Texas A&M Students fight back against discrimination

March 25, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · 25 Comments 

200px-GLBT_Aggies_Logo

Media Release from GLBT Aggies:

Texas A&M Student Senate Introduces SB 65-70: Call to Action to STOP Institutionalized Discrimination

 

On Wednesday evening, March 20th, a member of the Texas A&M University Student Senate

introduced S.B. 65-70: The GLBT Funding Opt-Out Bill. This bill proposes “allowing students
who object, for religious purposes, to the use of their student fees and tuition to fund this center
to opt out of paying an amount equal to their share of the Center’s funding from their fee and
tuition bills.” The author suggests that students have the religious right to “opt-out” of the
student fees that go towards maintaining the GLBT Resource Center. However, as currently
constructed this bill is a direct and blatant attack on the LGBT Aggie community. We hope to do
everything possible to ensure that this bill does not pass through the Texas A&M University
Student Senate.
Background:
Texas A&M University is currently ranked the least-friendly public institution for LGBT students
by the Princeton Review. Because of this reality, we are still in the process of fighting to exist
and to be positively acknowledged at Texas A&M.
As it follows, the introduction of S.B. 65-70 is not the first instance that the LGBT community
has been targeted by members of the Student Senate. In 2011, during the 63rd Student Senate
Session, a group of senators introduced S.B. 63-106: The Sexual Education Equality in Funding
Bill. This bill proposed that the student senate support and advocate for an amendment that was
concurrently before the Texas Legislature “to require GLBT resource centers to provide
matching funds to traditional sexual education” and asked Texas A&M University “that such
funding not be acquired through increased student fees.” In effect, the bill would have created
funds for “traditional sexual education” programming by draining funds away from the GLBT
Resource Center, while simultaneously creating a hostile environment on campus.
This bill passed the Student Senate but fortunately was later vetoed by then Student Body
President Jacob D. Robinson; the senate attempted to overturn the veto but was unsuccessful.
S.B. 63-106 was a direct attack on the LGBT community at Texas A&M University. Our
resources were not dispensable in the 63rd session, and they are not dispensable now in the
65th session.
Our Position:
As a community dedicated to respecting diversity, we support measures sincerely aimed at
protecting the religious beliefs of Texas A&M students, including those of many within the LGBT
community. However, while SB 65-70 claims to promote religious freedom, we cannot ignore
that it only allows students with one religious belief to control how their student fees are used:
only religious traditions that disapprove of LGBT interests are given a voice. A bill truly
dedicated to allowing religious designation of fees would make the opportunity available to
students of all faiths toward whatever policy creates a moral conflict of interest for them. Given
the extremely narrow scope of this bill, we can only conclude that its interest lies not in
promoting religious freedom but specifically in targeting the LGBT community. Whatever the
intentions of the bill may be, its effect is clearly discriminatory.
We stand for commitment to each other as fellow students of Texas A&M University. Our LGBT
members are not separate from the community as a whole; they are an integral part of the
backbone of the student body and of campus life. Depriving them of the resources that meet
their unique needs and that help them succeed affects the entire community. The Texas A&M
family includes students with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and needs, bound together by our
commitment to our university and to each other. An attack on our LGBT students is an attack on
the Aggie spirit we all share.
It is unacceptable that the Texas A&M student senate is willing to institutionalize a forum for the
student body to express its disapproval of LGBT students. This bill sends a clear message of
exclusion to past, current, and prospective LGBT students, as well as staff and faculty.
Action Plan:
In light of these events, it is exceedingly important that we stand together, not only as a
community, but as valued and respected members of the Aggie family. We need support from
EVERYONE! This includes current students, former students, community members, and Allies.
On Wednesday, April 3, at 7:00pm, there will be an open forum in Koldus 144 where
students and community members will be given the opportunity to speak directly to the student
senate, and we need you ALL to show up.
While this show of support will be absolutely crucial to our efforts, we want you to know that
this is not the only action you can take. You DO NOT have to wait until April 3rd to let your
voice be heard! Now is the time to meet with your student senators and explain to them exactly
why this bill is so hurtful to our community. Now is the time to have conversations with your
roommates, classmates, and friends. Now is the time for former students and community
members to step in and speak up by writing letters of support sent to glbtaggies@gmail.com.
Every single one of us has a story, and it is the sharing of these stories that is our best hope of
changing the hearts and minds of those who are in support of this discriminatory measure.
“An Aggie does not LIE about who they are, CHEAT someone out of a positive experience,
STEAL someone else’s dignity, or TOLERATE those who do.”
Sincerely,
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Aggies
Est. 1976

###

Posted in support of GLBT Aggies

Waking Up Fort Worth – Light The Way To Justice

March 14, 2013 · Posted in Events, home · Comments Off 

FTJFTW

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears the Prop 8 & DOMA cases, the rest of America will come out to rally in their towns and light the way to justice. http://lighttojustice.org/
Mission

Living with out equal rights?
Tired of being treated like a second class citizen?
How long does it take to wake up from this marginalization and take your place in our city and nation as equals??

WAKE UP Fort Worth at 6am-noon and let your voice be heard.

Description

Tarrant County College G.S.A. “TREE” & GetEqualTx present

“Light the Way to Justice Rally” for Fort Worth

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” – The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
Homosexuals are not given equal treatment of our laws. As of today, same-sex couples are denied 1,138 benefits, rights, and protections that are afforded to heterosexual couples in the United States. There is no equality.

On Tuesday, March 26, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, March 27, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Winsor v. United States. This lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman, and defines a spouse a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. These cases are historical as they have the potential to pave the way for marriage equality nationwide, finally allowing same-sex couples to marry and be afforded the same 1,138 rights that are afforded to other married American couples.

Equality advocates nationwide will engage in demonstrations. We challenge all people of Fort Worth to WAKE- UP from their abusive of maginalization and to WAKE UP from being treated like a second-class-citizen because you are homosexual, and join us in “modest pajamas” for equality served up with coffee and donuts at 6am-noon on Monday, March 25th.

The following speakers and more will speak at 10:00am:, Major Mark Jiminez-Dallas marriage license dissident, C.D. Kirvin-Dallas Voice Person of the Year. TREE in conjunction with GET EQUAL TX will be holding a rally for Fort Worth to WAKE UP! That evening, many attendees will migrate to Dallas to join the rest of the North Texas LGBTQ community and add their voices to the multitudes across this country as they cry out for equality.

Light the Way to Justice – Fort Worth
Monday, March 25, 6:00AM-Noon
Rainbow Lounge parking lot
651 S Jennings Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104

GSA=Gay Straight Alliance School Club

T.C.C.=Tarrant County College/ TR=Trinity River Campus located in downtown Fort Worth

Get Equal TX= GetequalTx.org is our partner empowering us with valuable tools and consult necessary to pull this off.

TREE= a TCC GSA is Trinity River Equality In Education a Tarrant County College/Trinity River campus student organization in downtown Fort Worth

Marriage Equality Forum – Light The Way To Justice Waco

March 14, 2013 · Posted in Events · 1 Comment 

LTJFWThe Social Action Team of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco will be hosting a Marriage Equality Forum on Monday March 25th at 6:30pm.

Our speakers include David Schleicher, who will speak for a few minutes on the disparity in civil rights for same sex vs opposite sex couple.

We will then have several couples speak about their civil unions/marriage: Jim and Ramona McKeown, Curtis Cannon and Dave Verdery, and Lee and Marty van Wagner.

The spokesperson for UUFW is Bruce Allen, board president.

Our focus will be on highlighting what unites people as families and the similarities in daily experiences of all couples. We will discuss the many hoops that gay and lesbian partners have to jump through and the civil benefits they do not share with heterosexual couples.

For more information, please contact Carmen Saenz carmen.saenz.31@gmail.com

www.lighttojustice.org

“Light The Way To Justice” San Antonio UNITED for EQUALITY

March 14, 2013 · Posted in Events, San Antonio Area · 1 Comment 

LTJSA

VIA the Facebook event page: “As the supreme court hears two important marriage cases equality organizers are organizing either a rally, march, vigil, or workshops all around the nation in support of both of these cases being stated unconstitutional.Now is the time to take action and to gather as much support as we can so that we can ALL send a message to the Supreme Court that we are serious about these two marriage cases to be repealed! Join all of South Texas as we show that we are demanding full equality for ALL human beings for all matters governed by state and federal laws!We will be meeting at Milam Park located on 500 W. Commerce St. It’s intersected by Santa Rosa Street and we will proceed to the Bexar County Courthouse on 100 Dolorosa St.We are meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Milam Park and we encourage y’all to bring candles, glow sticks, pride flags, signs and comfortable shoes to walk in.If you aren’t able to attend there are many things that you can do instead:Share/Like/Tweet #lighttojusticeSA to your family and friends so that they might be able to stay updated or join us.Call or write a letter to Anchia, Coleman, and Burnam and thank them for supporting us by filing bills that are in favor of the Freedom to Marry. They’ve done so much for the community that they deserve recognition along with the other bills that are filed from great reps and senators that are in our favor.

Tell your friends about the Light the way to justice events happening around the U.S and get involve in the peace making with the community on why equality is important!

“Hope is never silent” -Harvey Milk

Lets make this last week of March memorable and know that we all including all races, sexes, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, veteran statuses, religions to name a few that we are all in this fight together and we will keep on fighting until we WIN EQUALITY!”

http://www.lighttojustice.org/

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/601027196593714/

[petition] El Paso Pastors’ Council, Recant your hate speech!

March 12, 2013 · Posted in Petition · 2 Comments 

 

According to KVIA El Paso, 39 pastors signed a document announcing that they are against protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination in the city of El Paso.

The letter states

We of the El Paso Pastors’ Council believe in and support the Biblical definition of marriage as being that between a man and a woman as defined in Genesis 2:23-24 and reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:3-6. We consider consensual sex between two males or two females to be an abomination before God as stated in the Bible. (See Genesis 18:20, Genesis 19:4-13, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:16-32, I Corinthians 6:9). We also believe that pre-marital sex and cohabitation without marriage to be sinful. We, therefore, cannot support any governmental endorsement at any level, in any form, and in any way of homosexual sex or heterosexual sex outside of marriage. Neither do we believe that persons who practice homosexual sex need to have governmental endorsement of their sexual practices and governmental protection as a class from other people.

We believe in the love of God for all people, that we all have sinned and come short of the full measure of righteousness set by Jesus Christ, and that we all need God’s grace and forgiveness for our sins. We must stand on our beliefs and preach, teach, and live by the dictates of our conscience as we understand the Bible, the love of God through Jesus Christ, and the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.
Here are some common sense reasons why this so-called Gay/Lesbian/Transsexual Anti-discrimination Amendment is wrong for El Paso:


Sign the petition urging these 39 pastors to recant their statement and to support full equality in all matters governed by civil law!

Feel free to edit the petition text.

El Paso Pastors’ Council

[signature]

14 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   

Light The Way To Justice – Dallas Says “WE DO!”

March 7, 2013 · Posted in Events · 3 Comments 

373032_318961941557976_242948283_nThe US Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the two marriage equality cases on March 26 and 27. Equality advocates nationwide will engage in demonstrations at sunset on Monday, March 25th.

Now is the time, once again, to recognize the unique moment before us and to act with the greatest power and intelligence possible.

Join the North Texas LGBT Community as we add our voices to the millions raised across our nation calling for full equality in all matters governed by civil law FOR ALL PEOPLE!

We will gather at 7pm, Monday, March 25th, 2013 in Dallas at the Legacy of Love Monument (Frank H. Caven Memorial Garden) located at the intersection of Cedar Springs and Oaklawn Ave to peacefully rally our support for these crucial cases!

Please bring signs in support of equal rights, pride flags, candles and plenty of friends!

Not able to attend? There is plenty that you CAN do!

-Like, share, post and retweet images and infographics you will see designed to gain broad support for the cases. Post your support for marriage equality in the week leading up to the court cases. Remember that positive portrayals of LGBT Americans go a lot farther and are more effective than efforts to tear down our opponents.

-Visit the editorial boards of your local newspapers and request editorials in support of equality to run during the last week of March. Submit letters to the editor in support of marriage equality.

-Reach out to our many allies within faith communities and organize inter-faith events on Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24.

-Speak to the larger issue of equality, not limited to marriage. We seek equal protection under the law, in all matters governed by civil law, in all fifty states.

-Organize peaceful demonstrations for LGBT equality in every city and town across our country at sunset on Monday, March 25 – the anniversary of the Selma march – to put action to the President’s words:

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears.”

Let the last week of March 2013 be remembered as a time when all of us contributed: LGBT and straight, young and old, Stonewall Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans, socialists and libertarians, people from cities and rural communities, the Human Rights Campaign and GetEqual, equality supporters of all races, faiths and backgrounds. Regardless of our differences, let us come together once again in a united call for equality, community and justice.

Let us remember what Dr. King proclaimed in Montgomery, almost half a century ago: “How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

 

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/318961941557976/

Texas Flood The Capitol For Marriage Equality Day – Light The Way To Justice

March 7, 2013 · Posted in Events · Comments Off 

LGBTmarriage

On March 25-27 “Light the Way to Justice” actions will be happening nationwide as the Supreme Court begins hearing the Prop 8 and DOMA cases.Join us as we flood the Capitol and tell our lawmakers that we demand to be fully equal under the law. A brief training will be provided beforehand.Bring yourselves! Bring friends! Bring family!

www.lighttojustice.org

 

Facebook Event Page:https://www.facebook.com/events/138053399697134/

Texas Call to Action for LGBT Workplace Protections

March 7, 2013 · Posted in Events · 1 Comment 
JOIN US AS WE DEMAND WORKPLACE PROTECTIONSTexas is one of 29 states in which it is legal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee solely due to one’s sexual orientation.Texas is one of 34 states in which it is legal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee solely due to one’s gender identity or expression.

This session, there are 2 identical bills in the House and 1 in the Senate that, if passed, will make workplace protections a reality for LGBT Texans.

We will meet near the South Capitol gate and proceed to walk all the way around our state Capitol multiple times holding a giant banner that reads “STOP WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION – PASS SB 237 NOW”

Bring yourself
Bring friends
Bring rainbow flags, transgender flags, bisexual flags

Let’s show our lawmakers that we will not stop until we are fully equal under the law!

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/217479941724907/

Texas March for LGBT Justice

March 7, 2013 · Posted in Events · 2 Comments 

fistupIt’s that time again!

The Texas Legislature only meets on odd numbered years for 140 days. This year there are several bills on the table that will greatly impact the lives of LGBT Texans in employment, marriage, supplemental birth certificates for adopted children, health insurance and more. Our representatives need to know that we will not disappear or remain silent as long as there is work to be done! Join us as we peacefully march to our state Capitol to demand full equality for LGBT Texans!

The March is held on Sunday, March 10th beginning at 5:30 PM at Austin City Hall. We will march from there to the State Capitol for a Rally.

ASL and Spanish translators will be translating throughout this event!

Join and share the event on facebook at www.facebook.com/events/474772829238642
The following day, March 11th, our friends at Equality Texas are holding Lobby Day. This is an opportunity for you to speak directly to your lawmakers about issues that are important to you. Come to our march and then stay for Lobby Day! Find out more about Lobby Day at http://www.equalitytexas.org/

Media:

Austin, TX – March 10th 2013


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