Kerry Eleveld takes on the false choice between ENDA and marriage

Very thoughtful piece from Kerry taking on the idea that we can’t move forward on ENDA and marriage at that same time:

A potentially divisive debate is emerging among some LGBT activists that sets up a false choice between pushing for employment nondiscrimination protections or marriage equality at the federal level. I roundly reject the notion that this is an either-or proposition. As a community, we can and should work on both issues over the next two years. But it’s fair to say that while I personally believe these two issues are equally as important, they are not equally situated, and therefore the strategies we must employ to advance them are distinctly different.

She also addresses a key point. We still don’t know really know why there wasn’t even a vote in committee on ENDA:

Of course, some discussions are beginning to happen now, but I don’t believe we have really illuminated the problem yet. I have heard people suggest that we had enough votes to pass the legislation in the House but never got that vote because the clock ran out. Some have also hypothesized that DADT repeal and health care sucked up too much time in the schedule to leave room for ENDA.

From my perspective, this cannot possibly be the whole story. If we truly had the votes in the House and yet failed to move the bill through committee to the floor, then that was a serious strategic misstep even if it would have stalled in the Senate. Bills live and die by momentum. They get a chief sponsor and then more sponsors and then a committee vote and then a floor vote. And maybe they don’t pass both chambers one Congress, but if they make it through one, they are better poised to pass through both next time around.

So if we did have the votes and our advocates (lawmakers and groups included) didn’t press the issue, that was a critical error. And the idea that there just wasn’t room in the calendar because of DADT and health care seems like a red herring as well. Health care was completed in the House in March of 2010. Attaching “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal to the Defense authorization bill took place two months later in May, but that was it — the House had the votes and was ready to go, they were mostly waiting on the Senate Armed Services Committee to line up the votes. So something doesn’t add up.

Rather than pointing fingers here, I am simply pointing out that we are miles away from having the full story about ENDA’s demise and I don’t see how we can possibly expect to develop a strategy around an issue that we can’t seem to discuss in full candor.

Something went wrong. Our so-called advocates aren’t being frank.

It is completely realistic — even for those sophisticated advocates who are “realistic” — to move forward on both ENDA and marriage. We have to — and can. Both ENDA and marriage equality are needed to make sure we are truly equal.




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Guest column by Kerry Eleveld – The False Choice: ENDA v. Marriage Equality

I asked Kerry Eleveld, editor at Equality Matters, if I could repost this excellent piece because it’s chock full of tasty and timely points for us to chat about in the coffeehouse, so many thanks to EM’s Richard Socarides for letting me share it here.  –Pam

The False Choice: ENDA v. Marriage Equality

By Kerry Eleveld

A potentially divisive debate is emerging among some LGBT activists that sets up a false choice between pushing for employment nondiscrimination protections or marriage equality at the federal level. I roundly reject the notion that this is an either-or proposition. As a community, we can and should work on both issues over the next two years. But it’s fair to say that while I personally believe these two issues are equally as important, they are not equally situated, and therefore the strategies we must employ to advance them are distinctly different.

Let’s start with a brief overview of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) — which would prohibit employers from firing people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity — from my perspective as a reporter who covered the issue closely over the last two years.

First, regardless of why we failed to pass ENDA in the 111th Congress, the fact is that we didn’t even get a committee vote in either chamber on the bill in one of the most heavily weighted Democratic Congresses in recent memory. Many people underestimate just how devastating that looks to legislative operatives and lawmakers outside our community. They don’t care about the panoply of explanations for why the vote didn’t happen, they only know that it didn’t and that means that either we couldn’t muster the votes or the Democratic leadership did not want to see this bill debated on the floor.

Second, although I have asked a good number of questions about ENDA and its prospects for a vote, I still can’t tell you why it never happened. Meanwhile, I can recall with decent clarity nearly every twist and turn of the battle to pass “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) repeal. This is not due to a bias on my part, but is rather indicative of the fact that no one seemed willing to talk with any specificity about what was or wasn’t happening with ENDA.

