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Readers’ Views on: environmental and social crises; Martin Luther King Day; healthcare crisis, Donald Trump and the election; brutal “justice”; and who reads News & Letters.
We stand in solidarity with those murdered and wounded in the attack on a Gay Florida nightclub, and their families and communities. The struggle for LGBTQI freedom must continue unabated. A response requires developing, practically and philosophically, the uncompromising assertion of human freedom and dignity common to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Arab Spring and the Syrian Revolution, which has long struggled against ISIS and its related ideologies. It means uncompromising solidarity with the LGBTQI community, the target of reactionary attacks across the world, from Trump’s America to Putin’s Russia to ISIS’s “caliphate.”
ACT UP Chicago grew out of an organization that began in 1984 of Dykes and Gay Men Against Racism and Repression. We became an AIDS activism organization, first called Chicago For Our Rights, then by spring Chicago for AIDS Rights. We pushed for lowering the prices of AIDS drugs, and the release of more of them. By October and the national action in Washington, D.C., we had become ACT UP Chicago. AIDS is a global issue today. This time around, I’d like to see an AIDS activist movement that’s organized by poor, working-class, mostly people of color.
From the May-June 2015 issue of News & Letters
Duluth, Minn.—Shannon Miller, the only women’s hockey head coach the University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD) has ever known, has been fired after 16 seasons. “Discrimination rears its ugly head in many forms, and I feel I have been discriminated against because I’m a woman. [=>]
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
by Dee Perkins
With the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories, going nowhere, President Obama signed an executive order July 21 prohibiting such discrimination by federal contractors, which employ some 28 million workers, and, further, [=>]
Review of the book “Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steelworkers” by Anne Balay.
Oppression of women in tech industry; El Salvador demonstrations over miscarriage jailings; Brazilian Stop the Catcalls project.
CeCe McDonald; Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Global Day of Action called by Solidarity Alliance in Nigeria.
Queer Notes: Discrimination in Russia; Intersex in Germany; no prison for rape in Iowa; transition surgery in Iran; Lembembe murdered in Cameroon.
U.S. preacher and bigot Scott Lively will have to face charges of human rights violations in a Massachusetts courtroom. Lively is best known as promoter of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill. His homophobic preaching has led to persecution and death among African Gays.
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
Ex-Pope Benedict’s reactionary career
Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation announcement on Feb. 11 took the world by surprise. It is the first time in almost 600 years that a Pope has decided to quit. He has announced that he will continue to live in the Vatican, bearing the title “Pope emeritus,” and [=>]
The newly signed law that would have protected all California Queer youth from “ex-gay” therapies and therapies to change gender expression has been suspended. Federal Appeals Court judges ruled that there must be a full review of the legality of the Bill (SB 1172). The therapists who administer “ex-gay” therapies claim the law [=>]
On National Coming Out Day this year, youth in particular showed the way. Texas Tech University’s Gay-Straight Alliance members told coming out stories. People wrote their sexual orientation or gender identity on a door provided by the University of Florida’s Pride Student Union. Virginia’s George Mason University held an ice cream social, a [=>]
by Suzanne Rose
Yaounde, Cameroon—Human rights leaders from Africa united to denounce “Gay Hate Day,” which took place on Aug. 21 in Cameroon, and the ongoing arrests of people suspected of being Gay. The Archbishop of Yaounde contributed to this homophobic backlash calling homosexuality “shameful” and “an affront to the family, enemy of women and [=>]
Brave were the marchers in this year’s Pride Parades in Warsaw, Poland; Riga, Latvia; and Split, Croatia. Heavy police protection was required at each march. While the Roman Catholic Church’s anti-Queer stand remains strong, an openly Gay man and a Transsexual person were voted into Poland’s Parliament in 2011 and a number of [=>]
by Suzanne Rose
After six days of 24-hour-a-day activism, LGBT occupiers, activists, and human rights groups in Seoul, South Korea, won the Seoul Student Rights Ordinance, with all clauses in the original draft included. The draft that calls for non-discrimination against LGBT students as well as their active protection passed the council with a vote [=>]
Wherever the bird with no feet flew she found trees with no limbs. —Audre Lorde
It is audacious for Dee Rees to begin Pariah with an image of Black women that today’s film is all too comfortable with, a scantily-clad pole dancer, and then cut to her film’s protagonist, Alike, a character that has little precedent [=>]
‘A Survivor’s Story’
Reform at Victory: a Survivor’s Story by Michele Ulriksen (Pizan Media, 2008, 300 pages)
Reform at Victory is the memoir that sparked the creation of Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA), an organization of adult survivors of abuse at facilities that purport to help troubled teens. The organization’s main focus is fundamentalist Christian “treatment” programs. [=>]
Chicago—Editor’s note: News and Letters Committees hosted a forum in our Chicago office on Aug. 8 on the response within the Gay community to the Facebook page Take Back Boystown posting videos of Blacks fighting as a way to demonize “outsiders” coming to Gay institutions and bars. Below is part of the discussion among panelists [=>]
Here are links to some local news coverage of a recent meeting of the Chicago Local of News and Letters Committees:
Windy City Times: Community groups continue to focus on Lakeview
Gay Chicago: Panel addresses Lake View’s summer turmoil
Here’s the flyer for the meeting:
News and Letters Committees invites you to a forum on: