FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 15, 2007
A Statement on the Passing of Reverend Jerry Falwell
From NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.
(San Francisco, CA, May 15, 2007) — In this time of loss, we wish the Reverend Jerry Falwell's family, students, and colleagues our condolences.
One of the hallmarks of my early career was debating Reverend Falwell on CNN's Crossfire after Ellen DeGeneres came out. He proved to be a worthy opponent, and throughout his life's work, Rev. Falwell had a profound influence on the discourse of the lives of LGBT Americans. Unfortunately, the values and views he espoused damaged our communities in many ways. For better or for worse, however, he is part of our history. One of the greatest lessons we can learn is the importance of maintaining a dialogue, of seeking out allies, and of being compassionate in a world of fear and discrimination. We are also reminded that real change only happens when you extend an olive branch of respect and dignity to your opponent, offering them that which you would want in return.
Kate Kendell, Esq.
National Center for Lesbian Rights
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.