House Panel Approves Measure to Require Women to Register for Draft


Matthew Cox | Military.com | May 3, 2016

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved by a narrow margin an amendment to a defense bill to require women to register for the draft.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California, proposed the amendment to lift the restriction on women registering for the selective service at a committee-wide mark-up session of the proposed fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

“Here is why I think this is important; it doesn’t matter in this debate whether you think women should be in the infantry or be in special operations,” Hunter said during the session on Wednesday night. “I personally don’t. If we had that vote in committee today I would vote against women being in infantry and special operations.

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3 more workers injured as nuke plant continues leaking


 

RT America | May 3, 2016

Three more workers were sought medical attention after inhaling radioactive fumes at the Hanford Site in Washington State. This comes one week after 19 workers were sent for medical evaluations in the vicinity of the leaking nuclear waste tank, which was being transferred. RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky reports from the scene.

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Why Bernie Will, Should and Must Stay in the Race


James Hightower | AlterNet | April 27, 2016

Surprisingly, this week’s prize for Stupidest Political Comment in the Presidential Race doesn’t go to Donnie Trump or Ted Cruz. Rather, the honor goes to the clueless cognoscenti of conventional political wisdom. These pundits and professional campaign operatives have made a unilateral decision that Bernie Sanders must now quit the race for the Democratic nomination. Why? Because, they say, he can’t win.

Actually, he already has. Sanders’ vivid populist vision, unabashed idealism and big ideas for restoring America to its own people have jerked the presidential debate out of the hands of status quo corporatists, revitalized the class consciousness and relevance of the Democratic Party, energized millions of young people to get involved, and proven to the Democratic establishment that they don’t have to sell out to big corporate donors to raise the money they need to run for office.

Bernie has substantively—even profoundly—changed American politics for the better, which is why he’s gaining more and more support and keeps winning delegates. From the start, he said, “This campaign is not about me”—it’s a chance for voters who have been disregarded and discarded to forge a new political revolution that will continue to grow beyond this election and create a true people’s government.

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Equality Florida: Marion County School Board Adopts anti-Trans bathroom policy


Victoria, LGBTQ youth are now at risk in Marion County.

On Tuesday, the Marion County School Board approved a Gender Inspection resolution that prohibits transgender students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. This resolution, enforced starting yesterday, stigmatizes transgender and gender nonconforming kids and puts them at risk for further harassment and bullying.

Over 100 people showed up to the School Board meeting where the resolution was brought forward as an “emergency” agenda item just six days after it was introduced.

Unfortunately, this reckless policy passed by a 4-1 vote with School Board Chair Bobby James as the only NO vote. Send a “THANK YOU” note to Chair James and Superintendent George Tomyn for standing against this resolution and advocating on behalf of LGBTQ youth — click here!

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I was so honored to stand side-by-side with local advocates who spoke against this dangerous Gender Inspection resolution that puts transgender students at risk. A HUGE thank you to the members of the community who bravely joined us at the hearing – thanks to you, the majority of testimony last night was from folks in strong opposition to this reckless resolution, and I know we sent our message loud and clear.

We know the bottom line: transgender girls are girls and belong in the girls’ room. Transgender boys are boys and belong in the boys’ room. But the most important thing to know is that transgender people visit the restroom for the same reason as everyone else — to use it. And when they do, they want privacy, safety, and respect just like everyone else.

While we lost the battle this week, our work in Marion County is far from over. Let us see this moment not as a defeat, but as a call to action. Right now, we need every single person who supports equality to lean in and help us continue to promote the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ students across the state.

Please take a moment and send a “Thank You” note to Chair James and Superindenent Tomyn for standing with LGBTQ youth in Marion County. 

Onward,
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Hannah Willard
Policy & Outreach Coordinator
Equality Florida

Gay liberation days


Jason Victor Serinus | Bay Area Reporter | April 27, 2016

Blowing the Lid: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens, by Stuart Feather (Zero Books)

Even before Blowing the Lid reached my desk, several things about this purported history of the UK’s Gay Liberation Front had my eyebrows raised. First and foremost was its claim that the author, British Bloolips gay theatre troupe co-founder and interior design craftsman Stuart Feather, was “the first participant of the Front to write a history of the lesbian and gay men who joined Gay Liberation [UK].” While it seemed rather strange that it had taken 45 years for anyone to write a history of a movement that was founded in October 14, 1970, over 15 months after the formation of the New York Gay Liberation Front, it turned out that the claim was half hyperbole. Feather’s may in fact be the first personal memoir of the UK’s Gay Liberation Front that also claims to be a comprehensive history of the modern British gay rights movement.

While it made sense that I review the book – I lived in New York City’s pioneering 17th St. Collective, was active in NY GLF from June 1970 until its demise, paraded the streets in drag, and remain in touch with most of the key players – I knew nothing about the history of GLF UK. To be able to offer some kind of critical perspective, I requested assistance from Steven F. Dansky, an early GLF veteran and founder of the Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers project. Dansky’s contributions to NY GLF are even cited in Feather’s book, although his surname is misspelled.

With Dansky’s help, I contacted two UK GLF veterans. The first was Peter Tatchell, whose work as a gay and human rights advocate is celebrated worldwide. The other was Jeffrey Weeks, a well-known gay academic whose latest book, What is Sexual History?, reaches the U.S. in May.

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Darby honored at AVER convention


Windy City Times | April 27, 2016

Jim Darby was made an honorary lifetime member of AVER ( American Veterans for Equal Rights ) at the organization’s national convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 21.

Darby is the founder of AVER’s Chicago chapter. He served four years in the U.S. Navy during the 1950s at the time of the Korean War during the outright ban on gays serving—and well before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The convention ran April 21-24. Among the events were training of benefit status for transgender service members; a social mixer and military banquet; and even sightseeing opportunities. Among those appearing was Staff Sgt. ( Retired ) Eric Alva and Lt. Julie Roth ( Retired ). Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer—the highest ranking active officer to challenge the U.S. military’s ban on LGBT service members—was presented with the 2016 Leonard Matlovich Medal for Distinguished Service.

See AVER.us .

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