Monday, September 12, 2016

BEYOND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE:

A NEW STRATEGIC VISION FOR ALL OUR
FAMILIES & RELATIONSHIPS

July 1, 2006

We, the undersigned – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and allied activists, scholars, educators, writers, artists, lawyers, journalists, and community organizers – seek to offer friends and colleagues everywhere a new vision for securing governmental and private institutional recognition of diverse kinds of partnerships, households, kinship relationships and families.  In so doing, we hope to move beyond the narrow confines of marriage politics as they exist in the United States today.

We seek access to a flexible set of economic benefits and options regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender/gender identity, class, or citizenship status.

We reflect and honor the diverse ways in which people find and practice love, form relationships, create communities and networks of caring and support, establish households, bring families into being, and build innovative structures to support and sustain community. 

In offering this vision, we declare ourselves to be part of an interdependent, global community. We stand with people of every racial, gender and sexual identity, in the United States and throughout the world, who are working day-to-day – often in harsh political and economic circumstances – to resist the structural violence of poverty, racism, misogyny, war, and repression, and to build an unshakeable foundation of social and economic justice for all, from which authentic peace and recognition of global human rights can at long last emerge.




Why the LGBT Movement Needs a New Strategic Vision


Household & Family Diversity is Already the Norm

The struggle for same-sex marriage rights is only one part of a larger effort to strengthen the security and stability of diverse households and families. LGBT communities have ample reason to recognize that families and relationships know no borders and will never slot narrowly into a single existing template.

All families, relationships, and households struggling for stability and economic security will be helped by separating basic forms of legal and economic recognition from the requirement of marital and conjugal relationship.

U.S. Census findings tell us that a majority of people, whatever their sexual and gender identities, do not live in traditional nuclear families.  Recognizing the diverse households that already are the norm in this country is simply a matter of expanding upon the various forms of legal recognition that already are available. The LGBT movement has played an instrumental role in creating and advocating for domestic partnerships, second parent adoptions, reciprocal beneficiary arrangements, joint tenancy/home-ownership contracts, health care proxies, powers of attorney, and other mechanisms that help provide stability and security for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual individuals and families. During the height of the AIDS epidemic, our communities formed support systems and constructed new kinds of families and partnerships in the face of devastating crisis and heartbreak. Both our communities and our HIV organizations recognized, respected, and fought for the rights of non-traditionally constructed families and non-conventional partnerships.  Moreover, the transgender and bisexual movements, so often historically left behind or left out by the larger lesbian and gay movement, have powerfully challenged legal constructions of relationship and fought for social, legal, and economic recognition of partnerships, households, and families, which include members who shatter the narrow confines of gender conformity. 

To have our government define as “legitimate families” only those households with couples in conjugal relationships does a tremendous disservice to the many other ways in which people actually construct their families, kinship networks, households, and relationships. For example, who among us seriously will argue that the following kinds of households are less socially, economically, and spiritually worthy?


·      Senior citizens living together, serving as each other’s caregivers, partners, and/or constructed families
·      Adult children living with and caring for their parents
·      Grandparents and other family members raising their children’s (and/or a relative’s) children
·      Committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner
·      Blended families
·      Single parent households
·      Extended families (especially in particular immigrant populations) living under one roof, whose members care for one another
·      Queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households
·      Close friends and siblings who live together in long-term, committed, non-conjugal relationships, serving as each other’s primary support and caregivers
·      Care-giving and partnership relationships that have been developed to provide support systems to those living with HIV/AIDS

Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others. While we honor those for whom marriage is the most meaningful personal ­– for some, also a deeply spiritual – choice, we believe that many other kinds of kinship relationship, households, and families must also be accorded recognition.


An Increasing Number of Households & Families Face Economic Stress

Our strategies must speak not only to the fears, but also the hopes, of millions of people in this country – LGBT people and others – who are justifiably afraid and anxious about their own economic futures.

Poverty and economic hardship are widespread and increasing. Corporate greed, draconian tax cuts and breaks for the wealthy, and the increasing shift of public funds from human needs into militarism, policing, and prison construction are producing ever-greater wealth and income gaps between the rich and the poor, in this country and throughout the world. In the United States, more and more individuals and families (disproportionately people of color and single-parent families headed by women) are experiencing the violence of poverty. Millions of people are without health care, decent housing, or enough to eat. We believe an LGBT vision for the future ought to accurately reflect what is happening throughout this country. People are forming unique unions and relationships that allow them to survive and create the communities and partnerships that mirror their circumstances, needs, and hopes.  While many in the LGBT community call for legal recognition of same-sex marriage, many others – heterosexual and/or LGBT – are shaping for themselves the relationships, unions, and informal kinship systems that validate and support their daily lives, the lives they are actually living, regardless of what direction the current ideological winds might be blowing.


The Right’s “Marriage Movement” is Much Broader than Same-Sex Marriage

LGBT movement strategies must be sufficiently prophetic, visionary, creative, and practical to counter the right’s powerful and effective use of “wedge” politics – the strategic marketing of fear and resentment that pits one group against another.

Right-wing strategists do not merely oppose same-sex marriage as a stand-alone issue.  The entire legal framework of civil rights for all people is under assault by the Right, coded not only in terms of sexuality, but also in terms of race, gender, class, and citizenship status. The Right’s anti-LGBT position is only a small part of a much broader conservative agenda of coercive, patriarchal marriage promotion that plays out in any number of civic arenas in a variety of ways ­ – all of which disproportionately impact poor, immigrant, and people-of-color communities. The purpose is not only to enforce narrow, heterosexist definitions of marriage and coerce conformity, but also to slash to the bone governmental funding for a wide array of family programs, including childcare, healthcare and reproductive services, and nutrition, and transfer responsibility for financial survival to families themselves.

Moreover, as we all know, the Right has successfully embedded “stealth” language into many anti-LGBT marriage amendments and initiatives, creating a framework for dismantling domestic partner benefit plans and other forms of household recognition (for queers and heterosexual people alike).  Movement resources are drained by defensive struggles to address the Right’s issue-by-issue assaults.  Our strategies must engage these issues head-on, for the long term, from a position of vision and strength.


 “Yes!” to Caring Civil Society and “No!” to the Right’s Push for Privatization

Winning marriage equality in order to access our partners’ benefits makes little sense if the benefits that we seek are being shredded.  

At the same time same-sex marriage advocates promote marriage equality as a way for same-sex couples and their families to secure Social Security survivor and other marriage-related benefits, the Right has mounted a long-term strategic battle to dismantle all public service and benefit programs and civic values that were established beginning in the 1930s, initially as a response to widening poverty and the Great Depression.  The push to privatize Social Security and many other human needs benefits, programs, and resources that serve as lifelines for many, married or not, is at the center of this attack.  In fact, all but the most privileged households and families are in jeopardy as a result of a wholesale right-wing assault on funding for human needs, including Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, HIV-AIDS research and treatment, public education, affordable housing, and more.

This bad news is further complicated by a segment of LGBT movement strategy that focuses on same-sex marriage as a stand-alone issue.  Should this strategy succeed, many individuals and households in LGBT communities will be unable to access benefits and support opportunities that they need because those benefits will only be available through marriage, if they remain available at all.  Many transgender, gender queer, and other gender-nonconforming people will be especially vulnerable, as will seniors. For example, an estimated 70-80% of LGBT elders live as single people, yet they need many of the health care, disability, and survivorship benefits now provided through partnerships only when the partners are legally married. 

Rather than focus on same-sex marriage rights as the only strategy, we believe the LGBT movement should reinforce the idea that marriage should be one of many avenues through which households, families, partners, and kinship relationships can gain access to the support of a caring civil society. 


The Longing for Community and Connectedness

We believe LGBT movement strategies must not only democratize recognition and benefits but also speak to the widespread hunger for authentic and just community. 
 
So many people in our society and throughout the world long for a sense of caring community and connectedness, and for the ability to have a decent standard of living and pursue meaningful lives free from the threat of violence and intimidation.  We seek to create a movement that addresses this longing.

So many of us long for communities in which there is systemic affirmation, valuing, and nurturing of difference, and in which conformity to a narrow and restricting vision is never demanded as the price of admission to caring civil society. Our vision is the creation of communities in which we are encouraged to explore the widest range of non-exploitive, non-abusive possibilities in love, gender, desire and sex – and in the creation of new forms of constructed families without fear that this searching will potentially forfeit for us our right to be honored and valued within our communities and in the wider world.  Many of us, too, across all identities, yearn for an end to repressive attempts to control our personal lives. For LGBT and queer communities, this longing has special significance. 

We who have signed this statement believe it is essential to work for the creation of public arenas and spaces in which we are free to embrace all of who we are, repudiate the right-wing demonizing of LGBT sexuality and assaults upon queer culture, openly engage issues of desire and longing, and affirm, in the context of caring community, the complexities and richness of gender and sexual diversity. However we choose to live, there must be a legitimate place for us.



The Principles at the Heart of Our Vision

We, the undersigned, suggest that strategies rooted in the following principles are urgently needed:

Ø  Recognition and respect for our chosen relationships, in their many forms
Ø  Legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households, and families, and for the children in all of those households and families, including same-sex marriage, domestic partner benefits, second-parent adoptions, and others
Ø  The means to care for one another and those we love
Ø  The separation of benefits and recognition from marital status, citizenship status, and the requirement that “legitimate” relationships be conjugal
Ø  Separation of church and state in all matters, including regulation and recognition of relationships, households, and families
Ø  Access for all to vital government support programs, including but not limited to: affordable and adequate health care, affordable housing, a secure and enhanced Social Security system, genuine disaster recovery assistance, welfare for the poor
Ø  Freedom from a narrow definition of our sexual lives and gender choices, identities, and expression
Ø  Recognition of interdependence as a civic principle and practical affirmation of the importance of joining with others (who may or may not be LGBT) who also face opposition to their household and family compositions, including old people, immigrant communities, single parents, battered women, prisoners and former prisoners, people with disabilities, and poor people
We must ensure that our strategies do not help create or strengthen the legal framework for gutting domestic partnerships (LGBT and heterosexual) for those who prefer this or another option to marriage, reciprocal beneficiary agreements, and more.  LGBT movement strategies must never secure privilege for some while at the same time foreclosing options for many.  Our strategies should expand the current terms of debate, not reinforce them. 



A Winnable Strategy

No movement thrives without the critical capacity to imagine what is possible.

Our call for an inclusive new civic commitment to the recognition and well-being of diverse households and families is neither utopian nor unrealistic. To those who argue that marriage equality must take strategic precedence over the need for relationship recognition for other kinds of partnerships, households, and families, we note that same-sex marriage (or close approximations thereof) were approved in Canada and other countries only after civic commitments to universal or widely available healthcare and other such benefits. In addition, in the United States, a strategy that links same-sex partner rights with a broader vision is beginning to influence some statewide campaigns to defeat same-sex marriage initiatives.

A Vision for All Our Families and Relationships is Already Inspiring Positive Change

We offer a few examples of the ways in which an inclusive vision, such as we propose, can promote practical, progressive change and open up new opportunities for strategic bridge-building.   

·      Canada
Canada has taken significant steps in recent years toward legally recognizing the equal value of the ways in which people construct their families and relationships that fulfill critical social functions (such as parenting, assumption of economic support, provision of support for aging and infirm persons, and more). 
o   In the 1990s, two constitutional cases heard by that country’s Supreme Court extended specific rights and responsibilities of marriage to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.  Canada’s federal Modernization of Benefits and Obligation Act (2000) then virtually erased the legal distinction between marital and non-marital conjugal relationships. 
o   In 2001, in consideration of its mandate to “consider measures that will make the legal system more efficient, economical, accessible, and just,” the Law Commission of Canada released a report, Beyond Conjugality, calling for fundamental revisions in the law to honor and support all caring and interdependent personal adult relationships, regardless of whether or not the relationships are conjugal in nature.

·      Arizona
The Arizona Together Coalition (www.aztogether.org) is currently running a broad, multi-constituency campaign that emphasizes how the proposed constitutional amendment to “protect marriage” will affect not just same-sex couples but also seniors, survivors of domestic violence, unmarried heterosexual couples, adopted children and the business community.  The Arizona Coalition highlights the probability that the amendment will eliminate domestic partnership recognition, by both government and businesses. They also point out that DOMA supporters are the same forces that wanted to keep cohabitation a crime. As a result of the Coalition’s efforts, support for the constitutional amendment declined sharply in polls (from 49% to 33%) in the course of a few months (May 2005 - September 2005).  Accordingly, should the amendment make it onto the November 2006 ballot, Arizona is poised to become the first state to reject a state anti-gay constitutional marriage amendment in the voting booth.  We suggest that the LGBT movement pay close attention to the way that activists in Arizona frame their campaign to be about protecting a variety of different family arrangements.

·      South Carolina
The South Carolina Equality Coalition (www.scequality.org) is fighting a proposed constitutional amendment with an organizing effort emphasizing “Fairness for All Families.” This coalition is not only focused on LGBT-headed families, but is also intentionally building relationships with a broad multi-constituency base of immigrant communities, elders, survivors of domestic violence, unmarried heterosexual couples, adopted children, families of prisoners, and more. As we write this statement, the Coalition’s efforts to work in this broader way are being further strengthened by emphasis on the message that “Families have no borders.  We all belong.” 

