WASHINGTON, DC---June 17, 1998---At the invitation of the White House, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) briefed White House staff on its new groundbreaking report From Wrongs to Rights. The report tracks public opinion toward gays and lesbians for the past twenty years.
The briefing had the feel of a Task Force executive directors reunion of sorts. Current Task Force executive director Kerry Lobel was joined by Urvahsi Vaid, Task Force executive director from 1989 - 1992 and now director of NGLTF's Policy Institute. Among the White House staff in attendance was Assistant to the President for Management and Administration Virginia Appuzo, Task Force executive director from 1982 -1985.
"How wonderful, in NGLTF's twenty fifth anniversary year, that I am joined at a White House briefing by two of the organizations most important leaders and visionaries," said Lobel. "It seems only a short time ago in 1977 that NGLTF lobbied for and attended the historic first ever White House meeting with leaders from our community. Now the White House solicits our expertise. It's a fitting testament to NGLTF's efforts over the past quarter century," she added.
Lobel and Vaid were joined by Rebecca Isaacs, Task Force political director, and Alan Yang, author of the report. The report is the first ever survey of trends in public attitudes towards gays and lesbians over the past twenty years and documents a major favorable shift in public opinion in just two decades, especially in the area of civil rights. It also shows that while gays and lesbians are among the most disliked groups in the country, this negativity has decreased markedly.
White House staff attending the meeting represented, among others, the offices of the Vice President, Chief of Staff, White House Counsel, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Communication.