The organization — known by the acronym IGLHRC — will formally announce during its annual gala in Manhattan that it has changed its name to OutRight Action International. The group will also unveil its new logo, website and tagline that reads “human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere.”
“As our movement has evolved, the fact that the name only identified gay and lesbian rights was of course a problem,” IGLHRC Executive Director Jessica Stern told the Washington Blade on Sept. 25 during an exclusive interview at her office in lower Manhattan. “We wanted to make it explicit that we’re an organization that cares about everyone in the community — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer. So that was the reason for saying goodbye to IGLHRC.”
Julie Dorf, who is now a senior advisor for the Center for Global Equality, a Washington-based group that advocates for LGBT rights around the world, founded IGLHRC in 1990.
IGLHRC in 2010 became the first U.S.-based LGBT advocacy organization to receive formal recognition from the U.N. It remains the only LGBT-specific organization with a permanent presence in New York that advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people at the U.N.
Stern spoke during the first-ever U.N. Security Council meeting on an LGBT-specific issue that took place last month. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and Subhi Nahas, a gay Syrian refugee who now lives in San Francisco, were among those who took part in the briefing that focused on the Islamic State’s ongoing persecution of LGBT Syrians and Iraqis.
“For an LGBTIQ activist organization, the boundaries are always evolving as we push to eliminate discrimination and improve the lives of people who experience injustice,” said Dorf in response to IGLHRC’s decision to change its name. “It’s wonderful for me to see the organization I founded choose a new name that builds on its strengths and determination for two and a half decades.”
IGLHRC is the latest LGBT advocacy group to change its name.
The National LGBTQ Task Force last October announced it had changed its name from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The Los Angeles LGBT Center was known as the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Center until May 2014.
Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly noted that IGLHRC is the only group that advocates for LGBT rights before the U.N. The Blade regrets the error.