2/28/10

Demand JUSTICE for Eagle Atlanta at City Hall and Protest Police Refusal to Testify

Demand JUSTICE for Eagle Atlanta at City Hall!

Fighting for our Atlanta Citizen Review Board

The ACRB has submitted 10 subpoenas for Atlanta Police Officers for allegations of misconduct on a raid on the Eagle Bar last fall. All 10 officers have refused to make statements to the ACRB, and now it is up to the Committee on Council to issue subpoenas requiring them to comply. Mayor Reed is refusing to take a strong position on compliance with the ACRB (Full article posted on the BLOCS site).

WE NEED TO COME OUT IN FORCE ON MONDAY, MARCH 1ST AT 11AM AT CITY HALL to demand the Committee on Council issue subpoenas for these officers and the other 18 which have not complied with the ACRB requests.

-Atlanta BLOCS & Lambda Legal


http://AtlantaEagleRaid.com
Facebook

Project Q Atlanta
Police accused of stonewalling Eagle probe

Do you recognize the suspects in pipe beating of SF transgender Woman?

Source examiner.comThe San Francisco Police Department released images and information Friday in an effort to identify two suspects in a Jan. 31, 2010 attack that authorities are describing as a hate-crime assault on a transgender female and a male friend.

Images of suspects released by the San Francisco Police Department

A press release by the SFPD reports that on Jan. 31, 2010, and about 2 a.m., a transgender female and her male companion went to eat at a restaurant on the 3000 block of 16th Street in San Francisco.

Two suspects started to harass the transgender female and one of the suspects took a swing at her. The male friend of the victim then defended her and the fight was broken up by the restaurant owner.

When the victims stepped outside the restaurant at about 2:35 a.m. and tried to hail a taxi cab, the suspects from the earlier fight ran up behind the victims and yelled "remember me now?!" and then started beating them both with a chrome pipe, causing both victims to lose consciousness. The suspects fled on foot westbound on 16th Street to Northbound on Guerrero Street.

Both victims were transported to the ER.

The SFPD is asking for the public's assistance in the investigation by identifying the suspects in the photos and contacting the police.

The first suspect is described by investigators as a Latino male, 5'6" tall at 150 lbs., black hair, tar marks on his lower teeth. He was last seen wearing a black button-up dress shirt and black pants.

The second suspect is also described by investigators as a Latino male, 5'6" tall at 150 lbs., black hair, last seen wearing a black coat, dress shirt, dark pants, black glasses with thick frames.

Anyone with knowledge about the identity of the suspects is asked to call the SFPD Hate Crimes Unit at 415-553-9163 or SFPD Operation Center (after hours) at 415-553-1071 or the anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or SFPD Text-A-Tip at 847411 type: SFPD + msg and reference SFPD case no. 100 100 990.

Texas LGBT Advocacy Organizations Call on DART to Amend It's Nondiscrimination Policy

For immediate Release

Contact
Latisha McDaniel
Equality March Texas (EMT)
Info: equalitymarchtexas@yahoo.com
Web Site


Kelli Busey
Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA)
Web Site
972-693-1988
Info: kellibusey@yahoo.com

Co sponsors

Transgender Foundation Of America (TFA)
http://tgctr.org/tfa/

Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT)
http://www.tentex.org/

LULAC 4871 - The Dallas Rainbow Council
http://www.lulac4871.org/
LULAC4871@aol.com

Legacy of Success Foundation (LOSF)
http://www.losf.org/
losfjai@yahoo.com

Equality Texas
http://www.equalitytexas.org/

Texas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender advocacy organizations call on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board members to amend DART's non-discrimination policy to include gender identity/expression.

Next DART Board Meeting: Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Board Room
DART Headquarters
1401 Pacific Ave. (Akard Station)
Dallas, TX 75202
Map

• DART Customer Response Center
214-749-3333
Customer Service Feedback Form.

These organizations, being fully committed to equality and fairness, are commencing a email campaign and attending DART board meetings in their respective cities to express their desire that DART amend its non-discrimination policy to become more thoroughly reflective of the people and culture in the region that it serves.

Since 2002 the city of Dallas and as of 2009 Fort Worth have instituted nondiscrimination policies that include Gender expression/identity. Dallas, because of it's longer history being gender inclusive has enjoyed increased commerce because of its reputation as a LGBT welcoming city.

DART is the transportation provider of the future in the DFW. But DART is much more than that, it is also the wind which on its currents carry our diverse culture. We ask DART to be true to it's mission statement that calls for it to improve the lives of it's patrons and employees.

2/27/10

Did San Antionio COP Rape a transgender MAN or Woman Confusion abounds

Mainstream media maybe confused in the gender expression of the alleged victim of sexual assault by San Antonio police officer Craig Nash, adding insult to injury.

Initially Feb. 26 news accounts indicated the victim identified as male
"woaitv San Antonio -- "A San Antonio Police officer was arrested and is accused of sexually assaulting a transgender man."

Is the victims correct gender being used by the media?

In this Feb. 27 article mysanantonio.com questions what sexual reproductive organs the victim possess.
"While police identified the alleged victim as transgendered, a spokeswoman could not confirm if the complainant had undergone male-to-female sex reassignment."

This article leads me to beleive the transgender victim is a transwoman and has been maligned by articles that incorrectly identified her as male.

2/26/10

San Antonio Police Officer Arrested For Sexual Assault of Transgender Man

Up Dated Feb.27 Confusion abounds in reports of the gender identity of the alleged victim Did cop rape a Trans Man or Trans Woman?

**********
Feb.26 woaitv San Antonio -- "A San Antonio Police officer was arrested and is accused of sexually assaulting a transgender man.

The man claims officer Craig Nash [pictured left] picked him just south of Downtown early Thursday morning, handcuffed him, and told him to lay down in the back seat of a patrol car. He told investigators Nash then drove to a nearby location, un-handcuffed him, and sexually assaulted him.

The alleged victim said after the assault, Nash dropped him off at a nearby school. He then took a bus to a police station to report the assault. According to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by News 4 WOAI, the alleged victim told officers Nash "wasn't going to get away with this"

Police arrested Nash after the alleged victim identified him in a photo line-up, and police linked his patrol car to the alleged scene using a GPS tracking system.

Nash has been charged with sexual assault and official oppression. He has been with the San Antonio Police Department for 6 and a half years."

2/25/10

DART Questioned over unethical treatment of Transgender employee

DART embroiled in controversy over it's involvement in the Ms T DART discrimination issue. At the center of the conversation is a request by the LGBT community that DART amend it's discrimination policy to include gender expression.

Read the latest on the Dallas Voice article DART asked to add trans protections

Call CW Network: Object to the word Tranny used as a insult

High Society Trailer - Real Look. Series Premiere Wednesday, March 10 uses the N word and tranny because they are "princess" and they can do what ever they want.



Please call the CW network and ask to speak to "Dawn Ostroff" and tell her you're offended with them using the derogatory slur "tranny" as an insult in the trailer for the upcoming show "High Society"

Good news! According to Queerty The CW network has pulled the offending trailer after receiving feedback from the GLBT community condemning the racist innuendos and transphobic slurs.

2/24/10

HUD invites Transgender community for input on housing discrimination Study

TLEDF extends invite to help Shape HUD's Study on LGBT Housing Discrimination

Please join us and a host of other organizations and elected officials at a first-of-its-kind town hall meeting with officials from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to discuss HUD's ground-breaking national study of housing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and families in the rental and sales markets. The purpose of the meeting this Friday, February 26th will be to discuss the nature of HUD's study and to receive comments from interested groups and individuals. It is essential that members of the transgender community attend to provide input into this important process. We hope to see you on Friday.

