Month: May 2009

LGBT Notable News Happenings (May 24, 2009 – May 29, 2009)

British Clergy Fear New LGBT Rights Bill in UK – In the U.S. some Church leaders, and others on the far right, have expressed major concerns that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill now in the Senate will hurt the rights of the Church to preach to Church members. Well, it looks as though our community here in the U.S. is not alone in trying to correct misinterpretations and misunderstandings. In Britain there is an existing law titled the “Criminal Justice and Immigration Act”, and this year a new “clause” has been proposed. Our brothers and sisters in the UK seem to be experiencing similar frustrations. The Public Order Act of 1986 includes Part 3 which prohibits expressions of “racial hatred”. This new “clause” is simply extending the protection to the LGBT community. The “clause” or Part 3 is not meant to cause any new concerns to leaders of a Church.
LGBT Hate Crime in Cape Cod – A young man named Eric Patten, just 23 years old, was quite drunk and was asked to leave a club in Provincetown. According to police he began screaming anti-homosexual slurs on the sidewalk outside the club and approached and began attacking two lesbian women.


May 31, 2009 0

LGBT for Straight People: A New Right in New Hampshire

In recent months, we’ve seen several states legalize same sex marriage. New Hampshire appears to be next. Both the House and the Senate approved bills to legalize same-sex marriage but Gov. John Lynch wanted additional language that would make it clear that “churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or to provide services, facilities and goods of any kind to participants.”

Gov. Lynch, a Democrat, explains why he sent back this legislation.


May 31, 2009 3

Ohio Straight Bar Gives Gay a Bloody Welcome

A group of gay and straight people headed out for a night of fun at a Mainville, Ohio bar called Tabby’s. Patrons of the bar continued harassing the group asking which of them were straight and which of them were gay. Finally, one of the men in the group, 31 year-old, Ronnie Robertson, spoke up and admitted to being a homosexual. He was then attacked and received a broken nose and multiple lacerations to his face.

Two women have been arrested and police are still looking for two men believed to be involved.


May 31, 2009 6

Why Not a Federal Challenge for Gay Rights?

I don’t begin to understand all the nuances and legal ramifications of the Federal Court suits to overturn Proposition 8, but it’s being widely reported that gay rights’ activists are upset over the federal challenge because:

“…the move is premature and could be disastrous for the marriage movement. ***…federal courts have not been as friendly to gay rights issues.” – San Francisco Chronicle

Although I can’t believe I’m about to say this considering I am a “legal professional” by trade and should consider the attitudes of the Court in any decisions that could affect millions of people, but there is a reason federal challenges are necessary. The reason is an emotion, not legal one.


May 28, 2009 4

Yup. There’s a “B” in LGBT Alright.

On this episode of Closet Talk, we talked with Drea, a bisexual woman in a monogamous relationship with a man, about biphobia and the assumptions she faces from the straight and gay community. We discussed several issues and prejudices surrounding bisexuality and the complexity of sexuality.

The information Drea provided helped me realize my own prejudices and bias when it comes to bisexuality, including statements I’ve personally made like, “I wouldn’t date a bisexual for fear they would leave me for someone of the opposite sex! How do you compete with that?” It took much mulling over, but I eventually realized that expressions like that were the result of my own ignorance.


May 27, 2009 0

The Fine Brothers Got it Right: Prop 8 Wasn’t About Marriage

t’s likely not news that the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, which bans same-gender marriage in the state. However, as previously discussed, the Court was actually asked the question, “Can a majority amend the Constitution to take away the rights of a minority?”

The Court answered that, indeed, the process to amend or revise the California Constitution does allow for civil rights to be taken away by a majority vote when such rights are not protected by the United States Constitution. The Fine Brothers have been analyzing this scenario since Proposition 8 was approved by voters in November, 2008 with a series of web-based videos showing what would happen if other rights were voted upon.


May 26, 2009 1

California Prop 8 Took Civil Rights Away – but legally.

The California Supreme Court released its opinion in Strauss v. Horton, today to a roar of dissatisfaction from marriage equality supporters. Although the Court was not asked to rule on “gay marriage” directly, the process by which a constitutional revision/amendment can be made was questioned. In so focusing on the procedural aspects of Proposition 8, the Court, almost wholly, lost touch with the humanitarian aspects of Proposition 8.

While 18,000 marriages sat waiting to hear whether or not they were “valid” in the eyes of the law, hundreds of thousands of future unborn marriages waited to hear whether they would be allowed to be made.


May 26, 2009 1

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: Words of Hate on Prop 8.

Tuesday, June First, the California Supreme Court will announce it’s decision at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Today I looked at two websites. The LA Times and the Independent Mind. As usual, reader comments are all over the board. I’ve selected some of the negative comments and I have highlighted, in red, the words that reveal the hatred, bigotry, lies and ignorance of the people making these posts. I have copied these comments exactly and I have not corrected any spelling or grammatical errors. I welcome every reader to link to this blog, copy the words to your own blog and share this blog with your friends.

I can’t help but ask myself. If these individuals were face to face with a gay person, would they say these words? The Internet provides anonymity. That has its positives – because all of us want to stay safe. It also has its negatives. We say things we would probably never say directly to a person. If you can’t say it to someone’s face, maybe you shouldn’t say it?


May 25, 2009 8

LGBT Notable News Happenings (May 18, 2009 – May 23, 2009)

Rodger McFarlane was a gay activist who set up the first AIDS hotline in 1981, using his own home phone and an answering machine. He went on to establish many other organizations and services to help those with AIDS. In addition to being an activist, Mr. McFarlane was a very lively man and made seven over-ice expeditions to the North Pole. Mark Thompson, a Los Angeles author, said, “He was one of those fantastically energetic, self-possessed visionary people who knew what had to be done.” In 2002 Mr. McFarlane broke his back in an Eco-Challenge race and his health had been deteriorating since then.

CA School Agrees to Settlement – A high school in the Vallejo Unified School District has agreed to pay a former student named Rochelle $25,000, and adopt new policies regarding bullying and prohibiting discrimination.


May 25, 2009 0

LGBT Lessons for Straight People. Won’t Hate Crime Laws Protect Pedophiles?

I am so proud of Jay and Christopher for their honest, touching blogs about bisexuality and transgendered people. I would like to talk about a group of people that are NOT LGBT. But, before I do that, I implore you to contact your Senators and ask them to vote yes on the Senate Bill 909 [H.R. 1913], the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Why? This vote is coming very soon and every voice counts. At this very moment, it has become a panic throughout the right wing Christian community. The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act has been named the Pedophile Protection Act. Websites, such as WorldNetDaily, have made this falsified title look as though it is the actual the name of the legislation.

“A hearing on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, already approved by the U.S. House as H.R. 1913 and pending in the Senate as S. 909, is expected soon in the Senate Judiciary Committee.”


May 23, 2009 1