From Jean Hodges, PFLAG National President
“Love is love” has won a victory on this day! June 26, 2015 will live in the annals of American history as a landmark day in human rights because marriage equality is now the law of our land.
It has been a 22-year journey for justice by our PFLAG Boulder County chapter which began with the agonizing disbelief of a handful of Boulder parents, allies, and LGBT people that Colorado citizens voted to make discrimination against gays and lesbians a constitutional amendment. We few were joined by many across Boulder County and eventually across our country that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their families deserve full legal rights. We are proud and deeply moved by the social progress that has evolved in our lifetime. We are grateful to legislators and judges whose policies and decisions have affirmed our passion for change.
However, as we know all too painfully about racial equality, passing laws is only the beginning of erasing the prejudice that affects attitudes and behaviors. As we mourn the loss of lives of black Americans in Charleston on this same day, we reaffirm our commitment to bring “liberty and justice for all” a reality for all our citizens. PFLAG in its 375 chapters in all our fifty states will continue its work to change minds and hearts to make real the American Dream of equality for our transgender brothers and sisters, our racial and ethnic minorities, all who do not yet feel safe and welcome to be who they are.
Today I will hang my American flag from my balcony as a symbol of hope and of recommitment to continue the work for full equality and belonging for all Americans.
Sunday, June 14th, 5:00pm
First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce St., Boulder, CO 80302.
RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/1444508552521003/
The Annual Appreciation Awards Banquet will be very special this year. There are eight 2015 Awardees to celebrate!
LGBT Outstanding Activist of the Year: Nicole Garcia
Outstanding Educator Appreciation Award: Tobey Bassoff
Outstanding LGBT Youth: Gabriella Bell
Outstanding Business Ally: Menchie’s of Lafayette, CO
Outstanding Faith Ally: Rev. Dr. Charisa Hunter-Crump of Cairn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Lafayette, CO
Jean and Jack Hodges Social Activism Scholarship Recipients: Evan Young and Michael Clymer
Recognition of Service: Louise and Herb Crede
The PFLAG Board will supply table settings, beverages and main dishes, to include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Please bring side dishes, veggies and salads. Parking is free off of 15th Street between Spruce and Pine Street. Enter the double glass doors near the circular drive. Everyone is invited to join us and we look forward to seeing you there!
Sunday, May 3rd, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Cairn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1700 Stonehenge, Lafayette, CO 80026.
RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/906300879431868/
On May 3, 2015, LGBTQI family organizations from around the world will join forces, for the fourth time, to increase the international visibility of LGBTQI families. Regardless of different legal, political and social circumstances around the world, the dramatic increase in the numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQI) people choosing to raise children is a global phenomenon.
Join PFLAG Boulder County in celebrating International Family Equality Day from 1-3 p.m. Please bring a potluck dish to share. There will be games for children of all ages, as well as LGBTQI Trivia for the adults.
There will be no program on Sunday, May 10th on account of Mother’s Day.
On Friday, Amanda Simpson — Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, and the first openly transgender woman Presidential appointee ever — sent the following message to the White House email list. Her message explains why “conversion therapy” is so harmful to all of us, and why it was important for the White House to stand up against the practice:
Across the country, there are doctors working to convince people to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s known as “conversion therapy,” but it could also be called brainwashing, or reprogramming.
Loving and compassionate parents and ministers who are trying to do the right thing are doing just the opposite. They are influenced by bad science, not grounded in fact. This so-called “conversion therapy” is harmful.
A couple of days ago, the White House came out in support of efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy. And as a transgender woman, this is especially personal to me.
No one should be forced to be someone they’re not. Everyone should be valued for their authentic, true self — who they are — regardless of the gender with which they identify, or who they love.
I recently talked with a few other people in the Administration about why conversion therapy is so dangerous, and why it was so important for the White House to take a strong stance against the practice.
Here’s what we have to say:
This isn’t just a transgender issue or an LGBT issue — it’s an American issue. Our nation was founded on the ideals of equality and acceptance for everyone, and forcing an individual to be someone they aren’t goes directly against what this country stands for.
If we’re going to grow as a society, we must move beyond the way things are, to the way things should be.
That’s why I’m glad our Administration is standing up and making it clear that conversion therapy is unacceptable. Our society should allow every child and every person the freedom to be whoever they aspire to be.
And we’ve already seen the tragic effects of this therapy. Countless people have taken their own lives because they feel they can’t fit into the standards that society demands. Others, although they haven’t lost their lives, have been forced to live unfulfilled lives and to repress their feelings in the process — feelings that come out in other ways that we can’t always anticipate.
We can be better than this. We are better than this. We owe it to ourselves, and to all of the children growing up in this country, to work toward a society where everyone is accepted and treated equally.
I hope you’ll take the time to listen to what we said, and learn more about why the White House came out in support of banning conversion therapy.
U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives
Sunday, April 12th, 3:00pm
First United Methodist Church, 350 11th Avenue, Longmont, CO 80501.
RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/832621296773298/
After the birth of a child, the first question is often: “What is it, a boy or a girl?” For many species that question makes no sense at all. Turtles have no sex at birth. Neither do crocodiles, alligators and caimans. Spotted hyenas all appear to be males. Clownfish, like Nemo, may undergo multiple sex changes during the course of their lives. And of course, labeling an infant human as a boy or a girl is a pretty iffy and sometimes arbitrary action. In the real world, life, sex, gender, and sexual orientation come in a variety of hues beyond black and white. Here’s an article listing some instances in nature that break gender stereotypes and illustrate gender fluidity: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2013/05/17/is-homosexuality-natural-yes-so-is-male-lactation/
Panelists Gerald N. Callahan, Ph.D. and Dana Zyymm will discuss these issues surrounding Intersex, Gender Identity and more.
A confidential support group meets an hour before the program, at 2 p.m.
Article in The Washington Post by Ana Swanson:
The broader trend in recent years has been toward expanded rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, including changing legal definitions of marriage and more civil rights protections. But as a new report from the Human Rights Campaign shows, many legislative proposals are being considered at the state level that might reverse some of those recent changes.
According to HRC, more than 85 such bills have been filed in 28 states for the 2015 state legislative sessions.
The map from HRC above (click to enlarge) shows proposed legislation that relates to LGBT issues at the state level as of March 24, 2015. The most common type of legislation, marked in red, concerns so-called “religious refusals,” which allow individuals or institutions to challenge or opt out of certain state or local laws based on their religious beliefs. These laws allow business owners to, for example, refuse marriage-related services or deny adoption services to particular couples based on their religious beliefs. Critics charge that these laws make it easier for individuals and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.
The states marked in dark blue, including Minnesota, South Dakota, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas, are considering laws that would affect transgender people, according to HRC. Most of these laws restrict access to gender-segregated facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms in public accommodations or schools, or gendered activities like school sports.
States marked in light blue – West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas — are introducing legislation that would nullify non-discrimination protections at the city level and prevent city councils from passing new protections, according to HRC. Orange indicates states that have introduced legislation to expressly protect therapists who conduct “conversion therapy” – just Oklahoma.