Month: September 2012

LGBTQ Community: Share Your Story to Make a Better CTA

(GayWebSource.com) September 27, 2012 • Chicago, IL – Affinity Community Services, the Gender and Sexuality Center at UIC, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and The Civil Rights Agenda are pleased to announce a new initiative that invites lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community members to Share Your Story to Make a Better CTA athttp://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C5Q68N3.

 
The four organizations are working with the Chicago Transit Authority to make the transit system and workplace environment more inclusive and safe for all individuals and help prevent discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.  The LGBTQ and allied community are an important part of the CTA’s ridership and staff, and we are working with CTA to increase the quality of service the CTA provides to the LGBTQ community.  By asking LGBTQ Chicagoans to provide feedback on their experiences related to discrimination, the organizations will work in partnership with the CTA to make the CTA a model of LGBTQ respect.

The CTA has partnered with the four organizations to roll out a training program, designed by the organizations, to all of their approximately 10,000 CTA employees in 2012-13.  This training program will educate the staff on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, providing guidelines for inclusive employment practices and progressive social understanding of the LGBTQ community. This training aids employers in ensuring their compliance with the Illinois Human Rights Act, The Cook County Human Rights ordinance and the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance which protects individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  The stories that are submitted will help bring a human element to the training and share real stories of how the LGBTQ community interacts with the CTA on a daily basis. They will also help to provide real examples of the discrimination that the LGBTQ community faces as riders of the CTA.

To assist Affinity Community Services, the Gender and Sexuality Center at UIC, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and The Civil Rights Agenda in this initiative and to Share Your CTA Story, please fill the survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C5Q68N3.

About The Civil Rights Agenda
The Civil Rights Agenda’s mission is to maintain and increase individual rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) citizens in Illinois through inter-generational volunteerism and community-driven project-based education, statewide coalition and network building, and leadership in supporting underserved. Please find us online atwww.jointcra.org or email us at  info@jointcra.org.

About Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance)

The mission of the Alliance is to promote safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research.  The Alliance provides professional development to 3,000 school personnel annually, supports the network over 140 Gay-Straight Alliances across Illinois, and empowers youth to be agents of change in their own schools and communities.  For more information, please visit www.illinoissafeschools.org.

About the Gender & Sexuality Center at UIC
The Gender & Sexuality Center at UIC provides and facilitates education, outreach, research, and support related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA) issues in order to create a more equitable and inclusive campus and world.  The GSC has over ten years of providing interactive Safe Zoe trainings designed to heighten awareness of LGBTQA issues around the region.  The GSC is one of the six Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change at UIC.

About Affinity Community Services

Affinity is a social justice organization that works with and on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities, queer youth, and allies to identify emergent needs, create safe spaces, develop leaders, and bridge communities through collective analysis and action for social justice, freedom, and human rights. Affinity’s focus areas are civic engagement, health and wellness, immigrant justice, and leadership development.

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Media Contact: Anthony Martinez, Executive Director – The Civil Rights Agenda

amartinez@jointcra.org     312-863-9632 – mobile

Media Provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

Nearly 50,000 People Tell CA Gov. Jerry Brown to Stop the Psychological Abuse of Children

Support Bill Banning Use of Harmful Practices

(GayWebSource.com) Washington, September 27, 2012 – Momentum is building in California and across the country to put an end to dangerous efforts designed to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender expression that have proven to inflict great emotional harm and have resulted in suicide.  Governor Jerry Brown can sign Senate Bill 1172, a bill to protect young people from this abuse by prohibiting therapists from using these discredited practices.  To date, nearly 50,000 concerned citizens have signed a Human Rights Campaign petition urging the Governor to sign the bill.

“It is time to safeguard the most vulnerable among us by ending the abusive practice of subjecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth to damaging attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender expression,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Research has shown that far from being beneficial or even neutral, these efforts cause serious, lasting harm.”

Authored by California Senator Ted Lieu, SB 1172 is sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Lambda Legal, Mental Health of North America, and the Courage Campaign.

“This legislation is one of the most important bills our community has ever sponsored,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Governor Brown has an opportunity to ensure that state-licensed therapists cannot subject young people to practices that have been universally condemned by mainstream medical experts and that cause terrible harm.”

Signing this bill into law will protect California’s most vulnerable, like Ryan Kendall whose parents subjected him to the cruel practice that drove him to drug abuse, homelessness, and thoughts of suicide that lasted a decade. Kendall wrote an email to HRC’s more than one million members and supporters yesterday urging them to sign the petition to the Governor.  Additionally, this summer HRC sent a letter to Gov. Brown urging him to support SB 1172.

Efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression have been debunked as junk science, and have also been proven harmful to children and adults.  All major medical and mental health organizations have denounced the practice including: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization.  Learn more atwww.hrc.org/reparativetherapy.

The petition to Gov. Brown is available at: https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1493

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.nclrights.org

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Media Provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute – 10 Point Jump in Support of Gay Marriage

(GayWebSource.com) September 26, 2012 • Chicago, IL – The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), Illinois’ leading statewide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights advocacy organization, has learned that the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute released a poll indicating that the percentage of Illinoisans that support same-sex marriage has increased 10 points from 2010 to 43.6% with 20.2% not in support of it. 31.8% said gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to engage in civil unions.

“This now confirms that a minority of Illinoisans do not support equal marriage in Illinois,” said Rick Garcia, Director of The Equal Marriage Illinois Project, a program of The Civil Rights Agenda focused on marriage equality. “These numbers are such a huge leap forward in such a short period time. This is the same trend we are seeing across the country, as more and more people embrace the idea that gay couples deserve the equal responsibilities and protections that marriage affords.”

Rep. Greg Harris has introduced equal marriage legislation in the Illinois House ofRepresentatives. The Equal Marriage Illinois Project is supporting the equal marriage legislation by organizing across Illinois in support of gaining equal marriage rights in Illinoisthrough the legislative process.

About The Civil Rights Agenda

The Civil Rights Agenda’s mission is to maintain and increase individual rights forLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) citizens in Illinois through inter-generational volunteerism and community-driven project-based education, statewide coalition and network building, and leadership in supporting underserved communities. Please find us online at www.jointcra.org or email us at info@jointcra.org.

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Media Contact  Rick Garcia, Policy Advisor    info@jointcra.org      312.560.0405

Media Provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

Actress Katey Sagal Joins HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality

Golden Globe winner supports marriage rights for same-sex couples nationwide

(GayWebSource.com) WASHINGTON, September 26, 2012 – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video ad featuring actress Katey Sagal for its Americans for Marriage Equality campaign.  In the video, Sagal states, “It’s absolutely crazy to me that most states are willingly harming families by denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.”  The video can be viewed online at www.hrc.org/marriageequality.

“Katey Sagal knows that marriage and families are all about love and commitment,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.  “Couples shouldn’t have to jump through unnecessary hoops put in place by lawmakers in order to provide for themselves and their families.”

Katey Sagal first gained fame as Peg Bundy on the groundbreaking family comedy series,Married… with Children.  More recently, she’s starred on the show 8 Simple Rules in the role of Cate Hennessy, and currently voices the character of Leela on Fox’s animated series Futurama.  Presently she stars as Gemma Teller Morrow in the FX drama series Sons of Anarchy, a role which earned her a Golden Globe in 2011.  Sons of Anarchy is currently in its 5th season and airs Tuesday nights at 10pm on FX.

This is the twenty-eighth release by HRC for the Americans campaign.  Past videos feature Rep. Gwen Moore, Bryan Cranston, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Melissa Harris-Perry, fun.’s Jack Antonoff, Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, Stanley Tucci, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, Cybill Shepherd, Kristen Bell, Jason Mraz, Rossana Rosado, The Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, Michael K. Williams, Aisha Tyler, Scott Fujita, Josh Charles, John Leguizamo, Julian Bond, Mo’Nique, and Mayor Cory Booker.

About 53 percent of the American public supports marriage for same-sex couples, according to a number of nonpartisan polls, including Gallup, CNN, and Washington Post/ABC News.

Americans for Marriage Equality is a public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married.  The campaign draws from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, and political and civic leaders.

For more information on the campaign or to see the videos, visit www.hrc.org/marriageequality.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Media Provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network

HRC to Host Bishop Gene Robinson in Washington

“God Believes in Love” author to be featured as part of group’s Equality Talks series

(GayWebSource.com) WASHINGTON, September 24, 2012 – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – announced details of an event featuring Bishop Gene Robinson as part of its Equality Talks speaker series.  Bishop Robinson, who oversees the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States, will be speak at the HRC headquarters in Washington about his new book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage.

A member of the HRC Religion Council and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Robinson is the first openly gay person elected to the episcopate and is considered by many to be the world’s leading religious spokesperson for LGBT rights and marriage equality.

When:  Monday, October 1, 2012

Doors open: 6 p.m.

Program begins: 6:30 p.m.

Where:  Human Rights Campaign

1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036

For those wishing to attend or for more information, visit www.hrc.org/equalitytalks.  Books will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Politics & Prose.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Media Provided by the GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

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