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Archive for the ‘LGBTQI’ Category

a beautiful story of love and acceptance

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Saturday, 17 November 2012 at 10:56

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-marra/the-beautiful-daughter-how-my-korean-mother-gave-me-the-courage-to-transition_b_2139956.html?ir=#slide=more263238

the bible and homosexuality…one author’s opinion.

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Saturday, 17 November 2012 at 10:51

The Bible Hates Homosexuality.  So What?

By: Kate Blanchard

A student recently asked me for some advice about how to defend same-sex marriage biblically to people who insist that the Bible is against it. My basic response to such questions is, “Don’t.”

First of all, there is no “the Bible.” It is a collection of texts spanning millennia, recounted orally for centuries in multiple languages, finally written down in Greek and Hebrew by countless anonymous authors over the span of several more centuries, then further collected and translated into hundreds more languages in hundreds of stylistic versions. What we think of as the Christian Bible thus encompasses different things for Catholics, the Orthodox and Protestants. And second, there was no such thing as a “homosexual” identity or same-sex marriage when the various parts of the Bible were written (despite what some English translations say), so they can offer no explicit direction about it.

But putting such details aside, the Bible does, in fact, present a consistently disapproving picture of men having sex with men, or women having sex with women. Hebrew Scripture makes it clear that the job of human beings is to “be fruitful and multiply,” which necessitates genital contact between males and females. The Christian testament is much more ambivalent about the usefulness of genetic multiplication, but Paul’s letters nevertheless make it crystal clear that he saw male-male or female-female sex as something for pagan idolaters, not for Christian Jews or Christian Greeks. There are some fairly complicated and sophisticated theologians who make the case that Paul’s arguments about God working “against nature” might allow for same-sex marriage, but these interpretations surely fail to persuade thinkers who prioritize the plainest meaning of scripture.

This begs the question as to why we care what Paul thought, or would think, about same-sex marriage. Yes, Christians consider the Bible (whichever version they prefer) to be the inspired word of God, useful for teaching and training in righteousness. But Paul lived 2,000 — TWO THOUSAND — years ago (Moses another 2,000 before that), in what might as well have been a galaxy far, far away. Why, then, is it so important that biblical writers agree with us?

Most Christians today disagree with and openly disobey the Bible every single day: We see slavery as a crime against humanity, lend and borrow money at interest, don’t force our raped daughters to marry their rapists, wear mixed fibers, don’t cover our heads, eat bacon and sometimes even mix it with cheese, and — perhaps most shockingly, given its high priority in the Big Ten — trample the holiness of the Sabbath with reckless abandon. (Fans of “The West Wing” will remember similar observations beautifully immortalized by Jed Bartlett.) A few authors have recently conducted high-profile experiments in living biblically and found it to be much more difficult than many “Bible-believing Christians” would have us believe.

Christians with a more nuanced understanding of biblical authority may find a different type of biblical support for the dignity of same-sex marriage, such as in Genesis chapter 1, when God creates human beings “in our own image”; or from Paul’s argument that, while celibacy is the ideal for Christians, “it is better to marry than to burn.” And then there are always the overly generalized love-not-hate kinds of arguments. But all of these approaches take for granted that biblical rules can no longer be taken at face value. It is utterly futile to imagine that the biblical writers would be pleased with the concept of men marrying men or women marrying women — akin to arguing that the founding fathers of these United States would be excited to see women and African Americans voting and serving in congress. They probably wouldn’t. But so what?

Those folks, those human beings, were ahead of their time in many ways, and we can be deeply grateful that they pooled the best of their wisdom together for the benefit of posterity. But like it or not, even the most inspired human authors are still only human; not only did our intellectual and spiritual ancestors get some stuff dead wrong, but they also never thought of many of the questions that we have to deal with. When such questions arise, we must courageously stand in our own time, trusting that inspiration and wisdom are renewable resources (that “God is still speaking,” as one church puts it, even if some of us do have longstanding tradition on our side).

We must also accept that others in the future will surely decide that we, too, were wrong.

Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-blanchard/the-bible-hates-homosexuality-so-what_b_2118043.html?ir=

the real gay agenda…

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 at 07:09
The Real Gay Agenda

Posted by Samantha Ray (cause leader )

Your pledge matters

SIGN THE PLEDGE

This is not complicated…
1. Freedom from discrimmination in employment and housing in all 50 states.
2. The right to visit partners in hospitals.
3. The right for gay youth to grow up free from intimidation, bullying, and violence.
4. The right to serve openly and proudly in the military.
5. The right to obtain health care benefits, pensions, and social security through our spouses.
6. The right to adopt, and the right to have custody of our own children, no matter our sexual orientation.
7. Immigration rights for foreign spouses of gay Americans.
8. Inheritance rights for our partners or spouses.
9. The right to marry.
10. Equality and respect for all individuals and their families.

i am saddened and sickened that this is allowed to carry on…

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Tuesday, 2 October 2012 at 06:20

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thor-halvorssen/united-nations-its-okay-t_b_787024.html

marriage equality…

In LGBTQI on Friday, 28 September 2012 at 14:31

just sayin’!

worry about yourself

In Gay rights, Humor, LGBTQI on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 at 06:08

let’s hope we are not old and gray and STILL fighting against the right for all consenting adults to marry regardless of whom it is they are marrying.  i mean, really, how does that affect YOU???

and another…

The State of the Schools for LGBTQI Adolescents

In LGBTQI on Saturday, 8 September 2012 at 12:40

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8 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment, But School-Based Resources and Supports Are Making a Difference

The 2011 survey found for the first time both decreased levels of biased language and victimization and increased levels of student access to LGBT-related school resources and support.

