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March 8, 2012



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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. NBJC's mission is to end racism and homophobia.

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Dear Sharon,

Here at NBJC, the last month has been extremely busy! We have lots of great news to share.

BLACK LOVE, our mini-documentary about the fight for marriage equality in the District of Columbia, received a write-up in the Washington Post. In conjunction with a coalition of like-minded organizations, we released the report "LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance," which offers a snapshot of how racial and ethnic discrimination, anti-LGBT social stigma and outdated family laws intersect to hurt children living in LGBT families of color.  Perhaps, most notably, NBJC hosted more than 150 Black LGBT Emerging Leaders at the White House for a youth-focused policy briefing.

The annual Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Day is designed to connect some of our nation's best and brightest Black LGBT young people with the "Halls of Power." The day-long discussion, which was organized through the White House Office of Public Engagement in conjunction with NBJC, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, elevated and addressed the concerns of Black LGBT young adults who traveled from across the country to learn how to OWN THEIR POWER!  

Featured speakers included: Gautam Raghavan, Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs; Heather Foster, Director of African American Outreach for the White House Office of Public Engagement; Rebecca Cokley, Director of Priority Placement for the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House; and Dr. Raphael Bostic, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research for Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Bostic spoke candidly with our Black youth about what it means to be a good leader.  Roy Austin, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's Office for Civil Rights, and Eric Thomas, Chief of the Civil Rights Unit of the FBI, offered a policy update entitled: "Keeping Our Communities Safe" and our network had the pleasure of firsthand testimonies of White House "Rising Stars" — Monique Dorsainvil, Deputy Director of Advance and Special Events for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; Ashlee Davis from the Office of Presidential Personnel, and Jamal Brown from the Office of Management and Budget, all emerging leaders under 30.  Attendees were also treated to a surprise visit from Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama.  Stay tuned for future White House Policy Briefings that focus on elevating the concerns of Black LGBT America.

In this edition of the E-Digest: Maryland gets marriage equality, NBJC Leadership Advisory Council Member Curtis Lipscomb Wins Black Male Engagement Leadership Award, and FAMU LGBT students take action for equal rights on campus.  

discriminationTake NBJC's Survey on LGBT Discrimination at HBCUs 

The National Black Justice Coalition is collecting cases of mistreatment, discrimination and violence against LGBT students, recent alumni, faculty and staff on HBCU campuses. If this applies to you, please complete the survey. Please spread word!


Justice for Robert Champion, Jr.

homelessnessWhite House LGBT Conference on Housing & Homelessness

Hosted by the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in partnership with the Ruth Ellis Center

Friday, March 9, 2012 

8:30 am – 5:30 pm 

Wayne State University 

Detroit, MI 



Secretary Shaun Donovan 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  If you're interested in attending, please contact

stigmaChildren in LGBT Families of Color Face Double Stigma

– The Grio 


A new report shows that children in LBGT families of color face higher levels of discrimination and stigma. "LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance" is co-authored by the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, the National Latina/o Lesbian, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT), the Human Rights Organization (UNID@S), the Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality (FIRE) initiative, the Family Equality Council, the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress.


ofcolorREPORT: Antiquated Laws Hurt LGBT Families of Color  

– Think Progress

According to "LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance" there are roughly 2 million children in the United States being raised in LGBT families and 41 percent of these families are people of color. Both black and Latino same-sex couples are more likely to raise children than white same- sex couples. Black lesbians for example are twice as likely to be raising children as their white lesbian counterparts. An alarming number of LGBT families of color are living in poverty. For example, 32 percent of children being raised by black same-sex couples are living in poverty compared to 7 percent of children raised by married heterosexual white parents. Yet many of these families, simply because they are LGBT, are denied access to safety net programs and federal and state tax benefits that would improve their economic situations.




leadershipawardNBJC Leadership Advisory Council Member Curtis Lipscomb Wins Black Male Engagement Leadership Award  


Congratulations to NBJC Leadership Advisory Council Member Curtis Lipscomb for this huge honor. Ten Detroit men – teachers, businessmen, writers and pastors – have been named winners of the BME Leadership Award, created to honor black men who step up to lead the community. After observing the potential of young people in Detroit, Lipscomb began helping youth around him take action against discrimination. Through a $20k grant, Lipscomb will oversee the LEAD project, which will facilitate an in-depth training of 22 young Detroiters to become more effective advocates of social issues facing the city's LGBT community.

communityFilm Wrestles with Gay Marriage in Black Community 

– Washington Post



Rev. Dr. Nathaniel B. Thomas, Senior Pastor of the Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church, is against gay marriage. (Sarah L. Voisin – The Washington Post) My colleague Marc Fisher has a powerful, well reported story Friday about two black pastors from Prince George's County who are fighting same-sex marriage in Maryland. The piece wrestles with the conundrum that, as Marc puts it, "they who stood tall against discrimination, who marched and sat in, who knew better than most the pain of being told they were less than others," are now against a major civil rights effort in their community.


leadersWhite House Hosts Policy Briefing for Black LGBT Emerging Leaders

-San Diego Gay and Lesbian News


The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has partnered with the Obama Administration, the National Black Justice Coalition and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in a White House policy briefing for black LGBT emerging leaders today. "People of color face unique obstacles in the fight for LGBT equality," HRC President Joe Solmonese said. "HRC is committed to working with LGBT leaders in the African-American community during Black History month and throughout the year in our fight for LGBT equality and social justice."



marriagebillMaryland Governor O'Malley Signs Marriage Bill

– Washington Blade  


With a crowd of same-sex couples and the eight openly gay and lesbian members of the Maryland Legislature standing behind him, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley Thursday afternoon signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which calls for legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.


…"For a free and diverse people, for people of many faiths, for a people committed to the principle of religious freedom, the way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights of all, for the eminent dignity of all," O'Malley said.


famuLGBT Protests Aim for Equality at FAMU   


The deaths of Shannon Washington and Robert Champion have given new voice to the Florida A&M lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. "A climate of hostility has grown unchecked for too long," said FAMU student Ciara Taylor, who lobbied at the Feb. 9 Board of Trustees meeting to add "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the university's policies.




straightcouplesLesbian Judge Refuses to Marry Straight Couples

– BET 


A Black, openly lesbian Texas judge is refusing to conduct straight-couple marriage ceremonies in her state until samesexcouples can wed. The judge, Tonya Parker, recently explained her decision during a Stonewall Democrats of Dallas monthly meeting. "I do not perform them because it is not an equal application of the law. Period," she said, reports the NY Daily News.

closetedMichael Crawford and Aisha Moodie Mills Discuss Invisibility, Closeted Black Celebrities and More   

– Huffington Post 


In January Gay Voices began its Voice To Voice conversation series with a collection of interviews between LGBT authors discussing queer topics and issues related to writing. Now we continue, in honor of Black History Month, asking prominent, accomplished and incisive people who are black and LGBT to join the Voice To Voice series to help foster a better understanding of the issues and challenges that arise at the intersection of both communities. Already this month we've featured Lawana Mayfield and Rhonda Watlington, Meshell Ndegeocello and Toshi Reagon, Laverne Cox and M. Lamar, and Clay Cane and Janet Mock.


marriagecaPoll: Record Support for Marriage in California

– The Advocate 


Support for marriage equality in the nation's most populous state has a reached a record high, according to a Field Poll released Wednesday. The poll of about 1,000 California voters finds 59% in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples, with 34% opposed.

anniseparkerHouston Mayor Annise Parker on President Obama, Gay Marriage, and Being an Out Politician     

– Huffington Post 


 Houston's openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker, newlyreelectedtoasecondterm, says President Obama needs to evolve "faster" on marriage equality, and that the Democratic platform should promote same-sex marriage. She also slammed a "hard-core group" in Houston — the largest city in the U.S. with an openly gay mayor — that is "just mortally offended that there is a lesbian mayor."


transviolenceThe Inseparable Link Between Discrimination, Economic Justice and Anti-Transgender Violence

– Huffington Post  


I recently attended the standing-room-only funeral for Deoni Jones. She was 23 years old, fatally stabbed while waiting at a bus stop in Washington, D.C. Police say they have no evidence that this particular stabbing was related to her gender identity. Regardless, she was one of too many transgender women violently killed.

teensyoutubeTrans Teens Turn to YouTube  

– Salon


A new generation turns to the video-sharing site to talk about treatments and experiences, and build a community.


gagaLady Gaga Launches Born this Way Foundation

– The Advocate   


Lady Gaga and her mother – along with an all-star group of supporters including Oprah Winfrey, David Burtka, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius – launched the Born This Way Foundation Wednesday afternoon at Harvard University. It's a national antibullying effort set on promoting a "braver, kinder world."


jessejacksonBully: Jesse Jackson Releases Statement Urging PG-13 Rating 

– The Advocate 


The Reverend Jesse Jackson says children "must be allowed to see [Bully] as it was intended to help raise awareness, increase empathy and change minds" in a press statement released today. The documentary, which chronicles the bullying epidemic in the American school system, has entered a maelstrom of controversy due to the Motion Picture Association of America's decision to give the film the R rating, which will make it difficult for people under 17 to see the film.


mugabeZimbabwe President Mugabe Denounces U.K. Support For Pro-Gay Constitutional Protections 

– MetroWeekly    


 During his 88th birthday celebration this past Saturday, Feb. 25, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said "to hell with" British Prime Minister David Cameron over comments Cameron made at the October 2011 Commonwealth summit linking British foreign aid to the gay human rights records of recipient countries like Zimbabwe.


chickfilaChick-Fil-A Chased Off Boston's Northeastern University    

– The Advocate 


After Northeastern University's student senate voted overwhelmingly to ban Chick-fil-A from campus, school officials canceled a pending contract with the Atlanta-based fast-food chain that's given millions to antigay causes. Northeastern was considering allowing Chick-fil-A to open a restaurant at the newly renovated student center, but a petition opposing the chain soon gained 300 student signatures.





The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.