Date: Friday, February 26th, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, Room 301, Manhattan (map)

Please RSVP to Jasmin Varjavand at Jasmin.Varjavand@hud.gov if you plan to attend.

This event is hosted by HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael W. Bostic with the offices of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, along with Council Member Erik Martin-Dilan, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Council Member Danny Dromm, and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.Additional town hall meetings will be held in the near future in San Francisco and Chicago.

Weather-related information - Any weather-related contingencies or cancellations will be sent to you by email if you RSVP to the email address listed above. We will also post any updates on our web site and on our Twitter feed. In order to keep email traffic to a minimum, we will not be sending out any additional messages about the event. Thank you for your understanding.



Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression, and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, community organizing and public policy efforts. Help Shape HUD's Study on LGBT Housing Discrimination

2/23/10

Deaf Trans Conference March 2010 Toronto Canada

The Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (ORAD) and The Trans Program at The 519 Church Street Community Centre are hosting the first-ever Deaf Trans Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from March 12 to 13, 2010.

This first of its kind conference aims to bring together the Deaf and Trans communities in North America and shed light on both communities. It will provide an opportunity for individuals and their allies in the Deaf and Trans communities to unite and share common experiences, regardless of language barriers, and to gain a greater understanding of both the Deaf and Trans experience.

Don’t miss panel discussions by medical professionals, workshops by Deaf and Trans individuals, and our special guest presenters: Drago Renteria, Jennifer Mantle, Austin & Eliza Greenwood.

The conference will be presented in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English with ASL-English interpretation.

Click here for confrence and Registration Information


http://www.the519.org/

2/22/10

ENDA March crucial Lobby Day | Fired or unemployed? | Scholarships available

Posted on Bilerico by Dr. Jillian T. Weiss The long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is going to roll out shortly. Exactly when, and with what changes are uncertain. But it's coming, and Representative Frank has promised a vote by the end of March. If you value the need for job protections as I do, we must be prepared to lobby -- hard, fast and furious.

On Tuesday, March 16, there will be a lobby day specifically for ENDA in Washington, D.C.. LGBT people and allies from around the country who support ENDA will be there. I will be there. Will you?

It is particularly important to ENDA that people attend from the eight states in which Senators are on the fence. If you live in one of these states, you hold the fate of ENDA in your hands.

•Alaska
•Arkansas
•Florida
•Indiana
•North Carolina
•Ohio
•West Virginia

This is too important to be limited to only middle or upper class people who can afford a ticket. If you are from one of these eight states, and you are a currently-unemployed LGBT person who is unemployed because of job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, I would like to help you get there. Read on at Bilerico and how you can get to Washington DC

NCTE Lobby day registration.

EX gay con artist thankful for skills honed in 80's bond Swindling Scheme

Convicted felon Arthur Abba Goldberg [pictured left] grateful for con artist education that led him to successfully engage in his next con, the discredited Ex gay industry.

According to the South Florida Gay News after being exposed for his past and present predatory practices Goldman became defensive claiming he is being attacked unfairly as he is only the ex gay messenger.

Goldman's dangerous present day con serves as a illegitimate source of income for self serving people who have no true concern for the welfare of others. Unfortunately ex gay organizations also provide a platform for various pseudo religious and right wing organizations that need to legitimize their crusades against the human rights movement in America.

Goldman's ex gay message condemned by the American Psychiatric Association
"The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction.

In December of 1998, the Board of Trustees issued a position statement that the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as "reparative" or conversion therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation (Appendix 1). In doing so, the APA joined many other professional organizations that either oppose or are critical of "reparative" therapies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, The American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers (1)."

Ex-ex-gay

2/19/10

Dallas Area Transit (DART) Attorneys Pressure Judge to Reverse Transgender Women's Gender Marker Order

Dart Tyrannically crushes a transgender woman's life and steals her legal identity.

By Kelli Anne Busey/Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies

Found in the Dallas Voice "DART stands accused of bigotry and transphobia after attorneys for the local transit agency intervened in family court last year to challenge a gender-marker change granted to an employee."

"According to court records, a transgender DART employee obtained a court order in February 2009 directing all state agencies to correct their records by changing her gender-marker from male to female, including on her birth certificate."

"But DART’s attorneys objected to the gender-marker change and responded by filing a motion seeking a rehearing in court. DART’s objections prompted 301st Family District Court Judge Lynn Cherry to reverse her order granting the gender-marker change."


Is it legally permissible for a publicly funded service agency to employee it's attorneys to influence a family judge's decision in a private matter which results in that persons entire life ruined?

That is tyrannical. !Notice! The DFW LGBT community will not accept this.

This jeopardizes all transgender people in Texas.

Ironically the DART mission statement says one of the purposes that DART was formed was to "improve the quality of life'. That statement should be rewritten DART "will subjectively elect which citizen it will tyrannically oppress and reserves the right to use public funds to accomplish this goal.

DART Mission Statement
DART's mission statement defines the purpose for which the Agency was created:

The mission of Dallas Area Rapid Transit is to build, establish and operate a safe, efficient and effective transportation system that, within the DART Service Area, provides mobility, improves the quality of life, and stimulates economic development through the implementation of the DART Service Plan as adopted by the voters on August 13, 1983, and as amended from time to time.

2/18/10

Barney Franks optimistic on ENDA or prepping for Transgender Exclusion?

ENDA holdup: Transgender partial and full frontal nudity in bathrooms and shower rooms.

Barney Frank feels that ENDA is on track to be passed in the House in March but he is unsure about it's prospects, regardless of gender issues, in the Senate.

Regurgitation of HR2015?

Congressman Frank has reversed his lifetime stance on transgender participation. Might we have a unified political coalition that is essential in passage of ENDA? Or not.

February 5th Frank responded angrily and defensively on the Michelangelo Signorile Show when questioned about LGBT participation in the political proccess calling us whinny and lazy and that we have never lobbied congress and that now we are ultimately to blame for ENDA potentially failing.

Barney Frank since has dramatically abandoned his time proven scapegoat for the democratic party's political pandering and backsliding on ENDA telling the DC Agenda on Feb 17 that transgender lobbying efforts are now "supportive".

According to Frank everything is in place for ENDA to move out of the Education committee to a full house vote except that;
“There has always been a problem with the question of people who are
transgender in situations where people are totally or partially
unclothed.”

Are we a unified team, win or lose or is Barney "Lucy" Franks and his political backers setting up the ENDA football? Again?

2/17/10

Texas Instruments Hosts Enda Discussion

Texas Instruments will host a panel discussion on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The panel has been created to discuss the impact of ENDA on working Americans and the benefits of businesses supporting such legislation that would:

Support existing non-discrimination policies without adding a financial burden
Eliminate inconsistency across operations, business clients and suppliers
Reinforce corporate reputation

WHEN: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 8am - 9:30am CST
WHERE: Texas Instruments South Campus
12500 TI Boulevard
Dallas, Texas 75243
Map

TI Entrance/Gate 1, Parking in Lot I
Enter building through the South Lobby (South Lobby and Auditorium)
TIME: 8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m., Continental breakfast will be provided
RSVP: It is important to RSVP for this event by February 19, 2010. Please send your RSVP to political@hrcdfw.org

We are honored to have the following individuals contribute as panelists:
Rebecca Solomon (Bank of America)
Ken Upton (LAMBDA Legal)
Tony Vedda (North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce)
Cece Cox, Associate Executive Director, Resource Center Dallas will facilitate the panel

2/16/10

Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

What does the United States and Somalia have in common?

They are the only governments worldwide refusing to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.




The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child protects children. Only two nations in the world have yet to join the global community in ratifying this agreement: Somalia and the United States. Urge President Obama and Congress to ratify the convention without delay.

"We, the undersigned, support US ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We urge President Obama to submit the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to the US Senate for its advice and consent without delay. We further call on the US Senate to move swiftly to approve this convention.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child protects children by defining their basic human rights. It is the most comprehensive, accepted international agreement on basic protections for children. 193 countries have committed to support it.

Only two countries have failed to ratify this UN convention - Somalia and the United States of America. US failure to ratify the convention is an embarrassment.

Americans cherish our children and are generous in aiding boys and girls in need around the world. Now, with the advent of the 20th anniversary of the Convention, it is time to act. 2 countries in the world have yet to ratify. Let’s cut that number in half.

Sign the petition now so that children no longer pay the price for the United States' delay.

http://www.alternet.org/

2/13/10

Brittany Novotny Representing Keith Kimmel Lawsuit to have a Oklahoma 'IM Gay' License Plate

Kimmel points out officials allowed tags such as STR8FAN and STR8SXI.

Transgender lawyer Brittany Novotny is also the political Challenger to Sally Kerns for state representative after Kern's homophobic tirade made her infamous among LGBT people everywhere.
Brittany has made it clear that she does not wish gender issues to cloud the race for 2010, but the topic now will be unavoidable in her pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Keith Kimmel,
405.886.5095,
http://tinyurl.com/otcplatecase

Oklahoma City, OK – An Oklahoma taxpayer has filed a civil lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court against the Oklahoma Tax Commission, continuing a battle for freedom of speech on vanity license plates. The suit seeks to have part of the Commission's rules regarding the issuance of personalized license plates declared unconstitutional.

Keith Kimmel, who filed the suit through his attorney, provided the following statement: "The Oklahoma Tax Commission is continuing to subject Oklahomans to a subjective decision making process in issuing personalized vanity license plates. Under our state Constitution, all Oklahomans enjoy the right to freedom of speech and an equal opportunity to express their viewpoints. Previous testimony in the administrative proceedings held on this matter have shown that the Commission is selectively granting and denying applications based on Commission employees’ own personal prejudices and viewpoints. The Constitution requires that state rules are viewpoint neutral, with an objective standard that puts the taxpayer on notice of what is legal and what is not. This suit is intended to put an end to the Tax Commission’s unconstitutional practice of subjecting taxpayers to the whim of individual employees."

The case is Keith Kimmel v. State of Oklahoma, ex rel, Oklahoma Tax Commission, Oklahoma County Case No. CJ-2010-1072.

OCIS Case Summary Kimmel, Keith , Plaintiff
State of Oklahoma, ex rel., Oklahoma Tax Commission , Defendant


Facebook Keith Kimmel - Oklahoma 'IM Gay' License Plate Litigant

ENDA Whats the HoldUP? Bathrooms Again!?!

Bil Browning talks with Mara Keisling about the present state of ENDA.



I find Mara to be spot on about the reasons that ENDA have not been moved for a full committee vote.

However, the wordsmithing of Enda is only a glitch and easily amicably remedied. The real issue once again is bathrooms.

Religious and run of the mill right-wing zealot fearmongers fortelling the end of humanity if a transgender person is allowed into a bathroom and warning if the trans inclusive ordinance is passed it will open the door for predators to attack ciswoman and children while they are most vulnerable.

I can only speak from my experiences helping to pass city trans inclusive ordinances.

Tell congress to grow a pair. In city councils nationwide transgender inclusive ordinances are being proposed and passed by us and our allies as people realize that this isn't about pooing and peeing. It's about human rights

2/11/10

Garden State Equality invites You to Help DEMOLISH THE DiViDE!

Next week marks the three-year anniversary of one of the worst public policy failures of our time, New Jersey's civil union law. Many hospitals and employers still reject the law because it is not marriage. At the recent state Senate hearing and floor vote, even legislators who oppose marriage equality admitted the civil union law has failed.
New Jersey's civil union law took effect on February 22, 2007. Through waivers of the waiting period, the first couples got civil unioned on February 19, 2007.
DEMOLISH THE DIVIDE! To mark the three-year anniversary of the civil union law, join Garden State Equality at marriage equality rallies, marches and free dinners from Wednesday night, February 17, 2010 through Monday night, February 22, 2010. New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, a great champion of marriage equality, is our special speaker at the Thursday night, February 18 event in Montclair.
No tickets, no RSVP required. Just show up and please spread the word by emailing your friends and colleagues and by posting on list servs, blogs and Facebook. Questions? Press, contact Chair Steven Goldstein at Goldstein@GardenStateEquality.org or cell (917) 449-8918. Members, contact Field Manager Troy Stevenson at Stevenson@GardenStateEquality.org or cell (405) 802-8229.
The schedule for DEMOLISH THE DIVIDE:
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm, Collingswood. Meet at 7:00 pm for a rally at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike. We'll then do a candlelight march through Collingswood, ending at Cafe Antonio in downtown Collingswood for a free pizza dinner. This event is in the district of Senator Jim Beach, who abstained on the marriage equality bill.
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm, Montclair. Meet at 7:00 pm for a rally at Bnai Keshet Reconstructionist Synagogue, 99 South Fullerton Avenue, with Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. We'll then do a candlelight march through Montclair, ending at the Lower Lounge in downtown Montclair for a free pizza dinner.
Friday, February 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm, Asbury Park. Meet at 7:00 pm in front of Garden State Equality's Asbury Park office, 658 Cookman Avenue. From there we'll do a candlelight march through downtown Asbury Park, past the law office of Senator Sean Kean and then onto the Brickwall restaurant for a free dinner. This event is in the district of Senator Sean Kean, who voted no on the marriage equality bill.
Monday, February 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm, Trenton (note time). Meet at 6:00 pm in front of the Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street, where we'll hold a candlelight vigil on the plaza. From there we'll do a candlelight march through Trenton, ending the evening at Covello’s Pizza in downtown Trenton for a free pizza dinner. Note: This event is in the district of Senator Shirley Turner, who voted no on the marriage equality bill.

Dallas Freedom to Marry Day 2010

Freedom to Marry Day 2010 is still on despite possible inclement weather. The Kay and Wendy's wedding ceremony will begin at 12:00 PM on Friday at the Records Building (509 Main St). After the kiss and bouquet toss the couple with crown in tow will make it's way to the Marriage License Office to place an application.

The Dallas Voice has reported that Joey Faust and his band of Christian bigots are planning on crashing our party. At previous QL events this group of right wing extremists have been very aggressive towards LGBT demonstrators. Please join us in solidarity as we celebrate the union of Kay and Wendy Churitch.

Some 1300+ rights and benefits that accompany a civil marriage are consistently denied to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) couples. These rights include:

· Access to a deceased spouses Social Security pension

· Sponsorship of a spouse for immigration

· Legally recognized joint parenting

· Next-of-kin status for emergency medical decision

· Property inheritance

· Domestic violence intervention

LGBT families lack the same legal protection that straight families often times take for granted. The denial of access to marriage is tantamount to the denial of full citizenship. For the our personal wellbeing and that of our families and society we demand to no longer be treated as second-class citizens.

Many are correct when they say that marriage is the bedrock of society. It’s a grave injustice however that such a fundamental institution is denied to a group of citizens solely on the basis of their gender. As LGBT couples become more integrated into society our demands of equality and to be treated with respect grows louder. In order for the LGBT community to make serious advancements in our struggle for equality and liberation we must come out of the closet and in the great tradition of previous civil rights movements take our grievances as an oppressed people into the streets. As the great abolitionist Frederick Douglas said “power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and never will”!

