jaysays.com |

because simon isn’t cool anymore.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: They are termites, like Nazis and Teabaggers

March 13, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Dan Ramos, the Chair of Bexar County Democrats, representing the Democratic Party in the City of San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas,  recently went on a racist and homophobic tirade:

[Gays] are all connected to the gay Democratic Party, the so-called Stonewall Democrats. Just like termites they managed to get some of their people in key positions.  … I liken them to the Tea Party — the Tea Party and the f—ing Nazi Party — because they’re 90 percent white, blue-eyed, and Anglo, and I don’t give a f— who knows that. Just like the blacks … they’re American, but you can’t get your way just because you’re black.

The degradation by Mr. Ramos of the LGBT community is so far off the mark that it almost goes without my typical ranting; however, I can’t resist.

Gays are like the Nazi Party: This couldn’t possibly be further from the truth.  Perhaps the largest indicator of how factually incorrect this is lies in the history of a symbol that has been representative of the gay community for decades – the pink triangle.   This symbol was originally sewn or pinned to the shirts of gay men during the occupation by Nazi Germany.  They were courted off, along with other non-Aryan, non-Christian, non-white folk to camps, where they were pushed into “showers” along side many others.  hundreds of thousands of gay men and lesbians were murdered by the Nazi Party.  Therefore, it seems logical that the gays couldn’t possible be “like the Nazi Party” any more so than Jewish people could be “like the Nazi Party.”

90 Percent [of gays are] White, Blue-eyed, and Anglo:  I’d love to know where Mr. Ramos found this statistic.  In my  household, only 50% of the gays are white, Anglo and blue eyed.  In my closest circle of friends, that drops significantly – to roughly 1 out of 10.

You Can’t Get Your Way Just Because You’re Black:  Putting this phrase into the context used by Mr. Ramos, it’s evident that he’s referring to the fact that LGBT people are struggling for rights such as marriage equality and prevention of work place and public sector discrimination.  In so making the comparison, he belittled not only the struggles of the LGBT community, but also the struggles of the African American community in fighting for their civil rights, desegregating society and struggling to be seen as whole citizens of the United States.

Sadly, in spite of the fact that the attack was directed mostly toward the members of the San Antonio Stonewall Democrats, the organization has not released a statement and has chosen to remain silent on the issue at this time (perhaps because May is an important election time for the group?).   Thankfully, not all LGBT organizations in San Antonio are remaining silent.  The Direct Action Network of San Antonio has recently launched a campaign to join with the state’s Chair of the Democratic Party to demand the resignation of Mr. Ramos.  You can find a petition here.

NOTE: For more of the column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, click here.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: What Do You Tell A Seven Year Old About Homosexuality?

June 14, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Headline, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Representative Ike Skelton from Missouri is against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (“DADT”), which bans service in the military by openly gay people, because he doesn’t want to open a national dialogue about homosexuality. Specifically, he doesn’t want to have to force families to explain homosexuality to their children. Setting aside the absurdity that repealing DADT will come up at the dinner table with our children, let’s talk about the real issue here. Homo-ignorance.

Was there ever a moment in the LGBT movement more perfect than this for Geekgirl to speak out?

Mr. Skelton sounds like he is, what I call, homo-ignorant. Let’s be honest here and take off the politics. A lot of straight people don’t know what to say to their children about gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgender individuals. Heck, many of them don’t know what to say about straight relationships.

We’ll talk about what to say. But first a little story. When I was in 5th grade I watched two boys fighting and one of them said the word fuck. I didn’t know what it meant. Being the straight A student that I was, I turned to my dictionary. No word. So I asked my mother. She slapped me across the face and sent me to my room without an answer. I remember sitting there thinking, “hmm, whatever this word means, it must be good because it has power.”  My parents never told me about sex. Imagine my horror when my best friend told me that sperm go into your stomach through your belly button and that is how you get pregnant. She never did say where the sperm came from.

The point of that little story is that parents don’t know what to do when they feel uncomfortable. Having grown up to be a biologist, I was determined not to make that mistake with my own children. When my son was born, I read a lot about how and when to explain sex and sexuality to a child. I wanted my son to grow up healthy – both physically and psychologically when it came to sex. I remember when our son was four years old. He knew that my friend Sandra liked girls. She didn’t have a partner at the time, but I had already explained this to him. I remember he said to me, “So, it’s ok if girls love other girls?”

I said, “Of course, love is important.”

His answer came in the form of a four year old experiencing relief, “That’s good. Because I love Sandra and I want her to be happy.” I’m proud to say that Sandra and Kim have been part of our family’s life to this day. They adore our son and he adores them.

Explaining gays and lesbians to a 7 year old can be this simple. Some people are born attracted to the same sex. Two girls can feel the same love for each other that a girl and a boy can. The same is true for two boys. Love is love. Children instinctively understand love and family. It makes them feel safe.

People have a tendency to make sexual orientation about sex acts. But do we ever explain straight couples this way to our children? “Well, Johnny, meet your Aunt Sue and Uncle Bob from California. You haven’t met them before. They are married. And when they have sex, Uncle Bob puts his penis inside Auntie Sue’s vagina. Oh Bob, do you also have oral sex?” Of course we don’t explain it that way. That’s absurd.

So, am I saying don’t explain how gay people have sex?  Children do need to know about the physical acts of sex. Part of that conversation must include preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, how sex and sexuality affect us psychologically. Children need to know about “bad touches,” respecting and being respected.

But if you never talk about gay sex, it’s fine. That isn’t what they need to learn from you. They need to learn that all humans, all couples, experience love. They need to learn that commitment and respect are very important in all relationships. Our children are not born with prejudice or discomfort. It is learned.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.  More of LGBT Lessons for Straight People can be found here.

Everything Mississippi Should Have Learned from Glee.

April 30, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Youth Issues

Ceara Sturgis denied photograph in High School Yearbook

Ceara Sturgis Class of 2010. Congratulations Ceara on your graduation from all of us at jaysays.com!

It’s starting to seem like the State of Mississippi has declared an outright war on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.  This bully pulpit is evident in numerous decisions by school districts to exclude openly LGBT kids from school activities.

There’s the obvious and well publicized case of Constance McMillen, an openly lesbian student at Itawamba Agricultural High School (“IAHS”), who, after receiving notice that same-sex couples would not be allowed at the school’s prom, requested permission from school officials to take a same-sex date.  School officials knew they couldn’t legally deny her request, but to prevent her from taking the date she wanted to (and from wearing a tux) they canceled the event all together.  The school eventually had two proms, sending Constance and a few other students to one and the rest of the students to another.

Of course, this wasn’t the first attack at IAHS against LGBT students and won’t likely be the last.  Prior to Constance there was Juin Baize, who was suspended for being biologically male but wearing make-up and woman’s clothing.

It seems it’s now Copiah County School District’s turn at the bully pulpit.  Graduating senior, Ceara Sturgis, not only had her photograph removed from the yearbook because of her choice to wear a tuxedo and sport a “male” hairstyle, but there was no mention of her in the yearbook.

That story line may sound a bit familiar to my fellow Gleeks?  In the Mattress episode of Glee, Rachel wanted the Glee Club photo included in the yearbook; however, Sue Sylvester objected stating that it would subject the student’s photos to graffiti and humiliation (her real purpose wasn’t so noble).  History had not been kind to the outcasts of the Glee Club as photographs were defaced with mean commentary by fellow students; essentially because the vast majority felt that the Glee Club was representative of the outcasts, the geeks, the nerds and the homos.  Unlike in Mississippi, however, the Glee photograph made it into the yearbook.

While no state is immune to bigotry, Mississippi has long since had a reputation for racism, homophobia and sexism that is virtually unchallengeable.  Through the “Christian Identity Movement,” many Mississippians have excused their hate in the guise of religion. Members of my own family from the state have preached the soullessness of the black man (the Curse of Ham), women’s servitude of man, and homophobia in the name of Biblical law.  While it must be stated that not all Mississippians feel the same, it certainly seems to be a prevalent and recurring issue.

Maybe it’s time we give Mississippi a little dose of Glee – Equality style.

A Republican Gay Club, the Illinois Senate Race and Andy Martin

December 29, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

After launching a smear ad against his opponent, Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican Senatorial candidate, Andy Martin, claimed that homosexuality isn’t the issue.  However, the non-issue of homosexuality was the primary focus of the ad released by the Martin campaign. Here’s a transcript:

I’m Andy Martin, Republican candidate for United States Senator. I approved this message because Illinois Republicans deserve the truth about their candidates.

I have over forty years of experience and integrity fighting corruption, and fighting for the truth in politics.

I helped expose many of Barack Obama’s lies in 2008.

Today, I am fighting for the facts about Mark Kirk. Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a, “solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual.”  Roeser suggests that Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals.

Mark Kirk should tell Republican voters the truth.

I’m Andy Martin a Republican you can trust for U.S. Senator.

Please vote for Andy Martin.

Paid for by Illinois Republicans for Andy Martin. [Emphasis added]

Both Martin and Kirk are running as Republicans.  It’s assumed that the Republican Party homosexual club which Martin referred to in the ad is the “Log Cabin Republicans.”  That is, of course, assuming there isn’t an R-Street similar to the conservative Christian group, C-Street which no-one told us about.

Martin is no stranger to bigotry and idiotic commentary. In 1983 he referred to a Bankruptcy Judge as a “crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.” He is also largely credited as the driving force behind cyber-whispers indicating that Obama is a Muslim, and more recently he asserted, without any supporting facts, that Obama trained to overthrow the U.S. Government.  Bigotry is no stranger to this guy.

Closet Talk: Author Susan Parker – Walking in the Deep End

October 15, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkSusan Parker joined me last night on Closet Talk to discuss her new book, Walking in the Deep End, a memoir.  Parker is a passionate advocate for the needs of people suffering from depression and eating disorders and confronts these often taboo subjects head on in her memoir.

We discussed Parker’s growing up in an evangelical family, her bulimia, coping with the suicides of family members and dealing with depression, Susan’s early homophobia (which resulted in unkindness toward her friends who would come out to her), and how, after discovering she wasn’t a zero on the Kinsey scale of sexual orientation, her relationships with those people changed.

LGBT Notable News Happenings – (August 19, 2009 – August 25, 2009)

August 28, 2009 By: MJ Category: Featured, LGBT News

LGBT NewsTrial Date Set for Fed Lawsuit Against CA Same-Sex Marriage Ban (August 19, 2009)

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker announced that the trial will begin January 11, 2010 in the federal lawsuit against California’s same-sex marriage ban.  Judge Walker ordered the depositions and the discovery process to start right away.  The Judge indicated that he was surprised Governor Schwarzenegger has taken such a passive role in the case.

Lesbian Couple Embraces Then Asked to Leave Restaurant in MD (August 19, 2009)

They noticed a heterosexual couple  kissing in another booth of the family restaurant – so they embraced each other – but did not kiss.  Aiyi’hah Ford and her partner Torian Brown were then asked to leave the restaurant in Silver Spring.  They returned with some supporters hoping for an apology – but the manager would not apologize.   Once they stepped outside the waitress followed them and apologized, then advised them that this sort of thing happens a lot at the restaurant.

LGBT Tenants in New York Mistreated by Co-Op Board (August 20, 2009)

A group of tenants who live at the Kew Gardens apartments have made complaints to the Co-Op Board regarding a leaking terrace that has caused damage to apartments connected to and below the area.  The apartments which were damaged are occupied by gay and lesbian tenants.  After filing the complaints, the tenants began receiving homophobic threats.

Late Lesbian Writer to be Honored in Ohio (August 20, 2009)

Writers have been honored previously in the state of Ohio – but never with their sexual orientation noted on the marker.  The marker, honoring Natalie Barney, might be the first with that distinction.  Natalie Barney was born in Ohio and was the author of lesbian and feminist themed stories.  She passed away in 1972.  The vote on the honor is scheduled for August 26, 2009.

West Hollywood Park Will Have Plaque Honoring Same-Sex Marriages (August 21, 2009)

The City Council of West Hollywood has decided to unveil a bronze marker at West Hollywood Park to honor Same-Sex Marriages.  The plaque will be unveiled on September 8, 2009 and bear a quote from Nelson Mandela: “I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me.  The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”

Lesbian Families Gain in Parental Rights in Tasmania (August 21, 2009)

A bill which would give parental rights to both mothers in a lesbian family has passed the Lower House in Tasmania and is on it’s way to the Legislative Council.  The Gay and Lesbian rights group in Tasmania has praised this step forward.

Mayor in Massachusetts Will Marry her Partner (August 21, 2009)

Denise Simmons is known as the first black lesbian mayor in the United States. She was elected as mayor of Cambridge in 2008 and has served on the city council since 2001.  Ms Simmons will marry Mattie B. Hayes on Sunday August 30, 2009.

Copenhagen Might Change Wording of Civil Unions  Slightly (August 25, 2009)

Copenhagen already has Civil Unions for LGBT couples.  Currently when a couple enters a Civil Union, the presiding official pronounces the couple as Registered Partners.  A majority of the Copenhagen City Councilors are in favor of a proposal to change just one aspect of the current Civil Union which would allow LGBT couples to be declared Married.

Tucson Man Convicted in Attack on Transgender Woman (August 25, 2009)

Janey Kay is a Vietnam veteran who completed gender reassignment surgery early last year.  While at a a dog-racing track, Janey Kay was approached by Richard Ray Young and asked if she was a “Drag Queen.”  Ms. Kay answered no then Mr. Young began verbally and physically assaulting her.  Before police arrived Mr. Young broke away from security staffers and assaulted Ms. Kay once again.  Richard Ray Young was convicted of assault and disorderly conduct for the attack.  Mr. Young has said he is gay.
mjmj: 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.

A Reminder To Myself: Human Rights Include Everyone.

July 28, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

Atheists for JesusI’ve been reading through a Homophobia and Religion Forum on thinkatheist.com, and felt the need to jot out my thoughts least I forget them – perhaps I’ll need this reference point in the future, although I hope I won’t.

I’m gay, an atheist, and the grandson of a Church of God minister who, in the 40’s/50’s, preached that black people didn’t have souls. It was the Curse of Ham – they weren’t human, were sexually provocative, degraded the good christian society, etc. etc. I remember hearing all of this as a child and thankfully, never bought into it. It made no sense to me.

I also remember talk of the “juke joints” and the sexually provocative nature of those establishments, which later came to represent (at least to those that wished to degrade a segment of the population for their own egotistical purposes) the entire community.

When I tell people about how I was taught to look at black people as a child, they are shocked. Obviously, I don’t feel the same way as my ancestors, although I admit that my understanding of “Black Man 101” is limited by my perceived “whiteness.”

What will we teach our children next? Who will be the next evil doer? Who will be the next class of people to make us feel better about our own failings and desires. Who will we choose to hate next? Muslims perhaps?

I already see a trend now. I regret I’ve even been guilty of it on occasion. We are bashing all those that are “Christian.” We generalize them – they are all Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and *God Forbid* Fred Phelps. Christian is becoming synonymous with “hate” and it is because of a vocal minority within Christianity. I may never understand why people believe in the great puppeteer, but they do. They exist as I exist and for that reason alone, I should defend the group, not attack them.

Perhaps its human nature to need some group of people to belittle. Perhaps its a mechanism designed to protect our own fragile sense of worth. I don’t know. I do hope though, that I will be smart enough, wise enough and kind enough to recognize when it is happening to someone else, and that I will remain strong enough to step forward on their behalf. If I fail, then may I be reminded of all those heroic straight allies who have come to my side to defend my rights and find inspiration in their strength.  I guess I really am an atheist for Jesus.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: I Support Gay Rights But I’m Not Gay.

June 17, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Gay EducationHi Straight People. Are you straight? Then this blog is for you. I’m straight too. So how did I end up here, on a gay man’s blog? Ah, the answer to that is long. The better question is how did you end up here?

Have you been catching the news now and then? Let’s be honest. Most straight people don’t really participate in the gay rights movement nor do they really keep track. Like most everyone, we can barely get through the day, what with worrying about kids, jobs, daycare, college, bosses, the economy, our bills, our health. It just goes on doesn’t it?

Chances are you haven’t really spent much time examining your feelings about gay people. If you don’t know someone who is gay, why would you? Except for Ellen, who do you know that is gay?

In the debate on equal rights for gays, both sides have been vocal. Conservatives, especially religious conservatives, have poured a lot of money into getting out their message that our families will somehow be endangered by treating gay people as if they were “normal.”

I’ve spent my whole life being around mostly straight people. So I know that many straight people don’t know anyone who is gay. I know that they would not know what to say to a gay person. I know they have problems seeing past being gay. Their first thought is about sex. We have trouble picturing being attracted to the same gender, as it isn’t what we feel. When we (us straight folks) are attracted to someone, it can come with feelings that range from infatuation, falling in love, combined with sexual attraction, or just plain old lust to the point where we engage in one night stands or even hire prostitutes. Anyone over the age of 25 has figured out that love and sex aren’t necessarily the same thing.

