Clergy, Human Rights Campaign Demonstrate to Raise Awareness of Tax Inequalities

by Admin

WASHINGTON - Today, April 15 - &quotTax Day&quot - the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, held a demonstration to raise awareness of tax inequalities as part of its educational campaign, &quot7 Days to a Better Financial You.&quot The campaign highlights the unique legal inequalities and hurdles facing the GLBT community with regard to financial, tax and estate planning issues. Federal law treats same-sex couples as strangers, thereby denying them the 1,138 federal rights, benefits and protections available to different-sex married couples. Clergy members, organized by HRC's Religion &amp Faith Program, gathered with members of the community at the Atlanta Regional Postal Facility to speak out against the federal government's discriminatory policies. Participants included Rabbi Joshua Lesser of Congregation Bet Haverim, Rev. Jimmy Moor of St. Mark United Methodist, Rev. Antonio Jones of Unity Fellowship Church, Rev. Kathi Martin of First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta and Victory Temple of Stone Mountain and HRC Religion &amp Faith Program Director Harry Knox.

"By speaking out and representing their congregations, clergy are fighting for the fairness for their lesbian and gay parishioners and members," said HRC Religion & Faith Program Director Harry Knox. "They know that injustice is immoral and they know the unfair treatment of lesbian and gay couples in their congregations does real harm to those couples and their families. For these clergy, it is a pastoral issue - an issue that demands a pastoral response that includes speaking out in the public square for equality and dignity for those they love and care for."

The demonstration follows last week's launch of HRC's "7 Days to a Better Financial You." The Human Rights Campaign is working every day to knock down the barriers to equality in Congress, statehouses, corporate board rooms, emergency rooms and communities across the country. Due in part to the efforts of HRC's Workplace Project, more than 50% of the Fortune 500 companies offer benefits to same-sex partners, up from just a handful in 2000. After years of on-the-ground organizing by HRC and other national, state and local organizations, ten states plus the District of Columbia have civil unions, domestic partnerships, or marriage, and more are considering relationship protections. Furthermore, HRC is currently lobbying on the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, the Domestic Partnership tax bill and the Domestic Partnership Benefit and Obligations Act or DPBO.

To read the remarks from the participating clergy and for pictures of the event, visit the HRC blog, http://www.hrcbackstory.org/. To learn more about the HRC Religion & Faith Program, visit: www.hrc.org/religion.

To read the remarks from the participating clergy, visit the HRC blog, http://www.hrcbackstory.org/. For pictures of the event, click here and to learn more about the HRC Religion & Faith Program, visit: www.hrc.org/religion.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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