Saturday, March 28, 2009

Around the LGBT Nation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Craig Shniderman, executive director of Food & Friends, which provides meals and nutritional services for homebound people with HIV/AIDS in the Washington, D.C. area, had the highest salary among the heads of the nation’s most prominent LGBT advocacy groups and groups that provide AIDS-related services in Los Angeles, New York and D.C. A survey of the compensation paid to heads of 30 LGBT and AIDS organizations, conducted by the Washington Blade, shows that Shniderman had a total salary and benefits package of $382,200 in 2008, the latest period for which the organizations’ salary and annual revenue data could be obtained for a completed fiscal year. Shniderman’s earnings placed him ahead of Joe Solmonese, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT political advocacy group. Solmonese, who ranked second in the salary survey, received a total compensation package of $338,400 in 2008.Shniderman’s salary also topped that of Lorri Jean, executive director of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, which had revenue of $48.5 million in 2008 and had nearly 300 employees compared to Food & Friends’ annual revenue of $7.9 million and 50 employees. Read entire Washington Blade article here.

MANCHESTER, NH - The state House on Thursday voted narrowly to make New Hampshire the third state to allow gay couples to marry. The bill, which passed the House 186-179, next goes to the Senate, where its future is uncertain. Democratic Gov. John Lynch opposes gay marriage but has not said specifically that he would veto it — a position that spokesman Colin Manning reiterated after the vote. Two years ago, the Legislature approved, and Lynch signed, civil unions for gays, which provide all the rights of marriage, except in name. Currently, only Connecticut and Massachusetts allow gay couples to marry. The Vermont Senate sent a gay marriage bill to the House this week, but Gov. James Douglas says he will veto it if it reaches his desk. Supporters say it is discriminatory to exclude gays from marriage. Opponents argue marriage is a sacred religious institution that would be cheapened by allowing gays to marry. Read entire article here.

DOVER, DE - Gay rights advocates gained two victories in the state Legislature -- the Senate's defeat of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and the House's passage of a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. More than 1,000 demonstrators wearing white T-shirts with the slogan "One Man, One Woman -- That's Marriage" rallied on the steps of Legislative Hall as, inside, both chambers engaged in lengthy debates colored by accusations of discrimination past and present. Senate Bill 27, the defeated constitutional amendment, sought to make an existing state law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman more difficult to overturn. But many members of the Senate voiced concern that amending the constitution was unnecessary and even inappropriate. Read entire article here.

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