Friday, April 30, 2010

Pittsburgh Rally Tonight Over Gender Expression Hate Crime

There will be a rally tonight in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where a well-known drag performer was beaten by 3 drunk men outside of the Pleasure Bar on Liberty Ave. The performer, Veruca has two black eyes, but is otherwise now said to be fine. Participants in the "Stop the Hate Rally" are being asked to come with at least one black eye (make up, face paint, duct tape) to show support.

Stop the Hate Rally!
729 LIBERTY AVE
PLEASURE BAR, 9PM
Friday, April 30, 2010

*Image courtesy of Prashanthns of Wikimedia.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Great Global Kiss-In Scheduled for International Day Against Homophobia

LGBT social networking site gays.com is organizing an international gay kiss-in to mark the International Day Against Homophobia to take place between May 14-16th. The campaign is to have flash mobs of same-sex couples in cities throughout the world kiss in public to show our love and demonstrate our right to be public about it.



If you'd like to organize an event in your city, email idaho@gays.com

Add Gender Identity/Expression to Canadian Human Rights Act

The Canadian parliament will deliberate on bill C-389 which would amend the Human Rights Act to include protections based on gender identity/expression. The bill would essentially offer employment and housing protections as well include transgender people in hate crimes protections.

Please contact your member of Parliament and urge them to schedule a vote and pass this historic piece of legislation.

H/T to Dented Blue Mercedes.

Word of the Gay: "Alternative Lifestyle"

"Alternative Lifestyle" is a term used predominantly by those who don't affirm LGBT identity to suggest that being LGBT is non-typical, and in some instances chosen or sinful.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Telegraph Column: "Gays Aren't "Normal" and "Shouldn't Play Victim"

The Telegraph is a newspaper geared towards the United Kingdom and International community. A column by journalist James Delingpole called "But gays AREN'T normal..." borders on the offensive. In the article the author is trying to convey the point that the homophobic comments of a conservative political candidate are not necessarily shared by him but that he defends their right to say it.

The first problem is the provocative title and wording of the article to suggest that gays aren't normal:

"Some of my best friends are gay and I don’t think any of them would describe their sexual preferences as “normal”. In fact, for one or two of them, the very fact that what they do is abnormal is one of the major bonuses of having been born homosexual: it’s ruder."
If Delingpole would simply use the word unconventional as opposed to normal, there wouldn't be any problem. Of course gay people are a minority but to suggest abnormality is to suggest that there is something wrong with gay people.

Delingpole than goes on to make the claim that anti-gay views along with other views should be accepted within the conservative movement:
"Conservatism is a broad and tolerant church – and that ought to include toleration of the mild intolerance of free citizens like Lardner."
While society has free speech principles, a politicians job is to represent all the people, including his gay and lesbian constituents.

Finally the author says that nobody should play victim:
"Gay victimhood is soooo last year. In fact, victimhood of any kind is not a Tory concept at all."
When a whole group of people are subject to discriminatory language by a politician there must be consequences for the language that seeks to hurt others.

Author James Delingpole can be contacted on:
http://twitter.com/jamesdelingpole

Contact the Telegraph to complain about this offensive article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/about-us/form/

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last Ditch Effort to Bring Civil Unions to Hawaii this Session

Hawaii has had a heated debate about the legalization of civil unions (House Bill 444) for same-sex couples for the past few years. In the early part of the year the Senate passed civil unions legislation but the House of Representatives delayed a vote indefinitely.

The opportunity to bring the bill back to the floor this session ends on Thursday. Both sides of the argument are lobbying their legislators and rallying to either vote or delay the bills discussion.

Please contact members of the Hawaii Legislature and tell them to pass HB444 here.

Hawaiian LGBT families can join Citizens for Equal Rights to show pictures of their families to elected officials.

Word of the Gay: "Woofy"

"Woofy" is a hunky man considered highly attractive in the bear community.

Monday, April 26, 2010

DADT Protest Rally in Washington D.C. on May 2nd

Newly formed activist group GetEQUAL will be holding a rally to protest the military's anti-LGBT Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. President Obama had promised to repeal the policy this year in his State of the Union address, but it appears the administration is backing down on that commitment to the gay community and the military.



Sunday May 2nd, 2010
Lafayette Park in Washington D.C. at 12:00 PM

Word of the Gay: "Bisexy"

Someone who is "bisexy" appeals to and generates attention from people of all sexes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Word of the Gay: "Tranny Chaser"

A "Tranny Chaser" is someone with a strong sexual preference for trans people. The term is belittling of trans people and suggestive of someone more interested in a sexual encounter only.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The 3rd Annual "Million Fag March" May 1st 2010

The Million "Fag" March is an annual event held at Gage Park in Topeka, KS near the home of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church (God Hates Fags). The March is designed to protest the antics of Phelps and his church, who have become a symbol for the homophobia that remains throughout the United States.

The main goal of the MFM is to use the very same rights and laws the members of the WBC use to shield themselves. However, the March sends out an opposing message of peace and acceptance for all people. "We believe that ignoring a problem will not make it go away, and that we must take advantage of the rights our country gives us to speak up when we see wrong-doing in our communities, cities, and the U.S. as a whole."

Saturday May 1st 2010
2:00 PM
Topeka, KS
Gage Park Ampitheater

For more information go to http://www.millionfagmarch.com/
or contact: 785.783.4730 mfm@millionfagmarch.com

Open Forum: The Effect of the Tea Party on LGBT America

The Tea Party Movement has been gaining a lot of attention in the mainstream media lately and has garnered some well known conservative endorsements. The premise of the Tea Party is to promote limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free market. While this philosophy is shared by millions of Americans, the movement has been under scrutiny by many for some of the more fringe elements present at these rallies who are promoting racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, and homophobia.

The Tea Party Movement seems to be split by those who are far-right conservatives with very oppressive ideas, and those who are libertarian and want less government but are more inclined to support civil liberties. This movement could potentially have a strong effect on the efforts of the LGBT community to attain equal status. On the one hand a far-right candidate could be devastating and set us back, but a libertarian candidate may change the landscape of some in the conservative movement on queer issues. The other potential outcome is that "Tea Party" or Libertarian candidates will take votes away from the Republican candidate making it easier for Democrats to be elected.

What do you make of the Tea Party Movement and how do you feel it will effect the broader LGBT community in the struggle for equality?

Word of the Gay: "Sunflower"

A "sunflower" is a young gay man who enjoys either natural tanning or salons.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pilgrimage to Riverside - Journeying Toward Equality

The Pilgrimage to Riverside is a group of people who are going to several states to create awareness of the LGBT civil rights movement within circles of faith. The premise is that "social change can either begin or be blocked by the Church," and this group wants the Church to be at the forefront of fighting for justice.

For more information about this campaign you can visit http://pilgrimagetoriverside.com/

Word of the Gay: "Womyn"

"Womyn" is an alternative spelling for woman that is used in many feminist and lesbian circles to use the word without the patriarchal connotations.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

'Hot Pieces of Ace' - New Asexual YouTube Channel

The asexual (ace) community now has a new YouTube called Hot Pieces of Ace. It is a collaboration channel designed to help the asexual community in any way imaginable. Videos will be posted every weekday about a weekly topic suggested by you (the audience) in order to help those in need of advice, intellectual stimulation, a human voice, and/or another opinion.

All asexuals have until May 1st, 2010 11:59 P.M. PST to respond with a video response.

H/T to Asexy Beast.

Word of the Gay: "Meals on Wheels"

"Meals on Wheels" is a gay phrase for good looking men seen in cars, or on bikes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Demand Obama Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell NOW!

The protests and calls for movement on repeal of the discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy have been growing louder by the days. President Obama has promised that he will repeal this law but has not set a date. With just a few days left to ensure that the provision to repeal DADT is part of the National Defense Authorization Budget activists are getting frustrated at the lack of action by the administration.

Activists are demanding that openly gay/lesbian/bisexual servicemembers not be discharged from the military for their identity. Yesterday hecklers shouted down Obama and forced him to address the issue. Today six servicemembers have chained themselves to the White House fence to bring attention to the plight of LGBT soldiers and veterans. You may remember that a similar gay rights action occurred just a few weeks ago.



Send Obama a powerful message that you demand he repeal DADT immediately.

Tell KISS 108 to Pull the Plug on Anti-Gay Dawson McAllister

Top 40 radio station KISS 108 airs Dawson McAllister every Sunday night. The show is billed as a place for “those 25 and younger to call in and talk about their lives, deepest needs….broken families…depression, addiction, …” etc.

When young LGBTs call in and speak off air to one of McAllister’s representatives, they are told that their homosexuality is no better than drug addiction, prostitution and murder; that being gay will condemn them to hell; and that the only solution is for them is to be “cured” of their homosexuality through God.

Vulnerable young callers are then directed to Exodus International where they ‘will receive the help they need’. Exodus International is the ‘Ex-Gay’ ministry that claims to convert LGBTs into being straight. Exodus’ conversions are universally discredited by mainstream psychiatrists and psychologists.

Call KISS 108 and Clear Channel to demand they “clear the channel” of homophobes poisoning the minds of LGBT youth. We deserve better. LGBT youth deserve better.

Marc Mays, CEO, Clear Channel
Executive Assistant: Carole Adamek, 210-832-3306

Lisa Dollinger, Communications Director, Clear Channel
lisacdollinger@clearchannel.com
Executive Assistant: stacieiverson@clearchannel.com 210-832-3348

Jack McCartney, Program Director, KISS 108: 781-396-1430

Crossposted via Truth Wins Out.

Organization Spotlight: Publishing Triangle

The Publishing Triangle works to create support and a sense of community for lesbian and gay people in the publishing industry. They offer forums, as well as networking and social opportunities, for members. In addition they sponsor programs to increase awareness of and appreciation for lesbian and gay literature.

Word of the Gay: "Margo Polo"

"Margo Polo" is gay speak for an Italian man, it is a play on the name of explorer Marco Polo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

GetEQUAL to Protest Obama at Boxer Fundraiser Monday Afternoon

President Obama is flying to Los Angeles today to star at a fundraiser for US Sen. Barbara Boxer . Though Boxer was well received at the California Democratic Convention on Saturday, she faces a tough reelection campaign because of anti-incumbent fever.

The new LGBT activist group GetEQUAL is planning to demonstrate over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. GetEqual is the group Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo represented when they handcuffed themselves to the White House gates last month over DADTand conducted a sit-in at Speaker Pelosi’s DC and SF offices to protest Congress’s failure to to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).



Crossposted via LGBT POV.

Word of the Gay: "Lavender Law"

"Lavender Law" refers to government and court rulings that have an impact on the LGBT community.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

CNN Polls Readers on Whether Gays Should Be Given Hospital Visitation Rights

The CNN homepage has a non-scientific poll up asking visitors 'What they think of President Obama's order to allow hospital visitation rights for gay and lesbian partners?' Thankfully the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands who answered have sided with basic fairness and only a small minority believe hospital visitation rights shouldn't be extended to gay people.

CNN in putting this poll up fails to see how offensive the mere question is. Could you imagine the outrage if there was a poll allowing users to vote on another minorities basic civil rights?

Express your dissapointment with CNN over this poll by giving them feedback on their homepage.

'Strange Kinda Love' by SoulStice

Rapper SoulStice has created a new video about love which includes gay couples. This is an important breakthrough in the world of hip hop.


H/T to Queerty for the video.

Word of the Gay: "Charm Bracelet"

A "charm bracelet" is an address book where a gay man lists his lovers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day of Silence in Schools Nationwide April 16th

The Day of Silence will be held tomorrow throughout the country. The organization responsible for this annual event is GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and here is their write up on the event.

"The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Hundreds of thousands of students will come together on April 16th to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior."

Whether you are a student, a faculty member or just a concerned citizen please see how you can get involved in this important day that has shaped and changed the lives of many queer and straight allied students around the country.

Order your t-shirts, print out your silent cards, and see what you can do to be active on behalf of GLBT equality.



http://www.dayofsilence.org/

Tell Congress that Nixing DOMA is about Cutting Taxes!

Today is April 15th, tax day in the United States and thousands are rushing and worried making sure they complete their forms on time. Same-sex couples though have more to worry about than the average American family because tax inequity is a financial burden on millions of LGBT families because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Same-sex couples are unable to file joint tax returns and must check off the single category because the federal government does not honor their relationships even for those legally married. This means that LGBT people will not receive inheritance benefits, divorce settlements, medicaid survivor benefits, social security benefits, and pension benefits from their partners.



Contact your congressperson and senators and tell them to support the Respect for Families Act which would repeal DOMA.

Word of the Gay: "Nonlibidoist"

A "nonlibidoist" is a type of asexual who has never experienced a sex drive.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Marriage Equality Tax Day Protests for April 15th

April 15th is tax day and when tax returns are due to the IRS before a penalty can be imposed. Same-sex couples face tax inequities and are ineligible to file joint tax returns. The results are higher pay and less access to social security, estate and other benefits for gay families.

Tax Day protests organized by Marriage Equality USA:

Bloomington, Indiana

When: Thursday, April 15, 2010 Throughout the day
Where: USPO 4th & Washington
What: Come hold Marriage Equality signs, get folks dropping off their Taxes to honk in support. For more information contact Evan McMahon indiana@marriageequality.org or call (812) 827-8337.

Indianapolis, Indiana

When: Thursday, April 15, 2010 5-6 PM
Where: Indiana Statehouse (West Side)
What: Tea Party Rally - For more information contact Evan McMahon indiana@marriageequality.org or call (812) 827-8337.

Martinsville, Indiana

When: Thursday, April 15, 2010 Throughout the day
Where: Main USPS Office
What: Come hold Marriage Equality signs, get folks dropping off their Taxes to honk in support. For more information contact Evan McMahon indiana@marriageequality.org or call (812) 827-8337.

Sonoma County, California

When: Thursday, April 15, 2010 3:30 -6:00 PM
Where: Santa Rosa Post Office, 730 2nd St.
What: Come hold Marriage Equality signs and join us as we partner with members of the ACLU for our tax day raly. More info is available at: http://aclusonoma.org/pdf/TaxDayDemonstration.pdf !

Yolo County, California

When: Thursday, April 15, 2010 NOON
Where: Davis Main Post Office, corner of Poleline and 5th
What: Join with the Yolo County chapter of Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA)
and Northern California ACLU at the Tax Day Protest.

San Francisco & Alameda Counties, California

When: Thursday, April 15, 2010 5:00 – 6:30 PM
Where: Oakland Main Post Office 1675 7th St (1 block off the West Oakland BART Station)
What: Come hold Marriage Equality signs, get folks dropping off their Taxes to honk in support. We have fantastic, fun chants to get the message out!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Word of the Gay: "Moody Judy"

"Moody Judy" is a term given to an emotional gay man known to have several mood swings.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Anti-gay Language on Puerto Rican Super Xclusivo Gossip Show

On the April 5, 6 and 7 segments of Puerto Rican gossip show Super Xclusivo on Wapa América the defamatory term “pato” was used repeatedly. Co-hosts Hector Travieso and “La Comay,” a large puppet with whom Travieso gossips, were discussing the coming out of singer Ricky Martin who is from Puerto Rico.

After complaints about the use of the word, the show’s hosts have only increased their use of the word, arguing it is not a pejorative. The word is clearly defamatory and should never be used to describe a gay person.

The use of such anti-gay and derogatory terms helps to foster prejudice which can lead to violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

GLAAD is calling on Super Xclusivo to stop using this or any other defamatory terms.

Send an email here:

Presidente y Gerente General
José E. Ramos
joe.ramos@wapa-tv.com

Vicepresidente, Programación y Promoción
Jimmy Arteaga
jarteaga@wapa-tv.com

Or you may call Wapa América at
787-792-4444

Or write to:
Wapa América
P.O. Box 362050, San Juan, P.R. 00936-2050

JLo Inspired by Drag Queens and Fine if her Kids are Gay

Pop star sensation Jennifer Lopez appreciates her gay fan base and feels a close connection to the community. She has recently been quoted respecting the opinion of drag queens and tells that she would be accepting if her children grow up to be gay.

Regarding drag queens the singer in an interview with the magazine The Advocate said in an upcoming issue:

"I feel like you can't not think about them. I also think about whether or not they'll want to impersonate me. "I'll be like, 'Is this outfit any good? Would any drag queen want to put this on? No? Then forget it - it's not worth it'" (Star Pulse).

As for whether her kids could turn out being gay:
She explains, "Honestly, it wouldn't bother me at all. I wouldn't be shocked or anything. (Husband) Marc (Anthony) even once asked me, 'What if one of the babies is gay?' I said, 'Who cares?' And he was like, 'Yeah, I know. Who cares?' You just love your kids and want them to be happy" (Star Pulse).

Celebrities are held to a higher standard and are considered icons who maintain a lot of influence. We appreciate JLo speaking up positively about the community.

JLo can be reached on Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"I Give a Damn" About Queer Equality

The Give a Damn Campaign is a project of the True Colors Fund, founded by Cyndi Lauper. It's mission is to bring queer and straight people together and educate about the issues and ways to take action to stop the injustice occurring against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

The website offers videos by celebrities, personal stories, discussion of the issues, a blog, and free banners and wallpaper to promote the message.



http://www.wegiveadamn.org/

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Word of the Gay: "Gay Moralist"

A "gay moralist" is someone who believes the queer community needs to embrace monogamy and trashes on any form of promiscuity.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Open Forum: Has Gay Inc Been Rendered Useless?

The modern day LGBT rights movement began in the 1970's with grassroots organizing by regular people who were fed up with bar raids, being labeled as mentally ill, and the verbal and physical abuse they suffered. Moving into the 1980's much of the activist focus was on the lack of research and funding to help with the HIV/AIDS outbreak that was disproportionately affecting gay men. From the drag queens who fought back at Stonewall, to the actions of the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, to the impassioned protesting of ACT-UP it is the activist queers who have made a difference that has propelled a movement.

Gay organizations began popping up to meet the needs of these impassioned groups of individuals who sought change. Groups like the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD began to advocate for the LGBT community on a national level. Local organizations like Equality California spearheaded the fight to protect marriage equality. At the end of the day marriage has been lost in California, Don't Ask Don't Tell is in place, people can be fired for being gay or transgender, and other social inequalities persist.

There has been a growing frustration with "gay inc" over their lack of transparency and willpower to create real change. Many people have begun to view the mainstream LGBT organizations as just being a bunch of elaborate parties and paychecks to politicians who don't support full equality.

Do you think that mainstream gay rights groups have a part in the movement or have they become completely blinded by the real mission and process necessary to achieve equal rights?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rally Planned to Support Gay Georgia Teen

The Macon chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays will be holding a "Rally for Equality" in support of gay teen Derrick Martin. The Bleckley County High School is allowing Martin to attend prom with his boyfriend, but many in the community are outraged, and even his own parents have kicked him out of their home.

The rally will show support for gay teens like Martin and his boyfriend, and praise the school for making the right decision while also calling out those who seek to overturn that decision.

“Rally for Equality” at 6 p.m. Friday April 9th at City Hall near Rosa Parks Square.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Word of the Gay: "Social Gender Role"

"Social gender role" are the cultural norms that dictate male and female behavior.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

CNN's Kyra Phillips Questions Whether Homosexuality Needs a "Cure"

In a CNN segment called 'Finding a "cure" for homosexuality?' by anchor Kyra Phillips the network has given the pseudo-scientific topic of "ex-gay" therapy and its proponents a national platform to advocate for their harmful and unsound work.

The reason for airing the segment is because California lawmaker Bonnie Lowenthal has introduced legislation to repeal a 1960 law that encourages the government to study cures for homosexuality. Instead of discussing the merits of the proposed bill and why "finding cures" for being gay don't work, Phillips and CNN gave credence to this bogus 'therapy' and allowed "ex-gay activist" Richard Cohen to spew his lies and promote new research (old studies that have been discredited).

The clip of the segment can be seen below:



Contact Kyra Phillips through CNN's online form and via Twitter.

Instructional Census Video for the LGBT Community

For the first time ever the 2010 census will include information about same-sex couples. By law it is required to fill out how many people live in your household, and the information is due back by April 15th. Other information, although optional helps the government research, allocate funds to communities, and ensure fair electoral representation.

Same-sex couples will be able to indicate whether they are married on the form. It is not necessary to have a valid marriage license, if you consider yourselves a couple you can indicate this as such on the form. Transgender people should mark down the sex which corresponds with their gender identity.

Below is an instructional video released by the 2010 census for the LGBT community:

Word of the Gay: "Cisgender"

"Cisgender" is a term used to refer to people who are non-transgender and identify with the gender that corresponds to their birth sex.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Blog Spotlight: F*ck Yeah LGBTQ Prom

F*ck Yeah LGBTQ Prom believes all queers should have an 'awkward prom photo' and they want to share yours with the world in their online photo album blog.

Join the Tribeca Protest Over "Ticked Off Trannies" Film

A demonstration against the Tribeca Film Festival's choice to feature the movie "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives" will take place in NYC tonight. The movie promotes transphobia and makes light of the rape and violence all too often directed at transwomen. In addition to the offensive title of the movie, the film portrays transwomen as being performers.

Below is a trailer for the movie (Warning - Highly offensive and violent material).



Protest:

Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Trans People (MAGNET)
Tuesday April 6th, from 6:30-8pm
Tribeca Cinemas- 54 Varick St, NYC, NY.
For more info email: magnet_right_now@yahoo.com

Be sure to also contact the Tribeca Film Festival and demand the films removal and voice your disapproval.

Tammie Rosen
Vice-President of Communications - Tribeca Film Festival
trosen@tribecaenterprises.com
(212) 941-2003

David Kwok
Director of Programming – Tribeca Film Festival
dkwok@tribecafilmfestival.org
(212) 941-2420

Kimberly Kress
Senior VP, Rubenstein Communications
(212) 843-9394
kkress@rubenstein.com

Film & Programming
(212) 941-2305

To send an email with suggested text to the Tribeca Film Festival contacts above, go to http://www.glaad.org/2010/calltoaction/tribeca.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Word of the Gay: "Fellagirly"

"Fellagirly" was coined by comedian Elvira Kurt to denote queer females who have a blend of butch and femme qualities.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rock for Equality on April 11th

Rock for Equality is a national event to demand economic fairness in Social Security benefits for America’s same-sex couples. Estimates suggest in the past decade alone LGBT families have been deprived of more than 2 billion dollars in Social Security benefits. The event is taking place in Los Angeles on April 11th but will also be held virtually nationwide to demonstrate support for an end to economic injustice.

Social Security Benefits which are denied to same-sex couples fall into four categories:

1) Spousal Retirement Benefits
* – allow a low-income spouse to be eligible for either their own benefit, or an amount equal to one-half of their higher earning spouse’s benefit. It is common for one partner to earn more and pay more into Social Security than the other. Once both partners have retired, one, for example, may qualify for benefits of $500 a month and the other for $2,000 a month. The one who has qualified for $500 is automatically qualified for $1,000 instead which is equal to half of the larger earners benefit. When retirement comes, the lower earner gets a boost, so that the couple can retire with some security. This benefit is not available to same-sex couples.

2) Spousal /Dependents Disability Benefit under SSDI * - provides for a spouse and dependents to qualify for benefits on a disabled worker’s earnings record in the same way as with retired workers (see above). This benefit is not available to same-sex couples. Even the children of same-sex couples may be at risk. (The Department of Justice has issued an opinion on this, but this area of law is still unclear.)

3) Survivors Benefits
* – allow a widow or widower to be eligible to claim their own Social Security benefit, or an amount equal to the benefit to which their deceased spouse was eligible. So, upon retirement, if a couple qualifies for $500 for one person and $2000 for the other, together their monthly benefit would be $2,500. Upon the death of the person getting $2,000, the survivor can receive $2000 per month, instead of $500. Although the household income will go down by $500, the survivor can adjust by economizing on living expenses for one person instead of two, and live with some security. This is true in all cases except when the survivor was in a same-sex partnership. In those instances, the survivor has to get by on only $500 per month.

4) Death Benefit* - Upon the death of a spouse, Social Security provides a modest benefit of $255 for burial expenses, etc. But not if the survivor was in a same-sex partnership.

Event details:

Date: Sunday, April 11, 2010
Starting Location: L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center at 1625 N. Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028-6213

Sign-In and Issuing of “Social Security Cards”: 9:30 a.m.

Kick-off Rally: 10:00 a.m.

One-Mile March to Social Security Building Begins: 10:45 a.m. (time approx.)

Protest demonstration and Rock-in: 11:30 a.m. to Noon at the Social Security Building, 1122 N. Vine St Los Angeles, CA 90038

Concluding Program: Noon to 12:30 p.m. (time approx.)

People interested in participating virtually should sign up here.

Organization Spotlight: LGBT Aging Project

The LGBT Aging Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elders have equal access to the life-prolonging benefits, protections, services and institutions that their heterosexual neighbors take for granted.

Autism Awareness Day - April 2nd 2010

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, a time to educate, and realize the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. WAAD is also a time to celebrate and honor the unique talents and skills that people with autism bring to communities around the world.

Autism is a variation in neurological functioning of the human brain. People representing the autistic spectrum have a different way of social interaction, learning, communication, and emotional perception as opposed to the neurotypical majority in society. About 6 in 1,000 people is autistic, and they are a testament to the neurodiversity within our society. Autistic people often have many challenges, and many require assistance in their daily lives, but they have a unique and unknown culture to the rest of society.

In keeping with blog tradition, here is WAAD with a queer-centric twist to honor and help educate about the LGBTQ minority within the autistic population. There are also reports and scientific research to support the notion that a significant number of people with Autism/Asperger's are non heterosexual ie: gay, asexual, transgender, and/or intersex.

Links of interest:

Gay/Lesbian Aspies Section - Gays and Lesbians with Asperger's.

Autistic and Gay
- A blogger's thoughts on how the subjects intertwine.

On having a queer mind - A bisexuals take on being "double oppressed" autistic and queer.

Being autistic and Gay - An out and proud gay autistic man's story.

Sex, Sexuality and the Autism Sprectrum - A book written by an openly gay autistic adult discussing her own experiences and research on LGBT autistic people.

Report on Sexuality and Autism - A Danish study with fascinating results about the sexuality of participants.







Please feel free to share experiences, add resources and links of interest.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

CNN Features Anti-Gay Bill Donohue of the Catholic League

CNN has been giving airtime to Bill Donohue of the ultra conservative Catholic League to spew misinformation and blame directed at the gay community for the church's sex abuse crisis. Mr. Donohue has been on shows such as Larry King and Rick's List arguing that there is a "homosexual problem" in the church.



Mr. Donohue has been dominating the time devoted to this subject matter and flat out lying in order to divert attention away from the real issue at hand which is child abuse at the hands of pedophile priests and the massive cover up by the Catholic Church. The assertion that homosexuals are more prone to molest children is reprehensible and dishonest. All studies show that the majority of sex offenders identify as heterosexual males.

Demand that CNN stop giving airtime to the anti-gay lies of Mr. Donohue by using their contact form.

Tell Speaker Pelosi It's Time for ENDA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as soon as she knew they had enough votes secured to pass the legislation. If passed this historic bill would prohibit job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. The three openly gay congress members Barney Frank, Jared Polis, and Tammy Baldwin believe the votes are there and have been pressuring their colleagues to bring the bill to the floor.

Speaker Pelosi did an amazing job garnering the votes and pushing the controversial health care reform bill through and promised that after that was settled she would take up ENDA.

Now is the time to pass this legislation and you could voice your opinion to Pelosi via this e-action form.

Word of the Gay: "Lesbian Identified Man"

A "lesbian identified man" is a man who prefers the company of lesbian women.