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Anti-gay violence at Wake Forest University

Earlier today I posted on UVa.’s experience with what some are (stupidly) calling a “gay bashing” after two gay guys got a drink thrown at them…

Here is some real “gay bashing” and anti-gay violence, right here at home in North Carolina and in my hometown of Winston-Salem:

Violence targets gay students
By Alex Osteen
News editor, Old Gold and Black, Wake Forest University
September 28, 2006

On Sept. 9 and again that same week, two separate incidents of civil assault and harassment victimized two university students.

The incidents were apparently motivated by the fact that the victims are members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community.

One case involved a verbal altercation that escalated into physical assault in which, according to the University Police report, a student was struck in the face and head.

This incident is still being investigated, leaving many details off the public record, although the attackers have yet to be identified.

It now appears, however, that the three people who were involved in the attack were visitors to the campus. The victim was not seriously harmed.

The second case involved verbal harassment in the form of derogatory phrases. It was referred to the Dean’s Office where judicial measures will be taken.

Regina Lawson, chief of University Police, was careful to describe the cases not as being “hate crimes” (as the details of the incidents have not met North Carolina’s technical criteria for such terms), but rather as incidents of harassment that appear to have stemmed from hate.

Executive director of the Gay-Straight Student Alliance Dorothy Jackson, a second- year graduate student, said that she and senior members of GSSA were shocked at the reports.

She is worried about how this will affect the younger members of the GLBT community who may now be afraid to attend GSSA meetings, or for some, to “come out.” Nonetheless, she goes on to say that it is “amazing” to have the administration on their side.

On Sept. 21, 12 days after the case of physical assault was reported, President Nathan O. Hatch sent an e-mail to the entire student body explaining the administration’s response of concern and disapproval regarding the incidents.

“These reports, whether subsequently confirmed or unconfirmed, tear at the fabric of our community. They deserve our thoughtful attention. If they prove accurate, they deserve our condemnation as inimical to the values of our learning community.”

Jackson reports that GSSA was happy with what Hatch had to say. “We didn’t ask him for a response, it was on his own accord… we hope it won’t be the end of his support and know it won’t be.”

University Police asks any students who have information on any of the incidents to contact the department. Lawson says that no matter what type of crime is committed on campus, motivated by hate or not, it will be taken seriously. “We want a harmonious campus where students are comfortable. We’re a diverse community here and we’re going to respect each other,” Lawson said.

In response to the incidents and in hopes of turning negative aspects into a celebration of the support the GLBT community has, GSSA has organized a candlelit ceremony, “March Against Hate.” At 8:00 p.m. on Oct. 4, members of GSSA and of other minority groups will unite with other students and proceed from Wait Chapel to the Mag Quad where they will share testimonies of hate and of hope. Jackson argues that awareness and rejection of assumptions is how to go about preventing repeats of these incidents. “Even though we are from different groups, we share common experiences and can work together to make the community more positive for everyone involved,” Jackson said.

Hatch concluded his message to students by saying, “I encourage all of us to think seriously about our commitment to respecting each other and acting in accord with the greater sense of decency, civility, and non-discrimination which has characterized our community ethos. We are diminished by senseless acts of abuse, but we are elevated by common acts of kindness and regard for one another.”

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6

Vernon Robinson is a man of moral values

If that isn’t the biggest line of B.S. I’ve ever heard I don’t know what is.

To me, honesty seems to be one of those “moral values” the far-right Republicans like Vernon Robinson always want to blabber about. I find it extremely hilarious that Mr. Moral Values of North Carolina is now forgetting completely about honesty and truth.

Robinson’s latest ad claims that Congressman Brad Miller voted to “pay for sex” but not to provide money for military body armor. FactCheck.org sets the record straight (no pun intended, lol):

Robinson’s ad asks, “What kind of Congressman would try to deny our soldiers the body armor they need to save their lives?” and then goes on to say Miller “did not vote for the appropriations to pay for improved body armor”

It’s true that Miller missed the October 2003 vote on an $87-billion supplemental appropriations measure for Iraq and Afghanistan that included $300 million for body armor. The ad fails to mention that Miller was on his way to Iraq at the time to visit the troops personally. More to the point, however, is that it is simply false to claim that Miller tried to “deny” body armor to anybody. As we said before, by the time of this vote the Pentagon was buying every piece of modern body armor that suppliers could produce using existing funds.

All I want to know is why Vernon Robinson is straight-up lying to the people he seems to want to represent in Congress. This just doesn’t seem like a good way of going about getting people on your side. Everyone already thinks politicians are nothing but a pack of liars and cheats and Robinson is just proving that point to folks.

As much as he might go around saying how important “moral values” are to him, the fact is that Vernon Robinson could care less about any type of values whatsoever, especially honesty. I’d dare to say that Robinson doesn’t know jack about “values.” All he is interested in is the spotlight. All he is interested in is himself. Does he care about you or me or any other North Carolinian? Absolutely Not.

Vernon Robinson is evil incarnate… for real. Don’t let him fool you with his jibe about “moral values;” he’s already proven he is a liar… Liars aren’t “moral” and liars don’t deserve any votes or support from the people.

If North Carolinians really are fed up with dishonesty and corruption in government, then they had better pay close attention to Vernon Robinson and make sure he gets this message this time around: We don’t want you, We don’t need you, Go back to where ever it is you came from and take your lying, dishonesty and sex-obsessed mind back with you.

You think he’d get the message by now… How many campaigns has he run and lost? Man… he’s starting to look like Ada Fischer, the always-running, always-losing non-candidate. Like Fisher, Robinson needs to awake to the truth: No, you will not win next year. No one wants you. Go away!

Robinson claims Miller is “out of touch” and that he will soon “be out of Congress.” The only person “out of touch” is Robinson. Hello! Dumbass! Who is the one isn’t even in office and can’t get elected?! Seems like Robinson is the one who is “out of touch” and “out of office.”

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Q-vote 2006 additions

I know… it has been a while since I have updated one of my blog features, Q-vote 2006, but I have just updated it. You’ll now find a page with information concerning the November 7, 2006 General Election and the races I’ll be watching and following closely. On the same page, you’ll find a link to endorsements made by the EqualityNC PAC.

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Weekend: Triad Takeover & NC Pride

Guilford Green Foundation will hold another of its on-going “Triad Takeover Nights” tonight in Mebane, NC (right on the east side of Burlington). The event runs 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Mebane House, 115 South Fifth Street in Mebane.

More information at www.ggfnc.org/events.html

And don’t forget…

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Not a gay bashing

Trust me… I understand they are upset. I understand why they are upset. The reaction to this so-called “bashing,” however, is overblown.

I saw an article and video concerning an alleged “gay bashing” involving University of Virginia Law School students. I kind of expected that it would actually be something major. I mean, the used the word “bashing,” for God’s sake. Nope… it wasn’t major. It’s actually kind of stupid:

An email circulating through the law school says a “3L” student approached two gay students, and asked them to kiss to prove they were gay. After seeing the kiss, the “3L” student allegedly called them a derogatory word, and threw his drink at one of them.

A drink? You’re serious? They are complaining about a thrown drink after they kissed. My God. This is stupid. I don’t think a thrown drink can really be a “gay bashing.” Whoever is making a big deal out of this needs to re-think just how big of a deal it isn’t. There are so many other worse things that could have happened and a thrown drink is nothing.

Hey… UVa. kids… track down Thomas Stockwell from UNC-CH and get his story of a gay bashing… that was a real bashing. Maybe you should chat with Matthew Shepard’s mother?

A thrown drink? I hope your clothes didn’t get too dirty or wet. That would be oh so horrible wouldn’t it?

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6

Gay baiting in Congress

I guess if the opposition can make you seem as though you are gay, your chances of winning the election go down just a bit, right?

A 16-year old, former Congressional page has reported what he calls inappropriate emails from Representative Mark Foley (R-FL).

According to ABC News:

The concerned young man alerted congressional staffers to the e-mails. In one e-mail, the former page writes to a staffer, “Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out.”

Foley’s office acknowledges that Foley wrote the e-mails to the young man but says they were completely innocent and that Foley is at most guilty of being “too friendly and too engaging” with young people.

The e-mails were sent from Foley’s personal AOL account, and the exchange began within weeks after the page finished his program on Capitol Hill. In one, Foley writes, “did you have fun at your conference…what do you want for your birthday coming up…what stuff do you like to do.”

In another Foley writes, “how are you weathering the hurricane…are you safe…send me an email pic of you as well…”

The young man forwarded that e-mail to a congressional staffer saying it was “sick sick sick sick sick.”

Foley’s office says it is their policy to keep pictures of former interns and anyone who may ask for a recommendation on file so they can remember them.

The Congressional page program was started in the 1800s. In its current form, juniors from high school work on Capitol Hill after school or over the summer. The young man in question did not work or intern for Foley’s office.

Elizabeth Nicolson, Foley’s Chief of Staff, said they believe the e-mail exchange began when the page asked Foley for a recommendation and that the subsequent exchange was totally innocent. She said Foley’s office believes the e-mails were released by the opposition as part of an “ugly smear campaign.”

So… if it is true, then, yeah, we have another Congressional sex scandal. If it isn’t all true and the Congressman is right, then shame on whoever thinks it is okay to smear a politician by falsely charging that he is gay. Kind of reminds me of those smear campaigns in the past when people were called “N—– lovers.” Shame.

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Right to Serve CNN interview video

Yesterday I put up the transcript of CNN’s Paula Zahn NOW interview with folks from the Soulforce Right to Serve Campaign… here is the video, thanks to Google Video.

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1

New Email Address!!!!

Hi everyone… THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!

I’m changing my email from Yahoo! (because it sucks now) to Gmail.

My new email address is matt.hill.comer@gmail.com

You can still use matt@matthillnc.com (it will forward to Gmail as soon as Sue can change up the forwarding). I’ll still check the mhill2008@yahoo.com address but I won’t be using it as much.

For those on my list of contacts… I’ll be emailing you all from my Gmail account to let you know my new address!

Thanks!

PS – Gmail has this cool funny quote of the day thing… This is what I got when first viewing my inbox:

Groucho Marx – “All people are born alike – except Republicans and Democrats.”

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Locked out, lied to and denied

Soulforce Right to Serve update from Charlottesville, VA, organizer Wyatt Fore:

So, we arrived today bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, anticipating a full day of Justice work. We took care of logistical stuff from around 0900-1030, then went through our press conference at about 1045. At this point, Alvin, Rachel and I went to go enlist.

However, things took an interesting twist when we attempted to enter the Recruiting Center. Despite having watched people enter and exit all morning, we found the door locked. Symbolic of the discrimination carried out by the US Military under DADT, we were locked out.

So our sit-in become a sit-out. And there we sat. And sat. And sat some more.

That is, until the Police arrived. Despite our politeness, the police decided that our fellow RTSers had in fact taken the recruiting center ‘hostage.’

That’s right, HOSTAGE. Who knew that nonviolent justice-seekers were comparable to terrorists? After complying with minor police demands [to avoid much more serious charges], we backed from the door, and sat the rest of the day, effectively shutting the center down for the day.

I think the most revealing conversation of the day came from an out-of-uniform recruiter, who came later in the day apparently to take care of business inside the Center:

Wyatt: So are you opening back up?
Recruiter: No.
Wyatt: But we have appointments. [yes… they really did have appointments]
Recruiter: No you don’t.

After reviewing the day, we determined the day had been successful. However, Rachel, Alvin, and I remain determined to talk with Military Recruiters, and will continue tomorrow morning, again at 9 AM. If, again, they choose to shut down the Recruiting Center rather than allowing openly gay individuals to enter, we will again sit-out the Center.

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Upcoming LGBT events; North Carolina & Triad

NC Pride Festival – 9/29 – 10/1
Get ready for the biggest community celebration, political rally and party all thrown into one… the North Carolina Pride Festival is THIS weekend, Friday, September 29-Sunday, October 1, 2006 in the Raleigh-Durham area.

The weekend will feature gatherings, coffeehouses, parties and more on Friday night, a day festival on Saturday (along with the parade, of course), parties and more gatherings on Saturday night and inter-faith and LGBT inclusive worship services and more social gatherings on Sunday morning!

Get the whole schedule here and be sure to check out NCPride.org for more information!

Triad Takeover Night, GGF, 9/29

Guilford Green Foundation will hold another of its on-going “Triad Takeover Nights” on Friday, September 29, 2006, starting at 5:30 (and going until whenever people decide to leave, lol) at the Mebane House located at 115 South Fifth Street, Mebane, NC.

For more info see the GGF events page.

Kevin Jennings Book Tour stop in Winston-Salem, 10/3

Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), author and native of Winston-Salem, NC, will stop in Winston-Salem on October 3, 2006 as a part of his book tour for Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son. He’ll be at the Winston-Salem Hanes Mall Blvd location of Barnes & Noble starting at 7pm. I’ll be there… will you?
More info at Kevin Jennings’ site.

Outing Madison Avenue, 10/5

Join UNCG PRIDE!, the Triad Equality Alliance, UNCG’s Wellness Center and other organization’s for this delightfully entertaining and informative presentation from CommercialCloset.com on October 5, 2006. The presentation will begin at 7pm in the Auditorium of UNCG’s Elliott University Center. The event is free and open to the public.

More information available from UNCG PRIDE!.

Celebrating 10 Years! GGF Granting Ceremony, National Coming Out Day, 10/11

Join the Guilford Green Foundation and the Triad area LGBT and straight allied community for this celebration of community on National Coming Out Day, October 11, 2006. The granting ceremony, GGF 10 year celebration and community event is open to the public. The event will be held 5:30-7:30pm at the Greenhill Center for NC Art located at 200 North Davie Street, Downtown Greensboro.

For more information see GGF’s events page.

Also.. ATTENTION CANDIDATES (or those who know them)… UNCG PRIDE! is considering holding a candidate’s night/election information night at our November 2nd meeting. We’d like to invite as many candidates as possible to the meeting in order for them to get out their messages. This is a good chance for candidates to not only reach out to young voters (who need all the encouragement they can get to actually get off their lazy asses and vote) but is also a good chance for young voters to learn more about the election from those actually, heavily involved in it (as opposed to people like me… who just happen to stick our noses in it from time to time). Contact me if you are a candidate or if you work for a candidate or if you know a candidate who might be interested in coming to the meeting. Our meetings draw anywhere from 30 to 50 and sometimes 60 or more students.

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