National Gay and Lesbian Task Force UPDATE
August 1, 2006

In the News:

Media spotlight is on "Marriage Matters" ad campaign
Task Force staffers present at International Conference
      on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal
Task Force's Pedro Julio Serrano serves as delegate to
       Regional Conference of the Americas conference on racism
In the states
Register now for Creating Change 2006
Matt Foreman responds to 'Beyond Marriage'


   

Media spotlight is on "Marriage Matters" ad campaign

The "Marriage Matters" ads we first told you about in last week's edition have appeared in 50 publications since then and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. An Associated Press story, placed by the Task Force, ran on the eve of the July 25 launch of the ad and was rapidly picked up in more than 30 major media outlets, including the Washington Post, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Boston Herald, the Baltimore Sun, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Diego Union Tribune, the Houston Chronicle and Forbes. CBS, NBC and ABC network and affiliate news aired the story and CNN cited the ads in its July 25 a.m. news ticker. As of Thursday, July 27, the AP story had appeared in more than 1,250 media outlets.

Major stories also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, on New York 1 and on CBS News on Logo. There was coverage in numerous LGBT press outlets, including the New York Blade, the Washington Blade and the Advocate, and in-depth coverage and heated discussion on prominent LGBT blogs, including keithboykin.com, Pam’s House Blend, Americablog and Towleroad.

We thank the Arcus Foundation and our partners at GLAAD, Freedom to Marry, the Pride Agenda and the ACLU for all their work in helping to make this ad campaign a success.



 

Task Force staffers present at International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal

Four Task Force staffers presented at the International Conference on LGBT Rights in Montreal on July 26–29. The conference, which attracted 1,500 activists from 100 countries, framed LGBT rights in the context of basic human rights. In many countries, homosexuality is illegal and cause for imprisonment and in some instances even execution. Read more about the Task Force’s involvement with the conference.

The conference concluded with the issuance of a Declaration of Montreal, a manifesto that articulates LGBT rights in an international human rights framework with the ultimate goal of securing “unequivocal” support for LGBT equality worldwide. Read the Declaration of Montreal.



 

Task Force’s Pedro Julio Serrano serves as delegate to Regional Conference of the Americas conference on racism

Task Force Communications Coordinator Pedro Julio Serrano was invited to participate in the Regional Conference of the Americas: Advances and Challenges in the Plan of Action against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Correlated Intolerances on July 26–28 in Brazil. Serrano attended as a delegate and was part of a plenary panel that addressed Latin America and Caribbean issues, including the state of LGBT rights.

The conference, which attracted 400 participants, examined the progress governments have made in advancing racial and sexual equality as outlined in the recommendations put forth five years ago by delegates of the Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Correlated Intolerances in South Africa.

Serrano was among those who successfully advocated for the inclusion of sexual orientation, gender and gender identity/expression in the official declaration issued by this year’s conference.

[ Learn more about the conference ]



 

In the states

Washington Supreme Court marriage ruling is a strike against fairness and equality

"We applaud the tremendous courage of the plaintiffs and their families and our organizational allies in Washington who have worked so hard to bring us closer to equality." — Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman

Washington state's highest court upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage July 26 in a 5-4 ruling. Nineteen same-sex couples had challenged the constitutionality of Washington's Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by state lawmakers in 1998 that restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples.

[ Read the full Task Force press release ]



 


Register now for Creating Change 2006

The nation's premier LGBT organizing gathering is coming to Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 8–12. For more details, download a copy of the conference brochure.

[ Register today for Creating Change ]


 


Matt Foreman responds to 'Beyond Marriage'

On July 26, more than 150 prominent LGBT activists and thinkers signed on to and released Beyond Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships. The document was written by 17 individuals, eight of whom are intimately involved with the Task Force or have been over the years.

[ Read the statement by Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman ]


 


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