·         Utah
In September 2005, Salt Lake City Mayor Ross Anderson signed an Executive Order enabling city employees to obtain health insurance benefits for their “domestic partners.”  A few months later, trumping the executive order, the Salt Lake City Council enacted an ordinance allowing city employees to identify an “adult designee” who would be entitled to health insurance benefits in conjunction with the benefits provided to the employee.  The requirements included living with the employee for more than a year, being at least 18 years old, and being economically dependent or interdependent.  Benefits extend to children of the adult designee as well.  While an employee’s same-sex or opposite-sex partner could qualify, this definition is broad enough to encompass many other household configurations.  The ordinance has survived both a veto by the Mayor (who wanted to provide benefits only to “spousal like” relationships) and a lawsuit launched by anti-gay groups.  The judge who ruled in the lawsuit wrote that “single employees may have relationships outside of marriage, whether motivated by family feeling, emotional attachment or practical considerations, which draw on their resources to provide the necessaries of life, including health care.”  We advocate close attention to such efforts to provide material support for the widest possible range of household formations.

We offer these four examples to show that there are ways of moving forward with a strategic vision that is broader than same-sex marriage, and encompassing of all our families and relationships.  Different regions of our country will require different strategies, but we can, and must, keep central to our work the idea that all family forms must be protected not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the strategic and winnable way to move forward. 



A Bold, New Vision Will Speak to Many Who are Not Already With Us

At a time when an ethos of narrow self-interest and exclusion of difference is ascendant, and when the Right asserts a scarcity of human rights and social and economic goods, this new vision holds long-term potential for creating powerful and vibrant new relationships, coalitions, and alliances across constituencies – communities of color, immigrant communities, LGBT and queer communities, senior citizens, single-parent families, the working poor, and more –hit hard by the greed and inhumanity of the Right’s economic and political agendas.

At a time when the conservative movement is generating an agenda of fear, retrenchment, and opposition to the very idea of a caring society, we need to claim the deepest possibilities for interdependent social relationships and human expression.  We must dare to dream the world that we need, the world that has room for us all, even as we also do the painstaking work of crafting the practical strategies that will address the realities of our daily lives.   The LGBT movement has a history of being diligent and creative in protecting our families.  Now, more than ever, is the time to continue to find new ways of defending all our families, and to fight to make same-sex marriage just one option on a menu of choices that people have about the way they construct their lives. 


We invite friends everywhere to join us in ensuring that there is room, recognition, and practical support for us all, as we dream together a new future where all people will truly be free. 


SIGNED BY:

(All organizational affiliations listed for identification purposes only.
Asterisks indicate “BEYOND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE” authors.)

2016 Note: 
Hundreds (thousands?) of additional signatures were added after the document was released.  However, when we lost the original website, we lost all signatures that were added after July 23, 2006.  The following are only those signatures that were on the document when it was initially released.


Mimi Abramovitz
Professor of Social Policy, Hunter College School of Social Work and the CUNY Graduate Center
Author, Regulating the Lives of Women

Katherine Acey *
Executive Director, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

Kimberly D. Acquaviva
Washington, DC

Cathy Albisa
Executive Director, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

Dorothy Allison
Author, Bastard Out of Carolina, and Cavedweller

Amy Andre
bi activist, and sexuality author/educator and filmmaker

Martha Ackelsberg
Prof of Government and Women's Studies, Smith College
co-author, Why We're Not Getting Married

Nikhil Aziz
Executive Director, Grassroots International

Inelle Bagwell
Coordinating Team Member, Church Within a Church Movement

Marlon M. Bailey
Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender and Women's Studies,
University of California-Berkeley

Andre Banks,
Director of Media and Public Affairs, Applied Research Center

Rachel Baum
Former National Program Associate Director, The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects

Nancy K. Bereano
Organizer, Tompkins County Working Group on LGBT Aging
Founding publisher and editor, Firebrand Books

Lauren Berlant
George M. Pullman Professor of English, University of Chicago
Editor, Intimacy

Joan E. Biren (JEB)
Filmmaker/photographer

Ricky Blum
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice
Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society
Member, Pride At Work

Terry Boggis *
Director, Center Kids, the family program of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center
Co-Chair, Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Marsha C. Botzer
Founder, Ingersoll Gender Center

Candice Boyce
Board Chair, African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change

Laura Briggs
Associate Professor of Women's Studies, University of Arizona
Author, Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico
Member, No More Deaths

Michael Bronski
Visiting Professor in Women's and Gender Studies and Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Author, The Pleasure Principle: Sex, Backlash, and the Struggle for Gay Freedom

Wendy Brown
Professor of Political Science, University of California-Berkeley
Author, States of Injury

Charlotte Bunch
Executive Director, Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University

Kent Burbank
Executive Director, Wingspan (South Arizona's LGBT Community Center)

Linda Burnham
Executive Director, Women of Color Resource Center, Oakland


Judith Butler
Maxine Elliot Professor, Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, University of California-Berkeley
Author, Gender Trouble and Antigone’s Claim

Leslie Cagan
National Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice

Mandy Carter
Board Member, National Black Justice Coalition
Former Executive Director, Southerners On New Ground

Ellen Carton
Former Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

Virginia Casper
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Bank Street College of Education, New York City
Co-author, Gay Parents/Straight Schools: Building Communication and Trust

Eli Clare
Author, Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation

Pat Clark
Former Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Cheryl Clarke
Poet and author, The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry: 1980-2005

E.G. Crichton
Professor of Art, University of California-Santa Cruz

Paisley Currah
Executive Director, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS)
Director, Transgender Law & Policy Institute

Wendy Curry
Vice President, BiNet USA

Ann Cvetkovich
Professor of English, University of Texas, Austin
Author, An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality and Lesbian Public Cultures

Debanuj Dasgupta *
Board of Directors, Queer Immigrant Rights Project

Trishala Deb
Program Coordinator for the Training and Resource Center, Audre Lorde Project
Kathleen DeBold
Executive Director, Mautner Project, the National Lesbian Health Organization

Lara Deeb
Assistant Professor of Women's Studies, University of California-Irvine
Founding member, Radical Arab Women's Activist Network
Board member, National Council of Arab Americans Defense of Civil Rights Committee

Joseph N. DeFilippis *
Executive Director, Queers for Economic Justice
Former Director, SAGE/Queens

John D’Emilio
Professor of Gender Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Founding Director, The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Co-Editor, Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy and Civil Rights

Lisa Dettmer
Producer, Women’s Magazine KPFA Radio

Caroyln Dinshaw
Founder, The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
Professor of English and Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University
Founding Co-Editor, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies

Bill Dobbs

Betty Dodson, PhD
Sexologist
Author, Sex for One and Orgasms for Two

Heidi Dorow
Activist

Marta Drury
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, 1000 Women for Peace, 2005

Martin Duberman
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, City University of New York
Founder, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, CUNY
Author, Stonewall

Aine Duggan
Vice-President, Food Bank for New York City
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Lisa Duggan *
Professor and Director of American Studies, New York University
Author, The End of Marriage: The War Over the Future of State Sponsored Love (forthcoming)

Barbara Ehrenreich
Contributing Writer, New York Times, Harpers, The Progressive and Time Magazine
Author, Bait and Switch and Nickel and Dimed

Rev. Marvin M. Ellison
Willard S. Bass Professor of Christian Ethics, Bangor Theological Seminary
Author, Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ehtical Analysis

Annie Ellman
Co-founder and former Executive Director, Center for Anti-Violence Education

David L. Eng
Associate Professor of English, Rutgers University

Jeffrey Escoffier
Writer/Editor
Author, Sexual Revolution and American Homo: Community and Perversity

Kenyon Farrow *
Co-Editor, Letters from Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out
Author, "Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black?"

Anne Fausto-Sterling
Professor of Biology and Gender Studies in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University
Author, Sexing the Body

Leslie Feinberg 
Co-Chair, LGBT Caucus of National Writers Union/UAW
Author, Stone Butch Blues

Roderick Ferguson
Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Minnesota
Author, Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique

Martha Albertson Fineman
Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Emory University - School of Law
Author, The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency

Laura Flanders
Host, AirAmerica Radio

Charles Flowers
Executive Director, Lambda Literary Foundation

Katherine M. Franke
Professor of Law, Columbia University in the City of New York

Joyful Freeman
Director, GLTBQ Youth Program (Seattle), American Friends Service Committee

Monroe France
Educational Training Manager, GLSEN: Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Susana T. Fried
Independent Consultant on Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights
Former Program Director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Stephen Eagle Funk
Regional Director, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Coco Fusco
Associate Professor, Columbia University in the City of New York

Robert Galloway
Pastor, MCC Knoxville, Tennessee

Abigail Garner
Author, Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is

Nicky Grist  
Executive Director, The Alternatives to Marriage Project

David Goldberg
Professor and Director, Humanities Research Institute, University of California-Irvine
Author, The Racial State

Tami Gold
Filmmaker/Activist
Professor, Hunter College CUNY

Richard Gollance
Los Angeles, CA

Letitia Gomez

Gayatri Gopinath
Associate Professor of Women's Studies, University of California-Davis
Author, Impossible Desires: Queer Diaspora and South Asian Public Cultures

Catherine Gund
filmmaker / writer / activist

Ellen Gurzinsky *
Educator/Activist
Former Executive Director, The Funding Exchange

Judith Halberstam
Professor of English, University of Southern California
Director, Center for Feminist Research at USC
Author, Female Masculinity

Eileen Hansen

Jean Hardisty
Consultant
Author, Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers

Adam Haslett
Writer

Mary Haviland
Former Co-Director, CONNECT, New York City

Kris Hayashi
Executive Director, Audre Lorde Project

Silvia Henriquez
Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Robert-John Hinojosa
Field Director, Fairness for all Families Campaign, South Carolina
President, Palmetto Umoja, SC
Co-Director, SONG, North Carolina

Ann Holder
Associate Professor of History, Pratt Institute

Amber Hollibaugh *
Senior Strategist, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice
Author, My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home

Mary E. Hunt
Catholic feminist theologian
Co-director, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

Nan Hunter
Professor, Brooklyn Law School
Co-Author, Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture

Loraine Hutchins *
Co-Editor, Bi Any Other Name
Advisory Board, BiNet USA

Abbie Illenberger
Assistant Political Director, UNITE HERE!

Janet Jakobsen
Director, Center for Research on Women, Barnard College
Co-Author, Love The Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Tolerance

Amira Jarmakani
Assistant Professor of Women's Studies, Georgia State University

Lillian Jiménez
Executive Director, Latino Educational Media Center

Darnell L. Johnson
Organizational Manager, Fairness Campaign
Co-chair, 2004 Kentucky "No on the Amendment" campaign
Founder/past President, Common Ground, University of Louisville

Rebecca O. Johnson
Writer/Activist

Ronald S. Johnson
Former Associate Executive Director, Gay Men’s Health Crisis

Kenneth T. Jones
Research, Community Activist
Board member, In The Life Atlanta

Lani Ka'ahumanu
Co-editor, Bi Any Other Name
Advisory Board, BiNet USA

Caren Kaplan
Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Chair of the Cultural Studies Graduate Group
University of California-Davis
Co-Editor, Between Woman and Nation

Esther Kaplan
Author, With God on Their Side
Host, Beyond the Pale, WBAI

Morris B. Kaplan
Professor of Philosophy, Purchase College, State University of New York

Jonathan Ned Katz
Historian/Independent Scholar
Author, Gay American History

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz
Author, The Issue is Power: Essays on Women, Jews, Violence and Resistance
Former Executive Director, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

Bobbi Keppel
co-founder, Unitarian Universalists Bi Network
                                                                                                                   
Hamid Khan
Executive Director, South Asian Network

Surina Khan *
Senior Program Officer, Women's Foundation of California
Former Executive Director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Richard Kim *
Writer, The Nation
founding Board member, Queers for Economic Justice

Laura Kipnis
Professor of Radio-TV-Film, Northwestern University
Author, Against Love

Cathy Knight
Executive Director, Church Within a Church Movement

Debra Kolodny
Editor, "Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith,"
Exec. Dir., ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

Kitty Krupat
Associate Director, Joseph S. Murphy Center for Worker Education, City University of New York
Co-editor, Out at Work

Frances Kunreuther
Director, Building Movements Project 
Former Executive Director, The Hetrick Martin Institute

Malachi Larrabee-Garza
Advanced Political Education Coordinator, The School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL)
Board Member, Transgender and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP)

Deke Law

Arthur S. Leonard
Professor of Law, New York Law School

Asha Leong
Campaign Manager, South Carolina Equality Coalition

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor, Tikkun Magazine
National Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives

Jenifer Levin
Author, Water Dancer and The Sea of Light

Reverend Jacqueline J. Lewis
Senior Minister in Charge, The Middle Collegiate Church, New York, NY

Yoseñio V. Lewis
Board of Directors, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Writer/Performance Artist

Phoenix Lindsey-Hall
Volunteer Coordinator, The Fairness Campaign, Louisville, KY

Susan Lob
Director, Voices of Women Organizing Project

Kerry Lobel *

Scott Long
Director, LGBT Rights Program, Human Rights Watch

Lisa Lowe
Professor of Literature, University of California-San Diego
Author, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

Craig Lucas
Writer / Director

Samuel Lurie
Director, Transgender Awareness Training

Chris Lymbertos
Oakland, CA

Pat Maher
Co-Director, Haymarket's People Fund

Martin Manalansan
Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Author, Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora

Rickke Mananzala
Campaign Coordinator, FIERCE!

William Mann
Writer and Historian

Beth Maples-Bays
East Tennessee Bureau Chief, Out and About Newspaper
Co-President, Greater Knoxville LGBTQ Leadership Council
Vice President, National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Tennessee Nashville) Chapter

Armistead Maupin
Writer/Producer

Pam McMichael
Director, Highlander Research and Education Center
Founding Co-Director, Southerners on New Ground

Terrence McNally
Writer

Alice M. Miller, JD*
Ass't Professor, Clinical Population and Family Health, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

Marshall Miller
Co-Founder, The Alternatives to Marriage Project
Co-Author, Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple

Gwendolyn Mink
Co-Coordinator, Women's Committee of 100
Charles N. Clark Professor, Studies in Women and Gender, Smith College
Author, Welfare’s End

Donna Minkowitz
Journalist
Author, Ferocious Romance

Nasreen Mohamed
Writer & Activist, Minneapolis

Jeffrey Montgomery
Executive Director, Triangle Foundation
Board Member, Woodhull Freedom Foundation

Richard W. Morrison
Executive Editor, University of Minnesota Press

José E Muñoz
Associate Professor and Chair of Performance Studies, New York University
Author, Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics

Yasmin Nair
Activist, Educator
Member, CLIA (Chicago LGBTQ Immigrants Alliance)
Writer, Windy City Times

Scot Nakagawa
Grants and Program Director, Social Justice Fund Northwest

Holly Near
Singer/Activist

Joan Nestle
Lesbian Herstory Archives

Heba Nimr
Program Coordinator, Partnership for Immigrant Leadership and Action

Reverend Dr. Penny Nixon
Senior Minister, MCC San Francisco

Robin Nussbaum
Educator/Activist
Former Coordinator, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Queers for Justice Program

Doyin Ola
Welfare Organizer, Queers for Economic Justice
Working Group Member, TransJustice, a project of the Audre Lorde Project
Steering Committee, Uhuru-Wazobia, LGBT Africans

Ana Oliveira *
Executive Director, New York Women’s Foundation
Former Executive Director, Gay Men’s Health Crisis

Nancy Ordover
Author, American Eugenics: Race, Queer Anatomy, and the Science of Nationalism

Reverend Freeman L. Palmer, Minister
Congregational Life and Development, Middle Collegiate Church, New York, New York

Cori Schmanke Parrish *
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Cindy Patton
Professor of Sociology, Simon Fraser University
Author, The Invention of AIDS

Clarence Patton       
Executive Director, The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg
Poet/Editor

Ann Pellegrini
Associate Professor of Performance Studies and Religious Studies, New York University
Co-Author, Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Tolerance

Denise Penn 
Past President, BiNet USA
Board Member, The American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB)

Rosalind Petchesky
Distinguished Professor, Hunter College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York
Author, Abortion and Woman’s Choice

Suzanne Pharr *                                                                            
Author, In the Time of the Right: Reflections on Liberation and Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism
Former Director, Highlander Research and Education Center

Judith Plaskow
Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
co-author, Why We're Not Getting Married

Nancy Polikoff * 
Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law
Author, Valuing All Families (forthcoming, Beacon Press, 2007)

Elizabeth Povinelli
Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Author, Empire of Love: Toward A Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy and Carnality

Achebe Betty Powell *
Activist / Educator
Consultant, Betty Powell Associates

Lisa Powell
Attorney and activist

Reverend Cecil Charles Prescod
Director, Public Voice for Peace and Equality Project, Love Makes A Family, Inc.

Jasbir Puar
Assistant Prof. of Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

Christopher Punongbayan
Advocacy Director, Filipinos for Affirmative Action

Susan Raffo
Editor, Queerly Classed: Gay Men and Lesbians Write About Class

Chandan Reddy
Assistant Professor Department of English, University of Washington, Seattle

Betsy Reed
Executive Editor, The Nation

Reno
Performance Artist

Holly Richardson
Out Now

Ignacio Rivera *
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice            
Founder of Poly Patao Productions / performance artist

Colin Robinson
Founder, Caribbean Pride
Former Executive Director, New York State Black Gay Network & Gay Men of African Descent

Ruthann Robson
Professor of Law, City University of New York School of Law

Juana María Rodríguez 
Associate Professor, Women and Gender Studies, UC Davis
Author, Queer Latinidad

Loretta J. Ross
National Coordinator, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective

Rev. Nori Rost
Executive Director, Just Spirit: A Center for People of All Faiths

Graciela Isabel Sánchez
Director, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

Ronni Sanlo ED.D
Director, UCLA LGBT Center
Founding Chair, National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education

Ann Schranz
Unitarian Universalist minister

Joan Wallach Scott
Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University

Rinku Sen
Director of the New York Office, Applied Research Center
Publisher, ColorLines Magazine

Mark M. Sexton and W. Kirk Wallace

Svati P. Shah
Member, South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association
Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality,
New York University

Julie Shapiro
Associate Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law

Eveline Shen
Executive Director, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice

Carl Siciliano
Founder/Executive Director, Ali Forney Center

Kathy Skaggs
Writer

Anna Marie Smith
Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University
Author, Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation (forthcoming)

Rita Smith
Executive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Sarah Sohn
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice           
Former Legal Fellow, Immigration Equality

Alisa Solomon
Director, Arts & Culture MA, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
Former Executive Director, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, CUNY

Dorian Solot
Co-Founder, Alternatives to Marriage Project
Co-Author, Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living
Together as an Unmarried Couple

Dean Spade
Founder, Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Judith Stacey
Professor of Sociology, New York University
Author, Brave New Families

Gloria Steinem
Founder and original publisher, Ms. Magazine

Jessica Stern
Researcher, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program, Human Rights Watch
Board Member, Queers for Economic Justice

Jacquelyn Stevens
Associate Professor, Law and Society Program, University of California-Santa Barbara
Author, Reproducing the State

Julia Sudbury
Professor of Ethnic Studies, Mills College
Founding member, Critical Resistance
Author, Global Lockdown

Ashley Tellis 

Beth Teper
Executive Director, COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere)

Jennifer Terry
Associate Professor and Director of Women's Studies, University of California-Irvine
Author, American Obsession: Science, Medicine and Homosexuality in Modern Society

Kendall Thomas *
Activist
Nash Professor of Law, Columbia University in the City of New York

Juhu Thukral
Director, Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center

Judith Thurman
Writer

Bonnie Tinker
Executive Director, Love Makes a Family, Inc.

Jay Toole
Shelter Organizer, Queers for Economic Justice

Barbara Turk
Former Executive Director, YWCA of Brooklyn

Judith E. Turkel
Turkel Forman & de la Vega LLP, New York

Sharon Ullman
Associate Professor of History, Bryn Mawr College
Author, Sex Seen: The Emergence of Modern Sexuality in America

Paula Vogel
Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature, Brown University
Playwright, How I Learned to Drive

KC Wagner, 
Director of Workplace Issues, Cornell-ILR, NYC

Leonie Walker
Philanthropic Activist

Carla Wallace
Fairness Campaign Leadership Council, Louisville, Kentucky

Suzanna Walters
Chair of the Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University
Author, All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America

Michael Warner
Professor of English, Rutgers University
Author, The Trouble with Normal

Blanche Wiesen Cook
Author, Eleanor Roosevelt, vols. I & II
Professor, John Jay College & the Graduate Center/CUNY

Denise Wells

Cornel West

Robin West
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Center of Law

Kay Whitlock *
Writer/Organizer
Former National Representative for LGBT Issues, The American Friends Service Committee
                     
Robyn Wiegman
Professor and Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women's Studies, Duke University
Author, American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender

Maya Wiley
Executive Director, Center for Social Inclusion

Penelope Williams
NE Regional Coordinator emeritus, BiNet USA
Co-organizer, People of Color Institutes, Creating Change

Andre A. Wilson
Organizer/Activist, Trans Health Advocate
Co-founder, Transforum of University of Michigan
Member, Pride At Work - Michigan

Joe Wilson
Program Officer for Human Rights, Public Welfare Foundation
Documentary Filmmaker, qWaves Productions

Ellen Willis
Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication
Director, Concentration in Cultural Reporting and Criticism, New York University

JoAnn Wypijewski
Columnist, Mother Jones
Independent Journalist

Jesi Yager
Artist/Activist
Former volunteer, 2004 Kentucky "No on the Amendment" Campaign
Former Director, National Coming Out Day Works on Shirt Project, Louisville, KY
Former Administrative Staff, New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Campaign

Miriam W. Yeung, MPA
Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Kenji Yoshino,
Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Rebecca Young
Assistant Professor of Women's Studies, Barnard College

Karen Zelermyer 
Executive Director, Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues

Beth Zemsky *
GLBT Studies, University of Minnesota

Former Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

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