Blog Entries by Andy Eddins

Voice For Equality: Helen Chavez

In a public education campaign in 2008, Helen Chavez said, "My husband spent his life fighting for dignity for all people. César was one of the first civil rights leaders to speak out for gays and lesbians, because he understood that you can’t demand equality for your own people while tolerating discrimination against anyone else.

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Voice For Equality: Yvette Clarke

U.S. Representative Yvette Clark (NY-D) is a long time voice for equality & justice.

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Voice for Equality: Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huert is the current President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation for Community Organizing. She co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Cesar Chavez and holds the emeritus positions of the UFW as Secretary Treasurer and First Vice President. She is also an active member of the Fund for the Feminist Majority and serves on the Board of Directors for Equality California (EQCA).

Huerta was the keynote speaker at the January 2009 "Creating Change" conference of LGBT-rights activists in Denver, Colorado, where she spoke on the importance of marriage equality and gay rights.

Greg Disney-Britton met her during the 2009 Creating Change Conference and nominated Dolores Huerta as a Voice for Equality.

 

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Desiree Leone and Carolee Stoll

New Yorkers Desiree Leone, an EMS Coordinator, and Carolee Stoll, who works in College Support Services, have been together for 13 years. Like many who are able to share their stories, the couple considers themselves relatively fortunate. Desiree's employer offers domestic partner health benefits, and both have supportive families.

Still, Desiree and Carolee are not immune to the adverse effects of marriage discrimination. Said Desiree, "Since my medical benefits were much better than [Carolee's], we figured I would put her on mine." After two months of research and a lengthy approval process, the couple then found out about the additional tax implications of covering them both under Desiree's plan.

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Shelley Hayes and Mary Horvath

Montanans Shelley Hayes, Executive Director of an AIDS Service Organization, and Mary Horvath, an X-ray Technician, have been together four years. They have two sons and do not have access to the same protections for their children as their non-gay neighbors.

All children deserve the right to insurance coverage, social security, emergency care and inheritance rights. All families benefit from the intangible reassurance that comes from knowing that your family is safe and secure.

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Richard Phelps and Mitchell Wood

Richard Phelps, 69, and Mitchell Wood, 60, met before Stonewall in 1966. At the time, Richard was a necessarily closeted teacher in a Roman Catholic elementary school and Mitchell was an orderly in a local hospital.

Fans of live theatre, concerts and the ballet, they have season seats for the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City and the Heartland Men's Chorus. They are also avid sports fans, with season tickets for the NFL Kansas City Chiefs and the AFL Kansas City Brigade.

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Denise and Treeva Liggett-Creek

Denise and Treeva Liggett-Creek of Maryland are raising two young daughters, Dominique, age 11, and Alexandra, age 6. Their decision to have a wedding was not only based on their mutual love and admiration for each other, but also a desire to share their commitment with family and friends.

Many committed same-sex couples share the same responsibilities as married couples. However, without the freedom to marry, they do not receive the same recognition or protections for their families as married couples. In fact, same-sex couples and their kids face tremendous discrimination.

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Lisa Laurey and Toni Williamson

Lisa Laurey and Toni Williamson have been together five years and have five beautiful children.

Although they share parenting duties, "We have had some reluctance by doctors who question our joint decision-making for the care and treatment of our children," says Lisa, a computer aided drafter and biological mother of two of their children. Regardless of the discrimination they face, they remain optimistic.

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Voice For Equality: Edwin Bacon

The Rev. Dr. J. Edwin Bacon Jr. has been the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California since 1995. In 2008, he decided to officiate at same-sex weddings in California, saying, "Of course we're not going to be bigoted. Of course we're not going to be discriminatory. Let's move forward now." During an appearance on Oprah in January 2009, he surprised Oprah and the audience when he responded to a question from a gay viewer by saying, "Being gay is a gift from God."

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Carmen and Anisia Machado

Carmen and Anisia Machado of New Jersey have been together for 30 years, but despite Carmen's commitment as an employee of the city, she can't cover her partner on her health insurance. Asisia, therefore, has no health benefits.

Carmen says, "The legal and civil rights enjoyed in the United States by ALL Americans are presently denied to us...Aren't we American?"

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