Uganda’s infamous anti-gay bill has been signed into law by President Museveni. Our friends in Uganda are calling for the whole world to make noise and not let this awful law go unnoticed, so share the facts.
And as Ugandan LGBT groups challenge this bill in court, sign to tell global leaders to speak out too: www.allout.org/kill-the-bill
Between #SochiProblems and technical difficulties, all eyes are on the Winter Olympics as they kick off. But here’s what hasn’t gone viral: four LGBTQ rights activists have already been arrested under Russia’s homophobic legislation since the opening ceremonies.
That silence ends here.
We stand with all citizens, athletes, and visitors facing fear and danger now and beyond the Olympics. The weapon we have is love.
TLTR; A 16 year old trans woman defends herself against 3 bullies who have constantly harassed her. Weeks after all 4 students were suspended, local police charge her, and only her, with misdemeanor battery. The Police Department refuses to recognize her as a trangender person so she would not be able to fall under hate crime protections.
When 10th grader Jewlyes Gutierrez, a transgender student, stood up to three bullies at her high school in November, all four students were suspended.
The incident made some local news. Gutierrez, 16, said she had asked an assistant principal at Hercules High School for help with chronic bullying a few days earlier, and gotten none. A school board meeting on December 2 focused on the incident. As the semester wound down, it seemed the story would stay in Hercules, California.
But a few weeks later, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Daniel Cabral charged Gutierrez with misdemeanor battery. The charge came just months after California governor Jerry Brown passed a law enacting transgender student rights, making California the first state to enshrine certain protections to transgender students.
The alleged battery took place on November 13, 2013. Gutierrez is accused of slapping another student after having gum spat in her face.
On top of the petition, which was created by Gutierrez’s sister, supporters have sent Daniel Cabral more than 50 letters demanding that he dismiss the case. That could happen at a pre-trial conference scheduled for February 5, according to Kaylie Simon, Gutierrez’s attorney.
This is the first time Gutierrez has been charged with a crime. If convicted, Simon says, the maximum time she could face is one year, which might be served at a juvenile hall or a group home. She could also be sentenced to the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility, or Byron Boys Ranch, which is a minimum security juvenile detention center. As the name suggests, the facility is for boys.
Jennifer Lopez, a journalist with the magazine Everything Transgender in NYC, brought to light one part of that injustice. In an interview with the TransAdvocate, Lopez recounted a conversation she had with Connie Van Putten of the Hercules Police Department.
Van Putten told Lopez “the transgender person is listed as a male on school records, therefore she would refer to the transgender person as a male,” Lopez said.
“Because [Gutierrez] is listed as a male, [Van Putten] did not identify [Gutierrez] as a transgender person," Lopez reported. Van Putten then told Lopez that because Gutierrez was listed as male in these records, she “would not be able to fall under hate crime [protections].”
Gutierrez still attends Hercules High, along with the other students from the incident.
“I feel negative attention and energy around them," Gutierrez said in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter.
“Just because you’re different you’ll get picked on, name-calling, bullied, taunted, harassed, all those,” Gutierrez told NBC Bay Area in December. “I was just sticking up for myself.”
BREAKING: New Mexico Supreme Court rules denying marriage to same-sex couples unconstitutional, making it the 17th state to allow marriage equality.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, & Asexual (or LGBTQIA) community has been struggling against adversity since the beginning of the common era. The LGBTQIA community’s struggle began years ago back when the Roman Empire first came under Christian rule during the fourth century, when one could be killed for engaging in homosexual actions. In modern times, most national & state governments are generally less barbaric about non-straight sexual orientations but tend to be just as oppressive. Even countries that claim to be “progressive” such as the United States still have laws that oppress anyone who does not identity as a heterosexual or cisgender (meaning that one identifies as the sex with which they were born). For example, the improperly named Defense of the Marriage Act, introduced in May 1996, declared that any homosexual marriage made by any particular US state did not have to be recognized by any other US state. The only state that recognized gay marriages made in other states was Rhode Island. Thankfully, this unconstitutional act was declared as such earlier this year & will no longer repress homosexual couples by refusing them the marriage rights they deserve. Despite this major breakthrough for the LGBTQIA community, the majority of states still do not allow same-sex marriage at all.
Congratulations Illinois for becoming the 15th state to legalize marriage equality. 15 down, 35 to go!
While the law is working against the LGBTQIA community, both they & their allies shall continue to fight for their right to marry. Marriage is not defined by what each partner has in their pants; marriage is defined by love. Although the dictionary lists several variations of the definition of marriage, only one of the five listed on the popular reference website dictionary.com includes anything related to gender. According to the first definition, marriage is “a legally, religiously, or socially sanctioned union of persons who commit to one another, forming a familial and economic bond.” Nowhere in that definition is sex or gender mentioned, & that goes as well for other important factors such as race, religion, & class. If two people truly love each other, they should be able to get married, no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.
There are plenty of people in the world who decide to get married without absolutely certainty that they love their prospective spouse. While most straight people have the luxury of waiting to marry until both partners decide they are ready to do so, the LGBTQIA community does not have this luxury. Most non-heterosexual marriages do not occur or are delayed because gay marriage is still not legal in the majority of the United States.
It is expensive, stressful, & inconvenient to plan a wedding in another state or country in order to have a legitimate marriage ceremony, as opposed to the “civil union” installment that exists in some states. Numerous politicians have equated civil unions to traditional marriage. Although similar in idea, civil unions do not provide the same benefits as regular marriage. It is time that the country recognizes that marriage is truly about love. It is time that we stop defining it as between “one man & one woman.” It is time that the national law is changed so that any two consenting adults who would like to get married have the marriage ceremony they so rightfully deserve.