Allies in the community

Wed. August 11, 2010 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

This last weekend I joined the National LGBT Bar Association in honoring my Father Llewelyn G. Pritchard , as he received the Allies for Justice Award in San Francisco.

What better time than this to be honored by the LGBT community for a lifetime of work on our behalf! Throughout his career, my Father has taken a special interest in providing a voice to those who leave their own countries in pursuit of the American ideals of opportunity, justice and freedom. His dedication to immigration law and international advocacy has come to a head several times as he's stood before courts and Congress on behalf of clients seeking access to justice.

Additionally, he has worked tirelessly to affect change and establish policies within the American Bar Association (ABA) by taking a personal stand on key and oft times controversial issues. He has been particularly active seeking civil liberties for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and legal rights for immigrants, refugees and newcomers.

This last February, my Father received the prestigious Father Robert F. Drinan Award at the American Bar Association's mid-year meeting. This is one of the ABA's highest honors.

The above is a great professional description of my Father. It must be said, however, that his greatest accomplishment is his Family. I have always been given the utmost support and steadfast love from my Father. He has always championed the rights of the LGBT community; even before I knew about myself. He has given countless time and treasure to the cause of equality. The LGBT community has a wonderful ally in my Father.

This well deserved citation has reminded me of the countless people in our world that give of themselves for the rights and equality that we've yet to achieve. They are the ones, who held us in the down times; dated us when we were hiding our lifestyles; walked with us in the school hallways; and supported us with love.

These individuals deserve our praise and gratitude; not our exclusion. I've seen too many straight individuals shunned because they weren't gay. I think that's really sad. Where would we be without them? I for one am nothing without the love and support of people like my Father (And Mother)

He not only has the respect and admiration of the legal profession, and its highest ranking members, but he has the love and appreciation of his gay son.