Welcome to Fabulous Friday, a review of the week's news for the LGBT Kos Community. We'll be highlighting some interesting news stories, as well as providing a list of some notable LGBT diaries here at Daily Kos. If you ever run across stories/blog posts/diaries that should be included here, please send a Kosmail to LGBT Kos.
Please note: This is supposed to be a safe space to discuss our issues, so please, keep your piefights where they belong, which is not here. That applies to the meta food fight of the day, the Obama Wars, what have you. It's not that we don't like debate or that we don't have opinions on those issues. There are places for these debates and they are not here at LGBT Kos. We are more interested in the diversity of our life experiences, our cultures, and our dreams of a better tomorrow. We believe that we can create a space to discuss these differences without engaging in the political debates that have often divided our community. If you can't abide by this rule, you'll be asked to leave.
LGBT News - Education/Youth
Duncan Says Discriminating Against LGBT Clubs Violates Law
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned school districts (PDF) Tuesday against attempting to shut down lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) clubs and gay-straight alliances.
In the open "Dear Colleagues" letter, Duncan stressed that LGBT students are often the target of bullying and verbal harassment, and that after-school clubs can help students cope with the bullying.
"By encouraging dialogue and providing supportive resources, these groups can help make schools safe and affirming environments for everyone," Duncan wrote. Duncan claims that some school districts around the country have attempted to block gay-straight alliances from forming, and that barring their formation or shutting down LGBT clubs is illegal according to the 1984 Equal Access Act, which protects student-initiated groups of all types.
LGBT News - Religion
It's great to see religious progressives standing up against Rick Perry!
Perry/AFA event denounced by Houston Clergy Council, attracts new controversial supporters
In the latest show of disapproval for Gov. Rick Perry’s prayer and fasting rally, the Houston Clergy Council (HCC) has penned a letter expressing its opposition to the early August event, set to take place at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. The group is concerned with the event’s lack of inclusiveness toward other faiths, failure to represent the religious diversity of Houston and overstepping of church and state separation boundaries. Yet, the clergy say they are most troubled by Perry’s affiliation with the controversial American Family Association.
HCC writes:“Our deepest concern, however, lies in the fact that funding for this event appears to come from the American Family Association, an organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The American Family Association and its leadership have a long track record of anti-gay speech and have actively worked to discriminate against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. The American Family Association and its leadership have also been stridently anti-Muslim, going so far as to question the rights of Muslim Americans to freely organize and practice their faith. We believe it is inappropriate for our governor to organize a religious event funded by a group known for its discriminatory stances.”
The clergy requests Perry leave the ministry to them and refocus his energy on governing the state. The letter is signed by two-dozen progressive religious leaders, including many from the Unitarian Universalist Church. The concerns echo those of a number of national, state and local faith-based, activist and LGBT-rights organizations. The Interfaith Alliance, the Secular Coalition for America and the Houston GLBT Political Caucus are among the groups condemning the event’s religious exclusiveness and/or its main sponsor, AFA, as the Texas Independent
LGBT News - Health/HIV
This is a disturbing reminder that we must remain vigilant!
New study shows dramatic increase in HIV/AIDS infections within committed relationships
ILLINOIS – According to a new research study by Northwestern University, gay young men in serious relationships are six times more likely to have unprotected sex than those in casual relationships, and this group accounts for nearly 70 percent of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in adolescents and young adults in the U.S.
Brian Mustanski, associate professor in medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of a paper on the research said,
“Being in a serious relationship provides a number of mental and physical health benefits, but it also increases behaviors that put you at risk for HIV transmission. Men who believe a relationship is serious mistakenly think they don’t need to protect themselves.”
LGBT News - Transgender
Autumn Sandeen has an interesting post at LGBT Weekly News.
It’s been a pretty good year so far for transgender people
In the big picture of basic civil rights for transgender Americans, 2011 has to this point been a good year for civil rights progress. Sometimes I know it’s hard to focus on what’s been accomplished when we also see what hasn’t yet been accomplished, or see backward steps, but for trans people we’ve seen more civil rights gains than losses.
To begin with, three states have added antidiscrimination protections based on gender identity to their lists of protected classes for antidiscrimination legislation.
In Hawaii, the state legislature added employment antidiscrimination protections for gender identity adding to the states pre-existent antidiscrimination protections for employment and public accommodations. Hawaii became the 13th state and the first state since 2006, to add employment protections for transgender people.
Transgender shooting victim says incident was 'pure hatred'
A transgender shooting victim is claiming to be a victim of a hate crime, something Halifax police were disputing yesterday.
Chris Cochrane, a 25-year-old who also goes by the stage name Elle Noir, told Metro on Wednesday she doesn’t know who fired gunshots through her apartment door in Fairview early Tuesday morning, but believes hatred was the motivation behind it.
She alleges homophobic slurs were directed at her during the incident.
LGBT News - International
Activists in one of Asia's most homophobic societies prepares for a rally tomorrow.
Activists Struggle For Gay Rights in Singapore
While Singapore has been praised as a shining example of modernity and progress in Southeast Asia, it remains, in many ways, a very conservative state. Homosexuals and other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Singapore face oppression, both societal and institutionalized.
There are also many groups in Singapore working to raise awareness about LGBT rights, though. One of the most prominent of those groups is Pink Dot Singapore, which was formed in 2008.
On Saturday, the group will hold its third mass public gathering at Hong Lim Park, which was designated the Singapore’s Speaker’s Corner in 2000, making it a safe zone for free speech and demonstrations.
And some good news from the UN.
UN could OK historic gay rights resolution Friday
WASHINGTON -- The United Nations is poised to deliver a historic call for gay rights Friday when it votes on a U.S.-backed resolution that demands equality for people regardless of sexual orientation and orders a global investigation of violence and discrimination against gays.
Obama administration officials believe they have a majority of support in the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva for the resolution, which would be the first such statement to pass a U.N. vote.
The issue of gay rights has polarized nations at the U.N. for years. Despite growing acceptance for gay rights Western nations and parts of Latin America, lawyers say human rights treaties don't offer adequate protection against discrimination and mistreatment.
LGBT Kos News
If you are interested in writing a diary for the group, please send a message to the group.
LGBT-related diaries from the previous week (Friday, June 10th through Thursday, June 16th) that did not make the recommended diaries list and were not rescued.