Resources for media

GLAAD has several couples and experts who can speak to the media about the importance of marriage equality, DOMA and Prop 8 from a variety of perspectives.

Click here for GLAAD's Facts & Figures on marriage equality, DOMA, and Prop 8
(En Español)

To book any of these contacts, please contact:

Seth Adam
Senior Manager of Communications
(646) 871-8018
adam@glaad.org

Ross Murray
Director of News and Faith Initiatives
(646) 871-8040
murray@glaad.org

GLAAD Staff

Wilson Cruz currently serves as a full-time GLAAD staff member and national spokesperson, having spoken about LGBT issues on MSNBC, Huffington Post Live, NBC Latino and in USA Today, among many others. He will soon be guest hosting 'Raising McCain,' the new talk show on Pivot TV hosted by Meghan McCain. His involvement with LGBT advocacy began in 1995, when he accepted the GLAAD Media Award on behalf of the groundbreaking drama, My So-Called Life.  Cruz's role as gay high school student Rickie Vasquez was a groundbreaking moment in the history of LGBT images in the media. Since then he has gone on to appear in several memorable roles that have spanned television, film, and the Broadway stage. In 1997, Cruz joined GLAAD's Board of Directors.  In 2008, GLAAD honored Cruz with its Visibilidad Award. He recently served on the Board of Directors for The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and for the past two years he co-chaired their annual Respect Awards which raises money for the organization.  Cruz also worked at The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force as a Field Organizer, advocating in cities around the United States to expand human rights ordinances to includes sexual orientation.  He has been the Grand Marshal at Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, West Hollywood and San Diego Pride events, as well volunteering for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and APLA's AIDS Walk. He is based in Los Angeles.

Ross Murray is the Director of News and Faith Initiatives at GLAAD, where he amplifies the voices of LGBT-affirming communities of faith and LGBT people of faith. He speaks and writes frequently about the relationship between religion and LGBT people. He has written and appeared on numerous media outlets, such as CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Religion News Service. Ross holds a BA and an MA in religion, as well as an MBA. Ross is also a founder and director of The Naming Project, a faith-based camp for LGBT youth and their allies, which has appeared in the award-winning film Camp Out, as well as the controversial episode "Pray the Gay Away?" of Our America with Lisa Ling. He is based in New York.

Omar Sharif Jr. is an Egyptian-Canadian actor, public-figure, and grandson to international icons. He faced a barrage of condemnation, criticism and threats of violence in the Arab world after he wrote a commentary in which he came out in 2012. Most of this negativity was spurred on by the Arabic media’s demonization of his gay identity. Passionate about equal and human rights, Omar feels a responsibility to advocate on behalf of – and provide a voice for - those still silenced by fear or repression internationally. Acting as GLAAD's National Spokesperson he speaks from the heart and cites personal experience in an effort to highlight the importance of promoting understanding and acceptance and advancing equality through the media. Omar holds an advanced Master's degree in Comparative Politics from The London School of Economics. He is based in New York.

Monica Trasandes is the Director of Spanish-Language Media at GLAAD. She was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and grew up in San Diego. She has a very accepting family and lives with her partner of 11 years, Valda. As a spokesperson, she has done dozens of interviews on local, national and international news programs on CNN en Español, Telemundo, Univision and for many radio and print outlets. She is based in Los Angeles.

Monica Trasandes es la Directora de Medios en Español para GLAAD. Nació en Montevideo, Uruguay pero se crió en San Diego. Tiene una familia que la acepta y apoya y vive en Los Angeles con su pareja de 11 años, Valda. Como portavoz, ha realizado más de 40 entrevistas en programas de noticias locales, nacionales e internacionales, en CNN en Español, Telemundo  y Univision y en muchos programas de radio y medios impresos.

Couples

George Constantinou and Farid Ali-Lancheros and have been in a relationship for over 10 years. They both own and run a Colombian restaurant together in Brooklyn, and their families are very supportive of them.  In 2011, Farid and George became fathers to twins and in August 2012 they got married. They can speak to what marriage equality would mean to a family just starting out like theirs.

Lilia Garcia and Kelley Brower, of Los Angeles, CA, have been together for 7 years, and married right before the 2008 election. Lilia is executive director of a janitorial watchdog organization and Kelley is a nurse and a teacher. She has a 19 year old son named Sam. Lilia's mother cares for the couple's 2-year-old daughter while they work. Both Lilia and Kelley enjoy incredible support from both of our families. (Available in English or Spanish)

Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Candy Holmes met in church – Darlene, at the time a local pastor for Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia, and Rev. Candy, a gospel choir director at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC. “Our paths crossed often until one day our hearts met. We say of our life together that our hearts have journeyed together for a long time -- from 1996 to being happily married now. Being able to freely acknowledge our love through marriage is a dream come true and is a joy that has no bounds.” Both are now within the leadership of the Metropolitan Community Church. Candy and Darlene were one of the first same-gender couples to marry in Washington, DC in 2010, and they reside in Maryland.

Cesar Hernandez-Topete and Miguel Topete-Hernandez fell in love four years ago, became domestic partners in 2012. Now they run a successful business CakePops & Co in Long Beach, California, and are working toward becoming foster parents, hoping to eventually adopt. Cesar and Miguel are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on Prop. 8, hoping to publicly affirm their love and commitment.. Marriage to them is about family. “Our children will have parents that are married,” said Cesar, “not just domestic partners, but married, just like the other kids at school.” Read more about them here and watch them in this moving video on marriage equality.

Joey Latino is a Los Angeles native and resident, and married his non-US citizen Italian spouse, Danilo Loliva, in New York two months ago. Danilo has renewed his traveler’s visa twice and his current visa is due to expire in August, and so the couple is anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's rulings so Joey can apply for Danilo's green card. Joey was adopted into an Italian-American family at an early age and is also an advocate for adoption by loving, caring parents regardless of orientation.

Eric A. Manríquez and Juan Rivera were married in California in 2008 with a reception at the home of Christine Chávez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez. Juan Rivera is undocumented and because of DOMA and federal immigration laws, Eric cannot sponsor him for U.S. permanent legal residency like straight couples can. Though they would love to adopt a child, the uncertainty around Juan's legal status caused by lack of federal protections as a gay couple and because of an unjust immigration system prevents the couple from doing that. And because of his legal status, Juan is incredibly saddened and distressed that he cannot see his 89 year-old father in Mexico who is in poor health condition. Their story was told here

Alan Miles & Drew Glick: After 16 years together, Alan and Drew were married on July 24, 2011, in a ceremony at Manhattan’s municipal building. Alan proposed to Drew after marriage equality became law in Massachusetts, but they decided to wait until they could marry in New York. They live in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and are both 45 years old.

Ricardo Moreno and Arturo Avina, from Los Angeles, CA, have been partners for seven years and are waiting for Proposition 8 to be struck down so they can finally be legally married.  When they met in 2006, the connection was immediate and they became nearly inseparable as their lives quickly intertwined. One year after meeting, Ricardo planned a surprise engagement party, and Arturo enthusiastically accepted Ricardo’s proposal in front of his friends and family.  Unfortunately during their engagement the freedom to marry was taken away in California.  Despite this heartbreaking defeat, they felt that the best thing to do was to make the most of their wedding day and married at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena on November 21, 2009 in front of family and friends.  To make their special day even more meaningful, instead of creating a traditional wedding registry, they asked their loved ones to make a donation to the Human Rights Campaign to contribute towards making equal marriage rights a reality. The best gift they could possibly receive, in honor of their marriage, was the gift of marriage equality.  As they see states legalize equal marriage one by one, they are hopeful it will return to California (and the nation).

Kelebohile (Kele) Nkhereanye & Renee Boyd: Kele and Renee met in in 1989 at Nontraditional Employment for Women, an organization that trains women for careers in skilled construction. Renee is an entrepreneur, and feeds homeless LGBT youth as part of giving back to the community.  Kele is a newly ordained interfaith minister. They are a bi-national couple, as Kele is from Lesotho. Kele and Renee married at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, where they are members. Both are interfaith chaplains and members of LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent.

Tiffany Peckosh & Meredith Soffrin: Tiffany, 31, and Meredith, 30, have been together for six years. Last year, over lunch at their favorite taco shop, they promised to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They live in Brooklyn and were married at the New York City municipal building on July 24, 2011.

Boe Ramírez and Germán Roa, of Rockville, MD, have been partners for over 17 years. For them, marriage is a lifelong commitment to be there for each other, in good times and difficult times. When Boe lost his job for being gay, Germán wanted to demonstrate his unconditional love and support, and proposed on Christmas morning. Now that marriage equality is a reality in Maryland, they plan to get married in front of the families that love and support them. (Available in English or Spanish)

Lillian Rivera has dedicated her career to addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth and is very passionate about how her community has been impacted by HIV/AIDS. She currently serves as the director of after-school services at the Hetrick-Martin Institute and has been with the organization for nine years. Her most important role is being mom to Olivia and wife to Elsa. She can speak on what marriage equality means to families like hers. (Available in English or Spanish)

Art Rodriguez and Stephen Chavez are in a domestic partnership where they not only share the love they have for each other but their love for food. They live in Los Angeles where together they co-founded LatinoFoodie; a popular website that highlights trends in food and beverage. Art, who was professionally trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu, Hollywood campus is the lead recipe developer and Stephen, who learned his love of cooking and his skills from his mother as she cooked traditional Mexican meals, is the editor of the website. The couple is not yet married, waiting for Proposition 8 to be struck down before they tie the knot. The two are looking forward to having their wedding ceremony this upcoming October where their friends and family will help  them celebrate this milestone in their relationship.

Felipe Sousa-Rodríguez is undocumented and gay, a leader in the immigrant rights movement, and currently the Field Director for Get Equal, an LGBT civil rights organization. Felipe was born in the slums of Brazil to a single mother and came to the U.S. at the age of 14. In 2012, he married his partner of 4 years, Juan Rodríguez, in a beautiful ceremony in Miami, FL followed by their legal marriage in Boston, MA. However, because of DOMA, Juan, a permanent resident since 2008, will not be able to sponsor Felipe in a family petition. (Available in English, Spanish or Portuguese)

Richard Adams and Anthony “Tony” Sullivan are pioneers in the LGBT marriage and immigrant rights community. In 1975, Richard and Tony were one of six same-sex couples to be legally married in Boulder, CO. Because Tony was an Australian citizen, Richard filed for a green card based on their marriage. But an official letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) stated their petition was denied because they “failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.” Outraged at the tone, tenor and politics of this letter and to prevent Tony’s impending deportation, the couple sued the U.S. government, filing the first federal lawsuit seeking equal treatment for a same-sex marriage in U.S. history.  In 1985, after years of battling the government, the couple lost their final appeal in the 9th Circuit Court.  Judge Anthony Kennedy, before he was appointed to the Supreme Court, wrote the majority opinion supporting Tony's deporation. The couple left the country together in November 1985. Missing their family, friends and livelihoods, they slipped back into the country in 1986, and Tony has been undocumented ever since. After years of living quietly under the radar, the passage of Proposition 8 in California spurred the bi-national couple to once again bravely appear at rallies and speak out in support of same-sex marriage. They risked Tony’s deportation, but both believed that taking a stand was worth it. On December 17, 2012, Richard died after a short illness. He will always be remembered as a loving husband and an inspiring activist. Today, Tony lives in California and continues to be an outspoken supporter of the LGBT immigration rights and marriage equality movements.

Sarah Toce & Stephanie Brusig were one of the first couples to get a marriage license when it became legal in Seattle at midnight December 6, 2012. They waited the mandatory 3 days and married legally in Washington State on December 9, 2012. Sarah is the founder and editor-in-chief of Seattle’s only lesbian-fronted magazine – The Seattle Lesbian. The online magazine is regularly featured in mainstream and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media platforms for its inclusiveness and dedication to bridge the divide between all communities regardless of sexuality, gender, stereotyping, and abridged discrimination. Stephanie Brusig is originally from the Bay Area and has lived in Seattle for more than 20 years. She is an avid sports and events photographer with a passion for animal rights. She is also a founding member of Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) - a social justice non-profit. In her spare time, she enjoys engineering new contraptions and planning her next adventure.

Sara Train is of Bolivian descent. She and Kris met in Honduras when both were doing a social work project for six months. They each went back to their respective states but reunited soon after in California. They’ve been together for seven years and recently got engaged. They are very much looking forward to marrying soon. Sara is Coordinator of Project SPIN, focused on suicide prevention at the  L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. (Available in English or Spanish)

Stephen Williams & Joey Pressley: Stephen, 51, and Joey, 49, live in Brooklyn and have been together for 20 years. They were married on Friday, July 29, 2011. Stephen and Joey both feel that marriage is important to them in order to attain the same recognition and protections as straight couples.

Commentators

Gregory T. Angelo is the Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a Republican organization dedicated to representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and their allies. Angelo also serves as Executive Director of the Liberty Education Forum, a non-partisan think tank that advocates a message of gay acceptance among conservatives and people of faith throughout the United States. He is a resident of Washington, D.C., where he is active in LGBT politics. He was an Alternate Delegate for Newt Gingrich in the 2012 election cycle.

Noemi Masliah, law partner at Masliah & Soloway, a founder of Immigration Equality, THE DOMA Project and former co-chair of Lambda Legal Defense is Cuban-born and a native Spanish speaker. She emigrated with her family from her birthplace in Havana, Cuba to the United States as a child and grew up in NYC. She attended Queens College and Yeshiva Univ. Cardozo Law School. Ms. Masliah has practiced immigration law since 1980 and has worked extensively in all aspects of immigration law becoming a recognized expert in the field with frequent speaking engagements, written articles, interviews and panel discussions at legal conferences and law schools. Ms. Masliah advises corporate clients on compliance with immigration law and regulations. She is also a Trustee of the American Immigration Council and would be able to speak to both marriage equality and comprehensive immigration reform.

Jay Michaelson is the author of four books and two hundred articles on religion, sexuality, and ethics.  His most recent book, God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon), was an Amazon.com bestseller and Lambda Literary Award finalist.  Jay is a contributor to CNNNPR, the Jewish Daily ForwardReligion DispatchesThe Daily Beast, Salon, The Huffington Post, and the New York Times. Jay is also the founder of Nehirim, a national LGBT Jewish community. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, B.A. from Columbia, and an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence. 

Nanette Lee Miller is West Coast Partner-in-Charge of Assurance Services at Marcum LLP and head of the national accounting and advisory firm's LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Practice Group, which she founded in 2011. Based in Marcum's San Francisco office, in May 2013 Miller was named one of the Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times and also was the 2010 recipient of the AICPA/CalCPA Women to Watch - Experienced Leader Award.Millerhas more than 30 years experience in public accounting. She is a frequent speaker about tax planning and personal finance for same-sex couples and other nontraditional families, and has been interviewed extensively by the national media about the impact of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) on LGBT taxpayers.

 

Aisha C. Moodie-Mills is the Advisor for LGBT Policy & Racial Justice at the Center for American Progress. Her work explores the intersections of race, sexual orientation, economics, and public policy. She has been recognized as one of the top “Forty Under 40” national LGBT leaders by The Advocate, and as one of The Root‘s 100 emerging and established leaders in the African-American community. Aisha was also a key strategist and spokesperson on behalf of marriage equality in the District of Columbia. Throughout her career, Aisha has served as a political advisor and private-sector liaison to more than 50 members of Congress including six senators and the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Lavi Soloway came to the United States from Canada in 1989 to study law. His personal and professional life soon led him to build a national grassroots movement at the intersection of two high-profile political issues: marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples and immigration reform. A partner in the New York/Los Angeles law firm of Masliah & Soloway, his work includes all matters of family and employment-based immigration, citizenship, representation of asylum applicants and defense of individuals threatened with deportation. As a prominent gay rights advocate, Lavi Soloway founded the national LGBT organization Immigration Equality in 1993. In 1999 he helped write the Uniting American Families Act, a bill that would provide immigration rights for the same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The bill is still awaiting a vote by Congress. In 2010, with his law partner, Noemi Masliah, he launched the DOMA Project, a campaign to stop the deportations, separations and exile of binational lesbian and gay couples. Now an American citizen, Lavi Soloway lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Sebastian, and their daughter, Lily.

Faith Leaders

The Rev. Dr. Jorge Delgado is a member of the Public Policy Commitee in the national offices of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), as well as, volunteer clergy in Spanish Outreach Ministries in Washington, D.C. Rev. Delgado provides leadership in the Global Justice Ministries of the Metropolitan Community Churches and the National Latino AIDS Action Network (NLAAN). Jorge was ordained in the Metropolitan Community Churches in 1996. He has led organizing efforts in the passing of the same-sex marriage in Maryland and in Washington, D.C. He is available to speak to the media in English and Spanish. 

The Reverend Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D. is Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. She is ordained in the Presbyterian USA Church. She has been adjunct professor at Union Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Graduate Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary. Her Ph.D. is in psychology and religion. Leading to the New York State Senate vote on marriage equality in 2011, Rev. Lewis and Middle Collegiate Church sang civil rights songs on the steps on City Hall in New York City and traveled to Albany to stand for marriage equality. Middle Church also hosted a marriage equality concert with Broadway actors to raise money for marriage equality organizations. The first Sunday churches could bless same-sex weddings legally in New York State, Rev. Lewis presided over a triple wedding ceremony during the regular morning worship celebration. Middle Church started performing same-gender commitment ceremonies in the 1980s.

Rosa Manríquez is the mother of two lesbian daughters, one of whom married before Proposition 8 was established, grandmother, and a longtime member of the Southeast Los Angeles community.  She is also a leader in her church, Immaculate Heart of Mary. She wishes to see her two daughters married. She can talk about support in faith communities for LGBT people. Available in English and Spanish.

The Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer is Executive of the Office for Health and Wholeness Advocacy of Wider Church Ministries in the national offices of the United Church of Christ (UCC), as well as, Executive Director of UCAN Inc, the United Church of Christ HIV & AIDS Network.  Rev. Schuenemeyer provides leadership in U.S. and globally on HIV & AIDS and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns. Mike was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1984. He has led the organizing efforts for the UCC in repealing the ban on gay Scouts and leaders and is on the ground at the BSA meeting in Dallas.

Rev. Roland Stringfellow works to create dialogs on the topic of LGBTQ equality with congregations as the Director of Ministerial Outreach with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Sexuality on the campus of Pacific School of Religion. He has conducted multiple workshops on the topics of race, religion, class and sexuality. In 2011, Roland became licensed with the United Church of Christ and The Fellowship churches, a predominately African-American denomination with an outreach to LGBT individuals. He has worked as a pastor in Indiana and California. In addition to all his work within church contexts, Roland also worked in the field of education in a variety of capacities – teacher, guidance counselor, college advisor, and vice-principal.