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| Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Julian Bond supports LGBT rights and slams black homophobia at HRC dinner





The "mainstream" gay blogosphere is collectively creaming themselves after a recent speech delivered by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond at HRC's Los Angeles Gala Dinner last Saturday. You may remember reading about Bond delivering a similar speech to the 2008 National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on this blog late last year. Here's an excerpt:


When someone asks me, "are gay rights civil rights?" my answer is always, "Of course, they are." Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives: the right to equal treatment before the law. These are the rights shared by everyone. There is no one in the United States who does not, or should not, enjoy or share in enjoying these rights. Gay and lesbian rights are not special rights in any way. It isn't "special" to be free from discrimination. It is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship.


...People of color ought to be flattered that our movement has provided so much inspiration for others. That, it has been, that our movement has been so widely imitated. That our tactics, our methods, our heroes, our heroines, and even our songs, have been appropriated or served as models for others.


...Now, no parallel between movements is exact. African-Americans are the only Americans who were enslaved for more than two centuries and people of color carried the badge of who we are on our faces. But we are far from the only people suffering discrimination; sadly, so do many others. And those others deserve the law's protection and civil rights too.


Three Percent of Washington DC is HIV Positive





A new report shows at least 3 percent of Washington D.C. residents have either HIV or AIDS and black gay men continue to bear the brunt. The District of Columbia's HIV rate is the highest in the country and "higher than West Africa and on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya."


Men having sex with men remains the disease's leading mode of transmission, followed by heterosexual transmission and injection drug use.


THE CURIOUS CASE OF GAY-PORN-STAR IDENTICAL TWINS





As boys, Keyon and Taleon Goffney shared little but a birthday. It was what they did together as men that did them in.Details Magazine revisits the robberies by the porn models and identical twin brothers that shocked the gay community and the state of New Jersey.


Tyson Beckford Loves The Gays





Blogger Clay Cane speaks with male supermodel Tyson Beckford about his love for the gays and his thoughts on those persistent gay rumors.


CC:Are you single?


TB:No, I’m not, but I'm like Brad Pitt and Angelina and Beyonce and Jay-Z—I just like to keep my relationship on the under. The thing I get all the time is, "Oh, he's gay, he gotta be! We never see him out with a girl." Well, I don’t want the world in my business because you got so many people like the bloggers, the paparazzi, YouTube, the camera phones—everybody is always in your business. Those who seen me with her know that she’s stunning. I just don’t want the world to know yet, it’s none of their business.


CC:Yeah, all those rumors -- I never thought you were gay.


Yeah, it's just one hater that put that on me. But, don't get me wrong, I work with GLAAD, I work with Gay Men's Health Crisis—I work with all of that. It's just I'm a straight man who got a little bit of style so they just say, "He's gay."


CC:Whenever Black men support gay people, people get crazy about that. It's a shame.


TB:Exactly! My cousin is gay and I love him to death. I have more fun hanging out with him than I do my straight friends because he's got style, he's got flavor. I can take him shoe shopping with me and my girl, we know we're getting the best advice. To me, it's like the best of both worlds. As soon as people see me, "Oh, he's gay." I'm like, well, I don't have that much flavor. I got flavor but I don’t have that much. I love my gay brothers and sisters.


Florida ballot initiative would ban sexual orientation, gender identity anti-discrimination protections





Charter Amendment 1 would ban the city of Gainesville from adopting or enforcing anti-discrimination policies not outlined by the Florida Civil Rights Act. The Florida Civil Rights Act does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. The city of Gainesville currently provides protections under it's city ordinances for sexual orientation and gender identity, but if Charter Amendment 1 passes, these protections would be voided and the city would be prohibited from forbidding discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transsexuals.


The vote is right around the corner on March 24.


Bloggers B. Scott & Adam Irby at Yale University:Overcoming Homophobia





Appearing on the panel of Yale University's Black Solidarity Conference bloggers B. Scott and Adam Irby represented the black gay voices in a discussion ranging from misogyny and the sexual exploitation of black women to the clash of orthodox religious beliefs with homosexuality.


"Adam broke the momentary silence of the room by stating that the black community is “not as comfortable as [it] should be,” and in order for genuine progress to continue, “integration is key.” The “integration” Adam refers to is the successful coexistence of blacks of varying sexual orientations and gender classifications. He also commented on the desire of members in the black gay community to push legislation regarding same-sex marriage. Adam asserted that no results would arise without other blacks’ “acknowledgement of black homosexuals as ‘regular’ people. We can worry about legislation after we gain support from our own communities.”


With a piercing, concerned glare, B. Scott nodded his head and cracked a slight smile before deeming it “ironic [that] homophobia exists within the [black] Church.” He further stated that a “large portion of the choir members, deacons, and sometimes the preachers” engage in homosexual activity or openly identify themselves as gay. The irony comes into play when, according to B. Scott, ministers then stand before their congregations and “focus on the condemnation of men,” rather than “focus[ing] on teaching others to become more Christ-like, who teaches all to love, accept, and uplift fellow men.”


The message is clear. According to B. Scott, these “Men of God” are essentially “responsible” for many things, including “the increase in HIV/AIDS cases and teen pregnancies” in the black community because they refuse to “talk about these things in church.” This in turn creates “a mentality that people should be ashamed of themselves,” leading to a decrease in the use of protection during sexual encounters. B. Scott further said that when people fail to practice safe-sex methods, they develop a sense of “worthlessness” and a “loss of respect for themselves and for the people they’re involved with.”


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