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Archive for the ‘Gay Rights’ Category

When ya gotta go….

Never mind the violence trans kids face in the “wrong” peeing room. There’s the law! 

From The Skimm. 

TO PEE OR NOT TO PEE

THE STORY

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that, for the time being, US public schools can tell students where they can and can’t pee.

REMIND ME.

Earlier this year, North Carolina passed a law that banned transgender people from using public bathrooms that don’t match the sex on their birth certificates. And then came the lawsuits and a lot of people saying ‘discrimination much?’ President Obama responded by telling public schools that federal law requires them to let transgender students use whatever bathrooms they want — and hinted that federal funding would be cut from schools that didn’t comply. Some critics freaked out, and said this was another example of Obama overstepping his presidential boundaries. 13 states sued.

WHAT’S THE LATEST?

A federal judge in Texas – one of the states that sued – said that until this lawsuit is decided, public schools across the US are free to decide where kids can and can’t pee. The Obama administration is saying ‘pretty sure we’re gonna win this thing.’ A lot of GOP activists are sending each other high-five emojis. And a lot of transgender kids are just wondering which bathroom they can use.

theSKIMM

Yesterday’s ruling is a big roadblock for Obama, who’s been trying to leave office with a very pro-LGBT legacy behind him. And it also comes just as a lot of students are heading back to school this week. Great timing.

… and a vulnerable minority has no idea where they can pee!  If you look like a girl, you are a girl! Wristbands remind me of this.

There is no way anything similar to this has a place in our culture.

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It began with a demand for Barack Obama’s birth certificate to legitimize his presidential bid.  Now, with bathroom laws in several states, you had best have your BC with you when you need to pee.

In a conference call today, Karen Finney mentioned a time when girls were not permitted to wear pants to school.  Some schools, amazingly, are citing BCs as the arbiter of what may or may not be considered appropriate prom attire.

The prom is more than a rite of passage.  As a school function, it is also an educational event where budding young adults first get to step into the social circle of adulthood.  Choosing prom attire is part of that process. (See the movie Carrie.)

Before the chicks fly at graduation, they get to test their wings and identities at the social event of the season sponsored by the school.  They will fledge as the products of their alma maters.  They should be allowed, whatever educators have stuffed¹ in their heads, to choose the feathers they feel best identify their individual varieties and should feel protected and resplendent in their right to do so.


¹“There are three things to remember when teaching: know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly.” – Lola May


Why Were These Prom Outfits “Offensive”?  See the slideshow >>>>

<p>Prom season is in full swing, bringing about a flurry of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/08/magazine/the-awkward-charm-of-the-promposal.html?_r=0">creative “prom-posals,”</a> the occasional <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2016/01/102240/gina-rodriguez-giving-golden-globes-dress-to-fan">touching tale</a> of a <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2016/04/108882/prom-dress-memorial-catherine-malatesta">particularly meaningful dress</a>, and stories involving some <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2016/02/103244/tim-tebow-haiti-night-to-shine-prom#slide">very deserving kids</a>. The big occasion also entails prom horror stories (being stood up, <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2016/03/106212/lupita-nyongo-prom">like Lupita</a>, e.g.) — and, for some, unsolicited mass <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2016/05/111024/free-crocs-high-school-prom">shipments of Crocs</a>. Unfortunately, the high school milestone that many students partake in also inevitably involves a slew of supposed dress code violations. As for the looks that have gotten people booted out of the grand event (or, for some, barred from even stepping foot inside)? They range from legitimately puzzling to offensive…that they’re considered offensive.</p><p>Oh, and did we mention that these ostensibly “inappropriate” looks are just from this year’s prom season? (There were plenty of <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2015/06/88171/banned-fashion#slide">questionable dress code calls</a> in 2015, too.) Click through for six prom-dressing violations that have to be seen to be believed.</p>

Charlize Theron at Cannes yesterday.

Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Gala earlier this month.

Helen+Mirren+Eye+Sky+New+York+Premiere+UUPyTrCTfhQl

Helen Mirren DBE at the “Eye in the Sky” premiere NYC 3/9/16

Hillary Clinton – next POTUS –  at evening events.
clinton-apec-singapore Hillary-signatureAs for those flesh-toned garments with nude and sheer material….


Just sayin’.

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While everyone is paying attention to Greece and Spain, Italy is teetering  on the brink.  Some pundits say that the real  fate of the Eurozone lies in Italy’s ability to weather the current economic winds. It occurred to me that I did not know whether the Vatican was part of the EU.  It is not, but, oddly, its currency is the Vatican Euro which is made in Rome.

