Human Rights Campaign weekly update September 17, 2006 2:01 PM
I'm sorry to start my weekly message off with some sad news. Former Texas
Governor Ann Richards passed away earlier this week. Ann was a personal friend
of mine and an advocate for the entire LGBT community; her passing is a huge
loss. As many of you know, she was active in many HRC events over the past
several years and was certainly never afraid to speak her mind. She smashed
glass ceilings for herself and for countless others, including the unprecedented
number of openly LGBT people she appointed to state offices while she was
governor. She'll be missed greatly.
In many states across the nation, this Tuesday was primary day. There are only
53 days left until the election and HRC continues to play a critical role
in dozens of races at every step along the way. In Arizona, the country's only
openly gay Republican congressman, Jim Kolbe, is retiring. HRC-endorsed
Democrat, Gabrielle Giffords, won her primary in her bid for his seat. She is
considered to have the advantage in the general election against extreme
right candidate, Randy Graf. Graf is so extreme that Congressman Kolbe has
refused to endorse him and basically conceded the seat would go to Giffords.
In Rhode Island, Senator Lincoln Chafee also pulled through a tough primary
fight against challenger, Stephen Laffey. The contrast between the two couldn't
have been clearer. Chafee is the only Senate Republican to support full
marriage equality. Laffey, on the other hand, has publicly said that God told
him to run for office, and, out on the campaign trail, condemned his own brother
as a "promiscuous homosexual."
HRC is Out to Win!
Are you Out to Win? Go
to find out what you can do to fight for equality in this year’s elections.
On Monday, tune in to XM Satellite Radio channel 200 from 6-8 p.m. Eastern to
hear special guest Armistead Maupin, author of “Tales of the City,” on “The
Agenda with Joe Solmonese.” Learn more
HRC NATIONAL DINNER
Don’t forget to book your tickets for the HRC National Dinner on Oct. 7! Go
Meanwhile, back in Congress, legislators will soon be taking up the Ryan White
Care Act. This bill has literally been a lifeline of services and funding
to people living with HIV/AIDS. The law is expiring, and HRC will be working
closely with our allies to make sure that this must-do legislation is renewed
before lawmakers adjourn for the year.
Personally, I've had a very busy week of travel. Mid-week, I was in Chicago to
speak at Out and Equal's Annual Workplace Summit. (There is no doubt that
workplace LGBT advocates are making incredibly significant progress, which
reminds me: be sure to look next week for the release of HRC's own annual
Equality Index -- where we rate companies on their pro-LGBT policies.) This
weekend, I'm off to the "other Washington" -- the one with fewer Starbucks!
-- for our gala dinner in Seattle. We have a very active and impressive group
out there and I always look forward to the chance to head out to the Pacific
Have a great weekend!
Joe Solmonese signature
President, Human Rights Campaign
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