Music lovers, watch out: The Her HRC Kansas City Battle of the Bands will be waged in January for its third year. Bands of all styles will compete to raise money for the Human Rights Campaign.
Christene Main, the HRC’s membership and community events co-chair, who heads the event, says that 2012 will be an especially important year for gay rights. Events like this, Main says, are crucial because they fund efforts to tackle the issues at hand all over the country.

For instance, she says, “We have all the stuff that is going on in California right now. We have Prop 8 that got overturned. We also have several things going on in Massachusetts that are going to put a challenge to the gay marriage issue.” Also, she says, “There is the repeal of DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act> that is going through the Senate, and so we need to pay lobbyists.”

Then there’s the presidential election.

“If we elect a president who is against gay rights, it will overturn the work we have done for the past 15 years,” Main said. “They will probably put a federal ban on gay marriage that will nullify every single couple that got married in the past few years.”

Another issue, she says, is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. “It’s still legal to be fired in over 30 states for being gay and over 40 states for being transgender, so we have some work to do.”

The HRC has their work cut out for them and money is always an issue. “Unfortunately, lawyers cost money, and the HRC does a good job of helping foot the bill.”

The Her HRC Kansas City Battle of the Bands started as the result of a brainstorm three years ago. Before that, a popular event among many of the ladies of Kansas City was The L Word watch parties in January to start off the season of the Showtime series. Main said, “Well, what they realized when The L Word went off the air is that they didn’t want to lose out on this great opportunity to get women together on one day of the year in over 30 different cities.”

Main, a music lover and trained violinist, suggested having a battle of the bands. “I want an electric fiddle more than life itself. Music is my life. I said Kansas City has great female musicians. We are going to do a battle of the bands.”

The first battle was a success — they raised more money than most big cities in the country.

For the event’s third year, organizers have decided to include men.

Main said, “Our music community is just awesome in Kansas City, so why not let the guys compete against the girls?”

The event will be at 2 p.m. Jan. 15 at The Cashew, 2000 Grand Blvd., in Kansas City, Mo. Tickets will be $15 online until the end of the year

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