ACLU honors Pittsburgh gay activist Randy Forrester

American Civil Liberties Union - Greater Pittsburgh Chapter - Logo(Pittsburgh) – The Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) will hear ACLU national president Nadine Strossen discuss “Taking Liberties” at its Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 26, at 1 p.m. in McConomy Auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University. Highlighting the free public event is the presentation of this year's Marjorie H. Matson Award for Civil Liberties and Civil Rights to Pittsburgh gay-rights pioneer Randal G. Forrester.

Pittsburgh's “Civil Libertarian of the Year”, Randy Forrester, has been a definitive leader in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual community since his founding of the first gay and lesbian rights organization in Western Pennsylvania, Mattachine (now defunct), in 1969. He co-founded (with partner James Huggins) Persad Center Inc., a community mental health center for sexual minorities, which since 1972 has helped hundreds of HIV-AIDS patients and delivered mental health services to thousands in the GLBT community. He retired in 2001 after

28 years as Executive Director during which Persad grew to a multi-program agency with a budget over one million dollars. Mr.

Forrester a former member and officer of both the ACLU's Pennsylvania Affiliate and Pittsburgh Chapter boards also conceived and founded the Lambda Foundation, which funds programs relating to the GLBT community; helped to create the Pennsylvania Governor's Council for Sexual Minorities; served as chairman of Pittsburgh's Human Relations Commission; and famously ran for Allegheny County commissioner in 1979. For these and other accomplishments, Mr.

Forrester was named #53 in Pittsburgh Magazine's 1999 list of the 100 most influential Pittsburghers of the 20th century.

PROGRAM INFORMATION:

The Annual Meeting of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU-PA With keynote speaker Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union 1:00 p.m. Sunday, March 26, 2006 McConomy Auditorium, University Center Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland Free and open to the public.

For more info, contact the ACLU at 412-681-7736.

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