Dr. Paul Boskind to
be honored by HRC
QSanAntonio.com, July 9, 2011
The local chapter of the Human Rights Campaign announced this week that
they will honor Dr. Paul Boskind with the Chuck Jordan Award for lifetime
advocacy at their Gala Dinner and Silent Auction on October 15 at the
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Boskind is chief executive officer of Deer Oaks, a behavioral health organization
headquartered in San Antonio with offices in 17 states and the largest
private employer of psychologists in Texas. He also serves as treasurer
on the board of directors of Equality Texas.
Deer Oaks has grown into a thriving stand-alone provider of high-quality
employee assistance, work-life, and wellness services. Deer Oaks currently
serves approximately one million employees and their dependents across
more than 500 private and public employer groups throughout the nation.
Most of Boskind's gay rights advocacy has been on the national level.
He serves on the board of directors for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
and is a major donor with the Human Rights Campaign, Victory Fund, Point
Foundation, Faith In America, GenderPAC and the Michael Palm Center, as
well as the Democratic National Committee.
In 2007, when Boskind joined the Equality Texas board he said, "Equality
Texas offers an excellent way to advocate for specific issues impacting
gay rights in Texas. As a psychologist I understand the importance of
protecting the rights of all families, including gay families raising
children and access to adoption for gays and lesbians."
In addition Deer Oaks, Boskind owns The Oasis at Medina Lake, the Main
Plaza Market, the Main Plaza Hotel and several special event venues. He
is also owner of the Church Theater building in the King William neighborhood
where in 2007 he produced 'Southern Baptist Sissies' and other theatrical
As a producer at the Church Theatre, Boskind discovered the power of using
the theatrical arts to inspire, educate and touch lives on issues of equal
rights for the GLBT community, prompting him to expand his interest to
As a result, he has produced several gay oriented, equality based shows,
including "BASH’d!," an award winning musical about marriage
equality and gay bashing, and "The Temperamentals," a play focusing
on the early gay rights movement in Hollywood in the late 1950’s.
This year Boskind won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play as one of
the producers of Larry Kramer's ground-breaking AIDS drama, "The
Normal Heart." His current Broadway theatre productions include "Priscilla
Queen of the Desert, The Musical."
Retired Marine Sergeant and San Antonio
native Eric Alva was on stage in Washington, DC as President Obama signed
the repeal of Don't Ask, Don' Tell. (Photo captures from WhiteHouse.gov)
Eric Alva on DADT Victory
YouTube.com, December 20, 2010
Retired Marine Staff Sergeant and San Antonio native son Eric Alva speaks
about the Senate vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and about his work
with the Human Rights Campaign to repeal this law.
at root of DADT repeal says Alva
San Antonio Express-News, December 19, 2010
In a historic vote Saturday, the Senate repealed the military’s
ban on gays openly serving in the armed forces. “It doesn’t
matter what the gender is or the color or the ethnicity or the religion
or the orientation, it’s about patriotic men and women voluntarily
wanting to serve their country in a time of war,” said Eric Alva,
a San Antonio gay-rights activist and one-time Marine who was the first
GI injured in the Iraq war.
Gayl Newton, organizer of Ladies on the
Loose, received the HRC Equality Award. Robert "Papa Bear" Edwards,
founder of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, received the Chuck Jordan
Award for lifetime advocacy. Michelle Myers accepts the Community Service
Award on behalf of the San Antonio Gender Association.
Betty DeGeneres, mother of comedienne
Ellen DeGeneres was the keynote speaker. Fiona Dawson of the Houston chapter
of HRC was a featured speaker.
Yvonne Jonans, President of San Antonio
PFLAG, with Betty DeGeneres. Allyson Robinson (center) of HRC National
with members of the San Antonio Gender Assn.
Robert "Papa Bear" Edwards with
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White. Gayl Newton.
HRC Gala is biggest
QSanAntonio.com, October 28, 2010
Approximately 300 people came to the Grand Hyatt Hotel on October 23 to
attend the San Antonio HRC Gala and Silent Auction helping raise over
$120,00 and making it the most successful of any fundraiser staged by
the chapter. Click
here for more photos from this series.
from the HRC Gala
Photos by Antonia Padilla, QSanAntonio.com, October 28, 2010
QSanAntonio photographer Antonia Padilla took of series of portraits at
the 2010 HRC Gala and Silent Auction on October 23. The ten portraits
shown here reflect the diversity of San Antonio’s GLBT community.
Gayl Newton will receive the Community
Leadership Award, Robert (Papa Bear) Edwards will recive the Chuck Jordan
Award for lifetime advocacy, and the San Antonio Gender Association will
receive the Community Service Award.
HRC to honor San Antonians
at Gala Dinner
QSanAntonio.com, October 16, 2010
The San Antonio chapter of the Human Rights
Campaign will bestow three awards to two local activists and to one organization
during their Gala Dinner and Silent Auction on October 23 at the Grand
Equality Award -- Gayl Newton
Gayl Newton has lived in San Antonio for over 26 years. Having been previously
married, she has for last 9 years lived as a lesbian and mother. She is
a professional Human Resources Consultant and a Success and Motivational
coach. Her two grown daughters, Tessa Goolsby and Sara Maring are both
About four years ago, Newton, along with Kathy Kennedy and Kris Biedenharn-Ressel,
started a new social networking event called LOL, Ladies on the Loose.
With that triumvirate, a new San Antonio tradition was born.
The first LOL was held in April 2006. There were 60 people who attended
the inaugural event. For three years, the three women coordinated and
hosted the monthly LOL and it grew to consistently have 130 attendees.
For the last year and half, Newton, along with a few dedicated volunteers,
has continued coordinating and hosting LOL. The monthly event has grown
to consistently have 200-plus attendees.
In addition to facilitating LOL and doing lots of volunteer work, Newton
writes a popular newsletter, Newton’s News, which is published three
times per month. The newsletter covers primarily events, fundraisers and
social happenings in San Antonio. In the past couple of years the newsletter’s
distribution has grown to include over two thousand subscribers and growing.
Community Service Award -- San Antonio Gender Association
The Community Service Award is going to the San Antonio Gender Association
for their tireless advocacy of the rights of the transgender population,
for providing a source of support for the transgender community, and for
their work in educating others on transgender issues.
Even though it is a small group, in terms of membership, the San Antonio
Gender Association’s members have taken leadership positions in
the local chapters of the Stonewall Democrats and the Human Rights Campaign,
and have maintained a highly visible presence at GLBT events throughout
Last year SAGA was the recipient of the Paul Wellstone Award for Community
Service by the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology during its
annual meeting in San Antonio. The award is bestowed on "an organization
that makes significant and noteworthy applied sociological contributions
in the community they serve."
In 2007 SAGA received an Honorable Mention for Community Activism from
QSanAntonio as part of its "Year in Review" citations.
Photos by Antonia Padilla
Jordan Award -- Robert (Papa Bear) Edwards
QSanAntonio.com, September 4, 2010
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in San Antonio when no one wanted
to treat the infected, Robert "Papa Bear" Edwards started the
San Antonio AIDS Foundation to care for local gay men who were sick and
dying. In the process he became a fervent advocate for people with AIDS
who faced discrimination in housing, on the job and in the military. On
October 23, the Human Rights Campaign will honor Edwards’ achievements
at their annual Gala Dinner by bestowing upon him the Chuck Jordan Award
for lifetime advocacy. (Click on link above for story.)
HRC responds to criticism
over hotel for Gala Dinner
QSanAntonio.com, May 21, 2010
The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement on May 21 in response to
a posting by blogger and activist Jay Morris (JaySays.com) criticizing
the organization for choosing the Grand Hyatt for its San Antonio Gala
Dinner and Silent Auction. (See related link below.)
The Grand Hyatt was recently embroiled in a labor dispute over two workers
who were fired because they were trying to organize a union at the property.
The suit against the Hyatt by the two workers has been settled and employees
are now free to pursue forming a union at the hotel. However, some local
labor activists maintain that employee grievances about working conditions
cannot be addressed until the union is actually in place.
Following is the statement received by QSanAntonio from Michael Cole,
the Human Rights Campaign spokesperson:
"The Human Rights Campaign believes strongly in the labor movement
and is proud to partner with many workers’ rights organizations.
HRC strives where possible to patronize union-friendly hotels and makes
a venue’s labor policies critical to our decision making process
that also includes considering location, size and availability. In the
particular case of our San Antonio dinner, we are not aware of any current
boycott of the Grand Hyatt and understand local groups such as the Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce and Planned Parenthood have patronized the hotel recently.
We will continue to monitor the situation there and be in contact with
local union organizers."
San Antonio veterans
lobby against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Photos by Gilbert Casillas, QSanAntonio.com, May 13, 2010
Five San Antonians were among the over 400
veterans from 44 states who were in Washington D.C. earlier this week
to lobby for the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."
The San Antonio participants (shown in left photo, top row, left to right)
were Eric Alva, Gilbert Casillas, William Nuels (seated), Kevin Voelker
and Alicia Palmer.
The five San Antonio vets' trip was made possible
through a fundraiser held on May 2 that raised money to help defray their
costs. (See related story below.) Of the six Texans who attended the Lobby
Day, five of them were from San Antonio.
San Antonio vet Eric Alva posted an article
offering his reflections about Lobby Day on the HRC web site. The link
to that article follows below:
on Veterans Lobby Day
By Eric Alva, HRCBackStory.com, May 14, 2010
Veterans Lobby Day on "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" was
nothing less than truly amazing. I was touched to see so many active duty
service members and veterans come to Washington to lobby Congress on such
a personal and important issue.
Stephanie Romero, Chris Forbrich, George
Page, Michelle Meyers, Elizabeth Schleigh, Christopher Sauder, Gayl Newton,
Lauryn Farris, Misha Ortiz.
HRC visits Congressman
By George Page, QSanAntonio.com, November 20, 2009
A group of activists from the San Antonio Chapter of the Human Rights
Campaign and their allies visited Rep. Ciro Rodriguez's Northside office
on November 17 to ask for his support for H 3017 the fully inclusive Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
Rep. Rodriguez and Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz from Corpus Christi are the only
two Texas Democratic Congressman who have not signed on to this bill.
The group included HRC Governors Elizabeth Schleigh and George Page, Steering
Committee members Lauryn Farris, Gayl Newton, Christopher Forbrich and
HRC member Michelle Meyers. Also in attendance were: Christopher Sauder
a professor from UTSA; Misha Ortiz, a community activist from Rodriguez’
district; and Peter, a straight ally.
The group met with Stephanie Romero a staff person from the Congressman's
office. Romero listened to stories of how anti-gay job discrimination
has affected the GLBT community. Peter, the straight ally, said he wanted
to see discrimination go away. He said that the majority cannot stay silent
on this issue and he supported an inclusive ENDA.
Farris explained that most Fortune 500 companies and Fortune 100 companies
have inclusive provisions yet the US Government still practices discrimination
in the work place. As the President of the San Antonio Gender Association,
she understands from so many how discrimination affects job retention
Romero also listened to stories about the fear of coming out at work due
to fear of being fired. Some said that being open about their sexual orientation
prevented them from getting a promotion even when they were more qualified
than other candidates.
One woman recounted how she let the hiring manager know she was gay and
when she went back she was denied the job because it would cause a "hardship"
for the rest of the department.
The meeting wrapped up with the group asking Romero to convey their concerns
to Congressman Rodriguez and to urge him to support ENDA.
HRC Governors Elizabeth Schleigh and George
Page, SAGA representatives Ruby Krebs and Julia DeGrace, and HRC member
Anna Castro paid a visit to the San Antonio office of Senator Kay Bailey
HRC members visit Sen.
Hutchison’s San Antonio office
QSanAntonio.com, September 10, 2009
Members from the local chapter of the Human Rights Campaign paid a visit
to the San Antonio office of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) on September
8 to make an appeal for her support of GLBT legislation in Congress.
The visit was made as part of HRC’s national "No Excuses"
campaign, an effort to meet with as many Representatives and Senators
to discuss upcoming legislation. The HRC group met with Jessie Hereford,
the Senator’s Regional Director and State Outreach Director.
HRC Governors Elizabeth Schleigh and George Page along with Steering Committee
member Eric Alva, HRC member Anna Castro and San Antonio Gender Association
representatives Julie DeGrace and Ruby Krebs attended the meeting.
Among the topics discussed at the meeting were the enactment of the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act, the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell",
the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and support of the Uniting
Americans Family Act for US citizens with foreign same sex partners. The
group also touched on the need for early treatment for HIV/AIDS and domestic
partnership benefits for US Government employees.
"We directly asked for the Senator to become the lead sponsor on
the Defense of Marriage Act since there is not one yet in the Senate or
the House. We also asked for her ‘yes’ votes on the rest of
our requests," says Page. "Mr. Hereford said that he would give
the Senator our stories and the information that we gave him."
In August, representatives of HRC San Antonio visited the offices Congressman
Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and are scheduled
to see Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz (D-TX) in Corpus Christi on September
15. Page said that the offices of Senator John Cornyn's (R-TX) and Congressman
Lamar Smith (R-TX) did not return HRC’s phone calls requesting meetings
HRC Obama's First 100 Days Party at Luther's
Cafe, April 30, 2009
HRC marks Obama's first
100 days with a party
Photos by Antonia Padilla, QSanAntonio.com, May 2, 2009
The Human Rights Campaign of San Antonio's
Federal Club marked the first 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency with
a celebration at Luther's Cafe on North Main Avenue. The event was one
of about 30 HRC was holding around the country. Local Federal Club members
Darrell Parsons and Gayl Newton welcomed about 50 people to the event.
The two speakers also detailed the president's recent accomplishments
and their hopes for future legislation that will advance the rights of