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social sciences

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Birch, Elizabeth (b. 1956)  
page: 1  2  

During Birch's tenure the size and budget of the HRC grew dramatically. Membership rose from 100,000 to 500,000, and the annual operating budget increased from six million to twenty-two million dollars. In addition, the HRC moved into a stylish new headquarters building in Washington, D. C. in 2003. Birch was also responsible for creating the HRC's two Action Center and Store retail outlets, one in Washington and the other in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

For her lifetime of work Birch was recognized with an award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, one of the most prestigious civil rights prizes in the country.

Sponsor Message.

Birch stepped down from the directorship of the HRC in January 2004 at the same time that her then partner, Hilary Rosen, left her job as chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America. Both cited the wish to spend more time with their children, twin brother and sister, whom they adopted in 1999.

The twins, born prematurely, both faced serious health crises early on but have thrived under their mothers' care. Birch and Rosen broke up in 2007, but continue to share the responsibilities of parenting.

In early 2004 Birch joined the campaign of presidential candidate Howard Dean as a senior advisor. Four years later, she served as a member of the LGBT Americans for Hillary Steering Committee to support the candidacy of Senator Hillary Clinton when she was seeking the presidency in 2008.

Birch has been praised for the strength of her commitment and for her skill as a negotiator. Her warm personality and conciliatory rather than combative style of conflict resolution have contributed to her success. Longtime activist Frank Kameny has pointed out that her "pragmatic approach" has been effective in bringing about positive change in the political arena.

In 2005 Birch founded Birch & Company Consulting and serves as its president and CEO. The firm, based in Washington, D.C., provides management and marketing advice to companies and organizations.

Linda Rapp

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social sciences >> Overview:  Domestic Partnerships

"Domestic partnership" is the generic term for a variety of forms of legal and institutional recognition of same-sex couples that fall short of same-sex marriage.

social sciences >> Overview:  Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes are crimes towards persons or groups motivated by the victim's race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

social sciences >> Overview:  Holidays and Observances

Throughout the year, the glbtq community unites in pride and in protest, in recognition of a rich heritage and in hope for the future.

social sciences >> Overview:  Marches on Washington

Marches on Washington in support of the rights of glbtq people have been a significant part of the modern movement for equality.

arts >> Overview:  Symbols

The various symbols of glbtq pride render marginalized communities visible and assert self-esteem in the face of discrimination and oppression.

social sciences >> Democratic Party (United States)

The American glbtq movement for equality has largely allied itself with the Democratic Party.

social sciences >> Gingrich-Jones, Candace

Candace Gingrich-Jones, the half-sister of former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, serves as a spokesperson and Senior Youth Outreach Manager for the Human Rights Campaign.

social sciences >> Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

The largest glbtq political organization in the United States, the Human Rights Campaign has emerged as the leading national organization representing glbtq concerns.

social sciences >> Kameny, Frank

One of the founding fathers of the American gay rights movement, Frank Kameny helped radicalize the homophile movement, preparing the way for the mass movement for equality initiated by the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

social sciences >> Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party of the United States has not been supportive of glbtq issues, despite the efforts of the Log Cabin Republicans.


Argetsinger, Amy, and Roxanne Roberts. "After 15 Years, a D.C. Power Couple Decides to Go Their Separate Ways." Washington Post (March 8, 2007): C3.

Auchmutey, Jim. "'Accidental Activist' Candace Gingrich Walks Fine Line Shooting Down Brother Newt's Politics." Atlanta Journal and Constitution (August 27, 1996): 1C.

Baker, Peter. "Clinton Equates Gay Rights, Civil Rights; Making Historic Link, President Echoes Truman's Speech that Broke Color Barrier." Washington Post (November 9, 1997): A18.

Bull, Chris. "A Champion Retires." The Advocate (January 20, 2004): 44-45.

Chibbaro, Lou, Jr. "HRC Mum on Who Will Replace Birch." New York Blade (online edition) (August 8, 2003).

Holson, Laura M. "The Media Business; Recording Industry Lobbyist Plans to Leave Her Position." New York Times (January 23, 2003): C5.

Phillips, Andrew. "Working the System." Maclean's 113 (June 5, 2000): 42-44.

Price, Deb. "About Elizabeth Birch, Gay Civil Rights Leader." (New Orleans) Times-Picayune (December 28, 1997): B7.

Rosenfeld, Megan. "Across the Great Divide; For Elizabeth Birch, the Ruling against Colorado's Anti-Gay Law Opens New Frontiers." Washington Post (May 22, 1996): C1.

Sobieraj, Sandra. "Clinton Addresses Gay Fund-Raiser." Chicago Sun-Times (November 9, 1997): 3.

Walsh, Edward. "Gay Rights Group's Backing of D'Amato Proves Controversial." (Bergen County, N. J.) Record (October 23, 1998): A9.

Weiner, Tim. "Gay-Rights Leader Sees Shift toward Public Acceptance." New York Times (April 24, 2000): A17.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Birch, Elizabeth  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated June 23, 2009  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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