GLAD Gears Up for Supreme Court Showdown

I received the following press release:

GLAD Gears Up for Supreme Court Showdown

DOMA Challenge Likely to be Heard in Coming Session

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is gearing up for an historic year in which one of its two challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Gill v. Office of Personnel Management or Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management will likely be heard at the United States Supreme Court. Legal observers have called Gill a “blockbuster”, “game-changer”, and the “the case to watch” in the drive to knock out DOMA.

To support the effort, GLAD has launched the Supreme Court Showdown campaign, pledging to Knock Out DOMA. GLAD will raise funds to support legal preparations for the groundbreaking cases, as well as to educate the public about the harms caused by DOMA.

“We have been preparing since May 17, 2004, the day that marriage became a reality for same-sex couples in the United States,” said Lee Swislow, Executive Director of GLAD. “Right then and there we began crafting our legal challenge to DOMA. We have a smart strategy, the best possible legal team, inspiring and committed plaintiffs, and the right case at the right time.”

GLAD filed Gill in March 2009. Two federal courts – the Massachusetts District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit – have ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional and that Gill plaintiffs deserve to be treated equally under the law and have their marriage respected by the federal government. GLAD filed Pedersen in November 2009, and on July 31, 2012, Judge Vanessa Bryant of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut also ruled in those plaintiffs’ favor finding DOMA unconstitutional. GLAD has now petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari before judgment in Pedersen.

The First Circuit called Supreme Court review of GLAD’s Gill DOMA case “highly likely” in its unanimous ruling against the law. The Supreme Court will likely decide by the end of October whether it will review either case.To sign up for text alerts about this and other case developments, visit www.glad.org/text-alerts.

The plaintiffs in Gill and Pedersen are legally married same-sex couples and widowers, all of whom have been denied a federal marriage-related right or benefit because of DOMA. “Our plaintiffs have shared the details of their lives and their relationships with judges, with the media, and with total strangers. They’ve waited patiently and courageously,“ said Swislow. “It’s time they were treated the same as their married friends and neighbors.”

GLAD’s victory in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health in 2003 made Massachusetts the first state in which same-sex couples could marry. Goodridge opened the door to marriage equality in other subsequent states, and positioned GLAD as a strategic leader in the marriage equality movement. GLAD also won the Kerrigan v. Department of Public Health case in 2008, which brought marriage to Connecticut, and co-counseled in the Baker v. Vermont case which brought civil unions to that state in 1999.

Developments in Gill and Pedersen can be followed at www.glad.org/DOMA.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

GLAD Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Pedersen DOMA Challenge

I received the following press release today:

GLAD Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Pedersen DOMA Challenge

Today, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) asked the Supreme Court to review Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, a lawsuit challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits federal recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples. GLAD is representing six married couples and a widower, from Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire, who have all been denied critical federal benefits because of DOMA.

“With each passing day, DOMA denies ordinary marital protections and heaps disrespect on our plaintiffs’ families, and thousands of married same-sex couples across the country,” said GLAD’s Mary L. Bonauto, co-lead counsel in Pedersen.

“Joanne Pedersen still cannot enroll her wife on her health insurance plan like other retirees from federal service. Lynda DeForge, like other workers whose spouses have serious medical conditions, still can’t take Family and Medical Leave Act leave to care for Raquel Ardin. Jerry Passaro continues to struggle without access to his late husband’s pension. The Artis, Kleinerman-Gehre and Savoy-Weiss families are each raising three children, but under DOMA pay extra federal income taxes or health insurance costs. DOMA even intrudes into the New Hampshire State Retirement System in denying a retired school teacher a health insurance subsidy for her spouse,” Bonauto added. “These plaintiffs need to hear definitively from the Supreme Court whether or not the federal government will ultimately respect their love, commitment and legal bonds.”

In a decision issued July 31, Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut ruled in Pedersen that DOMA Section 3 unconstitutionally discriminates against our plaintiffs. GLAD filed what is known as a petition for “certiorari before judgment”— giving the Supreme Court an opportunity to immediately review the district court decision.

Among the arguments GLAD makes in petitioning the Supreme Court for immediate review in Pedersen are:

  • the case raises a question of national importance;
  • continued delay exacerbates the stigma and economic burdens on plaintiffs’ families and children;
  • Congress has no legitimate interest in overriding state marriage policies where states license marriages and not the federal government;
  • there is a practical need for a Supreme Court decision as there are conflicting decisions on DOMA’s constitutionality in various federal courts and additional challenges are pending;
  • the Obama Administration is not defending the law in court but is still enforcing it, resulting in ever more lawsuits against DOMA; and
  • Pedersen is an exceptionally good case for the Court’s review because it demonstrates DOMA’s impact on a range of important federal programs like federal income tax, Social Security, federal employee and retiree benefits, and federal statutes (e.g. the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

GLAD’s petition for certiorari in Pedersen comes after the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), the congressional leadership body that is defending DOMA, and the Department of Justice each requested certiorari in our First Circuit Court DOMA challenge, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management. DOJ also filed a petition for certiorari before judgment in Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, a DOMA challenge from the Ninth Circuit Court. Plaintiff Edith Schain Windsor also filed a petition for certiorari before judgment in her DOMA challenge, Windsor v. United States, currently pending in the Second Circuit Court.

You can read the petition here.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

GLAD’s Legal Team Scores Another Victory in the DOMA Challenge!

This just in …  GLAD, the legal team representing the Plaintiffs in the Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management case challenging section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has scored another victory!  According to their media advisory, Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the United State District Court, District of Connecticut today issued a decision to grant the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and denying the Defendant’s motion to dismiss.

“[Section 3 of DOMA]  therefore violates the equal protection principles incorporated in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” wrote Judge Bryant.

Read today’s court decision here.

For more on the Pederson case, visit GLAD’s website here.

One case at a  time, folks.  One case at a time.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

BLAG Moves to Stop Proceedings in DOMA Case Pedersen v. OPM

This press release just arrived from GLAD:

BLAG Moves to Stop Proceedings in DOMA Case Pedersen v. OPM

Would Deny Resolution for Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire Plaintiffs

The Bi-Partisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) has filed a motion to stay the proceeding in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) now pending in federal court in the District of Connecticut.

The case, filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), involves six married couples and a widower, from Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire, who have all been denied federal benefits only because of DOMA.  BLAG’s grounds are that the Windsor case is now pending in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and that BLAG will seek Supreme Court review of the Massachusetts & Gill cases from the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Our plaintiffs are being denied access to vital federal programs, and now BLAG also wants to deny them access to any resolution of their case,” said Mary L. Bonauto of GLAD, lead counsel in the case.

“BLAG acknowledges DOMA’s constitutionality is a matter of great national importance, so it should want the judge to contribute her opinion on this important issue, especially where the case has already been fully briefed and is just awaiting decision,” said Bonauto.  “While BLAG tries to thwart this case, Jerry Passaro continues to be denied his late husband’s pension.  Anne Meitzen continues to be unable to go on her wife Joanne Pedersen’s health insurance.  Lynda DeForge continues to be unable to care for her wife Raquel Ardin because she can’t get Family Medical Leave.”

Bonauto said that GLAD will oppose the motion to stay.  “There is no burden on BLAG or the courts where any appeal can be consolidated efficiently with the Windsor case,” she added.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.

CT High Courts Says Employers Can be Liable for Anti-Gay Harassment

I received the following press release from GLAD:

CT High Courts Says Employers Can be Liable for Anti-Gay Harassment

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association Applaud Ruling

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) applaud a May 4 ruling from the Connecticut Supreme Court that employers can be liable if they fail to protect employees from harassment based on sexual orientation. In Patino v. Birken Manufacturing Company (Docket No. 18441), the Court also upheld a jury award of $95,000 in favor of plaintiff Luis Patino.

When Patino was employed as a machinist by the defendant, he was the object of pervasive name-calling for several years, including “faggot go home,” and “faggot get out of here.” He was subjected to slurs in English, Spanish and Italian, such as “pato,” “maricon,” “pira,” and “homo.” By affirming that employees can sue employers for anti-gay harassment in the workplace, the Court rejected the defendant’s argument that workplace harassment claims are limited to sexual harassment.

GLAD and CELA filed an amicus brief on behalf of seven Connecticut civil rights groups: the African-American Affairs Commission, the Center for Disability Rights, the Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities, the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, the Connecticut Transadvocacy Coalition, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and Triangle Community Center.

In urging the Court to find coverage under Connecticut law for cases of antigay workplace harassment, the brief highlighted the scientific literature demonstrating that incidents of discrimination, including based on sexual orientation and race, can lead directly to mental and physical harm.

GLAD Senior Attorney Ben Klein said “Anti-gay prejudice is hardly a relic of the past even though Connecticut now has formal legal equality for gay and lesbian people. The Supreme Court’s decision sends a powerful message that employers who tolerate anti-gay harassment will pay a price.”

The plaintiff Luis Patino was represented by Attorney Jon L. Schoenhorn of Hartford. The amicus brief was written by Ben Klein of GLAD in Boston, MA and Nina T. Pirrotti of Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Chimes, Richardson & Fitzgerald, P.C. in New Haven.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression. In 2008, GLAD won marriage equality in Connecticut with the case Kerrigan v. Department of Public Health.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski

Help Bring Down DOMA and Get a Tax Deduction in the Process

Tomorrow is the deadline for filing income taxes.  Hopefully, you’re all set on that.  Meanwhile, I received the following e-mail from GLAD about how you can help bring down the discriminatory federal DOMA … and receive a tax deduction at the same time.  GLAD is on the forefront of fighting for the rights of LGBT citizens.

From GLAD:

This Tuesday, April 17, is the deadline for most Americans to file federal tax returns. It’s also a reminder of the federal government’s deliberate discrimination against married same-sex couples.

I speak, of course, of DOMA – the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.” By preventing couples from filing as married, and by taxing the health-care coverage provided to same-sex spouses by employers who DO recognize LGBT families, DOMA forces many same-sex married couples to pay more, sometimes thousands more, in taxes every year.

That’s wrong. You know it and I know it. Here at GLAD, we’re doing something about it and you can help. By making a tax-deductible gift today, you can support our two legal challenges to DOMA – and you can be part of history when we finally dismantle this unfair, unjust law.

Even better, your gift can hit DOMA twice as hard. Former GLAD Board member Dave Aldrich wants to end this law, too, and will match dollar for dollar all new and increased gifts to GLAD between now and May 31. Please give generously.

With your help, I know we can win. I know we can make our government treat all families with the respect they deserve.

Thank you for all you do to support equality,

Lee Swislow

Executive Director

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski

Appellate Court to Hear DOMA Challenge Today

I received the following press release from GLAD:

Boston, MA — On Wednesday, April 4, seven married same-sex couples and three widowers will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to hear appellate arguments in their challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which disqualifies their marriages from marital protections and responsibilities ordinarily available to spouses under federal law. This is the first time an appellate court will decide the constitutionality of DOMA.

Represented by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the plaintiffs in Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management, all Massachusetts residents, have each been harmed because the federal government, under DOMA, has refused to recognize their marriages for all purposes, including Social Security protections, access to family health insurance policies, and joint income tax filings. On July 8, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The U.S. Department of Justice appealed the ruling, which resulted in tomorrow’s hearing. But after President Obama declared he would no longer defend the law against equal protection challenges, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) of the U.S. House of Representatives intervened and is now defending DOMA.

“Every day DOMA remains in effect, American families are paying the price – widows and widowers can’t count on the Social Security benefits and federal pensions their family earned over a lifetime of working, workers still can’t access family healthcare coverage or family medical leave, and parents struggling to make ends meet are being unfairly taxed as single persons,” said Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director. “Our clients range in age from their 30s into their 80s. DOMA’s relegation of their marriages to a second class status affects people at every stage of life.”

Bonauto will be arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs before a three-member Court of Appeals panel comprised of Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, Judge Michael Boudin, and Judge Juan Torruella.

“At the age of 82, I’m grateful to have this day in court, although I never thought I would have to fight the federal government for the Social Security protections that other widows and widowers can count on,” said plaintiff Herb Burtis. “Losing my spouse John after 60 years together – four of them as a legally married couple – was devastating, and learning that I was losing a safety net I relied on just added to the difficulty of living without John. Nobody should have to go through this during a time of grief.”

Burtis, a music teacher, lost his spouse John Ferris to Parkinson’s disease in 2008. He cared for Ferris at their Sandisfield home during the last years of Ferris’s life. Because of DOMA, the federal government refused to provide Burtis with Ferris’s Social Security benefits – as it does to other surviving spouses – making it harder for Burtis to pay for medications and health insurance.

The first strategic, multi-plaintiff challenge to DOMA, Gill was filed on March 3, 2009 on the grounds that Section 3 of the law violates the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection as applied to federal income tax, Social Security, and federal employees and retirees. National Law Journal has called Gill the case with the greatest potential for national impact; it has also been called the “foremost” challenge to the law.

Because of DOMA, which Congress passed in 1996, the plaintiffs in GLAD’s lawsuit have been denied survivor benefits on a deceased spouse’s pension; denied health insurance coverage for a spouse (and surviving spouse) on a federal family plan; denied Social Security spousal, lump sum death, and widower benefits; denied the ability to file federal income taxes jointly as married; and have been taxed on employer-provided health insurance benefits.

The Gill legal team is led by Bonauto, GLAD Legal Director Gary Buseck, and staff attorneys Vickie Henry and Janson Wu. Co-operating counsel on the case include Foley Hoag LLP (Boston), Sullivan & Worcester LLP (Boston), Jenner & Block LLP (Washington, DC), and Kator, Parks & Weiser, PLLC (Washington, DC).

Information about the case, the plaintiffs, and the attorneys representing them can be found here. Hi-resolution photos of the plaintiffs are available here.

Hearing Details

Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
10:00 a.m. EST
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2300
Boston, Massachusetts

Attorneys and plaintiffs will speak to the media outside the courthouse following the hearing.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

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Follow Connecticut Lesbian and Gay Law blog on Facebook for all blog posts from this blog as well as additional stories and links of interest to the LGBT community. Be sure to LIKE our page.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog.  Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski

Groundhog Day and GLBT Law

It’s officially Groundhog Day and that meteorologist extraordinaire, Punxsutawney Phil, has predicted an early Spring!  I’m thrilled and delighted that the snow and ice I’ve grown so tired of will soon be a distant memory.  At least for another year.

In the world of GLBT law, things are looking up as well.  This week, another state granted same-sex couples the right to enter into civil union.  That would be Illinois, for those who missed it.  There are ongoing court challenges to DOMA and a variety of other gay legal issues.  Two of my favorite GBLT organizations (GLAD and GLSEN) won the Pepsi Refresh Challenge and will walk away with $25K and $250K grants, respectively, to fund educational initiatives that will benefit gay youth.  Gay rights groups are moving full steam ahead to bring true equality to every GBLT citizen in this country and they are making huge strides.

On this Groundhog Day 2011, as we all eagerly prepare for the magical re-birth that Spring brings each year, we can take comfort in knowing that Spring is also coming in the GLBT community in the form of change.  Please continue to support those organizations who work tirelessly for GLBT rights, volunteer whenever possible and be sure to thank those folks who make change happen.

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski

What “The Wizard of Oz” Can Teach the Gay and Lesbian Community

I attended a fabulous performance of The Wizard of Ozlast night and afterward, I got to thinking about the lessons, parallels and symbolism in that play and how they might apply to the gay and lesbian community.  You all think I’ve gone crazy?  Nope, I assure you I’m serious.

Think about it.  We’ve got Dorothy, a strong female character who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind and isn’t afraid to go the mile to make change happen for herself and her friends.  She suddenly finds herself in a foreign environment where she must face difficult challenges and stand up for what she needs  — and that girl does not back down.  She’s an activist of sorts, fighting for the simple basic needs that we all have:   a brain, a heart, courage and a home.  Not necessarily in that order, of course, but follow me on this.  Dorothy is representative of the women and men who have championed the gay rights movement.  Dorothy is every person who has given their time, energy and money to fight for the repeal of DADT and DOMA.  It’s a long, hard process but it has to start somewhere.  As Glinda advises, “it’s always best to start at the beginning – and all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road.”  Just as activists for gay and lesbian causes have fought hard and won, Dorothy followed that yellow brick road a long way in order to get the result she wanted.  It wasn’t easy and that nasty wicked witch threw her a lot of obstacles in her path.  But in the end, she won the battle.  She also got that nifty broomstick.

We’ve got two wicked witches and a good witch.  The wicked witches terrorize people for sport.  (One is eradicated early on when the twister drops Dorothy’s house on her.  Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead).  The good witch educates and protects them.  Glinda the Good Witch tells Dorothy that not all witches are ugly … just the ones who are bad.  Metaphorically, I see that parallel in a lot of gay and lesbian situations.  There are some downright ugly people out there who commit horrific acts against gay and lesbian people simple because they (the perpetrators) are bad people.  They launch verbal attacks and violent physical assaults on decent human beings for the simple fact that they happen not to be heterosexual.  The heinous murder of Matthew Shepard comes to mind.  Dorothy should throw a bucket of water on those horrible people.  Perhaps they’ll melt.

Then we have groups such as GLAD and PFLAG and GLSEN and True Colors … those are the good witches who educate the general public and protect gay and lesbian citizens.  They are the groups that make it snow on the field of poppies so that the bad witches don’t get the upper hand.   They are the organizations who stand up to the bad witches and warn them, “be gone before somebody drops a house on you!”  You really do have to work with me on the metaphors and symbolism … just close your eyes and click your heels three times.

The scarecrow starts off not having a clue which way to go.  Once he gets his bearings, he stays on top of his game right to the end.   Grassroots organizations like Love Makes A Family were successful for that same reason.  Nobody had a clue how to make gay marriage a reality.  LMF figured out the strategy and made it happen in Connecticut.  There are other organizations like LMF all across the country.  They’ve figured it out, too, and they won’t stop trying until all 50 states recognize and allow gay marriage.

The tin man is a cool guy.  He just wants to love and he’ll fight flying monkeys and wicked witches for the privilege.  He’s the Plaintiff  in every lawsuit that has been brought to court in order to make same-sex marriage a reality. He’s every gay man or lesbian woman who has testified before a legislative hearing. He’s every gay or lesbian person who has made phone calls, carried signs, stuffed envelopes and fought for the right to marry the person they love. He has a lot of heart. As the Wizard explains when he gives him the ticking heart “testimonial” after he and the others return from their battle with the wicked witch, “a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” The parallel here is acceptance and support of gay and lesbian relationships by the straight contingent. (Repealing DOMA would be helpful).

You’ve got to love the cowardly lion. He’s afraid until he learns that he’s not alone in his fight for courage. With the support of complete strangers, he is able to obtain what has eluded him for a lifetime:

“How? Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on a mast to wave? Courage! What makes an elephant charge his tusk, in the misty mist or the dusky dusk? What makes a muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the Seventh Wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?”

Um, courage! In the fight for gay and lesbian rights, courage is the hallmark of the movement. If not for the courage of a few individuals, organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and Get Equal would not exist. It has taken a lot of courage for every person who has fought the long battle for equality. To every one of those people, “for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against Wicked Witches, I award you the Triple Cross. You are now a member of the Legion of Courage!” Thank you for fighting.

Yes, “The Wizard of Oz” can teach us all a lesson. Speak up, fight, don’t give in and don’t let the wicked witches get those ruby slippers.

In the end, I hope that every gay and lesbian person will enjoy true equality in his or her lifetime.

Toto, too? Toto, too.

 

 

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Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski

Vote for LGBT Organizations to be Awarded Pepsi Refresh Grants

I re-posted an e-mail I received from GLAD (Gay Lesbian Advocates and Defenders) about the $25K Pepsi Refresh Project grant it is hoping to receive. GLAD, along with 9 other organizations, formed The Progressive Slate. Each of those organizations needs your help in order to be awarded a grant ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

All that is required is that you sign up for an account (free). Then, log in daily through January 31st and vote for the 10 organizations/causes you wish to support.

There are 10 grants being given for $5,000; $25,000; and $50,000. There are also 2 grants being given at the $250,000 level.

GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) is currently ranked #1 for the $25,000 education grant with which the organization plans to help LGBT youth be safe in schools and at home. To read GLAD’s proposal and help GLAD receive one of the 10 grants in the $25,000 level, click here.

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education network) is currently ranked #3 for the $250,00 education grant.  If received, GLSEN’s mission is to make 10,000 schools safer for LGBT youth. Only 2 organizations will receive the $250,000 grant, so it is critical to vote now and continue to vote daily in order to support GLSEN and move them up to the #1 (or at least #2) position. To read more about GLSEN’s proposal and and help GLSEN receive one of the 10 grants in the $25,000 level, click here.

The Promo Fund seeks the $25,000 health grant in order to create an LGBT community wellness advocacy group for Missouri. The organization now ranks #2 in the voting process. To read more about Promo Fund’s proposal and help Promo Fund receive one of the 10 grants in the $25,000 level, click here.

Equality Pennsylvania is hoping for the $25,000 education grant in order to provide leadership training to young LGBTA people across Pennsylvania. To read Equality Pennsylvania’s proposal and help them receive one of the 10 grants in the $25,000 level, click here.

Click on the links to read the proposals and vote for the other organizations in the Progressive Slate:

Uncommon Good, competing for a $25,000 grant to get the lowest income students in our community into college.

Energy Coalition, seeks two grants:  $50,000 to provide scholarships for young people to get inspired at Power Shift and $250,000 to empower youth clean energy leaders at Power Shift 2011.

New Leaders Council hopes to be awarded $25,000 to Educate and empower future civic leaders.

Netroots Arts & Education Initiative is seeking a $50,000 grant to teach under-represented communities to use new media effectively.

Just Give is competing for a $25,000 grant to Educate people on new innovative ways of donating.

Finally, Beth Meyer, another member of the Progressive Slate, is seeking a $50,000 grant to train civic leaders in Arizona to our communities.

Please take the time to vote and help these fine organizations improve the lives of GLTB youth and the community as a whole.

Kudos to the folks at Pepsi for sponsoring such a wonderful competition.

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Disclaimer:  The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice.   I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski