Watch the San Francisco Foundation 2009 Community Leadership Awards Feature on NCLR

September 30, 2009

from the San Francisco Foundation

National Center for Lesbian Rights has a pioneering spirit and unwavering commitment to advancing the civil and human rights of LGBT people. Its precedent-setting case victories have rewritten laws to change the legal landscape for all LGBT people and families across the nation. Through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education, NCLR advocates on behalf of LGBT people and their families nationwide. For 30 years, NCLR has been at the forefront of pursuing justice, fairness, and legal protections for all LGBT people.

The following video, produced by Citizen Film, features Executive Director Kate Kendell describing NCLR’s vision for equality and justice for all:

On September 22, 2009, NCLR received a Community Leadership Award. The San Francisco Foundation honored NCLR with the John R. May Award, made for organizational initiatives in response to a significant contemporary problem.

Domestic Partnerships Back on Agenda

September 30, 2009

by Steve Terrell | The New MexicanNew_Mexico_state_seal

During his final year in office, Gov. Bill Richardson will try again to get the New Mexico Legislature to pass a bill establishing domestic partnerships, an aide confirmed Tuesday.

Eric Witt, Richardson’s legislative liaison, said the bill will be introduced in the regular 30-day session of the Legislature, which convenes in January to deal primarily with financial matters.

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Doctors Settle Case for Denying Lesbian Treatment

September 30, 2009

from the Associated Press

A California woman has settled a lawsuit against her former doctors who denied her artificial insemination based on her sexual orientation, attorneys for both sides said Tuesday.

Guadalupe Benitez, 36, of Oceanside, and her spouse sued doctors at North Coast Women’s Medical Group in Vista for discrimination in 2001. California’s highest court last year barred the Christian doctors from invoking religious beliefs, ruling state law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination extends to the medical profession.

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Lesbians to Follow on Twitter

September 30, 2009

by Kathy Belge |

twitter_logoI love Twitter. For me, it’s a mix of breaking news, political commentary, activism alerts and random silliness. Here is a list of lesbians I like to follow on Twitter.

1. Suze Orman
If you’re a fan of her financial advice, then you want to follow Suze Orman on Twitter. Suze gives advice, responds to questions, talks about her partner KT, a bit about her personal life and things she enjoys. Like the Suze Orman show, her tweets are upbeat and informational.

2. Melissa Etheridge Street Team
Although the tweets don’t appear to be written by Melissa herself, they are coming from her fan club. If you’re a Melissa fan, you can stay on top of her performances, appearances on TV shows, (It’s how I found out she was going to be on VH1 Divas with Kelly Clarkson.) and the latest from her upcoming album and tours.

3. Tegan and Sara
Lesbian twin pop stars. Not a gimmick. Good. With tweets about their daily observations, upcoming album and tour info and links to free music downloads any fan of Tegan and Sara should be following this duo. Sample tweet: “Thank you for the birthday wishes. So stoked to be 21. Finally! Gone to bar. Be back later. (kidding).”

4. Rachel Maddow
Rachel gets Twitter. She tweets when they’re something good to say. She doesn’t promo every show, just the ones worth mentioning. For fun stuff like this tweet, “Photo of President Obama having the least amount of fun anyone’s ever had with tequila.” For political junkies and Rachel Maddow fans, this she is a fun tweet to follow.

5. Ellen DeGeneres
If you’re on Twitter, you’re probably already following Ellen. Three million of you are. Ellen updates with a few fun moments from her show, tweets give-aways and teasers. Sometimes she’s sincere Ellen, “I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance, and Russel Ferguson just blew me away. I hope he makes through to the next round!” Other times she gives a little insight into her life: “This is our writing session for today’s show. Sometimes we take little breaks.”

6. Dorothy Snarker
“I’m misanthropic, but in a nice way.” Author of the popular Dorothy Surrenders blog tweets about lesbian celebrities and celebrities you wish were lesbian. It’s all good fun and worth a follow for sure. Sample tweets: “Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?” — The wisdom of Oz.” “Ilene Chaiken is looking for lesbians. RUN LESBIANS, RUN!”

