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Maya Rupert
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Maya joined NCLR in 2010 to advance NCLR’s federal policy and legislative priorities. Maya’s work includes advocacy in many areas including federal legislation and regulations on housing, family policy, health, and employment.

Maya has also been a regular contributing writer to a number of media outlets—including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Huffington Post—where she frequently addresses the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. She has been recognized by national outlets like Ebony Magazine and The Root for being one of the most influential African-American leaders in the country.

Maya received her B.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2003, and her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 2006. In 2007, Maya clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining NCLR, she was an associate with Sidley Austin LLP’s Los Angeles office

Entries by Maya Rupert

Listening to #TheseOrgsAintLoyal

(1) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 2:42 PM

When the July 2nd 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act went by largely unacknowledged by most national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations, the silence, for some, felt thunderously loud.

When I read the blog post marking this anniversary written by NCLR...

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An Open Letter to the White Woman Who Felt Bad for Me at Yoga

(24) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 9:28 AM

Let me start off by stating the obvious: Of course I wasn't actually the woman in your yoga class, but from the sound of it, I could have been, and in fact, I have been that woman more times than I can count. So, while this is written...

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The Real SNAP Challenge

(7) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 12:58 PM

Over the last couple of weeks, a number of high-profile officials have been participating in the "SNAP Challenge." The challenge was designed to oppose proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the public benefit program formerly referred to as "food stamps." The proposed $20.5 billion dollar cuts to...

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Jason Collins Makes Amazing Happen

(5) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 5:34 PM

When I heard Jason Collins had come out as gay, becoming the first active NBA player to do so, the first thing I tried to do was remember a game where I'd seen him play, as if a mental instant replay could crystalize exactly how important this announcement was going...

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The Myth of Libertarianism and the Fight for LGBT Equality

(64) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 7:56 PM

Conservative leaders are changing their opinions on marriage equality.

Between Sen. Rob Portman's (R-Ohio) recent announcement that he supports marriage equality and the spate of similar sentiments being voiced at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), it seems that every day the media is...

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Immigration Reform Is an LGBT Issue

(59) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 8:16 PM

The need for immigration reform legislation is a complex issue that intersects with many different policy areas. Immigration reform is a broad issue that is about more than our national immigration policy; it's about racial justice, criminal justice and economic justice.

It is also undeniably about equality for lesbian, gay,...

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Not Quite a Nation of Immigrants

(3) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 3:20 PM

For a phrase designed to inspire feelings of inclusion and acceptance, the familiar mantra "we are a nation of immigrants" makes many in the black community feel excluded and uncomfortable. And now that efforts to draft an immigration reform bill are in full swing in the Senate, we will be...

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In Defense of Black Republicans

(154) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 5:26 PM

The announcement that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will appoint Tim Scott, a black Republican, to complete the remainder of Jim DeMint's term as a Senator, has generated a disturbing reaction.

Despite the fact that Scott will become the only sitting black Senator (since we elected the other one...

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The Problem With Uncle Tom

(115) Comments | Posted September 13, 2012 | 3:26 PM

The backlash from Barney Frank's recent comment comparing the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay and lesbian Republicans, to "Uncle Toms" at the Democratic National Convention prompted him to take to The Huffington Post to publish an explanation of his decision to use that term....

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What Are Little Girls Made Of: The Dangers of the New Olympics Gender Tests

(110) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 6:54 PM

One of the most problematic aspects of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) new gender testing policy was relegated to a single sentence in the Los Angeles Times' article on this controversial issue.

According to the new IOC rules, the test won't be administered to all female athletes and...

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An Open Yearbook Message to the LGBT Students of the High-School Class of 2012

(13) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 5:03 PM

Note: For identification purposes only, Maya Rupert is the federal policy director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

It's been a while since I signed a yearbook, so please bear with me. I'm trying to remember yearbook etiquette. (Is it still cool to use bubble letters? Was it ever?)...

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The X-Men Join the Evolution

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 3:20 PM

When The Avengers opened earlier this month, it shattered several box-office records, including biggest opening weekend in North America. Those numbers tell us everything we need to know about why marriage equality advocates should be anxiously anticipating the recently announced, impending marriage that will be featured in the upcoming issue...

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Is Marriage Equality for White People?

(39) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 4:27 PM

After the discouraging passage of California's Proposition 8 in 2008, the widespread speculation that the success of the anti-marriage equality initiative was due to the black voter turnout prompted some disturbing and racist rhetoric about the relationship between communities of color and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender...

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"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and My Father's Sense of Pinwheels

(11) Comments | Posted August 3, 2011 | 7:09 PM

As long as I live, I'll never forget my dad's reaction when I told him that Congress had voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." When I called him with the news, my dad, an older black man, a Vietnam vet, and a Christian, choked back tears of relief that...

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What Sheryl Swoopes' Engagement Means: Understanding the Role of Identity and Combo Guards

(5) Comments | Posted August 1, 2011 | 2:00 PM

This year, Sheryl Swoopes, the three-time WNBA MVP and the first player to be signed with the league when it was created, announced her engagement to a man. This announcement comes six years after she received a lot of media attention after coming out when she announced her...

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How Marriage Equality Can Save the Black Family

(4) Comments | Posted June 5, 2011 | 6:01 PM

June is here. Cue the gloom and doom stories about the state of the black family, and the finger pointing as we figure out who to blame.

Unfortunately, this summer has potential to dredge up the familiar and false dichotomy that pits the black community against the LGBT community....

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NBA Shoots for Social Justice

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 5:09 PM

Over the last few months, a number of homophobic incidents, followed by management and player's positive actions, surrounding the National Basketball Association (NBA) have given professional men's sports and several of its star players an opportunity to support equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. And after...

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The Assault on Chrissy Lee Polis: The Not So Innocent Bystanders

(62) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 3:10 PM

Three minutes and 2 seconds. That's how long a McDonald's employee in Baltimore stood by on April 18, videotaping as two young customers attacked Chrissy Lee Polis, a 22-year-old transgender woman, punching her in the face, pulling her across the floor by her hair, and kicking her in...

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