Thursday, March 24, 2011

News round up: Inspiration from New York to the UN!

Encouraging developments within the movement for LGBT equality and justice have been seen both in our own state and around the world this week.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is bringing a lawsuit against New York City for its outdated and cruel policy that prevents transgender people from obtaining birth certificates that accurately display their gender. The Pride Agenda has been urging this change for years locally and statewide and is sorry to see this become a legal figh, but it’s not too late to change. We ask you to take a moment to leave a positive comment on these articles in the New York Post and the New York Daily News.

The NYPD is considering the beating death of Anthony Callao in Queens an anti-gay hate crime. This follows an incide last month, when Williamsburg resident Barie Shortell was severely beaten by a group of teenagers who also yelled anti-gay slurs. The five days Barie spent in the hospital and the months of follow-up care he will require will likely add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Barie now plans to get involved with teen anti-violence education. A vigil was held last night for Anthony. These tragedies remind us that there is still a long way to go in the fight to achieve equality and justice for the LGBT community.

Mayor Bloomberg has promised to do his part to push Senate Republicans to support the marriage bill.

Also, a heartwarming story was published this morning about Jamestown newlyweds Amber and Katie Allison. The Allisons recently traveled to Connecticut to get married and are now planning a ceremony in Jamestown. The two women submitted a wedding announcement to the local paper, which was published without question. Despite some negative feedback from their community, Amber and Katie welcome the opportunity to change people’s perceptions about the LGBT community.

Finally, on his recent trip to Brazil, President Obama found common ground with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The pair announced that they would seek to establish within the Organization of American States a “Special Rapporteur” dedicated to achieving respect for LGBT individuals, a first-of-its-kind position in the world. The administration also urged the United Nations to address human rights abuses against LGBT people, a marked departure from past presidents and a step towards more international consensus that all people have human rights.

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