The Secretary of State’s 2010 LGBT Pride Proclamation

June 9, 2010

from the U.S. Department of State

This June, we celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. I join President Obama in recognizing the immeasurable contributions of the LGBT community both in the United States and around the world. In honor of LGBT Pride Month and on behalf of the State Department, I extend my appreciation to all those who work on behalf of human rights for all. At the State Department, USAID, and throughout the Administration, we are grateful for our LGBT employees in Washington and around the world. They and their families make many sacrifices to serve our nation. Their contributions are vital to our efforts to establish stability, prosperity, and peace worldwide.

The United States also recognizes the unflagging efforts and courage of advocates and organizations fighting to promote equality and justice around the world, especially in countries where doing so puts their lives and their families at risk.

Human rights are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who that person is or who that person loves. The State Department is firmly committed to supporting the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to lead productive and dignified lives, free from fear and violence. We have specifically included the status of the human rights of LGBT individuals in our annual Human Rights Report in each country. We are working to protect LGBT people across the world, particularly those forced to flee their homes or countries. And the State Department will continue to counter efforts, anywhere they occur, to marginalize, criminalize, and penalize members of the LGBT community.

We have made significant progress but we still have challenging work ahead. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people face horrific violence and repression around the world. Pride marches are often met with active and armed government resistance. Laws banning sexual orientation and gender expression undermine civil society, the rule of law, and public health outreach. The persecution and violation of human rights of members of the LGBT community is not only an affront to human dignity, but it also diminishes human progress and potential. As Secretary of State, I will continue to advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Let us recommit ourselves this year to building a future in which every child, whoever and wherever they are, has the opportunity, dignity, and freedom to fulfill his or her God-given potential.

visit the Department of State LGBT Pride Month page

Tell Your Senators to End Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

June 9, 2010

Repeal advocates have made significant progress this past year, especially over the past two weeks, but we could still lose the fight to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

The first repeal vote on the floor of the Senate could come later this month or July. And that’s why we and our friends at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) need your help to show the Senate there is strong support for repeal.

The repeal language in the Defense Authorization bill is at risk of being filibustered, stripped out, or weakened by our opponents when the full Senate votes. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has threatened to filibuster the entire defense budget to stop repeal. SLDN and the repeal coalition is working to secure a filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority so that the defense bill can be acted on.

SLDN and the repeal coalition will work with Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to fend off these threats to repeal.

But we can’t do this alone.

We need supporters like you in each state to call both of your Senators today. The time to push back on the opposition is now.

Call both your Senators at 202-224-3121 today and tell them to support repeal and follow the lead of Senator Carl Levin on any attempts to strike repeal or weaken the language.

Although the Defense Authorization bill is considered “must-pass” legislation, that won’t stop opponents of open service from trying to turn the Senate’s upcoming votes on the Defense bill into a political showdown.

Call your Senators today and urge them to support Senator Levin and follow his lead when harmful amendments may be offered by opponents.

Stand up and tell our Senators we need their votes. Our LGBT troops deserve their support.

In Solidarity,

LGBT and Pro-LGBT Candidates Do Well in California Elections

June 9, 2010

by Karen Ocamb | LGBT POV

While the nation focused on the victories of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, two corporate Republican women who spent millions to win their gubernatorial and Senate primary campaigns, respectively, LGBTs were focused on statewide and local races that boosted the fight for equality in California.

read more

Anti-Gay Group Ordered to Disclose Donor List

June 9, 2010

by Kilian Melloy | EDGE Boston

An anti-gay organization that played major roles both in the reversal of marriage rights for gay and lesbian families in California and the repeal of a marriage equality measure in Maine has lost a court battle to keep its donor list secret.

read more

Mormon Church Fined $5k for Late-Reported Prop 8 Contributions

June 9, 2010

by Chris Johnson | Washington Blade

The Church of Latter-Day Saints has agreed to pay a proposed fine of around $5,500 for late reporting of in-kind contributions in the 2008 campaign over Proposition 8 in California, according to the Utah-based Deseret News.

read more

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Groups and Allies Join Outcry Against Anti-Immigrant Measure in Arizona

June 9, 2010

More than 20 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality groups and allies today issued the following joint statement:

Arizona’s S.B. 1070 takes the state down a path that will lead to racial profiling, discrimination and anti-immigrant extremism. We stand in solidarity with other individuals, organizations and local governments in rejecting the misrepresentation of immigrants put forth in this unjust and ill-conceived measure.

S.B. 1070 essentially declares an entire class of people to be inherently criminal on the basis of their race and appearance. The consequences of S.B. 1070 are grave and troubling: the inevitability of racial profiling and infringement on civil liberties; the strong probability of violence and harassment against individuals and their families; and the reversal of progress toward creating a more inclusive society.

We also note that this bill was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer, the same governor who last year stripped away earned health insurance benefits from the same-sex domestic partners of state employees. Brewer’s actions as governor demonstrate, at best, callous indifference — and at worst, willful malice — toward immigrants and LGBT people alike.

All Arizona families — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight — have reason to be alarmed. The state’s new law threatens to tear apart families, separate children from their parents and rip apart loving couples who are building their lives together. The LGBT community knows all too well how easily people who ‘look different’ or ‘act different’ can be singled out for harassment and persecution. LGBT immigrants will be doubly vulnerable under this law, which gives license to discriminate.

We are united in our determination to stand for political and legislative change that will ensure just treatment of immigrants, people of color, and all people in Arizona. Such justice requires the repeal of S.B. 1070 and the passage and implementation of comprehensive federal immigration reform.

Today we join with groups such as Service Employees International Union, League of United Latin American Citizens, Asian American Justice Center, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Council of La Raza, National Action Network, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, and many others in the boycott against the state of Arizona until S.B. 1070 is repealed, overturned by the courts, or superseded by comprehensive federal immigration reform.

National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
Human Rights Campaign
Immigration Equality
National Black Justice Coalition
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
International Foundation for Gender Education
Family Equality Council
Two Spirit Press Room
Equality Federation
National Minority AIDS Council
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce(R)
Freedom to Marry
Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Lambda Legal
International Federation of Black Prides, Inc.
Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Atticus Circle