This was the reaction Julia gave when she was asked to engage in a 'Courageous Conversation' about marriage equality by Eric McCormack! Eric thinks we could do a little better! We certainly could do worse than giving a little donation to our allies in the Courage Campaign.
That requirement, should I still be living in Maryland, would have denied me the opportunity to live my life in the pursuit of happiness as my birth state of Ohio is one of two states that will not amend or issue a new birth certificate regardless if sexual reassignment surgery had been performed or not.
Thank god for little mercies, but wait! They are not finished yet! They admit that the procedure that has been in place for a decade has been effective but they are still considering making statutory changes.
This leaves the door open so as EQMD states "this is a victory" for now insuring we don't slide backwards but it is only that, only a temporary stay.
Please support Equality Maryland's efforts across the board!
email from Equality Maryland:
As you know, the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) was looking at requiring an amended birth certificate in order for transgender individuals to update the gender marker on their driver's license. It was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2010. This would have required going through the court system. Additionally, a birth certificate change can only be done if the sex of an individual has been changed by surgical procedure.
After literally hundreds of calls and e-mails into the offices of the Governor and the Attorney General, we just received wonderful news - the proposed policy has been halted.
The Attorney General's office shared the following statement from the MVA:
MVA believes that the current policy on gender designation which has been in practice for almost a decade is secure and the procedures we have adopted ensures reasonable accommodation for individuals who are making a gender transition change. At this time, MVA is not effecting a change to that policy. However, written legal advice received from the Office of Attorney General clearly states that MVA's current policy does not meet all statutory requirements and we are therefore continuing to work with the Office of Attorney General before making a final determination on whether a policy update is appropriate.
The MVA intends to stick with current procedures; however, they continue to assert that the policy may not meet all statutory requirements. Equality Maryland and our partners will work to convene relevant stakeholders to either secure a change in the statutory requirements or assess possible policy revisions. We have already scheduled a strategy meeting in the New Year.
Having a legal identity document that does not match a person's gender exposes them to potential risk not just of embarrassment, but of harassment as well. We are pleased that the MVA was willing to halt the implementation of this dangerous policy change in order to allow for constructive dialogue. There is still work to do, but for now let's take a moment to celebrate.
All the best to you and yours this holiday season,
Equality Maryland press release: MVA Delays Implementation of Harmful License Policy
P.S. Support our efforts to protect the rights of transgender Marylanders! We are on the front lines with you everyday working to update and enhance the protections that exist for transgender Marylanders and avoid rollbacks like the proposed policy. Help us keep up the fight by visiting Equality Maryland.org today and making a donation!
Catholic priests continue to rape babies.
Source: Thalamus Center: "The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, according to a shocking documentary to be screened by the BBC tonight."
While he was a cardinal, ultra conservative Joseph Ratzinger who was then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a Vatican edict Read the previously secret document to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church's interests ahead of child safety. Read this and much more by Father Marty Kurylowicz at the Thalamus Center - Early Childhood Psychological Development Growing Up Gay
Prior to the recent additional public disclosure of the latest catholic aiding and abetting of pedophile catholic priests, Archbishop Vincent Nichols Chairman of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, attacked the BBC for what it considered 'sensational tactics' regarding it's reporting of catholic child abuse and issued a statement that "The Catholic Church in England and Wales is doing so,(apply[ing] the law of the Church to allegations and offences of child abuse) with transparency and care, and, in every case, cooperating fully and immediately with public authorities."Read Vincent Nichols statement
Once again the catholic pope's duplicitous, insidious and demonic insistence to cultivate a secretive society where the raping of children is promoted and protected is being laid bare, exposed to the world. Recent developments have proven Archbishop Vincent Nichols to be in collusion with the Vatican and also a liar as Irish #Catholic's are accused of pedophile priest cover-up http://bit.ly/4Uvqpy and second bishop resigns while police promise justice http://bit.ly/5xdPYO
How long must we allow catholic criminals to rape babies before our governments protect the most innocent? How long will the Catholic church be allowed to defer justice by financing and sensationalizing its war against transgender and homosexual people? Apparently not very long as the Irish police have sworn to break it's 2,000 year pact of cooperation with the Vatican and pursue criminal charges against the church. [cynically written]
Read complete article - London Evening Standard – standard.co.uk
Now, more than ever, LGBT Anglicans in Uganda need our prayers and financial support. That's why Integrity USA's Board of Directors has designated 10% of all donations received during the 100,000 Blessings campaign to the Hopkins Fund for Global Mission—almost all of which will be allocated to the ministry of Integrity Uganda during 2010.
It costs $700 per month to provide the members of Integrity Uganda with a safe meeting space, public transportation to worship, and emergency assistance with basic living expenses. Many members have little or no income--they have been fired from their jobs and ostracized by their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Health care for malaria and HIV/AIDS is financially unobtainable for some.
During Christmastide, we're asking you to make a gift to the 100,000 Blessings campaign so that Integrity USA can continue providing vital aid to our sisters and brothers in Uganda . Our goal is to raise at least $8400 for Integrity Uganda during the next 12 days.
Click here to visit the campaign website and make a donation!
A contribution of $1000 or more will qualify you for lifetime membership. If you wish, you may give in honor or memory of a loved one. Remember that donations to Integrity are tax-deductible.--Posted By Integrity USA to Walking With Integrity at 12/24/2009 10:08:00 AM
The Egyptian Times reports "King Herod Fooled, Furious at Deception".
King Herod ever mindful of the Iranian terrorism threat was moved to action. The Palace homeland security interned the Maji and using enhanced interrogation technics ascertained that a new star had been discovered and that three Maji priests of the Zarathustra religion had stopped at the Walmart and purchased gifts of gold, and frankincense and myrrh while enroute to the Christ Child.
"King Herod is really pissed" says a unnamed palace source who wished to remain anonymous. The King a orthodox conservative fearful that a new culture of love and inclusiveness might result acted on the information gleaned from the water boarded Maji. The Maji under interrogation had disclosed the exact time the star appeared. Herod then dispatched blackwater agents to the location to find the child and bring him back however they returned and reported the child was not to be found at that address.
King Orders Death To All Children in Bethlehem vicinity.
The Orthodox king Herod fearing that a new religion uniting Persians and Ethiopians alike might be spawned by this Christ child, issued a decree all infants are to be slain in Bethlehem.
Last updated 15 hrs BC.
"Radicals" is a obvious reference to Transgender and Gay people.
A "SLAP in the FACE" is violence.
Satisfaction is what the Catholic church enjoys in committing violence against transgender and gay people.
Its simple. The Catholic church would rather see you on the end of this
than on this.
Breaking News: Rwandan Parliament to Vote on Criminalizing Homosexuality.
The lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will vote on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has learned that the proposed Article 217 of the draft Penal Code Act will criminalize "[a]ny person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice." Rwanda's Chamber of Deputies will vote on the draft code December 16, 2009. If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will likely go before the Rwandan Senate in early 2010.
Article 217 violates Rwandans' basic human rights and is contradictory to the Rwandan Constitution as well as various regional and international conventions. IGLHRC, the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), and Rwanda's Horizon Community Association (HOCA) will shortly issue a call to action to demand that the Rwandan Parliament withdraw this article. We urge the international community to act against this proposed law and support the equality, dignity, and privacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Rwanda.
This draft provision targeting LGBT people closely follows the introduction of a similar measure in neighboring Uganda, where the nation's parliament is currently debating an Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The proposed Ugandan law would prohibit all LGBT activism and organizing, would further criminalize consensual same-sex conduct between adults, which is already illegal in Uganda, and in some cases apply the death penalty.
Find out more information about LGBT Human Rights in Rwanda %raquo;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2009
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Hails Governor Paterson's Signing Tomorrow of Executive Order Barring Discrimination Against Transgender State Employees
New York State To Become Seventh State to Offer Job Protections to Transgender Public Employees
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) hails New York State Gov. David A. Paterson's planned signing tomorrow of an executive order barring discrimination against transgender state employees. New York will become the seventh state to protect public employees from discrimination based on gender identity or expression, after Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
"Like everyone else, transgender employees deserve to be judged on their ability to do the job, and not on who they are," TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman said. "This executive order will ensure that hard-working transgender employees of New York State can work without fear of discrimination, and provide for themselves and their families," he added. “We applaud Governor Paterson for taking this important step for transgender equal rights.”
Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace. Forty-seven percent of transgender people report being fired, or denied a job or promotion just because of who they are. In one recent Florida case, 17-year-old Zikerria Bellamy was denied a job at a McDonald's restaurant because she is transgender. Miss Bellamy applied online for the job, but after managers learned that she is transgender, she received a voicemail message from one of the them telling her, "You will not get hired. We do not hire fa**ots." TLDEF filed a complaint on Miss Bellamy's behalf on Dec. 7.
Few protections exist for transgender people who experience employment discrimination. In 38 states, there is no law protecting people from being fired because they are transgender. In New York, while a number of municipalities protect transgender workers from on-the-job discrimination, there is no statewide law offering such protection. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which would add gender identity and expression to the state's non-discrimination law, has been repeatedly introduced and passed by the state Assembly, but it has never been passed by the state Senate.
Federal law similarly offers no job protection for transgender people. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on the person's gender identity or sexual orientation. ENDA has been stalled in the House of Representatives despite demands by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans that Congress take swift action to pass the legislation.
"We applaud Gov. Paterson for recognizing that transgender New Yorkers should have the chance to earn a living and provide for their families without being refused a job or fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their ability to do the job," Silverman added.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression, and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, community organizing and public policy efforts.
"...may eventually remove the need for surgery in gender reassignment treatment." Imagine a doctor visit with threapist note in hand and leaving the office with a blue pill for Boy or pink pill Girl. Questioning may be a multicolor, who knows!
Gene that keeps females, female uncovered by ‘sex reversal’ in adult female miceGene that keeps females, female uncovered by ‘sex reversal’ in adult female mice.
10 December 2009
By ‘turning off’ a gene Foxl2, scientist have seen ovary cells become more like testes’ in an adult mammal, according to new landmark research by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).
Scientists have shown that this single gene, which is found on a non-sex chromosome, is solely responsible for keeping the ovary as an ovary in adults and acts by directly suppressing the male-promoting gene Sox9. Using genetic tricks to turning off the gene Foxl2 in adult female mice, scientists made a dramatic change to cell types in the ovary, making them more closely resemble those in a testis. The cells produced testosterone and organised into structures resembling those responsible for sperm production (although sperm was not produced).
The research has wide-ranging implications for reproductive medicine and challenges several long held assumptions about sex determination; that female development happens by default, is fixed and relies solely on the X and Y chromosome. The Foxl2 gene was thought to be important for normal ovary development and for female fertility, but until now its role in maintaining the adult ovary, was unknown.
Dr Robin Lovell Badge, from the Medical Research Council’s, National Institute for Medical Research said:
“We take it for granted that we maintain the sex we are born with, including whether we have testes or ovaries. But this work shows that the activity of a single gene, Foxl2, is all that prevents adult ovary cells turning into cells found in testes. If it is possible to make these changes in adult humans it may eventually remove the need for surgery in gender reassignment treatment. If this does become possible, it’s likely that while treated individuals would make the right hormones for their new sex, fertility would be lost”.
Dr Mathias Treier, Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory said:
“We were surprised by the results. We expected the mice to stop producing oocytes (eggs), but what happened was much more dramatic: somatic cells which support the developing egg took on the characteristics of the cells which usually support developing sperm, and the gender-specific hormone-producing cells also switched from a female to a male cell type.”
These findings could help to understand and eventually treat certain conditions affecting fertility and sexual development, such as the masculinising effects of menopause seen in some women and some cases of premature ovarian failure. It also offers for the first time the suggestion that fertility treatment options might be available for sex differentiation conditions in children with intersex conditions.
Notes to editors:
1. “Somatic Sex Reprogramming of Adult Ovaries to Testes by FOXL2 Ablation” will be published in the Journal Cell.
2. For almost 100 years the Medical Research Council has improved the health of people in the UK and around the world by supporting the highest quality science. The MRC invests in world-class scientists. It has produced 29 Nobel Prize winners and sustains a flourishing environment for internationally recognised research. The MRC focuses on making an impact and provides the financial muscle and scientific expertise behind medical breakthroughs, including the first antibiotic penicillin, the structure of DNA and the lethal link between smoking and cancer. Today MRC funded scientists tackle research into the major health challenges of the 21st century
3. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a basic research institute funded by public research monies from 20 member states (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) and associate member state Australia. Research at EMBL is conducted by approximately 80 independent groups covering the spectrum of molecular biology. The Laboratory has five units: the main Laboratory in Heidelberg, and Outstations in Hinxton (the European Bioinformatics Institute), Grenoble, Hamburg, and Monterotondo near Rome. The cornerstones of EMBL’s mission are: to perform basic research in molecular biology; to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to offer vital services to scientists in the member states; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and to actively engage in technology transfer activities. EMBL’s International PhD Programme has a student body of about 170. The Laboratory also sponsors an active Science and Society programme. Visitors from the press and public are welcome.
Press contact: 020 7637 6011
Speech transcription courtesy of Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)
“Opposing grave human rights violations
on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”
ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Thursday, December 10th 2009 at 1.15 p.m. – 2.45 p.m
Let me begin by expressing my warmest gratitude to the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, and to the coalition of non-government organizations defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Thank you for making this event possible and for giving us this opportunity to contribute our voices to this ongoing conversation for change. Our esteemed participants, beautiful beings, and profound expressions of this Universe, a warm, vibrant, and dignified afternoon to each and every one of you!
Burned at stake. Strangled and hanged. Raped and shot and stabbed to death. Throats slashed. Left to bleed to death. These are just some of the ways transgender people were killed in different parts of the world, in different times in the history of humanity. These are just the tip, the violent tip, of the iceberg of our suffering. I can go on and on, reciting a litany of indignity upon indignity, but my time is not enough to name all the acts of atrocious cruelty that transgender people experience. But what is the point of counting the dead bodies of our fellow human beings, of narrating how we suffer, and of opposing violence against us if we don’t challenge the root of our oppression?
The sincerity of our intention to address the human rights violations against transgender people rests upon the depth of our appreciation of human diversity and the breadth of our understanding of why transgender people suffer these indignities.
The root of our oppression is the belief that there is only one and only one way to be male or female. And this starts from our birth. Upon a quick look on our genitals, we are assigned into either male or female. This declaration is more than just a statement of what’s between our legs. It is a prescription of how we should and must live our lives. It is a dictation of what we should think about ourselves, the roles we should play, the clothes we should wear, the way we should move, and the people with whom we should have romantic or erotic relationships. But the existence of people whose identities, bodies, and experiences do not conform to gender norms is a proof that this belief is wrong.
Nonetheless, even though the truth of human diversity is so evident and clear to us, we choose to hang on to our current beliefs about gender, a belief that rejects reality and forces people to live a lie. This is the belief that leads to attacks on our physical and mental integrity, to different forms of discrimination against us, and to our social marginalization. This is the belief that led to Joan of Arc to be burned at stake because she was cross-dressing. This is the belief that motivated the rape and murder of Brandon Teena on December 31, 1993. This is the belief that led to the stabbing to death of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist in Turkey, on March 10, 2009. This is the belief that led to the arrest of 67 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia for cross-dressing in June this year. This is the belief that keeps the list of transgender people being harassed, killed, and violated growing year after year. And it is very unfortunate that our legal systems, religions, and cultures are being used to justify, glorify, and sanctify the violent expressions of this belief.
So we question: Is human life less precious than this belief? Is our right to life, to dignified existence, to liberty, and pursuit of happiness subservient to gender norms? This doesn’t need a complicated answer. You want to be born, to live, and die with dignity – so do we! You want the freedom to express the uniqueness of the life force within you – so do we! You want to live with authenticity – so do we!
Now is the time that we realize that diversity does not diminish our humanity; that respecting diversity does not make us less human; that understanding and accepting our differences do not make us cruel. And in fact, history has shown us that denying and rejecting human variability is the one that has lead us to inflict indignity upon indignity towards each other.
We are human beings of transgender experience. We are your children, your partners, your friends, your siblings, your students, your teachers, your workers, your citizens.
Let our lives delight in the same freedom of expression that you enjoy as you manifest to the outside world your unique and graceful selves.
Let us live together in the fertile ground of our common humanity for this is the ground where religion is not a motivation to hate but a way to appreciate the profound beauty and mysteries of life;
for this is the ground where laws are not tools to eliminate those who are different from us but are there to facilitate our harmonious relationship with each other;
for this is the ground where culture is not a channel to express the brutality of our limited perception but a means to express the nobility of our souls;
for this is the ground where the promise of the universality of human rights can be fulfilled!
And we will be in this ground if we let the sanity of our desires, the tenacity of our compassion, and above all, the lucidity of our hearts to reign in our lives.
by: Sass Rogando Sasot, transgender activist, Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)
Links to the entire webcast:
In English: Click Here
En español: haga clic aquí
Special thanks to: bird of paradox, UK for writing about this and to Stephanie Stevens for posting this on Transgender News and helping to give this incredible speech the attention it deserves. Thank you.
Join Us Wednesday for Governor Paterson's Special Policy Announcement for Transgender New Yorkers
We've got a special treat for all of our friends in the New York City area. And we're pretty sure that the rest of you will like it, too. On Wednesday, December 16, New York State Governor David A. Paterson will join us to make a major policy announcement affecting the lives of transgender New Yorkers. And you're invited to be there to hear it first! The Governor's office has asked us not to reveal what he will announce, but I can tell you that you'll definitely want to be there to hear it for yourself on Wednesday morning.
Who: New York State Governor David A. Paterson
What: A major policy announcement for the transgender community in New York State
Where: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, Manhattan
When: Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 10:30 a.m. Arrive early - doors open at 10 a.m.
Why: To hear Governor Paterson's announcement and thank him for his tireless efforts to achieve equal rights for New York State's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
It's important that we have a strong turnout to thank the Governor for his tireless efforts on behalf of the entire LGBT community in New York State. I'm incredibly excited about what the Governor is doing and I know that you will be, too. We hope we'll see you on Wednesday!
Aliases: Brian Nanes, Luis Santiago
Sex: Male Race: Hispanic Current Age: 25 Height: 5'9" Weight: 140 lbs. Hair (Color, Description, Facial Hair): Black
Scars and Tattoos: Unknown design on right arm
Traits and Habits: Drug user, may use methamphetamines,
Frequent sexual encounters with transgender women
Last Seen: Hollywood , CA
Other Possible Locations: Los Angeles , CA
Believed to be homeless. Known to frequent the Hollywood and Rampart areas.
If you have information about Jesus Catalan please contact AMW at 1-800-CRIME-TV OR CLICK HERE for a link to AMW.
Last updated December 13, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Dealey Plaza
Street: 411 Elm St.
City/Town: Dallas, TX
Host: Equality March TexasContact Shawn Amoei @ 972-603-5418 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further info
Do you know what Human Rights are?
Every person is entitled to certain rights – simply by the fact that they are a human being. They are "rights" because they are things you are allowed to be, to do or to have. These rights are there for your protection against people who might want to harm or hurt you. They are also there to help us get along with each other and live in peace.
Many people know something about their rights. They know they have a right to be paid for the work they do and they have a right to vote. But there exist many other rights.
When human rights are not well known by people, abuses such as discrimination, intolerance, injustice, oppression and slavery can arise.
Born out of the atrocities and enormous loss of life during World War II, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created by the United Nations to provide a common understanding of what everyone’s rights are. It forms the basis for a world built on freedom, justice and peace.
The Dallas Voice reports that "The honor was conferred by the Committee on Women and the Family in the lower house of the Argentine Congress in recognition of Romero’s 10-year court battle to have legal documents issued recognizing her identity as a woman."
This accomplishment is astounding. Ms. Romero'a battle for life has included separating her transgender expression from the patriarchal, hetero and homo-normative misogynistic "drag Queen" genre, imprisonment and physical assault. The recognition of Ms. Romero by Argentina's goverment was not a universally appreciated event as some of the members of the government's lower house walked out during the announcement.
I wonder if any of the upset people were American conservative ultra orthodox Anglicans who recently absconded to the "Southern Cone"?
Also on the Web:
pagina12.com. Respetar el genero, transformar el cuerpo
By kelli Anne (former Anglican) Busey
Source Time.com"The late-November afternoon sun bore down on the park in downtown Kampala, and all along the benches, Ugandan office workers took their siestas. There could have been no less likely setting for criminal conspiracies to topple an East African state. Still, the doctor's voice dropped a notch when an office worker in a brown suit settled in close by. The medic shifted a battered fedora over his eyes. "I am the gay doctor," the physician whispered to me, making sure nobody around heard. He talked about the gay and lesbian couples who go to his office to avoid ridicule in public hospitals. "They know they can trust me, and trust is a big issue," he said. "There is the stigma of being gay, but also the stigma of being [HIV] positive. They are such hidden communities. Nobody wants to deal with their problems."
