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12-Year Old Creates Pillow Project, Auction for Marriage Equality


12-year-old Augusta 'Gus' Dexheimer is one of those young activists who gives you hope about the future of this country and for the future of LGBT equality.

I'll let her explain, from her Facebook page: Gus

Hello all! Gus Dexheimer here. Would you like to help me overturn Proposition 8, which is the law that keeps gay marriage illegal in California? If you or any of your friends can’t get married—which is unconstitutional—you might be interested in raising some money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, by making a wedding pillow. I will now explain.

In February, I will have my Bat Mitzvah for which I am required to do a service project. When I first heard that gay marriage was illegal, I was nine. I was simply appalled. I don’t know how old I was when I learned about gay and lesbian relationships but it was never something to hide in my family. My sister is straight, I am straight, my parents are straight, but that never has and never will matter. So when my Bat Mitzvah rolled around and I had met still more gay and lesbian people, I began to think about what I could do for them.

The Pillow Project is this:

Because I know so many artists and crafty people, I am asking you to make pillows for a silent auction in January. I bet you’re familiar with the normal wedding pillow. It has two rings on it and a little boy carries it down the aisle looking cute. 

My pillows will be much more creative and exciting and they can be made out of anything. (See FAQ) They will honor same-sex marriage. I am going to give the money we raise to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, because I think that they will actually use it to make a change.

In response, more than 50 people have created pillows for Gus' benefit.

You can check out, and bid on, all the pillows that folks have created for the project, HERE.

Here's Gus' Facebook page for the event.

The live auction is this Sunday at 1211 Ravine Drive in Austin, TX from 3:00-5:00 pm. The online auction is ongoing now but ends this Sunday as well. I encourage you to give it your support.

Texas Appeals Court Upholds Divorce of Lesbian Couple

Attorney General Greg Abbott does not have jurisdiction to appeal the divorce of a lesbian couple in Austin last year, a Texas state appeals court has ruled.

The Dallas Voice reports: Abbott

A Travis County district judge had granted the divorce to lesbian couple Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly last February. Naylor and Daly married in Massachusetts in 2004 before returning to Texas and adopting a child. Abbott’s office appealed their divorce, arguing that judges in Texas cannot grant same-sex divorces because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

Abbott won an appeal last year challenging another same-sex divorce in Dallas, where the 5th District Court of Appeals ruled in his favor.

Apparently the court ruled the way it did because the AG intervened after the divorce was granted, and neither party challenged the state constitution or Family Code.

Watch: Anti-Gay Assault Victims Say Police Didn't Care


Yesterday I posted about a weekend gay bashing in downtown Austin, Texas in which two men were attacked while, they claim, many witnesses looked on without helping them. In a new interview with Austin's KXAN, the men say that when police did arrive, they told them there was nothing they could do.


Continue reading "Watch: Anti-Gay Assault Victims Say Police Didn't Care" »

Witnesses Stand by as Gay Men are Attacked in Downtown Austin, TX

The Dallas Voice reports that a local activist and his friend were attacked early Sunday morning in downtown Austin, Texas:

Bobby Beltran said he and his friend had just left Rain, a gay bar, at about 1:30 a.m. When they hugged each other goodbye on the sidewalk, some men in a passing vehicle yelled, “F**king faggots, stop that queer shit!”

Beltran After Beltran yelled at the men to “get out of here,” all five of them jumped out of the vehicle and attacked him and his friend. Beltran said he fought back but suffered cuts and bruises and a black eye. His friend may have suffered a broken jaw. The attackers quickly jumped back in the vehicle, which was parked in the middle of the street, and drove off.

The attack against Beltran was the third anti-gay attack reported in Austin this year, according to the paper, but what upset Beltran as much as the attack was the fact that many witnesses were reluctant to help:

He said the attack lasted for about three minutes and was witnessed by at least 20 people, but none of them tried to help. Beltran said he yelled out the license plate of the vehicle as he ran after the attackers, but no one wrote it down and he doesn’t remember it.

“It was the most unsafe I’ve ever felt in my entire life, knowing that not even my community stood up,” Beltran said. “I’m so afraid to go back down there.”

Watch: 1,000 March Against Anti-Gay Hate Crime in Austin, Texas

(image Austin American-Statesman

Austin's KVUE reports that nearly 1,000 people joined the "Austin March Against Hate" yesterday in response to the hate crime committed against two gay softball players last week.

The Statesman addsAustinattack  

"Trailing a banner that read 'Austin March Against Hate,' hundreds of people walked from a downtown gay bar to City Hall on Saturday to retrace the path of two gay men who were attacked last weekend. 'Ignorance is not the way. Fear is not the answer. Love will conquer hate,' one of the victims, Emmanuel Winston, told the crowd. 'Hate will not be tolerated, and we will not be silenced.' ... Police Chief Art Acevedo attended the rally Saturday and said police were still investigating the attack and that it will be up to prosecutors to decide whether there is enough evidence to charge the suspects with a hate crime. He asked the marchers and City Council members present at the rally to push for high-resolution video cameras downtown, saying that video of the four suspects (inset) captured on a City Hall camera was grainy. Police released that video Friday . No arrests have been made."

Watch KVUE's report on the march and the surveillance video of the attackers,

Continue reading "Watch: 1,000 March Against Anti-Gay Hate Crime in Austin, Texas" »

Austin, TX Officials Express Concern About Anti-Gay Hate Crime


Members of Austin City Council and Equality Texas held a press conference yesterday to express concern about the recent hate crime targeting two gay softball players there, which I posted about earlier this week.

The Statesman reports: Council Members Randi Shade and Laura Morrison said that although they are confident police are dedicating the necessary resources to investigate the matter, hate crime remains a real and alarming concern. 'I have every reason to believe our Police Department will pursue this,' Shade said."

Watch KVUE's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Police are still looking for the four men responsible for the attack.

Continue reading "Austin, TX Officials Express Concern About Anti-Gay Hate Crime" »


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