7. Sisters Talk
Genia Stevens, host of Sister Talk radio is on the edge for me. She tweets a lot. Many times a day. But I keep following her because what she’s saying is so informative. She doesn’t just push her show, like some other radio hosts do. She tweets about important news and events in the LGBT community. Like “Study: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender middle school students harassed more” and “Memphis Billboard Featuring Gay Marine Vandalized” Sometimes she’s interactive: “Question for the lesbians: Do you think lesbians have sex on the first date more often that we like to admit it?”

8. Girlports
I follow a couple of travel writers, mainly because I like to fantasize that that could be my job. Girlports tweets about travel for lesbians. Tidbits to tantalize like, “For those of you coming to Canada for the Olympics this winter – the drive between Vancouver and Whistler is simply breathtaking!” or travel tips like this one “Love electroqueer parties, especially ones hosted by lesbians? There’s tons of new ones in Berlin.”

9. National Center for Lesbian Rights
Marriage Equality. Repealing DOMA. Ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Fighting for LGBT equality all across the US. That’s what the National Center for Lesbian Rights is all about and that’s what their tweets are all about. Stay on top of the latest LGBT politics by following National Center for Lesbian Rights. And while you’re at it follow NCLR director Kate Kendell.

10. Kate Clinton
Comedian Kate Clinton is fairly new to Twitter, but she seems to have this thing down. People follow a comedian because they want to laugh. “Serena is selling Tampax! Don’t need em anymore. To support her, I’m giving as stocking stuffers.” Love it!

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Can the NFL Tackle Homophobia?

September 30, 2009

nfl-logoby Dave Zirin | The Nation

In the recent past, LGBT issues were only part of the NFL landscape when players held press conferences to assure fans that despite the rumors, they are not gay (without even adding the requisite “not that there’s anything wrong with that”).

But as a direct result of the movement for marriage equality, there are green shoots for social justice becoming visible in the locker room.

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Pentagon Airs Criticism of ‘Don’t Ask

September 30, 2009

by Bryan Bender | Boston Globe

An article in the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal calls in unambiguous terms for lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, arguing that the military is essentially forcing thousands of gay men and women to lead dishonest lives in an organization that emphasizes integrity as a fundamental tenet.

The article in the upcoming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, which is published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was written by an Air Force colonel who studied the issue for months while a student at the National Defense University in Washington and who concludes that having openly gay troops in the ranks will not hurt combat readiness.

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Coming Out in Middle School

September 30, 2009

By Benoit Denizet-Lewis | The New York Times Magazine

NYT Image.1-190

picture by Brent Humphreys for The New York Times

Austin didn’t know what to wear to his first gay dance last spring. It was bad enough that the gangly 13-year-old from Sand Springs, Okla., had to go without his boyfriend at the time, a 14-year-old star athlete at another middle school, but there were also laundry issues. “I don’t have any clean clothes!” he complained to me by text message, his favored method of communication.

When I met up with him an hour later, he had weathered his wardrobe crisis (he was in jeans and a beige T-shirt with musical instruments on it) but was still a nervous wreck. “I’m kind of scared,” he confessed. “Who am I going to talk to? I wish my boyfriend could come.” But his boyfriend couldn’t find anyone to give him a ride nor, Austin explained, could his boyfriend ask his father for one. “His dad would give him up for adoption if he knew he was gay,” Austin told me. “I’m serious. He has the strictest, scariest dad ever. He has to date girls and act all tough so that people won’t suspect.”

Austin doesn’t have to play “the pretend game,” as he calls it, anymore. At his middle school, he has come out to his close friends, who have been supportive. A few of his female friends responded that they were bisexual. “Half the girls I know are bisexual,” he said. He hadn’t planned on coming out to his mom yet, but she found out a week before the dance. “I told my cousin, my cousin told this other girl, she told her mother, her mother told my mom and then my mom told me,” Austin explained. “The only person who really has a problem with it is my older sister, who keeps saying: ‘It’s just a phase! It’s just a phase!’

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