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Texas GOP Official Platform Calls for Imprisonment of Homosexuals and Supportive Heterosexuals

June 20, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Texas GOP calls for imprisonment of homosexualsI’m not a big fan of Democrats right now.  In fact, I’m so upset with their negotiations to be bi-partisan, I actually considered not voting for a single democrat this November and instead voting for an independent or abstaining my vote altogether.  Many LGBT people have made calls for a boycott of the democrats – no money and no votes.  But I live in Texas and that changes things for me.

The Texas GOP has released their “2010 State Republican Party Platform” and its filled with hate and bigotry.  One blogger even likened the platform to being very similar to that of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill – and they are absolutely right!

The anti-gayness of the Republican platform began with their principles.  Principle #6 begins, :

We believe in… Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.

That principle concurs with roughly 76% of Texas voters (which was the percentage that voted to support an amendment to the Texas Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, or anything even similar to it).

But it gets far more frightening.  Under the bold, uppercase heading, “Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health” the Texas GOP outlines why I should be legislated back into the closet and how they intend to do it:

Family and Defense of Marriage – We support the definition of marriage as a God–ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. *** We further call on Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify a marriage amendment declaring that marriage in the United States shall consist of and be recognized only as the union of a natural man and a natural woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.

You’ll note that the Texas GOP is asking that marriage rights in other states be revoked as well.

Family Values – We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values. These include well  funded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents.

You’ll notice that the shoe fits.  They are attempting to legislate me.  They are attempting to deny me fundamental rights they enjoy based upon, as evidenced by this proposal, their belief in an intolerant and uncaring “God.”  Here’s the definition of bigot to make it clear that they are what they claim not to be: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

Thus, I am a bigot too because I’m intolerant of the belief that I am inferior as a human to the Texas GOP.  I accept and embrace that fact.  The only difference between my bigotry and theirs is that I don’t tell them who they should marry.

But wait, it gets worse and here’s where we start sounding very Ugandan:

Marriage Licenses – We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.

That’s right.  If you are a heterosexual clergy member who decides to perform a marriage ceremony for a same-sex person, you go to prison.  You don’t have to have gay sex anymore to go to prison in Texas (as you did in the past), now you can go just for supporting a life commitment between two people of the same-sex.

The Texas GOP then goes on to ignorantly declare that homosexuality:

  • tears at the fabric of society,
  • contributes to the breakdown of the family unit,
  • leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases, and
  • is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

But wait, it gets worse… still:

Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

They then “demand” that Congress withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy – in other words, because the federal courts said people can’t go to prison for oral sex, Texas Republicans are pissed.  They want people who have oral sex to go to prison.  They are, again bigots, like me.  Only, I don’t want them to go to prison for having vaginal to penis sex.  I couldn’t care less about their missionary position.

I am a Texan, for those that do not know.  I live and work in Texas and have lived in Texas the bulk of my life.  It’s always been “home” to me in spite of the conservative nature of Texas politics.  It has, however, become clear that Texas may soon begin to invade my home, arrest people like me, my friends and my loved ones.  From the tone set by the GOP, they may decide it’s OK to open fire on homosexuals in the street.  There is no stopping this level of hatred.  They aren’t trying to stop us from marrying, they are trying to make us extinct.

So what should I do now? Find a friend in another country and find out that country’s laws regarding political asylum and make arrangements with that friend for when we are forced to flee from the land of the free and the home of the brave?

There is one principle of the Texas GOP that I support:

Americans having the right to be safe in their homes, on their streets, and in their communities, and the unalienable right to defend themselves.

This is my home – and I will use my “unalienable right” to defend it.

Community College District Won’t Discriminate – Except in the Bathroom

June 18, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Bathroom discrimination - a okay!The San Antonio LGBT Community has been petitioning the Alamo Community College District, which oversees 5 community college campuses in the San Antonio area, to amend its existing policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.  The initiative has largely been led by the student organization, Gay and Lesbian Association of San Antonio College.  After two meetings and many conversations with the Board, the ACCD has agreed to vote on a policy which would include sexual orientation, but not gender identity/expression.

However, in what could be called an effort to be inclusive, the Chancellor for ACCD, Bruce H. Leslie, issued a “Chancellor’s Clarification” citing the existing policies against discrimination based upon gender to be inclusive of “gender identity.”  In the clarification, the Chancellor writes:

The Alamo Colleges values and affirms the diversity of its students and employees. The Alamo Colleges also supports inclusiveness that recognizes, values, and reflects the diversity of our community. This inclusiveness extends to transgendered individuals.

Sounds pretty good, right? But the Chancellor didn’t stop there.  While in one breath he declares discrimination against transgender individuals to be a violation of policy, in the next he condones discrimination:

…nothing in this clarification or the policies or procedures shall be construed to establish discrimination or harassment based on gender identity due to the denial of access to shared facilities in which being seen unclothed (even partially, such as in restrooms) is unavoidable.

Thus, denial of the use of a public restroom to transgender persons will not be construed as discrimination under the policy.  I believe the popular term for this is, “FAIL!”

In a meeting with the San Antonio Gender Association last night, representatives of the LGBT community discussed an approach to deal with this harmful “Clarification” and the pending vote on inclusion of sexual orientation in the non-discrimination policy.  I sat in on the meeting and have never been so proud of our community.  LGB person after LGB person agreed that we will not leave the “T” behind.

On Tuesday, June 22, we will again appear before the board and ask the board to postpone decision on these policies for a period of 90 days for the purpose of: (1) additional education; (2) allow reconsideration for inclusion of both sexual orientation AND gender identity/expression in the policy; and (3) a retraction of the Chancellor’s Clarification.

This decision is not without critics.  Some LGB people feel that moving forward with the exclusionary policy would best serve the community and we can fight for transgender inclusion at a later date. But they forget our history.

Some readers may note the similarity between this current issue and the ENDA episode where HRC staffers drafted a version of ENDA which was not “gender identity” inclusive.  Although it was clear that the purpose was to ensure that protections for sexual orientation would make it through the House and Senate, the authors of the proposal defended their position claiming that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided protection for “gender identity” under the heading “gender.”  However, it’s widely accepted that the real reason was that we could not get an inclusive ENDA passed (at that time) without throwing the “T” under the bus.

While Title VII should provide discrimination protection based upon gender identity/expression, that position is, at best, only partially correct.  The Supreme Court decision in Ulane (1982) clearly excluded transgender people from the definition of “gender” as it applied to Title VII.  Although a subsequent decision by the Supreme Court in 1989 (Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins) seemed to redefine “gender” in Title VII to include gender expression (or more specifically, discrimination based upon gender stereotypes), lower court’s continue to cite the Ulane decision as precedent (even as recently as this year!).  The rare exception seems to be within the 9th Circuit, which has cited the Price Waterhouse decision to be inclusive of gender identity/expression in some instances.

The ramifications of the former exclusive ENDA proposal were far reaching, rattled our community to its core and underscored our own prejudices, fears, intolerance and selfishness.  We must learn from our history and our present and unite in order to establish full equality for all of our brothers and sisters.

2010 – The Year of the Lesbian Parent.

June 14, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Rep.-WA)Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (Rep-WA) voted no on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, also more formally known as the Patrick Amendment to H.R. 5136, which would repeal the discriminatory policy banning openly gay service members from defending freedom and equality.  In fact, Rep. McMorris-Rodgers has only supported 3% of progressive actions, but has supported, either through voting or co-sponsorship, 61% of legislation which is considered “regressive” – or rather that which, “erodes freedom, knowledge and security.”   Here are a few examples of her regressive legislation support:

  • Amendment 35 to H.R. 2647 was proposed to counter the current push to cover-up American military and interrogation activities. Amendment 35 would require military interrogations to be videotaped, with an exception provided at times when there may not be time to set up a camera.  Cathy McMorris-Rodger’s voted against this measure.
  • H.R. 11, also known as The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a bill that simply says that workers cannot be expected to file suit for compensation for wage discrimination before they actually find out that they have been discriminated against.  Cathy McMorris-Rodger’s voted against this measure.
  • H.R. 2608, was introduced after the government of Washington, DC voted to approve same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. H.R. 2608 seeks to overturn the local decision of DC government by imposing a congressional prohibition on same-sex marriage in Washington, DC. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers co-sponsored this discriminatory legislation.

Here’s an expression I’m sure you’ve heard, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”  Cathy McMorris-Rodgers has now sponsored a bill, which on its surface appears acceptable, simple and certainly non-controversial.  But when you read the text of the bill, you find a phrase that can be very disturbing, particularly to same-sex couples with children.

H. Con. Res. 285 was introduced to recognize the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families and to support the goals and ideals of designating 2010 as the Year of the Father.  Sounds fairly benign, right?  But what are the goals and ideals of designating 2010 as the Year of the Father?  From the text of the bill, we find this statement:

Whereas it is well documented that children involved with loving fathers are significantly more likely to have healthy self-esteems, exhibit empathy and prosocial behavior, avoid high risk behaviors, have reduced antisocial behavior and delinquency in boys, have better peer relationships, and have higher occupational mobility relative to parents…

Anyone else see the problem? Isn’t it also well documented that Lesbian mothers are better at raising children to be more self-confident, do better academically and are even LESS likely to have behavioral problems?  In fact, here’s what TIME reported on the research:

The authors found that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression. ‘We simply expected to find no difference in psychological adjustment between adolescents reared in lesbian families and the normative sample of age-matched controls,’ says [researcher Nanette] Gartrell. ‘I was surprised to find that on some measures we found higher levels of [psychological] competency and lower levels of behavioral problems. It wasn’t something I anticipated.’ In addition, children in same-sex-parent families whose mothers ended up separating, did as well as children in lesbian families in which the moms stayed together.

So, here’s to 2010 – the Year of the Lesbian Parent.

ExxonMobil Says No Gay Rights Without Legislative Intervention.

May 22, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Boycott ExxonMobilBefore 1999, Exxon and Mobil were two different companies. Mobil was generally progressive on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employment rights and had a fully inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. By that, I mean their policy prohibited discrimination in employment matters based upon sexual orientation AND gender identity.

Unfortunately, progress took a hit with Exxon Corp’s purchase of Mobile Corp 11 years ago. Exxon’s employment policies were not inclusive of sexual orientation or gender identity. Essentially, without such a policy, LGBT employees of ExxonMobil could be fired simply because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  This sparked a boycott of the newly created company, ExxonMobil. Unfortunately, time took its toll on the memories of LGBT people and our allies. Not only did we fail to relay this tidbit of gay history to our youth, but we altogether stopped talking about it – kind of like the Exxon Valdez oil spill for which the company still hasn’t paid.

Recently, GetEQUAL has offered a reminder of gays gone by and launched protests outside of ExxonMobil stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. After the first protest, organizers for GetEQUAL contacted ExxonMobil to request a policy change. The response from the Vice President of Investor Relations was telling. In a few more words, which I’ll quote shortly, he essentially said that ExxonMobil will only change the policy if they are forced to do so by law, or to put it another way, “go ahead faggots, make us.”

Here’s what ExxonMobil had to say, in their own words:

Where we [ExxonMobil] operate in countries in which the national laws require specific language regarding nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity be included in policies, we have amended our policies as appropriate.

Seems where there’s no law, they aren’t going to bother.  The battle line has been drawn and it is obvious that a full scale, vocal boycott of ExxonMobil is in order. This time, may we not forget.

I implore you, dear reader, grab your friends and your signs and head to the nearest ExxonMobil station. Make fliers to hand out at local events encouraging others to do the same. While we fight for full equality legislatively, we must also do so with the power and force of the free market. Together, we are millions of dollars lost.

The Cost of Free Speech – City Ordinances and Permit Fees

April 23, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Headline

Pay Up or Shut Up - The Cost of Free SpeechIn 2007, the International Woman’s Day March planned to hit the streets of San Antonio to support women around the globe.  However, San Antonio parade ordinances require not only permitting, but a fee for the services by the police department for traffic control and other safety matters.

On its face this sounds like a very reasonable ordinance; if you want the city to block streets and provide public safety, then you should have to reimburse the city for the costs, but in San Antonio (and other jurisdictions), not all events are charged equally.

The International Woman’s Day March Planning Committee and the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition had enough of this inequality after falling victim to the associated fees and filed suit against the city for violation of their first amendment rights.  The lower court, overseen by Judge Xavier Rodriguez, issued an injunction against the city preventing enforcement of the policy.  In 2008, the city issued a new ordinance (that would not be subject to the injunction against the original ordinance) and continued collecting fees for parades (City of San Antonio Ordinance No. 2008-03-13-0201).

The new ordinance declared that the city would not charge the first $3,000.00 for “First Amendment Activity;” however, estimates from the city indicate that the charges could be from $4,000.00 – $30,000.00 for political and expressive marches (less the $3,000.00 waiver).  While these costs are extreme and deter many from planning such events, the inequality doesn’t stop there.

Under the 2008 Ordinance, three marches deemed as having “political appeal” have the fees associated with traffic control waived: The Diez y Seis Parade, the Martin Luther King March and the Veteran’s Day Parade.  Further, in 2008, the City Council of San Antonio determined numerous other marches would have the fees waived, including: the Cesar Chavez March, the 60+ Mardi Gras Parade, Fiesta Flambeau Parade, the Battle of the Roses Parade, the King William Parade, the San Antonio Marathon, and the Pilgrimage to the Alamo.

In other words, if the city endorses the speech you wish to promote, you are not charged these excessive fees; however, if the city feels the speech is not worthy of their approval, the charges can be extraordinary.

In March, 2009, Judge Fred Biery dissolved the injunction and dismissed the Plaintiffs’ case against the city on summary judgment.  The Plaintiffs appealed, which brings us to today.  The case is scheduled for oral arguments before the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans on April 27th.

If you haven’t noticed, this case has broad and sweeping impact on the current LGBT rights movement, particularly the grassroots groups that certainly could not afford a $50,000.00 bill from the city for traffic control and whose message would not likely be endorsed by the city.  In their Second Amended Petition, Plaintiffs acknowledge this, stating:

“The paradigm public forum for free speech and associative expression in San Antonio is the public streets and sidewalks. Political and expressive marches in the public streets have long been a way for groups, particularly groups that lack governmental or institutional power and resources, to express their views and to inform other members of the public about issues of importance to our communities. To make access to public street marches available only to those with political influence or financial wealth is to profoundly limit freedom of speech and the quality of public debate in San Antonio.”

A copy of Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Petition is available here.

NOTE: The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center of San Antonio is planning a bus trip to New Orleans to take concerned members of the community to the oral arguments.  No one is being denied a ride on the bus regardless of whether or not they can afford the charges.  Therefore, Esperanza can use our help.  Please consider making a donation to assist them in paying for the trip.  You may do so at this link.

Mississippi High School Curriculum: It’s Better to be Cruel than Gay.

April 05, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Constance McMillen: A Fake Prom?Remember the story of Constance McMillen, the Mississippi student whose school canceled prom rather than let her bring a same-sex date?  Today, LezGetReal.com reported that Fulton, Mississippi held two proms – one, Constance was invited to and had 7 couples in attendance, the other is reportedly the “real” prom said to have had district personnel help in the planning.

It seems that warped sense of “morality” stuck again.  It is better to lie and play a cruel joke on an 18 year old girl wanting to have a wonderful prom memory just like anyone else than to be a homosexual.  I suggest those involved rent the movie, Carrie, to fully appreciate the importance of prom to a young high school girl.

What amazes me isn’t this horrific display of homophobia, it’s the strength of LGBT individuals.  We are treated in this manner our entire lives and then, when we get fed up with this sort of treatment, Homophobic America screams we are self-loathing.  They pass legislation which prevents us from participating in actions in which heterosexuals are allowed to participate (such as serve in the military or get married).  However, in spite of all of this adversity and hatred directed at us, we still manage to find a way to love ourselves… usually.

