Komen founder Nancy Brinker raises money for gay rights with openly gay son

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By Chris Huqueriza

Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer organization, helped raised money last week in support of gay rights with her openly gay son, Eric Brinker. 

“Having the most supportive mom in the world, I didn’t have to twist her arm very hard to get her involved,” said Eric Brinker, 37, in an interview with the Washington Post.

The mother-son duo hosted the reception in Washington, D.C. for Lambda Legal, a gay legal advocacy organization. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Lambda Legal is the legal team defending marriage equality to the Supreme Court this upcoming spring. 

“They [Lambda Legal] don’t take a political approach, they take a constitutional approach,” said Brinker, who has been helping Komen with advocacy work since he was 5 years old. “And there’s actually a lot of similarities between their work and Komen’s mission. They help people who are underserved and sometimes left behind.”

Komen faced criticism last year after ending their relationship and pulling their funding from Planned Parenthood. The foundation also faced a large decrease in donations and numerous resignations from Komen’s board, including Eric himself. 

Nancy Brinker’s involvement with gay rights originated from the growing concern of LGBT youth suicides and equal rights for gay couples.

“Basically, I believe in solid, committed family structures,” said Nancy Brinker, who started the Komen foundation in honor of her late sister, who battled with breast cancer. “And family today doesn’t necessarily look like what we grew up with in the ’50s.”

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