In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson, host of OUTTAKE VOICES™, talks with Lee Swislow, Executive Director of GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders), the architects of gay marriage in this country. After GLAD won marriage equality for Massachusetts gay and lesbian couples in 2004 they were the first to file two DOMA challenges, Gill v. OPM in 2009 and Pedersen v. OPM in 2010, which were both found unconstitutional in federal court. Though their cases were not heard before the US Supreme Court GLAD coordinated the amicus strategy and briefs as well as party briefs for Windsor v. United States the DOMA case that did reach the Supreme Court. We thought we’d get Lee’s inside track on the US Supreme Court cases addressing marriage equality and other LGBT civil rights issues facing our community.
When asked what she would like to see the Obama administration accomplish for our LGBT community in the next 4 years Swislow stated, “There’s a lot in the Obama agenda that isn’t LGBT specific but things like Comprehensive Immigration Reform and implementation of the Affordable Care Act effects members of our communities who don’t have legal status. It effects people who have trouble accessing health care so I certainly support those aspects and I think they’re very important but there are certainly initiatives that are much more targeted to our community that I would like to see accomplished and passing. A good comprehensive Employment Nondiscrimination Act is clearly high on the list and ending transgender discrimination in the military. We got the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ but not the end of the entire discrimination facing our community. Providing coverage of transgender health care is another piece I’d like to see him do. So there’s a lot he could accomplish over the next four years that would be very significant to our community.”
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) was founded in 1978 and is one of the leading legal rights organizations dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression. Each time GLAD argues a case or tackles an issue they tear down more of the outdated laws and stereotypes that have denied LGBT people and people with HIV basic protections and opportunities in every area of daily life – family, school, employment, housing, government, health care and beyond. Whether it’s marriage for gay and lesbian couples, non-discrimination policies for transgender people in the workplace, or protections for people with HIV, GLAD doesn’t compromise on their belief that every citizen deserves full equality under the law without exception.
For More Info:glad.org