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

In the News:

Task Force hails Massachusetts vote to repeal 1913 marriage law
Task Force responds to shooting at Tennessee church
Action Fund applauds House vote to repeal HIV travel ban
End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy
Tell the Census Bureau that we count!
Montgomery County court decision disappoints
Task Force accepting session proposals for Creating Change ’09
Help build a stronger movement by taking this survey


 

Task Force hails Massachusetts vote to repeal 1913 marriage law

The Task Force hails the Massachusetts House’s 118-to-35 vote today to repeal a 1913 law that prevents Massachusetts from marrying out-of-state couples if their marriages would not be legal in their home states. On July 15, the state Senate voted to repeal the measure; Gov. Deval Patrick has said he will sign the repeal.

“The 1913 law, a shameful vestige from another wrong-headed time of denying marriage to interracial couples, became Gov. Mitt Romney’s archaic tool in his unsuccessful bid to deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. Not only does today’s House vote repudiate Romney’s efforts to block our marriages in Massachusetts, it also invites couples from around the United States to experience the joy and happiness of celebrating their lives by becoming married in the Bay State.”
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey

[ Read the full statement ]


 

Task Force responds to shooting at Tennessee church

The Task Force expresses its condolences to the families of the victims of a shooting on Sunday at a Tennessee church that welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“We pray and hope for comfort to the families of the victims and to the congregants of this welcoming church. Our deepest sympathies are with everyone affected by this terrible event. We condemn any crime motivated by hate or bias.”
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey

[ Read the full statement ]


 

Action Fund applauds House vote to repeal HIV travel ban

The Task Force Action Fund applauds the U.S. House’s July 24 vote to repeal the HIV travel ban. The Senate voted July 16 to repeal the prohibition, which was codified by Congress in 1993.

“For far too long, people with HIV have been inhumanely blocked from entering the United States due to profound ignorance, fear and misinformation. It’s time to abolish this arcane and unjust law once and for all.”
Task Force Action Fund Executive Director Rea Carey

[ Read our press release ]
[ Read our post on the Hill Blog ]


 

End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy

The U.S. House held its first hearing since 1993 on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibits lesbian, gay and bisexual people from serving openly in the military. In addition to submitting written testimony, the Task Force Action Fund worked closely with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and other colleague organizations to prepare witnesses and members of the committee for the hearing.

“This categorical rejection of our country’s brave and trustworthy Americans and the continued squandering of their contributions must end.”
Task Force Action Fund Executive Director Rea Carey

[ Get more details ]
[ Read Rea Carey’s commentary on the Hill Blog ]


 

Tell the Census Bureau that we count!

The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced it will not count legally married same-sex couples in its 2010 data collection effort. Instead, same-sex spouses will be counted as “unmarried partners.” This is both outrageous and unacceptable, and the Task Force was quick to go on record in saying so in this terrific commentary by Policy Institute Director Jaime Grant on The Huffington Post. Read it here.

To protest this unfair and harmful policy, People For the American Way has launched a petition drive to try and get the Census Bureau to reverse course and count all families accurately. Send a message now.


 

Montgomery County court decision disappoints

The Task Force expressed disappointment in a July 24 Montgomery County Circuit Court decision that concluded a referendum petition to repeal a county law extending nondiscrimination protections on the basis of gender identity should be on the November ballot. Basic Rights Montgomery, the group established to fight the ballot measure, is seeking support and volunteers to help protect the nondiscrimination law.

“We remain committed to efforts to protect this important and necessary nondiscrimination law. If the measure reaches the ballot this November, we believe the fair-minded voters of Montgomery County will reject this attack on fundamental rights.”
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey

[ Read the press release ]
[ Get involved in Basic Rights Montgomery ]


 

Task Force accepting session proposals for Creating Change ’09

The Task Force is now accepting session proposals for The 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, which will be held in Denver, Colo., on Jan. 28–Feb. 1, 2009. The conference attracts more than 2,000 activists and is the LGBT movement’s premier skills-building and strategy conference. Proposals on all topics of interest to LGBT movement leaders are welcome.

Online proposal submission and complete information can be found at www.creatingchange.org. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 30, 2008.


 

Help build a stronger movement by taking this survey

The Task Force and other organizations are working with the LGBT Movement Advancement Project on a survey of LGBT people’s attitudes toward work and career, particularly those people who work or volunteer for our movement today.

The survey results will help LGBT organizations better attract, develop and retain good people — and build a stronger, more effective movement. The survey is open until July 31. It is anonymous and will take about 15 minutes to complete. Thanks for helping out!

[ Take the survey here ]


 

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