The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation epitomizes the most constructive path forward to advance the embattled values of equality, dignity, diversity, inclusivity, and peace.
The ominous levels of hate speech, discrimination, and violence here in the U.S. and around the world have fueled an understandable impulse to censor hateful ideas and to “cancel” hateful speakers.
But there is an even more powerful antidote to hate: Love. As Dr. Martin Luther King said: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Accordingly, he declared, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
An inspiration to all of us in exercising our all-important right not to remain silent, is the example set by Elliot Leonard and Roger Litz in creating the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation. The Supreme Court has long recognized that providing financial support to a chosen cause or organization constitutes constitutionally protected expression. If so, what better statement to make than the one that infuses this Foundation’s signature mission: promoting the heroic work of nonprofit organizations that enhance the rights and lives of people who have endured marginalization.
Ample evidence demonstrates that even a small expression of love and support can go a long way toward countering even the most hateful words, by uplifting and empowering the people whom the words seek to disparage. I applaud and thank everyone at the Leonard Litz Foundation for showing that we can all make a positive difference in a world that needs it now more than ever.
John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law Emerita, New York Law School
Past National President, American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008)
Author of HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship