Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pastor’s Message God Showed Us

By Rev. Susan Smith

[Article featured in Rev. Smith's weekly column for The County News, a newspaper reaching Caldwell, Catawba, Rowan, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, on the recent faith press conference sponsored by Equality NC.]

Acts 10:27-28 (NIV)

“While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.”

Last week I was invited to join other faith leaders from across the state at a press conference in Raleigh to stand together in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act which would prohibit all forms of legal relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples. We were from different denominations and faith traditions, serving the one God who is in all, and through all.

Faith-based condemnation against gay and lesbian people is at the root of the legalized discrimination they face in our country today. Those who quote scriptures chapter and verse continue to rail against the growing demands for full and equal civil rights for gay, lesbian, bi- sexual, transgender, and questioning people. “We cannot allow them to marry because we are standing on the word of God!” say those who are fighting to stop them.

The case to deny full and equal civil rights to others based on religious arguments is an old one. Standing on the word of God was used to justify and defend slavery, deny women the civil right to vote, and deny people of different races the civil right to marry. Scripture was used to justify and defend segregation. The KKK holds Bibles in their hands while they burn crosses. It is a tragedy that the good news of Jesus Christ has been such bad news historically in the struggle for full and equal civil rights for all of God’s children.

In Acts 10, Peter was a Jew called to a Gentile’s house by God. His faith tradition required him to reject them as unequal, but God gave him a revelation that expanded his spiritual consciousness. He said to them, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.”

So it is today with faith leaders who have had a revelation about sexual orientation. Science has proven conclusively that it is seated in the brain, not the genitals. People do not choose minority sexual orientations to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning. They have the same normal desires for family and marriage as heterosexuals.

Marriage in America is a civil right giving legal protections for committed couples in important areas such as family law, insurance coverage, property ownership and much more.

In the landmark 1967 civil rights case Loving v. Virginia; the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided that the State of Virginia denying marriage between people solely on the basis of racial classifications violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

I believe that the civil rights movement for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning people is moving in the same direction, and will be won for the same reasons. People of faith may continue to be divided on this for a long time. Some still use religious arguments to condemn interracial marriage, but they cannot deny the civil right of marriage to interracial couples.

Just like Peter, many faith leaders today have had a revelation. God has shown us that gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning people are his children, and that we need to accept them as equals before God just like Peter did with the Gentiles. Humanity is advancing, and our God consciousness is expanding. Faith leaders who do not agree will sooner or later have to accept their civil right to marry.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Not Exactly the Job-Creation Legislation We Voted For

Last year’s midterm elections ushered in a new wave of North Carolina leadership on the promise of job creation in a state facing severe deficits and double-digit unemployment. Unfortunately, we’re not exactly getting the job-creation legislation we voted for.

Take for example the priorities of North Carolina Senator Jim Forrester who, at the beginning of the year, promised to forego an eighth attempt at a "Super DOMA" in the Tar Heel State in order to focus on more pressing economic issues. "It will probably be brought up next year," Forrester told the Gaston Gazette on January 19, 2011.

Fast-forward four weeks later, and Forrester went back on his word. While even his own hometown newspaper acknowledged that “there are more pressing issues to attend to,” the Gaston County Republican sponsored Senate Bill 106, a proposed constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite sex couples, as state statute already does, as well as outlawing civil unions or domestic partnerships. The N.C. House followed this month with its own narrower version (House Bill 777), that represents the same divisive, discriminatory and distracting legislation which would effectively write discrimination into our state's founding document.

The anti-LGBT amendment joins a host of other social legislation that prompted Taylor Batten, The Charlotte Observer's editorial page editor, to manifest what many were already thinking in his recent article "Lawyers, guns and money, but no jobs."

In it, Batten writes,

"...almost three months into the session, jobs have been the primary focus of very little legislation. What has your legislature, led by House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, been doing instead?

Fighting to repeal federal health care reform.

Working to expand gun-owner rights.

Making emergency room doctors almost completely immune from any penalties for practicing sloppy medicine.

Trying to decline $461 million in federal money for high-speed rail that would instead go to another state.

Requiring photo identifications from voters.

Overturning already-completed annexations.

Contemplating a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Working to bar the state from giving any money to Planned Parenthood.

Aggressively expanding charter schools.

And one out-of-touch freshman even introduced a bill creating a new currency based on the gold standard, in case the Federal Reserve defaults.

You may agree or disagree with some or all of those initiatives. Either way, they have next to nothing to do with creating jobs or balancing the state budget.

And those, sadly, were the two imperatives that deserved attention above all else."

But with your help, we can push our politicians to keep their promises as we also push for equal rights for all North Carolinians.

  • Contact Your Legislators.
    We’ve made it easy for you to let state legislators know, that we, the people of North Carolina, are more interested in them keeping their focus on creating jobs, and not furthering hateful discrimination.

  • "Write" the wrongs of this harmful legislation. Help us send a message to the legislature by volunteering to get people in your community to complete postcards to their legislators in opposition to the anti-gay amendment. We'll make it easy by sending you a kit with everything you need.

  • Build a State of Equality.
    Join our statewide movement against this type of LGBT discrimination
    with a donation to Equality North Carolina today.

  • Help Others Stay Connected to the Action.
    Recruit friends and family to join the Equality North Carolina Action Network
    so they too can receive important local alerts and updates on legislative affairs affecting them.

-Jen Jones, Equality NC

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The STARTA Something Big? Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) introduces the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

A bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as prohibited basis for workplace discrimination was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today.

Despite the fact that nearly 90% of Americans favor equal employment rights for LGBT citizens and the apparent readiness of President Obama to sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (or ENDA)—a bill that has been introduced in every Congress but one since 1994—it is unlikely to pass in the current House of Representatives.