But back to gay people. POP! That image of what do they do in the bedroom comes into our heads. Many of us have been taught by our religions, our families, and our society that homosexuality is against God’s law, they are all promiscuous, worse they are pedophiles. The men are effeminate and weak; the women are masculine and homely. The men all become flamboyant hair dressers or fashion designers, the women become….. hmm, I don’t know what.

There’s  another group of straight people. You work with someone, they go to your church, or they are on your soccer team. You become friends, you enjoy their company and one day you ask that age old innocent question. If it’s a male, you ask “Do you have a girlfriend?” and vice versa for a woman. If that person has trust in you, this could be the moment they have chosen to come out to you.

Then there’s the last but not least group of straight people. It’s your child, your sibling or even a parent.

Suddenly, this person is a stranger. Everything you know about them comes into question. If it is your child, you may grieve and think about all the things that you will miss out on. Grandchildren. A daughter-in-law to give you the daughter you never had. You’ll be afraid to tell anyone. If this is a friend, depending on your pre-existing feelings about gay people, your reaction can range from so what, to confusion, to awkwardness, to what do I do now, to feelings of repulsion or even threatened. If you are the same gender, you might think this person will hit on you. Somehow, there is this notion that gay people are sexually attracted to everyone they meet that is the same gender. Because when a person is gay, thinking about sex is the only thing that goes on in their brain, right? Wrong.  Just like you and me, they won’t be attracted to everyone. They know it’s a lost cause to think about being involved with someone who is straight. Not to burst your bubble, but I’m guessing they aren’t interested in you in “that way”.

All straight people go through a journey of realizations and expanding their comfort level when getting to know someone who is gay. I know I did. It can be difficult to resist asking certain questions, wondering about things that you have no firsthand knowledge of. Unless you are very close friends, I don’t recommend prying. Stick to the same subjects that you would with your straight friends. Show the person respect and acknowledge if you feel awkward. “I’ve never met anyone who is gay but I like you. So, if I say or do something offensive or that is too personal, I hope you will let me know.” Avoid stereotypes. After meeting probably fifty people who are gay, I can tell that they have only one thing in common. Being gay.

I was very lucky. My best friend in high school was a gay man. When he came out several years later, we were such good friends that I was very comfortable asking questions. (Everyone who hears this story assumes that it is a story of unrequited love. Nope. We really were just friends. And when my husband to be came along, the three of us were good friends.) I’m grateful not only for his friendship but also the enlightenment about gay people. I peeled back the layers of assumptions about gay people thanks to him. Back in the 70s, no one thought about gay marriage. I think even gay people didn’t think about it. They were too worried about losing their jobs and families.

I went from thinking that gay people should not have children, and I would say it was because their children would be bullied. But the truth is, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea. Then, when I met gay parents, I realized that gay people could be just as good at parenting as straight people.

I went from thinking that “it’s better just to be quiet about being gay” and I would say it was because it was so easy to be a target for bullying, hate and violence but really I don’t like conflict and I knew I could not be that brave if I were gay. Then as I met more people who were gay,  I learned  that the more gay people who came out, the better it was for everyone, gay or straight.

I went from thinking, well having gay friends is fine but I won’t tell my children they are gay. I said it was because children are too young to understand and why did they need to know, but really it was because I had no clue how to explain it. Sex was still front and center. Not love. Then along came a coworker that became a good friend and I decided to explain to my four year old son at the time that she loved a girl, not a boy and that was ok. He didn’t flinch. To this day, at the age of twenty, he knows her and her partner, and loves them both.

I can remember a time when I would say “I believe that gay people should be treated like everyone else but I’m not gay.”  I wanted people to know that I wasn’t gay. I wore “I’m not gay” like a badge when I spoke up for gay rights. Why?  I couldn’t bear the thought of experiencing the kind of marginalization, stereotyping, hate or fear that gay people faced. As time moved on, that fell away.  It happened so gradually that I don’t really know when it went away. This past year I joined the LGBT group at our church. We meet monthly for a potluck and a discussion. My husband doesn’t go with me. It wasn’t until the last meeting before our summer break that I realized many people assumed that I was a lesbian. Unless I brought up my husband for a reason that was relevant to the conversation, it never occurred to me to explain. So there I was, in the reverse situation that most gay people face. Our new minister and his partner came to the last potluck. I am sure that they think I am a lesbian but that didn’t occur to me until I got home. And until it comes up naturally in conversation, I’m just going to leave it that way.  We straight people assume everyone is straight. And we’re right probably 90% of the time.

And in just this last year, I went from “I don’t care what it’s called, just give same sex couples all the rights of marriage” to realizing that a separate system creates separate classes of people. Civil unions and domestic partnerships sound like corporations, not a committed loving relationship. Not to mention that if records are public, it becomes very easy to identify gay couples and possibly make them the target of hate crimes. And then there’s the crazy bureaucratic nightmare of how to write something as boring as a tax form.

I am a person who has many friends, but few very close friends. I’m an introvert. When I assessed the most important friendships in my life, there were eight. Four of those were gay, lesbian or transgender. They became my friends not because of their sexual orientation but for the individuals that they are. Two were Catholic, one was Lutheran, and one was an atheist. Two were scientists, one an artist, one a hotel clerk. One was a Republican, three were Democrats. Three are dog people, one is a cat person. All are smart, compassionate, witty, hard working and unique.

It can take time to become familiar with things that we know nothing about. If you realize that LGBT people are human, just like you, you’ll find yourself leaving judgment and negativity behind. People don’t choose to be straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender. Too much scientific research has proven that. Who we are comes naturally to all of us. No one would choose a life where they could be hated or killed, where they don’t have civil rights.

As humans, don’t we all deserve the same rights? Straight couples receive approximately 1138 Federal rights when they are married. LGBT people in domestic partnerships or civil unions receive no Federal rights and sometimes only a fraction of the states’ rights. It’s time for full equality for all Americans.

If you could not marry the person that you love, how would you feel? Yea, I thought so. So don’t make anyone else feel that way.  It’s un-American.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlGeekgirl is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a
lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles.

Police Questioning Suspect in Murder of Straight Man for Being “Gay”

February 27, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

Police have found and are questioning the second suspect in the crime committed against José O. Sucuzhañay on December 7, 2008 in Brooklyn.  Mr. José Sucuzhañay and his brother were walking arm and arm when Keith Phoenix and Hakim Scott [allegedly] attacked the two men while shouting antigay and anti-Hispanic slurs.

The minority against minority attack drew much attention, including one of my previous posts, as both Mr. José Sucuzhañay and his brother were heterosexual men.  The attack was based on the perception of their homosexuality, as two brothers showed affection to one another in public and was also apparently associated with their Hispanic roots.

Police had previously shown a video wherein Mr. Phoenix was paying a toll and smiling only 19 minutes after the attack which resulted in José Sucuzhañay death.

Police Find Second Suspect in Hate Crime Killing – City Room Blog – NYTimes.com.

Arizona Lawyers Attempting to Reject LGBT Clients

December 28, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News

The Arizona Bar Association proposed changing the lawyers creed [pledge] to include sexual orientation and to read as follows:

I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.

As if echoing the recently signed “Right of Conscious” Legislation allowing doctors to deny patients care due to moral reservations, a group of 30 lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund (“ADF”) make claims that the proposal is “unconstitutional” and would require them to represent clients they find immoral. [On a personal note, does anyone else find it ironic that lawyers are concerned with morality?]

There are numerous potential problems with this sort of bigotry, including defendants’ rights to a speedy trial.  Assume for a moment that a person is arrested on charges (be they valid or not) and after weeks or months (or justice forbidding longer) the person is finally prepared, with their Court Appointed lawyer, to go to trial.  On a pretrial interview, the Court Appointed lawyer finds out that the defendant is a homosexual and decides he/she can no longer represent this person.  Trial is now delayed and additional time is spent in prison.  Or worse, trial resumes with a new Court Appointed lawyer who has not been able to properly prepare to represent the defendant.  Is this not also unconstitutional?

Oddly enough, the lawyers’ pledge already includes religion, which means a Christian attorney cannot deny an Atheist person proper legal representation solely based upon the religion of that person.  Would this not also be a valid, moral argument and thus unconstitutional?  Yet the ADF has taken no moral stance on this issue.

I have contacted the ADF and will be providing a follow-up report based upon their response.

Read more at 365gay.