Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter November, 2005

Rosa Parks made a big difference. Her act of refusing to move to another seat on the bus changed America. I suspect to her dying day she could not understand how her simple act made such a big difference. Her action helped ignite the civil rights movement. Speaking out against intolerance and injustice makes a difference. Refusing to be abused, refusing to be treated like a second class citizen, or refusing to stand and silently watch while others are abused or treated like a second class citizens makes a difference. One voice matters. One act of friendship, support or solidarity matters.

A few news items follow:

  • Many people associate coming out as a gay activity, but many people find they live in the closet. Fear makes many people hide who they are in a closet. The Aish.com web site has a powerful article by a Jewish lady about coming out of the closet and openly living as a Jewish person.

  • Those who are familiar with the needs of gay, lesbian and bisexual youth know school can be a very difficult environment for queer and questioning youth. The PlantOut web site reports on a survey indicating 9 of 10 students gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth say they have been harassed or assaulted in the last year.

  • The Making Schools Safe for LGBT Youth portion of the American Civil Liberties Union web site cites a study of Massachusetts high school students. The study in the Pediatrics journal reports that nearly one-third of gay teens reported having been threatened in the last month. That compares with 7 percent of straight students.

  • News reports from the United Kingdom and Ireland Gay.com web site indicate the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is calling for the United Nations to investigate Iran for possible human rights violations over the execution of gay people.

  • Amnesty International reports that Latvian politicians tried to stop a gay pride march this summer. The story can be read at Amnesty International.

  • A note that could be of concern for those living in the United States is an Amnesty International article about police abuse and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. According to the article, people perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered “continue to be targeted for human rights abuses by the police. . .” The article is detailed and informative. The article is at Amnesty International.

  • A long-standing complaint of the gay community has focused on the difference between laws regulating same-gender sexual relationships and the laws regulating straight relationships. A Kansas youth was convicted to 17 years in prison for having consensual sex with an under-aged teenager. The Supreme Court of Kansas is reported as having ruled that having much longer sentences for same-sex relationships was not constitutional. The story can be read on the PlanetOut web site.

  • A Reform Rabbi, Eric Yoffie, is reported as having criticized the Christian right for claiming to have a monopoly on God. He is quoted as stating that believing gay marriage violates Scripture does not justify denying the legal protection marriage provides. He reminded people that Hitler banned gay organizations and condemned the strong rhetoric used in discussions of gay marriages. Articles about his comments can be read on the PlanetOut web and Advocate web sites.

  • We often hear of gay men who have been attacked by homophobic people. We do not often hear of the stories when gay men were able to defend themselves against a violent physical attack. An Associated Press article on the Planet Out web site relates the story of Lucas Dawson, a gay man who was attacked by a group of people. He fought back, using a small knife. One attacker died from the wounds he received. The threw out the manslaughter charge.

  • The book, Pink Blood, was briefly mentioned in our last newsletter. We are mentioning it again in this newsletter, because the book is a must read for people interested in homophobia-based hate crimes. Information about the book can be found on the Pinkblood web site. The book can be purchased at www.amazon.ca or www.amazon.com.





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