This week I talked with Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights about their fabulous Palm Springs Garden Party on April 2nd during The Dinah Shore Weekend. NCLR continues to be one of the nation's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations that has been at the forefront of the fight to achieve LGBT equality for nearly four decades and was instrumental in achieving marriage equality nationally. The National Center for Lesbian Rights' Garden Party attracts more than 300 people each year and celebrates the progress that's been made so far to secure LGBT equality. This year NCLR is honoring two political pioneers who have played significant roles in our LGBT community's advancements. First is California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom a fierce LGBT equality ally who made history as San Francisco's mayor in 2004 by issuing marriage licenses to same gender couples and is being honored with the Champion Award for his long-time LGBT support. Secondly is Salt Lake City's Mayor Jackie Biskupski who made history as Salt Lake City's first openly LGBT mayor and is being honored with the Trailblazer Award for paving the way for more LGBT people to pursue elected office. I talked to Kate about NCLR's important work, their Palm Springs Garden Party on April 2nd and her spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Kendell stated:
I feel like it's been such an enormous privilege to really interweave the personal and the political. I mean I am a lesbian; I identify as a queer woman in a longtime relationship, married to my wife and raising two kids. So I feel everyday I have to walk the talk of what it means to do this work at the highest level, at the most effective level. I am part of the very community that I am serving so I feel particularly accountable. I feel accountable to my soul at the same time I feel accountable to my community to really always be a very fierce advocate and even though I live in a relative privilege as a white woman with a decent job with a good income and a good education I know a lot of people in our community don't have that and I feel like our charge doing these jobs is to be there for the vulnerable in our community. So it feels every day very personal to get it right.
Kate Kendell joined the staff as Legal Director in 1994 and became Executive Director in 1996. In this capacity she assists in the development of litigation and strategy and is responsible for all aspects of organization operation. She is also responsible for executing a broad and forward thinking vision around policy and project initiatives. NCLR has been a leader in the movement furthering the civil and human rights of our LGBT community since its start in 1977. It was the first organization in the country to launch projects advancing parent, youth, immigrant, transgender rights and many others. The Garden Party will be held on April 2nd in Palm Springs with a VIP champagne reception beginning at 5P and the party starting at 5:30P. Individual tickets are $75 and sponsorship packages start at $250. All 100% of proceeds will go to support NCLR's crucial work.
For Info & Tix: nclrights.org