LGBTI History Month: Kathy Kozachenko


KKathy Kozachenkoathy Kozachenko – October 23

“It is clear that they [Ann Arbor City Council members] don’t ever plan to enforce complaints under sexual preference.”

Kathy Kozachenko was the first openly gay person to be elected to a public office in the United States. In 1974 she was elected as a Human Rights Party candidate to the City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan. (more)

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Ellen Page’s gay rights film, Freeheld, banned from filming at Catholic school


 | The Age | October 22, 2014

An Ellen Page (left) and Julianne Moore movie about gay rights gets banned from a Catholic school.

An Ellen Page (left) and Julianne Moore movie about gay rights gets banned from a Catholic school. Photo: Getty Image

A Catholic school withdrew permission for an Ellen Page and Julianne Moore movie to film on its grounds – allegedly because the story was about gay rights.

Freeheld is based on a 2007 short documentary which told the true story of New Jersey police officer Laurel Hester, who on being diagnosed with cancer fought to pass on her pension benefits to partner Stacie Andree.

In 2005 only people in heterosexual marriages in that jurisdiction could pass on their pensions to their partners when they died.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the crew was given permission to film at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York County, only to have principal John Flaherty later say the decision had been reversed.

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Scathing Dissent Offers 12 Reasons Why Texas’ New Voter ID Law Is Racist


Steven Rosenfeld | AlterNet | October 22, 2014

Photo Credit: U.S. Supreme Court

This weekend, U.S. Supreme Court reporters pulled an all-nighter waiting for the ruling on whether Texas’ new voter photo ID law, which may prevent up to 600,000 otherwise eligible voters from casting ballots this fall, would be allowed go into effect today.

The reporters were up until 5am on Saturday because Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the Court’s other women, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, were writing a dissent after the rightwing majority, voted—without writing a single word of comment—to let it take effect on Monday, when early voting in Texas begins.

It is not the only voting rights litigation that will affect who can vote in the midterm elections this fall. There is Georgia’s refusal to process more than 50,000 voter registrations from a minority voter drive. But as Ginsburg’s blistering 7-page dissent made clear, the fight over Texas’s voter ID law is in a class by itself. That’s because a lower federal court held a trial and found that the law’s intent was to discriminate and disenfranchise, calling it a “poll tax,” and then that record was ignored by higher federal appeals courts—including the Supreme Court.

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There Are 870,000 Slaves in Modern-Day America


 Allegra Kirkland | AlterNet | October 22, 2014

Imagine getting a job washing dishes, in a windowless room fogged by the steam of a 200-degree dishwasher. You are required to show up for your eight-hour shift every day, whether or not you are sick, and your supervisor won’t take any action if you injure yourself on the job or have to work overtime. Your compensation for this grueling, dehumanizing work? $2 a day.

If this sounds like some hellish turn-of-the-century sweatshop, it is close. But this is today’s reality for hundreds of thousands of American prisoners, who work backbreaking full-time jobs for shockingly low pay. Half of the 1.6 million Americans currently serving time do this kind of “institutional maintenance,” and the median wage they receive is between 20 and 31 cents an hour. Some states, like Texas and Georgia, offer no compensation at all.

In a fascinating investigation for the American Prospect, Beth Schwartzapfel takes us inside the dark world of penal labor, asking a question that has dogged the industry since the days of roadside chain gangs: why can’t we agree that prisoners have labor rights?

At prisons across the United States, men and women build office furniture, clean cellblocks, make industrial sinks for school cafeterias, work as telemarketers, sew the uniforms worn by their guards and fellow inmates, and complete dozens of other mindless, routine tasks that keep the giant engine of the carceral state running. Though part of the pretense for prison labor is that it helps inmates save money and earn skills that will ease their transition upon release, these terribly paid, manual labor jobs provide little practical assistance to inmates returning home. Instead, they are more akin to a modern-day version of slavery: unprotected, physically demanding and economically exploitative.

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Nigerian Court Strikes Down Case on Anti-Gay Law


Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | October 22, 2104.

Preliminary reports, yet to be verified by the Court, indicate that the Nigerian Abuja High Court has delivered a ruling striking down the case where the Court was asked to nullify the new “Jail the Gays” Act,  signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan in January of this year.

My source indicates that Justice Abdu Kafarati struck the case, after several postponements. He did not rule on the human rights claim or any merits,  as he asserted the claimant had ‘no right to file the claim.’ I am  not clear on the all the reasons for this and will report as soon as we hear more. Details and the exact ruling will follow in an update.

UPDATED:

“The court didn’t make any pronouncement on the substantive case on its merit. It only considered the Federal Government’s preliminary objection and resolved that though the fundamental right enforcement procedure rules 2009, particularly its preamble which denotes locus/capacity to sue, to the applicant (Teriah) on public spirited litigation, such provision is in conflict with the constitution. In view therefore, the court struck down  the suit on ground of capacity to sue. He claimed Teriah isn’t personally injured by the law.”

We are informed by the Attorneys that will be appeal the ruling.

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Elections Have Consequences – Make Them Count


Norm Kent | South Florida Gay News | October 22, 2104

Ken Keechl and Scott Herman

Queer is the new normal in politics. It is no longer fashionable to beat up on the gay community. In fact, it’s downright stupid. We have a place at the table. We have respect and clout- and voices, straight and gay, speaking out for us.

The first thing we all have to remember is that we don’t have to apologize for who we are. It needs no explaining. It’s our time, and it’s about time. We were second class citizens for too long. We do not need or have to ask for the tolerance or acceptance of others. If others can’t deal with the fact that homosexual lives are as valid as heterosexual lives, it is their problem, not yours.

Marriage equality is a fundamental right you should have always had, not one you should plead for in front of a city commission. Politicians who do not understand that have no business serving in public office. They are a disgrace to the emerging rule of law and moral principles of the 21st century.

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Nevada Issues 255 Gay Marriage Licenses in One Week


Associated Press | South Florida Gay News | October 22, 2104

LAS VEGAS (AP) – About 255 same-sex couples sought marriage licenses in Nevada in the first week after the marriages were ruled legal.

They accounted for nearly 11 percent of the 2,344 couples who lined up at marriage license bureaus across the state in the seven days after courts put an end to the state’s gay marriage ban. The figures were based on polling by The Associated Press of each county clerk.

Industry watchers say the impact to Nevada will take time.

A June study from the Williams Institute at UCLA said the state could expect to see anywhere from 980 to 2,285 Nevada same-sex couples marry in the first year it was legal. The study’s authors said the weddings could bring $14.4 million to $33.5 million in spending in that time.

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Gay Jamaicans Victims Of Violence


David McFadden |Associated Press | South Florida Gay News | October 22, 2014

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are the targets of unchecked violence and discrimination in Jamaica, frequently refused housing or employment in the Caribbean country typically described as the region’s most hostile to LGBT citizens, a leading human rights group says in a report released Tuesday.

In its 86-page report titled “Not Safe at Home,” Human Rights Watch noted that LGBT citizens in Jamaica are often driven from their communities by neighbors and sometimes even family. Some health professionals stigmatize them by casting judgment on their sexuality when they seek care. Police protection against bias and physical attacks is generally poor.

LGBT people in Jamaica “face intolerable levels of violence and cannot rely on the police,” Graeme Reid, the organization’s LGBT rights director, said in a release. “The authorities from the prime minister on down need to call a halt to the violence and discrimination, prosecute anyone responsible, and get homophobic laws off the books.”

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Cowboys release Michael Sam


Associated Press | South Florida Gay News | October 22, 2014

The Dallas Cowboys released defensive end Michael Sam from the practice squad Tuesday, another setback as the NFL’s first openly gay player tries to make an active roster during the regular season for the first time.

Sam spent seven weeks with the Cowboys after signing to their practice squad on Sept. 3, four days after he was among the final cuts by the St. Louis Rams at the end of the preseason.

“I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support,” Sam said in a series of tweets Tuesday afternoon. “While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.”

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Gay Star Travel Expo 2015


Saturday, January 17, 2015 11:00 AM until Sunday, January 18, 2015 5:00 AM

Now in its second year, the Gay Star Travel Expo is taking place over the weekend of 17/18th January 2015 at London’s legendary Heaven nightclub.

With holiday ideas to inspire and excite, the daytime expo metamorphoses into a holiday themed club night, making the Gay Star Travel Expo a not-to-be-missed must for LGBTs everywhere.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for exclusive sneak peaks and information as it’s released!

Heaven Nightclub

The Arches
Villiers Street

London, WC2N 6NG

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