Complaint: LGBT immigrants abused, neglected at detention centers run by Homeland Security

The National Immigration Justice Center has filed civil rights complaints on behalf of 13 LGBT immigrants who were allegedly abused and neglected at detention centers run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in nine states, including one in Houston. The Heartland Alliance’s NIJC filed the complaints today in a letter addressed to Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, calling on the department to investigate and implement new policies.

The group has also launched a petition calling on the DHS and President Barack Obama to end the abuse of LGBT immigrants in detention.

The 13 complaints include allegations of sexual assault, denial of adequate medical care, long-term solitary confinement, discrimination and abuse, and ineffective complaints and appeals process. Below are a few examples from the letter, which you can download in its entirety here:

• [Juan] was sexually assaulted by two other detainees. Despite repeated requests for a transfer to another facility because he feared for his safety [Juan] was not transferred until three months after the incident, when ICE Headquarters intervened. In the meantime, the only “protection” that the Otero County Detention Center offered was placement in the “hole.” (Otero County Detention Center, New Mexico)

• [Delfino] was held in segregation for four months, justifying their decision on the basis that [Delfino] presented “effeminately.” Facility staff refused to provide [Delfino] a Bible and permitted him only one hour of recreation – in a cold nine- by-thirteen-foot cell – per day. (Houston Processing Center, Texas)

• [Monica] continues to be denied hormone therapy, despite her use of hormones for ten years prior to immigration detention, and her physical and psychological reliance on them. [Monica], now detained for over five months, told NIJC staff, “I can’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore,” due to returning facial and body hair and other distressing changes. [Monica], an asylum seeker who has suffered grave past abuse in Mexico, also received no treatment for her trauma- related depression. She attempted suicide in February 2011 – the facility put her in solitary confinement as punishment. (Santa Ana City Jail, California)

• [Alexis] was repeatedly called a “faggot” by guards, who also made jokes about her dying of AIDS. They singled her out for public searches in which they forced her to remove her outer clothing and mocked her exposed breasts. (Theo Lacy Facility, California)

—  John Wright

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

Local Briefs

CCGLA surveys candidates, sets meet-and-greet events

As municipal elections approach, the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance has sent an online survey to city council, school board and mayoral candidates in Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, and “meet-and-greet” sessions for candidates are planned in Frisco, Plano and McKinney in April.

The organization will also create and distribute a voters’ guide.

The Plano “meet-and-greet” will be held on Friday, April 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at a private residence. For more information, go online to CCGLA.org.

Results of CCGLA’s candidate surveys will be posted on the CCGLA website prior to each event. The events are informal, non-partisan, and all candidates are invited.

Oak Cliff Earth Day to feature vendors, info booths and more

Oak Cliff Earth Day, which has become the largest all-volunteer-run Earth Day since it started five years ago, will be held on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Cliff Park, located at the intersection of Colorado Street and Zang Boulevard in Oak Cliff.

There is no charge to attend the event, which will include art, food, plants and other environmentally-friendly products available for purchase.

There will also be educational booths on topics such as how to save energy and clean up the environment, along with locally-grown honey, animals to adopt and native plants for gardens.

Parking at the park is limited, however, free parking is available at Methodist Hospital, in Lot 10 only, located at 1400 S. Beckley Ave. across from the hospital entrance on Beckley Ave. Methodist Hospital is providing a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the event.

Participants are also encouraged to take DART to the event or walk or ride a bicycle. There are a number of bike racks, funded by Oak Cliff Earth Day, at the park.

Mayoral candidates to speak Sunday on animal issues in Dallas

Dallas’ mayoral candidates will participate in a forum on animal issues in the city of Dallas on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Central Dallas Library, 1515 Young St., in downtown Dallas. The Metroplex Animal Coalition is sponsoring the forum, with is free and open to the public. Journalist Larry Powell with Urban Animal magazine will moderate.