Conservative opponents argue ENDA would disallow faith-based businesses from making personnel decisions based on their religious beliefs.

But these critics fail to see ENDA for what it really is: a long-overdue jobs bill.

Throughout the country, LGBT people live in fear that they will lose their job if their employer finds out that they are LGBT. It is intolerable that people are forced to hide who they are in order to secure or maintain employment. And with so much of our government’s focus on the economy and creating jobs, each job that is lost due to prejudice compounds the unemployment challenges not just for the LGBT community, but for our nation’s economy as a whole. It is a core American value to judge people on their work ethic and work product, not on who they are.

ENDA will make the American dream available to LGBT citizens nationwide.

Think this is all hyperbole? Think again.

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey results show that transgender people in throughout the U.S. suffer from tremendously high levels of job discrimination and economic security, with 26% losing a job just because of who they are and 90% experiencing mistreatment or harassment, or hiding who they are to avoid it. Transgender people experience twice the unemployment rate as the general population and almost four times the poverty.

Add to these facts the finding that in 2007, 28% of LGBT adults reported experiencing workplace discrimination with 21% reporting discrimination on a weekly basis.

Factoring in unemployment benefits, wasted training expenses, and lowered productivity—of both the abusers and their victims—discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace costs all of us as much as $1.4 billion per year in lost output. This amount is substantial by any measure, but given the need to restore our nation’s economic well-being, it is downright unacceptable.

Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia recognize these realities and have already enacted anti-discrimination policies that protect employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Over 100 localities have adopted similar policies. Taken together, these protections extend to 40% of the US population.

For the majority of our country however, including in North Carolina, there are either no laws protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination and harassment or inadequate laws that do not protect all members of our community.

That is why we need a federal standard calling for equal treatment of all employees. That is why we need ENDA. Because whether or not you get to keep your job should not depend on where you live.

In the meantime, you can also catch this cause at work here at home. Yesterday (3/29), Equality NC secured introduction of House Bill 472: Nondiscrimination in State/Employment by Representatives Luebke, Brandon, Fisher and Harrison, along with 14 co-sponsors. Click here to learn more about this important legislation.

The vast majority of North Carolinians join the rest of the nation in opposing employment discrimination against LGBT people. And so this bill falls in line with public opinion, protecting state employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It amends the State Personnel Act by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes for discrimination in hiring; denial of promotion, transfer or training; retaliatory demotion, reduction in force or termination; and harassment.

Let’s hope ENDA can be the STARTA something bigger.

Until then, we must ensure that equality works here at home.

-Jen Jones, Equality NC

Monday, March 28, 2011

In North Carolina, Bullies Come In All Shapes and Sizes

You may have caught last week’s Fresh Air, when Terry Gross interviewed columnist Dan Savage and Terry Miller about their marriage, the adoption of their son, and the impact of their “It Gets Better” movement, on teenage bullying.

The "It Gets Better" movement, as it's now called, spurred by a rash of teen suicides in 2010, is based on the premise that if older gay people offer hope and encouragement to gay teens, the teens would realize that their lives were worth living. Thereby, Savage and Miller created a YouTube video about their own experiences being bullied as teens, to tell teenagers a simple message about the future: It gets better.



The "It Gets Better" movement is now a global sensation, receiving over 10,000 video submissions, including entries from the likes of President Obama to Ke$ha. This month, Savage and Miller also published a companion book, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living, featuring essays from more than 100 of the video contributors.

Notwithstanding the recent success of Savage and Miller’s now-viral campaign and its premise of older advocates offering encouragement to gay teens, we’re proud to say that Equality North Carolina was ahead of the curve. In 2009, ENC helped to win passage of a historic law assuring North Carolina public school students have the inclusive anti-bullying protections they deserve. In the end, our hope was that by curbing bullying in North Carolina classrooms, we would lessen the likelihood that local teens would lose hope and be tempted to take their own lives.

But despite these past legislative successes, now, more than ever, it’s important to remember that bullies come in all shapes, sizes…and even ages.

Instead of dealing with pressing economic issues as promised, North Carolina Republican Senator Jim Forrester and a small group of NC legislators are pushing to pass an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. The bill is meant to write discrimination into North Carolina’s founding document and, with a series of votes, write part of the state’s population out of rights and protections they deserve. This month, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James revealed the real purpose behind the proposed amendment: making LGBT people unwelcome in the Tar Heel State. "We don't want them here," James told the Raleigh News & Observer.

That’s one heckuva message to gay teens.

What’s more, this proposed bill is considered the most extreme version of an anti-LGBT amendment, including:

  • not only limiting marriage to gay and lesbian couples, as state statute already does, but also prohibiting any other form of relationship recognition, such as civil union or domestic partnership--forms of recognition that a majority of North Carolinians clearly support;
  • potentially taking away private benefits such as health insurance for LGBT couples, unmarried opposite-sex couples, and their children and challenging private contracts between couples; and
  • writing bigotry and discrimination into our state's founding document, and, with the same stroke, removing the rights and responsibilities that are currently available to some couples.

Once again, Equality North Carolina is taking the lead in fighting these bullies for you and yours. And this time you can join ENC and other fair-minded North Carolinians who believe basic rights are not up for vote and these bullies need to be put in their place!

Join Us on the EQUALITY IN ACTION Tour.
Following the success of our Winston-Salem, Durham and Charlotte events, Equality North Carolina invites you to get informed and involved through a series of statewide town hall meetings devoted to discussing the proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. Upcoming stops on the tour include Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Asheville. Supporters who cannot attend a local stop on the EQUALITY IN ACTION Tour can follow the @equalitync action on Twitter at the hashtag: #equalityaction.

"Write" Anti-LGBT Wrongs With the EQUALITY IN ACTION Postcard
Getting our postcards signed by friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers is a great way to both bring the anti-LGBT amendment issue to light while also letting local legislators know that fair-minded voters in their district care about equal rights. Request your pack of postcards today.

Help Fund This Fight to Build a STATE OF EQUALITY.
Join our statewide movement against LGBT discrimination with a donation to Equality North Carolina today. A special thanks to everyone who has recently made donations, with an extra special thanks to all who have become monthly donors--a great way to provide sustained support during this pivotal time!

And as always, thank you for joining with Equality North Carolina—your statewide source for LGBT rights and justice—as we grow our own local movement to fight against this proposed legislation and for the shared rights of all North Carolinians.

With your help, it indeed does get better.

- Jen Jones, Equality NC

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Remembering Legendary LGBT and HIV/AIDS Activist Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)

She was a legendary silver screen beauty;

an Academy-award winner;


a friend of Michael Jackson.

But Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor’s most important role came in her later years as an ardent HIV/AIDS activist and ally to the LGBT community.

Following the death of friend and fellow thespian Rock Hudson from an HIV/AIDS-related illness, Taylor was among the founders of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and started the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). In the process, Dame Taylor helped raise millions of dollars to fight AIDS. And, at a time when other stars stayed quiet, she became one of the first public voices to speak up about the AIDS crisis.

One of Taylor’s final tweets (yes, she was on Twitter): “ Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow.”

In that sense, Taylor had grown larger than the big screen she commanded.

And in this, we honor her life.



-Jen Jones, Equality North Carolina

Monday, March 21, 2011

Equality NC Takes Back the Town Hall Meeting

The town hall meeting concept has taken a hit of late, evolving from simple public meetings to scenes of violent scuffles, most recently witnessed during the vitriolic health care debates of 2009. Night after night, in town after town, media outlets projected images of Congressional members placed in the proverbial firing lines of embittered constituents, changing the face of these public forums from havens of dialogue to hotbeds of anger.

But last week, Equality North Carolina “took back” the town hall meeting concept when representatives from the statewide LGBT rights organization hit the road to harness the energy of citizen engagement...this time “for good.”

Productive Dialogue on the Proposed Constitutional Amendment
The EQUALITY IN ACTION Tour—a series of statewide town hall meetings devoted to civil discourse surrounding the proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment, among other issues from the General Assembly—kicked off March 17, from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem.

Instead of harkening back to the more polarizing town halls of old, in this fair-minded forum from the Triad, Equality NC began responding to the public’s desire for answers and action against the amendment, and, in the process, enlisted help from a packed room representing the majority of North Carolinians supportive of legal recognition for the state’s gay and lesbian couples.

Equality NC Executive Director Ian Palmquist and Director of Community Organizing and Outreach Rebecca Mann led dozens of statewide LGBT supporters through the ins and outs of the proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment, as well as other local legislation that could potentially impact all who care about equal rights.


Engaging Grassroots and Grasstops
Following an informative presentation and Q&A on pertinent legislative issues such as the
anti-LGBT amendment, participants broke into smaller brainstorming sessions devoted to the many ways that local communities can become more involved in Equality NC’s grassroots and grasstops efforts.

From the grasstops, concerned citizens participated in group discussions on the best ways to address concerns and seek support from prominent political, business, and civic leaders in their local communities. Supporters were also encouraged to “get back to their grassroots” by “writing” anti-LGBT wrongs in the EQUALITY IN ACTION postcard campaign—a powerful way to bring the anti-LGBT amendment issue to light while also letting local legislators know that fair-minded voters in their district care about equal rights.



The EQUALITY IN ACTION Tour Comes to You

Following the success of the Winston-Salem kick-off, the EQUALITY IN ACTION Tour will take off across the state in separate town halls in Durham (March 22), Charlotte (March 24), and Greenville (April 6), as well as future events slated for Asheville, Raleigh, and Wilmington.

New Ways of Engaging
Can’t make a town hall meeting but still want to get involved? The power and principles of EQUALITY IN ACTION are also available in online advocacy, including:

Keeping Others CONNECTED TO THE ACTION.
Supporters can recruit friends and family to join the Equality North Carolina Action Network so they too can receive important local alerts and updates on legislative affairs affecting them.

Build a STATE OF EQUALITY.
Help us fund this important fight. Join our statewide movement against LGBT discrimination with a donation to Equality North Carolina today.

Joining ENC on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
To quickly and easily share news and information with friends, fans and followers, supporters can join Equality North Carolina where they already are—on Facebook (facebook.com/equalitync) and Twitter (@equalitync).

The ENC social media mobilization extends to the town hall meetings themselves as supporters who cannot join us at each event can follow the @equalitync action on Twitter at the hashtag: #equalityaction. Share resources, ask questions, get answers, and make your voice heard—however virtually.

Because, in the end, the goal of these meetings is not simply to reframe town hall rhetoric, but rather to speak civilly to the rights and respect at stake—for all.


-Jen Jones, Equality North Carolina

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 10: Women and Girls and HIV/AIDS, Oh My!

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed specifically on March 10 every year, and it is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health (OWH). OWH encourages organizations to hold events throughout the entire month of March.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance that encourages people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls.

According to the CDC, HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue affecting nearly 280,000 women in the United States. While men account for most HIV/AIDS cases, the impact on women is growing. In addition, research shows that, when compared to men, women face gaps in access and care.

For a handy fact sheet, go here:

PDF National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Fact Sheet (PDF, 434 KB)

(The new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, will prohibit insurance plans from putting lifetime caps on the dollar amount that they will spend on benefits. In the past, patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other chronic diseases ran the risk of hitting a lifetime cap and losing access to care. The law also restricts most insurance companies' use of low annual dollar limits on benefits. In 2014, annual limits will be eliminated. In addition, the Affordable Care Act will help those living with HIV/AIDS be better able to afford their medications.)

The Affordable Care Act and National HIV/AIDS Strategy are two important steps in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but HIV/AIDS is an issue that affects all people, and we each need to do our part ot make a positive difference. On National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, OWH calls on individuals and organizations across the country to take action and bring attention to the impact HIV/AIDS has on women and girls.

It helps organizations across the country come together to offer support, encourage discussion, and teach women and girls about prevention of HIV, the importance of getting tested for HIV, and how to live with and manage HIV/AIDS.

Education is key to making a difference with the disease, but action items that people can do in response to HIV/AIDS are most empowering. Some ideas include:

  • Get tested for HIV, and encourage your friends to do so. If you can, offer incentives for people to get tested.
  • Encourage your newspaper or schools to sponsor an essay contest on the epidemic.
  • Submit an editorial or letter on local needs to your newspaper.
  • Encourage radio stations to air public service announcements.
  • Learn about the risk factors for acquiring HIV, and talk about them.
  • Make the choice to practice safer sex and avoid higher risk behaviors.
  • Talk about HIV prevention with family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Tell people about why this day is important to you and people you know.
  • Talk about the epidemic’s impact on your community with friends and family.
  • Provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Volunteer at a local organization that serves people living with HIV.
  • Help fund an event for the Day or support it with in-kind donations.
Visit AIDS.gov for more information from the federal government about HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, research, and using new media in response to HIV/AIDS.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

OutServe Posts DADT Training Materials

The group OutServe has begun providing copies of the DADT repeal implementation materials. Here's what they have so far:

Early Army DADT repeal training

Below are 4 documents that show some training the Army has handed out. The Powerpoint is specific to JAGs, but the other documents are generic for Army Training for the repeal of DADT.

Army DADT FAQs

DADT_Enclosure_4_-_Army_Guiding_Principles

10 things you need to know for DADT Repeal

DADT Powerpoint JAG


Navy Tier 3 Training

The below links are from the Navy Tier 3 (General Population Training). The Tier 3 Training has now begun and the mobile teams in the Navy appear to be starting their training early next month at various bases.

Navy DADT Pamphlet

Navy DADT Slides

Navy DADT Presenter Guidance

Navy Lecture Handout


Marines Set Date of 31 May

Date Signed: 2/16/2011
MARADMIN Active 108/11 2011

R 161455Z FEB 11
UNCLASSIFIED//
MARADMIN 108/11
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
SUBJ/EXECUTION GUIDANCE FOR REPEAL OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL//
REF/A/MSGID:DOC/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC/22DEC2010//
REF/B/MSGID:DOC/TITLE 10 US CODE, SECTION 654/-//
REF/C/MSGID:MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC/231709ZDEC2010//
REF/D/MSGID:DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC/28JAN2011//
NARR/REF A IS SECDEF MEMO DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL REPEAL LEGISLATION ANNOUNCEMENT. REF B IS 10 U.S.C. SECTION 654 (DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL). REF C IS ALMAR 047-10, REPEAL OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL. REF D IS SECDEF MEMO, IMPLEMENTATION OF A REPEAL OF TITLE 10, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 654 INCLUDING THE TERMS OF REFERENCE.//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/

1. THIS MARADMIN PROVIDES EXECUTION GUIDANCE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REPEAL OF THE DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL POLICY.

2. ON 22 DECEMBER 2010, THE PRESIDENT SIGNED A LAW THAT SET THE CONDITIONS FOR THE REPEAL OF 10 U.S.C. SECTION 654, COMMONLY KNOWN AS DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL. THE REPEAL WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE 60 DAYS AFTER THE PRESIDENT TRANSMITS TO THE CONGRESSIONAL DEFENSE COMMITTEES THE CERTIFICATION REQUIRED BY THE STATUTE. UNTIL THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF REPEAL, 10 U.S.C. SECTION 654 AND ASSOCIATED POLICIES REMAIN IN EFFECT, AND HOMOSEXUAL CONDUCT REMAINS A BASIS FOR SEPARATION FROM MILITARY SERVICE.

3. SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION DEPENDS ON LEADERSHIP, PROFESSIONALISM, DISCIPLINE, AND RESPECT, WHICH MUST CONTINUE TO BE PRACTICED AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL SITUATIONS. LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS MUST SET THE EXAMPLE AND MUST BE FULLY COMMITTED TO DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) INTENT TO SUSTAIN UNIT EFFECTIVENESS, READINESS, AND COHESION. IN THE PROFESSION OF ARMS, ADHERENCE TO STANDARDS OF CONDUCT IS ESSENTIAL, EACH SERVICE MEMBER MUST BE TREATED WITH RESPECT AND DIGNITY, AND LEADERSHIP IS KEY TO CREATING AND SUSTAINING SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT AND COMMAND CLIMATE WHERE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE AND ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IS AVAILABLE TO ALL.

