Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tyler Clementi: Another Case of Cyberbullying

Along with the case of the cyberbully of Michigan--Andrew Schirvall--there was this sad story of a cyberbully who most likely caused Tyler Clementi, a talented young musician at Rutgers University, to kill himself. His roommate actually used his computer to watch Tyler make-out with another man, and then posted the images for others to see.

Tyler killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

From the

It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
Richard Perry/The New York Times

Mr. Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman, is thought to have jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

Readers' Comments

That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet.

And three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide.

The Sept. 22 death, details of which the authorities disclosed on Wednesday, was the latest by a young American that followed the online posting of hurtful material. The news came on the same day that Rutgers kicked off a two-year, campuswide project to teach the importance of civility, with special attention to the use and abuse of new technology.

Horrible death.

Cruel people out there.



Dan Savage on Gay Adoption

I laughed when watching this clip with Dan Savage on gay adoption.

He's right, of course.



Cyberbullying a Gay Man in Michigan

I just watched this clip on, and was aghast at the venom in this young man's soul, or attraction this young man finds in the student body president of the Univ. of Michigan. Asst. Attorney General Shirvell is stalking the Chris Armstrong, the student body president.


Watch the clip. It is ugly.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Soon to be "The Rev. Lisa Larges"

News from CA, first from More Light Presbyterians last night, and now from Presbyterian Outlook: Lisa Larges, who declared she had scruples with the current ordination standards in the PCUSA, has been cleared to be ordained...finally.

From Presbyterian Outlook:
In a 5-4 decision, the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Synod of the Pacific has ruled that the Presbytery of San Francisco acted properly when it allowed Lisa Larges to declare a conscientious objection to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s ordination standards regarding sexual practice.

The presbytery voted 156-138 in November 2009 to allow Larges to be ordained even though she declared a “scruple,” or an objection based on conscience, to the PC(USA)’s requirement that those being ordained practice fidelity if they are married or chastity if they are single.

Larges, a lesbian and a graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary, has sought for two decades to be ordained by the church. In her statement of faith presented to the presbytery’s Committee on Ministry, Larges wrote that the “fidelity and chastity” standard “deliberately and intentionally denies the dignity and lived experience of same-gender loving people,” and gives them an “impossible choice” by not honoring their faithful, covenanted partnerships.

She also wrote that the standard “raises one category of persons, heterosexual persons, above all others and thereby makes an idol of heterosexuality.”

The synod permanent judicial commission ruled Sept. 25 that San Francisco Presbytery had “conducted a reasonable, responsible, prayerful, and deliberate examination” of Larges.

The General Assembly has passed an authoritative interpretation saying that a governing body can allow such exceptions to the rules on a case-by-case basis if it determines that the departure does not involve an “essential” of Reformed faith or polity.

The synod judicial commission said it accepted the presbytery’s determination that Larges’ conscientious objection to the “fidelity and chastity” standard in this case did not violate an essential of Reformed faith and polity.

This is one of the cases in which, when we look back, we will realize how draconian the bias and prejudice against LGBTQ people looked like as the walls of discrimination come tumbling down.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

NC Pride

It was a busy day here, with North Carolina Pride in the middle of it all. In the NC Pride Parade around Duke University's East Campus it was fun to see all the LGBTQ and straight ally teens marching through under the umbrella of "Gay Straight Alliance," with yellow streamers flying through the air. There was the PFLAG group in the parade, along with quite a few church groups, bars for LGBTQ people, and a marching band to boot. There was even a float for a tattoo parlor.

The booths were somewhat interesting. I was glad to snatch a water at a Lutheran church group's table. It was 98 degrees today, breaking a high record in NC! But most of the booths catered to a (sigh) younger crowd. There were plenty of t-shirts and other trinkets at many booths.

What I was surprised at was how "un-family" the gathering was, save for the PFLAG group. There really was little in the way of groups focused on our families. There were more places for dogs (not cat) care than families. There was neither a booth with stuff for LGBTQ moms or dads or grandparents. Hmmm...

I did see a few children at the event, but not many.




Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Great News from FL: Gay Adoption Ban Unconstitutional

So is DADT!

Great news:
Florida will immediately stop enforcing its ban on adoptions by gay people following a decision by a state appeals court that the three-decade-old law is unconstitutional, Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday.

Crist announced the decision after the 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld a 2008 ruling by a Miami-Dade judge, who found "no rational basis" for the ban when she approved the adoption of two young brothers by Martin Gill and his male partner.

"I'm very pleased with the ruling on behalf of the Gills," Crist told reporters in Tallahassee. "It's a great day for children. Children deserve a loving home."

The appeals court decision is not the final word on the law. Gill and the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented him and his partner, want the state to take the case to the Florida Supreme Court to obtain a final statewide determination on the law.

The courts are now the place for and of change.



DADT Repeal is Taken Away By Republicans and 2 Democrats from Arkansas...and John McCain Should Know Better

The country loss yesterday in the filibuster led by the Republicans in the US Senate yesterday. More LGBTQ people will continue to be outed, while others lie because they want to serve the country. We are educating people in the fine art of lying to themselves and the country because they are in the closet.

And one of the most egregious acts of political cowardice is US Sen. John McCain the man who could've become President. In this clip, seen on a host of other sites, it is, as if, he says what he says enough it must be true: "It is not the policy" is repeated numerous times. But it is the practice of the US military service so hunt through emails of military personnel.


The clip is below.

