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Archive for June, 2009

Candle Light Vigil to be Held in Honor of Man Injured by Police Raid

June 30, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Community Outreach, Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

Rainbow Lounge Raid - Chad GibsonChad Gibson had gone to the bathroom just before Ft. Worth Police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Officers raided the Stonewall Inn Rainbow Lounge to arrest some gay men for public intoxication.  As Chad exited the bathroom, he was “taken down” and suffered a severe head injury.  He is still in intensive care.

The police claim that Chad fell down because he was so drunk.  Of course, the “but for” argument is valid, But for the Police Raid Chad wouldn’t have been injured (at least in the same manner).

LGBT people and their allies are pulling together showing that we are a community standing together.  Tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 1, 2009, a candle light vigil will be held.  According to the facebook event page:

The North Texas LGBTA Community will gather Wed. July 1st, 2009 at the Rainbow Lounge at 8:30pm in honor of Chad Gibson, the young man hospitalized in the June 28th raid at the same location. We must unite to show the world that what happens to one of us, happens to all of us. We must unite to show Fort Worth that this type of violence against any person will not be tolerated. But, most importantly we must unite to show Chad that his community is standing by his side.

As a side note, I spoke with attorney Julya Billhiymer, this morning.  She confirmed that her offer of pro bono criminal defense is valid and available to those arrested during the raid.  If you were or know someone who was arrested at the Rainbow Lounge, please share her contact information:

The Law Office of Julya Billhymer
608 8th Ave.
Ft. Worth, Texas
(817) 732-LAWS (5297 )

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: For What It’s Worth.

June 30, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay EducationOver the last few days I have watched the story of the police raid on the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth, Texas unfold. Unlike my fellow blogger and friend Jay, I don’t live in Texas. In fact, I have never been to Texas.

I joined the Facebook group, I’ve read blogs from the Huffington Post, the Washington Blade, local and national news sites about this story, trying to understand the real facts of what happened. I noticed a trend in a few comments and realized that I, too, had revealed yet another form of prejudice.

It looks something like this.

What do you expect? It’s Texas.

I’d like to pretend I’m above stereotyping but I wasn’t. And while in my mind it was meant teasingly, that doesn’t mean it’s ok. Don’t believe I’m capable of that? Oh, but I am.  On the Sunday morning after this police raid, a Texas church invited it’s congregation to bring a gun to church day. I made the sarcastic remark, to Jay in an email that, after what happened at the Rainbow Lounge, no wonder it’s legal to carry a loaded weapon in Texas and maybe people need to take them to gay bars. (Don’t try this at home. Not even in Texas.)

Those of us who think we live in what we like to believe are more progressive states are thinking, “This couldn’t happen where I live.” “This kind of thing only happens in the South.” “This kind of thing only happens in Red States.”

This kind of thing happens everywhere. A few facts, as always, from Geekgirl.

Approximately 55 to 60% of Texans support same sex marriage or civil unions.

So how does that compare to a supposedly Blue State like my own, Wisconsin? We have two Democratic Senators, a Democratic Governor, the first out lesbian Congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin. Here’s how.

In 2006, almost 60% of Wisconsinites approved that states amendment. But less than three years later, recent polls indicate that percentage would be significantly lower now. Only 55% of people in a nationwide poll conducted by Quinnipiac University said they were opposed to gay marriage last month. And 57% said they favored allowing gay couples to form civil unions that would provide marriage-like rights.

Not much different. Oh wait. Do they have this law in Texas?

Wisconsin is a state that imposes criminal penalties on residents if they enter a marriage outside the state that would be prohibited in the state. The law was created to prohibit underage couples from crossing state lines to marry, but it could be interpreted to apply to same-sex marriages.

That’s right folks. If you are gay and get legally married somewhere else, you could be a criminal in Wisconsin.

But how does Wisconsin compare to Texas with respect to crimes against gays and lesbians?

Right now, about 80 miles from very liberal Madison, there is a Christian group suing to burn a school library book about a gay teenager who experiences homophobia and bullying. You might be thinking, but that isn’t beating up people. No. But there could be a gay teenager for whom that book would be a lifesaver.

Last summer, two gay people were attacked coming out of a bar in one of our nearby, liberal suburbs. Last fall, my husband and I went to the Nov. 15th protest against the results of Proposition 8.  I was waiting for my husband to run and put more money in the parking meter and we lagged behind the march for a few moments. A young man came up to me and asked what was going on. When I explained, he said, “Disgusting faggots,” spit on the ground and walked away. I was so stunned I couldn’t even respond. I was still stuck with “In Madison? We don’t have those kind of people here.”

