NEW YORK - June 16 - In celebration of LGBT Pride, several of the nation's top lesbian gay bisexual transgender writers, leaders and supporters will participate in an online symposium beginning today on the ACLU Blog of Rights (http://blog.aclu.org) and on the Get Busy, Get Equal blog (www.aclu.org/getequal) featured on the ACLU's LGBT activist toolkit. Participants will be discussing a wide range of issues affecting the LGBT community ranging from the first marriages of lesbian and gay couples in California to the need for a federal law barring workplace discrimination based gender identity and sexual orientation to censorship of LGBT students in the nation's schools.
"We know that people's attitudes about LGBT people are more likely to be supportive when they have had an opportunity to talk to LGBT people about what it means to be LGBT," said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU's LGBT & AIDS Project. "We're hoping this symposium will spark many of those important conversations."
The symposium kicks off on the eve of the first marriages by lesbian and gay couples in California. California marriages and efforts to defeat an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in California are certain to be hot topic of the symposium.
Scheduled participants will include: Air America radio host Rachel Maddow, Sirius Radio host Michelangelo Signorile, bloggers Pam Spaulding of Pam's Houseblend, John Aravosis of AMERICAblog, Andrew Belonsky of Queerty, and Donna Rose of Donnarose.com, as well as famous New York City drag queen The Lady Bunny. ACLU staff and clients will also appear during the week to share to share their personal stories about Pride and working for LGBT equality.
The LGBT Pride symposium marks the second in a continuing series of symposiums hosted by the ACLU. The ACLU Blog of Rights will serve as an online home for the discussion of crucial civil liberties issues including privacy, freedom of speech and religion, capital punishment, racial justice, voter rights, and the rights of LGBT people, immigrants, women, and prisoners. Blog posts will highlight current legislation, litigation and efforts to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLU Blog of Rights is online at: http://blog.aclu.org/
The ACLU's LGBT Project recently launched its LGBT activist toolkit, Get Busy, Get Equal, to encourage LGBT people to work for equality in their communities. In addition to the blog, which features a weekday roundup of LGBT news and discussion about the ACLU's advocacy on behalf of LGBT people, the site provides instructions on how to organize and work to pass local ordinances barring LGBT discrimination, domestic partner registries and safe school policies. The Get Busy, Get Equal toolkit is online at www.aclu.org/getequal.