Tim Gill Hub




Tuesday Speed Read: Mississippi, Idaho, GOProud, Bayer, Mary Bonauto, Carl DeMaio

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

McdanielHOW LOW CAN THEY GO? 

Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign for his record on LGBT related issues. But in today’s primary, the Family Research Council announced its endorsement over the weekend for Cochran’s challenger, Mississippi State Tea Party Senator Chris McDaniel, citing McDaniel’s strong stance against same-sex couples marrying. Seems zero wasn’t good enough.

ANOTHER REQUEST TO LEAP FROG:

NinthcircuitIdaho filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit May 30, asking to skip over the three-judge panel phase of appeal in defense of its state ban on same-sex couples marrying. Less than two months ago, the Sixth Circuit refused Michigan’s request to do the same. But Idaho says the intra-circuit conflict over the proper level of judicial scrutiny to apply when evaluating laws that affect LGBT people adversely is a question of “exceptional importance.” Even more important, it argues, is the conflict over laws banning same-sex couples from marrying. Americans “understandably want the Marriage Issue resolved now,” states the brief. The Ninth Circuit is one of five circuits with active cases before them concerning statewide bans; only two –the Fourth and Tenth— have heard arguments before a three-judge panel.

GoproudGOPROUD CONSIDERS REORGANIZATION:

The gay conservative group GOProud reacted to rumors Monday that it was “shutting down.” Not so, said Matthew Bechstein, the group’s new executive director, in a press release. Bechstein said the group, which recently saw its founding members abandon ship, is considering reorganization to a “different legal type of organization.” “But if it were to actually happen,” said Bechstein, “it would only be momentary and certainly not the end of our organization.”

BayerGLAD SUES BAYER:

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders announced Monday that it filed suit in federal court last month in Connecticut against the company that produces Bayer aspirin. The lawsuit, Passaro v. Bayer, was brought on behalf of Gerald Passaro, whose husband was a chemist at Bayer until his death in 2009. Bayer initially refused to pay Passaro the survivor benefit, saying that, under the Defense of Marriage Act, it had no obligation to. But after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA last June, the company continued to refuse to pay the benefit, governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

BonautoNOTABLE QUOTE:

GLAD civil rights director Mary Bonauto in USA Today article about the string of federal court victories striking down bans on same-sex couples marrying: “We're at a point where it would be shocking if the Supreme Court said it was permissible to deny marriage licenses to gay couples."

GILL FUNDING PARK SERVICE STUDY:

The Gill Foundation is providing $250,000 to fund the LGBT historic places study announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell last Friday. The National Park Service will host a meeting in Washington, D.C., June 10 “to develop a framework and focus for the LGBT theme study with a group of more than a dozen of the nation’s most respected researchers and preservationists who have expertise on LGBT history and culture.”

DemaioDEMAIO’S OFFICE VANDALIZED:

Campaign staff for gay Republican Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio found their San Diego office vandalized last week. A campaign spokesperson told Associated Press that staff believe it is related to DeMaio’s efforts to curb pension costs.

AIDS LISTENING:

The White House Office of National AIDS Policy last Thursday hosted the first of three public “listening sessions” in southern states. The Office’s new director, Douglas Brooks, is leading the sessions, which started in Jackson, Mississippi. The next sessions are slated for Columbia, S.C., today and Atlanta, June 5. RSVP.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


National Park Service to Launch Heritage Initiative to Identify Historic LGBT Sites

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is announcing an initiative to identify historic LGBT heritage sites at an event on Friday morning at the Stonewall Inn in NYC, the AP reports:

StonewallInterior Secretary Sally Jewell is convening a panel of 18 scholars next month that will be charged with exploring the LGBT movement's story in areas such as law, religion, media, civil rights and the arts. The committee will identify relevant sites and its work will be used to evaluate them for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, designation as National Historic Landmarks, or consideration as national monuments, Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said.

"The Park Service is, in my view, America's storyteller through place," Jarvis said "It's important that the places we recognize represent the full complement of the American experience."

The process mirrors efforts the service already has undertaken to preserve and promote locations that reflect the roles of Latinos, Asian-Americans and women in U.S. history.

On hand at the event will be City Councilman Corey Johnson, and philanthropist Tim Gill, whose Gill Foundation is financing the initiative with a $250,000 grant.

Said Gill to the AP: "While we take this important step to recognize the courageous contributions of LGBT Americans, we need to unite together in the days ahead to ensure we leave none of our fellow Americans behind."


Gill Action Fund Plans Massive Summit of Gay Political Donors

The Gill Action Fund is planning a summit involving hundreds of the nation's gay political donors, the NYT reports:

GillactionThe conference, one of the largest ever gatherings of gay donors, is being organized by the Gill Action Fund, one of the country’s leading gay political organizations, which has played a quiet but pivotal role at the state level in recent years on gay marriage and other issues, including working to defeat lawmakers who oppose gay marriage. The fund is keeping quiet the details of the gathering, hoping to shield potential donors from unwanted scrutiny or attacks from opponents, and a spokesman for the fund declined to comment on the plan.


Tim Gill Appoints Republican Kirk Fordham to Lead Action Fund

Tim Gill has named a gay Republican the new head of his Action Fund, the Denver Post reports:

FordhamKirk Fordham, who starts work for Gill in April, is a registered Republican whose first political job was working for then-U.S. Rep. Jim Imhofe, a conservative Oklahoman.

Fordham spent most of his political career on Capitol Hill, where he said he was part of a "gay Republican SWAT team" that worked with moderate Republicans to push back on anti-gay legislative efforts. When former U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley of Colorado Springs sought to overturn a Clinton administration directive to protect federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, the team helped defeat the bid.

The Victory Fund adds:

Fordham’s appointment was met with praise from national political leaders who have worked with him, including Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the Democratic National Committee.  ”Kirk practices a bi-partisan approach to problem-solving that has earned him the respect of many friends on both sides of the aisle.  As we continue our march forward to protect the right of every LGBT person to enjoy every opportunity this nation has to offer, I look forward to working with Kirk to build on the progress that has been made by groups like Gill Action,” said Wasserman Schultz.


NY Pro-Equality GOP Senators to Get $1.25 Million in Gay Money

Gopsens

At the beginning of September I posted about a gay fundraiser for the Republican senators in New York who supported marriage equality. Looks like they're going to make some bank:

This week, the four Republican state senators who provided the decisive votes to pass the marriage bill are to get a big financial boost from those donors, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. A fund-raiser planned for Thursday night in Manhattan is expected to raise about $1.25 million to help finance their re-election bids next year.

The senators have come under heavy criticism from conservatives since they cast their votes in June. A national group that opposes same-sex marriage has purchased billboards in each of their districts, vowing to unseat the lawmakers, and the senators have been eagerly raising money in an effort to defend themselves against possible challengers.

The fundraiser is also being hosted by gay philanthropist Tim Gill, and prominent GOP donor Paul Singer, who is throwing his money behind Romney in the GOP primary.


Bloomberg Chairs Gay Fundraiser for GOP Senators Who Helped Pass Marriage Equality in NY

Nygop

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist and political strategist Tim Gill, and hedge fund manager and marriage equality supporter Paul Singer are chairing a fundraiser on October 13 for Republican New York Senators James Alesi, Mark Grisanti, Roy McDonald, and Stephen Saland, whose votes were instrumental in passing same-sex marriage, at the Union League Club in New York City.

Tickets for the reception run $250 to $16,800.

Check out the invite obtained by Towleroad, AFTER THE JUMP...

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) this week launched a "You're Fired!" billboard campaign against McDonald and has promised to unseat all the pro-equality lawmakers. The NY Conservative Party has made similar threats.

Continue reading "Bloomberg Chairs Gay Fundraiser for GOP Senators Who Helped Pass Marriage Equality in NY" »


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