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Pride and Prejudice
Saying that he did not want to politicize sexual orientation (as if the enforcement of heterosexual norms were not political), President Bush refused to declare this month as Gay & Lesbian Pride Month, as was done throughout the years of the Clinton administration. Women in Black therefore turns to the enlightened leadership offered by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and joins them and other New Yorkers, as well as millions of others around the world, in celebrating Queer Pride Month.
SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. -- Stepping where the Republican administration of George W. Bush feared to tread, the San Francisco-based Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have responded to the White House's refusal to issue a Gay Pride Month declaration in June by issuing one of their own.
"Whereas; the proclamation reads in part, Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and all others labeled as Queer Americans deserve equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as all Americans, by virtue of the authority invested in us by the Expiation of Stigmatic Guilt and Promulgation of Universal Joy, we do hereby proclaim June 2001 and every June hereafter as Queer Pride Month.
"We encourage all Americans and World citizens to observe this month with fabulous programs, ceremonies, parties, parades and fun-filled activities that celebrate our diversity and recognize the Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and all others labeled as Queer Americans whose many and varied contributions have enriched our cultural and national life and improved the lives of people throughout the world."
"We understand that President Bush's job and political affiliation sometimes require him to make difficult choices, like whether or not he should use his authority as leader of the United States to recognize the value of millions of human beings who, in spite of suffering spiritual and physical violence, have, throughout history, made countless contributions to the world and enriched life for everyone. That's a tough call," said Sister Be Attitude, Chairnun of the Board of the San Francisco Chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. "Fortunately," said Sister Bea, "his authority is not the highest authority."
"History has shown us that we don't need President Bush Junior to recognize us to be our own fabulous selves," echoed Sister Kitty Catalyst, Mistress of Archives for the Order, "We are perfect just the way we were born and no matter who we love."
Reported by Datalounge.com
Visit the San Francisco chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence online at http://www.thesisters.org/
Crimes of Hate, Conspiracy of Silence
On June 25, 2001, Amnesty International released its first study on torture and ill-treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT or queer) persons, reporting that torture and mistreatment occur in more than 30 countries, including the United States. Another group active around such issues is International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission. The Amnesty report documents cases in Uganda, Pakistan, Argentina, Russia and the United States. Among them there were cases in which people were harassed while in custody, physically and sexually assaulted, subjected to unnecessary medical or psychiatric treatment and forced to flee their countries because of persecution based on their sexual identity.
Amnesty International blamed the Argentine government for the February death of a gay man who was killed while in police custody. The report included information about the persecution of gays and transvestites in Mexico and Ecuador as well as countries in Africa and Eastern Europe. Women in Black-NY joins Amnesty in condemning the sodomy laws that still exist in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Puerto Rico. We agree that to stop torture and mistreatment based on sexual identity, such laws must be repealed and forced medical treatments designed to cure or change a gay person's sexual orientation should be immediately closed and banned. We support Amnesty International and Amnesty USA in calling for the protection of refugees fleeing torture based on sexual identity, and government prohibition of all types of discrimination based on sexual identity.
In addition, Women in Black-NY calls for an end to Immigration and Naturalization Service denials of entry to the USA based on a person˙s HIV status. And we support the the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force and other groups in demanding immigration rights for domestic partners and children of LGBTQ persons equal to those of heterosexual couples and families. Where love is denied, pain and violence flourish.
June 27, in Belgrade, Serbia INTERNATIONAL GAY PRIDE DAY
For the first time this year citizens of Belgrade will go out on the street to celebrate Gay Pride Day.
On June 27, 1969, in New York, lesbians, gay men, transvestites and transsexuals publicly resisted the police terror and refused to be victims of discrimination, violence and humiliation. This date is later on acknowledged as a symbolic day of liberation and pride of lesbian and gay men. Over the years now Gay Pride Day has been celebrated with music, merry demonstrations celebrating love and diversity.
Labris, lesbian rights group, and Arcadia, gay and lesbian lobby, have celebrated Gay Pride Day with intern program since 1995. This year, for the first time, we go out on the streets of Belgrade along with our friends and families with whom we will celebrate. We need support of all of you in order to be different and more powerful on the Square of Republic in June 30, 2001. We will begin the celebration at 3 PM.Organized by:
Labris, lesbian rights group
Deve, promotion of lesbian and gay culture group,
Campaign Against Homophobia
Gayten Centre for promotion and development of the rights of sexual minorities
When Discrimination Is Legal, Hate Crimes Are Inevitable
The United States continues to lag behind Australia, Canada, South Africa and most European nations in recognizing and protecting the basic human and civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) persons. Education, employment, housing, medical care and social services, access to public accomodations, pension and property rights, relationships as couples or as families, and freedom from fear of abuse and violence are too often denied on the basis of people˙s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Indifference or antagonism at the highest levels of our society towards the needs and rights of LGBTQ individuals and groups contribute to a hostile atmosphere that implicitlyif not explicitlyencourages discrimination, abuse and hate crimes against sexual and gender minorities. Heterosexuals are not the only ones who discriminate: Many members of the lesbian and gay community support equal rights based on sexual orientation but not gender identity or expression, and therefore proposed federal legislation such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, and the Permanent Partners Immigration Act would perpetuate discrimination against transgender persons. (Information about these measures can be obtained from the Human Rights Campaign at http://www.hrc.org/)
One consequence of lack of protections at the federal level is that FBI statistics on hate crimes in the USA include only limited information about anti-homosexual violence and do not track anti-transgender violence (or any bias crimes based on gender) at all. A more useful source of information is the annual report of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a network of 26 anti-violence organizations that monitor and respond to incidents of bias, domestic, HIV-related and other forms of violence affecting the LGBTQ community. NCAVP reports a rising number of police refusals to accept complaints of hate crimes and that police themselves are often the offenders. For more information about anti-transgender violence, see the website Remembering Our Dead at http://www.gender.org/remember/
Neither New York State nor New York City has measures or penalties in effect for hate crimes related to sexual orientation or gender identity; incidents can be reported to the police for tracking and reporting purposes only, not for prevention, protection or justice. Annually for the past 25 years, the state legislature has rejected a proposed bill because it explicitly includes sexual orientation. New York City added civil anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation in 1987, and the City Council is now considering Intro 754, which would amend the current human rights ordinance to include gender identity and expression. If this proposed legislation is enacted, New York City will become the 27th jurisdiction in the United States to adopt a transgender anti-discrimination statute.For more information:
Site Last Updated:
November 11, 2002