Sunday, October 19, 2014

LGBTQ+ MUST CARE!



“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail

In solidarity with The National Day of Protest this Wednesday October 22, please join the LGBTQ+ community for a conversation on why we should care about Ferguson.

LGBTQ+ & Black Oppression: Why We Should All Care About Ferguson
Location: Black Space, 2847 Cherokee St, St Louis, MO 63118
Time: 6-8pm

Contributors:
Ashley Yates with Millennial Activists United
http://millennialau.tumblr.com/

Ashton Rome with Socialist Alternative
http://www.socialistalternative.org/

Ed Reggi with ShowMeNoHate
http://www.showmenohate.com/ 

“One very tangible way it [Ferguson] affects the Queer Community is in the issue of intersectionality. LGBTQAIP people are not just white. This community is unique in that we are made up of an incredibly diverse group of people. According to polling done in 2012, 33% of LGBT people are people of color. Those of us who are not people of color tend to forget that there are LGBTQAIP people in every different culture, race, and class. We are looked to as the community of acceptance, and we constantly demanding equality. But equality is not a reality if it is only being granted to one group of people. We cannot ignore the injustices happening around us while we demand the freedom to live our lives peacefully. These issues are linked. They are not isolated from each other. Stories like CeCe McDonald’s illustrate where homophobia and transphobia meet racism and prove that the attitudes perpetuating racism are often held by the same people displaying hatred for the Queer Community.”

- An excerpt from Anthony Doubek’s reaction to Ferguson. Read full story:
http://boxersandbinders.com/2014/08/why-the-queer-community-should-care-about-ferguson-mo.html

Read background on CeCe McDonald:
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-transgender-crucible-20140730

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

COMING OUT DAY, JUSTICE FOR ALL

Original Artwork (c) Keith Haring 1988
BE SURE TO CLICK ON OUR FACBEOOK EVENT

National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as a gender or sexual minority and is observed annually by members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

This year October 11 is also when the nation comes to Ferguson/St. Louis to demand justice for Mike Brown and an end to the crisis of discriminatory and violent policing nationwide. On Saturday October 11, we "Come Out for Justice!" and march in solidarity with our Black and Brown community, to raise our voices for a criminal justice system that honors the lives, safety, and dignity of all communities. “Black Lives Matter!” Martin Luther King, Jr. so poignantly stated, “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.”

**** LOCATION HAS CHANGED ***
Saturday, October 11, 10:00am the Justice for All national march and rally begins at Memorial Plaza Park, 14th Street and Market (across from Peabody Opera House) and march to the Old Courthouse, 11 N 4th St, St Louis, MO 63102.

Around Noon, protesters will rally at Kiener Plaza, 500 Chestnut St, St Louis, MO 63101, featuring many leaders from the #Ferguson movement and around the country.

(See http://fergusonoctober.com/ for details.)

CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!
The St. Louis LGBTQ+ community can help by volunteering as: Marshalls, Medics, De-escalation, Mobilization Ambassadors, and Hospitality. If you are interested in any of these roles please click here http://bit.ly/comingout4justice to sign-up.

Schedule of other events for the week:
Clayton, MO - Friday, October 10, 3:00pm - The Weekend of Resistance will start with “Justice Now,” a march and rally outside Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s office in Clayton to call for him to step aside from the case against Darren Wilson and allow a special prosecutor to be appointed. http://fergusonoctober.com/

Ferguson, MO - Sunday, October 12: “The Hip Hop and Hope day of action,” will feature a block party hosted by local hip-hop artists, a mass meeting organized by faith leaders in the tradition of the Civil Rights movement with a keynote from Dr. Cornel West at St. Louis Chaifetz Arena. http://fergusonoctober.com/

St. Louis, MO - Monday, October 13: Taking their cue from the “Moral Monday,” movement in the South, activists and faith leaders will participate in civil disobedience actions around the St. Louis region. http://fergusonoctober.com/

Monday, October 6, 2014

SCOTUS SENDS IT BACK


Stunning SCOTUS Move Widens Same-Sex Marriage To 30 States

by NINA TOTENBERG
October 06, 2014 5:40 PM ET
Read full article here

In a stunning move, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday stepped out of the gay-marriage debate — at least for now. It refused to review lower court decisions that struck down state bans on same-sex marriage; but the decision not to decide will nevertheless have an immediate and dramatic effect, bringing the total number of states where gay marriage is legal up to 30.

