Thursday, January 10, 2008

Morning Sweep

Bill Richardson has announced that he's dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary race. Pam Spaulding reminds us of his good record on LGBT issues.

The guy in Boston who tried to sue the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners over a question on the bar exam relating to gay marriage is now apologizing to gays and lesbians for being "instrument of bigotry and prejudice."

An interesting story in the Middle East Times about gay and lesbian Israelis and Palestinians working together for equal rights.

A 14-year old girl in England committed suicide after enduring endless taunts from her peers who called her a lesbian because of how she dressed and behaved. This incredibly sad and AVOIDABLE event is exactly why it's so important that lawmakers in New York State pass the Dignity for All Students Act.

Paris' openly gay mayor may be the target of Islamic Radicals, reports the Assoicated Press.

1 comment:

John M said...

Let me begin by saying that when I read of Belinda Allen’s tragic death I didn’t know whether to be angry or cry or both. Regardless of why she committed suicide, it is extremely saddening to hear of suicide, especially the suicide of a young person. As an 18 year old college student I think of myself as extremely lucky to have overcome my own depression and suicidal tendencies that resulted mainly from constant bullying and harassment because of my sexuality. Looking back on my own experiences in high school I realize that the only reason why I am still here is luck. Had circumstances been slightly different I probably would have committed suicide myself. It makes me so angry that suicide would be entirely avoidable if help were readily available for young people--If only someone had intervened when the bullying occurred. And as someone who has experienced it firsthand, it makes me so sad when I hear of teenage suicide. The first gay peer I met in high school committed suicide in part because of the anti-gay harassment he experienced. When I think of him and remember his calling hours, when I look back on my own experiences and when I read about Belinda I can’t help but think, it could have been me. And it absolutely disgusts me that when a possible solution is presented, like the Dignity for All Students Act, that law makers would completely dismiss it because of party politics! Almost just as bad is when DASA is dismissed because lawmakers feel that it wouldn’t work. I have to ask, is it better to have tried with the possibility that it may or may not work or is it better to throw your hands up and say well DASA probably won’t work so let’s not bother? I would have to say it’s better to take action--do something to prevent the bullying and harassment that leads to suicide. After all if we were to ask a politician is it better to run and possibly loose or to not run at all?, the answer would be a no brainer for them. So why isn’t passing DASA a no brainer? Hmmm… here are some of the reasons I have actually heard from NYS’s elected officials and their staff: “we don’t like to label children, so we couldn’t support a bill that forces people to be labeled as some sort of minority,” or “wouldn’t this bill prevent kids from busting chops,? When I was a kid if I called my friend a homo, I was just busting chops. This law would take away my right to do that… now you might say I shouldn’t call someone a homo but…” or “we think this law would just send us down a slippery slope.” Well there you have it a bill to help curb bullying and harassment shot down by our law makers because of… well I can’t find a good reason. So like I said I don’t know whether to be angry or sad or both. But I know this: high school would have been different for me and my friend and for Belinda if only help were more readily available. My thoughts are with her family.