Curing Hate Within the LGBTQ
November 9, 2010

We are at a crossroad as LGBTQ people. We are actively lobbying in the political arena for equal rights. We are also vocal in the socio-cultural arena “demanding” Respect.

We can March, we can Lobby, we can form non-profit Activist groups until we are blue in the face, BUT UNTIL WE ARE WILLING TO LIVE WHAT WE SAY WE WANT WE WILL GET NO-WHERE!

We cannot expect Respect from others when we are not willing to grant it within our own community. Or the Global Community at large. It is not acceptable for us to remain factionalized. We can’t march together for Pride then go off into our little click groups demeaning the others we just walked alongside demanding “Respect for Diversity.”

IF WE WANT CHANGE WE MUST BE THE CHANGE WE WANT!

So if you are a Lesbian and hating Gay Men, or Bisexuals or Transgendered Persons, IT DOESN’T WORK!

If you are a Gay Man who cuts down Lesbians, or Bisexuals or Transgendered Persons, IT DOESN’T WORK!

If you are a Bisexual or Transgendered Person who has made Lesbians or Gays or anyone else the enemy – IT DOESN’T WORK!

If we want to end Bullying we need to stop practicing it. That extends to our Straight Allies. (If we believe that we didn’t choose our sexual orientation then they didn’t either – so let’s not hold that against them!) 😉

I DON’T USUALLY SHOUT THIS MUCH IN THIS SPACE – but I’m tired of the HYPOCRISY.

We need massive change in society – American society in particular, which seems to be way behind the European and some other societies and cultures. If we are going to achieve that then we need to tear down the fences between ourselves as LGBTQ and TRULY live in Respect of one another. We have to heal our “Society” first.

I may not understand everyone’s orientation, any more than I understand everyone’s views or opinions or life experiences. But here’s what I know – I can RESPECT anyone. If I’m going to demand respect for my choices then I MUST be willing to respect those of others – whether or not I agree with or understand them.

Here’s a video that I found on YouTube since the “It Get’s Better” Project took off. It deals with someone within the LGBTQ community who is targeting Transgendered people. Please, let’s put this kind of crap to rest – For everyone’s sake. -MsQ

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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PROP 8 UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!!!
August 5, 2010

August 4, 2010 EQUAL RIGHTS VICTORY!!!!!

This afternooon, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned California’s controversial Prop 8 Amendment to the state constitution that had made same-sex marriage illegal.

“Ultimately, the judge concluded that Proposition 8 ‘fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. … Because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional’.” (see L.A. Times Update 1:47 pm)

See L.A. Times Articles in PDF: Judge strikes down Prop 8

Full Text of Decision. Note p122 begins “Proposition 8 Does Not Survive Rational Basis” perry_v._schwarzenegger_ruling

CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE, DANCE TO THE MUSIC…..

🙂 MsQueer

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SUCCESSFUL NATIONAL ANGER INTO ACTION WEEKEND
November 20, 2008

Here’s an update from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund.  This email message from Executive Director Rea Carey begins with,

This past weekend, all across the country, hundreds of thousands of LGBT people and our allies came together to demand the most basic tenet of the American promise – the right to equality and justice for all.” 

Read the rest of this email message here: anger-into-action-weekend4

The Supreme Court of California has already agreed to review the constitutionality of Proposition 8. We will be heard!

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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John McCain and the LGBT Community
September 8, 2008

Okay, here we go. MsQueer goes political. (Is that like “going balistic?” Maybe this election…)

I have another blog where I’ve gotten very vocal regarding this election, despite my original intentions to steer clear of that. And I had a couple of great lines about Gay Republicans, but then I remembered that this site is about Dignity and Respect. (Sigh!)

So, I’ll just deliver this straight (you should pardon the expression) off the cuff. Although we as LBGT people have seemingly become one of the primary groups to be courted for our vote in this election, John McCain isn’t even trying. Give him an “A” for honesty. But give him a big “F” for anything resembling an equal rights/human rights view of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals or Transgendered persons.

I found a great article that summarizes Mr. McCain’s view and background as a politician thus far.  Thanks to Kathy Belge at About.com: Lesbian Life, I give you the portal to her wisdom:

http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/lesbianactivism/p/JohnMcCain.htm

Let the LGBT Voter beware: when asked about Gay Adoption, McCain replied that he felt two-parent families were best suited to adopt. Two-parent families? So one partner counts and the other is — chopped liver?

I can honestly say that McCain doesn’t make it hard for a person to find out where he stands on LGBT Rights issues. Some candidates hide their truth amongst cleverly crafted interweavings of platitudes and promises that pale once you discover some off-the-cuff comment made “in private” or a carefully planned agenda for securing special interest votes.

At any rate, I have been pretty vocal about the other side of the ticket at http://debadler.wordpress.com. Let’s just say that as a woman, the Dems have pretty effectively alienated me, but not as much the Republicans with their choice of a woman VP that was supposed to get my vote because I’m a woman? PLEASE!

Each of us will ultimately have to make up our own minds based on criteria that will likely include our LGBT identities as only one aspect of our total being and interests. No election has ever been a cut and dry, black and white simple decision, and 2008 will be no exception. Its important that we vote based on a criteria each of us can fully embrace at heart, not just intellectually based on others’ recommendations.

Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain. We, as LGBT people, have more work ahead of us to resolve prejudices between us, as well as between us and others. Perhaps as we become more fully united amongst ourselves, with true compassion and acceptance of our diversity, we will have less opposition from those who view us as opposed to their values. Perhaps they will come to see that we share their values of the importance of family and community in a far more inclusive way. -MsQueer

©2008 Deborah Adler and MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Gay Buying Power: A Force To Be Reckoned With
August 24, 2008

Consider that with the political climate still being somewhat less than accepting today, the number of “out” LGBT persons is merely the tip of the iceberg. 

