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candidates Endorsed By HRC


Six Things You Can Do Between Now & November


Major Companies Speak Out for Equality

NAACP President Ben Jealous SPECIAL Q & A



s u m m e r 2012

a clear choice barack obama The Most LGBT-Friendly President Ever Standing With Us On Marriage Equality, ENDA & Opposing DOMA


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A Historic Turning Point for Our Nation Dear Friends,

emerging as center stage in the epic struggle for

lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights. And as detailed in this issue of Equality, America’s voters are choosing sides in this battle that will define our nation’s future. Standing with the Human Rights Campaign on the side of equality are courageous leaders like President Obama and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, civil rights giants like the NAACP, leading corporations like Starbucks and General Mills, and a growing bipartisan majority of Americans across the country. Lining up on the side of intolerance are extreme-right politicians like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, extreme-right groups like the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council, and a dwindling number of companies — like fast-food chain Chick-fil-A — that embrace anti-LGBT bigotry. At the same time, millions of voters are deciding whether they will support our nation’s defining principle of equal rights under the law — or the discrimination that condemns millions of Americans to the



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status of second-class citizens. And their choices on Election Day will have a huge impact on our fight to build a brighter future for LGBT Americans. Whoever controls the White House and Congress will determine not only the fate of important LGBT legislation but also of crucial HIV/AIDS funding, and the future makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court — which could soon be handing down major decisions on marriage equality and other LGBT rights issues. Regardless of the results on Nov. 6, the struggle for LGBT civil rights will continue onward. But the outcome could mean the difference between winning full equality in a few years or a few decades — whether we move forward now or later to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination, to make every school a welcoming place free from bullying, namecalling and discrimination, and to make the rights and respect that come with marriage available to every family in our nation. So as Americans prepare to go to the polls, I’m asking you to please step up your personal commitment to fairness. Talk to the people in your life — family, friends, neighbors and co-workers — about how much this election means to LGBT fami-

lies. And strengthen your support of HRC’s vital work to change hearts and minds, elect more champions of equality and achieve equal rights for all. Thank you for continuing to stand with HRC and the LGBT civil rights movement at this critical moment in our nation’s history. Together, we will win a decisive victory for equality, justice and future generations of LGBT Americans. Sincerely,

Chad Griffin President P.S. As Election Day approaches, anti-LGBT forces are ratcheting up their campaign of hate and lies. To prevail against their bigotry, we need every fair-minded person to boost their commitment to equality right now. So please rush a special donation to HRC today in the envelope provided. Better yet, give online at summer to put your gift to work right away. Thank you!

Photo: HRC


he 2012 elections are

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 John Greene Human Resources Director Allison Herwitt Legislative Director Anastasia Khoo Marketing Director

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Don Kiser Creative Director Brian Moulton Legal Director


Cathy Nelson Vice President for Development & Membership Jim Rinefierd Vice President for Finance & Operations

9 CHAD Griffin’s Bold beginning at HRC

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 Cuc Vu Chief Diversity Officer HRC EQUALITY STAFF Janice Hughes Publications Director Robert Villaflor Design Director Sarah Streyle Senior Graphic Design Specialist


Sam M. Anderson Editorial Intern OTHER CONTRIBUTORS

Photos: (top to bottom) Chris Pizzello / AP, Lillis Werder /iStock, Mario Tama / Getty

Tim Bahr, Tiffany Dean, Deena Fidas, Justin Gianquinto, Ellen Kahn, Anastasia Khoo, Don Kiser, John Lake, Andrea Levario, Tommy Lodge, Adam Marquez, Robin Maril, Mike Mings, Brian Moulton, Cathryn Oakley, Susan Paine, Jeremy Pittman, Karin Quimby, Aisha Satterwhite, Ben Shallenberger, Jessie Sheffield, Simone Walls


Elections 11 November 6: a turning point for marriage? 12 The White House  Where Romney & Obama STAND ON OUR ISSUES  Six Things You Can Do Between Now & Nov. 6  Zero: Ryan’s SCORE on HRC’s Scorecard 13 HRC Endorsements  Electing Fair-Minded Leaders 15 Major Companies Speak Out 17 A ROMNEY COURT? WATCH OUT.

19 special q & A NAACP’s Ben Jealous on his parents’ own battle to Marry, his board’s historic vote and more

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 2012. 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.

25 Two New Films to Watch Stories from the South: “DeepSouth” and “How to Survive a plague”

To join HRC, call 800-727-4723, visit or TTY at 202-216-1572.

36 Extreme Equality 13,000 Feet High and in Free Fall

23 The Hospital Waiting Room

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 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



5 35

Up Front Gala Events National Corporate Sponsors Foundation Partners

Cover and portions of pp. 2, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 17 paid for by Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

equality At Cox Enterprises, we believe our differences – whether ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation – actually make us stronger. We’re proud to call the HRC one of our national partners. We’re all connected. coxin m

HRC Board of Directors Lacey All WA, Kevin Bass CA, Bruce Bastian UT, Terry Bean OR, Les Bendtsen MN, Michael Berman DC, Paul Boskind TX, James “Wally” Brewster IL, William Donius MO, Tim Downing OH, Anne Fay TX, Chris Flynn MA, Jody Gates LA, Chad Griffin DC, Kirk Hamill DC, John Isa DC, LeeAnn Jones GA, Tom Knabel MN, Chris Labonte PA, Joan Lau PA, Jani Lopez TX, Anton Mack CA, Joni Madison NC, Joshua Miller NV, Patrick Miller LA, Michael Palmer VA, Dana Perlman CA, Henry Robin NY, Catherine Scalise TX, Linda Scaparotti CA, Judy Shepard WY, Molly Simmons GA, Meghan Stabler TX, Rebecca Tillet NY, Alan Uphold CA, Frank Woo CA, Lisa Zellner OH HRC Foundation Board of Directors Lacey All WA, Gwen Baba CA, John Barry IL, Kevin Bass CA, Bruce Bastian UT, Terry Bean OR, Les Bendtsen MN, Deiadra Burns TX, Lee Carter NC, Edie Cofrin GA, Jane Daroff OH, Fiona Dawson NY, Lawrie Demorest GA, William Donius MO, Anne Fay TX, Chris Flynn MA, Charlie Frew GA, Chad Griffin DC, Sandra Hartness CA, John Isa DC, Sheila Kloefkorn AZ, Joan Lau PA, Andy Linsky CA, Joshua Miller NV, Patrick Miller LA, Michael Palmer VA, Henry Robin NY, John Ruffier FL, Catherine Scalise TX, Judy Shepard WY, Molly Simmons GA, Faye Wilson Tate CO, Frank Woo CA

Photo: Photos: Zack Hasychak (Top, L-R)

HRC Board of Governors Robert Abernathy IL, Steve Amend NV, Carl Andrews TX, Andrew Arnold CA, Karen Aronoff-Holtmeier OH, Matthew Bacon MA, Jessica Bair CA, Phillip Baker AZ, Ian Barrett TX, Vanessa Benavides TX, Charles Beraud NV, Bob Berry IL, Scott Bishop NC, Eric Blomquist NY, Chris Boone WA, Brian Bourquin MA, Tim Bresnahan IL, Linda Brown OR, Barbara Browning MA, Charlie Buchanan TX, Rory Cahn OH, Nancy Caldwell TX, Frank Caliguri OH, Todd Canon TX, Carlos Carbonell FL, Chris Carolan NY, Steven Cayton GA, Jeffrey Caywood OH, Dawn Christensen NV, Jeffrey Coop WA, Thomas Cowley CA, John Cramer TX, Dani Daley CA, Jamie Depelteau CA, Brad DiFiore GA, Candace DiGirolamo OH, Robert Dogens NC, Michael Dunning MO, Patty Ellis NY, Tamra English TX, Alex Ernst DC, Jill Federico CA, Michael Fifield UT, Steve Fisher CA, Brian Flanagan NJ, Randy Floyd NC, Donna Flynn TX, Patrick Gamble AZ, Jeffery Garofalo NV, Sepi Ghafouri CA, Madeline Goss NC, Amos Gott TN, Cherie Green NC, Melinda Greene GA, Deb Guidry LA, Paul Guillory TX, Ron Guisinger OH, Jonathan Gundersen PA, Suzanne Hamilton OH, Jim Harrison TX, Jason Held IL, S. Kelly Herrick CA, Gary Hilbert NJ, Ron Hirth OH, Latoya Holman NV, Ted Holmquist CA, Miranda Hooker MA, Brian Irwin TX, Tim Jenkins IL, Deanne Jockish MO, Kathrin Kersten TX, John Kim WA, Britt Kornmann TX, Jason Lambert FL, Jason Laney DC, Brian Larios MO, Chris Lehtonen CA, Ryan Levy TX, Charlene Ligo OH, Michael Dell Long OR, Raymond Manci CA, John Mancuso MO, Jeff Marsocci NC, M Mason OH, Bob Mason CA, Lori Megown NY, Andrew Melissinos CA, Ryan Messer OH, Gwen Migita DC, Patrick Miller LA, James Minor CA, Kevin Moser WA, DyShaun Muhammad MN, Joseph Palacios DC, Darrell Parsons TX, Bryan Parsons CA, Ed Patterson GA, Lester Perryman LA, John Piedrahita DC, Steven Pospisil MN, Hank Provost CO, Robb Puckett TX, Glory Ramsey MN, Catherine Reid CA, Michael Reiser MO, Chad Reumann TX, Susan Reyes LA, Wendy Ringe TX, John Rivers NY, Andy Rubinson MA, Jonathan Russell GA, Carmen Salgado CA, Thearon Scurlock FL, Jon Shaffer OH, Mark Shura MA, Molly Simmons GA, Corey Smith MN, Ashley Smith DC, Michael Smithson OH, LaRence Snowden TX, Steven Spencer-Steigner CA, David Steiman CA, Skye Stoulig LA, Mayan Tahan AZ, Dan Tanner FL, Paul Thompson CA, Benjamin Waldman WA, Willis Ward NC, Melissa Warren LA, Julie Watson MN, Daniel Weaver DC, Pete Webb NY, Bill Weeks IL, Claudine Wessel AZ, Ed Westreicher GA, Amy White WA, Sharon Wong MD, Julie Wood GA

UP FRONT I don’t believe there is any church, any school or any set of parents that want to intentionally inflict harm on our young people, particularly in their most vulnerable years.” — HRC President Chad Griffin, quoted in an editorial in Deseret News, a major daily owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, after Griffin visited Utah in his first week at HRC. Nearly 70 percent of self-described LGBT Utah youths — as compared to 42 percent nationwide — said their community is not accepting of them, the newspaper reported, citing HRC’s new youth survey. The editorial, titled “End the Abuse of LGBT Teens in Utah,” was among the first of its kind run by the paper, based in Salt Lake City, headquarters of the Mormon church. Griffin also visited Arkansas, Nebraska, Maryland and California on his trip. See page 9.


million? That’s how much it costs to continue to discriminate against same-sex couples in California. The Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund organization is asking supporters for an additional $2 million to defend California’s Prop 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court. And that’s on top of $10 million spent over the past three years that the group has already used to keep same-sex couples from marrying, according to tax documents obtained by the Human Rights Campaign. Funding is coming mostly from a very small group of donors — just five to six contributors. In 2010, six contributors alone donated nearly $3.3 million of the group’s $4.3 million for the year. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide this fall whether it will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Prop 8.

Rosario! You just never know who is going to stop by an HRC pride booth. Actor Rosario Dawson, strolling through the San Francisco pride festival, began chatting with an HRC canvasser… and ended up talking for ten minutes about HRC’s work in schools as well as marriage equality. She graciously posed for photos with HRC volunteers and supporters. When asked to make a donation, she emptied out all the money she had in her wallet and signed up to be a member. Dawson, perhaps best known for her role in the film adaptation of Rent, is a longtime activist and founder of Voto Latino (


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HE SIMPLY THINKS THAT THE BATTLE IS LOST. Maggie Gallagher, columnist & former president, National Organization for Marriage

HE’S DEAD WRONG. Rev. Jim Garlow, senior pastor, Skyline Wesleyan Church

WHAT THEY SAID Why were opponents of equality seething this summer? Not because of the scorching heat. It was because their colleague David Blankenhorn took a 180-degree turn. Blankenhorn — the only “expert” witness in Perry v. Schwarzenegger who testified for California’s Proposition 8 — announced that he, in fact, is in favor of same-sex marriage.

2nd-Class Citizens?

34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. HRC unfurled a giant banner at its headquarters in Washington, during the 19th International AIDS Conference, in recognition of those living with HIV/AIDS and honoring the millions lost. The event was held in the United States for the first time since the 1987 travel ban on HIV-positive persons took effect; the ban was lifted January 2010. HRC continues to work for increased funding for HIV/AIDS research, prevention, treatment and services provided through the Ryan White Care Act and to fight against discrimination and encourage expanded public education efforts. The epidemic still disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men, transgender people and young people in communities of color. See issues/health. (Also see p. 25.)



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That’s what gay people are — in the eyes of the Boy Scouts of America. The leadership of the Boy Scouts recently announced they would uphold its ban on “open or avowed homosexuals.” In other words, LGBT people are less-deserving, not equal and not good enough to participate as members or leaders. All this from a 2.7-million member group that touts its ability to build character. HRC urged its members to ask Bob Mazzuca and Wayne Brock, the Boy Scouts’ current and incoming chief scout executives, respectively, to lift the ban. More than 74,000 responded, sending

Working abroad is not always easy, especially for LGBT employees. Not only do LGBT people face various sanctions in many hostile nations — homosexuality is criminalized in some 100 countries — but there is a lack of global consistency regarding the human, civil and broader legal rights of LGBT people, according to a new white paper for employers by the HRC Foundation’s Workplace Project and the Council for Global Equality. “Whether a week away with clients in another country or a 36-month semi-


“The time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do,” said Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values. HRC President Chad Griffin praised Blankenhorn for his principled stand. Griffin put together the legal team whose federal lawsuit to overturn Prop 8 keeps advancing successfully.

emails. “At a time when America is moving in the direction of acceptance and inclusion, the Boy Scouts have decided to uphold a practice of exclusion, even though it espouses ‘helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible and productive society,’” HRC President Chad Griffin wrote in an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News.

permanent post, overseas work can present unique challenges,” according to HRC’s report, “Global Travel and Relocation of LGBT Workers: Considerations and Best Practices for Employers.” HRC has begun to lend its expertise to major employers with operations across the globe. Its 2012 Corporate Equality Index was the first to report out on the prevalence of LGBT-inclusive policies, benefits and practices across global operations. Two-thirds of the CEIrated companies have operations outside the country. See for more.

Photo: Jessie Sheffield for HRC

How does your city rate? How well does your city serve its LGBT employees and residents? This fall, HRC is releasing results from its first-ever evaluation of municipal laws and policies affecting the LGBT community. The new study looks at how 134 major U.S. cities and municipalities treat their LGBT employees as well as how the cities’ laws and policies serve LGBT people living and working in that municipality. The analysis grows out of the success of the Corporate Equality Index, a rating by HRC’s Workplace Project of hundreds of major U.S. companies. Stay tuned!

“It breaks my heart to know that millions of gay Americans still can’t marry the ones they love, and I can. That makes no sense.”

— Kristen Bell

“We don’t want to have a ceremony that other people can’t have.”

— Dax Shepard

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been engaged since 2009 but say they won’t get married until their LGBT friends in California have the same opportunity. The actors are both in the new film, Hit and Run, written and directed by Shepard. When he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and was asked when he would be married, Shepard said, “When all of our friends can also get married in California.” Bell joined ranks with “Breaking Bad”’s Bryan Cranston, Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore and others by making an Americans for Marriage Equality video with HRC earlier this year.

34 Photos: Steve Granitz/WireImage, Pat Ryan for HRC


More than a third — or 181 members — of the U.S. Congress support marriage equality, according to HRC’s new resource, a searchable database of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the issue. Each member’s stance is now available via HRC’s website,, searchable by ZIP code. It also shows that 44 percent — or 234 members — have made statements against marriage equality, while stances of 23 percent — or 122 members — are unclear or unknown. The new data will be available this fall in HRC’s next Congressional Scorecard. Members’ scores are based on any statements they have made in the past, an HRC survey question and whether they have supported LGBTfriendly legislation. 

When Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy made his anti-LGBT remarks this summer, HRC acted immediately, including gathering a nationwide protest pledge. Also, two dozen HRC employees took local action: They protested one of the fast food chain’s food trucks in downtown Washington, D.C. Doesn’t Cathy know that being anti-LGBT is bad for business? He might by now. After his remarks, the company’s perception with consumers slid from 65 to 39 points, and even dropped in the South where it has a strong foothold, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex. Do your part! Sign the HRC’s Chick-fil-A protest pledge at


THE NEXT STEPS HRC’s new, extensive survey of LGBT youth is beginning to make a difference — at local, state and federal levels. Local youth-serving groups across the country say HRC’s survey — the first in the country to look at different areas of the lives of LGBT youth: at home, in the community and at school — is helping them bring attention to the dire need for welcoming spaces for youth. State and federal officials are also taking notice and asking for more information. “It’s fantastic — the results are crystal clear,” says Cindy Watson, executive director of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, an LGBT youth development services group. “We’re able to have more frequent, better conversations — with funders, teachers, parents and even young people themselves,” Watson says. HRC is working to examine the volumes of data to learn more, according to Ellen Kahn, director of HRC’s Family Project. Over the next year, HRC hopes to release a series of in-depth reports, including one on Latina/o youth. (Twenty percent of respondents identified as Latina/o.) Another report will be on “outness” among LGBT youth — “who young people are out to, if they’re out to families and friends, what factors make it hard,” Kahn says. Another report may be on transgender youth. Nearly 600 participated in the survey. Anne Nicoll, a child welfare expert at the University of Seattle, is carrying out an in-depth analysis of the survey results.