We must move forward in the courts, and re-engage the US Senate before year's end. Sen. Harry Reid's vote--voting with the Republicans and 2 Democrats--makes this possible.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Call Your Senator Today to Repeal DADT


The final hour has arrived. Today at 2:15 PM ET, the full Senate will determine whether "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) repeal will move forward this year. For repeal to happen, we need 60 votes to break Senator John McCain (R-AZ)'s expected filibuster. All supporters must call their senators now.

Call both your senators at the Capitol switchboard right now and urge them to vote to end the filibuster and move on to a real debate on the Defense bill.

(202) 224-3121

These senators are currently uncommitted on breaking the filibuster and particularly need to hear from us today:

--Susan Collins (R-ME);
--Olympia Snowe (R-ME);
--Mark Pryor (D-AR);
--Richard Lugar (R-IN);
--Judd Gregg (R-NH);
--Jim Webb (D-VA);
--George Voinovich (R-OH);
--Kit Bond (R-MO)

Don't let opponents of open service hold up critical funding for our troops and prospects for repeal. Supporters of open service must make their voices heard today. If you have already called your senators, call both of them again.

Call the Capitol switchboard and tell both your senators to follow the lead of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to stop the filibuster and begin debating passage of the Defense bill.

(202) 224-3121

Speak up for all our service members today and spread the word to your friends:

We are almost out of time to contact senators before the vote today. We must call now.

Thank you.


Aubrey Sarvis

SLDN Executive Director

Monday, September 20, 2010

Call Your Senator! Vote for the Repeal of DADT

I've been hit by all the various sites I am signed up with, and inundated with the other blog istes, and agree with them all: call your U.S. Senators to repeal DADT. The vote is due to come up at 2 P.M. (Eastern Time), on Tue., Sept. 21st.

I've called Senators Burr (R) and Kagan (D) from NC.




Thursday, September 16, 2010

Insurance Games

Pushing for LGBTQ employees' families of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA to have the same benefit plan as non-LGBTQ employees' families, we discovered that a company must have 50 full-time employees before they offer an LGBTQ employee (1 employee) health care benefits.

I checked it out with Equality NC Ian Palmquist who found that the Insurance Commissioner doesn't determine this, but United Health and BCBS of NC do. It is the insurance company that makes this inane decision that affects our families.

It is time to change.

Expect more to be written on this issue.



Monday, September 13, 2010

DADT: Repeal!

U.S. Senate is about to vote on repealing DADT, following the lead of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Washington Blade:

The Washington Blade has learned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to schedule a vote next week on major defense budget legislation that contains “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language, regardless of any objection from members of the U.S. Senate.

A senior Democratic leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Reid met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday to inform the Republican leader that the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill will come to the Senate floor the week of Sept. 20.

It is time for change!

Peace, B

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Judges Philips: Hero of the Week!

This past week, Judge Phillips of CA ruled that the federal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" rule of the military service is unconstitutional.

From the

“The 'don’t ask, don’t tell' act infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members in many ways,” she wrote. “In order to justify the encroachment on these rights, defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the 'don’t ask, don’t tell' act was necessary to significantly further the government’s important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion. Defendants failed to meet that burden.”

The rule, she wrote in an 86-page opinion, has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.

Imagine that!

Because most Protestant churches are not top-down authority--at least in principle--we await the masses to figure out justice and right-judgments.



Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pamela and Janet: Congrats on your marriage!

Here's to Janet and Pamela, who were recently married, as noted in the

Janet Maureen Gillespie and Pamela Louise Simpson were married Saturday in Holderness, N.H. The Rev. Mary E. Haddad, an Episcopal priest, performed the ceremony at the Chocorua Island Chapel.

The couple met as graduate students at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., from which Ms. Gillespie earned a master’s in voice performance and pedagogy and Ms. Simpson received a master’s in music education and choral conducting.

Ms. Gillespie (left), 46, is a vocal and general music teacher at Irvington Middle School and Irvington High School, public schools in Irvington, N.Y. In 2007 and 2001 and for several years in the 1990s, she was a member of the chorus at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. She graduated from Bennington College.

She is the daughter of Catherine L. Gillespie and James H. Gillespie, both of Phoenix. Her father retired as a claims supervisor there with the American States Insurance Company. Her mother, who is also retired, was a secretary in the Arizona Department of Economic Security in Phoenix. Ms. Gillespie is the stepdaughter of Helen M. Gillespie.

Ms. Simpson, 50, is the performing arts department leader and the choral music director at the Bronxville School, a public school in Bronxville, N.Y. She is also the associate conductor at Umbrian Serenades, a summer choral program in Spoleto. Ms. Simpson graduated from Duquesne University, and in 1985 and 1986 was a Fulbright scholar at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria, from which she received a diploma in music and movement education.

She is a daughter of Charlotte L. Simpson and Robert B. Simpson, who live in Sarasota, Fla., and in Waterville Valley, N.H. Ms. Simpson’s father retired as the principal of Newfound Regional High School in Bristol, N.H. Her mother, who is also retired, was the director of health services at the New Hampton School, a college preparatory school in New Hampton, N.H.

Ms. Simpson’s previous marriage ended in divorce.

Mazel tov!


Friday, September 3, 2010


In New South Wales, Australia, there is now the possibility of adopting children among LGBTQ people is now reality. From

Forty-six MPs voted for the historic bill and 44 voted against it yesterday, after a two-day debate.

The bill, introduced by independent Sydney MP Clover Moore, allows same-sex couples to adopt a child together. Gay couples can already adopt in the ACT and Western Australia.

Voting on the issue in NSW was always going to be close and the result was initially unclear as a similar number of MPs filled each side of the parliamentary floor.

Meanwhile, friends of mine in NC, SC, GA, etc., cannot easily adopt children, even though there are lots of people who want to adopt children. But because they are LGBTQ, well...