And here is where our community’s analysis must begin — we need to have an honest conversation about our inability to discuss ENDA and transgender issues. Last year, when I asked people in our advocacy groups, staffers on the Hill, and lawmakers about the prospects for passing ENDA, I most commonly got no information or misinformation.  As the bill continued to languish and the House committee vote was continually delayed, my questions were increasingly met with indignation and wholesale assurances that all was going according to plan. But ultimately, all I found was a brick wall when it came to identifying the hurdles.

Meanwhile, many in our activist community leveled hostility at any entity that relayed bad news about the legislation’s progress. When the Washington Blade reported a story in January 2010 entitled “Filibuster Threat Makes ENDA Unlikely In 2010″ in which several anonymous sources sounded the alarm bells about ENDA’s chances, it immediately drew shoot-the-messenger recriminations from people who criticized the story for using unnamed sources. This illustrates just what a lighting-rod issue this has become for LGBT activists — instead of holding the powerbrokers in charge of the legislation accountable, activists were vilifying reporters who were trying to disseminate intelligence about the bill’s state of play. And this is precisely why journalists were often forced to use anonymous sources on the topic — no one seemed willing to speak on the record with any real candor about the topic.

More below the fold.

This has grave implications for our ability to develop a strategy around ENDA and successfully move the bill. If members of the LGBT community are incapable of having a forthright conversation about the obstacles to passing this bill, what does that mean for lawmakers and their ability to discuss the issue?

This is a problem, folks. Not just for our elected officials, not just for our groups, but for our community as a whole. We all have a stake in ENDA — it would provide critical protections for the full breadth of the queer community — but the battle over transgender inclusion in 2007 has left us with so many scars that people are afraid to speak up for fear of the backlash.

Of course, some discussions are beginning to happen now, but I don’t believe we have really illuminated the problem yet. I have heard people suggest that we had enough votes to pass the legislation in the House but never got that vote because the clock ran out. Some have also hypothesized that DADT repeal and health care sucked up too much time in the schedule to leave room for ENDA.

From my perspective, this cannot possibly be the whole story. If we truly had the votes in the House and yet failed to move the bill through committee to the floor, then that was a serious strategic misstep even if it would have stalled in the Senate. Bills live and die by momentum. They get a chief sponsor and then more sponsors and then a committee vote and then a floor vote. And maybe they don’t pass both chambers one Congress, but if they make it through one, they are better poised to pass through both next time around.

So if we did have the votes and our advocates (lawmakers and groups included) didn’t press the issue, that was a critical error. And the idea that there just wasn’t room in the calendar because of DADT and health care seems like a red herring as well. Health care was completed in the House in March of 2010. Attaching “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal to the Defense authorization bill took place two months later in May, but that was it — the House had the votes and was ready to go, they were mostly waiting on the Senate Armed Services Committee to line up the votes. So something doesn’t add up.

Rather than pointing fingers here, I am simply pointing out that we are miles away from having the full story about ENDA’s demise and I don’t see how we can possibly expect to develop a strategy around an issue that we can’t seem to discuss in full candor.

I said at the outset of this piece that ENDA and marriage equality were not equally situated. Though both issues are about creating safety nets for people who need to protect themselves and their families, they are not as equally ingrained in the public consciousness. Similar to the issue of DADT, same-sex marriage has been percolating as part of a national debate since the early ’90s when a Hawaii court ruled that gay couples might have the right to marry. Marriage is a concept everyone understands and the American public has watched the marriage equality battle rip through nearly every state in the country — some fights being more high-profile than others.

If you asked the vast majority of Americans right now whether same-sex couples can get married, most of them would have a frame of reference for the question, regardless of whether they answered the question correctly. But if you asked them whether LGBT people can be legally fired, my guess is that few of them would have ever even considered the question. My own personal experience of talking to reasonably well-informed straight allies is that many have no idea people can still be fired on the basis of their sexual orientation in 29 states or that transgender individuals can be fired in 38 states.

Although the marriage issue has been painted by some as an elitist concern pushed by wealthy donors, a New York Times article last month revealed new Census Bureau data showing that cities like San Antonio, TX and Jacksonville, FL have the highest concentration of gay couples raising children in the country. Demographers also found that black or Latino gay couples were twice as likely as whites to be raising children. While we cannot definitively say all those couples want to get married, it is undeniably true that they and their families could benefit significantly from the protections provided by marriage.

