William Wallace Salon will host a town hall style meeting with mayoral candidate, Jonathan Lee, on Saturday, April 27 at 4 o'clock p.m. Mr. Lee has agreed to meet with members of Jackson's LGBT community to hear our concerns about living in Mississippi's capital city.
Amanda Brown, daughter of Roger Gorley, the man arrested for refusing to leave his husband's bedside, reveals details that are even more concerning than anyone could have guessed.
"I have spent every day of my life since I was 15 years old fighting for equal rights amongst ALL people let alone those who are attracted to the same sex. My father, Roger Gorley, and his husband, Allen Mansell have been married for nearly 5 years. They have shared a home together, purchased cars together, have all of their investments, and any other paperwork taken care of to be considered a real marriage under the law." writes Brown. "...many same-sex couples go ahead and follow through with the paperwork and register it with the state so they can be recognized as a significant life partner to the other person in moments such as these and especially after the death of their loved one. My fathers did this. They did all of the paperwork so something like what I’m about to tell you happened would never happen to them."
At the hospital, Roger was arrested after a brief exchange with Allen's brother and a nurse. "The nurse had had enough at this point and asked my father to leave. He gave her a surprised look back and said “No I’m staying with my husband.” She responded with “I know who you two are. You need to leave.”
At the police station things got worse. "They assumed because he was a gay man that he was HIV+. When they drew blood from accosting him in such a brutal manner they freaked out. One of the arresting officers was so offended by my father’s presence that he would not touch him with his bare hands. He wore gloves the entire time and to make matters even more humiliating he didn’t want his handcuffs back. He grabbed them with gloves on, then another layer of gloves pinched between his index finger and thumb as he handed them off to another officer. The officer taking the handcuffs looked at him like he was crazy and just grabbed the handcuffs with no issue."
"It took 3 hours to process him through the system and get him bailed out of jail. A $600 fine for disorderly conduct and trespassing and has a restraining order against him from the hospital saying he is not allowed to step foot back on the hospital grounds even to see his husband."
You can read the more on the events that lead to Allen's hospitalization and the exchange that led to Roger's arrest here.
Delaware state Rep. Melanie George Smith (D-Bear) on Thursday introduced a bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in the First State.
“Today is a good day to be a Delawarean,” she said during a press conference at Freedom Plaza in downtown Wilmington. “Today we’re introducing legislation that will respect and recognize with equal dignity all couples who are in a loving and committed relationship.”
“If DOMA is struck down as many expect, our failure to pass marriage equality here in Delaware will mean that we — not anybody else — will be responsible for the perpetuation of federal discrimination against committed same-sex couples in Delaware,” Gov. Jack Markell said.
The House Administration Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on HB 75 in Dover on April 17.Aside from Delaware, lawmakers in Rhode Island and Illinois are expected to vote on proposals that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in their respective states. WashingtonBlade
Kinky Boots, the 2005 comedy film about a traditional Northampton shoemaker who turns to producing fetishism footwear in order to save the failing family business and the jobs of his workers, has found it's way to Broadway with the help of Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein.
"The real star of this show... is Cyndi Lauper, who wrote the songs... Lauper's first Broadway score is, like her, multi-coloured, surprising and fun... The production moves lickety-split, and (the) dancing drag queens - yes, reminiscent of recent La Cage aux Folles and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - are eye-poppers."
"Ms. Lauper has held on to the same goofy image throughout her career, and, equally unlike Madonna, she has always seemed to sing from the heart. That sincerity comes through in “Kinky Boots.” So does the defiant quirkiness that made even Ms. Lauper’s gooier recordings palatable." New York Times
The Williams Institute, a national think tank at UCLA Law dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, has released a new report on marriage equality by state. Given increasing support in national polls since 2004, opinions in favor of marriage recognition for same-sex couples in the states should also have similar positive trends. But national opinions may be driven by residents of more populous states, and they may not be entirely representative of each individual state, especially those states with smaller populations.
