Tag Archives: Equality

Gay History Month – October 11th, 1987: The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights – Videos

AIDS QUILT 2

 

The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was one of the largest LGBT political rallies that ever took place in Washington, D.C. and took place  on October 11, 1987.  Its success, size and scope has led it to be referred to by many in gay history as “The Great March”.

The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, drafted documents to extant LGBT organizations soliciting interest in a new march. The response was favorable, and the two organized an initial planning meeting in New York City on July 16, 1986, where it was decided that the march would be held in 1987.  Representatives from all known LGBT organizations were subsequently invited to a national conference in New York City on November 14–16, 1986 where they would discuss the politics, logistics and organization of the event. The final organizational meeting for the march took place in Atlanta on May 2–3, 1987.

The delegates at the West Hollywood convention chose several primary demands to serve as the platform for the 1987 March. Each of these demands was supplemented with a broader list of demands which extended beyond the scope of single-issue LGBT concerns. In doing so, the organizers wished to underscore their recognition that oppression of one group affects oppression of all groups. The seven primary demands were:

  • The legal recognition of lesbian and gay relationships.
  • The repeal of all laws that make sodomy between consenting adults a crime.
  • A presidential order banning discrimination by the federal government.
  • Passage of the Congressional lesbian and gay civil rights bill.
  • An end to discrimination against people with AIDS, ARC, HIV-positive status or those perceived to have AIDS. Massive increases in funding for AIDS education, research, and patient care. Money for AIDS, not for war.
  • Reproductive freedom, the right to control our own bodies, and an end to sexist oppression.

The march itself was part of six days of activities, with a mass wedding and protest in front of the Internal Revenue Service on October 10, and, three days later, a civil disobedience act in front of the Supreme Court building protesting its rulings upholding Bowers v. Hardwick and was led by Cesar Chavez and Eleanor Smeal, who were followed by people with AIDS and their supporters.

Speakers at the rally included:

* Former National Organization for Women president Eleanor Smeal
* Union president and Latino civil rights figure Cesar Chavez
* Actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg
* Jesse Jackson, then a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President.

Jackson told the crowd, “Let’s find a common ground of humanity… [W]e share the desire for life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, equal protection under the law. Let’s not dwell on distinctions.”

Police on the scene estimated numbers during the actual march to be closer to half a million.

With AIDS at the forefront of everyones’ concern, the march marked the public debut of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilt occupied the equivalent of two city blocks, and included 1,920 panels commemorating more than 2,000 persons who had died of AIDS. Since then, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has become the world’s largest community art project, encompassing 1.3 million square feet and commemorating the lives of over 94,000 people who died of AIDS.

But even the quilt couldn’t break through the national reticence to discuss the epidemic or the concerns of gay people. Despite the enormity of the gatherings, the three national news magazines — Newsweek, Time and U.S. News & World Report — neglected to mention any of it, which longtime advocate Barbara Gittings described as “an appalling example of media blindness.”

PLEASE watch the videos below filmed by pioneering Gay Cable Network. The footage gives a glimpse into and understanding of what the LGBT rights movement and activism from the mid-late 80’s was like which is nothing like what we have today.

And perhaps should return to.

 

 

 

Kentucky House Waters Down Religious Liberty/Freedom To Discriminate Bill Over Fear of Backlash

Midway, Kentucky Becomes 8th KY City With LGBT Fairness Ordinance (And NO Religious Exemptions)

Kentucky Gay

 

The small Kentucky city of Midway, population 1,657, became the eighth Kentucky city to adopt a Fairness Ordinance, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people

Led by first-term Mayor Grayson Vandergrift, four council members cast votes in favor of LGBT Fairness with two council members casting votes in opposition after brief debate.  In April, the council committee removed “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) language from the draft ordinance and the full city council held a public forum on the issue in early May. A dozen Midway residents spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance at the forum, while only one member of the community spoke in opposition.

“Midway has taken a bold step towards Fairness for all its residents tonight,” shared Midway resident Cindy Batts. “Mayor Vandergrift reminded everyone of the alarming reality for most LGBT Kentuckians–they can still be legally fired from a job or denied housing or service if they are gay or transgender without state or federal civil rights protections. In Midway, that is now no longer the case.”

Midway now joins seven other Kentucky cities that have passed similar LGBT Fairness Ordinance, including Covington (2003), Danville (2014), the state capital Frankfort (2013), Lexington (1999), Louisville (1999), Morehead (2013), and the tiny Appalachian town of Vicco (2013).

8 Kentucky cities down, 417 Kentucky cities to go!

Miley Ray Cyrus Twitter Bombs Sen Tom Cotton Over Gay Persecution Iran Remarks: “Lets Stir Some Shit Up!”

Miley 1

Miley Ray Cyrus didn’t take kindly to Senator Tom Cotton saying that gays should just be grateful that America doesn’t hang us like they do in Iran. So she tweeted out his office number to her 19 million followers. “Let’s stir some shit up! Senator Cotton (202) 224-2353 !!!! Happy Hippies call & express why freedom is important to us & our country!”

Reports are that Cotton’s office  was barraged by calls by Miley’s’s fans and supporters of equilty for the past few days for to the point where they turned the phones off and the answering machine overloaded.

You can what you want about the “wrecking ball” debacle but we need more LGBT allies (and LGBT’s as a matter of fact)   like Milry Cyrus to “stir some shit up” and fight for our right for equality!

Thanks Miley!

 

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700+ LGBT and Straight Allies Rally In Cincinnati During 6th Circuit Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

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Crowd of 700+ LGBT and Straight Allies Rally In Cincinnati During 6th Circuit Same Sex Marriage Hearing – Outnumber Anti-Gay Protesters 35 to 1 

A crowd estimated at well over 700 people gathered at Cincinnati, Ohio’s Fountain Square today to rally and show their support for same sex marriage at a rally put together Joshua Snyder-Hill, James Gutierrez-Winnettand Freedom to Marry Ohio while a three-judge panel of the 6th. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee relating to recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states and allowing same-sex marriages themselves.  

Over a dozen speaks took to the stage, including myself to speak out for not only same-sex marriage but for full state and federal equality also.

Jim Obergefell who married John Arthur in Maryland shortly before Arthur, who suffered from ALS, died last fall too to the stage and told of his fight  to keep his name on Arthur’s death certificate as corrupt Attorney General Mike DeWine fights for the state of Ohio to remove it.

 “The death certificate showed he was married and I was the surviving spouse,” said Obergefell, “It means we exist. The state wants to erase those facts. It is not right, not fair and downright disrespectful.”

Other speakers included:  Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach,  Democrat David Pepper who is running to unseat Ohio’s anti-gay Attorney General Mike DeWine, and Micheal Chanax who gave a heartfelt remembrance speech for Worley Rodehaver longtime editor of Cincinnati’s GLBT News,  community volunteer, and activist who passed away on July 23, 2014 and did not live to see this day.

The Citizens for Community Values run by Phil Burress and is not only officially “affiliated” with the anti-gay hate groups the Family Research Council and the American Family Association but also helped write Onio’s SuperDOMA that banned same-sex marriage warned that “God’s design for marriage is under attack!” and urged its followers to gather outside the courthouse to pray on Wednesday at the same time of the rally.  Only 20 showed up and Phil Burress was nowhere to be seen.

 

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LGBT ally and Ohio Attorney General candidate David Pepper (center) with two really cute Aides.
LGBT ally and Ohio Attorney General candidate David Pepper (center) with two really cute political aides.
Falled anti-gay prayer protest lef by the Citizens for Community Values - They should have prayed for rain.
Falled anti-gay prayer protest led by the Citizens for Community Values – They should have prayed for rain.

Federal Judge STRIKES DOWN Wisconsin Ban On Same-Sex Marriage, Notes Windsor Case 12x’s

 

Gay Power

 

U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb today struck down the discriminatory amendment to the Wisconsin state constitution preventing same-sex couples from marrying. The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law on behalf of eight couples seeking the freedom to marry in Wisconsin or to have their out-of-state marriages recognized. Two of the plaintiffs, Kami Young and Karina Willes of West Milwaukee, were legally married last year in Minnesota and have a newborn daughter. But because Young is the birth mother, she is the only one who is recognized as the legal parent on the birth certificate.

“Our daughter has two parents who love her dearly,” said Willes. “I am no less a mother to her than Kami is, and she deserves the security of having both of her parents legally recognized. Our daughter shouldn’t have second-class protections.” “We are tremendously happy that these loving and committed couples will now be able to access the security and recognition that only marriage provides,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “These discriminatory laws are falling around the country and it is only right that Wisconsin move forward as well.

Part of Friday’s ruling reads: “It is DECLARED that art. XIII, § 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution violates plaintiffs’ fundamental right to marry and their right to equal protection of laws under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Judge Crabb referenced SCOTUS’ decisions in the WINDSOR ruling (not the Prop 8 Case) 12 times in her decision.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, today issued the following statement on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin’s ruling that Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional: “The federal district court in Madison took another step toward ensuring full equality for every American. It is clear the growing momentum of support for marriage equality will put an end to discriminatory laws that treat LGBT couples as second-class citizens. In ruling after ruling, it has become unmistakable that the promise of America is everyone should be treated equally and with dignity. Today’s ruling brings us one step closer to fulfilling that promise.” 

Meanwhile, County clerks in Milwaukee and Madison are trying to figure out if and when they could begin issuing marriage licenses. Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki said he was keeping his office open while an attorney reviewed the decision in case he could begin accepting marriage licenses Friday evening.

Judge Crabb referenced SCOTUS’ decisions in the WINDSOR ruling (not the Prop 8 Case) 12 times in her decision.

United States Navy Adds Japan As Military Assignment With Benefits To Same Sex Married Couples

Japan

The United States Navy now will provide military benefits to gay couples stationed in Japan after previously denying dependent status to same-sex spouses there, according to defense officials. The change came after U.S. and Japanese officials agreed to an interpretation of the status of forces agreement between the two nations, concluding that the term “spouses” applied to all individuals who are legally married to Department of Defense personnel.

The Navy announced its decision saying in a notice to personnel that it had added Japan to its list of overseas assignments for same-sex couples. The move came after the Washington Post published an article exposing how gay service members and their spouses often miss out on U.S. benefits while living abroad.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a directive in August ordering the military to treat all legally married couples equally for purposes of federal benefits, ensuring that the Pentagon complied with a Supreme Court ruling this year that overturned a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The American Military Partners Association, a gay-rights group, described the Navy’s decision as “welcome news” but noted that the armed forces still do not treat same-sex spouses equally at many duty stations abroad.

As of this writing the U.S. Navy has only made Japan and Guantanamo Bay available as overseas assignments for gay couples.

Credit Suisse Launches First Ever LGBT Friendly Blue Chip Stock Investment Portfolio

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse today has launched a new associated investable portfolio, the Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Portfolio, Powered by HOLT®.   This new portfolio will contains blue chip investment stocks of companies with progressive LGBT policy and strong capital appreciation potential.

Credit Suisse in the past has had a strong track record of providing leadership and support for LGBT-related issues..

Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index™(Bloomberg Ticker: CSLGBT Index) the first index to track the equity performance of companies with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) friendly policies.  Some of the biggest companies in the LGBT Equality Index include Wells Fargo (WFCFortune 500), JP Morgan Chase (JPMFortune 500), Apple (AAPLFortune 500),Microsoft (MSFTFortune 500), Google (GOOGFortune 500) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJFortune 500).

Also being launched is the Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index™ is a capitalization-weighted equity index that measures the performance of US companies recognized for supporting and promoting equality for members of the LGBT community

Said Timothy O’Hara, Credit Suisse Global Head of Equities. “We are very pleased to be launching an Index that tracks the economic impact of LGBT-supportive policies.”

It Ain’t Over Yet. Many More LGBT Related Cases Headed To The Supreme Court

sUPREME cOURT

Earlier this week the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal made by Virgina’s bigoted Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the case of McDonald v. Moose, which involved Virginia’s sodomy law ending The Cooch’s puritan reign f sexual terror in that sate once and for all.  Also this week  SCOTUS  refused to hear the appeal of a University of Toledo Human Resources staffer  Crystal Dixon who was fired for writing an an op-ed that condemned the term “civil-rights” and distaste for comparisons between civil rights struggles of gay people and those of African Americans.

Two major wins for the LGBT community.  But that’s not the end of the line for gay rights cases and the Supreme Court—several cases with important consequences are still under consideration.

Elane Photography v. Vanessa Willock

New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguein refused to shoot the wedding of a lesbian couple, and in doing so violated the state’s law banning discrimination in public accommodations.  Huguein maintained her religious beliefs should trump local ordinances, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in August that her First Amendment rights weren’t violated and that “[businesses that] choose to be public accommodations must comply” with law. The court stated Huguein’s company could still “post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage.”

If SCOTUS hears Elane Photography v. Vanessa Willock, the case could seriously impact anti-discrimination laws nationwide.

Pickup v. Brown

The notoriously anti-gay legal hate group the Liberty Counsel is appealing California’s new ban on reparative therapy for minors.  In late August, a U.S. Court of Appeals panel reversed an injunction against instituting the ban until the appeal had been reviews, stating that the law “is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights.” Right now, Liberty Counsel is requesting a review of the panel’s decision, but Pickup v. Brown could find its way to the Supremes soon enough.

If it does, it could impact similar efforts to ban conversion therapy in other states.

Other LGBT related cases which make their way to the Supreme Court are 35 major lawsuits in 19 states all challenging state bans on marriage equality.

The farthest along and most likely to reach the Supreme Court first is one by Lambda Legal out of Nevada. That case, Sevcik v Sandoval, was dismissed at the federal district court level but Lambda has an appeal pending before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and briefing closes on or two weeks after November 18.

A second lawsuit, Jackson v Abercrombie, against Hawaii’s ban on same-sex marriage, has final briefs due to the Ninth Circuit on December 23 or two weeks thereafter. Depending on how quickly the Ninth Circuit moves on the cases, they could potentially be appealed to the Supreme Court this session but they would likely be heard next session.

We spent years and millions upon millions of dollars trying to change “hearts and minds” and wrongly trying to sway the popular vote.  But after Prop 8 and DOMA  in the end now it seems that that strategy was wrong, and the courts and America’s legal system was always the way to go.

Gresham, Oregon Bakery That Denied Same-Sex Wedding Cake Closed

Sweet Cakes by Melissa closed

Sweet Cakes by Melissa a bakery in Gresham, Oregon refused to bake a lesbian couples wedding cake in early February because  “it’s was against their religious beliefs”  has CLOSED.

In August, the Bureau of Labor and Industries said it was conducting an investigation to determine if the bakery violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects the rights of LGBT Oregonians.

Aaron Klein, one of the owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to sell the cake to one of the brides-to-be because he said marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

The couple later filed a complaint with the justice department, which Klein’s attorney Herbert Grey responded to.  In his letter, Grey says the couple “elected not to participate in an event that is not even officially recognized under Oregon law when doing so would violate their constitutionally-protected conscience and religious beliefs.”

But right minded customers felt otherwise and Sweet Cakes by Melissa’s business took a major hit due to its anti-gay bigotry.

The bakery now sits  empty. All counter tops, display cases and decorations are gone and hanging in the window was a sign from the Oregon Family Council that read “Religious freedom is under attack in Gresham.”

Sweet Cakes by Melissa posted on its Facebook page, “This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. I will post our new number soon.”

Perhaps this will make these bigots realize that you can’t have their cake and eat it too.

Source KVUE.com