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January 30, 2009


Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that same-sex couples must be granted the same rights as heterosexuals in common-law marriages.

Columbia's "common-law" marriage has been a legal means of recognizing two people who have lived together as married for two years or more to be considered married whether or not they have gone through a ceremony or registered with the state. And they have the same rights and protections as married couples.

That recognition has always been meant for only a man and woman coupling. Last April, the Colombian LGBT rights group Colombia Diversa, human rights group Dejusticia, and the Group for Public Interest Rights from the University of the Andes filed a lawsuit challenging that discriminatory classification.

The suit was a reaction to the 2007 defeat of the Colombian legislature's attemp to enact civil unions. According to Box Turtle Bulletin, the expected success of that measure was thwarted by intense pressure from the Catholic Church that involved threatening to deny the sacraments to any senator who voted for it. That threat scared off enough formerly supportive senators to defeat it.

Fortunately, for the sake of justice, equality and democracy, the Columbian court's judges had a little more backbone than the senators. Which proves that when the threat of political reprisal is removed or ignored, most lawmakers and justices will do the right thing.

The Church has proven, over and over again, to be the biggest threat to justice and democracy in America and, indeed, the world. The time for religion to get out of politics is long overdue.

January 29, 2009


Soulforce founder Mel White and his son Mike are scheduled to compete on the highly popular CBS game show Amazing Race. The show's season premier is set for Sunday, February 15th, at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Soulforce is a GLBT spiritual organization dedicated to "freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance."

One of the group's most successful campaigns is an annual activist outreach bus tour called The Soulforce Q Equality Ride. On this ride, about 20-25 young adults travel across the county visiting religion-based schools and institutions in an effort to educate and enlighten student's understanding of the GLBT community.

Last year's trip, launched in October, focused on the South, journeying to fifteen schools of various denominations, including some faith-based, historically black colleges and universities. Stops included both undergraduate schools and graduate level seminaries. According to its participants, it was a very rewarding and successful trip and they're eager to do it again this year.

I haven't watched the last couple of seasons of the Amazing Race but you can bet that this season, on February 15th, I'm going to be watching! Mark your calendars or set your Tvos. It should be a lot of fun.

Click here to read CBS's bio on Mel and Mike.

January 28, 2009


Remember when the Mormon church leaders said that they didn't object to "rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches?"

At the time they expressed that seemingly benevolent sentiment, they were in the midst of a heated, nationwide backlash against their inordinate involvement in and substantial financial support of the now infamous Proposition 8 in California and Proposition 102 in Arizona. They were desperately trying to defuse the highly negative publicity they were receiving around the world.

Well, the GLBT rights organization Equality Arizona, working with openly gay Utah State Senator Scott McCoy, took them at their word (which, for a mormon, is supposed to be sacrosanct). They introduced legislation that addressed one specific area of injustice.

The bill's intention was to amend state law so that financial dependents could sue if a breadwinner suffers a wrongful death. Since spouses, parents and children already have that right, the bill would not only protect same-sex couples but also other nontraditional households, such as one where a grandmother (currently not covered by existing laws) relies solely on a grandson or granddaughter for financial support.

According to a report by Proud Parenting:

A standing-room-only crowd listened to nearly two hours of testimony before the committee, led by Republican Sen. Chris Buttars, voted 4-2 against sending the measure to the Senate floor. Only McCoy [pictured], who is openly gay, and fellow Salt Lake City Democrat Ross Romero voted for the bill. Buttars, who was lobbied by a group of gay and bisexual activists at his West Jordan home earlier this month, didn't comment on McCoy's proposal during the meeting.

Opponents likened the bill to a 'slippery slope' and a 'dirty shirt' in a laundry basket of marital rights that could lead courts to justify legalizing same-sex marriage, similar to rulings in Massachusetts, California and Connecticut.

By that logic, virtually any legislation that would benefit a GLBT couple in any way would be voted down.

By the way - all four senators who voted against the bill were - yep, you guessed it - mormons.

When I was younger, I used to admire and respect the mormon church. I have since come to realize that they're just as hypocritical, underhanded and sleazy an organization as the catholic church has made itself into. It seems that these religious institutions, as well as most of the rightwing, for-profit, evangelical organizations, have become the bane of mankind - NOT its savior.

January 27, 2009


Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand has been appointed by NY Governor David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton's vacated senate seat.

Before being picked, Gillibrand was a congresswoman from a very rural, conservative area in upstate New York and is known as a "Blue Dog Democrat" because of her conservative stands and votes on most issues. Her own web site boasts, “She has been an ardent opponent of legislation that will curb the Second Amendment for responsible gun owners and currently has a 100% voting record with the National Rifle Association (NRA).”

However, her position on issues important to the GLBT community seem to be evolving. A January 15th posting at PolitickerNY.com said;

Gillibrand received an 80 out of a 100 rating from the LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign. That was the lowest score out of New York’s Democratic representatives. According to the Human Rights Campaign, she opposed legislation that would grant equal tax treatment for employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners, opposed legislation to grant same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and permanent residents the same immigration benefits of married couples and opposed legislation to permit state Medicaid programs to cover low-income, HIV-positive Americans before they develop AIDS.

The article went on to say,

That said, Gillibrand is not an ideologue. The positions she took were arguably necessary as a means of getting elected in a conservative-voting district. And there is a notion among political observers that if she represented the entire state, those positions would soften to better reflect New York’s more liberal complexion.

Since being appointed senator her positions on GLBT issues seems to be evolving rapidly. On January 23rd, the blog Towleroad.com posted the following:
The Empire State Pride Agenda, released a statement from its Executive Director Alan Van Capelle:

"After talking to Kirsten Gillibrand, I am very happy to say that New York is poised to have its first U.S. Senator who supports marriage equality for same-sex couples. She also supports the full repeal of the federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) law, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and passage of legislation outlawing discrimination against transgender people. While we had a productive discussion about a whole range of LGBT concerns, I was particularly happy to hear where she stands on these issues."

Considering Governor Paterson's own strong stands supporting gay marriage and other GLBT issues, I am very hopeful that Director Capelle's statement is closer to where Gillibrand stands today. Only time will tell.

January 26, 2009


Queers United reported yesterday that Hawaii could be just one committee vote away from passing civil union legislation on to a majority supportive legislature.

The bill is now in the House Judiciary Committee which has, on several past attempts, not allowed it to proceed to the full legislature for a vote. In fact, in the 2007 attempt, the committee simply refused to vote on it at all which effectively killed it.

This time however, of the six committee members, 3 are in favor of it, 2 are against and Senator Robert Bunda, who didn't support it before, is now considered a swing vote and could go either way.

Senator Bunda, D-22nd (North Shore, Wahiawa), said that he needs to get a better understanding of the legislation and would be willing to consider it. So, of course, it would be very helpful if he heard from as many of us as possible.

Queers United is asking the GLBT community to contact Senator Bunda and "politely urge him to support civil unions, remind him that his election is historic as being the first Filipino to attain the presidency of any state legislature and that he should stand up for diversity and equality."

Here's how to do it...

Email: senbunda@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Phone: 808-586-6090

Fax: 808-586-6091

Snail Mail:
Senator Robert Bunda
22nd Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 202
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

January 20, 2009


I just wanted to get up a brief post to apologize for not having a regular posting yesterday or today. I'm a bit under the weather and will take a couple days off so I can sleep late and get enough rest to get over this as quickly as possible.

I hope to be back with regular postings either this friday or certainly by Monday.

I appreciate your support and I hope you keep checking back.


January 19, 2009


As reported at Queers United, the American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Pepsi products.

It seems that this time they're all riled up because Pepsi has donated $500,000 to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as well as $500,000 to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Their buns are clenched and their hearts are all atwitter with indignation over Pepsi's support for the "homosexual agenda." They're asking their minions to write, call, fax and email the company to let them know that they're going to boycott Pepsi products.

Well, of course, this calls for another counter BUYcott from our community.

Pepsi has a consistent 100% rating in all of HRC's shopper guides, has participated in numerous Gay Pride parades and has a strong, company-wide anti-discrimination policy that includes employee workshops that educate their people about sexual orientation and gender identity issues.

We need to let Pepsi know that we appreciate their policies, efforts and financial donations to our community.

Here's the contact info Queers United posted:

To call Pepsi, the number is 800-433-2652.

To call Pepsi's subsidiary products companies:
Frito-Lay chips 800-352-4477
Quaker Oats 800-367-6287
Tropicana 800-237-7799
Gatorade 800-367-6287

To contact Pepsi through the internet, click here.

As you can see, all the numbers are toll free and all you need to say is "I want to thank you for your support of the GLBT community and I want you to know that I'll continue buying Pepsi products in the future."

So, get on the phone and let's kick some AFA butt!

I sent an email to PepsiCo thanking them for their support and was pleasantly surprised to get the following email back from them:

Dear Steve,

Thank you for contacting us at PepsiCo and for sharing your thoughts.

As a company, we made a commitment to promote and support diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our business. We’re proud of the success we’ve had in attracting some of the best and the brightest from around the world and in building a workforce that is truly reflective of the consumers we serve.

At PepsiCo, diversity and inclusion are among the values we have adopted for ourselves in the workplace because we see them as important to our viability and success—as individual employees and as a company. And we believe strongly that these values will enhance other businesses and work environments as well.

Again, thank you for your interest in our company.

Margaret Corsi
Consumer Relations Representative

January 16, 2009


Al Sharpton, who has been a consistent and unfaltering supporter of GLBT rights, including gay marriage, has taken the Mormon church and other right-wing, religious fanatics to task.

Speaking from the pulpit of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA at the launch of the Alliance of Affirming Faith-Based Organizations, Sharpton was, as always, sharp and unyielding in his admonitions.

“I am tired of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they’re preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade,” Sharpton said, his words generating a roar of response from the crowd.

The Alliance was formed to counter anti-gay religious rhetoric. It was founded by Rev. Dennis Meredith, who recently came out as bisexual, and includes Dr. Kenneth Samuel, pastor of Victory for the World Church; Rev. Paul Graetz of First Metropolitan Community Church; Rev. Geoffrey Hoare of All Saints Episcopal Church; and Rabbi Joshua Lesser of Congregation Bet Haverim.

“We’re going to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves,” Meredith said. “If we have to go to a high school, we’ll go to a high school. If we have to go to a college, we’ll go to a college. … Somewhere there has to be a religious voice to counter the other religious voices that preach intolerance.”

Sharpton continued his diatribe by saying:

“We know you’re not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you. We would have heard from you when people were starving in California, when they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When [alleged Ponzi schemer Bernie] Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren’t there you had nothing to say. … But all of a sudden when Proposition 8 came out you had so much to say, but since you stepped in the rain, we gonna step in the rain with you.”

“It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being delegated into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners,” Sharpton told a packed audience on January 11th.

“There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you.”

Sharpton will serve as the national face of the Alliance and help to recruit new members. I don't think they could have picked a better or more articulate spokesperson than him.

To read the full story, go to: The Southern Voice

I just found this video at Box Turtle Bulletin. It's from a YouTube posting by the American News Project website. It's very appropo to Reverend Sharpton's comments above and reinforces his criticism about monies being spent fighting gay marriage instead of helping people who need it.

It runs about 7:19 minutes but it's well worth the time spent...

January 15, 2009

Another Country Legalizes Gay Marriage...
Norway has had civil unions in place since 1993 but has never legalized full gay marriage rights. That changed on January 1, 2009.

Norway's new law now allows marriage, adoption, and assisted pregnancies for same-sex couples as well as all other benefits available to heterosexual couples.

Norway becomes the 6th nation to recognized same-sex marriages. They join Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005) and South Africa (2006).

In a country that was founded on the concept of equal rights for all of its citizens, why is America trailing so far behind so many other countries? We're supposed to be the shining light of freedom and equality for the world, instead, on this issue, we've become a dim bulb in the darkness of oppression. When are we going to stop letting the religious, right-wing fanatics repaint the portrait of America in their own narrow-minded image?

Gay Man Named Head of Export-Import Bank...
Fred Hochberg, who was the openly gay director of the Small Business Administration under President Bill Clinton, is now poised to be named the director of the Export-Import Bank by President-elect Barack Obama.

According to ABC News, the Export-Import Bank is the federal government's export credit arm that helps finance the sale of goods exported from this country. Hochberg will be the bank's first openly gay director.

Hochberg has long been active in both gay politics and the Democratic party. According to The Advocate, Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign where Hochberg has served on the board and is now a member of HRC's public policy committee, said:

"Fred is one of the most highly qualified and experienced public servants in our community, and the fact that President-elect Obama has tapped him for such an important economic position speaks well for the LGBT community."

January 14, 2009


President-elect Barack Obama has appointed John Berry as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Although many in the GLBT community were hoping to have Berry named as Secretary Of The Interior, this appointment would have a much more direct and far-reaching impact on the lives of all GLBT government employees. The OPM is responsible for recruiting job applicants, filling vacancies at federal agencies, developing performance review processes, administering benefits, and overseeing nondiscrimination policies. The Director is also the top adviser to the President on all personnel matters.

The Advocate reported that,

Although Beltway LGBT leaders had been pushing for an openly gay cabinet appointee, they were enthusiastic about Berry's appointment and said it was the most prominent position to be held by an openly gay person in the federal government. “The selection of John Berry to head the Office of Personnel Management, making him the highest-ranking openly gay official ever, is a meaningful step forward for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese.

As my regular readers know, I was also very disappointed that there were no cabinet positions filled by an openly gay person. The importance of this appointment however, along with Nancy Sutley as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Bishop Gene Robinson being picked to give the inaugural kick-off event invocation does help to balance that disappointment with a more positive sense of hope for our future.

January 13, 2009


In what appears to be an attempt to quell the furor over Obama's pick for the inauguration day invocation, the president-elect has asked The Right Reverend Gene Robinson to offer the invocation at the inaugural opening ceremonies.

The inaugural kick-off event will be held Sunday, January 18th on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with president-elect Barack Obama at his side.

As I'm sure most of you know, Bishop Robinson was the first openly gay person to be ordained a Bishop in the Episcopal Church in 2003. His ordination made headlines around the world and the church is still going through a period of readjustments and realignments as a result. Much to the credit of the church's hierarchy, they have stood by their decision ever since even though some of their more hardline conservative dioceses have choosen to split from the worldwide main body of approximately 2.3 million members.

Although Robinson endorsed Obama even before the New Hampshire primaries and has offered the president-elect advice and counsel over that last couple of years, he was, like all of us, dismayed and frustrated over Obama's pick for the inaugural invocation. When he heard the news about Rick Warren, who has likened being gay to incest and statutory rape, Robinson said "it was like a slap in the face."

The Advocate reported that after receiving the invitation, Robinson told the New Hampshire Concord Monitor that he felt his inclusion in the opening event would be incredibly affirming to gay people.

"It's important for any minority to see themselves represented in some way," Robinson said. "Whether it be a racial minority, an ethnic minority, or, in our case, a sexual minority -- just seeing someone like you up front matters."

An editorial in today's Concord Monitor called Robinson's choice a blow against bigotry.

Robinson's elevation to New Hampshire bishop in 2003 was met with much euphoria here, but he quickly became the symbol of a growing fissure in the Anglican Church. Those who object most vigorously to the church's liberalization in recent years (gay clergy and female priests, for example) have made Robinson's ordination a final straw of sorts. He has been threatened with violence. Numerous conservative congregations have split from the church or aligned themselves with sympathetic bishops overseas. At a meeting of Anglican officialdom in England last summer, Robinson was pointedly excluded.

