Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Upcoming Queer Events Arkansas

Upcoming Queer Events
To members of Arkansas Gay Straight Alliance Network
Amanda Harris

November 19 at 10:16am
Reply Hey folks,

I'm just passing along some information. Hope you all can participate!

March for the Repeal of Act 1

Friday - November 21, 2008
4:00pm - Step off promptly!
Assemble at McArthur Park - 9th street side
Little Rock, AR

All participants are encouraged to wear black. The march will be silent. We will break the silence at the Capitol steps where we will have speakers and a candlelight vigil.

Signs and banners should reflect that:

ALL Families Matter in Arkansas!
Act 1 keeps kids from good homes
Act 1 takes away families rights on decisions for their children
Act 1 defines for ALL Arkansans who a family can be
Act 1 is a direct attack on the lives of LGBTQ Arkansans

This march has been called by:
Center for Artistic Revolution, CAR
Repeal Act 1
Unity GSA at Hendrix
The Alliance GSA at UALR
PRISM at UCA

More info at: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/event.php?eid=93620450607



A NATIONWIDE Student Protest for Students to Demand Equal Rights For All American Citizens!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"We have been asked by many people to come up with another protest against Prop 8. The trick is that we want to keep the protests going, but also want to keep the media coverage as well. If we do the same protest all the time, it won't be news anymore.

Let's stir it up a bit by having all the students walk out of class for a NATIONWIDE protest similar to the ones on 11/15/2008!

This year we saw extremely high turnouts at the polls by young voters. They are politically involved, they want to be heard, and they can definitely make a difference!

Regardless of whether you are in college or high school. Regardless of whether you are straight or gay. Regardless of whether you are black, white, latino, asian, or any other race/nationality. Regardless of your religion or your political status. We ask you to stand up and DEMAND equal rights for all American citizens. On Wednesday December 3rd we strongly suggest that all students throughout the United States walk out of class at 9 am in your own time zone. This will create a ripple effect across the country! When you leave, please leave a note on your desk that says, "SCHOOL TAUGHT ME NOT TO DISCRIMINATE. SAY NO TO PROP 8. SAY YES TO EQUALITY"."

More info at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=99329430393

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The great fishing lakes of Arkansas are among its most prized possessions.

Jet skiing on Norfork Lake in the Arkansas Ozarks
A vast majority of recreational vacations are water-related, and Arkansas is ready. With 600,000 acres of Arkansas lakes, there's plenty of space for fishing, swimming, sailing, power-boating, scuba diving and more.

The great fishing lakes of Arkansas are among its most prized possessions. Constantly fed by cold-flowing springs and creeks, the mountain fishing lakes are among the cleanest in the world. Scuba divers and underwater photographers marvel at the water clarity, while fishermen are happy with the trophy-sized lunkers they hook in the same waters. The Ozarks offer Bull Shoals, Greers Ferry, Norfork, Beaver, Dardanelle and other smaller lakes. The Ouachita Mountains boast DeGray, Greeson, Hamilton, Catherine, Nimrod and Ouachita lakes. And, south Arkansas boasts Lake Millwood, White Oak, Chicot (the state's largest ox-bow cutoff from the Mississippi) and others lakes in Arkansas.

Houseboats, sailing rigs, party barges, fishing boats, rafts, parasails and jet skis are just some of the watercrafts enjoyed on Arkansas lakes. In addition, trout fishermen and nature lovers use the popular flat-bottomed johnboat to navigate the shallow tail waters below the big power dams.

This is a note for you from Donna S., another MoveOn member in Little Rock:

This is a note for you from Donna S., another MoveOn member in Little Rock:

Dear MoveOn member,

Hello! I'm Donna J. Stone, an excited neighbor and citizen of Little Rock, Arkansas. I and many others across the country are continuing to have enthusiastic visions for the Change that has ocurred and looking forward to being a part of future changes.

So come join the "Fired Up and Ready to Go" gathering that I am hosting on Thursday, November 20, 2008. Let's continue with this campaign. So tell your neighbors, friends, co-workers and family. Please as many of our youth as possible.

I look forward to seeing you.


Here are the details:

"Fired Up and Ready to Go" Gathering
Host: Donna S—fellow MoveOn member
Where: TBA (in Little Rock)
When: Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008, at 6:00 PM
Can you come? Click here to RSVP:


http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=85369&id=15131-1814070-N6w6uZx&t=1


Hope to see you there!

–Donna S., fellow MoveOn member

This email was sent through the MoveOn system, so your personal info is still private.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Welcome to 37 years of Excellence in the art of female impersonation




Welcome to 37 years of Excellence in the art of female impersonation

It has been a busy week for Truth Wins Out. Here is a quick update on our important work:

It has been a busy week for Truth Wins Out. Here is a quick update on our important work:

1) TWO's Executive Director, Wayne Besen, will appear on FOX's O'Reilly Factor (8PM EST) this evening to discuss race and Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that bans same-sex marriage. He will also appear this evening on KABC's, The Al Rantel Radio Show, in Los Angeles, at 8PM (PST).

2) TWO's Respect My Research program had a hugely successful week. The Salt Lake Tribune covered our exclusive video with Dr. Lisa Diamond. She is a University of Utah professor who claimed the "ex-gay" therapy group, NARTH, distorted her findings. This is a vivid example of our important work, holding anti-gay organizations accountable when they twist the research of legitimate scientists to support their anti-gay theories.

3) Last Saturday, TWO and the Gay Liberation Network organized a protest against the Radio Hall of Fame for honoring Focus on the Family's James Dobson. The demonstration was also against Proposition 8. Hundreds of people energetically rallied and the event made local and national news, including NBC Nightly News and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show.

We have a powerful video of the Chicago protest.

If you like and appreciate the work of Truth Wins Out, please consider a generous contribution. If you can afford $15, it would help our efforts. If $100 or more is a possibility, please consider assisting us. We can only have an impact and make a difference with your continued support.

After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.

After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN – 18 hours ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Same-sex couples walked joyfully down the aisle Wednesday for the first time in Connecticut, while gay activists planned to march in protests across the country over the vote that took away their right to marry in California.

Advocates said they expected thousands at a demonstration at Boston's City Hall Plaza later Wednesday, with gay couples and families featured to try to keep the tone positive, said Ryan McNeely, an organizer for the Join the Impact protest movement.

"We're not trying to convey an image of persecution, we're not trying to attack any specific group," he said. "The point we need to be making is that we need to bring everybody together and to respect each other, and that hate breeds hate."

Bubbles and white balloons bounced in the chilly autumn air as well-wishers cheered the marriage of Peg Oliveira and Jennifer Vickery in New Haven. They wed outside City Hall, next to a statue commemorating the struggle for freedom among captives on the Amistad slave ship.

Despite the roaring traffic and clicking cameras, "it was surprisingly quiet," Oliveira said after the brief ceremony. "Everything else dissolved, and it was just the two of us. It was so much more personal and powerful in us committing to one another, and so much less about the people around us."

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a 2005 civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples. A lower-court judge entered a final order permitting same-sex marriage Wednesday morning.

"Today, Connecticut sends a message of hope and inspiration to lesbian and gay people throughout this country who simply want to be treated as equal citizens by their government," said the plaintiff's attorney, Bennett Klein.

There was no comparison between civil unions and marriage for Robin Levine-Ritterman and Barbara Levine-Ritterman, who obtained a civil union in 2005 and were among eight same-sex couples who sued for the right to marry.

"We didn't do it with pride or joy," Barbara Levine-Ritterman said of getting the civil-union license. "It felt gritty to be in a separate line."

On Wednesday, however, she proudly held up the first same-sex marriage license issued in New Haven as about 100 people applauded outside City Hall. She and her betrothed, who held red roses, plan to marry in May.

"It's thrilling today," Barbara Levine-Ritterman said. "We are all in one line for one form. Love is love, and the state recognizes it."

Manchester Town Clerk Joseph Camposeo, president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association, said clerks in the state's 169 communities were advised by e-mail shortly after 9:30 a.m. that they could start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

"The feedback I'm getting from other clerks is that we're all at the ready, but no one really has a sense yet of what kind of volume we're going to get," he said.

According to the state public health department, 2,032 civil union licenses were issued in Connecticut between October 2005 and July 2008.

The health department had new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under "bride" and the other under "groom," couples will see two boxes marked "bride/groom/spouse."

Massachusetts is the only other state allowing gay marriages. Like the highest courts in that state and Connecticut, the California Supreme Court ruled this spring that same-sex marriage is legal. After thousands of such unions were conducted in California, however, its voters last week approved Proposition 8, a referendum banning the practice.

Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage also passed last week in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents.

Gay rights advocates are citing Massachusetts as an example at planned rallies this weekend to demonstrate why gay marriage is beneficial to families and children.

"In Massachusetts, in particular, we have a great story to tell, a great story to tell about marriage equality, that it works and that it's good," said Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality.

Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute, which opposes gay marriage, said planned and past protests, some of which have been angry in tone and targeted churches, are meant to intimidate the California high court into reversing its ruling that Proposition 8 was constitutional.

"We are a nation that goes by the rule of law," he said. "No court should ever be intimidated by mob rule. And that's what our opponents right now are trying to do."

The California vote has sparked protests and several lawsuits asking that state's Supreme Court to overturn the prohibition.

A group of Southern California activists have launched an effort to have simultaneous protests outside statehouses and city halls in every state Saturday. Demonstrations have been scheduled outside the U.S. Capitol and in more than 100 cities.

Activists also are aiming boycotts and protests at businesses and individuals who contributed to the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Many of the donors are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which played a significant role in encouraging its members to support the California ban.

Mormon churches in several states have become the focus of protests and some vandalism since the vote.

Since lawyers for gay rights groups and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have asked the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8, same-sex couples in California are not flocking to Connecticut and Massachusetts to wed, said Shannon Minter, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"I think couples are still very hopeful they will be able to marry here," Minter said.

Connecticut voters could have opened the door to ending gay marriage last week by voting for a constitutional convention to amend the state's constitution, but the measure failed.

Peter Wolfgang, the executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a gay-marriage opponent, acknowledged that banning gay weddings in Connecticut will be difficult but vowed not to give up. He condemned the high court's decision as undemocratic.

"Unlike California, we did not have a remedy," Wolfgang said. "It must be overturned with patience, determination and fortitude."

The state's 2005 civil union law will remain on the books for now. Same-sex couples can continue to enter civil unions, which give them the same legal rights and privileges in Connecticut as married couples without the status of being married. Several states, including California, allow domestic partnerships or civil unions for same-sex couples.

Associated Press writers Susan Haigh in Hartford, Conn., and Lisa Leff in San Francisco contributed to this report.

After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.

After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN – 18 hours ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Same-sex couples walked joyfully down the aisle Wednesday for the first time in Connecticut, while gay activists planned to march in protests across the country over the vote that took away their right to marry in California.

Advocates said they expected thousands at a demonstration at Boston's City Hall Plaza later Wednesday, with gay couples and families featured to try to keep the tone positive, said Ryan McNeely, an organizer for the Join the Impact protest movement.

"We're not trying to convey an image of persecution, we're not trying to attack any specific group," he said. "The point we need to be making is that we need to bring everybody together and to respect each other, and that hate breeds hate."

Bubbles and white balloons bounced in the chilly autumn air as well-wishers cheered the marriage of Peg Oliveira and Jennifer Vickery in New Haven. They wed outside City Hall, next to a statue commemorating the struggle for freedom among captives on the Amistad slave ship.

Despite the roaring traffic and clicking cameras, "it was surprisingly quiet," Oliveira said after the brief ceremony. "Everything else dissolved, and it was just the two of us. It was so much more personal and powerful in us committing to one another, and so much less about the people around us."

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a 2005 civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples. A lower-court judge entered a final order permitting same-sex marriage Wednesday morning.

"Today, Connecticut sends a message of hope and inspiration to lesbian and gay people throughout this country who simply want to be treated as equal citizens by their government," said the plaintiff's attorney, Bennett Klein.

There was no comparison between civil unions and marriage for Robin Levine-Ritterman and Barbara Levine-Ritterman, who obtained a civil union in 2005 and were among eight same-sex couples who sued for the right to marry.

"We didn't do it with pride or joy," Barbara Levine-Ritterman said of getting the civil-union license. "It felt gritty to be in a separate line."

On Wednesday, however, she proudly held up the first same-sex marriage license issued in New Haven as about 100 people applauded outside City Hall. She and her betrothed, who held red roses, plan to marry in May.

"It's thrilling today," Barbara Levine-Ritterman said. "We are all in one line for one form. Love is love, and the state recognizes it."

Manchester Town Clerk Joseph Camposeo, president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association, said clerks in the state's 169 communities were advised by e-mail shortly after 9:30 a.m. that they could start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

"The feedback I'm getting from other clerks is that we're all at the ready, but no one really has a sense yet of what kind of volume we're going to get," he said.

According to the state public health department, 2,032 civil union licenses were issued in Connecticut between October 2005 and July 2008.

The health department had new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under "bride" and the other under "groom," couples will see two boxes marked "bride/groom/spouse."

Massachusetts is the only other state allowing gay marriages. Like the highest courts in that state and Connecticut, the California Supreme Court ruled this spring that same-sex marriage is legal. After thousands of such unions were conducted in California, however, its voters last week approved Proposition 8, a referendum banning the practice.

Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage also passed last week in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents.

Gay rights advocates are citing Massachusetts as an example at planned rallies this weekend to demonstrate why gay marriage is beneficial to families and children.

"In Massachusetts, in particular, we have a great story to tell, a great story to tell about marriage equality, that it works and that it's good," said Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality.

Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute, which opposes gay marriage, said planned and past protests, some of which have been angry in tone and targeted churches, are meant to intimidate the California high court into reversing its ruling that Proposition 8 was constitutional.

"We are a nation that goes by the rule of law," he said. "No court should ever be intimidated by mob rule. And that's what our opponents right now are trying to do."

The California vote has sparked protests and several lawsuits asking that state's Supreme Court to overturn the prohibition.

A group of Southern California activists have launched an effort to have simultaneous protests outside statehouses and city halls in every state Saturday. Demonstrations have been scheduled outside the U.S. Capitol and in more than 100 cities.

Activists also are aiming boycotts and protests at businesses and individuals who contributed to the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Many of the donors are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which played a significant role in encouraging its members to support the California ban.

Mormon churches in several states have become the focus of protests and some vandalism since the vote.

Since lawyers for gay rights groups and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have asked the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8, same-sex couples in California are not flocking to Connecticut and Massachusetts to wed, said Shannon Minter, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"I think couples are still very hopeful they will be able to marry here," Minter said.

Connecticut voters could have opened the door to ending gay marriage last week by voting for a constitutional convention to amend the state's constitution, but the measure failed.

Peter Wolfgang, the executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a gay-marriage opponent, acknowledged that banning gay weddings in Connecticut will be difficult but vowed not to give up. He condemned the high court's decision as undemocratic.

"Unlike California, we did not have a remedy," Wolfgang said. "It must be overturned with patience, determination and fortitude."

The state's 2005 civil union law will remain on the books for now. Same-sex couples can continue to enter civil unions, which give them the same legal rights and privileges in Connecticut as married couples without the status of being married. Several states, including California, allow domestic partnerships or civil unions for same-sex couples.

Associated Press writers Susan Haigh in Hartford, Conn., and Lisa Leff in San Francisco contributed to this report.

After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.

After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN – 18 hours ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Same-sex couples walked joyfully down the aisle Wednesday for the first time in Connecticut, while gay activists planned to march in protests across the country over the vote that took away their right to marry in California.

Advocates said they expected thousands at a demonstration at Boston's City Hall Plaza later Wednesday, with gay couples and families featured to try to keep the tone positive, said Ryan McNeely, an organizer for the Join the Impact protest movement.

"We're not trying to convey an image of persecution, we're not trying to attack any specific group," he said. "The point we need to be making is that we need to bring everybody together and to respect each other, and that hate breeds hate."

Bubbles and white balloons bounced in the chilly autumn air as well-wishers cheered the marriage of Peg Oliveira and Jennifer Vickery in New Haven. They wed outside City Hall, next to a statue commemorating the struggle for freedom among captives on the Amistad slave ship.

Despite the roaring traffic and clicking cameras, "it was surprisingly quiet," Oliveira said after the brief ceremony. "Everything else dissolved, and it was just the two of us. It was so much more personal and powerful in us committing to one another, and so much less about the people around us."

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a 2005 civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples. A lower-court judge entered a final order permitting same-sex marriage Wednesday morning.

"Today, Connecticut sends a message of hope and inspiration to lesbian and gay people throughout this country who simply want to be treated as equal citizens by their government," said the plaintiff's attorney, Bennett Klein.

There was no comparison between civil unions and marriage for Robin Levine-Ritterman and Barbara Levine-Ritterman, who obtained a civil union in 2005 and were among eight same-sex couples who sued for the right to marry.

"We didn't do it with pride or joy," Barbara Levine-Ritterman said of getting the civil-union license. "It felt gritty to be in a separate line."

On Wednesday, however, she proudly held up the first same-sex marriage license issued in New Haven as about 100 people applauded outside City Hall. She and her betrothed, who held red roses, plan to marry in May.

"It's thrilling today," Barbara Levine-Ritterman said. "We are all in one line for one form. Love is love, and the state recognizes it."

Manchester Town Clerk Joseph Camposeo, president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association, said clerks in the state's 169 communities were advised by e-mail shortly after 9:30 a.m. that they could start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

"The feedback I'm getting from other clerks is that we're all at the ready, but no one really has a sense yet of what kind of volume we're going to get," he said.

According to the state public health department, 2,032 civil union licenses were issued in Connecticut between October 2005 and July 2008.

The health department had new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under "bride" and the other under "groom," couples will see two boxes marked "bride/groom/spouse."

Massachusetts is the only other state allowing gay marriages. Like the highest courts in that state and Connecticut, the California Supreme Court ruled this spring that same-sex marriage is legal. After thousands of such unions were conducted in California, however, its voters last week approved Proposition 8, a referendum banning the practice.

Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage also passed last week in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents.

Gay rights advocates are citing Massachusetts as an example at planned rallies this weekend to demonstrate why gay marriage is beneficial to families and children.

"In Massachusetts, in particular, we have a great story to tell, a great story to tell about marriage equality, that it works and that it's good," said Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality.

Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute, which opposes gay marriage, said planned and past protests, some of which have been angry in tone and targeted churches, are meant to intimidate the California high court into reversing its ruling that Proposition 8 was constitutional.

"We are a nation that goes by the rule of law," he said. "No court should ever be intimidated by mob rule. And that's what our opponents right now are trying to do."

The California vote has sparked protests and several lawsuits asking that state's Supreme Court to overturn the prohibition.

A group of Southern California activists have launched an effort to have simultaneous protests outside statehouses and city halls in every state Saturday. Demonstrations have been scheduled outside the U.S. Capitol and in more than 100 cities.

Activists also are aiming boycotts and protests at businesses and individuals who contributed to the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Many of the donors are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which played a significant role in encouraging its members to support the California ban.

Mormon churches in several states have become the focus of protests and some vandalism since the vote.

Since lawyers for gay rights groups and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have asked the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8, same-sex couples in California are not flocking to Connecticut and Massachusetts to wed, said Shannon Minter, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"I think couples are still very hopeful they will be able to marry here," Minter said.

Connecticut voters could have opened the door to ending gay marriage last week by voting for a constitutional convention to amend the state's constitution, but the measure failed.

Peter Wolfgang, the executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a gay-marriage opponent, acknowledged that banning gay weddings in Connecticut will be difficult but vowed not to give up. He condemned the high court's decision as undemocratic.

"Unlike California, we did not have a remedy," Wolfgang said. "It must be overturned with patience, determination and fortitude."

The state's 2005 civil union law will remain on the books for now. Same-sex couples can continue to enter civil unions, which give them the same legal rights and privileges in Connecticut as married couples without the status of being married. Several states, including California, allow domestic partnerships or civil unions for same-sex couples.

Associated Press writers Susan Haigh in Hartford, Conn., and Lisa Leff in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Skate4Cancer Photo Blog

Skate4Cancer Photo Blog

Selfless; having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself. It has been suggested that Rob Dyer is selfless, but few people know how truly far he has gone, and know how much, of himself, he...

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MSNBC REPORT ON GAY MARRAIGE IN ca AND SMALL REPORT ABOUT TYHE FOSTOR BILL IN AR

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Laura Bellows sent a message to the members of Arkansas Families First

Laura Bellows sent a message to the members of Arkansas Families First.

--------------------
Subject: PLEASE

It's almost over. Thank you for your support throughout this campaign. I need to ask you one more time for your help.

We need you on election day.

Yesterday, Family Council sent out the email below asking for volunteers on election day. We don't agree on much, but I agree with Jerry Cox that many voters in Arkansas still do not know how to vote on Initiated Act 1.

Some of ya'll have signed up to help out on election day, November 4th, but we need many more folks. If you haven't signed up to work on election day yet, please email me now or call 501-280-0082. I will ship materials wherever you need them.

Please help save homes for the children of Arkansas. Please counter Family Council at the polls.

Polls are open from 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM. We need as much time as you can give.

Laura Bellows
laura@arkansasfamiliesfirst.org
www.arkansasfamiliesfirst.org
---
From: Jerry Cox
Subject: Action Committee Looking for Poll Workers
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 21:03:16 +0000
Action Committee Looking for Poll Workers

As I said yesterday, the election is almost here. We’re fast approaching the “eleventh hour” for this campaign. With less than a week remaining, it’s becoming more and more critical that our voices be heard in support of Act 1, the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act.

Many voters don’t make up their minds about how they will vote until a week or two prior to the election; many more do not decide how they will vote on initiated acts until they arrive at the voting booth. There are still thousands of undecided voters who will vote FOR Act 1 if we reach them now.

We need volunteers willing to stand in front of polling places, asking people to vote FOR Act 1. Whether it’s by holding up signs, passing out flyers, or just talking to voters, we need people who will campaign for the Adoption Act at the polls on Tuesday.

College students in Searcy are already planning to assemble volunteers fo r the Adoption Act outside polling places. I believe that similar efforts on the part of Arkansans across the state could secure victory for us in this election.

If you and your friends do not already have campaign material for next week, give us a call at (501) 375-7000. We would be happen to ship flyers and yard signs to you ASAP.

Thank you for standing with us in this fight. The next few days will determine the outcome of this election for the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act. None of what we are doing would be possible without you.
--------------------

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox/readmessage.php&t=1045663106067

Friday, October 24, 2008

Conference this weekend! OLD EVENT IN ARKANSAS IN CONWAY

Conference this weekend!
To members of Queer Coalition Conference
Amanda Harris

April 1 at 8:06pm
Reply Hello all,

For those attending the 2nd Annual Arkansas Queer Coalition Conference, please take note of the following announcements.

Registration starts on Friday, April 4 at 4:30 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the student center at the University of Central Arkansas.

If you have not registered for the conference yet, but still want to come, please send your registration form ASAP! Find this file in our yahoo group at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/queercoalition. It is in the Files link to the left under the "2008 Conference Materials" folder. Email it to QueerCoalitionConference@gmail.com

For those concerned about parking, please look for any guest parking on campus. There is a large lot of guest parking alongside Donaghey St.

The second day of the conference (Saturday, April 5) will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the UCA Student Center.

Everyone who agreed to bring a dish to the potluck- THANKS! However, we have a million requests to bring chips. I don’t think we all want chips for dinner, so please try and bring a fun food dish if you are able :)

If you requested to have a slumber party for your housing accommodations, no worries. We will take care of you. Be sure to sign in on the housing sheet at the registration table.

If you want to see the updated conference schedule and workshop descriptions, look at the bottom of this message. Thanks! And if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at QueerCoalitionConference@gmail.com

See you this weekend!

P.S. Get ready for a non-conference sponsored Queer Bash on Saturday night!!

Friday Schedule

4:30-5:00 p.m.
Registration

5:00-5:50 p.m.
Informal Introduction/Potluck

6:00-8:30 p.m.
Group Session with Jaison Gardner

Saturday Schedule

Late Registration All Day

8:00-8:20 a.m.
On-site Breakfast

8:20-8:55 a.m.
Formal Introductions

9:00 – 10:20 a.m.
Workshop Session I

A:
You Have the Right to Be Yourself—and Not to Remain Silent by Holly Dickson

B:
All Together Now: Respecting Diversity within the Queer Movement by Jaison Gardner

10:30 - 11:50 a.m.
Workshop Session II

A:
Queer Defiance of Gay Compliance: a Critical Analysis of the Human Rights Campaign by Nick Stinson

B:
America’s Next Top GSA: Walking the Gay, Straight Alliance Runway by Hannah Sabet

11:50 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.
On-site Lunch

1:00-2:20 p.m.
Workshop Session III

A:
When Art and Revolution Meet by Randi Romo

B:
The Silent T in Stonewall by Kourt Osborn

2:30 – 3:50 p.m.
Workshop Session IV

A:
A Fabric That Breathes: A Queer Guide to Updating Your Spiritual Wardrobe by John Willis

B:
Blurring the Lines: Identity and the Queer Sexual Spectrum by Amanda Harris

3:50-5:30 p.m.
Group Session with Jaison Gardner


Workshop Descriptions:

You Have the Right to Be Yourself—and Not to Remain Silent by Holly Dickson, Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas. A workshop on the rights of LGBT people in general, and public school students in particular.

All Together Now: Respecting Diversity within the Queer Movement by Jaison Gardner. The queer community is a broad, diverse community. When it comes to community organizing, who’s at the table? Who’s not at the table? Who built the table? Let’s work toward a better understanding of diversity within the queer movement and start working to build an inclusive community where all individuals are valued and empowered to reach their full potential.

Queer Defiance of Gay Compliance: A Critical Analysis of the Human Rights Campaign by Nick Stinson, co-creator of Conway League of Queer Activists. How does the Human Rights Campaign serve as a lens through which queers can gain a better understanding of gay assimilation and the violence it creates? This workshop will explore that question while examining the Buyer’s Guide and the recent ENDA controversy – and the complex ways they serve to build a whiter, richer, cismale-centered gay identity. Then we’ll discuss strategies for radical resistance to this type of profit driven assimilate-or-die gay rights framework.

America’s Next Top GSA: Walking the Gay, Straight Alliance Runway by Hannah Sabet, GLSEN. We all know the importance of organizing and maintaining GSAs in our high schools, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. This workshop will help you to understand the many functions of a GSA. Whether you want to start a GSA or you have already started one, you will have the opportunity to meet with other students to brainstorm ideas about strengthening student organizations. You will learn about your legal rights as a GSA as well as how to create maximum student involvement. Super fun activities and awesome resources will be provided to help you create a GSA that is totally FIERCE.

When Art and Revolution Meet by Randi Romo, Executive Director for Center for Artistic Revolution. This workshop will look at the ways that creativity and cultural work contribute to social justice movements. We will examine how cultural work has influenced historical movements for equality and strategize ways to use arts and cultural work for the future.

Trans Resistance at Stonewall and Beyond by Kourt Osborn, 2007 Soulforce Equality Rider, Southern Utah University PRIDE. This workshop will discuss how transgender people were involved in the Stonewall Riots, and its importance. We will also discuss other transgender actions during the period of Stonewall and their grand effect on it. Further, we will all discover more about the transgender activist, and why we are meant not to hear about them. Other topics to be covered in this workshop are: The Mattachine Society and its effect on future Queer Movements, and the Gay Liberation Front.

A Fabric That Breathes: A Queer Guide to Updating Your Spiritual Wardrobe by John Willis, Dir. of Religious Education, Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock. When you grow up religious AND queer, coming out about your sexuality usually involves an EXTREME MAKEOVER of what you used to believe about yourself, other people, and God (however you imagine Her!). Unfortunately, some of us come out spiritually “lopsided” because the faith we grew up with doesn’t fit right anymore, or we’ve found ourselves at odds with family members or close friends who don’t understand this latest part of our spiritual journey. Through body and breath practices, meditation, and interactive exercises, this workshop encourages participants to create a new “spiritual garment” that fits and enables them to be strong and courageous when showing their “true colors” to the people in their lives.

Blurring the Lines: Identity and the Queer Sexual Spectrum by Amanda Harris, who has been involved in a hodgepodge of organizations and causes. This workshop will first focus on the alphabet soup and then some. What are these identities? What is cismale? What is Queer? Why aren’t we talking about bisexuals in our movement? The second part of the workshop will move to an interactive model of the sexuality spectrum followed by an open discussion of our findings.

Miss Gay America: An Overview of the Pageant & its 2008 Winner

Miss Gay America: An Overview of the Pageant & its 2008 Winner
Held in Memphis, Tennessee, MGA is More Than Just Men in Make-up
By R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen, published Jan 28, 2008
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The Miss Gay America pageant began in 1972 when it crowned the first official king of queens Norma Kristie aka Norman Jones. It is currently in its 36th year and still going strong. This competition is more than just men in drag it is a competition that challenges every aspect of their being. It is very similar to the Miss America pageant.

Contestants cannot be surgically altered or on hormones only certain types of injections are allowed. Contestants must also me males age 21 or older. There are two preliminary rounds: State and Regional in which contestants must compete. The pageant has several of the same competition categories as the Miss America pageant. Competitors will compete in a Male Interview, Solo Talent, Evening Gown, On Stage Interview and Talent. All competition categories carry a score of 50-300 points per judge. Just like the Miss America Pageant there is a queen representing each state and only one can be crowned Miss Gay America.