But we don’t always overcome.  Some of us wind up self-destructing.  Some of us wind up on the streets turning tricks to support ourselves (and sometime our habits).  That’s when Homophobic America screams out that we are just drug and sex addicts and further take away our rights.

The hate will never stop.  It hasn’t stopped against other minority groups and it won’t stop against LGBT people; however, it will subside.  Some day, it will not be the popular opinion.  Some day, there will be no laws specifically targeting LGBT people.  Some day, all men will be equal in the eyes of the laws of the United States… unless of course all those rumors about 2012 marking the end of the world are true.

The ACLU is investigating the “fake prom” held in Mississippi.

Mr. Gay China Pageant Shut Down by Police.

January 15, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Headline, LGBT News

Google China Mr. Gay China Pageant Shut Down by PolicePolice in China shut down the Mr. Gay China Pageant in Beijing an hour before the event was to start.  Organizers planned the event to select a contestant for the Worldwide Mr. Gay Pageant to be held in Norway next month.  The pageant is said to be the first of its kind in China and was to feature a fashion show, a question and answer session and a host in drag.

Professor Zhang Beichuan of Qingdao University had said, before the show was canceled, that:

…it reflects a more open and tolerant attitude of the country toward the gay community to host such an event.

In fact, before the show was canceled, many others weighed in on the effect and meaning of such a pageant in China, which only decriminalized homosexuality in 1997:

Eight Chinese men will strut their stuff in front of hundreds of people Friday at China’s first gay pageant, in a sign of new openness about homosexuality in a nation where it remains largely taboo. – Marianne Barriaux (AFP)

I believe most people will support us though I’m ready for a storm of criticism too. – Contestant, Steven Zhang

When the eight finalists of the first Mr. Gay China pageant strut the catwalk of a Beijing club this Friday, they’ll be doing something that was once unthinkable in a country where gay sex was illegal until 1997 and homosexuality was classed as a mental illness until 2001. – Jane Yager

The hope and dreams of what this pageant would mean in a country such as China, and the resulting closure of the pageant indicate that, while there may be no laws against homosexuality, LGBT people in China still suffer at the hands of a tyranny – but in spite of the stories turning up on the internet, you won’t see the story of police shutting down the pageant on google.cn now (click for screen shot) – or perhaps you won’t see anything from google.cn if China doesn’t stop the censoring.

Discrimination of this nature is nothing new for China, or many other countries in the world.  For example, the organizers of China’s Gay Pride Festival were told to cancel two of their events last June or face “severe consequences.”

Malawi Condones Gay Rights Group then Arrests Gay Couple

January 04, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured, LGBT News

Malawi recently made news when its President, Bingu wa Mutharika, condoned the establishment of a gay rights organization.  This green light was particularly remarkable in the South African country because homosexuality is illegal there.  Those convicted of homosexuality can be sentenced up to 14 years hard labor.

Now, Malawi is making gay news again, only this time because magistrate, Nyakwawa Usiwausiwa, refused bail to two men, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, charged with public indecency after holding a marriage ceremony.  The rationale for the refusal of bail used by Usiwausiwa is that it is unsafe to allow the couple out of prison because people are angry with them.  However, in a recent interview, the men advised that they have already been beaten in prison.  So much for the magistrate’s worry over the safety of the men.

The couple is the first of its kind [gay] to marry in the country; however, such marriages are not legally recognized in Malawi.  Of course, public indecency is a different charge than homosexuality; therefore, the government must gather more evidence against the men before they can be charged with homosexuality (more specifically, with having gay sex).  How does a government gather evidence to convict the men?  Simple, they send them for medical exams to determine whether or not intercourse has occurred.

NOTE: Tiwonge Chimbalanga is a 20 year old biological male who dresses as a woman.  It is unknown whether Chimbalanga identifies as male or female.

