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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
JULY 22, 2004
11:20 AM
CONTACT:  National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Sheri A. Lunn 323-857-8751
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Withdraws from LGBT "Unity 2004" Event at Democratic National Convention

WASHINGTON - July 22 - Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director

"We are dismayed that Margaret Cho has been disinvited to perform at the LGBT Unity 2004 event scheduled for Monday, July 26 in Boston. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force had been a co-sponsor of this event.

Throughout her career, Ms. Cho has been a staunch supporter of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)Americans, has contributed her time and talent to dozens of LGBT fundraising events, and is much loved by our community. We were proud to recently give her a Task Force Leadership Award. Ms. Cho has said, 'I'm more than bi(sexual).' She is, indeed, one of us.

Under these circumstances, we must regretfully withdraw our support for this event."


Below is a press release from Margaret Cho's Web site:





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - JULY 21, 2004 - LOS ANGELES, CA - Margaret Cho has been "uninvited" to perform at the Unity 2004 event which is taking place at Avalon, this coming Monday, July 26, around the Democratic National Convention. The Human Rights Campaign is one of 10 GLBT groups coming together July 26 at the nightclub to "celebrate GLBT strength and unity."Asked to headline the event, Cho was preparing to preview material from her new State of Emergency tour, as part of an unpaid benefit performance. She has since been "uninvited" by a spokesman for the HRC, who cited "a potential media firestorm," and referenced the recent criticism of Whoopi Goldberg's routine at a Kerry fundraiser. Unity 2004 is not officially a part of the Democratic National Convention or the Kerry campaign. Not all of the groups involved in Unity 2004 agreed with the decision to rescind the invitation.

"I am not surprised at the reversal in light of how the Kerry campaign distanced itself from Whoopi's routine in response to the unrelenting media hype and Republican criticism," said Margaret's manager, Karen Taussig. "It's Whoopi's job as a comedian to say things that are sometimes shocking. I wish they could have backed her up. Dennis Miller can make gay jokes about Senators Kerry and Edwards at a recent Bush rally in Wisconsin to a complete absence of media scrutiny. No one demanded a tape of that event or alleged that his comments as a comedian might reflect poorly on Bush."

Margaret will bring her State of Emergency show through many of the swing states this fall to coincide with the upcoming 2004 presidential election. The tour will officially launch on August 28 at The Apollo Theatre as the kick-off to New York City's Imagine Festival. The Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues & Ideas is a six-day festival that explores a specific issue each day beginning on August 28 with "Freedom" and Margaret's State of Emergency show.

State of Emergency is somewhat different than Margaret's other shows in that the content will change as events happen right up to the election. Margaret says "It's a raw interpretation of what's happening daily in our ever-evolving or devolving state of the union."

Margaret and her work have been recognized by many organizations including GLAAD, NOW, and Lambda Liberty. This September the ACLU is set to honor her with their First Amendment Award. Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of ACLU states "In these very troubled times, when the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution are in jeopardy, we applaud Margaret's courage to speak out about the dangerous policies of the Bush administration and her commitment to organizing others to do the same. More than ever before, this country needs activists and artists like Margaret to stand up and let their voices be heard."


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