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Ugandan paper calls for gay people to be hanged | World news | The Guardian

Posted: October 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

A weekly title started by Ugandan journalism students, the Rolling Stone, recently ran an article outing 100 gay people in the country under the headline "Hang Them." The article included pictures and even home addresses. One woman's home was pelted with stones and others have endured verbal harassment, which many fear will escalate to further violence.

Xan Rice reports, "On the front page, the paper claims that the homosexual community aims to 'recruit 1,000,000 children by 2012', and that parents 'face heart-breaks (sic) as homos raids schools'. Inside, a headline reads: 'Hang them; They are after our kids!!'." (sic.) Managing editor of the homophobic paper, Giles Muhame, defended his decision to run the article, saying, "Other countries have capital punishment to stop drug traffickers; we should have the same for homosexuals." Uganda's media council temporarily suspended the paper but its editors say they'll resume publishing next week, having fulfilled registration requirements.

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Update: The paper has now published a second run of the same sort of article that resulted in violence against at least four gay people a few weeks ago. Sexual Minorities Uganda, a Ugandan gay-rights group, has asked the country’s highest court to issue an injunction preventing the paper from publishing the faces of gay Ugandans in the future.


Closeted Discoverers: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Scientists – Science Careers

Posted: October 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

"Closeted LGBT scientists employ multiple strategies to avoid workplace harassment and bigotry, including covering, passing/compartmentalizing, and overachieving," Jacqueline Ruttimann Oberst writes, exploring "three dimensions in the professional lives of young LGBT scientists—mentoring, being a minority within a minority, and playing the role of leader versus activist…." Oberst spotlights several GLBT researchers who have coped with discrimination in sometimes very subtle ways.

"We’re at the same place with sexual orientation and gender that we were with race/ethnic diversity 25 years ago. It’s the same fight but with different people," says Amy A. Ross, Ph.D., an associate biologist at the California Institute of Technology. "[D]istinctions within the LGBT community…are even more granular," Oberst writes. However, merely stepping out of the closet is often the strongest stance anyone can take, whether you say you're an activist or not.

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Gay teen dies after 10 days on life support, following suicide attempt over anti-gay bullying – LGBTQ Nation

Posted: September 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

This September, not one, not two, but three (3!) gay teenagers have committed suicide after being viciously bullied over their sexual orientation in their schools and communities. Seth Walsh, 13 years old, spent 10 days on life support in California after he apparently tried to hang himself from a tree branch. He had faced years of bullying at Jacobsen Middle School, despite claims by school officials at Tehachapi Union School District that there was no such bullying. Officials also say they can't prosecute Seth's classmates because the teasing was not criminal.

On September 9th, Billy Lucas, 15, hanged himself at his grandmother's house in Greensburg, Indiana, after facing years of torment from classmates who threatened to beat him up every day. And on September 23, 13-year-old Asher Brown came home from school early and shot himself in the head while his parents were at work. Asher had also faced constant harassment and bullying at school.

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Update: The bad news: there were actually 5 gay teen suicides this month, not 3. Cody Barker, aged 17, also committed suicide in Washington State. And just today, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi is presumed dead after jumping off the George Washington Bridge one day after he was outed by his college roommate. Thanks to Sinclair Sexsmith for the heads up. The good news: Sinclair has also blogged about some resources to help combat anti-gay bullying, including Dan Savage’s latest project, It Gets Better.


10 Terrified States Want Gay Marriage Ban to Stand in California – Los Angeles News – The Informer

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Anti-gay lawyers have their heads so far up their asses they're unable to produce substantive arguments against GLBT rights. Either unwilling or unable to acknowledge that homophobia is a losing trial strategy, attorneys general from 10 States including Wyoming, Florida, and Michigan filed an amicus brief in favor of upholding California's Prop 8 despite an earlier ruling declaring it unconstitutional.

As Patrick Range McDonald observes, among the knuckle-headed officials' arguments is tired old rhetoric linking same-sex marriage with bestiality: "If public affirmation of anyone and everyone's personal love and commitment is the single purpose of marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term marriage of any meaning." To anyone with half a brain, this kind of argument should be as silly as it is offensive.

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Civil rights victory: DADT smacked down by judge in Maj. Margaret Witt case – National liberal | Examiner.com

Posted: September 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

A second legislative victory for gay rights was won as America's homophobic Don't Ask, Don't Tell law was again ruled unconstitutional. Despite the law's name, even if you're never asked and you never tell you can still lose your career in the military. That's what happened to Maj. Margaret Witt in 2006, whose case formed a legal precedent around DADT when Judge Ronald Leighton found her discharge legally binding. On Friday, however, "Judge Ronald Leighton ruled in favor of military nurse Maj. Margaret Witt, and said that she was constitutionally entitled to be reinstated to the military," Jean Williams reports.

"It has been an anti-noble lie that gays and lesbians are a threat to military morale," Williams writes, noting Leighton "looked into the case and focused on Maj. Witt’s individual record" instead of looking only at DADT myopically. Leighton's decision expressly opposes claims that gay service-members reduce unit morale or cohesion.

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AMERICABlog Gay: BREAKING: Judge rules DADT is unconstitutional

Posted: September 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips today said the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy has a "direct and deleterious effect" on military readiness after reviewing evidence in a 2 week long federal court case. Proving that the world is never black or white but shades of gray, the lawsuit was issued by the right-wing gay advocacy organization, the Log Cabin Republicans. Yes, the very same group whose Minnesota chapter distributed "Drill, Baby, Drill!" condoms in that state's Pride Parades. Good on them!

Judge Phillips' 86 page decision ruled DADT violated both the 1st and 5th amendments to the Constitution, citing the defendant's failure to meet the Witt standard. She also issued an immediate injunction halting its enforcement. The Department of Justice will have an opportunity to appeal.

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Apple Hides Prop 8 Tweets from Lady Gaga Promo Page for Ping (Screenshots)

Posted: September 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Apple, Inc. recently launched a new social music service, Ping. Among the features it has is social media integration that lets you view celebrity Twitter streams. In the launch, "Apple's promotional image for the new feature conveniently omits a string of Tweets from Lady Gaga's timeline in which she protests anti-gay marriage legislation Proposition 8," writes Marshall Kirkpatrick after being tipped to the inconsistency by Kevin Marks (on Twitter).

"Apple, we see you," Violet Blue writes on her blog, chiding the company. GLBT sites like The Daily Storm called the service "homophobic" and say the omission is an act of censorship. Now, Apple's certainly not the most sex-positive company, but is this homophobic censorship? That seems harsh. Either way, the controversy clearly shows that Apple's anti-porn position is a slippery slope.

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Miss. lesbian student sues over rejected tux photo – Yahoo! News

Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Ceara Sturgis has been wearing masculine clothes since ninth grade, but her High School denied her the opportunity to wear a tuxedo in the yearbook photo and opted, instead, to flat-out omit her name. Now Christine P. Sun, the ACLU lawyer who represented Constance McMillen in a similar case earlier this year, "filed a federal lawsuit for Sturgis, claiming the Copiah County district discriminated against her on the basis of sex and gender stereotypes," Shelia Byrd reports. "It's unfair and unlawful to force students to conform to outdated notions about what boys and girls should look like without any regard to who they actually are as people," Sun said. Sturgis said she cried when she saw the yearbook and felt punished "just for being who I am."

This new filing comes weeks after McMillen reached a settlement against the Itawamba County School District. McMillen credits Sturgis, whose own legal battle has been going on far longer, with giving her the inspiration for her own challenge.

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Judge lifts Prop. 8 stay – gay marriages on hold

Posted: August 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Last week, Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional for the should-be-obvious reason that it's an anti-gay discrimination bill. Proponents' arguments that the ruling "jeopardizes the democratic process" are forgetting that human rights aren't a democratic process, but unalienable rights that American law protects. Nevertheless, that's the argument they're using in a rambling appeal to Walker’s ruling filed before the ruling was announced.

After the ruling Judge Walker issued a stay, preventing same-sex marriages from resuming until August 18. The ban's supporters quickly appealed that ruling as well, and as the deadline quickly approaches they've become ever more anxious for a new panel of 3 Ninth-Circuit Judges, Edward Leavy, Michael Hawkins and Sidney Thomas, to extend Judge Walker's stay order. They still have no reason other than fear as to why, though.

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Captain Jonathan Hopkins, West Point Grad, Hero, Fired By DADT – Lez Get Real

Posted: August 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

For 9 years, Captain Jonathan Hopkins studied, trained, and served the military as an unquestionably outstanding serviceman. "Hopkins graduated #4 out of 901 commissioned officers in West Point’s Class of 2001, where he was also ranked #1 militarily," Melanie Nathan writes. But regardless of his exemplary record, heroic service, and unequaled dedication to the military, he was honorably discharged this week because he is gay. He says that his commanding officers were "almost seemed like they regretted having to" discharge him.

On The Rachel Maddow Show, Hopkins spoke frankly about life in the military under DADT. "Judging people based on their performance is what has always mattered in the military, whether we were overturning segregation, or integration of women, or with this issue. That's what matters to keeping soldiers alive." Hopkins says he will be doing what he can to help repeal the "self-destructive" policy.

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