5 LGBT things you need to know today, Jan. 18

1. Same-sex couples who display affection in public in Russia would get two weeks in jail under a new law under debate in the Russian parliament. 2. The National LGBTQ Task Force is catching flak for canceli...
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Activists: LGBT communities must ally with others to ensure equality for all

Creating Change Conference

When President Barack Obama announced Tuesday in Las Vegas that now is the time for “common-sense comprehensive immigration reform,” he echoed a crucial portion of the national LGBT Creating Change conference in Atlanta.

Now is the time for immigration reform and now is the time for LGBT people to accept that immigration reform is part of their movement as well, said numerous activists throughout the Creating Change conference, held Jan. 23-27 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Atlanta. The 25th annual conference, which is held in a different city each year, drew more than 3,000 activists from across the country as well as China and Taiwan.

While President Obama didn’t speak publicly about LGBT families during his Jan. 29 speech on immigration reform, he included provisions for bi-national gay and lesbian couples in his framework for reform, as well as the principles of the DREAM Act — “legislation that provides a streamlined path to citizenship for young people who came to the country as children and are going to school or serving their country.”

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[Video] Rea Carey’s LGBT ‘State of the Movement’ speech from Creating Change Conference

Rae Carey

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, addressed attendees of the 2013 Creating Change Conference in Atlanta on Friday, Jan. 25.

Carey's “State of the Movement” address highlighted recent victories in the equality movement while looking forward to the continuing battles in the fight for marriage, employment protections and immigration rights.

“The tables are turning,” Carey said. “This year, after losing 31 times at the ballot box — 31 times, but who's counting? —This year, we won big on marriage. We beat back marriage opponents in Minnesota and won marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington state.”