Russian president vows no discrimination but says gay people must observe law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’
Throughout the 1980s, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — now infamous for its work on behalf of “stand your ground” laws and restrictions on voting rights — was instrumental in pushing anti-gay policies throughout the country, according to documents recently uncovered by People For the American Way and the Center For Media and Democracy.
A 1985 policy memo entitled “Homosexuals: Just Another Minority Group” sums up ALEC’s anti-gay policy positions and the false claims and outrageous stereotypes on which they were based. ALEC disseminated the memo to its public sector members, arguing that the “homosexual movement has had an impact too great and far reaching for Americans to ignore.”
Through the policy memo and its monthly newsletters, ALEC tracked local, state and federal legislation and provided its members with “research” to help them prevent advances in gay rights. However ALEC of course did not view these rights as rights; instead, ALEC asserted that the gay community was organizing “to achieve the privileges it thinks it deserves.”
So what “privileges” exactly were gay people demanding that infuriated ALEC so much? To name a few, the “privilege” to not be physically assaulted for being gay; the “privilege” of not being incarcerated for being gay; the “privilege” of not being barred from employment opportunities, housing and public accommodations for being gay; the “privilege” to dress as they liked; or the “privilege” of not being compiled into state directories to be blacklisted and discriminated against.
In order to counter the gay rights movement, ALEC argued in “Homosexuals: Just Another Minority Group,” one had to understand first that gay people were corrupted beings, since “the homosexual makes the conscious choice to pursue members of his or her own sex.” The answer therefore did not lie with treating gay people fairly, but instead with providing them psychotherapy or by having them join the Christian faith. “The evidence is too great to deny it,” the memo stated.
ALEC classified all gay people into six categories: “the blatant, the secret lifer, the desperate, the adjusted, the bisexual and the situational.” The “blatant” gay person was “obvious and ‘limp-wristed’”; the “adjusted” would “try to conduct a ‘conventional’ gay marriage”; and so on. Yet no matter what category a gay person fell into, ALEC argued, the most dominant practice within “the homosexual world is pedophilia, the fetish for young children.” This tendency, the group claimed, was the product of the fact that “the homosexual cannot reproduce themselves biologically, so they must recruit the young.”
ALEC lamented that the federal government funded AIDS research and allocated tax money to countering the AIDS epidemic. The group discouraged states from passing anti-discrimination laws because, according to one ALEC newsletter from April 1984, such legislation “might jeopardize public health in restaurants, dental offices, and other areas because of the communicable disease AIDS.” ALEC claimed that under the Carter administration, in addition to funding AIDS research, “the federal government had been active in directly funding the homosexual movement” by approving federal grants to organizations that served gay communities. [read more]
This really comes at no surprise given ALEC’s activities in the past few years. The bit about lamenting AIDS research is particularly despicable.
This makes me sick…
US Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg is to officiate at a same-sex wedding on Saturday in what is believed to be a first for member of the nation’s highest court.
A Supreme Court spokeswoman said on Friday that Ginsburg was to preside over the wedding of Kennedy Center President Michael M Kaiser and economist John Roberts.
Ginsburg, who at the age of 80 is the oldest judge in the top court and one of four progressive judges on the nine-member panel.
The Washington Post newspaper quoted Ginsburg as saying she was looking forward to helping the couple tie the knot.
"I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship," she told the Post.
In June, the US Supreme Court voted for the repeal of the defence of traditional marriage, which prevented same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights as heterosexual couples.
It also effectively legalised gay marriage in California. Ginsburg had voted in both cases in favour of marriage rights.
Gays and lesbians can legally marry in 14 out of 50 US States and, since 2009, in Washington."
— The banned-by-the-Qatari-Leadership-“Al-Jazeera-English”-Website (Qatar would prefer to gain money by pandering to the Israel Lobby on “Al Jazeera America” than provide their international content, which has been available for years and is proven to be what people in the US want to see based on polling data.
Have gay rights groups abandoned Bradley Manning?
Mainstream LGBT rights groups like Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD have stayed quiet about Manning
Gay 25-year-old US army private Bradley Manning stood trial for supposedly aiding the enemy by passing classified information to Wikileaks, including several hundred thousand pages of army reports, diplomatic cables and information that detailed the killing of civilians by American soldiers. His verdict is expected today.
The trial, which ended last week, was marked by government intimidation of the media and comes after Manning spent almost a year in solitary confinement in Quantico, Virginia, prompting international outrage.
One of the interesting factors is that two of the largest and most well funded LGBT rights groups in the US have stayed quiet about Manning, his reprehensible treatment in custody and his trial. Why has Manning, whose revelations about the US Army’s actions epitomize social justice in action, gotten the cold shoulder from the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD (formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)? The silence of these groups has been deafening.
First, Manning is the opposite of everything that these groups seek to portray as the image of “gay Americans”. I use those quotes because the majority of LGBT Americans don’t conform to these upwardly mobile, white, polished, virile male stereotypes. Manning doesn’t look like CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. With his slight frame, lower-class background, questioning of his gender identity, inability to hold down a typical job, general dorkiness and dysfunctional family life, Manning does not fit the poster boy image that GLAAD or the HRC would hold up and promote. It’s bizarre because Manning is actually what many, if not most, LGBT people have been at one point or another – an outsider, a loner, a person who does not fit in or conform.
Second, organizations like the HRC, which had net assets of over $32.7m at the end of last year and claims more than a millions members and supporters, happens to have the financial backing of major military industrial corporations, including Lockheed Martin, which is sponsoring the HRC’s upcoming national gala in Washington DC and Booz Allen Hamilton, a corporate partner for the national event, as well as Northrop Grumman a sponsor of their Los Angeles gala.
US government contracts account for at least 85% of Lockheed Martin’s work, Northrop Grumman is intricately tied to our military and Booz Allen Hamilton is wrapped up in Washington's lobbying morass – kicking into high gear now that legislators are finally considering limits on the NSA's surveillance capabilities.
There was no quid pro quo, however, the HRC and GLAAD know exactly where their bread is buttered. The Human Rights Campaign spent millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours to lobby for the repeal of Don’t ask, don’t tell, ensuring that patriotic and law-abiding gays and lesbians can continue to serve in the US military and fight its wars in far-flung places.
Each of these defense organizations depends on federal money; therefore, the more able-bodied young men and women who sign up for the US military, the better. The more the American war-making machine expands, even if shrouded in utter secrecy, the better. GLAAD has had Goldman Sachs (that bastion of awesomeness) as a patron of its media awards in the past and Verizon (remember those agreements with the NSA?) as a supporter while doling out awards to men like Anderson Cooper, who came out at the height of his career after following in the footsteps of other journalists, and Bill Clinton, the man responsible for DADT and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Self-censorship is a beautiful thing. It can’t be proven. It occurs as a matter of course and is a great example of the banal, duplicitous intertwined relationships between the military industrial complex, the US government and corporate nonprofits. Why would the Human Rights Campaign risk offending the sensibilities of Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton and Northrop Grumman? Because these and other defense companies, drowning in profit, might turn off the “diversity” spigot that sustains the Human Rights Campaign.
Why wouldn’t GLAAD support a frail, maladjusted young queer man whose efforts exposed US military malfeasance? It’s much easier – and requires no courage whatsoever – to honor those who are privileged and already at the very top of society. Abandoned by these mainstream rights organizations, who will speak up in defense of Manning?
The Shot Glass Heard Around The World
In 1969, the Stonewall riots — precipitated when the NYPD burst into the famed gay bar and started being their usually abusive selves — defined the modern gay movement.
Among the first to physically resist the police was Marsha P. Johnson, the now infamous transgender rights activist who co-founded S.T.A.R. (Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s.
At 1:20 in the morning on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes police officers entered Stonewall Inn and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!"
Officers forced the customers to form into two lines divided by perceived gender and show them their genitals to confirm if it matched the gender on their identification card.
At some point during the raid, Marsha Johnson proclaimed, ‘I got my civil rights!’ and then threw a shot glass into a mirror, adding on to the tension and creating an atmosphere of resistance. Some witnesses and historians believe her action is what instigated the riot.
Patrons began to refuse to produce their I.D. and police decided to arrest everyone still at the bar. Those who were not arrested gathered outside the bar and quickly drew a crowd of over 1,000 queers. As rumors spread through the crowd that those inside were being beaten by cops, they began throwing pennies, beer bottles and other items at police.
A drag queen who was shoved by an officer in front of the crowd responded by hitting him on the head with her purse as the crowd began to boo.
Soon after, an unidentified lesbian was hit on the head with a billy club after complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. She faced the bystanders and shouted, “Why don’t you guys do something?”
Police threw her into the back of a patrol wagons, at that point the crowd became a mob and collectively resisted the police.
Along with Sylvia Rivera, the two transgender revolutionaries created S.T.A.R. and STAR House in which they housed, fed and clothed homeless drag queens and trans* youth by hustling in the streets of NYC so that their children didn’t have to.
Marsha P. Johnson is often credited for inciting the Stonewall Riots, yet she receives close to no recognition by mainstream Gay Organizations and the queer community. I have no doubt that the erasure of Marsha’s participation in the riots and the Gay Liberation Movement is due to her being a black, transgender radical. Had she’d been a white gay cis-male, her name would be permanently embedded in every queer’s mind.
I know Marsha as a courageous queer revolutionary, a queen of Queens, a Stonewall Veteran, a dedicated activist, a mother of S.T.A.R. and a personal idol. She deserves more than anyone I know, to be recognized by the queer community.
In July 6, 1992, Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers shortly after the 1992 Pride March. Friends of Johnson claims she was harassed near the spot where her body was found. The police disregarded this and ruled her death a suicide without any evidence. However, in November 2012, the NYPD re-opened the case.
Click here to watch “Pay It No Mind”, a documentary on Marsha P. Johnson.
Exxon Mobil is believed to be the largest Fortune 500 company to discriminate against LGBT employees. To see if this holds true in the hiring process, the LGBT group Freedom to Work created fake resumes for two candidates applying for an open position. One applicant appears more qualified for the job and has experience in LGBT activism, while the other seems somewhat less qualified but does not show any sign of being LGBT.
Here’s a look at what happened. Does Exxon discriminate against LGBT applicants? You tell me. (via the Huffington Post)
This would be one of the reasons Texas needs marriage equality. “Judge orders lesbian mom’s partner to move out.” Read: http://bit.ly/16EYgBt
In the United States in 2013, it’s still legal for an employer to fire someone for being gay in 29 states.
If you think this is outrageous, sign on as a Citizen Cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act here: http://seiu.me/now
New York City is the heart of America’s “melting pot” of cultures and ideas. Yet even here, violence against those seen as “other” occurs. This week we mourn the brutal death of Mark Carson, a 32-year-old, shot and allegedly taunted with homophobic slurs by the shooter. The killing happened in Greenwich Village, one of the city’s most famous gay friendly neighborhoods.
In recent years, we at the New York City Anti-Violence Project have seen an increase in reports of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer hate violence throughout the city and the country. From 2010 to 2011, we saw a 13% increase of reports of this violence in New York City, which followed an 11% increase from the year before. In 2011, our National Coalition (NCAVP) reported the highest number of LGBTQ bias-related homicides in its 15 year history."
— Sharon Stapel for The Guardian
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