jaysays.com |

because simon isn’t cool anymore.
Subscribe

A Sad Bullying Irony in My Facebook Feed

March 09, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Two headlines appeared in my Facebook feed one right after the other tonight, in what can only be described as a sad irony (if I use the word “irony” as liberally as most).


If you stop the hate, you can stop the violence.

 

 

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/03/07/16_Year_Old_Arrested_for_Antigay_Beating/

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: GLSEN is to Blame for LGBT Suicides

October 13, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, Youth Issues

Bryan Fischer, the host of the American [Heterosexual Only] Family Association’s [AFA] radio show, Focal Point, recently declared on an AFA blog post that GLSEN was to blame for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender suicides.  His theory, it seems, is that you can eliminate the high incidents of suicide in LGBT kids by eliminating LGBT kids.  In the posting, Mr. Fischer states:

It must be pointed out that homosexual activists are not wholly innocent in these tragedies either. Homosexuals cannot reproduce so they must recruit. Part of the agenda of groups like GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) is to urge students at younger and younger ages to come out and declare a disordered sexual preference. Sexually confused youth are pressured into locking into a sexual identity far before they are mature enough to do so.

A lot of questions are raised by Mr. Fischer’s argument, the first being: “Who was the first homosexual recruiter?”  If homosexuals cannot reproduce and merely recruit, was it a straight person who first convinced someone to be a homosexual?  My guess is that it was Adam.  He had three sons and only one wife.  With such a shortage of women to put their seed into, perhaps Adam felt Eve needed a break from populating the world and suggested to Cain that he start blowing his brother to relieve his sexual frustrations.  Cain, then became the first homosexual recruiter and encouraged LGBT kids to come out.  Or perhaps it was one of the other male children.

Mr. Fischer further states that:

If criticism is bullying and harassment, then homosexual activists condemn themselves every day by the mean-spirited things they say about Christians and their views of homosexuality.

While I would concur that criticizing those that are Christian for their opinions would not necessarily constitute bullying, I must draw the line at forceful, obstructive, demeaning verbal abuse such as that experienced by LGBT youth.

For myself, I was harassed daily for my perceived (and ultimately actual) sexual orientation.  I had the word “fag” scrawled into the side of my car; I was chased home by kids throwing rocks and slurs at me; my friends were approached at their employment and harassed for hanging out with a fag; I was told by a teacher to, “act like a man;” I was spit on, laughed at and was terrified to go to school because the so-called Christian opinion was not that I was a sinner, it was that I was a worthless faggot.  All of this happened before my 18th birthday, most before I “came out.”  Never, in all the times I was approached with negative commentary about my sexual orientation in school was it to convince me that I was a sinner and needed to repent.  Instead, it was to intimidate me into submission, deny me my right of free passage or to just give me a sucker-punch.

In spite of Mr. Fischer’s efforts, it has gotten better.  Now, I’m called a fag only about 2 or 3 times per month instead of every day.  That’s better, but it’s still not good enough.

So, Mr. Fischer, I’m left with one more question, “How many times have gays knocked on your door to recruit you?”  I’ve certainly had a lot of your ilk try to recruit me through the love of Jesus Christ (which in my experience feels a lot more like spit in the face).

If you are considering taking your own life, please seek help.  Call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Mississippi isn’t Burning – It’s Flaming

March 11, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

School board members in Fulton, Mississippi have taken a harsh stance against girls dating girls.  On February 5, 2009, the school board circulated a memorandum stating that same-sex couples will not be allowed to attend prom, in direct violation of legal protections against discrimination.  Constance McMillen, however, wanted to take another girl to the prom as her date.  She then met with the assistant principal and the district superintendent but was told that, under no circumstances would she be allowed to bring another girl to the prom, and if she showed up and her presence made the other students “uncomfortable”, she would be thrown out.

This little act by the school board alone isn’t surprising.  School have fought and lost this battle repeatedly.  The difference here is that the school decided that, since a publicly funded institution can’t legally discriminate against people, it would just cancel prom altogether.  Here’s the best part – supporters of the districts discriminatory policies are claiming that Constance, not the school, has ruined it for everyone.