4. TRAINING
A. TRAINING REQUIREMENTS. ALL ACTIVE COMPONENT MARINES, RESERVE COMPONENT MARINES (MINUS INDIVIDUAL READY RESERVE (IRR) UNLESS ON ACTIVE DUTY), AND CIVILIAN SUPERVISORS OF MARINES MUST UNDERGO REPEAL IMPLEMENTATION TRAINING. IRR MARINES WILL BE TRAINED WHEN THEY NEXT ENTER INTO A FEDERAL STATUS. UNITS SCHEDULED TO DEPLOY WILL COMPLETE THE TRAINING PRIOR TO DEPLOYING. UNITS THAT WILL NOT REDEPLOY BEFORE 31 MAY 2011 WILL BE TRAINED WHILE STILL IN THEATER.
B. TRAINING PLAN. THE DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW WORKING GROUP DEVELOPED A FRAMEWORK FOR IMPLEMENTATION WITH THREE TIERS OF TRAINING AND EDUCATION, EACH TARGETED TO DIFFERENT GROUPS.
(1) TIER 1 – EXPERT/SPECIAL STAFF LEVEL (E.G., STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATES, CHAPLAINS, RECRUITERS, MILITARY PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALISTS, MILITARY LAW ENFORCEMENT, MILITARY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS, FAMILY READINESS OFFICERS, MILITARY EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ADVISORS, INSPECTORS GENERAL, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICERS AND HEALTH SERVICES PERSONNEL). SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS FROM HEADQUARTERS MARINE CORPS (HQMC) WILL TRAIN AND EDUCATE THOSE WITHIN THEIR SPECIFIC COMMUNITY ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW POLICY NO LATER THAN 15 MARCH 2011.
(2) TIER 2 – LEADER LEVEL (E.G., COMMANDERS, SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISORS AND CIVILIAN SUPERVISORS OF MARINES).
(A) DESIGNATED MARINE FORCE (MARFOR) AND MAJOR SUBORDINATE COMMAND (MSC) MARINES RECEIVED TIER 2 TRAINING AND EDUCATION AT HQMC ON 3 FEBRUARY 2011. THESE LEADERS WILL LEAD IN TRAINING THE REMAINING TIER 2 LEADERS WITHIN THEIR MARFOR/MSC NO LATER THAN 15 MARCH 2011.
(B) LEADERS TRAINED AT HQMC WERE PROVIDED WITH THE COMMANDER’S TOOLKIT WHICH INCLUDES THE COMMANDANT AND SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE MARINE CORPS VIDEO, EXECUTION GUIDANCE, PUBLIC AFFAIRS TALKING POINTS, FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, VIGNETTES, TIER 1 POINT PAPERS, TIER 2 AND 3 BRIEFS, USMC PUBLICATION AND REFERENCE CHANGES, AND THE SUPPORT PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION. THE COMMANDER’S TOOLKIT WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT WEBSITE ON 1 MARCH 2011.
(3) TIER 3 – MARINES, SAILORS ASSIGNED TO MARINE UNITS, AND CIVILIAN SUPERVISORS. COMMANDERS AND SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISORS DOWN TO THE BATTALION/SQUADRON/DETACHMENT LEVEL WILL CONDUCT THE TIER 3 TRAINING OF THEIR MARINES, SAILORS, AND CIVILIAN SUPERVISORS. FACE-TO-FACE DELIVERY BY COMMANDERS AND OFFICERS IN CHARGE (OIC) IS THE PRIMARY METHOD. PERSONNEL UNABLE TO ATTEND A COMMANDER/OIC TRAINING AND EDUCATION BRIEF (E.G., GEOGRAPHICALLY ISOLATED, PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION/LEAVE, ETC.) WILL BE DIRECTED TO COMPLETE THE EDUCATION AND TRAINING VA MARINENET. TRAINING AND EDUCATION BRIEF WILL BE AVAILABLE ON MARINENET ON 1 MARCH 2011. TIER 3 TRAINING AND EDUCATION SHOULD BE COMPLETE BY 31 MAY 2011.

5. REPORTING PROCEDURES
A. ON A BI-MONTHLY BASIS, COMMANDERS WILL REPORT THEIR TRAINING AND EDUCATION PROGRESS THROUGH THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND. MARFORS WILL REPORT PROGRESS TO THE DIRECTOR, MARINE CORPS STAFF. SPECIFIC REPORTING INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE PROVIDED VIA SEPARATE MARADMIN.
B. COMMANDERS WILL ENSURE COMPLETION OF TRAINING AND EDUCATION IS DOCUMENTED IN THE MARINE CORPS TOTAL FORCE SYSTEM (MCTFS) VIA THE MARINE ONLINE TRAINING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OR UNIT DIARY/MANPOWER INTEGRATED PERSONNEL SYSTEM (UD/MIPS).
C. CIVILIAN SUPERVISORS WILL REPORT COMPLETION OF TRAINING AND EDUCATION TO THEIR RESPECTIVE HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICE (HRO). THE HRO WILL REPORT THE TRAINING AND EDUCATION TO THE CIVILIAN WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT BRANCH (MPC), MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT.

6. UPON REPEAL OF THE DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL LAW, THE BELOW LISTED MARINE CORPS ORDERS AND DIRECTIVES WILL BE UPDATED. A MARINE CORPS BULLETIN WILL BE RELEASED TO PROMULGATE THE CHANGES.
A. MARINE CORPS MANUAL.
B. MCO 1040.31, ENLISTED RETENTION AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
C. MCO P1100.72C W/CH 1, MILITARY PERSONNEL PROCUREMENT MANUAL, VOLUME 2, ENLISTED PROCUREMENT.
D. MCO P1100.75D, PERSONNEL PROCUREMENT MILITARY ENTRANCE PROCESSING STATION (MEPS).
E. MCO 1130.80A, PRIOR SERVICE AND RESERVE AUGMENTATION ENLISTMENTS INTO THE REGULAR MARINE CORPS.
F. MCO 1752.5A, SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAM.
G. MCO P1900.16F, MARINE CORPS SEPARATION AND RETIREMENT MANUAL.
H. NAVMC DIRECTIVE 5040.6H, MARINE CORPS READINESS INSPECTIONS AND ASSESSMENTS.
I. MCO 5530.14A, MARINE CORPS PHYSICAL SECURITY PROGRAM MANUAL.
J. MCO 7220R.38C SELECTED RESERVE INCENTIVE PROGRAM.

7. GUIDANCE CONCERNING NEWS MEDIA COVERAGE OF TRAINING AT LOCAL COMMANDS WILL BE PUBLISHED VIA SEPARATE CORRESPONDENCE SUBSEQUENT TO RECEIPT OF DOD INSTRUCTIONS. UNTIL THEN, FORWARD ANY MEDIA REQUESTS CONCERNING REPEAL IMPLEMENTATION VIA THE LOCAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICES TO HQMC PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIVISION.

8. THIS MESSAGE IS APPLICABLE TO THE MARINE CORPS TOTAL FORCE.



Monday, February 28, 2011

MAPping the Movement

MAP (the Movement Advancement Project) is releasing its 2010 National LGBT Movement Report. This report examines revenue and expenses, fundraising and fundraising efficiency, and other indicators of financial health for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social justice advocacy organizations.

Surprisingly, less than four percent of all LGBT adults in the U.S. donated $35 or more to these LGBT organizations. While organizations are generally effective at retaining smaller donors (those giving $35 or more) year over year, the number of larger donors (those giving $1,000 or more) is dropping and not easily replaced.

The staffs of participating organizations are diverse, roughly mirroring the broader U.S. population: 32 percent identify as people of color (12 percent African American, 12 percent Latino/a, 7 percent Asian/Pacific Islander and 1 percent Native American or other). Also, 46 percent are women and 6 percent identify as transgender.

While movement organizations overall experienced significant declines in revenue in 2009 compared with 2008, their financial health remains strong due to reduced expenses and efficient fundraising. Movement groups are highly efficient in their fundraising and programming operations, with all 39 participants exceeding the efficiency standards of both the American Institute of Philanthropy and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. An average of 79 percent of expenses is spent on programs and services, 9 percent on management and general expenses, and only 12 percent on fundraising.

The 2010 National LGBT Movement Report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the financial health of LGBT social justice advocacy organizations. The 39 organizations examined for the 2010 report collectively represent 69% of the budgets of all LGBT social justice advocacy organizations. Among the key findings:

Revenue and Expenses. Organizations are experiencing significant declines in revenue (down 20% from 2008 to 2009), a sign of the combined effects of the economic downturn and decreased giving in an off-election year (2009). Organizations are adjusting to revenue declines by cutting expenses; 2010 budget estimates are down 18% from 2009 to 2010.

Fundraising and Fundraising Efficiency. Organizations are faring relatively well at retaining smaller donors, but are losing larger donors who give $1,000 or more per year. Fewer donors are attending fundraising events and organizations show less income from these events as a result. However, despite recent fundraising challenges, LGBT social justice advocacy organizations continue to be quite efficient in their fundraising, with an average of 79% of expenses being spent on programs and services, 9% on management and general expenses, and only 12% on fundraising.

Other Indicators of Financial Health. Other indicators remain strong. Reduction of expense budgets has helped organizations maintain good average working capital, liquidity ratios, and cash and cash equivalents.

Participating Organizations:
ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project
CenterLink
COLAGE
Council for Global Equality
Empire State Pride Agenda
Equality California
Equality Federation
Equality Forum
Family Equality Council
Freedom to Marry
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Gay-Straight Alliance Network
GroundSpark
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Immigration Equality & Immigration Equality Action Fund
In the Life Media
Lambda Legal
Log Cabin Republicans & Liberty Education Forum
MassEquality
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Youth Advocacy Coalition
New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
The Palm Center
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Point Foundation
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Soulforce
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Transgender Law Center
The Trevor Project
(One organization wished to remain anonymous)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Protecting Marriage From ... Southern Conservative Christians!

In light of the proposed antigay marriage amendment, here's some interesting news on a true threat to this institution.

From The Daily Texan: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average divorce rate in the United States is 47.9 percent. A recent study conducted by University of Iowa sociology professor Jennifer Glass found that conservative Christians, especially those in the South, are among the groups most likely to divorce.

Presenting her findings at the University of Texas at Austin Glass said, “Politically and religiously conservative states, especially in the Deep South, exhibit higher divorce rates than politically and religiously liberal states in the Northeast and Midwest.”

Glass identified a number of factors contributing to this statistical reality. She suggested that the prohibition of sex before marriage among Christians leads to marriage at an earlier age, and compared that to lower divorce rates among residents in more liberal and less religious areas who are more likely to live together for extended periods of time.

Glass also noted that teachings against abortion and birth control lead to “shotgun weddings,” which accelerate young conservative Protestants into adulthood and early marriages. She compared those teen marriages to the average age of marriage for American women, which is 27.



The study also noted that young married conservatives in southern states have higher divorce rates because of financial concerns and problems relating to lower degrees of education and increased unemployment.

Despite these findings, Equality NC remains committed to the ideal that all citizens in North Carolina deserve access to the same rights (even conservative Christians, though are focus is on the marginalized and commonly discriminated against LGBT community). To help us work to stop the current attempt to make LGBT North Carolinians into second-class citizens, click here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Face[book]ing LGBT Relationships

Facebook has added "civil union" and "domestic partnership" to its "relationship status" options in user profiles, following an anti-bullying initiative called 'Network of Support' in consultation with LGBT groups that began last October.

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said, "Today, Facebook sent a clear message in support of gay and lesbian couples to users across the globe. By acknowledging the relationships of countless loving and committed same-sex couples in the U.S. and abroad, Facebook has set a new standard of inclusion for social media. As public support for marriage equality continues to grow, we will continue to work for the day when all couples have the opportunity to marry and have their relationship recognized by their community, both online and off."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

LGBTs in Black History Month

February is Black History Month, which means it's also the month to celebrate black LGBT folks in history. Check out BlackedOUT History:

"
LGBTQ Black folks have been major contributors to society and social justice movements for hundreds of years! From the famous scientist George Washington Carver to the legendary blues singer Ma Rainey – LGBTQ Black figures have made long-lasting contributions and have had a significant influence on U.S. culture. It is important for GSAs to celebrate the contributions of Black LGBTQ people and to advocate for the visibility of these important historical figures. Recognizing how interconnected our oppressions are makes our movements stronger.

One way GSA clubs do this is by celebrating Black History Month every February. If your school has no Black History Month celebration, organize with your GSA to start an official commemoration at your school. Work with administration and staff, student groups, and others to ensure the lives of LGBTQ Black historical figures are included in your school’s activities.

Here are some helpful ideas of activities you can do at your school during Black History Month:

Teach Your School!

  • Create a PowerPoint presentation highlighting important Black LGBTQ leaders and present it to your classes. Make sure to include leaders that are not as well known. You can do your presentations in ALL of your classes because LGBTQ Black folks have made contributions in EVERY subject including music, literature, art, science, health and more.
  • Train your social studies and English teachers on Black LGBTQ authors and historical figures and suggest ways they could incorporate them and their biographies into their lessons.
  • Work with your school librarian or administration to make sure there is a Black History display board that includes LGBTQ people, as well as books by important authors like Langston Hughes and Lorraine Hansberry.
  • Organize with other student clubs, such as the Black Student Union, to make sure the month’s activities include LGBTQ leaders. To learn more about building successful coalitions, see our resource Coalition Building.
  • Invite speakers to your school who can talk about LGBTQ Black history.
  • Organize discussions on the current events related to LGBTQ Black folks that demonstrate how homophobia, transphobia, and racism affect their lives today.
  • Highlight local LGBTQ Black people who have given back to your community.
  • Screen a film like Brother Outsider, which documents the life of Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin.

Be Creative!

  • Organize a poster art campaign or contest featuring LGBTQ Black historical figures. Create a display of pictures and biographies. You can find a list of some of these leaders at our BlackedOUT History page on GSA Network’s website.
  • Create an LGBTQ Black History Timeline and display it in your school.
  • Use your school’s public announcements to share stories! Play sound clips from legendary blues singers Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. Read poetry from Audre Lorde and Countee Cullen, or read selections of important speeches by Bayard Rustin.

Use Social Media!

  • Highlight important figures via your GSA’s social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Make videos, post photos, tweet, and even make a Facebook or Wiki page for your favorite icon.
  • Learn about and celebrate the LGBTQ Black art of voguing! Host a workshop, watch videos online as a group, and research the history of this dance art.

Remember that having one month of commemoration of the lives of LGBTQ Black people is just the beginning! Have ongoing conversations with your GSA about why it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ people of color to society and to social justice movements and why it’s important to build an anti-racist GSA. For more information, see our resource Building Anti Racist GSAs.

Most of all, have fun learning, teaching and celebrating some of our most important LGBTQ leaders and community members in history!


LGBTQ Black Historical Figures

Name

Date-of-Birth
Date-of-Death

Profession
Quote
Alvin Ailey Jr.
Jan. 5, 1931
Dec. 1, 1989
Choreographer “I am trying to show the world that we are all human beings and that color is not important. What is important is the quality of our work.”
John Amaechi
Nov. 26, 1970
Pro Basketball Player “I am gay, black, British…and I am now asserting my activism.”
James Baldwin
Aug. 2, 1924
Nov. 30, 1987
Author "I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."
Josephine Baker
June 3, 1906
Apr. 12, 1975
Singer and Dancer “Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one's soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.”
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Dec. 22, 1960
Aug. 12, 1988
Graffiti Artist "SAMO© as an end to mindwash religion, nowhere politics, and bogus philosophy"
Gladys Bentley Aug. 12, 1907
Jan. 18, 1960
Blues Singer
Octavia Butler June 22, 1947
Feb. 26, 2006
Author "People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn't bother me. It's other people doing the calling that bothers me."
George Washington Carver July 12, 1864
Jan. 5, 1943
Scientist “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”
RuPaul Andre Charles Nov. 17, 1960 Actor, Dancer and TV Show Host “What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do. I don’t choose projects so people don’t see me as one thing or another. I choose projects that excite me. I think the problem is that people refuse to understand what drag is outside of their own belief system.”
Countee Cullen May 30, 1903
Jan. 9, 1946
Poet “My poetry, I think, has become the way of my giving out what music is within me.”
Lee Daniels Dec. 24, 1959 Film Director
Angela Davis Jan. 26, 1944 Civil Rights Activist “Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary's life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.”
Ruth Ellis July 23, 1899 Oct. 5, 2000 Activist “I never expected I’d be 100 years old. It didn’t even come to my mind.”
Sharon Farmer June 10, 1951 White House Photographer “Never turn down a chance to show what you can do.”
Peter Gomes May 22, 1942 Theologian “There can be no light without the darkness out of which it shines.”
Mabel Hampton May 2, 1902
Oct. 26, 1989
Lesbian Pioneer "I, Mabel Hampton, have been a lesbian all my life, for eighty-two years, and I am proud of myself and my people. I would like all my people to be free in this country and all over the world, my gay people and my black people."
Lorraine Hansberry May 19, 1930
Jan. 12, 1965
Author and Playwright “All real and lasting change starts first on the inside and works it way through to the outside. Politically speaking, each person being the change we wish to see in the world is the only stance that can make a lasting difference. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
E.Lynn Harris June 20, 1955
July 23, 2009
Author “I want people to know they don’t have to live their lives in a permanent ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ existence. Truth is a powerful tool.”
Sherry Harris Feb. 27, 1965 Politician “All real and lasting change starts first on the inside and works it way through to the outside. Politically speaking, each person being the change we wish to see in the world is the only stance that can make a lasting difference. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Billie Holiday Apr. 7, 1915
July 17, 1959
Singer "A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted."
Langston Hughes Feb. 1, 1902
May 22, 1967
Poet “Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly, Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow."
Zora Neale Hurston Jan. 7, 1891
Jan. 28, 1960
Author and Folklorist “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”
Bill T. Jones Feb. 15, 1952 Dancer and Choreographer "Living and dying is not the big issue. The big issue is what you’re going to do with your time while you are here."
Representative Barbara Jordan (D-Texas) Feb. 21, 1936
Jan. 17, 1996
Politician "My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution."
Audre Lorde Feb. 18, 1934
Nov. 17, 1992
Author “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
Marsha P. Johnson 1945
July 6, 1992
Transgender Activist and co-founder of S.T.A.R. When asked what the P stood for in her name, she replied "Pay it No Mind."
June Jordan

