Photographed is the 2014  Boston Pride Human Rights Forum .

Photographed is the 2014 Boston Pride Human Rights Forum .

Boston Pride announced today that it will host a panel discussion on immigration and the LGBT community during this year’s Pride Week.  The event, which will take place on Monday, June 8th at the Boston Public Library, will be moderated by Steve Kerrigan, a former candidate for Massachusetts’s lieutenant governor.

The panel will feature Anita Sharma, an asylum attorney with the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project; Richard Iandoli, an immigration attorney with Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD); Chris Parsons, a local drama teacher who spent nearly ten years in Thailand because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevented his husband from immigrating to the United States; and John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere, an LGBT Activist from Uganda.

“We want to educate our community on how immigration and asylum laws impact LGBT individuals and families in Boston and around the world,” said Jessica DeStefano, Chair of Boston Pride’s Human Rights Committee.  “We believe that the experiences of all of the panelists will help inform the public of the very real challenges faced by so many members of the LGBT community.”

The panel discussion will be held at the Boston Public Library on Monday, June 8th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and will be free and open to the public.

“As our community in Boston becomes more global, so do the issues that members of the LGBT community face,” said Sylvain Bruni, president of Boston Pride.  “We are committed to utilizing Pride Week to highlight the human rights challenges our community continues to face both here and abroad.”

This year’s Pride Week will celebrate the advocacy organization’s 45th Anniversary with the theme #WickedProud. Pride Week begins on June 5th and continues through June 14th.  Information on Boston Pride’s 2015 Pride Week can be found at

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About Boston Pride

Boston Pride produces events and activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect, and awareness in Greater Boston and beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility and dignity, we educate, communicate and advocate by building and strengthening community connections. Kicking off June 5 through June 14, Boston Pride will host ten days of events and activities that bring people together from all walks of life to celebrate diversity. Opening with the Annual Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall, Pride Week 2015 will also include the Boston Pride Gala, Pride Day @ Faneuil Hall, the Human Rights Forum, Queeraoke, Pride Night @ Fenway Park, the Boston Pride Festival and Parade, the Pride Youth Dance, the Back Bay Block Party, and the JP Block Party.  The theme of this year’s Pride celebration is “45th Anniversary – #WickedProud.”