The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Press Release - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Wade Henderson to Senator Grassley: “You’re Wrong. Marriage Equality Is a Civil Rights Issue.”
For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Westbrook Simpson, 202.466.2061, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 10, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to Senator Charles Grassley’s (R-IA) gross misinterpretation of his personal position on marriage equality:
“Congratulations are in order for advocates of LGBT human and civil rights. The Judiciary Committee today took an important step forward for validating all American relationships and families when it voted to advance the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Senator Charles Grassley chose to misappropriate and misconstrue statements attributed to me in a news article in order to make an illegitimate case against equality for LGBT Americans. He was wrong. Marriage equality is a civil rights issue and I am a supporter of marriage equality.
I’ve built my reputation as a civil and human rights advocate for more than 30 years – at the ACLU, the NAACP, and in my current role as the president of the most diverse civil and human rights coalition in the nation – a coalition that was instrumental in last year’s repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and for the recent passage of a disability- and LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill. I’m profoundly disappointed that he has twisted my words in an attempt to deny millions of Americans their most basic dignity; to love one another and to raise a family.
Civil rights are measured by a single yardstick. When the government bestows inheritance rights, tax benefits, adoption rights, child custody, power of attorney, and other privileges on married individuals – but denies those same basic privileges to gays and lesbians – it is a blunt and injurious denial of equality and family security.
Marriage equality is not just a civil right. It is also an inalienable human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There are multiple paths for achieving marriage equality and they all lead to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
I believe that gays and lesbians deserve the same marriage rights and privileges as the rest of us. Anything less is an insult to the institution of the American family.”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.