And they could also benefit from the protections provided by ENDA.

This is exactly why we must work on both issues simultaneously. But ENDA requires a serious two-year lobbying strategy at the very least. My sense from talking to Hill staffers and, in some cases, members of Congress is that many lawmakers still don’t know how to broach transgender issues and, quite frankly, have more questions than answers on the matter. The House is undoubtedly further along than the Senate, but work is badly needed in both chambers.

Meanwhile, high profile court cases regarding both the Defense of Marriage Act and the Constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry will continue to provide opportunities for advocates to advance the conversation around equal marriage rights. It would be an absolute mistake for our community not to capitalize on stories that will already be making mainstream headlines in order to sway public opinion and push our political allies. We must strive to frame this issue to our advantage because antigay forces are already redoubling their efforts against us.

ENDA and marriage equality are simply not an either-or proposition. Fortunately, the resources required to advance each of these issues at the federal level share similarities but don’t infringe on each other. And choosing between them is not an option.

Kerry Eleveld is editor at Equality Matters, a campaign for full LGBT equality. Eleveld previously served as Washington Correspondent for The Advocate for the first two years of the Obama Administration.
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SLDN’s Comm Director Trevor Thomas joins Socarides, Eleveld at Equality Matters

This evening I received an email from Trevor Thomas, the ace communications director at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network announcing his move to Equality Matters, the new rapid-response LGBT venture of Media Matters for America. He will serve as Programs Director alongside President Richard Socarides and online editor Kerry Eleveld; he starts at EqM on January 24th. (MetroWeekly): Socarides:

“He is an incredible advocate and forthright spokesperson. We are excited he has agreed to join us and continue his work on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community at Equality Matters.”

In an email sent this evening to friends and colleagues that he gave permission for Metro Weekly to publish, he wrote of his time at SLDN, “When I arrived to SLDN, I viewed it broadly as another gay rights group.  It didn’t take long to recognize SLDN was a military group first and foremost.  For so many on the staff and board, ending ‘Don’t Ask’ was deeply personal. Many of them were discharged or served in fear and silence.

“In my own life, my brother Ricky enlisted in the United States Army at age 18. My father served in the 126th Infantry of the Michigan National Guard. And my grandfather served as a U.S. Army Corporal during World War II. I’ve been fortunate to find my own road to pay it forward.”

***

On a semi-related note, as Kerry Eleveld wraps up her stint at The Advocate, don’t miss her latest interview — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A snippet:

Feeling your way through an interview with one of the world’s most powerful women is more art than science. Marriage seemed like the place to start, since Clinton had been caught off guard by a recent inquiry on the issue while visiting Australia. Her husband has said that he now supports full marriage equality: Many of his gay friends are in committed relationships, former president Bill Clinton said in 2009. As far as marriage goes, he said, he had just been “hung up about the word.”

Did she share his experience? I wondered. Was she at odds with President Barack Obama’s stated position in support of civil unions but against marriage equality?

But on the phone, Clinton is circumspect about her husband’s comments. “Well, I share his experience because we obviously share a lot of the same friends, but I have not changed my position,” she says without elaborating. The secretary wasn’t taking any political bait, nor was she going to tangle with anything that could figure negatively for her boss.

Clinton’s chief of staff and counselor, Cheryl Mills, had modeled the same on-message discipline when I sat down with her a few weeks earlier, avoiding any comparison between the secretary’s movement on LGBT issues and the president’s. Mills and Clinton have been friends for nearly 20 years, dating back to when Mills served as deputy White House counsel for President Clinton. She arrived on the national stage as part of a legal team defending the president during the 1999 impeachment trial. A quick Google search of Mills’s name turns up the crux of her argument, spoken on the Senate floor from the perspective of an African-American woman: “I’m not worried about civil rights, because this president’s record on civil rights, on women’s rights, on all of our rights, is unimpeachable…. I stand here before you today because President Bill Clinton believed I could stand here for him.”

(Note/disclaimer and all that jazz – I am a member of the Equality Matters advisory board.)
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Kerry Eleveld interviews Hillary Clinton

The Obama administration floodgates seem to have opened wide, in terms of press availabilities with the gay media.

Feeling your way through an interview with one of the world’s most powerful women is more art than science. Marriage seemed like the place to start, since Clinton had been caught off guard by a recent inquiry on the issue while visiting Australia. Her husband has said that he now supports full marriage equality: Many of his gay friends are in committed relationships, former president Bill Clinton said in 2009. As far as marriage goes, he said, he had just been “hung up about the word.”

Did she share his experience? I wondered. Was she at odds with President Barack Obama’s stated position in support of civil unions but against marriage equality?

But on the phone, Clinton is circumspect about her husband’s comments. “Well, I share his experience because we obviously share a lot of the same friends, but I have not changed my position,” she says without elaborating. The secretary wasn’t taking any political bait, nor was she going to tangle with anything that could figure negatively for her boss.




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Media Matters starts Equality Matters, ‘war room for gay equality,’ run by Socarides and Eleveld

Breaking, exciting news on the activism front via Sheryl Gay Stolberg at the New York Times. Media Matters is creating a new entity focusing on LGBT equality called Equality Matters. The really big news is that the organization will be run by our good friends, Richard Socarides and Kerry Eleveld:

As gay people around the country reveled on Sunday in the historic Senate vote to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a liberal media watchdog group said it planned to announce on Monday that it was setting up a “communications war room for gay equality” in an effort to win the movement’s next and biggest battle: for a right to same-sex marriage.

The new group, Equality Matters, grew out of Media Matters, an organization backed by wealthy liberal donors — including prominent gay philanthropists — that has staked its claim in Washington punditry with aggressive attacks on Fox News and conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

It will be run by Richard Socarides, a former domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton who has been deeply critical of President Obama’s record on gay rights. A well-known gay journalist, Kerry Eleveld, the Washington correspondent for The Advocate, will leave that newspaper in January to edit the new group’s Web site, equalitymatters.org, which is to go online Monday morning.

Both Richard and Kerry are already important voices for equality. Having them in these new roles is going to be an amazing asset.

I have to give a very special shout out to Kerry, who has become one of my best friends. Having her in the White House press briefing room for the past two years has been incredibly important. She’s obviously an excellent journalist:

“I’ve spent the past two years with a front-row seat to history, and the longer I sat there the more I felt drawn to participating,” Ms. Eleveld said in an interview.

Next month, when she makes the transition to activism, she can participate. And, we’ll have an excellent new advocate.

Petey loves her and the feeling is mutual:




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Tweet Of The Day – Kerry Eleveld

Joe. My. God.

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Eleveld and Socarides talk DADT on ‘A View from the Hill’

Here’s another segment of The Advocate’s show, A View from the Hill. Kerry Eleveld and Richard Socarides have an in-depth discussion about DADT:




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Kerry Eleveld @ The Advocate: Gates, Obama deliver advances after bizarre week

In a nutshell, it looks like the Obama administration, specifically the President and Sec Def Robert Gates were trying to score some points with the LGBT community after a pretty embarrassing week on the PR front (see Valerie Jarrett’s implosion on CNN).

President Obama released Thursday evening his contribution to LGBT activist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, video messages intended to lend hope and perspective to queer youth who may feel alienated, disheartened or even desperate.

…But until this week, the president seemed mostly oblivious to the present-day equality movement staring him in the face – unaware that he and his administration are standing as an impediment to freedom’s progress through their inaction on so many fronts.

However, his video was a signal that some realization seems to have crept in based on the shocking and inescapable spate of queer tragedies – ranging from heart wrenching suicides to horrific acts of violence – that preceded a blistering couple of weeks for the administration.

And if you kept up with your PHB reading this week, DADT news was fast and furious, and the WH was losing the battle the stay ahead of the criticism.

So where the politicians have failed, the courts are now picking up the slack. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has been forced to dole out a number of convoluted answers about DADT over the past several weeks, but he has been crystal clear about the following: “The courts have demonstrated that the time is ticking on the policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”

…Whatever they are planning for now, it appears doubtful they spent much time seriously prepping for the headache that Judge Virginia Phillips visited upon them last week. In fact, it took them two days to circulate new orders regarding the injunction and yet another day to redirect recruiters.