President Obama took the 2008 election full of promises to the LGBT community. His tepidness and lack of leadership in standing up for minority's rights has been quite troubling.

Unfortunately, during his campaign Obama chose to cozy up to anti-gay foes such as Rick Warren while backing off marriage equality. This constitutional lawyer turned president of the United States once supported marriage equality when in the Illinois Senate. In the run up to the election Obama said to the Chicago Tribune, "I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

As a GLBT community we must demand that Obama grow a spine, separate church and state and begin using the most powerful position in the world to advocate for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender equality and liberation. We can, and must, do better for ourselves. Like any oppressed group, however, the onus to liberate ourselves lies solely on us. Organize, agitate and demand a brighter future for yourself and your Queer family!

2/10/10

Trans411: New Transgender Resource for locating Medical and Community Services Worldwide!

Locate a transgender recommended Doctor, Surgeon, Clinic , Psychologist, Therapist, Counselor, Support and community or activity group anywhere worldwide.

The sad truth is that many therapists are actually taking advantage of you, the unprotected uninformed patient, and are only concerned with bring you back for another costly visit.

Trans411 is a user friendly site that allows you instant access to the information that will save you money, and very possibly the heartbreak of becoming drawn into a costly and time consuming process of finding out your current health provider is unqualified or only concerned with their own job preservation.

From the Tran411 website about us:
"Trans411 was created by under-employed trans webheads in San Francisco, California. We feel very lucky to live in a city where we have easy access to so many resources, but we know from experience that in too many places it is difficult for people to find quality and compassionate care. Though 'trans' is included in our title, and our target audience is transgender, transsexual, intersex, genderqueer and other gender non-conforming people we have a feeling our site will be able to serve a variety of constituencies, and acknowledge there is a great deal of diversity in gender identities and beyond."

"We hope that this site allows a wide array of people to share their local knowledge about providers, groups and organizations that serve our community. We've taken a great deal of feedback from our past projects, such as being too United States centric or not including the ability to edit entries, and incorporated these ideas into this site from the get-go."
http://trans411.org/

American Psychiatric Association (APA) DSM-5, USA Proposed Changes


American Psychiatric Association (APA) DSM-5, USA

[2/10/2010]

Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents or Adults

PROPOSED REVISION

Gender Incongruence (in Adolescents or Adults) [1]

A. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/ expressed gender
and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by
2* or more of the following indicators: [2, 3, 4]

1. a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/ expressed gender
and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (or, in young
adolescents, the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [13, 16]

2. a strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex
characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s
experienced/ expressed gender (or, in young adolescents, a desire to
prevent the development of the anticipated secondary sex
characteristics) [17]

3. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex
characteristics of the other gender

4. a strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative
gender different from one’s assigned gender)

5. a strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some
alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

6. a strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions
of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s
assigned gender)

Subtypes

With a disorder of sex development

Without a disorder of sex development

[14, 15, 16, 19]

RATIONALE

For the adult criteria, we propose, on a preliminary basis, the
requirement of only 2 indicators. This is based on a preliminary
secondary data analysis of 154 adolescent and adults patients with GID
compared to 684 controls (Deogracias et al., 2007; Singh et al.,
2010). From a 27-item dimensional measure of gender dysphoria, the
Gender Identity/Gender Dysphoria Questionnaire for Adolescents and
Adults (GIDYQ), we extracted five items that correspond to the
proposed A2-A6 indicators (we could not extract a corresponding item
for A1). Each item was rated on a 5-point response scale, ranging from
Never to Always, with the past 12 months as the time frame. For the
current analysis, we coded a symptom as present if the participant
endorsed one of the two most extreme response options (frequently or
always) and as absent if the participant endorsed one of the three
other options (never, rarely, sometimes). This yielded a true positive
rate of 94.2% and a false positive rate of 0.7%. Because the wording
of the items on the GIDYQ is not identical to the wording of the
proposed indicators, further validational work will be required during
field trials.

End notes

1. It is proposed that the name gender identity disorder (GID) be
replaced by “Gender Incongruence” (GI) because the latter is a
descriptive term that better reflects the core of the problem: an
incongruence between, on the one hand, what identity one experiences
and/or expresses and, on the other hand, how one is expected to live
based on one’s assigned gender (usually at birth) (Meyer-Bahlburg,
2009a; Winters, 2005). In a recent survey that we conducted among
consumer organizations for transgendered people (Vance et al., in
press), many very clearly indicated their rejection of the GID term
because, in their view, it contributes to the stigmatization of their
condition.

2. In addition to the proposed name change for the diagnosis (see
Endnote 1), there are 6 substantive proposed changes to the DSM-IV
descriptive and diagnostic material: (a) we have proposed a change in
conceptualization of the defining features by emphasizing the
phenomenon of “gender incongruence” in contrast to cross-gender
identification per se (Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a); (b) we have proposed a
merging of the A and B clinical indicator criteria in DSM-IV (see
Endnotes 10, 13); (c) for the adolescent/adult criteria, we have
proposed a more detailed and specific set of polythetic indicators
than was the case in DSM-IV (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfäfflin, 2009; Zucker,
2006); (d) for the child criteria, we have proposed that the A1
indicator be necessary (but not sufficient) for the diagnosis of GI
(see Endnote 5); (e) we have proposed that the “distress/impairment”
criterion not be a prerequisite for the diagnosis of GI (see Endnote
15); and (f) we have proposed that subtyping by sexual attraction (for
adolescents/ adults) be eliminated (see Endnote 18) but that subtyping
by the presence or absence of a co-occurring disorder of sex
development (DSD) be introduced (see Endnote 14). As in DSM-IV, we
recommend one overarching diagnosis, GI, with separate,
developmentally- appropriate criteria sets for children vs.
adolescents/ adults. The text material will provide updated information
on developmental trajectory data for clients who received the GI
diagnosis in childhood vs. adolescence or adulthood.

The term “sex” has been replaced by assigned “gender” in order to make
the criteria applicable to individuals with a DSD (Meyer-Bahlburg,
2009b). During the course of physical sex differentiation, some
aspects of biological sex (e.g., 46,XY genes) may be incongruent with
other aspects (e.g., the external genitalia); thus, using the term
“sex” would be confusing. The change also makes it possible for
individuals who have successfully transitioned to “lose” the diagnosis
after satisfactory treatment. This resolves the problem that, in the
DSM-IV-TR, there was a lack of an “exit clause,” meaning that
individuals once diagnosed with GID will always be considered to have
the diagnosis, regardless of whether they have transitioned and are
psychosocially adjusted in the identified gender role (Winters, 2008).
The diagnosis will also be applicable to transitioned individuals who
have regrets, because they did not feel like the other gender after
all. For instance, a natal male living in the female role and having
regrets experiences an incongruence between the “newly assigned”
female gender and the experienced/ expressed (still or again male)
gender.

3. It has been recommended by the Workgroup to delete the “perceived
cultural advantages” proviso. This was also recommended by the DSM-IV
Subcommittee on Gender Identity Disorders (Bradley et al., 1991).
There is no reason to “impute” one causal explanation for GI at the
expense of others (Zucker, 1992, 2009).

4. The 6 month duration was introduced to make at least a minimal
distinction between very transient and persistent GI. The duration
criterion was decided upon by clinical consensus. However, there is no
clear empirical literature supporting this particular period (e.g., 3
months vs. 6 months or 6 months vs. 12 months). There was, however,
consensus among the group that a lower-bound duration of 6 months
would be unlikely to yield false positives.

13. In the DSM-IV, there are two sets of clinical indicators (Criteria
A and B). This distinction is not supported by factor analytic
studies. The existing studies suggest that the concept of GI is best
captured by one underlying dimension (Cohen-Kettenis & van Goozen,
1997; Deogracias et al., 2007; Green, 1987; Johnson et al., 2004;
Singh et al., 2010).

14. There is considerable evidence individuals with a DSD experience
GI and may wish to change from their assigned gender; the percentage
of such individuals who experience GI is syndrome-dependent
(Cohen-Kettenis, 2005; Dessens, Slijper, & Drop, 2005; Mazur, 2005;
Meyer-Bahlburg, 1994, 2005, 2009a, 2009b). From a phenomenologic
perspective, DSD individuals with GI have both similarities and
differences to individuals with GI with no known DSD. Developmental
trajectories also have similarities and differences. The presence of a
DSD is suggestive of a specific causal mechanism that may not be
present in individuals without a diagnosable DSD.

15. It is our recommendation that the GI diagnosis be given on the
basis of the A criterion alone and that distress and/or impairment
(the D criterion in DSM-IV) be evaluated separately and independently.
This definitional issue remains under discussion in the DSM-V Task
Force for all psychiatric disorders and may have to be revisited
pending the outcome of that discussion. Although there are studies
showing that adolescents and adults with the DSM-IV diagnosis of GID
function poorly, this type of impairment is by no means a universal
finding. In some studies, for example, adolescents or adults with GID
were found to generally function psychologically in the non-clinical
range (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfäfflin, 2009; Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a).
Moreover, increased psychiatric problems in transsexuals appear to be
preceded by increased experiences of stigma (Nuttbrock et al., 2009).
Postulating “inherent distress” in case one desires to be rid of body
parts that do not fit one’s identity is, in the absence of data, also
questionable (Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a).

16. Although the DSM-IV diagnosis of GID encompasses more than
transsexualism, it is still often used as an equivalent to
transsexualism (Sohn & Bosinski, 2007). For instance, a man can meet
the two core criteria if he only believes he has the typical feelings
of a woman and does not feel at ease with the male gender role. The
same holds for a woman who just frequently passes as a man (e.g., in
terms of first name, clothing, and/or haircut) and does not feel
comfortable living as a conventional woman. Someone having a GID
diagnosis based on these subcriteria clearly differs from a person who
identifies completely with the other gender, can only relax when
permanently living in the other gender role, has a strong aversion
against the sex characteristics of his/her body, and wants to adjust
his/her body as much as technically possible in the direction of the
desired sex. Those who are distressed by having problems with just one
of the two criteria (e.g., feeling uncomfortable living as a
conventional man or woman) will have a GIDNOS diagnosis. This is
highly confusing for clinicians. It perpetuates the search for the
“true transsexual” only, in order to identify the right candidates for
hormone and surgical treatment instead of facilitating clinicians to
assess the type and severity of any type of GI and offer appropriate
treatment. Furthermore, in the DSM-IV, gender identity and gender role
were described as a dichotomy (either male or female) rather than a
multi-category concept or spectrum (Bockting, 2008; Bornstein, 1994;
Ekins & King, 2006; Lev, 2007; Røn, 2002). The current formulation
makes more explicit that a conceptualization of GI acknowledging the
wide variation of conditions will make it less likely that only one
type of treatment is connected to the diagnosis. Taking the above
regarding the avoidance of male-female dichotomies into account, in
the new formulation, the focus is on the discrepancy between
experienced/ expressed gender (which can be either male, female,
in-between or otherwise) and assigned gender (in most societies male
or female) rather than cross-gender identification and same-gender
aversion (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfäfflin, 2009).

17. In referring to secondary sex characteristics, anticipation of the
development of secondary sex characteristics has been added for young
adolescents. Adolescents increasingly show up at gender identity
clinics requesting gender reassignment, before the first signs of
puberty are visible (Delemarre-van de Waal & Cohen-Kettenis, 2006;
Zucker & Cohen-Kettenis, 2008).

18. In contemporary clinical practice, sexual orientation per se plays
only a minor role in treatment protocols or decisions. Also, changes
as to the preferred gender of sex partner occur during or after
treatment (DeCuypere, Janes, & Rubens, 2005; Lawrence, 2005; Schroder
& Carroll, 1999). It can be difficult to assess sexual orientation in
individuals with a GI diagnosis, as they preoperatively might give
incorrect information in order to be approved for hormonal and
surgical treatment (Lawrence, 1999). Because sexual orientation
subtyping is of interest to researchers in the field, it is
recommended that reference to it be addressed in the text, but not as
a specifier. It should also be assessed as a dimensional construct.

19. The subworkgroup has had extensive discussion about the placement
of GI in the nomenclature for DSM-V, as the meta-structure of the
entire manual is under review. The subworkgroup questions the
rationale for the current DSM-IV chapter Sexual and Gender Identity
Disorders, which contains three major classes of diagnoses: sexual
dysfunctions, paraphilias, and gender identity disorders (see
Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a). Various alternative options to the current
placement are under consideration.

References Click Here#
302.85

SEVERITY

For Adolescents and Adults

Please complete the following questions: [Note to Task Force—these
first 4 questions are preliminary; the corresponding dimensional
questions for the categorical diagnosis are on the next page]

1. My current legal sex or gender (e.g., as listed under “sex” on my
passport or driver’s license, also called “assigned” gender) is:
a. Female
b. Male
c. Other (describe): ____________ _____

2. My confidence that I really am what my legal “sex” states (namely,
a girl/woman or boy/man) is:
a. None
b. Mild
c. Moderate
d. Strong
e. Very Stong

3. The way that I experience and express my true gender compared to my
legal sex or gender is:
a. Not at all different
b. Mildly different
c. Moderately different
d. Strongly different
e. Very Stongly different

4. I am distressed by feeling different from my legal sex or gender:
a. None
b. Mild
c. Moderate
d. Strong
e. Very Stong

Note to the Task Force: Definitions will be provided for primary and
secondary sex characteristics and “assigned sex” and “assigned
gender.” Questions A1-A6 are the dimensional metrics for the
corresponding categorical criteria.

For Questions 1-8, please circle the letter next to the statement that
applies to you the best.

A1. Over the past 6 months, how intense was your discomfort because
your primary and/or secondary sex characteristics do not match your
gender identity?

1. None
2. Mild
3. Moderate
4. Strong
5. Very Strong

A2. Over the past 6 months, how intense was your desire to be rid of
your primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because they do not
match your gender identity?

1. None
2. Mild
3. Moderate
4. Strong
5. Very Strong

A3. Over the past 6 months, how intense was your desire for the
primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender?

1. None
2. Mild
3. Moderate
4. Strong
5. Very Strong

A4. Over the past 6 months, how intense was your desire to be of the
other gender (or some gender different from your assigned gender)?
a. None
b. Mild
c. Moderate
d. Strong
e. Very Stong

A5. Over the past 6 months, how intense was your desire to be treated
as the other gender (or some gender different from your assigned
gender)?
a. None
b. Mild
c. Moderate
d. Strong
e. Very Stong

A6. Over the past 6 months, how intense was your conviction that you
have the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some
gender different from your assigned gender)?
a. None
b. Mild
c. Moderate
d. Strong
e. Very Stong

7. Over the past 6 months, how would you describe your sexual
attraction to other people?
a. Sexually attracted to males
b. Sexually attracted to females
c. Sexually attracted to both males and females
d. Sexually attracted to neither males or females
e. Other (please describe): ____________ _________ _________ _________

8. How old were you when you first had the strong desire to be, or to
live in the gender role, of the other gender (or some gender different
from your assigned gender)?
a. Age 5 years or younger
b. Between 6 and 9 years
c. Between 10 and 12 years
d. Between 13 and 17 years
e. Age 18 years or older

DSM-IV

Gender Identity Disorder

A. A strong and persistent cross-gender identification (not merely a
desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex).