Oh yes we do. And so do you.

If I were not involved in gay activism, I can tell you what my reaction to this news story would be.

The requisite liberal moment of compassion, outrage and smugness.

Then I would have moved on. “That’s awful. Honey, what do you want to do today, it’s Sunday?” We acknowledge these terrible things that happen but we don’t feel them. Too many terrible things happen in a day. And if we aren’t gay, it doesn’t get past our liberal intelligence and politically correct emotional response.

But what if you are LGBT?

I have a young friend, who is centuries wiser than her mere 19 years of age,  who wrote this to me in a recent letter. I was so moved, so heartbroken, that I am keeping this letter for life.

I mean, just TODAY I heard (John’s)  friend ran away from home just for being gay because his parents were going to send him back to  (a Middle Eastern country) to probably get him stoned to death – just for being gay. He’s not even trans! He didn’t even sleep with a guy! He was just honest!-An hour later, my transfriend posts another note on his facebook crying for help/venting his frustration with his oblivious family who forces him in dresses, to which his family of friends all responded with speechlessness and ‘less than three‘ hearts. -Three hours later, I’m reading about my gay friend’s exboyfriend who committed suicide, a year ago tomorrow, for being some kind of member of the LGBT community, too young to figure out which.

This happens every day to me, to everybody, everyday, everywhere.

We hear about these things in our own personal localized lives as much as most adults hear about wanted criminals for theft, rape, kidnap, and murder on the local nightly news. Only, we know the victims personally and we know the suspects just as well, if not better then the friends – who, for most, ARE our only family – who we lose in these hate crimes of varying degrees.
Actually, I think the only difference between seeing a drawing of a criminal on your local news every night and hearing about things like that every day is when it’s personal, it’s not nearly as desensitizing, but still just as frequent. So even though you see it happen all the time, you don’t think of it less because of that.
(Emphasis added)

Hate does not have boundaries. Not by state, religion, political party or sexual orientation.

For one minute. An entire 60 seconds, watch the clock, you are gay. Let it soak in. Think of how much you love your heterosexual partner. Only now, the only difference is that your sweetie is the same gender. Would you be willing to do the experiment of pretending to be gay, in public, with a friend of the same gender, gay or straight? Would you let your body language betray that you are lovers, not friends? Would you show affection to that person, publicly?

Be honest.

LGBT Notable News Happenings – (June 15, 2009 – June 27, 2009)

June 29, 2009 By: MJ Category: LGBT News

LGBT NewsCoalition Reports Gay Bias Killings Up in U.S. (June 6, 2009)

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that the number of people of the LGBT community killed in bias-motivated incidents increased by 28% in 2008. This is the greatest increase documented by the Coalition since 1999. Although the FBI reports slightly different figures – “the FBI doesn’t record bias crimes against transgendered people because gender identity isn’t covered by federal hate-crime law”. The figures reported by both the FBI and the Coalition might be a little lower than reality because some (understandably) fear retribution and do not report the crimes at all. Some victims also do not report the crimes because they are not ready to out themselves to the police – possibly fearing bias from the authorities themselves. Sharon Stapel theorized that some of the violence from 2008 was due to backlash against issues from the presidential campaign. She said, “The more visibility there is the more likely we’re going to see backlash, and that’s exactly what we see here.” Whether or not that is the reason for the increase – hopefully the Hate Crimes Bill will pass in the Senate and there will be more justice and less hate.

Fresno Hospital Denies Medical Access (June 15, 2009)

Meet in the Middle was held in Fresno CA the Saturday after the CA Supreme Court announced it would not overturn Prop. 8. Many people had already been planning their trip to Fresno prior to the decision. LGBT individuals and couples along with allies of our community came from all over the state – and also from other states. Kristin Orbin and Teresa Rowe were there – and they actively participated. When Kristin suddenly became ill an ambulance was called. Neither the ambulance driver or the hospital personnel allowed Teresa to see Kristin – even with medical documents and power of attorney. It just wasn’t allowed. Teresa tried to warn the hospital staff not to give her partner the drug Ativan due to previous medical problems – but medical personnel gave it to her against pleas from Teresa. Fortunately there was no permanent damage from the medication. When politicians say that the LGBT community has the same rights as everybody else – they need to be reminded that basic human rights are ignored every day.

GA Court Says Gay Dads Friends & Kids Can Meet (June 15, 2009)

Most parents take it for granted – their kids will meet their friends – even after a divorce. In fact many parents really look forward to introducing their children – because it can be very exciting. One former spouse became rather bitter after her divorce and was granted a court order that the children could not meet their dad’s Gay friends. Fortunately the Georgia Supreme Court disagreed with that order and ruled that Eric Duane Mongerson could introduce his children to his perspective partners as well as to his friends. Justice Robert Benham said, “…there is no proof exposure to homosexuals is harmful to children. Such an arbitrary classification based on sexual orientation flies in the face of our public policy that encourages divorced parents to participate in the raising of their children.”

UK Tribunal Rules in Favor of Gay Postman (June 15, 2009)

Liam Black had worked as a postman and had to put up with inappropriate comments made about him – both directly and when he wasn’t there. Finally last summer Mr. Black left work early for the same reasons. He then felt he couldn’t return and resigned his job with the Royal Mail. A panel at Ashford Employment Tribunal accepted Mr. Black’s claim and investigated. After investigating the panel ruled that the “stereotypical language” was “derogatory” and “discriminated against Mr. Black on the ground of his sexual orientation.” The panel also ruled that Mr. Black’s dignity had been “violated”, and in addition found that the Royal Mail had “failed to follow proper procedures after he made a formal complaint”. Mr. Taylor was the immediate superior – the line manager for Mr. Black. Liam Black accomplished a lot in a short period of time – using the resources of a small village.

Orbitz / HRC LGBT Friendly Commercial (June 16, 2009)

Recently a new television commercial was launched for Orbitz travel. This time there is not only a man wearing a blue shirt with an “HRC” logo – but as a comment (below the actual article) mentions – there is an LGBT Pride flag on one of the golf bags. Usually I skip over commercials (thanks to my dvr) but I watched the video a few times (with pauses) to look at everything carefully. I encourage you to watch the video for a proud moment of pro-LGBT viewing (the link is directly below the photo of the commercial).

Lithuanian Parliament Votes New LGBT Ban (June 17, 2009)

The new ban is an amendment to the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information. An anonymous worker in Seimas said, “The subject of homosexuality is not welcome in our schools.” A conservative coalition member Vilija Aleknaite-Abramikiene said, “We prefer a family model, the traditional family model, but of course if parents want to teach such propaganda they can, but according to our constitution, children are under protection.” Ms Aleknaite-Abramikiene voted in favor of the law but indicated she agrees with the ban against hate speech against homosexuals. LGBT organizations and activists are organizing along with students and supporters to petition the president. The president is given 10 days to sign the bill into law.

Poll Show Australians Support Same Sex Marriage (June 17, 2009)

A recent poll found that about 60% of Australians support Same-Sex marriage – a significant increase from the poll in 2004 which showed support to be at 38%. The poll was a Galaxy poll commissioned by the Australian Marriage Equality group. Peter Furness of Australian Marriage Equality has said that growing support for Same-Sex marriage and the recognition of LGBT couples married in other countries has increased pressure on the government to review its stance. Mr. Furness said, “This poll scuttles the only rationale put forward by the Rudd Government for opposing equality, namely that a majority of Australians believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman.” Looks like there is some new momentum for our brothers and sisters in Australia to build on.

Gay Referee in Turkey Stripped of License (June 17, 2009)

There are no laws in Turkey making homosexuality illegal. That hasn’t helped Halil Ibrahim Dincdag who is 33 – since he decided to come out proudly as Gay. He has since had to leave his home in Trabzon and go into exile. Mr Dincdag said, “I have not committed a crime, I have not defamed my profession. I’m only a homosexual.” Fortunately he still has the support of his family – including his brother who is an imam. The offices of KAOS-GL (the group for gay and lesbian rights in Turkey) sees his case as a step forward for the movement. Ali Erol – a KAOS-GL member- said, “Turkey, which has managed to break taboos on the Armenian genocide and the Kurdish problem, is yet to openly face the reality of homosexuality.” Mr. Dincdag vows to fight to restore his career and has indicated he will go as far as the European Court of Human Rights – if need be.

Obama Expands Some Bens to Federal Employees (June 18, 2009)

President Obama offered increased coverage of some benefits to LGBT partners of federal employees. The new benefits are limited – however – to health coverage only for long term illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, and the ability to use sick leave to care for an ill partner or non-biolgical child. The expanded benefits also include allowing LGBT partners of diplomats use medical facilities at foreign postings. Expanded coverage does not include comprehensive health insurance benefits nor does it include survivor benefits. The President indicated that the Defense of Marriage Act prevents more generous benefits for same-sex partners. Although Pres. Obama continues to insist that he intends to repeal the discriminatory policies our community faces – he has yet to act in that direction. LGBT families/partners in the military – need not apply for the expanded benefits (as long as they want to keep their jobs…).

NY Man Charged With Assault as Hate Crime (June 19, 2009)

In Central Islip NY three openly gay men were approached and two of them were physically assaulted by a man named Wenzola Rountree. Det. Sgt. Robert Reecks of the Hate Crimes Unit said that Mr. Rountree was charged with assaulting the men while they were walking out of a friend’s home. Anti-gay slurs were yelled and punches and kicks were landed – causing cuts, scrapes and bruises to the gay men. One of the victims needed nine stitches and also had a swollen eye. The officers indicated the men were attacked solely because of their sexual orientation. Mr. Rountree told police that he would attack his victims again if he could. In a statement released by Suffolk police, County Executive Steve Levy said, “Attacks on an individual or individuals simply due to their sexuality are not tolerated in Suffolk County, and the perpetrator will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the applicable laws.” Mr. Rountree was ordered not to make contact with the victims – hopefully he will abide by the court mandated order.

LGBT Movement Including Stonewall Changes Lives (June 24, 2009)

This is a history of LGBT events from another more personal perspective. The author was not at Stonewall itself – but was nearby. He has witnessed some more personal aspects of our history – and in a way which could be helpful to others. Tim Gay – the author – also shares insights he has learned from those he has been close to. His perspective is refreshing and seems to be an interesting way to reflect on the LGBT history gone by – as well as the LGBT history yet to be made.

Survey Shows Minority Discrimination in UK (June 24, 2009)

A recent survey done in Northern Ireland shows that those surveyed have several prejudices against folks who they consider minorities. Those surveyed were asked about living next door to a member of the travelling community (aka gypsies) and 51% didn’t like that idea. They also responded that they would not want a person with mental illness as a neighbor – nor would they want to even work with a member of the LGBT community. It is interesting that of those surveyed 92% also indicated a strong need for equality legislation. Please take a moment or two to listen to a message from the Equality Commission Chief Commissioner Bob Collins. He speaks about educating folks to better understand and be open to the needs of others – minorities. The message is included in the article.

Chicago School Will Be in Pride Parade (June 25, 2009)

Many of the families at Nettelhorst Elementary School decided they wanted to march together in the 40th annual Gay Pride Parade. The school proudly displays thousands of strips of dyed fabric – matching the colors of the LGBT Pride Flag – hanging on its black metal fence. The local community is excited that Nettlehorst “will be the first Chicago public school to march in the city’s gay pride parade.” The school also proudly displays a sign which reads, “We believe family means everybody.” Amy Goodman – a parent from Nettlehorst said, “I love that my kids will understand that there are all different kinds of families. When it comes to any kind of differences, I think the only way to realize how much we have in common is to celebrate and acknowledge our differences.” There is a delightful picture of Amy and her kids preparing for the parade – in the article.

Fed Suit Filed by Former GA State Employee (June 26, 2009)

U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story cleared the way for a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former state employee – fired because she was undergoing a Gender Reassignment procedure. Vandy Beth Glenn had been working as a legislative editor for the General Assembly before her boss fired her. U.S. District Judge Story on Friday “denied an attempt by Georgia legislators to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that it could lead to a new round of court scrutiny of public employees.” Lambda Legal said, “Story’s decision is a signal that the state legislature can be challenged for violating her constitutional rights.” Hopefully this will help more Transgendered members of our community in their ability to fight for their rights – and equality will be gained in the process.

Play in India Sends Message to Government (June 27, 2009)

The play entitled “Karnataka Queer Habba” was staged to showcase the plight of sexual minorities. The entire cast of the play consisted of LGBT individuals and it took place in Bangalore. Another reason for the play was to send a message to the government and the people to repeal “section 377” of the Indian Penal Code – which makes homosexuality criminal. Other events took place as part of the celebration – including a pride march, public debates and a cricket match. The following organizations have been working hard in the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality – NAZ Foundation, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), The Law Commission of India, the Union Health Ministry, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Planning Commission of India. The article also mentions the United Nations messages to the government of India.

Author’s Note

Now that I have reported the news I would like to apologize for not reporting last week – it was unavoidable. Some of the news items do go back a little bit in time – but I decided to included them as well. Also I want to personally acknowledge the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall. Hopefully this Anniversary will not only remind us of the past and what has happened since – but also bring more energy to the LGBT Community and our Allies – in our pursuit of Equality. Thank-you for your understanding. mj
mjpngwnz: MJ, a/k/a pngwnz, is summarizing LGBT current events each week for jaysays.com and the Why Would You Say That – Really? series. She is an out lesbian with an affinity for the music of Phil Collins and Carole King.

Another First Hand Account Indicates Police Targeted Gays in Ft. Worth Raid.

June 29, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT News

stonewallMore and more eyewitness accounts of the police raid of the Ft. Worth gay bar, Rainbow Lounge, are being circulated, many via the Facebook page set up for information on the raid.  One account by a straight ally who was not arrested or ticketed in spite of admitting to police that she was drunk indicates:

I was appalled to read the official statement issued by the police. The allegations of assault, groping, and resisting arrest were complete fabrications. Men parted like the red sea wherever the police were. No one was groping them.

I WILL NOT SIT BACK AND BE SILENT. I WILL CONTINUE TO SHARE MY STORY AND PROTEST ALONGSIDE THE COMMUNITY THAT HAS MADE ME FEEL SO WELCOME. I ENTERED THE BAR A PATRON ON SATURDAY NIGHT, AND BECAUSE OF THE POLICE BRUTALITY AND DISCRIMINATION I WITNESSED I LEFT AN ACTIVIST.

— [Alison Egert]

Yet again, witness accounts of the evening completely contradict the police allegations of resisting arrest, groping of officers and lewd sexual gestures by patrons.

Ft. Worth City Councilman Joel Burns released the following statement yesterday evening:

We want all citizens of Texas and Fort Worth to know and be assured that the laws and ordinances of our great State and City will be applied fairly, equally and without malice or selective enforcement. We consider this to be part of “The Fort Worth Way” here. As elected representatives of the city of Fort Worth, we are calling for an immediate and thorough investigation of the actions of the City of Fort Worth Police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in relation to the incident at the Rainbow Lounge earlier this morning, June 28, 2009.

It is unfortunate that this incident occurred in Fort Worth and even more so to have occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall protests. Unlike 40 years ago, though, the people of this community have elective representation that will make sure our government is accountable and that the rights of all of its citizens are protected. We are working together with our Mayor, Police Chief, the City of Fort Worth Human Relations Commission, and our State Legislative colleagues to get a complete and accurate accounting of what occurred.

Rest assured that neither the people of Fort Worth, nor the city government of Fort Worth, will tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens. And know that the GLBT Community is an integral part of the economic and cultural life of Fort Worth.

Every Fort Worth citizen deserves to have questions around this incident answered and we are all working aggressively toward that end.

SOME RELATED LINKS:

Dym Sum | Stonewall Revisited?  Fort Worth, TX Gay Bar Raided

Truth and Love After 40 (via Pam’s House Blend)

The Daily Kos | Raid on Ft. Worth Bar

On Top Magazine | Hundred Protest Police Raid of Ft. Worth Bar

Feministing | Raid in Ft. Worth Bar of Rainbow Lounge

Facebook Group dedicated to the Rainbow Lounge Raid.

CNN Coverage of the Rainbow Lounge Raid.

Search of Google News for Latest Information.

It’s All Just a Little Bit of History Repeated: Ft. Worth Gay Bar Raided

June 29, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT News

stonewallSaturday night, I shut jaysays.com down to honor the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots. I sat there contemplating how life has changed for LGBT people since that night forty years ago.  It was midnight central time. Little did I know that in less than an hour, history would repeat itself as police raided the Rainbow Lounge in Ft. Worth, Texas.

According to the Ft. Worth Police Department, officers were doing routine raids and the Rainbow Lounge just happened to be on their list.  Reports indicate that six Ft. Worth Police officers and two Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers participated in the raid.

Now, I’ve been inside of a straight bar during one of these routine checks.  Two agents walked the bar requesting identification from patrons.  In this case, one man was under age and had been served with alcohol.  A citation was issued to the bar and the agents left with the underage individual, presumably taking him into custody.

In this case, EIGHT officers entered the bar and arrested seven patrons for public intoxication.  The Ft. Worth Police Department claims that those arrested were obviously very intoxicated and made sexual gestures at the officers.  One man is hospitalized after, as police allege, he grabbed one officer’s groin (something any gay man might do in a similar situation).  However, this man was then “taken down” by police, fracturing his skull.

Eye witness accounts of the raid differ greatly from the police accounts. One person at the bar has indicated publicly that he watched as the first arrest occurred.  A man standing at the bar took a drink of his cocktail and was thrust down on the bar by the officer and handcuffed [police were using plastic detention cuffs].

Another eyewitness indicated that he was sitting with friends on the patio area when officers came outside.  They then asked why everyone had gotten so quiet.  When one group continued their conversation, officers then arrested one of the participants.

No eyewitness account currently publish has indicated any sexual gestures or other such behavior being directed at the officers.

This raid, coincided not only with the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid, but it marked the eve of the Million Gay March in Dallas.  It is reasonable to say that someone on the Ft. Worth police department would have known that a massive march was underway in neighboring Dallas.  Therefore, is it too much to conclude that the timing was no coincidence?

As the day progressed, the front page of jaysays.com, which had been a tribute to Stonewall 1969, changed from a symbol of peace to a symbol of outrage – the Ft. Worth Police Department sent a message to the LGBT community last night  We must repeat the message of our predecessors, “Stonewall was a Riot; Now We Need a Revolution.”

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall.

June 27, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

June 28, 2009 marks the 40th Anniversary of the riots at Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York.  In the beginning, there were only a handful of men and women that took to the streets after becoming victims of another police raid.  They were the spark that lit the fire and changed gay forever.  As more and more people joined their movement, laws in the U.S. started changing.  The struggle has been long and hard, but because of these men and women, life is a little easier for my generation.

At midnight tonight (Central Time) jaysays.com’s main site will be shutting down for 24 hours to honor the men and women who stood up against this sort of brutality.  In lieu of the articles normally posted here, you will see this:

Forty years ago, a small contingent of LGBT people decided they had taken enough from the police, who had been raiding gay bars in New York City’s Greenwich Village. In the early morning hours, a police raid of the Stonewall Inn ended in riots as the gay community finally fought back. Since then, much has changed.

Although members of the LGBT community are still brutalized by police and others, gay is no longer considered a crime in the United States. As a small tribute to the 40th anniversary of this historic occasion which has made life a little better for my generation, and in hope that the lives of future generations of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people will benefit from the work of this generation, jaysays.com’s main site will not be available until Monday, June 29, 2009. I encourage others to join me in celebrating the lives of the generation of activists who came before us.

40 Years after Stonewall

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: Who has the Agenda?

June 27, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay EducationI was just on a business trip and, as usual, I opened all the drawers in the room to be sure I didn’t leave anything behind. Which didn’t help because I left my iPhone recharger on the desk. But I digress.

As one almost always finds, there was a Bible in the drawer. I was surprised to find a Book of Mormon. After all, I was in California. Aha, I was in a Marriott. No, I’m not going to write about the Marriott boycott (surprised you, eh?). I’m going to write about something everyone knows. Well, maybe everyone except the Christian right.

That darn gay agenda. You know. The one that no one remembers reading or signing? Could someone send it to me? I’m sure it didn’t come to me because I am straight. Honestly LGBT folks, can’t you be gracious enough to include your allies?

I came across an article on a conservative news site, Human Events,  by Gary Bauer, a former Presidential candidate.

When Gays Attack

by  Gary Bauer

06/26/2009

I’m not even going to bother to quote anything he says. Surprised again? Today, I’m just too lazy. I’m in a “how many times do I have to blog this?” mode. It was the same old tired lies. I simply left a comment pointing out some facts, knowing full well that I can’t change his mind. I mean, if the man doesn’t get global warming, he isn’t going to get this.

I also like to check out the reader’s comments. I found one from a conservative that, gasp, did not offend me.  I found it…. intelligent.

I blog here a lot, and I am a staunch supporter of cornerstone issues that many conservatives got cold feetover: Iraq War, Patriot Act, etc. What I don’t understand is why what gays say or don’t say affects my life in any way. Perez Hilton? I’m concerned with a wilting Obama re: North Korea, Iran, and Russia. Gas is soon to hit $4.00 again. Liberals want to tax me for my HMO to pay for people who are here illegally to get new boobs. I am supposed to care about Perez Hilton?

God almighty, I live in the SF Bay Area, and if gays and lesbians represented some threat, I think I’d know.  (Emphasis added) Perez Hilton is an idiot because he is Perez Hilton, not because he is gay. His brain in John Wayne’s body would still function like a cartoon character.

I have 5 kids–none are homophobes–all are conservative. Anyone who knows much about Perez Hilton is watching the wrong channel.

The conservative movement would be wise to focus on the major issues of our time. The more thou protest loudly, the more I wonder. (Emphasis added)

www.conservativemusiconline.com

This is my kind of conservative. I want to argue with conservatives about issues of foreign policy, global warming, taxation, healthcare, and the Patriot Act.

Getting back to that Big Gay Agenda, I invite you to take the following quiz:

[poll id=”2″] [poll id=”3″] [poll id=”4″] [poll id=”5″] [poll id=”6″] [poll id=”7″] [poll id=”8″]

Isn’t it obvious which group actually has an Agenda?

The Gay Agenda? The Gay Agenda looks something like this.

The Dallas Principles

The following eight guiding principles underlie our call to action.

In order to achieve full civil rights now, we avow:

1.Full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be enacted now.  Delay and excuses are no longer acceptable.

2.We will not leave any part of our community behind.

3.Separate is never equal.

4.Religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to affirm or deny civil rights.

5.The establishment and guardianship of full civil rights is a non-partisan issue.

6.Individual involvement and grassroots action are paramount to success and must be encouraged.

7.Success is measured by the civil rights we all achieve, not by words, access or money raised.

8.Those who seek our support are expected to commit to these principles.

Notice what is not in the agenda? No LGBT person is coming to your house, your school, not even your hotel room (well… maybe if you are a closeted Republican or Fundamentalist in denial about your own sexuality – [seriously, seek competent help and learn to love  yourself as you are]). No one is going to ask your religion to marry them if your religion doesn’t believe in that. No one is going to recruit your children because every gay person knows that sexual orientation is not a choice.

There are many problems in our world. Each of us has a choice regarding our own beliefs and what we contribute to this world. None of us has a choice with regard to our sexual orientation, our race, our ethnicity, our gender, or parents.  Christ, Gandhi, Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Al Gore, Maya Angelou, Melissa Etheridge,  Ellen Degeneres and many others have called upon us to care for one another and to care for the earth. Use your energy, time and money to do good.

  • Choose to do no harm.
  • Choose to fight oppression.
  • Choose civil rights for all people, in every country.
  • Choose to open your mind to reason
  • Choose to open your heart through compassion.

Why Would You Say That – Really? A Mark Sanford Moment.

June 26, 2009 By: MJ Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

reallyHere we go again folks – another political figure, Mark Sanford, “bites the dust”.  First he disappears – not into thin air (so to speak).  He does exist someplace on this planet we call Earth.  According to the media his family – meaning his wife – becomes concerned because he doesn’t usually miss the Father’s Day celebration.  Now I didn’t find information as to whether or not his grown sons had planned to spend the day with him on Sunday – but truly I have no concern as to how they celebrate Father’s Day (and I don’t really care – it’s their personal business).  Actually I consider Father’s Day another commercial greeting card opportunity – and I believe that parents who have earned the respect of their children should be honored every day.

Then – according to the media he was on some sort of hike on some sort of trail.  Okay then I hope he enjoys his hike and if his wife wears heels then well a hiking trail wouldn’t be a good place for her to wear them (heels – you get the idea).

Then – the media tells us that the hiking trail was the site for a very special few days of nude hiking – I have one thing to say about that…

WHO   CARES  —  I sure don’t.

Now.  Now. Okay – here I go: this man – happens to be a governor – happens to be a heterosexual (as far as I know) –  happens to be married.  In other words Governor Mark Sanford decided to publicly proclaim that he has been unfaithful to his marriage and to his wife and tell anybody who will listen that he has had an affair.

Oh my yuck!!   I mean exactly that.  If this man is going to choose to be unfaithful to his wife and his marriage vows well shouldn’t that be between himself and his wife – privately?  I think so.

But wait… there’s more.  Now there is the political aspect.  He was a very naughty Governor.  Now we are getting to one of the two things that bothers me the most about this whole media folly.  Yes, I saw the article where there were photographs of him wiping his eyes.  What bothers me is that he was elected to the office of Governor of the State of South Carolina – and I believe that puts him in charge of the state itself.  He makes decisions and runs things and has a lot of responsibilities to the folks who elected him – and also responsibilities to those who did not vote to elect him.  In other words the state is his responsibility.  That wasn’t good enough for him though.  He just absolutely positively had to jump on a plane and sneak off to another country – to see his “dear dear friend”.  Well let’s see – he just absolutely had to go.  Well not everybody has good self control – but too bad!  Some people need instant gratification – not always a good thing.  Maybe his “dear dear friend” couldn’t legally come to the U.S. – and oh yeah – the “sanctity of his marriage” would probably get in the way if she came here.  But – he left the state he is responsible for (not to mention his wife and sons) without telling anybody???  Isn’t somebody at least supposed to be running the state???

This is where I mention the second thing that is bothering me about this.  The “sanctity of marriage” thing – isn’t that what so many members of the Republican party are so busy trying to protect — why they don’t want us (members of the LGBT community) to have Marriage Equality?????  They speak about how important it is to protect marriage as a traditional institution – the sanctity of marriage – and they lie and they cheat and they sneak away – then they go even further outside the “privacy” of their marriage and lie in their jobs as “elected officials”.  So now it is okay for Republican politicians to cheat on their marriage if they publicly announce that they have done it?  I don’t think so.  Is this now the new fad?  Wow, I certainly hope not!  That is supposed to make it okay?  Wait – and if they cry while they are proclaiming that they have been unfaithful to their “traditional” marriage that makes it even more okay?

Uuuhhh…. nope.

It shouldn’t.  Either a marriage is made up of two people who love each other and fully respect each other – or it isn’t.  Politicians (and others) who are anti-gay proclaim constantly that they are trying to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage.  Um… excuse me folks …. but isn’t it a part of the marriage vows (traditional or otherwise) to be expressing that love and cherishing each other?  That is what I always thought.

There are so many LGBT couples who are and have been truly in love with each other – and together for many years – who deserve to be married.  Why do they deserve to be married?  Well I will tell you.  They deserve to be married because they love each other and respect each other – and remain faithful to their promises to each other.  (No matter who their dear dear friends happen to be or how attractive they are).

So ….  anti-Marriage Equality folks out there who are reading this and who can “relate” to the Governor’s “dilemma” …. who on this planet Earth …. WHO  do you think you are fooling?  Marriage doesn’t depend upon two persons of the opposite gender – it depends upon two people who are so much in love with each other that no matter how much a “dear dear friend” might seem attractive – they honor their promises.  A public apology does not make the difference.   Honoring the person you love and respect makes the difference – whether that person is of the same sex or opposite sex.  So… you say Gay Marriage will be the downfall of “traditional marriage”?  I disagree – I think heterosexual spouses who cheat on their “beloved” spouse (and maybe even leave the country to do it – and maybe even leave their job totally unattended to do it) are doing fine on their own.

So once again – Why Would You Say That – REALLY???

mjpngwnz: MJ, a/k/a pngwnz, is summarizing LGBT current events each week for jaysays.com and the Why Would You Say That – Really? series. She is an out lesbian with an affinity for the music of Phil Collins and Carole King. She has been an invaluable resource as a reader and idea bouncer-off-er [yeah, that’s the word we are using] and we are pleased to have her as part of the team!

Musician Lee Waters Tackles Hate and Virginia Foxx – but mostly hate.

June 25, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Community Outreach, Featured

Lee WatersYou may not know this, but there are two things I adore, singer/songwriters and personal blogs.  If you are not familiar with the wonderfully talented singer/songwriter/all around cool guy/blogger, Lee Waters, you have missed out dearly – but now, you can redeem that part of your life wasted in the land of the “I don’t know Lee.”

Lee recently wrote and recorded the song “Virginia” as an answer to the comments made by Representative Virginia Foxx.  If you don’t recall, Foxx claimed Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “hoax.”  She later apologized, kind of, but never fully understood the severity of her remark.

In spite of her speech, Hate Crimes Legislation passed the House of Representatives and has moved on to the Senate… so they say.

Lee has now started fund raising for the Matthew Shepard Foundation by way of his song, Virginia – or by way of many of his songs.  This is my official plea to jaysays.com readers to support Lee’s cause and help him meet his goal. As he states on his site, LeeWaters.com:

I’ve set a goal of $500 in 1 month, and I know that with your help, we can reach the target ahead of time. I dream of a moneyed knight who’ll just give the full amount, but if you, like me, suffer from Recession Economy Syndrome, you could give just $10 instead of:

  1. Completing your Torchwood action figure collection (you know who you are)
  2. Picking up some cloves to roll your own kreteks (you know who I am)
  3. Buying the latest Clear Channel top 40 album (do you even know who they are?)

For more information, please visit:  Lee Waters » Blog Archive » Please Don’t Make Me Go Sally Struthers on You.

Closet Talk: The Science of Sexuality.

June 25, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkOn last night’s Closet Talk, jaysays.com contributor and all around brilliant biologist, Jude, joined me to discuss the change of heart by the American Psychiatric Association (“APA”) as to the “Gay Gene.”  Many conservative sites have been reporting that the APA says there is no gay gene, but that’s not right – they aren’t saying there is no gay gene, only that no evidence is pointing to a single factor or factors contributing to one being “gay” or not.

Take about 30 minutes out of your life to listen to the show and learn about the nuances of genetics, what the APA really meant and what, if any, biological factors influence sexual orientation (and left handedness).