United States Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced today that a special event will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. in recognition of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. The program will be held at the Historic Federal Courthouse located at 517 East Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. The reception will begin at 5:30pm followed closely by the formal program. The event is open to the public.
The keynote speakers will be FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa L. Carlson and United States Attorney James L. Santelle. The event will introduce a newly developed special emphasis program within the Department of Justice; provide insight into law enforcement's investigation and prosecution of hate crimes and related violence, including the effect of the Shepard Byrd Hate Crimes Act; and discuss the impact of recent legal decisions on the LGBT community.
In making this announcement, Santelle commented: "Members of our LGBT community in Wisconsin and throughout our nation continue to make significant contributions to the health, education, economy, culture, safety and well-being of all of us, and the United States Department of Justice is committed to promoting and safeguarding the rights of and equal protection for Americans of all sexual orientations and identities." He continued: "In the educational and inspirational programs on the 20th, we are not only affirming our strong federal partnership with Equality Wisconsin, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center and other local and regional groups and associations, but we are also affirming the fundamental tenet that our county is enriched and strengthened by diversity in all aspects of our national experience."
FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa L. Carlson said: "Milwaukee is a proud community rich in diversity. It is the FBI's mission to enforce civil rights laws and protect the freedoms of all Americans. We are honored to have a role in this great program that celebrates and embraces our cultural differences."
According to Karen Gotzler, the Interim Executive Director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, "The Community Center in Milwaukee offers a wealth of resource programming, from youth to young adults to elders. We are HONORED to be partnering with the U.S. Attorney's Office to illustrate the importance of LGBT people as part of our entire community and having the federal government look seriously at LGBT issues."
Jason Burns, Executive Director of Equality Wisconsin, "This has been a banner year for LGBT people and addressing these issues at a federal level is integral to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens."
The event is sponsored by the Office of the United States Attorney, the Federal Bureau Investigation, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, and Equality Wisconsin.
About the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
Milwaukee LGBT Community Center programs include: Project Q Youth Services, LGBT Counseling Programs, and Anti-Violence Programs, SAGE Milwaukee for Seniors, as well as personal financial counseling and coaching, an art gallery, an LGBT lending library with over 2,400 books, a cyber center and meeting spaces for more than 60 local organizations. In addition, the Center sponsors social events, networking meetings and activities for all ages.