jaysays.com |

because simon isn’t cool anymore.
Subscribe

Archive for January, 2011

Glee’s Chris Colfer wins Golden Globe and Delivers Anti-Bullying Message

January 16, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Quick Bits

I’m an admitted Gleek, in spite of the ups and downs with the show.  I’m thrilled to see more positive messages than we’ve seen from say, “Queer as Folk.”   Tonight, Chris Colfer [Kurt], won a Golden Globe.  His short acceptance speech was dedicated in part to “All the amazing kids… who are constantly told ‘no’ by the people in their environments, by bullies at school, that they can’t be who they are or have what they want because of who they are, well, screw that kids.”

Here’s the clip:

National Organization for Protection of Marriage to Request Ban on Obese Marriages.

January 15, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Camp Gay, Featured

The National Organization for Protection of Marriage has begun soliciting signatures to convince legislators in all 50 states to ban obese people from marrying. Maggie Gaylaher, the Founder of the group, notes that obesity is the leading cause of heart disease, diabetes and other ailments and thus premature death.

“Children deserve a mother and a father. If either or both are obese, it’s more likely that those children will wind up in a single parent environment and destroy the traditional family,” she said.

Ms. Gaylaher further argues that genetics will predispose the children to obesity, adding a further burden to our already strained health care system.

“This is not what traditional families should look or be like,” she says. “First is obesity, then single parent families. We must put an end to it now before it’s too late.”

So far the group has obtained two signatures, that of Ms. Gaylaher and her husband. 

“Obesity is an epidemic. Society and our schools are  teaching our children that it’s okay to be fat.  This has made it difficult to gain support. Gluttony is a perversion of the laws of nature and a sin according to God.  It should not be accepted or taught in our classrooms.”

Opponents of the proposal from the Human Obesity Campaign released a statement declaring the proposal absurd. Joe Solmaneate, the HOC President told jaysays.com in an exclusive interview, “Over the course of this campaign we will be fighting back. On March 4th, the Human Obesity Campaign will protest this disgusting bid by holding our annual fundraiser, Eat for Equality.”

/snark.

82nd Texas Legislative Session Welcomed with Anti-Bullying Demonstration

January 12, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Youth Issues

Queer Texas United Anti-Bully "Die In" - Austin, Texas, January 11, 2011

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 82nd Texas legislative session.  To welcome the new legislature, Queer Texas United organized a Homophobia and Transphobia Kills Die-In at the front gate of the Capitol Building in Austin.  The purpose of the Die-In was to support anti-bullying legislation.  The Texas Senate has introduced two bills with respect to bullying and cyberbullying for consideration this legislative session.  Presently, there are two anti-bullying bills in the Senate and one in the House.

Roughly fifty people attended the die-in.  On cue, we all fell to the ground while a litany of names were read aloud by organizers then repeated by participants.  Afterward, Representative Joe Farias of San Antonio spoke about the effect of bullying on his own family.  He recounted the horrible bullying his son experienced and how, upon approaching the school administration, he was met with reluctance and even denial instead of help with confronting the problem.

Rather profoundly, another demonstration was being held simultaneously in front of the Capitol Building.  This demonstration was an anti-death penalty rally.  Several participants of that demonstration joined in with the die-in participants.  Signs reading “Stop the Executions” mingled with signs reading “Homophobia Kills, Transphobia Kills.”  Bullying, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and lethal injection all have the same tragic end; life ceases.

At approximately 6:18 p.m. organizers for the execution rally announced that the prisoner who was to be executed had received a stay.  One woman screamed, “We got a stay!”  Perhaps somewhere out in this world a bullied youth received a stay, too.

Overview of introduced Texas Anti-Bullying Legislation:

Senate Bill 245, filed by Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, would amend the Texas Education Code to not only require policy and program development along with staff and parent training for the prevention and reporting of bullying, but also amend the current definition of bullying to include cyberbullying.  Further, S.B. 245 would require that a student who engages in bullying, at the request of a person with authority to act on behalf of a bullied student, to be transferred to another classroom or campus.  Previously, students victimized by bullying were forced to transfer to a new school or classroom themselves which clearly punished the victim rather than the offender.  House Bill 224, field by Representative Mark Strama, is markedly similar to Senate Bill 245.

Senate Bill 205, filed by Senator John Whitmire of Houston, would require school districts to develop a policy prohibiting bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and intimidation.  The current text of S.B. 205 does not provide for specific consequences for students who engage in bullying, but instead requires that the district develop a program for remedial action, including counseling for the bully and a referral to appropriate services or to the appropriate county or district attorney.

What you can do in Texas to get involved:

Gay Activists to Use Protests of Arizona Victim’s Funeral as Anti-Violence Fundraiser

January 10, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Headline

Jude Stevens, jaysays.com author, converses with WBC in San Antonio, Texas

Jude Stevens, jaysays.com author, converses with WBC in San Antonio, Texas

The Westboro Baptist Church (“WBC”), under the guidance of the Reverend Fred Phelps, has dedicated substantial time and resources in making the United States a living hell.  Not only has the church spread hate-filled messages against the LGBTQ community to the masses, they have also attacked the United States as a whole because of its tolerance for LGBT people and failure to eradicate homosexuality.

Over the past several years, the WBC has gained notoriety for pickets of soldiers’ funerals.  Now, in an effort to spread more hate and support violent action against Americans, the WBC has announced their intention to picket the funerals of those murdered in Saturday’s shooting at the Safeway in Tucson, Arizona.