There are 10 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia – that have an estimate of the level of popular support for same-sex marriage at less than 35%. In these 10 states, popular support is more than 15 percentage points (from 16% to 19%) from the 50% majority point. The states range from a low of 31% support in Louisiana and Arkansas to a high of 57% support in Massachusetts and Connecticut and 62% support in the District of Columbia. Accordingly, there was a 31% difference between the lowest level of support found in a state and the highest level found in a state.
*By the end of 2012, 12 states and the District of Columbia had support for same-sex marriage at or above 50%.
*Of these 12 states, all currently perform marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
*13 additional states presently are within 5 percentage points of majority support
*In the last eight years, every state has increased in its support for marriage for same-sex couples with an average increase of 13.6%.
*If present public opinion trends continue, another 8 states will be above 50% support by the end of 2014.
10 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia – that have an estimate of the level of popular support for same-sex mar- riage at less than 35%. In these 10 states, popular support is more than 15 percentage points (from 16% to 19%) from the 50% majority point.
A gay man was arrested at a hospital in Missouri this week when he refused to leave the bedside of his partner, and now a restraining order is preventing him from any type of visitation.
Roger Gorley told WDAF that even though he has power of attorney to handle his partner’s affairs, a family member asked him to leave when he visited Research Medical Center in Kansas City on Tuesday. Gorley said he refused to leave his partner Allen’s bedside, and that’s when security put him in handcuffs and escorted him from the building.
In a 2010 memorandum, President Barack Obama ordered hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding to allow visitation rights for gay and lesbian partners.
For its part, Research Medical Center insisted that it does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. “We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process,” the hospital said in a statement. “And, the patient`s needs are always our first priority. When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance.”
While not legally recognized as a couple in Missouri, Gorley says he and his partner Allen have been in a civil union for nearly five years, and make medical decisions for each other. He says the nurse refused to verify they also share joint Power of Attorney.
“She didn’t even bother to go look it up to check into it,” Gorley said. “He’s been at the psychiatric unit part several times.”
The 14th Annual Crossroads Film Festival runs from Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 14. The festival features more than 140 films, of which many are made in Mississippi, produced or directed by Mississippians, feature Mississippi actors or have some other Mississippi connection.
"I need a Hero" tracks the progress and setbacks in the LGBT community's struggle to be represented in the comic-book world. After a brief look at past failed representation, the film smartly moves right to current comic book artists and writers. In between gay-friendly quotes by superheroes, we hear writers of mainstream comics like "Archie" and "Green Lantern" talk about the struggle they faced introducing gay characters and storylines. Independent authors are represented largely through Prism, a nonprofit that supports queer comics. Mo Wilson, Jackson Free Press
See "I Need a Hero" April 14 at 3:20 p.m. at Malco, on screen B.
In an op-ed for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin, lawyer, author and political analyst for CNN, poses the question "How far will Obama go for same-sex marriage?" He the proceeds to opine that the Supreme Court , the Justice Department and the President might be positioning themselves to punt. Is this the "hope and change" we were looking for, or is this piece mere speculation?
"So it’s clear that President Obama believes that states should grant gay people the right to marry. The question, though, is whether he and his Administration believe that gay people have the constitutional right to marry, whether or not state legislators grant it to them. We should know the answer by the end of the month." he states in reference to a friend-of-the-court brief in which we could learn what the Administration thinks about a constitutional right to marry.
He adds "...what’s become ever clearer is that the edifice of discrimination against gay people is falling. Maybe the President does not want to lead—and maybe the Supreme Court doesn’t want to, either—but the destination of the country on gay rights is clearer every day."
Fourteen years after Matthew Shepherd was murdered because he was gay, and three years after President Obama signed the hate crimes law that bears Matthew’s name, the victimization of Americans based on their sexual orientation remains real, and on the rise.
According to the FBI’s December report, while the overall number of bias-motivated incidents decreased from 2010 to 2011, the number of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation actually increased to 1300, up almost 3 percent from the previous year. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) report mirrors this data, finding that the number of anti-LGBT murders in 2011 rose 11 percent from 2010. Thus, while reported hate crimes based on race, religion and ethnicity dropped, hate crimes based on sexual orientation rose, making it the second most common form of bias crime in America. In addition to the troubling hate crime statistics, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s 2011 National School Climate Survey reports over a third of LGBT students faced physical harassment and nearly 20 percent were assaulted in the last year.
Three pieces of previously introduced federal legislation deserve support. The Safe Schools Improvement Act addresses bullying prevention programs and requires states to collect and report information about bullying and harassment. The Student Non-Discrimination Act forbids schools from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity and prohibits them from ignoring harassing behavior. And the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act requires colleges and universities to recognize cyberbullying as a form of harassment and to fund anti-harassment programs.
Meanwhile, we must continue to combat violence and harassment against LGBT youth and adults. ADL training programs for students, educators, and administrators at all levels promote such efforts. GLAD’s Youth Project reaches out directly to LGBT and questioning youth — whether in schools, on the streets, or in the juvenile justice system, striving to ensure that LGBTQ youth and the children of LGBT parents are safe, welcomed, and treated equally with respect in every facet of life. There is ample room to not merely maintain, but intensify, programs aimed at making anti-LGBT bias socially unacceptable, and institutionally intolerable. via The Boston Globe
RIFuture.org Rev. Nicholas Knisely, the new bishop of the Episcopal Church in Rhode Island, supports marriage equality and plans to change current local policy to allow priests here to bless same sex unions. He announced the decision in December at the Diocesan Convention just 14 days after starting his new job here in Rhode Island.
"There are a few questions that need to be decided. How do we make the decision that a parish would like to offer this ministry? I would strongly urge, in fact I have already required, that the vestry or bishop’s committee pass a resolution expressing their support of the offering of blessings to be communicated, along with a letter from the rector or priest in charge, before the first blessing takes place. No priest is required to perform a blessing service, and the legislation enacted at General Convention was very clear that there must be no penalty for a member of the clergy who’s conscience will not allow them to do so."
Earlier this week more than 100 religious leaders spoke out in support of marriage equality and Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin reaffirmed his opposition.
Today the European Court of Human Rights ruled that religious beliefs may not justify opposing the rights of same-sex couples. British laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were upheld.
The Strasbourg court examined four cases brought by Christians, including two who argued their beliefs allowed them to refuse a service to same-sex couples. (IntergroupOnLGBTRights)
“With this ruling, the court has established that freedom of religion is an individual right. It is emphatically not a collective right to discriminate against LGBT people, women, or people of another faith or life stance.” “Religious freedom is no ground for exemption from the law. The court showed conclusively that the principle of equality and equal treatment cannot be circumvented with a simple reference to religion.”
Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “British law rightly protect LGBT people from discrimination, and there is no exemption for religious believers. Religion and belief are deeply private and personal, and should never be used to diminish the rights of others.”
The ruling may be appealed within three months.
Steve Chalke, a leading Baptist evangelist in the U.K. has softened his views on homosexuality, questioning whether Christians could create a "nurturing" and "supportive" environment for gay people. In the article published in the latest edition of Christianity Magazine, Chalke says the Bible is much more inclusive than many people acknowledge. Mr Chalke said he now believed that permanent, faithful stable homosexual relationships are not sinful , and called upon the church to be more accepting.
“Rather than condemn and exclude, can we dare to create an environment for homosexual people where issues of self-esteem and wellbeing can be talked about; where the virtues of loyalty, respect, interdependence and faithfulness can be nurtured, and where exclusive and permanent same-sex relationships can be supported?”
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly offered a new perspective on homosexuality this week responding to a question about how family members should respond to a gay child. He suggested that being gay is “not a super sin,” but he still advises parents and grandparents to condemn homosexual behaviors:
"I don’t mean this controversially but it may sound controversial. The one big thing is: homosexuality is not a super sin. It’s one of many, including adultery — other things — lying, cheating, gossiping; it’s right there in the list. So often I think in the Christian community, because of the political nature of it today, that we tend to raise it up as something worse than all the others. I would say to that grandparent: make sure that tether of love stays attached to their grandchild who has come and said, “I’m gay.” They need you more than they realize, and really, that’s family."
Bryan Fischer, director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association and right wing radio host said in October on his radio show that the U.S. Constitution and the “homosexual agenda” cannot coexist. As such, he argued, the only way to preserve liberty, freedom, and the First Amendment was to defeat the “forces of homosexual activism.”
"We in America are gonna have to choose between the homosexual agenda and liberty, because we cannot have both. We have to choose between the homosexual agenda and freedom. We have to choose between the homosexual agenda and the Constitution, because we cannot have both. We have to choose between the homosexual agenda and the First Amendment, because we cannot have both. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m telling you, we have got to understand we cannot give an inch, we cannot give one centimeter, we cannot give one millimeter to the forces of homosexual activism. We cannot accommodate, we can’t compromise, we can’t find middle ground, they cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be compromised with, they cannot be dialogued with, they can only be defeated."
The ACLU had been in court for two years trying to get military service members who were involuntarily dismissed during don't ask, don't tell their full severance pay. The Obama Administration finally settled and agreed to pay full separation to all service members who were involuntarily separated after Nov. 10, 2004.
The not so good news: According to Colorlines, a 2010 Service Women's Action Network report found women and people of color were disproportionately discharged under the ridiculous policy:
Even though black women comprise less than one percent of servicemembers, they represented 3.3 percent of all don't ask, don't tell discharges. Women in general appear to have been targeted under the policy. According to a 2010 Service Women's Action Network report, women were 15 percent of the armed forces in 2008, but comprised 34 percent of the don't ask, don't tell discharges. People of color represented just under 30 percent of active duty personnel, but 45 percent of don't ask, don't tell discharges. Jezebel
Dozens of Illinois business leaders and several companies publicly endorsed gay marriage Sunday in an attempt to reignite the issue after a proposed bill failed to get traction in Springfield this month.
State lawmakers aren't scheduled to be at the Capitol much until early February, and sponsors of a measure to grant gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry are likely to need some time to win over dozens of rookie colleagues. But in an open letter issued Sunday, business executives stated their case to lawmakers that marriage equality would strengthen the Illinois workforce and boost economic development.
"To be competitive, a state must create an equitable, fair and respectful environment for all of its citizens," the letter said. "For this reason — among others — it is vitally important that Illinois lawmakers enact marriage equality soon."
In addition to Google, Orbitz Worldwide and Groupon, individual signers of the letter include Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Co.; Lance Chody, CEO of Garrett Popcorn Shops; Fred Eychaner, chairman of the Newsweb Corp.; and Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs. Eychaner and Ricketts are openly gay executives who are helping fund the statewide push for same-sex marriage, the Tribune has reported.
Lena Dunham, creator, writer and star of HBO’s LGBT-inclusive comedy Girls, won big at last night’s Golden Globe Awards as she accepted the awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical and Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical.
She said backstage, “I’m not engaged. I don’t want to get married until all gay people can get married.” She went on to say that Jodie Foster’s coming out speech “was mind-blowingly beautiful.”(Glaad)
The Statesman Journal reports Laura Calvo, the Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Oregon, recently became the first transgender woman elected to the Democratic National Committee.
“Everyone who’s worked with Laura Calvo knows what I know – she’s a superstar,” Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon Meredith Wood Smith said in a statement. “We couldn’t be prouder to have her represent the Democratic Party of Oregon as a member of the Democratic National Committee.”