Is Any Publicity Really Good Publicity? Adam Lambert v. Uganda

December 04, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured, LGBT News

UgandaLambertAfter Adam Lambert’s performance on the American Music Awards resulted in people screaming about gay kisses all over the Internet and thousands of calls complaining to the network, ABC canceled two scheduled appearances by the performer. Since then, activists far and wide have called out ABC for its discrimination against Lambert. Then the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (“GLAAD”) stepped in.

At first, ABC remained mum on why Adam’s appearances were canceled, but after questions became louder, they responded that Adam wasn’t axed because of his sexual orientation, but because he can’t stick to a script.

GLAAD quickly agreed and issued a statement in defense of ABC stating that ABC has shown same-sex kisses in the past and does not discriminate against gays. The result is music to Adam Lambert’s publicist’s ear, but poison to this activist.

The story of Adam Lambert’s kiss has reached major networks, blogs and radio. Debates all over the internet show the fury of the LGBT community and their heterosexual allies over the issue, but what we aren’t talking about is Uganda.

Uganda is slated to vote on an anti-homosexuality bill. The bill would allow for punishment of homosexual acts with life in prison, but doesn’t stop there. If you are a repeat offender or HIV+ the sentence is death.  That means if Adam Lambert performed in Uganda as he did on the American Music Awards, he would not be banned from network T.V., he’d be thrown in prison for the rest of his life.  Should he be charged for repeated offenses, they will kill him.

But what is worse than the thought of Adam Lambert being put to death?  The US Christian group, The Family (aka the “Fellowship”), a fundamentalist organization which is believed to house many US Representatives, used its influence to bring about this bill.  According to Alternet:

The roster of current and former Family members includes senators, congressmen, Fortune 500 CEOs, generals and at least one Supreme Court justice. The Family does not publish membership lists, and its members are sworn to secrecy, so a full accounting is impossible.

Sen. Hillary Clinton has been involved with the Family since 1993 when, as first lady, she joined a White House prayer circle for political wives. Clinton has also sought spiritual counseling from the current head of the Family, Doug Coe.

The Family’s influence in U.S. Politics is strong.  So strong, in fact, that the religious majority continues to vote on the rights of minorities even in the Land of the Freedom of Religion.  If they succeed in Uganda in bringing the murder of homosexuals into law, what will stop them in the U.S.?  We already know by way of California’s Proposition 8 that human rights can be voted away, but where do we draw the line?

And that brings us back to Adam Lambert and GLAAD.  Is this story “good publicity” when it distracts us from the potential government sanctioned murders of our LGBT brothers and sisters in Uganda? Definitely not.

the Fellowship and the International Foundation

Ft. Worth City Council Passes Inclusive Non-Discrimination Policy

November 11, 2009 By: texasman Category: Discrimination, Featured, LGBT News

Ft Worth EqualityThe Fort Worth City Council listened to several hours of comment on the recommendation of the Diversity Council to add transgender language to the city’s non-discrimination policy.

The GLBT community was present with well over a hundred representatives. Many spoke in support of the new change in law, including transgender people, parents of transgender people, gays, lesbians, and even straight allies.

In opposition were several people from the community including several lawyers, conservatives, and Christians. While most contended that they were not hateful of gay people they feared the new ordinance, it’s language, and its affect on the youth of the community.

Finally, after all the public spoke, the council voted to approve the measure in a 6 to 3 vote. The debate was strong on both sides, but the city of Fort Worth voted to protect the rights of transgender people, as well as gender identity and gender expression. Under the new ordinance all public places will have to ensure that they are not discriminating in this manner.

The city will begin to place this in new contracts and is hoping to ensure that those doing business with the city will also protect the rights of the GLBT community.

There are several items that are continuing to be carried forth by the city including, diversity training, education of the public about the law, and working to hire more GLBT people.

MarlinMarlin: You may remember Marlin from an earlier episode of Closet Talk. Since then, he’s been keeping us up to date on the happenings in Ft. Worth after the fateful raid of the Rainbow Lounge. Marlin is a former pulpit minister turned activist.