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Champions

Champions are committed to act on The Dallas Principles’ message of “Full LGBT Civil Rights Now. No Delay. No Excuses.”

They post regularly on this site with specific actions to take for full equality now. They also blog here with information and strategies. Check how to become a champion.

Ken Ahonen-Jover Ken Ahonen-Jover – Miami Beach, FL – Ken is the co-founder and political editor of eQualityGiving.org and a donor to LGBTQ causes. He is a board certified emergency medicine physician with clinical, administrative and teaching roles in South Florida.
Juan Ahonen-Jover Juan Ahonen-Jover – Miami Beach, FL – Juan is the co-founder of eQualityGiving.org where he proposed the Omnibus Equality Bill as well as measurements of the level of LGBT legal equality at the state and federal levels. A high-technology entrepreneur, who retired at age 40, he now spends his time on philanthropy and achieving LGBT legal equality. He is a Fulbright Fellow, holds four advanced degrees, is fluent in four languages, and co-authored a textbook on computers while in his 20’s.
John Bare John Bare – San Francisco, CA – John worked as a research molecular biologist and geneticist, but evolved into a donor and activist who believes that science triumphs over ignorance, love over fear, and principles over politics.

John is one of the 24 co-authors of The Dallas Principles, and was recently co-chair of the Board of Directors of Horizons Foundation – the world’s oldest LGBT community foundation. You can follow his LGBT civil rights tweets at www.twitter.com/JBinSFO

Ignatius Bau Ignatius Bau – San Francisco, CA – Program Director at The California Endowment, working on improving health care for diverse populations, including LGBT communities. Currently board member of Funders for LGBTQ Issues; has been member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, California Department of Health Services Council on Multicultural Health and boards of the National Minority AIDS Council, Gay Asian Pacific Alliance Community HIV Project and Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Services. Was the attorney for a Russian lesbian seeking asylum and HIV+ Haitian refugees detained at Guantanamo Bay; wrote on immigration issues in “Q&A: Queer in Asian America”.
Dana Beyer Dana Beyer – Montgomery County, MD – Dana, a physician, surgeon, scientist and political activist, raised in a culture of religious activism and public service, became an advocate for LGBT rights upon her gender transition earlier this decade. Active in the fight for full civil rights on the local, county, state and national levels, with the grassroots as well as the donor and political communities, she is striving to bring the dreams of her childhood heroes – Dr. King and the Kennedys – to fruition for all Americans.
John V. W. Buie John V. W. Buie – San Francisco, CA – John empowers change agents with sensemaking tools and storytelling skills. Presently CEO of PainPowerFit, Inc. and President of The Turing Institute, he was formerly with Oracle and SuccessFactors. He also lectures at Kaos Pilots in Denmark. As a ‘love exile’ in Denmark and a former US Army officer, he is expert and passionate about both marriage equality and DADT repeal. John is an advisor to the National Marriage Boycott and has served as President of the Maine SpeakOut Project and Board Member at Dignity/Washington.
Jay Carmona Jay Carmona – Washington, DC – Jay has worked as a grassroots community organizer, trainer, and strategist since 2000.
Mandy Carter Mandy Carter – Durham, NC – Mandy is an African-American lesbian activist with a 40-year movement history in social, racial and lebigaytrans justice organizing since 1968. She is a co-founder/former Executive Director of Southerners On New Ground and a founding Board Member Emeritus of the National Black Justice Coalition. She was a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee for “1000 Women for Peace”. She is owner of Mandy Carter Consulting.
Dan Choi Dan Choi – New York, NY – West Point graduate, Infantry Officer and Iraq war veteran fluent in Arabic who appeared on national television and announced “I am gay” on March 19, 2009. One month after his announcement he was notified that the Army had begun discharge proceedings against him. He went to trial and continues to serve although his discharge is still pending. Dan was arrested on March 18, 2010 at the White House gates in order to demand action from the President on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Some of his accomplishments and accolades include: founding member of KnightsOut LGBT West Point Graduates; National Co-Chair of 2009 LGBT Equality March on Washington, DC; National Advisory Board of Marriage Equality USA; and Advisory Council of The American Foundation for Equal Rights.
Michael Coe Michael Coe – Washington, DC – Michael oversees operation at the Hawthorn Group and heads the firms’ State and Local Government Relations Practices. In addition he works with Hawthorn clients and state affiliates on strategic and public affairs programs to address legislative issues across the country. He was recently named on Washington Life Magazine’s 2009 list of 250 of the most influential Washingtonians under the age of 40.
David da Silva Cornell David da Silva Cornell – Miami Beach, FL – David da Silva Cornell is a Miami-based attorney who practices corporate, international, and nonprofit law. Both a donor and an activist, over the years he has been involved with a number of LGBT and faith-related organizations and causes, including current service as Secretary and member of the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation and as Treasurer and member of the board of directors of Gay American Heroes Foundation and previous service as a member of the board of directors of Equality Florida Action PAC and of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. David received his B.A. and two Master of Arts degrees from Yale University and holds a joint J.D./M.S.F.S. degree from Georgetown University Law Center and School of Foreign Service.
Jimmy Creech Jimmy Creech – Raleigh, NC – Jimmy was a United Methodist minister for 29 years. Since 1987, he has worked to end religion-based bigotry used to justify discrimination and spiritual violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Because he conducted covenant ceremonies for same-gender couples, he was convicted of disobedience to The United Methodist Church in a church trial and his credentials of ordination were revoked in 1999.
Natasha Dillon Natasha Dillon – New York, NY – Natasha Dillon is a tireless advocate for LGBT rights. One of the original founders of New York City’s Queer Rising, Natasha has organized important LGBT protests, rallies, direct action, and non-violent civil disobedience demonstrations. Natasha was also one of the six LGBT demonstrators who chained herself to the White House fence to protest the injustice of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in Washington, DC in May of this year.
Joseph Falk Joseph Falk – Miami, FL – Joseph Falk is a mortgage professional. He attended Franklin and Marshall College and earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School. After school, he entered the family mortgage business until it was sold. Currently, Joe works for the policy/legislative/lobby group at a large national law firm.
J Todd Fernandez J Todd Fernandez – NY, NY – Todd (Tif) Fernandez believes we are stronger when act on principles. To this end, he is working to include LGBT people equally in the full compliment of America’s Civil Rights Laws via The American Equality Bill (http://bit.ly/AEBnow). To advance that approach, he seeks to engender a coalition movement based on transparency and public involvement wherein the thousands of community organizations and millions of equality activists can participate directly in their own liberation. He is also a composer, holds a Masters of Law in Human Rights from the Univ. of Pretoria, South Africa, and was formerly General Counsel & Legislative Director for Economic Affairs and Governor’s Ombudsman for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Don George Don George – Atlanta, GA – Don is a retired engineer and physician living in Atlanta with his partner of 5 years. He has been a gay activist since the early 1990’s starting with the Cracker Barrel protests. He has headed many gay organizations and sat on many LGBT boards. He is currently President of the Andonios Foundation. Over the years Don has authored over 100 letters to the editor that have been published in a wide range of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, USAToday and Conde Nast Traveler. Don loves to travel and read.
Mitchell Gold Mitchell Gold – Conover, NC – Mitchell Gold is the co-founder of the furniture design and manufacturing company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

He has won numerous awards and honors for his work for the gay community.

His second book is “Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Trauma of Growing up Gay in America.”

Kelly Rivera Hart Kelly Rivera Hart – San Francisco, California – Kelly Rivera Hart is a Latino/Irish native San Franciscan, proud bi leatherman, interfaith minister and lifetime HIV and civil rights activist.  He believes that his passion and ministry is for community service and taking a stand for social justice. 
His involvement in community service and activism over the last twenty-plus years includes volunteering with SF Pride, Marriage Equality CA, Queer Nation, Shanti, Ministries of Light, Latino Leather, Soulforce Colorado, Latino Equality, the HIV Care Planning Council, the SF Permanent Quilt Display Project and One Struggle, One Fight.
Donald Hitchcock Donald Hitchcock – Washington, DC – Donald recently settled a significant employment discrimination case against the Democratic National Committee. He has held several leadership and activist roles in LGBT grassroots and organizations including: IBM Employee Alliance for LGBT Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, DC Youth Pride, National Coalition for LGBT Health, and DC for Marriage. He is currently working on addressing sexual health issues for youth, and developing a strong and comprehensive federal LGBT youth policy agenda.
Bob Horvath Bob Horvath – Washington, DC – President, Kalorama Development LLC, a real estate development firm. President, Board of Directors, The Ellington Fund for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Political Activist (Omaba-Biden, Gore-Lieberman, John Edwards, Jared Polis), Formerly, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of each of Astrolink International LLC and NEW Customer Service Companies. Associate, Law Firm of Jones Day. B.A., The University of Virginia, J.D., Case Western Reserve University.
Lane Hudson Lane Hudson – Washington, DC – For his political blogging in 2006, Lane was profiled as a Time Magazine Person of the Year representing the power of average citizens in the Information Age. Lane was also recognized as a person of the year by Advocate magazine and as a member of Out Magazine’s ‘Out 100’ list of the most influential gay people in America.
Georg Ketelhohn Georg Ketelhohn – Miami, FL – Georg Ketelhohn is a construction litigation attorney and serves as board chair for Organizations United Together (OUT), Florida’s federation of local LGBT and supportive organizations. Georg also serves as vice-chair of SAVE Foundation and SAVE Dade. He served as Co-Chair and Campaign Manager of SAVE Dade’s successful No To Discrimination campaign (2002) which defeated an attempt to repeal Miami-Dade’s Human Rights Ordinance.
Tom Leonard Tom Leonard – Burbank, CA –
Charles Merrill Charles Merrill – Palm Springs, CA – Charles Merrill (of the Merrill Lynch family) is a philanthropist, artist and activist. He came out in 1990 after the death of his wife. Charles, the activist, stopped paying taxes to the US government to protest President Bush’s support of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Lisa Polyak Lisa Polyak – Baltimore, MD – Lisa is a former plaintiff in Deane and Polyak v. Conaway – litigation to obtain marriage equality for same-sex couples in Maryland. She serves on the Board of Directors at Equality Maryland, and is the Moderator of the Baltimore-based Families With Pride, a support group for LGBT parents and children. Her passion for equality is informed by one goal — for children to grow up in a world that respects all families both in word and deed.

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