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ANTi-DISCRIMINATION BILL INTRODUCED IN VIRGINIA

Jan 26th, 2011 03:10 PM By

The following is an excerpt from a story by The Richmond Times Dispatch:

“Democratic lawmakers Tuesday announced support for bills that would make it illegal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in Virginia’s state work force and in the Virginia National Guard.

“Lawmakers also pushed for legislation that would strengthen anti-bullying laws regarding Virginia schools, allow local governments to set their own benefits policies for employees and repeal a 2006 amendment to the Virginia Constitution that forbids same-sex marriages.

“Similar legislation has failed in past General Assembly sessions, but lawmakers said there is growing bipartisan support for legislation this time around to give equal protection under the law and in public employment to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Virginians.

“‘It’s simply the right thing to do,’ said Del. Adam P. Ebbin, D-Alexandria, the sponsor of House Bill 2046, which would add sexual orientation to the list of protected classes upon which the state cannot discriminate in employment. Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico is sponsoring companion legislation, Senate Bill 747.

“Last year, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a legal opinion saying public colleges and universities could not include sexual-orientation bias in their nondiscrimination policies because it was not specifically authorized in state law.

“Despite having issued an opinion similar to Cuccinelli’s during his own tenure as attorney general, Gov. Bob McDonnell reacted to the ensuing uproar by issuing an executive directive — a declaration lacking the force of law — that forbade discrimination in the state work force for any reason.

“…Lawmakers cited support from GOP counterparts such as Del. Thomas Davis Rust, R-Fairfax — whose House Bill 1964 would prohibit discrimination in public employment based on sexual orientation — as evidence that times could be changing.

“The bills come up for consideration this week.”

Read the full The Richmond Times-Dispatch story >>

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ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BILL INTRODUCED IN UTAH

Jan 14th, 2011 12:09 PM By

The following is a news report from ABC 4 News in Salt Lake City:

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FORMER UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA GOLF COACH FILES LAWSUIT CLAIMING SHE WAS FIRED FOR BEING GAY

Jan 12th, 2011 03:37 PM By

According to The Star Tribune:

“Former Gophers associate women’s golf coach Kathryn Brenny served a lawsuit Tuesday on the University of Minnesota, alleging that athletic department officials took away her coaching duties after the golf director learned she is a lesbian.

“The 16-page complaint, which Brenny’s attorney said would be filed in court on Wednesday, alleges that the university and golf director John Harris violated her rights as a member of a protected class under the state Human Rights Act.

“The complaint said Harris ‘did not want to hire a homosexual to coach the women’s golf team.’

“University general counsel Mark Rotenberg has said the university does not agree with Brenny’s claims and didn’t discriminate against her on the basis of sexual orientation. Rotenberg could not be reached on Tuesday.

“…Brenny signed a contract on Aug. 30 to serve as associate women’s golf coach for $44,000 a year. The complaint alleges that:

“On Sept. 1, Harris told Brenny she wouldn’t travel with the team and gave her tasks such as typing schedules. On Oct. 12, Brenny met with Athletic Director Joel Maturi and he told her to ‘quit or comply’ with what Harris wanted, the complaint said.

“Brenny agreed to a severance package, then rejected it after she heard that an athletic department employee told at least one player that ‘Harris discovered she was a homosexual and did not want her on the road with the team.’”

Read the full The Star Tribune story >>

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Just Me, Just Like You and Everyone Else

Dec 29th, 2010 11:53 PM By Brianna

I Give a Damn… As a 49 year old transwoman whose boyfriend is also transgender. As someone who is treated as a second-class citizen, simply because of who I am. As someone who could lose her job at any time for no reason other than because of who I am. As someone who, everyday, faces the very real possibility that today could be the day that I could be beaten or killed, simply because of who I am. As someone who faces discrimination at every turn, simply because of who I am. As someone who has lived on both sides of the gender spectrum, hiding my true self for 42 years. As someone who has faced suicide as a viable alternative to revealing my true self. I am Mom to an amazing 13 yr old son, a daughter, a girlfriend, a co-worker, a favorite cousin…

I am many things, but most of all I AM JUST ME and I am tired of being treated differently, simply because of who I am. I am a SURVIVOR (and proud of it) and I GIVE A DAMN!!!

The “So Called” Sanctity of Marriage

Dec 29th, 2010 09:14 PM By Kelly

This is a two part story, first my “normal” marriage, then my daughter’s marriage to her wife.

As a youngster, I always dreamed of being married and raising a family, but I wanted to do it right. I did not want to go down the same path as my mother, a hard working single mother destined to poverty. I was married at 18, to an Eagle Scout/Scout leader, longstanding member of his church, and the son of a doctor in a small town in Nebraska.

Our marriage was picture perfect, and I knew that my dream was coming true. How far from wrong could I have been. The first 10 years were without intimacy (I knew the day I conceived both children) and I thought it was me. But at the 10 year mark, my husband was convicted of molesting our daughter.

Before sentencing (he plead guilty) we attended counseling together, and I was able to find out more than I ever knew about him. He was incarcerated as a teen for molesting children, and spent most of his teen years in a mental institution. No one said anything to me before our marriage, while I was pregnant, or after the birth of our children. His parents remained silent, and did nothing to insure the safety of my children, or me for that matter.
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Narrow-Minded Owners

Dec 24th, 2010 04:23 PM By Tamara

A few years back, I was working at a local supermarket that was owned by a family of Mormons. Working with me were a great variety of people, one of which happened to be openly gay. Our owners happened to learn that this gentleman was gay when he and another employee got into a very heated argument. The young man who is straight started yelling derogatory terms towards the gay gentleman in front of the owners.

Needless to say the owners thought that since the gentleman was gay that he should not work for them since being gay was against God’s will and unnatural. And the young man who had very openly belittled the gay gentleman still works for them. Needless to say the day after they fired the gay man I quit… Who wants to work for a narrow minded company anyway?!!!

FATHER LOPEZ CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL (DAYTONA BEACH, FL)

Dec 21st, 2010 09:52 AM By Nat

A teacher of more than 20 years named John M. was recently called into the office and told he was no longer employed. Upper management blamed the board of directors and trumped up a story to explain their position. John has never had a complaint or mark on his record in all the time he has served the school. He is upset and in shock. It has become apparent that he was relieved of his duty after the front office learned he was gay. Many of his students started a Facebook site called “Bring John M. back to Lopez” and it is a testimony to his teaching ability. This type of injustice needs to be addressed. It is so hypocritical for him to be judged by Christians who preach- “Judge not less ye be judged”

Teachers in Need

Dec 14th, 2010 06:42 PM By Suzanna

One of my fellow teachers came out of the closet as a gay woman. We are very close friends and while I knew of this before hand, it didn’t bother me. She is an amazing woman who is talented and gifted in educating students.

After she came out, the admin started showing up in her classroom to evaluate her on a weekly basis. When before she was the star teacher of the school and the admin would send new teachers to her for help and know-how. When the visits started she was constantly marked down for off the wall things that they said was wrong. When we had staff meetings, she was directed to sit at a table that was away from the admin and in the back of the room. Several teachers saw this and followed the admins lead. I and a few other teachers said screw that and we sat with her and helped her in anything she needed.

When she asked admin for school supplies for the kids she was denied while others received supplies. She started paying out of pocket because she felt the kids shouldn’t suffer because she was now in the “dog house.” So we found a way around this, I offered to ask for some of the supplies she wanted and added it to my request, other teachers did the same. Now she has those supplies. She is now looking to transfer to another school because she feels that she is the outcast and that her career is in trouble because of the horrible reviews she has gotten.
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Category: All of Them

Dec 09th, 2010 10:55 AM By kelly

My story is like no other, but I hope I can help other people see people for who they are not who they love. My mother is bisexual, she is also Christian and loving and works really hard. She raised 4 daughters by herself and has dealt with social, professional, and religious intolerance for her choice in being open about who she is.

She gave my little sister the strength to never live in the closet about being gay and never let us live in fear of the world for any reason. I to am bisexual and my 3 children are adopted to a married gay couple. A few years ago I traveled the states and I spent a lot of time with at risk teenagers and saw first hand what not being who you know you are can do to you.

Most of them were homeless or closeted. They were shunned and bullied and hooked to drugs and abused. Some took their lives and every one that’s left I still talk to and try to help.

I give a damn because I don’t want to lose any more children to hate and I don’t want anyone to be able to tell my sister that its wrong for her to love and be loved in return. We need to take a stand, this has been allowed for far to long. This is the last kind of open discrimination that is widely excepted and that is not right.

Canada Gives A Damn

Dec 01st, 2010 07:40 PM By Steve

As Canadians, we reach out and strive to pass on our values to those in the world who endure tyranny, whose freedoms are for take out, and whose rights have been violated.

Our neighbor to the south is no exception.

Our brothers and sisters in the United States need our help & support. Canada is not futile ground for debate about human rights, so when we observe things like this in the US; we take notice, we pay attention, we are concerned, because we care. Today; gay, bisexual, & trans-gender Canadians have been extended full rights. Hate crimes & discrimination in all public sectors in all provinces are illegal, and justly so. Americans should not have to escape to Canada just to experience equality & justice. We believe the American people deserve equality & justice. If it is truly the land of the free, then let it be so. They can and will do it. The power to change a nation is within its people.
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