Monday, June 25, 2018

LPAC Leaders & Supporters Speak OUT (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio montage Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with red carpet attendees at “Levity & Justice For ALL” a comedy benefit for LPAC at Town Hall in NYC. For the past three years the event has honored a true Champion of Change and this year LPAC honored equality activist and tennis legend Billie Jean King. Melissa Etheridge was the special guest presenter and comedian Kate Clinton hosted the event with a stellar entertainment line up including comedians Chaunté Wayans, Judy Gold, A. B. Cassidy, Pat Brown and the musical group Betty. LPAC is the country’s only political action committee that is committed to empowering and engaging LGBTQ women. Now in its sixth year LPAC builds the political power of LGBTQ women by electing candidates who champion LGBTQ rights, women’s equality and social justice issues. LPAC has successfully raised millions of dollars to reach these goals. With the 2018 Midterm elections in November it is crucial to back candidates that support our LGBTQ values and stop the Trump administration’s attempt to erase the progress our LGBTQ community has achieved.
First we talked to LPAC Board members Alix Ritchie and Diane M. Felicio about what they hope to accomplish at LPAC especially with the 2018 Midterm elections in November. Alix Ritchie also serves as secretary at LPAC and during the “Levity & Justice For ALL” performance she generously donated $20,000 which brought in over $50,000 in matching funds. Ritchie is a media strategy consultant, feminist activist, a member of the advisory board of Ms. Magazine, previous board member of GLAD and an advisory board member of the Stonewall National Museum and Library. Felicio serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Community Catalyst, a national health care consumer advocacy non-profit organization. Then we talked to attorney Lisa A. Linsky a partner at McDermott Will & Emery where she created and chaired the Firm-wide LGBT Committee and currently serves on the Firm's Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. Linsky talked about her involvement with LPAC and the Mattachine Society of Washington. Next we chatted with comedian Kate Clinton who hosted the event about how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in the Trump administration. Then we talked to Urvashi Vaid, an original founder of LPAC about what she hopes LPAC will accomplish this year. Urvashi is also Founder and CEO of Vaid Group LLC which works with social justice innovators, movements and organizations to address structural inequalities based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, gender and economic status. Next we chatted with attorney Sharon L. Weiner who is the past President of the Women's Political Caucus of NJ and served on the Board of Garden State Equity, the largest gay rights organization in New Jersey about her spin on our LGBTQ issues. We concluded with Liz Abzug, the Founder and President of the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, about film projects she’s working on honoring the groundbreaking work of her mother Congresswoman Bella Abzug and her commitment to inspire young women and girls to lead the future.

All funds raised from “Levity & Justice for All” at The Town Hall in NYC will be used for political education, organizing and mobilization efforts to support LPAC endorsed candidates.
LISTEN: New LPAC Leader Stephanie Sandberg Speaks OUT
For More Info: teamlpac.com

Monday, June 18, 2018

Back Lot Bash 15th Year At Chicago LGBTQ Pride (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Amie Klujian and Christina Roberts Co-Founders of “Back Lot Bash” Chicago’s most attended women’s festival that’s celebrating its 15th year and takes place June 22nd to June 24th during Chicago’s LGBTQ Pride week. “Back Lot Bash” started in 2004 in response to the lack of women’s events and the limited presence of female artists in the Chicago LGBTQ community and has evolved into an iconic staple of Chicago pride week that draws over 6000 attendees from Chicago, the Midwest and around the world. Taking place in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood this year’s events include a ‘Whiskey, Wine & Women’ A Pride Tasting Event on Friday June 22nd at 7P then on Saturday June 23rd their ‘Pride Family Fest’ takes place from 11A to 2P followed by Back Lot Bash’s Flagship Outdoor Music & Entertainment Fest from 5P to 10P. Then on Sunday June 24th Back Lot Bash’s Post Parade Outdoor Music Fest / Post Parade Bash takes place from 4P to 10P. Co-founders Roberts and Klujian strive to bring the community together by showcasing emerging and established talent and activating citizens by helping to raise money for community organizations. This year the Bash will be raising funds for Chicago Women’s Health Center. We talked to Amie and Christina about who will be performing at this year’s “Back Lot Bash” events and give us their spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what they would like to accomplish with “Back Lot Bash” this year, Roberts stated, “From a personal standpoint we want to produce a world-class event with world-class performers that is welcoming and showcasing all of Chicago’s LGBTQ progressive environment and its active LGBTQ community to the world. Beyond that for the members of our community we hope that they leave inspired to be engaged in our community in a way that fits their passions and their beliefs. We want our attendees to know that they have a voice, to know that they have a community that cares and that we truly have their back in our community.”

Amie Klujian earned a degree in politics from Princeton University and a master's in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University. She serves with pride on the Executive Board of Directors at Girls in the Game, a nonprofit that helps girls become empowered game changers. Christina Roberts attended Paul Smith's College and is President and Co-Founder of Spot Events, LLC created to produce “Back Lot Bash”. Christina's contribution to the Chicago LGBTQ community isn't just social. She joined the Board of Directors of Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA) where she helps guide the nation's largest LGBTQ sports organization. Additionally Christina also supports philanthropic endeavors across the community through volunteering and using her marketing reach to promote organizations and charity events. The fabulous entertainment lineup for the 15th anniversary of “Back Lot Bash” will feature performances and appearances by Sarah Shahi (‘Carmen’ from Showtime’s original series, The L Word), KITTENS, Brooke Candy, rapper and Chicagoan Jade The Ivy, Bridget Lyons, Whitney Mixter, Rose Garcia & Chicago’s female rockers Catfight and Sami Grisafe. The rest of the slate is equally eye-popping with these trendy tastemakers on the bill: Dance Loud, DJ All the Way Kay and DJ Zel.
For More Info: backlotbashchicago.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Author Sue Katz Talks LGBTQ Senior Pride & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with author Sue Katz about her lesbian journey in the Boston area during her lifetime, her books and how things have changed over the decades. Katz’s first political involvement was as a working-class teenager in the civil rights movement in Pittsburgh in the early 1960s. She arrived in Boston in 1965 on a full scholarship to Boston University and became deeply involved in anti-racism and anti-war work. In the late 60s and early 70s she was a pioneer in the women’s liberation movement in Boston and in the lesbian and gay movement. Katz’s fiction and non-fiction work has been published for decades in anthologies, magazines, academic journals and online. Her two most recent books are her collection of short fiction about the love lives of older people “Lillian’s Last Affair and other stories” that evolved into her novel “Lillian in Love” about the love affair between two old women in senior housing. Sue Katz will be speaking at an event entitled “From Pioneer to Elder: One Arlington Woman's Journey from the Birth of Boston's Gay Liberation to LGBTQ Elder Activism Today” at Robbins Library at 700 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, MA on Thursday June 28th from 7P to 8:30P. Sue will address what it was like being queer in the Boston area during her lifetime and how things have changed. We talked to Sue about the inspiration for her books and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in the Trump administration Katz stated, “I think our only hope is building a strong coalition and looking for strength in numbers. Like our community, what’s interesting about our community is that it overlaps with all the other threatened communities. Whether it’s people of color, women, immigrants, we’re kind of in a perfect position to build something multi faceted and I think that is the only way we’re going to survive, kind of mutual aid with all the other groups under attack.”

Sue Katz’s business card identifies her as a “wordsmith and rebel.” A lifelong activist for social justice she has lived and worked on three continents: first as a martial arts master, then promoting transnational volunteering and most recently teaching fitness and dance to elders. Katz enjoys reading her work in both the usual and some unusual settings. At the oldest LGBT synagogue in the world, Temple Beth Chayim Chadashim in L.A., the Rabbi and her wife invited everyone to a “Bodacious Brunch & Book Party” to celebrate “Lillian’s Last Affair”. She has read at bookstores, private parties, university orientations for freshmen, senior centers, life-long learning institutes, social work graduate classes and arts fairs. Sue’s next speaking engagement will be at Robbins Library Community Room at 700 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, Massachusetts on Thursday June 28th from 7P to 8:30P. For More Info…
To Purchase Her Books: amazon.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

GLAD Lawyers Talk U.S. Supreme Court Cakeshop Ruling (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio podcast Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ participated in a conference call with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto and GLAD's Legal Director Gary Buseck about the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado. Mary Bonauto successfully argued the marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges before the Supreme Court in 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in favor of the baker in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is limited specifically to the unique circumstances of this case and calls into question actions from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission but it leaves intact Colorado’s LGBTQ inclusive nondiscrimination protections as well as similar protections in 19 states and 200+ cities and towns. In fact the court expressly recognized that states can seek to prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBTQ people. The Court stated “As a general rule religious or philosophical objections to other people do[es] not allow business owners or economic or societal actors to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services or to put up signs excluding them.” This ruling rejected the central premise of the Cakeshop and U.S. Department of Justice both of which sought to use religion and free speech to justify discrimination against a gay couple. The Court did recognize the harm of discrimination and reaffirmed that states can act to protect our LGBTQ community from discrimination.

Bonauto stated, “Ironically, the Bakeshop and baker technically won, but only because the Supreme Court ruled that they had not received “neutral and respectful consideration” of their arguments by the state commission that heard and decided their case. To that end, the Court cited comments made by Commissioners on the case that the Court said denigrated religion, suggested incompatibility between being a person of faith and person in business, and noted what it said was a possible inconsistency with the Commission’s precedents. In any event, this limited ruling provides no basis for this Bakeshop or other entities covered by anti-discrimination laws to refuse goods and services in the name of free speech or religion.”

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is a non-profit legal rights organization that works to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression. The organization primarily achieves this goal through litigation, advocacy and education work in all areas of LGBTQ rights and the rights of people living with HIV. In addition, GLAD operates a legal information line, GLAD Answers, where LGBTQ & HIV+ residents of New England can receive attorney referrals and information about their rights.
For More Info: glad.org