National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Weekly Update
April 29, 2008

In the News:

Action Fund issues $20,000 challenge grant bolstering
      bolstering Basic Rights Montgomery
Fighting for marriage equality in California
Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People
National Black/Brown Summit convened in Philadelphia
National Day of Silence observed
D.C. Leadership Awards this Saturday!


 

Action Fund issues $20,000 challenge grant bolstering Basic Rights Montgomery

A group of Montgomery County, Md., residents, joined by the advocacy organization Equality Maryland, last week announced the formation of a campaign to preserve a gender identity nondiscrimination law that was unanimously passed last November by the County Council.

“The LGBT community in Maryland and nationally sees this as an important opportunity to inform our neighbors about the unique challenges and the intolerable discrimination faced by people who don't conform to certain societal gender expectations. The Task Force is announcing a $20,000 challenge grant so that we can get to work — right now — in putting together the necessary campaign to counter the misinformation being spread by those who would repeal these vital protections.”
Rea Carey, Acting Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

[ Learn more and get involved ]


 

Fighting for marriage equality in California

Right-wing groups last week submitted petition signatures in an attempt to place an initiative on California’s November ballot that would ban same-sex marriage. It will be weeks before it is known whether the measure has officially qualified for the ballot. If it does, and ultimately passes, the state Constitution would be amended to ban same-sex couples from marrying in the Golden State for generations. The Task Force Action Fund and Equality for All are continuing to prepare to defeat the possible November initiative.

“This mean-spirited attack is out of touch with the ideals of most Californians, who are known for being fair-minded and respecting and valuing personal freedoms. This initiative is an affront to them, to the thousands of families who will be personally and irrevocably affected if this discriminatory amendment is enshrined in the state Constitution, and to the core American principle of fairness.”
Rea Carey, Acting Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

[ Read the full statement ]
[ Get involved in Equality for All ]


 

Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People

The Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality this week released a joint publication titled Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People: The Nine Keys to Making Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations Fully Transgender-Inclusive, geared toward LGBT organizations.

Opening the Door makes the case for full inclusion at every level of an organization. It examines the need for genuine, consistent advocacy for inclusion of gender identity and expression in policies, programs, legislative stances and public positions, and explores critical issues such as understanding the transgender experience and the role of an ally, how to address staffing issues, dealing with prejudice and ways to further outreach. The voices of LGBT leaders discussing real-life experiences with transgender inclusion are found throughout the guide.

[ Read the press release ]
[ Download the report ]


 

National Black/Brown Summit convened in Philadelphia

Black and Latino/a LGBT leaders met in Philadelphia last Friday at the first National Black/Brown Summit, convened by the International Federation of Black Prides. The gathering brought together leaders from across the country for a day of conversation and discussion about issues that both unite and separate black and Latino/a communities.

The day, framed as one step in the course of many, began with keynote addresses by Task Force board member Nicole Murray-Ramirez (pictured left) and longtime activist Mandy Carter (pictured right), recipient of the Task Force’s 2008 Susan J. Hyde Activism Award. Each of their remarks served as a history lesson for summit participants and recounted their own struggles with each other as black and brown people, and within a white-dominated movement.

“A community that doesn’t know where it came from or whose shoulders it stands upon, doesn’t know where its going” said Murray-Ramirez in his remarks. Also in attendance were former Task Force board member Marjorie Hill, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, who delivered the lunch plenary address, and Task Force Movement Building Director Russell Roybal.


 

National Day of Silence observed

The National Day of Silence, held on April 25, drew attention to the pervasive anti-LGBT harassment and bullying found in the schools.

“Thousands of students across the United States participate in the annual Day of Silence to bring attention to the tragic consequences of the failure to stop school-based anti-LGBT harassment. The murder of California middle-school student Lawrence King at the hands of a classmate is a searing and recent testimony to this deadly dynamic in our schools.

“It is long past time for this epidemic of name-calling, bullying and violence to end. The Task Force urges and supports the enactment of comprehensive anti-bullying laws that specifically address bullying and harassment targeting students on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Rea Carey, Acting Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

[ Learn more about the Day of Silence ]


 

D.C. Leadership Awards this Saturday!

Time is running out to get your tickets online for the D.C. Leadership Awards, which will be held this Saturday, May 3. The Task Force is proud to honor AARP and its Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Daniela Sea (Max) of The L Word, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt and Us Helping Us. The event will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be emceed by the very funny Bob Smith. Online ticket sales will end on Friday, May 2, at noon. A limited number of general admission tickets will be available at the door.

[ Get details and tickets ]


 

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