LGBTQ people have followed the workings of the WBC closely, often finding unique ways to counter their pro-hate message.  It’s no surprise that the LGBT advocacy group, Progressive Approach, has stepped up to the plate.  The organization will be hosting a “Phelps-A-Thon” to counter-protest the WBC picket.  The purpose of the “Phelps-A-Thon” is to raise many for the Anti-Violence Project of Southern Arizona, thereby helping a cause contrary to the message of the WBC.  The organizers will be collecting pledges online for every minute WBC pickets the funeral.

Director of Phelps-A-Thon.com, Chris Mason, had this to say:

I believe everyone has the right to free speech, but protesting these funerals is beyond wrong, it is disgusting. A lot of people are angry with this and have emailed, asking us to do something. We feel this is an appropriate response to such hatred; while the Westboro Baptist Church is celebrating violence, they will also be raising funds to fight it.

We send our best wishes and support to the organizers.  May peace always triumph.

Tea Party Opponent of Gabrielle Giffords Called to Remove her by Shooting M16s

January 08, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Hate Crimes

This morning Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at a Safeway grocery store during a Congress at your Corner event. Prior to that, Tea Partier Sarah Palin had placed the congressperson on a “target” list for removal, noting on a map the congresspersons location with a gun site as more fully reported on by Andrew Sullivan.

In June, 2010, Republican Jesse Kelly, the Tea Party supported opponent of Gabrielle Griffords for the congressional seat, posted the following upcoming events on his Facebook page:

Shoot an M16 with Jesse Kelly

To clarify, the event held on June 12, 2010, was to remove Gabrielle Giffords from office by shooting “a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

While details on the shooter are still sketchy, such irresponsible calls to remove people by learning to shoot a gun or placing gun sites on their location surely have some responsibility in the idea that violence is an acceptable way to confront political difference.

Gabrielle Giffords is a supporter of pro-equality measures, including, but not limited to: hate crimes legislation, employment non-discrimination policies, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  Our hearts and thoughts go out to her and her family.

National Organization for Marriage Launches NOH8 Campaign???

January 02, 2011 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People, Youth Issues

The National Organization for Marriage, (NOM), learned a new strategy in 2010: steal the phrases used by the movement pushing to legalize marriage for same sex couples. It started with “Hate is Not A Family Value.” More recently, they have been offended by the FCKH8 videos, whose purpose is to counter the rhetoric  put forward by groups like NOM.

If you’ve seen them, you’ll notice that, yes, the F word is used and in one particular video,  it is used by children.

NOM has decided to use this as their next marketing campaign. Their slogan? NOH8. Perhaps, in their infinite ignorance, they have never heard of the NOH8 campaign started by Adam Bouska, where people have NOH8 printed on their cheeks, wear duct tape, and are photographed.  I can’t wait for the copyright infringement battle to begin. Better, I can’t wait for NOM to wear duct tape over their mouths. Permanently.

Setting aside their continued lack of originality and twisting of every word, methinks NOM doth protest too much. If you read their blog you would think that the children in these videos are taught to use the F word in every sentence, their parents are awful, and a lawyer should be called to check into child abuse.

NOM has conveniently ignored the true message in this video. That would mean acknowledging the logic, courage, and compassion in the message of equality for all families. Yesterday I checked YouTube. The video has almost 2 million hits and the “Likes” outweigh the “Dislikes” 10 to 1.

NOM as an organization is doing everything in its power, and bank account, to appeal to fear and hate. When asked to back up their position that marriage is between one man and woman, all they have now is “it is special.” When interviewed publicly, they have been forced to retreat from religious arguments that God made it so, marriage is for procreation, or it has been this way for 5,000 years since none of those requirements are present in the law now for heterosexuals.

They have attempted to claim that they do not hate gay people, that this is only about the special institution of marriage. Yet in their blog and their Facebook group, Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman, they continue to promote a misinterpreted Biblical view that homosexuals choose their sexual orientation, they are sexual deviants, pedophiles, and are out to convert all of our children to homosexuality.

When has NOM stood up to protect any LGBT person? When the rash of suicides hit the mainstream media in September, they refused to support actions to stop bullying. If NOM were truly worried about what children are exposed to, they would pay attention to the statistics on bullying of youth and start a campaign to stop bullying and abusive behavior. Do they know that four out of five youth who are called homophobic slurs are actually straight?

Here are statistics on bullying for 2009 from GLSEN, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. As a mother, I am far more concerned about the real harm that is being done to our children every single day in our schools and communities. It is far more traumatic than the use of the F word in a video. A video that comes with a warning label, by the way.

  • 84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
  • 63.7% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 27.2% reported being physically harassed and 12.5% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their gender expression.
  • 72.4% heard homophobic remarks, such as “faggot” or “dyke,” frequently or often at school.
  • Nearly two-thirds (61.1%) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (39.9%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
  • 29.1% of LGBT students missed a class at least once and 30.0% missed at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns, compared to only 8.0% and 6.7%, respectively, of a national sample of secondary school students.
  • The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was almost half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.7 vs. 3.1).
  • Increased levels of victimization were related to increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem.

I read Brian Brown’s Christmas letter on the NOM blog. He even included a photograph of his family with all of his children. One gay person who commented on the blog, trying to be calm and engage in productive discourse, stated that he disagreed with NOM but wished Brian’s family a Merry Christmas and commented that his children are beautiful. They are.

And so are the children of so many same sex couples that I know. I wonder what Brian would tell one of his children about the value of marriage and family, how special and important it is if that child turns out to be gay. Will he want his  child to have the same rights and happiness as his other children? Perhaps Brian would understand if he had to explain his prejudice to one of his own children. Or will he turn on his child, the same way that NOM has tried to dehumanize and marginalize all people attracted to someone of the same gender?

Note: Tune in for the debate between Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry and Maggie Gallagher, NOM; brought to you by The Economist. Starts January 3rd online.