Posts Tagged ‘lesbian’

Well that’s what happens when someone doesn’t eat or receive health care right?

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

“If the city requires this, we can’t do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”

Several D.C. Council members said the Catholic Church is trying to erode the city’s long-standing laws protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination.

The clash escalates the dispute over the same-sex marriage proposal between the council and the archdiocese, which has generally stayed out of city politics.

Catholic Charities, the church’s social services arm, is one of dozens of nonprofit organizations that partner with the District. It serves 68,000 people in the city, including the one-third of Washington’s homeless people who go to city-owned shelters managed by the church. City leaders said the church is not the dominant provider of any particular social service, but the church pointed out that it supplements funding for city programs with $10 million from its own coffers.

“All of those services will be adversely impacted if the exemption language remains so narrow,” Jane G. Belford, chancellor of the Washington Archdiocese, wrote to the council this week.

The church’s influence seems limited. In separate interviews Wednesday, council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) referred to the church as “somewhat childish.” Another council member, David A. Catania (I-At Large), said he would rather end the city’s relationship with the church than give in to its demands.”They don’t represent, in my mind, an indispensable component of our social services infrastructure,” said Catania, the sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill and the chairman of the Health Committee.

The standoff appears to be among the harshest between a government and a faith-based group over the rights of same-sex couples. Advocates for same-sex couples said they could not immediately think of other places where a same-sex marriage law had set off a break with a major faith-based provider of social services.

The council is expected to pass the same-sex marriage bill next month, but the measure continues to face strong opposition from a number of groups that are pushing for a referendum on the issue.

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This is just awful.

U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan dismissed a lawsuit yesterday, essentially finding that the Jackson Memorial Hospital was within its rights to leave a dying woman alone while denying her present and immediate family to visit her, be updated on her condition, or even to provide the hospital with medically necessary information.

Named in the now-dismissed suit were Jackson social worker Garnett Frederick and attending physicians Alois Zauner and Carlos Alberto Cruz, who made the decision not to allow Janice Langbehn, Lisa Pond’s partner, to have standard family access to information, even after receiving durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will naming Janice as legal guardian with authority to make end-of-life decisions.

Lisa Marie Pond 1967 - 2007

Lisa Marie Pond 1967 - 2007

Jennifer Piedra, spokesperson for Jackson Memorial, released this statement after Judge Jordan said they could continue to turn [lesbian and gay] people away from their dying family members:

We have always believed and known that the staff at Jackson treats everyone equally, and that their main concern is the well-being of the patients in their care. At Jackson Health System, we believe in a culture of inclusion. For more than 90 years, the institution has taken great pride in serving everyone who enters its doors, regardless of race, creed, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. We also employ a very diverse workforce, one that mirrors the community we serve.

Jackson will continue to work with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to ensure that everyone knows they are welcome at all of our facilities, where they will receive the highest quality of medical care.

Yes, that sounds perfectly reasonable. If only there were a way to judge their words against their actions. Oh wait, there is, and guess what! They’re completely and plainly full of it! In March, Janice told the story of Lisa’s final hours:

On February 18, 2007, Lisa Pond, my partner of nearly 18 years and 3 of our 4 adopted children: Danielle, David and Katie were on board the Rfamily cruise preparing to set sail. Before leaving port, Lisa suddenly collapsed while watching the children play basketball. The kids were banging on the stateroom door saying, “Mommy was hurt!” I opened the door, and took one look at Lisa and knew the situation was very serious. As a medical social worker for many years, I have seen people in critical condition. I knew that my life partner was gravely ill. As the ship was about to leave, we had no choice but to seek medical help in an unfamiliar city. After local medics arrived, we hurried off the ship to the closest hospital in Miami, Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

As Lisa was put into the ambulance I had no idea when she signed “I love you” to the kids and I it would be the last time I would see her beautiful blue eyes. We arrived at the trauma center minutes before her ambulance. I tried to follow her gurney into the trauma area and was stopped by the trauma team and told to go to the waiting room. The kids and I did as we were told.

We arrived shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon, around 4pm, a social worker came out and introduced himself as Garnett Frederick and said, “you are in an anti-gay city and state. And without a health care proxy you will not see Lisa nor know of her condition”. He then turned to leave; I stopped him and asked for his fax number because I said “we had legal Durable Powers of Attorney” and would get him the documents. Within a short time of meeting this social worker, I contacted friends in Lacey, WA, our hometown, who went to our house and faxed the legal documents required for me to make medical decisions for Lisa.

I never imagined as I paced that tiny waiting room that I would not see Lisa’s bright blue eyes again or hold her warm, loving hands. Feeling helpless as I continued to wait, I attempted to sneak back into the trauma bay but all the doors to the trauma area had key codes, preventing me from entering. Sitting alone with our luggage, our children and my thoughts, I watched numbly as other families were invited back into the trauma center to visit with loved ones. I was still waiting to hear what was happening with Lisa, realizing as the time passed that I was not being allowed to see her and if the social worker’s words were any indication it was because we were gay.

Anger, despair and disbelief wracked my brain as I tried to figure out a way to find out what was going on with Lisa. I finally thought to call our family doctor back in Olympia (on a Sunday afternoon at home) to see if she could find out what was happening. While on the phone with our doctor in Olympia, a surgeon appeared. The surgeon told me that Lisa, who was just 39 years old, had suffered massive bleeding in her brain from an aneurysm.

A short while later, two more surgeons appeared and explained the massive bleed in Lisa’s brain gave her little chance to survive and if she did it would be in a persistent vegetative state. Lisa had made me promise to her over and over in our 18 years together to never allow this to happen to her. I let the surgeons know Lisa wishes, which were also spelled out in her Living Wills and Advance Directive. I was then promised by the doctors that I would be brought to see Lisa as “soon as she was cleaned up”. At that point all life saving measures ceased and I asked that she be prepared for organ donation.

Yet, the children and I continued to wait and wait. A Hospital Chaplain appeared and asked if I wanted to pray and I looked at her dumbfounded as if I hadn’t already been doing that for over four hours. I immediately asked for a Catholic Priest to perform Lisa’s Last rites. A short time later, a Catholic priest escorted me back to recite the Last Rites and it was my first time in nearly 5hrs of seeing Lisa. After seeing her I knew the children needed to see her immediately and be able to say their goodbyes and begin the grieving process. Yet the priest escorted me back out to the waiting room. Where I was faced with the young faces of our beautiful children to explain “other mommy” was going to heaven.

I continued to assert myself over the ensuing hours again that we needed to be with Lisa. I even showed the Admitting clerk the children’s birth certificates with both Lisa and my name on them… and said if you won’t let me back, let her children be with her. I was told they were “too young”. I thought how old do you need to be to say goodbye to your mother?

In nearly eight hours, Lisa lay at Ryder Trauma Center moving toward brain death – completely alone and I continue to this day to feel like a failure for not being there to hold her hand to tell her how much we loved her, to comfort her and to sign in her hand “I love you”. All my pleas fell on deaf ears.

Lisa’s sister arrived driving straight from Jacksonville as soon as I knew Lisa would not survive. She announced who she was and I was at her side staring at the same person who had been denying me access all those hours. It was only then that I was told Lisa had been moved almost an hour earlier to ICU… and the hospital just kept the children and I waiting in the same waiting room, where Lisa was not even at.

On Monday February 19, 2007 at 10:45am, Lisa was officially declared Brain Dead. It was then that individuals from the Organ Donation Agency became involved (who I must point out are completely separate professionals from Jackson Memorial Hospital) that I finally was validated as Lisa’s spouse. They asked me which organs she wanted donated.

Explain to me again how a straight couple would have been split like this even for five minutes, let alone hours. Explain to me how three children would have been kept from their straight mother’s side, how a dying straight person would be treated in such an cruel, vicious, I-don’t-have-enough-words way.

Tell me again why the word “marriage” doesn’t matter. Tell me again that we should just be patient and not rock the boat.

Better yet, tell it to Lisa Pond’s partner and children.

Yesterday a judge shrugged his shoulders and left LGBT victims unprotected. When will Americans demand better? Will Americans demand better?

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And not just any lesbian….

Mary Cheney Backs Antigay Politician

Mary Cheney Backs Antigay Politician

Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, has thrown her support — to the tune of $1,000 — behind a congressional candidate from Ohio who believes she should not be able to adopt children.

Reports The Raw Story: “As an Ohio congressman, [Rob] Portman voted yes on banning gay adoptions in the District of Columbia in 1999. He also voted in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2004. Portman’s opposition to same-sex marriage is particularly salient, because both of his potential Democratic challengers favor its legalization. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner reaffirmed her backing for gay marriage in a posting at The Huffington Post in June, and a spokesman for Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher announced that he’d reversed his opposition the same month.”

