November 9th, 2008

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Open Thread

Welcome, all members and watchers to this community. I will be adding content to the layout sidebar later today and tomorrow until I feel I have sufficient content for a permanent resource archive. I will also make some banners with linkable code to promote us for others in an effort to drive up membership. If you have questions you would like answers for or questions suitable for a community FAQ, please comment to this post with them and I will include them (based on relevance) to the upcoming Community FAQ post.

As you can see, for the moment, posting access is available only for moderators at this time until more content is added. In the interim, you may comment to any post - and by all means, sign the guestbook, please!
goatee

70 Years After Kristallnacht

It pains me to know how many gay, lesbian, bi and trans folk are blissfully unaware of those crucial threads in our tapestry that have placed the worldwide GLBT community where it is today.  For today I would like to draw a bit of attention to an anniversary that we must remember even though it didn't happen on American soil.

Kristallnacht (literally "Crystal night") orthe Night of Broken Glass, was the night in Nazi-era Germany (November 9-10, 1938) that started the horrific rash of violence against the Jewish people known as the holocaust, though it was the result of over five years of ongoing discrimination and persecution.  On a single night, 92 Jews were murdered and 25,000–30,000 were arrested and deported to concentration camps.  Not only that but more than 200 synagogues and thousands of Jewish-owned homes and businesses were destroyed - in one night.

It wasn't just the Jews.  It was the disabled.  It was the Polish.  It was the Serbs, Slavs and yes, it was the homosexuals.  If you aren't familiar with how homosexuals were affected by the holocaust then you must not have heard about Paragraph 175, the section of German Criminal Code that made homosexual acts illegal.  It was used to persecute homosexuals, to drive them to concentration camps, and it was the origin of pink triangle as a symbol of gay pride.

For the record, Paragraph 175 didn't just affect people in Nazi Germany.  It was law until 1994.  Think about that for a minute.

Seventy years ago tonight it all started, and it is precisely because of historic injustices such as this that we must stand together with a common, clear voice so that our communities, our cities & states, our country and even the world will know that persecution of any minority group will not be tolerated. 

Never again.


More information on Kristallnacht can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht
marfa

Thoughtful Post on Activism & Race

My friend slit has posted some great food for thought for any of us who are looking ahead. It's a tough task--figuring out where to best dedicate your energy and resources. I've always been convinced that the key to change on issues of social equality ultimately lies in federal litigation. Tied to that, however, is the reality of cultures and society. My approach in the past has been to dedicate the bulk of my time to fostering communication and understanding on personal levels while funding and assisting with litigation efforts. I'm still fairly certain that this is the best approach for me...the way that I can be most effective.

So this brings me back to slit's post. I have been extremely distressed at the way race issues with regard to Prop. 8 have been approached by many. I was shocked. Then I wasn't. Racism is alive and well in California--that's certainly no surprise. I found in my decade of living there it was more racist than the south, only with a patina of civility that makes it harder to see at first. I am still thinking about a lot of things, and I don't want to write my own opinions about anything while they are half-baked, but I do think that this post is a great jumping off point for some serious introspection and later discussion about how issues of race and culture will affect the road ahead.

Mission Statement

Mission Statement +
To ensure through grassroots activism that legal rights and benefits are assured Americans regardless of identity; by providing information, and giving a voice to those without one.

What We Are +
A collection of citizens committed to changing bad policy which restricts and prohibits the civil liberties of Americans, regardless of identity, by putting constant pressure on elected officials to uphold the separation of church and state and to deny the propagation of discriminating legislation, regardless of personal bias.
Why We Are +
We are because we must be. Until the very people who judge another can understand that they are playing with other people's lives and that no one should have to hold their breath waiting to be themselves, we are not a free country. Period.
Who We Are Not +
We are not dogmatic and thus we're open to all avenues and ideas toward the common goal of gaining our rights. We are not so petty that we regard our rights before others. We are not so ignorant that we imagine our struggle is not shared, and we are not so callow as to give in before what is right is secured. We do not assume that our rights will come easily, without compromise or without a wealth of humility. We are not about "all or nothing," so much as "all eventually, but one step at a time."
Community Rules & Guidelines +
Posting access for community members is moderated pending approval of content. Posts written by community members with the express purpose of personal attack against another community member will not be tolerated. Members who cannot exhibit respect for this community and its members may be disallowed posting and commenting privileges pending the agreement of all moderators. All posts must be tagged, and conform to the set guidelines written in this post.
Info +
This community exists for those who believe and work to make it a reality. Your moderators are jesus_h_biscuit, lolasenvy, tinywarrior, michaelnolan, city_of_dis, and furrbear.


credits: profile codes

study

Business Supporters of Prop 8

AfterEllen.com has a list of companies that supported Prop 8. I thought that it might be particularly useful to any California readers who might want to know who they are doing business with and then I read through the list to realize that there are supporters listed whose companies are based in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin.

Boycott or not, that is your choice. Personally I simply like to be aware of such things because it helps me to choose who will get my money as I refuse to financially support any business or individual who believes that I am in any way inferior to them based on my sexual identity.