Annise Parker For Houston

Please join us for lunch with out Houston City Controller Annise Parker on Satruday, June 13, 2009. Annise is the leading candidate to become the city's next mayor and the nation's first openly-LGBT elected mayor of a top 10 American city! With your support, we'll score a touchdown, hit one out of the park, secure a slam dunk win for equality and our shared progressive values in Houston this year.
CLICK HERE to join the host committee, make a contribution to help off-set the cost or provide an RSVP for this special event.
Lunch Host Committee$250 : Rock Star$100 : Gold Star$50 : Rising StarGeneral Admission: FREE
CLICK HERE to join the host committee, make a contribution to help off-set the cost or provide an RSVP for this special event.
All proceeds raised through the host committee and from event contributions will be split 50/50 between the Young Democrats of America, designated for LGBT Caucus activities, and National Stonewall Democrats. We welcome the financial support and attendance of local Stonewall Democrats members and supporters.This is an informal lunch.Annise Parker is a businesswoman and neighborhood leader. She has served the people of Houston for the last 11 years - first on the City Council, and for the last five years as City Controller. She spent 20 years in the oil and gas industry before entering public service. Annise has worked closely with Mayor Bill White and many other leaders to keep Houston moving forward - with sound economic policy, not divisive politics. And in that time the local economy has created more jobs than any other major American city.Annise and her life partner, Kathy Hubbard, have been together since 1990. They have two children. For more information about City Controller Annise Parker and her candidacy for mayor of Houston, please visit:http://www.anniseparker.com/home/
Help us promote this event. Invite your friends using our Facebook event page!
Jun 13 2009 - 11:45am - Jun 13 2009 - 1:00pm


Dallas Set To Revisit Stonewall Riots With 'Million Gay March'

By Kelli Busey, May 31, 2009, planetransgender

As my radical friend's webpage headlines "Stonewall was a riot not a candle light vigil"

What happened at the Stonewall Riot? What happened on June 28th 1969 that so incensed the transgender, lesbian and gay patrons of this small innocuous tavern to precipitate such violent social disobedience? Why is our 'Stonewall' constantly respectfully referred to worldwide in countries that are experiencing their first LGBT rebellions?

There are people among us in Dallas who were there at Stonewall that balmy night and the Dallas voice's John Wright was there to document this historic meeting some forty years latter .

The Dallas Texas GLBT community is hosting a march and gathering on June 28 2009 to commemorate and perhaps recall the spirit of defiance and sacrifice that bought our current freedoms. It will also be a time to realize civil rights are not given, they are earned. In this moment we all are pilgrims on the front line of civil rights!

I was alive in 1969, but being only 11 and living in rural Ohio, we were just hearing about a fancy new 'fast food' called 'McDonald's' and something called a four lane super highway'!

What I do remember is the highlight of a train trip with a transfer at Grand Central Station in New York NY. We arranged this unsupervised stop so I could fill my suit case with torrid R rated periodicals obstinantly to look at the briefly clad women. But in the back of those tabloids, when no none was looking, I could sneak a peek at people like me! People who were not the same as everyone else. People who said there bodies did not confirm their true selves and changed their sexual organs!!!

Now we have the Internet super highway, a wayback machine of sorts.

In 1969 gay people or 'faggots' as some of my own family and neighbors called me were the targets of unending and merciless harassment and brutality by civilian thugs and the police. As a form of intimidation police and right wing groups rountinely conducted raids of establishments that served LGBT people. Photographers were always at hand to document the stricken faces of our brothers and sisters as they were shackled and lead to paddy wagons. The fallout in 1969 of having your picture eyes downcast in shame was career ending social and marital suicide.

What were the people feeling in 1969? The same as you and I except now we have rightfully earned a communial sense of accomplishment and pride.

Thanks to the brave souls who escaped unharmed and those who stood up to tyranny we can now in our own country be gay proud and loud. We owe nonjudgmental unconditional gratitude and our very freedom to the souls who were at Stonewall tavern.


Dallas Voice article by John Wright Recalling Stonewall

Beyond Chron 21st Century Stonewall in Moscow

planetransgender Русский язык Гей Изолировано и преследовал Мировые Стенды Близко Russian Gay's Isolated and persecuted the World Stands By

Jerimaries Transpride speech


The Dallas Principles - Full LGBT Rights Now

"On May 15-17, 2009 in Dallas, Texas twenty-four thinkers, activists, and donors gathered to discuss the immediate need for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender people in the United States. Collectively we prepared The Dallas Principles."

Why I Support the Dallas Principles

Dr.Dana Beyer on the Dallas Principles

PDF Download The Dallas Principles

Home page and to endorse theThe Dallas Principles click here.

On the web

The Huffington Post The Dallas Principles, a New Approach to LGBT Equality


Nationwide Response May 26 Cal. Marriage Day of Decision

Rallies Planned for CA Supreme Court Decision This Tues May 26th
Source : Queers United

The California Supreme Court will decide on the validity of prop 8 and the existing 18,000 same-sex marriages that have been performed during the months of May-November this Tuesday May 26th. Thousands of people will converge in cities nationwide in an effort to celebrate the decision, or to show their disapproval and rage while showing solidarity with a national movement for federal protections.Day of Decision
Nationwide organizing effort to respond to the courts decision, check for a city near you!
Meet in the Middle for Equality California activists will head to more conservative Fresno to demonstrate.

Dallas Texas
Queer LiberAction
Rally in Celebration or Protest at 7:00pm on the Day of the Decision
When the CA Supreme Court announces their decision on Proposition 8, we must act! We are calling you to join us for a rally in celebration or protest on the day of the decision. Protests will occur nationwide and our voices will be heard! We hope that we will come together in celebration, but must know that even in celebration we have many more battles to win and need to unite on the day of decision in one loud voice.
Rally:Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Meet on the corner of Oaklawn and Cedar Springs
Name:Email: Queer Liberaction: lgbtliberaction@gmail.com
POSTER & FLYER DOWNLOADS:http://queerliberaction.org/


Childhoods of Terror | Catholic Atrocities report to be Released

AP Press "Ireland braces for report on Catholic child abuse"

DUBLIN – A commission report into the abuse of thousands of Irish children in Roman Catholic institutions is published Wednesday after a nine-year investigation repeatedly delayed by church lawsuits, missing documentation and alleged government obstruction.

The Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse will release a 2,575-page report in an attempt at a comprehensive portrait of sexual, physical and emotional damage inflicted on children consigned to the country's defunct network of reformatories, workhouses, orphanages and other church-run institutions from the 1930s to 1990s.

Most of the children were ordered into church care because of school truancy, petty crimes or because they were the offspring of unwed mothers. Many faced regimes of terror involving ritual beatings and intimidation. But until the investigation came along, thousands of survivors said they had nowhere safe to tell their stories — because swathes of Irish Catholic society sought to label them liars.

Some of those victims say they feel hopeful now that vindication might be at hand.

Christine Buckley, who was one of the first to break silence in the early 1990s on the church's institutional abuse of children, said the report's verdict on church and government failings should demonstrate "whether the journey for justice, undertaken by so many and for so long, has at last been successful."

She, like many campaigners, said it was critical that the truth of their brutal childhoods be placed indisputably on the public record after decades of dispute from the religious orders — principally the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy nuns — that ran Ireland's 19th century-era industrial schools and other state-funded refuges for Ireland's most vulnerable children. Most closed in the 1970s.

Typically, children at such facilities stopped receiving any formal education by age 12. But they kept generating income for the religious orders through their teens with their mandatory, unpaid labor on farms, in laundries and as domestic cleaners.

In Buckley's case, she was consigned to a Dublin orphanage in the late 1950s because she was the child of a single Irish mother and Nigerian father; children born out of wedlock typically were placed for adoption or into state care.

All the girls at her former Sisters of Mercy-run home, Goldenbridge, were expected to manufacture 60 rosary necklaces a day or suffer humiliation or beatings.

Officials of the Sisters of Mercy, Christian Brothers and more than a dozen other orders implicated in sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children all testified to the commission. None was willing to comment this week in advance of the report's unveiling.

During the commission's investigations, oral evidence was collected from more than 1,000 people chiefly in their 50s to 70s — several hundred of whom traveled back to Ireland from as far away as the United States and Australia — who described childhoods of terror and intimidation.

The Christian Brothers delayed the investigation for more than a year with a lawsuit that successfully defended their members' right to anonymity in all references in the report — even in cases where individual Christian Brothers have already been convicted of sexual and physical attacks on children.

The Catholic Church's practice of protecting the sexual predators in their parishes and schools, rather than the children who suffered at their hands, has fanned several waves of outrage in once-devout Ireland starting in the mid-1990s.

The damage done to the church's reputation here has exceeded, in scope and political impact, even what happened in the United States, which suffered its own wave of abuse-coverup scandals in the past decade.

Ireland's first major pedophile-priest scandal, in 1994, triggered the collapse of a government. In 1999 former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern issued an apology for the state's failure over decades to defend children's rights in church-run facilities.

Ahern established both the fact-finding commission and a panel that has already paid out damages averaging nearly euro65,000 ($90,000) each to 12,000 abuse victims. The taxpayer, not the church, has footed most of that bill.

"The depth and duration of the abuse endured by our children in these institutions beggars belief," said Maeve Lewis, executive director of an abuse-victims support group called One in Four.

AP article "Ireland braces for report on Catholic child abuse"

Also on he web

Documenting the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church Bishop Accountablity.org


GID Reform | Remove Transgender People From The DSM-V

Through out history there has been a need for society to pigeon hole people who live outside of what is generally accepted as 'normal'.
The APA is currently inflicting great harm on one such group now.

Transgender people have long been stigmatized and marginalized by the APA which then profits from this diagnosis.

The truth is the APA is causing anguish and suicide.

APA protest speaker Dr. Madeline Deutsch

We are calling on the APA to make an official statement that all Gender Identities and Expressions are natural human variation, and not disease or mental illness. And for the APA to reshape the upcoming DSM V version to remove stigmatizing and problematic portions of the diagnosis "Gender Identity Disorder."

GID Reform Now.com

GID Reform Advocates

On the web:

Resolution from the IFGE BOD to the APA

Empire State 'GENDA CALL IN DAY' Pride Agenda

Wednesday May 20 is the Statewide GENDA Call-In Day - It’s Time to Act!
You are receiving this e-mail because the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) has been passed by the Assembly and has enough support to be passed by the Senate. The time is NOW to take action and make our final push to get the Senate to vote to end discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.
We need you to get on the phone and call the lead Senate sponsor Tom Duane and your Senator to tell them that you want them to bring GENDA to the Senate floor and pass it. We’re in the final stretch and it is vital that they hear from you.

You can reach Senator Tom Duane at (518) 455-2451 and you can find your State Senator’s Albany phone number here.

GENDA would amend the state's human rights law to include anti-discrimination protections based upon gender identity and expression, providing crucial civil rights protections for transgender New Yorkers by banning discrimination in housing, employment, credit, public accommodations, and other areas of everyday life.

With more than half of the Senators indicating their support for GENDA, we know that we have enough votes to get it passed in the Senate if it comes to the floor for a vote. So now is the time to call Senator Duane and your State Senator!

Talking Points:

Reach Tom Duane at (518) 455-2451 and find your Senator’s Albany phone number here. Call their offices on Wednesday to tell them that the time is now to end discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.

Remember to give them the number of the GENDA bill (S.2406).

Ask your Senator to vote for GENDA, and ask lead Senate Sponsor Tom Duane to bring the bill to the floor for a vote now.

Tell them about the broad support for GENDA statewide, including:
78% of New York voters
Unions representing 2.1 million working New Yorkers
27 Fortune 500 companies based in cities like Rochester , Corning , New York City and White Plains .
344 clergy and lay leaders, representing over 20 different denominations
Working together, we can make this happen! Start making those phone calls now!

Michigan Votes on Hate Crimes Bills May 20, 2009

Help Pass Michigan Hate Crimes Legislation!

Yesterday, we received word from our colleagues at the Triangle Foundation that the Michigan House Judiciary Committee passed the hate crime bills, HB 4835 and HB 4836 last week. This was thanks in no small part to organizations and individuals in Michigan that sent in letters of support on very short notice.

The bills were then referred to the House floor with a recommendation for a YES vote. We anticipate that the full House will vote on the bills TOMORROW, May 20th.

To learn more about Michigan�s Hate Crimes Legislation, click here.

Unfortunately, the committee passed the bills along straight partisan lines. While a straight party line vote in the full House will guarantee us a victory there as well, there is no reason that the bills should be partisan. It is likely this change of heart (NO Committee member opposed, and more than 50% of the Republicans in the House voted for identical language six months ago), was in large part the result of a national email campaign by our opposition who is committed to excluding �sexual orientation� from the legislation.

This is an issue of public safety. We hope that the Committee vote is not a signal that Republicans as a whole can be swayed by such a campaign, and that this effort will remain broadly bi-partisan when presented for a House vote tomorrow.

Now is the time we need you to take action. First, contact your State Representative and urge them to support the Michigan hate crimes legislation, HB 4835 and HB 4836. Then share this information as widely as possible. We must not let the hate-filled emails and phone calls legislators received go unanswered.

When contacting your Representatives, make sure to tell them that you support HB 4835 and HB 4836 and hope that they will support it as well. You might also add that you see this as a public safety issue that should not be permitted to fall prey to partisan bickering and one-upmanship. The important thing is that they hear from you!

Click here to contact your Representatives. There is no reason you can�t contact other Representatives. Many current Representatives have plans to seek higher office, particularly in the Senate, so contacting every Representative from your County (or the State), can be almost as important to them as if you were already a constituent.

Thanks for your support, together we can make this happen!

National Center For Lesbian Rights


President Obama and Notre Dame Commencement Speech | Video and full text

Thank you, Father Jenkins for that generous introduction. You are doing an outstanding job as president of this fine institution, and your continued and courageous commitment to honest, thoughtful dialogue is an inspiration to us all.

Good afternoon Father Hesburgh, Notre Dame trustees, faculty, family, friends, and the class of 2009. I am honored to be here today, and grateful to all of you for allowing me to be part of your graduation.

I want to thank you for this honorary degree. I know it has not been without controversy. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but these honorary degrees are apparently pretty hard to come by. So far I’m only 1 for 2 as President. Father Hesburgh is 150 for 150. I guess that’s better. Father Ted, after the ceremony, maybe you can give me some pointers on how to boost my average.

I also want to congratulate the class of 2009 for all your accomplishments. And since this is Notre Dame, I mean both in the classroom and in the competitive arena. We all know about this university’s proud and storied football team, but I also hear that Notre Dame holds the largest outdoor 5-on-5 basketball tournament in the world - Bookstore Basketball.

Now this excites me. I want to congratulate the winners of this year’s tournament, a team by the name of “Hallelujah Holla Back.” Well done. Though I have to say, I am personally disappointed that the “Barack O’Ballers” didn’t pull it out. Next year, if you need a 6′2″ forward with a decent jumper, you know where I live.

Every one of you should be proud of what you have achieved at this institution. One hundred and sixty three classes of Notre Dame graduates have sat where you are today. Some were here during years that simply rolled into the next without much notice or fanfare - periods of relative peace and prosperity that required little by way of sacrifice or struggle.

You, however, are not getting off that easy. Your class has come of age at a moment of great consequence for our nation and the world - a rare inflection point in history where the size and scope of the challenges before us require that we remake our world to renew its promise; that we align our deepest values and commitments to the demands of a new age. It is a privilege and a responsibility afforded to few generations - and a task that you are now called to fulfill.

This is the generation that must find a path back to prosperity and decide how we respond to a global economy that left millions behind even before this crisis hit - an economy where greed and short-term thinking were too often rewarded at the expense of fairness, and diligence, and an honest day’s work.

We must decide how to save God’s creation from a changing climate that threatens to destroy it. We must seek peace at a time when there are those who will stop at nothing to do us harm, and when weapons in the hands of a few can destroy the many. And we must find a way to reconcile our ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity - diversity of thought, of culture, and of belief.

In short, we must find a way to live together as one human family.

It is this last challenge that I’d like to talk about today. For the major threats we face in the 21st century - whether it’s global recession or violent extremism; the spread of nuclear weapons or pandemic disease - do not discriminate. They do not recognize borders. They do not see color. They do not target specific ethnic groups.

Moreover, no one person, or religion, or nation can meet these challenges alone. Our very survival has never required greater cooperation and understanding among all people from all places than at this moment in history.

Unfortunately, finding that common ground - recognizing that our fates are tied up, as Dr. King said, in a “single garment of destiny” - is not easy. Part of the problem, of course, lies in the imperfections of man - our selfishness, our pride, our stubbornness, our acquisitiveness, our insecurities, our egos; all the cruelties large and small that those of us in the Christian tradition understand to be rooted in original sin. We too often seek advantage over others. We cling to outworn prejudice and fear those who are unfamiliar. Too many of us view life only through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; in which the world is necessarily a zero-sum game. The strong too often dominate the weak, and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice. And so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see around the globe violence and want and strife that would seem sadly familiar to those in ancient times.

We know these things; and hopefully one of the benefits of the wonderful education you have received is that you have had time to consider these wrongs in the world, and grown determined, each in your own way, to right them. And yet, one of the vexing things for those of us interested in promoting greater understanding and cooperation among people is the discovery that even bringing together persons of good will, men and women of principle and purpose, can be difficult.

The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.

The question, then, is how do we work through these conflicts? Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?

Nowhere do these questions come up more powerfully than on the issue of abortion.

As I considered the controversy surrounding my visit here, I was reminded of an encounter I had during my Senate campaign, one that I describe in a book I wrote called The Audacity of Hope. A few days after I won the Democratic nomination, I received an email from a doctor who told me that while he voted for me in the primary, he had a serious concern that might prevent him from voting for me in the general election. He described himself as a Christian who was strongly pro-life, but that’s not what was preventing him from voting for me.

What bothered the doctor was an entry that my campaign staff had posted on my website - an entry that said I would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” The doctor said that he had assumed I was a reasonable person, but that if I truly believed that every pro-life individual was simply an ideologue who wanted to inflict suffering on women, then I was not very reasonable. He wrote, “I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

Fair-minded words.

After I read the doctor’s letter, I wrote back to him and thanked him. I didn’t change my position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my website. And I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me. Because when we do that - when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do - that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.

That’s when we begin to say, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.

So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

Understand - I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it - indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory - the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.

It’s a way of life that has always been the Notre Dame tradition. Father Hesburgh has long spoken of this institution as both a lighthouse and a crossroads. The lighthouse that stands apart, shining with the wisdom of the Catholic tradition, while the crossroads is where “…differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, and especially love.” And I want to join him and Father Jenkins in saying how inspired I am by the maturity and responsibility with which this class has approached the debate surrounding today’s ceremony.

This tradition of cooperation and understanding is one that I learned in my own life many years ago - also with the help of the Catholic Church.

I was not raised in a particularly religious household, but my mother instilled in me a sense of service and empathy that eventually led me to become a community organizer after I graduated college. A group of Catholic churches in Chicago helped fund an organization known as the Developing Communities Project, and we worked to lift up South Side neighborhoods that had been devastated when the local steel plant closed.

It was quite an eclectic crew. Catholic and Protestant churches. Jewish and African-American organizers. Working-class black and white and Hispanic residents. All of us with different experiences. All of us with different beliefs. But all of us learned to work side by side because all of us saw in these neighborhoods other human beings who needed our help - to find jobs and improve schools. We were bound together in the service of others.

And something else happened during the time I spent in those neighborhoods. Perhaps because the church folks I worked with were so welcoming and understanding; perhaps because they invited me to their services and sang with me from their hymnals; perhaps because I witnessed all of the good works their faith inspired them to perform, I found myself drawn - not just to work with the church, but to be in the church. It was through this service that I was brought to Christ.

At the time, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin was the Archbishop of Chicago. For those of you too young to have known him, he was a kind and good and wise man. A saintly man. I can still remember him speaking at one of the first organizing meetings I attended on the South Side. He stood as both a lighthouse and a crossroads - unafraid to speak his mind on moral issues ranging from poverty, AIDS, and abortion to the death penalty and nuclear war. And yet, he was congenial and gentle in his persuasion, always trying to bring people together; always trying to find common ground. Just before he died, a reporter asked Cardinal Bernardin about this approach to his ministry. And he said, “You can’t really get on with preaching the Gospel until you’ve touched minds and hearts.”

