LGBT

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The August strategy: Immigrant rights activism heats up

 

 

 

 

By Elena Shore

Contributing Writer

 

About 40 leaders of immigration reform advocacy organizations were arrested Thursday, August 1, on Capitol Hill. The group was there as part of a protest aimed at pressuring the House GOP into passing an immigration reform bill with a pathway to citizenship. Taking a page from young undocumented immigrants, or Dreamers, nine of whom were arrested along the Arizona border last week, the veteran activists blocked traffic along a street adjacent to the Capitol while chanting a slogan popular among Dreamers: “Undocumented, unafraid!”

The action came a day before Congress members leave Washington, D.C. for their August recess. It kicked off a series of demonstrations, town hall meetings and events that are being planned by immigrant rights advocates during the month of August. The goal, according to Angela Kelley, vice president of immigration policy for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for American Progress, is to use the August recess to gain so much momentum in support of immigration reform that “when they come back, there’s an air of inevitability” around settling the issue. Continue Reading →

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Report urges more positive LGBT stories in Black media

 
Conclusion of a two-part story
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

LGBT people of color often are seen as “double-outsiders” in their respective communities, says the Opportunity Agenda report on LGBT issues and race released in September. The report, “Public Opinion and Discourse on the Intersection of LGBT Issues and Race,” examined current public opinion and how ethnic and new media play a role in both perpetuating and challenging myths and biases about LGBT people. It defined “double-outsider” as a Black LGBT or LBGT person of color being marginalized “both from the mainstream and their respective community because of their race and their sexual identity.”

Jessica Adair and Amber Harris both told the MSR that they never heard of such terminology before, but do admit they are perceived differently. “You got two strikes against you — you’re Black and you’re gay,” admits Adair. Both women, who are professional basketball players, say they often hear “all female athletes are lesbians” talk. “I ignore it,” says Harris. Continue Reading →

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Power is in your person

 

By Marian Wright Edelman

Guest Commentator

 

“You know, when we started the farm workers movement, I remember going to many conferences, and people [kept asking] how do we do this?… We had to convince people that they have power. “Of course, when you say to a farm worker who doesn’t speak the English language, doesn’t have formal education, doesn’t have any assets, doesn’t have any money, that he or she has power, they say, ‘What kind of power do I have?’ And so what we had to convince the workers is you do have power, but that power is in your person. “That power is in your person, and when you come together with other workers, other people, and they also understand that they have power, this is the way that changes are made. But you can’t do it by yourself. Continue Reading →

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Report examines coverage of LGBT issues in Black, Latino media

 

FIRST OF A TWO-PART STORY

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

A new report from The Opportunity Agenda points out that favorable public opinion about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color is slowly growing among Blacks. The national communications, research and advocacy organization released “Public Opinion and Discourse on the Intersection of LGBT Issues and Race” in September. It examined Black and Latino newspapers, Black magazines and Black online media over a two-year period (2009-2011), and found several common themes. Among them:

• Black newspapers and online news sites consider LGBT issues newsworthy. • The six main storylines found in Black newspapers, with HIV/AIDS receiving the most attention, include: homophobia, bullying and discrimination, culture, tension between gay rights and civil rights, religion and same-sex marriage. Continue Reading →

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Marriage amendment divides Black Christians

 
Local Black clergy on opposite sides express their views

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The issue of same-sex marriage has been a controversial one for Black people, especially after President Barack Obama expressed his opinion on it last spring. The MSRspoke with two local Black ministers, one feels that the amendment represents “the Bible’s way,” while the other says it defines the GLBT community as the “other.”

Rev. Jerry McAfee pastors New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He admits that the president’s announcement in May disturbed him, believing that it was ill-timed. “I’ve been quite vocal on what the president did, not because he made the statement but at the timing of the statement. What I did not like was [that] he made the statement without talking to his African American constituents first — at least we could have helped him couch this thing in such a way that it would have been palatable. Continue Reading →

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Wanda Sykes: Wry funny-woman headlines Mpls show

 

Wanda Sykes is wonderful. Just ask anyone who’s seen this stand-up ace in action. She hit town several years back, opening for Tommy Davidson, and had a full house at the Orpheum Theatre absolutely howling. It is wry, dry wit delivered with Swiss-clock timing that distinguishes Sykes as a premier artist. When she returns to the Orpheum on Sept. Continue Reading →

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Obama harkens back to slavery with ‘states’ rights’ for same-sex marriage

 
 
Last July, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans and our allies celebrated New York State becoming the sixth and largest state to allow same-sex marriage. And, of course, it sent an urgent message to President Obama. But what does it signal to us LGBTQ citizens when the first African American president wants to employ states’ rights, which once upon a time in this country federally mandated racial segregation and sanctioned American slavery, to address the issue of same-sex marriage? As a civil rights attorney, Obama knows that employing states’ rights violates our full constitutional rights as well as re-institutionalizes the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson. As a result of that case, the ”separate but equal” doctrine became the rule of law until it was struck down in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Continue Reading →

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