Letter from Tim Sweeney
President and CEO
Career - The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sued the Library of Congress on the grounds of sexual discrimination after it rescinded a job offer to Diane Schroer when she disclosed that she was in the process of gender transition. The judge’s ruling is the first to hold that the federal sex discrimination statute, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, applies to transgender Americans. Sadly, over 150 million Americans still live in states that do not have statewide nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Society - Last year, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) launched an innovative campaign entitled “ThinkB4YouSpeak” aimed at reducing the appalling levels of harassment that young adults perceived to be gay, lesbian, or gender non-conforming endure every day at school. In a series of thought-provoking print and television ads, GLSEN encourages kids to re-think homophobic remarks such as “that’s so gay.” The need for such this campaign was confirmed all too quick. On April 6, 2009, 11-year old Carl Walker-Hoover committed suicide after enduring constant bullying at school, including being called “gay” and “faggot” even though he did not identify as gay.
Spirituality - The People for the American Way Foundation is doing some impressive work organizing LGBT-affirming African-American clergy as well as community leaders that share the value of equality for all. A broad coalition of clergy supported marriage efforts in California. All Americans deserve the opportunity to worship and feel secure that their faith accepts them and honors them as they are. That’s one of the many reasons why so many Americans were gratified to learn that the Episcopal Church will bless same-sex unions.
Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado
The Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado advances equality for all people in our home state of Colorado. We do that by strengthening high-impact nonprofits that share our values and contribute to the quality of life of all Coloradans.
We engage our nonprofit partners through a combination of grantmaking, technical assistance, and training. In 2008, the Gay & Lesbian Fund awarded more than $1.7 million in grants throughout the state in four major areas:
- Arts & Culture: Grants were awarded to 56 nonprofits that reflect Colorado’s rich cultural heritage. We supported groups ranging from El Centro Su Teatro in Denver, the oldest Chicano theater in the country, to the Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale.
- Healthy Families: Our funding provided support to 64 organizations that strengthen the ability of Colorado families to thrive, ranging from Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation and its youth college scholarships, to Project Angel Heart’s life-giving nutritious meals program for people living with HIV/AIDs and other serious illnesses.
- Civic Participation: We provided funding to 38 organizations that work to strengthen our democracy. Our partners included 9to5 National Association for Working Women, an organization that organizes low-wage workers to advocate for equal pay. And PeaceJam, a group committed to engaging young leaders to solve problems in their school and communities.
- Public Broadcasting: Our support of 15 public broadcasting stations throughout the state promotes intelligent dialogue about the important issues facing Colorado. From Durango and Paonia and Denver to Fort Collins, these 15 stations reach 94 percent of Coloradans.
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