Three Equality Riders Face Waxahachie Judge Today

This past fall many of you supported the third annual Soulforce Q Equality Ride as it visited fifteen schools throughout the South. And much like previous years, some places were receptive and hospitable while others shut their doors. Sadly, Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas falls into the latter category.
In addition to policing gender expression, Southwestern explicitly states that "homosexuality and lesbianism may incur a fine from $50 up to $250 and could result in an appearance before the Student Conduct Committee and possible termination from the university." (These regulations can be found under the Residential Life section of their website.) The school is also home to Cutting Edge, a student organization that declares itself "a ministry to the homosexuals." Even still, leaders at Southwestern decided that there was no room for us or for dialogue about their beliefs and practices. In fact, they chose to preclude our voices altogether. We were directed to an empty parking lot where a small group of representatives greeted us briefly and explained that they were the extent of our welcome.
Three Equality Riders, however, decided to push the boundaries set by administrators. Zak Rittenhouse, Manny Lampón, and Nicholas Rocco DeFinis began to walk towards the student center in hopes of attending morning chapel and engaging their peers. Consequently, they were arrested and had to spend twelve hours in jail. A court date was then set for April 8, 2009.
This Wednesday, Zak, Manny and Nicholas are due before a Waxahachie judge in connection to the stand they took that day. As they prepare for trial, we ask that you keep them in your thoughts. Messages of solidarity can be sent to Q@soulforce.org. You can also visit their Rider pages to make a donation to help cover legal costs. More information about our visit to SAGU can be found on our blog dated October 29. And to read about the 2008 Equality Ride in greater detail and browse photo albums, please visit the official website, EqualityRide.com.
Thank you,

Jarrett Lucas
Equality Ride Co-Director

NH House passes transgender rights protections

By ONE vote Baby ONE VOTE!!!!!

Glad Tweeted : NH House passes trans rights protections on reconsideration. Source Associated Press Wednesday, April 8, 2009, Via bostonherald.com

"CONCORD, N.H. - The New Hampshire House has reversed itself and passed a bill extending anti-discrimination protections to transgender individuals by a single vote."

"The House voted 181-149 to kill the bill last month, but reconsidered that vote Wednesday after a passionate appeal from House Speaker Terie Norelli to include transgender individuals in the state’s anti-discrimination law. The House debated more than three hours before voting 188-187 to send it to the Senate."

Full Article at Boston Herald NH House passes transgender rights protections

Media Resoures for Angie Zapata Murder Tial

Media Resources for the Angie Zapata Murder Trial

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If you have further questions, please feel free to email me at jen@progressnowcolorado.org.


Jen Caltrider
Executive Producer
ProgressNow Colorado Education

'planetransgender' Covers Angie Zapata Murder Trial

Angie Zapata, companion and gentle soul met her violent death alone and without hope at the hands of confessed killer and gang member Allen Andrade on July 16, 2008.

Planetransgender has been given permission to re-post word for word the news as written and published by Autumn Sandeen, who will be in Colorado to cover the trial.

Autumn Sandeen transgender activist, is a distinguished and respected writer, contributing author at Pams House Blend, the only LGBT blog to be credentialed for the 2008 DNC, Transgender News and Transadvocate. Autumn honors us to be a friend and member of the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies(DTAA)..

Beyond the emotional envelopment of this tragedy lie's deeper truths. Miss Angie's murder trial which begins Tuesday, April 14th, will mark the first time ever, an anti-transgender murder will be prosecuted as a hate crime in the United States.

We are murdered at an estimated rate of 1 in 12 obstinately because of our gender expression.

Law enforcement presently does not have the tools to identify and report hate crimes committed against transgender people and lawyers and judges do not have the laws that will allow prosecution for hate crimes without risking a conviction.

Tell your Legislators to support HR1913 Hate Crime Prevention Act" which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week. HR1913 is expected to be introduced in the Senate within the next couple of weeks, this trial is a timely reminder of the need for federal hate crimes legislation.

By kelli Busey
April 8, 2009

on the web

PageOneQ; Angie Zapata's killer confessed to first-degree murder as a hate crime

Angie Zapata's accused killer to be tried for for 1st degree murder

Angie Zapata's Life and Death : changed how we are treated

Angie Zapata Trial : Andrade's Murder Confession Thrown Out

Trial dates have been set for the murder of Angie Zapata.

Senator Renfroe : Respect Justice During Angie Zapata's Murder Trial