"In a matter of weeks, the Ugandan doctor's admission to TIME could land him in jail and his patients on death row. An anti-homosexuality bill now before Uganda's Parliament would include some of the harshest anti-gay regulations in the world. If the bill becomes law, the doctor, who asked that his name not be published, could be prosecuted for "aiding and abetting homosexuality." In one version of the bill, his sexually active HIV-positive patients could be found guilty of practicing acts of "aggravated homosexuality," a capital crime, according to the bill"
Read more: Time.com Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill: Inspired by the U.S.
"The draft bill, which is under consideration by a parliamentary committee, will drop the two punishments to attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala."
Full article at Bloomburg.com Uganda to Drop Death Penalty, Life in Jail for Gays (Update1)
The blood of murdered LGBT people in Uganda is on your hands Richard Cohen.
LGBT AMERICANS OUTRAGED AT DELAY IN BASIC JOB RIGHTS
In light of continuing delays in the House of Representatives, we must state clearly and unequivocally: Passing basic job protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people must happen now. At a time when our government is deeply focused on the critical issue of employment, it is inexcusable to delay action on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Each and every job lost to prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity needlessly compounds the unemployment challenges facing our nation. We call on Congress for the immediate passage of ENDA.
For decades now, we have called upon Congress to pass legislation to address the basic right of LGBT people to work free from discrimination at our jobs, and now Congress tells us we must wait another year. In 29 states, it remains legal to fire people based on sexual orientation and in 38 states, discrimination based on gender identity remains legal. In failing to take swift action to pass ENDA, our government allows unfettered bigotry to go unchecked, leading to the loss of jobs, fear in the workplace, economic instability, and personal hardship, while allowing employers to lose competent experienced workers. ENDA is urgently needed by our communities.
The majority of Americans consistently state their support for employment protections and voters have affirmed similar state and local measures. There is absolutely no reason for Congress to continue to delay this non-controversial bill or drop LGBT issues to the bottom of their agenda. We will not be denied basic rights any longer. Nothing is more important than protecting peoples' jobs so ENDA must pass now. Further delays are absolutely unacceptable.
Click here to send this message.
Serving on the Board of Directors of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is one of the things I'm most proud of in my life. I do it because there are still far too many people—especially young people—who are harassed, abused or abandoned because of who they are. That's why I'm asking you to join me in making an urgent donation to the Gay & Lesbian Center today.
Set our hearts on fire as we sign the "Affirmation Declaration"
The Affirmation Declaration is a statement that expresses the convictions of Christians all over the world. It was written in response to the now famous Manhattan Declaration, to correct egregious errors contained in the document, errors that have been preached in the pulpits of many local churches for far too long.
With the growing notoriety and support for the Manhattan Declaration, our Affirmation Declaration reflects an urgent need to respond to the portion of the Manhattan Declaration dealing with issues related to sexual orientation—specifically, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We strongly disagree with the contention that same-sex attractions and the oft-resulting romantic activities are immoral.
Because of the large number of people affected by this serious issue one way or the other, we felt it expedient to respond formally, both by submitting our Declaration to the drafters of the Manhattan Declaration, as well as by releasing our Declaration to the public, allowing Christians to show their support for love and affirmation, just as so many have shown their support for the propagation of false doctrines of oppression and inequality against the GLBTI (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Intersex) community.
We also desire to let the world know that not all Christians are locked in what we believe to be an ancient worldview regarding homosexuality. We want to give people hope—hope to know that God loves them just as they are; hope to know that their gay loved ones are not destined for Hell; hope to know that although some Christian churches will never accept them or their same-sex unions, a great many will.
May the signatures we garner serve as a fire that will never burn out, lighting the way through the darkness of bad theology, and setting Christ's Church back on the right track as it relates to matters of sexual and gender orientation, and gender identity.
Sign The Declaration • Spread The Fire
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
TLDEF press relese
New York, New York — Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund today filed a Complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations against an Orlando McDonald's restaurant for refusing to hire 17-year-old Zikerria Bellamy because she is transgender.
On July 10, 2009, Ms. Bellamy applied online for a job at a McDonald’s restaurant in Orlando, Florida. On July 28, after managers at McDonald’s learned that Zikerria is transgender, she received a voicemail message from one of the managers telling her, "You will not get hired. We do not hire faggots." She was never allowed to interview for a job. Read the press release at transgenderlegal.org
Join the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) in calling on the Ministry of Education of Belize and other authorities to take legal action to ensure that Jose Garcia is not prevented from attending school because of his sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and to protect him from harassment and discrimination.
On October 1 and 5, 2009, Jose Garcia, a 19-year-old student at Baptist School of Adult and Continuing Education in Belmopan, Belize, received letters from the school threatening to dismiss him is because "he acts like a girl," "dresses effeminately," "uses the female bathroom," and "carries a purse as his school bag." On October 20, Jose received a letter from the school principal, Norman Willacey, asking that Jose withdraw from the school and seek counseling. Later, he told Jose, "You have me so embarrassed. I don't want to see you here in the compound. If you [don't] leave right now I will call the police!"
Authorities seem to be unwilling to act to protect Jose Garcia's right to education. The Public Information Officer of Belmopan, Arlette Gomez, has stated that it is their aim to ensure that Mr. Garcia's constitutional rights are not being infringed upon and that the guidelines of the Education Act and Rules are being followed. The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has also stated that the school is "bound to follow the constitution, otherwise anybody can take them to court." Nonetheless, the Minister has offered no concrete protection for Jose Garcia, stating that "it is a Baptist High School, there is not much the Ministry can do."
"I am not hurting anybody because of the way I dress."- José García
Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in education systems is a serious problem all over the world that has not been addressed at all. Harassment, mistreatment, violence, and other human rights violations threaten students' physical or emotional well-being, influence how well students do in school, make it difficult for students to achieve their career goals, and excludes thousands of students all over the world entirely from education systems.
All people have the right to education under international human rights law without discrimination based on, and taking into account sexual orientation and gender identity (Yogyakarta Principle 16). Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education, all of which Belize is party to, ensure the right to education of all. Additionally, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and the ICESCR are explicitly interpreted to include protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity (Human Rights Committee: Toonen v. Australia; Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment 20; Committee Against Torture General Comment 2).
Furthermore, the right to education without discrimination exists in Belize law as well. The preamble to the Belize Constitution states that "a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality," and the Education Act dictates that "[s]chools shall be free of gender, racial and other biases (Art. 25 (2))." Jose Garcia's rights to education and non-discrimination under international and Belize law are being violated by his expulsion, threatening all other rights underpinned by equal access to education, including his right to work, to housing, and to health.
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Please send your letters to:
Sr. Patrick Faber
Minister of Educationemail: http://email@example.com
Sr. Wilfred Elrington
Attorney Generalemail: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. Elvin Pender
Minister of Youth, Sports, Information and Broadcastingemail: http://email@example.com
Sr. Simeon Lopez
Mayor of Belmopanemail: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Sra. Arlette Gomez
Public Information Officer of Belmopanemail: http://us.mc456.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Arlette.email@example.com
Please send a copy to:
IGLHRCemail: http://firstname.lastname@example.org: http://email@example.com
Mr. Patrick FaberMinister of Education of Belize
I am writing to express my deep concern over the expulsion of Jose Garcia, a 19-year-old student, from Baptist School of Adult and Continuing Education in Belmopan on October 30, 2009 because of his perceived gender identity and sexual orientation. I call on you to protect his and all students' right to education without bias or discrimination.
All people have the right to education, under international human rights law, without discrimination based on, and taking into account sexual orientation and gender identity (Yogyakarta Principle 16). Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education (CDE), all of to which Belize is a party, ensure the right to education to all. Additionally, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and the ICESCR are explicitly interpreted to include protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity (Human Rights Committee: Toonen v. Australia; Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment 20; Committee Against Torture, General Comment 2).
The right to education without discrimination exists in Belize law as well. The preamble to the Belize Constitution states that "a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality" and the Education Act dictates that "[s]chools shall be free of gender, racial and other biases (Art. 25 (2))." Jose Garcia was threatened and expelled by his school simply because he was perceived to be too "feminine" with no remedy or protection. A bias-free educational system cannot support such discrimination.
Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in educational systems is a serious problem that needs to be addressed at all levels. Harassment, mistreatment, violence, and other human rights violations threaten students' physical or emotional well-being, influence how well students do in school, make it difficult for students to achieve their career goals, and excludes thousands of students all over the world entirely from education systems.
We respectfully request that:
The state ensure that Jose Garcia can return to his school or any other where he feels safe and protected from harassment and discrimination to complete his education.
The state lead and conduct programs and campaigns to sensitize principals, teachers, students, and others involved into the education system on the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity as well as discrimination based on those grounds, to allow all young people to learn a tolerant, non-discriminatory environment.
We trust you will treat this request with the attention it deserves.
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Ohio Celebrates 3 Transgender Victories! Cleveland, Akron and Summit County Pass Non-Discrimination Ordinances
Thanks to all the advocates and coalitions who have worked long and hard to see these much needed protections finally included in municipal law!
We encourage Cleveland, Akron and Summit County citizens to thank their councilpersons. You can find Cleveland councilpersons' contact information at www.clevelandcitycouncil.org. Akron councilpersons' contact information at http://www.akroncitycouncil.org/Find_your_Councilperson/ and Summit County councilpersons' contact information at http://www.co.summit.oh.us/council/index.htm
I hope this finds us all having survived the Thanksgiving holiday
relatively unscathed, but it is time to get down to some serious
issues...... and serious parties!.
Tuesday December 15 @ The Phoenix
Thursday December 17 @ Nowhere Bar
These are the dates for our annual food and clothing drives and
holiday parties for the benefit of Sylvia's Place, the emergency
shelter for homeless transgender, gay and lesbian youth in New York
I think anyone who reads my posts and blogs is aware of the homeless
TLGB youth crisis in New York. Sylvia's Place has been doing the best
it can for many years now, but they are in seriously bad shape this
year with the city having pulled the major portion of their funding.
Sylvia's now operates only with the help of people like you.
THESE HOMELESS TLGB KIDS ARE HANGING BY A THREAD AND NEED YOUR HELP!
Desperately and urgently needed this year:
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Personal hygiene products
Cold and Flu medicines-generics and store brands are fine
Basic first aid supplies
Canned and boxed food goods
Coats,jackets, and gloves-used and clean is fine
Hats and caps-used and clean is fine
Scarfs-used and clean is fine
Blankets-used and clean is fine
You can help our TLGB family, our kids, by donating any of the above
AND enjoy some great parties at the same time! Bring your items to:
Tuesday Dec. 15 @ The Phoenix
W. 13th Street btw. 1st Ave and Ave A
Thursday Dec. 17 @ Nowhere Bar
322 E. 14th Street btw.1st and 2nd Aves
We will make sure your donations get delivered to Sylvia's Place
promptly AND you can enjoy all the great Holiday spirit, great people,
and John's famous party food! (he's an awesome chef!) These parties
are NOT to be missed!
Can't make the parties? Not in the NYC area? That's a major bummer
and you'll certainly be missed, but you can still contribute and
donate to Sylvia's Place. You can send a small check or money order
to Sylvia's OR ship your donations there!
All donations are tax deductible and can be shipped directly to:
Homeless Youth Services
Checks and money orders should be made payable to
Sylvia's also accepts Pay Pal.
http://www.homeless youthservices. org/Generalpaypa l.html
AND DON'T FORGET THE BEST HOLIDAY GET TOGETHER OF ALL!
Christmas Night, Dec. 25, John Williams of the Nowhere Bar (and now
Phoenix as well--congrats John!) and I will be cooking dinner again
for the kids at Sylvia's and YOU'RE INVITED!
Last year was a very special time, not only for the kids at Sylvia's,
but for all the sisters and friends who dropped by to spend a few
moments with our TLGB family. Ina, Hedda Lettuce, many of the members
of Crossdressers International and representatives and friends from
the NYPD all came by. it was a great night for us all, and I hope you
can all manage to come by for a visit and bite to eat. More details on
Questions? Write me. Or phone: 914.457.5925
Let's ALL make this a wonderful Holiday Season for all of us, but
especially our younger brothers and sisters.
Mona Rae Mason
Trans Events USA. org
Metropolitian Community Church, New York, NY.
NY Times Giving Shelter: Portraits of Young Lives in Limbo