National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Weekly Update
March 11, 2009

In the News:

Top Task Force staffer attends today’s White House signing of
      executive order creating White House Council on Women and Girls
Executive Director Rea Carey attends White House Summit
      on Health Reform
Working for transgender rights in Maryland
Task Force to honor San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
Check out recent media highlights


 

Top Task Force staffer attends today’s White House signing of executive order creating White House Council on Women and Girls

President Barack Obama signed an executive order today creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. The council is designed to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronting women and girls, and to ensure that all cabinet and cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper attended today’s signing at the White House.

“The highest echelons of government need to be aware of and actively engaged in finding solutions to critical issues affecting women and girls — issues like pay equity, threat of violence, work-life balance for working women, and access to affordable health care and child care. Women and their families are particularly vulnerable on all these counts during an economic downturn. Lesbian, bisexual and transgender women face additional obstacles because they are unprotected by most nondiscrimination employment laws and family recognition laws. This new council will hopefully ensure the voices of women and girls are heard and that these issues remain front and center in the White House.”
Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper

[ Read the full statement ]


 

Executive Director Rea Carey attends White House Summit on Health Reform

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey was among those participating in the White House Forum on Health Reform convened by President Barack Obama on March 5. The forum brought together lawmakers, health care experts and community advocates to discuss health care reform, a top priority for President Obama.

“The White House Forum on Health Reform was a powerful start to reforming health care and how our country views health generally. ... In the coming months, the macro themes and issues raised at the summit will work their way through to concrete policy and funding decisions that will affect the day-to-day lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The Task Force will be working to make sure our needs, lives and families are not left behind.”
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey

[ Read the full statement ]


 

Working for transgender rights in Maryland

Task Force Transgender Civil Rights Project Director Lisa Mottet has been working with Equality Maryland to pass Maryland’s HB474/SB566, a bill that aims to ban transgender discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Mottet testified in front of the Maryland House HGO Committee on Feb. 25 and the Maryland Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings on March 6.

In her testimony, Mottet noted that nearly 40 percent of the nation is now protected under nondiscrimination laws on the basis of gender identity. She added that the Maryland measure “is in line with laws in other states that have been implemented successfully and should be adopted in [Maryland’s] effort to create a more just and free state.” The bill now awaits action by the Maryland committees.

Photo: Lisa Mottet and lead House sponsor Joseline Peña-Melnyk.

[ Learn more at Equality Maryland ]
[ Learn more about our Transgender Civil Rights Project ]


 

Task Force to honor San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who gained worldwide attention in 2004 after ordering the San Francisco County Clerk to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses, will be honored at the 2009 New York Leadership Awards on Monday, April 6.

Newsom remains an outspoken proponent of same-sex marriage and a galvanizing voice for social change. Last month, at the fifth anniversary of the marriages in San Francisco, he said “looking back to that moment in time, five years ago, when the City of San Francisco first celebrated same-sex marriage, there is the indelible image of the faces of couples and families who came together that day. This is very personal to me, because I saw in those faces the importance of recognizing same-sex marriage as an expression of human commitment.”

Join Newsom, along with fellow honoree fashion designer John Bartlett, at the New York Leadership Awards. Go to www.theTaskForce.org/nyla to buy your tickets or become a sponsor of this unforgettable evening!

[ Get full details and purchase tickets ]


 

Check out recent media highlights

Our Winter Party Festival, the economic crisis and the Oscars were among the recent topics garnering Task Force-related media coverage. Peruse our Task Force in the News for more details.

[ Read the highlights here ]


 

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