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LGBT Notable News Happenings – (August 26, 2009 – September 2, 2009)

September 06, 2009 By: MJ Category: Featured, LGBT News

LGBT NewsFL Gay Adoption Ban Goes to State Appeals Court (August 26, 2009)

November 2008 a Miami-Dade County judge ruled that the Gay Adoption Ban is unconstitutional.  The ruling made in the case of Martin Gill and his partner who had adopted two young boys.  State attorneys have taken the case to the court of appeals and the ACLU is representing Mr. Gill.

Men to be Tried for Murder of Lesbian in South Africa (August 26, 2009)

Last year a group of men assaulted and then stabbed to death Eudy Simelane (29 yrs) who played on national sport teams.  Gay Rights activists are using this case to show that women continue to be raped in an attempt to change their sexual orientation.  Lesbians who attended the hearing were threatened by young men and the three men accused have pleaded not guilty.

Proposal in MI to Add Sexual Orientation to Anti-Discrimination Law (August 26, 2009)

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony recently on whether to add Sexual Orientation to their existing Anti-Discrimination laws.  This legislation would extend housing and employment protections to the LGBT community.  Recently Steven Harmon (15 yrs old) of Portage was beaten for being gay and his case seems to have added more impetus to the fight for the legislation.

Men Convicted For Assault on Gay Man in Texas (August 27, 2009)

Jimmy Dean was walking home during the summer of 2008 when he was brutally beaten by Bobby Singleton and Dean Gunter.  Mr. Gunter has already been convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.  Officers classified the assault and robbery as a hate crime and Mr. Singleton – who more seriously assaulted Jimmy Dean – has now been sentenced to 75 years in prison.

Death of Sen Kennedy in MA is Loss for LGBT Community (August 27, 2009)

Many will miss Sen Edward Kennedy including his family, friends and the LGBT Community.  He was a strong supporter of HIV/AIDS funding, LGBT Hate Crimes legislation and Same-Sex Marriage.  In 1996 he was one of only 14 senators who voted against D.O.M.A.  Bye to Ted.

Camp in Canada for LGBTQ Youth Offers Comfort & Variety (August 27, 2009)

In Manitoba there is a one of a kind camp for LGBTQ  youth (ages 14 to 21) to have fun and just be themselves.  Those who are not yet out are also welcome to join in the activities and supportive atmosphere.  The camp has most activities available at other camps – but for those bored with the regular camp activities – there is an introduction to drag.

Female Transgender Inmate Sexually Assaulted in Hawaii (August 27, 2009)

She is a 31 year old Transgender female who has not yet had gender reassignment surgery – but she was held in a prison module for men.  While working on the breakfast cleanup crew a male adult corrections officer forced her to perform a sexual act.  An investigation has been launched and she will be released after having  served eight years of her 10 year sentence.

Uruguay House Passes Same-Sex Adoption Bill (August 27, 2009)

The Chamber passed the bill and it is now on it’s way to the Senate which approved a previous version to the bill.  They must now vote on the most recent modifications which would allow Uruguay to be the first country in Latin America to allow adoption by Same-Sex couples.

Transgender Women Stabbed in D.C.-One Dies (August 27, 2009)

Nana Boo and her friend were walking on the sidewalk when a man approached and stabbed them both.  Nana Boo’s wounds were caused her to die and her friend was severely wounded but lived.  The police said they are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Action Taken as Result of Rainbow Lounge Raid in Texas (August 28, 2009)

The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission has fired two agents as a result of the raid.  Their direct supervisor Sgt. Terry Parsons  is also being fired effective September 2, 2009. Sgt. Parsons’ direct supervisor Lt. Gene Anderson will be suspended three days then on probation for six months, and Capt. Robert Cloud has received a written reprimand.

Lawsuit Filed by Gay Man – Victim of Harassment in PA – Reinstated by Fed Judge (August 29, 2009)

Brian Prowell of Penn Hills had filed a lawsuit against his employer after he was harassed by co-workers then laid off by his employer.  A federal judge then dismissed the suit claiming it was based on Sexual Orientation not covered under federal law.  A federal appeals judge reinstated the lawsuit stating the decision should be left up to a jury.

LGBT Group Requests Temporary Block of Referendum 71 (September 1, 2009)

The LGBT group Washington Families Standing Together are still working to keep Referendum 71 off the November ballot – and to allow the new law broadening recognition of Domestic Partner benefits to take effect.  The secretary of state’s office claims there are enough signatures to put the Referendum on the ballot, but supporters of the new law claim many signatures are not valid.

Vermont First Same-Sex Marriages Begin One Minute After Legal (Sept 2, 2009)

The new law was only one minute old when Bill Slimback and Bob Sullivan became one of the first couples to say their vows and become legally married.  They travelled from N.Y. and had a midnight wedding at a rustic lodge where the co-owner is also a Justice of the Peace.  Now five states allow Same-Sex Marriage.

School District Decides in Favor of Student in Minnesota (September 2, 2009)

Earlier this year two teachers repeatedly mocked a student who they believed was Gay.  The student Alex Merritt (18 yrs) said he was heterosexual but because the teachers persisted he eventually had to transfer to another high school.  The school district has recently made decisions and the two teachers are now on a leave of absence – and substitute teachers will immediately take over their classes.

Ex-Roommate of Murdered Transgender Woman Arrested for Sexual Assault in Colorado (Sept 2, 2009)

Angie Zapata was roommates with J.J. Alejandro for three months before she was murdered.  J.J. Alejandro is now in jail facing charges for sexually assaulting five teenage girls.  Authorities had difficulty finding Mr. Alejandro during the murder trial for Angie Zapata – but he did show up just in time to testify for the defense.

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.

2010/2012, The National Equality March & LGBT Priorities.

September 02, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

NEmThe National Equality March is scheduled for October 11-12, 2009 in D.C. I’ve avoided writing about the issue of whether or not the equality march is “good” or “bad” for the community because, on September 9th, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. Central Time, I will be a guest on Sisters Talk Radio discussing that very issue.

However, time is running out to plan for the march.  We must act now and unite every LGBT activist, blogger and party of interest in declaring their full support of the National Equality March.  We must begin promoting it as if it were the death of a pop icon.  But why?

While California activists are arguing over whether a ballot initiative to overturn Proposition 8 should happen in 2010 or 2012, activists in other states are dealing with something very different – sometimes, literally life or death.

There is still reason to be concerned about having our heads bashed.  Take the case of Steven Harmon of Portage, Michigan as an example.  The 15 year old was recently attacked and beaten by two other teenagers apparently because Harmon had “come out” as gay the week before.  While beating him, the teens repeatedly called him “faggot” and other derogatory anti-gay terms.

Many of us will be dead tomorrow because some yahoo decided it was o.k. to murder a queer.  One of far too many recent examples of this occurred in Northwest Washington only about a week ago and resulted in the death of Nana Boo, a transgender male to female.

Many of us may not have a job tomorrow because our employer decided they don’t like queers.   Tonight on Closet Talk I will be talking with Candice Metzler.  Candice lost her job due to her transition and was unable to find employment.  Ultimately, she found herself homeless.

While many are debating whether or not to proceed with at 2010 ballot initiative and whether or not to support the National Equality March, here in my neck of the woods, we’re still trying to figure out how to keep kids from hanging themselves from the rafters because they are demonized for being “gay.”

We need a national front to help change the lives of the future generations of our people.  If you still don’t support the National Equality March, try walking a mile in a gay or transgender kid’s shoes in Jonesboro, Arkansas where social and legal changes to LGBT equality will likely never occur without involvement from our national government.  After that, you may be singing a different tune.