Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Victory Institute LGBT Conference

Victory Institute will bring together more than 500 LGBT elected officials, appointees, leaders, ambassadors & advocates in Washington, D.C. from December 8th to 10th for the first major gathering of the LGBT movement since the presidential election. The 3 day conference aims to chart a path forward for LGBT elected officials & leaders as the Trump administration continues to appoint anti-LGBT cabinet members who threaten to dismantle the unprecedented gains of the last eight years. Aisha Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute stated, “The election of Donald Trump – a man who used xenophobia, racism, misogyny & transphobia to win the White House – is beyond disturbing & disheartening. But this is not the time to retreat in despair. Now is the time for the more than 500 LGBT elected officials nationwide to unite in their collective power & oppose the anti-equality agenda of the new administration. They are on the frontlines & are our best defense, which is why Victory Institute is convening LGBT elected officials for the first time post-election later this week. At our International LGBT Leaders Conference, this army of influencers will strategize how to cement our gains & continue moving our equality forward during the Trump presidency – from city councils to state legislatures to Congress.” Victory Institute is the nation’s only LGBT organization dedicated to building a pipeline of LGBT elected officials at the local, state & national level. The conference will also host the largest closed-door meeting of LGBT elected officials in history, where leaders will strategize around using their collective power to create an effective opposition onto the anti-equality agenda of the new administration.
For More Info: victoryinstitute.org
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Monday, December 5, 2016

LGBT Inclusive Paid Leave Policies

A new report by A Better Balance, the Center for American Progress, Family Values @ Work & Forward Together details how to develop paid leave policies that use an LGBTQ inclusive definition of family & provides model policy language that appropriately captures the diverse realities & needs of today’s American families. Laura E. Durso, Senior Director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress stated, “Families come in all shapes & sizes & therefore it’s critical that paid leave policies meet the needs of all families. This is especially true for LGBTQ workers & their loved ones, who are often left behind by restrictive definitions of family.” An inclusive definition of family in paid leave policies would help ensure that all workers have access to paid time off in the event that they need a few days to recover from a short-term illness, or a longer leave to bond with a new child, recover from a serious health condition, or care for a seriously ill loved one. The report identifies gold-standard family definition policies & finds that state & local victories in the last half of 2016 alone will provide nearly 7 million people access to paid sick days with an inclusive family definition. Kalpana Krishnamurthy, policy director at Forward Together concluded, “While this report focuses on LGBTQ families, it’s really about all of our families. We’ve always defined family as those who we love & can count on. That fact is what has made our families strong, even as they have been remade by distance, violence & struggle. This report shows us that we need policies that honor our deepest bonds, however they may look.”
Read New Report…
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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Walmart Settles LGBT Bias Case

Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), the national campaign to change Walmart into a more responsible employer, along with Pride at Work and UFCW OUTreach, a constituency group dedicated to building mutual support between the UFCW's International, regions & locals & our LGBT community & allies, released the following statement as Walmart announced a 7.5 million dollar settlement in the Cote et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. class-action lawsuit, which accused the company of discriminating against employees who were married to same gender spouses by denying their spouses health insurance benefits: "Actions speak louder than words & until now, Walmart’s actions regarding LGBTQ workers’ & their spouses’ health benefits were discriminatory & hurtful. We are pleased to hear that Walmart has admitted wrongdoing in Cote et al. v. Walmart Stores, Inc. & that they have agreed to abide by anti-discrimination policies & to make those who have been discriminated against whole. It is our hope that Walmart accepts how wrong they were so that not one more Walmart worker will have to experience such injustice and bigotry. We congratulate Jacqueline for her bravery & we hope she inspires other Walmart workers to come forward & speak up about intolerance. In addition, we hope that Walmart realizes that this is just a start & that too many of its hard-working Walmart men & women face poverty-level wages, poor benefits & unfair workplaces. Now, more than ever, it is time for Walmart to wake up & change."
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Jorge Amaro Honor 41 Recipient

Honor 41 that annually celebrates 41 LGBTQ Latina/o role models & trailblazers has named Jorge Amaro, Media & Public Relations Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force to their 2016 list of honorees. Honor 41’s name originates from an anti-LGBTQ hate crime that took place in Mexico City in 1901 when 41 men were targeted, beaten & arrested because of their sexual orientation. Since then the number 41 has been used in Mexico to disparage against gay men. Honor 41 reclaims the number to celebrate inspirational individuals in the LGBTQ community & their tireless work toward equality. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director stated, “Congratulations to Jorge for the well-deserved recognition for his tireless work to support LGBTQ people all across the country. We truly value his ongoing contributions to the broader social justice movement & are proud to have him as part of the National LGBTQ Task Force family.” Jorge Amaro concluded, "I am humbled & privileged to be included in this year's list. To this day, LGBTQ Latino youth lack the necessary & adequate support in school, home, healthcare, & places of worship in order to be able to live their lives genuinely & authentically; despite the ongoing systems of oppression that we face including racism, discrimination, violence & hate. LGBTQ Latinos continue to succeed in a wide rage of arts & professions. In our work to secure justice & equality for all, we must continue elevating the voices of those who are often marginalized in society."
For More Info: honor41.org
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

World AIDS Day 2016 (AUDIO)

For World AIDS Day a new plan to end HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts has been launched entitled Massachusetts Getting to Zero Coalition led by the AIDS Action Committee, Fenway Health & over 35 supporting organizations from the six health regions of the Commonwealth. The plan seeks to ensure that by 2020, 90 percent of those living with HIV are aware of their status; 90 percent of those diagnosed with HIV are treated with antiretroviral therapy & 90 percent of those receiving antiretroviral treatment are virally suppressed. It is modeled on the Getting to Zero new HIV infections plan created by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS which has been adopted by the state of New York & city of San Francisco. The plan will be formally launched today on World AIDS Day December 1st at a reception at Harvard Medical School from 6P to 8P. Carl Sciortino, AIDS Action Executive Director stated, “As we seek to end AIDS in Massachusetts, we’re taking that same approach of going directly to those at highest risk of HIV infection to ensure they have the treatment they need to stay healthy. But we’re also going to employ sexual health training for healthcare providers & make big data available for prevention program designers to exploit every possible opportunity to end the spread of HIV.” Listen to this exclusive audio byte with gay activist & historian Cleve Jones who talks about how AIDS affected our LGBT community. Jones has been an AIDS activist for over 30 years. After working with Harvey Milk, Cleve conceived the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
For More Info: gettingtozeroma.org
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Love & Pride Responds To Attack

Love & Pride the online business founded to promote education & better understanding of our LGBTQ community has responded to an attack by the anti-LGBT group One Million Moms who has criticized Zales Jewelers for featuring a TV commercial with two women in wedding gowns exchanging vows & wedding bands from their "Love & Pride" Collection. Udi Behr, Love & Pride Founder & Designer stated, “I was shocked & saddened when our Love & Pride collection, available online & now at a major retailer, was attacked by the so-called ‘One Million Moms,’ part of the hate group ‘The American Family Association.’ As a jeweler & LGBTQ ally for many years, this is the first time we have been targeted in such a manner. I am heartened by the support & positive attention we have seen online & privately from consumers across the country. The Love & Pride collection has always been about love, peace, hope, pride & equality & our goal has always been to bring people together. Our support of organizations like the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Marriage Equality/USA & the Human Rights Campaign is part of that vision… I do not do this as a political statement but as an artist & designer who cares about our world, cares about all people & wants to promote love & beauty. If you do not agree with that vision don’t buy my jewelry. But there is no need to reacts with hate or boycotts…The response by One Million Moms is hateful & divisive. Now, more than ever, we must work for a world that has less division & more love, respects diversity & allows all people to express their love for each other.”
For More Info: loveandpride.com
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Elder Lesbians Of Color Event

Boston OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing For Change) will be meeting on Sunday December 4th from 2P to 4P for an important program entitled “Elder Lesbians of Color: Telling Our Stories/Telling Our Lives”. The program consists of a panel of elder lesbians of color who will talk about coming-out & realizing they were gay, their particular concerns as a lesbian of color, reactions by their families, issues involving their communities, their church & religion. The panel will also address what it’s like to be women of color in America & a women of color in lesbian communities as well as what it’s like to be Black, West Indian & lesbian in LGBT communities. Sarah Pearlman Co-Founder of OLOC-Boston stated, “In these divisive times & hoping to breach the divide, Boston OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) has invited a group of older lesbians of color to attend their Sunday, December 4th program to talk about what it is like to be women of color in America, coming-out, their families, their church & what it is like to be a lesbian in Black communities & Black in lesbian communities.” The event takes place at Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street in Brookline, MA. Following the event there will be an early dinner at Sichuan Garden, 295 Washington Street in Brookline Village, Brookline.
For More Info: spearlman@hartford.edu
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