GetEQUAL & gay vets protest DADT, handcuff selves to White House fence

UPDATE @ 9:35 PM: Great news. Nine of the protesters have been released. It looks like all 13 will be out tonight.
_______________________________
UPDATE @ 6:01 PM: Just learned that the lawyers have spoken to the information officer at the United States Park Police at the Anacostia Headquarters. The police have confirmed that all thirteen arrestees are being processed at the Anacostia station. The protesters will most likely be held overnight so they can see a judge in the morning/early afternoon tomorrow.
_______________________________
The third protest of the day over DADT repeal is currently underway at the White House. There are 13 protesters on the fence in front of the White House. There was a heavy police presence in front of the White House and they have cleared the area. There are even police horses on the scene.

UPDATE @ 3:30 PM: All 13 protesters have been removed from the fence — and arrested. Via Tweet from CBS News reporter Mark Knoller:

US Park Police cut the protestors chains and arrested each of the protestors, who insisted on being carried to patrol wagon.

Apparently, the handcuffs were superglued and the protesters engaged in passive resistance, thus had to be carried.  Here is Chris Johnson’s piece about the protest.

Here are some initial photos:


Another photo of the protesters yelling to the White House:

Via GetEQUAL’s press release:

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.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

The Good Guys At The NARTH Protest

Members of NARTH are featured in the slideshow one post down, these photos are all the good guys, the thinkers, those whose minds are unbound by prehistoric religious dogma and twisted unscientific hooey. I think we had about 40 folks willing to sacrifice a beautiful Saturday morning for a schlep out to a remote airport hotel crawling with people who wish them dead. They did this for you. Enjoy their signs.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

NARTH “Lift My Luggage” protest

NARTH “Lift My Luggage” protest

Jeremy Hooper

Remarks as prepared

So I’ll be honest: I didn’t know what I wanted to say here. But as I sat down to put together some thoughts, something so oddly, freakishly coincidental happened that I simply couldn’t ignore it. Literally, as I was writing Photo-25down words to say to you today, a comment came into my site, left on a post dated almost a year ago to the date. The subject of the old post was last year’s NARTH convention. I had written a little post regarding NARTH’s claims that the American Psychological Association has a bias again them. A claim to which I, at the time, basically responded, “No NARTH: scientific fact and biological reality are what have a bias against you, not the APA.” Then I think I made some sort of a joke, put in a period, then moved on to something else. Probably something silly that Maggie Gallagher was saying on that particular day.

Now, it’s very rare that someone takes the time to leave a comment on a year-old post, and usually when they do, it’s because they have a negative bone to pick with whatever was written, not a positive one. And that was certainly true with this comment. It was from a NARTH supporter and it read:

This article is simply a strawman attack on NARTH. In our culture, those who are dissatisfied with their unwanted homosexual attractions and choose to pursue change are often treated with disrespect, mockery and ridicule, as are the therapists who try to help them. It is ironic that some of the people who defend the freedom to embrace homosexuality are the same ones who mock those who want something different for their lives. Tolerance and diversity mean very little if differing worldviews are excluded.”

Okay, right. So nothing particularly interesting or newsworthy about the comment itself. But why I mention it today, beyond the coincidental element, is because this is exactly the reaction I tend to get from pro-”ex-gay” critics. It doesn’t matter how measured my words or how organizationally-directed my rejections, the “ex-gay” supporters almost always see our push back as some sort of personal attack. Like we’re out to get the human being for the choices they’ve made in their life. Like we are picking on them just for the sake of bullying.

The truth, of course, is that the vast majority of us who oppose NARTH and the ex-gay movement in general are 100% supportive of people’s right to get intimate inside of whatever adult relationship they choose for themselves. We are not threatened by their choice of partner — even though that partner is oftentimes celibacy. We are not offended by their right to make their own determinations for their lives — even if that determination means rejecting certain realities. We may feel sorry. I personally feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t live his or her truth, whatever reason. But I have no desire to hurt or offend or unnecessarily pile on. The goal is not to make anyone’s journey any harder.

At least, I should say, that’s not *OUR* goal. That is, however, what the organized Ex-gay movement — led by NARTH — does to LGBT people’s lives and loves. They prey on vulnerabilities, telling the most susceptible among us that most any bit of pain that an LGBT person experiences in life stemmed from their sexuality or gender identity. They target parents who are desperate to come to a better understanding with the movement leaders instead providing obfuscation. They also target us on a political level, working hand in hand with the so-called “pro-family” groups to provide cover in debating legislation like the Employment Discrimination Act or Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal. After all, if they can quote/unquote prove that homosexuality is not innate, then groups like Focus on the Family can tell their socially conservative supporter that it’s okay to not support LGBT people in civil government, since we are supposedly nothing more than broken heterosexuals who are choosing our behavior.

