Bloomberg’s Discriminatory Court Case Baffling Says Task Force’s Foreman

October 19, 2004

Foreman resigns his position on New York Human Rights Commission

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman today publicly announced his resignation from the New York City Commission on Human Rights due to the City going to court October 14 to try to keep the provisions of the Equal Benefits Law* from going into effect.

Following is the text of Foreman's letter, sent to both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, Patricia Gatling:

Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Gatling:

It is with deep regret and immense sadness that I write to resign as a member of the Commission on Human Rights.

Serving on the Commission has been a tremendous honor and privilege. I have enormous respect for the outstanding work of Commissioner Gatling and her staff. They have turned a moribund agency into a real force for human rights.

Unfortunately, the City went to court yesterday to try to keep the provisions of the Equal Benefits Law from going into effect. This law is in keeping with the City’s — and the Commission's — long and proud tradition of working to secure equal rights for its people. For decades, the City has used its contracting and purchasing power to enforce the Human Rights Law, advance and protect the rights of religious and racial minorities and women, secure equal pay for equal work, improve working conditions and wages, and protect the freedom to organize, among many other social equity goals. Through its lawsuit, the Administration is saying loudly - and inexplicably - that gay and lesbian families do not merit being part of this tradition.

Under these circumstances, principle requires that I resign.


Matt Foreman

*New York City's Equal Benefits Law — approved by the City Council over Bloomberg’s veto — would require any contractor doing $100,000 or more in business with the city to provide health and other benefits to gay and straight couples equally. Last week, Bloomberg asked for a temporary restraining order to stop the law's implementation. This week, the Manhattan Supreme Court refused to block the law from going into effect and ordered both sides back to court on November 8.


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.