Actress-producer-transgender advocate Laverne Cox speaks with Miami Herald gay issues reporter Steve Rothaus about her new film, 'Musical Chairs,' which will be screened at the 2012 Miami International Film Festival. Cox talks about playing a paraplegic transgender woman who learns wheelchair ballroom dancing in the film, casting actors and actresses in transgender parts and 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' - Miami Herald Studios
Praise is being heaped on Chad Griffin, named today as next president of Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
From R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans:
“The campaign for equality is not a partisan matter, it is about doing what is right for all LGBT Americans. By selecting Chad Griffin as their new President, the Human Rights Campaign has selected a leader who knows achieving victory will require advocacy and champions on both sides of the aisle. Chad's leadership of the American Foundation on Equal Rights and his work with a leading conservative, Ted Olson, on Perry v. Schwarzenegger recognized the importance of coming together to do what is right. Log Cabin Republicans looks forward working with the Human Rights Campaign under Chad’s leadership to help enact pro-equality legislation in Congress and across the country.”
From Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the Courage Campaign:
"I met Chad nine years ago during the Howard Dean campaign. I have worked with, watched and admired his leadership and unparalleled strategic and campaign skills on a multitude of issues. He simplifies the complex, never misses a detail and keeps his eye firmly fixed on the horizon. Chad is the rare combination of a passionate, tough, experienced leader who will take our movement to full equality."
Professional colleagues and friends have been unanimous in their praise of Griffin’s appointment:
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
“I congratulate Chad Griffin on his appointment as the new President of HRC. I’m confident Chad will continue to provide the strong leadership that HRC has become known for here in Washington. I’m proud to count myself as a strong supporter of issues important to the LGBT community and look forward to working with Chad and HRC to advance these issues.”
Judy Shepard, President, Matthew Shepard Foundation:
“I couldn’t be happier for HRC and my good friend, Chad Griffin. He’s just brilliant. The ways in which he connects with people on issues of equality continue to amaze me. He’s going to be a great leader for HRC, and the equality movement and I look forward to working with him.”
Kate Kendall, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights:
"Chad Griffin is a visionary and a force of nature. Chad sees around corners and finds ways to surmount obstacles and bring together disparate voices. The LGBT movement will benefit greatly from his unflagging confidence in the rightness of our cause and his career spent fighting for equality and fairness on a wide range of progressive causes."
Evan Wolfson, Founder & President, Freedom to Marry:
“This is a terrific choice for HRC and our movement. I admire people who raise the bar and bring creativity, smarts, and, of course, more people into the work of getting important things done. As we've worked together to win the freedom to marry, I have seen Chad do all of that with fresh energy and exceptional talent, and Freedom to Marry and I look forward to partnering even closer as he takes the helm of HRC.”
Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus, NAACP:
"Chad Griffin is a great choice - he is a major leader in the fight for equality. HRC has staged a coup!"
Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
“Chad Griffin is an inspired choice. In addition to his legendary genius and relentlessness, Chad has a deep understanding of how social and political change happen and an unflinching commitment to full equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As someone who grew up in the South, he will bring a fierce commitment to ensuring that change comes to all parts of our country and that every young person can grow up with unqualified love, acceptance, and support. Chad is exactly the type of creative new leader that we will need to make the most of the unprecedented opportunities opening up for our community in the years ahead.”
Griffin’s appointment follows an extensive six month search by the board that included the consideration of over one hundred diverse and extremely well-qualified candidates from the worlds of business, academia and activism. Griffin will assume his new responsibilities on June 11, 2012.
BY GEOFF MULVIHILL, ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- A man who witnesses say was watched via webcam while kissing a Rutgers University student who later committed suicide took the stand Friday, telling jurors he noticed the webcam while the two were being intimate.
"I had just glanced over my shoulder and I noticed there was a webcam that was faced toward the direction of the bed," said the man, identified only by the initials M.B. "Just being in a compromising position and seeing a camera lens - it just stuck out to me."
The man testified that he had met Tyler Clementi in August 2010 through a social networking site for gay men. They chatted online initially, he said, and their first in-person meeting was in Clementi's dorm room on Sept. 16 - three days before the alleged spying. Clementi killed himself days later.
The man's testimony came in the trial of Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, who is charged with bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and other crimes.
News release from Columbia Law School:
New York, March 2, 2012—The Key West City Commission voted unanimously on February 22 to pass an equal benefits ordinance that requires companies doing business with Key West to provide domestic partners with benefits equal to those offered to married employees. The law was drafted with the assistance of students in the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. Broward County adopted a similar law in November, also drafted with the Clinic’s support.
“The goal of an equal benefits ordinance is to ensure equal pay for equal work,” explained Hillary Schneller ’12, a clinic student who assisted in drafting the ordinance. “An equal benefits ordinance requires contractors doing business with a local government to offer employees with spouses and employees with domestic partners the same benefits.”
Key West is the third Florida community to adopt an equal benefits ordinance, joining Broward County and Miami Beach, as well as, among others, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Olympia, Seattle, and the state of California, which have passed similar laws. The Key West ordinance applies to companies that enter the city’s competitive bid process, which affects contracts with the city worth $20,000 or more.
“Because benefits are such an important part of compensation, equal benefits ordinances like Key West’s help ensure that employees in domestic partnerships are paid on par with their married co-workers,” said Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg, the clinic’s director.