In one comment on parent dish, user charlotteofthebarbarycoast had this to say:

I think that the offensive thing is how this girl has decided to make her political statement at a Senior Prom and ended up ruining it for everyone else. *** If this dumb girl had any brains, she would have asked 2 of her homosexual male friends to double date with her and her tuna, and they could have just gone to the prom. Instead, she decided to make a national incident out of it, and now people all over the country are at odds trying to decide what is right, while the rest of her classmates are having one of their important memories tainted by this one inconsiderate child’s self made problem.

I can’t help but wonder how much in taxes charlotteofthebarbarycoast would pay in order to support a public institution that denied her the right to participate in that institutions events.  Those supporting the school district have all but ignored two very basic facts: (1) Constance is a student at the school; and (2) LGBT people pay taxes (often at a higher rate than married heterosexual persons) and those taxes fund schools.

Further, Constance didn’t ruin anything for anyone, the school board ruined it.  Constance is merely attempting to enjoy the same “important memories” that other students are allowed to make.  So charlotteofthebarbarycoast, I think that the offensive thing is how you and your cohorts have decided that your precious memories are more important than the precious memories of others.

Your ego, by the way, is a sin… Bitch.

LGBT Notable News Happenings – (August 13, 2009 – August 19, 2009)

August 21, 2009 By: MJ Category: Featured, LGBT News

LGBT NewsUtah Newspaper Rejects Gay Wedding Announcement (August 13, 2009)

Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones live in San Francisco and were married June 17, 2008.  Mr. Jones is originally from Utah and wanted the announcement printed in his hometown paper – prior to a family party there.  The clerk at The Spectrum initially accepted the announcement information along with payment – then later the announcement was declined.  The Spectrum had been on GLAAD’s list of inclusive newspapers – and GLAAD did try to help but without success.  The announcement has since been published in The Salt Lake Tribune – another local paper.

Tennessee Schools Agree to Remove Anti-LGBT Filter (August 14, 2009)

In April 2009 the ACLU sent a letter to the Nashville school district.  The district had set up filters on school computers – blocking access to LGBT friendly websites.  Students were having to out themselves to their teachers to try to gain access.  The ACLU filed a federal suit against the schools.  Now the schools have agreed to remove the filters blocking the sites – and a judge has dismissed the lawsuit.  If the agreement is not followed – the ACLU will return to court.

Great Nationwide Kiss-In – Dozens Gather in Utah (August 15, 2009)

Same Sex couples exchanged a simple kiss or even just a hug – and they were detained by the police.  This happened in Utah, and in two locations in Texas.  The idea for the Kiss-In started in the blog of a concerned LGBT activist – and then grew into events in more than 50 cities across the US.  One of the events was held at Liberty Square amphitheater in Utah – where dozens of couples and individuals gathered for a kiss.  Another Kiss-In is being planned for next year – hopefully in even more cities.

Montreal LGBT Pride Celebrates Pending Action on Plan (August 16, 2009)

Quebec has had a wide-ranging action plan pending – and now the plan against Homophobia is expected to happen this fall.  The announcement that Quebec will have a policy against Homophobia – came in time for celebration at the Pride Fest.  There will still be work involved in applying the law – but the LGBT community expects the new plan will greatly help the fight against anti-LGBT discrimination.  A report from the Quebec human rights commission was partly involved in the framework of the plan.

Obama – Makes Statement re: DOMA in Court Brief (August 17, 2009)

President Obama has made statements to the public about DOMA – including one made in response to the case of Smelt v. United States of America.  The case involves Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer – a Gay couple who were married during 2008 in California.  President Obama and his senior advisers stated in a court brief that DOMA is discriminatory – but that it should be repealed by Congress.  This brief is an attempt to dismiss Smelt V. United States.

New York Man Receives Maximum Sentence for Transgender Hate Crime (August 19, 2009)

Last month Dwight DeLee was found guilty of manslaughter for shooting Lateisha Green – the charge included Anti-Gay bias.  Mr. DeLee is just the second person in this country to be legally convicted for killing a Transgender person.  Ms Green had gone to a party with her brother – and they were sitting in their car outside – when Mr. DeLee came up to the car and shot her.  He has been sentenced to the maximum of 25 years in prison.

DoJ Has Added Liaison to LGBT Community (August 19, 2009)

The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has hired Matt Nosanchuk – who advised Obama on LGBT issues during the presidential campaign.  Mr. Nosanchuk has worked for the DoJ in Policy Development – and worked on judiciary and civil rights issues for Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla).  He will have a variety of cases as a senior lawyer – and will spend the rest of his time reaching out to constituencies on Capitol Hill as well as the LGBT community.

Sect in Australia Apologizes to Transgender & Intersex People (August 19, 2009)

Three daily newspapers in Tasmania published the apology – as a result of a conciliation agreement.  In 2006 members of the religious sect – Exclusive Brethren – published a state election advertisement attacking Transgender and Intersex people.  As a result of the advertisement – Martine Delaney filed a complaint with the state’s anti-discrimination tribunal.  Those who issued the apology were members of the Exclusive Brethren – along with a shell company (TradTas) which paid for the ads.

LGBT Youth Center in NY Named for Bea Arthur (August 19, 2009)

One of the stars of Golden Girls – Bea Arthur – was a generous benefactor to the Ali Forney Center.  Four years ago she went to New York for a benefit performance for the center – which raised $40,000.  The charity currently has four residential shelters for LGBT youth.  Recently it received funding from the Oak Foundation to buy housing sites – and the first site will be named – the Bea Arthur Residence for LGBT Youth.
mjpngwnz: MJ, a/k/a pngwnz, is summarizing LGBT current events each week for jaysays.com and the Why Would You Say That – Really? series. She is an out lesbian with an affinity for the music of Phil Collins and Carole King.

LGBT Notable News Happenings – (July 11, 2009 – July 24, 2009)

July 27, 2009 By: MJ Category: LGBT News

LGBT NewsCanada Health Collective Rx Denies Transgender (July 11, 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.

Simple Kiss and Hug Shared Between Couple in Salt Lake Brings Police (July 17,2009)

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.
mjpngwnz: MJ, a/k/a pngwnz, is summarizing LGBT current events each week for jaysays.com and the Why Would You Say That – Really? series. She is an out lesbian with an affinity for the music of Phil Collins and Carole King.

LGBT Notable News Happenings (May 24, 2009 – May 29, 2009)

May 31, 2009 By: MJ Category: LGBT News

LGBT NewsBritish Clergy Fear New LGBT Rights Bill in UK (May 24, 2009)

In the U.S. some Church leaders, and others on the far right, have expressed major concerns that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill now in the Senate will hurt the rights of the Church to preach to Church members.  Well, it looks as though our community here in the U.S. is not alone in trying to correct misinterpretations and misunderstandings.  In Britain there is an existing law titled the “Criminal Justice and Immigration Act”, and this year a new “clause” has been proposed.  Our brothers and sisters in the UK seem to be experiencing similar frustrations.  The Public Order Act of 1986 includes Part 3 which prohibits expressions of “racial hatred”.  This new “clause” is simply extending the protection to the LGBT community.  The “clause” or Part 3 is not meant to cause any new concerns to leaders of a Church.

LGBT Hate Crime in Cape Cod (May 24, 2009)

A young man named Eric Patten, just 23 years old, was quite drunk and was asked to leave a club in Provincetown.  According to police he began screaming anti-homosexual slurs on the sidewalk outside the club and approached and began attacking two lesbian women.  Police also said Eric called one of the women an offensive slur which would refer to a gay man.  Then, he pushed one of the women into a cafe window both breaking the window and injuring the woman.  Both women were taken to the hospital and bystanders were visibly upset about what they had witnessed.  Mr. Patten is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest.

Gay Minister Appointed in Scotland (May 25, 2009)

The Rev. Scott Rennie was relieved and humbled as the ruling body of the Church of Scotland voted to dismiss the challenge against his new appointment.  Rev. Rennie is now an openly gay minister with a partner and his most current appointment was originally challenged because of his sexual orientation.  He believes the challenge came from religious conservatives within the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion would be the equivalent to the Anglican body here in the U.S., where openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinson was consecrated in 2003 in New Hampshire.

New LGBT Youth Cafe in Ireland (May 25, 2009)

Many of the young people in Limerick haven’t really had a place where they can feel comfortable and safe.  Many don’t even feel comfortable or safe in their own local schools.  The cafe is meant, for LGBTQ young people aged 13 – 25, to be a place where they can stop by for a chat with a youth worker, or even just hang out for awhile.  Although it was originally meant for LGBT youth and those who are questioning – non LGBTQ family members and friends are also welcome.

Prop. 8 Upheld by CA Supreme Court (May 27, 2009)

The majority of the justices of the CA Supreme Court voted to uphold the Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage.  They said that Prop. 8 was a limited constitutional amendment which did not require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to be put on the ballot.  The justices decided unanimously that the approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages would still be legal in the state.  The one justice who did vote in favor of overturning Prop. 8, Justice Carlos R. Moreno, said the ruling was, “not just a defeat for same-sex couples, but for any minority group that seeks the protection of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution.  The rule the majority crafts today not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry, it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities.”

Fed Lawsuit Filed to Overturn CA Prop. 8 (May 27, 2009)

Back in 2000 there was an highly disputed presidential election with memories of hanging chads, butterfly ballots and challenging Electoral College votes.  Recently a new advocacy nonprofit called American Foundation for Equal Rights was formed and they hired attorneys David Boies and Theodore B. Olson to represent two gay couples in a Federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8.  The two attorneys, Mr. Boies and Mr. Olson, were each the lead attorneys during the court battle over the 2000 Presidential election – and are now working together because they see Federal possibility of overturning Prop. 8.  Mr Olson, who served as solicitor general under former Pres. Bush was quoted as saying, “Creating a second class of citizens is discrimination, plain and simple.  The Constitution of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln does not permit it.”  Hopefully their combined legal experience along with their determination will help to win marriage equality for California, as well as other states.

CA School Board Votes to Adopt Anti-Bullying Curriculum (May 27, 2009)

Previously in this column an article was included about a school district in Alameda, CA considering adopting a well written curriculum to help students and teachers have better respect and understanding for the LGBT community.  That vote has taken place and there were cheers when the results of the vote were announced.  The members of the board voted 3-2 in favor of adopting the new curriculum.  Some members of other minority groups present at the meeting were not as happy with the vote – citing problems which exist toward their own groups.  The district Superintendent Kirsten Vital answered them by acknowledging the concerns and saying, “We need to do a better job as a school district, but you don’t take away from one group to support another…”.

More Killings of Gays in Iraq (May 28, 2009)

During the past three months approximately 30 more people have been killed in Iraq because they were either believed to be or know to be homosexual.  Amnesty International wrote directly to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take action to stop this from happening.  Some believe that these people were tortured then killed in baghdad at the hands of the Mahdi Army, some believe tribal vigilantes were responsible.

Air Force Lt. Col. Battling for Career Over DADT (May 28, 2009)

Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach is the winner of nine medals for distinguished service in flight and is trying to save his 18-year Air Force career.  A year ago an acquaintance told his bosses he was gay, now Fehrenbach is trying to save his career with the help of The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.  He had been trying to stay in the service until the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” – but he has decided it is time to speak out.  Lt. Col. Fehrenbach said, “I will fight this in uniform and I’ll fight it without.  I swore an oath to defend and support the Constitution, I’m going to speak out and fight this until the law is repealed because it is not constitutional.”  He has also appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show.

High School in CA Elects Male Prom Queen (May 29, 2009)

When Sergio Garcia, a senior at Fairfax High School in the Hollywood area, submitted his application for Prom Queen earlier this month he told his classmates he would wear a suit and not a dress to the prom.  Then, at his prom the majority of the students voted by paper ballot to elect him.  Senior Keith Perez, who was elected Prom King said that he, “didn’t mind at all” dancing with the school’s first male Prom King.  Vanessa Lo, the senior class president and the prom date of Keith Perez, was happy to announce Garcia as the newly elected Prom Queen that evening.  Many notable alumni of Fairfax High School include members of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, actresses Mila Kunis and Demi Moore … and another not so notable nor famous alumnus … your humble news gatherer – MJ.