My heart and mind were touched by the words and deeds of the men and women I worked alongside with in Chicago. And I’d like to think that we touched the hearts and minds of the neighborhood families whose lives we helped change. For this, I believe, is our highest calling.

You are about to enter the next phase of your life at a time of great uncertainty. You will be called upon to help restore a free market that is also fair to all who are willing to work; to seek new sources of energy that can save our planet; to give future generations the same chance that you had to receive an extraordinary education. And whether as a person drawn to public service, or someone who simply insists on being an active citizen, you will be exposed to more opinions and ideas broadcast through more means of communications than have ever existed before. You will hear talking heads scream on cable, read blogs that claim definitive knowledge, and watch politicians pretend to know what they’re talking about. Occasionally, you may also have the great fortune of seeing important issues debated by well-intentioned, brilliant minds. In fact, I suspect that many of you will be among those bright stars.

In this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, have confidence in the values with which you’ve been raised and educated. Be unafraid to speak your mind when those values are at stake. Hold firm to your faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. Stand as a lighthouse.

But remember too that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.

This doubt should not push us away from our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, and cause us to be wary of self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open, and curious, and eager to continue the moral and spiritual debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame. And within our vast democracy, this doubt should remind us to persuade through reason, through an appeal whenever we can to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works, charity, kindness, and service that moves hearts and minds.

For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together. It is no coincidence that it exists in Christianity and Judaism; in Islam and Hinduism; in Buddhism and humanism. It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated. The call to love. To serve. To do what we can to make a difference in the lives of those with whom we share the same brief moment on this Earth.

So many of you at Notre Dame - by the last count, upwards of 80% — have lived this law of love through the service you’ve performed at schools and hospitals; international relief agencies and local charities. That is incredibly impressive, and a powerful testament to this institution. Now you must carry the tradition forward. Make it a way of life. Because when you serve, it doesn’t just improve your community, it makes you a part of your community. It breaks down walls. It fosters cooperation. And when that happens - when people set aside their differences to work in common effort toward a common good; when they struggle together, and sacrifice together, and learn from one another - all things are possible.

After all, I stand here today, as President and as an African-American, on the 55th anniversary of the day that the Supreme Court handed down the decision in Brown v. the Board of Education. Brown was of course the first major step in dismantling the “separate but equal” doctrine, but it would take a number of years and a nationwide movement to fully realize the dream of civil rights for all of God’s children. There were freedom rides and lunch counters and Billy clubs, and there was also a Civil Rights Commission appointed by President Eisenhower. It was the twelve resolutions recommended by this commission that would ultimately become law in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

There were six members of the commission. It included five whites and one African-American; Democrats and Republicans; two Southern governors, the dean of a Southern law school, a Midwestern university president, and your own Father Ted Hesburgh, President of Notre Dame. They worked for two years, and at times, President Eisenhower had to intervene personally since no hotel or restaurant in the South would serve the black and white members of the commission together. Finally, when they reached an impasse in Louisiana, Father Ted flew them all to Notre Dame’s retreat in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin, where they eventually overcame their differences and hammered out a final deal.

Years later, President Eisenhower asked Father Ted how on Earth he was able to broker an agreement between men of such different backgrounds and beliefs. And Father Ted simply said that during their first dinner in Wisconsin, they discovered that they were all fishermen. And so he quickly readied a boat for a twilight trip out on the lake. They fished, and they talked, and they changed the course of history.

I will not pretend that the challenges we face will be easy, or that the answers will come quickly, or that all our differences and divisions will fade happily away. Life is not that simple. It never has been.

But as you leave here today, remember the lessons of Cardinal Bernardin, of Father Hesburgh, of movements for change both large and small. Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family and the same fulfillment of a life well-lived. Remember that in the end, we are all fishermen.

If nothing else, that knowledge should give us faith that through our collective labor, and God’s providence, and our willingness to shoulder each other’s burdens, America will continue on its precious journey towards that more perfect union. Congratulations on your graduation, may God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

I'm Proud to Be LGBTQ!

Take up the IDAHO Challenge - Help fight homophobia and transphobia


NGblog: Andrew Wilcow: An issue conservatives can get behind: Abort gays, transgenders, Perez Hilton

NGblog: Andrew Wilcow: An issue conservatives can get behind: Abort gays, transgenders, Perez Hilton
NG Blog's article on Andrew Wilcow will send shivers down your spine. Only a monster could live as Wilcow does.

Gender Queer Protest the APA May 18 at the Moscone Center

Protest the APA and Gender Identity Disorder!

START DATE: Monday May 18TIME: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Location Details:At the corner of 4th and Howard Street in front of the Moscone Center.Event Type: Protest

Contact Name: Danielle AskiniEmail Address: danielle [at] gidreformnow.com

Address: 1550 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Protesters call for Reform of Gender Disorders at American PsychiatricAssociation Convention

What: A coalition of transgender community advocates and mental healthproviders will gather in San Francisco May 18 to protest how theAmerican Psychiatric Association (APA) is handling revisions to“gender identity disorder” and related diagnoses in their fifthedition of the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’(DSM-V).

When: Monday May 18th Protest starts at 6:00pm,Where: At the corner of 4th and Howard Street, San Francisco –Outsidethe Moscone Center

Who: A coalition of medical and therapeutic professionals,gender-variant, transgender people, community members, and alliesworking under the name GIDreformNOW who have grave concerns about thecurrent diagnostic classification and lack of disclosure by the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group about plans for the DSM-V.

Key leaders and advocates for Transgender civil rights will be presentto speak, they include Julia Serano, PhD; Madeline Deutsch, MD; MasenDavis, MSW; Kelley Winters, PhD; Danielle Askini, MSW; Mara Keisling;Andrea James, MA; Lore Dickey, PhD; Michele Angello, PhD; and RebeccaAllison, MD.All are welcome to attend!

http://www.gidreformnow.com/© 2000–2009 San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media

Center. http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/05/15/18595137.php

Resolution by IFGE BOD to APA

Resolution by the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) Board of Directors to the American Psychiatric Association (APA)

Whereas people are naturally endowed with a wide diversity of gender expression, identities, and sexual orientations;

Whereas, the distress felt by gender non-conforming people is fundamentally due to social prejudice and heterosexism, and is not a characteristic of their identities;
Whereas diagnosis of psychological disorders has been used as a form of social control;

Whereas, the inclusion of normal variations of behavior as diagnostic criteria has been widely used to justify discrimination against gender non-conforming people by individuals, governments, and corporations; and has resulted in material harm to people;

Whereas, the principle responsibility of medicine is to "Do No Harm;"

Therefore, be it resolved that we find the American Psychiatric Association to have a responsibility to ameliorate this harm, and hereby call for the following remedies:

(1) We hereby call on the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association to issue a declaration stating that: Gender variance, and gender non-conforming behavior do not constitute a psychological disorder;

(2) We hereby call on the American Psychiatric Association to remove the diagnosis of so- called "Transvestic Fetishism," which explicitly pathologizes gender non-conforming behavior, from their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual;

(3) We hereby call for the reform of any diagnosis that can be made solely based on gender non-conforming behavior, specifically including “Gender Identity Disorder in Children.”

