Central Voice

Linking LGBT Communities In Central Pennsylvania And Beyond

NGLCC Honors Central Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce with National Chamber Excellence Community Impact Award

 

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (07/31/2014) – The Central Pennsylvania Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CPGLCC) is excited to announce that the chamber was honored for excellence in community impact on Thursday, July 31st at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)’s 2014 National Business & Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the third consecutive year that the CPGLCC has been honored with a National Chamber Excellence Award. Last year, the CPGLCC received the Chamber of the Year Award at NGLCC’s 2013 National Business & Leadership Conference.

 

“We are very proud of our efforts with Highmark Insurance Company and are excited to be recognized by the NGLCC for making Pennsylvania a more fair and equitable place,” said Deb McClain, CPGLCC’s President and CEO. “We were able be part of improving the lives of same-sex couples across the state and be a resource to our corporate partner, Highmark.  This success was achieved by reaching out to a passionate internal champion who worked with us to effect change.”

 

NGLCC recognized CPGLCC for its role in Highmark Insurance Company’s decision to offer family health insurance policies for same-sex couples in PA which took effect this spring.  After learning of one legally married same-sex couple’s denial of a family health insurance policy by Highmark, CPGLCC reached out to Highmark, one of their Corporate Members, to ask them to change their policy.  CPGLCC was able to encourage Highmark to expedite making a change in policy and because of their efforts; the process of extending family policies to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania was set in motion with the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance and the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  “NGLCC affiliate chambers like CPGLCC are using their relationships with corporate members to expand their advocacy efforts and create more inclusive communities," said Sam McClure, NGLCC Vice President of Affiliate Relations and External Affairs.

 

About CPGLCC

The Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is committed to expanding the economic interests of LGBT owned and allied businesses through advocacy, education, and partnerships with the local business community.   CPGLCC currently has 235 members and has enjoyed 20% membership growth 2 consecutive years.  CPGLCC has operated with all volunteers since formation seven years ago and are currently in pursuit of their first paid Executive Director.

 

About NGLCC

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the only national not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the economic opportunities and advancements of LGBT business community. With more than 130 corporate partners, 52 affiliate chambers, and over 500 certified LGBT Business Enterprises, NGLCC is the largest LGBT business development and economic advocacy organization in the world.

 

 

CPGLCC Press Contact:  Deb McClain, President & CEO       Cell: 717.418.1829        e-mail:  dmcclain@cpglcc.org

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Local Author's Book Makes Top 10 Gay Non-fiction List

Called a "must read," Michael Long's book on gay pioneer Frank Kameny has been chosen as one of the Top 10 gay, non-fiction books for 2014. Gay Is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny by the Elizabethtown College professor is a "must-read for anyone interested in the history of the gay rights movement” says Publishers Weekly.

Harvard University's Michael Bronski, a staple in the world of gay history, said: “The LGBT movement has been blessed with an amazing array of passionate, provocative, colorful, dedicated, and sometimes infuriating women and men. Frank Kameny is certainly one of the most important. Michael Long’s magnificent book captures the breadth of the movement and the specificity of Kameny’s life and importance.”

Long tells Central Voice about his editing of Kameny's historically rich letters, 150 letters from 1958 to 1975, that reveal some of the early stirrings of today’s politically powerful LGBT movement. The letters are lively and colorful because they are in Kameny’s inimitable voice, a voice that was consistently loud, echoing through such places as the Oval Office, the Pentagon, and the British Parliament, and often shrill, piercing to the federal agency heads, military generals, and media personalities who received his countless letters. Long is the author and editor of several books on politics, religion, and civil rights. He is the editor, most recently, of Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball.

Central Voice: What has the response been to your work on Kameny? from the academic community? from the LGBT community?

Michael Long: The book has just been released, but the response thus far has been so positive. Kameny's close friends, like Charles Frances and Bob Witech of Washington, DC, have been generous in their praise of the book.

 

CV: Some advocates are outright sending the book to others?

ML: Malcolm Lazin of Equality Forum has decided to send the book to leading LGBT activists across the country. Early reviews have also been positive, identifying the book as a "must read." I'm pleased about this mostly because it helps to advance the rich and inimitable legacy of Frank Kameny. This of us who fight for LGBT rights stand on his shoulders, and the book helps us understand how incredibly broad his shoulders were. 

CV: Currently, there is lots of dialogue about the intersections of race and LGBT issues. What are your thoughts?

ML: One of the most important things about Kameny is that early on he, like Edward Sagarin and others, identified gays and lesbians as an oppressed minority. That was no small move, and it allowed him to analyze discrimination against gays and lesbians as somewhat akin to discrimination against people of color. It also helped him articulate the need for civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians early on.

CV: Wasn't Kameny an early petitioner of the US Supreme Court?

ML: His 1961 petition to the US Supreme Court--a landmark document--did exactly that while at the same time telling the justices that homosexuality was moral. It's breathtaking material. Kameny also turned to the civil rights movement for inspiration and instruction for advancing civil rights for oppressed gays and lesbians. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Stokely Carmichael are among those who influenced his deliberate efforts to politicize the homophile movement and turn it into a political power that politicians could no longer ignore. So Kameny actually helped to create the intersections of race and LGBT issues that we continue to experience today.

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Things you may not know about Franklin Kameny -

*During the height of the Lavender Scare, openly fought the US government for firing him because he was gay (1958).

*Led a long campaign to force the US Civil Service Commission to permit the hiring of gays and lesbians individuals for federal jobs, including those requiring security clearances (1957 on).

*Filed first US Supreme Court petition arguing that gays and lesbians were an oppressed minority deserving equal treatment under law, and that homosexuality was moral (1961).

*Co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, the nation’s first organization dedicated solely to securing civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians (1961).

*Co-founded regional and national gay and lesbian groups designed to politicize the movement and secure and advance political power in government and civil society (1963 on).

*Organized the first White House picketing by a group seeking civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians. Similar picketing soon followed in front of the US Civil Service Commission, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and the Pentagon (1965).

*Criticized numerous leading media personalities, including Ann Landers, Johnny Carson, and Rona Barrett, for their anti-gay views (1966 on).

*Staged protests (“zaps’) for gay rights at American Psychiatric Association conventions, eventually forcing the APA to delist homosexuality as a mental disorder (1971 on).

*Became the first openly gay candidate for the US Congress (1971).

*Acted as counsel to numerous gays and lesbians facing discrimination in the US military and served as a driving force behind the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

 

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