Given the situation’s volatility, Thursday of this week, Secretary Gates designated just three people – the secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force – who have the authority to finalize discharges. The memo from Gates was nothing short of an acknowledgment that even DOD had finally lost control of the fate of this misbegotten policy.

As Blender Paul Barwick noted, this means DADT discharges have effectively been stopped.

To me this reads as if we have accomplished the first step that we have asked for.

Admittedly it has been several decades since I served in the Army, but I suspect that one thing has not changed.  No low or middle level commander is going to want her or his name on a request that is guaranteed to not only be read by the secretary of their branch of the service, but also personally perused by the Under Secretary of Defense. By saying that he wants to hear about each and every case, the Secretary of Defense is saying in essence that he doesn’t want to hear about any case.  In effect the discharges have been stopped.

Why the Secretary of Defense felt the need to do this now will have to be explained by someone more knowledgeable than I.  One might wonder if the Commander is Chief finally caught sight of a chart listing the chain-of-command in the military?  Hard to say.

This is a big deal.  My heartfelt thanks to each and every person who has raised their voice, scrawled “No more donations until DADT is repealed, lobbied their congress person, chained themself to a fence or any of the other multitude of actions that we as a community have used to wipe this shameful law from the books.  Draw strength from this.  We are being heard, and the forces of bigotry are being forced to slither back under the rocks from which they came.

It’s a victory of sorts, but Gates has just started a trickle out of dam that is about to burst. So he wants gays and lesbians not to be discharged, but they cannot still cannot come out of the closet safely; they are still without any benefits that would give them rights equivalent to their straight counterparts (see: DOMA) and it looks like an attempt to get the wider public to believe that DADT is dead, when there are myriad issues connected to the policy that are unrelated to discharges. What it indicates is that there is little confidence that the Senate is going to pass repeal in the Def Auth bill in the lame duck session.

Cinderella crumbs again…wholly dependent on a commander who is not willing to send a discharge up the military food chain. Looking at the glass half full, as Paul has, it means the pressure on this administration from the outside DOES have an impact. And that’s why the pressure to stop any meme that DADT is all but dead must be countered, and to stress these moves are coming down the pike because of the courts, not lobbying on the Hill.

Further reading: The DADT Appeal and the District Court’s Worldwide Injunction by Tobias Barrington Wolff
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Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld: ‘Where’s the fight, Mr. President?’

Kerry Eleveld, like Frank Rich, is awfully hard to excerpt well and do full justice to her writing. Here’s my attempt, but please do read her entire piece – the first page alone was worth quoting in its entirety:

Barack Obama was out on the stump in Madison, Wis., doing an admirable job of trying to recapture a little of that ol’ 2008 campaign magic. And guess what he was talking about: fighting.

“That election was not just about putting me in the White House. It was about building a movement for change that went beyond any one campaign or any one candidate. It was about remembering that in the United States of America, our destiny is not written for us –- it is written by us,” he told a raucous college-age crowd. “The power to shape our future lies in our hands –- but only if we’re willing to keep working for it and fighting for it and keep believing that change is possible.”

[W]hen Barack Obama took office, only one state legally recognized same-sex marriages. Now five do, including one in the Midwest and two that approved it through the legislature rather than the courts. In the past couple months, two very separate polls have found that a majority of the American people now support same-sex marriage.

One federal judge has ruled part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, while another federal judge said the same of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and yet a third federal judge ruled the discharge of a service member under the policy unconstitutional.

Poll after poll after poll finds that anywhere from 65% to 75% of the public believe gays and lesbians should be able to serve their country openly, including a solid majority of self-identified conservatives and Republicans.

A tidal wave of change is rolling through America, and yet this president and Democratic Congress accomplished only hate-crimes — a measure that had already passed both chambers of Congress once before but was nixed from its host legislation based on a veto threat from President George W. Bush.

Hate crimes.

Where’s the fight, Mr. President? Our kids are committing suicide because our government continues to tell them their lives are less valuable than those of their peers. That they cannot grow up and participate in our society like every other American. That they cannot share in the institution by which our society measures and values love. That they are too embarrassing to fight for our country in full view of their countrymen. That freedom apparently does not mean freedom for everyone.

Where’s the fight, Mr. President?




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—  John Wright

The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld receives Award for Excellence in LGBT Media at NLGJA

Kerry Eleveld, whose reporting and commentary at The Advocate are often linked to here at the Blend, received a well-deserved award from her peers. It’s always good to know that she’s in the White House Press Briefing room to show what it takes to get a straight — ahem — answer out of Robert Gibbs. (NLGJA):

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate has been selected to be honored with the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media. Named for the late Newsweek journalist and founding editor of Out magazine, the award recognizes outstanding contributions of a journalist working in the LGBT media.

Of Eleveld’s work, judges said: “Eleveld needs to be commended for pushing for a D.C. bureau for The Advocate,” as well as “From her unique place inside the White House, she’s consistently making news and controlling the direction of news stories.”

Having an out reporter focusing on our issues in that briefing room has made a huge difference in how this administration and the rest of the journalists in the room perceive the community. It inevitably draws more attention and competition for the MSM to cover our issues better — and more accurately. And having spent some time around Kerry, she is never “off-duty.” The above photo was taken in Maine during a party; I don’t think she filed any stories from there.

One thing I’d like to mention Kerry has to walk a fine line; while she is recognized for her reporting with this award, she is equally well-known for her “View from Washington” column, her commentary on issues (including some of the stories she covers), where she is able to give more in-depth perspective. This dual role is actually a more beneficial and honest presentation to the community – the fantasy line of “journalistic objectivity” is crossed all the time by the MSM; why not just do the right thing and label reporting and commentary. What a concept.

Congratulations, Kerry. Don’t let the accolades go to your head – even though Gibbs is still scared of your raised hand in the briefing room. Joe has more, including video of Kerry sparring with Gibbs.

The other award winners are below the fold…

 

The 2010 NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards:

Journalist of the Year Award

Winner: Randy Gener, American Theatre magazine

Honorable mention: Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media

Winner: Kerry Eleveld, The Advocate

Excellence in News Writing Award

Winner: Jen Colletta, Philadelphia Gay News, “Researchers: Gays Excluded from Clinical Trials”

Honorable mention: Phillip Zonkel, Press-Telegram, “Suffering in Silence”

Excellence in Feature Writing Award

Winner: Benoit Denizet-Lewis , The New York Times Magazine, “Coming Out in Middle School”

Honorable mention: Alfred P. Doblin, The Record, “Stonewall Started It”

Excellence in Opinion Writing Award

Winner: Maya Rupert , LA Watts Times, “I Believe in America ”

Honorable mention: LZ Granderson , CNN, “Gay Is Not the New Black”

Excellence in Network Television Award

Winner: Bud Bultman, Rose Arce, Dave Timko, Amanda Sealy, and Steve Keller, CNN, “Her Name Was Steven”

Honorable mention: Jacqueline Gares and Amber Hall, In the Life, “40th Anniversary of Stonewall”

Excellence in Radio Award

Winner: Jad Abumrad and Aaron Scott, Radiolab, “New Stu”

Honorable mention: Tim Curran, Aaron McQuade and Dave Gorab; Sirius XM OutQ News; “Stonewall 40 Minutes” series

Excellence in Online Journalism Award

Winner: Dave Singleton and Team, AARP.org, “The Stonewall Riots: 40 Years Later”

Honorable mention: Jessica Bennett, Kathy Jones, Margaret Keady, Jennifer Molina, Monica Parra and Carl Sullivan ; Newsweek.com; “From Stonewall to Mainstream”

Excellence in Photojournalism Award

Winner: Scott A. Drake, Philadelphia Gay News, “PDA With a Purpose”

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award

Winner: Michel Martin and the staff of Tell Me More, Tell Me More/NPR

Honorable mention: Jennifer Morton, POZ, “How Stigma Kills”

Excellence in Student Journalism Award

Winner: Todd Cross , Syracuse University multimedia graduate student, “Transgender: The Path to One’s Identity”

Honorable mention: Laura Lofgren, Fusion magazine, “The Importance of Being Aaron”

Founded in 1990, NLGJA is the leading professional organization for LGBT journalists with 20 chapters nationwide, as well as members around the globe. This year, NLGJA celebrates two decades of advocating for fair and accurate reporting on LGBT issues

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