Resolved this day May 15, 2009 by the Board of Directors of
The International Foundation for Gender Education

Facebook IFGE: the International Foundation for Gender Education.



Rally In The Castro, May 17th : IRAQ STOP KILLING GAYS

San Francisco LGBT Community Rallies for LGBT Iraqis: Leaders Want End to Torture and Murder

(San Francisco, CA) – A broad united coalition of human rights advocates and politicians will hold a spirited rally this Sunday, May 17, in solidarity with the LGBT citizens of Iraq, who face surging violence and killings. Since 2004, hundreds of gay men have been killed or executed in Iraq. LGBT people in Iraq are targeted by clerics reviving religious pressure against gays leading to killings and by militias seeking rally their bases. Recent reports out of Baghdad document the gruesome gluing of anuses of gay men, who are forced to swallow laxatives, leading to death by diarrhea, come amid continuing genital mutilation.

Responding to the atrocities, San Francisco LGBT community holds a demonstration to support the LGBT Iraqis.

WHERE: Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market Streets
DATE: Sunday, May 17
TIME: 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Speakers: Sen. Mark Leno, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, SF Police Commission Pres,ident Theresa Sparks, Karen Kai of Rainbow World Fund, Rev. Lea Brown of the Metropolitan Community Church, Rev. Tommy Dillon of St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, Debra Walker of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, political artist Clinton Fein, and community organizers Michael Petrelis and Gary Virginia of Gays Without Borders.

Rainbow World Fund, the LGBT international humanitarian relief charity, is serving as the fiscal sponsor, and donations made through it are tax-deductible. Donations will be used to provide direct aid to the Iraqi LGBT community.

Facebook rainbowfund.org

Please share this email with your friends and post on social network sites!

Gay Russians Arrested | Boycott Eurovision

40 Arrested as Moscow Anti-Riot Police Use Violence to Break up Slavic Pride March Pride Organisers Call on Performers to Boycott Eurovision.

The Moscow mayor has banned LGBT gatherings and enforced this order with violent arrests of gay pride organizers and participants. The only hope for our GLBT brothers and sisters is a international outcry that the Russian politicians can not ignore.

CNN Arrests at Moscow gay parade ahead of Eurovision Song Contest

Gay Russia.ru Russian Gay Activists Unveil Plans for Their Slavic Pride on Eurovision Day

Call the Russian Embassy 1-202-298-5700, 5701, 5704

Contact your legislators


Lady Boys of Bangkok Show Prompts UK Cisgender Woman to Demand "Womanhood Badges"

Apparently the female staff of the venue "Hippodrome" in Yarmouth England have taken exception to the gender diverse performers of a Thai cabaret show.

To ensure no one confuses them from the performers they have demanded to be allowed to wear tee shirts and badges with the inscription "100% Woman" loudly proclaiming their cisgender womanhood.

I am wondering, should all gender diverse worldwide be made to wear a badge? Pehaps a pink triangle?

Source : EADT24 .Badges to sort women from ladyboys

By Kelli Busey Badges? We don't need no stinkin badges!
May 15, 2009

National Religious Campaign Against Torture | White House Witness June 11 2009

Source : NRCAT

We have some exciting news. NRCAT is organizing a major religious public witness at the White House at Noon on Thursday, June 11 to help launch Torture Awareness Month and bring a strong message to the President about the need for a Commission of Inquiry.

There are already five heads of faith groups and other senior religious leaders who have agreed to join us at the White House on June 11.

They are the Rev. Dr. John Thomas (General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ), Archbishop Vicken Aykazian (Armenian Church in America), Rabbi Steve Gutow (Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs), Dr. Ingrid Mattson (President of the Islamic Society of North America), and the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon (General Secretary of the National Council of Churches). These leaders are helping us to reach out to other senior religious leaders.We are also actively recruiting heads of regional religious bodies (e.g. diocesan bishops and directors of regional Jewish councils) to stand with us on June 11. And the best news is that we have received grant funding to help cover travel costs for these senior regional leaders.

Many of the details remain to be decided (check this webpage for updated info and resources), but we want to get this initial announcement to you right away so that you can build it into your local action plans for Torture Awareness Month.

We need your help to make this a powerful event with the potential to change the course of the debate on investigating U.S.-sponsored torture.
Now is the time.

NRCAT is the sole sponsor of this event so that we have full control of the tone and message to ensure that it is an explicitly religious event with religious ritual and a high degree of gravitas. We hope to have 1000 people of faith, including large numbers of clergy in clerical garb, joining these senior leaders at the White House.

What you can do:

Encourage your regional faith group leaders (e.g., "bishop-level" clergy or a rabbi who serves as director of a regional Jewish council) to travel to DC to participate in this event. Please contact us with information about regional religious leaders who may want to participate in this witness.
Encourage local clergy and people of faith to consider traveling to DC to participate in this witness. Download and copy this flier to help promote the event.

Use this event as a focal point/reference for your local organizing in June by connecting your local activities and media outreach to this national event. For example, consider organizing a local religious witness on June 11, and be sure to inform Members of Congress that any meetings you have with them during the last week of June, to talk about accountability and the Commission of Inquiry, is part of a national effort that includes this witness at the White House.
We look forward to working with you to make this a powerful part of our overall June witness.

Don't forget to order your copy of the 18-minute DVD study resource "Ending U.S.-sponsored Torture Forever." And tell us about your plans for June by completing this brief survey.

Thank you.


Linda Gustitus, President

Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Executive Director

President Obama Please Stop The War | You Promised You Would

What a shame. Today the House voted 368 to 60 to spend billions more of our tax dollars ($96.7 billion) for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While we walked the halls of Congress all week urging a "NO" vote, Congressmembers were being lobbied hard by the White House to vote for it. President Barack Obama met with the Progressive Caucus to push the war funding, and each member who showed skepticism received phone calls from the White House.
"Did you know that President Obama is more popular than Jesus Christ?," Cong. Emanuel Cleaver asked us. "I didn't like this bill, but I voted for it. It's hard to stand up to such a popular president."

Fifty-one courageous Democrats (list below), however, did just that. "The pressure was intense," said freshman Cong. Donna Edwards. "But I just returned from Afghanistan and people there kept saying that the solution is not more troops but more development assistance."

Cong. Lynn Woolsey agreed. "This bill has no exit strategy," she told us, "and it allocates over 90% of the money for the military and less than 10% for development. This even contradicts General Petraeus' own counter-insurgency doctrine of 80% non-military and 20% military."
While we were outside Congress with the banner "Stop Funding War," Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee stopped to talk to us." "I must tell you ladies that I voted for the bill this time but I don't feel good about it and I plan to revisit this. I want to thank you for being out here and tell you that you need to keep doing what you're doing, keep the pressure on--in fact, turn it up. That's the only way we'll ever get out of these wars."

Next week the war funding will be voted in the Senate. So please take Congresswoman Lee's advice and turn up the pressure. Call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask for your Senators, and say--loudly and clearly--that you want him/her to vote against more money for war. Say you want a surge in negotiations and development assistance, not troops. For more help see talking points below.

We know--and you know--that war is not the answer. Let's help Obama and Congress move us on a new path.
Yes we can, yes we will--end war.Allison, Audrey, Blaine, Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janna, Janet, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Lydia, Medea, Nancy, Pam, Paris, and Rae
PS. If you haven't seen the courageous team of Desiree Fairooz and Medea Benjamin taking on Rumsfeld, don't miss it.

Here are some key talking points:
At a time of economic crisis and multiplying domestic needs, the 2009 Supplemental is an appalling waste of our money.
The Supplemental funds the increase of troops to Afghanistan, escalating the war rather than ending it.
The Supplemental places no restrictions on American bombings in either Afghanistan or Pakistan, despite the disproportionate harm to civilian inhabitants.

The Supplemental maintains a high level of American troops in Iraq for the duration of FY 2009.

Nay Votes on H R 2346, Supplemental Appropriations, 5/14/09
Edwards (MD)
Lee (CA)
Lewis (GA)
Lofgren, Zoe
Markey (MA)
Pingree (ME)
Polis (CO)
Thompson (CA)
Frank (MA)
Miller, George
Neal (MA) Oberstar

Jamison Green | FtM Transmen and Partners Survey

In case you haven't yet heard the news from Twitter...here are two surveys that are going to offer some awesome vital resources for FTM folks and those who love them.

The surveys are being done by Jamison Green, author of “Becoming a Visible Man” and former President of FTMInternational. According to the survey "He is interested in the sexual health and satisfaction of all transmen, whether or not they have had hormones or surgery, and in the experiences of their partners. He will use the data as raw material for a book, tentatively entitled "The FTM Guide to SEX," plus academic presentations and journal articles to educate medical and therapeutic service providers about trans lives. Collaborating is urologist and surgeon Dr. Miroslav Djordjevic of Serbia. Dr. Djordjevic is interested in post-operative quality of life for all transmen who have had genital reconstruction. Dr. Djordjevic and Mr. Green plan to make professional conference presentations together and to co-author a journal article using the data collected here."
If folks have questions about who Jamison is: http://www.jamisongreen.com/

The surveys are designed for FTM or trans men and their partners. Partners do not have to be in a current relationship, and if a FTM person or trans man has been partnered to another FTM person or trans man they may of course take both surveys. In order to take the surveys you must be 18 or older. For these surveys the proctors are using the following definition for FTM or trans man: “a person who was born with a female body--and assigned female or intersex at birth--and who plans to initiate, has initiated, or has completed medical treatment to masculinize his body”, some examples of identities may include FTM, trans man, genderqueer, or intersex man.
Here is the survey for partners of FTM folks and trans men. It takes between 20-40 minutes based upon your life experience. Partners
And here is the survey for FTM folks and trans men. Again, takes between 20-40 minutes based upon your own life experiences: FTM folks
If folks have any questions about the surveys you can direct the questions to Jamison! (jamisong at earthlink.net.)

Cross posted from Coffee and Gender and Queers United


Former Catholic Achbishop is Gay | Welcome Rembert Weakland

Source : Associated Press

"NEW YORK (AP) - A Roman Catholic archbishop in Milwaukee who resigned in 2002 over a sex and financial scandal involving a man describes his struggles with being gay in an upcoming memoir about his decades serving the church."

" Archbishop Rembert Weakland tells The Associated Press that he wrote about his sexual orientation because he wanted to be candid about how it came to life in him, how he suppressed it and how it "resurrected again."

"Called "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop," the book is set to be released in June."

AP Story Former Catholic head of Milwaukee admits he's gay


Allen Andrade Sentenced To Life Plus 60 Years for Murder of Angie Zapata

May 9, 2009

Heather Draper
The GLBT Community Center of Colorado
303.733.7743 x101

GREELEY - Allen Andrade has been sentenced to life plus 60 years for all counts related to murder of Angie Zapata.

Judge Marcelo Kopcow on Friday sentenced Andrade, 32, to the maximum 60 consecutive years for the additional charges in the Zapata murder case.

On April 23, a Weld County jury found Andrade guilty of first-degree murder and a hate crime in the killing of Angie Zapata, an 18-year-old transgender woman from Greeley.

At that time, he was sentenced to life without parole.

Because Andrade was a habitual offender with prior felony convictions, the law requires him to be given four times the maximum sentence for the three other convictions related to the Zapata case: a bias-motivated crime, identity theft and aggravated motor vehicle theft.

Andrade on Friday received 12 years for the hate crime conviction, 24 years for the motor vehicle theft and 24 years for the identity theft.

"I've observed this trial in its entirety and the tragedy inflicted on the Zapata family has been horrendous," said Mindy Barton, legal director for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado. "The court, by giving the maximum sentence served consecutively, shows the heinous nature of the crime."

- end -

The GLBT Community Center

Also on the web

Pams House Blend Breaking: Angie Zapata's Killer Sentenced To 60 Additional Years

Man Gets Life Plus For Killing Transgender WomanOn Top Magazine - Cleveland,OH,USA By On Top Magazine Staff Allen J. Andrade, the man convicted to life in prison last month for the murder of Angie Zapata, an 18-year-old transgender woman ...See all stories on this topic

Transgender Killer Gets 60 Years Added To SentenceTheDenverChannel.com - Denver,CO,USADENVER -- The man convicted last month of killing an 18-year-old transgender woman was sentenced to an additional 60 years in prison because he is a ...See all stories on this topic

Additional Sentence For Transgender Murderercbs4denver.com - Denver,CO,USARead more in our Privacy Policy The man who murdered Angie Zapata, a transgender, was handed an additional sentence Friday. Last month, the court sentenced ...See all stories on this topic

60 more years for man convicted in transgender murder9NEWS.com - Denver,CO,USAGREELEY - A man convicted last month of murdering a transgender teenager was sentenced Friday to an additional 60 years in prison. ...See all stories on this topic


Arkansas Grass Roots Group 'CAR' Partners With “Know Thy Neighbor” to Publish Act 1 Ballot Initiative Signatures

Who signed the anti-gay adoption and foster care petition in Arkansas? list linked at bottom of post

Repeal Act 1 March from Center for Artistic Revolution on Vimeo.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A conservative group says it may ask Arkansas lawmakers to block the release of petition-signers’ personal information after a group posted the list of voters who had signed petitions to put adoption and foster parenting restrictions on last year’s ballot.

