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October Program: Demystifying the Legal Landscape

UPDATE 2: Click Here for the video of the presentation.

UPDATE 1: Click Here for the PowerPointShow used in the presentation.

Sunday Oct 12, 3pm
First United Methodist Church 350 11th Ave., Longmont, CO 80501
Presenter: Raga Gopalakrishnan

In the fifteen months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in yet another landmark decision penned by Justice Kennedy, numerous state marriage bans have been struck down by federal and state courts across the country. So unprecedentedly swift has been the legal tidal wave that the issue of the constitutionality of state marriage bans has already returned to the U.S. Supreme Court – five states are already on the Court’s doorstep, and more could join them there very soon. Will the Court let them in? Or turn them out? What are the effects of these choices?

In this presentation, which has been designed for the average layperson, Raga will walk us through the timeline of the major legal marriage battles in an attempt to demystify the intricate legal concepts that were, and are, key to the arguments on both sides of the issue, e.g., due process, equal protection, federalism, rational basis, heightened scrutiny. What worked and what didn’t? Join us on October 12 to find out!

Raga is a post-doctoral research associate at CU-Boulder. A native of India, he came to the United States in 2008 to attend graduate school at the California Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a PhD in Computer Science in 2013. While he lacks any formal background in law, his fascination with the legal arm of the gay rights movement transformed his initial curiosity about the marriage litigation into an obsession. Just last month, he traveled to San Francisco to witness oral arguments that took place in constitutional challenges to the marriage bans of Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Over the past several years, he has attained a great deal of knowledge, both factual and conceptual, on the workings of constitutional law as it pertains to civil rights, and is uniquely suited to present this topic on laypeople’s terms.

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September Program: 100% Myself – Discussion with Tracy Stegall, Principal at Birch Elementary School

Sunday Sept. 21, 3:00pm
First United Methodist Church 1421 Spruce St, Boulder

Please join us to hear Tracy Stegall, Principal at Birch Elementary School in the Boulder Valley School District. Tracy Stegall, Award-Winning Principal at BVSD's Birch Elementary

Tracy was featured in the film sponsored by Manhattan Middle School called “100% Myself” that screened last year at the Bolder Life Festival. The film displays the powerful symbiosis of kids, community and acceptance during Manhattan Middle School’s Diversity Day Assembly. The film also follows Tracy’s journey as an ‘out’ principal who reflects on her own middle school ‘closeted’ experience of isolation and fear but ends with her being extremely hopeful for the future of today’s kids.

Join us as Tracy shows the film and then leads a discussion about the idea of “un-othering” in schools, as well as current movements to ensure that when we talk about all kids and families feeling welcome, cared for, and loved… that ALL really means ALL.

Tracy is a founding member of Sound Circle, a Boulder-based women’s a cappella group that’s part of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses and a member of the Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition. In 2013, as Principal of Birch Elementary, she was the recipient of the Joe Todd Award and the Heart of Broomfield Award.

To preview the documentary, visit this YouTube link

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Statement of Solidarity

August 12, 2014
When communities experience fear, harassment and brutality simply because of who they are or how they look, we are failing as a nation. In light of the recent events in Missouri, it is clearer than ever that there is something profoundly wrong in our country. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community cannot be silent at this moment, because LGBT people come from all races, creeds, faiths and backgrounds, and because all movements of equality are deeply connected. We are all part of the fabric of this nation and the promise of liberty and justice for all is yet to be fulfilled. The LGBT community stands with the family of Michael Brown, who was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri. We stand with the mothers and fathers of young Black men and women who fear for the safety of their children each time they leave their homes. We call on the national and local media to be responsible and steadfast in their coverage of this story and others like it–racialized killings that have marred this nation since the beginning of its history. We call on policy makers on all levels of American government not to shrink from action, and we are deeply grateful to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for their immediate commitment to a thorough investigation. At this moment, we are inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies … but the silence of our friends.”

ACLU
AIDS United Bisexual Resource Center
Campus Pride Center for Black Equity, Inc.
Courage Campaign
Equality Federation Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
GetEQUAL
GLAAD
GMHC
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
Human Rights Campaign
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
PFLAG National
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO Services
Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Soulforce
Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
Trans People of Color Coalition
Transgender Law Center
Trevor Project

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August Program: Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig

Sunday, August 10th, 3:00pmFollow My Voice: With The Music of Hedwig
Cairn Christian Church, 1700 Stonehenge Dr., Lafayette, CO 80026

How would you feel about attending an all LGBTQ high school?  Is this Nirvana or what? This moving documentary explores the experiences of four teenagers attending New York’s landmark Harvey Milk High School for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids, weaving their stories with scenes of musicians recording a fund-raising album. Artists supporting the school by contributing to the album include Frank Black, Ben Folds, Cyndi Lauper, They Might Be Giants, Yoko Ono, the Breeders, Rufus Wainwright and many more.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800034/

Please join us for a screening of this documentary on August 10th at 3 p.m. at Cairn Christian Church, 1700 Stonehenge Dr., Lafayette.

RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/723128064406915/

A confidential support group meets an hour before the program, at 2 p.m.

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PFLAG NATIONAL INSISTS ON FAIR AND EQUAL RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION

“We won’t close the door on conversation, but we will close the door on discrimination…”

PFLAG National released the following statement from Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby on the issue of religious exemptions and the law:

PFLAG has a long, proud history of engaging in difficult conversations, often related to issues of faith. We understand and see everyday how freedom of religion is being conflated with the freedom to discriminate and the growing crescendo that this discrimination be enshrined in law. PFLAG’s richness of diversity compels us to operate from a lens of fairness when looking at religious exemptions, and fairness dictates that any religious exemption in judicial ruling, executive action, or legislation cannot be so broad as to compromise an individual’s dignity.

Yet from decades on the front lines of LGBT equality advocacy, we also know that if we want laws written, supported, and passed, we must commit to staying engaged, no matter how difficult the conversations get. PFLAG will always use the same test, whether it be for ENDA, an Executive Order, some other piece of legislation, or a court ruling: Will people who are LGBT be treated differently than protected classes of people? If the final version or ruling does not pass that test, then we will not support it and will instead actively mobilize all PFLAGers and people everywhere committed to fairness and equality to oppose.

PFLAG National will continue to support ENDA but insist on a fair and equal religious exemption in the bill. Whether through ENDA or via an Executive Order, people who are LGBT have a desperate need for workplace protections, and should have the same workplace rights and responsibilities as anyone else. In fact, the majority of Americans already agree that people in the workplace should be judged on the merits of their work, not based on who they are; that is fair.

In PFLAG’s view, the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling was wrong, any Executive Order aimed at protecting workers but offering loopholes to discriminate is wrong, and the breadth of the religious exemption in ENDA as it is currently drafted is wrong. PFLAG never closes the door on conversation, but we will close the door on discrimination, for we cannot change hearts and minds—which sometimes means reconciling different faith beliefs—if the foundation on which we do so ís discriminatory.

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July Event: Pool Party at Sunset Pool in Longmont

Sunday, July 20, 2014, 7-10:00 p.m.

The fun begins at 7:00 p.m. when we will have the entire pool complex. Please bring snacks or desserts for a potluck in the party room. If you don’t want to swim, just hang out and visit with friends.

The pool has slides, a safe shallow area for little ones, diving boards, 6 lap lanes and lots of grass trees, tables, benches. If you’ve never been to Sunset Pool, it’s a great place to enjoy a special PFLAG experience and an awesome location looking out at the mountains.

**NOTE: There will NOT be a PFLAG Program on Sunday, July 13.

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