Without saying or writing a word, the justices let stand three appeals court decisions, covering parts of the South, Midwest and West. That means that same-sex couples will now be able to marry in 11 more states: Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Add those 11 states to the 19 states that already allow gay marriage, and you have 30 states where such unions are legal.

Thousands more same-sex couples are expected to begin marrying immediately. In Virginia, for instance, the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples just hours after the Supreme Court's action.

Of course, some appeals courts could, this year or next, uphold a same-sex-marriage ban. Were that to happen, the Supreme Court would very likely have to resolve the conflicting decisions. There are a number of other same-sex-marriage cases in the pipeline. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the far West and Northwest, and the 6th Circuit, covering parts of the Midwest, have both heard arguments in cases that challenge state bans on same-sex marriage, and a decision in either case could be in the offing. Two other circuits are poised to hear challenges to district court decisions striking down gay-marriage bans in Texas and Florida.

But by the time any of these cases reaches the Supreme Court, there are likely to be tens of thousands more same-sex couples married in the 11 states where the Supreme Court declined to intervene on Monday. And it's hard to imagine the justices then telling those married couples that they are not married after all. Gay-marriage opponents, who were largely silent on Monday, conceded privately that there would be "chaos" if the high court later decides to backtrack.

"The Supreme Court justices are very smart people. I don't think they're going to be able to put the genie back in the bottle," said Amy Howe, editor of the leading Supreme Court blog, SCOTUSBlog. Howe said that the message to the lower courts may be "grudging," but it's pretty clear: "Keep on doing what you're doing. We may not be ready to proclaim a national constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but we're not going to stop you from doing it on a state-by-state basis."

Some in the gay community, like Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, had hoped for more. "It's not a done deal until it's done," he said, adding that Freedom to Marry and other organizations will "keep making the case that every day matters and couples shouldn't have to fight state by state, or year by year for the freedom to marry."

Others, however, saw the court's action as a huge victory. "I think that today is one of the greatest days in the history of lesbian and gay rights in the United States," said David Codell, constitutional litigation director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Indeed, the Supreme Court's action, or more precisely, its inaction, is likely to put greater pressure on the 20 remaining states where gay marriage is not legal. Already gay marriage is legal in areas accounting for 60 percent of the American population. And at least some of the cases in the pipeline are likely to boost that number still further.

AG KOSTER BACKS MARRIAGE!

Missouri Attorney General Cris Koster

Attorney General Koster's statement on his decision not to appeal in Barrier v. Vasterling

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today released the following statement:

"The circuit court's judgment in Barrier v. Vasterling held that Missouri must recognize marriages lawfully entered into in other states. We will not appeal that judgment. Our national government is founded upon principles of federalism – a system that empowers Missouri to set policy for itself, but also obligates us to honor contracts entered into in other states.

A consequence of this morning's ruling by the United States Supreme Court is that gay marriage will soon be legal in as many as 30 states. At a time when Missouri is competing to attract the nation's premier businesses and most talented employees, we should not demand that certain individuals surrender their marriage licenses in order to live and work among us. Missouri's future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion."

Friday, October 3, 2014

SHOW ME VICTORY!

J. Dale Youngs, a Jackson County, Missouri circuit court judge. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Missouri Judge Side With Married Same-Sex Couples
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oct 3, 2014, 4:51 PM ET
By BILL DRAPER Associated Press


Missouri must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states, a state judge ruled Friday, saying the state's constitution and laws banning the unions are unconstitutional.


The order by Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs means that such couples will be eligible to sign up for a wide range of tax, health insurance, veterans and other benefits now afforded to opposite-sex couples. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who has defended the state's ban on gay marriage, said it was reviewing the ruling.


Youngs ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by 10 same-sex couples who were married in states where gay marriage is legal. They couple argue that their rights to equal protection and due process are being violated by Missouri's ban on gay marriage.

Janice Barrier (left) and Sherie Schild Photo credit: The Vital Voice

Young agreed, saying the couples deserve the same recognition as opposite-sex couples who were married in other states. He said the laws serve no legitimate government interest.


The case is among at least three challenging Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage. The others include a federal challenge in Kansas City and a St. Louis case in which city officials granted marriage licenses to four same-sex couples to trigger a legal test of the ban.


The lawsuits are based on the same arguments that led the U.S. Supreme Court last year to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied a tax, health and other benefits to legally married gay couples.


Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The American Civil Liberties Union says it has marriage cases pending against 13 other states, of which five are before federal appeals courts.