LGBT Notable News Happenings – (July 11, 2009 – July 24, 2009)
A new pharmacy opened in Vancouver, Canada – operated by the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective. The pharmacy however does not offer its services to Transgender or Transexual women. A group called the “Femininjas” went to the pharmacy during the hours posted on the Collective’s website and found the doors locked. A statement which appears on the Collective’s website reads: “We feel that it is essential that a woman be born a woman and have the physiology of a woman and the psychological experiences of living as a girl and a woman in order to embrace the work of the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective.” The “Femininjas” are not the first group of ladies to be denied service.
Defendant in NY Murder Charged with Hate Crime (July 12, 2009*)
They were just attending a party – that’s all. It was last November on a Friday night. Lateisha Green, a Transgender woman. She went to a party with her brother – but wanted to avoid problems – so she dressed in male clothing. During the party some of the guests decided differently. These particular guests decided that she and her brother were gay – and started yelling “profane and vulgar comments” – according to police reports. So Lateisha and her brother Mark left the party – and just decided to sit in their car for a few minutes. While they were in their car – one of the party goers came out of the house with a .22-caliber rifle. According to police, “without a word, Dwight DeLee fired a shot. The bullet grazed (Mark) Cannon’s arm and with a deadly thud hit (Lateisha) Green, 22, in the chest.” She died. Her father, Albert Cannon said, “I’m hurt. Angry, upset. Mostly, I’m upset with society. How do we let our kids get this angry this young?” Dwight DeLee – is 20 – has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime.
*An update to this news item – (July 18, 2009*)
Dwight DeLee has been tried and found guilty of his crime. He has been convicted of “manslaughter as a hate crime for killing a Transgender woman he shot outside a party last year.”
Cleve Jones LGBT Activist on a Comeback in CA (July 12, 2009)
This is a man who has experienced and seen a lot – and is now becoming energized once again. Currently he has a labor union job (hotel union) and is organizing a march on Washington this coming October. Cleve Jones is also the person who created the AIDS quilt – which humanizes lives lost to AIDS. The quilt has 47,000 panels – which he weaved together after they were submitted in memory of those who died. He is working on organizing the march as well as an LGBT army. He is seeking an army of activists from each of the nation’s 435 congressional districts. Cleve Jones words best describe his intentions. He said, “We got locked into this pattern of fighting for fractions of crumbs – ‘Oh please, sir, in this country could we please not be fired for being Gay if it’s all right in this country for you to evict us for being Gay? It’s been this ping-pong with our basic civil rights….If you are a free and equal people, why would you settle for this?” The article also includes a great photo of him at his home in California. This is a great time for Cleve to re-energize our community!
Episcopal Church in U.S. Votes to Affirm Gay Clergy (July 13, 2009)
Since 2003 when V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was consecrated as an openly gay bishop – there have been a lot of tensions within the US Episcopal Church. At that time, “the Episcopal General Convention … passed a resolution that urged restraint by dioceses considering Gay candidates for bishop.” Recently Bishops gathered at the Episcopal General Convention voted to end the temporary restriction. It seems that more LGBT Episcopal clergy are able to live their lives openly – and possibly Bishop Robinson will soon be one of the many.
Police in UK Appoint Gay Liaison Officers (July 15, 2009)
The Suffolk Constabulary have created GLOs “… to increase and improve the trust and confidence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people who work within the Constabulary and also those who live in Suffolk.” The idea is that these officers will be based in locations throughout the county – and provide guidance and references to support agencies and groups. Rod Flory is the diversity officer for Suffolk Constabulary – he is hoping this new addition to the police will give victims as well as witnesses the “confidence to report incidents.” The article did not mention specific incidents or crimes which might have led to this decision – but this seems to be a good decision. Hopefully this creation of the Gay Liaison Officers will lead to better relations and understanding between the LGBT community and the officers who are there to protect all. Then possibly also police departments here in US locales will be open to a more successful and productive similar relation to LGBT communities.
San Diego Pride Honored with Proclamation – Prior to Fest (July 16, 2009)
San Diego Pride has already held their Pride Fest – but even before it took place there was an even greater honor. A proclamation was awarded by city councilman Todd Gloria – which declared July as Lesbian-Gay-Bixsexual-Transgender Month. City councilman Carl DeMaio added, “And this proclamation is standing in line with proclamations on Cesar Chavez, for Martin Luther King.” Many members of the LGBT community were in attendance and thanked the council for their support of the coming Pride festivities. There were also some folks present who spoke out against allowing the festivities to take place. One person in particular became so disruptive during the meeting that he was escorted out after yelling at the council – but then he was allowed back in. “… and sat silently in prayer as the council unanimously supported the proclamation.” Another man was very vocal in his opposition – his name is James Hartline. Mr. Hartline lives his live as an “ex-Gay” and said, “The reality is that I was involved in the homosexual life for 30 years. I live in the homosexual community now and so I am day-in and day-out there.” He is now living as a heterosexual man with HIV. There are many in our community who come out later in life – and are just beginning to enjoy their lives. It is unfortunate that he has felt it necessary to retract from his true identity – and put aside his true sexual identity. Sadly he is trying to take the rest of our community with him. But – I do want to give a big “Thank-you” to the San Diego city council – and a great big “Congratulations” to San Diego Pride and the LGBT community there! Congratulations San Diego Pride !!
