On CNN: Hate Group Leader Bryan Fischer Says Nazis Were Gay And Gays Are Like Cyanide. Anchor Ends Interview.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/on-cnn-bryan-fischer-says-gays-are-nazis-and-are-like-cyanide-cnn-anchor-ends-interview/media/2012/10/16/51365

by David Badash
on October 16, 2012

Bryan Fischer today repeated his claim to CNN anchor Carol Costello that gays are Nazis in a discussion about the eleven-year old annual “Mix It Up Day,” an opportunity to teach tolerance to children in schools. Fischer attacked gays, the Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC), and Mix It Up Day, interrupting Costello several times and lying throughout the interview. Costello finally did what every LGBTQ person, equality ally, and decent human being in America has been waiting for the main stream media to do to Bryan Fischer and other hate groups members: She said, “that’s just not true,” and ended the interview.

Mix It Up Day “is a thinly-veiled attempt to push the normalization of homosexual behavior in public schools and to eventually punish students who express a Judeo-Christian view of homosexuality,” Fischer claimed. This morning on Twitter Fischer called the Southern Poverty Law Center a “pro-bullying hate group.”

READ: Fischer: “Hitler Was A Homosexual”

“What parents need to understand, this is about pressuring public schools and students in public schools to accept homosexuality as a normal, healthy alternative to heterosexuality,” Fischer told Costello.

“You know, it’s interesting to me they’re doing this on October 30, the day before Halloween, and what this program is, it’s like poisoned Halloween candy. Somebody takes a candy bar, injects it with cyanide, the label looks fine, it looks innocuous, it looks fine, it’s not until you internalize it that you realize how toxic it is. And we want parents to be aware that any program that any program that comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center is going to be toxic to their students’ moral health.”

Fischer claimed the Southern Poverty Law Center is about bullying, silencing, and intimidating Christian students.

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/on-cnn-bryan-fischer-says-gays-are-nazis-and-are-like-cyanide-cnn-anchor-ends-interview/media/2012/10/16/51365

Doma ruled unconstitutional for denying benefits to same-sex couples

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/25/doma-ruled-unconstitutional-denying-benefits

District court judge in California is third federal judge to issue a similar ruling over 1996 Defence of Marriage Act

in Los Angeles
guardian.co.uk, Friday 25 May 2012

A federal judge has boosted the campaign for gay marriage by overturning a law which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples.

Claudia Wilken, a district court judge for the northern district of California, ruled on Thursday that congress acted unconstitutionally in discriminating against gay couples in the 1996 Defence of Marriage Act (Doma).

Wilken became the first judge to rule against the controversial legislation since President Barack Obama threw his weight behind gay marriage earlier this month.

Gay rights campaigners welcomed the ruling. “This adds to the momentum for overturning this radical and discriminatory law,” said Evan Wolfson, of Freedom to Marry, an advocacy group.

Wilken, a Clinton-era appointee based in Oakland, a liberal bastion, was the third federal judge to find Doma unconstitutional following a ruling by judge Joseph Tauro in Massachusetts in 2010 and one by judge Jeffrey White in California earlier this year. That ruling is under appeal and is due to go before a circuit court of appeals in September. Thursday’s ruling is also expected to be appealed.

Doma, which was championed by opponents of gay marriage, defines marriage as “a legal union of a one man and one woman as husband and wife”. It withholds multiple federal benefits, including joint tax filing and immigration sponsorship, from gay couples legally married under state law.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/25/doma-ruled-unconstitutional-denying-benefits

Posted in Equal Treatment, Gay, Homophobia, Lesbian, LGBT/T. Comments Off

A Message to Girls About Religious Men Who Fear You

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/message-to-girls-about-re_b_1518849.html


05/21/2012

Dear Girls,

You are powerful beyond words, because you threaten to unravel the control of corrupt men who abuse their authority.

In the United States last week there were people who wouldn’t let boys play a baseball championship final because a girl was on the opposing team. She’d already had to sit out two games because of their demands. Why? Did she, a competitive athlete and a member of her team, chose to? Was she being good and respectful when she acceded to their demands? Why were they not asked to forfeit their games? What messages were sent to her and her teammates? This is not complicated. It sent the wrong messages. Confusing messages. Incoherent messages. You need to know that she should have been allowed to play and not have had to sit out two games. These people, and others like them, all over the world, led exclusively by religious men, are scared of you and will not let you be. You worry them constantly.

If you were not powerful, they would not take you so seriously and they take you very, very seriously. You should, too. You can set the world on fire.

It doesn’t feel this way, I know. If that were true, you think, I would not have to sit out baseball games out of respect for religious beliefs that require my subservience and call it a gift. I would not be turned away from serving God with my brothers. I would not be taught that I’m an evil temptress or the virtue keeper of boys. I would not have virginity wielded as a weapon against me and my worth determined by my womb. I would not be spat on and called a whore by men when I am eight because my arms are bare. I would not be poisoned for going to school. I would not be forced, at the age of 9, to carry twins borne of child torture. I would not have to kill myself to avoid marrying my rapist. If this were true, they would pursue my rapists instead of stoning me for their crimes. I, and thousands others, would not be killed for “honor.”

Girls, these things happen because there are men with power who fear you and want to control you. I know that I have equated relatively benign baseball games with deadly, honor killings but, whereas one is a type of daily, seemingly harmless micro-aggression and the other is a lethal macro-aggression they share the same roots. The basis of both, and escalating actions in between, is the same: To teach you, and all girls subject to these men and their authority, a lesson: “Know your place.” I also know that there are places where girls are marginalized and hurt that are not religious. But all over the world these hypocritical, pious men, in their shamefully obvious wrongness, represent the sharp-edged tip of an iceberg, the visible surface of a deep and vast harm. They employ the full range of their earthly and divine influence to make sure, as early as possible, that you and the boys around you understand what they want your relative roles to be. Where there are patriarchal religions girls, in dramatically varying and extreme degrees, disproportionately suffer. Understand these men for what they are: bullies. Do not internalize what they would have you believe.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/message-to-girls-about-re_b_1518849.html

Minnesota school board labels conversations about LGBT students ‘controversial’

From LGBTQ Nation:    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/minnesota-school-board-labels-conversations-about-lgbt-students-controversial/


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — During its meeting before a packed room with a standing room only crowd Monday, the Anoka-Hennepin Minnesota School District’s board proposed a new “Controversial Topics Curriculum Policy” to replace the current “neutral policy” that prohibits the district’s teachers from talking about homosexuality in the classroom.

Advocates and allies of LGBTQ students objected saying that the policy does not specify what those “controversial topics” are.

Tammy Aaberg, whose son Justin was one of nearly a dozen Anoka-Hennepin students who committed suicide after anti-gay bullying since the 2009 school year, wasn’t happy about calling the policy “controversial.”

In a statement she read before the board, Aaberg told officials, “I read the policy and my heart started breaking all over again. Because now we’re going from neutral on sexual orientation to labeling LBGT kids as controversial.”

Others seemed confused about what can or cannot be discussed in the classroom, which is why they urged the board to clarify the proposed policy before voting on it next month.

Opponents of any changes to the current policy also voiced their concerns, one woman telling the board, “We were a model for the nation at protecting kids from homosexual propaganda. The sexual orientation curriculum policy is an excellent policy.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/minnesota-school-board-labels-conversations-about-lgbt-students-controversial/

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Kids Struggle on the Streets

From ABC NEWS:    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/national-report-16-million-youth-homeless-experts-40/story?id=15147566&singlePage=true#.TuflPPLrHA6

Dec. 13, 2011
Tiffany “LIFE” Cocco has been homeless for seven years, living on park benches, stoops and New York City’s A train.

Her parents died of AIDS in the 1980s and so Cocco was raised by an aunt and uncle who disapproved of how she dressed and led her life — as a lesbian.

“I was kicked out of the house at 15,” said Cocco, a poet whose chosen middle name means “literary, intelligent, forward, engaged.”

She dropped out of high school after being bullied, rebelled and was forced to keep her sexuality a secret. Cocco slipped into a depression so deep she nearly killed herself on an overdose of pain killers, NyQuil and Tylenol PM.

“I didn’t trust anyone at all,” said Cocco, who is now 24. “I tried to tell myself I was strong, but deep down inside I was falling apart.”

A report released this week by the National Center on Family Homelessness, “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” finds one in 45 American children 18 and under — 1.6 million — live on the street, in homeless shelters, motels or with other families last year.

Continue reading at:   http://abcnews.go.com/Health/national-report-16-million-youth-homeless-experts-40/story?id=15147566&singlePage=true#.TuflPPLrHA6

Federal Court Strikes Down DOMA Section 3

From Glad (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders)

http://www.glad.org/current/news-detail/federal-court-strikes-down-doma-section-3/

July 08, 2010

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional with respect to claims brought by seven married same-sex couples and three widowers from Massachusetts. Under the ruling, the plaintiffs are entitled to the same federal spousal benefits and protections as every other married couple.

The ruling stems from GLAD’s lawsuit Gill et al v. Office of Personnel Management et al, filed in March 2009.