And of course there’s also the element of fact. Pure, raw data. It’s become a political cliché to quote the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s words saying that ‘Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.’ But this quote’s a cliché because it’s so true. We can all disagree. Matt Barber can come out from this hotel and tell me that my marriage is wrong or sinful or whatever. I can then look him back in the eye and tell him it’s truly bizarre that a grown heterosexual man dedicates his life to gay people’s bedrooms. Because it is. Truly. Bizarre.

But neither of us, me nor Matt, should create or promote junk science groups that are purposely designed to muddy the waters of credible research. Oh, but guess what? ONE OF US — TOTALLY — DOES — DO — THAT!!! And spoiler alert: It aint me.



So going back to that aforementioned commenter, I would just say: You are absolutely right — nobody should ridicule, mock, or disrespect you. But pointing out simple facts is not mockery, ridicule or disrespect! Ridicule is telling a legally married man like myself that my family is wrong or broken or unfit for federal rights. Mockery is telling educated scientists that they have a quote/unquote “liberal agenda” anytime they put forth research that jibes with the realities of our known world. Disrespect is taking vulnerable people’s money and telling them that something you know is unsupported by independent, peer reviewed fact is actually some sort of magical cure for a non-affliction that never needed a cure to begin with!

Inside this hotel, NARTH is trafficking in all three. Outside this hotel, I am telling them that I will work with every fiber in my being to drain. their. snake. oil. for. good!!

THANK YOU!

***

*And now, video:




Good As You

—  admin

Protest planned to support transgender student

From Queer LiberAction’s website.

Queer LiberAction is planning a protest to support North Dallas High School transgender student Andy Moreno.

According to QL organizer Gabe Coppinger, the action will be held Thursday, Oct. 14 beginning at 3:30 p.m. School lets out at 3:45 p.m.

Andy Moreno was denied a spot as a finalist for homecoming queen on Monday despite reports from members of the vote-counting committee that she received more votes than at least one of the other finalists. Coppinger said the group will be there to support Moreno and thank the students who voted for her as well as the faculty and staff that have treated her with respect. The group’s only criticism with the school is the bullying that they say has come from the principal.

Coppinger said more details will follow.

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: Transgender girl not a finalist for homecoming queen despite enough votes

SISTERLY SUPPORT | Andy Moreno, left, has her family — including sister Daisy Moreno, right — and her friends backing her up in her bid to be the 2010 homecoming queen at North Dallas High. (Tammye Nash/Dallas Voice)
Andy Moreno, left, and her sister Daisy Moreno

Trangender student Andy Moreno wasn’t among the three finalists for homecoming queen at North Dallas High School announced Monday, according to her sister, Daisy Moreno.

Daisy Moreno told Instant Tea that according to poll watchers and friends on the counting committee, Andy received more votes than at least one of the three finalists. However, based on the principal’s previous decision, school officials didn’t allow votes for Andy to count.

Another transgender youth who also identifies as female was nominated for homecoming king and won, Daisy Moreno said. The school allowed the other youth to run for king because she was born male. Students will choose the homecoming king and queen from among the finalists on Friday, Oct. 15.

Queer LiberAction is reportedly planning a protest of Andy’s exclusion from the ballot.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company saw the story about Andy’s homecoming bid on Dallas Voice’s website and interviewed her Monday afternoon. The report is scheduled to run on NPR in the United States.

It’s unclear whether Andy would have a winning case if she brought legal action against the school or the district, according to Ken Upton, a senior staff attorney at Lambda Legal in Dallas.

Upton said recent federal court rulings have supported students’ right to dress consistently with their gender identity in other contexts, but he couldn’t recall one that dealt specifically with homecoming. In Indiana, for example, a school district recently changed its policies and settled a case brought by a trans student who wasn’t allowed to wear female attire to the prom.

“In this type of a situation, there would probably be some federal arguments you could make,” Upton said. “It would depend a lot on the circumstances of the homecoming event, and whether it was truly just extracurricular or whether it was related to the curriculum of the school. But as a general rule, the federal law has been in some cases protective of students who kind of buck the gender norms or bend the molds and administrators don’t like it.

“I think it’s something we’re seeing more and more of, because students are increasingly becoming comfortable in their own skin in situations where five or 10 years ago, they would have been scared to death to be themselves,” he said.

