Archive for the ‘Stonewall Democrats’ Category

>Alabama Hate Crimes law update, and Stonewall Findings

May 7, 2008

>The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill to add crimes against people because of their sexual orientation to the hate crimes law. Now the bill goes to the Senate, but with only a couple of days left in the current session, it is unlikely to be considered, what with things like stimulus check exemptions and the education budget. Plus they have to consider whether to change the name of Troy State University to Troy University. Is there a sense of urgency there?

But the passage of the bill in the House is progress. At least one Republican, Pat Moore, changed her vote and voted with the majority. Change comes slowly. Progress continues.

The Stonewall Democrats conducted a census during December 2007 and January 2008 to gauge the feelings of GLBT Democrats across the nation. While not a scientific study, the results do provide a snapshot of the opinions of the community. Respondents were from all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico.

Here are some highlights. On whether ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act should be an inclusive bill, meaning protections based on gender identity should be a part, along with sexual orientation, 85% said passing an inclusive ENDA should have a high priority level, and 70% said even if that means delayed passage. I agree strongly.

Here are the top 5 issues of importance to the GLBT community (although with the economy tanking priorities may have changed since this survey was taken).

  1. Civil liberties. You know, things like freedom of speech and separation of church and state.
  2. Affordable Health care.
  3. GLBT Equality. Among GLBT issues, Non-discrimination, relationship recognition, HIV/AIDS and Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell received the highest priorities.
  4. Ending the War in Iraq.
  5. Improving Education and the Environment. (tie)

13% reported that they have served in the military. This is higher than the national average. This tells me that GLBT community is interested in serving the country and willing to fight for the liberties and rights that many of us do not have yet. And it is gives credence to the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” DADT doesn’t really make sense anyway, as detractors say keep the ban because military personnel don’t want a gay or lesbian in the foxhole or the tent with them. But DADT allows them to be there, and they are there, fighting right beside you.

24% of respondents have children. This tells me that GLBT reproduce, something I already knew. But that is a lot of kids who would like to see their parents treated equally and their relationships recognized.

Again, these results were not scientific, but they give an idea of what Democrats who are members of the GLBT community (the ones most likely to vote and who are involved in policy and priority determination) feel.

As for the Alabama Stonewall Democrat Chapter the next meeting is Thursday, May 15 at Logan’s Roadhouse in Crestwood (7724 Ludington Ln.) at 5:30. We will be holding a candidate screening, during which we will try to determine the qualifications and priorities of the candidates and how they relate to the community. We will be voting in June for candidates for judgeships, tax assessors and other offices for which we often don’t know a lot about the candidates, so this is an opportunity to meet and hear some of them. Put this on your calendar now, and if you are not involved this would be a good time to show up and become a part of this progressive grassroots organization.

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Alabama Hate Crimes law update, and Stonewall Findings

May 7, 2008

The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill to add crimes against people because of their sexual orientation to the hate crimes law. Now the bill goes to the Senate, but with only a couple of days left in the current session, it is unlikely to be considered, what with things like stimulus check exemptions and the education budget. Plus they have to consider whether to change the name of Troy State University to Troy University. Is there a sense of urgency there?

But the passage of the bill in the House is progress. At least one Republican, Pat Moore, changed her vote and voted with the majority. Change comes slowly. Progress continues.

The Stonewall Democrats conducted a census during December 2007 and January 2008 to gauge the feelings of GLBT Democrats across the nation. While not a scientific study, the results do provide a snapshot of the opinions of the community. Respondents were from all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico.

Here are some highlights. On whether ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act should be an inclusive bill, meaning protections based on gender identity should be a part, along with sexual orientation, 85% said passing an inclusive ENDA should have a high priority level, and 70% said even if that means delayed passage. I agree strongly.

Here are the top 5 issues of importance to the GLBT community (although with the economy tanking priorities may have changed since this survey was taken).

  1. Civil liberties. You know, things like freedom of speech and separation of church and state.
  2. Affordable Health care.
  3. GLBT Equality. Among GLBT issues, Non-discrimination, relationship recognition, HIV/AIDS and Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell received the highest priorities.
  4. Ending the War in Iraq.
  5. Improving Education and the Environment. (tie)

13% reported that they have served in the military. This is higher than the national average. This tells me that GLBT community is interested in serving the country and willing to fight for the liberties and rights that many of us do not have yet. And it is gives credence to the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” DADT doesn’t really make sense anyway, as detractors say keep the ban because military personnel don’t want a gay or lesbian in the foxhole or the tent with them. But DADT allows them to be there, and they are there, fighting right beside you.

24% of respondents have children. This tells me that GLBT reproduce, something I already knew. But that is a lot of kids who would like to see their parents treated equally and their relationships recognized.

Again, these results were not scientific, but they give an idea of what Democrats who are members of the GLBT community (the ones most likely to vote and who are involved in policy and priority determination) feel.

As for the Alabama Stonewall Democrat Chapter the next meeting is Thursday, May 15 at Logan’s Roadhouse in Crestwood (7724 Ludington Ln.) at 5:30. We will be holding a candidate screening, during which we will try to determine the qualifications and priorities of the candidates and how they relate to the community. We will be voting in June for candidates for judgeships, tax assessors and other offices for which we often don’t know a lot about the candidates, so this is an opportunity to meet and hear some of them. Put this on your calendar now, and if you are not involved this would be a good time to show up and become a part of this progressive grassroots organization.

>Announcements, Web Sites and Dick Cheney

March 20, 2008

>Dick Cheney shows how little he cares about America at the end of the post.

Drew has established a new web site Historic Homes of America with hopes that the site will catch on all across the country. So far, a few Bessemerites have joined, and you are welcome to join too. Take a look at the great photos of the homes of Bessemer, and invite friends from across the country with historic homes to visit too. Join.

In Bessemer, on Tuesday March 25 at the Downtown Entrepreneurial Center, at 5:30 the Auburn University Urban Studio will unveil their Master Plan for Downtown Bessemer. All are welcome, and the plan in colorful map form will be available for those who attend. If you are interested in downtown, then come to this, because over the next few months and years various groups will be working to implement some of these plans. And let’s get our leaders (or elect new ones) that are interested in

In Birmingham, tonight at 5:30, the Alabama Stonewall Democrats will meet at Los Amigos on Clairmont Avenue next to the Pig. If you believe in equality regardless of sexual identity, and think the Democrats are the best bet to bring this about (duh), then you need to be there. Our speaker is Barbara Buchanan, CEO of Planned Parenthood, who is very entertaining and informative. She spoke at one of my classes this month. Plus, you get to order a margarita.

Also in Birmingham, on Saturday March 28 is Birmingham Shout the gay and lesbian film festival. On the list of films this year is Sex Positive, Bi the Way, Chasing the Devil, Shelter and Spider Lilies.

See the web site for information about the films, times and tickets. All showings are at WorkPlay. this is the 3rd year for Shout, remember last year, Jeff Key’s Semper Fi premiered here before premiering again on Showtime.

Ok, I promised Dick so here he is, responding to the statement “Two thirds of Americans say its not worth fighting.”

“So?” he responds.

That is what he thinks of the American people. And he smirks as he says it.

Someone this morning said they are worried about republicans like Cheney getting pardons for indictments or charges or convictions that may come after they are out of office. He said he would certainly cast his vote for whichever Democrat makes a pledge not to pardon the republicans in this administration for any crimes they may be charged with. Good idea.

Announcements, Web Sites and Dick Cheney

March 20, 2008

Dick Cheney shows how little he cares about America at the end of the post.

Drew has established a new web site Historic Homes of America with hopes that the site will catch on all across the country. So far, a few Bessemerites have joined, and you are welcome to join too. Take a look at the great photos of the homes of Bessemer, and invite friends from across the country with historic homes to visit too. Join.

In Bessemer, on Tuesday March 25 at the Downtown Entrepreneurial Center, at 5:30 the Auburn University Urban Studio will unveil their Master Plan for Downtown Bessemer. All are welcome, and the plan in colorful map form will be available for those who attend. If you are interested in downtown, then come to this, because over the next few months and years various groups will be working to implement some of these plans. And let’s get our leaders (or elect new ones) that are interested in

In Birmingham, tonight at 5:30, the Alabama Stonewall Democrats will meet at Los Amigos on Clairmont Avenue next to the Pig. If you believe in equality regardless of sexual identity, and think the Democrats are the best bet to bring this about (duh), then you need to be there. Our speaker is Barbara Buchanan, CEO of Planned Parenthood, who is very entertaining and informative. She spoke at one of my classes this month. Plus, you get to order a margarita.

Also in Birmingham, on Saturday March 28 is Birmingham Shout the gay and lesbian film festival. On the list of films this year is Sex Positive, Bi the Way, Chasing the Devil, Shelter and Spider Lilies.

See the web site for information about the films, times and tickets. All showings are at WorkPlay. this is the 3rd year for Shout, remember last year, Jeff Key’s Semper Fi premiered here before premiering again on Showtime.

Ok, I promised Dick so here he is, responding to the statement “Two thirds of Americans say its not worth fighting.”

“So?” he responds.

That is what he thinks of the American people. And he smirks as he says it.

Someone this morning said they are worried about republicans like Cheney getting pardons for indictments or charges or convictions that may come after they are out of office. He said he would certainly cast his vote for whichever Democrat makes a pledge not to pardon the republicans in this administration for any crimes they may be charged with. Good idea.

Troy King… Sinking To New Lows

September 13, 2007

Link to July 10, 2008 Story

My recommendation to go to the Bright Star on Wednesday night was based on information from the Birmingham News. Oops. The event is tonight. We found out last night when we showed up and a sign on the door indicated the Birmingham News published the wrong date.

That did not stop us (and several other customers) from enjoying a great meal (broiled snapper, Greek Style) and dessert (chocolate almond pie), and getting our book (A Centennial Celebration of The Bright Star) signed by the owners. Jimmy and Nicky Koikos reflected with Bobby and me about growing up on Dartmouth Avenue just a few blocks from our house. Bright Star Menu

There are four things going on that you might want to do tonight. If you are gay or gay friendly, the Alabama Stonewall Democrats are meeting at 5:30 at Los Amigos, 3324 Clairmont Avenue (next door to the Piggly Wiggly) and Joe Turnham, Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party will be our guest speaker. This is a great opportunity to meet other active democrats and help the party grow and increase the potential for victory, as well as learn from the top what the state party is doing and what one leader sees as the future of the democratic party in Alabama.

If you are not interested in that then eat at the Bright Star.

Be sure to eat early, if you are a customer of Bessemer Water Service, so you can attend the special meeting at Broken Vessel Church about the water bond and potential rate increase (108 to 300 %). A press release was sent to all the TV stations and newspapers and we hope to have a big crowd. Read the press release at Bessemer Neighbors

If you don’t use Bessemer’s water, than go listen to Angela Davis at the Alys Stephens Center. You may not agree with some or most of what she stands for (or what you think she stands for) but you may be surprised, and she will certainly be interesting. Notice of Event

With all of those offerings, no one should be at home tonight.

Troy King really should never have been re-elected last year. You know I strongly supported John Tyson for attorney general. So did Robby Owens, the republican District Attorney in Shelby County.

Owens prosecuted Marcus Presley and LaSamuel Gamble for the 1996 murders of John Burleson and Janice Littleton, and both got the death penalty even though the killer (Presley) was only 16 years old at the time, and Gamble (who was 18) didn’t actually kill anyone.

Recently the U. S.Supreme Court ruled (Roper v. Simmons) that killers could not be executed for crimes they commit while they are juveniles, so Presley was moved off of death row. Soon after Owens gave the following testimony, “Both of those defendants deserve to be on death row. But out of plain fairness and simple equity in life, it’s not fair to leave the person on death row who didn’t kill anyone and take the person off death row who did.” Story

King, who like so many republicans, loves to see the state in the business of killing people, was outraged, and has now taken his former opponent’s supporter off the case. And he will argue to have Gamble’s death penalty reinstated.

Troy King is also went on a witch hunt in his zeal to find “something on Judge (Dan King, Bessemer Cutoff Circuit Judge) King – old campaign records, finance records, anything to get him off the bench,” according to sworn testimony from Anthony Castaldo, who says he was reapeatedly told to keep trying. Editorial

I strongly agree with this editorial in the Birmingham News…”Certainly, Troy King has not always inspired confidence as attorney general. In fact, he has sometimes inspired just the opposite.” Well said.

Too bad we have at least 3 more years of Troy King. Sorry Alabama, but we elected him. Let’s do better in the future.

>Troy King… Sinking To New Lows

September 13, 2007

>Link to July 10, 2008 Story

My recommendation to go to the Bright Star on Wednesday night was based on information from the Birmingham News. Oops. The event is tonight. We found out last night when we showed up and a sign on the door indicated the Birmingham News published the wrong date.

That did not stop us (and several other customers) from enjoying a great meal (broiled snapper, Greek Style) and dessert (chocolate almond pie), and getting our book (A Centennial Celebration of The Bright Star) signed by the owners. Jimmy and Nicky Koikos reflected with Bobby and me about growing up on Dartmouth Avenue just a few blocks from our house. Bright Star Menu

There are four things going on that you might want to do tonight. If you are gay or gay friendly, the Alabama Stonewall Democrats are meeting at 5:30 at Los Amigos, 3324 Clairmont Avenue (next door to the Piggly Wiggly) and Joe Turnham, Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party will be our guest speaker. This is a great opportunity to meet other active democrats and help the party grow and increase the potential for victory, as well as learn from the top what the state party is doing and what one leader sees as the future of the democratic party in Alabama.

If you are not interested in that then eat at the Bright Star.

Be sure to eat early, if you are a customer of Bessemer Water Service, so you can attend the special meeting at Broken Vessel Church about the water bond and potential rate increase (108 to 300 %). A press release was sent to all the TV stations and newspapers and we hope to have a big crowd. Read the press release at Bessemer Neighbors

If you don’t use Bessemer’s water, than go listen to Angela Davis at the Alys Stephens Center. You may not agree with some or most of what she stands for (or what you think she stands for) but you may be surprised, and she will certainly be interesting. Notice of Event

With all of those offerings, no one should be at home tonight.

Troy King really should never have been re-elected last year. You know I strongly supported John Tyson for attorney general. So did Robby Owens, the republican District Attorney in Shelby County.

Owens prosecuted Marcus Presley and LaSamuel Gamble for the 1996 murders of John Burleson and Janice Littleton, and both got the death penalty even though the killer (Presley) was only 16 years old at the time, and Gamble (who was 18) didn’t actually kill anyone.

Recently the U. S.Supreme Court ruled (Roper v. Simmons) that killers could not be executed for crimes they commit while they are juveniles, so Presley was moved off of death row. Soon after Owens gave the following testimony, “Both of those defendants deserve to be on death row. But out of plain fairness and simple equity in life, it’s not fair to leave the person on death row who didn’t kill anyone and take the person off death row who did.” Story

King, who like so many republicans, loves to see the state in the business of killing people, was outraged, and has now taken his former opponent’s supporter off the case. And he will argue to have Gamble’s death penalty reinstated.

Troy King is also went on a witch hunt in his zeal to find “something on Judge (Dan King, Bessemer Cutoff Circuit Judge) King – old campaign records, finance records, anything to get him off the bench,” according to sworn testimony from Anthony Castaldo, who says he was reapeatedly told to keep trying. Editorial

I strongly agree with this editorial in the Birmingham News…”Certainly, Troy King has not always inspired confidence as attorney general. In fact, he has sometimes inspired just the opposite.” Well said.

Too bad we have at least 3 more years of Troy King. Sorry Alabama, but we elected him. Let’s do better in the future.

Jamaican Elections, U.S. Elections

September 6, 2007

Wouldn’t you just hate to have purchased an iPhone a week or two ago and open the paper this morning to see that the prices have dropped $200? Just $399 now for the 8GB phone.

“We want to put the iPhone in a lot of stockings this holiday season” Steve Jobs said.

I think he’s feeling the heat from HP which also announced yesterday two new cell phones, the iPAQ 600 and iPAQ 900. The phones look great, but as of now, no carriers have been announced, so what good are they?

Fred Thompson, the newest official presidential candidate, lived the first 10 weeks of his life in Alabama, but nobody in the town of his birth (Sheffield) seems to know…or care. On Jay Leno last night Jay held up a bumper sticker that read “Fred Thompson: Cause Giuliani is too hard to spell.”

Add to that “Cause Romney is too hard to believe.” “Cause McCain is too hard to comprehend.” “Cause (insert republican name here) is too hard to trust.”

The Jamaican elections are over, and with little violence (any violence surrounding elections is too much, and I think several people were killed, but it was nothing like what could have been).

