Saturday, January 24, 2015

3 New Anti-Gay Bills introduced in OK

From the New Civil Rights Movement

Infamous anti-gay activist Sally Kern is back, now pushing three anti-gay bills that would make it all but impossible for LGBT people to exist in Oklahoma.


Image result for sally kern

Oklahoma Republican state Rep. Sally Kern has introduced three bills targeting gay people. Were all three to become law it would be nearly impossible for members of the LGBT community to safely exist in the Sooner State.

HB1599, the Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act, would literally defund same-sex marriage.

"No employee of this state and no employee of any local governmental entity shall officially recognize, grant or enforce a same-sex marriage license and continue to receive a salary, pension or other employee benefit at the expense of taxpayers of this state,” the bill reads. "No taxes or public funds of this state shall be spent enforcing any court order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license," it adds.

Kern, who invokes religion frequently and penned a book titled The Stoning of Sally Kern: The Liberal Attack on Christian Conservatism--and Why We Must Take a Stand, labels the need for her law an "emergency."

"It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval."

Her second bill attacking gay people is the Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act.HB1598 is aimed at ensuring parents are legally enabled to force their children to undergo therapy based on junk science and religion that most major medical organizations have labeled harmful, dangerous, and ineffective.

"The people of this state have the right to seek and obtain counseling or conversion therapy from a mental health provider in order to control or end any unwanted sexual attraction, and no state agency shall infringe upon that right," it reads. "Parents may obtain such counseling or therapy for their children under eighteen (18) years of age without interference by the state."

Ex-gay, reparative, or conversion therapy is known to cause depression and may increase the risk of suicide.

Kern's third bill, HB1597, would allow broad discrimination encoded into the law. A take on the increasingly popular Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that are sweeping the country in the wake of legalized same-sex marriage, Kern's legislation specificaly targets LGBT people for discrimination.

"No business entity shall be required to provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges related to any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, group or association," it reads.

Under Kern's bill, anyone can discriminate against LGBT people for any reason at all, or for no reason at all.

An LGBT person could literally be shunned by their entire town, unable to purchase food, rent or buy a home, buy a car, gasoline, insurance, clothing, or even electricity. They could find no doctor in their town will provide medical attention. If an LGBT person were to have a heart attack, a private ambulance service or EMT could legally refuse to assist or take him or her to the hospital. That hospital, if private, could legally refuse them service under Kern's law.

Kern has a long history of targeting and attacking the LGBT community. She has characterizedgays as "dangerous," "sinful," and as "an enemy who wants to destroy us," and said gays have hijacked freedom and equality "to destroy the future of America." She has claimed that gays and homosexuality are "more dangerous" than terrorists and labeled same-sex marriage "debauchery." Kern in 2011 was officially rebuked for racist and misogynistic comments she made on the House floor.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Trans / LGBT People of Color, Fellowship Available





The Victory Institute is now accepting applications for the 2015 cohort of Victory Empowerment Fellows. The program is open to transgender people and LGBT people of color.

The Victory Institute today announced a groundbreaking fellowship to support openly transgender and openly LGBT people of color who are both leaders in their communities and interested in public service.

In partnership with the Arcus Foundation, Victory will select ten fellows to receive full scholarships to attend the organization’s Candidate and Campaign Training and the annual International LGBT Leadership Conference. Fellows will also receive one-on-one support from Victory staff and hand-picked mentors.

“Victory works to identify leaders and make sure they have the resources they need to be successful,” said Torey Carter, interim executive director of the Victory Institute. “LGBT people of color and transgender people often face unique barriers to serving as public officials, which is why they are still vastly underrepresented in government. This fellowship is the beginning of a focused effort to change that.”

“This innovative program comes at a key moment for transgender people and LGBT people of color," said Kim Coco Iwamoto, Hawaii Civil Rights Commissioner and Victory Institute board member. “It will empower LGBT leaders who are already making a difference in the world, helping to hone their skills and further their leadership potential."

Applications are due Feb 17th and can be found HERE

For more information, visit the Victory Empowerment Fellowship webpage or contact Victory staff.


EVENT: Tower District Mardi Gras


Bulldog Pride Fund 2015-2016 Scholarships



BULLDOG PRIDE FUND AT FRESNO STATE OFFERS SEVEN SCHOLARSHIPS AT $2,000 EACH FOR 2015-16 ACADEMIC YEAR.

The Bulldog Pride Fund is an endowed scholarship that was established in 2006 under the auspices of the Fresno State Alumni Association: "To support students at Fresno State." As of this academic year, it has awarded 34 scholarships valued at $61,000.

The Bulldog Pride Fund is offering seven $2,000 scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year:


• ASI President’s Award – to the student elected President of Associated Students, Inc.

• GSA Network Award – to a student having a past affiliation with the GSA Network.

• Harvey Milk Hope Award – to a student enrolled in the Humanics Certification Program.

• TimeOut Spirit Award – to the student that performs as Fresno State’s mascot.

• USP President’s Award – to the student elected as President of United Student Pride.

• Bulldog Pride Fund General Awards – to two students in good academic standing, with a financial need, and that have exhibited volunteer service to the community.

A total of seven Bulldog Pride Fund scholarships with a total value of $14,000 are available in the 2015-16 academic year.

Applications for the Bulldog Pride Fund (and all other academic scholarships at Fresno State) are now being accepted online. The priority deadline is February 28, 2015.

Details online: www.bulldogpride.org

# # #

Q & A


Q&A is a new feature for Gay Central Valley
featuring questions and answers from members of the community...


Kayleia Southard currently lives in Clovis California. When she’s not trapped in the Fresno LGBT Community Center storeroom, she’s most likely found at a movie theater.

How long have you lived in the Central Valley?

I got whisked here to the Central Valley at the age of three to start me in a better school district. The schools in Bay Point apparently would have done a fine job at teaching me to join a gang, but a terrible job at teaching me to read.

Married or single?

Happily single. Thank goodness I dodged the recent marriage bullet that was shot my way!

When did you come out to the first person in your life?

That would have been the token bad girl in middle school. She promptly asked me out so it turned out alright.

Something you like about yourself?

I love my need for exploration. If I’m cooped up too long I will probably go on a murderous rampage.

Something you dislike about yourself?

I have a terrible case of resting bitch face. I promise I’m not mad! I just have sun in my eyes!

Character trait in others that you most admire?

The ability to be truly selfless, with not even a need for recognition. There are so many people who put others needs first and it’s inspiring to watch.

Character trait in others that you most dislike?

I would have to say victimhood. Terrible stuff happens to people all the time. You either rise above it or find a way to move on. To put yourself in a place where everything is personally and solely designed to fuck you over must be a miserable existence.

What is your biggest regret?

Probably that I don’t have more pictures with my best friend. He passed away and now all I have are the memories with him but no photos to relive them.

What are you most passionate about?

Helping other people. I get so much joy out of being at the community center and actually being able to make a difference in someones life.

Favorite thing to do in your free time?

Movies! I am a huge film buff. If it’s in the theater, I’ve probably seen it or am planning to.

What aggravates you the most?

People who refuse to see the other side of a situation. There are always two sides and refusing to see anything but yours alienates people.

What makes you the happiest?

This sounds cheesy, but making people laugh and smile. That’s probably why I like to baby sit my friends kids. They are full of giggles and joy at the drop of a hat.

What are you, quite frankly, over?

Thankfully not the hill.

What is your biggest challenge?

Not facebook stalking people. It’s just so much fun to watch the train wreck!

What was your favorite decade so far?

The 70s for it’s punk rock vibes. I end up taking some fashion notes from them (when I care about fashion) and can’t wait to bust out the leather jacket with the studded collar in the winter.

Who is your favorite person to talk to?

My dad. He’s a wealth of random information. I always end up learning something new.

Name a person you know personally who has had the biggest impact on you?

My Grandma Lois. I constantly referenced her and am planning on getting a tattoo dedicated to her. She has so many words of wisdom that have stuck with me to this day.

Name a person you don’t know who has had the biggest impact on you?

Lucy Lawless was who made the most impact. I remember secretly watching episodes of Xena and not knowing why I was so glued to the tv. Ah the days of being a baby lesbian.

The most important lesson you’ve learned so far?

That as much as the people around you think you’re making a terrible decision, they’re going to support you. Sure they’ll express their disapproval but they will still be your friends.

Besides a phone, what piece of technology can you not live without?

My ipad. I sleep most nights curled up with it.

What superpower would you most like to have?

I would love time travel. I wish I could see how some of our social justice movements are going to play out 30 years down the line.

Who would you like to play you in a movie about your life?

Can’t it be a documentary? I want to do something cool enough to get a documentary.

What is the best part of your day?

Those moments of silence when I first wake up. I just stretch and take a second for what feels like life to pool back through every muscle.

What is your proudest moment?

My proudest moment was walking across the stage at my college graduation. I was the first of the kids to graduate.

Who did you overlook in your past?

My brother and I weren't close as kids since we have a twelve year age gap. I overlooked the importance of having him around and am so lucky to have a relationship with him as an adult.

What have you overcome?

I was really convinced by someone in my life that I was an idiot. That I would never amount of anything so I shouldn’t try and just check out of life. Thankfully, I’ve never been good at blindly agreeing to things.

Where your ideal place to live?

I would love somewhere with places to explore. I’m sure I could find that anywhere but Morro Bay was amazing to visit.

What words do you live by?

“Forever a Work in Progress”

A Twist on Another "Gay Cake" Story



You have probably heard about the bakery in Denver which refused to make a gay wedding cake. And of course there is backlash and fallout.

But here's a twist. Another Denver bakery (Azuvar Bakery) is also under investigation... this time for not icing a cake with hateful homophobic bigotry.




Marjorie Silva, the owner, says that she was asked to make a bible-shaped cake for a male customer. After the order was complete he asked her to write “God hates gays” on the cake with two men holding hands and a cross on top of them.

She refused, but she did give him some icing and a piping bag suggesting that he write the words himself. That wasn't good enough and citing that he had been discriminated against because of his "creed," Bill Jack filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

Local Affiliate FOX covers it here.

A few things worth noting: Two years ago in Denver, a judge determined that a Lakewood bakery had in fact discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.

Also: Bill Jack, the alleged victim in this episode is a founder of Worldview Academy, which is a "non-denominational organization dedicated to helping Christians think and live in accord with a Biblical worldview,"

Nancy Leong, a University of Denver law professor,"This is not a situation where a business owner denied service to somebody. She offered to accommodate him to the extent that she could. In fact, requiring her to write that message would infringe on her own free speech rights.”

For its part, a prominent Christian group that lobbies for traditional marriage has said it supports Silva.

"This is a free speech issue, and we support freedom of speech. It's also a religious or conscience issue — the government should not force people to violate their core beliefs," Jeff Johnston, issues analyst with the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, told The Christian Post. "Just as a Christian baker should not be required to create a cake for a same-sex ceremony, this baker should not be required to create a cake with a message that goes against her conscience."

Time will tell if CO agrees with him.

Sound off in the comments... was she right to refuse his request? How is this differnt from a baker refusing to write positive gay marriage messages on a cake?


 

LGBT Rights: Huge Disparity Between States


Same-sex couples can legally marry in a majority of US states, but not all states are created equal when it comes to other basic rights.

The HRC’s State Equality Index breaks states into one of four categories based on statewide legislation for issues like marriage, non-discrimination, adoption and hate crimes.

 

 It seems to be a matter of playing the loophole game... time after time Republican lawmakers are introducing bills that undermine the civil rights of the LGBt population.

The Supreme Court decision later this year can't come soon enough...