Upton added that regardless of the legal implications, he doesn’t understand the school’s motivation.

“What’s the harm?” Upton said. “Especially in the context of proms or homecoming, I always wonder, what really is the objection? And that’s the question that I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer to. You [the school district] might win a lawsuit, but why would you care, and why would you expend so much energy on something like this? You’ve got bigger problems.”

Online editor John Wright contributed to this article.

—  David Taffet

Gay Activists Protest Mormon Church

BoydPackerx180 (LDS Resources) | Advocate.comThousands of gay activists protested outside Mormon Church headquarters in Salt Lake City in response to recent antigay comments from church leader Boyd K. Packer.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Truth Wins Out Announces Philadephia Protest Of “Ex-Gay” Group NARTH

Truth Wins Out, our heroes in the battle against the cruelties of the “ex-gay” industry, have launched the Lift My Luggage! website to promote their November 6th protest at the annual convention of NARTH in Philadelphia.

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is having its annual convention in Philadelphia (Nov. 5-7). The notorious “ex-gay” group is hoping that Americans have amnesia and don’t remember that its most “prominent” board member, George Rekers, was forced to resign in May. Rekers stepped down after he was caught vacationing with a male escort he met on RentBoy.com. When asked why he had hired the young man, Rekers said it was to, “lift his luggage.” As the infamous quacks at NARTH gather for their annual convention, let’s Remind America that NARTH is a pseudo-scientific organization that is more about Rent Boys than research.

PROTEST SPONSORS: Equality Forum, William Way LGBT Community Center, MCC Philadelphia, Pam Spaulding (Pam’s House Blend), Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God) and Jeremy Hooper (Good As You).

As noted above, JMG is a co-sponsor and I’m already on the hunt for a fabulous pink suitcase to wheel up to the doors of the NARTH convention. Visit the Lift My Luggage! site for directions to the event. I hope to see lots of you in Philly on November 6th! Drinkies at Woody’s after?

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

KKK Plans Protest For Anti-Gay Student Jennifer Keeton

6a00d8341c730253ef013486629d1a970c-800wi Well here's something unsettling: members of the Ku Klux Klan have decided to stage a rally in honor of Jennifer Keeton, the former August State University counseling student who sued for not being able to tell potential patients that homosexuality's an "identity disorder."

The KKK, like Keeton, believes the Georgia-based school violated her First Amendment rights. "It's your constitutional right, so how could you tell someone you have to do something completely different?" said Bobby Spurlock, imperial wizard of the KKK's North and South Carolina branches.

Spurlock also said that Keeton hasn't endorsed their action, scheduled for October 23 at ASU, although he did cryptically suggest a link: “She has not contacted us but we were contacted by someone that is aware of her.”

A judge tossed Keeton's First Amendment lawsuit against ASU earlier this year.

Perhaps the KKK will be met with protests similar to those that welcomed the Westboro Baptist Church yesterday.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Moscow’s Gays Held a Protest Rally And Nobody Got Arrested. Well, Except The Neo-Nazis

When Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired Moscow's bigoted Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and replaced him with Vladimir Resin (pictured below), there was no guarantee the successor was going to be any friendlier to the gays. Especially when Resin told reporters that while "I treat everyone equally," in the case of a planned gay rights demonstration by recently detained activist Nikolai Alexeyev (pictured top), "I do not support this." And yet the rally came and went Friday, with Alexeyev leading about 10 people in protesting Swiss International Air Lines for its role in helping Russian authorities detain Alexeyev at Domodedovo airport last month.

CONTINUED »


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Queerty

—  John Wright

Annise Parker won’t get her wish to confront the anti-gay and now former mayor of Moscow

In her exclusive interview with DV last week, Mayor Annise Parker said she wanted to confront Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov at an upcoming meeting in China. She will apparently not get her wish. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sacked Luzhkov for corruption on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

Luzhkov has been mayor of Moscow since 1992 and is credited with reviving and modernizing the city.

But he has also been notoriously homophobic. He has regularly denied permits for Pride parades, calling them “a satanic act.” Last weekend he jailed gay rights leader Nikolai Alekseev, who was arrested at a protest outside of city hall. Alekseev had filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights against Luzhkov for prohibiting Pride celebrations in the city.

Parker was to meet Luzhkov at a meeting in China later this year. Her city and Moscow are finalists for an international petroleum convention. While in Dallas, Parker said she hoped to confront Luzhkov about his human rights record.

—  David Taffet