Written by Ethan Jacobs
Greater Boston Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will hold its annual meeting Sept. 24 at the Congregational Church of Needham. During the meeting PFLAG will kick off a campaign to place the book Courting Equality, which documents the marriage equality movement in Massachusetts through text by Pat Gozemba and Karen Kahn and photos by Bay Windows photographer Marilyn Humphries, into the hands of every gay/straight alliance (GSA) in the state. Gozemba said the program was made possible through a donation by Keith Maynard and Chip McLaughlin of Cambridge, the couple who are pictured on the cover of the book exiting Cambridge City Hall on May 17 after receiving their marriage license.
“They have a real commitment to getting the word out to young people about the struggle for marriage equality and thanking young people for all of the work they did to help bring about marriage equality,” said Gozemba.
PFLAG will distribute a copy of the book to every public high school GSA in the state. For those high schools without a GSA, PFLAG will offer to donate the book to that school’s library. During the annual PFLAG meeting Gozemba will present the first book to the Lexington High School GSA.
The meeting will also include a panel discussion focusing on issues in the LGBT community following the defeat of the amendment last June to ban civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. Panelists will include state Sen. Robert Antonioni (D-Leominster), chair of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, who will talk about recent and pending legislation related to LGBT youth and education; Kim Westheimer, an educational consultant who helped develop the Massachusetts Safe Schools program, who will talk about the state’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey and what data it provides about LGBT youth in the schools; and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) attorney Nima Eshghi, who will talk about legal issues affecting the LGBT community and about efforts by anti-gay activists to attack LGBT-related programming in schools.
The Greater Boston PFLAG annual meeting is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. For more information visit www.gbpflag.org or call 781.891.5966.
— Ethan Jacobs