Live Web Casting the Senate ENDA hearing November 5, 2009

Committee: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Title: Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Ensuring Opportunity for All Americans
Date: Thursday, November 5, 10:00 a.m.
Place: SD-430

Click HERE for the Video and Audio http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2009_11_05/2009_11_05.html


Fort Worth / Tarrant County Transgender Day of Remembrance


Contact: Curtis Smith
Telephone: 817-845-2124
Email: curtisls7@yahoo.com

11th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Location: Carr Chapel on TCU
Address: 2855 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76129
Date: November 20, 2009 Time: 7:30 pm

Since 1998, each November 20th is set aside to memorialize those who were murdered due to anti-transgender hatred, prejudice or ignorance. Tarrant County will commemorate the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Carr Chapel on November 20th beginning at 7:30 PM. The community is welcome to attend this service sponsored by Brite Divinity of TCU, Agape MCC, Trinity MCC, Sexuality Education Center and the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA).

The TDOR will be an opportunity to express love and respect for all people. It will remind participants that they are all a part of the human family, daughters and sons, cisgender(non-transgender) and transgender people together. Allies of the gender diverse will stand alongside us in this ceremony to memorialize, honor and look forward to a day that differences and gender variance can be celebrated without fear of violence.

Agape MCC has many transgender people in regular attendance at their worship services including their Senior Pastor, Rev. David Wynn, a transgender male. They also host a cross-dressing men‟s group monthly. “Agape MCC has always held a strong commitment to providing sanctuary for gender diverse people,” Rev. Wynn declares. Rev. Wynn clarifies, “In many ways transphobia appears to be the „last acceptable form of prejudice‟ in the culture today, thus setting up transgender people to be victims of violence and those who are seen as expendable.” Rev. Wynn‟s goal of the service is, “To honor those who have paid the highest price for fearlessly being who they are and providing an enduring voice against transphobia. Our transgender community at Agape reflects our entire community in affirming Jesus' radical inclusion and God's unconditional love for all of creation.”

Curtis Smith, Pastoral Leader of Trinity MCC Arlington, reports that his church has been participating for the last 6 years. Smith explains, "Trinity's transgender and questioning church members are a cherished people in Christ‟s communion. We feel enlightened by the TDOR and our ongoing "Would Jesus Discriminate" campaign as to the historical reservations our Gay and Lesbians congregants previously felt towards transgender people. We feel it is important for our members to respect all people and offer them an open communion.” "Last year," Pastor Smith recalls, "Trinity MCC participated in the 2008 TDOR with Agape MCC by praying for victims as a bell was rung after each name was read of those who had died in that year to anti- transgender violence. It was a very somber and moving part of last year‟s TDOR service,” Smith said.

The Remembering Our Dead Web Project estimates that 2 people a month, on average are killed from violence against transgender people. Not that every person commemorated self-identified as transgender but each was a victim of violence based upon bias of gender variance. "Because intolerance and violence against the Transgender Community is often ignored, we remember those who have gone before us and we dedicate ourselves to life – living it responsibly, respectfully and lovingly. Life really comes down to treating others as we wish to be treated,” exclaims Dr. Rita Cotterly, PhD., Director of the Sexuality Education Center.

The Matthew Shepard/James Bryd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act recognizes that there is much work to be done locally as there are only 13 US states with Hate Crime Laws that include Gender Identity, Texas not being one. A provision of this law is that it authorizes and funds the federal government to step in and prosecute hate crimes in states that are disinclined to do so.

Texas has had 20 recorded transgender deaths attributed to anti-transgender violence, with 3 of those occurring in DFW, only surpassed by New York and California. Internationally there have been 95 Deaths from January to October 22, 2009 which average 19 per month. Names, statistics, locations and causes of deaths can be found on the Transgender Day of Remembrance website at www.transgenderdor.org.

Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, PhD., of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University will be in attendance. On the Unfinished Lives Project website, Dr. Sprinkle reports, ""We must remember that the recent passage and signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law will not magically stop the killing. Record numbers of LGBTQ Americans, especially young transgender people of color, are dying violently all across the land. But the high water mark of hatred has been scotched with the stroke of a pen on the day President Obama kept his promise and signed the bill. The end of the beginning of full equality for my people has come. And we who believe in justice will not rest until it comes fully, so that all of us may love whom we choose without fear of violence."

Kelli Anne Busey will be in attendance. Kelli, a woman of faith, authors planetransgender.blogspot.com and is founder and co-administrator of the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies. Kelli says "I believe that our Transgender Day of Remembrance is a critical component of our advocacy." She elaborates, "The TDOR is emotional and spiritual because it educates and endears us with our current and potential allies as we lend a human touch to the horrific murders of transgender, gender queer, questioning, friends and lovers."

The Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA) are locally based non-denominational activism group with members worldwide. DTAA membership believes that the world and especially the LGBT community is a, "Place for everyone. No Exceptions." The DTAA was conceived while protesting the expulsion of transsexual entertainers from the Crews INN bar and hosted the first formal conversation with the openly gay Episcopal bishop, Bishop Gene Robinson. Since that time the DTAA has moved on to insure that the Dallas's publicly funded homeless shelter 'The Bridge' policy and training manuals were amended so that weather related deaths such as that of Austin‟s Jennifer Gale's, could not be attributable to hostile shelter conditions.

Both Agape MCC and Trinity MCC Arlington are members of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches which is the world's largest and oldest Christian denomination with a primary affirming ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons. Known as "The Human Rights Church," local MCC congregations are located in 28 countries. Both churches are currently participating with three other North Texas MCC churches in the “Would Jesus Discriminate? WhyWouldWe.org” campaign.

The Sexuality Education Center‟s director, Rita Cotterly, PhD, is well-known locally and nationally in the fields of human sexuality and sexuality education. She provides individual and group counseling, support groups and educational programs. Dr. Cotterly has conducted numerous sexuality educational sessions for a variety of organizations and educational programs on AIDS prevention, sexual orientation, safer sex, sexual ethics, and spirituality and sexuality.


For more information about this topic or to schedule interviews please call, Rev. David Wynn, revwynn@yahoo.com; Curtis Smith, curtisls7@yahoo.com; Dr. Rita Cotterly, PhD., drritac@gmail.com. Kelli Anne Busey, kellibusey@yahoo.com or Stephen V. Sprinkle, s.sprinkle@tcu.edu


Kalamazoo VICTORY! Voters say YES to Equal Rights, YES to 1856!

"Ordinance 1856, passed by 61.8 percent, or 7,671 votes to 4,731, with all precincts reporting. The ordinance, which was approved twice by the Kalamazoo City Commission, makes it illegal for a landlord or employer discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation and gender identity." Posted on Topics by Thomas Jackson.

This victory represents the very best of the human rights movement. When the City Commission realized there was injustice to be righted they did not hesitate to stand up for democracy and when their document did not pass the scrutiny of opponents of equality they did not flinch and rewrote their Ordinance.

The Kalamazoo city Commission's Ord. 1856 makes it clear that it is a law of equality and does not infringe on anyones right to freedom of speech or the right to worship as you wish. The population of Kalamazoo Michigan made it clear, their home is the land of the free and home of the brave!

Vote YES on 1856 Kalamazoo's Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Today is the day to make a stand for fairness and equality for all people in Kalamazoo – Vote YES on Ordinance 1856!Polls are open from 7am to 8pm. Please call the One Kalamazoo office at 269-903-2277 if you need a ride and click here to find out where to vote:www.onekalamazoo.com/vote

The hard work and efforts of hundreds of volunteers has gotten us to this point – and now it is in your hands. We need EVERY pro-fairness voter to get to the polls today if we want to win. Make sure you vote, and make sure your friends and family who live in Kalamazoo vote YES today too.

P.S. We still need your help! If you have a couple free hours today, stop by the One Kalamazoo office at 344 N. Rose Street (Rose and Kalamazoo)!


