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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

EQUALITY - WHAT MATTERS: The latest in the LGBT rights movement


KEY BACKGROUND:  Indiana University South Bend’s Faculty Senate passed a resolution on Friday of support to have their chancellor, Una Mae Reck, investigate a campus vendor’s (Chick-fil-A) non-compliance with university policies due to their contributions to anti-LGBT organizations. The faculty resolution follows similar ones passed in support of students’ efforts to remove the vendor that include the IUSB Diversity Committee, the Student Government Association, and the College of Liberal Arts and Science s.

WHY STUDENTS ARE FIGHTING BACK: CHICK-FIL-A GAVE $1.1 MILLION TO ANTI-LGBT CAUSES - ENDA TO BE INTRODUCED TOMORROW IN U.S. HOUSE (via Metro Weekly) – “Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) plans to introduce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the House on Wednesday, according to two LGBT equality advocates with direct knowledge of the congressman's plans. Frank's communications director, Harry Gural, confirmed that the plans are "to formally announce ENDA this week," although he added over the weekend that specifics are not yet nailed down and were expected to be so by this afternoon.”

DUSTIN LANCE BLACK EVENT TONIGHT IN DC - Equality Matters LGBT Community Speaker Series presents a conversation with Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award winner for MILK and Founding Board Member for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The event takes place TONIGHT, March 29, 2011, 18th & U Duplex Diner, 2004 18th St. NW, 7:00 p.m. cocktails, 8:00 p.m. program; $20 suggested donation will benefit AFER. RSVP:

POLICY CHANGES GIVE HOPE TO BI-NATIONAL SAME-SEX COUPLES – “A national shift in deportation policy appears to be underway. As first reported by the Daily Beast/Newsweek last Friday, the heads of two of the nation's 26 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) districts announced that they will be putting green card applications of bi-national married gay and lesbian couples on hold.”

MARYLAND HOUSE PASSES TRANS BILL (via Wash Blade) – “The Maryland House of Delegates voted 86-52 on Saturday to pass legislation that would ban discrimination against transgender Marylanders in the area of employment, housing and credit.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN MARYLAND? The Maryland bill needs to clear the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee this week and then pass the full Senate. The Maryland Legislature adjourns for the year on April 11, and all legislation must clear both houses before then. Take action:

EQUALITY MATTERS PODCAST LAUNCHES TODAY - Listen to the weekly broadcast now available every Tuesday at and soon on iTunes:

NYT EDITORIAL: CONGRESS SHOULD “RENOUNCE THE BIGOTRY” BEHIND DOMA – “Republicans like to cast themselves as the protectors of “family values.” But that mantle properly belongs to President Obama and the Congressional Democrats committed to ending this atrocious law.” http://bit.l y/flSUfm

NY SENATORS PUSH FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RIGHTS (via NYT) – “New York’s two senators, Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, joined a growing list of celebrities and public officials on Thursday by appearing in a series of 30-second ads supporting same-sex marriage rights.”

UGANDAN “KILL THE GAYS” BILL STALLS - The bill, which “would have imposed the death penalty for ‘repeat offenders’ of homosexuality and instituted a number of harsh measures to prevent the ‘promotion of homosexuality,’ has been shelved in the Ugandan Parliament after government officials say they realized that many of the bill’s provisions are covered by laws that already exist.”

TAKE ACTION TO STOP THE VI OLENCE (via AllOut) – “We recently told you about Priscila Brandão, a trans woman in Brazil executed in cold blood on the streets of Belo Horizonte. Now, the hate is spreading - and so is the violence. Since we last wrote to you, a young gay man was attacked by skinheads in downtown Sao Paolo. Then, another young man was bloodied to a pulp by his own uncle —just for being gay…”

261 PEOPLE DISCHARGED UNDER “DON’T ASK” IN 2010 (via Servicemembers United) - "Despite this law clearly being on its deathbed at the time, 261 more careers were terminated and 261 more lives were abruptly turned upside down because of this policy," said Alexander Nicholson.

