Stick a fork in ’em

WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to HRC, we are witnessing “the fall of the empire opposed to same-sex marriage. Widespread losses, sagging poll numbers, and poor investments make it difficult to see how national groups like the so-called National Organization for Marriage remain viable.”

“The mission of groups like NOM is to stop marriage equality,” said Kevin Nix, HRC spokesperson. “That hasn’t happened. In fact, support for marriage equality has spread like wildfire the past couple of years and there’s no turning back. With no momentum and no money, they’ve lost the marriage debate.”

National and statewide polling consistently shows majorities — including African-Americans, Latinos, millennials, Democrats and Independents — back marriage equality. In addition, opponents’ financing is drying up. They were outspent almost three-to-one last year by pro-equality groups.

— David Stout

Campaign pushing Harvey Milk airport

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — San Francisco supervisors are advancing legislation aimed at commemorating LGBT civil rights leader Harvey Milk by renaming the city’s airport in his honor. HRC President Chad Griffin released the following statement in support:

“Harvey Milk made it his life’s mission to ensure that everyone — regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, or socioeconomic status — was treated with the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve. Harvey Milk-San Francisco International Airport would serve as a powerful testament to the importance of Harvey’s pioneering work and selfless dedication to advancing equality for all.

“Harvey Milk fought tirelessly to raise the visibility of LGBT people, and placing his name on San Francisco’s airport would bring awareness of his work to the 40 million travelers from around the world who pass through SFO annually. Harvey Milk’s legacy is what guides our work as we continue the fight for full equality, and HRC is proud to support this effort to honor his memory.”

— David Stout

Couple raising funds for museum

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Smithsonian researcher, Tim Gold, and his husband Mitchell Gold, a North Carolina furniture manufacturer, were recently featured in The Washington Post, for Tim’s project, the Velvet Foundation, and the couple’s quest to create a national LGBT history museum in Washington, D.C.

The project will “tell the stories of LGBT Americans at a time when gay rights were frequently a matter of political and cultural debate,” the newspaper reported.

In 2008, Tim founded the Velvet Foundation and began to collect donations. Today, nearly 5,000 pieces are being stored in a climate-controlled facility in Maryland. Mitchell is assisting in the project and the couple have begun the process of hiring an attorney to help with fundraising, a museum design professional to plan for exhibits and a real estate broker to acquire a locale for a 100,000-square-foot facility.

The project will not open its doors anytime soon, as there is much to do in finding suitable donors who can give the museum the fuel it needs to get off the ground. The Arcus Foundation has signed on. And, more is needed to reach an estimated $50 million $100 million dollars to operate and open the museum.

The building is envisioned as a mixed-use project, comprising the museum and commercial partners.

To read the full profile from The Washington Post, visit


— Lainey Millen

Defense nominee changes his stance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, a pick that has rankled many in the LGBT community due to Hagel’s anti-gay past.

Now, however, he claims to have turned a corner in his thinking. In a recent letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), he voiced support for gay and lesbian military families, writing: “I fully support the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 and value the service of all those who fight for our country. I know firsthand the profound sacrifice our service members and their families make, and if confirmed as Secretary of Defense, I will do everything possible to the extent permissible under current law to provide equal benefits to the families of all our service members.”

— David Stout