Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Breakfast Talk with Senator Gillibrand

The NGLCCNY Legal Industry Council, chaired by John E. Osborn, Esq., was officially launched on Friday morning, April 13, 2012, with a breakfast talk with United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. This first of its kind NGLCCNY event, held at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP with more than 150 attendees ranging from lawyers to politicians, was hugely successful.

Senator Gillibrand provided us with a legislative synopsis of issues currently in the forefront of the LGBT community. While many of us know of her successful championship of the repeal last year of "Don't ask, don't tell", Senator Gillibrand's efforts to fight for equality for the LGBT community, as well as for all Americans, has only just begun. Senator Gillibrand takes very seriously and is quite proud to serve as the "voice for the voiceless", whether it is the LGBT community, women, or any group of Americans subjected to unequal treatment. When asked by an audience member why she felt compelled to fight so ardently for the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell", Senator Gillibrand explained that she grew up with a grandmother who was actively involved behind the scenes in politics and a mother who treated others, including gay acquaintances and friends, equally. To Gillibrand, "Don't ask, don't tell" completely defied logic, particularly given the loss of exceptionally qualified service men and woman solely due to their sexual orientation in the midst of two wars.

With respect to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Senator Gillibrand expressed her belief, shared by many in the LGBT community, that, although we likely first need to win marriage equality in more states, it is beneficial to keep putting a call to vote to repeal DOMA. Although a vote may not now provide us with the results we seek, each time a call for a vote is made, awareness is raised of the importance of this issue.

Senator Gillibrand further expressed her ongoing commitment to see to the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and to fight hard to make sure funding under Obama's health care law does not disappear under Paul Ryan's plan.

What Senator Gillibrand made abundantly clear is her deep commitment to fight for the equality of all Americans. Her passion, realistic views, and overwhelming sense of fairness are more than evident -- they are inspiring.
Up for reelection in November, we are thrilled to have a true friend fighting for our equality and look forward to benefiting from Senator Gillibrand’s tireless efforts in the future.
  • Official Press Release can be found here, via i-Newswire
*NGLCCNY is a non-political, non-partisan organization and does not support or endorse any political candidates.

by Robert F. Finkelstein, Esq., associate at John E. Osborn P.C., and NGLCCNY Legal Correspondent; Media Communications Committee

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