National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Commends Two Committed Activists

August 20, 2004

Laura Esquivel of LLEGÓ and Faisal Alam of Al-Fatiha step down from their positions

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

Laura Esquivel of LLEGÓ and Faisal Alam of Al-Fatiha recently announced that they are stepping down from their positions. On behalf of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, we extend our deepest appreciation to these two excellent leaders for their service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.

Following is a statement from National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman and Deputy Executive Director Rea Carey:

Laura Esquivel has been fighting for the rights of Latino/a LGBT communities for more than 25 years. As a co-founder of LLEGÓ, Laura Esquivel has been an outspoken activist who has dedicated her life to raising awareness about ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender based discrimination. Laura's leadership has been an inspiring and motivating factor in the movement to secure support, civil rights and health and human services for Latino/a LGBT communities.

Among her many accomplishments as the Director of Public Policy and Government Relations for LLEGÓ, Laura is given singular credit for her ability to rally all of the major U.S. Latino organizations together to sign a letter addressed to the U.S. Senate in an act of solidarity opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment. During her 16 years of work with LLEGÓ, Laura has made a significant impact in advancing public policy affecting LGBT and Latino/a communities.

From his passionate days as a Field Associate with the Task Force to his energetic membership with the National Religious Leadership Roundtable, it has been our honor to have been a part of Faisal Alam's professional path.

Through Faisal's tireless efforts over the last 7 years, Al-Fatiha has grown from a small listserv to an organization that reaches thousands of LGBT Muslims around the world with support, empowerment, and encouragement. He has been a powerful and determined voice against anti-LGBT bigotry in Islam and has worked to foster communication across cultural and religious differences. At the same time, he has fearlessly pursued justice in the face of hatred and violence against Muslims.

It has been our privilege to work with LLEGÓ and Al-Fatiha in the cause of justice. We admire Laura and Faisal's pioneering efforts to organize on behalf of LGBT communities. Through their work, they have demonstrated faithful commitment to the rights of all people. They are excellent examples for activists everywhere.

We wish both Laura and Faisal peace and safe passage as they continue on their journeys toward justice.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.