Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised President Barack Obama today for signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. The new law gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The legislation was added as a provision to the FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act earlier this Summer. For a comprehensive retrospective and historical overview of hate crimes advocacy visit: www.hrc.org/loveconquershate.
“This law honors our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters whose lives were cut short because of hate,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Today’s signing of the first major piece of civil rights legislation to protect LGBT Americans represents a historic milestone in the inevitable march towards equality. Although this is a major step in fighting the scourge of hate violence, it is not the end of the road. As a community, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to changing not only laws but also hearts and minds. We know that hate crimes not only harm individuals, but they terrorize entire communities. After more than a decade of advocacy, local police and sheriffs’ departments now have the full resources of the Justice Department available to them.”
“We applaud President Obama for signing this bill into law and thank the leadership and our allies in the House and Senate. We also will always remember the tireless efforts of Senator Edward Kennedy on this issue. Senator Kennedy once said that this legislation sends ‘a message about freedom and equality that will resonate around the world.’ This marks the first time that we as a nation have explicitly protected the LGBT community in the law. And this law sends a loud message that perpetrators of hate violence against anyone will be brought to justice,” said Solmonese.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act honors the memory of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student brutally murdered in an act of hate violence in 1998, and James Byrd, an African-American man who was dragged to death in Jasper, Texas, in 1998.
“We are incredibly grateful to Congress and the president for taking this step forward on behalf of hate crime victims and their families, especially given the continuing attacks on people simply for living their lives openly and honestly,” said Judy Shepard, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. “But each of us can and must do much more to ensure true equality for all Americans.”
“We appreciate everyone who worked so hard on this bill. My son was taken at such an early age and we hope this law will help prevent other families from going through what we experienced,” said Stella Byrd, mother of James Byrd. “Even though we’re different colors and different sexual orientations or gender identities, God made us all and he loves us all.”
The new law also provides the Justice Department with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable, by taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of violent crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury that were motivated by bias. It also makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers, or to assist in state and local investigations and prosecutions of bias motivated crimes.
This legislation was first introduced in the 105th Congress. There have been 14 total votes in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to bring this historic legislation to the president’s desk.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Having come from a background where I grew up seeing racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and then working for fellow queers that were self-loathing supporting the people that consistently voted against us and the gay community, escaping a gay bashing, and then dealing with gay folk who really don't understand or care that issue is NOT about special treatment, this is a very sensitive subject and a bittersweet victory for gay rights in the United States of America. No longer will we have to live in fear.
Right now, the laws will only punish people for committing the crimes. Eventually I'd like to see laws enacted to go after the instigators who right now are hiding behind the first amendment.
People like Fred Phelps, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Rush Limbaugh and so many others that spew nothing but hate should be charged with inciting violence and imprisoned for life.
PETITION TO SENATE DEMOCRATS:
"Any Democratic senators -- including Joe Lieberman -- who support a Republican attempt to block a vote on health care reform should be stripped of their leadership titles. Americans deserve a clean up-or-down vote on health care reform that includes a public option."
Over 90,000 signatures and growing...
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Gays who are physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation receive new federal hate crime protections under legislation heading for President Barack Obama's signature.
With a Senate vote on Thursday, Congress has approved a measure that expands current law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
That's one of the most significant expansions of the law since it was enacted after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
The bill would provide financial aid to states prosecuting hate crimes and would allow the Justice Department to step in when a state is unwilling or unable to follow through on a purported hate crime.
We did it.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Surveillance video has been released of the savage anti-gay hate crime that happened in Queens early Friday morning. Jack Price, 49, is in a medically-induced coma on a respirator at New York Hospital as a result of a brutal attack by two men who yelled anti-gay slurs at him after he visited a corner deli.
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...
Price sustained a fractured jaw, ribs and a lacerated spleen
Rodriguez 26-year-old Daniel Aleman has been charged with assault and aggravated assault as a hate crime. the second suspect, Daniel Rodiguez, is still at large. Aleman's attorney insists he was fighting in self-defense. Right.
UPDATE: Daniel Rodriguez has been arrested. "On Tuesday, the United States Marshals Service arrested one of the suspects, Daniel Rodriguez, 21, in Norfolk, Va. Mr. Rodriguez, who has family in the area, was located through tips to the New York Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, the police said. Charges in New York were pending, the police said, but it was unclear Tuesday night precisely when Mr. Rodriguez would be extradited."
As a gay man growing up back on the east coast, I was always reminded of why we always had to live under the shadows and in fear because of the religious bigots raising teaching young people to hate. Watching this video made me physically ill, made me cry, and angered me to the point where I want to hunt these young men down and kill them for what they did to one of our own.
I always swore that if anyone ever threatened me or anyone that I love, I'd fight to the death and if it's me or them I would kill or be killed. But one way or another that attacker will remember that he fucked with the wrong person.
You hate mongering cowards will never break us. Justice will be served.
Let this video forever circulate on the internet to remind our community of why we must continue our fight for equality & justice.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I finally got my MACBOOK and finished setting up, installing, and configuring all the software on this Intel model running Apple's new Snow Leopard 64-bit OS.
I wanted to do a little bit of comparison of this machine against Vic's new Vaio he bought purchased last week running a 64-bit version of Vista Home Premium on it.
I have to give a lot of credit to both of these machines because of the horsepower for processor and power they both have, and the fact that 64-bit (and will eventually go to 128-bit) is long overdue.
The Vaio and Macbook are extremely fast. But there is one drawback I noticed right away: applications like skype (maybe its the way the interface is designed for the Mac versus the Windows version) just run a helluva lot better. The picture was clearer, cleaner, and audio was amazing. I couldn't tell the difference for audio though. Vic's Vaio has an amazing sound chip using the codecs I installed running alongside Firehand Ember while the Mac has iTunes and Quicktime.
Quite a bit of software that I had for previous versions of OS X will not run on it YET but I'm hoping that Apple fixes these issues. I also disabled the guest account for now as a precaution.
Its gonna take me time to get fully used to this different environment versus the Vaio I have, but so far I LIKE the big cat ;)
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I have a question that I'd really like an answer to gay people that support the Republican party and people that have openly demonized our community as a whole:
Why do you support people that hate us? Other than the fact that many of you are extremely wealthy and greed is what drives you every single day, but for the rest of you that is working class living from paycheck to paycheck, please help me understand.
I really want to know WHY.