Category: GLBT

in Other news… International Edition! (with bonus Barack)

Welcome to a weekly roundup of news related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise “other” community.

  • If you really need your heart broken today, check out the state of Iraqi LGBT, a group that has been running safe houses in Iraq for people who’d otherwise be targets for brutal anti-gay violence.  Two of their shelters are scheduled to close due to lack of funds, and a recent attempt to raise money yielded relatively slim results.  The situation in Iraq is dire:

    Violence against all the gay community has intensified sharply since late 2005, when Iraq’s leading Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, issued a fatwa (religious decree) which declared that gays and lesbians should be “killed in the worst, most severe way”.

    Though there are many crises in Iraq, this is a rare one that we can have a direct impact on, since the houses provide shelter for victims under threat of violence.  Read through the site if you have the stomach for it, and please consider making a donation to maintain the shelters.

  • Congratulations to Singapore, which just decriminalized sodomy…. Whoops: only if you’re straight!  The Singapore parliament finally released legal restrictions on oral and anal sex, provided the participants = one man + one woman. In a seriously bizarre statement, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the government could not allow decriminalization of anti-family homosexuality, but then delivered this nugget:

    Gays “are free to lead their lives and pursue their social activities,” the Prime Minister said, citing the existence of gay websites and gay bars…

    Lee said keeping the statute unchanged, while not aggressively enforcing it, remained the best option.

    (h/t Towleroad)

  • In happier news, I’m sure you’ve heard that some character in some ludicrously popular series was apparently gay.  Major props to author J. K. Rowling, who just assured that her novels will be burned in schools for many decades to come.

    Seriously, major props to her: there’s no reason she had to go back and announce that a dead character in a completed series was gay, other than to stick it to the fundies.  Maybe I’ll actually read her books now, in gratitude!

in Other news…

Welcome to a weekly roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise “Other” community.

First, a friendly PSA: tomorrow is National Coming Out Day.  There are two very important things that members of the queer community can do: 1. come out to people who don’t already know, and 2. remind people who do.  As someone (I forget who) at the yearlykos LGBT caucus noted, even the friends and family who already know don’t intuitively realize that being queer is a 24/7, 365 day a year proposition: it helps to remind them that your difficulties didn’t end when they accepted you.  Good advice, as far as I’m concerned.

In the meantime, a more stylish PSA from GLAAD, featuring some actor dude:

News and stuff below the fold:

Friday Philosophy: I am a Lesbian

My partner and I spent an hour on Wednesday with the college’s chaplain, getting a start on the design of our civil union ceremony.  We live in New Jersey and have been domestic partners since this state provided that acknowledgment of our relationship and on October 20th will upgrade that designation to civil union.  Some day, we hope to have that designation changed to “married.” 

You see, regardless of what people have been saying about transfolks, we do have sexual orientations.  Most of us are members of our GLB communities either before or after our transitions…or both.

in Other news…

Welcome to a weekly roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and otherwise “Other” community.

  • First openly gay person to have a celestial body named after him?  The honor goes to George Takei, famous for his role as Star Trek‘s Hikaru Sulu, who came out in 2005 and has been working as an LGBT activist ever since – And now his name will grace the asteroid formerly known as 1994 GT9. (h/t Mombian, also mentioned in ek’s Morning News) By the way, if you’ve never seen Takei’s hilarious response to Tim Hardaway’s anti-gay comments, watch it now!
  • Senator Barack Obama has called on President Bush to reconsider his veto threat (yeah, right!) against the Hate Crimes Act, which recently passed in the Senate.  Obama was one of the bill’s co-sponsors.  In other candidate news: gaining some ground since his gaffes at the HRC-sponsored debate, Governor Bill Richardson has said he’d refuse an honorary chairmanship of the Boy Scouts of America, on the grounds of their discriminatory policies.
  • You know we’re achieving progress when we’re upgraded from comparisons to animal-lovers and murderers to comparisons to… kleptomaniacs!  The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church made the comparison in a speech yesterday in front of the Council of Europe (h/t Towleroad):

    Attempts are made to justify homosexuality by calling it a disease, the patriarch said. Yet kleptomania can also be considered a disease, he argued. “Why then no one advertises kleptomania while homosexuality gets advertised via gay parades?” he said.
      “It is advertisement that is being forced on people who are a very long way from it,” Alexy said.

    Dear Alesha (can I call you Alesha?): Your anti-gay speech is also advertisement that is being forced on people who are a very long way from it.  But I suppose we shouldn’t expect better from former KGB, now should we?

More below…

in Other news…

Welcome to a weekly round up of news related to the gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and otherwise “Other” community.

  • We’ll start off with grin-worthy story from the least expected place.  While attending the hyper-right wing “Family Impact Summit” (or: “How can we use neutral rhetoric to support an agenda of hate?”), Jim at Box Turtle Bulletin watched as a member of the audience – a lesbian and mother of a seven-year-old – put the panelists in their place.  And all she did was ask simple, straightforward questions that cut through the thick haze of b.s. that passes for ‘evidence’:

    Peter Sprigg [from the Family Research Council] jumped in to assert that “without question” the best family structure was headed by a man and a woman. But Cathy persisted:

    …But now you’re devaluing, what, over fifty percent of the children who live with one parent or that one parent as died or that they’re divorced and now they’re just living with one parent. You’re devaluing them and that’s not fair.

    Right on.  It’s a shame someone has to make such obvious points, but we’ve learned not to accept better from this crowd: Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’intrate.  At least for today, we can applaud one woman who braved that viper’s nest.

  • Here’s what happens when you don’t have enough brave people: fearing a split in the Anglican Church over ordination of gay clergy and recognition of same-sex marriage, the American branch has caved to the demands of bigotry and supported a moratorium on both.  This, despite widespread support for by U.S. Episcopal leaders:

    The leaders of the 2.3 million US Episcopalians, however, reaffirmed their commitment to the civil rights of homosexuals and opposed “actions or policies that does violence to them, encourages violence towards them or violates their dignity as children of God.”

    Nevertheless, violation of their dignity as children of God will continue “until a broader consensus is reached.”  (h/t Pam’s House Blend)

in Other news…

This is a weekly roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and otherwise “other” community.

  • Proof that non-heterosexual orientation is destructive towards a healthy military environment,… or not… the British Armed Forces are holding their third annual Joint Service LGBT conference.  Despite the repeated warnings of our brave Congressmen on this side of the Pond, you can almost hear the Queen’s military crumbling under the fear and suspicion that openly gay servicemembers create:

    All three services have approved the two day event, at which service personnel will be updated on developments in diversity training, participate in presentations and workshops, and take advantage of a social networking opportunity for personnel and their partners.

More below…

Friday Philosophy: The Closet

The Closet is a scary place, filled with gremlins and goblins and things that go bump in the night.  I lived there until I was 44.  Or maybe I didn’t.

Maybe it’s all a matter of point of view.

Recently I have been expressing my displeasure about people talking about “self-loathing, in the closet gays.”  Sure, they have couched it in terms of Republicans, but political party doesn’t change the adjectives which have been used.  They still hurt.

They still have displayed how much little understanding there is of people who are different in fundamental ways from others.

So do the gay jokes.  Or rather, the anti-gay jokes.  My ears don’t hear any difference.

in Other news…

Welcome to a weekly roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, trans, and otherwise “other” community.

  • After Bill Richardson’s much-discussed comment in the HRC debate, the discussion over choice as a factor in sexual orientation continues with a new study on “ex-gays” published by InterVarsity Press (h/t Box Turtle Bulletin).  Of course, they can be counted on for total scientific rigor:

    Founded in 1947 as an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing thoughtful Christian books that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of life.

    The relationship between sexuality, biology, environment, and choice has never been an easy one to understand, much less encapsulate in a single soundbite – but something makes me a bit suspicious of scientific studies in which science is not the end goal.  Is that fair?

More below the fold…

in Other news…

Welcome to a weekly news roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, trans, and otherwise “other” community.  I haven’t yet decided on the final form for this kind of roundup, so suggestions are much appreciated:

  • September will be a busy month for pro-LGBT legislation.  The Senate is considering a Hate Crimes Prevention act (also known as “The Matthew Shepard Act“), which would allow the Justice Department to aid local law enforcement in crimes motivated by bigotry.  The text of this one seems a little too ambiguous to be comfortable: the Justice Department would be able to claim jurisdiction over local law enforcement if it feels the locals are “unwilling” to prosecute hate crimes.  Nonetheless, it has an impressive list of supporters.

See below for more…

Load more