Tag Archives: LGBT Issues

FBI: Hate crimes up in 2011 for LGBT Americans

Yesterday the Federal Bureau of Investigation released its 2011 figures on hate crimes in the United States, including crimes that “resulted from sexual orientation bias,” as reported by ThinkProgress.

The good news is that the number of hate-crime incidents has dropped overall, back to 1994 levels. The really bad news is that anti-LGBT hate crimes increased slightly, making hate crimes based on sexual orientation the second most frequent after racially motivated incidents.

Yes, that’s right, you’re now slightly more likely to be a victim of a hate crime in the United States if you’re LGBT than if you’re a member of a religious group, but race trumps all: racially motivated crimes account for almost half of all incidents in the FBI’s report.

And what about religion? Does the religious right have a point that Christians are as victimized as the LGBT community? Well, no. Sexual orientation and religion may each account for 20% of incidents, but a whopping two-thirds of crimes “motivated by religious bias” were directed against Jews and Jewish institutions.

Shockingly, as noted by the Anti-Defamation League, only 13% of participating law enforcement agencies reported a single hate-crime in their jurisdictions.


Why Do Pro-Gay Advertisements Lack LGBT People?

Today I stumbled across an article asking why is there a complete lack of LGBT them had an actual gay couple on it? Right now there are four states (Washington, Maine Maryland, and Minnesota) voting on marriage equality in November and so far, NONE of those ads feature any LGBT people. They have a lovely straight couple talking about their lesbian friend, a pastor for gay rights, but no gay people at all. Why is this happening? Some say because it makes it easier.

Andy Szekeres a fundraising consultant, feels that having an LGBT person featured in these pro-gay ads would be upsetting to the “tough guys”:

The moderate tough guys we need to flip to win a couple of these races are still the ones who say that gays are gross. Pushing people to an uncomfortable place, it’s something you can’t do in a TV ad,” 

Matt McTighe, a Maine campaigner for marriage equality feels the same way, and summarizing that we should do whats good for the cause:

The simple truth is that we are trying to win over the people that are not yet with us. I’m a gay man, and the general rule of thumb for me is that an ad that meets my emotional needs is not necessarily the thing that’s going to change a typical voter’s mind about gay or lesbian people.”

Okay rationally maybe you have a point but…..NO NO NO. Cowering in fear of being who you are is NOT how we are going to win marriage equality. We have to shoe our oppressors naysayers and those who have no idea what being gay is and show that we love laugh and live just as they do. That we want the same things. The ONLY difference is who wee’re attracted to and that different DOES NOT mean better or worse…it just means different.

Truth Wins Out director, Wayne Besen, agrees that we shouldn’t be hiding in the shadows in these pro-LGBT ads:

“If we don’t show ourselves, people aren’t going to get comfortable with who we are”

So show us as we are and don’t hide it!

New Prop 8 Ruling Leaves Questions For Gay Couples Seeking Marriage Equality

Another court ruling has been issued on Proposition 8,  the Californian law voted for in 2008 that defined marriage between a man and woman. Judge James Ware issued that the case be closed. This makes those that were for having the case heard and have the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision that ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional more difficult. Earlier this year the Ninth Circuit of Appeals struck down the law voted in favor 52 % of California voters.

The decision, however, can be brought up to the Supreme Court when the reconvene in October. Some are reporting that this also means that in order for Judge Ware’s decision to go into affect, the Supreme Court must first rule on the case. Here’s an excerpt from today’s ruling:

On August 4, 2010, the Court issued an order in this case in which it directed the Clerk toenter judgment in favor of Plaintiffs and Plaintiff-Intervenors and against Defendants andDefendant-Intervenors. (hereafter, “August 4 Order,” Docket Item No. 708 at 136.) On August 12,2010, the Court issued a further order in which it declined to stay the August 4 Order and directedthe Clerk to “enter judgment forthwith.” (See Docket Item No. 727 at 10-11.) On June 14, 2011,the Court issued an order denying a motion to vacate judgment brought by Defendant-Intervenors.

I admit, to me the jargon in today’s ruling has been a bit confusing with both sides unclear about what the ruling means for same sex couples wanting to marry. Buzzfeed did however offer an update to further clarify on the initial report:

“A stay of the case by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals pending the Supreme Court’s determination of whether it takes the case means that a ‘mandate’ will not issue [sic] allowing Ware’s order today to go into effect. The order comes despite the fact that proponents of Proposition 8 have requested the Supreme Court to review the case because, Judge James Ware wrote today, all requests to stay the judgment in the case have been denied.”

So it appears that the movement for equality and the waiting game continues for same sex couples in California seeking marriage equality, with some like the American Foundation for Equal Rights tweeting

 Today’s court activity in the #Prop8 case is just housekeeping by the court, has nothing to do with judgement taking effect.”

And other LGBTQ organizations like GLAAD and HRC that haven’t made a formal comment on this late breaking news, it is difficult to determine a consensus on what the case means for gay men and women seeking marriage equality. Story developing….

The Act of “Googling” Marriage

Marriage, what’s all the fuss about?

I performed an experiment today with Google. I typed marriage into my search bar to see what I could find. Surprisingly, the first thing to pop up was the definition of marriage and it was from Merriam-Webster. It goes like this:

(1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage>”

At first, I didn’t think that just by “googling” marriage that I would get upset. Oh how I was wrong. The definition of marriage according to our lovely “most popular” dictionary is the uniting of the opposite sex. The implications of this are far and wide. We are telling every gay and lesbian person that if they want to get “married” it can’t be the dictionary definition. The dictionary automatically tells you that same-sex marriage is different than that of opposite-sex marriage. If this doesn’t upset you, you aren’t paying attention.

The idea of marriage and the definition of marriage to me is when two people love each and want to share that unity with friends and family members. It is saying to your community that you are in a loving companionship with someone that you are proud to be with and want everyone to share in your joy.

The definition should go like this:

The state of being united to a person as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”

The fact that there is a second addition to this definition within the dictionary also frustrates me. It is explicitly telling me that my “same-sex” marriage is not the equivalent of my straight counterpart. It is by default telling me that I am not the same kind of citizen of the United States as a heterosexual couple. This definition is teaching our children and yougn adults about marriage. They are at an immediate disadvantage of what marriage actually is.

You have politicians talking about the “sanctity” of marriage and so on. These are the same politicians and public figures later caught in scandals. They say that marriage is from the dawn of time. I don’t believe that Adam and Eve were ever married by a priest, were they? Did they go before their entire congregation and confess their love for each other? Did anyone have the chance to say, “I object! She gave him that apple, she can’t be trusted!” Where was Adam’s “bro-buddy?”

They also say that marriage is something that has been a relished act forever. I recently was listening to a great Podcast by @BlackSheepGVB and one of the hosts brought up a great point that I’m going to state as well! In the days of yore, marriage was a business contract. The nobility of England was dependent on marriage ad a family’s wealth was dependent on the marriage of their children. The only sanctity that there was was that a marriage was inevitable. I’m sure affairs were had multiple times in many marriages but old Newt wants you to believe “that affairs happen and I’m a straight guy, so an affair every once in a while is okay.” (not really his quote, just his actions)

We need to stand-up and change the definition of marriage. I don’t want to have a marriage that is an underscore to “traditional marriage.” I want a marriage that is the unity of me with the person I love. I want to be given away, by my mother of course. I don’t want to be “same-sex married” and I don’t want a partner. I want a husband who loves me and one that I love back. I don’t need a business partner, I want a lover in the most basic sense. I want a boyfriend, then hopefully fiance, then husband. I want to be married by the very definition of it. So let’s change that dictionary definition to what it should be.

The state of being united to a person as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”

San Diego, CA – Straight Man Dressed As Freddy Mercury For Halloween Attacked For Being "Gay". SDPD Will Not Investigate It As A Hate Crime.

A Straight man and his friend were attacked on Halloween night  in the parking lot of a San Diego South Park-area 7-Eleven store because one was dressed as the late gay Freddy Mercury of the rock group “Queen”.  Both men were attacked after being called a number of homosexual slurs. But police investigators said they do not believe the attack was a hate crime because the victim and his friend who was also attacked are not gay. However, the men who were attacked are instating that it be treated as such.

 “[even though] Neither of us are gay, this was a hate crime.”

Attorney Gretchen Von Helms said, “It does not matter if the victim is gay or not because they were attacked because they were perceived as being gay, so what that does [is] it puts the community at risk — the community of, say, gay males who would be in fear that they would be attacked for being who they are.”

The California Penal Code defines a hate crime as a criminal act because of an actual or perceived characteristic of the victim.

That same night just a few blocks away a gay man was also attacked and  beaten while walking his dogs. and in that case also the SDPD is having “issues” labeling it a hate crime/

You can watch the Video Report at the 10News.com website.

Netroots Nation Saturday: Pelosi Takes The Stage And Obama Sends A Message – No New Information. No Timelines. Just The Same Ole, Same Ole With Some Fear Thrown In For Good Measure (VIDEO)

Yesterday at the Netroots Nation 2010  gathering in Las Vegas.  Nancy Pelosi took the stage  and President Obama sent a videotaped message. Obama’s message was much of the same except this time he started throwing in the “fear factor” of what will happen if the “ReTHUGlicans” take control in 2010 and 2012 and touted all the Democrats achievements. (“Vote for us we might give you crumbs even though we promised you more. Or vote for them and get sent to concentration camps sort of message)

Watch the Pelosi and Obama Videos and read more after the jump…..

I would like to respond to a few things Nancy Pelosi talked about regarding ENDA and DADT, Pelosi who has been a friend to the LGBT Community basically said ENDA could not go forward until DADT was finished. (Washington, D.C. it seems s not able to multi-task when it comes to LGBT rights) and how she loves ENDA. At his point Pelosi said something that I must correct her on. Pelosi said:. “It’s embarrassing that its taken so long (18 years) to get ENDA together.” No Nancy, it’s not embarrassing…..ITS DISGUSTING. And to call it any less , to me at least is highly offensive. We are talking about Civil Rights here. Something that should not be put on the back burner for any reason for any group of people at all.

Nancy then took a backhanded swipe at GetEQUAL’s recent protests, Pelosi said, “I would target [politicians] in a positive way. This is America, show your appreciation to those that are with us.” UGH.  Nancy and the Democrats need to learn that until DOMA and DADT are repealed (with full implementation of the repeal) and EDNA and UAFA are passed, that any and all politicians are up for being targeted. Especially, most especially, the ones that claims to be on our side and then do NOTHING to advance the agenda. It makes absolutely no sense to target politicians that do not claim to be on our side and that vilify us. Their minds will never change. And what’s worst is that there are members in her own party that feel that way or else there would be no problem getting these issues passed.

Perhaps, just perhaps if the Democrats put their own House in order and learned to play hard ball with their own members we wouldn’t have to target any Democrats members for being against us. Because the major problem the Democrats have is that unlike the Republicans who may be evil. The Republicans are evil and unified. THEY ARE ONE BIG EVIL UNIFIED PARTY. The Democrats on the other hand have a three way split between Progressives, Conservatives, and the dreaded undercover Republican spies in thier party called The Blue Dogs. And until the Democratic Party picks group it really wants to be and gets unified it will never get anything done. And until that time, and since the Democrats leadership won’t work on, push , or embaress, their own members who are against us. WE MUST.

And as for Obama….

The speech was very nice   But  let me say something to you. You promised the LGBT Community alot in return for our support and our money and your term is halfway done.  Maybe you should have made it clearer that you expected to be president at get all those promises done in the 20 years that you expected to be President.  Because thats not the open timetable we expected or supported.  Simply put.  If you want our support, anmd you want our money give usYOUR timetable for the LGBT agenda? Maybe if you provide this to us, we wouldn’t be so impatient, and we would not feel like that you are only interested in our money.

Rant over…….for now

WTF? The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance Of Washington, DC Want To "Preserve Civil Marriage Equality" But Also To "Tax Hookers"!

Rick Rosenthal and the The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, (Who I have had “words” with in the past. Hi Rick!) has released its annual “Agenda 2010,

Interestingly besided LGBT issues that should be focused on like “Preserving Civil Marriage Equality” and “Transgender Health Needs,” and “Transitional Housing for Homeless LGBT Youth”.  The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance also added  “Medical Marijuana” and “Prostitution: Legalize It, Regulate It, Zone It, Tax It.” in hopes of weilding power in DC City politics.  (Which should be a BIG hit with Bishop Henry Jackson and his minions)

Now I am all for leagalized prostitution and “sex zones” (It was a sad day when DC took eminent domain of SW O Street and forced out the Follies, The Glorious Health club and all the “fun” places in that area.)  But at this time with DOMA still in place, EDNA slowly being pushed into obscurity and the FUBAR which is the current state of affairs regarding the DADT repeal in Washington, and not to mention the rise in LGBT related hate crimes in the Disctrict is taxing hookers really that important to The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance to put time and energy into instead of solely fousing on the important gay issues at hand?

Daniel Radcliff Speaks Out On Teen LGBT Suicide For The Trevor Project (Video)

Last August Daniel Radcliff, Harry Potter himself, had made a major donation to The Trevor Project, the non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide suicide-prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth.  But Daniel takes this serious problem one step further and is willing to back up his money with action and continues his involvement with The Trevor Project by shooting a public service announcement last Friday thart will air this spring.

In the video below Daniel talks about his involvement with The Trevor Project to MTV.