Now consider this: In 2006, an estimated 15.3 million Lesbian and Gay consumers had a combined buying power of over 600 Billion Dollars

According to source Harris/Witeck-Combs, 72% of LGBT consumers prefer to buy from companies that advertise to them directly; 

89% are highly likely to seek out brands advertised to them, and a majority will pay a premium for quality products and services (source: Simmons). 

The median combined household income of gay couples is 60% higher than opposite-sex couples (source: OpusComm Group);

Compared to the national average, gay people are three times more likely to choose to live in racially, ethically and culturally diverse communities (source: Gertler and Vinodrai);

Creative and innovative people driving the tech economy seek places high in cultural, racial and ethnic diversity, including gays and lesbians (source: Gary Gates and Brookings Institute).

Reference article: http://www.expressmilwaukee.com/article-2374-the-gay-and-lesbian-market.html

Here are some additional facts from the Outlook Media 2007 Media Kit. (Outlook Weekly is “a lifestyle and advocacy publication for the Ohio queer community.” )

“Gay Americans are twice as likely to have graduated from college, twice as likely to have an individual income over $60,000 and twice as likely to have a household income of $250,000 or more!”

“According to Harris Interactive Research, gay purchasing power is expected to top $690 Billion Dollars in 2007!”

That’s a lot of purchasing power, not to mention, a lot of potential influence. Today, more than ever, LGBT people need to look at how to wield our “buying power.”  How, where, when and why we focus our dollars needs to be about more than choosing a car, vacation, or beer…

There are gay philanthropists making the news this election year for their work in helping to support candidates and issues that are lgbt-friendly. We need more of this on a local and national level. 

I found an excellent article on Bettys’List – LGBT News and Services titled, “The Rising Tide: Philanthropy & Volunteerism in the LGBT Community” 

Ref= http://www.bettyslist.com/rising-tide.php?a=1569  -MsQueer

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

Philanthropy and Political Advocacy

By Jeff Lewy

Philanthropy, as we’ve noted in earlier articles, is a way to support and promote social change.  That change is lasting when it transforms the attitudes of individuals, one at a time, until society as a whole is transformed.

However, philanthropy by itself cannot ensure the implementation of social change.  We need to promote political change as well, so that the attitudes and ideas of the public are implemented widely and promptly.

As someone with philanthropic and charitable feelings, you are probably thinking: “It’s common knowledge that philanthropy is tax-deductible – and that political action isn’t.  So I can’t do anything about politics, because the IRS won’t let me, since political contributions aren’t tax-deductible.”  However, that “common” knowledge has two serious flaws.  

The first flaw is failing to fully participate in the political process, beyond voting.  And you ARE voting, aren’t you?   Remember – political giving is a vital element in electing political candidates who are in tune with current social attitudes and will support the changes you desire. Even though giving to candidates isn’t tax-deductible, it is an important way to see that the changes you value come to pass.  So give to the political candidates and organizations of your choice.  It can be money wisely spent to create and promote social change.

The second flaw is a common misunderstanding about what nonprofit organizations are allowed to do.  It is true that these organizations may not directly support or contribute to political candidates.  But they can engage in political advocacy to promote the social changes they espouse.

What does political advocacy mean?  Plenty!  A short list of activities in political advocacy includes:

  • Lobbying to influence legislation
  • Lobbying to influence decisions by administrative agencies
  • Litigation
  • Research and study
  • Nonpartisan analysis
  • Legislative comment (without a specific call to action)
  • Polling
  • Public education

These activities cover a lot of ground.  Many nonprofits work hard and successfully in all these areas, within the rules and limitations that govern their activities.  These organizations understand their limitations and will be glad to explain what you and they can (and can’t) do to help in the important work of political advocacy.  

In recent years, attitudes held by individuals throughout the country have become more favorable to LGBT people and our rights.  A majority now believes that LGBT couples should have many of the same rights as married couples, even if they don’t want to call it “marriage.”  A majority sees the benefits to society of allowing adoption and foster parenting by LGBT couples, preventing employment and housing discrimination, and ensuring hospital visitation, end-of-life decisions and inheritance by LGBT partners.

However, even if individual attitudes are changed, public institutions must change as well, if those new attitudes are to truly prevail.  Many public institutions are governments, so political activity is required to bring needed changes to reality.  Public acceptance must be translated into laws and administrative procedures before it becomes fully integrated and effective.

In these times when politicians on the right use the LGBT community as a wedge issue to distract voters from the important issues presented at the ballot box, we need to respond strongly to protect ourselves and to educate others not to impose restrictions on us that fly in the face of this country’s long and sometimes halting progress toward justice and equality.

In this sense, “politics” includes all branches of government – executive, legislative, and judicial, and all levels of government, from national to local.

Progress has occurred in many ways.  LGBT rights have made significant strides in the judicial arena; just think of the effect of Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized sodomy and affirmed our rights of privacy and sexual activity.  And the courts in Massachusetts have affirmed same-sex marriage in that state.

But there are many situations where public acceptance is thwarted by public officials – here in California, San Francisco’s action to affirm same-sex marriage was overturned by the state courts (although that battle isn’t over).  In 2005, the California Legislature passed a bill to make same-sex marriage legal in California – but the Governor vetoed the bill.

We can all think of many examples where the public’s acceptance of social change is not implemented.

So get involved, with your money and your volunteer time.  Consider donating to politicians, political organizations AND to nonprofit organizations that are doing the work for our rights.  And vote, every chance you get – in every local, primary, and general election!

2006 is an election year.  Elections make a huge difference in creating and implementing social change.  Get involved – as a citizen, and as a philanthropist.  Your future depends on it.

-MsQueer

©2008 MsQueer.com and Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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