families or in their neighborhoods, for example. Mediators would need to know to step carefully when talking to people across the community to protect the individuals’ privacy.
In Precious, a high school teacher helps a young woman turn her life around, little by little. Much later in the film, she finds out her teacher is a lesbian, with a longtime partner. They’re both gorgeous, gentle, strong, happy. I wanted to surprise people halfway through. … Precious has been told that the gays are bad people, and she finds out that her savior is gay and that confuses her. This stuff is being taught, it’s passed on and it needs to be stopped. Everyone has this predisposition about what gay men look like and about what lesbians look like, and it’s just not right. We aren’t all that way. We come in all different sizes and shapes and positions. How is your mom about you being gay? Fabulous. I mean, she was concerned, but she has come a long way. I was 18 when I came out. She cried when she found out. I told her, but
Which of your films is your most favorite… Precious, Monster’s Ball…? I like all of my films, just like my kids, I love them all equally. Each movie is a different part of me. Precious is like the prettiest child, but it just inspires me to go out and find another story. And provide a breath to a voice that hasn’t been heard. Is there a film in your future that has a predominantly gay theme? I have to do it just right, because when I go for it, it’s going to be interesting. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. … I’m thinking about doing one on a gay man that worked for Martin Luther King Jr. I understand you’re considering a project for Broadway. It’s not “Paris Is Burning,” but it’s the closest thing I can think of. It’s about drag queens and drug addiction in the ’70s and ’80s — the ball scene in Harlem, prostitution. We go into the underbelly of people who have been kicked to the curb.
Or, say someone keeps throwing rocks at the windows of a gay bar in a town where there is a long history of bar raids by police. Mediators need to be aware of the mistrust of law enforcement officials by the LGBT community. Rural areas can be challenging, too. LGBT people are less likely to be out. There are no LGBT bars or meeting places; there is little social networking. How does a mediator, facing possible anti-LGBT hate crimes, even begin to build bridges across the community? “We lobbied for so long to get a federal hate crimes law, and now we are committed to seeing it implemented correctly,” said Cobb. “We see it as part of our job as advocates.”
Rural areas can be challenging, too. LGBT people are less likely to be out. … How does a mediator, facing possible antiLGBT hate crimes, even begin to build bridges across the community?
Equality is really big news.
For three years running, Harrah’s Entertainment has earned the distinction of a perfect score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. With 36 entertainment destinations located within a few hours of most people in the Continental United States, we take great pride in knowing it’s no isolated achievement. As always, we are proud to support HRC’s commitment to fairness, opportunity and social justice for all.
Photo: Trevor Snapp/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Religious Extremists Push to Criminalize Homosexuality in Uganda & Elsewhere Across the World By Carolyn Simon
A bill under consideration in Uganda would make homosexuality an offense punishable by death.
who recently met with Human Rights Campaign leaders about the issue. “I watch my back wherever I go.”
It would also punish anyone who fails to report lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to the government.
But the hatred behind the bill isn’t necessarily homegrown. It was introduced shortly after three American fundamentalists visited the east African country, led a conference about what they called the “dangerous gay agenda” and provided advice on making gay people straight. The fundamentalists also met with lawmakers and government officials — some of whom went on to draft the draconian legislation.
Since the legislation was unveiled, LGBT Ugandans — already targets of abuse and violence — say they are even more afraid of beatings, arrests, blackmail and more. Activists, too, are fearful. “It is very, very dangerous for us to do our work,” said Frank Musgisha, a spokesman for the country’s leading LGBT rights organization, Sexual Minorities Uganda,
Harry Knox, director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program, warns that it’s part of a larger
effort by U.S. religious extremists to export hate into other countries. “It’s a new phenomenon — the global promotion of the criminalization of homosexuality by conservative elements in the U.S.,” said Knox. To draw attention to the Uganda bill, HRC helped launch the first-ever American Prayer Hour, an event held in more than 17 cities earlier this year. Religious leaders from a wide variety of faiths called on countries worldwide, including Uganda, to decriminalize the lives of LGBT people. Of course, groups affiliated with the fundamentalists — the International Healing Foundation, continued on page 23
EXPORTING cont’d from page 21
an ex-gay ministry, and others — defend their actions in Uganda while maintaining that they never wanted people to be punished for being LGBT. But many Ugandans say the fundamentalist groups’ message is far more sinister and they are actually accusing LGBT people of recruiting Ugandans into the “homosexual lifestyle,” abusing children and spreading HIV/AIDS. “They say that gay people have taken over the U.S. and the United Nations and are now targeting Uganda,” said Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, an Episcopalian priest from Zambia and author of the 2009 report, “Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches & Homophobia.” (See sidebar.) Meanwhile, HRC has joined with the Council for Global Equality — a coalition of international human rights activists, foreign policy experts, LGBT leaders, philanthropists and corporate officials — in protesting the Uganda bill. The coalition is urging the State Department to develop a strategic plan for addressing the criminalization of homosexuality in African countries and is calling for a review of LGBT-related policies around the world, notes HRC Legislative Counsel Ty Cobb. Additionally, the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution that expresses its “unequivocal opposition” to the Ugandan bill. A similar resolution is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“It is very, very dangerous for us to do our work,” said an African LGBT rights activist.
