PRESS RELEASE: NAPABA CONDEMNS ARIZONA LEGISLATION THAT BOLSTERS BUSINESSES’ ABILITY TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LGBT PEOPLE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          February 24, 2014 

Contact: Emily Chatterjee                                                   (202) 775-9555

NAPABA CONDEMNS ARIZONA LEGISLATION THAT BOLSTERS
BUSINESSES’ ABILITY TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LGBT PEOPLE
Calls on Governor Jan Brewer to veto bill

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) strongly urges Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto legislation passed by the Arizona state legislature last Thursday that, under the guise of religious freedom, would enable discrimination against individuals who identify as LGBT.

“NAPABA has a long-standing commitment to supporting the civil rights of all members of our community, including our LGBT brothers and sisters,” said William J. Simonitsch, president of NAPABA. “While NAPABA respects the sincerely held religious beliefs of all people, religion has unfortunately been misused by some historically as an excuse to oppress people of color and people of other religions. For many it justified slavery, segregation, and the criminalizing of interracial marriages. The employment of a religious justification to now excuse the discrimination of LGBT people is just as reprehensible.”

If Governor Brewer does not veto Arizona House Bill 2153/Senate Bill 1062 by this coming Friday, Arizona will soon allow individuals and for-profit corporations to discriminate against anyone if they claim to be acting in the name of their religious convictions. This includes refusing services to members of the LGBT community and denying equal benefits to women in the workplace. On its face, it could be used as justification for discriminating against anyone, on any grounds, so long as a free religious exercise claim is asserted.

“As a long-time citizen of Arizona and as a former President of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, I believe that this bill does not represent our state, and we categorically denounce this and all legislation targeting disenfranchised groups, including the LGBT and immigrant communities,” said George C. Chen, president-elect of NAPABA. “Religious freedom is an important part of our society, but this bill is about legalizing discrimination, not about religious freedom. Governor Brewer needs to veto this bill.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 67 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

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AABANY turned out in force for the 25th annual NAPABA National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

Among the highlights was the highly popular trial re-enactment “22 Lewd Chinese Women: Chy Lung v. Freeman,” led by Hon. Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin, with a cast that included AABANY members Vince Chang, Yang Chen, Theo Cheng, Francis Chin, Andy Hahn, Lauren U.Y. Lee, Linda Lin, Anna R. Mercado, Vinoo Varghese, Ona T. Wang, and Jessica C. Wong.

Other speakers from AABANY during the convention included: Hon. Pamela K.M. Chen, James R. Cho, Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan, Don Liu, Hugh H. Mo, Chul Pak, Sapna Palla, Helen Wan, Michael Wu, Pauline Yeung-Ha, Michael Yim and James Yu.

AABANY congratulates its Best Under 40 Award Recipients, Mike Huang, Michael Park and Asim Rehman.

All the attendees enjoyed terrific program offerings, well-attended social events, sightseeing excursions, re-connecting with old friends, making new ones, and plenty of barbeque.

Next year’s convention will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 6-9, 2014.

NAPABA Announces 2014-2016 Annual Convention Host Cities

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2013

Contact: Azizah Ahmad

(202) 775-9555

NAPABA ANNOUNCES 2014-2016 ANNUAL CONVENTION HOST CITIES

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has selected its annual convention host cities for 2014-2016. The Annual NAPABA Convention will be held in:

  • 2014: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • 2015: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 2016: San Diego, California

“We are pleased to announce the host cities for the 2014-2016 Annual Conventions,” said Wendy Shiba, president of NAPABA. “We look forward to expanding NAPABA’s presence, engaging membership, and working with NAPABA’s affiliates and the local communities in these host cities.”

The process for selecting host cities breaks new ground from the bidding process that NAPABA has previously used. Several factors were considered during the selection process, including the presence of emerging Asian Pacific American and legal communities; hotel and convention site capacity of potential host cities; relative cost; and a desire to include regions that have not hosted a NAPABA convention recently or ever. New Orleans and San Diego will be first-time host cities and Scottsdale hosted in 2001.

“We are excited that Arizona will be hosting the NAPABA Convention in 2014,” said Mingyi Kang, president of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association. “We are grateful that NAPABA is changing the way the Convention is being hosted and are positive that this change will enable more local chapters to host the NAPABA Convention, increasing NAPABA’s profile, and encouraging more APAs to join and be more involved in our organizations and in the community in general.”

“On behalf of LAPABA, we are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen to host Convention 2015 in New Orleans! This is an unbelievable opportunity, bringing our entire NAPABA family to our great home city for the first time, ever,” said Christine C. Bruneau, president of the Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association. “We look forward to fantastic speakers and programs, seeing old friends and colleagues and meeting new ones, and some truly amazing food, culture, and history!”

Brian S. Sun, president of the Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego, one of four NAPABA affiliates in San Diego, said, “Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego is excited that San Diego was chosen as the host city for NAPABA’s Annual Convention in 2016. We look forward to the opportunity to help the NAPABA convention team in any way we can. I know that everyone will enjoy our wonderful city.”

The 25th Annual NAPABA Convention, Momentum, will be held in Kansas City, Missouri from November 7-10, 2013.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.