Calvo, a former paramedic and sheriff’s deputy, has also served as the Treasurer of the Party's LGBT Caucus, Treasurer of the Multnomah County Democrats and board member of the National Stonewall Democrats.
Jodie Foster's coming out publicly during her speech at Golden Globe Awards had the entertainment industry buzzing Sunday with many celebrities, gay and straight, expressing support or sounding off. Foster, historically private about her sexuality, initially joked with the crowd that she was coming out 'as single.' She then went on to say that she wasn't making a coming out speech because 'I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the stone age. In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends, and family, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her. To everyone she actually met.' video here
HuffingtonPost's Javier Corrales reports on five trends you can expect this year in the Americas. The lesson from the Americas is that, despite setbacks and obstacles, positive trends seem to outweigh the negative. LGBT rights have expanded in a vast number of jurisdictions, often outstripping the most optimistic predictions. The extent to which same-sex unions are recognized in the Americas would have been unthinkable 15 years ago. Argentina, Canada, four Brazilian states, nine U.S. states, Mexico City and one Mexican state and the tiny Caribbean island of Saba have legalized marriage equality, and Ecuador, Uruguay, Colombia and smaller jurisdictions, such as the Mexican state of Coahuila, recognize civil unions. While the struggle for LGBT rights is far from over, the Americas show us that it is winnable.
Totally Tyler is a legend in his own mind who aspires to be a legend in yours. After his birth in 1973 to a vending machine filler-upper and a grocery store cashier, he learned that he liked boys and disliked math. He didn’t learn these things immediately after his birth, mind you. He still likes boys and dislikes math. This is why he overtips. He spent his early years in small-town Indiana and his later years in big-city Georgia. Now, having run out of retail stores in which he hasn’t worked and boys on whom he hasn’t crushed in the South, he’s escaped to Manhattan, where he toils away as an event planner.
I've been a fan of Tyler since my first days on Twitter. If you've not followed his tweets or his irreverent blog posts, then you're missing an honest look into the life of a big city gay boy looking for love.
Boys, Booze & Booty Calls is his second book, and is a sequel of sorts to his first book, Your Boyfriend & Other Guys I’ve Kissed. He plans to write more books but until then, you can read more of his musings here at TotallyTyler.com.
"Things you should know about him are, in no particular order: He survived self-electrocution by the grace of Madonna; he comes off shy in spite of his love of an audience; he takes fashion risks that, had he stayed in the South, might have gotten him institutionalized; and he is at once grateful and sorry that his late brother watches over him (presumably shielding his eyes from the naughty bits). Oh, and he has a mutt named Lola who is middle-aged in dog years and who he loves more than he will ever love any boy. And in spite of all this information, you still only have a partial picture of Totally Tyler. But if you stick around long enough, you’ll get the whole one. He’s giving that way."
HuffingtonPost-The right to petition our government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Not long ago the Obama administration created an online way for us, we the people, to do just that: press our public officials to take action on the issues of utmost importance to us. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure that it's sent to the appropriate policy experts and issue an official response.
Well, as President Obama embarks on a second term, we think it's high time that he use his executive, and moral, authority by enacting executive orders, amending existing ones and promoting legislation that sets a government-wide precedent for equality.
This should include but is not be limited to:
Nondiscrimination protections for employees of federal contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity Prohibition of federal funds being used to discriminate against LGBT Americans A moratorium on deportations of foreign same-sex partners of LGBT Americans Strong promotion of legislation to prevent bullying and harassment of students Strong promotion of legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and action to include LGBT federal workers and their families in all federal benefits programs A statement declaring his specific second-term priorities regarding full LGBT equality in his 2013 State of the Union address
In order to get the White House to respond to this petition, we need to gather 25,000 signatures by Feb. 7. Please, add your name to the petition here, and share it with your family, friends, allies and online networks.