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
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:
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
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.
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.
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
Arizona 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.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
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
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...