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)
(Running late this morning, so I’ll be adding stories here over the next half hour or so)
- Tomorrow will be the Senate’s cloture vote on the Hate Crimes legislation bill, sponsored by Ted Kennedy (among others). Here’s a portion Kennedy’s floor statement on the bill:
Hate crimes are a form of domestic terrorism. They send the poisonous message that some Americans deserve to be victimized solely because of who they are. Like other acts of terrorism, hate crimes have an impact far greater than the impact on the individual victims. They are crimes against entire communities, against the whole nation, and against the fundamental ideals on which America was founded. They are a violation of all our country stands for.
Given the Senate Democrats’ inability to force cloture on controversial legislation, I’m not entirely convinced this will survive the vote, although I don’t know what kind of support the bill currently has. Hate Crimes legislation has two major ideological opponents: the far right, who believe this grants some people ‘special’ status, and libertarians, who believe this constitutes ‘thought police’-style government.
- About time! The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has finally added gender identity and expression to its non-discrimination policy, joining the some 2/3 of colleges and universities around the country that already do. The move effectively creates a safe workspace environment for transgender employees. Michigan’s Triangle Foundation has more on the 5-2 vote.
- The biggest gay-related news this week was undoubtedly Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s assertion that there were no gays in Iran. Well, it’s no wonder.
You can show your support (not of Ahmadinejad) by checking out HOMAN, the Iranian GLBT organization that operates out of California and links to news and resources around the world. Check out especially the CBC documentary Out in Iran, which can watched in its entirety on HOMAN’s website. Here’s part one: