For more than 36 years, Howard Brown Health Center has been providing care, preventing illness, conducting cutting-edge research, and safeguarding the health of our community. It may be that you, a friend or loved one, or someone you know has benefited from Howard Brown’s services and knows the friendly faces that provide kindhearted treatment and care to those who rely on us. When the Chicago LGBTQ community needs compassionate care, advocacy for their health, and life-saving medical services and support, Howard Brown is their lifeline.
Today, we need you to be a lifeline for Howard Brown. Without your support, we will most likely close our doors by the end of the year. Why? Our past leadership mismanaged Howard Brown’s funds. Ultimately, their actions have led to a need to raise $500,000 by the end of this year, and an additional $500,000 next year. We are reaching out to all of our friends and supporters for gifts great and small to help us continue our lifesaving services.
Your gift today to the Lifeline Appeal will save lives and help secure the future of Howard Brown’s desperately needed medical care and health services in our community. As Howard Brown begins a new day – steadying from extraordinary challenges to remain a vital lifeline for LGBTQ individuals and families – please act now and make a contribution to help keep our doors open.
This is a critical time. Quite simply: Without your lifeline of support in the next 50 days, Howard Brown may cease to exist, people will go without necessary health care, and countless lives will be at risk. With your help, we won’t allow that to happen. We refuse to allow youth like Will, who was turned out by his family and harassed and assaulted in his school just because he is gay. Will felt so isolated and alone that he thought about taking his life. Instead he found Howard Brown’s Broadway Youth Center, a lifeline of services for LGBT youth. At the Broadway Youth Center, Will was welcomed by compassionate staff and caring professionals who provided more than our expert services; they helped him understand that he is not alone. The BYC nourished him physically with warm meals and nurtured his spirit with the support that every one of our youth deserves. Will’s own words best describe the lifeline of support you provide with your gift to Howard Brown: “There is no other place like the Broadway Youth Center or like Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. I believe that they saved my life, and I will be forever grateful.” Today, Will is a nursing student at Loyola University, committed to giving back to his community in the way that he was supported at Howard Brown. Your support of the Lifeline Appeal helps us ensure that all our youth, adult, and elder clients have a place to go for vital care and support. Our outstanding new leadership team and I firmly believe that Howard Brown Health Center will be here for many decades to come – yet only with your support and the support of our entire community.
Just as Howard Brown and the Lesbian Community Care Project (LCCP) were founded by the community when there was a void in services and support, we now turn to the community from which we came to support Howard Brown in our unwavering commitment to continue the important work this community started. Each day, we continue to serve our clients with the expert and compassionate care that everyone deserves. And, we will continue to serve our community as we work toward our new vision of a world where being LGBT is good for one’s health – for every LGBTQA person!
Join us to help realize this future and be a lifeline for our community, just as Howard Brown has been for 36 years. Thank you for your support. We depend on you, as many depend on Howard Brown.
Please make a Lifeline Gift today to support life-saving care and services.
With our steadfast commitment and heartfelt gratitude for your support,
Jamal M. Edwards, J.D.
President and CEO
Donations can be issued here, via Howard Brown’s website.
Posted on October 1, 2010 by David CohenPer Equality Forum in Philadelphia
, PA: Starting today, an Icon will be featured every day in October. Each icon will be highlighted with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images, and other educational resources – all free of charge - at www.glbthistorymonth.com
You can share Icon videos on your favorite social networking site or embed the videos on your Web site or blog. Once embedded, the video player automatically updates with that day’s featured Icon.
The resources for the 124 icons from GLBT History Month 2006 to 2009 are archived on the site and with the 31 Icons for 2010 can be used to create a GLBT History Month exhibit.
Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month. 2010 marks the 5th Anniversary of GLBT History Month. Equality Forum has created commemorative resources for GLBT History Month 2006 to 2010, including a special edition 5th Anniversary Poster. All 5th Anniversary resources are available on the site.
Today’s featured LGBT icon is American Solider and DADT repeal spokesperson Eric Alva. For more information and icons, go HERE.
Posted on September 17, 2010
Per a press release distributed by Think Tank Marketing:
“Since her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards with four members of the Service members Legal Defence Network, Lady Gaga has been on a mission to speak out against the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
”In a special video message posted this morning, Gaga urges members of the U.S. Senate to vote next week in favor of the Defense Authorization Bill, a proposed measure that would repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Gaga is asking fans to join the fight by calling their own senators, which she demonstrates in the video by calling New York Democrats Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
“In the video, Gaga says: ‘I have called both of the senators that operate in my district. I will not stop calling until I reach them and I can leave them this message: I am a constituent of the senator; my name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, also known as Lady Gaga. I’m calling to ask the senator to vote with Senators Reid and Levin to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and oppose John McCain’s shameless filibuster. We need to do this for our gay and lesbian soldiers, and finally repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ “
Posted on June 29, 2010
by David Cohen
Last Sunday on Gay Pride Illinois became the ninth state to enact an enumerated anti-bullying bill that explicitly protects LGBT students from bullying. At a Chicago-area elementary school, Governor Pat Quinn signed the states’ recently passed anti-bullying bill that specifically mentions a list of protected characteristics that includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. The bill passed both chambers overwhelmingly.
