QBits
Hate crimes down across US but not for gay victims
The FBI has released its hate crime figures for the year 2012, finding an over-all drop of 7% but gays and lesbians are still being attacked at the same rate
An FBI agent's badge and gun
Photo by Wikipedia

Prejudice over a victim’s sexual orientation was the second largest motivator in hate crimes carried out across the United States in 2012 according to new figures released by the FBI this week.

19.6% of victims were singled out over their sexuality, compared to 48.3% over race, 19% over their religion, 11.5% over their nationality and 1.6% over their disability – in most cases a mental disability.

Of the hate crimes motivated by prejudice against a person’s sexual orientation, 54.6% were over a victim being a gay male, 28% were as a result of general prejudice against same-sex attracted people, 12.3% were because the victim was a lesbian and 3.1% because a victim was bisexual.

2% of victims were attacked because of an anti-heterosexual bias.

In total there were 1,318 hate crime offenses motivated by hatred of a person’s sexuality reported to the FBI in 2012.

In total 2012’s figures showed an overall 7% drop in hate crimes across the US, mostly in the race category, but crimes of prejudice against people based on their sexuality remained largely unchanged compared to the year before.

The FBI only began gathering data about hate crimes against people based on their gender identity this year following the passage of the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act so will begin publishing that data from next year.

TransMilitary Preview (by TransMilitary)

"TransMilitary is a reality series showcasing the contrast between U.S. transgender military personnel serving under the threat of discharge, while their U.K. counterparts serve openly as equals within their armed forces.

We are not expecting LGBT families to be included in the Gang of 8 bill,” she told the Washington Blade during a conference call ahead of a rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform on Wednesday that is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the U.S. Capitol. “That in our minds means that of course the bill is incomplete.

Tiven: Gay couples will not ‘be included’ in immigration reform bill - Washington Blade

Executive Director of Immigration Equality Rachel Tiven

History Is Watching - Light To Justice (by GetEQUAL)

Is it just me or does this seem a little melodramatic? Maybe it is the announcers voice or the background music.

TW for some disturbing and violent images.

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(via Homeless LGBT Youth Represent Up To 40 Percent Of Those On The Streets)

“You have the classic situation where a young person comes out and gets kicked out,” said Kate Barnhart, director of New Alternatives, a homeless LGBT youth advocacy organization in New York. “But then you also have a fair number of young people who become homeless for socioeconomic reasons.”

A fun interactive map the Guardian first published it May 2012, now updated for 2013.

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2 Out Of 3 Americans Admit Anti-Gay Discrimination A ‘Serious Problem’

by David Badash onDecember 6, 2012

in Discrimination,News,Politics

Post image for 2 Out Of 3 Americans Admit Anti-Gay Discrimination A Serious Problem

Two out of every three Americans admit that anti-gay discrimination is a “serious problem” in this country, and nine out of ten LGBT adults agree. A new Gallup/USA Today poll also finds that almost half of all Americans believe it is difficult for LGBT people to live openly in their community, while almost the same number of LGBT adults agree. A related Gallup poll yesterday found three out of four Americans under 30 — or a huge 73 percent — support same-sex marriage equality, as do approximately 50 percent of those between the ages of 30 and 64. Overall, Gallup found 53 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage.

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American gay dad wins Colombian custody battle
The Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of Chandler Burr, a gay American who was blocked from taking his legally adopted sons out of the country
Colombia's courts guarantee Chandler Burr, an American gay journalist, full custody of his two adopted sons.

Colombia’s highest constitutional court has guaranteed Chandler Burr custody of his two sons.

The gay New York Times journalist sued the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) for barring him from taking his two legally adopted sons outside of the country.

The ICBF called for the US Embassy to revoke the boys’ adoption emigration visas in March 2011 after he disclosed he is gay.

Burr had adoption the boys through an international adoption agency and met all legal requirements, including obtaining the adoption decree.

With the help of civil rights group Dejusticia, Burr was allowed to take his two sons to the US on 12 December 2011, but the family’s legal status was still being disputed in court.

The latest court ruling is based on the argument that the adoptive’s parent sexual orientation can’t be considered a risk to the children’s well-being.

