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35 LGBT Rights Organizations Sign Open Letter Calling for Justice for Trayvon Martin

Thirty-five LGBT groups, led by the National Black Justice Coalition and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released an open letter today calling for justice for Trayvon Martin:

MartinAn Open Letter:

Trayvon Deserves Justice

We cannot begin to imagine the continued pain and suffering endured by Trayvon Martin's family and friends. We stand in solidarity with them as they continue to fight for justice, civil rights and closure. And we thank everyone who has pushed and will continue to push for justice.

Trayvon Martin deserves justice and his civil rights. We support the organizations and community leaders who are urging the federal government to explore every option to ensure that justice is served for Trayvon and that his civil rights are honored and respected. But our work does not end there: we will honor Trayvon Martin by strengthening our commitment to end bias, hatred, profiling and violence across our communities.

We represent organizations with diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituencies. Our community has been targets of bigotry, bias, profiling and violence. We have experienced the heart-breaking despair of young people targeted for who they are, who they are presumed to be, or who they love: Rashawn Brazell, Lawrence King, Ali Forney, Brandon Teena, Brandon White, Matthew Shepard, Marco McMillian, Angie Zapata, Sakia Gunn, Gwen Araujo and countless others.

Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety.

Justice delayed is justice denied and in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "a right delayed is a right denied." We honor Trayvon by seeking justice for all people.

See the full list of signatories, AFTER THE JUMP...

All Out
American Civil Liberties Union
Believe Out Loud
Bisexual Resource Center
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Equality Federation
Family Equality Council
Freedom to Work
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network)
Harvey Milk Foundation
Human Rights Campaign
Immigration Equality
Lambda Legal
Movement Advancement Project
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National
The Trevor Project
Trans Advocacy Network
Transgender Law Center
Trans People of Color Coalition

Posted Jul. 15,2013 at 7:12 PM EST by in News, Trayvon Martin | Permalink | Comments (87)

Attorney General Eric Holder 'Shares Concern' About Zimmerman Case, MLK Image Goes Viral: VIDEO


In a speech given today in Washington, D.C. to a gathering of the predominantly African-American sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke out about the George Zimmerman case for the first time since Zimmerman was acquitted on all charges:

“The Deltas are deeply and rightly concerned about this case. The Justice Department shares your concern. I share your concern. And as we first acknowledged last spring we have opened an investigation into this matter. Independent of the legal determination that will be made I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised. We must not, as we have too often in the past, let this opportunity pass.”

The Washington Post reports that Holder will speak about the Zimmerman case in further detail tomorrow when he addresses the NAACP in Florida. 

In his statement, Holder also pledged, "We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion — and also with truth."

MLK Over the weekend, an image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a black hoodie, created by concept artist and Disney imagineer Nikkolas Smith back in 2011 in the wake of Trayvon Martin's shooting, went viral after former Obama administration adviser and soon-to-be co-host of CNN's re-vamped political debate show Crossfire, Van Jones, re-introduced the image into circulation on Twitter, asking others to re-tweet and share the image. Rapper Common also shared a version of the image on Facebook and it quickly began to trend on Instagram under the hashtag, "MLK."

As BuzzFeed notes:

"[Smith] titled the image April 4, 1968, the date MLK Jr. was killed, and coincidentally, also Smith’s birthday. One of his captions for the image is 'Suspect or Saint?'

'I write that because you don’t know who these people are,' he says. 'You don’t know if you shot the next Martin Luther King.'"

Watch a short clip of Holder's speech AFTER THE JUMP...

(image: Nikkolas Smith via Facebok)

Posted Jul. 15,2013 at 7:00 PM EST by in Common, Eric Holder, Martin Luther King, Jr., News, News Clips, Trayvon Martin | Permalink | Comments (13)

Petition Asking CNN To Drop Anti-Gay FRC Leader Tony Perkins Has Over 32,000 Signatures


An online petition asking CNN to stop hosting anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins has been signed by over 32,000 people, more than double the original goal. The initiative was created by the progressive Christian organization Faithful America, after CNN chose to feature Tony Perkins as the "Christian response" to the Supreme Court's DOMA decision. 

From the petition:

This week, millions of Christians celebrated as our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters came one step closer to equality. From coast to coast, church bells rang out to celebrate the Supreme Court's decision overturning the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

But CNN once again turned to a hate-group leader to speak on behalf of America's Christians. Less than an hour after the decision was announced, they interviewed Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who falsely warned that the court decision would lead to "religious organizations losing their exemption."

Media Matters for America points out that CNN and the other major news networks have a long history of inviting Perkins to represent the Christian point of view on LGBT rights, oftentimes without disclosing to viewers that the Family Research Council has been officially designated as a 'hate group' by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

If you would like to sign the petition, you can do so HERE.

Posted Jul. 15,2013 at 6:40 PM EST by in CNN, Family Research Council, News, Tony Perkins | Permalink | Comments (14)

Gay Congressional Candidate Sean Eldridge Hit With Attack Ad: VIDEO


Sean Eldridge, husband to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who in February filed papers to run for Congress in New York's 19th congressional district against Republican incumbent Chris Gibson, has come under attack in a new online ad released by the National Republican Campaign Committee. The online ad, which reportedly cost "several hundred dollars to post," targets Eldridge as a rich, out of touch carpetbagging elite who doesn't understand the needs of hard-working New Yorkers, Capitol Confidential reports:

“'Sean Eldridge knows the world of big-money politics, spending $250,000 to get his candidate elected to the New York State Senate,' a narrator says [in the ad], referencing Eldridge’s support for Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg.

The ad closes with a photo of Gibson, noting how he’s 'earned' his service and touting his four overseas combat tours as an Army commander and his receipt of a Purple Heart medal."

The attack ad comes on the heels of a profile by The New York Times of Eldridge and Hughes entitled, "Young, Rich and Relocating Yet Again in Hunt for Political Office." That article elicited delight from Republicans who believe the profile only furthers the narrative about Eldridge they're trying to make stick.

While Eldridge has yet to be officially endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, DCCC spokesperson Emily Bittner came to Eldridge's defense:

“While a lot of people talk about the needs to create jobs, Sean Eldridge has actually been doing it, investing in small businesses throughout the Hudson Valley and helping them to expand and create jobs. Sean also has a strong record promoting environmental protection and civil rights throughout New York. While some folks work tirelessly to protect tax breaks for billionaires and corporate special interests, Sean has been working to grow small businesses and fight for middle class families.”

Check out the attack ad AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Jul. 15,2013 at 6:15 PM EST by in Chris Hughes, New York, News, Sean Eldridge | Permalink | Comments (14)

NY State Senator Ruben Diaz Says NYC Mayoral Longshot Should Go Gay For Attention

Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., the only Democrat in the New York State Senate who voted against the marriage equality bill in 2011, has been busy lately supporting evangelical minister Erick Salgado in his long-shot bid to become the next mayor of NYC. While Salgado's fund-raising and name recognition pales in comparison to rival candidates, Diaz has a suggestion that will rocket his candidate to the top of the polls: go gay. 

Politicker reports:

DiazNever shy about speaking his mind, State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. suggested in his latest missive that long-shot mayoral candidate Erick Salgado could net far more publicity for his campaign if he just declared himself gay, solicited prostitutes, and tweeted photos of his underwear.

'Salgado could declare that he is a homosexual, go to the City Hall Clerk, get a license, marry another man in a public garden, and become the very first male New York City mayoral candidate who is officially married to a man," Mr. Diaz, a booster of Mr. Salgado, wrote in his ongoing series of "What You Should Know" statements.

"If he does this, I am absolutely certain that he will get millions and millions of dollars in free publicity," Mr. Salgado said. 

Diaz later said that Salgado should take a page out of Anthony Weiner's book and "take some photos of himself in his underwear and tweet  them to different young women, lie about it, and then accuse someone of tampering with his Twitter account." 

Posted Jul. 15,2013 at 5:44 PM EST by in Elections, New York, News, Ruben Diaz Sr. | Permalink | Comments (14)

California Supreme Court Rejects Prop 8 Backers Request to Halt Gay Marriages

The California Supreme Court has rejected a petition from Prop 8 backers asking it to halt same-sex marriages in California, Bloomberg reports:

CasupremeProposition 8 backers filed a petition July 12 and asked the state’s high court to order county clerks to enforce the gay-marriage ban, claiming the measure was still valid because a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month didn’t find it was unconstitutional. They asked for an immediate injunction reinstating the law while the lawsuit is pending.

“The request for an immediate stay or injunctive relief is denied,” the court said in a filing today, without giving a reason.

Prop 8 authors made the request last Friday. Legal experts considered its success a long shot.

Buzzfeed has more:

The court on Friday had set a schedule requiring a full briefing on the Proposition 8 supporters’ remaining request that the court declare that the trial-court ruling only applies to the four plaintiffs in the litigation brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights. As such, the supporters of Proposition 8 argue, the trial-court ruling cannot require state officials to stop enforcing Proposition 8.

The opposition to their request is to be filed “in this court on or before Monday, July 22, 2013.” The Proposition 8 supporters will then have “until Thursday, August 1, 2013, in which to serve and file a reply to the preliminary opposition.”

Posted Jul. 15,2013 at 5:29 PM EST by in California, News, Proposition 8 | Permalink | Comments (17)


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