Post(s) tagged with "equality"

gayinnj:

Jamey Rodemyer, 14, Committed Suicide in Response to Incessant Tormentors

Jamey had been bullied for years in school and online for not only his sexual orientation but also his weight and hateful speech of all kinds was sent his way. In May he came out to his friends as bisexual, and even made his own “It Gets Better” video to spread the message of hope he desperately wanted to believe in himself. But it seems that the hateful words only increased to an unbearable point, and feeling he had no one to turn to, on Sunday September 18th, only days before the anniversary of Tyler Clementi’s death last year, Jamey killed himself outside his home in Williamsville, NY.
You might have heard the news that Jamey was a huge Lady Gaga fan, even claiming that she was “the reason why I am alive.” The news of his death has left Gaga and people across the world both saddened and angry. Gaga is now pushing for President Obama to “make bullying illegal”, and the Paws Up Forever Project is circulating on YouTube to honor Jamey by discussing the harsh reality of suicide and the horrible bullying that has lead to so many lately.

So what can you do? Keep reaching out to the quiet kid in your class or dorm. Keep telling the ones you love that you are there for them and that they are amazing and beautiful. It might seem simple or even silly, but you never know how your words can heal over the ones that hurt.

gayinnj:

Jamey Rodemyer, 14, Committed Suicide in Response to Incessant Tormentors

Jamey had been bullied for years in school and online for not only his sexual orientation but also his weight and hateful speech of all kinds was sent his way. In May he came out to his friends as bisexual, and even made his own “It Gets Better” video to spread the message of hope he desperately wanted to believe in himself. But it seems that the hateful words only increased to an unbearable point, and feeling he had no one to turn to, on Sunday September 18th, only days before the anniversary of Tyler Clementi’s death last year, Jamey killed himself outside his home in Williamsville, NY.

You might have heard the news that Jamey was a huge Lady Gaga fan, even claiming that she was “the reason why I am alive.” The news of his death has left Gaga and people across the world both saddened and angry. Gaga is now pushing for President Obama to “make bullying illegal”, and the Paws Up Forever Project is circulating on YouTube to honor Jamey by discussing the harsh reality of suicide and the horrible bullying that has lead to so many lately.

So what can you do? Keep reaching out to the quiet kid in your class or dorm. Keep telling the ones you love that you are there for them and that they are amazing and beautiful. It might seem simple or even silly, but you never know how your words can heal over the ones that hurt.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Same-sex stipend a first in the US ⇢

This is fantastic news!  Cambridge yet again upholds the principles of equality.

In a move that may be the first of its kind in the country, Cambridge will soon begin making payments to same-sex married public employees to defray the cost of what local officials have called a discriminatory federal tax.

Beginning in July, the city will begin paying quarterly stipends to city employees in a same-sex marriage who must pay federal taxes on the value of the health benefits their spouse receives from the city.

Federal law requires employers to calculate the value of the benefits received by a same-sex spouse as taxable income to the employee, but health benefits of an opposite-sex spouse as not taxable.

While a number of private employers, such as Google, already offer an additional stipend or payment to same-sex married employees to defray the cost of the federal tax, Cambridge is believed to be the first municipality in the nation to do so, said Sarah Warbelow of the Human Rights Campaign, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil-rights organization.”

jaundicedeye:

Portraits of Discrimination, Short Version

Good messaging on this one — I think it brings up a point that gets missed a lot in the marriage debate.

Note they don’t even talk about marriage in the video — though that would be the easy fix to this problem, and others — they just couch it all in terms of changing the Social Security law.

Income Tax Fairness Stripped from N.Y. Budget Bill ⇢

We need to find a way to unelect Diaz.  He is one of the main reasons the NY marriage equality bill failed and now he continuing to harm families with this crap.  Time to start volunteering for Fight Back New York.

jaundicedeye:

A proposal that would have granted married same-sex couples in New York the ability to file state income taxes jointly was stripped from a budget bill Tuesday following opposition by antigay Democrat Ruben Diaz, Sr.

…Remarkably, Diaz framed his opposition as an attempt to spare same-sex couples the “insulting” invitation to file taxes together when the state does not allow them to legally marry. Of course, Diaz is one of the senators who voted against the marriage equality bill that failed by a wide margin in December.

MERI Join the Impact Rally 
Older photo from the Rhode Island Join the Impact rally I helped organize.

MERI Join the Impact Rally 

Older photo from the Rhode Island Join the Impact rally I helped organize.

Source: Flickr / rauchdickson

A Climate of Uncertainty for Gay Rights ⇢

Very interesting article from Newsweek that underscored two major issues for me.  First, the LGBT equality movement (sorry for turning it into some monolith, but here it is does mean everything) is failing at educating Americans about the actual status of our rights. Second, that all the incremental change the Obama administration is providing, while nice, hands lots of talking points to the anti-equality side.

First, failure to educate

"Polling has shown that 61 percent of heterosexual Americans don’t realize that federal law does not provide protections to employees based on sexual orientation."

