A Social for Social Justice with NCLR

Former Utahn Kate Kendell will be in Salt Lake City this month to celebrate the National Center of Lesbian Rights which she helms, and to update Utahns on NCLR’s work around the country.

“It will be great for us all to come together, have a few drinks, nosh, and talk about what lies ahead. 2010 is proving to be quite a year!” said Kendell, who served as the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah’s first staff attorney before joining NCLR as legal director in 1994. Today she serves as the organization’s executive director.

“I can’t wait to be back in Salt Lake with you — it has been too long!” she added.

Brandie Balken, executive director of statewide gay and transgender rights group Equality Utah, said she and other members of the event’s host committee are also excited to have Kendell return to Utah — which she does frequently.

“It’s an opportunity to catch up on the work that Kate Kendell and the NCLR have been doing,” she said. “Of course, Utah has deep, deep ties to Kate, so we’re looking forward to hosting her again and hearing an update on all the wonderful work that NCLR is doing nationally.”

This work includes writing an amicus brief in Florida Department of Children and Families v. M.J.H., which overturned Florida’s ban on gays and lesbians adopting children, and Adams v. Federal Bureau of Prisons et al., in which a transgender woman is suing to receive hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery for her diagnosed gender identity disorder while incarcerated. NCLR has joined Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Florida Institutional Legal Services, and Bingham McCutchen LLP in filing suit to prevent the Federal Bureau of Prisons from denying treatment to transgender inmates.

Suggested donations for these events are, according to a press release, “the value you place on your civil rights,” meaning that any amount will be accepted. To RSVP contact Eleanor Palacios at [email protected] with the e-mail subject line “NCLR Salt Lake Reception” or call  415-365-1309.

On the following day, Nov. 13, Equality Utah and Transgender Education Advocates of Utah will co-host a house party in honor of NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter as part of Transgender Awareness Month. This dessert reception will take place at the home of Scott McCoy and Mark Barr from 7–9 p.m. Minter, who is transgender, will also speak earlier in the day at the City and County Building, 400 S. 200, East room 315 (from 1–2 p.m.) about the legal issues transgender people face. This event will also be hosted by TEA.

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