HISD trustee distributes anti-gay flier

Rodriquez Flier (excerpt)

Excerpt from the Rodriquez flier attacking Fonseco for his advocacy for LGBT people and his endorsement by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus (click to view full flier)

Houston Independent School District Trustee Manuel Rodriquez Jr. is under fire for an anti-gay flyer attacking his opponent, Ramiro Fonseca. Both seek the HISD District III seat held by Rodriquez. Rodriquez’s flyer attacks Fonseca for his history of advocating for LGBT people, and his endorsement by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus. The flyer also suggests 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.”

The GLBT Political Caucus was quick to denounce the flyer, issuing a statement on Saturday. “Manuel Rodriguez is assuming the voters of District III share the same bigoted, hateful views he holds,” said Caucus president Noel Freeman. “Houstonians have proven time and time again that such views are not welcome in our City, and have consistently rejected candidates who espouse such hateful views. We urge the voters of District III to reject Manuel Rodriguez on election day.”

Other HISD Trustees have joined in the chorus of people speaking out against the mailer. “I denounce the reprehensible, mean-spirited, bigoted mailer that was sent out in the HISD, District III race,” Trustee Juliet Katherine Stipeche said via her Facebook wall. “I ask my colleagues to maintain and uphold HISD’s total non-discrimination policy and treat every person, including other candidates, with dignity and respect. Let us embrace diversity and equality and treat every person as we would like ourselves to be treated ” Stipeche is seeking re-election to her district VIII seat.

HISD District I member Anna Eastman echoed Stipeche’s comments. “My fifteen year old son could not comprehend why someone would think that distinction would change a vote for school board and would be used as such by a candidate.”

The GLBT caucus is urging people to contact the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle to encourage them to rescind their endorsement of Rodriquez in light of his campaign tactics.

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

News: IKEA, Katherine Miller, Chernobyl, Kylie Minogue, Tibet

RoadWest Point rejects readmission of lesbian cadet Katherine Miller, who left last year because she said she could no longer lie about her sexuality.

Carlphilip RoadRoyal alternative.

RoadCheck out the trailer for the UK's adaptation of Jersey Shore!

RoadTwenty-year-old gay Utah man attacked outside of Club Pure in Salt Lake City: "The assault is being treated as a hate crime. Jordan Corona said he left the club on Saturday morning at 2 a.m. and was walking to his car, which was parked near the back of the building, when several people attacked him from behind. He said all he could remember after that was waking up with police surrounding him. He did not get a view of his attackers."

RoadKylie Minogue releasing digital EP.

RoadFight Back NY, the LGBT organization that has been going after anti-gay senators, is up for a Webby award.

RoadLGBT community divided over Pride March in Northampton, Massachusetts: "It's gotten extremely conservative," said Gerry Scoppettuolo, a gay man who helped organize the first Northampton march in 1982. "There's no political messaging. It's a virtually all-white enterprise. I find it a radical departure from what Pride is supposed to be."

Road Rosie O'Donnell cancels stay in Trump Chicago property.

RoadA Socialite's Life chats with the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race!

Ikea RoadItalian minister rips gay IKEA ad: "I find it serious and in bad taste that a Swedish multinational comes to Italy to tell Italians what they should think," Secretary of State for family policy Carlo Giovanardi said in a television interview.

RoadUK Catholic charity's appeal for exemption from equality laws rejected: "Catholic Care, which is based in the Diocese of Leeds, has spent more than two years arguing it will have to give up its work finding homes for children if it has to comply with recent equality regulations which prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples wanting to adopt."

RoadJames Franco accepted into University of Houston's creative writing doctoral program.

RoadFederal judge rules in favor of gay Ohio worker: "The ruling involves Shari Hutchinson, a lesbian who works for the county child support enforcement agency. Hutchinson sued the county in 2008, claiming she was denied promotions based on her sexual orientation, and that administrators retaliated against her when she complained."

RoadThe cast of Moulin Rouge is reuniting for an MTV special.

ChernobylRoad A chilling look at the horrific legacy of the Chernobyl disaster.

RoadJohnson & Johnson turning its back on AIDS patients: "Johnson & Johnson, which holds patents on three key new HIV drugs desperately needed throughout the developing world, has so far refused to license these patents to the Medicines Patent Pool."

RoadAP on the new Thai lesbian chic: "Thai newsstands now carry 'Tom Act,' the country’s first lesbian lifestyles magazine. A popular new clothing store in Bangkok touts itself as the first for 'Tomboys,' the Thai term for the more conspicuous members of the lesbian community who act and dress like men."

RoadLobsang Sangay elected exiled Tibetan leader: "A Harvard University academic has been elected prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile and will take on the political role previously played by the Dalai Lama."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Will West Point Take Lesbian Cadet Katherine Miller Back If DADT Is Repealed?

Katherine Miller, the lesbian West Point cadet who quit in August over Don't Ask Don't Tell just one week before she would have to sign on to two more years at the academy and five years of military service, found life back home in Ohio was also a pretty miserable experience. So now she wants back into the military. If Congress successfully repeals the law that forced her to lie to brass, she's ready to serve her country. I guess the only question, then, is whether West Point wants her back.


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Queerty

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Lesbian cadet Katherine Miller could not live a lie

Joe previously wrote about lesbian West Point military academy cadet, Katherine Miller, here. There are still a lot of gays and lesbians just waiting for our Commander-in-Chief to allow them the chance to return to active duty and continue their careers. Katherine Miller is one of them:

A lesbian who resigned from West Point in protest of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy now says she may re-apply if the rule is reversed.

This week is critical to that decision:

The Defense Department on Tuesday will release a report that will help shape what Congress decides on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The study has examined whether lifting the ban can be done without disrupting the armed services and current war efforts and includes a survey of about 400,000 troops.

During his election campaign, President Obama promised gay-rights groups that he would push to repeal the 1993 law by the end of the year. The U.S. House already has signed off on the idea, and the Senate is preparing to debate it in the coming weeks.

So many careers in the balance, and don’t forget our nation’s security suffers every day from the continuation of the backwards policy.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Katherine Miller, Lesbian West Point Cadet, Can’t Go Home Again

I was shocked that I didn't receive more support than that from my hometown. I think the Findlay area has been especially harsh on me – just really wary of what my intentions were. These are the people I spent most of my childhood growing up with … so I was hoping that Findlay would be able to accept me as one of their own and to support me in this. But I ended up getting some of my toughest critics from my hometown, and that personally disturbed me.

—Katherine Miller, the West Point cadet who quit over Don't Ask Don't Tell, saying the only place she didn't find an outpouring of support was from her hometown, where she graduated from high school just two years ago [via]


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Liveblog tonight at 7:30 PM ET: former West Point Cadet Katherine Miller

PHB live chat link: http://tinyurl.com/phbmiller

We’re pleased to bring former West Point Cadet Katherine Miller to the Blend for a liveblog. Miller resigned last week, stating that she was unwilling to ‘compromise her Integrity’ under the discriminatory policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

In her resignation letter, she cites the kinds of experiences she is unwilling to continue to endure:

I have created a heterosexual dating history to recite to fellow cadets when they inquire. I have endured unwanted approaches by male cadets for fear of being accused as a lesbian by rejecting or reporting these events. I have been coerced into ignoring derogatory comments towards homosexuals for fear of being alienated for my viewpoint.  In short, I have lied to my classmates and compromised my integrity and my identity by adhering to existing military policy.

While at the academy, I have made a deliberate effort to develop myself academically, physically, and militarily, but in terms of holistic personal growth I have reached a plateau. I am unwilling to suppress an entire portion of my identity any longer because it has taken a significant personal, mental, and social toll on me and detrimentally affected my professional development. I have experienced a relentless cognitive dissonance by attempting to adhere to ?654 [colloquially known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"] and retain my integrity, and I am retrospectively convinced that I am unable to live up to the Army Values as long as the policy remains in place.

Miller will be transferring to Yale University this fall on a Point Foundation Scholarship.

Here is a video of Miller discussing her decision to resign from West Point:

While at West Point Miller blogged under the pseudonym Private Second Class Citizen at Velvetpark. Check out a snippet below the fold.
Miller:

I kept busy by applying to other colleges and applying for LGBTQ scholarships. The one I pursued particularly aggressively required me to submit letters of recommendation within a week of being notified as a semifinalist. I saw the word “congratulations” in my inbox, confirmed my assumptions with a glance at the email, and picked up my hat and gloves before I headed out of my barracks room. I didn’t even have to think about it; I couldn’t pursue my activism any longer without help.

Five minutes later I rushed haphazardly into my professor’s office. I was sweating in my shiny, plastic Chorofram shoes, and after feeling my pulse my throat I became aware of how tight my collar was around my neck. “Ma’am, do you have a second,” as I closed her office door behind me, consciously worsening the stuffiness in the room and in my heavy wool uniform. Without waiting for a response, I seated myself. “Ma’am I’m transferring next semester. And I need a leader of recommendation in three days. For a scholarship for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.”

“So does that mean you’re-?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re leaving because of Don’t Ask, Don’t-”

“Yes.”

She studied me for a second, asked a series of questions for clarification, and agreed to write me a letter of recommendation.

As soon as I was out of her sight, I did a little Jersey Shore fist pump in the air.

We hope to have a lively discussion about West Point, t he atmosphere there and Miller’s decision to come out.



Thanks to Sue Fulton at Knights Out for partnering with us this evening.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright