HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
FEBRUARY 20, 2004
The Garden of Even' is theme of HRC Gala
The March 20 gala features
address by Cheryl Jacques and
appearances by sitcom stars
Cheryl Jacques, national president and
executive director of the Human Rights
Campaign will be the keynote speaker at
HRC's Houston Gala Saturday, March 20 at
the Inter Continental Houston Hotel.
Jacques, who assumed leadership of
the HRC in January 2004, after serving
nearly a dozen years in the Massachusetts
State Senate, will update gala attendees on
the latest strides by the HRC in working
toward equality for gays and lesbians.
Specifically, she will talk about marriage equality and discuss how gays and
lesbians can work to prevent the passage
of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
"She'll also talk about protecting our
families. The big issue for HRC is protect
ing our families," Houston HRC
spokesman Alton LaDay said. "It's the
HRC battle cry"
In a year when gay marriage is being
debated at national, state and local levels, the theme of the gala is "The Garden
The gala moved to the Intercontinental
Houston Hotel because the event has
steadily increased in size from year to
year. Organizers said in spite of more
space this year, the event is certain to
In addition to Jacques, other speakers
will include Mitchell Katine, a Houston
attorney who helped bring the Lawrence
versus Texas case to the U.S. Supreme
Court. U.S. Rep. Chris Bell and Houston
City Controller Annise Parker.
Frank Billingsley. chief meteorologist
at KPRC, Channel 2, will serve as emcee
for the evening's program that will also
include appearances by Christopher
Seiber and John Benjamin Hickey. stars of
Cheryl Jacques, national president and executive
director of the Human Rights Campaign, will speak at
HRC Houston's annual gala.
John Benjamin Hickey and Christopher Sieber, stars of ABC's "Its All Relative," will make an appearance at HRC Houston's annual gala.
the ABC gay-friendly sitcom, "It's All
The sitcom features Sieber and Hickey
as a gay couple whose daughter has married into a conservative. Irish Catholic
Katine, the lead local attorney who,
with the Lambda Legal Defense and
Education Fund, took the landmark
Lawrence versus Texas case to the U.S.
Supreme court and struck down the
Texas sodomy law, will behonored at the
event with the John Walzel Political
Maria Dukler, who led the fight in the
Kline Independent School District to get
a Gay-Straight Alliance at her school, is
being honored with the Community
Equality Award. The Corporate Equality
Award is being presented to Prudential
Jacques, who has recently appeared
on national news programs as a proponent of gay marriage, was first elected
to her Massachusetts Senate seat at the
age of 29 in a traditionally conservative
district, proving her ability to speak to
constituents across a spectrum of ideologies.
As a state senator, Jacques was a leader
on civil rights and equality issues. In 1996,
she successfully pushed for the inclusion
of sexual orientation in the
Commonwealth's Hate Crimes Statute.
Jacques also passed legislation establishing standby guardianship provisions
to protect the children of AIDS patients
and other chronically ill individuals. She
has been an outspoken advocate regarding
the needs of gay and lesbian youth in
Three years ago she lead a bi-partisan coalition to protect funding for the
Safe Schools Program, which helps
finance Gay-Straight Alliances in
Massachusetts's high schools, as well as
other gay and lesbian youth suicide prevention measures.
In 2002, Jacques was instrumental in
forming a coalition of legislators to defeat
the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in
Before her six terms in the state senate,
Jacques served as an Assistant District
Attorney in Middlesex County and went on
to serve as an Assistant Attorney General
in the Trial Bureau of the Attorney
Jacques and her partner. Jennifer, live
in Silver Spring, Md., where they are raising their twin boys, Timmy and Tommy.
LaDay said the visit to Houston by
Jacques is her first official one as the
national leader of HRC.
Tickets to the event start at $175 and
can be purchased at www.boxofficetick-
ets.com or by calling 800-494-8497
Local HRC Sustaining Corporate
Sponsors include Continental Airlines.
Shell Oil Company. Prudential Financial.
Hotel Derek, Tiffany & Co. and Gremillion
& Co Fine Art.
The Human Rights Campaign is the
largest national lesbian and gay advocacy
organization with over 500.000 members
throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support
and educates the public to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Americans can be open, honest and safe at
home, at work and in the community.
More information can be found at
f) MORE INFO
The Garten of Even
HRC Houston Gala
6 p.m. March 20
Intercontinental Hotel Houston
2222 West Loop South
HRC National Offices
MARRIAGE EQUALITY DAY: A day to remember is chronicled in photos Page 6
MARRIAGE EQUALITY: In Houston and around
the nation, there were protests against gay and
lesbian couples demonstrating for marriage
equality Page 8
GBADE A PASTEURIZED
HAVE YOU SEEN ME?
WHO Mary Cheney 34
openly-gay Daughter of VP
WHAT Silent s:nce her
' '•' • - -■ ■ ...
MARY, MARY: Activists are going to extremes
to entice Mary Cheney into speaking out
against Dad on marriage issue. Page 12
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