The website reports that Cheney made the donation back in May. Cheney has a 2-year-old son with her partner of 17 years, Heather Poe.

Earlier this year, Dick Cheney came out in support of same-sex marriage.

This woman reminds me of the jews that gladly helped Hitler, Mary should be very ashamed of herself.

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By Carlos Santoscoy
Published: July 27, 2009

Ted Olson, the conservative half of the team arguing for gay marriage in a federal court in California, told the Los Angeles Times that gay marriage is a “conservative value,” among other things, over the weekend.

Along with David Boies, Olson has been hired by the newly-minted American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) to represent a gay couple and a lesbian couple who would like to marry but cannot because of Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved gay marriage ban upheld as constitutional by the state Supreme Court in May.

Olson-Boies’ argument is simple: Marriage is a constitutional right regardless of sexual orientation.

Olson has racked up an impressive conservative record: He’s served on the board of directors of American Spectator magazine and in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Olson battled Boies on the conservative side of the Supreme Court in the Bush v. Gore case that secured the presidency for Bush.

For outsiders looking in, Olson’s support for gay marriage runs afoul of his conservative leanings, a notion Olson rejects, arguing that gay marriage is a conservative value.

“It is a conservative value to respect the relationship that people seek to have with another, a stable, committed relationship that provides the backbone for our community, for our economy. I think conservatives should value that.”

That position, however, has not received a warm welcome by all conservatives. Olson says he has been told that “I’m betraying the conservative cause and things that I’ve stood for in my life.”

“Some of it is quite hostile,” he says, then adds: “On the other hand, I’m hearing from people, including plenty of Republicans, who are very, very grateful.”

Olson also dismissed criticism from gay rights groups that say a loss in the Supreme Court, where the case is likely headed, could put the movement behind possibly decades.

“In the first place, we believe we can be successful. In the second place, it has been very difficult to win [state] elections, and the California election was an example of that. Three, it’s very difficult to tell the people we represent that you must wait until people throughout the country decide to recognize that you are to be treated equally.”

“Not everyone is going to agree with the legal strategy, but we think we are at the right place at the right time in the right court, and we’re hopeful we’ll be successful.”

Ultimately, Olson says he wants to play a role in securing the right to marry for gay men and lesbians.

“A woman came up to me in our library in our law firm and said, ‘You and I haven’t worked together, but I’m a lesbian. My partner and I have two children.’ And she burst into tears. I put my arm around her and she put her arms around me. This stands for what we’re trying to accomplish here. It’s a principle that deeply touches human beings. If we’re successful, we can help the lives of literally millions of people. And what a great service that would be.”

Source: ontopmag.com

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This seems to be growing momentum since the defeat of Proposition 8 in CA.  I wonder who comes up with these lame-brain ideas?  Yes, let’s get the IRS all over us for not reporting/paying in our taxes.  If you get a return of money, you sure as hell are not going to protest!  Come on everyone!  Use your fucking heads, and come up with something better than this taxing proposal!

Gay tax revolt grows
by Matthew S. Bajko
Bay Area Reporter – edgeboston.com
Sunday Nov 23, 2008

Melissa Etheridge has written that she will not pay her state taxes in the wake of Prop 8’s passage.
Melissa Etheridge has written that she will not pay her state taxes in the wake of Prop 8’s passage.    (Source:Becky Sapp/Berliner Studio)

The stripping of marriage rights from same-sex couples in California is giving renewed attention to calls for a national gay tax protest.

A handful of LGBT activists have refused to pay any state or federal income taxes for several years now. They argue that since they are not treated equally under the law as their heterosexual neighbors, they should not have to fork over the money they owe to state or federal governments.

Their protest has largely gone unnoticed or unheeded by the majority of LGBT Americans – until now.

Two days after the passage of Proposition 8, the anti-gay constitutional amendment California voters passed November 4 that bans gays and lesbians from marrying in the Golden State, lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge penned a posting on the Daily Beast blog titled “You can forget my taxes.”

She wrote that she would be withholding the half a million dollars she owes the state in taxes this year and urged other LGBT people to do the same.

Because she and her wife, Tammy Lynn Michaels, are no longer afforded the same rights as other Californians under the state constitution, Etheridge wrote that, “Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.”

Etheridge’s stance has led to the creation of a Facebook group called “I will join Melissa Ethridge [sic] in refusing to pay CA taxes until I can marry!” San Francisco resident Emily Drennen, a bisexual who this summer married her wife, Lindasusan Ulrich, created the page.

Drennen did not respond to a request for comment. On the Facebook page she wrote, “Singer Melissa Etheridge rails against the passage of the same-sex marriage ban in California – and she won’t be paying the state a dime. This group is for Californian LGBTQI citizens and our allies who pledge to withhold paying our 2008 taxes unless our marriage rights are restored.”

As of Tuesday, only 19 people had signed up, many being residents of other states.

In July of this year John Bisceglia started writing at http://www.gaytaxprotest.blogspot.com/ about the idea for a national tax equality protest on April 15, 2009. The Bellingham, Washington resident wrote that he used to pay his taxes until he divorced his partner in 2005 and saw how the law mistreated gay couples.

In a statement he released in August, Bisceglia said he had “reached his limit” and would withhold his tax filings until the federal government grants all LGBT Americans and their children the 1,400-plus legal rights and protections civil marriage affords.

“The federal government’s discrimination against LGBT families is an abomination; it is cruel to deny our families a marriage certificate while simultaneously doling them out like candy to heterosexuals,” he stated. “My hope is that those in the LGBT community with substantial income demand their long overdue rights by taking a stand for justice, for society, and for equality for all Americans.”

Palm Springs resident Charles Merrill stopped paying his federal and state taxes four years ago after President Bush urged in his State of the Union speech for Congress to pass a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution. At the time he and his partner of 18 years, Kevin Boyle, were living on a farm in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.

Two years ago they moved to California and married this year. He has continued to withhold his federal and state income taxes and is suing the Internal Revenue Service. His lawsuit, Merrill vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, is scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Tax Court in San Diego sometime in 2009.

“My hope is that those in the LGBT community with substantial income demand their long overdue rights by taking a stand for justice, for society, and for equality for all Americans.”

Merrill, 75, is a cousin to the founder of Merrill Lynch & Co. He applauded Etheridge for shining a national spotlight on the gay tax protest. In an interview this week, he said he would gladly pay his taxes, but not before he is afforded the same rights as straight taxpayers.

“I want to pay taxes but I want to pay them as everyone else, not as a second-class citizen,” said Merrill. “I am really doing this for the 18,000 couples who got married in California and are denied all those rights.”

Should the tax protest snowball into a national movement, he said it would send a strong signal to President-elect Barack Obama to maintain his campaign pledge to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which has been used to justify discriminating against same-sex couples. Merrill noted that in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is still legal, and California prior to Election Day nearly 30,000 gay and lesbian couples have married, with more exchanging vows in Connecticut now that that state has enacted same-sex marriage.

At a time when governments are hurting for money, a gay tax revolt would have an impact, argued Merrill.

“I think it would be a wake-up call to President-elect Obama to get started on this, these promises he made us. It could turn into a economic problem if enough gays and lesbians stop paying taxes,” he said. “It is not extortion or anything, just a reminder of what he said he was going to do.”

Not everyone is jumping onto the tax protest bandwagon. Asked about Etheridge’s comments by Joy Behar last week on CNN, lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon said withholding her tax payments is “something I am not going to do.”

The Human Rights Campaign has not taken any official stance for or against the idea.

“The beauty of our movement is that people get the choice to practice civil disobedience in whatever way they wish,” said spokesman Brad Luna. “Obviously, we would encourage people to understand their personal responsibility that comes with practicing that civil disobedience. Nonetheless, we understand people are going to protest these anti-LGBT measures in their own way.”

Fred Karger, the founder of Californians Against Hate, which has organized against Prop 8, also took a measured stance when asked if he supported a gay tax revolt.

“I am supportive of every legal approach to get our equal rights. Certainly laws could be questioned and people can protest however they want to. It is a personal decision,” said Karger, who said he had no intention of not paying his own taxes. “You got a lot of angry people out there.”

An e-mail seeking comment from state Board of Equalization member Betty Yee was not returned by press time.

Of course anyone opting to join the tax revolt should take precautions should the taxman cometh.

Merrill said he has squirreled away the taxes he should have paid over the last four years in case of the day when he is ordered to hand over the money. He also does not own property and said he has moved a large part of his savings into gold coins, which are hidden away in a secret location – even his partner does not know the whereabouts.

“I put those in a private place that nobody could attack them,” he said.

