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National News
Section One
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National News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Human Rights Campaign staffers depart
The two top people in the Human Rights Campaign's communications department have left the nation's biggest Gay rights group.

Communications Director Brad Luna's job was eliminated in a reorganization. Shortly thereafter, Deputy Communications Director Trevor Thomas announced his departure to take up a similar position with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

The two will be replaced by Fred Sainz, who starts work May 10 as vice president of communications and marketing, and by a new hire who will carry the title of press secretary.

Sainz is currently in a similar job at the Gill Foundation. Prior to that he was press secretary to pro-Gay San Diego Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Insiders insist that Luna's and Thomas' departures were unrelated to the recent debacle that resulted when HRC staged a rally against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" with comedian Kathy Griffin.

The rally was crashed by DADT activist Lt. Dan Choi, who says Griffin and HRC President Joe Solmonese told him they would accompany him on a march to the White House at the rally's conclusion.

Solmonese and Griffin then did not march with Choi, who made headlines when he and former Capt. Jim Pietrangelo handcuffed themselves to the White House fence and were arrested.

HRC suffered stronger-than-usual criticism for apparently not keeping its word to Choi, for using a comedian to address a serious issue, and for purportedly again being out of touch with rank-and-file activists.

After Choi's civil disobedience action and the media coverage it garnered, the White House and Congress stepped up activity aimed at ending the military's ban on open Gays.

Asked via e-mail for comment, Luna responded by requesting the reporter's phone number but did not call before deadline. Thomas, informed of the gist of this report, e-mailed: "Thank you for reaching out. I think that sounds good. I don't have anything to add."

Martina has breast cancer
Lesbian tennis legend Martina Navratilova told People magazine April 7 that she has breast cancer.

The ductal carcinoma was discovered early and is expected to be fully curable.

"I cried," Navratilova said. "It knocked me on my ass, really. I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it's completely out of my hands."

"I went four years between mammograms," she added. "I let it slide. Everyone gets busy, but don't make excuses. I stay in shape and eat right, and it happened to me. Another year and I could have been in big trouble."

Navratilova will undergo six weeks of radiation treatment starting in May.

Gay man elected mayor of small Colorado town
An openly Gay man, Ron Holland, was elected mayor of Dillon, Colorado, on April 6.

He received 90 votes to an opponent's 72 in the mountain town of about 800 people.

Holland, who is serving his first term on the City Council, told the Summit Daily News he was "ecstatic" over his

victory. With assistance from Bill Kelley

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