Univ. of Pune LGBT Course Growing in Depth in India (July 16, 2009)
The University of Pune in India started offering an LGBT course in 2007 – it was not the first. The University of Hyderabad had already started course offerings. The UoP was required to add a disclaimer that all students are welcome in the courses – they don’t “have to be gay.” Now there are students doing advanced degree research in LGBT studies. Recently two professors from outside Pune visited UoP and suggested that a workshop be set up for college-level lecturers – on the LGBT course. Raj Rao is professor at the UoP – he persisted until the course saw “the light of day.” Now he is hoping that with the recent amendment to Section 377 – that more universities will adopt the courses. Some students have decided that the LGBT coursework is a good source for advanced research – because other topics have been “done to death”. I highly encourage you to take a look at the article – including the picture showing Professor Raj Rao with a small pile of the books used in the courses.
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) Hates Homophobia (July 16, 2009)
My fellow readers – my fellow Harry Potter fans – I decided to add some fun to this post. Now I do remember reading/hearing speculation about some who think certain of J.K. Rowlings’s characters might be Gay. I have absolutely no problem with that – in fact I smiled and gave a little “yeah” of my own when I first heard/read that. Now Daniel Radcliffe has publicly said that some people think that he is Gay – and in fact his friends keep telling him about blogs which say it is so. Daniel said, “It’s wonderful. I grew up around Gay people my entire life, basically, that’s probably why I’m quite camp, and some people think I’m Gay when I meet them, which I think is awesome. It’s always good to keep them guessing. I don’t go on any blogs or chats or anything, but my friends are demons for them, and apparently someone said ‘Daniel Radcliffe is Gay. He’s got a Gay face!’ I really don’t know what a Gay face is.” (Please notice that I quoted all of that directly from the article – partly because I think his own words work so great.) Actually I am aware of Gaydar – but I also don’t know what a ‘Gay face’ is either. Enjoy the pictures in the article if you like. There have been so many negatives within our community that it felt good to report on something nice like this.
Matt Aune and his partner Derek Jones had decided to go out for the evening to simply have some fun. They eventually ended up at the Plaza near the Mormon Church – and were relaxed and happy so they shared a casual kiss and a hug. The men had seen other (heterosexual) couples doing the same and so they felt comfortable. Immediately two men in suits rushed up to them – with no identifying marks on the suits – and detained them. The couple were told to leave – but had absolutely no idea that the men wearing the suits were security or that they were on private property – so they declined to do so. What followed has led to a local “kiss-in” protest at the site – and now a growing national protest is being organized in many locations. The Nationwide “Kiss-In” is meant to protest this and other situations when same sex pairs exchanged a simple kiss (even on the cheek) or held hands in public – and police were called. The national protest will be held August 15, 2009. Please see the article if you would like to read a copy of the police report of this incident in Salt Lake.
Lesbian Couple in FL Celebrates 70 Years Together (July 19, 2009)
The couple originally met and became a couple in New York. Caroline Leto and Venera Magazzu met at a party in New York back in 1939. They dated for a while – then moved in together. Although some very close family members knew about their relationship – for the most part the couple kept it very quiet. Ms Leto’s niece grew up believing the ladies were sisters – and referred to them as aunts. This continued until one family party when Ms Leto (just a little bit tipsy) confided in the niece – their little secret. The niece Patricia Dillon said, “She mentioned they got married. I was so happy, but then I got sad thinking that all that time they really couldn’t be upfront about it.” In 1996 Caroline Leto and Venera Magazzu registered as domestic partners in New York City. Some years later they decided to move to Florida – and used the opportunity to get more involved in LGBT events. In 2006 Ms Magazzu published their story in a book titled “An Unadulterated Story: Young and Gay at 90.” I did find some really good reviews of the book too! Congratulations to the couple of 70 years. Another wonderful example of just how same-sex marriage does not hurt the “sanctity” of heterosexual marriage.
Senate Okays Bill – is it Still The Hate Crimes Bill? (July 19, 2009)
A bill called the Matthew Shepard Hates Crimes Bill has been approved by the senate. Some see this bill as progress for our community – while others do not. Part of the concern is that the bill was passed as an amendment to a defense bill. The bill it was attached to adds additional funding to the military defense budget – plus funding for the F-22 fighter jet. The next step for this bill will be in a conference committee. There “Senate and House negotiators reconcile the chambers’ separate versions of the defense-authorization bill, which delineates Pentagon spending for fiscal 2010.” Since there are still decisions to be made – there will be further updates in future news happenings posts.
New LGBT Olympic Pride House for 2010 in Canada (July 19, 2009)
Usually at each Olympics there are Houses for each country – for socializing and having fun. In 2010 there will be a first for the LGBT community. At the Vancouver Olympics there will be place called Pride House – complete with a Pride flag hanging out front. This marvelous idea came from Dean Nelson – an Olympic gold medal winner. Pride house will be for Gay and Lesbian athletes and their friends and families. Nelson said, “It has never been done. It’s sort of a taboo subject that everyone is a little afraid to touch. But since we’re touching it, everyone is like, ‘Yea, you run with it.'” Mark Tewksbury won a gold medal in swimming – he came out in 1998. He is planning to be there – “And I’ll pull a few of my big-name Olympic friends with me.” Pride House will be located on the ground floor of the Pan Pacific Hotel in Whistler Village.
India Court Affirms Decision to Drop Section 377 (July 20, 2009)
It is really true. The recent joyous announcement that Section 377 had been overturned was celebrated – many rejoiced. Some were still a little concerned – the Supreme Court had asked the government to review the decision and file a report in six weeks. Well – the final decision has come down and “Attorney-general G.E. Vahanvati said there was no need for a stay on the high court order.” More celebrations were in order – and the hope is now that other states will feel even more inclined to overturn Section 377.
Ft Worth Seeks Fed Inquiry – Rainbow Lounge Raid (July 22, 2009)
This is a follow-up to a previously reported story. Several news items have shown up about what really happened that night at the Rainbow Lounge. Now it seems that some progress is being made. The City Council has officially requested a federal investigation into the police raid. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is also investigating – but in essence they are reviewing their own record. The Feds will hopefully be more thorough. One officer (involved in the raid) has been named specifically. Officer Jason R. Ricks – has previously had difficulties. His participation in the raid will be part of the investigation into what happened that night. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will be involved in the investigation as well.
Women From Salt Lake Walk U.S. for LGBT Homeless Youth (July 23, 2009)
Chloe Noble came out to her parents and was then forced to leave home when she was 20 years old. She struggled with being homeless for the next 10 years or so. Her parents were “very loving” – but they were LDS and in their perception being Gay or Transgender was a “mental disorder”. Fortunately she has been in a good relationship – she and her partner have shared a home for almost five years. Chloe identifies as “gender queer” – and she is traveling with her best friend Jill Hardman. They are walking across the nation for the benefit of LGBT homeless youth. When it is time for sleep all that matters to them is that “it’s a safe, dry place to sleep at night.” Ms Noble said, “We want people to really understand what kind of suffering they endure. We want to leave a lasting impression so people will look at this epidemic and want to do something.” Even though only about 5 – 8% of youth and young adults are LGBT – “they comprise 20 – 40% of the homeless youth population. These figures are according to the National Coalition for Youth. The article includes some fabulous photos from their journey – still in progress – definitely worth a peek.
Sailor Charged in Murder of August Provost at Pendleton (July 24, 2009)
Capt. Matt Brown is a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest. Capt. Brown announced that prosecutors have charged Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Campos – during a crime spree. Mr. Campos is also charged with several other crimes – leading up to and after the date when Seaman Provost was killed. He is facing charges “including murder, arson, unlawful entry, theft of military property and wrongful possession of a firearm. He’s also charged with soliciting a civilian in San Diego to kill another sailor the day after Provost’s slaying.” The Navy is denying that this is a hate crime. The charges have been filed and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Campos has been arrested for allegedly committing these crimes. It may never be known whether or not this was a crime of hate – because Seaman Provost was quietly Gay – but maybe in this case it is better that way. A crime was definitely committed – and those closest to him have suffered a loss. Possibly at this point it is best to make sure the right person is in custody – and that the survivors of August Provost receive every benefit they are entitled to. For those interested in additional details related to the charges – you will find them in the article – along with a picture of August Provost.
Physician Who Identified AIDS Epidemic Dies in L.A. (July 24, 2009)
Dr. Joel Weisman died at his home at the age of 66 – on Saturday July 18, 2009. His partner – Bill Hutton – said he passed away from heart disease and that he had been ill for several months. He was one of the first doctors to recognize the combination of symptoms along with the pattern – as the beginning of an epidemic. His practice was in Sherman Oaks in 1980 when “he began to notice a troubling pattern: He had three seriously ill patients with the same constellation of symptoms, including mysterious fevers, rashes, drastic weight loss and swollen lymph nodes. All three were gay men, whose health problems seemed to stem from defects in their immune systems.” Dr. Weisman decided to refer two of the patients to Michael Gottlieb – an immunologist at UCLA. Dr. Gottlieb also had a Gay male patient with a similar combination of symptoms. Dr Weisman and Dr. Gottlieb wrote a report – which appeared in the June 5, 1981 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – a publication of the Center for Disease Control. “That report signaled the official start of the epidemic of the disease that the federal agency later named Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.” Dr. Gottlieb said in an interview, “Joel was a very astute physician. He had a sense that something out of the ordinary was happening.” Dr. Weisman’s partner of 10 years – Timothy Bogue – died of AIDS in 1991.
pngwnz: 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.
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