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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

EQUALITY - WHAT MATTERS: The latest in the LGBT rights movement

EQM’S KERRY ELEVELD: “DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR 2012” - “President Barack Obama has just announced his 2012 bid for re-election and the inevitable push for LGBT support – donor, voter, and activist – has begun. To be sure, many LGBT Americans would much rather see Barack Obama still gracing the Oval Office come January of 2013 than a Republican. And so, many of us are faced with a familiar dilemma: should we sublimate our intrinsic desire to continue advocating for full equality to the urgency of reelecting a man who has presided over some of the greatest advances in the history of the LGBT movement?”

THE INTERVIEW - Listen to Eleveld discuss her piece on the weekly Equality Matters podcast now available for free download on iTunes:
U.S. HOUSE ARMED SERVICES HEARING TOMORROW ON “DON’T ASK” (h/t SLDN) - On Thursday, April 7, at 1:00 p.m., the full House Armed Services Committee “will meet to receive testimony on repeal of law and policies governing service by openly gay and lesbian service members.”  All of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will offer testimony except General George W. Casey, Jr., U.S. Army.  Vice Chair of the Army, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, will be standing in for Casey.

SUBCOMMITTEE HELD DADT HEARINGS LAST WEEK - “A House Armed Services subcommittee held a hearing Friday to review the implementation of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) where Republicans ostensibly hoped to find reasons to stall and potentially derail the final repeal of the discriminatory law. But the testimony presented at the hearing gave them very little room to complain.” http://

CHECK OUT THIS AUDIO - “During a House Armed Services Committee hearing Friday on the yet-to-be-completed repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) was befuddled by the fact that many service members were discharged for merely being gay rather than for violating standards of conduct.” LISTEN: 
12 U.S. SENATORS WRITE ON BEHALF OF BI-NATIONAL COUPLES (via Metro Weekly) – From the letter: “[W]e ask the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to hold marriage-based immigration petitions in abeyance pending a legislative repeal or a final determination on DOMA litigation.”
US LAWMAKER: SUSPEND DEPORTATION OF GAY SPOUSES (via AP) - “U.S. Rep. Rush Holt is pushing the Obama administration to halt deportation proceedings against the same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens.”

NY TIMES LETTER: “MARRIED GAY IMMIGRANTS” - “Does the administration’s right hand know what its left hand is doing?” 
DEMS ASK BOEHNER FOR DOMA BRIEFING - “House Democrats leading the effort to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) asked Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for a briefing on the House’s planned defense of the law Monday. In a letter written to Speaker Boehner, Democrats, including Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), asked for an update on the details, cost, and likelihood for success of the House’s defense of DOMA.” 
EVENT TONIGHT AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY TO PROTEST CHICK-FIL-A AFTER UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP IGNORES STUDENT/FACULTY CONCERNS– “Students at Indiana University South Bend are leading the charge to have Chick-fil-A removed from their campus after their concerns about the company’s anti-gay ties went ignored by the university’s administration.” 
HATE GROUP RUNS CHICK-FIL-A “BUY-COTT” - “The anti-gay hate group the American Family Association (AFA) released a YouTube video Monday calling on its followers to “buy from Chick-fil-A and shop there and eat there” in order to participate in a “BUYcott” of the anti-gay fast food chain.” 
EQM SPEAKER SERIES: DLB: HOOVER IS “A GAY MOVIE” - Discussing his new J. Edgar Hoover biopic and comparing him to Harvey Milk, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black said: "A man who had extraordinary political power, but instead of finding hope from being open about who he was, it was the opposite. He seemed to [hide] who he was, attacked people who were similar, and it seemed to take a toll on his soul." VIDEO:

WASH TIMES POSTS TRANSPHOBIC EDITORIAL - “The Washington Times published an editorial Monday questioning transgender people’s sanity, calling them “mixed-up patient[s]” and warning of their “radical agenda.” The editorial criticizes transgender plaintiffs suing the city of New York in order to change the gender listed on their birth certificates.”

RNC KEEPS ATTACKING LGBT COMMUNITY (via Ben Smith) - “The RNC's new ‘Hope Isn't Hiring’ microsite includes a ‘Social Issues’ tab and a clear suggestion to social conservatives that the party isn't giving up on their issues. ‘Obama repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell while U.S. troops are still on the battlefield,’ the site charges, also attacking him in two places on issues related to same-sex marriage and once for having ‘expanded government recognition of same-sex couples.’”