With brand names like Prada, Ferrari, and Armani continuing to do well, Italy may come through just fine.  That is not why I raised the subject.  It is pretty clear to anyone who knows anything about the Vatican why that sovereign state would eschew EU membership.  Legendary accumulated wealth and perennially resurfacing Vatican Bank scandals hint at roiling financial and economic storms beneath the serene surface.  A two thousand year history of borderline incestuous relations with European royalty may have established much of the Vatican’s wealth, but a side effect might be the belief that the tiny city-state gets to dictate what happens politically in other countries.  When Vatican officials tried to bitch-slap American nuns recently, the nuns not only stood their ground, but, in an all-American huff, decided to take their message on the road.

Nuns, Rebuked by Rome, Plan Road Trip to Spotlight Social Issues

By
Published: June 5, 2012

In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Sister Simone Campbell is organizing a bus tour to draw attention to nuns’ work with the poor and to protest planned aid cuts.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

The bus’s decal.

The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage.

Read more>>>>

I am reminded of this incident.

5 Nuns in New Jersey Break Away Over Break With Tradition

By ROBERT HANLEY, Special to the New York Times
Published: October 08, 1988

Five cloistered nuns are protesting at their monastery here over the relaxation of rigid monastic lifestyles rooted in the 16th century.

Since Tuesday, the five have secluded themselves in the monastery’s second-floor infirmary, fearful they face eviction from the monastery because of their opposition to the recent introduction of a television, classical music and brighter lighting in the prayer chapel.

To the five sisters, these 20th-century society elements are distractions to their dedication to solitude, silence and daily contemplative prayer, and the abandonment of the reclusive principles of their order, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns, founded in 1562.

Read more >>>>

A brilliant friend, mentor, and colleague of mine, a naturalized American able to see our culture through eyes more objective than our own and trained in anthropology,  and I were driving past that cloister a few years later.  “I wish I could have spoken to the Pope during that stand-off,” she said.  “He didn’t realize he was dealing with protestant nuns.”  Her larger thesis was that all Americans, regardless of the religious tradition in which we are raised, are essentially protestants.  It’s what we do.  We protest.  Our nation was born in protest and the founders enshrined that right in the very first amendment to our constitution.  That is the importance they lent to the role of protest in our infant culture.

Sister Simone Campbell and her bus mates along with Sister Margaret Farley (whom the Vatican officials appear to regard as a ring leader in all of this disruption to their traditional message of vilification for the practices of birth control and gay marital union) stand with the grand majority of Roman Catholic American nuns who have not missed the connections between these practices and the economic health of the greater society.  Gay marriage more than affords equal rights to gay couples.  It permits medical coverage,  pension and social security benefits to dependents of those marriages – benefits that parties to straight marriage accept without the blink of an eye – to which, in fact, they feel entitled.  Birth control permits reproductive responsibility in families that calculate their fiscal ability to support a family at $235,000 per child per year 0 – 17 years (not including post secondary education).

The nuns are very much part of the fabric of American life.  Their long tradition of working on the ground with children and families allows them insights that men isolated in Vatican enclaves cannot possibly appreciate.  The Nuns on the Bus are out to educate Americans – voting citizens (which Vatican officials are not) – as to the dangers inherent in the proposed Ryan budget.  Les eminences grises could learn a thing or two from them as well.  American nuns have been educating Americans for more than two hundred years.  We applaud this effort by our all-American protestant Catholic nuns.  Go Sisters!!!!!!

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On MSNBC  this past weekend,  Columbia University linguist Jonathan McWhorter, upon whom I have long harbored an intellectual crush,  differentiated slow (small step) evolution, from sudden (giant step) evolution and proceeded to recommend Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter by Terrence W. Deacon which I now have on order. That mind/matter question has fascinated me since my undergrad days when I delivered an extensive oral and written report on Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man for a  philosophy course.

De Chardin made a statement that blew my 18-year-old mind when he pointed out a difference of a single atom between the structures of largest macro-molecule and the smallest micro-organism calling whatever existed in the margin between the two the true “missing link,”  thereby implying that he expected the progression to be a small step rather than a giant leap.  He spoke of a “pre-soul” in rocks, implying that all that is organic has some form of a soul – music to the ears/eyes of a pet owner.

A Jesuit and long-time missionary in China,  de Chardin’s work was refused the imprimatur of the Roman Catholic Church.  Consequently, he left his papers to Julian Huxley who published them after de Chardin’s death.  As time went by,  I did encounter Catholic clergy and religious who, like me, found in de Chardin’s brilliant work a way to accept the theory of evolution within a decidedly religious, and I would even say Catholic,  framework.

McWhorter prefaced his remarks on evolution by stating that he does not believe in God but thinks there is some kind of catalyst that activates giant steps in evolution.  I think it is God, Jonathan will have to figure out his own explanation.

Whenever we are in a political season, the subject of evolution arises in some form.  In the past, we have heard Christian fundamentalists decry the teaching of evolutionary theory in public schools.  This season, however,  it has appeared in a metaphorical form, and not from the right, but rather from the incumbent Democratic administration.  We are told by spokespeople that the president’s position on gay marriage is “evolving.”   He, himself, has said as much.  This has been a small step evolution over a long period of time.  One wonders what catalyst the president requires to come to full blown evolution on this issue.

Karen Finney’s latest column in The HillEvolve on marriage addresses the question with her typical balance of brilliance and empathy.  There is a cool strategic approach tempered by a heartfelt personal argument based on her own background.

One part of Karen’s personal story that always tugs at my heart is her delayed introduction to her grandfather’s home.  I just cannot imagine a granddad not being delighted with a granddaughter such as she,  so I was more than pleased to come across this paragraph in her column from yesterday.

When I was a teenager, my grandfather explained to me that the reason I wasn’t welcome in his Greensboro, N.C., home was his belief — on legal and moral grounds — that mixing of the races was a sin against the laws of nature. (He did come to realize he was wrong.) The legal and moral arguments made today about same-sex marriage being against the laws of nature or threatening the institution of marriage sound hauntingly familiar to the bigoted excuses of my grandfather and others.

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There are early summer days coming.  The sun will be warming and the water in the pool will still be cold.  There will always be that one kid sitting on the edge of the pool who will not just jump in and get it over with.  In some cases, he might wade in gradually.  In other instances, his friends might simply push him in.  Sooner or later, we expect him to end up in the water.  Karen hopes the president jumps in sooner rather than later based on a background she feels she shares with him.  I have never been certain that he sees himself quite the same way that Karen sees herself.  Certain formative experiences have been different – have even occurred in different cultures on different continents.  My take is that Obama would do well to listen to her experience and reasoning on this issue.  She has, as has the Rev. Dr. William Barber (NAACP,NC President) placed the issue in the ethical/moral frame.  It is time for President Obama to take a giant step much the way Karen’s grandfather did on mixed marriage.  If he does not do this soon, he will be left behind.  As I have said before, I prefer to follow those who lead from the front lines – like Karen.

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A Quiet Death

Overnight,  silently at midnight, DADT expired.  There was no fanfare, and as far as I can see no protests either.  It simply slipped into history and was gone.  Imagine that!

I had two major problems with DADT (aside from the simple unfairness of it).

1.  Not everyone takes naturally to the military. We have a volunteer army, and I believe the military is a calling.  I know I would have been a terrible candidate for military service.  I am just naturally so insubordinate and argumentative.   So, if some young person is called and is willing to defend me and us, why should I care whether that person has blue, brown, or green eyes,  is right or left-handed, is straight or gay?    That never made any sense to me.

2. As a taxpayer, much of what I earn and pay in taxes goes to defense.  I  help pay for some very expensive specialized training.  I resent that 14,000 specialists that I paid to train were fired.

Can we have the Arabic translators back now?  How crazy was that?

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Just got an email from Robby Mook saying that my DCCC membership has expired and all I need to do to renew it is contribute.

With the Federal Election Commission (FEC) deadline just days away, there has never been a more critical time to show your support for President Obama’s agenda….

Really, Robby?  And what agenda would that be?  The one that has yet to advocate for full civil rights for gay Americans? The one that extended unemployment benefits for 13 months but the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans for two years?  The one that, instead of fighting for the single payer option simply allowed it to be excised from the health care bill?  The one that still does not firmly, once and for all say that LGBT rights are human rights, and human rights are LGBT rights?  That among those rights is the right to serve one’s country, and to die for it,  as openly gay?  As who you are?

That agenda?

Dear Robby,

When the Democratic Party listens to its membership, I will renew my membership.

The party refused to provide a fair and transparent roll call vote in Denver in 2008, and the RBC  reassigned Hillary Clinton delegates to Barack Obama in a move that, if not illegal, was at least unethical.

I, as a registered Democrat resent the way the party treated me and my 18 million pro-Hillary cohorts.  My contributions since 2008 have gone and until further notice will continue to go to Hillary Clinton.

What will it take for me to make future contributions?  Put Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket where she belongs.

Regards,

S4H (my real name here)

Happy Pride Day, everybody!

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Reminder to LGBT community of who is on your side.  This government official/public servant is.  Be glad and thankful.

UN General Assembly Action on Sexual Orientation

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 21, 2010

I am pleased by the UN General Assembly’s action today to include sexual orientation in a resolution condemning extrajudicial and summary executions. The United States introduced this language to send an unequivocal message in concert with our many international partners: No one should be killed for who they are.

Sadly, many people around the world continue to be targeted and killed because of their sexual orientation. These heinous crimes must be condemned and investigated wherever they occur. We look forward to continuing our work with others around the world to protect the human rights of those facing threats or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

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