My biggest issue with many advocacy campaigns for LGBT issues is that they seem to not be conceived of with the general public in mind.  Advocates spend a lot of time talking to the proverbial choir. For example, a large majority for Americans support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that prevents LGBT people from losing their job based on sexual orientation.  Sadly, a majority also think it already passed.  We, as an activist community, need to start thinking about new ways to educate and engage the average American (gay or straight) on where current law actually stands and how they can effect change.

Second, incrementalism gives anti-equality groups power

Even conservatives like Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council have readily admitted in conversations with NEWSWEEK that smaller gains, such as hospital visitation rights, help conservatives fight larger ones like the legalization of gay marriage.

Its fantastic that there are incremental changes happening that positively affect families in need (hospital visitation and expansion of the FMLA), but there is a downside in the overall winning of equality.  For every baby step we take, we provide one more item to the list that groups like FRC can site as being resolved, so let’s not change marriage law.  Bullshit I know, but when you are talking to voters that have not made a decision or are difficult ideological moves, those little things can have a huge impact.  Advocates need to be nimble enough in their messaging that they have a wealth of talking points that extend beyond the standard heartbreaking, hospital visitation story.  I don’t mean to be flippant, but we need some new talking points because incremental change is destroying many of the current pathos laden stories.  I love what GLAD is doing in this area with the DOMA Stories, focusing on the actual monetary impact of not having marriage equality.  It weaves personal, emotional stories in with fact that being in a same-sex marriage comes with a huge financial burden that straight married couple don’t have.

Newsweek

“Let me say today that human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights, once and for all.” - Hillary Clinton

- GayPolitics.com » Clinton: Gay rights are human rights

Source: gaypolitics.com

(via No on 8 on Flickr)

(via No on 8 on Flickr)

 (by princesamwise)

 (by princesamwise)

Source: Flickr / princesamme

8 Things Gay People Can't Do ⇢

Great Call-to-Action coming out of last weekend’s Pride festivities around 8 BIG things that lesbian and gay people can’t do due to second class treatment as citizens.  Pass this list on and act on changing things for the better!

Source: ranker.com

New York City Gay Pride 2007 

New York City Gay Pride 2007 

Source: Flickr / rauchdickson

Firestorm over column on gays in Catholic paper

Linked same-sex parents with porn

A contributor to the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston said yesterday he regretted a portion of a column that has infuriated gay Catholics in the region.

In the column, published last week, the writer argued that one reason the children of gay parents should not be admitted to Catholic schools is the “real danger’’ that they would bring pornography to school.

That allegation, plus several others in the column, has drawn a torrent of criticism from gay rights advocates.

And yesterday, the editor of the paper, The Pilot, said in a statement, “The tone of the piece was strong, and we apologize if anyone felt offended by it.’’

The controversy began June 4, when The Pilot published a column by Michael Pakaluk, a former philosophy professor at Clark University in Worcester and former visiting scholar at Harvard who now teaches in Virginia. Pakaluk was reflecting on another controversy, regarding the decision by a Hingham priest to rescind the acceptance of a child of a lesbian couple to a local parochial school.

The Archdiocese of Boston has just begun developing a policy regarding the admission of children of gay parents to Catholic schools, following the Hingham controversy.

In the column, Pakaluk wrote that pornographic items “go along with the same-sex lifestyle, which — as not being related to procreation — is inherently eroticized and pornographic.’’

In a phone interview yesterday, however, Pakaluk said he now views that sentence as a “weak argument.’’

“I think I probably would not make that point again, and I can see how it would be offensive,’’ he said.

In the column, Pakaluk also expressed concern that by welcoming gay families, Catholic schools could give children the impression that the practice of homosexuality is acceptable, as well as potentially provide an opportunity for a gay parent to “advocate for his lifestyle.’’ He added that gay parents should not be called “parents’’ unless they are biologically related to their children.

READ ENTIRE BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE

See more at:Homosexuality, Porn & the Classroom (Change.org)

Gay Couples Gain Under Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has decided that federal prosecutors should enforce criminal provisions in the Violence Against Women Act in cases involving gay and lesbian relationships, a newly disclosed memorandum shows.

In a seven-page legal analysis, David J. Barron, the acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, concluded that federal prosecutors may use the law in cases of interstate stalking and domestic violence regardless of whether the victim or the defendant is a man or a woman.

“The text, relevant case law and legislative history all support the conclusion” that the law’s criminal provisions “apply when the offender and the victim are the same sex,” Mr. Barron wrote.

The memorandum was addressed to the acting deputy attorney general, Gary Grindler, who had apparently asked the Office of Legal Counsel to consider the question. The document was posted on the Justice Department’s Web site on Wednesday.

Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said that the office’s conclusion had been sent as guidance to federal prosecutors around the country.

READ ENTIRE NY Times STORY

The New York Times

Poll: With Higher Visibility, Less Disapproval For Gays
Nothing that would surprise LGBT person, but interesting to see statistic data that by knowing a gay or lesbian person the level of acceptance of equality rises.  
Check out the full poll

Poll: With Higher Visibility, Less Disapproval For Gays

Nothing that would surprise LGBT person, but interesting to see statistic data that by knowing a gay or lesbian person the level of acceptance of equality rises.  

Check out the full poll

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