KnowThyNeighbor.org on April 28 posted a list of voters who signed petitions to put an initiated act banning unmarried couples from fostering or adopting children on the ballot. Voters approved the act, which took effect Jan. 1.

The Arkansas Family Council, which pushed for the act, complained that placing that list online violated the privacy of voters who signed petitions. The council says it will ask Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for an advisory opinion on whether the information can be released.

On the Web

Gay and Lesbian Times AP Article "Ark. group seeks to restrict petition information"

Arkansas Ballot Arkansas Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban (2008)

Opponents of Act 1 Center For Artistic Revolution

Proponent organization of ACT 1 Adoption Ban Family Action Council Committee

Publisher of signatures of Act a Signatures Know Thy Neighbor.org

Who signed the anti-gay adoption and foster care petition in Arkansas? Click Here to Find OUT! "NOTE: CAR DOES NOT advocate any derogatory actions based on the publication of the Act 1 petition signatures information. Our intention in publishing the list is to shine the light while promoting and furthering the dialog regarding equality in Arkansas."

By Kelli Busey
May 8, 2009


Bay Area Faith Communities Prepare For Day of Decision

Updated schedule as of May 16th at bottom of post.
The ruling is expected to be announced by June 5, join others of faith and stand for equality at the following events.

1. Prayer Service on the EVE of Decision Day – Grace Cathedral (pictured right, 1100 California Street San Francisco) 7:00 – 8:30 pm The night before the announcement of the CA Supreme Court’s decision, we invite the Bay Area community to come for an evening of songs and meditation that will center our hearts on peace, healing and understanding.

2. Service/Blessing on Decision Day – St. Francis Lutheran Church (pictured left, 152 Church St. San Francisco, across from Castro Safeway) 8:30 – 9:15 am The morning of the day of decision, we invite the Bay Area community to come for encouraging music and words from community leaders, testimonies from married couples and blessings for those who will be doing civil disobedience. We will march in a procession from the church to Civic Center Plaza. Clergy are requested to come in their clerical garments.

3. Circle of Care – Civic Center Plaza If Proposition 8 is upheld, we will surround those who are willing to be arrested in civic disobedience as we sing, and move aside as they are arrested. See the following page for more information.

4. The “Sunday” After – The weekend following the court decision, clergy and worship leaders are encouraged to address the theological, social and emotional effects of the court decision during their worship service. Read the clergy Resource Kit that is attached to gain ideas on how to articulate your message. Marriage is not just a nice idea for some. To deny it is a form of bashing. On Decision Day, a group of people will participate in civil disobedience if the Supreme Court upholds Prop 8. In partnership with an interfaith group of clergy, we'll do a peaceful street blockade with the message SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL! We're looking for people to participate in this action with us, and for friends who will support us as peacekeepers and legal observers. For more information, please email action@onestruggleonefight.com.

SPONSORED BY: Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations, California Faith for Equality Congregation, Sha'ar Zahav Fellowship of the Rainbow Progressive Jewish Alliance Jewish Mosaic - The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, California Council of Churches Colage, The Fellowship Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, Freedom in Christ Church of San Francisco Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies of Pacific School of Religion Equality California Marriage Equality USA Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry California Glide Memorial United Methodist Church Grace Cathedral St. Francis Lutheran Church One Struggle, One Fight Nueva Vida Ministries The Society of Franciscan Workers API Equality PANA Institute of Pacific School of Religion Network on Religion and Justice for API

CONTACT: Rev. Roland Stringfellow at rstringfellow@clgs.org

Facebook event page Prop 8 Decision Day Religious Events in the Bay Area

Subject: SF Day of Decision events - update as of may 16th - spread the word

The California Supreme Court's ruling is nearly upon us, and could come down any day now.Here's a rundown of all of the activities in San Francisco -- please spread the word far and wide:ON THE NIGHT PRIOR TO THE RULING:- 7:00pm to 8:30pm: Interfaith Prayer service at Grace Cathedral (1100 California St). All peaceful loving people are invited to come together for this service, no matter what their position on the court case may be.

THE DAY OF THE RULING:- 8:30am to 9:15am: Service/Blessing at St. Francis Lutheran Church (152 Church St, across from Safeway).- 9:15am to 10am: March from Saint Francis to Civic Center Plaza.- 10:00am to 10:30: California Supreme Court steps (400 McAllister St) Everyone is invited to stand with us on the steps to receive the ruling.

If you are a couple that married, or wanted to marry and will speak to media, please email your name, contact information, phone number and story to media@marriageequality.org.

Please bring your families and allies with you.- 10:30am: Circle of Care at Civic Center Plaza. If the marriage ban is upheld, a group of Bay Area clergy and congregants will engage in nonviolent civil disobedience immediately after receiving the ruling go to http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.onestruggleonefight.org for details.

Emceed by Stuart Gaffney, John Lewis, Lawrence Ellis, Molly McKay and Davina Kotulski- 5:00pm to 6:00: Pre-March Rally at SF City Hall (speakers include Terry Stewart, Kate Kendall and others)- 6:00pm to 7:00: March to MLK Memorial at Yerba Buena Gardens (4thand Mission, next to Metreon). Follow http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://twitter.com/stop8dotorgfor live updates from the march.- 7:00pm to 8:30: Post-March Gathering at Yerba Buena Gardens, (speakers including Rev. Amos Brown , Dolores Huerta music, and next steps)(We NEED volunteers for SF's Day of Decision. Please email volunteer coordinator Dolores at d_lorlor101@yahoo.com. We need help with peacekeepers, handing out stickers, postcards and chant sheets.)For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.marriageequality.org or http://www.facebook.com/l/;dayofdecision.org

THE SATURDAY AFTER THE RULING:- Meet in the Middle for Equality in Fresno:http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://www.meetinthemiddle4equality.com/- Saturday: March from Selma to Fresno, meeting at 6:30am and kickingoff at 7:50amBuses leave from San Francisco - join your fellow love warriors for a road trip for justice you will always remember!- Saturday: Rally in Fresno; warmup at noon, kickoff at 1pmPLEASE INVITE AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE!


Marriage Equality Down To The Wire | Call New Hampshire Governor

NH House votes to send marriage equality bill to the Governor. By a vote of 178 to 167 the NH House voted to accept the Senate version of the bill and send the bill on to the Governor. It is all up to him now! He can veto, sign the bill or allow it to become law without his signature.
Today NH Freedom to Marry delivered petitions to the Governors office containing 12,000 signature's. We must continue to keep the pressure on.

Funds Needed
We are being outspent three to one by the opposition. We can not allow them to do in NH what they did in California with proposition 8.
They have made a $50,000 ad buy in NH. They are running ads featuring and targeting Governor Lynch himself. We can not allow them to outspend us by that degree. We have created an add that is now running on cable in limited locations. We must remain competitive and by more ad time. Now is the time to dig deep and help raise the funds needed. Donate Here

Call the Governor
The community is mobilizing like never before to win equality!
We are;
1) canvasing to collect signatures on the petitions. Please join other Freedom to Marry volunteers? Can you provide community housing for our volunteers as we move from town to town. We are working in Porstmouth, Keene, Concord, Hanover Manchester and Nashua. Do you have a guest room? A couch in the basement? If we are not in your town, start your own canvas, we will help you begin. If you can help contact heather@nhftm.org

We must collect thousands of signatures on our equality petition. Please click here to sign online or to download petitions to help collect signatures. Return these signatures to us by fax or call for us to pick them up.
2) Phone banking is happening in Concord 5PM to 9PM
3) Make a lawn sign, "support equality" send us a picture of yourself with your sign to http://us.mc456.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=info@nhftm.org
2) Write a letter to the editor click here
Join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @NHfreedom2marry

Take Action NOW! Click here to take action


The American Psychiatric Association is holding their annual meeting in San Francisco from May 16 to 21, 2009. On May 18th a number of Transgender community members and allies are presenting on "Gender Identity Disorder" and the need to reform this diagnosis. We are calling on the APA to make an official statement that all Gender Identities and Expressions are natural human variation, and not disease or mental illness. And for the APA to reshape the upcoming DSM V version to remove stigmatizing and problematic portions of the diagnosis "Gender Identity Disorder."

Date: Monday, May 18, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Moscone Center
Street: Howard St & 4th St
City/Town: San Francisco, CA
View Map

Phone: 7018851125
Email: protestgenderdx@gmail.com
FaceBook event page

Gayla Prom Southern Methodist University June 6th

Online ticket sales for the Masquerade Ball Gayla Prom is now open. Tickets are currently $10 until May 15th, They will be $15 from May 16th until June 5th and $20 at the door. Multiple tickets can be purchased and all sales are final. To purchase tickets go to gaylaprom.org and click “Buy Tickets”
The theme this year is “Masquerade Ball,” so it should be tons of fun to dress up, get in costume, and fill your dance card at the most inclusive prom in north Texas!

In 2008 Resource Center of Dallas became the new home of the Dallas/Fort Worth Gayla prom. This event was started in 1997 by the Walt Whitman Community School. Over the past 12 years the Gayla Prom has grown from a small yearly event to THE social gala for GLBTQ youth in North Texas.

One of the largest events of its kind in the country, Gayla Prom offers something to all who attend. Voted "Best Prom" by the Dallas Observer in 2008, Gayla Prom gives youth from all over the opportunity to celebrate with their friends in a safe and positive environment.

Be One in A Million Governor Schwarzenegger | Honor Harvey Milk

The same group, motivated by fear and hate, who brought us Prop 8 is at it again with a new target.

This time they are turning up the heat, urging their members to contact the governor asking him to veto EQCA’s legislation–authored by Senator Mark Leno–to honor my uncle, Harvey Milk.
The governor needs to see a groundswell of support for legislation to honor one of our movement’s greatest heroes, Harvey Milk. Please sign the petition today!
This morning, EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors will be joined by Senator Leno and Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of the movie “Milk,” to give testimony before the Senate Education Committee urging the passage of this legislation that pays tribute to the sacrifices Harvey made to advance equality.
Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill saying that my uncle was a figure of only local significance. Since then, millions have seen how important my uncle was to the LGBT rights movement – and how he inspired so many to fight for what is right.
Please sign the petition to Governor Schwarzenegger and urge him to sign the Harvey Milk Day bill. You can even add in a special message about what Harvey Milk means to you.
The deadline is fast approaching. All the petitions will be delivered to the Governor on May 22, my uncle’s birthday.
Stuart Millk
Watch Senator Mark Leno, EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors and Dustin Lance Black, the award-wining screen-writer of Milk, testify at the Senate Education Committee for the Harvey Milk Day legislation.
Watch on Cal Channel >
Join the Facebook rally!

There is no excuse for failing to protect Texas school children.

Bullying & harassment are not rites of passage; they are serious problems.
Children are being bullied to death.

When will the madness stop?
In 2007, the anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying "Corinne's Law" was introduced in the Texas Legislature by Rep. Harold Dutton and supported by Equality Texas.
The bill died on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives for lack of action.

YOU can help stop the madness.

Urge passage of House Bill 1323 by Rep. Mark Strama.
Take Action. Ask your representative to vote FOR HB 1323. Help stop the madness.

Tell me more
Send this message to:
Your Representative (if you live in Texas)
Talking Points
House Bill 1323 will not end bullying and harassment in Texas schools.
It is, however, a step toward acknowledging the existence of serious problems and initiating steps to deal with them.
HB 1323:
Expands the definition of bullying by including bullying by electronic means such as computers, cell phones, text messaging, and instant messaging;
Expands the current definition of bullying to include incidents that occur off school property if the communication is likely to cause a disruption to the educational environment of a campus;
Provides for the movement of the bully to another classroom or campus, at the discretion of school administation. Currently, the victim is required to move to another classroom or campus;
Expands the mandatory sexual harassment policy that school districts are required to have to include bullying.
Requires notification of the parents or guardians of both the victim and the student who is bullying or sexually harassing another student;
Expands the state's Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) reporting requirement to include incidents of bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment. Includes a requirement to report if incidents were a result of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.

Dear [ Decision Maker ],
(Edit Letter Below)I live in your district and you are my state representative. I am writing to ask you to vote FOR Representative Mark Strama's Anti-Bullying Bill - HB 1323.
There is no excuse for failing to protect Texas school children. Bullying and harassment are not rites of passage. Our children are being bullied and cyberbullied to death.
When will this madness stop?
HB 1323 expands the definition of bullying by including bullying by electronic means such as computers, cell phones, text messaging, and instant messaging.
HB 1323 expands the current definition of bullying to include incidents that occur off school property if the communication is likely to cause a disruption to the educational environment of a campus.
HB 1323 provides for the movement of the bully to another classroom or campus, at the discretion of school administation. Currently, the victim is required to move to another classroom or campus.
HB 1323 expands the mandatory sexual harassment policy that school districts are required to have to include bullying.
HB 1323 requires notification of the parents or guardians of both the victim and the student who is bullying or sexually harassing another student.
HB 1323 expands the state's Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) reporting requirement to include incidents of bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment.
We can stop this madness. I urge you to support and vote for House Bill 1323 by Representative Strama.
Sincerely,[Your name] [Your address]
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