Progressives gather around ‘Table’
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Stonewall Democrats and Pride At Work are co-convening the “LGBTQ Table” for One Nation Working Together, a new progressive movement demanding secure jobs, justice and quality education.
LGBTQ groups will be joining with thousands of progressive allies in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 2 for One Nation Working Together’s national rally.
More than 200 organizations have endorsed One Nation Working Together, including the NAACP, AFL-CIO, SEIU and many other labor, civil and human rights, faith, immigrant rights, environmental, women and peace organizations.
The nation’s economic climate has left people all across the country vulnerable, and the ongoing discrimination in employment, schools, housing, health care and the absence of relationship recognition present added economic barriers and stresses for many within the LGBTQ community. In addition, the 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBTQ people living in this country and 36,000 binational couples, deserve access to a system that allows workers to earn legal status and permits people from all backgrounds to stay with their families.
Also on Oct. 2, the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C., is hosting its 24th annual AIDS Walk Washington, which takes place prior to the One Nation Working Together rally.
Adoptions get green light
FLORIDA —On Sept. 22, the Third District Court of Appeal in Florida unanimously upheld a 2008 Miami-Dade Circuit Court decision striking down Florida’s anti-gay adoption ban and permitting Martin Gill, a gay man, to adopt two foster children he and his partner have parented for years. It was expected that the State would automatically appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court, but Gov. Charlie Crist told the media he wanted to speak with Gill before deciding how to proceed. Gill responded through the media that he was willing to meet with Crist, but nothing had been scheduled at press time.
PFLAG, GLSEN partner
WASHINGTON — Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) have jointly launched the Claim Your Rights campaign, a landmark effort to empower students and their allies to report incidents of bullying, harassment or discrimination to the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Education Department. GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students said they were harassed in school in the past year due to their sexual orientation or how masculine or feminine they are in appearance or behavior.
Party releases governance document
WASHINGTON — On Sept. 23, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives released their “Pledge to America,” outlining how they would govern should they win back control of the House in November. While the document focuses heavily on economic issues, it promotes thinly-veiled hostility toward LGBT equality, promising support for “traditional marriage” and opposing legislation and court decisions that “thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values.” “The lengthy record of anti-LGBT efforts during a decade of Republican control of Congress speaks volumes,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
Mental health conference slated
LOS ANGELES — The 16th Annual LGBT-Affirmative Psychotherapy Conference will be held Oct. 17 at Antioch University Los Angeles. The one-day conference is designed to meet the educational needs of psychiatrists, psychologists, LCSW, MFT, MSW, interns and students of psychology. Speaking at the conference will be Alan Downs, PhD, California licensed clinical psychologist, author of The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World and former CEO of Michael’s House, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Springs, Calif.
Film fest launched
A month-long film festival featuring LGBT-themed movies, documentaries and shorts kicked off in late September in Indonesia. The Q! Film Festival is the only event of its kind held anywhere in the Muslim world. The festival is also one of the largest gay Pride events of any sort in all of Asia. More than 150 film screenings, numerous social and political gatherings and a handful of LGBT-themed book launches will be presented in six cities in this predominantly Muslim country in conjunction with the festival.