The 2008 MGA came to a close crowning Miss Mikaila Kay. Other winners include 1st alternate Layla LaRue, 2nd alternate Victoria DePaula, Coti Collins, and 4th alternate Chantel ReShae. Other top ten finalists were Chelsea Delorean Divine, Coco Montrese, Victoria Parker, Melody Michaels and China Collins.

The 2008 pageant took place in Memphis, Tennessee from October 17-21, 2007. The theme for the 2008 MGA competition was "one night in Hollywood". The winning prize was a jewelry set costing approximately $2000.00.

Mikaila Kay is 24 years old and from Chicago, Illinois and is currently residing in Tempe, Arizona. He graduated from Clay High School in South Bend, Indiana in 2001 and has been pursuing MGA ever since he entered a show in high school. He was voted 8th most fascinating person of 2007 by the members of www.carriefairfield.com . He began his drag career doing shows at Marcella and Caberet winning his first pageant in 2001 as Miss Gay Entertainer of the year for Buffalo, New York. He also won Miss Gay Arizona in 2004 just months after moving there. In college he studied Musical Theatre. He is know the reigning queen of Miss Gay America.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Stonewall Fall Wine Tasting Benefit" on Thursday, October 30 at 6:00pm.

Joseph invited you to "Stonewall Fall Wine Tasting Benefit" on Thursday, October 30 at 6:00pm.

Joseph says, "Please help us spread the word about our fall winetasting benefit for Stonewall Democratic Caucus. A portion of the proceeds to benefit Arkansas Families First to help defeat Act 1.".

Event: Stonewall Fall Wine Tasting Benefit
"Honored Guest Robbie Thomas-Knight PhD"
What: Benefit
Host: Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas
Start Time: Thursday, October 30 at 6:00pm
End Time: Thursday, October 30 at 8:00pm
Where: 2200 South Broadway

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=44792771704

Thanks,
The Facebook Team

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Court reverses rulings denying unmarried parents' right to adopt

Court reverses rulings denying unmarried parents' right to adopt
Friday, Jun 6, 2008

By Rob Moritz
Arkansas News Bureau
LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday overturned two lower court decisions from Pope County that denied adoption rights to single biological parents.

In both cases, Circuit Judge Gordon William McCain Jr. misinterpreted state law in ruling the unmarried parents were not eligible to adopt their own child, the high court said, ordering new hearings.

A spokeswoman for the Family Council Action Committee said Thursday's decisions would have no affect on the group's proposed initiated act to ban unwed couples from adopting or serving as foster parents.

"These decisions are just saying that an unmarried person may adopt and our proposal does not stop single-parent adoptions," Martha Adcock said.

The measure's name and ballot title have received Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's approval and supporters are trying to collect nearly 62,000 signatures of registered voters by July 7 to put the measure on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

In one of the Pope County adoption cases, a biological father petitioned to adopt his child, of whom he already had been granted custody. The child's mother had consented to the adoption.

However, McCain denied the petition, expressing concern that terminating the mother's parental rights would end her financial responsibility to the child.

In a unanimous decision Thursday, the Supreme Court said the judge's ruling was contrary to state law.

Section 9-9-204(3) of the Arkansas Code states "the unmarried mother or father of the individual to be adopted" may adopt.

The law addresses only who may adopt, the court noted, saying McCain's "policy concern" was a "question that should be addressed by the Legislature."

"Parental rights and the integrity of the family unit have always been a concern of this state and their protection regarded as a proper function of the courts," Justice Jim Gunter wrote.

"Construing the statute just as it reads, it clearly allows for an unmarried father to adopt his own child, and therefore, is unambiguous," Gunter wrote, "... and we should not interpret the statute to say something that it clearly does not."

In the other case, the child's biological mother filed a petition to adopt her young child, stating that no father had been involved in the child's life and, after an inquiry was sent to the state Department of Human Services, no matching claim was found in the Arkansas Putative Father Registry.

The circuit judge again cited "public policy reasons" in denying the adoption.

The Supreme Court repeated its ruling in the first case in reversing the second and sent both cases back to circuit court for consideration of each adoption petition on its merits.