queer community is suffering a staggering loss of life. Advocate
reports from Mexico indicate seventeen people were murdered when
gunmen opened fire on a gay party in Torreon, Mexico. The Advocate
article notes local police think hate could be a factor, but seem to
favor the theory that drug trafficking was the reason. A 365gay.com
article states the death toll has risen to eighteen. Articles on the
News web sites indicate the death toll stands at 18, and informs
us that over 200 bullets were shot into the party. An Associated
Press You Tube video does not mention the party was for gay
people. Some of the news reports, such as a CBC
News article, indicate the gunmen opened fire without saying
anything. The SameSame
news article cites a witness as reporting an attacker said to kill
all of the people.
January of 2009, a police officer working in the subway system in
Oakland, California shot a Black man, Oscar Grant. We gather the
officer, Johannes Mehserle, had tried to subdue the man. The jury did
not find Mehserie guilty of either murder or voluntary manslaughter.
Instead, he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The court
ruling caused increased racial tensions. In Oakland, a protest march
was held, and there are reports of some violence too. An article
about the trial and sentencing can be read on the British
Broadcasting Corporation web site.
of America article carries news of violent classes between
Islamic and Christian groups in the Nigerian city of Jos. A curfew
was enacted to help maintain peace.
Uganda comes a story that leaves readers feeling troubled and
unsettled. The lives of those who support gay rights in Uganda now
appear to be in danger. The head of Pasikali Kashube, a Ugandan queer
rights activist, was found by Ugandan police. An article on the
web site states his severed head was found in a latrine. A few days
earlier, we are informed, what could be Kashube's body was found in
the area. The body is reported to have been sexually mutilated. An
article on the Queerty
web site indicates the body was found about a half a kilometre from
the farm where Kashube's head was found. Readers are cautioned that
the article contains a You Tube news video, which has content some
might find disturbingly graphic.
Hudson, a commentator on Huffington
Press, wonders if there could be a link between this murder and
recent calls for violence from those who are in favor of a proposed
bill that could result in gay Ugandans being executed. The 365gay.com
article indicates another gay rights activist, Rev. Henry Nsubuga,
has been missing since he gave a sermon support gay rights in Uganda.
of the news articles cited in this news item are from GLBT web sites.
news system also has an article about this murder. Information in the
article seems to confirm what was found on the queer news sites. An
Episcopal News article about the murder can be found Episcopal
news of the horrifically violent murder was made public, news
articles started to surface that paint a slightly different picture.
Some people feel the person murdered was not a gay rights activist in
Uganda. An article on the Back
2 Stonewall site says it has been confirmed that Kashube had no
connections to Integrity Uganda. Jim Burroway, on the Box
Turtle Bulletin, indicates the chair of Integrity Uganda says
Kashube was not with Integrity. There are contradictory news reports.
We will try to keep you updated as more news about this ghastly
murder becomes public.
article on the United
States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission web site states
the agency received 3,273 charges of religious discrimination in
2008. Over 2,700 of those charges were resolved.
reports from Iran do not look good. A news report on The
Miami Herald web site cites sources with Freedom and Democracy
iran. According to those sources, Ebraim Hamidi was sentenced to
death for having same-gender sexual relationships. The article
indicates around 107 Iranians are believed to have executed for
homosexuality between 1979 and 1990.
media is full of stories about Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged from
the military for being gay. Since
Donít Ask Donít Tell was implemented, over 13,000 American
servicemen have been fired for being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Many
talented and experienced people, such as Dan Choi, are no longer in
the American armed forces. This results in a weakened military. One
would think that since a strong military is something the
conservatives want that conservatives in America would be calling for
the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
about the possibility there is a direct link between Christianity and
homophobia in Uganda have been simmering since a bill was introduced
into the Ugandan Parliament that would, in some cases, allow for the
execution of gay people. Some people have drawn a link between some
conservative American Christians and the rise in homophobia in
Uganda. The involvement of a Ugandan pastor in promoting public
passion and a public outcry against homosexuality causes deep
role of religion in homophobia is a delicate topic. Almost all church
denominations officially condemn violence. They do not advocate
violent actions against people. Unfortunately, there are times when
church denominations and ministers unintentionally end up promoting
violence against those who are deemed to be outside of God's will.
They do that every time ministers use angry tones to rage against
gays, proclaim God's judgement against the gay community, and
advocate using ďanyĒ method necessary to stop gay people from
having the equal human rights. Violence is unintentionally promoted
when ministers, Christian ministries, and church denominations paint
gay people or same-sex marriage as an enemy of the state, as enemies
of society, and as enemies of the family. Painting a minority group
as enemies to things people know, love, and value helps establish a
climate where violence against minority groups is seen to be
religiously, and morally justified.
who in one breath portray gay and bisexual people as enemies of
society, country, church, and God, and in the next breath say they do
not advocate violence against sexual minorities, cannot wash their
hands from all responsibility in establishing a climate that is
dangerous for sexual minorities. Like Pilot, when Jesus was
crucified, they attempt to publicly wash their hands of
responsibility. But they cannot escape the court of public opinion.
Pastors, congregations, and denominations that constantly cry wolf
regarding everything ranging from protecting gay people from hate
crimes to same-sex marriage lose credibility as spiritual, moral, and
community leaders. When countries that provide basic human rights to
gay people do not, as predicted, fall apart, or face the sudden and
devastating judgement of God, these spiritual leaders are
increasingly seen as irrelevant and lacking credibility.
in schools is an ongoing problem faced by students. Because there is
a trend toward zero tolerance bullying policies in schools, school
staff and faculty also struggle with bullying. From the United
Kingdom, we learned of a 15 year old who was fatally stabbed during a
fight in a London school. An article about the boy's death can be
read on the British
Broadcasting Corporation web site.
article on the Business
Week web site indicates that students who have difficulty
resolving problems with other students are more likely to become
either bullies or the victims of bullying. Poorer social
problem-solving skills appears to be a factor. Evidently, bullies and
the victims appear to have similar problems with elements of their
self-concept. People interested in bullying will want to read the
bullying is becoming more common. Unfortunately, some of the social
networking sites are being used by some students to bully. An article
informs us there is a new facebook application that allows parents to
monitor cyber bullying through facebook. The application, Go-Go-STAT,
alerts parents when inappropriate words, pictures, or postings are
bill allowing for gay marriages in Argentina passed the lower house,
the Argentine Senate, and was signed into law. The Catholic church
asked the Senate to have the same-sex marriage bill voted on by the
general public. The Argentine Senate rejected the request. Additional
information about this element of the news story can be read on the
Magazine web site. A British
Broadcasting Corporation article indicates at Sunday Mass people
were asked to protest against the approval of gay marriage in the
Argentine Senate. According to another British
Broadcasting Corporation article, the law, also allows same-sex
couples to adopt children. With passage of the bill, Argentina is the
first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage. The British
Broadcasting Corporation article has a map of the world showing
the countries where gay marriages are legal.
Newsletter, we provided some statistics on Anti-Semitism in
Canada. Anti-Semitism reports for 2009 other areas are becoming
available. The Anti-Defamation
League web site has short descriptions of reported anti-Semitic
acts from numerous countries. Reported anti-Semitic acts range from
graffiti to vandalized cemeteries, to physical assaults, to a rabbi
having part of his finger bitten off.
Recently, we provided a link to a You Tube channel, where a gay man
living in Edmonton, Canada reported being punched in a restaurant by
a man who did not like seeing two gay men on a date. The gay man
filed a report with the Edmonton Police and appears to be very happy
how seriously the Edmonton Police took his assault. A video updating
us on the assault can be seen on the Grimace TV You Tube channel.