July 9, 1936

June 14, 2002

Activist, Poet, Teacher "Bisexuality means I am free and I am as likely to want to love a woman as I am likely to want to love a man, and what about that? Isn't that what freedom implies?"
Miss Major Unknown Transgender, Public Health and Prison Activist
Gertrude "Ma" Rainey Apr. 26, 1886
Dec. 22, 1939
Singer "Went out last night with a crowd of my friends,
They must have been women, 'cause I don't like no men.
Wear my clothes just like a fan, Talk to gals just like any old man
'Cause they say I do it, ain't nobody caught me, Sure got to prove it on me."
Bayard Rustin Mar. 17, 1910
Aug. 24, 1987
Civil Rights Activist "We are all one. And if we don't know it, we will learn it the hard way."
Bessie Smith

Unknown
July 1892
Sept. 26, 1937

Singer “It's a long old road, but I know I'm gonna find the end.”
Sheryl Swoopes Mar. 25, 1971 WNBA Player "No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back."
Wanda Sykes Mar. 7, 1964 Comedian "If you feel like there's something out there that you're supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it."
AndrĂ© Leon Talley Oct. 16,1949 Fashion Editor “It's not about canceling shows, but initiating things on an individual level. When much is given to you, much is expected. If you're an honest American, you can't wake up and not be affected by the neglect of the government after Katrina. You can't be an honest American and not think about it every day.”
Alice Walker Feb. 9, 1944 Author and Feminist “The truest and most enduring impulse I have is simply to write.”
Phill Wilson Apr. 29, 1956 AIDS Activist "The price of the ticket for life is to leave the world in a different place than you found it, to leave the world a better place than you found it."
Jacqueline Woodson Feb. 12, 1963 Author “I think it's important that everyday we think about the work we need to do to make this world a better place. I mean, we should wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about tomorrow's tasks. There's an awful lot of change needing to be made around here.”


Black LGBTQI History Timeline

by In Our Own Words Project

1782: Deborah Sampson disguises herself as a male and enlists in the Continental forces under the name of Robert Shurtleff. Sampson’s gender is discovered when she is hospitalized for wounds suffered in battle near Tarrytown, NY. Some historians believe that Deborah Sampson was African American.

1790: George Middleton, leader of The Bucks of America, an all-black Revolutionary War regiment, and Louis Clapion, a French mulatto hairdresser build and live together in the oldest standing house on Beacon Hill, at 5 Pinckney St.

1860: Edmonia Lewis, African American/Native American sculptor, known for her masculine dress, studies and works in Boston. It was in Boston that she meets the group of feminists and artists, headed by actress Charlotte Cushman, with whom she is to live for several years in Rome.

1880: Angelina Weld Grimke, (often confused with her famous aunt, the white abolitionist Angelina Grimke Weld), is born in Boston into a distinguished biracial family. Grimke becomes a teacher and a poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Her love poems are written to women. “…Oh Mamie, if you only knew how my heart beats when I think of you, and it yearns and pants to gaze– if only for one second– upon your lovely face.”

1920: An artistic movement in New York that becomes known as the Harlem Renaissance...

To see a full timeline, visit In Our Own Words by the Metropolitan Community Churches.


More Resources!Photo courtesty of Rustin.org

Photo of Bayard Rustin with School Children: Courtesy of Getty Images
Photo of Bayard Rustin Teaching: Courtesy of Bayard Rustin Film Project"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentiny Activism

GetEQUAL and Marriage Equality USA are staging protests across the country to show the inequality in our nation's marriage laws.

"Over the weekend and this afternoon, LGBT activists across the country took action at marriage counters and city halls across the country, drawing attention to the fact that loving couples – some of whom have been together for decades – are still living as second-class citizens without the right to marry."

One of those protests is occurring right here in Asheville, NC.

“Today, we're so proud of all the people taking actions across the country,” said Robin McGehee, director of GetEQUAL. “We're thrilled with how many people across the country have decided that enough is enough, and have committed to organizing in their own communities in order to draw attention to their desire to marry the person they love.”

Molly McKay, media director of Marriage Equality USA, said, “The actions that have taken place across the country are just one more way that we are bringing discrimination out of the shadows and into the light, highlighting the loving relationships that are thriving throughout the country despite government-sanctioned discrimination.”

GetEQUAL will be posting photos and video on its Facebook page throughout the day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CBS Sports Honors Late Out Pro Hockey Player

Last year we had this blog:

Hockey, Homophobia, and A Father's Love for His Gay Son

This year, CBS featured a retrospective on this aforementioned gay son, who was an out pro hockey player when he died.

From www.towleroad.com

Burke

In a touching CBS Sports segment, Miami University hockey players and coaches remember Brendan Burke, who made international news with his coming out story, and died a year ago in an apparently weather-related car accident in Indiana.