In children, the disturbance is manifested by four (or more) of the following:

1. Repeatedly stated desire to be, or insistence that he or she
is, the other sex

2. In boys, preference for cross-dressing or simulating female
attire; in girls, insistence on wearing only stereotypical masculine
clothing

3. Strong and persistent preferences for cross-sex roles in
make-believe play or persistent fantasies of being the other sex

4. Intense desire to participate in the stereotypical games and
pastimes of the other sex

5. Strong preference for playmates of the other sex

In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms
such as a stated desire to be the other sex, frequent passing as the
other sex, desire to live or be treated as the other sex, or the
conviction that he or she has the typical feelings and reactions of
the other sex.

B. Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of
inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex.

In children, the disturbance is manifested by any of the following:

In boys, assertion that his penis or testes are disgusting or will
disappear or assertion that it would be better not to have a penis, or
aversion toward rough-and-tumble play and rejection of male
stereotypical toys, games, and activities;

In girls, rejection of urinating in a sitting position, assertion
that she has or will grow a penis, or assertion that she does not want
to grow breasts or menstruate, or marked aversion toward normative
feminine clothing.

In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms
such as preoccupation with getting rid of primary and secondary sex
characteristics (e.g., request for hormones, surgery, or other
procedures to physically alter sexual characteristics to simulate the
other sex) or belief that he or she was born the wrong sex.

C. The disturbance is not concurrent with a physical intersex condition.

D. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or
impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of
functioning.

Code based on current age

Specify if (for sexually mature individuals) :

Sexually Attracted to Males

Sexually Attracted to Females

Sexually Attracted to Both

Sexually Attracted to Neither

http://www.dsm5.org proposed revision

Iowa House Rejects Anti Equality Amendment

One Iowa: Iowa House rejects attempt to advance amendment

2/9/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 9, 2010

CONTACT JUSTIN UEBELHOR
515-288-4019 x 205 515-333-2525 (cell) justin@oneiowa.org

IOWA HOUSE REJECTS ATTEMPT TO ADVANCE AMENDMENT

(Des Moines, IA) The Iowa House today rejected procedural attempts by opponents of equality to advance an amendment to the Iowa Constitution seeking to overturn last April’s unanimous Iowa Supreme Court ruling and to deny the protections of civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples. “We applaud those legislators who voted to protect the freedoms of all Iowans and continue the job of balancing the budget and putting Iowans back to work. It’s time to move on from the destructive politics of division and focus on what matters to a great majority of Iowans,” said One Iowa Executive Director Carolyn Jenison.

One Iowa’s annual Lobby Day at the Capitol takes place tomorrow. Supporters will gather at the Capitol to share their stories with Iowa legislators, demonstrating the importance of civil marriage equality to Iowa families. Please contact Justin Uebelhor at 515-333-2525 to arrange press availability.

One Iowa is the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, committed to full equality for LGBT individuals, including the freedom to marry. More information at http://www.oneiowa.org.

2/9/10

TELL IOWA LEGISLATURE: HANDS OFF LGBT SCHOOL CHILDREN

Tell the Iowa legislature that using school children as weapons to further a political agenda is unconscionable and will not be tolerated. The bill which would remove protections for LGBT children from bullying, 2291 is in the House Education subcommittee and being considered by:

Rep. Dennis M. Cohoon(D)
E-mail: dennis.cohoon@legis.state.ia.us
Home Address: 816 Randall Lane, P.O. Box 157, Burlington, IA, 52601
Home Telephone: 319-752-5057

Rep. Annette Sweeney(R)
E-mail: annette.sweeney@legis.state.ia.us
Home Address: 21547 Hwy S27, Alden, IA, 50006
Capitol Telephone: 515-281-3221

Rep. Phyllis Thede(D)
E-mail: phyllis.thede@legis.state.ia.us
Capitol Telephone: 515-281-3221

Sample email

Dear Representative

I am writing to express my objection to Bill 2291 which would remove protections currently in place for LGBT school children from bullying and harassment. This proposed bill is doubly odious because it would in essence use innocent children as weapons in pursuit of a political agenda.

Please do not pass this bill for consideration.

Thank you,


Bill Text after Back ground

Source: Iowa Independent A pair of Republican state legislators has introduced a bill that would remove protections for gay, lesbian and transgender students from an anti-bullying law passed in 2007.

State Reps. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, and Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, sponsored the legislation to remove sexual orientation and gender identity as definitions used for purposes of protecting students in public and nonpublic schools from harassment and bullying.

Schultz told NBC affiliate WHO-TV that the rationale behind the move is to force a vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, since the Iowa Supreme Court pointed to laws like Iowa’s Safe Schools Law in making its April decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Ryan Roemerman, executive director of Iowa Pride Network, said the bill would open up LGBT students to bullying and harassment.

“When our state is facing record budget deficits and unemployment, House Republicans feel their time is best spent picking on Iowa’s LGBT youth,” Roemerman said in a statement. “There is no better example as to why we have this law, so youth in Iowa don’t grow up to be like these bigots.”

******************
House File 2291 - Introduced

HOUSE FILE
BY SCHULTZ and WINDSCHITL

A BILL FOR

1 An Act relating to protected traits or characteristics of
2 students under public and nonpublic school harassment and
3 bullying prohibitions and policies.
4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
TLSB 6059YH (4) 83
kh/rj

PAG LIN

1 1 Section 1. Section 280.28, subsection 2, paragraph c, Code
1 2 2009, is amended to read as follows:
1 3 c. "Trait or characteristic of the student" includes but
1 4 is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race,
1 5 religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender
1 6 identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or
1 7 disability, ancestry, political party preference, political
1 8 belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.
1 9 EXPLANATION
1 10 This bill strikes sexual orientation and gender identity
1 11 from the definition of the term "trait or characteristic of the
1 12 student" used for purposes of protecting students in public and
1 13 nonpublic schools from harassment and bullying.
LSB 6059YH (4) 83
kh/rj

2/8/10

CBS Superbowl ad Focuses on exclusion

CBS Superbowl ad Focuses on the exclusion of pro choice and LGBT people and in doing so CBS has become a mouthpiece for the ultra right wing conservative movement in America.

Prove me wrong.

CBS blog promotional post Superbowl piece makes it clear

CBS had rejected this ad in 2004 from the United Church of Christ which advocates for the inclusion of all people in faith because of "provocative, potentially controversial themes" while promoting the ultra right wing extremist group "focus on the family" as a representative view of wholesome and middle of the road, midstream all American life. It was not Tim Tebow's message that I objected to. The problem is that CBS allowed and facilitated 'focus on the family' efforts to place it's name in front of millions of viewers while Disallowing any other add from anyone who is different.



