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EQTX Press Release

For Immediate Release
Chuck Smith
Interim Executive Director  
(512) 474-5475

Dennis Coleman Accepts Position as Executive Director of Equality Texas & Equality Texas Foundation

Austin, Texas (July 6, 2010) - The Boards of Equality Texas and Equality Texas Foundation enthusiastically welcome Mr. Dennis Coleman to lead Equality Texas and Equality Texas Foundation.  As executive director, Mr. Coleman will lead a professional staff and hundreds of volunteers who advocate for inclusive polices at the local and statewide level.  

Mr. Coleman brings extensive experience building coalitions throughout the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality movement. For the past seven years, Mr. Coleman has been the regional director for the south central regional office of Lambda Legal in Dallas, the oldest and largest national legal organization that advocates for civil rights of LGBT people and people with HIV. His responsibilities included managing a region comprised of eight states: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Nebraska.  

Mr. Coleman says, "I've spent the last seven years on the road, seeing first hand the inequality people face throughout our state. I will take those experiences with me and use them to educate and to engage fair-minded people to support Equality Texas."

Equality Texas and Equality Texas Foundation board members voted unanimously Thursday, July 1, 2010, to offer Coleman the executive director position after conducting a five-month nationwide search. Coleman accepted the position the same day.

Equality Texas Board Chair Rob Scamardo said, "Mr. Coleman knows Texas. He's from Texas. He has seen the issues our state faces. We look forward to him utilizing his coalition building experience to touch the lives of Texans living in both large and small communities and to advance our work in the upcoming 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature."  

Equality Texas Foundation Board Chair Martha Oestreich added, "Our organization needs a person like Dennis who can travel across Texas to increase the profile and the participation of Equality Texas in our efforts to achieve our vision of a state where all Texans are treated equally with dignity and respect."  

Lambda Legal's Executive Director Kevin Cathcart said of Dennis, "I want to thank him for all he has done for Lambda Legal during this time. We will miss him, but with his new position we will have opportunities to continue to work together towards equality in Texas."

Mr. Coleman and his partner Gregory Pynes look forward to spending more time in Austin. Mr. Coleman's first day with Equality Texas will be July 19.

As a non-partisan organization with more than two decades of rich history, Equality Texas has established itself as a policy and advocacy authority at the Texas Capitol and across the state. Equality Texas has achieved bipartisan support while accomplishing a strong legislative agenda. The organization successfully works for inclusive policies at the local and state levels. Equality Texas is comprised of a professional staff and volunteer advocates committed to working across the state in partnership with members, allies and like-minded organizations.

Equality Texas advocates and lobbies for the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

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