December 03, 2004
New HRC Board Co-Chair Selection Michael Berman Sends Strong Message of Unity
'This choice sends a strong message that the fight for equality can unite all fair-minded Americans,' said HRC Board Co-Chair Gwen Baba.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign will officially appoint its new board of directors co-chair Michael Berman, a longtime ally of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, this weekend. Berman - a seasoned political leader - is president and one of the founders of The Duberstein Group, a government affairs consulting group. Berman is the first straight board leader in HRC's history.
"This choice sends a strong message that the fight for equality can unite all fair-minded Americans," said HRC Board Co-Chair Gwen Baba.
"As an ally to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, Mike Berman brings a unique and needed perspective to the Human Rights Campaign. Straight Americans are a crucial part of the fight for equality. Mike is one of those leaders and will do an exceptional job bringing more Americans to the table."
"I'm honored to be taking on this role with the Human Rights Campaign," said Berman, who served as counselor and deputy chief of staff to Vice President Walter Mondale and has been active in every presidential campaign since 1964. Early in his career, as an attorney in the office of the Minnesota attorney general, Berman represented the State Commission Against Discrimination and brought and tried before a jury the first fair housing case in Minnesota.
Berman added, "As an active political leader, I know how crucial Republican support is to achieving our goals. We must do a better job of not only reaching out beyond the GLBT community but also to our allies in the Republican Party. There can be no party line in the quest for equal rights."
Since October, Berman had been serving as board of directors co-chair-elect. Berman and his spouse Carol have been married for 39 years and live in the Washington, D.C., area. He has been involved in HRC since 1992 and joined the board in 1998. For the last several years, he has served as a co-chair of the Public Policy Committee, helping to spearhead HRC's legislative work.
"We commend and sincerely thank Tim Boggs for his excellent work as co-chair the past several years," added Baba. "Tim saw this organization to a whole new level."
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.