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Monday, August 30, 2010

GLSEN Congratulates ABC’s ‘Modern Family’ for 6 Emmys, To Honor the Show at the Respect Awards – Los Angeles Oct. 8

GLSEN will be first national LGBT organization to honor hit show

NEW YORK, August 30, 2010 – GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, congratulates ABC’s “Modern Family,” a groundbreaking hit comedy that includes the positive portrayal of a family headed by LGBT parents and has addressed bullying in schools, for its six Emmy wins Sunday, including Outstanding Comedy Series. GLSEN will honor the show at the Respect Awards – Los Angeles, Presented by Centropolis Entertainment, on Oct. 8 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

We congratulate ABC’s ‘Modern Family’ for its well-deserved six Emmy wins and 14 nominations,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “The show positively reflects the realities of diverse families and deals sensitively with the crucial current issue of bullying, and GLSEN is thrilled to see the show receive such terrific acclaim and recognition. GLSEN looks forward to being the first national LGBT organization to honor ‘Modern Family,’ at our Respect Awards – Los Angeles on Oct. 8.

GLSEN also will honor Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the GLSEN Educator of the Year, presented by Sodexo, and longtime supporters Eugene Kapalowski and Dan Renberg.

The Respect Awards, held annually in Los Angeles and New York, recognize individual and corporate leaders who have helped propel GLSEN's efforts to ensure safe schools for all of America's students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Respect Awards – Los Angeles co-chairs are Linda Bell Blue, Executive Producer of Entertainment Tonight; Kevin Brockman, Executive Vice President of Global Communications for Disney/ABC Television Group; Michael Lombardo, President of Programming for HBO; and Chip Sullivan, Head of Publicity for Dreamworks Studios.

Past Respect Awards – Los Angeles honorees include: HBO, Shonda Rhimes, David C. Bohnett, 2009 Student Advocate of the Year Austin Laufersweiler, Disney/ABC Television Group, Lance Bass, Darren Star, Dr. Neal Baer, Greg Berlanti, Hon. James C. Hormel, Hon. Sheila Kuehl, Cisco Systems, James Howe, Virginia Uribe, Moises Kaufman, IBM, Frankie Martinez and Jeff Quinn.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Log Cabin Republicans Issues Statement on Former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman's Acknowledgment of his Sexual Orientation


(Washington, DC) Log Cabin Republicans issued the following statement regarding former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman's disclosure of his sexual orientation:

"Log Cabin Republicans is very supportive and appreciative of Ken's coming out. Being gay and being conservative are not mutually exclusive," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper.  "As a fellow Bush alumnus, I look forward to Ken helping me and our colleagues build a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party. Nothing presents a better argument for the equality of gay and lesbian citizens than the reality of our lives as responsible members of society.  I am happy that Ken has come to a place where he can take a stand with integrity, and I welcome him as yet another conservative, common-sense voice to join with Log Cabin Republicans and all Americans in this important dialogue."

"The process of coming out, and certainly coming out in the public eye, is never an easy one, but I am glad that Ken has decided to take this step and am glad that he is doing so on behalf of the fight for equality," said former Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe. "As somebody who took my own journey and came out later in life, I have a great deal of respect for him doing this on his own terms. Ken joins a chorus that includes Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, Ted Olson, and countless others advocating for the American value of inclusion. This is not a time for playing politics; it is a time for us all to join together--Republicans and Democrats--to repeal the failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, to pass workplace non-discrimination, and to recognize all committed relationships. The responsibility for making this happen lies with the Democratic leadership in Congress and in the White House who set the legislative agenda."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Archie Comics Introduces A New Gay Character

Riverdale High School becomes gets more inclusive with the introduction of Kevin Keller, the comic strip's first openly Gay character.

The issue entitled, "Veronica #202, Isn't it Bromantic" has the lovely brunette chasing after Kevin, the new boy in school. While everyone else knows that Kevin is Gay, Veronica is aloof! But boy is she persistent after Kevin beats Jughead in a burger-eating contest at Pop's Chocklit Shoppe. Despite the new hunk's efforts to let Veronica down easy, she still persists mercilessly.

"The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie's hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books," stated Archie Comics Co- CEO, Jon Goldwater.

Read what happens when this issue launches on 9/1/10 and on newsstands 9/14/10.

Friday, August 20, 2010

“I'm From Driftwood” Launches Official Story Tour Blog

(New York City - August 19th) - ImFromDriftwood.com, which collects and shares true LGBT stories from all over the world, is going on an ambitious 4-month, 50-state Story Tour to collect and share stories from the smallest towns and biggest cities across America. They just launched their official blog so people can not only follow their adventures, but be a part of it as well.

I’ve always called I’m From Driftwood a site as opposed to a blog. For the Story Tour, though, it felt right to create a blog because it’s about the adventure along the way,” IFD creator Nathan Manske explains, “but it’s more than just for following. It’s for joining. I wanted it as interactive as possible, so people can directly control the route of the Tour, where we go, what we do. This isn’t our Story Tour. It’s the community’s Story Tour.

The Story Tour Route page allows people to add suggestions to a map. Manske, editor/director Marquise Lee, and driver and Nathan’s brother, Nick Manske, will look at the suggestions and choose where they go next based on what people recommend. In trying to stay in as few hotels as possible, the IFD crew is hoping people will open up their homes or couches as well.

They’re also looking for interns--two video interns to help Marquise with the editing, and one general assistant intern who will act as a go-to person on the ground in NYC.

Before hitting the road in two weeks, they’re having one final push to find sponsors or generous donors to provide them with some essentials, such as a van, camera and equipment.

The Story Tour kick-off party is in, where else, Driftwood, Texas, on September 2 at the Salt Lick BBQ Pavilion, from 7 - 11pm. Everyone is invited.

ABOUT THE LAUNCH PARTY
The Salt Lick Pavilion
Thursday, September 2
7 - 11pm
$30 suggested donation
Live Music by Amy Cook
Hosted by Rebecca Havemeyer
BBQ and liquor will be provided

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

MoveOn.org To Launch Anti-Target Ad

MoveOn.org is launching a new campaign to fight Target Stores and other corporations who are thinking about taking advantage of the recent Citizens United decision. Although Target has received a lot of heat lately from the Gay community, this spot doesn't talk about MN Forward's support for an anti-gay candidate. It focuses mainly on corporations buying our elections.

"Target’s refusal to acknowledge its customers’ outrage at their attempt to buy elections is scandalous,” said Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org. “Americans have spoken: we don’t want corporations meddling in our democracy. Corporate money in elections is nothing more than political bribery and we’re not going to stop targeting Target until they stop trying to buy our elections.”

Support for MoveOn's cause.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Joel Evan Tye steps out with Ben Patrick Johnson at Equality California Event

Singer/actor/model Sir JET aka Joel Evan Tye attended the Equality California fundraiser event with date Ben Patrick Johnson.  The dinner was held at the Ritz Carlton Los Angeles on Saturday, August 14, 2010, where many of the "who's who" on the "gay A-list," were in attendance, to support equal rights for the gay community.



Joel Evan Tye states:

"Now more than ever, we need to band together as a community and show our support for one another and our civil rights." Tye adds, "Equality California is an amazing organization that I am proud to be a part of. I urge everyone in their own communities to stand tall and proud as well."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Statement from Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, on the Ninth Circuit's ruling granting a stay in Perry v. Schwarzenegger:

 "Today's 9th Circuit order expediting appeal of Chief Judge Walker's persuasive decision striking down Prop 8 and maintaining a stay during the appellate review, is a disappointing delay for many Californians who hoped to celebrate the freedom to marry and full inclusion in society as soon as possible.  But there are many twists in the road to justice, and we are encouraged by the court's setting a fast pace for the appeal, revealing that the judges understand how important a quick end to the exclusion from marriage is to gay couples, their loved ones, and all Americans who believe in equality under the law.  While the lawyers make the case for the freedom to marry in the courts of law, we have more months in which to make our case in the court of public opinion.  The evidence at trial overwhelmingly confirmed that there is no good reason for withholding the freedom to marry from committed couples, and the Governor, the Attorney General, a majority of Californians, and a majority of Americans agree with Judge Walker that the freedom to marry helps families, while hurting no one.  Prop 8 should never have been on the ballot and we look forward to seeing its stain removed from the law books, as we push forward on other fronts across the country."

Musical Protest Targets Target

You gotta love the incredibly creativity of the Gay community. Who needs signs when we have whole musicals being performed and blasted throughout the social networks.

10% Greeting Cards Recognize Gay Unions for Over 16 Years

As Prop. 8 is overturned in California, 10% continues providing cards celebrating lesbian and gay love.


Los Angeles, California - August 12, 2010 - 16 years ago in 1994, when many could not fathom the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, 10% offered its first gay union greeting cards just one year after the company's beginning. And even in its initial year of business, 10% offered many anniversary and love cards for lesbian and gay couples. Today, as the federal judge ruled to lift the stay in accordance with his decision last week to overturn Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California, 10% offers 41 cards celebrating the special day that gay men and lesbians tie the knot.

"We're proud to have celebrated committed lesbian and gay relationships through our greeting card lines for so long," said Ron Miller, President of Village Lighthouse, Inc., the parent company of 10%. "And due to that ongoing support years before same sex marriage was legally validated, we are already prepared to provide members of our community with the greeting cards they need to honor the special day they decide to wed."

10% began selling the first greeting cards specifically for the lesbian and gay community in 1993 due to the absence of such cards in the marketplace. It was a new specialty consumer products company founded by Greg Nimer on the premise that approximately 10 percent of the world population is lesbian or gay and that there was a need for a product that delivered messages reflecting the love, hopes, sorrows and social issues particular to the lesbian and gay community. By 1996, 10% included a category in its product catalog devoted specifically to lesbian and gay union greeting cards.

Greeting cards from 10% can be purchased from over 500 stores worldwide from the independent community retailer to the chain bookstore as well as online retailers including 10%'s own retail website 10percent.com. Retailers interested in carrying 10%'s product lines may contact its wholesale sales team via telephone at 800-650-5963 (International: 323-460-4661) or via email at wholesale@villagelighthouse.com. Media inquiries should be directed to Julian Hobson via telephone at 323-460-4661, x125 or via email at jhobson@villagelighthouse.com.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

PROP. 8 PLAINTIFFS FILE MOTION WITH UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT OPPOSING PROPONENTS’ EMERGENCY MOTION FOR STAY PENDING APPEAL

See plaintiff's motion here: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/legal-filings/plaintiffs-opposition-to-motion-to-stay/

Attorneys for the Plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger tonight filed a motion with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opposing the emergency motion for stay pending appeal filed by Proposition 8 Official Proponents.

"The Proponents' motion, while exceptionally lengthy, does not come close to showing they have a strong chance of winning on appeal, which is what they must demonstrate to get a stay,” said Theodore Boutrous, attorney for the Plaintiffs.  “And they completely fail to show that they or anyone else will be irreparably harmed -- or harmed at all -- by allowing people to get married while the appellate process proceeds.  The public interest strongly favors allowing Chief Judge Walker's ruling to take effect immediately. "
The Plaintiffs’ motion specifically argues that:

·      Proponents cannot possibly make a “strong showing” that they are likely to prevail in their appeal.

·      There is significant question as to whether Proponents even have standing to pursue an appeal.

·      Proponents have failed to establish that they will likely suffer irreparable injury in the absence of a stay.

·      A stay will cause substantial irreparable harm to Plaintiffs.

·      The public interest favors immediate enforcement of the judgment.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the organization that launched the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case and brought together attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies to argue it.  The Foundation and the legal team are committed to seeing this case through the Supreme Court.

For more information, visit www.equalrightsfoundation.org.  See Plaintiffs’ motion at: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/legal-filings/plaintiffs-opposition-to-motion-to-stay/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Senator Mark Leno Applauds End of Stay in Proposition 8 Case

SAN FRANCISCO – Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) applauds Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision to end the stay of his ruling that declares Proposition 8 unconstitutional. In lifting the stay, same-sex couples again have the right to marry in California. Judge Walker’s ruling invalidates Prop 8, the statewide initiative approved by voters in 2008 that narrowly defined marriage between one man and one woman.

I am pleased with today’s decision that once again allows all loving same-sex couples to make lifelong commitments to one another through marriage,” said Senator Leno. “Many couples and their families have long been denied the respect and validation that comes with marriage, despite any logical reason to treat same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples. I am elated that I will again have the opportunity to perform ceremonies for caring and devoted couples who want nothing more than to honor their love in a universally understood way – through marriage.”

This is a long awaited and hard fought victory in the larger civil rights movement for marriage equality, but it is not the last. The promise of our treasured democracy, liberty and justice for all, has been fulfilled today. Let the summer of love begin.”


Senator Mark Leno represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes Marin and portions of San Francisco and Sonoma Counties. He is the first openly gay man elected to the California Senate and one of the first two openly gay men elected to the Assembly. As an Assemblymember, he authored California’s first bills that would have given same-sex couples the freedom to marry. The Legislature passed the marriage bill in 2005 and again in 2007, but both measures were vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

NEW GIVE A DAMN CAMPAIGN VIDEO FOCUSES ON DISCRIMINATION GAY AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE FACE IN THE WORKPLACE

VIDEO FEATURES WHOOPI GOLDBERG, PIPER PERABO AND BRAD GORESKI

The Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund, releases its latest video which highlights that, in more than half the states in this country, a person can be fired for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Whoopi Goldberg, Piper Perabo and Brad Goreski take part in this newest video in the campaign's ongoing monthly series.

Despite the strides that have been made in this country to try to ensure equal opportunities, equal treatment and equal pay for all, “all” doesn’t necessarily somebody who is gay or transgender. Only 21 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Of those, only 12 also protect employees from discrimination based on gender identity.



"Every day, people go to work afraid that they will lose their jobs because they are gay or transgender," said Gregory Lewis, Executive Director of the True Colors Fund. "This is unacceptable in any country, but especially in the United States of America. No one should ever have to face this fear. It is time for things to change. We urge everyone to share this video, especially with the straight people in their lives, to help educate them about this issue and encourage them to get involved in ending this form of discrimination."

ABOUT THE GIVE A DAMN CAMPAIGN

The Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, is a bold, web-based initiative with the goal of educating and engaging the straight community in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. The call-to-action campaign kicked off in April with the release of its first series of videos featuring Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Mraz, Cynthia Nixon, Anna Paquin, Sharon & Kelly Osbourne, Judith Light, Piper Perabo, Kim Kardashian, Clay Aiken, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho, Eric Roberts, and Kevin Alejandro. To learn more about the Give a Damn Campaign please visit: www.wegiveadamn.org

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED IN ALL-EXPENSE-PAID SAME SEX WEDDING COMPETITION

Freedom2Wed online voting, open to the public, begins today for the six finalists who have been selected in the first of its kind online wedding competition for same sex couples. Freedom2Wed was conceived by a group of prominent Washington-area wedding vendors in honor of the passage of the DC Marriage Equality Act. The winning couple will receive the wedding of a lifetime, valued at over $100,000.

According to Michael Kress, owner of MBK & Associates and a well-known Washington photographer who led the effort, “Deciding on 6 finalists from so many terrific entries was difficult but we are thrilled by their diversity and enthusiasm.  Their video stories are compelling and collectively they emphasize why Same Sex Marriage is a historic marker for civil rights in this country.”

To vote for one of the finalists, go to www.freedom2wed.com. Online votes will be accepted through September 30th at12 midnight.


A Snapshot of the Finalists


Holly Nye & Alyson Ling – together 5 ½ years

Alyson is my icing. She doesn't make me who I am; she's not the cake. She is secure enough to allow me to be that on my own. But she is the thing that makes me better. My icing.”



Kareem Murphy & DeWayne Davis – together 19 years

The truth is, we didn't have much more than each other. Our families either didn't understand our relationship or did not approve of it. We're proud to be a part of a church (Metropolitan Community Churches) that has been celebrating same-sex Holy Unions since 1969. It's a great life when you can incorporate all of your life's passions and interest into everything you do.



Melissa Pisarra & Ana Quinones – together almost 4 years

Through all of the trials that life has given us, we have survived together. Sharing the love we have with friends and family would mean everything to us."



Robert Heffernan & Richard Cesa – together 10 years

We’ve both experienced the heavy, hidden burden of being gay and would like to be an example to other gay couples: a gay relationship is an honorable commitment.”

Tonya Agnew & Amy Crampton – together nearly 12 years

How do we explain to our six year-old son that the State of Indiana won't allow us to legally wed because we are the same sex? Raising a family in the Midwest as a lesbian couple is challenging but regardless, we're visible. While Indiana can regulate our ability to obtain a marriage license, the state can't regulate our love. Our relationship is solid and certain and we can't wait for the day when we can say, "I do."



Darin Henderson & Carl Cox – together 4 years

We realized early on that while individually imperfect, our strengths complement one another. Couple that with the love we share…we are twice as strong. But at long last, as the direct result of decades of activism and a groundswell of community support, we feel blessed, grateful and are thoroughly excited to be engaged and preparing for marriage.”



