Stop Hate 2000 - November 2010 Newsletter

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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Peter Sweasey, in the book From Queer to Eternity, relates a little about the impact of the AIDS crisis on the queer community. He says the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in London was conducting as many as fourteen funerals for gay men a week. Because some undertakers would not embalm men who died of AIDS, there were times when the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church had to help bag the bodies. The emotional impact of such loss is difficult to imagine. The AIDS crisis served to help unite the queer community. Hospital health-care providers were amazed at the devoted love gay men had for each other. They watched gay men lovingly care for their sick and dying partners. The hearts of many people who saw these demonstrations of love were changed. Unfortunately, some people expressed happiness that AIDS was killing gay people. The AIDS crisis brought out the best and the worst in people.

For some people, September felt like an epidemic of high profile gay suicides. The suicide rate in September probably was not higher than it was in other months, but the suicides received more media attention. Something about the September suicides brought the worst and the best out in people.

Before the Day of Purple (Spirit Day) in October, activists were encouraging people to wear purple in honor of the queer youth who committed suicide in September. Clint McCance, a school board member in Arkansas responded negatively to an invitation to wear purple. According to news reports, his Facebook page stated he would only wear purple if all of the gays committed suicide. From what we can tell, some people posted comments that did not support his position. We are of the impression he made comments to the effect that he is glad AIDS kills gays.

People recoiled in shock and horror about his Facebook posts. One news source, Such is Life Videos, on You Tube, treated Clint McCance like a bully. The news source showed a photograph of McCance, because the journalists felt bullies should be exposed. The posts attributed to Clint McCance resulted in a storm of protest. A number of people called for Clint McCance to resign. McCance resigned, after offering a public apology. Dr. Phil's comments about the sincerity of Clint McCance's apology can be seen on the Such is Life Videos You Tube channel.

School board members have some responsibility for the health and safety of all students. Stop Hate is concerned when official holding positions that help ensure the success of all students make comments that might be detrimental to the success of some students. Given the comments attributed to Clint McCance, Stop Hate is relieved that McCance is no longer serving in a position of leadership in the educational system.

Fortunately, not all of the responses to September's suicides were so negative. Many communities held moving Day of Purple/Spirit Day programs to remember the youth who died. As a result of the gay youth suicides, the pastor of a Georgia mega church came out of the closet. James Swilley, pastor of Church of the Now, announced told his congregation that he was gay. An article about his coming out can be read on the Edge news system.

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Both Australia and the United States continue to discuss same-sex marriage. An article on the Pink News website indicates Australian Members of Parliament are going to ask voters if they support same-sex marriage. EQCA, a California-based gay rights group, issued a report card on the performance of California politicians. Some gains have been made in California. In October, the Governor signed laws helping California's same-sex couples obtain equal unemployment insurance benefits, allowing youth to seek counselling without parental permission, and ending a law that required a cure for homosexuality be found.

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Don't Ask Don't Tell is the policy that denies gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the American military. From news reports, we gather the Pentagon released a study indicating that gay and lesbian troops are not believed to pose a risk to military operations. An article on the 365gay.com website gives us the impression there appear to be concerns that if legislators do not act to allow homosexuals to serve in the military the courts could impose a decision that might not be well considered.

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Africa is a large and diverse continent. Making general and accurate comments about African can prove difficult. The plight of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-identified individuals living in Africa is gaining world headlines. Unfortunately, news about queer African human rights is often not good news. Several articles in the October/November 2010 Free Inquiry, a humanist magazine, highlight gay rights in Africa. Leo Igwe, in the article “Homosexuality in Africa,” comments to the effect that homosexuality is another thing some Africans are blaming on the west. George Thindwa discusses the situation in Malawi, in an article titled “LGBT Rights in Malawi.” According to Thindwa, Malawi's constitution would appear to be able to support gay rights, but homosexual acts are still against the law. He seems to believe many Malawians consider homosexuality to be a foreign import. South Africa is held as an excellent example of a country supporting gay rights. South Africa's constitution was the national constitution in the world to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Same-sex marriages are legal in South Africa. Unfortunately, the picture in South Africa is not entirely good. Tauriq Moosa, in “The Next Level: LGBT Equality in South Africa,” writes that reports from Cape Town indicate ten lesbian women a week are being raped by men. The men conducting the rapes appear to believe that raping a lesbian will make a lesbian straight. Concerns are expressed that the police appear to take little or no action when the rapes are reported. As a result, lesbians may see the men who raped them on the streets. A Pink News article informs us that the Prime Minister of Kenya is reported to have stated gay men and lesbians should be arrested. News from Uganda continues to be bad. The Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone, which has no connection to the American magazine, has been publishing the names and contact information of suspected gays and lesbians. The safety of outed gay men and lesbians is a major concern. Violence against Africans suspected of being homosexuals is not limited to Uganda. Moosa indicates people suspected of being gay could experience homophobic attacks, some of which might be physical attacks. Ugandan courts ruled that the newspaper must stop outing homosexuals. Additional information about this news story can be found on the Pink News website.

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In London, the police arrested 247 people regarding hate crimes. Five of those were arrested for homophobic and transphobic crimes. An article about the arrests can be read on Pink News.

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India made major progress when same-gender sexual acts were decriminalized. This year Delhi celebrated a Pride Festival. Pink News sources state 2,000 took part.

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Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church are famous for their website godhatesfags.com. Tyler Oakley, a popular gay You Tuber, created tote bags, with the words “God Hates Bags” written on them. There are times when humor is an excellent way to combat homophobia. Tyler Oakley's video about the “God Hates Bags” video can be seen on You Tube. The “God Hates Bags” totes can be purchased from Tyler's Districtlines website.


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