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Gay Hardcore?

From the Washington Blade:

Playing it loud
Gay-inclusive art thrashers to perform in D.C., Baltimore, Richmond

By DAN MILLER
Friday, September 23, 2005

GAYS AND LESBIANS play and like all sorts of music, but it’s still rare to hear a gay-inclusive band describe themselves as “art thrashers.”

Such is the case with These Arms are Snakes, which includes gay bass/keyboard player Brian Cook. TAAS’ debut LP “Oxoneers or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelopes Go Home,” the follow-up to the 2003 “This Is Meant To Hurt You,” is a big, tangled mass of angry guitars and angrier vocals.

TAAS is a hardcore band, meaning if you don’t do angry or if you don’t do loud you won’t enjoy it. Know that coming in. And even if you are open to all their loudness, the vocals and non-melodic nature of the songs might be a turnoff.

To read the full article CLICK HERE

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Not that I like hardcore music or anything… I just thought this particular article was interesting… plus (oh my gosh, I shouldn’t say this) the guys are kind of cute.

Pictured (l-r): Steve Snere, Brian Cook, who’s gay, and Ryan Fredericksen. (Photo by Robin Laananen)

According to an article on 365gay.com, the Governor of California vetoed today the bill which would have allowed same-sex couples to marry.

According to the article:

In a brief statement announcing that he had stroked out the bill the governor said he is supportive of same-sex couples and noted that California has the strongest domestic partner law in the country.

The statement said that if he had signed the bill it would have simply added “confusion to a constitutional issue.” Schwarzenegger went on to say, “If the ban of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional this bill is not necessary. If the ban is constitutional this bill is ineffective.”

The author of the legislation said the veto puts Schwarzenegger on the wrong side of history.

“In vetoing this bill approved by duly elected representatives of the people, the Governor has failed his test of leadership and missed a historic opportunity to stand up for the basic civil rights of all Californians,” said Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

“He cannot claim to support fair and equal treatment of gay people and veto the very bill that would have provided it to them.”

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom who brought the marriage issue to the forefront in California when he began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples said he was disappointed but not surprised at Schwarzenegger’s veto.

“However, no one is more disappointed than the tens of thousands of couples and their families that won’t have the same rights and privileges that Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been afforded,” Newsom said in a statement.

“This is real. This is about basic, fundamental rights. It’s about laying a foundation of equality for everybody, and he missed a golden opportunity to stand on history and to do something that is noble and appropriate. By no means was this a profile in courage. What a wasted moment for his administration.”

The Governor, however, signed three other bills affecting LGBT people. One bans discrimination of LGBT people in the areas of housing and the delivery of goods and services. Another is a retroactive bill which will allow LGBT persons who retired before January 1, 2005 to take advantage of the domestic partner law. The last makes homes of domectic partners community property under California divorce law.

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Hey Arty! You can’t play for both sides, buddy! You need to choose. Do you support LGBT people, as evidenced by the signing of three LGBT-positive bills, or do you not support them, as evidenced by your decision to veto the marriage bill.

You say, “Let the people decide.” HELLO! They did… the legislature represents the people, DUH! It would have made more sense saying, “Let the people decide,” if the California Supreme Court would have mandated marriage equality, as it happened in Massachusetts. In California, however, the people did decide… through their votes for those sitting in the legislature.

The Governor of California will go down in history, along with Bush and all of his cronies, as evil men who denied civil rights to LGBT folk. Their names will be as hated as the Governor of Arkansas or Alabama, South Carolina or Georgia back during the Civil Rights Movement.

Thinking about your political career, huh? Maybe it would be better to think about what side you’ll end up on in the history books… Defender of the defendless or bigot?

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HIV growing weaker, Belgium study reports

According to an article on 365gay.com, a study done by researchers at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, suggests that HIV is growing weaker, opposing some reports that HIV is becoming more resistant to HIV/AIDS drugs.

Researchers studied HIV-1 strains from 1986 through 1986 and 2002 through 2003. Evidence from the later samples suggest that the virus does not multiply as much and is more resistant to drugs.

Marco Vitoria, an AIDS expert working for the World Health Organization, points out that other diseases, such as smallpox, TB and syphilis, have shown the same tendency to weaken over time. He cautions, however, that such chagnes in the make up of a disease takes place over generations not years.

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If HIV really is becoming weaker and slowly turning to the point where we might be able to medicinally prevent the majority of humans from contracting it, then this is truly a medical breakthrough.

Caution, however, is still the best way in which to prevent the spread of HIV and no one should let their guard down.

Please, Please, use protection and be careful with your sexual partners.

For more information on HIV/AIDS:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control FAQs on HIV/AIDS

According to an article published on MSNBC.com, the United States Senate confirmed on Thursday the nomination of Judge John Roberts to be the 17th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. At 50 years old, Roberts will be the youngest Chief Justice in 200 years.

The Senate voted 78-22 to confirm Chief Justice Roberts to the position. Chief Justice Roberts was sworn into the office at about 3:00pm on Thursday by Associate Justice John B. Stevens at a White House ceremony attended by his wife, daughter, son and other members of his family, as well as President George bush and seven current Justices of the Court. Chief Justice Roberts will begin his duties on the Court when it begins its next session this coming Monday, October 3, 2005.

According to an article on 365gay.com, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights groups strongly opposed the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts on the grounds that many of his positions on LGBT rights and equality were never uncovered during Senate confirmation hearings.

Chief Justice Roberts helped gay rights activists defeat an anti-gay measure in Colorado when he worked for a law firm representing them.

LGBT groups have promised to promote closer scrutiny of the person nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

President Bush is set to make an announcement soon on who he will nominate to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. First Lady Laura Bush has come out in support of nominating a woman and yesterday at Wake Forest University Justice Ginsberg also said she was in favor of nominating a woman. It is rumored that Bush’s list of possibel nominees includes US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, as well as many more radically conservative persons.

Court’s next session includes gay military case
According to an article on 365gay.com, one of the first cases which will be heard by the Roberts court includes a challenge to the Solomon Amendment which allows the federal government to strip away federal funding from school who disallow military recruiters. Twenty-four law schools are challenging the amendment, saying that the military is discriminatory toward gay and lesbian Americans. The twenty-four law schools claim that by allowing military recruiters on their campuses, they are breaking their own non-discrimination policies which include sexual orientation.

The issue of marriage equality for same-sex couples is also expected to reach the Roberts court, although it could not materialize for a few more sessions.

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In my honest opinion, I believe that Chief Justice Roberts will be a great Chief Justice. I am hopeful that he will treat all Americans with full equality under the law.

Of course, I could turn out to be wrong in the future, but I hope I won’t be. Chief Justice Roberts will perform his duties well.

Updated 3:32pm 9-29-2005

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The ConvergeSouth Conference; Oct. 7-8, 2005

From 2005.convergesouth.com:

A group of Greensboro volunteers recently announced that Greensboro has organized to host the inaugural year’s edition of ConvergeSouth, the South’s first free conference focused on moving North Carolina toward breakthroughs in creativity and diversity on the Internet. Exploring the digital revolution in publishing and expression, ConvergeSouth focuses on radical digital publishing and entertainment. A two-day event on the campus of historic NC A&T State University, ConvergeSouth will focus on journalism and multimedia “web blogging” for everyone. Additional ConvergeSouth features include a nationally-known keynote speaker, multimedia and music in multiple downtown venues to which the entire community is invited.

I don’t know if anyone has noticed or not, but gay politics here in North Carolina just seem to have become a lot more quiet since the General Assembly went home.

There really ahsn’t been much news about any political initiatives that would help or hurt gay North Carolinians and neither have their been any major clarion calls for people to come out and support anything on the political scene.

If you take away last week’s NC Pride Fest, NC’s gay political landscape looks pretty bleak; well, at least until the General Assembly starts its session again.

But there are some things which have been happening. For example, during last week’s NC Pride Fest Equality NC (www.equalitync.org) sat up a booth and continued to gather signatures against anti-gay initiatives which will probably end up making their way into the General Assembly. They also talked to people about the past session’s politics and helped to create awareness on the issues. All of this is a good thing.

At UNCG and other schools around the state, LGBTQA college student groups are meeting and holding events in order to raise awareness and educate their campuses on the issues of sexual orientation. Groups at both UNCG (http://pride.uncg.edu) and Wake Forest University (http://gssa.wfu.edu) plan on holding Coming Out Day Celebrations.

In Winston-Salem, the PFLAG group (www.pflagwinstonsalem.org) is also planning on holding a Coming Out Day event as well as a workshop on transgenderism in the near future. PFLAG Winston-Salem recently held its very successful first annual Kaleidoscope Awards Banquet on September 8, 2005. Approximately 130 community members were in attendance.

In the Triangle, a group of committed volunteers have come together to create www.outtriangle.com an online resource for LGBT persons. Although it is starting of slow, the site is growing and offering another section of the state access to great community information and resources.

In Charlotte, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center (http://www.gaycharlotte.com/) continues to provide support and give LGBTQA groups and people a place to call home, whether that be for events or for any other reason. Hopefully, such a center could be established in the Triad in the future.

So although the political climate has seemed to become somewhat quiet, at least for now, many things are happening around the state in terms of support, education and awareness.

Get out there and get involved people… when the General Assembly starts back up, we’ll need all the help we can get!

Find valuable resources and ways you can get involved on the MattHillNC.com Resources Page

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Heterosexuality Diversity Officer?

From the Washington Blade:

Australian university appoints ‘heterosexuality officer’
Mission is to safeguard straight rights

SYDNEY (AP) | Sep 28, 11:24 AM

A kangaroo-hunting, beer-drinking 22-year-old student has been appointed Australian academia’s first “heterosexuality officer” with a vague mission to safeguard straight rights, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The student association at the University of New England in rural northern New South Wales state appointed third-year law student Dave Allen to the position earlier this year, The Australian newspaper reported.

Many universities in Australia have gay and lesbian student groups, which receive a portion of their funding from mandatory student union fees paid by every student.

The federal government, however, has recently announced plans to make the payment of such fees voluntary, prompting protests from students around the country who say the quality of student life on campus will decline if funds are cut.

Allen’s appointment appears to be aimed more at protesting alleged preferential treatment for gay students than protecting heterosexuals from marginalization.

When asked what his duties were, he replied: “None at the moment.”

Craig Comrie, the gay officer for Australia’s National Union of Students, said he thought the appointment was a form of backlash.

To read the full article CLICK HERE

Hi everyone!

Here is one of my very few personal posts which almost totally involves me.

I have decided to quit organizing for the 2008 March on Washington (more at 2008triadlgbt.blogspot.com).

Below is a letter sent by me to those individuals involved wiht the Piedmont/Triad Organizing Effort, which was disbanded on September 28, 2005:

Hi everyone,

Matt Hill here. I may have talked to some of you and then again you might have talked to Samantha Korb about the 2008 March on Washington Piedmont/Triad Organizing Effort.

I wanted to email you all and let you know that I have decided that I do not want to continue to do grassroots organizing for the 2008 March on Washington for LGBT Equality. If any of you all would like to keep doing this, please feel free to do so, for this decision is only a personal decision of myself. There are numerous reasons why I have decided not to continue doing this and not to get involved in something that will, in time, become very large and hard for me to handle.

The first reason is that I have realized that I might just be stretching myself very, very thin this year in my academic studies and I do need to focus on that. Also, I am heavily involved in many other organizations including my Student Government Association and UNCG’s PRIDE! organization, as well as Alternative Resources of the Triad where I am already trying to organize a Triad-area organization for our various LGBTQA college student groups.

The last reason for not wanting to continue in organizing for the 2008 March on Washington is a political one. I have come to realize that some of the rhetoric and political ideologies being thrown around about this March is very far from where I stand politically. Although I was first very intrigued by the “in-your-face” nature of the rhetoric, I have realized that this is probably no where close to the way in which the LGBTQA community will gain its civil rights and liberties. So please feel free to do some grassroots organizing of your own if you feel as though the March might be something which you would want to pursue. Contact atdontamend@aol.com if this is the case.

Also, I encourage all of you to check out Equality NC at www.equalitync.org. They are doing some really great things for LGBT North Carolinians (NC is the only Southern state not to have a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage put to referendum).

Thank you all and feel free to get in touch with me at any time and for any reason.

MATT HILL

According to an article published by the Washington Times, the Right Reverend John B. Chane, Bishop of Washington, D.C., has come out in opposition to the Right Reverend Peter Akinola, Archibishop of Nigeria, in regards to the on-going debate over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion.

According to the article:

The Episcopal bishop of Washington has lambasted the archbishop of Nigeria for ignoring poverty and AIDS in Africa while criticizing U.S. and Canadian churches for ordaining and “marrying” homosexuals.

“Why does this archbishop spend so much time on human sexuality issues while so many of his countrymen and women are oppressed by poverty?” Bishop John B. Chane wrote in a Sept. 1 column in the Washington Window, the diocesan newspaper.

“Where is the strong voice of the Nigerian Anglican church in opposing the continued neglect of vulnerable women and children or in advocating on behalf of the poorest of the poor?” he wrote…

Their paths have since diverged. That November, Bishop Chane participated in the consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the world’s first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop.

Archbishop Akinola, spiritual head of Nigeria’s 17.5 million Anglicans, has become the de facto spokesman for 22 Anglican provinces that have partially or completely broken relations with the U.S. church over the Robinson consecration.

Most of the archbishops from these provinces will be in Cairo from Oct. 25 to 30 for an invitation-only meeting of Anglican prelates, mostly from the world’s developing nations. Items on the table, according to one of the planners, include militant Islam, AIDS and poverty.

Archbishop Akinola also recently disinvited Brazilian Archbishop Orlando Santo de Olivera from the Cairo meeting.

The Nigerian did so because Archbishop Olivera defrocked a conservative bishop from Recife who had clashed with his prelate over the Robinson consecration, even though Archbishop Olivera refused to discipline a pro-homosexual bishop from southwestern Brazil.

Archbishop Akinola seems to “presume to speak for many,” Bishop Chane wrote.

The Anglican Communion is not “a church dominated by a curia of primates and bishops,” he continued. “And yet that appears to be the direction in which we are heading. This is fearful indeed given the rhetoric of some of the primates claiming new authority for themselves.”

Last year, the archbishop visited the District, with Bishop Chane’s permission, to start a national network of Nigerian Anglican parishes as a conservative alternative to liberal U.S. Episcopal churches.

To read the full article, click here

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Like I have said before… the Queen or the Archibishop of Canterbury needs to step up and bring the Church back together… the sooner, the better. If something is not done, the Church of England and the Anglican Church the world over as we now know it will forever cease to be.

The Student Senate will hear the final version of the UNCG Studetn Government Association (hence the Student Body’s) Constitution tonight in its meeting at 7:30pm in the Kirkland Room of the Elliot University Center.

The Bylaws will also be heard.

Both documents passed unanimously in the Senate Legislative Committee with the changes and updates suggested by the Chancellor after she had a chance to view the proposed documents over the summer.