“Gen Silent” explores challenges facing the elderly LGBT community

Gen Silent PosterThere are almost 38 million LGBT Americans over the age of 65. This number is expected to double by 2030. Yet in a Fenway Institute study fifty percent of nursing home workers said that their co-workers are intolerant of LGBT people. That collision of a rapidly aging queer population and a nursing home system ill-prepared to serve them is explored in Gen Silent, a documentary showing at the GLBT Cultural Center (401 Branard) on Thursday, January 26, at 6:30 pm.

Gen Silent, from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux, follows six LGBT seniors as they struggle to make decisions about their twilight years. These seniors put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination in long-term health care that many go back into the closet.

Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now leaves many elders not just afraid but dangerously isolated and at risk on not receiving medical care. The film shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers –from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT elders face discrimination, neglect or abuse, including shocking bed-side attempts by staff to persuade seniors to give up their “sinful” lifestyles.

This free screening will be followed by a call-to-action and panel discussion with some of Houston’s GLBT senior leaders.

View the trailer for Gen Silent after the break.

—  admin

WATCH: Occupy Dallas in 90 seconds

So Rich Lopez and I literally took a swing past the Occupy Dallas demonstration in front of the Federal Reserve Bank on Pearl Street during the lunch hour, and below is what we saw.

It starts off kinda slow, with us sitting at a red light on the Woodall Rodgers service road, and a lone Ron Paul supporter shouting through a megaphone in our direction. (Talk about getting co-opted!!!)

But hang in there because things get pretty intense as we make the turn onto Pearl and a Dallas police officer, noticing Rich with the Flip camera in the passenger seat, yells, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”

As you can see, there was a fairly solid line of demonstrators behind the barricades facing Pearl for an entire block, and when we complied with their demands to blow the horn, there was quite a response.

Consider Dallas occupied.

—  John Wright

Buju Banton Facing Life in Prison 

BUJU BANTON 02 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMBuju Banton, the antigay, Jamaican reggae artist who is nominated for a
Grammy Sunday night, will stand trial starting Monday for the second
time on federal drug trafficking charges that could put him in prison
for life.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: 3 generations of advocates, vets fighting for repeal of DADT facing arrest at WH

They’ve done it again – including baristas Autumn Sandeen and Scott Wooledge, as well as Blender Michael Bedwell. NOTE: Talk About Equality has coverage and photos. One WH shot:


Washington, DC – This afternoon, three generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans and advocates went back to the White House fence to call for the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Obama to make good on their promises to secure the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during the abbreviated, lame-duck session of Congress that started today.

During the direct action organized by GetEQUAL – a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – and local activists, 13 veterans and advocates handcuffed themselves to the White House fence in an act of non-violent, civil disobedience protesting the un-American, discriminatory law yet to be repealed by Congress — regardless of the numerous promises by President Obama, Congressional leaders and national LGBT leaders that they would do so by the end of this year.

Photos and video of the three generations of veterans and repeal advocates taking part in an act of civil disobedience today at the White House will soon be available online at www.getequal.org. Also, you can visit GetEQUAL’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/getequal) to stay up-to-date regarding the well-being and release of the 13 veterans and advocates arrested today.

The 13 veterans and repeal advocates arrested today include:

  • Five veterans (Lt. Dan Choi, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, and Cadet Mara Boyd) who were arrested back in March during the GetEQUAL organized “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” act of civil disobedience at the White House fence demanding President Obama show leadership on repeal.
  • Robin McGehee, co-founder and director of GetEQUAL, and Dan Fotou, action strategist for GetEQUAL.
  • Former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Miriam Ben-Shalom, who was discharged in 1976 for declaring and admitting she was a lesbian. She became the first-ever LGBT servicemember reinstated to her position in the U.S. Military, by a U.S. Federal District Court. On July 30th, 1993, Miriam and 26 other protesters were arrested at the White House fence for protesting then-President Bill Clinton’s broken promise to repeal the gay ban – instead signing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bill into law.
  • Former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Justin Elzie who, in 1993, became the first Marine ever investigated and discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Elzie was also the first soldier to be discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to fight his discharge and win – resulting in his service as a Marine for four years as an openly gay man.
  • Former U.S. Army Arabic Linguist Ian Finkenbinder, who was discharged from the Army in December 2004 after announcing to his superiors that he was gay. Finkenbinder is an Iraq war veteran and was about to return for a second tour of duty when he was discharged.
  • U.S. Army Veteran and Repeal Advocate Rob Smith, who was deployed to both Iraq and Kuwait before being honorably discharged after deciding not to re-enlist in the U.S. Army due to the added pressure of living under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
  • Father Geoff Farrow, a Catholic priest who spoke out against the church’s official stance in support of California’s Proposition 8, removing the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Because of his courageous stance against Prop 8, Father Geoff Farrow was removed as pastor of St. Paul’s by his bishop and suspended as a priest.
  • Scott Wooledge, a New York-based LGBT civil rights advocate and blogger who has written extensively on the movement to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at Daily Kos and Pam’s House Blend.
  • Michael Bedwell, long-time LGBT civil rights advocate, close friend of Leonard Matlovich, and administrator of the site www.leonardmatlovich.com.

“On the White House fence today, and in a jail cell this evening, are thirteen American patriots,” said Robin McGehee, co-founder and director of GetEQUAL. “Included in the thirteen arrested are veterans and advocates spanning three generations of brave and courageous Americans, who sacrificed their careers and lives to see the day this discriminatory ban on openly gay and lesbian service in the military finally goes into the history books. Today, we have sent a loud and clear message to the U.S. Senate and President Obama that we expect them to make good on their promises to end this inhumane law this year, during the lame-duck session of Congress.”

“Today, I stand again at the White House fence – 17 years later – still protesting the injustice and hypocrisy of a failed law,” said former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Miriam Ben-Shalom. “And with us today is not only the spirit of Lieutenant Enslin, the first to be discharged from the U.S. Military for being gay, but also standing here in spirit are every young woman and man awaiting discharge under the shameful ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law.  They are here and we are here, all together still America’s daughters and sons, still willing to serve and protect this country. I sincerely pray our country’s elected leaders in Congress and the White House will have the courage to repeal this law and make this the last time I have to come back to this fence and be arrested in protest of a law in direct contrast with our values and beliefs as Americans.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

DOMA facing new legal challenges from GLAD and ACLU

Two lawsuits will be filed against DOMA today from two of the best organizations fighting for basic civil rights: The ACLU and GLAD. Given the lack of promised action from the Obama administration and Congress, the courts are probably our best route to equality for the time being. And, these new cases give the Obama administration’s Department of Justice two more opportunities to defend DOMA:

Ms. Pedersen and Ms. Meitzen plan to file a lawsuit Tuesday against the government in an effort to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples.

They are plaintiffs in one of two lawsuits being filed by the legal group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a gay rights legal organization based in Boston, and by the American Civil Liberties Union.

A similar challenge by the gay rights legal group resulted in a ruling in July from a federal judge in Boston that the act is unconstitutional. The Obama administration is appealing that decision.

The two new lawsuits, which involve plaintiffs from New York, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, expand the attack geographically and also encompass more of the 1,138 federal laws and regulations that the Defense of Marriage Act potentially affects — including the insurance costs amounting to several hundred dollars a month in the case of Ms. Pedersen and Ms. Meitzen, and a 0,0000 estate tax payment in the A.C.L.U. case.

Both cases will be announced via separate press conferences today at 11 AM ET.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Bowling Green anti-discrimination laws facing repeal vote

Last year, in August of 2009, I reported on some good news from Bowling Green Ohio:

yesterday, progress was made in Ohio. Bowling Green banned discrimination yesterday in several key areas — and the new laws are inclusive. From Equality Ohio’s press release:
At the standing room only Bowling Green City Council meeting on Monday evening, August 17, 2009, Council members voted with bi-partisan support to enact a Human Rights Ordinance banning discrimination in Bowling Green based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and public accommodation. The ordinance passed 6-1. A separate ordinance banning discrimination in housing passed unanimously.

Because the religious right haters want discrimination, they’re forcing a vote on whether to repeal those two new ordinances. Yes, they can’t accept something as basic as non-discrimination in employment and housing. They really hate us and want us to face discrimination. And, we wonder why young lgbt kids are killing themselves.

The bad guys include the notorious Alliance Defense Fund, which houses some of the biggest homophobic creeps around. For example, just last week, that Michigan AG Andrew Shirvell, who was obsessed and creepily stalking the young gay student body president Chris Armstrong, credited the Alliance Defense Fund for going after Armstrong first:

In fact, long before I started the blog, a couple of weeks before that, the Alliance Defense Fund, a well-known legal Christian foundation, put out an alert about Chris.

ADF has been putting out alerts about Bowling Green, too. The website of the campaign to repeal the laws is filled with the usual circa-1970 anti-gay rhetoric. It’s repulsive.

The good guys trying to prevent repeal are running a campaign called ONE Bowling Green:

ONE Bowling Green is the local ballot question campaign formed to urge Bowling Green, Ohio voters to approve Ordinances 7905 and 7906 by voting YES on both ordinances during the November 2, 2010 election cycle.

To learn more about the ordinances, click here.

ONE Bowling Green is a community campaign driven by local volunteers and expertise. Our coalition is made of individuals and groups who love and care about Bowling Green and represent the diversity and the values of our community.

ONE Bowling Green represents the best of Bowling Green’s values— fairness, equal treatment, the recognition that discrimination is wrong, and a belief that our community is a place that cares about ALL our neighbors and everyone who comes to work, live, play and go to school in our community.

ONE Bowling Green needs our help. Financially. If you want to make sure your campaign dollars are going directly to the fight for equality this fall, donate to ONE Bowling Green. I just did.

ONE Bowling Green needs to raise ,000 in the next few days to fight the ad campaign funded by the likes of the Alliance Defense Fund.

We can’t let the bastards win.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Olbermann talks the hurdles facing DADT repeal with Richard Socarides

Keith talked about tomorrow’s vote on the Defense Authorization bill and the Lady Gaga rally. Richard Socarides explained what’s going on with DADT repeal and the forces working against it. Their strategy is stall and delay. If we don’t succeed, he said, “it will be a horrific fraud on the American people and really a massive failure of leadership at the Pentagon, at Congress and even at the White House because they waited too long.” Yep. Massive failure.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Oh, the White House did issue statement supporting the Defense bill today. Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade got it:

“The National Defense Authorization Act is a good bill that is important for the overall health and well being of our forces, especially given the ongoing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world,” White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said in a statement. “This legislation received bipartisan support in the House and in the Senate Armed Services Committee and the President hopes it receives similar bipartisan support in the Senate.”

You might have thought something of this import, you know, the Defense Authorization bill while we’re fighting two wars, would warrant a statement from the President. Nope. Shin took care of it. Actually, from what I’ve been able to glean, that statement is pretty much the entire lobbying effort from the White House on the Defense bill and DADT repeal. Massive failure.

UPDATE @ 10:39 PM: Shortly after I wrote this post, I was informed by someone involved with this process that the White House is not lobbying fence-sitting senators to reach the magic 60 votes. Here’s what I was told:

As we all know, without a fierce effort and person-to-person advocacy from Obama himself (or at least his senior-most staff), Senators have little reason to change their minds and support debating the Defense Authorization bill. Never did I think I’d see the day when Lady Gaga would do more to advocate for repeal of DADT than our president who campaigned on equality.

It’s stunning really. And, they wonder why the base is depressed.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Is D.C. Rag Metro Weekly Facing Closure Over a $1 Million Fraud Lawsuit?

It's not just the advertising downturn in print that's hurting gay print publications large and small. A lawsuit slapped against Metro Weekly owner Jansi LLC is asking for over million — almost certainly more than they've got on hand.

CONTINUED »


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—  John Wright