TRUMP WATCH - “On the March 30 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he just doesn’t “feel good” about allowing loving, committed gay and lesbian couples to marry and insisted that denying gay and lesbian families the over 1,000 rights and protect ions provided by marriage isn’t a “big problem.” 
NOT THE FIRST TIME TRUMP ATTACKED LGBT RIGHTS - Earlier this month, Trump said he would be opposed to allowing gay and lesbian couples access to “the same benefits as married couples.” NY Daily News: “After thinking about it for a moment, however, Trump said: ‘As of this moment, I would say no and no’ to gay marriage and civil benefits.”

 - Herman Cain, potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate and Tea Party favorite, solidified his anti-gay credentials earlier this week when he talked to Political Correction. VIDEO:

SLDN TO 2012 GOP CANDIDATES - Army Veteran Aubrey Sarvis in letters to Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS), former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), and former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN): “Perhaps since you were not in Congress during the past few years, you did not follow the debate about whether to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ This isn’t – and never has been – a partisan political issue.”

EQUALITY MATTERS FACT CHECK ON SEN. SESSIONS AND DOMA - “When the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing Wednesday to vet several Justice Department nominees, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions focused on one nominee in particular, Donald Verrilli… [and] the Justice Department’s decision not to defend Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), rattling off a number of gross inaccuracies in the process.”

TIM GILL FOR THE DENVER POST: “HOUSE FAILED COLORADANS ON CIVIL UNIONS” - “This legislature will have another chance in the next year to right this wrong for all those who choose to live, work, and raise a family in our great state. I sincerely hope to see civil unions debated on the House floor. And if not, we will have an opportunity to change the legislature, because in the end, Colorado deserves better.” 
STATE BY STATE REPORT: MAJOR SETBACKS IN COLORADO AND MARYLAND - “A Colorado House committee voted to kill an overwhelmingly popular bill to legalize civil unions, and a Maryland transgender anti-discrimination bill seems poised to die in the state Senate before coming to a full vote.”

DAVID MIXNER ON LGBT SENIORS (via - “In many societies, how the young respect and treat their elders and tribal leaders is how that society shall be judged by future generations. This generation of seniors took care of our sick, buried our dead and never once, ever, stopped fighting for the freedom of future generations. Now it is time for this community to identify ways to honor them with respect...” 
PASSIONATE REMARKS ON YOUTH HOMELESSNESS - “During the March 31 episode of the Queer and Queerer podcast, Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of The Ali Forney Center in New York City, spoke passionately about the importance of protecting and providing for homeless LGBT youth, calling it a "core challenge" facing the LGBT community.” LISTEN: 
TOBIAS WOLFF ON SUPPORTING THE LABOR MOVEMENT (via The Huffington Post) - “Pushing back against the current assault on American workers should be one of the highest priorities of the LGBT community today -- fully on a par with the effort to secure employment discrimination protections or relationship rights.” 
NYC’S TOP COP COMES OUT FOR MARRIAGE (via NY Times) - “To William J. Bratton, a former law enforcement leader in three of the country’s largest cities: New York, Los Angeles and Boston, the roots of the spasms of violence against gay and lesbian New Yorkers lie in the lack of equality that gays and lesbians endure in society and under the law.  With that in mind, Mr. Bratton, a New York City resident once again, has taped a 30-second video in favor of legalizing gay marriage in New York.”

IN THE LIFE EXPLORES THE YEAR AHEAD FOR LGBT RIGHTS - “2011 is poised to be a pivotal year in the movement toward marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, with both sides of the debate encouraged the pendulum will swing their way.”
KERRY ELEVELD PROFILED BY POPULAR BLOG “DEATH AND TAXES” - “‘We’re a campaign for full lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality,’ Eleveld says about Equality Matters, a project launched last December by David Brock.. ‘If equality were a candidate, we would be the communications team helping to define it and push it into headlines across the country,’ maintains Eleveld.”



EQM CONTACT: Trevor Thomas
Director of Programs
Equality Matters
202.772.0110 (o) 616.430.2030 (c)

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