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04/19/2007


New York Legislators Renew Push For Statewide Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors

Glick Gianaris Hoylman

New Jersey and Chris Christie may be in the midst of controversy thanks to the state's newly-signed ban on gay-to-straight conversion therapy for minors. That thankfully hasn't deterred State Sens. Brad Hoylman, Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who wish to use the controversy to help a similar bill that they introduced earlier this year, and that's currently stalled in the state legislature. 

Emvideo-youtube-WvcNtVAsx_wHoylman, the state’s only openly gay senator, told NY Daily News that "conversion therapy is among the worst frauds in history and has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other...leading mental health organizations." Gianaris, the senate’s deputy Democratic leader, added that “This is not a hyperpartisan issue. This is about protecting young people who are being forced to believe that the way they are is wrong, when it’s not.”

It was previously reported that, in New York City alone, gay-bashing attacks have been steadily increasing this year, and could possibly double the number of similar incidents that took place last year. The three legislators are also hoping that that fact will also help spur their colleagues in the state legislature to action. 

Not surprisingly, members of the "Christian" community are already starting to speak out the bill. Melissa Ingraham, a licensed mental health counselor with the Christian Counseling Center in upstate Johnson City, told NY Daily News that, "If someone has an attraction to someone of the same sex that they don’t want, they should have the ability to pursue counseling to work it out."


New York Elected Officials Call on Obama to Spurn Putin Over Anti-Gay Oppression

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A group of nine LGBT elected officials from New York including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and state Senator Brad Hoylman is urging President Obama to speak out on behalf of the LGBT community and refuse to make a diplomatic trip to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reminding him of the "gay rights are human rights" memo issued by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

PutinSays the letter in part:

Given that President Putin and Russia have enacted laws to criminalize gay people and supporters and deny human rights to their LGBT citizens, they should not be the beneficiary of any trip by your office until they fully restore all civil rights to LGBT people in their country. Recent actions taken by the Russian government have led LGBT citizens to face not only a society that is intolerant of their basic civil rights, but also a country that would imprison them for declaring support for their own fundamental rights as humans. This has promoted an atmosphere of hate where gay people fear for their own lives and safety.

Read the full text of the letter below:

Hon. Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

We write as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elected officials from New York City in anticipation of your deciding whether to continue or cancel plans for an upcoming diplomatic trip to Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. While you are considering whether to cancel that trip in light of Russia's decision to give asylum to Edward Snowden, we also urge you to consider the country's horrendous treatment of members of the LGBT community and its clear human rights abuses aimed at our community. Russia has become a country that persecutes anyone who might be LGBT or supports gay rights.

As then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on behalf of your administration, “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights. It should never be a crime to be gay.” Given that President Putin and Russia have enacted laws
to criminalize gay people and supporters and deny human rights to their LGBT citizens, they should not be the beneficiary of any trip by your office until they fully restore all civil rights to LGBT people in their country. Recent actions taken by the Russian government have led LGBT citizens to face not only a society that is intolerant of their basic civil rights, but also a country that would imprison them for declaring support for their own fundamental rights as humans. This has promoted an atmosphere of hate where gay people fear for their own lives and safety. Police are allowed to arrest foreigners who are considered gay or pro-gay and detain them for up to 14 days. Under their new law, as a pro-gay supporter even you could be subject to arrest and imprisonment while in Russia.

Mr. President, you will remember that in December 2011 the White House released a presidential memorandum directing executive officers and agencies that deal in foreign affairs to address human rights abuses against LGBT people abroad and to pressure foreign governments to decriminalize homosexuality. Now it is time for you and your administration to directly act on this memorandum. The LGBT community and its allies in Russia are under attack and the victims of
clear human rights abuses. We urge you to stand in solidarity with us. Refuse any diplomatic mission to Russia until President Putin stops these abuses now and agrees to make Russia a country that proudly supports its LGBT community and its allies worldwide.

We expect nothing less.

Sincerely,
Christine C. Quinn
Brad Hoylman
Deborah J. Glick
Matthew Titone
Daniel J. O’Donnell
Micah Kellner
Jimmy Van Bramer
Rosie Mendez
Daniel Dromm


Out NY Lawmakers Blast Anthony Weiner for Response to Voter Who Called Christine Quinn a 'Dyke'

Out NY Assembloywoman Deborah Glick and out NY state Senator Brad Hoylman have released a joint statement blasting mayorla candidate Anthony Weiner for his response to a voter who referred to Christine Quinn as a "dyke".

WeinerWeiner's conversation with the voter, according to the Washington Post:

The Twitter story isn’t going away; the Times inadvertently posted an article titled “For Women in Weiner Scandal, Indignity Lingers” before it was ready for publication, which was immediately taken down. And there are increasingly critical examinations of his scant legislative record. Yet no one in the race has the political capacity to relate to people like Weiner, who makes it a point to relate to everyone.

“You a registered Democrat?” he asked an elderly woman wheeling a shopping cart by him.

“I am,” she said. “And I’m not voting for uh, what’s her name? The dyke.”

“Okay. I just need you to sign the petition to get me on the ballot,” said Weiner, who then noticed the incredulous reaction of a reporter and added, “and you really shouldn’t talk that way about people.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the woman said.

“It’s okay,” Weiner responded. “It’s not your fault.”

Hoylman and Glick released a statement in response:

“We are appalled by the account in the Washington Post of Anthony Weiner’s unacceptable response to a prospective voter’s homophobic, misogynistic slur in reference to Christine Quinn. According to the reporter, Weiner at first ignored the slur. Then, after noticing the reporter, Weiner told the voter she ‘really shouldn’t talk that way about people.’  Finally, after the voter apologized, Weiner said, ‘It’s okay. It’s not your fault.’
 
“Weiner’s response to this blatant display of homophobia is completely inappropriate and extremely alarming. There is nothing ‘okay’ about homophobia and it’s never ‘okay’ to condone bias-based slurs or hate speech of any kind.
 The voter’s use of the term demonstrates the challenges women candidates and lesbians in particular face, and Weiner’s failure to swiftly and firmly condemn her language demonstrates his lack of moral courage.
 
“We demand an immediate apology from Mr. Weiner on behalf of LGBT and women New Yorkers.”


Citywide Self-Defense Classes Offered for LGBT New Yorkers; Hate Crimes Forum Planned

City and state officials are reacting to the recent spate of anti-LGBT hate crimes in New York City by offering citywide self-defense classes and taking up the issue in a public forum.

March_quinnCity Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office announced the self-defense classes, via press release over the weekend:

The trainings will empower New Yorkers by teaching violence prevention strategies and safety tips to the LGBT community.  The kick-off class, led by the Center for Anti-Violence Prevention, will be held on Saturday, June 8th in Room 101 of the LGBT Center at 4:00 PM. An additional evening class has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 12th at the Hudson Guild Elliot Center at 7:00 PM.

Participants should reserve their space by calling (212) 788-5613 or by e-mailing [email protected]

“No one should be made to feel unsafe because who they are or who they love,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The spate of bias attacks against LGBT New Yorkers in recent weeks is unacceptable and must end now.  Our free self-defense classes will teach violence prevention strategies to New Yorkers and will provide the community with the tools they need to stay safe.”

“These classes will empower men and women who might otherwise feel helpless at time when our City is experiencing an increase in attacks against our LGBT brothers and sisters,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “No one should be persecuted or attacked for who they are or who they perceive to be. By giving New York City’s LGBT community self-defense training we are providing the necessary tools to help every New Yorker feel safe within their own neighborhood. Together as a community – unified as one – we will continue to take a stand against hate crimes in a City that is known for equality, acceptance and diversity.”

Additional self-defense classes in Brooklyn and Queens will be announced in coming weeks.

And New York State Senator Brad Hoylman announced there would be a public forum on June 14 at the Senate Hearing Room "to assess the efficacy of New York State’s Hate Crimes Law, how state and local government agencies are implementing and enforcing the Law, and whether amendments should be considered to expand the data collection, statistical reporting, law enforcement training requirements and/or otherwise further the Law’s goals."

Those who wish to attend the forum must complete a form HERE.


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