Instead, the court ruled that the ICBF’s decision to separate the two boys from their legal guardian posed a greater risk to the emotional stability of the children.

A 1995 Colombian court decision found that sexual orientation may not be used to assess a person’s ability to adopt.

Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry: The Story of Monica and Naomi (by FreedomToMarry)

A poignant new ad from Freedom to Marry and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

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Gay and lesbian service members risk their lives to protect ours while their families are denied the critical protections of marriage because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

This video is part of Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry, a new multimedia persuasion campaign to highlight the stories of military families harmed by DOMA. The campaign is a partnership between Freedom to Marry and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Find out more at http://www.freedomtomarry.org/military

(via thinkprogress.org)

(via thinkprogress.org)

Josh Dixon comes out as gay, aims for spot on Olympic gymnastics team

The United States has never had a publicly out male gymnast participate in the Olympics outside of equestrian events. Gymnast Josh Dixon hopes to be the first.

The Stanford grad took a big step toward that goal at the U.S. Men’s Qualifier on Saturday in Colorado Springs, finishing second overall out of the 72 competitors. He also tied for wins in two events: floor exercise and high bar. It was a game-changing come-back performance for Dixon, who tore his Achilles tendon last spring.

Now Dixon is talking about his personal life and sexual orientation publicly for the first time. Like charging at the vault, he’s coming at it at full speed.

Dixon and his two sisters were all adopted at birth by Michael and Kathy Dixon. While the three children were born at different times, they share the same birth mother, whom none of the family has ever met. It was through his sisters that he first discovered gymnastics.

The Dixon household was diverse: Josh is half-black and half-Japanese, while his father Michael is white and his mother Kathy is Japanese.
Maybe it was the multicultural household he grew up in, but Dixon never felt his early crushes on boys were wrong. Still, he didn’t talk about those crushes because he was immersed in gymnastics from the time he hit puberty.

“Eat, sleep, train and do homework,” was the extent of Dixon’s life. “Gymnastics was my number one priority, and if something got in the way of that I had to push it aside.”

The mantra was reflected in his interview with Outsports. When asked about gymnastics, he could rattle of incredibly detailed accounts of his scores and performances. Questions about his personal life were more of a struggle for him to answer.

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Boy Scouts of America petitioned to change gay exclusion policy

There is a link to the petition at the end of the article.

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by
18 April 2012, 11:42am
 

A gay mother in Ohio has started a petition calling on the Boy Scouts of America to reverse its stance on expelling gay youths and leaders from the organisation.

Jennifer Tyrrell was told she could no longer be a den leader in the organisation because of her sexuality under the organisation’s long-standing gay exclusion policy.

The Boy Scouts of America has adopted positions since 1991 which state that homosexuality is “inconsistent with the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed”.

Its Scout Promise states: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

The Scout Law states: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

In the UK, the Scout Association has an anti-discrimination policy and its promise states only: “On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, To do my duty to God and to the Queen, To help other people, And to keep the Scout Law.”

A 2010 legal challenge in Philadelphia of the gay ban confirmed that the private organisation was within its rights to exclude people on the basis of sexual orientation. Last month, the city was ordered to pay nearly $900,000 in legal fees.

GLAAD’s recently appointed president Herndon Graddick said: “The Boy Scouts of America is one of the last cultural institutions to categorically discriminate against LGBT Americans.

“Sending the message to America’s youth that they or their parents are somehow less than everyone else is dangerous, inaccurate and should be changed immediately.”

Dana Rudolph, editor of gay parenting blog Mombian, said: “Lesbian and gay parents have proven themselves time and time again to be dedicated, caring, and trustworthy Scout leaders and volunteers, as evidenced by Jennifer and many others who have served in welcoming local Scout groups.

“It is shameful that the Boy Scouts have chosen to stigmatize Jennifer’s son by not letting his parents participate in the same way as those of his peers.”

Ms Tyrrell’s petition, calling on the organisation to change its policies, states: “I was recently removed from this volunteer position, and my membership was revoked after nearly a year of service – just because I happen to be gay.”