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After all the comments and posts in regards to the Lifetime movie (Prayers For Bobby) I thought it was only fitting that I should post some details about organizations that YOU can get involved with in order to erase hate and promote equality for the LGBT community. For more info and how you can help, click on the graphic.

First up is The Matthew Shepard Foundaition:

Next up is GLAAD:

And one of my favorites: PFLAG

If you know of any others that should be listed, let me know by leaving a comment!

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(San Francisco, California) Some same-sex marriage supporters are urging people to “call in gay” Wednesday to show how much the country relies on gays and lesbians, but others question whether it’s wise to encourage skipping work given the nation’s economic distress.

Organizers of “Day Without a Gay” – scheduled to coincide with International Human Rights Day and modeled after similar work stoppages by Latino immigrants – also are encouraging people to perform volunteer work and refrain from spending money.

Sean Hetherington, a West Hollywood comedian and personal trainer, dreamed up the idea with his boyfriend, Aaron Hartzler, after reading online that a few angry gay-rights activists were calling for a daylong strike to protest California voters’ passage last month of Proposition 8, which reversed this year’s state Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage.

The couple thought it would be more effective and less divisive if people were asked to perform community service instead of staying home with their wallets shut. Dozens of nonprofit agencies, from the National Women’s Law Center in Washington to a Methodist church in Fresno collecting food for the homeless, have posted opportunities for volunteers on the couple’s Web site.

“We are all for a boycott if that is what brings about a sense of community for people,” said Hetherington, 30, who plans to spend Wednesday volunteering at an inner-city school. “You can take away from the economy and give back in other ways.”

Hetherington said he’s been getting 100 e-mails an hour from people looking for volunteer opportunities, and that his “Day Without a Gay” Web site has gotten 100,000 hits since mid-November.

Despite Hartzler and Hetherington’s attempt to fashion a positive approach, some organizers of the street demonstrations that drew massive crowds in many cities last month have been reluctant to embrace the concept, saying that it could be at best impractical and at worst counterproductive to “call in gay.”

“It’s extra-challenging for people to think about taking off work as a form of protest, given that we are talking about people who may not be out (as gay) at work, and given the current economic situation and job market,” said Jules Graves, 38, coordinator of the Colorado Queer Straight Alliance. “There is really not any assurance employers would appreciate it for what it is.”

Graves’ group nonetheless is arranging for interested participants to volunteer at the local African Community Center in Denver. The agency said it could find projects to keep 20 people busy, but so far only 10 have pledged to show up, said Graves.

Scott Craig, a fifth-grade teacher at Independence Charter School in Philadelphia, had no problem requesting and being granted the day off. So many of the school’s 60 teachers were eager to show support for gay rights they had to make sure enough stayed behind to staff classrooms.

About 25 teachers plan to take Wednesday off and to have their work covered by substitutes while they discuss ways to introduce gay issues to their students and volunteer at the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, Craig said. A letter telling parents why so many teachers would be out went home Monday.

“We want to get the conversation going in the community that gay is not bad,” Craig said. “For kids to hear that in a positive light can be life-changing.”

Join The Impact, the online community that launched protests last month over the passage of gay marriage bans in California, Florida and Arizona, has urged people to withdraw $80 from their bank accounts Wednesday to demonstrate gays’ spending power, and to devote the time they might otherwise spend watching TV or surfing the Internet to volunteer work.

Witeck-Combs Communications, a public relations firm in Washington that specializes in the gay and lesbian market, published a study this year that estimated that gay and lesbian consumers spend $700 billion annually.

Bob Witeck, the firm’s chief executive officer, said it would be difficult to measure the success of Wednesday’s strike since gay employees occupy so many fields. And rather than suspending all consumer spending for the day, gay rights supporters would have a bigger impact if they devoted their dollars to gay-friendly businesses year-round, Witeck said.

“Our community leaders who are running book stores, newspapers, flower shops, coffee houses, bars and many, many other things are hurting right now, so paying attention to their needs during this hard time is an effective form of activism,” he said.

Hetherington said he has been careful to design A Day Without a Gay – he came up with the name after the film “A Day Without a Mexican” and liked it because it rhymed – so no one feels excluded or threatened.

He has specifically urged high school students not to walk out of their classes and assured college students they won’t be disloyal to the cause if they go ahead and take their final exams. He also has listed opportunities – ranging from writing letters to members of Congress about federal gay rights legislation to spreading the word about Wednesday on social networking sites – for gay marriage backers who cannot miss work.

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