In addition to Kress, The Freedom2Wed competition organizers include Kelly Jenkins, Capital D├ęcor and Events; Jodi Moraru, Evoke; and, Steve Dunn, Well Dunn Catering; all of whom served as the first round of judges. The winning couple will be announced October 1st.

The Freedom2Wed winning couple will be married on a designated date. The all-inclusive wedding package includes venue, invitation design and printing, attire, rings, rental equipment, flowers, lighting, live music, videography, a California honeymoon package and more.

The D.C. Council passed the Civil Marriage Equality Act in December 2009, joining five states in legalizing same-sex marriage; the law went into effect on March 3, 2010.

For more information, go to www.freedom2wed.com.

Friday, August 6, 2010

PROP. 8 PLAINTIFFS FILE MOTION OPPOSING STAY

See plaintiff's motion here: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/our-work/legal-filings/
Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, issued the following statement today after the plaintiffs --and the Governor and Attorney General -- opposed a stay of this week's ruling in the Prop. 8 trial:

"The unconstitutionality of Proposition 8 has been proven beyond a doubt. Extending Prop. 8's denial of fundamental constitutional rights represents a grave injustice. The time for the court's ruling to go into effect is now. We welcome Governor Schwarzenegger's and Attorney General Brown's opposition to a stay after their thoughtful analysis of the evidence, the court's ruling and the law."

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the organization that launched the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case and brought together attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies to argue it. The Foundation and the legal team are committed to seeing this case through the Supreme Court.

For more information, visit www.equalrightsfoundation.org. See plaintiffs motion at: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/our-work/legal-filings/

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Last Round Will Not Condone Spokesperson’s Actions Against the Gay & Lesbian Community

Real World’s Ryan Leslie No Longer Spokesperson of Hangover Support Brand

Wallingford, CT – Last Round Hangover Support has terminated their endorsement agreement with Real World’s Ryan Leslie because of his threatening and disrespectful posts via social media sites. Last Round believes his actions are uncalled for and supports GLAAD in telling MTV’s Ryan Leslie to stop threatening anti-gay violence on Twitter.

As of August 5, 2010 Leslie will not promote, represent, or be in any association with Last Round Hangover Support. “We no longer feel Ryan is the correct representative for this brand. We originally chose Ryan as an endorser because of his charisma and fun loving attitude. As soon as we were advised of the situation, we made the decision to discontinue this partnership” says Robert Wolfson, President of Last Round.

Last Round is also a supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Last Round is a brand that does not condone harmful or threatening activities.  This includes binge drinking, drinking and driving or underage drinking.  Last Round Hangover Support is an all natural shot you take after drinking; no matter how little you drink, to prevent the dreaded hangover.  Last Round is not encouraging drinkers to over-indulge, simply providing a cure for the common hangover that may arise after consuming any amount of alcohol.

HerbaSway (www.herbasway.com) is the maker of the best-selling, all-natural HerbaGreen® Tea, HerbaSway Spa & Beauty (www.herbaswayspa.com) and Last RoundTM (www.last-round.com). All products are based on traditional combinations of only the purest ingredients and wild-crafted herbs chosen from around the world, used in combination with the latest western scientific research. Each formula is synergistically blended to produce optimum levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in the body. All HerbaSway products are sugar free, caffeine free, calorie free, alcohol free and contain no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

Target Apologizes For LGBT Snub - HRC Responds

The CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel,  issued an open letter to his employees apologizing for their support of MN Forward.


Civic Activity A Message From Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman, President and CEO
8/5/2010

Dear Target Leaders,

I have heard from many of you, and our team members, over the past week regarding Target's contribution to MN Forward, and I appreciate your engagement and candor, both of which clearly demonstrate your loyalty and passion for our company.
In situations like this, it is often difficult to find the right words, but I would like to respond with the same honesty you have shown me.

The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.

We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.

Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.
Thank you for sharing your input and for your continued commitment to making Target an even stronger company.

Sincerely,
Gregg Steinhafel
Chairman, President and CEO

Statement from Human Rights Campaign President on Target CEO’s Apology:

WASHINGTON – Today HRC President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:

“Target has been a champion for workplace equality for many years. That’s why their recent donation to MN Forward was so at odds with their sterling reputation as a great employer for LGBT people. The fact that their political contribution was used to advance an anti-equality candidate was extremely hurtful to all fair-minded Americans.

We appreciate Mr. Steinhafel’s statement to company employees this afternoon but it doesn’t go quite far enough. Target's apology is welcomed but without tangible action behind it, the LGBT community and our allies will continue to question the company's commitment to equality.

The promise to evaluate political contributions in the future, while a step in the right direction, is provided without details and does not mitigate their $150,000 supporting an outspoken opponent of equality for LGBT people. Target can still make it right by making equivalent contributions to equality-minded organizations and by making clear the procedure by which they will evaluate potential contributions in the future to include issues of LGBT-equality.”

Lambda Legal Statement on the Confirmation of Justice Kagan

"Kagan assumes a seat historically held by judicial champions of the rights of individuals."

(New York, August  5, 2010) - After the Senate voted to confirm Justice Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal:

"Kagan assumes a seat historically held by judicial champions of the rights of individuals.  Until his recent retirement, the seat was held by Justice John Paul Stevens, who was a stalwart protector of liberty and equality.  He in turn had filled the seat of Justice William O. Douglas, who authored the Court's decision striking down laws banning the use of contraceptives. And, before Douglas, that seat was held by one of the most brilliant defenders of constitutional rights among the court's pantheon, Justice Louis Brandeis.

"Lambda Legal congratulates Justice Kagan on her historic appointment - it is the first time this country will have had three women serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Justice Kagan has been a trailblazer in her profession and a distinguished legal scholar and leader for many years. Her outstanding legal career has well prepared her for this appointment.  We look forward to her tenure on the bench and hope that she will follow in the footsteps of those who held her seat before her."


Lambda Legal advocated for the Obama Administration to consider nominating judicial candidates who meet four important qualities:

        • A demonstrated ability to rule fairly and impartially in cases involving LGBT and HIV issues.
        • A willingness and ability to uphold the principles of equality found in the Constitution and personal freedoms for everyone in America, not just a select few.
        • A respect for a number of Supreme Court precedents involving the right to privacy, disability rights particularly related to HIV status, and issues of discrimination based on sexual orientation and sex stereotyping.
        • Nominees who reflect the nation's diversity, in particular openly LGBT people, women and people of color.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

PROP 8 TRIAL PLAINTIFFS' DECISION EVENT INFO

PROP 8 TRIAL PLAINTIFFS' DECISION EVENT INFO
Official Events in San Francisco, West Hollywood (Los Angeles) After Decision is Released

The court announced yesterday that a decision in the landmark Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial will be announced Wednesday, August 4.  The American Foundation for Equal Rights –  the organization that launched the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case and brought together attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies to argue it – will hold a news conference in San Francisco immediately after a decision is announced and will hold a public event later in the day in West Hollywood (Los Angeles).  Both events will include the plaintiffs, lead attorneys and Foundation leadership.

WHAT:

Official Plaintiffs Post-Decision Events/Immediate Reaction 

WHO:

*Perry v. Schwarzenegger/Prop. 8 Trial Plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo

*Lead attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies

*American Foundation for Equal Rights Board President Chad Griffin

WHEN:

*San Francisco News Conference:                 Immediately after decision is issued

*Los Angeles Public Event: 4:30 PM             (Time Tentative)

WHERE:

*San Francisco News Conference:

The Bentley Reserve
301 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

*Los Angeles Public Event:

West Hollywood Park
647 N. San Vicente
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pressure Builds on Target & Best Buy to “Make it Right”

HRC Launches New Action Alert and Video Regarding $250K Contribution to Group Supporting Anti-Equality Candidate

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – will launch another nationwide action alert and a new online video tomorrow calling on Target and Best Buy to “make it right” after they contributed a combined $250,000 to MN Forward, a group supporting anti-equality gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. After a week of outcry from LGBT Americans and their allies, neither corporation has made clear how they hope to repair their damaged reputations among fair-minded consumers.

Every day that goes by, fair-minded consumers are wondering when Target and Best Buy plan to recognize that equality is good business,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Their leadership on LGBT workplace issues will continue to be compromised until they make it right.”

Close to 100,000 people have signed an open letter from HRC to Target and Best Buy calling on them to make equivalent donations to groups that support candidates who will put all Minnesota families first. The letter appeared as a full page advertisement in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Sunday. More than a third of those 100,000 people identify as straight allies, demonstrating the widespread damage these contributions have caused.
The New York Times today reported that the investment bank Goldman Sachs has pledged not to spend corporate funds on political advertising even in the wake of the Citizens United ruling that would have freed them and other corporations to do so. The article cites Target as coming under fire for its donation to MN Forward.