The effort to have this Equal Benefits Ordinance enacted in Key West was spearheaded by Equality Florida, a St. Petersburg-based civil rights organization that sought assistance from the clinic students in drafting the ordinance. Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, and has been working to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida since 1997.
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic addresses cutting-edge issues in sexuality and gender law through litigation, legislation, public policy analysis and other forms of advocacy. Under Goldberg’s guidance, clinic students have worked on a wide range of projects, from constitutional litigation to legislative advocacy to immigration cases, to serve both individual and organizational clients in cases involving issues of sexuality and gender law.
March 02, 2012 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
News release from Human Rights Campaign, HRC:
Griffin’s appointment follows an extensive six month search by the board that included the consideration of over one hundred diverse and extremely well-qualified candidates from the worlds of business, academia and activism. Griffin will assume his new responsibilities on June 11, 2012. Current HRC president Joe Solmonese will continue to lead the organization until that time.
The founding partner of strategic communications and campaign firm, Griffin|Schein, Griffin has taken on entrenched, well-financed interests like Big Tobacco, Big Oil and the far right, and shaped national policy debates around equal rights, clean energy, universal health care, stem cell research, and early childhood education. He has also led groundbreaking ballot initiative campaigns including the largest ballot initiative ever recorded, Proposition 87: California’s Clean Alternative Energy Initiative; the Proposition 10 campaign, which generates $600 million a year for early childhood education; and Proposition 71, which secured billions of dollars for stem cell research despite the Bush Administration ban.
Griffin is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of the Prop. 8 lawsuit. He is personally responsible for recruiting the legal dream team of Theodore Olson and David Boies to successfully argue the case. Griffin will remain on the board of directors of AFER.
A veteran of the Clinton White House communications team, and a native of Arkansas, Griffin was highly motivated by young people in taking this new endeavor. “All over this country in big cities and small towns, there are families and young people who long to be accepted for who they are, and who want be treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else," said Griffin. "I’m honored by the board’s confidence in my ability to lead HRC. While there’s no doubt that we’ve made tremendous progress on the road to equality, we must not forget that millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic legal protections and suffer the consequences of discrimination every day. Today's generation of young people, and each generation hereafter, must grow up with the full and equal protection of our laws, and finally be free to participate in the American dream. As HRC president, I’ll approach our work with a great sense of urgency because there are real life consequences to inaction.”
HRC Co-Chair Tim Downing and HRC Foundation Co-Chair Sandra Hartness spoke on behalf of their colleagues on the Board of Directors, “We’re ecstatic to have someone of Chad’s caliber as our next president. His superior credentials and achievements, both as a visionary and strategist, make him uniquely qualified to lead this organization forward. Chad has a proven track record of consistently delivering results during his career. That’s something that our community rightly expects and deserves.”
With over a million members and supporters, HRC works to secure equal rights for LGBT individuals and families at the local, state and federal levels by mobilizing grassroots supporters, lobbying elected officials, proactively educating and changing the hearts and minds of fair-minded Americans, and investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials. Founded in 1980, HRC seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs.
HRC consists of two separate non-profit organizations: the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on research, advocacy and education and the Human Rights Campaign, a 501(c)(4) organization that focuses on lobbying Congress, state and local officials for support of pro-LGBT bills, and mobilizing grassroots action amongst its members. The combined annual budget of both organizations was approximately $40 million in 2011.
Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee who came out as gay six years after helping run the gay-baiting 2004 reelection campaign of President George W. Bush, tells Salon.com that he's sorry:
“At a personal level, I wish I had spoken out against the effort,” he says. “As I’ve been involved in the fight for marriage equality, one of the things I’ve learned is how many people were harmed by the campaigns in which I was involved. I apologize to them and tell them I am sorry. While there have been recent victories, this could still be a long struggle in which there will be setbacks, and I’ll do my part to be helpful.”
Dozens of men and women attended ArtScape Thursday night at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, part of this year's Winter Party Festival currently underway in South Florida.
Among the attendees: Rea Carey, executive director the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which sponsors Winter Party. The majority of the proceeds are donated to local service organizations through a grant-making process administered by The Miami Foundation, according to the Task Force.
Among the featured artists:
- Janice Langbehn, who five years ago wasn’t allowed to visit her dying partner, Lisa Pond, at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
- Martin Gill, a gay North Miami man who fought for four years to adopt his two foster sons. His case helped overturn Florida’s ban on gay parents adopting.Gill and his sons attended the party.
- Elke Kennedy, whose 20-year-old gay son, Sean, died in May 2007 from a punch to the face.
Click here to view a photo gallery of the event. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald.Staff.
BY KAREN MATTHEWS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the SAGE Innovative Senior Center in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.
"This is long overdue," said Lillian Barrios-Paoli, commissioner of the city Department for the Aging. "We are beyond thrilled."
The center is operated by the Department for the Aging and SAGE, a 34-year-old social service agency. SAGE stands for Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders.
Robert Philipson, a 77-year-old retired jewelry salesman, said he started going to bereavement counseling at SAGE after he lost his partner of 50 years.
"When you find yourself alone at 77 and you've built your life around another person, you are at somewhat of a loss as to where to go next," he said. "SAGE filled that gap."