US: Human Rights Campaign president to speak for gay rights at University of Arkansas

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The president of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin is scheduled to speak today at a rally at the University of Arkansas, in favour of equal rights.

Griffin, who is a native of the town Hope, Arkansas, will speak at noon at the Clinton School of Public Service. He is the first Southerner to lead the HRC, which lobbies for gay rights.

Last month the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally defined marrage as between one man and one woman. These cases were seen as key in the campaign for equality in the US.

The first same-sex wedding took place between the plaintiffs who brought the case against California’s Prop 8 at the end of last month, as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the green light for same-sex weddings to resume.

In the state of Arkansas, a case challenging the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, is currently pending circuit court.

As well as Arkansas, Griffin will also stop in North Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi.

Last month the HRC put up a sign to welcome anti-equality protesters, including the fiercely anti-gay Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, who was scheduled to rally at the HRC’s Washington headquarters.