Tag Archives: Human Rights Campaign

Katy Perry Opens Up About Accepting Her Sexuality

The singer, who shot to fame with the 2008 anthem I Kissed a Girl, spoke about her sexuality and the Human Rights Campaign Gala in LA last night, where she received the National Equality Award for her work as an LGBTQ ally.


During her speech, she gave a powerful account of her past struggles with her sexuality.

Perry told the audience that as a young person she would “pray the gay away” at Christian conversion camps.

My first words were Momma and Poppa, God and Satan. Right and wrong were taught to me on felt boards … When I was growing up, homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination.”

She told the audience:

I’m just a singer-songwriter, honestly. I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little, bite-size pop songs. For instance, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ Truth be told, A) I did more than that, but B) How was I going to reconcile that with a gospel-singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps?

What I did know is that I was curious, and even then I knew sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this dress. And, honestly, I haven’t always gotten it right, but in 2008, when that song came out, I knew that I started a conversation that a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along, too.”

Perry has promised that she’ll be bringing fans even more politically-infused “purposeful pop” in the near future.

Evan Rachel Wood Opens Up About Being Bisexual At HRC Gala

Evan Rachel Wood delivered a powerful and heartfelt speech at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala, where she was honoured with the HRC Visibility Award.

The actress – who is currently engaged to Zach Villa, her partner in the musical duo Rebel and a Basketcase – opened up about her bisexual identity and the responsibility she feels as an LGBTQ public figure.

I thought women were beautiful. But because I was born that way, I never once stopped to think that was strange or anything to fear.”

Throughout her life, however, Wood admitted she “buried” her feelings as a result of the anti-gay hate speech that surrounded her, confused by her attraction to men.

There was a time, despite what it may have looked like on the surface, that the fear had gripped me so tight, and I felt broken and unlovable. And I did not think I would see tomorrow.”

She also told the audience that she never felt compelled or knew how to speak out about her sexuality until she heard another actress first say the word “bisexual.”

She then realized the power of visibility and the impact that moment had on her own life and identity.

As an actor, my job is to look at a stranger and find myself in them ― to connect the dots, to have such empathy for a character that I can read someone else’s words and be moved to tears.

Turning empathy into vulnerability… and it wasn’t until I saw the effect that it had on other people that I really started to see how powerful really allowing your most vulnerable parts to be seen was. I saw another side to what I did, and it was the power of visibility.”

Wood first came out as bisexual in 2011 in an interview with Esquire magazine, and has since used her platform to speak out for the bisexual community, an identity often erased or rendered invisible on the larger LGBTQ spectrum.

See Wood’s powerful speech below:

This Touching Love Story Will Make You Cry (BUT Encourage You All To Vote For What’s Right)

Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign have released a powerful and touching video to remind residents of North Carolina why their vote counts

Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin are a lesbian couple who have been together for fifty years, but for most of that time they weren’t allowed to get married. 


They’re relationship has outlasted many straight marriages, and with good reason. They are absolutely devoted to each other.

Back in in the 1970s, the couple moved to North Carolina. You’d think being a lesbian in the south, especially in that time, would be very difficult, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case for Lennie and Pearl.

They instantly fell in love with their community. They became fast friends with their neighbours and were regulars at their local synagogue.

The couple always want to get married by the law denied them that simple right.

This 1978 photo provided by Pearl Berlin, left, and Lennie Gerber shows the couple at Badin Lake, in North Carolina. The couple have a federal lawsuit pending to make gay marriage legal in their home state. (AP Photo/Courtesy Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin)

This 1978 photo provided by Pearl Berlin, left, and Lennie Gerber shows the couple at Badin Lake, in North Carolina. The couple have a federal lawsuit pending to make gay marriage legal in their home state. (AP Photo/Courtesy Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin)

It was 47 years before they could finally marry. The couple decided to get married on the anniversary of the day they decided to move in together.

However, while their marriage may be legal now, Lennie and Pearl aren’t resting on their laurels.

They know just how quickly their rights could be taken from them, depending on how this election shakes out, which is why they’ve made it their mission to make sure that every single person gets out there and votes.

Stars United To Honour The Orlando Victims (Video)

In the past weeks, the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando has weighed heavily on all of our thoughts.

With 49 victims, the hashtag #SayTheirNames has served as a way to memorialise those who lost their lives.

However, now Ryan Murphy (the man behind Glee and American Horror Story) has directed a tribute video for HRC, featuring actors of both shows, along with a host of other A List stars, in a touching tribute to honour the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.

In the video, 49 celebs wear black and sit against a black backdrop, each one reciting a brief biography of one of the victims.


Lady Gaga, Caitlyn Jenner, Matt Bomer, and Laverne Cox are just a few of the many names who came together to tell these stories. They also use the platform to call for an end to hate crimes and gun violence.

Universities And Schools In America Seeking LGBT Rights Exemptions Will Now Be Named

After some schools and universities in America sought specifically for an Education Act exemptions, so that they can continue discriminating against LGBTs, the federal government has announced that it will publish details of each exemption online in a move to hopefully create greater transparency.

Late last year it emerged that a number of colleges and universities that receive federal funds have applied for and obtained permission from the federal government in order to obtain exceptions to Title IX of the Education Act. The law, which came into force in 1972, means that schools using taxpayer money cannot engage in sex-based discrimination. The Obama administration maintains that this also protects LGBT students, much to the uproar of religious schools.

However, when that law was passed, Congress provided a loophole that so that religious schools could be exempt from Title IX based on their religious ethos. It became public knowledge last year that since the Obama administration announced its determination that Title IX covers LGBT students, a number of religious schools had applied for such exemptions. Estimates say that, as of December 2015, around 60 schools had been given waivers under the Obama administration.
Advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign and lawmakers such as Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said they were concerned that religious freedom exemptions were being used to perpetuate anti-LGBT discrimination.

Senator Wyden and other lawmakers subsequently wrote a letter to the Department of Education requesting that there be more transparency in the process so that, at the very least, the general public could know which colleges and universities were using these exemptions.

The Department of Education has now issued a response.

Buzzfeed reports that Assistant Secretary Catherine Lhamon, in comments made Wednesday January 20, has agreed to that call for transparency:

I appreciate your suggestion the we provide more transparency about the religious exemption requests received and [the department’s] responses. I agree.”

Lhamon added that both applications for the waivers and the government’s replies will be posted online “sometime in coming months” as part of the department’s broader push to increase transparency.

To be clear, this information was technically already open to the public but it wasn’t easily accessible. Now, the Department has said it will post the information in a way that is searchable so that the public can understand which schools are getting these exemptions and how the government has answered those calls.

The Human Rights Campaign has praised the move.

HRC President Chad Griffin, added

We have been alarmed by the growing trend of schools quietly seeking the right to discriminate against LGBT students, and not disclosing that information publicly. We are encouraged that the Department of Education is answering our call for greater transparency to help ensure no student unknowingly enrolls in a school that intends to discriminate against them.

We believe that religious liberty is a bedrock principle of our nation, however, faith should never be used as a guise for discrimination.”

However, this doesn’t fully answer the issue, namely why educational institutions receiving public money are being allowed to discriminate in the first place.

Unfortunately, to change that would require a change in the law and it is highly unlikely that the Republican dominated House or the stalemate in the Senate could muster enough consensus to do so. This compounds the litany of anti-LGBT student bills that are sweeping the country, and ones that particularly focus on trans students and their access to sports teams and changing and bathroom facilities.

Nevertheless, identifying the schools that are exploiting religious freedom protections to discriminate is a much needed step toward tackling this issue and for that reason the Department’s response is welcome.

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Lesbian Couple Arrested For Hugging In Indonesia And Forced To Undergo “Rehabilitation For Lesbianism”

Human rights campaigners have voiced concerns for the women’s safety, after they were arrested in Indonesia and forced to undergo “rehabilitation for lesbianism”. As yet, it’s unclear what the ‘rehabilitation’ will entail.

The couple, aged 18 and 19 and known only by their initials AS and N, were detained in the country’s Sharia-controlled Aceh province after they were seen hugging.

The area is governed by strict Sharia law, which means the women could face caning, prison, or a large fine.

While Shariah police chief Evendi Latief admitted that the pair had confirmed they were lesbians during four days of questioning, he denied their human rights had been violated.

They will undergo rehabilitation which involves psychologists from local Social Ministry office.”

However, Graeme Reid from Human Rights Watch claimed the arrest and subsequent treatment of the girls exhibited an “outrageous abuse of power”.

The arrest of two women in Aceh for everyday behaviour is an outrageous abuse of power that should be considered a threat to all Indonesians. The Indonesian government needs to press Aceh to repeal its discriminatory new bylaws.”

LGBT people are regularly targeted by authorities in the area – just last month, ten trans women were arrested for ‘cross-dressing’, before being forced to leave.

Aceh is the only province in the Muslim-majority country that operates strict Sharia law.

Since last year, gay sex is punishable by punished a 100 months in jail, 100 lashes, or a fine equivalent to 1,000 grams of gold.

Homosexuality is legal in the rest of Indonesia, though the age of consent for gay sex is higher than for straight sex.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population – but outside of the Aceh, most practice a more moderate form of the faith.

Google, IBM, Microsoft, And Others Big Organisations Commit To Improving Workplace Equality For LGBT Employees

This week, at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, the Human Rights Campaign announced a new global coalition of companies committed to making workplaces around the world fair and equal for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. The founding members of the coalition include Google, IBM, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and AT&T.

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said in a statement.

We are proud to bring together some of the world’s largest companies to advance LGBT equality around the globe. These corporate leaders, which employ 1.4 million employees worldwide, understand that equality, inclusion, and engagement are pivotal to business success. Today, they are sending a resounding message that LGBT people are valued, they are equal, and they deserve a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families no matter where they live.”

Members of the coalition agree to implement non-discrimination statements and codes of conduct that are inclusive to LGBT workers. They will also host summits in international markets to promote LGBT workplace equality and will create resource groups specifically for LGBT employees.

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In a statement, Microsoft president Brad Smith said,

The strengthening of LGBT equality in the workplace makes good sense for companies and for people. We’re committed to treating all of our employees equally, with the respect and dignity they so clearly deserve.”

Other founding members of the coalition are Accenture, CA Technologies, Destination Weddings Travel Group, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Replacements, Ltd., and Symantec Corp.

The L Word’s Leisha Hailey Cameos in Jennifer Hudson’s New Music Video For Marriage Equality (Video)

Jennifer Hudson shines the spotlight on marriage equality in her ‘I Still Love You!’ video, which tells the story of a dad deciding whether to attend his son’s wedding.



Jennifer Hudson is an out and proud LGBT ally, who is also the campaign ambassador for the ‘Turn It Up For Change’ campaign, which advocates for LGBT rights.

The video for ‘I Still Love You!’ is supported by the Human Rights Campaign, and W Hotels, and will help to support Logo’s #All50 campaign, which seeks to give out information to LGBT people and allies leading up to the US Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage in the coming month.

Leisha Hailey makes a cameo as the officiant of a gorgeous wedding, and then JHud joins the reception for a huge queer dance party. Just try and get the song out of your head.

Susan Sarandon ‘Open’ to Finding Love with a Woman

Single actress Susan Sarandon is “open” to embarking on a relationship with of someone of any “gender”, confessing it “increases your chances” of finding a suitable partner.

The star has been single since splitting from Jonathan Bricklin in March following a six-year romance.

When pressed this week on The View, Sarandon answered questions on her love life by saying she isn’t “actively looking” for a new love, but

I’m not actively looking (for love), but if there’s a person, I would leave open the age, the color, the gender even, I’m open. Well, it increases your chances, doesn’t it?”

Also read: Susan Sarandon Supports Marriage Equality in Human Rights Campaign Video

Outlining what she’s looking for in potential partners, she says,

Somebody who is not gonna find it difficult to be with me and (when) people come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I love your work,’ it won’t turn out to be a problem.

Someone who is really passionate about what they do and they love what they do. Someone who’s open and adventurous and travels and has a lot of fun. (Someone who is) spiritual, (it) doesn’t have to be religion, exactly…”

As she goes on and say what she’s looking for in a partner, Whoopi Goldberg says, “You’re starting to sound like me!” and they share a moment.

Note: The YouTube video only plays in some regions.

Hatred Has Consequences: Gambia Stripped of Special Trade Status Over Anti-Gay Law

Gambia will no longer be allowed to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act due to its anti-gay laws, as the US boots them from Trade Program.

The country had previously been afforded special benefits due to its status, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000, which allowed it to export goods worth $37 million each year to the US without paying duty.

However, theWhite House announced that Gambia would be removed from the scheme, after President Yahya Jammeh signed a law punishing homosexuality with life imprisonment.

“The US Trade Representative (USTR) has been monitoring the human rights situation in The Gambia for the past few years, with deepening concerns about the lack of progress with respect to human rights, rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process. 

In addition, in October, Gambian President Jammeh signed into law legislation that further restricts the rights of LGBT individuals, including life imprisonment for so-called ‘aggravated homosexuality’. Reports have surfaced of arrests, detention, and torture of individuals because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Ned Price, White House Spokesperson

In response to the announcement, Human Rights Campaign spokesperson said…

“This decision is an important first step in sending a clear signal to President Yayha Jammeh and his associates about their human rights record, and they cannot be allowed to trample on the rights of LGBT Gambians.

The United States government should not move forward with business as usual with The Gambia when LGBT people are harassed, imprisoned, tortured, or even killed because of who they are. More can and should be done to hold Jammeh and his associates directly accountable for violating the basic human rights of LGBT Gambians and attacking them for pure political gain.”

Jean Freedberg

HRC is Asking All to Celebrate the 26th Annual National #ComingOut Day

The HRC (Human Rights Campaign ), the United States’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is asking all to celebrate the 26th annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD) – a globally recognized event, which embraces the coming out of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or as an ally.

Yesterday, HRC President Chad Griffin penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, in which he shared his coming out experience, and encouraged folks across the country to live openly and authentically.

“For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans all across this country, coming out is one of the hardest things they will ever do. No matter what state you call home, a conservative church, community, or even your own family can inadvertently force you to suffer in silence. Even today, living openly in the face of that pressure can require almost superhuman personal strength…..If you feel like you’re not living as openly as you could, consider changing that on Saturday. And if someone close to you chooses Saturday – or any other day – to honor you by revealing the truth about his or her life, know what courage that took, and offer every reassurance and affirmation you can.”

Chad Griffin, HRC President

As part of NCOD 2014, Griffin will be traveling to college campuses in the South next week to participate in forums about the critical importance of LGBT people and allies coming out and sharing their stories.

In addition, through exclusive videos and a week-long blog series leading up to Saturday, HRC has been sharing the diverse experiences of people from all walks of life who’ve come out, and highlighting stories via Facebook, Twitter, and for the first time, Snapchat.

HRC also released a compilation video of celebrities and public figures who made the decision to live openly earlier this year, including Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent  and actress Ellen Page, who came out at HRC Foundation’s inaugural Time to THRIVE Conference.

For more information and resources on National Coming Out Day, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center and follow the hashtag #ComingOut.

‘God vs. Gay’ in Mainstream Media – HRC and GLAAD Unveil Groundbreaking Resource to Challenge Anti-LGBT Views

GLAAD and HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest advocacy group for LGBT rights, today unveiled ‘In Focus: Faith, LGBT People, & the Midterm Elections’ a groundbreaking resource guide that empowers journalists to challenge anti-LGBT talking heads who mask bias as a ‘tenet of faith.’

“It’s time the media gets it right. More and more churches, faith leaders, and religious Americans are speaking out in support of equality, but their voices remain missing in mainstream media. It’s time to close the gap on misrepresentation and challenge the tired idea that equality is not a religious value.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO

Back in 2012, GLAAD released “GLAAD’s Missing Voices: A study of religious voices in mainstream media reports about LGBT equality.” The report found that three out of four religious messages came from spokespeople whose religions have formal policies or culture opposing LGBT equality, despite the fact that acceptance of LGBT people is growing across faith traditions. Additionally, mainstream media outlets use far fewer religious sources from Mainline Protestant, Jewish, or other denominations whose messages were predominantly positive and accepting of LGBT people. Far too often, outlets frame stories as “God vs. Gay,” inaccurately representing the current climate of acceptance across faith communities today. The newly released guide seeks to correct these disparities in reporting.

“It’s long past time that anti-LGBT activists who claim to be people of faith had to answer a few simple questions about what the Bible and other holy books actually say. I grew up in a Southern Baptist congregation, going to church Sunday morning, Sunday night and, if my Mom got her way, Wednesday night too. The message I learned sitting in those church pews was that we are all God’s children, and you’ve got to love your neighbor as yourself.”

Chad Griffin, HRC President Chad Griffin

Visit www.glaad.org/faith to learn more about GLAAD’s Religion, Faith & Values program, and www.hrc.org/religion for resources and to learn more about HRC’s work with religious communities.

Colbie Caillat Joins HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality

HRC released a video featuring Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Colbie Caillat. In the video, Caillat states,

“Whether you are LGBT or straight, you should be able to marry the person you love….We have to raise our voice together and demand it now, because only together can we protect love.”

Colbie Caillat

Since bursting onto the music scene in 2007, Colbie Caillat has sold millions of records worldwide and won numerous awards, including a Grammy in 2010 for her collaboration with fellow marriage equality supporter, Jason Mraz for their song “Lucky”. Caillat, whose latest video for the single “Try” has recently gone viral with over 17 million views in just three weeks, uses her platform to bring forth positive messages. By featuring girls and women of all ages, “Try” highlights the importance of empowering women to stay true to themselves, and embrace their natural beauty.

“Colbie Caillat stands with the majority of Americans who know that allowing loving gay and lesbian couples to get married only strengthens the intuition of marriage. We thank Colbie for lending her voice to this important cause, and encourage everyone to heed her call to demand marriage equality nationwide.”

Charles Joughin, HRC Spokesman

Same-sex couples can legally marry in nineteen states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. However, polling continues to show Americans moving inexorably in the direction of supporting equality for same-sex couples, and there are over 70 court cases across the country challenging bans on marriage equality.

HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality campaign seeks to advance marriage equality nationwide and provide up-to-the-minute information for lawmakers, legal experts, media, and grassroots supporters. Following the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 last year, new marriage equality battles are underway in the courts, at the ballot and in public education campaigns. The campaign’s video series will draw from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, and political and civic leaders speaking out in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples nationwide. For more information on the campaign or to see the videos visist http://americansformarriageequality.org.

CBS News Poll Shows Most Hispanics and Latinos Support Marriage Equality

CBS News has released the results of a recent poll showing a majority of Hispanics in the United States support marriage rights for same-sex couples. According to the poll results, 50% of all Hispanics and 62% of US born Hispanics believe same-sex marriage should be legal. The marriage question was asked as part of a larger survey of Americans about issues facing Hispanics.

“People from all walks of life know that it’s wrong to tell committed and loving couples they can’t get married, just because they’re gay or lesbian. A strong sense of family is the foundation of the Latino community, and marriage provides many LGBT families with the support and security they need to thrive. These poll results serve as further evidence that the country is ready for marriage equality nationwide.”

Lisbeth Melendez-Rivera, Director of Latino and Catholic Initiatives for the Human Rights Campaign.

Opponents of marriage equality, including a group known as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), have tried to drive a wedge between minority groups and equality supporters. According to NOM’s confidential strategy documents obtained by HRC in 2012, the group aims to manipulate Hispanic communities by “making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity” and “to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of ‘Anglo’ culture.”

Yet polling figures from recent months show a drastic increase in support for marriage equality among Hispanics. Overall, Hispanic support rose from 35% in 2003 to 53%t in 2013, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.

Other polls show a strong majority of Americans – 56% – favor marriage equality, with support growing among virtually every demographic group. According to ABC News / Washington Post, 77% of adults under age 30 favor marriage equality. And 40% of Republicans – an all-time high and jump of 16 points in under two years – now support marriage for gay and lesbian couples, while the number of Catholics supporting marriage has grown to 62 percent, according to the New York Times. These numbers continue to grow, with no indication that support will slow down.

LGBT Catholics Reach Out to Catholic Bishops on Immigration Reform

The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM/LGBT Catholics) believes that LGBT political leadership should be more involved in this issue. Attempts to work with the Catholic Bishops where we can should be attempted, as long as they do not single out LGBT families for condemnation when it concerns immigration policy.

The RSM is calling on The Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT national organizations to condemn the current effort by certain politicians in the US House of Representatives and Senate to bully and demonize children who are seeking asylum, support the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, and the Catholic Bishops in their efforts to focus on children’s needs, rather than fear mongering directed at innocent children.

This is a pro life issue. Since Pope Francis has become Pope he is making the social gospel equivalent to poverty relief, conflict resolution, human trafficking, and the environment, as well as immigrant rights.

“The Republicans are blaming Obama for the flood of children at the border. The Catholic Bishops on the other hand see multiple interrelated factors contributing to the crisis. According to the Migration Relief Services (MRS) .”

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the RSM

Some of these factors include: a lack of strong social institutions and civil society support, abuse in the family stemming from pressure on family units due to violence and family separation, a lack of viable economic and educational opportunities, and environmental factors affecting crop production.”

“We should make it clear that our concern is both the needs and protection of these border children, a just immigration policy and that immigration reform concerns all of us.”

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the RSM

Tony Hawk Joins HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released another video ad featuring professional skateboarder and CEO Tony Hawk. This is the third video released for the re-launch of HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality video campaign. Susan Sarandon and Demi Lovato have already shown their support for marriage equality through video ads.

“Like most Americans, Tony Hawk knows that all families deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and equality under the law. We are incredibly grateful to Tony for speaking out in favor of marriage equality, and lending his voice to HRC’s fight for fairness nationwide.”

Charles Joughin, HRC

Hawk is one of the worlds most recognised action-sports figure. He regularly appears on television and in films, hosts a weekly show on the Sirius XM satellite radio network, and frequently takes his talent on the road with the Birdhouse Skateboards team.

Tony’s success and good fortune have inspired him to do what he can to help young people, so in 2002 he launched the Tony Hawk Foundation to help achieve that goal.

“We all deserve to follow our hearts, and we need to continue working until every state recognizes marriage as an equal right”

Tony Hawk

Same-sex couples can legally marry in nineteen states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. However, polling continues to show Americans moving inexorably in the direction of supporting equality for same-sex couples, and there are over 70 court cases across the country challenging bans on marriage equality.

Susan Sarandon Supports Marriage Equality in Human Rights Campaign Video

Susan Sarandon has voiced her support for marriage equality in an ‘Americans For Marriage Equality’ video by the Human Rights Campaign.

“While marriage might not be my thing, if it’s your thing you damn well ought to be able to have it equally and unequivocally. The America I want to live in celebrates diversity and believes in equal rights for all families no matter what what they look like.”

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon’s celebrated acting career has spanned more than four decades, earning her dozens of award nominations and wins, including the 1995 Best Actress Academy Award forDead Man Walking.  Sarandon has used her fame and success for good, supporting numerous charities and goodwill efforts around the globe.  She has been honored for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, as an advocate for victims of HIV/AIDS and hunger, and in 2006, she received the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award.

“Like most Americans, Susan Sarandon knows that all families deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and equality under the law. We are incredibly grateful to Susan for speaking out in favor of marriage equality, and for lending her powerful voice to HRC’s fight for fairness nationwide.”

Charles Joughin, HRC

This is the second video released for the re-launch of HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality video campaign.  Earlier this month, platinum-selling recording artist and actress Demi Lovato lent her voice to the cause with a web video and an email to HRC’s more than 1.5 million members and supporters, calling on all Americans to support marriage equality.

Demi Lovato Promote’s Equal Marriage with HRC

HRC have officially re-launched their successful video campaign – Americans for Marriage Equality. The first first features Demi Lovato.

In the video, Lovato makes the case for marriage equality, saying,

“Let’s protect love and strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing loving, caring and committed same-sex couples to legally marry.”

Demi Lovato

The video is part of the HRC’s public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. Demi also penned an email to HRC’s more than 1.5 million members and supporters, calling on all Americans to get involved in the fight for marriage equality nationwide.

Platinum-selling recording artist and actress, Demi Lovato, recently lent her voice to the LGBT community, by being named Grand Marshal of the 44th annual Los Angeles Pride parade and headline performing at NYC Pride’s Dance on the Pier. Her performance at LA Pride served as the backdrop for her new music video and LGBT anthem, “Really Don’t Care.” With a fan base that includes over 20 million die-hard Twitter followers and 30 million fans on Facebook, her latest album, Demi, hit #1 on iTunes in 50 countries and the lead single—”Heart Attack”— earned Platinum status just 10 weeks after launch.

As one of the LGBT community’s most vocal allies, Demi has made anti-bullying advocacy a cornerstone of her public life, impacting countless young people around the world – including the youth in the LGBT community who view her as a role-model when it comes to being true to yourself. At a time where 92 percent of adolescents are constantly being exposed to negative messages about being LGBT, Demi provides an incredible stance on positivity and love.

For more information visit http://americansformarriageequality.org

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation Releases Equality Rising report

This week, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation released Equality Rising report, which is outlines the many of the successes and setbacks of LGBT activists, advocates, and allies around the world in 2013. Released for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – #IDAHOT, this report aims to educate people about many of the notable events from last year in the growing global equality movement.

Equality Rising highlights victories for marriage equality in five nations, progress in the fight for transgender equality on at least four continents, as well as increased LGBT visibility broadly and tremendous acts of courage in nations as dangerous for LGBT people as Iran.  The report also documents new anti-LGBT laws, ongoing persecution and violence, and efforts by extreme anti-LGBT Americans to export hateful rhetoric and misinformation abroad.

A few highlights from the report include:

  • More nations—Brazil, France, New Zealand, England and Wales in the United Kingdom, and Uruguay—opened the doors to marriage equality in 2013 than any year in history. These victories brought the total number of nations extending full marriage rights to all of its citizens to 16.
  • Although millions of transgender people around the world remain frequent targets for discrimination, at least eight nations on four continents took tangible steps toward greater equality for transgender and intersex citizens.
  • LGBT people have become more visible globally that ever before—in the workplace, on television, and running for office at the local, state, and national levels and winning.
  • Nigeria, Russia, and Uganda passed laws in 2013 that inhibited the freedom of speech and association of LGBT people and their allies, with the law in Uganda allowing for life imprisonment as a punishment for “aggravated homosexuality”.
  • In more than 80 countries, LGBT people are considered criminals for simply being who they are. They are frequently demonized for political gain, and they remain targets of harassment, arrest, violence, and in some cases, torture.

Equality Rising comes on the heels of last year’s announcement of HRC Foundation’s global engagement program, which is dedicated to joining advocates around the world in advancing global equality. The program aims to do so by educating Americans on the human rights of LGBT people around the world; exposing the work of prominent anti-gay American organizations that have pushed anti-gay laws and legislation overseas; leveraging its relationships with American policymakers, faith communities, corporations and other change agents to help protect the human rights of LGBT people abroad; and providing fellowships at HRC for foreign LGBT advocates.