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Human Rights Campaign weekly update September 17, 2006 2:01 PM

Dear Friend, 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 here to find out what you can do to fight for equality in this year’s elections. THE AGENDA 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 here. HRC NATIONAL DINNER Don’t forget to book your tickets for the HRC National Dinner on Oct. 7! Go here today. 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 Corporate 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 Northwest. Have a great weekend! Warmly, Joe Solmonese signature Joe Solmonese President, Human Rights Campaign If you would like to unsubscribe from a specific Human Rights Campaign list, or update your account settings, you can visit your Subscription Management Page. Click here to remove yourself from all Human Rights Campaign lists.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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