44 Year Old Man Beats up 15 Year Old Boy for Being Gay

January 22, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

January 21, 2009:  A 44 year old Bolingbrook, IL man was charged with aggravated battery and a hate crime after beating up a 15 year old boy while making derogatory remarks about the juveniles sexuality.  The boy, who had apparently gone to the house to visit a friend, refused medical treatment; however, he did report the assault to his mother who contacted the police.

See:  Bolingbrook man charged with committing hate crime :: Herald News :: Police Blotter.

These are the sorts of crimes that make the passage of federal hate crimes legislation so important.  Many states do not currently have hate crimes legislation and a large portion of these crimes go uncounted.  HR 1592, (commonly, The Matthew Shepard Act) is written to expand current hate crimes legislation to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.  Although the law has been circulating through congress since 1999, it has never passed.  Upon approval in 2007 by the House of Representatives, then President George W. Bush indicated should the Act pass Congress, he would veto the measure.  The new President Obama has indicated that he supports the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act.  Please write to your senate leaders and explain the importance of this legislation.  To find out how to contact your senator, please visit the United States Senate Contact Page.

Protecting our Children from Themselves

December 29, 2008 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Youth Issues

In 1989, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compiled a study indicating that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers and such suicides likely compromised up to 30% of the overall youth suicide rate.  The study was quickly sealed by the administration of George H. W. Bush.  Representative William Dannemeyer (R. California) went as far as to say that Bush should:

…dismiss from public service all persons still employed who concocted this homosexual pledge of allegiance and sealed the lid on these misjudgments for good.

The report was ultimately leaked to the press in spite of the governments efforts to prevent it.  The report stated:

… mental health and youth service agencies can provide acceptance and support for young homosexuals, train their personnel on gay issues, and provide appropriate gay adult role models; schools can protect gay youth from abuse from their peers and provide accurate information about homosexuality in health curricula; families should accept their child and work toward educating themselves about the development and nature of homosexuality.

Had the recommendations of the report been taken by the Bush administration, the story of LGBT equality, mental health and physical well being may have become drastically different than it is today and our children may have had a stronger chance of survival.  Unfortunately, no action was taken by the administration to protect our children from their greatest danger, themselves, and as a result more children have died.

The arguments today against homosexuality seem to revolve around the protection of our children.  Everywhere we turn people are saying, “You’ll harm the children.”  The fact is that the unfriendly heterosexual persons have done the greatest damage to their own children.  Perhaps many of them feel it is better to have a dead child than a gay child.  It is my greatest hope that the upcoming Lifetime movie, Prayers for Bobby, (scheduled for release the end of January, 2009) will shed light on this tragic situation and save the life of our dearest renewable resources, our children.

In 1999, a study by the Center for Disease Control/Massachusetts revealed that 33% of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered youth had attempted suicide.  This is 1/3 of all LGBT children!!!  Should you be concerned?  YES!

I’m a parent, what do I do if my son/daughter is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.   I implore you to visit PFLAG’s website to obtain additional resources.  If you are afraid of humiliation, think of your child and the stigma that is being placed upon them.  Find strength for your children’s sake and make a call for help.

I am a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered youth and I feel alone, scared, hopeless, lost, confused, angry, ashamed etc.  For LGBT youth in need of assistance, the following links are provided:

  • OutProud: “Support, advocacy and resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.”
  • Youth Guardian Services: “Are you a gay, bi, or trans young person between the ages of 13-25? Come find friends, fun and support on the YOUTH lists.”
  • National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC):  “…a national social justice organization working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people to strengthen the role of young people in the LGBTQ rights movement.”
  • Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) – Student Organizing Department: “The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”
  • Gay-Straight Alliance: “Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club, typically in a high school, which provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation, and work to end homophobia. Many GSAs function as a support group and provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual,transgender, or questioning. “