East coast victories for LGBT candidates

While we’re waiting here in Houston for the results of today’s municipal elections the Victory Fund reports of victories for LGBT candidates on the East coast where polls closed an hour earlier than Texas.

State Del. Adam Ebbin (D-District 30) was elected to Virginia’s state Senate today, making him the Commonwealth’s first openly gay senator.

“I am honored by the trust the voters have showed in me,”  Ebbin said in a statement. “During the campaign, I listened to the voters’ concerns and will work on behalf of the values we all share: improving our public schools, expanding our transit system and cleaning up Virginia’s environment. I will make sure their voices are heard…”

“Alex Morse, a 22-year-old graduate of Brown University, has just been elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a city of nearly 40,000 residents near Springfield…”

“Zach Adamson has won his race for city council in Indianapolis, giving the city its first openly LGBT city council member.”

“An incumbent on the Largo, Fla., City Commission who attacked her openly gay opponent over his sexual orientation has lost her reelection bid to him tonight. Michael Smith defeated Mary Gray Black, who has a history of anti-gay and anti-trans activism on the commission.”

—  admin

Houston Chronicle pulls endorsement of school board member Rodriguez over anti-gay flier

Manuel Rodriguez

The Houston Chronicle has rescinded its endorsement of Houston Independent School District Trustee Manuel Rodriquez over an anti-gay flier distributed by the Rodriquez campaign. As previously reported by Houstini, the flier attacked Rodriquez’s opponent, Ramiro Fonseca, for his history of advocating for LGBT people, and his endorsement by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus. The flier also suggested that Fonseca being 52 and unmarried is a reason that Houstonians should not trust him to make decisions affecting children, and points out that he has a “male partner.”

In the online opinion piece removing their endorsement, the Chronicle editorial board called out the overt homophobia in the Rodriquez flier.

“With his hateful flier, Rodriguez perpetuates the kind of stereotypes that put our kids in danger. And he implies that all right-thinking people agree with him – an insult to his constituents, and precisely the kind of blithe, old-school homophobia that makes school hallways so treacherous.

Members of the school board are supposed to be role models, not bullies. They’re supposed to support civil rights, not fight against them. They’re supposed to fight hate speech, not commit it.”

In response to the Rodriquez flyer the Houston GLBT Political Caucus had encouraged people to contact the editorial board and ask that the Chronicle endorsement be rescinded. “Certainly we’re very pleased that the Chronicle has taken this step,” said Caucus president Noel Freeman. “They recognize that there is no place for this kind of homophobia on the school board.” Freeman added the next step for the Caucus will be to continue to work to elect Fonseca. “We’re looking for volunteers who can help us by handing out literature at the polls.”

Until this recent controversy very little attention had been paid to the District III HISD race outside of political circles. No scientific polling on the race has been made public, but it’s considered to be a dead heat, with neither candidate having a clear advantage. It remains to be seen how the Rodriquez flier, and the overwhelmingly negative response it has garnered, will affect the outcome of the race.

HISD elections are part of the general elections taking place this Tuesday, Nov 8. Visit HarrisVotes.org to find your voting location and view a sample ballot.

—  admin

What’s Brewing: Maryland Senate kills gender identity bill; anti-gay hate crime at UNC

Quinn Matney was attacked and severely burned in an anti-gay hate crime at the University of North Carolina.

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. For a third straight week, LGBT advocates plan to speak during the Dallas County Commissioners Court’s meeting today and call on commissioners to add transgender employees to the county’s nondiscrimination policy. Last month, commissioners voted to add sexual orientation but not gender identity to the policy. The Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. in the County Administration Building, 411 Elm St.

2. The Maryland Senate on Monday voted to kill a measure that would have protected transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and credit — but not public accommodations. The vote marks the second major disappointment this year for LGBT advocates in Maryland, where the House thwarted a marriage equality bill last month.

3. A University of North Carolina freshman says he was attacked and severely burned in an anti-gay hate crime on the school’s campus last week. The UNC administration, which failed to notify students until a week after the attack occurred, now says it plans to report the incident as an anti-gay hate crime to the federal government.

—  John Wright

Couple Closes Bakery After Home, Car, Store Attacked By Anti-Gay Vandals

While Indianapolis bakery Just Cookies faced taunts for refusing to serve a gay-themed product to gay customers, Dave Zelton and his partner Kym say they were forced to close their bakery in Christchurch, New Zealand, because of something else: anti-gay torment. The couple says they saw their shop, home, and car vandalized and were subject to taunts like "all faggots need to be burnt and destroyed" shouted at them in their store. (The couple say police have told them nothing can be done unless someone gets hurt.) The stress, which has Kym on the verge of a breakdown, comes after they relocated their store after September's earthquake. Says Zelton: "We've had too many broken windows, and it's costing us money. We just have to let it go. We've got no choice."


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—  admin

Witnesses Stand by as Gay Men are Attacked in Downtown Austin, TX

The Dallas Voice reports that a local activist and his friend were attacked early Sunday morning in downtown Austin, Texas:

Bobby Beltran said he and his friend had just left Rain, a gay bar, at about 1:30 a.m. When they hugged each other goodbye on the sidewalk, some men in a passing vehicle yelled, “F**king faggots, stop that queer shit!”

Beltran After Beltran yelled at the men to “get out of here,” all five of them jumped out of the vehicle and attacked him and his friend. Beltran said he fought back but suffered cuts and bruises and a black eye. His friend may have suffered a broken jaw. The attackers quickly jumped back in the vehicle, which was parked in the middle of the street, and drove off.

The attack against Beltran was the third anti-gay attack reported in Austin this year, according to the paper, but what upset Beltran as much as the attack was the fact that many witnesses were reluctant to help:

He said the attack lasted for about three minutes and was witnessed by at least 20 people, but none of them tried to help. Beltran said he yelled out the license plate of the vehicle as he ran after the attackers, but no one wrote it down and he doesn’t remember it.

“It was the most unsafe I’ve ever felt in my entire life, knowing that not even my community stood up,” Beltran said. “I’m so afraid to go back down there.”


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Will Anyone Stand Up For The Son Being Attacked For Being Gay By His Father?

ABC's human behavior pornography What Would You Do? already showed us how some folks would react (or not react) as they walked by a group of teenagers bullying a kid for being gay. But how would they react if they saw a parent taunting a kid for being a "faggot"?

CONTINUED »


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Julius Bartender Attacked In Anti-Gay NYC Assault

Frederick Giunta, 25, was arrested Friday and charged with assaulting two men in a row in New York City's West Village last Tuesday. After robbing and hitting one, Giunta allegedly beat up a bartender at Julius, the storied gay bar, saying to him, "What are you going to do, you fucking nigger. You are a fucking faggot." He's charged with attempted robbery and misdemeanor as a hate crime. Who's exhausted tallying up all the statistics?


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—  John Wright

UK Television Actor Attacked For Playing Gay Character

Actor Danny Miller, who plays a gay character on the UK television soap opera Emmerdale was attacked while out in Manchester by a group of men in who shouted gay slurs at the 19-year-old. Unreality Primetime reports on the moments that let up to the assault:

Danny "As they mounted the homophobic attack, one of the crowd shouted, 'There’s that gay lad off the telly – let’s f***ing get him.'”

"An onlooker told The People: “It was terrifying. A group of lads shouted, ‘Oi gay boy, you out with your boyfriend tonight?’ “Another screamed, ‘Oi faggot, is that your boyfriend?’ Then the yobs started running and screaming, ‘Get him, get him.'”

Apparently, Miller was punched by at least one person in the mob.

He tweeted: about the incident later and reassured everyone that he was unharmed.

"Don't listen to what has been put on here tonight. I was attacked by a couple of lads tonight but managed to escape unharmed. Don't worry."

"Afraid to say it was Emmerdale related. Not sure why though. Hadn't seen them before ever. Don't worry though."

The homophobes couldn't even separate television from reality. Miller himself is not gay.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Gay Man Savagely Attacked, Craigslist Posting Alludes To Attack

Police in Battle Creek, Michigan are saying that the stabbing of a man in that city could possibly be a hate crime. The hate crime classification comes after learning the man is gay and discovering a ranting post on Craigslist which seems to target the victim. The victim had his car stolen by the assailant and spent a week and a half in the hospital following the attack.  

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports:


A witness told police he was nearby, heard screaming and, when he investigated, saw one man attacking another. When the witness told the attacker to stop, the man replied it was a domestic dispute and to leave. The suspect then fled, taking the victim's car. 


Craig
Detective Sgt. Austin Simons, supervisor of the detective bureau, said Thursday that police are investigating an online posting which appeared the day after the attack on Craigslist, a classified advertisement website.

In the anonymous message, which has since been removed, the writer, using derogatory references to gays, alluded to the attack under the headline "I warned you, you dumb queer." The message continued about the meeting at the park and "I e-mailed and said I have something … but you did not think it was a knife did you. Now you are in the hospital and your car is in the river. I warned you."

If the author of the Craigslist post was indeed the assailant, this sounds like it could have been yet another terrible Internet meeting. Police are still searching for the victim's car, a copper-colored Toyota Matrix. The assailant (apparently a stocky white man with bald or shaved head and wearing a black shirt) is still at large.

Watch a local news clip of the incident, AFTER THE JUMP.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright