Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter August 28, 2007

Quote of the month: "A man showing interest in another man should never be portrayed as filthy or criminal, but rather as giving a compliment."

-Robert Minor, Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society, available from Amazon.com.

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When does bullying become murder? An August 12 Winnipeg Free Press article reports that a six year old boy drowned in a lake in the Pauingassi area, which is north and east of Winnipeg, Canada. Three boys stripped six year old Adam Keeper naked and pushed him in a lake. Because Adam could not swim, he drowned.

The Globe and Mail has a Canadian Press article that gives a slightly different account. The Globe and Mail says the three boys ?bullied him into stripping naked.? A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news report indicates the boy was ?bullied into taking off his clothes? and was ?forced into a lake.?

The boys who killed Adam cannot be charged under Canadian law, because they are all under the age of twelve. Adam Keeper?s death may result in debates about Canada?s justice system. Unfortunately, Adam?s death is about a much more serious problem in Canadian society than the criminal justice system; it is about bullying.

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Ford GLOBE is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and straight allies who are employees or retired employes of Ford Motor Company and Ford affiliates. GLOBE wishes to help promote an inclusive and supportive atmosphere for GLBT people at Ford Motor Company.

Ford has a very inclusive statement regarding all minority groups, be they religious, racial, color, age, ethnicity, handicap, veteran status, gender, or sexual orientation related. A short statement from the Ford Motor Company web site reads, ?Opportunities for employment and advancement will be available on a non-discriminatory basis--without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or veteran status. We take affirmative action in accordance with law to have minorities and women represented appropriately throughout the workforce and to provide qualified handicapped persons, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era opportunity for employment and advancement."

Good corporate citizens have policies that help promote equality at work and positive societal changes. Discrimination for any reason does not make good business sense. Any corporation or employer that attempts to treat all employees with equity and on the basis of merit is acting as a good corporate citizen. Ford also advertises on some television programs that have gay characters. Good movies and television programs do more than entertain us - they attempt to make us better people. By having characters of a variety of races, ethnicities, religions, and sexualities, television programs reflect societal diversity and encourage people to love people who different than they are. Corporations that advertise on programs where many minority groups are represented are promoting positive changes in society. Unfortunately, Ford Motor Company is targeted with a boycott because Ford is trying to be a responsible corporate citizen. The American Family Association is asking that people boycott Ford, because Ford Motor Company advertises on some television programs that have gay characters.

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News about crime, terrorism, and war can give us false impressions about a community, a racial or ethnic group, or a religion. As a result of news reports about terrorism, some people may have the false impression that most Islamic people support suicide bombings. A Religion News Service article in the Adventist Review says a poll was conducted in 16 Islamic countries. In 15 of the countries the majority of people surveyed said suicide bombings can ?rarely or never be justified.? The only country where the majority of the people felt there were conditions where suicide bombing can be justified is the Palestinian territories.

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Bullying is common in some schools. Unfortunately, students who are perceived to be different may be targeted for bullying. Bullying can emotionally damage students.

A study of gay New York City youth was conducted by researchers from Penn State University and New York University. Almost 80% of the young people studied reported receiving ?verbal taunts,? and 14% reported being physically assaulted. The study found that 9% of gay students studied met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. About 14% of the gay youth who reported verbal bullying satisfied the American Psychiatric Association?s criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.

To put the emotional impact of bullying in context, we may need to understand what post-traumatic stress disorder is. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition found in some adults who have been victims of violence, accidents, or a natural disaster. While the study causes concern, additional studies need to be conducted before we can reach any conclusions about the damage bullying causes gay teens. We would like to see this study repeated in other cities. An interesting study would be to see what percentage of straight teenaged victims of bullying meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Information about the New York City gay youth study can be found on the Rockway Institute and the Gay News Blog web sites. Bullying resources can be found on the Stop Bullying web site.

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Violence against women is a serious problem. The problem appears to be more serious for aboriginal and indigenous women. The Amnesty International web site has a 2004 report about violence against aboriginal women in Canada. The report is titled STOLEN SISTERS: Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada. Indigenous women appear to be more frequently sexually assaulted. An Amnesty International article indicates one in three Native American Alaskan women will be raped at one time in their lives. Amnesty International is concerned, because many of the crimes are not reported and women who report rape may have difficulty obtaining justice. The Amnesty article notes, ? . . . federal policies and practices have actually denied Native American and Alaska Native women protections available to other women in the USA.? Another Amnesty International article states Native American and Native Alaskan women are 2 ½ times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other American women.

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There are many web sites that promote tolerance, acceptance, and love. Unfortunately, there are web sites that promote hatred against minority groups. An Advocate news story tells us Lithuanian authorities are investigating a web site that ?promotes murdering gays.?

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You may hear the expression that something is ?gift that keeps on giving.? Hate crimes are a ?gift? of violence and degradation that keeps on giving. Years after a hate crime, the victims may still be feeling traumatized. The Advocate/Planet Out web site tells the story of David Ritcheson. David was beaten until he passed out. Then he was sodomized with a plastic pole. According to the article, his attacker was shouting ?white power? during the attack. Over a year after the hate crime took place, David Ritcheson took his life.

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Many people use natural law as an argument to condemn same-gender sexual relationships. They believe same-gender relationships are not natural, because they are not able to result in the birth of children. An MSNBC news article states a museum in Norway has a display ?Against Nature?? which has ?51 species of animals exhibiting homosexuality.? The article states homosexuality has been seen in more than 1,500 animal species.

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Ex-gays have come to national attention, because one of the two founders of Young Gay America, Michael Glatze, announced that he is ex-gay. Information about Michael Glatze?s announcement can be read on the Pinknews web site.

Ex-gay counselling and ex-gay ministries are very controversial. Many people seeking ex-gay counselling or going to ex-gay ministries are gay or bisexual people who wish to become straight. There are serious concerns among mental health professionals about ex-gay counselling. A few concerns about ex-gay counselling can be found on the CreatedGay.Com web site.

Because of Michael Glatze?s announcement, some people may feel it is possible for gay people to become straight. We urge extreme caution to anybody considering ex-gay counselling. Three former leaders of Exodus, a Christian ex-gay ministry, have apologized for the harm their ministry caused gay people. An article about the apology can be read on the Advocate web complex.

Benjie Nycum was the other founder of Young Gay America, and was Michael Glatze?s life partner. In an interview with John McMullen, on gaybc radio, Benjie Nycum?s voice showed a lot of emotion, as he expressed loving concern for Michael Glatze. While Michael Glatze?s revelation might anger many people within the queer community, we encourage people to respond with kindness. Many people left the ex-gay movement, finding the ex-gay program was not working for them. Michael Glatze might find the ex-gay life does not work for him. Should he decide to leave the movement, Michael will need to feel people will accept him.

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A few stories we?ve been following appear below:

  • Amnesty International reports that a Kosovo GLBT activist received death threats.
  • We understand the gay and transgender unit at the New York City Rikers Island jail is being closed. Amnesty International is concerned this could expose gay and trans-identified people to violence. Those interested in learning more about the issue and in expressing concerns to the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections will want to visit the Amnesty International web site.

  • A Guardian Unlimited news article says Polish gay rights groups are stating thousands of Poles have left Poland, because they fear persecution.
  • In June, Robin Malta, a New Orleans community activist was found beaten to death in his home. An article about Robin?s murder can be found on the Advocate news system.
  • According to an Advocate news article, Fred Phelps? daughter was arrested for allowing her 10 year-old son stomp on an American flag.
  • A teenager has been indicted in the murder of Roberto Duncanson, a 20 year old gay Brooklyn man. Evidently, Roberto Duncanson ?looked at? the man accused of murdering Duncanson for being gay. The Advocate web site has an article providing additional details.
  • A gay Chicago man, Alexander Rupert, is seeking damages after he says the police beat him up, made anti-gay comments, and confined him in a cell for two days without food or water. People can consult the Advocate news site for more information.
  • An article about a Texas man charged with killing Kenneth Cummings Jr. says he felt he was doing God?s work when he searched gay bars for a gay person he could kill. News about this disturbing hate crime can be read on the Advocate news site.

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Interesting You Tube videos on topics related to hate follow:

  • European Racism - a ten minute documentary about European racism in soccer (European football). The video discusses how black soccer players are subjected to racist taunts.
  • Anti-Semitism Today! - a five minute video about anti-Semitism that gives some historical and contemporary examples of anti-Semitism.
  • Sorry Homophobes! - a five minute video promotes the idea of starting a love cycle, where gay people and their supporters love homophobic people. The video is by Matthew Lush.

Anybody with news about hate crimes or discrimination is welcome to email us.



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