The mayoral candidates are former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, Councilman Ron Natinsky, real estate consultant Edward Okpa and Mike Rawlings, former Pizza Hut CEO and Dallas homeless czar.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

First Gay Bar Launches in Fairfax County

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS X390 (FAIR USE) | ADVOCATE.COMSo Addictive is the first almost full-time gay bar in Fairfax County, Va.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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First Gay Bar Launches in Fairfax County

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS X390 (FAIR USE) | ADVOCATE.COMSo Addictive is the first almost full-time gay bar in Fairfax County, Va.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James Stands by Remarks That ‘Homosexuals are Sexual Predators’

Mecklenburg County (NC)  Commissioner Bill James is standing by remarks he made in an email to colleagues following the Senate's vote approving repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, in which he said "Homosexuals are sexual predators."

Reports the Charlotte Observer: James

"People are entitled to their opinion, and that includes me," James said Thursday. "I don't expect people to (always) agree with me. It's a political discussion and I wouldn't have raised it on my own, but Jennifer (Roberts) decided to wade in on it."

The County Commission chair expressed reluctance about punishing James for the comments, even though James has bashed gays before:

But Jennifer Roberts, chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, said Thursday she hasn't talked to commissioners about what action, if any, the board should take.

"The challenge is everyone recognizes that it's inappropriate language," Roberts said. "This is a repeat performance and I just don't know if it helps or hurts the end goal by making any kind of formal statement."

In related news, James has also sent out a letter saying that gays prey on young men at YMCAs.

The next question is, when will we see James in a Larry Craig or George Rekers situation? Travelers, keep your eyes peeled.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

NC: County Commissioner Bill James in email to colleagues – gays are ‘sexual predators’

There he goes again. Billanal probeJames, a notorious anti-gay Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner who likes to send out anti-gay screeds from his official email address, is trying to wrap up 2010 with a big finish.

Matt Comer of QNotes reports that James’s latest missive was sent to his colleagues after LGBT-ally County Commissioner Chair Jennifer Roberts requested that the commission send a letter of thanks to U.S. Reps. Larry Kissell (D) and Mel Watt (D) and U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (R) and Kay Hagan (D) for their votes to repeal DADT.

Homosexuals are sexual predators,” James wrote in one email from string of three between county board members, Roberts and County Manager Harry Jones, and provided by James to qnotes. “Allowing homosexuals to serve in the US military with the endorsement of the Mecklenburg County Commission ignores a host of serious problems related to maintaining US military readiness and effectiveness not the least of which is the current Democrat plan to allow homosexuals (male and female) to share showers with those they are attracted to.”

James added, “The US Government would not allow Hetero men and women to share showers and other personal facilities yet the leading homosexual in Congress (Barney Frank) thinks it is OK for homosexuals to do so allowing enlisted men and women to fall prey to higher ranking or more powerful homosexuals who ogle them (or worse).”

It should be noted that James has some harsh criticism for Burr, the conservative Republican who surprised almost everyone by voting for repeal. James in the email:

“I suspect Richard Burr will pay a high electoral price for his actions but whether it boots him from office next time is unknown. I know I won’t be supporting him even if he does have an R after his name.”

As far as NC is concerned, since the midterms has resulted in the first GOP-dominated state legislature since Reconstruction, James is hot to let the incoming Republicans he wants a social agenda pushed that includes a ban on adoptions by gay couples, prohibition on domestic partner benefits and raising from the dead again a marriage amendment.

We go way back with homobigot James, who is in a conservative district where he often ran unopposed. His long outrageous e-diatribes of homophobia are hard to top.

Below the fold, some classic Bill James for your entertainment.
Matt Comer brought up this racist, homophobic embarrassment that was caught on camera.

During debate last December on domestic partner benefits for county employees, James leaned over to his Democratic colleague, Vilma Leake, and called her son a “homo.” Leake’s son died from AIDS in the 1990s.


When Leake heard that, she replied: “Don’t make me hurt you. Don’t do that to me. Don’t talk to me about my son.”

He refused to apologize, saying “It is akin to someone whose son is an alcoholic and died from the disease, using his death from drinking as justification to have the taxpayers pay for more booze.”

But wait, there’s more. The following reveals a lot about what passes through the mind of Bill James. Again, this was sent to his fellow commissioners as an official communication.

From: Commissioner Bill James

To: =emails deleted=

Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 8:56 AM

Subject: Perversity is not diversity

You really think that a pool of people (homosexuals) where 45% of them eat feces from the rear end of another male is “normal”? If you do, you are frankly nuts.

A lifestyle where one of their past times is buying gerbils and hamsters from the pet store and cramming them up their rears in an activity called feltching? A group of people who like to urinate on their partners and call them “golden showers”? Where one of the honored members of the Gay Alliance is an organization called the “Man-Boy Love Association” that promotes sex with underage boys?

That behavior is worthy of protection? That behavior is worthy to be taught in our schools? to our children? You are one sick “Independent, white, married-heterosexual, presbyterian” if you do.

The stat’s below are unimpeachable. I intend on talking about each and every one of these “behaviors” if this sorted subject comes up. I am lining up speakers including Doctors and Nurses to talk about these in gruesome detail. And these are the behaviors that Parks Helms wants to “insure”?

Attached is a wav file with a Charlotte news account of one of those “feltching” accounts gone wrong. I will play it from the BOCC dais if this comes up.

BTW, he loves answering emails about his views if you want to drop him a line:

Contact Commissioner James:

Wjames@carolina.rr.com

The Best of Bill James:
* NC: Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James refuses to apologize for his ‘homo’ comments
* CharMeck homo-bigot will not STFU
* CharMeck County Board meets tonight; wingnuts are coming out
* NC’s precious homobigot Bill James rises again
* I wasn’t kidding when I said the NC wingnuts are sick
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Seattle-Area County Swears in Gay Politician

JOE MCDERMOTT 2 X390 (FACEBOOK) | ADVOCATE.COM2010 12 06Seattle Area County Swears in Gay CouncilmemberPosted on Advocate.com falsetrueNews390pxtruefalse1200AMfalsefalseBy Advocate.com EditorsAdvocate.com EditorsPLEASE DO NOT USE THIS FIELD FOR NOW.PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS FIELD FOR NOW. King County, Washington — home of Seattle — swore in its
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Florida’s Orange County Approves LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law

Orange County City Council voted 6-1 to approve an anti-discrimination law covering sexual orientation on Tuesday:

Orange "The vote was notable for its lack of opposition. No residents spoke against it, in stark contrast to the city of Orlando's passage of similar protections in 2002, which attracted fierce debate, religious group antagonism and a close vote. 'It's a completely different world than it was 10 years ago,' said Patrick Howell, a lawyer and activist who lobbied for the new protections in both Orlando and the county. Commissioner Fred Brummer was the only 'no' vote. He said his objections centered on federal housing rules included in the ordinance, which he said could expose property owners to frivolous lawsuits.But Howell and others predicted the ordinance would not unleash a flood of courtroom discrimination claims, and much of its impact would be symbolic. 'A lot of this is about sending the message that Orange County is an inclusive community,' Howell said. 'Everyone's welcome.' The ordinance expands existing bias-protected classes already found in state and federal law, such as religion, race, disability and gender, to include sexual orientation."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Rockland County Rallies for Carlucci

The following post comes from  HRC’s Field Organizer Allison Feldman. Allison is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:

David Carlucci is rapidly gaining ground in a heated race for the state Senate in Rockland County, and  pro-equality elected officials are flocking to the county to spread the word about David.

Last weekend, marriage equality champion State Senator Diane Savino lead a “Labor for Carlucci Rally & Canvass” and this coming Saturady, on October 30, newly elected State  Senator Jose Peralta (pro marriage equality and Catholic!) will be leading a “Latinos for Carlucci Rally” in Haverstraw. We hope that you will join us to get out the word about this important race.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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