February 29, 2008 by savvyplanners.com ·
FORT LAUDERDALE – Police are investigating another possible hate crime against a gay person after a man was beaten outside a popular city diner amid a torrent of anti-gay slurs.
The newest case has spread fear among Fort Lauderdale’s gay community in a city that prides itself on being gay-friendly to attract tourism. The city made national news in gay media last week with the murder of Simmie Williams Jr., a 17-year-old killed in the 1000 block of Sistrunk Avenue.
He was found shot Friday morning moments after witnesses heard an argument between him and two men. Police are investigating the case as a possible hate crime.
Less than 24 hours later, Fort Lauderdale resident Melbourne Brunner was beaten outside The Floridian 24-hour diner by a man who shouted anti-gay slurs at him and his partner.
The pair were eating breakfast at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday when the man walked up and began shouting at the two, according to a police report. At one point, the man made a violent motion with his hands, saying, “this is how I break faggots’ necks,” the report said.Brunner and his partner left the diner, but the man followed and blocked him from getting into his car.”He punched me in the face. I hit the sidewalk,” Brunner said Tuesday.
February 26, 2008 by savvyplanners.com ·
photo source: transgriotblog
“Well, as the gay/bi Constable says “If the police can be against you, what about the civilians?”
From the BLOG of the ever-insightful Monica Roberts (TRANSGRIOT), comes a poem on the subject.
This is the most pathetic and blatant hate and discrimination on its face. No one can deny it. It says that the law can only protect you if you’re just like the lawmakers (read: heterosexual)? You’re not allowed to be who you are and receive the protection to which you are entitled as a citizen? This is yet another seething wound on the hands of that country.
However, it seems clear that they couldn’t care less about world opinion or who is watching. It appears that the government endorse and condone this savagery. This island is rumored to have the highest murder rate in the world and, therefore, not a place I feel comfortable in recommending or supporting.
I have gone on record as abstaining from booking anything in Jamaica for clients unless, and until, the government move to protect their own GLBTI citizens and the well-being of GLBTI visitors. I have made this a company policy for the good of our clientele. What’s right is right.
“In Germany they came first for the Communists and I didn’t speak up
because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me– and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
GSA Network, Transgender Law Center, and EQCA Saddened Over Shooting of Gay Jr. High Student in Oxnard
February 14, 2008 by savvyplanners.com ·
Advocates urge stronger bullying prevention efforts to prevent escalation of violence
SAN FRANCISCO – Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), the Transgender Law Center (TLC), and Equality California (EQCA) are deeply saddened by the shooting of Lawrence King, a gay junior high school student in Oxnard, CA. The 15-year-old victim was shot at E.O. Green Junior High School on Tuesday morning and pronounced brain dead yesterday around 2 pm.
According to reports from friends of Lawrence King speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the victim self-identified as gay, sometimes wore make-up and feminine jewelry, and was the target of ridicule by some of his classmates. Authorities are investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime, but have not confirmed if King was targeted by the shooter because of his sexual orientation or gender expression.
The shooting has been characterized as a “personal” attack and “bad blood” between two students, but advocates caution the violence at the Oxnard junior high is more aptly characterized as a tragic example of widespread homophobia in our schools. Every day young people are subject to bullying or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
While there were reports of the victim receiving support at school due to the bullying he endured, no other bullying prevention efforts have been reported. This terrible event sheds light on the need to provide better education for all students about respect for diversity and differences.
“With young people coming out at younger ages, our schools – especially our junior highs and middle schools – need to be proactive about teaching respect for diversity based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Carolyn Laub, executive director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network. “The tragic death of Lawrence King is a wake-up call for our schools to better protect students from harassment at school. As a society, we can prevent this kind of violence from happening.”
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, which is a grim reminder of the need for all of us to re-double our efforts to protect LGBT youth,” said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors.
California has laws protecting students from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in schools. The California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act was enacted in 2000, and further strengthened through the passage of AB 394 (The Safe Place to Learn Act) and SB 777 (The CA Student Civil Rights Act), which went into effect on January 1, 2008.
“We are proud to live in a state with laws aimed at preventing harassment and violence in schools,” said Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center “We need strong laws, policies, and programs to keep our young people safe,” he continued. “But the sad reality is that even with these protections, violence against gay and gender non-conforming students happens all too often. We must address the culture of bullying in our schools to ensure that all youth have safe places to learn.”
GSA Network, the Transgender Law Center, and EQCA extend their condolences to the victim’s family and friends, and the entire E.O. Green Junior High School community. Additionally, GSA Network, the Transgender Law Center, and EQCA encourage LGBT youth and families in the Ventura County area to seek out support services from the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance. www.lgbtventura.org
GSA Network is a nonprofit organization, governed by youth and adults, that empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools through Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. There are currently more than 650 GSA clubs in California schools, including more than 45% of the public high schools and about a dozen middle schools or junior highs in the state. www.gsanetwork.org
The Transgender Law Center is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities through direct legal services, education, community organizing, and policy and media advocacy. www.transgenderlawcenter.org
Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. www.eqca.org
February 11, 2008 by savvyplanners.com ·
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February 11, 2008 by savvyplanners.com ·
Celebrate 10 years of Marriage Equality NY serving the community in its struggle for gender neutral marriage.
Support this worthy cause and get your tickets in advance for this much anticipated party at Bamboo 52 a lavish restaurant including sushi and warm finger foods for dinner, open bar, plenty of people, Julie Goldman (from Logo’s A Big Gay Sketch Comedy Show) as the Host, Gender Offenders doing performances, and a wedding cake ceremony.
For anyone who doesn’t know, MENY is a 501(c)3 organization that works to educate, build awareness, and work with law makers to bring about change from the “grass up”. We have no office space, no paid staff, and all donations go directly towards community organizing for this issue.
February 10, 2008 by savvyplanners.com ·
Freedom To Marry Week 11th Annual Observances Feb. 10-16, 2008
By Evan Wolfson – Freedom To Marry
Freedom to Marry Week 2008 is one more chance to ask those around us to put themselves in same-sex couples’ shoes and ask, ‘How would I feel if I couldn’t marry the person I love?’
Awareness of the Need to End the Exclusion of Same-Sex Couples from Marriage at a New High
(New York, February 11, 2008)— Gay and non-gay organizations have scheduled over 100 events in 21 states across the nation in honor of the 11th Annual Freedom to Marry Week (Feb. 10-16), seizing an opportunity to highlight how the denial of marriage harms families, while helping no one. The renewed conversations come as major court decisions, legislative progress, and ballot-measures all will be claiming space on the country’s calendar this election-year.
“Freedom to Marry Week 2008 is one more chance to ask those around us to put themselves in same-sex couples’ shoes and ask, ‘How would I feel if I couldn’t marry the person I love?’,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People’s Right to Marry. “With state high court decisions in marriage cases pending in Connecticut, California, and Iowa; legislatures from New Jersey to Washington, Maryland to Illinois, New York to California, dealing with the reality that civil unions don’t work and the freedom to marry matters; and conversations among the reachable middle moving hearts every day, Freedom to Marry Week offers an opportunity to give people the information they need to rise to fairness.”
Freedom to Marry Week occurs every year, right around President Lincoln’s Birthday and Valentine’s Day, to give gay and non-gay people around the country an opportunity to gather to talk about our lives, our loves and our families, celebrate the victories from the year before and continue the fight for the freedom to marry.
For event listings and to learn more about Freedom to Marry Week, visit: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/get_involved/freedom_to_marry_week_2008.php
Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Launched in 2003, Freedom to Marry is headed by Evan Wolfson, nationally recognized as a central “architect of the marriage equality movement.” Freedom to Marry guides and focuses this social justice movement on a nationwide level, serving as a strategy and support center for national, state, and local partners, a catalyst that drives and shapes the national debate on marriage equality, and an alliance-builder fostering support from non-gay allies.
Jamaican mob attacked two gay men, putting one in the hospital with serious injuries, while the other is missing.
February 4, 2008 by savvyplanners.com ·
Posted Feb. 3, 2008 – After days of harassment and threats, a Jamaican mob attacked two gay men, putting one in the hospital with serious injuries, while the other is missing.
A mob, of about 20 people in the town of Mandeville, reportedly promised a violent attack on the men, and on Tuesday, they fulfilled that promise.
The group broke into the home of the men and attacked them, authorities told The Associated Press. One man had his left ear severed, his arm broken in two places and his spine possibly damaged; the other man, who was chased from their home, has not been found, according to the report.
This is just the latest incident in the island’s long history of violence against gays and lesbians.
Just last year, a crowd of about 2,000 people, including teens and small children, stoned three gay men. In April 2006, students rioted at the University of the West Indies and attacked an alleged gay student. In December 2005, a Kingston mob chased an alleged gay. Fearful of the crowd, he jumped into the water and drowned.
The Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-sexual and Gays (JFLAG) says it is time for the government to do something to protect gays and lesbians. “While Jamaican police have begun to reach out to gay and lesbian communities, this change hasn’t reached many police stations, where protection remains an illusion,” Rebecca Schleifer, HIV/AIDS advocate at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement to AP.
However, police spokeswoman Camika Parker disagrees. She told AP that everyone on the island receives the same level of police protection. Jamaica has a colonial-era law on the books that bans sex between men.