Last Sunday, at the Lambda Legal CT Cares event, I received the Lambda Legal Award for dedicated and outstanding service to the GLBTQ community as well a Proclamation of Public Service from the State of Connecticut. The event was held at the lovely Mitchells in Westport, Connecticut. The attendees included Governor Dannel Malloy and Senator Richard Blumenthal, as well as many other guests and participants. This was a great and humbling honor for me and a true highlight of my thirty-year legal career as an out gay lawyer.
This event is one of the top fundraising events that Lambda Legal holds throughout the country. Why does Lambda need to continue to function as a driving force in the GLBTQ movement, and why should we continue to support this organization?
We now have marriage equality but our families still need to be stabilized, respected and upheld. There is much work to be done, as there is still social and legal discrimination. In South Carolina, the government is refusing to put married same-sex parents on the birth certificate for their children. Lambda Legal is assisting in such a case. Also, just this past year in Connecticut, Lambda Legal assisted with obtaining a ban on discrimination against transgender people. As a result, Medicaid now will cover hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgery for transgender people. We need to embrace each other including our transgender brothers and sisters. We are one family.
In the coming year, Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart will be retiring. Kevin has been an amazing leader who has guided Lambda Legal and the GLBTQ community through years of extraordinary change and progress. Thankfully, under the leadership of the Board with the stewardship of Karen Dixon and the search committee, including Connecticut Attorney John Stafstrom, a new leader will be chosen to lead Lambda Legal. We look forward to this transition and all the hope and progress the future has in store for the GLBTQ community.
As for the Connecticut Cares event, under the Co-Chairs, John F. Stafstrom, Jr. and Andrew Mitchell- Namdar, and according to Lambda Legal Development Officer Brian Marricco, “it appears that we earned Lambda Legal nearly $415,000… Goal exceeded... we can celebrate what has been a record-breaking fundraising feat for the Connecticut market!”
In response to the event, Kevin Cathcart wrote, “We cannot stop until we have equality for all – and this work is not possible without supporters like you, so thank you. While this was my last Connecticut Cares event as Executive Director of Lambda Legal, I was emboldened to see such overwhelming support from Connecticut supporters. Special thanks to this year's incredible 2015 Connecticut Cares sponsors - we are so grateful. I’m confident that this event will continue to inspire, to inform, and to transform our work for the better for years and decades to come.”
It's not too late to consider making a gift to support Connecticut Cares and Lambda Legal at www.lambdalegal.org/donate. All new and upgraded gifts will be matched, dollar for dollar, by our current $1.25M Challenge Grant—so take advantage of this exciting time and make your gift today!