The Reality of the NYPD Patrol Guide Changes for Trans* and Gender Nonconforming People

From Huffington Post:


It has been a few weeks since the NYPD announced on June 12th that they are amending their patrol guide to include information on how to treat transgender and gender nonconforming people.

I am an abolitionist; I believe that the prison industrial complex is not serving anyone, especially people of color and gender nonconforming folks. While I applaud the work that many people, including the NYPD LGBT Advisory Panel and LGBT advocacy groups throughout the city have done over the years, I am still concerned.

The changes to the NYPD patrol guidelines also make the NYPD consistent with the city’s Human Rights Law. In April 2002, the New York City Human Rights Law, located in Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, was amended to make it clear that an individual’s gender identity is an area of protection under the law. It has been clear since 2002 that gender nonconforming people are included.

However, the NYPD seems to follow its own set of guidelines and this change to the patrol guidelines was necessary. Theses changes are something that I and many others have been calling for for years. The new guidelines protect gay and lesbian people as well by prohibiting the use of discourteous or disrespectful remarks regarding a person’s sexual orientation in addition to a person’s gender identity/expression.

However, these guidelines do not stop people from being stopped and frisked. In October 2011, when I was arrested on Brooklyn Bridge as part of an Occupy Wall Street action, I was arrested because of my political stance, not because of who I am. I was mistreated because I am trans but my arrest was not because I am gender nonconforming. According to the NYCLU, in the first three months of 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by the police under stop and frisk 203,500 times. 54% of those stopped in the beginning of 2012 were black, 33% latino and 89% were found innocent. We need to all band together and be clear that we do not want to live in a police state.

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Rift Forms in Movement as Belief in Gay ‘Cure’ Is Renounced

From The New York Times:

Published: July 6, 2012

For more than three decades, Exodus International has been the leading force in the so-called ex-gay movement, which holds that homosexuals can be “cured” through Christian prayer and psychotherapy.

Exodus leaders claimed its network of ministries had helped tens of thousands rid themselves of unwanted homosexual urges. The notion that homosexuality is not inborn but a choice was seized on by conservative Christian groups who oppose legal protections for gay men and lesbians and same-sex marriage.

But the ex-gay movement has been convulsed as the leader of Exodus, in a series of public statements and a speech to the group’s annual meeting last week, renounced some of the movement’s core beliefs. Alan Chambers, 40, the president, declared that there was no cure for homosexuality and that “reparative therapy” offered false hopes to gays and could even be harmful. His statements have led to charges of heresy and a growing schism within the network.

“For the last 37 years, Exodus has been a bright light, arguably the brightest one for those with same-sex attraction seeking an authentically Christian hope,” said Andrew Comiskey, founder and director of Desert Stream Ministries, based in Kansas City, Mo., one of 11 ministries that defected. His group left Exodus in May, Mr. Comiskey said in an e-mail, “due to leader Alan Chambers’s appeasement of practicing homosexuals who claim to be Christian” as well as his questioning of the reality of “sexual orientation change.”

In a phone interview Thursday from Orlando, Fla., where Exodus has its headquarters, Mr. Chambers amplified on the views that have stirred so much controversy. He said that virtually every “ex-gay” he has ever met still harbors homosexual cravings, himself included. Mr. Chambers, who left the gay life to marry and have two children, said that gay Christians like himself faced a lifelong spiritual struggle to avoid sin and should not be afraid to admit it.

He said Exodus could no longer condone reparative therapy, which blames homosexuality on emotional scars in childhood and claims to reshape the psyche. And in a theological departure that has caused the sharpest reaction from conservative pastors, Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven.

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Google: ‘Legalize Love’ campaign isn’t about gay marriage

From The Washington Post:


The Internet has been buzzing this weekend over a reported announcement by Google that it is launching a worldwide push to legalize same-sex marriage. However, the tech giant says its new “Legalize Love” campaign isn’t about gay marriage at all, but rather supporting workers in countries that criminalize homosexuality.

“‘Legalize Love’ is a campaign to promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement.

The internationally focused campaign will launch Monday at an LGBT conference in London. Ernst & Young and Citigroup have signed on as partners, the spokesperson said.

CNN reports that Legalize Love “will focus on countries such as Singapore, where certain homosexual activities are illegal, and Poland, which has no legal recognition of same-sex couples.”

The confusion over the focus of the campaign appears to have started with a post at, which reported that Google hoped to inspire “countries to legalize marriage for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people around the world.”

