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The State of the LGBT Rights Movement in the US – What are we fighting for?
January 16, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0$6 – $54
In the last two years many of the gains the LGBT rights movement fought so hard for have either wiped away or are in serious danger. What’s the prognosis for the movement? How worried should we be? What are we fighting for in this time of uncertainty? Are we a unified voice? Who might we be leaving behind?
In a time of close to full legal equality what is the full picture of LGBT life in America and our equal status and treatment in everyday life?
Coming to Manny’s to go deep on this topic is the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Kate Kendall, Cecilia Chung, Senior Director of Strategic Projects for Transgender Law Center, and Strategist for the #BornPerfect Project and 2018 #Out100 awardee Mathew Shurka.
More about our speakers below:
Kate Kendell leads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization advancing the civil and human rights of LGBTQ people and their families. NCLR’s legal, policy, and legislative victories set important precedents that improve the lives of all LGBTQ people and their families across the country. Kate will be stepping down from her position at the end of 2018.
Kate grew up Mormon in Utah and received her J.D. degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988. After a few years as a corporate attorney she was named the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.
In 1994 she accepted the position as Legal Director with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and made the move to San Francisco. In 1996 Kate was named as NCLR’s Executive Director. Under Kate’s leadership, NCLR won custody and family law cases, achieved victories on behalf of LGBT athletes, won protections for LGBTQ students and elders and secured asylum for over 300 clients. NCLR was lead on the California marriage equality case in 2008 and was later part of the team of attorneys to secure national marriage equality in the 2015 US Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. Together with GLAD, NCLR filed a federal lawsuit challenging Trump’s transgender military ban in August 2017, which secured a nationwide preliminary injunction stopping the ban from moving forward.
During Kate’s 24-year career, NCLR’s budget has grown from $500,000 to more than $5 million; the number of staff members has increased by 25; and the organization now has both West Coast and East Coast offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Kate acts as the primary spokesperson on behalf of NCLR to the media. She has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and dozens of on-line blogs. Kate is also a visible and vibrant social media voice.
Kate lives in San Francisco with her wife Sandy. They have two children Julian, 22 and Ariana, 16.
Cecilia Chung, Senior Director of Strategic Projects for Transgender Law Center, is nationally recognized as an advocate for human rights, social justice, health equity, and LGBT equality. She was the former Chair of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and is currently serving on the Health Commission. Cecilia has been working tirelessly on the local, national and international levels to improve access to treatment for transgender people and people living with HIV, and to erase stigma and discrimination through education, policy, advocacy, and visibility.
In June 2014, NCLR launched Born Perfect: The Campaign to End Conversion Therapy by passing laws across the country to protect LGBT children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices.
Few practices hurt LGBT youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through conversion therapy, which can cause depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.
But some mental health providers continue to subject young LGBT people to these practices—also known as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts”—even though they have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country.
NCLR has been working to protect LGBT youth from these practices for more than 20 years, securing legislation protecting youth from these dangerous practices in California in 2012, New Jersey in 2013, Washington, D.C. in 2014, Oregon and Illinois in 2015, Vermont in 2016, and Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island in 2017, and Washington state, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Delaware in 2018. Today, we are working with legislators and LGBT leaders in dozens of other states and helping bring similar protections to the rest of the country. We believe that every LGBT child is born perfect and that any young person’s identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender should be honored, celebrated, and supported.
We are committed to ending these dangerous and stigmatizing practices across the country once and for all—relegating them to the dustbin of history, and ensuring every child knows they were #BornPerfect
Mathew Shurka is a survivor of conversion therapyand full-time advocate in the fight to end these dangerous and discredited practices. Born and raised in Great Neck, New York, he was 16 years old when he came out to his father about being gay. From that time until he was 21, he endured seeing four conversion therapists in four different states. Today, the 27-year-old is out and proud, a dedicated LGBTQ advocate, and a member of the #BornPerfect Advisory Committee.