Aug 12, 2005
Volume 33
Issue 32

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Movement leaders gather in Kentucky for largest meeting ever of statewide LGBT organizations
Movement leaders gather in Kentucky for largest meeting ever of statewide LGBT organizations
LOUISVILLE, KY - Leaders of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender civil rights movement, including representatives from Equality Washington, returned to their home states from Kentucky this week after four days of meetings where they shared strategies, information and resources to build stronger and more powerful statewide organizations.

The annual gathering of Equality Federation members was the largest ever, attended by 130 representatives of 40 statewide and 13 national organizations.

"Our movement has never been stronger," said Toni Broaddus, executive director of the Federation. "The passion and determination of state LGBT leaders was evident in the packed meeting rooms and hallways and in the lively discussions about our work in every state in this country. While right wing extremists attempt to defeat us with the political tactics of fear and division, we are banding together to strengthen our movement through respect, collaboration and unity."

Topics discussed at the meeting included marriage, legislative attacks on LGBT parents and their children, strategies for fighting ballot measure campaigns, the use of technology to build the movement, electoral strategies and political action committees, safe schools legislation, anti-discrimination policies, hate crimes laws, and strategies for increasing the diversity of our movement through work that increases participation of Transgender people and communities of color.

"The Federation meeting was an incredible opportunity for both well-established state groups and emerging new organizations to meet and share their knowledge," said newly elected Equality Federation Vice-Chair Jeremy Pittman, who serves as the Deputy Campaign Director for MassEquality. "I am excited to participate as a board member of this dynamic organization, and I look forward to sharing the strategies that have been successful in Massachusetts with other state leaders."

Equality Federation member organizations also elected a new board of directors to lead their national coalition. Ian Palmquist, Executive Director of Programs for Equality North Carolina, and Andrea Hildebran, Executive Director of Kentucky Fairness Alliance, were elected to serve second terms as Federation co-chairs. Sharon Semmens, past Board Chair of Georgia Equality, and Jeremy Pittman, Deputy Campaign Director of Mass Equality, were elected to serve as Vice-Chairs. Josh Freker, Communications Director of Action Wisconsin will serve a second term as Secretary and Christopher Neff of Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance in Washington, D.C. will serve as Treasurer.

Other Directors are: Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality California; Monica Meyer, Public Policy Director, OutFront Minnesota; Ron Wheeler, Equality New Mexico; Rhonda White, Tennessee Equality Project; Carmen Vazquez, Deputy Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda (NY); Lori Stone Sirtosky, Indiana Equality; Deon Young, Milwaukee LGBT Center; Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director, Equality Florida; and Julie Brueggemann, Executive Director, PROMO (MO).

This year's Equality Federation summer meeting was hosted by the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, which faced its own constitutional amendment battle in 2004. KFA's executive director, Andrea Hildebran, was re-elected at the meeting to serve her second term as a co-chair of the federation.

Equality Federation is a network of state organizations committed to working together and with national and local groups to strengthen statewide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender advocacy organizing and to secure full civil rights in every U.S. state and territory.

Equality Federation

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