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Update on Paul Hard Case
 

On the same historic day same-sex couples in Alabama were allowed to marry, SPLC client Paul Hard finally received an amended death certificate recognizing him as his husband’s surviving spouse – a recognition that came nearly four years after his husband died in a car crash.

 

“It’s a good day,” Hard said, clasping the certificate in his hand. “It’s bittersweet. Today my home state recognizes our marriage. I put my wedding ring with David [Fancher] back on today in anticipation of this moment. I have been waiting for this recognition from the state, but sadly this had to come after his death.”

 

 

Last month, a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, which also barred Alabama from recognizing valid same-sex marriages from other states. The ruling was put on hold until today, allowing Hard to ask the state to correct the certificate that listed his husband’s marital status as “Never Married.”

 

Hard and Fancher were married in Massachusetts in May 2011 but were Montgomery residents. Fancher was killed that August in a wreck on Interstate 65.

 

LINK:

 

Paul Hard Updates Husband's Death Certificate

 


Rape the Gay Away With No Legal Penalty

 

Iowa Youth Pastor Who Rapes Boys
To ‘Cure’ Them Of Homosexuality
Won’t Spend One Day In Prison


By now, we’ve all undoubtedly heard of and been outraged by a Montana judge sentencing a former teacher to a mere 30 days in prison for raping one of his female students. But have you heard of the Iowa youth pastor who is walking free after confessing to raping boys to “cure” them of homosexuality?  Well, that’s precisely what happened in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Brent Girouex, 31, was arrested on 60 counts of suspicion of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.


According to KRMG in Oklahoma, Girouex confessed to police that he had sex with at least four youths, but eight more have since come forward claiming that they were also violated by the now former pastor of Victory Fellowship Church.  Girouex told detectives that his actions were meant to “help with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with them ” in order to keep them “sexually pure” for God. He then allegedly told police that “when they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind.”
 

Victims say Girouex took them to his own home to violate them. It’s the same home Girouex’s wife and four children resided in.  You would think Girouex’s crimes would send him to prison for the rest of his life. Outrageously, that’s not the case. The judge in the case sentenced Girouex to 17 years in prison last week, and then immediately suspended the sentence in favor of sex offender treatment and five years probation. All Girouex has to do is avoid violating his probation and he’ll NEVER spend a single minute in a prison cell.


The victims and their families are understandably outraged. After all, Girouex raped boys repeatedly. One would think a court would throw the book at him instead of setting him free upon the community. Even his wife, Erin Girouex, thinks he should be sent to prison and doesn’t want her children anywhere near him.  This “rape away the gay” idea is nothing new. Last year, a radio personality told a father that he should have one of his male friends rape his daughter until she turns straight. This pastor was at the very least using it as an excuse to justify his pedophilia. If the pastor really does believe that’s what he was doing, then it’s a prime example of how hatred leads to insanity. Either way, it’s disgusting, and the judicial system has once again failed to do its job to protect the community and give justice to the victims. This kind of “punishment” only encourages rapists and pedophiles. Because courts are not taking rape and pedophilia seriously, more women and children are likely to be violated because the consequences of committing such crimes are slim to none. It’s just another sign of the worsening rape culture that has been running rampant in America.

 

(From Stephen D. Foster, Jr.)

 


Daughter Should Be Raped to Be Cured

 

Rape Away The Gay?

Radio Personality Tells Father

To Get A Man To Rape His Daughter

Until She Turns Straight

A radio personality in Cleveland is facing tremendous backlash after telling a father that he should get one of his male friends to rape his daughter to force her to turn straight. In response to an email from a father who suspected his daughter was gay after discovering her kissing another girl, DJ Dominic Deiter declared on the air that “You should get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight.  ”You read that correctly. An apparently anti-gay radio personality told a father that he should arrange for his daughter to be raped repeatedly until she magically turns straight.

After the disgusting remark, GLAAD received multiple reports about the incident, which was said during ‘Rover’s Morning Glory’ radio program that airs on WWMS 100.7 FM radio station on Clear Channel Communications, which includes radio shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and several other right-wing radio shows. Clear Channel is also owned primarily by Bain Capital, the company that Mitt Romney began and is still involved with.


GLAAD’s Director of News & Field Media Aaron McQuade says “It was appalling and dangerous for this show to tell a father that he should have one of his friends rape his daughter. That’s essentially how Dieter responded to this listener, and this is no laughing matter in a world where people are too often the victims of violence and sexual assault based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation. And Dieter gave this vile advice to everyone who was listening, including educators, parents and children – sending the message that it’s okay to physically or sexually abuse people who are perceived to be gay.”


Clearly, this disc jockey needs to be fired immediately for his comment. Advocating for rape to change homosexuals into heterosexuals is egregiously wrong on so many levels. Rape is a violent act against women, and to say that a father should have his own daughter raped for any reason is flat out evil. If Republicans needed a reason why the Violence Against Women Act and the update to include gays and lesbians should be passed, this is precisely why. Without this Act and the crucial updates, measures would not be in place to prevent the kind of violence Deiter is suggesting be used to curb homosexuality. Furthermore, members of the LGBT are human beings who have rights. Nobody deserves to be raped because of who they are.
 

Unfortunately, many people heard Deiter’s remark. And undoubtedly, many anti-gay activists may indeed harbor similar feelings. Could they switch their strategy from ‘pray away the gay’ to ‘rape away the gay’? I wonder how many of these anti-gay activists will be courageous enough to condemn Deiter’s response. Probably none of them.

 

(From Stephen D. Foster, Jr.)

 


Gay Cure Ministry Shuts Down and Apologizes

 

After 37 years, Exodus International, an organization whose mission was to "help" gay Christians become straight, is shutting down. But not before issuing an apology.  "We're not negating the ways God used Exodus to positively affect thousands of people, but a new generation of Christians is looking for change -- and they want to be heard," Tony Moore, an Exodus board member, said Wednesday.

The announcement comes less than a day after Exodus issued a wide-ranging apology to the gay community for "years of undue judgment by the organization and the Christian Church as a whole," a statement from the group says.  "Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we've ceased to be a living, breathing organism," said Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus. "For quite some time, we've been imprisoned in a worldview that's neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical."

Chambers, who has a wife and children and previously identified as gay, has acknowledged that he has "ongoing same-sex attractions."  Exodus, which has promoted "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," has de-emphasized conversion therapy in recent years as more of the counselors in its network have abandoned the practice.

 

(From CNN)

 

LINKS:

 

CCN: Exodus International Shuts Down and Apologizes

LA Times: From Pray Away the Gay to Acceptance

ABC News: Exodus International has Change of Heart

CBS News: Exodus International Shuts Doors

NY Daily News: Ex-Gay Ministry Apologizes and Closes

 


Gay Marriage Support From American Academy of Pediatrics

 

March 2013


As the US Supreme Court gets ready to consider same-sex marriage, The American Academy of Pediatrics declared its support for same-sex marriage for the first time on March 21, saying that allowing gay and lesbian parents to marry if they so choose is in the best interests of their children.

The academy’s new policy statement says same-sex marriage helps guarantee rights, benefits and long-term security for children, while acknowledging that it does not now ensure access to federal benefits. When marriage is not an option, the academy said, children should not be deprived of foster care or adoption by single parents or couples, whatever their sexual orientation.

 

Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association has filed amicus briefs in two same-sex marriage cases before US Supreme Court.  APA and other leading mental health organizations argue there's "no scientific basis for prohibiting same-sex marriage" in briefs filed in cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

 

Psychology will inform upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage with two APA briefs reporting that there is no valid scientific basis for denying same-sex couples the right to legal marriage, or to deprive them of the institution’s considerable benefits. APA filed two “friend of the court” briefs presenting empirical evidence in support of same-sex marriage, arguing that denying recognition to legally married same-sex couples stigmatizes them. The briefs were filed in the cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges California’s Proposition 8, and U.S. v. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Both cases are slated to be argued in late March.

 

Years of rigorous scientific studies have demonstrated how “the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners largely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships” and that “heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues,” the briefs state.

 

LINKS:

 

NY Times: Pediatric Groups Backs Same Sex Marriage, Saying it Helps Children

APA Files Friend-of-the-Court Brief to Supreme Court Regarding Same Sex Marriage

CCN: Couples Await Epic US Supreme Court Appeal

Huff Post: US Supreme Court Considers Constitutionality of Gay Marriage

Thomson Reuters: Gay Marriage Cases Will Define US Supreme Court Legacy

NY Times: US Supreme Court to Take Up Gay Marriage Issue

 


Jodie Foster Comes Out at Golden Globe Awards

 

January 2013


On a night of surprises and laughs, the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards may be most memorable for a moving speech by actress Jodie Foster, who spoke emotionally of love, loyalty and career. Accepting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, Foster spoke obliquely about her relationship with Cydney Bernard, her former partner of 20 years with whom she has two sons. Foster called her "my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, ski buddy, consiglieri, most beloved BFF of 20 years."

 



"I am so proud of our modern family," she added, as her two boys in the audience smiled.  The 50-year-old Academy Award-winner (for "The Silence of the Lambs" and "The Accused") has always been protective of her private life, and though she has not hidden her relationship with Bernard or her sexual orientation, she has not allowed it to be fodder for interviews. Backstage, Foster explained why she had opened up: "The speech kind of speaks for itself. ... It's a big moment. I wanted to say what's most in my heart."

LINKS:

 

Guardian: Reactions to Jodie Foster's Speech

CBS News: What People Are Saying About Jodie Foster's Speech

Huff Post: Jodie Foster's Infuriating Speech

Guardian: The Genius of Jodie Foster's Speech

 


LGBT News Reports

 


Google's Legalize Love Campaign

 

July 2012

 

In July 2012 Google launched its new “Legalize Love” campaign.  The giant high tech company is using this worldwide push to promote human rights and tackle employment discrimination in countries that criminalize homosexuality.  "Legalize Love is a campaign to promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books," said Google.

 

The internationally focused campaign was launched at an LGBT conference in London. Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, the company’s head of diversity, made the official announcement, saying, “We operate in many countries and have a very globally mobile workforce. We have had a number of instances where we have been trying to hire people into countries where there are these issues and have been unable to put the best person into a job in that country.” Ernst & Young and Citigroup have signed on as partners.

 

 

Legalize Love is focusing on countries such as Singapore, where certain homosexual activities are illegal, and Poland, which has no legal recognition of same-sex couples.”  Google has a history of supporting gay rights. In 2008, the company’s co-founder and president Sergey Brin came out in opposition to the California Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage. In 2010, the company began providing additional compensation to gay and lesbian employees to cover the cost of a tax on domestic-partner health benefits that heterosexual married couples do not pay.

 

Google has officially stated, “Though our business and employees are located in offices around the world, our policies on non-discrimination are universal throughout Google. We are proud to be recognized as a leader in LGBT inclusion efforts, but there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality. Legalize Love is our call to decriminalize homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world. At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. In all of our 60 offices around the world, we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive. We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office, as they do at work, and for LGBT communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are.”

 

LINKS:

 

Council for Global Equality

Google's Legalize Love Campaign

Google's Legalize Love Campaign

FaceBook: LGBT Equality Worldwide

Going All Out: Global LGBT Equality

New Civil Rights Movement

Google's Legalize Love Campaign

Washington Post: Google Promotes LGBT Rights

Huffington Post: Google Supports LGBT Equality

CNN: Google Pushes for Gay Rights

YouTube: Google’s Legalize Love Campaign

 


National LGBT History Month

 

October 2012

 

www.lgbtHistoryMonth.com

 

So begins LGBT History Month and the website that celebrates it… LGBTHistoryMonth.Com.  Included among the 2012 icons are “America the Beautiful” songwriter Katharine Lee Bates; Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes; transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen; actors Jodie Foster, Marlene Dietrich, and Chris Colfer; and entertainer RuPaul.

Each day in October, as a part of the LGBT History Month celebration, an Icon is featured with a video, biography, bibliography, downloadable images and other educational resources. Organizations, educational institutions, workplace groups and individuals can obtain for free the featured Icon’s video for each day in October.

 

LGBT History Month 2012 includes an Icon search engine. Educators, users and journalists can search for all 186 Icons from 2006 to 2011—from a cloud of more than 200 tags including Academy Award, Athlete, African-American, Author, Composer, Entrepreneur, Germany, Lesbian, Politics, Transgender and Washington, DC; users are provided with links to all Icons in that category and their resources.

“This is the 7th anniversary of LGBT History Month. There are a total of 217 Icons that inspire pride in our heroes and our impressive national and international accomplishments,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum, and founder of LGBT History Month.

On September 19, 2012, the School Board of Broward County, Florida became the first school board to pass a resolution in support of LGBT History Month.

 

In 2010, the federal government recognized LGBT History Month when Secretary Arne Duncan led a U.S. Department of Education ceremony. In 2011, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi issued a proclamation for LGBT History Month.

 

LGBT History Month was launched in 2006 with 20 organizations having a link on their websites. In 2011, over 800 organizations and educational institutions had a link, making LGBT History Month the largest LGBT collaboration. In 2011, LGBT History Month had 50 million media impressions.

LGBT History Month provides role models, teaches history, builds community, and makes the important civil rights statement of the LGBT community’s important contributions.

 

LINKS:

 

Huffington Post: LGBT History Month Icons
Library of Congress: LGBT Pride Month

Wikipedia: LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month

 


President Obama Supports Gay Marriage
 

May 9, 2012

 

With his endorsement of gay marriage on May 9, President Obama electrified his liberal base, incensed cultural conservatives and may have ensured that a debate on social issues will play a part in the debate ahead of the November election.  His announcement raises the political stakes on an issue over which Americans are evenly split. The announcement was the first by a sitting president and put Obama squarely at odds with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who on Wednesday said during an appearance in Oklahoma, "I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman."

 

 

For almost two years, President Obama had said that his views on gay marriage were "evolving."  Gay-marriage proponents hoped that would signal a full embrace of marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. But after days of renewed pressure for clarification on the issue following strong endorsements of gay marriage from Vice President Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Obama decided to change his stated position.  "At a certain point, I've just concluded, that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Obama said.

 

"I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient," the president said. "I was sensitive to the fact that, for a lot of people, the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs." But, Obama said, his thinking shifted as he witnessed committed same-sex marriages and thought about U.S. service personnel who were "not able to commit themselves in a marriage."

 

A Gallup Poll released Tuesday indicated 50% of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid, with 48% saying such marriages should not be legal.

 

LINKS:

 

MS NBC: Rep. Barney Franks Reaction
USA Today: Obama Supports Gay Marriage
CNN: Obama Announces His Support of Same Sex Marriage
WSJ: Obama Backs Gay Marriage
NY Times: Obama Says Gay Marriage Should be Legal

 


Al Franken Responds to President's Statement
 

May 10, 2012

 

Al Franken, Democrat Senator from Minnesota issued the following statement the day after President Barack Obama announced he was in support of same-sex marriage:

 

 

Yesterday was a great day for our country. I was so proud to see our President affirm that no couple should be denied the right to marry. And I was proud of you -- the grassroots activists who have worked hard to change minds and show support as the nation, and the President, have evolved to this point. The President’s words won’t change the law. The discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act is still on the books (although we’re fighting to repeal it). And, in many states, gay and lesbian couples are still being told that their unions simply don’t merit official recognition. Franni and I have been married for nearly 37 years. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. And I will never understand how the ability of others to share in the joys of marriage is supposed to hurt mine. In fact, the way I see it, the more people who are able to experience the hard work and incredible fulfillment that comes with marriage, the stronger the institution becomes. And, by the way, the same is true for a movement like the one we’re building. The more people who are part of it, the stronger we are. Whether you’re gay or straight, married or not, there’s no doubt that removing discrimination from our laws makes us a better country. And there’s no doubt that we only move forward when good people like you decide to take action.
 

LINKS:

 

Twitter

Facebook

 

 


Hilary Clinton Supports LGBT Rights
 

December 2011

 

On Tuesday, December 6, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a landmark speech that outlined the United States' stance on the rights, issues and plight of LGBT people in many countries.  She made her address on global gay rights to United Nations member countries.  "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," Hillary Clinton declared. "It is clear that rights are not conferred by government; they are the birthright of all people. It does not matter what country we live in, who our leaders are, or even who we are. Because we are human, we therefore have rights. And because we have rights, governments are bound to protect them."

 

She said, "My own country's record on human rights for gay people is far from perfect. Until 2003, it was still a crime in parts of our country. Many LGBT Americans have endured violence and harassment in their own lives, and for some, including many young people, bullying and exclusion are daily experiences. So we, like all nations, have more work to do to protect human rights at home."  Commenting on LGBT rights as a genuine human rights issue, Hillary stated, "We are honoring rights that people always had, rather than creating new or special rights for them. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

 

Addressing what gay or human rights violations are, she specified...

 

--When a person is beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave.
--When governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished.
- When lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments.
--When people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives.
--When lifesaving care is withheld from people because they are gay, or equal access to justice is denied to people because they are gay, or public spaces are out of bounds to people because they are gay.

 

Hillary expressed her opinion of those who hold outdated views, by saying, "Some seem to believe it is a Western phenomenon, and therefore people outside the West have grounds to reject it. Well, in reality, gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world. They are all ages, all races, all faiths; they are doctors and teachers, farmers and bankers, soldiers and athletes; and whether we know it, or whether we acknowledge it, they are our family, our friends, and our neighbors. Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality."

 

Speaking to LGBT people worldwide, she said, "Wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support or feel isolated and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America and you have millions of friends among the American people."

 

LINK:

 

Advocate Mag: Eight Must-Read Moments From Hillary's Speech

 


Proposition 8 Struck Down

 

August 2010

 

Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, was voted into law in California.  On May 26, 2009, the California Supreme Court's 6-1 decision upheld Proposition 8. Two couples would not be silent while their relationships were declared unworthy of a marriage license. They took their case to a federal district court in California.  On August 4, 2010, that court ruled Prop 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. But this decision will likely be appealed, and could go all the way to the Supreme Court.  What a whirlwind day it has been! Across the nation, and throughout the media, our communities are celebrating the decision of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who issued his decision in the Perry V. Schwarzenegger yesterday, striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.

 

 

This decision is a big step towards marriage equality and we have plenty of reason to celebrate, but we have a long road ahead of us. After yesterday’s ruling, advocates on both sides expect the case to be heard by the 9th Circuit Appeals Court and possibly, the U.S. Supreme Court.  As we celebrate this victory in California, we cannot rest in our efforts to make our voices heard on marriage equality, because our opponents have been quick sound off.

 

These opponents to marriage equality were quick to deploy their hateful rhetoric after the decision came down. Shortly after the decision was announced, the anti-equality group Concerned Women for America lashed out, saying:  “Homosexual activists use same-sex ‘marriage’ as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent’s values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.”

 

Of course, pro-equality voices also rang out yesterday. HRC President Joe Solmonese joined the voices of those recognizing the importance of this decision. “After hearing extensive evidence in support of marriage equality, and essentially no defense of the discrimination wrought by Prop 8,” Said Solmonese. “Judge Walker reached the same conclusion we have always known to be true – the Constitution’s protections are for all Americans, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”

 

As San Francisco couples quickly found out, it is still too soon to celebrate complete victory; Judge Walker gave the opposition until Friday to make an argument to an appeals court before the stay on same-sex marriage is lifted in the state. This hasn’t stopped our community from celebrating. Throughout California and spreading across the nation, people joyously proclaimed their support of this decision in the streets, on the web and at home with their families.  It takes a lot to ensure that our rights our protected. This may not have been possible without the efforts of Kristin Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo – the couples involved in this case who stood up for their love even when it was difficult. We would love for you to join us in thanking these couples for the journey that they have been through to make this all possible.

 

(From Anthony Moll / HRC)
 

LINKS:

San Francisco Chronicle: Prop 8 Decision Greeted with Joy
Human Rights Campaign: Prop 8 Unconstitutional, Victory for Marriage
Long Beach Post: Crowd celebrates Prop 8 Decision
MSNBC/Today: Celebrity Reaction to Prop 8 Decision
HRC: Prop 8 Back Story

 

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama