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Thursday, April 29, 2010

NGLCC Tells Congress: Pass a Fully Inclusive ENDA Now!

With a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA) coming soon in the U.S. House, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce® (NGLCC) is urging everyone to contact their representatives in the U.S. House and advocate ENDA's passage.

"The House has said it plans to have a vote on ENDA very soon, so we would like to encourage everyone to contact their representatives to let them know that we cannot wait any longer on the passage of a fully inclusive ENDA," said Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the NGLCC.

Read on in BIZ

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Supreme Court Hears Argument in Case in Which LGBT Legal Groups Filed Brief Disputing False Claims of Harassment and Defending Open Government Requirements

(Washington, D.C. April 28, 2010) – Today,  the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Doe v. Reed, in which anti-gay groups present the false  claim that they have been subjected to "systematic intimidation" by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ("LGBT") community.  Anti-gay groups that placed a measure on the ballot to keep Washington State's comprehensive domestic partnership law from going into effect are seeking to prevent the state of Washington from disclosing the names of voters who sign petitions supporting state ballot initiatives.

Three of the nation's leading LGBT legal organizations, Lambda Legal, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) – together with the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force – have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, vigorously and thoroughly refuting the false claims presented to the Court in this and other cases.

Some of the instances of supposed "intimidation" cited by opponents and noted in the amicus brief include:

- A country club member in California, a supporter of Proposition 8, noted that "the openly gay members of the country club have changed their attitudes toward me.  They used to greet me warmly; now, they give me looks of disdain and do not greet me as I pass."

- A person with a yard sign supporting Proposition 8 was disturbed on Halloween that some people "pointed and whispered to one another in disapproval" during trick-or-treating.

- A woman was upset that her brother, who is gay, would no longer speak to her after she told him she might vote for Proposition 8.

As the amicus brief says, these complaints "are not only trivial, they reflect a fundamental refusal to accept the legitimacy of speech that disagrees with the complainants' viewpoints, deeming it 'hateful' or 'harassing' simply because they do not like hearing it."

"There's nothing to see here, folks," said Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal.  "There's no comparison between a few scattered instances of whispers and disapproving glares and the very real discrimination, harassment and even violence LGBT people experience every day all over the country.  After all, more hate crimes are reported against gay people than any other group per capita in the United States."

"The Petitioners are attempting to create a through-the-looking-glass world in which the aggressors are the victims and the victims the aggressors," said Gary Buseck, Legal Director of GLAD.

"This is an outrageous attempt by anti-gay groups to use false claims of persecution to undermine laws that protect the integrity of the democratic process," said Shannon Price Minter, NCLR Legal Director.

The brief in Doe v. Reed (Case No. 09-559) was prepared by Luke Platzer and William Hohengarten of Jenner & Block, Jon Davidson and Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal, Gary Buseck and Mary Bonauto of GLAD, and Shannon Minter and Christopher Stoll of NCLR.  It is available at,, and

A ruling in the case is expected later this year.

Monday, April 26, 2010

GLAAD's Call To Action Against Washington Times Editorial Board on ENDA

Discrimination is wrong. Americans understand this. Public support for nondiscrimination is off the charts — Gallup has placed it near 90%. 

All hardworking Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. Nobody should have to live in fear that they can be legally fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.

So when we get close to having our nation’s laws finally catch up to our nation’s values, anti-gay activist groups like the Washington Times editorial board get desperate.  How desperate? This weekend they published an editorial attacking the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), calling LGBT people “weirdos” and claiming that “discrimination is necessary.”

Here are the facts: Across America, LGBT people are being fired from their jobs just because of who they are. That’s wrong. It violates our nation’s core principles of fairness and equality.  The Employment Non-Discrimination Act rights that wrong and should be passed.

More than 100 cities and 12 states across America have already passed similar nondiscrimination laws—and implemented them successfully. Those cities and states simply did not experience the terrible things that opponents of ENDA claim would happen.

And that’s why anti-gay activist groups like The Washington Times editorial board are engaging in these nasty, defamatory attacks. They’ve lost the argument, and they know the facts are not on their side. They know that America is rejecting their ugly anti-gay bias, so now all they can do is call people “weirdos” and use slurs and scare tactics to try and make people afraid.

Don’t waste your time expressing concerns to the Washington Times. They have a long history of anti-LGBT attacks. Any editorial board that would call LGBT people “weirdos” doesn’t have credibility worth salvaging. 

Instead, get involved in the fight for ENDA today! Visit the resources below to make sure that you are plugged in to this week’s critically important push for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.




Hashtag: #ENDA

Visit United ENDA:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LGBT and Allied Groups Call on Congress to Pass ENDA Now

More than 200 Organizations Demand Immediate Action

(Washington, DC, April 21) — Today, the nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations, along with allies in the faith, labor and civil rights communities, issued the following statement to members of the United States Congress:
“Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act NOW.”

CBS News Lets Hate Group Hijack LGBT Debate

CBS News has allowed an anti-gay hate group, on the watch list of the Southern Poverty Law Center, hijack the debate over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

We must act to let CBS News know that this is wrong. CBS News first posted this hateful screed on its blog on Friday, and has followed up aggressively with similar coverage on its television website. The CBS Evening News may be next. Would CBS let Aryan Nation define the debate on anti-discrimination law?

Please call Editor-in-Chief Dan Farber at 212-975-4321 to let him know, respectfully but firmly, that CBS News shouldn't let the Traditional Values Coaltion, a known hate group on the Southern Poverty Center's watch list, define the debate on the job discrimination bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

More here:;

2010 Out & Equal Advocacy Award to be presented to ally and renowned civil rights leader Julian Bond at third-annual Leadership Celebration

NEW YORK CITY – Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is proud to present its third-annual Leadership Celebration on April 21, 2010 at the Le Parker Meridien in New York City, where it will give the 2010 Out & Equal Advocacy Award to vocal ally and renowned civil rights leaders Julian Bond.

Out & Equal each year honors corporations and individuals whose courage in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality beyond the workplace is unsurpassed by others, presenting them with the prestigious Advocacy Award at the celebration.

"We're privileged to honor Mr. Bond, who has helped lead the movement for social change since 1960 — whether it was as a student nonviolently fighting for justice, as a member of the Georgia State House of Representatives or his leadership of the NAACP," said Out & Equal Founding Executive Director Selisse Berry. "He has been an outspoken supporter of LGBT equality, standing beside us and speaking up for us for decades."

This event is more significant than ever as the LGBT equality movement is on the verge of making history, with movement being made toward the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Nearly 200 people, including the highest-ranking LGBT corporate leaders from the nation's largest corporations, will be on hand to honor Mr. Bond.

·        Who: Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
·        What: Leadership Celebration and Advocacy Award
·        When: April 21, 2010
·        Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. reception; 7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. dinner, with humorist Kate Clinton
·        Where: Le Parker Meridien New York - 119 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019
·        Contact: J. Erik Olvera - or 415-694-6512

Press Contact: Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, J. Erik Olvera, 415-694-6512 or

In addition to the Leadership Celebration, Out & Equal offers a wide range of programs and services to promote LGBT workplace equality. Upcoming programs include 2010 Out & Equal Workplace Summit — the world's premier conference on LGBT workplace equality — Oct. 5-8 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Established Niche Monthly Publication for Sale

This niche monthly publication focused on 50+ GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) is ready to move to the next level. Currently distributed in New England area but could easily be grown to national distribution. Website in place for national readers. New owner should be sales motivated and customer focused. All revenue is from advertising sales. Perfect home based business and great opportunity for someone looking to own their own business.

Readership is mainly comprised of the GLBT market – a great selling point to advertisers. By building a sales team current sales could increase tremendously to the fastest growing population in America today.

This publication, with the right leadership is ready to grow. Though competition exists in both print and online media, there is no publication focusing mainly on 50+ GLBT

Support/Training: Seller will train new publisher for 30 days

Reason Selling: Owners have other businesses to focus on

Niche publication - $12K

Contact Roberta via email;


April 16, 2010: In response to the national attention created by the woman who gave her adopted son back by sending him alone on a plane to Russia, Family Services of the Desert (FSOD) wants to make the community aware of a relatively new free service.  FSOD is contracted with the County of Riverside Department of Social Services to provide licensed clinical therapy to prospective adoptive parents, newly adopted parents and to Foster Parents who are considering making a child’s placement permanent.

These caregivers are offered many support services for the children that are going through the Foster Care or Adoption process.  The caregivers are thoroughly screened and evaluated during this time.  However this is the first program specifically for the prospective parents.

Adoption and Foster placement is a very stressful and emotional process” says John L Brown, Executive Director of FSOD who also is currently adopting a toddler out of Foster Care.  This will make his 5th adopted child.  “You must open up your entire life for scrutiny, your home, your finances, your personal life are all looked at under a microscope.” he continues, “Up until the very last court date you are never 100% certain that this process that you have invested so much in is actually going to end up with you having permanent custody of the child.  We have all heard the tragic stories of those who have tried and failed at adoption.”

The program now in its second year offers the adoptive parents the opportunity to meet with a therapist to discuss all of their concerns and fears in a confidential setting.  During this process, expectations of the adoptive parents are also explored, to make sure that they are realistic and sound.  The therapist also works with the parents during the initial placement of the child until the process is finalized which can take up to 18 months or longer.  Support groups and parenting classes are also offered.

Brown continued, “There is such a diversity among our adoptive parents, we have parents with two Dads or two Moms, single parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and siblings who are adopting family members, so it is important that each situation be treated individually.”  He continues, “The children are also very special in many different ways, older children, babies, children who have been abused, and siblings.  The most important thing is to make sure that each member of each family has a strong commitment and bond to stay together at the end of the process”

Family Services of the Desert now in their 50th year of service provides a wide variety of family support programs and no one is turned away based on ability to pay.  For more information please contact Family Services of the Desert at (760) 347-2398 in Indio, or (760) 288-7878 in Desert Hot Springs, or (760) 921-5004.

Lambda Legal Statement on Arkansas Adoption Ruling

'This ruling opens the doors of many, many homes to needy children.'
Little Rock, Ark - In response to a ruling Friday that overturned Act 1, an
Arkansas law banning unmarried couples living together from adopting or
fostering children, Lambda Legal Supervising Senior Staff Attorney Ken
Upton issued the following statement:

"We're extremely pleased the judge has put the interests of children first.

This is the second time that radical anti-gay forces in Arkansas have been
willing to deny safe, stable homes children just to express disapproval of
gay and lesbian adults who are ready and willing to serve as fit parents.
And let's be clear-- while Act 1 is aimed at any unmarried adult couple
sharing a home, we all know who its real targets were:  Arkansas' gay and
lesbian couples, who are barred by a constitutional amendment from

When thousands of children need homes, it's cruel and nonsensical to limit
the pool of loving parents just because one segment of the population
doesn't like them.  This ruling opens the doors of many, many homes to
needy children.  We applaud Judge Piazza for his decision and the ACLU for
a case well fought."

Arkansas voters approved Act 1 in 2008, two years after the state Supreme
Court overturned a policy that barred any person from being a foster parent
if the person resided in the same household with a gay or lesbian adult.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Pulaski ruled Friday that Act 1
unconstitutionally requires an unmarried couple to choose between their
relationship and parenthood.


Hollywood, CA - The ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST, a screenplay contest dedicated to the positive portrayal of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trangender and queer individuals in film, celebrates its 12th anniversary in 2010.  Entries are now being accepted online and are limited to the first 600 for 2010.  Executive Director, David Jensen, "We are excited to celebrate our 12th anniversary and are looking at a record number of entries this year.   We are continually amazed with the quality of talent that comes through the door year after year."  Jensen continues, "We receive entries from around the globe and Hollywood is taking notice in a very big way.  Many of our past winners are now hard working screenwriters.  Last year's winner has received substantial interest and representation by one of Hollywood's top management and production houses."

The ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST has gained respect and notoriety from Hollywood studios, agents and producers.  Entries for the 2010 screenplay contest are now being accepted online at: - Writers from around the world are eligible.

Prizes for 2010 include cash, industry exposure and merchandise.  The 2010 One In Ten Screenplay Contest is sponsored by: Cherub Productions, Hollywood Creative Directory,, Brainstorm Warehouse, LLC, Michael Weise Productions,, , , and Jungle Software.

The submission deadline for 2010 ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST is September
1, 2010.  Entry forms are available online through the contest website:  Entry forms may also be obtained through the mail by sending a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HRC Refutes Vatican Official’s Statement on Pedophilia and Sexual Orientation

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – today responded to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who recently linked pedophilia with gay men claiming to have “read it in a document written by psychologists.”

HRC Director of Religion & Faith Harry Knox made this statement:
"Cardinal Bertone's statement makes clear that he is more interested in diverting attention away from decades of Vatican cover-ups of pedophile behavior than he is in living up to his pastoral role. As a pastor he should not just take one misguided paper at face value. He should actually get to know gay people and read the voluminous opinions of medical and psychological experts that make clear pedophilia is not related to sexual orientation. As a pastor, he should be spending night and day seeking to heal the wounds inflicted by the Church on the victims of pedophile priests. Instead he sends out red herrings at the expense of millions of souls for which Christ died."

Pedophilia is an illness that has specific diagnostic criteria – entirely separate from one’s sexual orientation. Indeed, several scientific studies show no tie between gays and pedophilia.

•              “The belief that homosexuals are particularly attracted to children is completely unsupported by our data.” (Groth and Birnbaum, “Adult Sexual Orientation and Attraction to Underage Persons.”)

•              “A gay man is no more likely than a straight man to perpetrate sexual activity with children.” (Stevenson, “Public Policy, Homosexuality and the Sexual Coercion of Children.”)

•              “A child’s risk of being molested by his or her relative’s heterosexual partner is over 100 times greater than by someone who might be identifiable as being homosexual, lesbian or bisexual.” (Jenny and Roesler, “Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?”)

More information is available from Dr. Gregory Herek, whose blog at debunks the “junk science” that is far too often taken as fact.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Department of Justice: "Obama is Wrong"


(Washington, DC) - In a brief filed this week by the Justice Department, lawyers for the government were forced to admit that President Obama's assertions and statements were not true concerning the impact of the failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.

On June 29, 2009, during his speech in front of an audience attending the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month Reception, held at the White House, President Obama stated "As I said before--I'll say it again--I believe 'don't ask, don't tell' doesn't contribute to our national security.  In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security."  In the lawsuit, Justice Department attorneys admitted that the President made this statement.

Using President Obama's exact words, Log Cabin's lawyers then asked the government to admit that what the President said was true.  Justice Department lawyers objected, Log Cabin filed and won a motion to compel the government to answer the questions, the government appealed, and the court rejected the appeal.

Consequently, on Monday, April 12, 2010, the government finally had to answer the questions and, when the Justice Department lawyers answered, they denied the truth of what the President had said.

Specifically, when asked to admit that Don't Ask, Don't Tell "does not contribute to our national security", the government's response was "Deny."  When asked to admit that Don't Ask, Don't Tell "weakens our national security", the government's response was again "Deny".  And, when asked to admit that discharging service members pursuant to Don't Ask, Don't Tell "weakens our national security," the government's response was "Deny".  The government's responses attempt to explain why these denials differ from what the President had said but they candidly admit that the government's position in this case differs from the President's view of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

"This very public dismissal of President Obama's assertions from the Justice Department shows a demonstrated need for our case to move forward," commented Terry W. Hamilton, Chairman of the Board of Log Cabin Republicans. "The admission by President Obama's own Justice Department calls into question the commitment and the importance of anything the President has promised to the LGBT community, let alone other issues of major public policy in America. How can we take the President's commitments seriously if the government will be forced to admit that he is wrong and will not back him up?" concluded Hamilton.

The link to a PDF of the court document in question can be found here:

An Open Letter to LGBT Catholic Organizations:

(04-14-10)-- Our Pope and Catholic Bishops have been leading an international war on the LGBT Community, the Rainbow Sash Movement once again invites Catholics to move beyond their liturgical comfort, and confront clerical homophobia through visible witness, and in the arena of liturgical celebration. Regrettably, the liturgy has become a tool in the arsenal of not only the Pope, but also in the hands of Cardinal George. It is being used to promote their authority through homophobia.

For too long we have allowed the Liturgy to be off limits to the cries for justice. Liturgical comfort has replaced justice. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand, praying outside of the Church while homophobias promoted inside. Nor do we have time to be slapping ourselves on the back for the supposedly wonderful work we are doing. To many in our community experience just the opposite at the hands of our Church.

I endorse the suggestion of Fr. Tom Doyle, a Dominican priest who has done more than any other ordained church leader to advocate on behalf of abuse survivors, when he writes: "we must challenge the continuing validity of continued monetary support of an institution that has squandered the donations of believers to hide and then defend its criminal actions."

A second means of advocating structural change in the Catholic Church is to keep this effort in the public eye. To this end, members of the Rainbow Sash Movement will be entering Catholic Cathedrals around the country on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010 to not only call for justice for the LGBT Community, but also to call for justice for the victims of clerical sexual abuse. Such calls for justice do not threaten the sacredness of the liturgy, what threatens that sacredness is our closets.

Unfortunately, the Church I grew up in has become a fossilized relic. It mimics the Gospel and names Jesus as its Lord even while it aids and abets child abuse, denies women full equality and teaches that its gay members are disordered at the very center of their being. It is time to challenge Catholics who say the Liturgy should be off limits to the cry of justice. Promoting personal piety above the needs of community justice only further denigrates the sacredness of the Gospels.

Join us on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010 at a Cathedral near you. It is time for us to begin the work of reforming the Church, for us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our community, and replace spiritual apathy with Gospel justice. For more information go to

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Christian Singer Jennifer Knapp Comes Out

Award-winning Christian pop singer Jennifer Knapp discusses her return to music from a soul-searching hiatus and reveals how she reconciled her spiritual life with her sexuality.

Check out Knapp’s full interview with The Advocate here:


Select Passage:

On the lineup of the first Lilith Fair, she had crossover appeal even then, though her name is most indelibly known to the fans of “Jesus music.” The rumors dogged her then as they dog her now. They said Jennifer Knapp canceled all her gigs and sold every inch of gear save one acoustic guitar because she was a lesbian. She stopped answering her email, going months without talking even to her mother or her manager, because she was a lesbian. She dropped out of sight because she was a lesbian. And now, poised to release her first studio album in years, Jennifer Knapp is ready to face those rumors. Turns out they’re true: Jennifer Knapp is a lesbian.”

Federal Court Says Transgender People Must Be Allowed Medical Treatment in Prison: Lambda Legal and ACLU Applaud Ruling

(Milwaukee, WI, April 1, 2010) - The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin yesterday struck down a law that barred transgender people from receiving medical care while they are incarcerated.   The ACLU and Lambda Legal brought a challenge in January 2006 to the law on behalf of transgender prisoners, some of whom had been receiving hormones in Wisconsin prisons for years prior to the passage of the law.

"The court understood that medical treatment is critical for transgender people and that medical decisions should be made by doctors - not legislators," said Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal's Transgender Rights Attorney. "The state cannot decide to withhold treatment from people because they disapprove of their gender identity or medical needs - it's unconstitutional."

Overriding concerns raised by of the Department of Corrections medical personnel, the Wisconsin legislature passed a law, effective in January 2006, that prohibited prison doctors from deciding the best course of treatment for transgender people by barring them from prescribing any type of hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery for transgender people in state custody.  

"This decision recognizes that many inmates have a serious medical condition that requires individualized medical treatment.  The court's ruling doesn't require inmates to receive hormones or surgery for sex reassignment, it simply means that doctors are the ones who make the decisions about treatment," said John Knight of the ACLU.  "The court's decision is just common sense."

The lawsuit charged that it is a violation of the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection as well as the guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment to bar transgender inmates from access to individualized medical care.  The legal groups base their challenge on federal case law that establishes that health care providers must determine proper treatment for all prison inmates.  

The court ruled that the statute's ban on medical care "constitutes deliberate indifference to the plaintiff's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment inasmuch as enforcement of the statute results in the denial of hormone therapy without regard for the individual medical needs of inmates and the medical judgment of their health care providers."

According to the ACLU and Lambda Legal, Wisconsin is the only state in the country to have enacted a law denying transgender people access to medical care while in state custody.   The legal team includes John Knight, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project, Larry Dupuis, Legal Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, Cole Thaler and Dru Levasseur, former and current Transgender Rights Project Attorneys of Lambda Legal, and cooperating attorney Erik Guenther of Hurley, Burish & Stanton, S.C.

For additional information about the case visit, or

Servicemembers United, Human Rights Campaign Announce Broad Coalition, Website For Veterans Lobby Day

May 11th lobbying by gay and straight vets to focus on repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year

WASHINGTON – Today, Servicemembers United and the Human Rights Campaign announced expanded plans for a national Veterans Lobby Day to be held on May 10-11, 2010 in Washington, DC, as Congress begins to focus on the defense authorization bill – the likely vehicle for “Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell” repeal. The lobby day, which will bring hundreds of gay and lesbian veterans and their straight veteran allies from around the nation to Capitol Hill, is expected to be the largest lobbying event on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to date.

The next thirty days are going to be absolutely critical in the push for repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law this year,” said Alexander Nicholson, a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the current Executive Director of Servicemembers United. “We need every supportive veteran who is able to come to Washington to join us here on May 10th and 11th for this final push, and we are thrilled to have such an unprecedented coalition of pro-repeal and pro-military organizations joining us in this effort.”

 “This broad coalition coming together to urge Congress to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ represents a powerful voice for repeal this year,” said Jarrod Chlapowski, the military spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. “A wide majority of Americans, including democrats, republicans and independents recognize this discriminatory law hurts our national security and fails to live up to our values. The time to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is now.”

Nearly 14,000 Americans have been abruptly fired from the U.S. military because of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law – including more than 800 mission critical specialists. Servicemembers United and HRC have been jointly engaged in extensive field and grassroots organizing work across the country to lay the groundwork for repeal through initiatives like the “Voices of Honor” Tour, which organized in key states to highlight the costs of DADT and promote the voices of gay and straight veterans who support repeal.
Iraq War veteran, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Penn. and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. are championing this legislative repeal effort on Capitol Hill.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lambda Legal: "The LGBT Community Owes Much to Justice Stevens."

Justice Stevens Wrote the Dissenting Opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick Which Became the Basis for the Majority Opinion in Lawrence v. Texas

(New York, April 9, 2010) - Today, Lambda Legal celebrated the long and distinguished career of Justice John Paul Stevens and what his leadership on civil rights has meant for the gay community.  

"The LGBT community owes much to Justice Stevens. He has been a strong, clear, and consistent voice for the rights of gay people and other minorities, the disabled, reproductive freedom, and free speech," said Jon Davidson, Legal Director at Lambda Legal. "Justice Stevens is a true visionary and in recent years has too often had to write in dissent. His dissent in Bowers v. Hardwick was later relied upon by the Supreme Court when it struck down all remaining sodomy laws in Lambda Legal's landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas. We hope Justice Steven's opinions standing up for the rights of the individual will be the guide for future precedent, and that his steadfast commitment to equal rights will be carried on by his successor."
In Lambda Legal's landmark lawsuit, Lawrence v. Texas, the majority opinion concluded that "Justice Stevens' analysis, in our view, should have been controlling in Bowers and should control here.  Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today.  It ought not to remain binding precedent.  Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is overruled."

The Lawrence decision quoted extensively from Justice Stevens' dissent in Bowers, in which he wrote that:   "Our prior cases make two propositions abundantly clear.  First, the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice; neither history nor tradition could save a law prohibiting miscegenation from constitutional attack.  Second, individual decisions by married persons, concerning the intimacies of their physical relationship, even when not intended to produce offspring, are a form of 'liberty' protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Moreover, this protection extends to intimate choices by unmarried as well as married persons."
Lambda Legal has urged President Obama to nominate federal justices who adhere to precedents established in cases of importance to the gay community - including the right to privacy, protection against laws based on antigay bias, the right to sue in state courts under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and protections against HIV discrimination, among others. The Administration should promote judicial integrity through nomination of jurists who represent the nation's diversity including people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, people of color, women, and those with public defender and public interest legal backgrounds.

American Humanist Association Joins Green Day and Lance Bass as a Co-Sponsor of Second Chance Prom in Mississippi

(Washington, DC, April 9) The American Humanist Association (AHA) announced today that it, along with the Grammy-winning band Green Day and popular singer and performer Lance Bass, will co-sponsor a prom for Mississippi youth, including students from Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, MS. The school made headlines in March when officials canceled its prom rather than allow a lesbian student, Constance McMillen, to bring her girlfriend as her date or wear a tuxedo. The Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition’s second annual Second Chance Prom will be held on May 8, 2010 in Downtown Tupelo, Mississippi.

We’ve very pleased to be able to support and promote LGBT equality alongside other sponsors,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We’re proud to be standing on the side of love and acceptance instead of fear and prejudice, and we hope that the event will bring appreciation of the diversity within our society and encourage others to embrace it as a positive value that can continue to forge progress for all Americans.”

The Second Chance Prom will feature dinner for guests, live entertainment, a ceremony to honor outstanding youth in Mississippi, booths highlighting organizations striving for LGBT equality and celebrity guests. Other sponsors of the event include Cat Cora and

I hope this Second Chance Prom will be an opportunity to get beyond recent negativity and provide a celebration that shows the benefits of an inclusive outlook,” said Speckhardt.

Todd and Diana Stiefel made a $20,000 grant available to the AHA for the purpose of sponsoring this prom in Itawamba County. Humanists and other freethinkers have expressed a great interest in countering the discrimination of the Itawamba County school board.

Humanists and freethinkers have a history of speaking up for the rights of all. The AHA was among the first to support civil rights, equal pay for equal work and the right of same-sex couples to marry. Recently the AHA launched the LGBT Humanist Council to advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families (

The American Humanist Association ( advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Census Bureau to Unveil LGBT PSAs with George Takei

What : The Census Bureau will release its first-ever official PSAs for the LGBT community, encouraging LGBT people to mail back Census forms. There are six different videos, including one Spanish-language video, each featuring a well-known community leader.

This is the first time in history that the Census has created PSAs specifically targeting the LGBT community.

Special guests George Takei and his husband Brad Altman will speak at the press conference, and will also screen their own Census PSA, “Be Counted.”
When : Monday April 5, 2010, 2pm EST
Where : LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th Street, New York, NY 10011, Room 301
-Actor George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes) and his husband Brad Altman
-New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
-Che Ruddell-Tabisola, National LGBT Partnership Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau
-Glennda Testone, Executive Director, LGBT Center

For Media Inquiries Contact: Igor M. Alves, Media Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau, (212) 356-3089,

For Event Inquiries Contact: Becca Palmer, Partnership Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau, (201) 927-0685,

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, please visit

Enter to win a 2010 Workplace Summit three-day registration!

Enter now to win a complimentary registration valued at nearly $1,000 to attend the 2010 Out & Equal Workplace Summit, set for Oct 5-8 in Los Angeles.

Three winners will be announced on June 1, kicking off the official start to early bird registration for the Workplace Summit, the world's leading conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workplace equality.

By entering, you'll sign up to be among the first notified for up-to-date Summit news, including additional sweepstakes offers and special discounts to maximize your conference experience.

This year’s Summit - at the Los Angeles Convention Center - is shaping up to be the best, offering a rich series of educational opportunities and the opportunity to showcase your company as an organization that values LGBT diversity.

Choose from more than 100 workshops designed to challenge and empower you with best practices, giving you tools and skills to take back to your workplace, furthering workplace equality and enriching the lives of others.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to experience the Summit, from the welcome reception, innovative workshops, the Out & Workplace Awards to the inspiring closing plenary.

The deadline for your online chance to win is 5 p.m. PDT May 31, 2010.

Don't wait - enter to win your free conference registration now!

Read the official sweepstakes rules.