CAUGHT ON TAPE: CATHOLIC PRIEST GIVING ANTI-GAY FALSEHOODS TO TEENAGERS (via Good As You) - “…several videos surfaced of Fr. John Hollowell, Chaplain of Indianapolis’ Cardinal Ritter High School, spouting a stream of homophobic and offensive falsehoods about same-sex marriage and gay people in general to a classroom full of students.”

WASH POST EDITORIAL ON FIRST OPENLY GAY MAN NOMINATED TO APPEALS BENCH – “Nearly a year later, Mr. DuMont, who would become the first openly gay man to serve as a federal appeals judge if seated, not only has not been given a vote, he has not been given a hearing. No one involved in the nominations process can provide a satisfactory explanation.”

TRANS BILL MOVES IN CALIFORNIA (via Transgender Law Center) – “…the Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433), would streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit a gender change petition in any jurisdiction in the State of California.”

NYT: IOWA MAY TURN G.O.P’S FOCUS TO SOCIAL ISSUES – “Here in Iowa, whose caucuses next winter will open the campaign, social and religious conservatives are pressing the likely candidates on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion rather than on jobs, the budget deficit and other economic concerns that leaders of both parties expect to dominate the general election.”


FOX NATION, ANTI-GAY HATE GROUP UNITED IN OPPOSITION TO PROTECTING LGBT PEOPLE – (via – “Fox Nation and the Fam ily Research Council (FRC) are apparently in agreement when it comes to opposing the Obama administration’s endorsement of a Joint Statement calling on the U.N. to protect LGBT victims of violence.”

TARGET SUES GAY RIGHTS GROUP (via ABC News) – “Eight months after sparking a national firestorm over donations in support of a political candidate who opposed gay rights, Target Corp. once again is raising the ire of the gay and lesbian community by suing a California advocacy group that has been lobbying for same-sex marriage outside its stores.”

VIDEO: STATE REP. EMBARRASSES ANTI-TRANS WITNESS IN HEARING – “During the hearing, Chairman Rep. Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven) grilled Family Institute of Connecticut president Peter Wolfgang on his claim that non- discrimination protections would increase the number of sexual assaults in public bathrooms, pointing out that laws prohibiting that kind of assault already exist.”

TWO DENVER POLICE OFFICERS FIRED IN GAY BEATING (via Reuters) – “Two Denver police officers were fired on Friday for the 2009 beating of a gay man, captured on a surveillance camera, and then lying about the incident.”

50 YEARS AGO FRANK KAMENY FOUGHT THE SYSTEM (via Charles Francis) - “Fifty years ago this week, in 1961 Frank Kameny picked up his copy of The Washington Star and read the bad news in a one inch column: "Petition Denied". Kameny's petition for a hearing of his case before the U.S. Supreme Court had been denied. Kameny was fired from his job at the United States Army Map Service in 1957 wh en he was discovered to be homosexual.

ACTIVE-DUTY LGBT SERVICE MEMBERS LAUNCH MAGAZINE (via OutServe) - “Our goal is to have our next version available in print, at some of the larger military bases… visibility is key. We are not about highlighting our differences, but demonstrating how LGBT troops are proud soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coasties, and Marines just like everyone else.” Read the first issue:

EQM’S SOCARIDES TO CHAIR CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE PANEL ON LGBT ISSUES – “(LGBT) rights have returned to the spotlight, as a rash of suicides and hate crimes have grabbed headlines around the world. While a sweeping shift in public opinion is occurring regarding gay rights, the LGBT community itself is often divided and conflicted regarding its highest prio rities.”


DAN SAVAGE PUSHES “IT GETS BETTER” ON ABC’S NIGHTLINE (via Towleroad) – “Nightline ran a profile on Dan Savage which covered his sex advice column Savage Love, the It Gets Better project, Rick Santorum's frothy Google problem, and life as a gay parent.”

AN ODE TO RACHEL MADDOW (h/t: Paul Schindler) -

EQM CONTACT: Trevor Thomas
Director of Programs
Equality Matters
202.772.0110 (o) 616.430.2030 (c)


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