Komen CEO Nancy Brinker hosts fundraiser for gay-rights group

Posted on 28 Jan 2013 at 1:47pm

Nancy Brinker

Since announcing she was leaving her post as CEO, Susan G. Komen Foundation founder Nancy Brinker has been spending some of her time on other causes such as gay rights.

According to the Washington Post, Brinker hosted a reception for Lambda Legal at her home in Georgetown with her son Eric, 37, who is gay.

“Having the most supportive mom in the world, I didn’t have to twist her arm very hard to get her involved,” Eric Brinker said.

And until the Planned Parenthood controversy last year, supporting the LGBT community was apparent in Komen’s distribution of funds. When Resource Center Dallas expanded its health programming beyond AIDS and created a women’s health program, Komen provided the first grant — which was also the Dallas-based foundation’s first grant to an LGBT organization.

Between 2007 and 2011, Komen funded 30 lesbian breast-health projects around the country.

But after the Komen Foundation cut off grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings, there was alarm in the lesbian community. Evidence suggests lesbians are more prone to breast cancer than heterosexual women and many lesbians get their health care through Planned Parenthood, which provides gynecological services to women without insurance.

The cuts to Planned Parenthood came after Brinker hired Karen Handel as senior vice president for public policy. Handel ran for governor of Georgia on a right-wing and homophobic platform. So the fear was Komen would target all lesbian health programs next.

But her son, speaking publicly of being gay for the first time, told the Washington Post that his mother had always been supportive of him.

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