2/6/10

Support House (H.R. 1064) and Senate (S.R. 409) bills condemning the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill


U.S. Citizens: Contact your representatives in Congress »

Non U.S. Citizens: Contact key Congresspeople »

Background
In Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 was introduced in Parliament last October. The bill targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Ugandans, their advocates, and those that know someone LGBT. It would reaffirm existing penalties for homosexuality and introduce sweeping new criminal provisions. Some of these troubling provisions include: imprisonment for life for anyone convicted of the "offence of homosexuality;" punishment for the "promotion of homosexuality" with prison terms; imprisonment for up to three years for anyone who fails to report to the authorities LGBT people or LGBT human rights defenders they know; and most egregiously, the application of the death penalty to anyone in Uganda who has consensual same-sex relations repeatedly or who has consensual same-sex relations and is HIV positive. If this bill were to pass, it would be a devastating blow to the human rights of all Ugandans and would significantly impede effective HIV prevention and care.


This week in the U.S., a bipartisan group of members of Congress proposed resolutions condemning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The House resolution, H.R. 1064, sponsored by Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), received thirty-nine cosponsors. The Senate resolution, S.R. 409, sponsored by Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), currently has four co-sponsors. The House resolution extends beyond Uganda to call on all nations to reject laws that criminalize homosexuality.


Public pressure is needed to ensure that both resolutions come up for a vote. Condemnation by the U.S. government is one of many factors that could persuade Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to prevent the bill from becoming law. If the resolutions pass, the U.S. Congress will join President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in sending the government of Uganda a unified message that passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will have serious consequences to its relationships internationally.


U.S. Citizens: Contact your representatives in Congress »


Non U.S. Citizens: Contact key Congresspeople »



2/4/10

YouTube President Obama addresses National Prayer Breakfast





President Obama speaks out about the proposed Ugandan anti gay legislation: source: Truths wins out-TWO:

“We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are — whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.”

Two Truth Wins Out press release

2/3/10

The Ugandan Frankenstein We Have Helped To Create

Cross posted from Walking with Integrity

By The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, Vice President for National and International Affairs, Integrity USA.

Last week's meeting between the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, Archbishop of Canterbury and United Nations Secretary General talked about everything important to people of faith, except one glaring omission, Uganda. Even though the Church of Canada’s House of Bishops, faith leaders in Europe and the international human rights community have all come out condemning the proposed anti-homosexuality bill being discussed by the Ugandan parliament, we have yet to have a definitive statement on this important issue from either Archbishop Rowan Williams or the Anglican Observer at the United Nations, Helen Grace Wangusa, (who is originally from Uganda). Why the silence?

The first priority of the Anglican Communion’s Observer’s work is to ensure the commitment of the faith community within Anglicanism for the implementation of the Declaration of Human Rights. “A cross thematic area to ensure all policies adhere to the Declaration of Human Rights for the protection of the dignity of the rights of every individual in the world” as the website reports. Yesterday was a missed opportunity!

When Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo, former Anglican Archbishop of Uganda returned home following the 1998 Lambeth Conference, he made sure to tell a press conference at Entebbe Airport that the Anglican Communion was behind him and President Musevene to extend hasher laws on homosexuality. In concert with his bishops (who influence one third of the population of Uganda and a higher proportion of government ministers and Uganda’s elite) the Archbishop began a crusade against Ugandan homosexuals blaming western and particularly Episcopal Church influence. This was clearly unfounded a lie. With a Bush White House and greater financial influence from American fundamentalists, the movement to misrepresent the Anglican Church’s position on homosexuality created a Frankenstein. Nkoyoyo said nothing about either the listening process, the need to condemn homophobia and violence against LGBT people and extending pastoral care, all recommendations to the world wide Anglican family contained in Resolution 1:10. He also never mentioned Resolution I: I, committing to uphold the Declaration of Human Rights. The Church of Uganda was never publicly reprimanded by the Anglican Communion Office or the Archbishop of Canterbury, or indeed any significant body of peer bishops for their misuse. Silence equals endorsement.

When the history of this sad chapter in the life of the church is written, we may discover that Anglicans are the architects of this monster, now manifested in Uganda and about to spread to other parts of the African church. Later, leaders like Rick Warren and Exodus international would bring their own distinctive body parts to this new creation.

On 17th February, Pastor Martin Ssempa is threatening to bring one million angry Ugandans on to the streets of Kampala to show Musevene’s government that “God fearing Christians” want no leniency for their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Musevene is now caught between the unanimous outcry of the international community and even the Vatican against this further violation of human rights, and the Frankenstein we have helped to create. We can trace some of the growing hostility to the gay community last year when Exodus International and other American fundamentalist leaders held conferences and meetings to encourage Ssempa and his Christian fascism to continue their rein of terror and threats. Musevene, as an Anglican leader, whose government was courted and bribed by the fundamentalist Christian lobby, also shares in creating a monster that is about to turn on him. I once met a gay Ugandan in the middle 1990’s who told me Musevene had threatened to gun anyone down on the streets who even dared to celebrate gay pride. Fifteen years later, there will be a different demonstration and the threat of gunning them down will not work this time. When a young democracy like Uganda neglects the role and place of its minorities, as Musevene has done for 20 years with the support of the United States government, Ssempa and Bahati, (the author of the bill) become a manifestation of a deep illness that is within this society.

As with the Rwandan genocide, once the fear, hatred and dehumanization of any population has taken root, there is not much rational and inclusive citizens or the international community can do to change the course of a potential blood bath. When we looked back on the causes of the Rwandan genocide, one of the main forces that created the climate of destruction was the Christian Churches. There is clear evidence that without the years of preaching, using communications and media networks and the organization of the churches in particular, the genocide of 600,000 people could not have happened. The Catholic Church denied its role and the Pope commented that because a “few bad apples” were involved in some horrific events, the institutional church could not be blamed. Similarly the Anglican Communion was largely silent about our participation in the genocide and a few Rwandan bishops escaped To Uganda and Kenya who were accused of helping to mastermind local atrocities and informing the mobs about where terrified groups were hiding in sanctuary-often in there churches. The then Archbishop of Canterbury did not call for an ecclesiastical inquiry or demand bishops be tried by their peers or court. His office and the office of the Anglican Communion largely remained silent and the focus shifted to rebuilding the infrastructure and leadership of the Rwandan church without any significant reflection on our corporate role in creating this former Frankenstein. I have friends working in Rwanda and many of these issues are still to be resolved. Every 25 years, we can anticipate the build up of animosity, fear and intimidation that are largely religiously condoned. Rwanda is about to introduce it’s own form of the anti-gay bill and President Kagame, (a close friend of Rick Warren) is Musevene’s former Defense Minister. As the “Purpose Driven Country”, Rwanda and Uganda shares the same moral vision and a common hatred for gays. Rick Warren’s recent “Letter to the Pastor’s of Uganda” was a brave attempt to put the cork back in the bottle and to distance himself from something that his movement has helped to create. But the genii has escaped. Frankenstein will be marching on the streets of Kampala on 17th February, in all its frightening monstrosity and carrying a very large Bible.

If a million Ugandans take to the streets on February 17th, one third of them are probably Anglicans who will be calling for death to gays and fines and imprisonment for those who minister to them. Some of our Anglican bishops may also support the demonstration. For the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church not to make a statement on this potential crisis in the modern human rights movement, knowing we helped to create this madness, is still a mystery to me. Maybe they are doing a “Rick Warren” and making sure the Church truly distances itself from this ugly situation. It won’t work.

History can help us make sense of the present, if we allow it to. Rwanda is a reminder, that leadership, and religious leadership in particular, has a remarkable way of inciting the crowd and then when things get a little out of hand, to be silent, or in Rick Warren’s case, to make a video. Like Pilate, the sweet smell of Orange blossom soap ensures the blood of the innocent and the vulnerable will not soil our hands. Rwanda is also a reminder that our religious leadership can be struck silent at any moment when there is something important that could have said. Clinton apologized as a secular leader, we did not. Recent Christian history from this troubled region also teaches us that the silence is usually followed by an extended state of amnesia. We forget what we helped to create. Every Anglican bishop who voted on the 1998 Lambeth Resolution bears the corporate and institutional responsibility for what is happening in Uganda right now as human dignity and emerging democracy is diminished in the name of Christ. As the inheritors of the institutions who helped get us into this mess, both Primates need to break your very loud silence.

** From the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle: " Though Integrity supports and welcomes the Presiding Bishop's comments in December, it was a missed opportunity for her not to have publically raised the Episcopal Church's concerns at this high level UN meeting in January. This was the perfect opportunity for her to encourage the Archbishop of Canterbury and the UN Anglican Communion Observer to finally address the violation of human rights in Uganda and the misuse of Lambeth Resolutions by the Anglican Church in Uganda. Integrity feels this remains an important and critical issue for many respected leaders in the international and faith community that it ought to have been addressed specifically at this meeting."

--
Posted By Louise Brooks to Walking With Integrity at 2/03/2010 03:25:00 PM

Uganda Protest Thurs./5:30 PM/JFK Building, Gov't Center, Boston Mass.

Local Protest Targets Nat’l Prayer Breakfast Organizers’ Ties to Anti-Gay Bill in Uganda
Boston LGBT activists will gather in front of the John F. Kennedy Federal Building at 5:30 PM today to decry American fundamentalists’ export of their recycled homophobia to Africa. The secretive right-wing network so-called “The Family,” which sponsors this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, is linked to the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill (“AHB”) pending in the Ugandan Parliament; a measure which would intensify existing persecution of LGBT people in the East African country. See http://www.facebook.com/l/a9dad;www.religiondispatches.org/archive/sexandgender/2250/religious_leaders_urge_obama_to_condemn_ugandan_anti-gay_bill_at_prayer_breakfast “The Family,” which attracted notoriety when two of its leaders—Sen. John Ensign of Nevada and Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina—confessed to adultery last year, was the subject of an exposé by author Jeff Sharlet.

Among the speakers at the protest will be the Rev. Kapya Kaoma, an African Anglican priest who authored a report documenting the campaign by leaders of the American Religious Right to mobilize anti-gay sentiment in Africa, Globalizing the Culture Wars, http://www.facebook.com/l/a9dad;www.publiceye.org/publications/globalizing-the-culture-wars/ . The event will also promote a letter-writing campaign, organized by students of the Gay/Straight Alliance of Brookline High School, to urge the Obama Administration and Senators Kerry and Brown to pressure the Ugandan government to abandon the genocidal AHB. This evening’s protest is organized by the Anti-Violence Project of Massachusetts (AVPM”) and Join the Impact MA (“JTIMA”), a grassroots LGBT direct action group which plays a prominent role in the youth-led movement the New York Times has dubbed “Stonewall 2.0.” See http://www.facebook.com/l/a9dad;www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/us/politics/12protest.html .

AVPM Chair and JTIMA Board member Don Gorton, an Episcopalian, commented: “US fundamentalists claim to obey Christ’s command to ‘love thy neighbor’ even while opposing equality for LGBT Americans down-the-line. Their active promotion of state-sponsored homophobia in Africa puts the lie to specious claims of “Christian love,” and exposes the hatred which drives their opposition to gay rights in whatever form. We execrate their bigotry and hypocrisy, as French writer Emile Zola denounced the anti-Semitism motivating the Dreyfus Affair in the 1890’s in his celebrated J’Accuse.”

Task Force to co-host counter-protest to National Prayer Breakfast at Creating Change Conference

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Inga Sarda-Sorensen, isorensen@thetaskforce.org,
(Office) 646.358.1463, (Cell) 202.641.5592

Pedro Julio Serrano, pserrano@thetaskforce.org,
(Office) 646.358.1479, (Cell) 787.602.5954

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is co-hosting the American Prayer Hour to protest the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 4. It is among other American Prayer Hour events occurring nationwide in response to Uganda's "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" — which would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment or even death.The bill was proposed by Ugandan MP David Bahati. Bahati is connected to The National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., through the sponsor of the breakfast, The Family. The Family is a secretive Christian based organization that supports placement of leaders in government and economic position of power. Bahati is The Family’s primary organizer in Uganda. Leaders at the Task Force-hosted American Prayer Hour at National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change will gather on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 8 a.m., to protest the National Prayer Breakfast and the Ugandan measure, and will call upon all people to affirm inclusive values and celebrate diversity.
When:
Thursday, Feb. 4, 8 a.m.
Where:
Dallas Ballroom A1, Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 North Olive Street in downtown Dallas, Texas

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School will moderate; and there will be several speakers, possibly including a Ugandan man seeking asylum in the U.S. who is expected to tell his personal story. The American Prayer Hour events are co-sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Human Rights Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, National Black Justice Coalition, Metropolitan Community Church, Faith in America, Bishop Gene Robinson and Truth Wins Out.
More about the conference: Creating Change reflects the breadth and scope of diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and supporters of LGBT rights. It is the largest organizing conference for LGBT rights supporters in the United States. Find additional details here: creatingchange.org/.

Tax Court: SRS Deductions now allowed! Glad hosting Conference call to explain ruling

Source NTCE: In a closely-watched case, the United States Tax Court overwhelmingly ruled on Tuesday in O'Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue that a transgender woman's medical expenses for hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery were medically necessary and therefore tax-deductible under Federal law. After considering extensive medical evidence and testimony from leading medical experts, the court rejected an interpretation of the law that would consider transgender people's medical treatment different than all other medically necessary treatment recommended by major medical and psychological organizations.

"Finally, we have recognition from the courts of what transgender people and our medical providers have known all along-that transition related care is absolutely necessary health care for the wellbeing of many transgender people," said Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. "Being able to deduct a portion of costly medical treatments will make it more affordable for transgender people to follow through with the care their doctors prescribe. For the IRS to treat transgender people and non-transgender people differently was discrimination, plain and simple, and now that has ended."

The court's decision does not mean that all medical treatments and procedures associated with gender transition will be tax-deductible. Like all other medical treatments, deductibility will be based on the medical necessity of the treatment as determined by qualified medical providers in accordance with recognized clinical standards of care. The court recognized, as have the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and many others, based on overwhelming medical evidence, that transition-related health care is non-cosmetic, medically necessary healthcare.

The case stems from a decision by the IRS to reject Rhiannon O'Donnabhain's deduction of her expenses for sex reassignment surgery in 2001 from her federal income tax. The case went to trial in 2007. Ms. O'Donnabhain was represented by the Transgender Rights Project of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

NCTE applauds GLAD's groundbreaking and powerful work and perseverance to win this important victory, and thanks Rhiannon O'Donnabhain for her willingness to stand up and challenge the inequity of the IRS's policies. Her courage and determination will have an impact on the health of transgender people around our country for many years to come.
CONFERENCE CALL TONIGHT
Hear more about the case NCTE is joining GLAD in a community conference call GLAD is hosting tonight (Wednesday) February 3 at 6PM EST / 3PM PST. Attorneys who worked on the case will be on the call explain the case and its ramifications for transgender people. Call in information:

Toll Free Dial-In Number: 1-800-704-9804
Participant Code(s): 61898641#

Wednesday February 3

6:00 PM Eastern Time Zone
5:00 PM Central Time Zone
4:00 PM Mountain Time Zone
3:00 PM Pacific Time Zone


For more information visit transequality.org