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The First 3 Months

Photos: Alyssa Shukar for HRC, Judy Rolfe for HRC, David Daniels for HRC

Griffin’s Bold beginning at HRC

So much of the work we do happens, and is felt by, real people — outside of Washington. I am committed to bringing an Outside-the-Beltway mentality to our critical mission.” NEW Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin hit the ground running in his first week on the job and hasn’t stopped since — traveling coast to coast to talk with lawmakers, religious leaders and community members. Griffin began his tenure on the road for an important reason, he says. “So much of the work we do happens, and is felt by, real people — outside of Washington. I am committed to bringing an Outside-the-Beltway mentality to our critical mission.” A major part of that is understanding the needs and concerns and hopes of people around the country — not just in D.C. or in the big meccas of the LGBT community.” Griffin met with Arkansas lawmakers about anti-bullying legislation, dropped in at

a youth homeless shelter in Salt Lake City and talked with LGBT activists in San Francisco. In Nebraska, he met with religious leaders to talk about their work on LGBT issues in Omaha and Lincoln. In Ohio, Griffin visited the only group in the state dedicated to supporting LGBT youth. Additionally, Griffin has led the way in stepping up HRC’s work to help re-elect President Obama, win marriage equality in Maine, defend marriage equality laws in Maryland and Washington state, and defeat the anti-LGBT marriage measure in Minnesota. In early August, HRC announced it would contribute an additional $1 million to campaigns in the four states. Back in Washington, he joined U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen

Sebelius to release HRC’s latest report on healthcare facilities. He also met with NAACP President Ben Jealous (See p. 19). In another key initiative, Griffin released a new extensive survey by HRC of nearly 10,000 youth, prompting state, federal and local press attention. He has drawn media attention in other ways, too — whether it was an op-ed in the Salt Lake City daily about LGBT youth or another in the Washington Post calling out the Family Research Council for its pattern of hateful rhetoric. Making key connections on the ground in nearly a dozen cities, as well as in the nation’s capital, Griffin has firmly established himself as a force to be reckoned with — with more to come.


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‘13 | GS | 350


November 6

A Turning Point for Marriage? T

his Election Year, the Human Rights Campaign has ratch-

eted up its campaign efforts to a new level. Re-electing President Obama is a top priority as is protecting marriage at the ballot box in four key states and keeping the U.S. Senate in the hands

Photo: Nicholas Kamm / Getty

of fair-minded leaders. Most importantly, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community cannot afford to lose such a strong ally in the White House. Obama has spoken out clearly for marriage equality, supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and opposes the Defense of Marriage Act. Rival Mitt Romney has failed to support our community in every way. Early on, in fact, he signed the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay marriage pledge. November 6 will also be a historic op-

portunity to beat back our opponents’ main talking point: that we have never won a marriage-related ballot initiative on Election Day. For more than a year, HRC has had organizers on the ground — much earlier than in other election years. It has dispatched dozens of field staff to work on campaigns, to help recruit more volunteers for HRCendorsed candidates, to phone bank, walk precincts and more. “This Election Year could truly be a turning point for marriage,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We must ensure that our families, friends and colleagues know how important these elections are to our day-to-day lives and to the next generation.” Here are the four marriage battlegrounds: In Maine, LGBT activists this year proactively took marriage equality to the ballot. In Washington and Maryland, voters will be asked to affirm the historic actions of those two legislatures when they passed marriage equality bills. And in Minnesota, voters have the chance to defeat a constitu-

tional amendment banning marriage for gay and lesbian couples. In addition, HRC has been leading the way in the fight for a fair-minded U.S. Senate. One priority: to help longtime ally Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin win her Senate race. HRC has been intensively raising funds for other key candidates, too — in a year that is certain to have the costliest campaigns ever, thanks to changes in campaign finance rules. Meanwhile, marriage equality is at risk in Iowa and New Hampshire, where HRC has been on the ground since 2006 to elect fairminded officials and keep anti-LGBT forces at bay. In Iowa, a change in a few legislative seats could determine whether or not the marriage law is at risk of a popular vote. And Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who was part of the state Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in favor of marriage equality, is up for a retention vote this November. In New Hampshire, the results of the gubernatorial and legislative elections will determine if marriage equality remains intact.


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the white house

where they stand


Marriage Equality



Civil Unions









Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Known as ENDA, this federal legislation would bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Defense of Marriage Act

DOMA, a federal law, defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

Federal Marriage Amendment

This proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution would limit marriage in the country to unions of one man and one woman.


Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee, is a big zero, literally: In all but one Congress, he has earned a “0” on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for his anti-gay stance in the House (and even in that “good” year, he only earned a “10”). Ryan voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Vice President Joe Biden, received a score of 95 for the last Congress in which he served. He co-sponsored and voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, voted consistently for the hate crimes bill and opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment. Biden announced his support for marriage equality this year. See



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before Nov. 6


Register to vote and encourage others to do the same.

Take a few moments to talk with your friends, neighbors and co-workers about why LGBT issues are important to you in a very personal way and how the elections will affect you or someone you love.

Volunteer with one of the marriage ballot campaigns, President Obama’s re-election campaign or any other of the HRC-endorsed candidates’ campaigns.

Host a house party to benefit HRC’s National Marriage Fund or for a campaign in one of the four ballot states. Contact Rick Hill at HRC for more materials and the information you need to plan a party ( Donate to HRC’s National Marriage Fund, hrc. org/nationalPAC, or to one of HRC’s marriage state PACs in Minnesota, Washington, Maine and Maryland (; WAPAC;; Work with a local HRC steering committee about hosting a mobile phone bank. Contact HRC’s Kate Kramer for details (kate.kramer@

Photos: Yuri Gripas / Getty, Justin Sullivan / Getty

Both U.S. presidential candidates have made their views on LGBT civil rights quite clear. President Barack Obama — the most proLGBT president to date — is far ahead of rival Mitt Romney. The two differ on each of the five major LGBT-related measures.

hrc endorsements

electing fair-minded leaders


here is a lot riding on who wins office in November — from the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. These candidates, endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, are part of a larger group of HRC-endorsed candidates, who are key allies and can make a critical difference as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people move forward to equality. Arizona Kyrsten Sinema Since becoming a senator in the Arizona statehouse, Sinema has been a stalwart supporter of LGBT equality, whether it was preserving benefits for state employees or blocking attempts to ban marriage equality. Sinema, who is openly bisexual, is working to get statewide benefits for those in domestic partnerships. California Mark Takano If elected, Takano will be the first openly LGBT person of color in the U.S. Congress. In his newly created California district, he has worked closely with the local community as an elected official in Riverside County. He plans to help ENDA and the Uniting for American Families Act succeed and get DOMA repealed. Hawaii Mazie Hirono Hawaii’s Hirono is a longtime supporter of LGBT equality, including equal marriage rights, and has earned a perfect 100 percent on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard every year. The third-term U.S. congresswoman is in a tight race for a U.S. Senate seat against Linda Lingle, Hawaii’s former governor, who opposes marriage rights. As governor, she vetoed the state’s civil unions law in 2010, comparing samesex marriage to incest. Iowa Christie Vilsack Former Iowa First Lady Vilsack hopes to defeat infamous anti-gay incumbent Steve King. King has vehemently opposed all pro-LGBT legislation and announced that his “worst fears have been realized” when marriage equality became a reality in Iowa. With a zero on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard, King would fight any measures for LGBT equality on Capitol Hill.

Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren Consumer rights hero Warren is a candidate facing an opponent who has a weak record on LGBT issues. She is in a tight race for the Senate seat in Massachusetts against Scott Brown, who scored just a 33 percent on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard. Warren supports marriage equality and workplace fairness and opposes DOMA. Nevada Shelley Berkley Time and again in her 14 years representing Nevada in the House, Berkley has been a staunch ally, earning a 100 percent on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard. She supported DADT repeal and has opposed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. In her U.S. Senate race, Berkley faces Dean Heller, who scored a zero on the scorecard. NEW HAMPSHIRE MAGGIE HASSAN Earlier this year, the New Hampshire legislature came close to repealing the Granite State’s marriage equality law. Hassan, running for governor, was a leader in the fight to pass marriage when she was in the state Senate and would veto any attempt to repeal the law. Her opponent strongly opposes marriage equality. It will be one of the closest races this election year, observers say. New Mexico Martin Heinrich The U.S. Senate race in New Mexico is a close one. But the two candidates could hardly differ more on LGBT equality. Heinrich scored 97 percent on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard while serving in the House. His opponent, former Congresswoman Heather Wilson, who claims to be moderate, garnered a mere five percent. Wilson voted for the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment and against ENDA. Heinrich supported the DADT repeal, ENDA and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. New York Sean Patrick Maloney The House race in New York between the openly gay former Clinton White House staffer Maloney

and the Republican conservative incumbent is a tossup. Maloney previously worked for former Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson, HRC allies. Maloney’s opponent, first-year Rep. Nan Hayworth, has yet to back key LGBT legislation such as ENDA or the bill to repeal DOMA. Ohio Sherrod Brown Brown, of Ohio, is one of the first U.S. senators to be 100 percent behind equal marriage rights. He was one of the 67 of 435 members of the U.S. House who opposed the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and today he continues to strongly support civil rights. Brown is a co-sponsor of ENDA and voted to repeal DADT in 2010. Rhode Island David Cicilline Incumbent Cicilline made history in 2002 as the first openly LGBT mayor of a capital city when Rhode Islanders elected him to office. Cicilline, who is running for a second term in the House, started working right away on the Hill for LGBT equality, cosponsoring anti-bullying legislation and working to repeal DOMA and to pass ENDA. Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin The Wisconsin member of Congress is taking her fight for equality to the U.S. Senate. Baldwin, who has served in the House since 1999, is in the running to become the country’s first openly LGBT senator. Baldwin also supports healthcare for all and reproductive rights. Wisconsin Mark Pocan An openly gay member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, Pocan is setting his sights on Tammy Baldwin’s soon-to-be-vacant House seat and vows to keep supporting equal rights in Wisconsin and at the federal level. In his state, Pocan has been working on legalizing domestic partnerships and increasing funds for HIV/AIDS treatment. If elected to the House, he will work to pass marriage equality and ENDA, he says.

Do your part to support fair-minded candidates!


summer 2012


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ajor U.S. companies are taking on more of a public role in support of equality this election year. General Mills and Starbucks, for instance, recently have spoken out against LGBT discrimination and stand with the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTrelated groups at both the federal and state level. They’re drawing some fire from the conservative right but aren’t backing down. General Mills and Starbucks, which are headquartered in Minnesota and Washington — states facing important marriage legislation in November — have clearly voiced their support for marriage equality. At the company’s annual shareholders meeting, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was confronted by the director of the National Organization for Marriage’s Corporate Fairness Project about the decision. Schultz declared in no uncertain terms that Starbucks followed a tradition of acceptance, saying, “We made that decision, in our view, through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.” Other companies in Washington are speaking up, too. Some of the companies have faced a backlash from anti-LGBT forces. NOM went


Eight years ago, Nationwide Insurance, based in Columbus, Ohio, was one of the few companies willing to go on record against a statewide discriminatory initiative to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. Sue McManus, an openly gay executive at Nationwide, president of its 400-member Pride Associate Resource Group and a member of HRC’s Business Council, spoke with Equality. In 2004, Nationwide stood up against an anti-LGBT voter referendum — relatively early in the fight for marriage equality and in a state known for being quite conservative. We had some courageous and fair-minded executives who started our journey for LGBT equality very early when we announced

When General Mills’ CEO Ken Powell announced the company’s support for marriage equality and LGBT equality, Ken Charles, the company’s vice president of global diversity and inclusion, said he was proud of the company’s “inclusive culture that welcomes and values the contributions of all.” Charles testified on Capitol Hill recently in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, saying General Mills’ inclusive policies and practices have contributed to the company’s success. Both General Mills and Starbucks (an HRC National Corporate Partner) had high marks on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

after the coffee giant with its “Dump Starbucks” campaign, and identifies the company’s products so people know what to cross off their shopping lists. In the meantime, an increasing number of companies are beginning to understand the importance of speaking up — again and again, if need be — about LGBT-related legislation.

household member benefits in 1999. Both diversity and inclusion are an integral component of Nationwide’s values, and the company continues to demonstrate that with actions that include involvement in legislation that affects employees. Nationwide also signed on to a critical amicus brief, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, that underlines the harms that the Defense of Marriage Act imposes on businesses as employers. Businesses, not just Nationwide, face challenges in states where gay marriage is legal. This conflicts with the federal DOMA and prevents employers from treating associates equally under state law in their benefits plans as well as tax treatment, family leave protections, immigration status and other programs.

Fortune 500 companies are taking a positive position on marriage equality in states with key ballot campaigns. In Minnesota, they are: General Mills and St. Jude Medical. And in Washington: Alcoa, Amazon, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., CBS Corp., Chubb Corp., Exelon Corp., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., NIKE Inc., Starbucks Corp., and Xerox Corp. For a full list of companies and business leaders, see positivestance.

For eight years, Nationwide has scored a “100” on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, including taking those extra steps as the CEI grew to cover transgender employees’ health benefits more fully. Why? Inclusion means everyone. We appreciate our similarities and differences, and it was a logical next step for Nationwide to add transgender benefits as we continue to support our employees and represent those in the markets we serve.

Nationwide offers a discount on insurance to HRC members and supporters and has a special call center unit that specializes in giving advice to domestic partners based on the laws in their state. See


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Take pride

in who you are... ...and where you are going. You’ve got a vision, and there’s nothing that’s going to stop you. With your tenacity and our technology, you can accomplish anything. Microsoft is proud to support the Human Rights Campaign and its efforts to achieve equality around the globe.

that the Court will take any of these cases, or what they will decide if they do, it is clear that such crucial issues will be decided by the nine justices sooner rather than later,” he says.

Robert Bork and Romney?


A Romney Court? Watch Out. By Robin Maril

Photo: Lillis Werder

Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty


n case you don’t already feel a personal stake in this fall’s election, cases looming before the U.S. Supreme Court and the threat of entrenched Romney conservatism on its bench might put you over the edge.  Whoever wins the White House in November will likely have the opportunity to appoint at least one justice — if not more — to the high court. And in the months ahead, the Court may decide some cases that could fundamentally change the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Between October and June of next year, the Court may take up cases about the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and

California’s Proposition 8, as well as a case about domestic partner benefits for Arizona state employees. In July of this year, both the Obama administration and the U.S. House of Representatives’ Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group submitted requests to the court to review the constitutionality of DOMA in three prominent cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services and Golinski v. OPM. Opponents of equality also have asked the Court to overturn two positive decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Perry v. Brown, the historic decision that struck down California’s Prop 8, and Diaz v. Brewer, which stopped Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer from stripping domestic partner benefits from state employees.  It’s not a matter of if, but rather when, the Court will take up important issues of LGBT equality, according to HRC Legal Director Brian Moulton. “While there is no guarantee

Four Supreme Court justices will be 74 or older in January, when the next presidential term begins — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. The Court is now considered to have four liberal-leaning justices and four conservativeleaning justices, with one who is considered to be the swing vote. Court watchers speculate that Kennedy and Scalia will be the most likely to retire within the next four years, opening up an opportunity for Romney to appoint two staunchly conservative justices — dissolving the currently tenuous balance on the bench and embedding radically conservative values for decades to come. All nominations require confirmation by the Senate.

Mitt Romney and the Senate Republican leaders have made it clear that the kind of judges they support are not those who would recognize the fundamental equality of all Americans in their judicial decisions. Romney has pledged to nominate judges similar to the most conservative judges on the Court. In fact, the Romney campaign has turned to controversial conservative Robert Bork — the retired judge whose radical views prevented him from getting his own spot on the Supreme Court under President Reagan in 1987 — to lead a committee devoted to finding these nominees. If elected, Romney’s anti-equality legacy could be embodied in our nation’s highest court for decades to come. Many speculate that Paul Clement is high on the list of potential picks by Romney. A former U.S. solicitor general under President George W. Bush, Clement is currently representing the House legal advisory group as it defends DOMA in courts across the country. At only 45 years old, a Justice Clement and his conservative ideology could shape the Court for a very long time.  In stark contrast, President Barack Obama has a strong track record of appointing fair-minded nominees to the Court, including Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.  That’s why putting an ally in the White House is so crucial. Maril is HRC’s legislative counsel for administrative advocacy.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79 (Apptd. by Bill Clinton, 1993) Antonin Scalia, 77 (Apptd. by Ronald Reagan, 1986) Anthony Kennedy, 76 (Apptd. by Ronald Reagan, 1988) Stephen Breyer, 73 (Apptd. by Bill Clinton, 1994)


summer 2012


Our greatest asset is what makes us different. Goldman Sachs is a proud supporter of the Human Rights Campaign. At Goldman Sachs, we know that without the best people, we cannot be the best firm. We aim to hire, retain and motivate men and women from many backgrounds who can offer fresh perspectives. Our Office of Global Leadership and Diversity (GLD) helps carry out this mission through numerous partnerships, including one with the firm’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network (LGBT). Some of their efforts and achievements include educating colleagues on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, supporting professional development, and promoting mentorship. These efforts serve to foster a strong sense of community and illustrate the belief that our success depends on having people who reflect the diversity of the communities and cultures in which we operate.

Š 2012 Goldman Sachs. All rights reserved.


NAACP President Ben Jealous On his Parents’ Own Battle to Marry, His Board’s Historic Vote and How Best to Fight Voter Suppression By Janice Hughes


n 1966, Ann Todd and Fred Jealous were forced to leave Ann’s hometown of Baltimore and travel to Washington, D.C., to be able to marry. Not only was interracial marriage illegal in Maryland and many other states, but a couple could be convicted of a felony and jailed for several years if they did marry.

Photo: Todd Plitt / Contour by Getty Images

It was something, of course, Ben Todd Jealous’ family never forgot. “The story was always told as what it was: a great American love story and an example of the sacred nature of the struggle for freedom and justice,” says Jealous. Certainly, he never forgot about fighting for what is right. He worked on voter registration campaigns, exposed corruption as a journalist in Mississippi and led protests for homeless rights in New York while at Columbia University. Jealous, 39, now heads the NAACP, the country’s centuryold civil rights powerhouse, leading the battle against racism in all its forms. The Human Rights Campaign and the NAACP — which endorsed marriage equality this summer and has taken public positions against Prop 8 in California and the Defense of Marriage Act — are forging closer ties in the same-sex marriage fight in Maryland, the stop-and-frisk protests in New York and more. Equality caught up with Jealous who lives in Maryland with his wife, civil rights attorney and constitutional law professor Lia Epperson Jealous, and their daughter and newborn son. WWW.HRC.ORG

summer 2012


As my own parents’ lives have proven, when it comes

(L-R) NAACP President Ben Jealous in Alabama, marching against the state’s immigration law and new voter identification law. In Washington, getting arrested during a protest of the escalating humanitarian emergency in Sudan. On Capitol Hill, after a news conference about health care reform.

Your father worked to integrate lunch counters in the south. Your mother was involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. Your grandmother, as a teacher, fought racism in the 1930s in Virginia. What do you find that you take away from your family’s lives, their work — the lessons learned? My father’s family has fought for freedom since the Battle of Bunker Hill, my mother’s since well before the Civil War. These traditions called each of them into the civil rights movement. What sticks with me the most is something my father said to me many times when I was a child: “Everybody gets afraid sometimes. That’s OK. The question is, ‘What do you do about it?’ When you act in response to your fears, you are a coward. When you act in spite of your fears, you have the chance to be a hero.” Your father, who is white, and your mother, who is black, married a year before the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia which made interracial marriage legal nationwide. Did they ever talk to you about having



summer 2012

being forced to travel to Washington to be able to get married? We heard the story many times as children, mostly from our grandparents, aunts and cousins. The story was always told as what it was: a great American love story and an example of the sacred nature of the struggle for freedom and justice. What do you think about the same-sex marriage battle in Maryland? Any thoughts about the increase in support among African Americans there on the issue? This is fundamentally about rights, not rites. Your house of worship will always have the right to marry or not marry whomever it wants. The First Amendment guarantees that. However, what the state can do is a different matter. The Fourteenth Amendment is very clear that the state must treat all people equally. The more people realize that this is only about whether the state — a judge, a clerk, a justice of the peace — can continue to discriminate against people based on what they are, the more people we will win over. As

Photos: (Top, L-R) Courtesy of the NAACP, Cliff Owen / AP, Chip Somodevilla / Getty

s to marriage equality, time is ultimately on our side.

my own parents’ lives have proven, when it comes to marriage equality, time is ultimately on our side. 

voters out of the ballot box than at any other time — since the rise of Jim Crow.” What can we do to try to ensure it does not happen?

ing, the LGBT and black communities share a bond of struggle that calls on each of us to finish the job.

The NAACP’s national board of directors endorsed the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Many of your board members are religious leaders — and all but one of them were supportive.

When you are just weeks away from a national election, there is only one way to deal with massive efforts at voter suppression: Register and mobilize as many voters as possible. That is where we are focused now.

I am proud of our board for its courage and clarity on this issue. We have many religious leaders on our board, including the former presiding bishop of a major African American denomination and a rabbi that Newsweek lists as the most influential in the country. Both of them, and all the other religious leaders on the board except one, voted for it. Indeed, all but three out of 64 board members supported the decision. The real story here is just that: The board of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization is clear: Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. Period.

“Stop and frisk” tactics raise serious concerns about racial profiling — and, in fact, raise concerns about unfair profiling of many kinds. Even transgender people are particularly susceptible to biased policing, especially in communities of color. Can you talk about this kind of overlapping and intersecting of our communities?

The NAACP has been supportive of a broad civil rights agenda for some time, like opposing DOMA since the mid-1990s. Bayard Rustin certainly taught all of us about how crucial coalition-building is. How can we help people better understand that we are not distinct communities?

Voter suppression — it’s a big problem. Recently you’ve said, “In the past year, more states have passed more laws pushing more

I was proud to stand inside the Stonewall Inn surrounded by three dozen LGBT organizations joining the movement to end racial profiling in NYC and shut down [New York City Mayor] Bloomberg’s and [Police Chief] Kelly’s failed stop-and-frisk program. Stonewall is sacred ground. Its very existence reminds us that when it comes to ending abusive polic-

Our world is better for all of us when each of us keeps our eyes wide open on the road of life. Those who would pretend that the black community does not have a large and important LGBT contingent, or vice versa, are living with their eyes shut and they require each of us to pay a price for it every day.  LGBT equality can be very personal. How is it you came to be so supportive of LGBT people? I grew up in a family that loves people for who they truly are and hates oppression for what it truly is.


summer 2012


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healthcare equality index

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iscrimination is still all too common at the local hospital or clinic for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is trying to change that — with its annual AGHealthcare Equality Index, a rating of LGBT inclusivity in 4/16/12 healthcare settings. This year, HRC heard from a record


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two new films to watch

STORIES FROM THE SOUTH On the Front lines in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi By Sam M. Anderson

Photo: Courtesy of Deepsouth


oshua Alexander was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the late 2000s and, after a failed suicide attempt, searched for and found a place where he is accepted in the South, as a gay black Mississippian. In rural Louisiana, Monica Johnson and her close friend Tammy King host, with few funds, their annual HIV retreat. Alabama activist Kathie Hiers spends 120 days a year on the road trying to secure equitable funding for AIDS groups in the region. The trials and triumphs of these four, and their everyday lives, are explored in journalist and filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti’s new documentary, “deepsouth.” The film looks at the impact

“How to Survive a Plague” film shows How a movement Changed the World By Sam M. Anderson

of HIV/AIDS in the South, where the problem of high infection rates often goes unnoticed. Blended with scenery of the southern countryside, the stories of those affected by the disease shed light on the challenges created by social and geographical hurdles. Johnson and King face these obstacles while organizing their event with limited funds and resources. They rely on volunteers to


n the early years of AIDS, diagnosis was often thought of as a death sentence. A new documentary, “How to Survive a Plague,” shows how ACT UP — the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power — boisterously taught the world otherwise. Protest after protest, ACT UP members took to the streets to fight against HIV/AIDS and the homophobia surrounding it, and to make it better for those dying from a disease no one seemed to care about. To be released in September, “How to Survive a Plague,” an official selection for the Sundance Film Festival, uses a mix of footage, some rarely seen before, to show how ACT UP members organized and found the strength to fight. Many of them were HIV-

cook and post signs across the country roads, but it’s well worth it: dozens of HIV-positive participants can talk about their trials openly. For many, it’s the only safe place they can discuss their lives. The demographics of the population most heavily affected by HIV/AIDS have changed drastically in the past decades. continued on p. 27

positive and continually ostracized, but they refused to be ignored by the federal government and by pharmaceutical companies. They played an important role in transforming a hopeless diagnosis into a controllable disease. A large part of the film focuses on the movement’s battle with the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies. The aim was to get the right drugs; for years, many drugs came to light only to disappoint. It wasn’t until 1996 that the right “drug cocktail” was created. In the film, survivors of the epidemic reflect on how they made it to that point, and how lucky they were. There was a level of guilt, however. “Like any war,” says ACT UP’s continued on p. 27


summer 2012


EQUALITY is really big news.




For four years running, Caesars Entertainment has earned the distinction of a perfect score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. And with more than 50

properties on five continents, 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.




South con’t from p. 25

Rates among gay black men and heterosexual black women in the South make up a disproportionate percentage of diagnosed citizens. “The numbers are alarming, but they don’t tell the entire story,” Biagiotti said in an interview with Equality magazine. A deep dive into the data reveals that there really are contextual, environmental factors at play. We actually need to reframe how we think about HIV — it’s less about personal sexual behavior and more an indicator of a fragile society.” Family is key in the South, but when LGBT issues come into the mix, problems can arise. Alexander describes his family as “anti-homo,” but then opens the audience up to a different definition of family. He’s seen with his “gay family” in the film in a place where he’s free to open up. Cedric Sturdevant is the “gay dad” to many sons. He’s a mentor to those who may have been rejected by their blood relatives and brings the family together over a home-cooked meal. A haven is created where the young gay

Plague con’t from p. 25

men of Mississippi can sit, chat and avoid stigmatization. Intertwined throughout the documentary are glimpses into the barriers in the South. A preacher in a church speaks about how homosexuality “stinks in the nostrils of God,” while a Mississippi schoolteacher struggles in the classroom in talking to students about how to protect themselves with the mandated “abstinence only” curriculum. Biagiotti said she tied stories together to show how the experiences of the individual, the community and the system are all affected by HIV/AIDS. The documentary premiered in Washington, D.C., during the recent International AIDS Conference. So what’s next for “deepsouth?” Biagiotti hopes the message will spread further. With more funding, she hopes to begin screening the film at colleges and high schools around the country, to not only educate on HIV/AIDS but also on “the tangle of issues that are so far beyond HIV.”

The South has the most people living with HIV/AIDS, the most poverty and the least amount of resources to deal with such crises, says AIDS Alabama CEO Kathie Hiers in the film, “deepsouth.” Greater awareness about the high rates of infection in the region — and the limited federal funds — is desperately needed, she says. Take a look. > The South is home to 43% of the U.S. population living with HIV. > An estimated one in five gay black men in the South is infected with HIV. > Eight of the 10 states with the highest HIV-related death rates (excluding Washington, D.C.) are in the South. > Nearly 79% of all AIDS cases in rural populations are in the South. > In AIDS diagnoses among women, black women make up 64% of new cases nationwide. In the South, they make up 71% of women diagnosed.

Peter Staley, “you wonder why you came home.” The film’s director, David France, was there when ACT UP was being formed and was able to use his personal experiences to piece together the history of the movement. As in any movement, ACT UP members ran into some bumps along the road, and disagreements on how to move forward led to a split. The Treatment Action Group, or TAG, left and moved away from the group’s traditional tactics of protesting on the streets; TAG took the form of a think tank. Though not always working side by side, their combined efforts significantly changed how AIDS was treated. “How to Survive a Plague” shows how seemingly powerless individuals can join together to fight — and prevail.

An estimated one in five people in America who are infected with HIV don’t know they have the virus. Men who have sex with men are among those most affected by HIV. Although they make up about 2% of the U.S. population, they account for an overwhelming number of new HIV infections. In 2009, they accounted for 64% of all new HIV infections. Testing remains crucial. The National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on September 27 is approaching quickly. It encourages gay and bisexual men to practice safe sex, educate themselves about the disease, fight for equal healthcare rights and get tested regularly. For more, see www.cdc. gov/Features/HIVAIDSAwareness/. For gay and bisexual men of color, rates of HIV infection are rising drastically: One in three carry the virus. A campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages HIV testing among black men who have sex with men, using positive, empowering messages that emphasize HIV testing as a source of strength, CDC officials say. The campaign, known as “Testing Makes Us Stronger,” aims to reach black gay and bisexual men in their everyday lives — through national online and magazine ads, and transit and billboard ads in six cities where black men who have sex with men, or MSM, are heavily affected by HIV (Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, New York, Oakland and Washington, D.C.). It is part of Act Against AIDS, CDC’s five-year, multi-faceted national communication campaign. Visit www.hivtest. org/stronger and


summer 2012


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foundation partners Anonymous BBVA Compass Foundation The Black Tie Dinner, Inc. David Bohnett Foundation E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation The Coca-Cola foundation John Burton Harter Charitable Trust John C. Kish Foundation


The HRC Equality Circle was established to recognize individuals who have created gifts to the Human Rights Campaign or the Human Rights Campaign Foundation through their estate planning. By making a gift in this way, members demonstrate their long-term commitment to the mission of the Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

members who want to

Some of the ways to give as a member of the HRC Equality Circle include:

establish their legacy

• Simple bequest in a will

of ensuring the future

• Life insurance

of LGBT equality.

• Charitable remainder trusts

Please join the hundreds of other Equality Circle

The Ernest Lieblich Foundation MetLife Microsoft Corporation The Morningstar Foundation Normal Heart Broadway Limited Liability Company Pfizer Thomas A. Plein Foundation Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation UPS Foundation Wells Fargo Foundation

• Retained life estate for more information, visit


For more information about making a planned gift, please contact

Tricia Benson, Director of Foundation and Planned Giving 202-216-1563.

Current as of 08/31/2012 WWW.HRC.ORG

summer 2012


Extreme Equality!

Photo: Shane Rusk

13,000 feet high and in free fall. Winds: 120 miles per hour. Skydiving is a way of life for Heyka Meyer-Hoppe. Here she has just jumped out of a plane in the skies over San Diego — with 7,500 feet to go before she pulls the parachute. The skydiving instructor is with a student in a tandem jump. Meyer-Hoppe, 37, who has been wearing the Equality logo on her helmet for years, is also a parachute rigger. Five days a week, she teaches Navy SEALS, and other members of the U.S. military’s special operations forces, how to pack, repair and handle their main parachutes. “I have a lot of gay friends,” says Meyer-Hoppe, a straight ally. “I think it’s a great way to show support.”



summer 2012

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.*

4Remember, insurance rules, like LGBT rights, vary by state. Nationwide Insurance knows how things work where you live. Call 1-866-330-5114 or visit 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.

Equality Magazine: Summer 2012