The 2011 survey demonstrates a continued decline in anti-LGBT language over the years, and for the first time the 2011 survey shows a significant decrease in victimization based on sexual orientation. The survey has also consistently indicated that a safer school climate directly relates to the availability of LGBT school-based resources and support, including Gay-Straight Alliances, inclusive curriculum, supportive school staff and comprehensive anti-bullying policies. The 2011 survey had 8,584 student respondents from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“GLSEN has worked tirelessly for more than two decades to address endemic bias and violence directed at LGBT students in our schools,” said GLSEN’s Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. “With this report, we are beginning to be able to discern real impact of our efforts. Much work remains to be done to turn promising change into a concrete, sustainable reality, but those schools and districts that are taking action are beginning to make a real difference in improving the lives of students and providing better educational opportunity for all.”

Despite signs of progress, the survey found that the majority of LGBT students are faced with many obstacles in school affecting their academic performance and personal well-being. Results indicated that 8 out of 10 LGBT students (81.9%) experienced harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, three fifths (63.5%) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and nearly a third (29.8%) skipped a day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.

“The 2011 survey marks a possible turning point in the school experiences of LGBT youth,” said Dr. Joseph Kosciw, GLSEN’s Senior Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives. “But an alarming number of LGBT youth still face barriers that inhibit their ability to receive an education. And although we have seen an increase in school supports that can improve school climate for these youth, many of these young people reported being unable to access these supports in their schools.”

Key Findings of the 2011 National School Climate Survey

Hostile School Climate and its Effects on Educational Outcomes and Psychological Well-Being

•81.9% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 38.3% reported being physically harassed and 18.3% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.

•63.9% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 27.1% reported being physically harassed and 12.4% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their gender expression.

•84.9% of LGBT students heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) and 71.3% heard homophobic remarks (e.g., “dyke” or “faggot”) frequently or often at school.

•6 in 10 LGBT students (63.5%) reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; and 4 in 10 (43.9%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.

•LGBT students reported feeling unsafe in specific school spaces, most commonly locker rooms (39.0%), bathrooms (38.8%) and physical education/gym class (32.5%).

•Transgender students experienced more hostile school climates than their non-transgender peers %96 80% of transgender students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression.

•Nearly one third of LGBT students (29.8%) reported skipping a class at least once and 31.8% missed at least one entire day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.

•The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.9 vs. 3.2).

•Increased levels of victimization were related to increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem.

•60.4% of LGBT students never reported an incident of harassment or assault to school personnel.

•A considerable number of students reported discriminatory policies or practices against LGBT people by their school or school personnel. Students indicated the most common discriminatory policy or practice was related to treatment of LGBT relationships (e.g., related to dates for school dances and public display of affection).

•Being out in school had positive and negative repercussions for LGBT students – outness was related to higher levels of victimization, but also higher levels of psychological well-being.

Positive Interventions and Support

•Having a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in school was related to more positive experiences for LGBT students, including: hearing fewer homophobic remarks, experiencing less victimization because of sexual orientation and gender expression, being less likely to feel unsafe because of their sexual orientation (54.9% of students with a GSA vs. 70.6% of other students) and having a greater sense of belonging to their school community.

•Students in schools with an LGBT-inclusive curriculum, i.e. one that included positive representations of LGBT people, history and events, heard fewer homophobic remarks, were less likely to feel unsafe because of their sexual orientation (43.4% of students with an inclusive curriculum vs. 63.6% of other students), were more likely to report that their peers were accepting of LGBT people (67.0% vs. 33.0%) and felt more connected to their school.

•The presence of school personnel who are supportive of LGBT students contributed to a range of positive indicators, including higher grade point averages (3.2 vs. 2.9), greater likelihood of pursuing higher education, lower likelihood of missing school and lower likelihood of feeling unsafe in school (53.1% of students with supportive school personnel vs. 76.9% of other students).

•Compared to students at school with a generic policy that did not include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, students attending schools with a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that included specific protections heard fewer homophobic remarks, experienced lower levels of victimization related to their sexual orientation, were more likely to report that staff intervened when hearing homophobic remarks and were more likely to report incidents of harassment and assault to school staff.

•Despite the positive benefits of these interventions, less than half of LGBT students (45.7%) reported having a Gay-Straight Alliance at school; few (16.8%) were taught positive representations about LGBT people, history or events in their school; only about half (54.6%) could identify six or more supportive educators; and less than a tenth (7.4%) attended a school that had a comprehensive anti-bullying policy.

Changes in School Climate for LGBT Youth over Time

•The percentage of students hearing homophobic remarks, such as “dyke” or “faggot” frequently or often has seen a major decline since 2001.

•In 2011, there was a significant decrease in harassment and assault based on sexual orientation compared to findings released from previous years.

•There was a small increase in portion of students who reported having a Gay-Straight Alliance at school.

•Students reported a significant increase of positive representations of LGBT-related topics in their curriculum.

•There was a small increase in portion of students who reported having access to LGBT-related Internet resources through their school computers.

GLSEN’s biennial National School Climate Survey, first conducted by GLSEN in 1999, remains the only study to consistently document the school experiences of LGBT students nationwide. The 2011 survey includes responses from 8,584 students between the ages of 13 and 20. Students were from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and from 3,224 unique school districts. Data collection was conducted through national and community-based organizations and targeted online advertising on the social networking site Facebook.

ABOUT GLSEN

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit http://www.glsen.org.

Retrieved from: http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/2897.html?state=research&type=research

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