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Most fraud is committed by bosses

From The Guardian UK:

Research reveals managers are responsible for 61% of all money taken from within companies, or £206m, Sunday 8 July 2012

If fraud is usually an inside job, most of it is perpetrated by the bosses of companies involved, according to research by accountants KPMG.

Fraud committed from within organisations by management or employees made up 61% of the value of all cases in the accountancy firm’s latest fraud barometer, covering the first six months of 2012.

Finance directors, chief executives and other senior managers were responsible for 55%, by value, of all the cases KPMG analysed. The level of fraud by management has remained stubbornly stable, at £206m.

According to the report, losses from UK fraud dropped sharply to £374m between January and June, from £1.1bn in the same period last year as fewer “super fraud” cases, including large VAT carousel frauds, were finalised.

The number of cases being prosecuted rose to 136 from 131 in 2011.

Hitesh Patel, UK forensic partner at KPMG, said: “The extent and impact of fraud perpetrated from within businesses has historically been masked by a handful of exceptionally large cases coming to court, but the fall in such ‘super’ cases now shines a spotlight on the chronic and pernicious threat to businesses in these austere times.”

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Weimar America: Four Major Ways We’re Following In Germany’s Fascist Footsteps

From Alternet:

What happens when a mature industrial nation turns its back on democracy and lets its right-wing elite destroy the middle class? We’ve seen this movie before.

By Robert Cruickshank
July 5, 2012

What happens when a nation that was once an economic powerhouse turns its back on democracy and on its middle class, as wealthy right-wingers wage austerity campaigns and enable extremist politics?

It may sound like America in 2012. But it was also Germany in 1932.

Most Americans have never heard of the Weimar Republic, Germany’s democratic interlude between World War I and World War II. Those who have usually see it as a prologue to the horrors of Nazi Germany, an unstable transition between imperialism and fascism. In this view, Hitler’s rise to power is treated as an inevitable outcome of the Great Depression, rather than the result of a decision by right-wing politicians to make him chancellor in early 1933.

Historians reject teleological approaches to studying the past. No outcome is inevitable, even if some are more likely than others. Rather than looking for predictable outcomes, we ought to be looking to the past to understand how systems operate, especially liberal capitalist democracies. In that sense, Weimar Germany holds many useful lessons for contemporary Americans. In particular, there are four major points of similarity between Weimar Germany and Weimar America worth examining.

1. Austerity. Today’s German leaders preach the virtues of austerity. They justify their opposition to the inflationary, growth-creating policies that Europe desperately needs by pointing to the hyperinflation that occurred in 1923, and became one of the most enduring memories of the Weimar Republic. Yet the austerity policies enacted after the onset of the Depression produced the worst of Germany’s economic crisis, while also destabilizing the country’s politics. Cuts to wages, benefits and public programs dramatically worsened unemployment, hunger and suffering.

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Christo-Nazi Bryan Fischer: Government Should Mandate that Everyone Attend Church and Tax Those Who Don’t

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Let’s abolish retirement

From The Guardian UK:

The concept of retirement defines life by work – but we should be seeking a better balance for all ages, Monday 2 July 2012

Retirement is not as old as you think. According to the Bible, God expelled Adam from Paradise with the terrible words: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.” And that’s more or less how it was until about a hundred years ago. Most people worked till they died. Pensions in the UK date from 1908, and the cost of the first pension schemes was tiny, as the retirement age of 70 was 20 years beyond average life expectancy. Retirement was for heaven – if one had lived a virtuous life.

Work has remained central to our existence, despite the lengthening gap between work and death we call retirement. We are expected to work till our sixties and somehow make the best of the dead years to follow. This is a problem for both finance and occupation. Lord Wei wants to fill up retirement with “work, leisure, and service”. His National Retirement Service, proposed in a report published yesterday, would help retirees to “embrace a concept of retirement that is more active, economically and socially … saving taxpayers money and generating health and wealth for all generations“.

In my view this is to get it the wrong way round. We shouldn’t be aiming to extend the domain of work into old age, but to extend the domain of non-work into young age – that is, to abolish the concept of retirement altogether. A rich society no longer has the need to work its labour force into the grave. It already has “enough”.

In his futuristic essay “Economic possibilities for our grandchildren”, published in 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes thought that by now, we would not need to work more than a 15-hour week to secure a standard of life four or five times higher than in 1930.

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