Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter July, 2009

Will’s father commented about how difficult school is for queer students. “Most parents worry about if they make a grade, make a team, or do things like that. When we sent Willi to school, we worried that it would be the last time we would see him.” Stated in interview in the documentary movie Anti-Gay Hate Crime: A & E Investigative Reports. Available from Amazon.Com and Amazon.Ca.
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Two new documentary reviews appear on the Stop Hate web site. The above quote of the month comes from one of the new movie reviews, Anti-Gay Hate Crime: A & E Investigative Reports. The second documentary reviewed this month is Out of the Past: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in America. Both documentaries can be purchased from Amazon.Com or Amazon.Ca.

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An article on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) web site encourages people to use cell phones to report police misconduct. According to the article, text messages, emails, photographs, or videos can be sent by cell phones to the NAACP web site. They can also be uploaded to the NAACP web site through a computer. According to the article, 26,0000 complaints about police force were reported in 2002. The President of the NAACP feels this number of complaints does not really “capture the full magnitude of the problem.” Many cases of police misconduct are thought to go unreported, because the system is not trusted. The cell phone report form can be reviewed by clicking here. A computer internet web form can be reviewed here.

The NAACP does valuable work. They help highlight incidents of racism, so we know racism is still a problem that still needs to be solved in America. A recent article on the NAACP site tells about a group of Black children who were told to leave a swimming pool because they “changed the complexion and atmosphere” of the pool.

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Discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people in the work force is a very serious problem. In many cases, queer employees do not enjoy the same benefits as their straight colleagues. Unfortunately, even the American Government discriminates against GLBT employees.

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual American Federal Government employees do not receive the same partnership benefits that straight couples receive. Rev. Candy Holmes, a Metropolitan Community Church pastor, and Federal Government employee testified before Congress in favor of benefits for employees in same-sex relationships. Her testimony can be seen on the Church4All You Tube channel.

The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in the United States military discriminates against gay, lesbian, and bisexual members of the forces. People who are in the military live with constant fear that somebody will discover they are gay, and that they will be dismissed from the military.

The Human Rights Campaign has a series of videos about the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. A few You Tube videos that outline the cost the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy follow:

Joan Darrah, a Navy veteran, talks about how the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy impacts on the lives of men and women in the United States armed forces. She indicates her partner would have been one of the last people informed, if she had lost her life, because her partner was not on any official military documents.

Genevieve Chase, an Army veteran, discusses how in the heat of combat the focus is on the mission and is on getting everybody back alive, not the religion, race, sexual orientation, or gender of any team members. She also mentions women who rejected advances by men might experience rumors circulating that she was a lesbian. Such rumors could spark an investigation by military officials. Chase believes the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy appears to target more women than men.

Alexander Nicholson, a degree-holding human intelligence collector, who speaks five languages, including Arabic, was dismissed from the military due to the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. He was discharged a few months after 911, a time when the military needed people with his qualifications, training, and skills.

Eric Alva was the first American injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He suffered life-threatening injuries in the conflict. His video shows the value and importance of having gay, lesbian, and bisexual people serving in the military.

Jarrod Chlapowski makes the point that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is not just a gay issue. All service members are impacted by the policy, because it robs units of valuable assets, and disrupts unit cohesion. He says there was increased unit cohesion when we was open about his sexuality.

Patrick Murphy, Representative in the United States Congress and military veteran, comments that the troops in Iraq are stretched thin. He says the Don’t Ask Don’t resulted in the discharge over 13,000 troops. Representative Murphy believes the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy hurts American security. When he was serving in Iraq, the troops he worked with did not care about a person’s race, color, creed, or sexual orientation. They cared about getting the job done, serving with honor, and coming home alive. The United Kingdom and Israel allow gay people to openly serve in the military, without any negative impact on unit cohesion or morale.

Patrick Murphy, discusses the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on CNN’s State of the Union. He says because the United States is involved in two wars, it is a very good time to change a policy that has resulted in many troops being discharged.

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Since the internet became popular, the internet has been a force for the inclusion of minorities and the improvement of human rights, as well as a force for continued oppression of minority rights. Recently, a You Tube channel, titled “Execute the Gays1,” advocated the murder of gay people. Beside an illustration of a knife, the words “Take the Knife And Stab a Faggot in the Throat.” Underneath the knife, the channel says, “This Knife is used to slit homosexuals throats ear to ear.” The web site also has an illustration of a pistol (see left photo). Beside the illustration of the pistol the following lines appear:

“Take The Gun And Shoot a Faggot
Right Between the Eyes With This 9mm
And Watch Him Die Slowly”

Shortly after we were informed of this You Tube Channel, the “Execute the Gays1” Channel account was suspended by You Tube. An account by the name “Execute the Gays” is also suspended.

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Pride parades are big events. They have become big business for tourism. Toronto Pride Parade applied for Canadian Government funding, through a program intended to stimulate the economy, by encouraging tourism. According to the Pride Toronto web site, Pride Toronto is one of the biggest festivals in Ontario and promotes tourism. The Pride Toronto festival has an attendance of over 250,000, and that means it qualified for up to 20% of last year’s budget expenditure. Pride Toronto received $397.500 that was to be used for “improved access for disabled people, infrastructure spending and top calibre entertainment.” The Pride Toronto web site states the amount of Government funding received in previous years.

A Canadian Conservative Member of Parliament, Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State for Tourism, is reported to have been disciplined for approving funding for the pride parade. A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article cites Saskatchewan Conservative Member of Parliament Brad Trost as indicating she was punished for the decision to award $400,000 to Pride Toronto. A Canadian Government spokesman, Darren Cunningham, is reported as stating the decision for a different ministry to look after the funds in the future was “not in response to” the Pride Toronto decision. This official response does not seem to be in harmony with what a Conservative Member of Parliament, Brad Trost, is quoted as having said in an Xtra article. In the Xtra article, Trost is cited as saying, "The pro-life and the pro-family community should know and understand that the tourism funding money that went to the gay pride parade in Toronto was not government policy, was not supported by — I think it's safe to say by a large majority — of the MPs." A Canadian Television article on the topic also mentions Diane Ablonczy might have been demoted due using funds designated to promote tourism for Pride Toronto. Liberal Member of Parliament Carolyn Bennett is reported to have demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister. She is cited as saying the prime minister needs to tell Canadians, if the Minister of State for Tourism was punished for doing her job. Carolyn Bennett believes the Toronto Pride festival meets the criteria for funding.

Given the comments another Conservative Member of Parliament made, the Minister of State for Tourism appears to have been disciplined for doing her job. Pride Toronto is one of the larger yearly tourism events held in Canada each year. To deny funding for Pride festivals, when funds are given to straight festivals, appears to be homophobic discrimination on the part of the Conservative Governments.

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There are several threats to hate crimes legislation. Attempts to make it sound like hate crimes legislation gives special rights to members of minority groups is an attempt to ensure the unpopularity of hate crimes legislation. The object is to ensure hate crimes legislation either never gets passed, or that existing hate crimes laws are overturned by elected officials. Another threat to hate crimes is to render hate crimes completely ineffective by not charging people under hate crimes provisions. When laws are never enforced, they essentially cease to exist. A third attack on hate crimes is to demand such high levels of proof for hate crimes that hate crimes laws become almost completely unenforceable.

On the Bilerico web site is a short article about a transgendered woman who was attacked. Evidently, her attackers followed her from a gay bar and beat her, while calling her a faggot. Pauline Park of the Transgender Legal Defense Fund and the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy is cited as having said, “If that’s not a hate-crime, what is? Do you need a signed letter saying ‘we attacked her motivated by hate?’”

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An email from the Human Rights Campaign tells us that those opposing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act are referring to it as the Pedophile Protection Act. A Google search of Pedophile Protection Act results in over 700 thousand web pages that include the phrase Pedophile Protection Act. Clearly, there is a slander campaign designed by people opposed to protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified from hate crimes.

People wanting to support the protection of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified individuals from hate crimes are encouraged to phone, email, or write their Senator or House Member. The Stop Hate web site has links to the Senate and the House, so people can easily contact their elected representatives. The same Stop Hate web page contains email links, so people can email the President and Vice-President of the United States. Information about the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act can be found on the Human Rights Campaign web site.

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



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