Task Force grieves death of friend and supporter Ric Weiland

June 28, 2006

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

Statements from the Task Force:

“Ric Weiland brought gentle power, honest friendship and unfailing commitment to his every act. He generously gave himself and his resources to the great tasks of justice and equality, never asking for praise or place, but always with a grace and quiet honor. I will miss this fine man, my friend. Our community has lost a champion.” — Marsha Botzer, the Task Force’s board co-chair

“We are profoundly saddened by the death of Ric Weiland. Ric is someone who quietly, and with great humility, supported the work of many organizations dedicated to advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. The breadth and scope of this commitment was immense and unwavering. Our community has lost a wonderful friend and leader, and the Task Force extends its deepest sympathies to Ric’s partner Mike Schaefer and all those who knew and loved Ric.” — Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

More about Ric Weiland:

Ric Weiland earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1976. During his senior year, he helped his friends, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, get their new company off the ground. In April 1976, Allen and Gates officially hired him to manage Microsoft’s software development and expansion. While at Microsoft, Weiland developed the Microsoft Basic Interpreter for Atari and Apple personal computers and managed the completion of the Microsoft COBOL compiler for the IBM PC. In his last two years with the company, Weiland was responsible for writing and designing Microsoft Works.

Weiland, who retired from Microsoft in 1988, served on the boards of the Pride Foundation in Seattle and of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN). He was a major donor to many LGBT organizations, including the Task Force, GLSEN, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Weiland supported a wide range of programs at Stanford, including the School of Humanities and Sciences for research related to sexual orientation and identity, the feminist studies program, the medical school for research related to HIV/AIDS, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Resource Center.


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.