There has been a change in leadership with Bruce Golding assuming power as the new prime minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which also captured a slim majority of seats in the legislative body. Portia Simpson Miller, the People’s National Party (PNP) leader and current prime minister, will step down.

60.4% of eligible voters cast ballots, and only about 3,000 separated the winning party from the losing party. The JLP depended on young people to carry them to victory. One would suppose this would mean a more progressive government, but hold on. The number one problem, by far that the government will have to deal with is crime. Social progress is probably way down on the list of priorities.

News reports in our country indicate that young people here are becoming more active politically than in the past few years, and I suspect this will bode well for the democrats. 77% of 18-29 year olds think their generation will make a difference in the 2008 election, but does that mean 77% of them will vote? No…that would be unprecedented. The previous high was in 1972 when 55.4 % of that age group voted (the first year that I voted, by the way).

I hope that each “progressive” who reads this will make an effort to engage young people as the election nears, encouraging them to become involved and to vote. There are many opportunities (Over the Mountain Democrats , Alabama College Democrats , Alabama Stonewall Democrats (no web site, but email me and I will put you in touch) , Alabama Democratic Party (from here you can link to various county Democratic groups) and more for young people (and us more seasoned people as well).

Speaking of Stonewall Democrats, I just received this notice:

Just a reminder that we’ll be meeting again next Thursday (September 13th) at Los Amigos, 3324 Clairmont Avenue (next door to the Piggly Wiggly) in the back dining room at 5:30. Joe Turnham, Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party will be our guest speaker. Please feel free to invite friends who would like to join our group or learn more about Stonewall Democrats.

>Jamaican Elections, U.S. Elections

September 6, 2007

>Wouldn’t you just hate to have purchased an iPhone a week or two ago and open the paper this morning to see that the prices have dropped $200? Just $399 now for the 8GB phone.

“We want to put the iPhone in a lot of stockings this holiday season” Steve Jobs said.

I think he’s feeling the heat from HP which also announced yesterday two new cell phones, the iPAQ 600 and iPAQ 900. The phones look great, but as of now, no carriers have been announced, so what good are they?

Fred Thompson, the newest official presidential candidate, lived the first 10 weeks of his life in Alabama, but nobody in the town of his birth (Sheffield) seems to know…or care. On Jay Leno last night Jay held up a bumper sticker that read “Fred Thompson: Cause Giuliani is too hard to spell.”

Add to that “Cause Romney is too hard to believe.” “Cause McCain is too hard to comprehend.” “Cause (insert republican name here) is too hard to trust.”

The Jamaican elections are over, and with little violence (any violence surrounding elections is too much, and I think several people were killed, but it was nothing like what could have been).

There has been a change in leadership with Bruce Golding assuming power as the new prime minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which also captured a slim majority of seats in the legislative body. Portia Simpson Miller, the People’s National Party (PNP) leader and current prime minister, will step down.

60.4% of eligible voters cast ballots, and only about 3,000 separated the winning party from the losing party. The JLP depended on young people to carry them to victory. One would suppose this would mean a more progressive government, but hold on. The number one problem, by far that the government will have to deal with is crime. Social progress is probably way down on the list of priorities.

News reports in our country indicate that young people here are becoming more active politically than in the past few years, and I suspect this will bode well for the democrats. 77% of 18-29 year olds think their generation will make a difference in the 2008 election, but does that mean 77% of them will vote? No…that would be unprecedented. The previous high was in 1972 when 55.4 % of that age group voted (the first year that I voted, by the way).

I hope that each “progressive” who reads this will make an effort to engage young people as the election nears, encouraging them to become involved and to vote. There are many opportunities (Over the Mountain Democrats , Alabama College Democrats , Alabama Stonewall Democrats (no web site, but email me and I will put you in touch) , Alabama Democratic Party (from here you can link to various county Democratic groups) and more for young people (and us more seasoned people as well).

Speaking of Stonewall Democrats, I just received this notice:

Just a reminder that we’ll be meeting again next Thursday (September 13th) at Los Amigos, 3324 Clairmont Avenue (next door to the Piggly Wiggly) in the back dining room at 5:30. Joe Turnham, Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party will be our guest speaker. Please feel free to invite friends who would like to join our group or learn more about Stonewall Democrats.