Monday, October 4, 2010

Via HimalayaCrafts:

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - (सिद्धार्थ गौतम)

Via Courage Campaign Equality:

Courage Campaign

Dear Daniel --

A Courage Campaign staffer was just assaulted by a man associated with the National Organization for Marriage's bus tour across California -- a statewide tour launched in support of Carly Fiorina.

Anthony Ash, a Courage field staffer, was assaulted when he tried to film the latest stop on NOM's "Vota Tus Valores/Vote Your Values" tour across California. Anthony's arm was struck by a man attempting to obstruct the filming and Anthony's video camera was knocked to the ground. Anthony is OK, but the camera is now permanently damaged, as is the footage taken on it.

The Santa Ana police were quick to respond, stopping NOM's bus from making a quick getaway. Our lawyers have filed a complaint with the police for battery and are now considering what other action may be taken.

Last week, we sent Anthony, along with staffers Arisha Hatch and Phyllis Lozano, on the road to follow NOM so that we could track and expose the reality behind their poorly-attended tour as part of our "NOM Exposed" web site launched with the Human Rights Campaign. This coverage follows up on the comprehensive NOM Tour Tracker work we did over the summer in collaboration with Freedom to Marry.

On their summer tour, NOM demanded that the Maryland Capitol Police remove our videographer from an event -- and then threatened him with arrest. The police apologized to Courage for this incident, but NOM still has not sent an apology.

NOM's bullying has got to stop. And we need your help to stop them. Can you help us cover the legal fees resulting from this assault by making a contribution of $25 or more now? Just click here to help us hold NOM accountable for their bullying and expose their right-wing extremism over the final days of the tour:

Last week, the attention of our nation was captivated by the suicide of the fifth and sixth gay teens in the past month alone. The rationale that drove them to such a tragic end was bullying, plain and simple.

This is a different kind of bullying, but NOM's intent is the same: To make people feel like they are second-class human beings, inferior to those who bully.

Brian Brown and NOM don't like that LGBT and allied supporters of equality are standing up and exposing him and his organization. That's why NOM tried to have us evicted in Annapolis in July and why NOM's "Vote Your Values" tour leaders have tried to intimidate us from documenting their anti-equality tour now. It's all emblematic of the same problem: to make people feel like they are second-class citizens.

Will you help us stop NOM's bullying today? Please contribute $25 or more now to help us cover the legal fees resulting from this assault so we can hold NOM accountable and expose their right-wing extremism:

Thank you for your support for Anthony and for Courage.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign   

Courage Campaign Equality is a part of the Courage Campaign's multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. To get involved in Courage Campaign Equality, visit "Testimony: Equality on Trial" -- our year-long campaign to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of Americans.
To support our work to hold NOM accountable, please chip in what you can today:

Via HimalayaCrafts:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - (सिद्धार्थ गौतम)

Via HRC: Do we need more proof than the suicides of teens as young as 13 that words like these can do unimaginable damage?

Human Rights Campaign
Dear Daniel,
Add your name:
The recent suicides of several gay teenagers have made national headlines. Yet this is the moment – of all moments – that a top Mormon leader decides to broadcast a verbal rampage against gays to millions of viewers.
I couldn't believe it either. Boyd K. Packer, the second-highest leader in the Mormon Church, said in a sermon broadcast to millions yesterday that same-sex attraction is "impure and unnatural" and can be overcome, and that same-sex unions are morally wrong.
Do we need more proof than the suicides of teens as young as 13 that words like these can do unimaginable damage?
We cannot stay silent. By speaking out together, we can show the Mormon Church hierarchy that it has literally risked the lives of children by inciting their tormentors. And we can ensure that the young people who heard this sermon know that it is scientifically wrong and profoundly misguided.
Speaking before 20,000 people and broadcasting to millions more, Packer said same-sex unions are morally wrong and "against God's law and nature" – and that the church hierarchy would continue to support marriage bans like Proposition 8 (which was funded largely by Mormons).
It makes me physically sick to think how many young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender kids had to sit in those pews and listen to that venom.
Comments like these are exactly what makes young LGBT kids think there's no way out but suicide – that their parents will reject them, that their communities will shun them, and that living openly will bring pain or violence – that even God looks on their very identity as a sin to be "overcome."
And these lies fuel the bullying, harassment, and violence that plague our schools.
Packer's lies have been disproven over and over again by science and by the spiritual experience of Americans who know their LGBT neighbors and care about them. We know sexual orientation cannot and should not be changed and that two people falling in love is beautiful, not evil.
But unless we refute these lies whenever groups like the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Mormon Church repeat them – whether through letters like this or projects like HRC's – we risk another young person hearing them and believing that LGBT people are "defective." And that belief contributes to violence and suicide.
Americans are sick of the Mormon hierarchy trying to dictate what they should believe. They know commitment and love when they see it. That's why they are turning away in droves from limitations on their friends' and neighbors' freedom to marry.
Thank you for helping take a stand for the truth.
Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese

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Via HimalayaCrafts:

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye. - (सिद्धार्थ गौतम)

Via JMG: HomoQuotable - Joe Solmonese

“Words have consequences, particularly when they come from a faith leader. This is exactly the kind of statement that can lead some kids to bully and others to commit suicide. When a faith leader tells gay people that they are a mistake because God would never have made them that way and they don’t deserve love, it sends a very powerful message that violence and/or discrimination against LGBT people is acceptable. It also emotionally devastates those who are LGBT or may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identify. His words were not only inaccurate, they were also dangerous." - Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese, responding to Mormon leader Boyd Packer's address to millions of LDS members.

reposted from Joe


Via JMG: New Survey: 8% Gay, 7% Lesbian

In what they are calling the "largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual-health behaviors ever fielded," a just-released survey commissioned by Indiana University says that 8% of adult American men self-identify as gay or bisexual, with 7% of women identifying as lesbian or bisexual. Those numbers are almost triple the percentages claimed by some anti-gay groups.

ABC News takes note of the study's "interesting findings."
About 85 percent of men reported that their partner had an orgasm during their most recent sexual encounter, but only 64 percent of women report having had one. Researchers said the difference is too great to attribute to men having had their last encounter with another man. Eight percent of men and 7 percent of women identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, but a much higher percentage report engaging in sexual activity with someone of the same sex at least once. The study found that 15 percent of men aged 50-59 have received oral sex from another man at some point.
Here's one of the sexual behaviors graphs from the study.

reposted from Joe

Via ACLU: It Gets Better Project

When Dan Savage launched the It Gets Better Project to reach out to distressed LGBT teenagers, gay and lesbian staffers here at the ACLU knew we had to participate.

So, we got together, looked into the camera, and spoke from the heart.

Dan started It Gets Better after a 15-year-old Indiana teenager committed suicide after being bullied by his classmates for being gay. There were five similar suicides across the country in September.

Please watch our video today — and share it far and wide.

Let's make sure we reach every corner of America with this important message — it really does get better.

Anthony D. Romero
Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director

You Are Loved Vigil 10.03.10 'Over the Rainbow'

Cheyenne Jackson leads the crowd of thousands at You-Are-Loved Vigil at Washington Square Park 10.03.10 NYC/NYU GLBTQ Bullying Crisis 'It Gets Better'