Contact: Chevara Orrin FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phone: 678.637.9041 August 24, 2013
Straight Ally Ad Campaign Features Prominent Community Leaders
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Three local community advocates Chevara Orrin, Dan Bagan and Laura Riggs have created a straight ally ad campaign to raise awareness and encourage support of the Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance. The ordinance, which was rejected last fall by City Council, would have expanded the city’s human rights ordinance to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.
The ad’s tagline, “We Are Straight Allies…because nothing is more important than our humanity” has drawn together a diverse group of Jacksonville’s citizens from the education, faith, arts, military, sports, and corporate sectors. Participants range from a teenager to a retired military officer to a pastor of the Lutheran church. City leaders featured include Pat Geraghty, CEO – Florida Blue, Hope McMath, Executive Director – Cummer Museum and Gardens, and Steve Halverson, President & CEO – Haskell Company. Pat Geraghty says he’s happy to come out as a Straight Ally because he’s seen discrimination in many forms throughout his life. He says, “Discrimination in any form is wrong.”
“This struggle is an intrinsic human rights issue. I have been a champion for the rights of the marginalized since I marched on tiny, six year-old legs to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee years before the nation celebrated the King holiday,” says lead creative Chevara Orrin. “Today, 50 years after the historic March on Washington, we are once again standing at the crossroads of freedom and equality. Each day, communities across our nation are joining a growing list of cities that support LGBT equality. It’s time for Jacksonville to pass a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance and become a leader in this effort.”
Orrin, Bagan and Riggs want the campaign to serve as a call to action. “I am inspired by the divine power in all human beings to create the world they live in. When faith and laws are wed, we divorce ourselves of our humanity. We can create a happier world through love and celebration of our differences.” Riggs says, “The greatest gifts we can offer this initiative are joy and our devotion to seeing all beings treated equally.”
The website, www.wearestraightallies.com, features several ways for everyday citizens to become involved including signing a petition to support of the Human Rights Ordinance or contacting Jacksonville City Council members to voice support for the passage of the ordinance.