The struggles for LGBT equality in the U.S. and in Africa are inextricably linked, a 2009 report says.
commissioned by the Massachusetts-based progressive think tank Political Research Associates.
The increasingly dire situation for LGBT Africans, in fact, can be traced to the ordination of LGBT clergy by some Protestant denominations in the U.S., according to the 2009 report, “Globalizing the U.S. Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches & Homophobia.”
The African religious leaders are enticed, in part, by money. The right-wing groups instruct them to reject money from their mainline churches and to accept money from conservatives instead, the report says. Of course, unlike the churches’ money, the conservatives’ funding often goes to individual bishops and requires no accountability or oversight.
The report breaks new ground. Until now, there has been little research done in Africa on the topic. Researchers interviewed church leaders on all sides of the issue in both countries. They also attended far-right Christian seminars and interviewed participants, and studied a staggering amount of literature on the churches, religious homophobia, the history of churches’ missions in Africa and more.
“U.S. human rights advocates both inside and outside the churches have a particular responsibility to stop the exporting of homophobia from the U.S. to Africa and to support the African-led struggle for human rights and full equality,” wrote Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, the report’s author. To download the report, visit: www.publiceye.org.
Feeling powerless against the advance of LGBT equality within the U.S., far-right Christian leaders in this country began mobilizing African clergy who recently began to wield greater influence on Christianity worldwide. Although the far-right Christian leaders’ goal was to restrict the rights of LGBT Americans, it has fostered an increase in homophobia in Africa, creating a more hostile, dangerous climate for LGBT people there, according to the 42-page report,
Photo: Sarah Streyle
Kaoma at HRC
The developments in Uganda have outraged HRC members and supporters — more than 38,000 have sent e-mails to the House to encourage members to sign the resolution. The bill is still pending in Uganda, but even if the bill is defeated, there is still more work to be done all over the world to protect LGBT people from violence and discrimination, said Kaoma. “The evangelicals haven’t just been to Uganda, they’re going to other countries and spreading their message of homophobia,” he said.
The Fund for Global Human Rights, a non-profit group that supports human rights work, is collecting donations for LGBT organizations that work on the ground in Uganda. To contribute, visit www.globalhumanrights.org. Click the “For LGBT Emergency Defense” box on the donation page to ensure your gift is sent to the organizations in Uganda.
Make a difference.
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EQUALITY spring 2010
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Prop. 8 protesters rally outside the Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City.
Photos: David Daniels
Director Reed Cowan interviewing Mormon Utah state Sen. Chris Buttars.
The Mormon PRoposition By Janice Hughes
As a young boy, Reed Cowan remembers all too clearly sitting in Sunday services in Utah, listening to Mormon Church leaders denounce homosexuality over and over again from the pulpit. Years later, he decided to do something about it. Cowan, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, made a full-length documentary — based on 1,000-plus internal church documents and recordings of Mormon officials — showing the church’s extensive role in mobilizing its members to pass Proposition 8 in California, an initiative which reversed a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The film, 8: The Mormon Proposition — which had sold-out shows at the Sundance Film Festival this spring — argues that the church,
using front groups, has been coordinating, financing and leading the effort to stop the advancement of marriage equality for decades. In California, the church prompted its members to pour tens of millions of dollars and walk doorto-door in support of Prop 8. In one interview in the film, Mormon Utah state Sen. Chris Buttars tells Cowan that gays and lesbians are “the greatest threat to America going down,” comparing members of our community to radical Muslims. “I believe they will destroy the foundation of the American society,” he said. The film is slated to be released June 18 in theaters and on DVD in the midst of a closely watched federal lawsuit over the constitutionality of Prop. 8.
Cowan says that 8: The Mormon Proposition is a call to action, urging people to stand up for civil rights and pay attention to the origins of campaign financing. “Voters deserve to know where the money is coming from and who’s spending it and for what — before the vote is cast. Our film is calling for transparency in the process.” Bruce Bastian, who like Cowan is openly gay and was raised Mormon, agrees. The film’s executive producer and an HRC board member, Bastian says the goal of the film is to “change how people view what the church does politically.” In interviews with former Mormons and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates, the film underlines how the church’s anti-LGBT stance and culture of obedience can lead to suicide and homelessness among young gay people. The film is narrated by Dustin Lance Black, also gay and raised Mormon, who wrote the Academy Award-winning screenplay for Milk. continued on page 29 Growing up in the Mormon Church, “we were taught to stand up, to fight against the wrongs in society,” Cowan noted. “That is what this film is doing.”
8: The Mormon Proposition will open in theaters on Friday, June 18, 2010, in 13 cities across the country: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego and San Francisco. It debuts the same day on On Demand via cable and satellite providers and digital download channels, according to the film’s distributor, Red Flag Releasing.
8 on June 18
— preparing for the NCAA Wrestling Championships a few days away, finishing up his last semester of college and planning for his wedding. But even with all that going on, he jumped at the chance to spend a day at the Human Rights Campaign’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Taylor is just not one to turn down a chance to talk about equality. The 23-year-old is an outspoken advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights. Taylor, who is straight, drew national media attention when he wore a big, blue-andyellow HRC sticker on his headgear in a wrestling competition — a move that sparked lots of conversations with his teammates and coaches at the University of Maryland. “We can’t be afraid of what others will say or think,” says Taylor. “LGBT equality is not about policies. It’s about people.” He and his fiancée, Lia Mandaglio, who attends George Washington University law school and also dropped by HRC, are just two of a growing number of straight allies who support HRC’s goals. Whether he’s performing a magic trick — he keeps a pack of playing cards in his pocket — or discussing the finer points of feminist theory, Taylor seems to be able to talk to anyone
about anything. It seems to come naturally to him — maybe because it runs in the family. He comes from a long line of well-known, evangelical missionaries, including his great-great-great grandfather, who was one of the first Christian missionaries in China more than 150 years ago. He’s been compared to Clark Kent because of his nerdy chic glasses and sweaters, but the analogy suits him in other ways. On the wrestling mat, Taylor overpowers his opponents in his 197-pound weight class, having pinned 24 of them while winning 38 of 40 matches this season. He is Maryland’s all-time winningest wrestler, the school’s first three-time All-American and he finished fourth at the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Off the mat, Taylor’s breeziness and easygoing smile — along with his penchant for intellectual banter — make you wonder how one person can have such unexpectedly different sides of their personality. It’s simple, he says — nobody should have to conform to what society expects of them. “There are so many barriers that need to be overcome,” Taylor says. “I feel that a lot of the discrimination that occurs — especially among adolescents — is a result of individuals not aligning with stereotypes. If we were able to overcome these stereotypes, kids would grow up to be the person they want to be, not the person that society tells them to be.” Every athlete can be an advocate for LGBT equality, he says, once they understand that they are leaders. “When athletes begin to lead, not follow, they become more aware of the impact of their words and actions on others,” he adds. “That sense of responsibility and appreciation for your influence can really instigate a person’s desire to stand up for fairness, equality and all-around good treatment of others.”
By Carolyn Simon
Hudson Taylor had a lot on his plate this spring
“When athletes begin to lead, not follow, they become more aware of the impact of their words and actions on others.” 26
EQUALITY spring 2010
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1 Allison Lynn Biehle, Miss Indiana 2010, with HRC Field Organizer Adrian Matanza in Indianapolis, signs on to support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” 2–3 More than 40 HRC volunteers participated in the Ya Es Hora Census Assistance Forum in Houston to help Latino families be counted in the 2010 U.S. census. 4 Donna Payne, HRC’s associate director of diversity, at the March for America rally for immigration reform in Washington, D.C. 5 Representatives from companies that scored 100 percent on the Corporate Equality Index at the sixth annual LGBT Workplace Equality Awards Seminar and Reception in New York. 6 Actor Portia DeRossi, left, with Betty DeGeneres, Ellen’s mom, at the HRC LA Gala. 7 Actor Michael Urie at the HRC NY Gala. 8 HRC volunteers rally support for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in Miami at the Calle Ocho Festival, one of the nation’s largest Pan-American street fairs. 9 Harry Knox, HRC’s Religion and Faith Program director, at HRC’s Faith and Fairness Town Hall in Greensboro, N.C.
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waverly cole’s Legacy When Waverly Cole and John Cook first fell in love over 51 years ago in Virginia, it was a very different time. And it took a special courage to be true to oneself and one’s loved one. Now, decades later, our country is starting to recognize relationships like theirs. Marriage equality is becoming a reality, thanks to Waverly and John, and so many others who never backed down. Fortunately, Waverly and John had a sound estate plan in place to protect themselves, their relationship and to provide for the organizations they cared about. When Waverly passed last fall, their good planning ensured their wishes would be carried out. Waverly’s legacy provided generously for HRC to continue the fight for equality into the future.
John Cook (l), Waverly Cole (r)
LEGACY? The HRC Equality Circle was established to recognize individuals who have arranged for gifts to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation through tax-wise planned giving. for more information, visit
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Published on May 4, 2010
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Acclaimed filmmaker Lee Daniels on making Precious, Hollywood & homophobia & his next movie, Selma. HRC pushes to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't T...