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World AIDS Day

photo: Thai AIDS activists wear condom costumes.

Rosa Parks Human Rights Day March & Rallies






Endorsed by QueerToday.com.
Join us on Friday for a march and rally you will never forget. We will speak out about Romney's vicious budget cuts at the rally.








December 1, World AIDS Day


1PM


Dudley Square












Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Demands





• Stop spending money on war and use it for social programs at home - bring the troops home NOW! • Union jobs at union wages • Decent & affordable housing • Full and complete health coverage • Fully funded equal & quality education for our children • Stop racial profiling & police brutality • Healthy and safe environment to live • To be treated like human beings and live with dignity • Full rights for ALL immigrants - NO immigrant is illegal • Full funding for AIDS research, education and treatment • Full reproductive rights for women • End LGBT oppression



World AIDS Day Links:

Let's NOT Go To Prison!

Rape is not funny. Prison is not funny. Prison rape is not funny. And jokes about bending over for the soap in prison because you might be raped are outdated and not fucking funny. The new movie Let's Go To Prison will not be funny.




A few years ago QueerToday.com was the first web site to start a petition and generate hundreds of calls to the 7UP marketing team when they had an advertisement with the joke resting on male to male prison rape. The advertisement was banned once prison rights groups started speaking up. The new movie Let's Go To Prison will present us with the same problem.




Snippet of the description on rottentomatoes: "...what's been missing from the typical prison movie in his fresh, probing look at our penal system—rife with plenty of sweet, cloistered, man love. "



1. Write to Universal Pictures Here
2. Tell the Boston Globe to Stop Advertising the Movie on Boston.com
3. Write a letter to the editor and make phone calls to newspapers asking them to stop advertising the movie

Take Action for Trans People

On Sunday November 19th at 7PM at the Arlington Street Church in Boston (corner of Arlington and Boylston) the queer community and allies will gather for the most important event of the year - to remember those killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event was founded to honor Rita Hester who was brutally stabbed to death in Brighton Massachusetts in 1998. The crimes against Rita and countless other trans people remain unsolved.



Trans people are not included in our state's hate crime laws or employment non-discrimination laws. It is long past time for allies and the LGBT community to speak out in support of transgendered people. We have a crisis in this country. Trans people are murdered and discriminated against every day and we have the power to change that.

Historic LGBT Wins & More!

New~A Hawaii woman won a seat on the state Board of Education and, according to national advocacy groups, a place in history as the nation's highest-ranking transgender elected official. (gay.com)
A record breaking sixty-seven openly gay and lesbian candidates were elected (365gay) to various offices nationwide yesterday. Arizona became the first state where voters rejected a ban on same-sex marriage.



More Victories...



Rumsfeld Steps Down




Democrats win house




Democrats win senate (Barring any recount changes)




Bernie Sanders becomes first socialist elected to senate




First Muslim elected to congress




Nancy Pelosi first woman speaker of house




record breaking 67 openly gay people elected nationwide




Deval Patrick nation's second black governor




Massachusetts and New York elect first pro same-sex marriage governors




Arizon
a defeats gay marriage ban




Missouri supports stem cell research




South Dakota defeats abortion ban




Several towns in California decriminalized marijuana use, and nationwide ballot questions show voters support legalizing medicinal use and small amounts for personal use




Democrats win majority of governorships




Democrats control most state legislators




Ballot questions nationwide show disapproval of war in Iraq and call for withdrawl




Victory over viciously right-wing Santorum




Democrats win every major statewide office in Ohio hopefully preventing another vote stealing situation




1/3 of evangelicals voted democrat this time









History has been made. Now that momentum is on our side we must fight harder than ever for justice. We must hold the elected officials accountable to their promises, and pressure them to bring the troops home from the disgusting war in Iraq.

Republicans Act under Muse of Morality

Guest Post by Daniel Spigelmyer

The Republican Party is the party of moralists. This message is transmitted through the airwaves, through television screens, and over the internet. The general populace cannot escape the Republican claim to be the epitome of morality. With a coming election, issues such as moral values once again take center stage. In previous elections, Republicans in the upper echelons of the party realized that morality is an excellent mobilizing force. The party simply had to find a way to harness that power and use it advantageously. Considering the slight Republican majority in Congress and the Republican President who narrowly won the last two elections, it is probably safe to say that they have found which methods work best to appear moral. Just how moral are the members of this party though?


Morality is really nothing more than a pretext for the Republican Party to implement its political agenda. Although some people may argue that all political parties simply strive to further their own political agendas, none have done so with such deceptive and surprisingly successful means as the Republican Party with its stance on moral values. Americans, a people desirous of good morals, prize their integrity and will do anything to preserve their image throughout the world. After recognizing this trait in Americans, Republicans had a deadly weapon, which they found surprisingly easy to wield.

Calling the moral values issue a pretext requires that there be some hidden purpose behind the name. That purpose is twofold: to discriminate against gays and the poor. Ever since politicians noticed the value of currying favor with the gay subculture, Republicans have either been unable to do so or not wished to do so, depending on the political mood and issue at hand. Now, with the moral values propaganda and the sanctity of marriage crusade, the Republicans are seemingly striving to alienate any possible wellspring of votes from this group within American society. Furthermore, the Republican Party is predominately a stronghold of wealthy men with families stemming from the aristocratic and repressive south. Supercilious attitudes amongst the generations have engendered great disdain for people who are less fortunate—the poor. People who do not have significant wealth do no deserve to maintain some form of respect and should therefore be denied the ability to improve their lot in life, or so believes the Republican Party. What better way to cripple financial and social progress than through failing to raise the minimum wage? For that matter, why not grant the rich huge tax cuts to ensure that there remains an insurmountable gap between the rich and the poor? In the eyes of the Republican Party, these were the necessary steps taken to ensure that they remained the elite as well as that “moral values are preserved.”

This issue comes to light once again because it is an election year. It is of utmost importance that the electorate pays attention to the issues at hand. The voters must be aware of the furtive agendas of every candidate so that they can cast an educated vote. This election is especially important to Pennsylvanians because a hotly-contested Senate seat is in question as well as the governorship. Both races have brought moral values to light, more than once, but the Senatorial race seems to be focusing on them more so than the gubernatorial. Incumbent Senator Rick Santorum (R) constantly brings up the issue of moral values in discussions about the expected winner, Bob Casey, Jr. (D). Senator Santorum, however, does not exemplify the most upright moral values. While Casey campaigns through focusing on the issues, Senator Santorum finds it necessary to throw constant obloquies at his opponent, and on several occasions these accusations have proven to be blatant lies. Does it require true honesty and integrity to manufacture a lie and broadcast it throughout the commonwealth? Pennsylvanians will have to be the judges of that question. In addition to the race for the Senate seat, the race for the governor’s office has focused some of its attention onto moral values—although not per se. Republican candidate Lynn Swann has numerous times announced that he would not favor raising the state minimum wage and that he would reduce the size of the government in order to lower taxes (although the rich would see the most benefits from lowered taxes). Neither present governor Ed Rendell (D) nor Swann have state equivocally that these are issues of morality, but in other, even nationwide elections, these issues of minimum wage and tax cuts have been implicated into the moral values campaign and therefore could be seen as such in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.

Republicans have found an “issue” that is volatile simply because of the American people’s desire to be honest and overall good people. Through framing themselves as the party of moralist, the Republicans have in turn portrayed their opposition as debauched and morally unsound. The question that begs to be asked is if the Republicans are trying to imply that the Democrats do not possess any good morals. Perhaps in the new age of Republicanism, passing judgment on one’s neighbor is a good moral value.



---------------
Daniel Spigelmyer is a gay teenager who lives in predominately conservative Snyder County in central Pennsylvania. He is a senior at Midd-West High School and writes occasionally in the school newspaper on assignment from the advisor about topics “that students [his] age should care about.”

