8/26/09

Knox County Schools bows to ACLU Suit and allows equal access to LGBT Sites


The July 2008 shooting during a youth performance of a musical inside the Knoxville Unitarian Universal Church has been identified primarily as a politically motivated crime.

But since the gunman, Jim David Adkisson choose a youth musical at a UU church to kill it makes me pause to wonder if he was not motivated as much by a hate of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The ACLU has once again demonstrated its understanding of the root cause of bigotry and misunderstanding by filling a suit with the Knox school system seeking it to allow equal access to web sites that are LGBT.

The ACLU quietly dismissed without prejudice the suit after the Knox school system modified its policy.

The ACLU identified a root cause, brought an unglamorous civil lawsuit, and then in victory became masters of the moment with grace and selflessness.

Knowledge opens doors and peace breaks out. Huge Kudos to the ACLU!



Knoxville News.com ACLU suit dismissed after changes made at schools

Demand NOM release funders of anti-gay campaigns


This week the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) started flooding rural Iowa with nearly $90,000 worth of ads trying to scare Iowans into voting for an anti-gay legislative candidate.
It takes some nerve for a New Jersey-based group, with ties to the Mormon Church to fund a “Reclaim Iowa” project on behalf of wealthy out-of-state extremists. NOM doesn’t want you to know who is behind these efforts and they pledge to shield their donors from outside scrutiny by refusing to release this information.

SIGN THE PETITION TODAY!
Take Action: Demand that NOM disclose those funding these attacks!

This is not an isolated effort, but an organized, well-funded, full-throated assault on civil marriage equality across the country. The same extremists that bankrolled ballot initiativeefforts in Maine and California are now spending money to buy an election in Iowa. NOM has a history of funneling money from the Mormon Church into anti-gay measures, while refusing to disclose the source of their funds.
Voters deserve to know who is behind these anti-gay campaigns across the country!

NOM refers to their Iowa campaign as a “targeted intervention” into Iowa politics. With less than a week to go until election day, voters are being bombarded with negative ads funded by out-of-state extremists. We can’t let NOM win this election and use it as a blueprint to elect anti-gay candidates and overturn marriage in Iowa and across the country.
Don’t let them get away with it!
Sign One Iowa’s petition demanding a full disclosure of NOM’s anti-gay funding!

OHIO STATE WITH HOLDING FEDERAL HIV FUNDS

For Immediate Release: 8/25/09
Contact: Amy McMahon, CEO, STOP AIDS
Office: (513) 421-2437 Cell: (513) 505-3816
Email: amcmahon@stopaidscincy.org

STATE STILL HOLDING FEDERAL HIV FUNDS INTENDED FOR LOCAL AGENCIES

STAFF AND BOARD PITCH IN TO ENSURE SERVICES STILL AVAILABLE

STOP AIDS in Cincinnati, as well as other HIV service providers in Cincinnati and around the state, is still waiting for the release of federal funds by the Ohio Department of Health. Agencies have been given a variety of reasons for the delays in their second quarter payments, covering the period of July through September, but most recently the state’s payment system, OAKS, is being blamed by the Ohio Department of Health for the delays.

The funds are federal dollars distributed through the Ryan White Part B program, providing assistance in accessing medical care and life-saving medication for those living with HIV as well as emergency financial and housing assistance. The funds also pay for a portion of agency operational expenses, including staff to deliver services.

While STOP AIDS is waiting for over $170,000 to be released the agency’s staff and board have rallied around clients and each other offering to take additional pay cuts or to forego checks all together in order to ensure that emergency services continue to be available to clients and staff layoffs are prevented. Board members have increased donations to help keep the agency afloat until funds are received.

Amy McMahon, CEO of STOP AIDS, has worked with the staff of the Ohio Department of Health to resolve this issue for several weeks to no avail. Originally, the funds were delayed while the state’s budget was hashed out and finally agreed upon in July. However, delays have continued, and STOP AIDS has again been told today by ODH that payment should be made by the end of the week. Having heard this for four previous weeks STOP AIDS staff is skeptical.

“I understand that in an organization as complex as the State of Ohio issuing a $ 170,000 payment is somewhat more complicated than pulling out a checkbook and writing a check”, says McMahon. “But this is a process that ODH must go through with hundreds of agencies each quarter, so I don’t understand why it is a constant battle to issue payment in a timely manner. I can assure you if I told the State of Ohio that they’d just have to wait until I got around to submitting our grant application, our agency would no longer be receiving federal dollars for HIV services. If we are partners in this process, as ODH staff reminded me this week that we are, then I would expect to see a little more collaboration in getting services delivered to those in our community that both organizations are intended to serve”.

STOP AIDS is asking community members who are concerned with this issue to contact Governor Strickland and ask that the State of Ohio release federal HIV dollars immediately and work to prevent the constant delays in funding intended for local communities in the future.

By email: governor.ohio.gov
By phone: (614) 466-3555
By Fax: (614) 466-9354

Salt Lake City Council Stunned by UT Legislators: Human Rights Battle Brewing


By kelli Busey/planetransgender

Salt Lake City human rights struggle pits the privileged, empowered LDS right-wing against the multi denominational and non secular underprivileged, marginalized, economically downtrodden masses.

In the red corner Utah State Senator Chris 'I never seen these facts' Buttars. In the Blue corner Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph 'Human dignity' Becker.

The prize: The center of the religious and moral high ground dominated presently by the LDS right wing, for the accountability and treatment of LGBT people in Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "For more than a year, Salt Lake City leaders have cataloged cases of discrimination against gay and transgender residents who lost their jobs or their homes -- simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

"But if the city passes an anti-discrimination ordinance to outlaw such prejudice, state lawmakers are signaling they may shred it when the Legislature convenes in five months."

"Depending on how they carve out a protected class," House Speaker Dave Clark says, "it creates a concern that is something we would want to look at."

"Sen. Chris Buttars, a vehement gay-rights critic, doubts discrimination against gay and transgender people is a significant problem." And Buttars reiterates his rational for opposing GLBT rights "I've never seen any facts. I see these wild accusations,"

According to KLS.com channel 5 "Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says he heard Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, may try to reverse any non-discrimination ordinance, which the state does have power to do."

"We hope they will be considerate of us as we certainly want to be considerate of other communities," Becker said. "We have discrimination, and it's documented, and it's not significant."

Audio courtesy of KCPW of interview with Mayor Becker Download this story.

Source: Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission

7.6 » Percentage of Salt Lake City residents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
3.2 » Percentage of Utah's population that does.
539 » Number of employment-discrimination claims of all types in Utah last year.
105 » Number of housing-discrimination claims of all types in Utah last year.
3 » Number of calls the state received, on average, each month about employment discrimination based on sexual orientation when it voluntarily tracked such data.
58 » Percentage of unemployed in Salt Lake City's disabled population.
31 » Percentage of residents who speak a language other than English at home.

House Speaker Dave Clarke is elected by a "Protected Class" that is fighting to maintain its financial and religious dominance in order to control the press and to issue religious edict's that superimposes it's will over all people regardless if there is proven discrimination. That is the protected class Speaker Dave Clark owes his allegiance to.

The Mayor of Salt Lake City needs to know you STAND with him. He is putting his political career on the line for your life. His "HOT TOPIC" response the week of August 24-30: Salt Lake City Mayor Asks for LGBT Protection Feed Back