Friday, July 3, 2009

Equality In the News June 27 – July 3

Special thanks to intern Harmony Pringle for reporting on this week's Equality in the News!

This week’s theme is solidarity – with the President, with the LGBT communities in other nations, and with other marginalized communities within our own nation. As author Elie Wiesel eloquently stated
This is the duty of our generation as we enter the twenty-first century -- solidarity with the weak, the persecuted, the lonely, the sick, and those in despair. It is expressed by the desire to give a noble and humanizing meaning to a community in which all members will define themselves not by their own identity but by that of others.
And now, the news!

The continuing commentary from the Legislature …

Healthy Youth Act
  • Q-notes points out that while “an incredible step forward” (quoting our own Ian Palmquist), the Healthy Youth Act still includes problematic language, offering faithful, monogamous, heterosexual relationships as the “best” option for preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If by now you still aren’t convinced, you can read a strongly-worded editorial supporting the HYA from the Wilmington Star News.

School Violence Prevention Act

  • The Hickory Daily Record received two letters to the editor this week chastising pastors for their criticism of the SVPA and using Christianity to support the act, rather than tear it down.
  • Ragan Robinson gives voice to senators and citizens on all sides of the debate over the SVPA and its connection to LGBT rights, especially same-sex marriage. It is a WONDERFUL summary!

In other NC-related news...
  • Our own North Carolina native and founder of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network Kevin Jennings will take his post as assistant deputy secretary of education for the department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools on July 6th, but not before the conservative Family Research Council has their say. Q-Notes has the story.
  • Indy Week reminds us that determining what happens to a partner and his or her property after death is another important bundle of rights denied same-sex couples.
  • For the year in review – in regards to marriage equality in the nation and the state – check out Indy Weeks recent post!
  • Charlotte and Raleigh are part of a pilot market for a new program of the Human Rights Campaign called “Ya Es Hora” (It’s Time), which aims to help legal resident Latinos through the citizenship process. “The time has come to unite the LGBT and Hispanic Community. We have more in common than differences and we should work on our common issues,” says Cynthia Leigh Lewis, HRC Arizona Political Co-Chair. She hopes that new Latino voters would be able to weigh in on issues important to both communities. Hurrah for Allies!

Across the country, and the world...

  • This past Monday, 250 LGBT leaders met with President Obama to commemorate the Stonewall riots and to hear the President’s plans for the future. While a gesture of solidarity from the President, who connected the struggles of the LGBT community to those of the African-Americans and allies that made his election possible, the dinner did not satisfy everyone, and the President offered no hint as to when we could expect his promises to be realized. But he did try to reassure the audience, stating that "I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by word, but by the promises my administration keeps" and that "By the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration." We certainly hope so!
  • Monday was also a big day for LGBT communities of India, where “Several BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] leaders on Monday defied the ‘gag order’ imposed by the party leadership as they came out in the open in support of gay rights even as the official party line was to skirt the issue.” These comments came out following Sunday’s Queer Pride march – complete with signs, drums, and colorful clothing – in Bangalore. The march was part of a weeklong celebration organized to raise awareness in time with the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
  • The New York Times examines lagging political action versus popular culture in this week’s article

Thanks for reading and Happy Fourth!


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