Atlantic Daily Dish HRC's Job ONE = Job Preservation

Quote of the day courtesy of Q-Tips Andrew Sullivan The Dally Dish

Did HRC Have To Wait for Matthew Shepard Act Before Doing Anything Else? "HRC might, one day, have a hand in enacting the remaining types of gay rights legislation, like ENDA, UAFA, and killing DOMA and DADT. But their delays and weak pressure increasingly appear to be based more on the organization's commitment to having a purpose in the coming decades than on ensuring gays have their rights right now," - Queerty.

Well, I am so astonished and disappointed in HRC that you could bowl me over with a feather. Barney Frank is recognizing the efforts of transgender people in advocating for our rights. HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?

No its all about Joe keeping a $200,000 pay check. This transgender people have been sure of ever since the first 'Gala' ball' began celebrating HRC's money grab while Frank flushed transgender people in his political toilet.

"This is more fun than than raiding niggers with crack" (APD officer while raiding "fag" bar)

Updated Nov.3 2009

Eagle Trial set for Feb. 4th 2010

Eagle staff were in court early this morning and everyone was the hoping the City of Atlanta would do justice by dropping the trumped-up license and permit charges.

After two postponements, the Eagle trial date is set for February 4, 2010. This is unacceptable, and community members are currently planning a demonstration.

Please continue to encourage anyone present during the raid to contact attorney Dan Grossman to discuss their rights and legal options:
AtlantaEagleLawyer@gmail.com, (404) 654-0326
People can remain ANONYMOUS and still exercise their rights, please help get that information out to the community at large.

Visit ATLANTAEAGLERAID.COM Facebook for more information.

These statements and others by arresting officers, were heard by the patrons of the Eagle, an Atlanta gay bar while being forced face down in broken glass, beaten, harassed, intimidated, threatened and imprisoned for 19 hours without charges for an alleged violation of city code that normally results in a $1,000 fine to bar owners.

Both the Fort Worth Texas and Atlanta police departments choose the anniversary of the Stonewall tavern raid to "do it to fag bars". Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead's reluctant apology was weak and to this day there has been no official report, regulations governing joint TABC raids or disciplinary actions taken against the Fort Worth police officers involved in the Rainbow Lounge raid.

It should be noted the officers of the TABC at the Rainbow Lounge were fired and/or disciplined with appeals denied. The TABC stepped forward, took action and apologised and we are proud of these fellow Texans.

In common is the reluctance of both police forces to investigate or even acknowledge that criminal activities were being conducted by "elite" renegade units within there forces.

In common also, is that both departments fabricated falsehoods to justify the brutal apprehension of law abiding citizens with treatment that is normally reserved for the arrest of armed gang members during drug raids. In both occurrences these fabricated lies have been invalidated in the absence of illegal drugs or criminal activity that would have warranted the physicality or even justified targeting ether gay bars.

Source: IPS new service Eagle co-owner Robby Kelly present during the raid recalls hearing some of the officers statements and actions.

"According to one complaint, police officers were laughing and high fiving each other. "And they made the statement 'this is fun, we should do it to a fag bar every weekend'. I actually heard that," Kelley said."

"According to another complaint, one officer said, "This is more fun than than raiding niggers with crack." This complainant also said the police kicked him in the ribs while he was lying down and that he saw police grab other patrons by their necks and push them to the ground if they did not immediately get on the ground."

I wonder what that fat Atlanta Police Officer liked most? Is it beating black people, smoking and selling their crack or keeping it so that after running down a 120lb athlete they could pin point a finger nail size crumb in a bush that was "thrown" away during the chase? Yeah honey, gasping for air and sweat pouring into your eyes and in the dark you still know the exact spot in the weeds where a cookie was tossed. They were trained to do that or.........

Something must have been real fun.

Think that couldn't happen? Betcha the Eagle and Rainbow lounge patrons beleive it could. Betcha if you are a golf playing fat cat you will never experience a police raid face down in your favorite 19th hole.

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