New York, which passed a similar law last week, will become the 10th state to enact such a law when Governor David Paterson signs the bill.
“At long last, schools across the State will be uniformly required to take steps to protect vulnerable kids from bullying and violence,” – said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Students who are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are particularly vulnerable to bullying. And the attempted suicide rate among LGBT students, which is as much as three times higher than the general average, presents alarming evidence for just how urgently we need this law.”
“GLSEN applauds Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signing an anti-bullying law that truly will protect all students from bullying,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “Research shows that enumerated anti-bullying laws provide the greatest protection for students, and GLSEN thanks the Illinois legislature and Illinois safe schools advocates for ensuring that a strong anti-bullying bill is now the law of the land in Illinois.”
The national report School Climate in America found that students from schools with policies like the ones passed in Illinois and New York are more likely to feel very safe at school (54% vs. 36%) compared to students at schools without such policies.
Posted on May 21, 2010
by David Cohen
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced an important bill today that would offer remedies for discrimination “based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity” in public elementary and secondary schools. The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) would help to end entrenched biases towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in our education system. A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in January by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and currently has over 100 co-sponsors. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly supports these bills and urges swift action by both chambers.
The ACLU is currently involved in a case that underscores the need for the SNDA. In April, the ACLU filed a complaint with the Itawamba County School District in Fulton, Mississippi urging the school district to reverse its decision to forbid a lesbian student from attending a prom with her girlfriend and from wearing a tuxedo to the prom. After school officials canceled the prom altogether rather than allow Constance McMillen to attend the dance in a tuxedo with her girlfriend, the ACLU then filed a federal lawsuit. In a preliminary ruling in April, the court found that Itawamba County School District officials violated McMillen’s First Amendment right to freedom of expression, and the case is expected to go to trial.
The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
“The Student Non-Discrimination Act is an answer to a persistent problem. As we have seen recently in Constance McMillen’s case, LGBT students continue to face harassment and intolerance every day. Under the Student Non-Discrimination Act, McMillen and LGBT students like her would have a federal statute to protect them.Our public schools should be a safe harbor for our students, not a place of exclusion and ridicule. The Student Non-Discrimination Act will go a long way toward protecting our students and will promote both equality in schools and a safer learning environment. We urge the both the House and Senate to make this bill a priority.”
End California’s search for the “gay cure”
Posted on April 30, 2010
by David Cohen
I got this email from Geoff Kors Executive Director Equality California and it is my duty as a publisher to share it with all of our readers. Please let your friends know about the “gay cure”. Don’t allow right-wing extremists to propagate the myth that sexual orientation is a choice and an illness.
Outrageously, California law instructs the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the supposed “causes and cures of homosexuality.”
Yesterday, the California Assembly — with only one member voting no — passed an EQCA-sponsored bill, authored by Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), to repeal this dangerous law. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
But the anti-LGBT right-wing is already activating their base to kill this bill. Why? Because they know that when people learn that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed they are much more likely to support full equality.
The Traditional Values Coalition has made defeating this bill a priority — they want the state to support their dangerous position that sexual orientation can be changed. The Traditional Values Coalition has added this bill to their “Target List” of bills to be defeated saying:
“AB 2199 would forever strike from the Welfare and Institutions code the requirement that the State Department of Mental Health conduct research on the ’causes and cures of homosexuality.’ Right now, this is required in the law. But homosexual advocates do not want the state to study ways to help people leave the homosexual lifestyle. They want the world to think that people are ’born gay.’”
Sign our petition to the Governor urging him to support repealing this offensive law! And please forward this email to everyone you know asking them to contact the Governor today!
We must remove this blatantly false, offensive and dangerous language from California Law and educate Californians that sexual orientation is not a choice. People no more choose to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender than they do to be straight. And when people learn the truth, they move to support equality.
Please urge Governor Schwarzenegger to support this legislation so that California law will treat LGBT Californians with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Posted on April 26, 2010
by David Cohen The Illinois House of Representatives
unanimously passed an enumerated anti-bullying bill today that includes protections from bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
The Senate passed the bill last month. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn
, who is expected to sign the bill.
If signed, Illinois will become the ninth state to enact an enumerated anti-bullying that includes a list of characteristics most often targeted by bullies, which research shows is more effective than a general anti-bullying law.
LGBT students in particular in Illinois face extreme victimization. Inside Illinois Schools: The Experiences of LGBT Students, a research brief based on Illinois students who participated in GLSEN’s 2007 (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) National School Climate Survey, found that 89% of LGBT students in Illinois had been verbally harassed in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
Having an enumerated anti-bullying policy can make a difference and improve school climate. GLSEN’s From Teasing to Torment: A Report on School Climate in Illinois found that 75% of students at schools without enumerated policies reported that they heard homophobic remarks often or very often from other students, versus 54% of students at schools with enumerated anti-bullying policies.
The eight other states that have enumerated anti-bullying laws are California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
Three additional states (Colorado, Maine and Minnesota) have nondiscrimination laws that include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act is a federal anti-bullying bill introduced in the House with 103 bipartisan cosponsors that would require schools that receive federal funding to have enumerated anti-bullying policies.
For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org
Posted on April 9, 2010
From Joe Solmonese President of HRC.
Imagine getting fired. Not because you aren’t good at your job. Not because you show up late or slack off.
Imagine getting fired solely because you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In most states that is fully legal.
We are pushing for a vote on the bill that would end this injustice soon after Congress returns next week.
There’s not much time. You’ve helped us lay years of political groundwork for this bill; now we need your help to make sure the inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has the votes and momentum it needs in the House.
Tell your U.S. representative to push hard to end this discrimination – without delay!
With health care finally off the agenda and the November elections looming, this is the right moment. But it won’t last forever – we need to do what we can to pass ENDA immediately!
And half-measures aren’t enough. We demand a fully inclusive bill that covers our whole community, with no additions, subtractions, or poison-pill amendments.
Rep. Barney Frank, the bill’s sponsor, said, “What people in our community need to do now is focus on lobbying members of the House so that we have the votes for it.”
HRC supporters have already sent more than 87,000 messages to Congress – and have submitted more than 1,600 letters to the editor across the country. But we need to do more.
Right now we are fewer than 20 cosponsors away from having the votes locked in to pass this historic legislation in the House. Tell your U.S. representative to put an end to workplace discrimination. Then pass this along to your friends and family.
by David CohenConstance McMillen, whose Mississippi school district canceled prom rather than allow her to bring her girlfriend, is joining 36 student and community leaders from 26 states at GLSEN’s Safe School Advocacy Summit from Saturday through Tuesday in Washington.
The Safe Schools Advocacy Summit is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s annual conference to train student and community leaders how to advocate through policy and community-based work for safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
“I’m excited to meet other student and community leaders from across the country who are working to address anti-LGBT bullying and discrimination in schools,” said Constance, who has received support from more than 350,000 Facebook users at a page set up by the ACLU. “GLSEN’s Safe Schools Advocacy Summit is a great opportunity to learn more about how I can use the platform I’ve been given to continue my work to make schools places where everyone can feel safe and free to be who they are.”
Constance will meet Rep. Jared Polis, sponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, on Saturday and share her story with fellow participants that night. She also will attend workshops Saturday and Sunday before heading back to Mississippi to prepare for a Monday hearing for a preliminary injunction to stop Itawamba County School District from canceling the prom and prohibiting Constance from attending with her girlfriend. Constance is being represented by the ACLU.
The Safe Schools Advocacy Summit consists of three days of workshops and discussions to develop a deeper understanding of the legislative process and acquire skills to engage in effective school- and community-based organizing to address anti-LGBT bullying and discrimination in schools.
On Tuesday, participants will meet with legislators and staffers to advocate for legislation that will help protect all students from bullying and harassment, such as the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
Also among the attendees is Dominique Walker, whose brother Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover took his life last April after enduring constant bulling at school, including anti-LGBT bullying despite the fact that he did not identify as gay. Walker has served as a GLSEN Ambassador this school year.
“Sadly, Constance McMillen and Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover are not alone in their experiences,” GLSEN Public Policy Director Shawn Gaylord said. “Anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination are pervasive problems in our schools, but we know that solutions exist that can lead to safer environments for all our students. Through the amazing work of student and community leaders like the ones attending the Safe Schools Advocacy Summit, we are optimistic that momentum is gaining in Washington to make sure that schools are safe and welcoming for all students.”
The Safe Schools Improvement Act, which has 99 bi-partisan cosponsors, requires schools that receive Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act funding implement a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories often targeted by bullies, including race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and others. It also requires states to include bullying and harassment data in their state-wide needs assessments reporting.
The Student Nondiscrimination Act, which has 78 bi-partisan cosponsors, prohibits discrimination in schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students (86.2%) experience harassment at school because of their sexual orientation, and 60.8% feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, according to GLSEN’s 2007 National School Climate Survey.
The harassment clearly affects students’ ability to learn. A third of LGBT students (32.7%) missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe, five times higher than a national sample of all students.
For more information about Constance’s case, visit http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/fulton-ms-prom-discrimination. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org
Posted on February 24, 2010 by David CohenThe “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” saga
Source: press release from HRCThe highest-ranking leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines appeared before Congress this week and testified in support of the strategy to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that was laid out by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Army Chief of Staff General George Casey; Secretary of the Army John McHugh; Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz; Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley; Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead; Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Conway all supported the implementation review announced earlier this month and now under way at the Pentagon.
Throughout this week, the service secretaries and service chiefs have been testifying before the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees regarding defense authorization requests for Fiscal Year 2011.
“The leaders of our military service branches told Congress that they back Adm. Mullen and Secretary Gates’ road-map for repeal and would absolutely be capable of carrying out orders abolishing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when Congress and the president send those orders their way,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The testimony given by the service chiefs this week only furthers the belief that whatever orders are handed to them by their superiors, our men and women in uniform will have no trouble carrying out those orders with honor and professionalism.”
“Every shred of evidence shows that on the battlefield, sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Our country’s top military leaders and the overwhelming majority of the American public and active-duty service members all believe that the most important consideration isn’t whether a patriotic American fighting for our freedom is gay or straight, but whether they have the ability to perform their mission. The time to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is now,” continued Solmonese.
On Monday, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) announced that he will introduce a bill in the U.S. Senate to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) is the lead sponsor of similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last month, during which he called for ending the ban on openly lesbian and gay Americans from serving in the military, there has been a nearly unanimous and diverse group who have spoke out in support of doing away with the law. Some of those include:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates voiced their support during their congressional testimony before a Senate Armed Services Committee.
General Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated, “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”
A New York Times/CBS News national poll conducted on February 5th – 10th, 2010, shows yet again that a majority of Americans support repeal.
The largest organization of retired U.S. military reserve officers in the nation voted to end its decades-long position in support of excluding lesbians and gays from the U.S. military. The association, founded in 1922 and chartered by Congress in 1950, also rejected the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
Former Vice President and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney threw his support behind the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by stating, “When the chiefs come forward and say, ‘We think we can do it,’ then it strikes me as it’s time to reconsider the policy, and I think Adm. Mullen said that.”
Now is the time to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” To be part of the effort to ensure that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed this year, please write your member of Congress.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) – the current law prohibiting lesbians and gays from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces – is the only law in the country that requires people to be dishonest about their personal lives or be fired, possibly even imprisoned. This discriminatory law hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk.
Below are facts regarding the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
- Support by the public for open service by lesbian and gay troops has grown by 31 percentage points since DADT was introduced over a decade ago. A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted in July 2008 found that 75% of Americans believe openly lesbian and gay citizens should be able to serve in the U.S. military, compared to 62% in 2001 and 44% in 1993.
- According to a 2010 report by the Williams Institute, there are approximately 66,000 lesbian and gay individuals serving in the U.S. military. Veterans, especially younger veterans, are increasingly comfortable serving alongside gay troops. A December 2006 Zogby poll of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan found that 73% of soldiers reported being “comfortable … in the presence of gays,” and only 37% opposed repealing the DADT law. Furthermore, the July 2008 Washington Post/ABC poll found that 50% of all veterans supported open service by lesbians and gays.
- Moreover, according to multiple polls, a majority of Republicans, Independents, Democrats, Conservatives, Moderates, Liberals and weekly and monthly church goers support open service.
- Our military allies’ experience shows that open service works. At least 28 countries, including Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Israel, already allow open service by lesbian and gay troops, and none reports morale or recruitment problems. At least nine nations allowing open service fought alongside American troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition, at least twelve nations allowing open service fought alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
- Americans recognize that on the battlefield, it does not matter whether a soldier is lesbian, gay or straight; what matters is that a soldier gets the job done. This discriminatory law hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk.
- More than 800 specialists with vital skills – Arabic linguists, for example – have been discharged from the U.S. military under DADT.
- In a time of war, the military should not be discharging or preventing the enlistment of well-qualified service members based on their sexual orientation. According to a 2010 report by the Williams Institute, repealing the DADT law could attract an estimated 36,700 men and women to active duty service and 12,000 more individuals to the guard and reserve.