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August 1996 (Vol 4, No. 4)

In this issue:

    Reflections
    Federal GLOBE's First Annual Congress
    Federal GLOBE Grant Program
    Volunteers Needed for Creating Change Conference
    NCOD Goes on Record
    Awareness Month Generates Congressional Inquiries at Commerce
    HUD Quilt Panel
    New Board Members

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NO PART OF THIS NEWSLETTER WAS PRODUCED OR COPIED ON GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT


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Reflections
How many steps forward how many backward?

Leonard Hirsch, Federal GLOBE President

These questions have been coming up. For example: NASA, finally, is poised to adopt a non-discrimination statement. But their General Counsel opposes, saying it is unnecessary—we already have the protections! Regardless that NASA has never informed its employees, HR professionals, or anyone else that these protections exist or how to invoke them, a statement is not needed, the General Counsel says.

But it will happen—we have faith that Administrator Goldin, working with NASA GLOBE will adopt strong policy and use the opposition to frame the obstacles in the way of equal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of the government. A (future) steep forward.

It will just take longer and more importantly, take more energy that could be better spent implementing a strong policy. A step back.

We have a new[ly acknowledged] openly gay Congressperson. A step forward.

Except he was outed and did not want to be. A step backward.

We look forward to working with Representative Kolbe. His record on gay and lesbian issues is good (regardless of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act vote) as is his record on Civil Service. There are strong platforms from which we can create a good working relationship. A step forward.

As we go into this electoral cycle, there will be many ups and downs, forwards and backwards. Our community is being used to polarize people and parties and regardless of truth or justice, we get bloodied in the process. We have to keep our eyes on the larger prize—full citizenship—and accommodate the daily perturbations. We are winning, and the more we can articulately explain our case, the more the American people will understand the need for inclusion. It won't be easy or quick, but we need to march, parade, gambol, and run forward.


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Federal GLOBE's First Annual Congress

Federal GLOBE will undertake the ambitious task of hosting its first annual Congress on November 7, 1996, immediately preceding the 9th Annual Creating Change Conference sponsored by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. These events will be held at the Radisson Hotel Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Federal GLOBE first national congress will bring together GLB Federal employees from the national capital area and from across the country. In a day long event scheduled for Thursday November 7, members of Federal GLOBE and affiliate GLOBE organizations from the various departments and agencies will gather to hold its first national meeting and use this opportunity to share strategies, hear status reports on hot topics in the Federal workplace, and attend workshops and presentations.

The national meeting will have presentations by IRS GLOBE of its successful tax workshops, Commerce GLOBE on its Common Ground Program (modeled after AT&T Safe Place Program), and Agriculture GLOBE on its outreach to field offices and regional chapter development. Additionally, there will be plenary sessions on growing the GLOBE movement and strengthening the relationships between Federal GLOBE and the agency and regional GLOBEs.

Cost of the First National Federal GLOBE Congress will be $40 which includes registration, attendance at workshops, panel presentations, and plenary for the day-long meeting; and a box lunch.

We need volunteers to help organize the congress and presenters for workshops and panels. If interested in volunteering or being a presenter at the Congress, please contact Len Hirsch, Smithsonian, at 202/ 633-4788, Rob Sadler, Commerce at 202/482-8045, Jeff Brooke, US Customs Service at 202/927-6493, Marisa Demeo, Justice at 202/514-2188, Kitti Durham, Coast Guard, at 202/267-2076, Ron Coleman, Agriculture, at 301/344-5440, or Ed Horvath, at 202/ 546-4621.

NGLTF is giving Federal GLOBE members a discount on registration for their conference which starts Thursday evening with a speech by Congressperson Barney Frank. The cost for their conference will be $110. (So the two together will be $150.) See the attached form for registration information. (This price is for persons who register through Federal GLOBE.)

Since 1988, the NGLTF-sponsored Creating Change event has been the incubator for the larger GLB community movement. In 1995, over 2,000 GLB activists attended the 8th Creating Change Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Now, NGLTF has brought the premier grass roots organizing conference back to the nation's capital, and, as the largest GLB activist organization in Washington, DC.

Federal GLOBE urges its members to participate and volunteer.

The Conference will feature dozens of workshops, panels, and small group sessions about the work we do in communities over a broad range of topics, including: media, generational issues, sex and gender identity, organizational development, boards of directors, anti-violence, leadership skills, lobbying and Legislation, sodomy laws, outreach and mobilizing tactics, and current hot topics in our movement.

Keynote speakers include Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA); June Jordan, activist and author of The Celluloid Closet and Carmen Vasquez, Director of Public Policy at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in NYC. Numerous community speakers from around the country and members of the NGLTF staff will be on hand as workshop and panel discussion leaders and moderators.

For more information on the Creating Change Conference and opportunities to volunteer, please contact NGLTF at (202) 332-6483 (x3329).


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Federal GLOBE Grant Program

Federal GLOBE will initiate a grant program in which it would set aside each year for grants to Federal GLOBE affiliates for projects, programs, or activities intended to significantly advance gay, lesbian or bisexual interests in the Federal workplace.

Federal GLOBE believes that instituting such a grant program would strengthen relations between itself and the GLOBE affiliates in the various Departments and agencies and allow Federal GLOBE to expand the type of services it provides.

Federal GLOBE will run a pilot grant program in 1996, beginning in July 1996, to determine interest in such a program. The program would require affiliates to submit grant proposals by July 15, for up to $ 1 00 describing how the funds would be utilized. The proposals will be reviewed by the Board Of Directors of Federal GLOBE. Grant awards would be made on August 1. Grantees would be expected to submit a report at the conclusion of the project, program or activity with details as to how the funds were spent and comments on the success of the project, program or activity.

Federal GLOBE has 501(c)(3) status and donations to this program should be fully tax deductible. We encourage donations.

Interested organizations should contact any of the Board members or Federal GLOBE, at (202) 986-1101, for further information.


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Volunteers Needed for Creating Change Conference

The National Lesbian and Gay Task Force (NGLTF) is looking for volunteers to make the Creating Change conference a success. There are many tasks for which the Conference seeks volunteers and as the LGBT organization for the largest employer in the metro area, Federal GLOBE hopes to field a strong contingent.

Len Hirsch, President of Federal GLOBE, and Rob Sadler, a board member of Federal GLOBE, are currently serving on the Conference Host Committee. You may contact Len at 202/633-4788, Rob at 202/543-9583, or Stephanie Burns of the Conference Host Committee at 703/418-4400, for additional information about volunteer work for the conference.


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NCOD Goes on Record

This coming October 11—National Coming Out Day (NCOD)—will see all participants go on record (literally) as being "out" in the Federal workplace. The board of Federal GLOBE has enlisted the willing help of Congressman Barney Frank who will submit the list of names for inclusion in the Congressional Record.

Federal GLOBE will again be coordinating, with the help of its affiliate GLOBE organizations, the agency response to NCOD this coming fall and we encourage as many Federal employees as possible to participate. "Coming out" in this way, can only magnify the effect of the work we have all undertaken within our own agencies by bringing it "out" to Congress and the public.

If you are interested in helping coordinate this for your agency, please contact us.


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Awareness Month Generates Congressional Inquiries at Commerce

In an apparent response to Commerce GLOBE's successfully delivered Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Awareness Month activities, the Department of Commerce has received 12 congressional inquiries and its Office of' General Counsel has received another three. This was revealed by Courtland Cox, the department's Director of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), who spoke briefly at the August 1 Departmental Diversity Council.

The department's responses to the inquiries explained that Commerce GLOBE is a recognized voluntary employee organization engaging in activities no different than other such organizations at the Department. Mr. Cox affirmed the Department's continuing support for Commerce GLOBE and spoke of the need for much "work' in this area, as evidenced by the fact that the congressional inquiries had all resulted from Commerce employee complaints about the awareness month. He also noted that he had not witnessed such hostility on the part of individuals since the early days of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

William Taylor, Chair of the Diversity Council, commended Commerce GLOBE for their work during GLB Awareness Month and for their restrained response to the "vile" Washington Times editorial (see editorial and Commerce GLOBE response reprinted in this edition). For the complete article, visit the EEO Corner in the FPMI web site at http://www.fpmi.com.


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HUD Quilt Panel

HUD's AIDS quilt panel, made by HUD employees to honor loved ones and colleagues who have died of AIDS, was on display in the North lobby of Headquarters in April. Response was excellent, and people were moved. In June, the HUD quilt panel will be shipped to San Francisco to become part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which will return to Washington to be on display on the Mall October 11-13. For more information on the HUD quilt panel, call 202/708-0614, ext. 4624.

Federal GLOBE would appreciate hearing what plans are being made for the commemoration of the quilt in October at the agencies. Please let us know. Thanks.


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New Board Members

Three people have put themselves forward for the three positions on the Board of Federal CLOBE. One, Len Hirsch, returns, and the other two join the Board adding to their leadership positions in their agency organizations. Marisa Demeo (Justice) and Jeffrey Brooke (Treasury), will be vibrant members of the Board, helping to grow the organization during the coming year. Jeffrey will take over as Secretary and Newsletter Editor, Marisa will be our outreach coordinator to the other GLOBE units. Continuing board members will also take on new roles: Ron Coleman, AIDS Programs Coordinator; Kitti Durham, Congressional and NOG Outreach; Ed Horvath, Treasurer; Rob Sadler, Vice President and Program Organizer; Len Hirsch, President.

The following are bios of the new members of the board.

    Marisa Demeo, Department of Justice

    Marisa Demeo is a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, where she enforces federal civil rights laws related to employment discrimination against state and local governments. In addition to serving as President of DOJ Pride, the organization of gay, lesbian and bisexual employees Department of justice, for the past two years, Marisa is a member of the New York Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, the Hispanic National Bar Association, Gay and Lesbian Attorneys of Washington, and the DOJ Association of Hispanic Employees. Marisa entered the Department through the Honors Program after graduating from New York University School of Law. As a law student, Marisa worked for the Employment Law Center in San Francisco, Texas Rural Legal Aid, and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and represented juveniles charged with criminal offenses in New York City Family Court. In law school, Marisa was also an active leader of the Latino Law Students Association and the Lesbian and Gay Law Students Association.

    Jeffrey Brooke, Department of Treasury

    Jeffrey Brooke would like to join the board of Federal GLOBE to focus on the group's communications needs. He recently transferred to the U.S. Customs Service as a Pubic Affairs Specialist, a position he also held at IRS for the previous five years. At IRS, Jeff was National co-Chair of IRS GLOBE for over two years. Through his communications efforts, the group expanded from Washington to 12 chapters nationally in just over a year. He also managed communications for IRS GLOBE's primary community service project—tax preparation for with HIV/AlDS—with targeted outreach efforts and high profile media attention. Jeff is also an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators.