PAUL SCHINDLER | Gay City News | June 27, 2014
The argument for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act is clear and catches the public’s attention because it is so stunning: in 29 states you can legally be fired for being gay and in 32 — including New York — you are at risk due to your gender identity and expression.
That is an outrage that needs to be remedied. The civil rights protections enjoyed, for example, in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Illinois, California, and Oregon should be available to LGBT Americans everywhere.
The problem is that this is not what ENDA would deliver. Civil rights laws generally extend protections to all of life’s significant public activities — including housing, public accommodations, and access to credit, in addition to employment.
Science Daily | University of Missouri-Columbia | June 26, 2014
In 2011, the United States Military repealed its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevented gay and lesbian service members from disclosing their sexual orientation. Current estimates indicate that more than 1 million veterans identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). Now, a University of Missouri researcher says these service members and veterans often are marginalized and may benefit from mental health professionals, including social workers, who are informed about the needs of individuals who identify as LGB.
“Identifying as LGB and serving in the military can provide a distinct set of experiences and challenges for individuals,” said Michael Pelts, a doctoral student at the School of Social Work in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. “Within the U.S., identifying as a service member or veteran can marginalize individuals. This is also true for people who identify as LGB. The impact may be compounding. For example, suicide has a high occurrence rate among veterans and even more so among veterans who identify as LGB.”
Pelts said studies show that the majority of LGB service members and veterans who seek mental health care services do so outside of Veterans Affairs.
Impact of the raid on a Cowtown gay bar in 2009 continues to be felt in Fort Worth and beyond
TAMMYE NASH | Managing Editor | Dallas Voice | June 27, 2014
It was just after midnight on July 28, 2009 — officially, the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, the 40th birthday of the modern gay rights movement — when a team of agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and officers with the Fort Worth Police Department went into the newly opened Rainbow Lounge.
What ostensibly started as a bar check quickly became a bar raid. More than a dozen patrons were detained and taken outside the club for questioning. Seven were handcuffed and arrested for public intoxication and other charges. And as horrified patrons looked on, a young man named Chad Gibson was thrown to the floor and handcuffed.
Witnesses inside the bar — including activist and Q Cinema founder Todd Camp and an accountant named Tom Anable who was there checking receipts for the bar’s owners — said that TABC agents’ assault on Gibson was unprovoked. They said the agents grabbed the intoxicated man and slammed him facedown on the floor, banging his head on the edge of a raised platform near the back of the bar, before handcuffing him and taking him outside. Agents said that Gibson stumbled and fell of his own accord outside the bar, hitting his head on the concrete sidewalk.
I’m convinced the best investigative reporter in the country is Lee Fang. Witness the following.
TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement still in negotiation, is a NAFTA-like treaty — it will have the legal force of a treaty — that ties the hands of any government that signs it in their dealings with big money corporations (and small ones too).
It includes a NAFTA-style trade dispute court, also legally binding, in which corps can sue cities, states, counties and nations for lost future and potential profit resulting from, for example, environmental regulations, or anything else covered by the treaty.
Ilan H. Meyer | Williams Institute | May 2014
A statement submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Bayev v. Russia, a case challenging the Russian law banning “homosexual propaganda.” Lesbians and gays living in Russia are at greater risk of being exposed to violence, harassment, and other violations of basic human rights because of the law. Daily stigmas and prejudicial incidents can lead to increased rates of mental and physical disorders. The model of minority stress describes the relationship between social stressors, mental disorders and health disparities which the law can trigger.
Click here for the full statement.
Carl Gibson | Reader Supported News | June 27, 2014
n a real democracy, like the constitutional republic in which we supposedly live, the people choose representatives through the election process to vote for their interests in government. In an oligarchy, like the one in which we actually live, corporations buy representatives through the election process to secure benefits for themselves and rig the game further in their favor. Here’s one $300 billion example. This infographic by Luke Keohane of Move to Amend lays it all out in detail:
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) sits on the Senate committees on foreign relations, armed services, and homeland security. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sits on the Senate subcommittee for defense appropriations. Collectively, these four committees are responsible for funding arms sales and foreign aid, the continued maintenance and development of the military, oversight for government contracts, and the allocation of the budget for the defense department. Through these four committees, $300 billion in taxpayer dollars, which is roughly $2000 per taxpayer, went to private military contractors in 2013.
These defense contractors were able to secure lavish contracts only through their extensive lobbying efforts, like hiring expensive lawyers with existing connections in government. The Hogan Lovell law firm, where Chief Justice John Roberts previously worked before joining the Supreme Court, explicitly boasts on its website about its expertise in helping corporate clients worm their way through the regulatory system.