“Today the Court simply affirmed that our country won’t tolerate second-class marriages,” says Mary Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director, who argued the case. “I’m pleased that Judge Tauro recognized that married same-sex couples and surviving spouses have been seriously harmed by DOMA and that the plaintiffs deserve the same opportunities to care and provide for each other and for their children that other families enjoy. This ruling will make a real difference for countless families in Massachusetts.”

Read the decision.

Read GLAD’s press release.

Fighting for a hate-free union

By Christine Darosa

From Socialist Workerhttp://socialistworker.org/2010/03/30/fighting-for-a-hate-free-union

Christine Darosa reports on the fight of a transgender union activist in Service Employees International Union Local 1021 to remove a union supervisor from his position because of his reported prejudice.

March 30, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO–On the heels of the reform slate “Change 1021″ victory in Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021’s first elections [2] comes another victory: a supervisor in the union’s San Francisco office has been fired for what activists say is his prejudice.

Andre Spearman, one of the staff supervisors in the Union’s San Francisco office, had reportedly created a hostile work environment through a heavy-handed, top-down approach to working with both staff and rank-and-file membership, combined with blatant disrespect of the membership and staff.

Gabriel Haaland, Local 1021’s political coordinator for San Francisco, and a target of what he calls Spearman’s harassment, described Spearman as having “a very anti-membership-participation perspective” in a progressive local where the membership has historically been very engaged. In fact, Haaland feels that Spearman’s presence and conduct were part of a systematic effort to tamp down rank-and-file activity and involvement in advance of the election.

Over time, Haaland says that an obvious pattern of dismissiveness and derision emerged, though it was difficult to challenge due to Spearman’s abusive management style. As workers in the office began to share their experiences, it became clear that Haaland in particular seemed to receive an extra share of abuse due to his identity as a transgender man.

For example, when Haaland was not in the room, Spearman would refer to Gabriel as “he” in a sneering, belittling way–treatment Spearman also reserved for a transgender woman in the rank and file who crossed his path.

In November, Haaland filed a grievance on behalf of the unionized staff with SEIU management. When the grievance was ignored, he filed a complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION is still all-too-common for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. A 2006 San Francisco study by the Transgender Law Center (TLC) and Bay Guardian newspaper found that 57 percent of transgender people surveyed had experienced employment discrimination in some form, despite the city having had transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws since 1994. Further, only 12 percent of those surveyed had filed a formal complaint.

Haaland, a longtime local progressive figure, has been involved in drafting protections and raising visibility around the harassment of transgender workers, and was part of the group of people who worked to get the TLC/Bay Guardian study underway.

Still, it took Haaland some time to make the decision to file the complaint against Spearman. This was due in part, he explained, to not wanting to give ammunition to union-bashers and his belief that, surely, the union could do better–but also in part to the personal difficulty of taking this step.

If deciding to file a complaint was so challenging for Haaland, it is clear how much harder it would be for people in more precarious situations or those who are isolated in their communities. With the threat of repercussions–such as job loss in a population where unemployment is as high as 75 percent–it is easy to understand why so few people might come forward.

Haaland said that when he found out that the Change 1021 slate had won 26 out of the 28 contested union positions, he knew immediately that the new leadership would be responsive to the issues raised in the grievance. He “knew and respected” the people who won, having worked alongside them in the union for years, he explained.

As Larry Bradshaw, the new third vice president of Local 1021, commented recently:

[M]ost of us that were elected to office on the reform slate knew that there were many internal problems with staff and staff management, but we had no idea that there was this sort of harassment occurring. The first we heard about it was when we read about it in the local press a couple days before we took office, and our new rank-and-file chief elected officer moved within a couple days to remove Mr. Spearman from his position in the union.

Haaland feels that Local 1021 is now returning to the “long tradition of progressive, democratic unionism” that he had signed on to when he took his job with SEIU. He also feels that Change 1021’s win is connected to the actions happening elsewhere at the grassroots–from labor to the LGBT movement to the March 4 Day of Action against the budget cuts in California.

“Things are different now in a number of different contexts. Old ways of doing things are shutting down,” he said. “It excites me…We’re winning a lot–in transformative ways, not in traditional ways.”

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Material on this Web site is licensed by SocialistWorker.org, under a Creative Commons (by-nc-nd 3.0) [3] license, except for articles that are republished with permission. Readers are welcome to share and use material belonging to this site for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are attributed to the author and SocialistWorker.org.

  1. [1] http://socialistworker.org/department/Labor
  2. [2] http://socialistworker.org/2010/03/09/sweeping-victory-for-seiu-reformers
  3. [3] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0
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