Since the 1970s, the LGBT movement has made strides in protection and fairness in communities across the country. Despite these accomplishments, Kendall raises the passage of California's Prop. 8 as a prime example of how far we still have to go.
Kendell's momentum: "I am inspired by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: 'We gain strength, courage, and confidence when we stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.'"
Melissa Bradley-Burns is a Senior Strategist for Green For All. Her primary role is leading the Capital Access Program - working to provide human, social and financial capital to entrepreneurs and businesses in an effort to create, scale and sustain green jobs.
Bradley-Burns currently serves as an Advisor to Renewal 2 Investment Fund and holds board positions with Georgetown University Board of Governors, Green America, the Tides Network and the Tides Foundation. Bradley-Burns holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Georgetown University and a Master's in Business Administration in Marketing from American University.
Kate Kendell leads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. In 1994 she joined NCLR as legal director, and was named executive director two years later.
Known for her work as lead counsel in California's historic marriage case, as well as the ensuing lawsuit challenging California's Prop 8 ballot initiative, Kendell and NCLR have propelled the issues facing the LGBT community from marriage equality to immigration policy to center stage in our nation's discussion of civil rights.
Growing up Mormon in Utah, Kendell learned early about the complexities of religion and politics. After receiving her J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988, she became the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, where she litigated many high profile cases. Kendell is an active voice in major media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Advocate, NPR, and CNN.
Kate Kendell, leader of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, discusses her involvement in promoting marriage equality and expands on why a legally recognized marriage should be considered a basic human right, despite sexual orientation.
Civil-rights movement that advocates equal rights for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals. Supporters of gay rights seek to eliminate sodomy laws barring homosexual acts between consenting adults and call for an end to discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, credit, lending, housing, marriage, adoption, public accommodations, and other areas of life. The first group to campaign publicly was founded in Berlin in 1897 by Magnus Hirschfeld (18681935) and had 25 local chapters in Europe by 1922; suppressed by the Nazis, it did not survive World War II. The first U.S. support group, the Mattachine Society, was founded in Los Angeles c. 1950; the Daughters of Bilitis, for lesbians, was founded in San Francisco in 1955. The Dutch Association for the Integration of Homosexuality COC, founded as the COC (Cultuur en Ontspannings Centrum [Culture and Recreation Center]) in 1946 and headquartered in Amsterdam, is a prominent European group and the oldest existing gay rights organization. Many date the expansion of the modern gay rights movement to the Stonewall rebellion in New York City in 1969, when a raid by police on a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn provoked a riot by bar patrons. Stonewall came to be commemorated annually by the observance of Gay and Lesbian Pride Week in cities around the world. The International Lesbian and Gay Association (founded 1978), headquartered in Brussels, lobbies for human rights and opposes discrimination against homosexuals. Although the movement is strongest in western Europe and North America, gay rights organizations exist in many countries throughout the world. Among the major issues pressed by gay rights advocates in the 1990s and into the 21st century were the passage of hate crime laws and the establishment of legal rights for homosexuals to marry, adopt children, and serve openly in the military.
This very smart young woman trivializes her arguements and does her side damage by making arbitrary, obviously false pronouncements like, "Sexual orientation or gender orientation are irrelevant." She aks, "What are we missing?," while being puzzled that gay marriage has NEVER passed in any state when placed on the ballot. She does not apply much intellectual rigor to her arguements. If we are to reverse the traditions, moral principles, laws and religious beliefs held by all societies and all of the major faiths of the world throughout history, without exception, and change the meaning of the word "marriage" to include a meaning it has never had at any time in any society throughout the history of mankind, then we need a better answer than, "Because we think it should be that way."
Convince me, Ms. Kendell! Your feelings are not a sufficient basis for such a radical change to the future of human civilization. The trite, sophomoric pronouncement that, "Two people who love each other should be able to marry," or "We just want the same rights as everyone else," do not hold up to legal, moral or intellectual scrutiny. Go back to the drawing board and stop looking for loopholes, political tactics or new ways to dress up the same ineffective arguements.