National News Briefs
Washington, D.C. - Urging Activists to Convince Log Cabin to Dump Romney-Ryan - 8.19
In a pun on the â€śIt Gets Betterâ€ť campaign, David Brock of American Bridge and Rick Jacobs of Courage Campaign Super PAC are distributing a petition, â€śMitt Gets Worse,â€ť urging Log Cabin Republicans to refrain from endorsing the Romney-Ryan ticket. In just 24 hours, more than 15,000 people have joined their effort online. â€śWe have enormous respect for the Log Cabin Republicans and all theyâ€™ve done to make life better for LGBT Americans,â€ť they say. â€śAfter examining their records, weâ€™re certain that under a Romney-Ryan administration, things would get worse.
Much worse. â€śWeâ€™re hopeful that the Log Cabin Republicans will live up to their reputation for independence, and stand up for what they know is right,â€ť they continue. â€śAfter all, if they didnâ€™t endorse George W. Bush, why would they endorse Romney-Ryan, whose policies are as bad or worse than Bushâ€™s for LGBT people?â€ť
By selecting Ryan as his running mate, Romney has left no doubt his administration would stand committed to undoing the progress towards equality for all Americans. The Log Cabin Republicans have played a strong role in determining the course of queer rights. Without their hard work, we would not have made the gains we have, including repealing â€śDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ť and establishing marriage equality in a number of states. So go to MittGetsWorse.org and tell Log Cabin to just say NO!
China, ME - Family Research Council: Voters Must Reject Special Rights in November - 8.15
Michael Heath, former executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine and statewide representative for the Family Research Council, condemned the shooting in the arm of Leo Johnson, guard at FRC. Floyd Corkins was apprehended and, according to one news source, Corkins â€śmay have been carrying a bag from Chick-fil-A.â€ť Corkins told Johnson, â€śIt was not about you; it was what this place stands for.â€ť
FRCâ€™s mission is â€śresisting homosexuality and the leftâ€™s evil attack on the family.â€ť FRC was directly involved in all of Maineâ€™s statewide political battles over the past two and a half decades. Heath called same-sex marriage â€śmonstrous insaneness.â€ť He stated, â€śIf Maine doesnâ€™t end this decades-long conflict over the evil of sodomy with an overwhelming NO vote in November, we can expect to see this sort of violence in Maine in the near future,â€ť and added, â€śHomosexuality can lead to the most horrific and violent consequences in individuals and society. The twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of it.â€ť
Heath is awaiting receipt of his concealed weapons permit from the Maine State Police, claiming, â€śIt is the responsibility of all good men to be prepared to protect innocence from evil. Force must be met with force so that innocent people are not harmed.â€ť So queers arenâ€™t innocent?! Heath is also president and CEO of the No Special Rights Political Action Committee. Ugh.
St. Paul, MN â€“ Freedom to Marry Launches Minnesota TV Ad on Why Marriage Matters â€“ 8.16
Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, has unveiled a television ad campaign in Minnesota as part of its public education efforts designed to spark conversation about the meaning of marriage across the nation. The ad is scheduled to run for several weeks in the Twin Cities and Duluth. Titled â€śGrandparents,â€ť it features Yvonne and Fred Peterson of Duluth. Their grandson is gay.
The Petersons describe the joy of their nearly six decades of marriage and their initial opposition to marriage for same-sex couples. Fred concludes, â€śThe world is changing. Gay and lesbian people want to get married for the same reason that I wanted to marry my wife. Why shouldnâ€™t other people be able to enjoy the happiness and love weâ€™ve enjoyed through our lifetime?â€ť Right on, Fred!
â€śThe Petersons highlight the very reason public education is so important in the fight for marriage for all committed couples,â€ť said Freedom to Marryâ€™s Director of Public Engagement, Thalia Zepatos. â€śThey started out with an opposing view and have come to see that marriage for everyone benefits us all. Local stories are the best conversation starter â€“ and conversation is the best vehicle for helping people to see that the protections and responsibilities that come with marriage should be for everyone, no matter whom they love.â€ť
New York City, NY - Quinn Frontrunner in Mayoral Primary â€“ 8.15
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is the clear frontrunner in the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor, with 29% of Democrats saying they would vote for her, a recent poll finds. Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat who aspires to become the cityâ€™s first female and openly gay mayor, has nearly triple the number of votes as her nearest competitor in the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. The poll also showed that 10% of city voters are less likely to vote for a gay or lesbian candidate, while 84% said sexual orientation wouldnâ€™t matter.
Roughly one third of Democratic voters said they are undecided - a clear sign that the race remains wide open. But Quinnâ€™s polling strength, coupled with her lead in fundraising, gives her an early advantage as the race prepares to pick up steam following the presidential election.
The Democratic mayoral nominee has lost the last five races, but party officials are hopeful they will break the losing streak next year, especially given the Republicansâ€™ difficulty thus far identifying a potential nominee. GOP leaders, who are in the midst of interviewing possible candidates, have pledged to mount a serious, competitive challenge next year. Best of luck to possibly Mayor Quinn!
Miami, FL - Florida Democrats Will Send First Gay Legislator Ever To Tallahassee - 8.14
David Richardson, an accountant in Miami, is set to become Floridaâ€™s first out queer lawmaker, following his decisive Democratic primary win. His primary victory in a heavily-Democratic district in Miami effectively guarantees his victory in November, given that no Republican sought a spot on the ballot. Way to go, State Representative to be!
Seventeen states currently have no out LGBT lawmakers, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which has backed Richardsonâ€™s bid and works to help elect out LGBTQ candidates. â€śDavidâ€™s election sends a message to Tallahassee that LGBT Floridians will be heard. Finally, we will have an authentic LGBT voice in the state capitol who will be unafraid to speak up and speak out for fairness,â€ť said Victory Fund President Chuck Wolfe. In addition to Richardsonâ€™s win, Victory Fund Vice President Denis Dison pointed to primary wins by candidates who have no general election opponents in New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas â€” three states with no out lawmakers currently â€” as progress for the organizationâ€™s aims.
In addition to Florida, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia, the other 12 states without out lawmakers currently are Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee and South Carolina. Letâ€™s get busy, folks, and queerify the Legislature!
Local News Briefs
SF Approves First Affordable Housing Welcoming to LGBTQ Seniors
The Cityâ€™s first and the countryâ€™s largest affordable housing specifically welcoming to LGBTQ seniors was approved unanimously by the San Francisco Planning Commission. The housing, to be developed by Openhouse and Mercy Housing California, includes 110 apartments for low-income seniors. It also includes Openhouse service offices and an activity center for residents and LGBTQ seniors from across the city.
Over 25,000 queer seniors live in San Francisco alone. Many do not access senior services and housing for fear of rejection and compromised care.
â€śThe 55 Laguna development addresses a critical need for LGBT seniors, who face enormous challenges in finding welcoming and affordable housing,â€ť said Openhouse Executive Director Seth Kilbourn. â€śFor decades, thousands of LGBT people have come to San Francisco to find personal freedom and acceptance. As older adults with increasing needs, the pioneers of this migration are being forced back into the closet in order to receive the quality care and housing they need. They are being forced to relocate and leave dear friends behind. 55 Laguna will be a critical community resource to help LGBT seniors age with dignity and grace in the city they call home.â€ť
Research is clear that LGBTQ seniors are less likely to participate in general community activities and access the services and housing they need, because they fear judgment, rejection or compromised care. As a result, queer seniors often do not disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity. At even greater risk to their health and wellbeing, they may remain isolated without access to appropriate housing and community services.
Story by Dennis McMillan
Fighting the Vaticanâ€™s Attempt to Destroy San Francisco Values
The Vatican is trying to squelch Bay Area LGBTQ rights by appointing Salvatore Cordileone as Archbishop of San Francisco. Cordileone is a leading opponent of same-sex marriage and a co-creator of Proposition 8, having called same-sex marriage â€śa plot by the evil oneâ€ť to destroy the world. He personally donated at least $6,000 to the 2008 ban. Cordileone is one of 17 US bishops to sign â€śThe Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,â€ť a document asserting opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion and assisted suicide. To date, he is the only bishop from California to sign the document.
The SF Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. feel a strong call to activism against the Vaticanâ€™s attempt to destroy what citizens proudly call â€śSan Francisco valuesâ€ť of human rights and equality for all. They are holding very productive meetings and setting up a number of committees â€“ a first step being the composition of a public letter and press release exposing this bigotry.
â€śWe are putting the recipients of the letters on notice, if they support or attend the ArchBatSh#*â€™s installation [on Oct. 4], they will lose the support of the community,â€ť says Sister Flatulina GrandĂ©. â€śIf they are for him in any way, they are against us. We will extend this to corporations that donate money to the church.â€ť The Sisters are forming a list of activists at TheSisters.org for any who may want to participate in future actions and demonstrations.
Story by Dennis McMillan