The letter continues: “I received notice that my membership had been revoked, based on my sexual orientation, citing that due to being gay, I did ‘not meet the high standards of membership that the BSA seeks’ […]

“It is time for the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider their policy of exclusivity against gay youth and leaders. Please sign this petition to call for an end of discrimination in an organization that is shaping the future […] Please join me and take a stand.”

Ms Tyrrell’s petition to the Boy Scouts of America is hosted at Change.org.

New laws could stop trans Americans from voting in election
Large numbers of transgender people might not be able to vote in November
The Sidney Lanier Bridge in Georgia, one of the states where photo ID laws could make it difficult for trans people to vote.

Strict new voter ID laws may leave large numbers of transgender people unable to vote in the US general election this November.

A study published by the Williams Institute suggests transgender people will run into problems when presenting identification that no longer accurately reflects their gender, appearance or both.

It says that, as well as causing problems for transgender people when it comes to applying for employment and housing and interactions with police and government officials, not having the correct photo ID could prevent transgender people from voting.

The Williams Institute suggests that over 25,000 will come up against ‘substantial barriers’ and may not even be able to vote at all.

Nine states - Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin - have adopted the stricter photo ID laws.

'Transgender people who have transitioned face unique hurdles when acquiring or updating identification that would fulfill voter ID requirements because they must comply with the requirements for updating the name and gender on their state-issued or federally-issued IDs and records,' wrote the study’s author, Dr Jody L Herman.

'Requirements for updating state-issued IDs vary widely by state and can be difficult and costly. Federal requirements also vary by agency.'

The report’s data, from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, suggests that ‘40% of transgender citizens who have transitioned to live full-time don’t have an updated driver’s licence’, with 74% having an outdated passport.

27% have no ID or documents that list their correct gender.

The report says that, on presenting ID that no longer accurately reflected their gender, 41% of respondents had been harassed, 15% had been asked to leave the venue where they’d used it and 3% had been assaulted or attacked.

It also suggests that transgender youth, people of color and those with low incomes or disabilities were more likely to have inaccurate identification.

You can read the Williams Institute’s complete report about voter ID laws and their affect on transgender voters in a PDF here.

Carol & Nan- “The Bitter End” (by www.gayusathemovie.com)

Cute ad in support of marriage equality.

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Pride Month Champions of Change Video Challenge

This actually sounds interesting for all the videographers and writers out there in [US]Tumblr land. Reblog widely as it closes on May 4, 2012.

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From the Whitehouse website:

Across the country, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things to improve the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.  They are parents and students, neighborhood and business leaders, artists and advocates, all united in the fight for equality.

We know that the American people are the source of some of the best ideas and most innovative solutions.  That’s why the White House Champions of Change series spotlights everyday heroes who are demonstrating commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or the lives of their fellow citizens.  And in that spirit, we are launching the LGBT Pride Month Champions of Change Video Challenge to explore the stories of unsung heroes and local leaders who are leading our march towards a more perfect union.

If that sounds like you or someone you know, then we want to hear from you – and we want to see you in action!

Here’s how it works.  You have until Friday, May 4 to submit video entries online.  A panel will review submissions and select a group of semi-finalists.  Then, in early June, the public will have a chance to weigh in and help identify finalists that will be featured as Champions of Change at an event at the White House.

Each video should fit one or more of the following categories, some of which may be used to organize semi-finalists and finalists:

  • Storytelling (stories of coming out or overcoming adversity)
  • Culture & Identity (interesting intersections with race, national origin, religion, and disability) 
  • Unsung Heroes (individuals and organizations that haven’t been recognized for their contributions)
  • The Arts (music, art, photography, poetry, and prose that inspire courage and acceptance)
  • Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation (individuals and organizations that are testing new approaches and demonstrating results)
  • Community Solutions (local initiatives that are solving local challenges)
  • Friends & Allies (family members, teachers, faith leaders, and other allies in the fight for equality)

Videos will be accepted in any form (including music video, PSA, short film, video blog, and interview) but must be no longer than 3 minutes.  Essays no longer than 750 words will also be accepted if video production is not possible.  Submissions should be creative, innovative, and inspiring and must be submitted by Friday, May 4, 2012.