Fighting for Same-Sex Marriage the "Right" Way

Fighting for Same-Sex Marriage the "Right" Way

Mark D. Snyder
Published in InNewsWeekly Nov. 2, 2006


A sea of red-white-and-blue, religion front and center, and a tightly censored crowd of supporters—The Republican National Convention? Nope. This is the scene outside of the state house each time our legislators gather to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage. And it is not the scene of our opponents.


The rallies coordinated by MassEquality serve a great purpose. They bring our community together, inspire us, and motivate us in our fight for equality. Unfortunately some organizers seem to be better trained in censorship than democracy.


I have witnessed MassEquality organizers coordinate efforts to squash freedom of speech by gathering groups of people to out- chant those initiated by the crowd, asking people to remove signs they deemed "offensive," and admonishing young activists for shouting at the bigots across the street.


There is a difference between de-escalation techniques used to quell violence, and outright censorship. There must be room for all forms of dissent and public discourse when the LGBT community gathers for a rally as large and significant as the same-sex marriage demonstrations. There is room for the Religious Coalition for the Freedom To Marry to lead religious songs of social justice. There is room for patriotic gays to wave their American flags. And in the spirit of the many historical protests that propelled the gay rights movement, there should always be room for us to non-violently express our anger and resist the oppression of the radical right.


Censorship is just one component of MassEquality's flawed public relations strategy that includes presenting the LGBT community as more normal, more mainstream, more religious, and more patriotic than our opponents. This strategy plays into the linguistic hands of the right-wing, and ultimately hurts the most marginalized members of our community. How many queer immigrants or anti-war activists want to sing the national anthem at a time when our country is slaughtering innocent Iraqis? How many genderqueer people worry about presenting themselves as mainstream? MassEquality should not be embarrassed by drag queens shouting at bigots, they should be embarrassed by their own blatant attempts at censorship.


If we want to create long-term societal change we should educate people about the beauty and value of our diversity instead of obsessively trying to prove our normalcy. Garden State Equality, the New Jersey based LGBTI rights coalition formed out of the struggle for marriage equality, has made an attempt to do just that. In all of their publicity they use the term LGBTI instead of gay and lesbian. Rainbows are abundant at their rallies. They shamelessly call the radical-right "hatemongers." And the organization was the first in the country to launch a television advertisement in support of transgender rights.


Our friends at MassEquality have good hearts and good intentions, but they should not be immune from criticism, questioning, or suggestions from the community they represent.


If we do not speak up, the days of rainbows defining the imagery of our movement could be lost to red-white-and-blue. At the rally this Thursday November 9th wave a rainbow flag to show you are proud to be queer, and proud of our community's diversity. Bring a sign that points out the connections to racism of the radical right. Chant about the oppression of LGBT youth and the trans community. Above all, exercise your constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

Happy Voting

Today Deval Patrick will be elected our state's first, and our nation's second black governor. He will return democrats to power after 16 years of regressive rule. Regardless of whether or not you love Deval Patrick as a candidate, and regardless of how jaded you are regarding the current political system, there is no doubt that today we are moving forward towards our ideal version of society. Unlike other places in our nation, we are inching towards the fulfillment of universal healthcare, solidifying same-sex marriage rights, opposing the war, being fair to our immigrant friends, and protecting the environment.







It must be noted that Deval's extensive grassroots campaign has united people in extraordinary ways: "People who hadn't spoken to each other since busing were in that room talking to each other," said Bell, referring to the period in the mid-1970s when court-ordered school desegregation split the city." - Boston Globe. Deval has also inspired many new voters. Some neighborhoods are reporting that immigrants are now registered to vote at the same level as non-immigrants, at the Convention I met many people who were entirely new to politics, and the Boston Globe reports that we are expecting record breaking voter turnout today.








Grace Ross played an important role in this race too. Without her reality checks the debates would have been mighty boring, and we would have had to endure endless Healey/Patrick soundbites. Grace and her runingmate Martina will no doubt continue to fight for social and environmental justice. I wish them well. Hopefully one day soon we will be able to enact instant run-off voting so that we are able to unite progressives and vote for more than one candidate, and finally stop the "spoiler" debate.











This election will not be fair or victorious for most folks in this country. Legal battles are sure to ensue as voting machines fail and Republicans attempt to steal yet another election. But in this state we are moving forward for once - and after sliding backwards for so long it feels damn good.

Happy Voting Friends!










Mark

Bush pushes abstinence for twentysomethings

As if pedding lies and misinformation to teens wasn't enough, now the Bush administration is wasting more money on abstinence for 20-29 year olds...




Abstinence message goes beyond teens

Homophobe DePetro Finally Fired!

Today John DePetro of WRKO was fired for calling Grace Ross a "big fat lesbian" on air (listen to clip!). But this isn' the first time DePetro has been a homophobic jerk. Back in July he said “And I don’t mean gay fag, I just mean the way when you’re a sophomore, juvenile, in grammar school and somebody would say you’re like a sissy boy fag. I don’t mean gay fag. I mean like sissy boy. He’s a little sissy boy." So why wasn't he fired when he said that!!? Oh wait it is because WRKO is FULL of right-wing bigots.




Grace, of course, handled this situation beautifully as she has handled herself in the debates saying that it is no secret she is a lesbian, and yes what he said was offensive but she has thick skin.




In other election news: BlueMassGroup has made an excellent endorsement of green-rainbow party candidate Jill Stein for Secretary of State.

Haggard: I um kinda maybe had some gay sex

This story has been too much fun to watch!

ABC NEWS: Nov. 3 - The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who has resigned amid allegations that he had sex with a former self-described male prostitute, is now admitting to some indiscretions after initial denials, according to the acting senior pastor of the New Life Church in
Colorado. The Rev. Ted Haggard temporarily stepped down as the senior pastor
at a 14,000-member megachurch in Colorado Springs, Colo., and resigned as
the president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals on Thursday after the allegations surfaced. Time magazine had named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals, and Haggard has been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage...



Fred Phelps Pledge-A-Thon: Counteract The Hate

Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church (GodHatesFags.com), will be protesting the memorial service of the first openly gay congressman, Gerry Studds, at the JFK Library & Museum at 12:15PM on Saturday December 2nd. View their hateful press release (pdf).





Please honor Gerry Studds by pledging a donation to the LGBT or HIV/AIDS organization of your choice. CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE! We will keep a tally of how much has been pledged, and we will remind you to donate after the event.













FRED PHELPS PLEDGE-A-THON: OVER $1200 Pledged So Far!









Donate by # of Picketer or Length of Time The Picketers Stay. We'll keep track for you. Even if no picketers show up we encourage you to pledge a minimum donation in honor of Gerry Studds.















David: $10 per picketer up to $250








TheOpenSociety: up to $50 to AIDS Research








FieldsCornerGuy/MisterGoat: $5 per protestor, or $18 if none show up to
FierceNY or AIDS Research








Janet444: A
small donation








Smadin: $10 per picketer, up to
$100








PeterPorcupine: $10 per picketer to LogCabin Republicans








Jim Caralis: $10 per protestor
up to $250








Mark Snyder: $10 per hour to
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition







Gary: $500 donation to BAGLY







RollBiz: $2 per picketer from me. $20 minimum,
$50 maximum.







DBang: $2 per protester pledge as a statement.



Laurel: $5 per Phelpser up to $50 to SpeakOut Boston



Chris: $2/Picketer- $20 min./$50 max. BAGLY







Some great organizations to donate to:





Boston Alliance of LGBT Youth





Mass. Trans Political Coalition





Greater Boston PFLAG





Boston Living Center





Community Servings












Can't Donate Money? How about time?
If you are low on cash make a pledge to donate volunteer hours to a worthy organization such as
AIDS Action, The Boston Living Center, BAGLY, Community Servings, or others...