All of which, Obama seems to be saying, is less important than showing Americans that his administration will have room for all voices. That Obama - who knows well the risk of associating with controversial clergy - admires Robinson's own courage and compassion and is willing to prove it before the nation and the world.

Wow 'em, Bishop Robinson.

I couldn't agree more! Go Gene!

January 12, 2009


For those of you who may doubt that the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is really needed, consider the case of David Hill.

David was the Director of Human Resources for the Arte Hotel in Brentwood, Tennessee. The Arte was formerly a Holiday Inn that was bought by its current owner, Tarun Surti.

Not long after taking over the hotel, Surti fired David for no other reason than the fact that David is gay. Surti was totally unapologetic for his blatant, homophobic discrimination saying, "I don't give a damn. They can sue me. I will not have any of the gays in leadership roles in my hotel!"

When WSMV Channel 4 News reporter Katina Rankin asked assistant general manager Leonard Stoddard if he thought that David was fired solely for being gay, Stoddard said,

"I do believe that's a very fair assumption."

"Did you agree with his decision?" continued Rankin.

"I did not," said Stoddard. "It is in our employee handbook that no one should be discriminated against, harassed verbally, physically or any other means for their sexuality, their sexual orientation, gender, race or anything of that sort."

Box Turtle Bulletin, who also covered the story, reported that:

Stoddard said Hill’s termination came after Surti received a letter which listed the names of several gay staff members including Hill and Stoddard. That letter was written by a former employee who had been fired for, among other reasons, being gay, Stoddard said.

…Stoddard said Surti fired Hill and told Stoddard he would soon need to find a new employer, as well. Stoddard has worked at the hotel for 10 months. He has not been officially terminated yet, but expects to be soon.

So, it appears that Surti isn't finished firing all his gay employees yet.

What more blatant proof of homophobic discrimination does congress, or anyone else for that matter, need to get ENDA passed NOW! This kind of thing is happening throughout the country and until this bill is passed, the GLBT community has no legal recourse to stop it.

In this case however, there are a couple of things we can do. First, BOYCOTT Arte hotels. According to their own logo, they're worldwide.

Second is to express our dissatisfaction through their email contact site at:


Pass this info on to your friends and families and if you have a blog, post it there too.

January 8, 2009


According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 31 year old Humberto Hernandez Salvador, 21 year old Josue Gonzalez and two other teens were arrested for allegedly raping a 28 year old lesbian on December 13th.

According to several accounts, the woman (whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy) was getting out of her car when the attack occurred at about 9:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Visalia Avenue in Richmond's Belding-Wood neighborhood. The attack went on for 45 minutes in two different locations.

According to the Richmond police,

After the woman was struck with a blunt object and robbed, the suspects then told her to disrobe. She was sexually assaulted in that location and then forced back into her car after the suspects saw someone approaching. She was driven seven blocks away to the 1300 block of Burbeck Avenue, where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted in her car. She was left naked near a burned-out apartment complex.

After the attack, the men drove off in her car. She sought help from a nearby resident, who called authorities.

The case is being pursued as a hate crime because of comments the suspects made about the victim's sexual orientation. The woman is openly lesbian and had a prominently displayed rainbow sticker on her car.

Salvodor and Gonzales could both face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

I've said this before but it bears repeating now - there are some pretty disturbed people out there who are being riled-up by the hateful and dangerous rhetoric of rightwing fanatics who know they're losing their fight against us and are getting more and more desperate. So, exercising a little extra caution would be a smart thing to do.

I'm not saying that we should jump back into the closet and hide. On the contrary, now is the time to stand up and be strong. But during this period of transition, just be a little more aware of your surroundings when your out and about and don't take anything for granted. Trust your instincts and develop your street-smarts.

January 7, 2009


On New Year's Eve, President Kgalema Motlanthe appointed the highly vocal AIDS activist Edwin Cameron to South Africa's highest court.

Justice Cameron is the first openly gay official to serve in such a prestigious position. The fact that he is also HIV-positive makes the appointment even more groundbreaking.

Box Turtle Bulletin reported that Nelson Mandela called Cameron “one of South Africa’s new heroes” for disclosing that he was HIV-positive:

In an interview with the BBC, he explained that he was inspired to speak out by the death of Gugu Dlamini, who was stoned and stabbed to death three weeks after she had admitted on isi- Zulu-language radio that she was HIV-positive.

“I thought that if this woman, without any protection, living in a township, not behind a palisade like I do in my middle-class suburb in Joburg, not with the income of a judge, not with the constitutional protection … I thought that I should speak out,” he said.

Judge Cameron was intensely questioned about his activist roots by the Judicial Service Commission. Ultimately, the commission did unanimously recommend his appointment. He previously served on South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal.

He was also a very outspoken critic of former President Thabo Mbeki’s policies on AIDS, calling them tantamount to signing a death sentence for millions of South Africans. Mbeki retaliated by blocking Cameron’s rise to the Constitutional Court.

At the International AIDS Conference held in Mexico City last August, Cameron called for decriminalizing homosexuality worldwide as an important step in combating AIDS.

January 6, 2009


20 year old Sean Kennedy had everything to live for. He was young, good looking, had a great personality and was well liked. He was just at the precipice of adulthood and had a world of possibilities open before him.

Then, on the night of May 16, 2007 at about 3:45 am, all of that ended with a brutal, homophobic attack outside a Greenville County, S.C. bar. In his mother's own words, this is what happened that night:

...a car pulled up beside him, a young man got out of the car, came around the car approached my son and called him fagot and then punched him so hard that it broke his face bones, he fell back and hit the asphalt. This resulted in his brain to be separated from his brain stem and ricochet in his head. Sean never had a chance. Sean's killer got back into the car and left my son dying there.

According to a report posted at Box Turtle Bulletin on June 11, 2008, the killer then called a friend of Sean's about 15 minutes after the attack and left the following message:

Hey. (laughter) Whoa stop. (laughter) Hey, I was just wondering how your boyfriend’s feeling right about now. (laughter) (??) knocked the f— out. (laughter). The f—— faggot. He ought to never stick his mother-f—— nose (??) Where are you going? Just a minute. (laughter). Yea boy, your boy is knocked out, man. The mother——-. Tell him he owes me $500.00 for breaking my god—- hand on his teeth that f—— bitch”

In a shockingly lenient ruling, Stephen Andrew Moller was convicted of Sean's murder on a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to only three years, minus seven months for time served.

Box Turtle Bulletin reported today that Moller's attorney said that when all was said and done, he expects Moller to serve only 18 MONTHS in jail! With credit for time served, he was due to be released in September 2009.

But now, since South Carolina has no hate crimes law that would have allowed for a more serious and appropriate sentence, Moller will actually be up for parole NEXT MONTH!

This is not only outrageous, it's totally unacceptable! Because of this travesty, Sean's mother, Elke Kennedy is asking for our help...

The parole board is currently conducting an investigation to decide whether to allow him to have a parole hearing, so it is critical that they hear from you that Stephen Andrew Moller violently murdered Sean Kennedy and should serve the remainder of his sentence!

Please consider writing a letter to the parole board and ask them to deny Stephen Moller parole and serve out his sentence. In your letter, please remind the board of the violent and unprovoked nature of Moller’s offense and the pain and suffering it has caused in the lives of Sean Kennedy’s family and friends. If you have the time, please write a personal letter by hand or by computer, as those will be the most effective, and if you knew Sean or his family personally, please include that information.

Also, please let Elke know if you send a letter and if possible, send her a copy of the letter, so she can have copies to take with her to the parole hearing.

Be sure to include Moller’s full name and ID number:
Stephen Andrew Moller - SCDC ID # 00328891.

Send your letters to:
Department of Probation Pardon and Parole Services
2221 Devine Street, Suite 600, PO Box 50666
Columbia SC 29250

Please forward to your contacts, friends and family.
Thank you for all of your support!

Please take a few minutes out of your day and do whatever you can to prevent Moller from getting away with serving LESS THAN A YEAR for this heinous, homophobic murder.

January 5, 2009


Sam Adams is Portland, Oregon's new mayor. He is also the first openly gay Mayor of a major U.S. city.

According to The Portland Monthly, 45 year old Adams actually won the election in May but was just sworn in at 12:01am New Year's day. He garnered an impressive 58% of the vote and "...his rise to leadership comes at a pivotal moment, as the city grows in the national consciousness as a leader in “green” issues and a coveted place to live, as communities struggle to do more with less in a desperate economy, and as mayors begin to rival governors and members of Congress as celebrities."

The Oregonian, on it's website Oregonlive.com, reported that about 40 people, including Adam's mother and his partner Peter Zuckerman, were on hand to watch the official swearing-in at City Hall. The oath of office was administered by Oregon Supreme Court Justice Virginia Linder who, when thanked by Adams, said "It's my honor. My deep honor."

Despite the disappointments of November 4th (all of which I fully expect to be eventually overturned), the GLBT community is rapidly becoming a real, and natural, part of this country's everyday life. And the pace of this change is increasing every year. That's why the rightwing fringe fanatics are becoming more and more frenetic. They know they're losing and they can't stop it. This is making them more and more frustrated -- and dangerous.

So, please, be careful out there. There are some pretty disturbed people running around our streets who are being riled-up by these fanatics so exercising a little extra, measured caution would be a smart thing to do.

I'm not saying that we should jump back into the closed and hide. On the contrary, now is the time to stand up and be strong. But during this period of transition, just be a little more aware of your surroundings when your out and about and don't take anything for granted. Trust your instincts and develop your street-smarts.

January 2, 2009


One of the most prescient points made in the movie "Prayers For Bobby" is the importance of foreknowledge in helping a family deal with a son or daughter who comes out to them.

Reactions that imbue compassion, acceptance or even just neutrality can mean the difference between a healthy future for their child or a life of psychological problems, drug abuse or, in too many cases, tragic suicide.

"If I just hadn't said this or done that...if only I had known how to deal with it, my child would be alive today," becomes the mantra repeated too many times by too many families far too late.

What most heterosexual parents don't realize is that by the time their child comes out to them, they've already been through extreme psychological hell in trying to deal with feelings that they have ultimately come to realize they can't change. Feelings that they've been taught to believe are morally wrong and shameful. Feelings that much of society have labeled, sinful, abhorrent and an abomination against God. Feelings that have put them at the edge of reason.

According to the NPR (National Public Radio) program All Things Considered, a new study conducted by San Francisco State University's Family Acceptance Project and recently published in the journal American Academy of Pediatrics, shows how crucial a family's reaction can be.

The study found that the gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults and teens at the highest risk of attempting suicide and having some other health problems are ones who reported a high level of rejection by their families as a result of their sexual orientation.

Project Director Caitlin Ryan said, "A little bit of change in rejecting behavior, being a little bit more accepting, can make a significant difference in the child's health and mental health. Parents love their children and want the best for them. Now that we have measured all these behaviors, we can see that some of them put youth at extremely high risk and others are wellness-promoting."

"Parents thought that by trying to change them, that would make them happy. But actually it put their children at great risk," Ryan said. "When we shared that with parents, they were shocked."

The study also found that children and young adults who experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable but were at least neutral or only mildly rejecting.

For more, go to: NPR.org or you can read an AP story by Lisa Leff at Yahoo News

January 1, 2009

My Wish for You in 2009

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!

May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words . . .

May 2009 be the best year of your life!!!

Happy New Year!