Walking the Walk, Projecting Our Voices
This is our annual April AIDS Walk issue, in which we honor those in our community who are involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
We want to acknowledge Michael Lintecum and Josh Strodtman of AIDS Walk for their assistance, as well as the AIDS Service Foundation, the steering committee and all the volunteers, sponsors and walkers who make this important fundraiser possible. In particular, special thanks to Terry Newell who provided so much creative inspiration with this issue. Finally we thank our loyal advertisers of Camp, our writers and our readers. We hope you enjoy this issue.
Nothing would make any of us happier than to see the need for this fundraiser go away. Until that time, it’s good to know we have such an active community in Kansas City working diligently toward its goal of raising more than half a million dollars this year.
See you on April 30 at AIDS Walk! For more information: www.aidswalkkansascity.org.
Political Involvement Does Work
In March, two examples of activism in Missouri and Kansas drew national attention. They show how activism can make a difference.
PROMO, the Missouri statewide group fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, raised a protest against the appearance of Dan Cathy, president and COO of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, based on his company’s financial involvement with ant-gay organizations. He was scheduled to speak at a March 18 Clayton, Mo., Chamber of Commerce meeting sponsored by the Chamber and Focus St. Louis.
Chick-fil-A prides itself on supporting strong Christian values, which is perfectly acceptable. However, the chain has been known to financially support groups like the Pennsylvania Family Institute. This group is also affiliated with the Family Resource Institute, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as a hate group because of its anti-gay statements.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce and Focus St. Louis decided to cancel the Cathy appearance based on the work of PROMO that brought the extreme views to their attention and because the groups have stated they stand for acceptance and inclusion of all people in the community. For more information: www.promoonline.org
Kansas Equality Coalition
The Kansas Equality Coalition, with chapters in 11 regions of Kansas and representing the rights of LGBT citizens, marched with the NAACP, KS-NOW, ACLU and more on the Capitol in Topeka on March 19. They report that “over 200 people braved the wind, cold, lightning and rain to march from the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to the Kansas State Capitol. Special thanks go to Reverend Ben Scott, President of the Topeka Branch NAACP, for taking the lead in organizing this fantastic event.”
KEC was protesting the legislative decision on March 8 to keep the criminalization of gay and lesbian relationships on the books, even though a Supreme Court decision would make criminalization unenforceable. State Reps. Jan Pauls (D, Hutchinson) and Lance Kinzer (R, Olathe) brought forward the successful motion. Their actions philosophically say that it is a crime to be a member of the LGBT community in Kansas. (www.kansasequalitycoalition.org)
Million Fag March
The 4th annual march will be held at 2 p.m. April 30 at the corner of 10th Avenue and Gage Boulevard in Topeka, Kan. It is a peaceful rally by those in the LGBT and allied communities to protest Fred Phelps and his Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church, who have created homophobic protests locally and throughout the nation. www.millionfagmarch.com
HRC Equality Awards
As we go to press, the Human Rights Campaign-Kansas City is planning its 5th annual Corporate Celebration of Equality Awards, with special guest, Joe Solmonese, president of HRC. On March 31, they were to recognize 14 area companies for their efforts on behalf of employees, investors and consumers. The honorees are AMC Entertainment, ConAgra Foods, Hallmark Cards Inc., Husch Blackwell Sanders, JP Morgan, Mutual of Omaha, Polsinelli Shughart PC, Sprint, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, Union Pacific Corp., Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, Kutak Rock LLP, Principal Financial Group, and Rockwell Collins Inc.
In addition, a special nonprofit award was to be given to Metropolitan Community College in recognition of its policies and practices that support LGBT students and employees.
The event was to be held at the law offices of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Kansas City, Mo. To see how these companies ranked in HRC’s Equality Index, visit www.campkc.com and www.hrc.org/issues/workplace.asp