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LGBT news and information, and community for The Coffee Party
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New Poll Finds that More Americans Oppose DOMA, Support Equal Treatment Under the Law - eNews Park Forest

New Poll Finds that More Americans Oppose DOMA, Support Equal Treatment Under the Law - eNews Park Forest | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

Washington, D.C.--(ENEWSPF)--February 19, 2013. Today, in advance of the Perry and Windsor Supreme Court hearings next month, the Center for American Progress and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders released the results of a national voter survey showing an increase in public opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, as a clear case of discrimination and support for equal treatment for legally married same-sex couples under federal law—even if the individual polled is generally opposed to marriage equality.


“When the Defense of Marriage act was enacted into law in 1996, no one envisioned that nine states would have legalized, or be in the process of legalizing, marriage equality for same-sex couples. Today the law deprives thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples the federal benefits and protections that are afforded to all other married people,” said Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress. “This poll confirms that a majority of Americans disagree with the inherent unfairness in giving only some legally married couples the benefits that go hand in hand with these unions.”


The poll, conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research and Voter Consumer Research, finds that... [MORE]


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Final mass held for gay Catholics

Final mass held for gay Catholics | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

A mass for gay and lesbian Catholics has been held for the last time in central London because the Church says it goes against its views on sexuality.


The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales said it conflicted with religious teachings on sexuality.


The Archbishop of Westminster has asked organisers of the service in Soho to instead concentrate on providing pastoral care.


Gay rights charity Stonewall has said it was a "real shame".


The masses have been held at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Warwick Street, Soho, for the last six years. Previously they had been congregating in an Anglican church.


Joe Stanley, chairman of Soho Masses Pastoral Council, said: "Because a lot of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people find a lot of difficulty in being open and honest in Church, what we offer here is the ability, twice a month, to come and stand openly and honestly and directly before God." [MORE]

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Group Pushing Indiana High School to Ban Gays and Lesbians from Prom - eNews Park Forest

Group Pushing Indiana High School to Ban Gays and Lesbians from Prom - eNews Park Forest | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

"Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, is condemning the efforts of a small group in Indiana working to ban gay and lesbian students from attending the Sullivan High School prom this year. One student who supports the ban told a local NBC affiliate: 'We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don't think it's right nor should it be accepted.'


"The high school says it cannot ban gay and lesbian students from attending, but school officials can do more to condemn the efforts underway and send a message that singling out LGBT students is unacceptable. One student referred to a prom that would prohibit LGBT youth as a 'good' prom, while a special education teacher in the area said she believes allowing LGBT kids to attend the high school’s prom is 'offensive.'' [MORE]

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How Romney Could Have Turned This Election Into A Landslide

How Romney Could Have Turned This Election Into A Landslide | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by KAYE TOAL, Upworthy


The presidential election has left many Romney supporters wondering where, exactly, their man went wrong. Turns out the answer's both incredibly complicated (fact checks! hyper-partisan divisiveness!) and not that complicated at all: Women, queer people, and people of color all care a lot about maintaining their right to exist and to keep working toward full equality. By forgetting those people, Mitt Romney sort of shot himself in the foot. It's too bad, too; if this election were held pre-suffrage, homeboy would have won by a LANDSLIDE. This fantastic map by the good people at Buzzfeed breaks down what that would've looked like.

Kinda makes you wonder—what does this say about equality in the U.S.?

 


Coffee Party USA's insight:

If this isn't a wake up call to the GOP to abandon the (perceived and real) racism that is associated with their party (and its brand), then they are doomed to be swept aside as irrelevant by an ever-changing racial demographic in America. - Greg Russak

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US Radio host: Gays aren’t human so aren’t protected by the US constitution

US Radio host: Gays aren’t human so aren’t protected by the US constitution | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

An American Christian radio host who last week said that same-sex marriage encourages children to have gay sex has now said that as she believes humans aren’t naturaly homosexual, gays aren’t ‘people’ and shouldn’t be protected under the definition of a person.

Linda Harvey, a radio host with an Ohio based Christian radio station WRFD asked her Mission America listeners: “Why should the equal protection argument be made in favour of homosexual behavior, which is changeable? People are not naturally homosexual, so the definition of ‘person’ in the Fourteenth Amendment is being twisted to make this assumption. [MORE]

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Notre Dame Officially Recognizes First GLBTQ Organization |News | Towleroad

Notre Dame Officially Recognizes First GLBTQ Organization |News | Towleroad | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

For the first time, Notre Dame says it will officially recognize a student organization providing services and support to LGBT students and allies, The Observer reports:

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2012/12/notre-dame-officially-recognizes-first-glbtq-organization.html#ixzz2EDGCmsS2


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Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding the Transgender Day of Remembrance, memorializing transgender Americans who have lost their lives as a result of violence...

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For Gay Catholics, an Alternative to the Collection Plate

For Gay Catholics, an Alternative to the Collection Plate | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

The Catholic bishops may be holding firm, but their flock is drifting away from them. According to a recent poll by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans has risen over the last five years. The poll's authors attributed this decline in part to public cynicism about religious leaders who tap revenue streams from their congregations to advance their own political goals.


For gay Catholics our straight Catholic allies, this question became especially relevant during the recent elections. We saw the highly-coordinated efforts by some bishops to stanch the growing marriage equality movement - and the Catholic church resources that helped fuel their effort - and wondered, "Is it really possible to support marriage equality while still being a church-going Catholic who tithes?"


By donating gift cards to local priests, churchgoers can support their parishes without accidentally funding political causes.

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Video: HRC President Chad Griffin on Historic Night for LGBT Equality

HRC President Chad Griffin on Historic Night for LGBT Equality

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Maryland Catholic Priest Breaks With Church To Urge Marriage Equality

Maryland Catholic Priest Breaks With Church To Urge Marriage Equality | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

What made Lawrence's presentation of his view more remarkable was that it was preceded by his reading the letter written by Lori, who as archbishop oversees Lawrence, urging the congregation of the importance of opposing the referendum in Maryland on Nov. 6 over the marriage equality bill passed and signed into law earlier this year. Lori told all parishioners in the letter, read by Lawrence, that they faced "the momentous choice of whether to maintain marriage as the union of one man and one woman in Maryland, or to irrevocably dismantle our state's legal recognition of the most basic unit of our society — the family unit of mother, father and child."


Lawrence, after finishing the archbishop's letter, then told the congregation of his views and asked them, "[C]ould not civil law be allowed to progress where church law cannot go, at least not yet? Personally, I believe that it can and that it should."


He concluded: "So there you have it: the official teaching of the church and my personal reflections."


According to the Catholic Reporter's Arthur Jones, the parishioners gave Lawrence a standing ovation.


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Obama: Four More Years

Obama: Four More Years | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

I personally support Barack Obama for president of the United States. I have studied him since 1996, and I have watched him do what he says, even when the tasks are very hard. He has more to do, and he deserves more time to complete his agenda.

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BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down DOMA In Opinion By Republican-Appointed Judge

BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down DOMA In Opinion By Republican-Appointed Judge | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs is a very conservative judge. He joined a court decision effectively declaring corporationsimmune to international human rights law — even when they “trade in or exploit slaves, employ mercenary armies to do dirty work for despots, perform genocides or operate torture prisons for a despot’s political opponents, or engage in piracy.” And he once gave a speech to the conservative Federalist Society decrying the “anti-social effects” of attorneys providing free legal services to the less fortunate.


And yet, this severely conservative judge is also the author of an opinion striking down the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act. Even more significantly, Chief Judge Jacobs’ opinion concludes that any law which discriminates against gay men and lesbians should be treated very skeptically under our Constitution

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Civil Rights 2012

Civil Rights 2012 | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by Lt. Dan Choi


I ask myself everyday why we must keep fighting. My straight friends say that gays should celebrate... since we got everything so quickly. You know, since we're "fully equal." This is the myth of 2012. Some gay folks in 2012 have accepted this myth.


As I write this, I am traveling to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to honor SSG Donna R. Johnson, killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. She served us, protected us, lived the military's values. Now in her death, will we stand with her? With her wife? SSG Tracy Dice survives Donna but gets no help during the grieving, gets no recognition, even in the military newspapers. Now a church group pickets her funeral. How many others still suffer silently, needlessly? Our work is not done. No way.


Military Sexual Assault, Rape, Hate Crimes and Discrimination have not disappeared just because the Pentagon held a Pride Party and politicos smiled for cameras at Don't Ask Don't Tell's repeal. We recently heard of two gay soldiers, Kevin and Kole who were raped and infected with HIV, given no support by the military even after getting kicked to the curb. They are joining a group suing to make our military fair, but our gay groups, where are they? Has the election imposed a new "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on our "LGBT Civil Rights" organizations?


In the civilian world, we still suffer unjust firings for our honesty. We must end this "Civilian Don't Ask Don't Tell" by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. America agrees: we cannot build any team while tossing out talent, forcing fear in the hearts of hard workers.  [MORE]

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With No Shortcut to a Green Card, Gay Couples Leave U.S.

With No Shortcut to a Green Card, Gay Couples Leave U.S. | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

Not long ago, Brandon Perlberg had a growing law practice and a Manhattan apartment he shared with his partner, who is British. They hosted themed dinner parties and wine tastings for a wide circle of friends.


But Mr. Perlberg, an American who is gay, now lives in London. Early last year he reluctantly left his law firm, rented out his apartment and said goodbye to friends. After nearly seven years in the United States on legal but temporary visas, his partner had not been able to obtain a visa as a permanent resident. The two were facing the possibility of permanent separation.

Americans with a foreign-born spouse of the opposite sex are able to get them resident visas, or green cards, with relative ease. But federal law does not allow Americans to petition for green cards for same-sex spouses or partners. Eventually, they face a choice of remaining in the country with the immigrant here illegally or leaving the United States.

“Ultimately, we resolved that staying together was the most important thing for us,” Mr. Perlberg said. “And the only way to guarantee that we got to stay together was by making this move.” [MORE]


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Do Gay People Really Make Up 3.5% of the Population?

Do Gay People Really Make Up 3.5% of the Population? | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it


By DASHIELL BENNETT at The Atlantic Wire


After years of wild guess and flawed estimations, Gallup has attempted to get some hard data on just how many gay, lesbian, and bisexual people there are in America. So how good are their are numbers?


The polling company took state-by-state surveys of all 50 states and District of Columbia, asking one simple question: "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?" With more than 200,000 responses over the course of six months, this is a pretty large sample for a seemingly simple question that has yet to be definitively answered. Gallup also found that outside of a few outliers, the results were remarkably consistent across the entire nation. Averaging all the state polls together gives you a nationwide average of 3.5 percent, and every state in the union (but not D.C.) is within two percentage points of that average. That's also right around the margin of error for the polls.


Does that seem right? Well, no one really knows, honestly, because no one has ever attempted a true census-like survey of the whole nation before. As many LGBT writers and activists have pointed out, for years many simply just went with a guesstimate of around 10 percent of the country being not straight; a number that probably seemed way too high or way too low depending on where you lived and who you hung out with. In a previous Gallup poll young people and women have even guessed that the number could be as high as 30 percent, proving that people aren't really good at estimating these kinds of things. [MORE]

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Boy Scouts Job Application: 'Known or Avowed Homosexuals' Need Not Apply - eNews Park Forest

Boy Scouts Job Application: 'Known or Avowed Homosexuals' Need Not Apply - eNews Park Forest | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

From the HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN


"Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Following recent news that the Boy Scouts of America is considering a change to its membership policy banning gay scouts, the organization is embroiled in new charges of discrimination, this time regarding its hiring practices. The BSA job application for “professional commission” explicitly says gays need not apply.


The application, which comes from the BSA’s national office and appears to be in use across the country, reads:  "The Boy Scouts of America will not employ atheists, agnostics, known or avowed homosexuals.” The full application can be viewed here.


The application language appears to contradict the BSA’s practice of not inquiring about the sexual orientation of an employee. Last year, when upholding its ban on openly gay scouts and scout leaders, the BSA affirmed that it did “not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members.”


'The BSA must do more to end the rampant, institutionalized discrimination within their ranks and send a message to today’s youth that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay,' said HRC President Chad Griffin.


'A comprehensive non-discrimination policy that addresses both employment and membership would show clear and compelling leadership by the Boy Scouts.' [MORE]


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Gay-marriage bill suffers procedural setback; not 'fatal blow,' in Illinois

by DAVE McKINNEY (Chicago Sun-Times)


A bid to legalize gay marriage in Illinois suffered an unexpected setback Wednesday when supporters fell two votes shy of getting the legislative hearing they wanted, meaning no Senate vote on the measure until Thursday at the earliest.


The 28-24 procedural vote showed the razor-thin margins surrounding the contentious issue and clearly caught backers off-guard, thwarting their plan to advance the measure to the Senate floor Wednesday night.


"It's a little bit too soon to conclude it was a fatal blow," said Rikeesha Phelon, spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago).


Late Wednesday, Phelon said the measure would be voted on by the Senate Executive Committee early Thursday. MORE



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Notre Dame To Create First-Ever University-Recognized GLBTQ Student Organization

Notre Dame, IN-(ENEWSPF)- After a five-month review process, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., has accepted recommendations from the Office of Student Affairs to expand and enhance the support of and services for students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ), including the creation of a University recognized student organization.

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Caught in the Budget Battle: How the ‘Fiscal Showdown’ Impacts LGBT Americans

As fiscal cliff deliberations intensify, the Center for American Progress, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and a coalition of 23 other national LGBT organizations today released “Caught in the Budget Battle: How the ‘Fiscal Showdown’ Impacts Gay and Transgender Americans.” This new report details the negative effects that sequestration would have on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans in areas such as employment, health, housing, higher education, and safety.


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Amnesty International: Europe Has Still a Long Way to go to Combat Violence Against Transgender People

European countries should take further steps to protect trans people from violence that has left in excess of a thousand dead worldwide in the past four years, Amnesty International urged on Trans Remembrance Day.

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Landslide Victory for LGBT Equality Up and Down the Ballot

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, reacted to the overwhelming electoral victories for LGBT people, calling it a milestone year with a clear mandate for equality...

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Baltimore pastor speaks his mind in homily on same-sex marriage | National Catholic Reporter

Baltimore pastor speaks his mind in homily on same-sex marriage | National Catholic Reporter | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

In Baltimore's St. Vincent de Paul church, Fr. Richard T. Lawrence read a nuanced letter from Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori at all the weekend's Masses. It concluded: "Each one of us -- as Catholics and faithful citizens -- must show up on election day and do our part by voting against Question 6," the Civil Marriage Protection Act.


"The archbishop's thoughts on this question are powerful, and will be persuasive in conscience to many" and should be read and prayed over by all, said Lawrence, who has been St. Vincent's pastor for 39 years.


He then stated his own homiletic thoughts:


I cannot tell you how any of this will come out, but I will tell you that I stand in genuine awe of all those parents, native-born, naturalized, documented and undocumented, who strive with every fiber of their being to ensure that their children have more opportunities than they had.


And I will continue to stand in genuine awe of all those couples -- straight, gay and lesbian -- whose day-to-day, year-to-year, and decade-to-decade faithfulness to each other is to me a sacrament, a believable embodied sign, of the absolute faithfulness of God to us all.



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SCOTUS to consider DOMA, Prop 8 review next month

SCOTUS to consider DOMA, Prop 8 review next month | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by JILLIAN RAYFIELD, Salon


The Supreme Court will consider whether or not to take up Prop 8 and/or any of several DOMA cases on Nov. 20, and will likely release its decisions by Nov. 26.


The Court is scheduled for a private conference on the 20th, during which it will decide whether to rule on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal challenge to Prop 8. If the Supreme Court decides not to review Prop 8, it will uphold the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that the law violates the 14th Amendment and is unconstitutional.


SCOTUS will also decide whether to rule on any of the four DOMA cases that have been filed before it, including Windsor v. United States, in which the Second Circuit recently found that DOMA is unconstitutional.


On Friday, the Department of Justice filed a brief asking the Court to prioritize a decision on the Windsor case. [MORE]

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Romney Flails on Gay Rights

Romney Flails on Gay Rights | Coffee Party Equality | Scoop.it

by BEN ADLER, The Nation


This has been a confusing week for voters trying to keep track of Mitt Romney’s constantly changing stances on gay rights. As I reported Tuesday, the Log Cabin Republicans endorsed Romney, claiming that Romney opposes workplace discrimination and expressing confidence that he would work with them to pass legislation banning it. From my interview with R. Clarke Cooper, LCR’s executive director, it was clear that Romney had told them as much in private. This is strange, because Romney has not made such a pledge publicly since 1994. More recently, in 2007, he said he would oppose such legislation as burdensome on business.


Some bloggers interpreted my report to mean that Romney had explicitly struck a deal with LCR for their endorsement. That is not necessarily the case. He clearly pandered to them in private prior to winning their endorsement, but that does not mean any deal was made.


BuzzFeed asked Cooper if Romney pledged to sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA], and Cooper said, "I did not say Romney would sign the current form of ENDA.” But, he admitted, that he “discussed legislative vehicles and executive actions with Romney regarding workplace non-discrimination, including ENDA.” The emphasis on the current form of ENDA is crucial: the bill currently in Congress, unlike some prior versions, includes protection for “gender identity” as well as sexual orientation. That means it would protect transgender people as well as gays and lesbians. That may be a bridge too far for Romney.


Cooper reiterated his certainty that Romney would support anti-discrimination policies in an interview with the Washington Blade, saying it was the subject of a meeting between LCR and Romney on Oct. 17. “I can say with confidence that the Romney administration would work on desirable outcomes for workplace non-discrimination,” Cooper said. “I’m going to leave it broad like that because I think there’s room for administrative action as well as legislative. I also think it’s probably fair to say that legislation in a form of an ENDA or an ENDA-like legislation is certainly realistic.”


Given how Romney is trying to carefully balance appeals to social moderates by presenting himself as opposed to discrimination without taking a stand on any actual legislation, figuring out his position on ENDA is turning into Kremlinology. As BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner notes, “Cooper's careful language would allow a lesser, but similar, understanding about Romney's general support for workplace protections to have been reached before the endorsement.” What would such an understanding consist of? [MORE]

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Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama (Video)

Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Billie Jean King, George Takei, Wanda Sykes, Zachary Quinto, and Chaz Bono share why they're supporting President Obama and why Mitt Romney isn't the choice for them.

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