Sunday, October 17, 2021

It's Against The Law

Schools have no choice they must include Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) but they still are throwing barriers in the way to the GSAs.
School board listens patiently as mom calls sponsor of gay inclusion club a pedophile
By The Kansas City Star Editorial Board
October 14, 2021


Members of the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission were told they couldn’t speak on behalf of gender non-conforming and LGBTQ children in the Independence School District at Tuesday night’s meeting. Officials said that’s because only district residents and employees are allowed to address the board, per district policy, even though the Independence School District is one of more than a dozen districts within the boundaries of Kansas City proper.

We have no evidence that they were singled out for exclusion, or that other non-residents have been allowed to speak in the past.

Yet the fact that the Independence school board then did listen on Tuesday night to a parent who called the teacher who’d started a gay inclusion club a pedophile made us wonder if whatever rules there are that make hate speech OK need a common sense update.
[…]
Herl still hasn’t explained why he recommended and the school board approved this year disabling the option for students to pick their preferred pronouns when logging in for virtual classes. Herl also ordered the removal of Independence Black Lives Matter and gay pride posters from the walls of a middle school last fall.
Ding, ding, ding!

To me that smacks as discrimination if they allow other clubs and posters to be hung in the halls.

The Board has put roadblocks in place to prevent anyone from speaking in opposition.
Technically, Gragg herself should not have been allowed to speak on Tuesday, according to board policy. Yes, she’s a district resident, but everyone who wants to speak is supposed to email a board secretary one week prior to a board meeting to request to speak. Pre-approval is needed and comments or questions directed to board members are requested in advance. Some are allowed, most aren’t.

Board policy says speakers can only talk about what’s on the agenda, which this month was posted three days after the district’s own deadline.
The Catch 22.

You have to speak about only items on the agenda but we are not going to tell agenda until after the deadline.

Gay Straight Alliances cannot be blocked from schools if the school has other clubs the law and the Supreme Court has said.
Federal law protects student clubs — even ones you don’t like
Edwin C. Darden
May 1, 2015


If a school district allows students to form noncurricular clubs, it must allow all clubs.

When high school students seek to start a controversial club on campus, their youthful ambition might ignite a local firestorm. Their right to proceed, however, is firmly protected by federal law.

The Equal Access Act (EAA), a student-friendly statute, has existed for more than 30 years. Yet, some educators still flinch when envisioning teens pursuing conversations or activities they find despicable. That hardheaded instinct to control student clubs has recently revived unnecessary scuffles.

This much is clear: Adult judgments about what is inappropriate or what cannot be abided is not the standard.
But the Independence School District doesn’t seem to understand that and it is not just the EAA, it is also the courts. The ACLU reported,
11TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES LOWER COURT RULING, RULES THAT FEDERAL LAW PROTECTING STUDENT GROUPS’ EQUAL ACCESS TO SCHOOL FACILITIES APPLIES TO PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS; ACLU REPRESENTS STUDENTS SEEKING TO ESTABLISH THE ANTI-BULLYING CLUB IN YEARS-
DECEMBER 6, 2016


MIAMI, Fla. - A federal appeals court panel has overturned a lower court’s ruling that prevented a group of Lake County, Florida students from establishing a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at their middle school.

The ruling today from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals holds that the Equal Access Act, a federal law that guarantees student groups equal access to school resources if their school allows extra-curricular clubs, applies to public middle schools in Florida, not just high schools.
But conservative school boards just ignore the law and the courts.



Today is the first day of Fantasia Fair and on the calendar today is fair registration and Epic Reunion Welcome Reception [They seem to be hung-up on the word “Epic”].
After a long day of travel, relax with your old friends and meet your new friends downstairs at the Boatslip, 161 Commercial Street. Come dressed formally, come dressed casually, come dressed as a guy, or come dressed as a girl, or as your gender-nonconforming self—Just come by the Boatslip on Sunday from 7:30-9:00 pm and enjoy yourself!
I have to run earns this morning to get a HDMI to HDMI cable, and make copies of my workshop syllabus down in Orleans, then head up to P'town to register for the fair. Then head back to town at night for the reception (Hopefully, if I'm not too tired. Nine o'clock is pushing my bedtime because it is a half hour drive back to the cottage.).

I have been attending the Fair off and on since around 2001.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Saturday 9: Livin' La Vida Loca

Sam’s Saturday 9: Livin' La Vida Loca (1999)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Ricky Martin sings that he and the girl dance in the rain. Do you feel like dancing this morning?

I never feel like dancing.

2) The lyrics tell us the girl prefers champagne. When did you last enjoy a glass of the bubbly?

WHOA! That is like ten, fifteen years ago.

3) When Ricky first heard "Livin' La Vida Loca," he imagined  the subject of the song was a "Bond girl," the glamorous love interest of James Bond in the movies. Since 1962, there have been more than 20 Bond films. Have you seen any/many of them? Do you have a favorite Bond?

The last Bond movie that I watched was back in the 70s, I don’t have a favorite Bond because I don’t watch those movies, all they are now a days is bang, bang, shoot them up movies. All action thin plots.

4) Ricky tells interviewers that when he was very young, he'd sing in the family kitchen, pretending a wooden spoon was his microphone. Crazy Sam admits to lip synching into a black Magic Marker. When you gave imaginary concerts, what did you use as a microphone?

Um… Hun?

I don’t think that I ever did that or at least when I was sober. 

5) Ricky began working at the tender age of 9, performing in commercials. How old were you when you received your first paycheck?

I think 18 because that is the age when you could legally work.

6) Ricky does yoga to stay in shape. Have you ever tried yoga?

Nope.

7) Ricky is of primarily Spanish descent, with a little French mixed in. When you think of French cuisine, what comes to mind?

Pastries.

We have an excellent French pastry shop in town, there is always a line out his door. I stood there 20 minutes to buy pasties one time. The chef is a native of France and the write up on the bakery says,

...is an award-winning Zagat-Rated French Bakery, Pastry Shop, and Bistro which uses traditional European techniques to create specialty hand-crafted products, and the finest French cuisine with only the best natural ingredients. A taste of France on Cape Cod!

8) Ricky once had his own restaurant, Casa Salsa, in Miami Beach. Have you ever worked in food service?

Nope.

9) Random question: What is your best quality?

It takes an awful to get me angry.

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2021

A Tale Of Two States

One is doing everything in its power to force LGBTQ+ people back into the closet and the other is making sure the needs of LGBTQ+ people are meet.
Texas agency pulls website for LGBTQ youth, with suicide prevention info, after taunt from Abbott's GOP challenger
The Week
By Peter Weber
October 12, 2021


It isn't clear just how much the hard-right turn in Texas politics is being driven by Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) 2022 GOP primary rivals. But one of his main challengers, state Sen. Don Huffines (R), took credit Monday for the scramble by "state employees who are loyal to Greg Abbott" to pull down a state child welfare site with links to a suicide prevention hotline (866-488-7386) and other resources for LGBTQ youth. And he's probably right, the Houston Chronicle and The Texas Tribune reported Tuesday.

On Aug. 31, Huffines tweeted a video claiming the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is "promoting transgender sexual policies to Texas youth," adding: "These are not Texas values, these are not Republican party values, but these are obviously Greg Abbott's values." He was citing a DFPS page titled "Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation," with resources for LGBTQ youth in the foster care system.
It is like the game “I gotcha” who can be the most oppressive Republican.

But the Republicans put the screws to us over politics created buzz in the agencies.
Prompted by Abbott primary challenger, Texas agency removed webpage with suicide hotline, other resources for LGBTQ youth
Houston Chronicle
By Jasper Scherer
October 12, 2021


In late August, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s primary challengers, Don Huffines, accused Texas’ child welfare agency of “promoting transgender sexual policies to Texas youth” under a section of its website titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.”
[…]
But Family and Protective Services communications obtained through a public records request show that agency employees discussed removing the “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” page in response to Huffines’ tweet, shortly before taking it offline.

Thirteen minutes after Huffines’ video went up, media relations director Marissa Gonzales emailed a link to Crimmins, the agency’s communications director, under the subject line “Don Huffines video accusing Gov/DFPS of pushing liberal transgender agenda.”

“FYI. This is starting to blow up on Twitter,” Gonzales wrote.
Putting us in harms way is just another political ploy for the Republicans. They don’t care about if it increases suicides by LGBTQ+ youth, it is just one-upmanship by the Republicans.

Here in Connecticut the state legislature passed a bill to fund a legislative committee to advise the legislature on the needs of the LGBTQ community and funded a survey to find out what our needs for us are (The committee does not get paid, it is an all volunteer committee.). The survey should be released shortly, some of the key findings are,
  • About half (55%) of the respondents identified as Cisgender, 40% Transgender, and 5% Gender Diverse (not Transgender).
  • LGBTQ+ Community Spaces. For those that had LGBTQ+ community spaces or groups, they found themselves safe and welcomed. Many LGBTQ+ adults wished for more spaces to socialize (outside of bars and nightclubs) in addition to Pride events in more CT towns and cities. [I second that! I don’t like bars and night clubs.]
  • Older Adults. There are specific housing comments related to the older adult LGBTQ+ population such as concerns around the inclusivity and safety of senior housing or assisted living facilities and affordability/financial assistance for those looking to live in their own home.
Connecticut has strong laws while Texas is cutting support for trans healthcare and insurance Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity just issues a ruling that insurance must cover our medically necessary healthcare including electrolysis! Back in 2013 the Insurance Commissioner issued a statement that medically necessary healthcare that means anything covered for cis gender people must be covered for trans people.

The Connecticut Department of Education published a booklet to guide educators on the requirements of the non-discrimination law.

Now compare that to Texas that are wiping out anything to do with us.

The U.S. Constitution Fourteenth Amendment requires all citizen to be treated equally when it comes to government and laws, Texas has support pages for non-LGBTQ people but struck down the same pages for us. To me it seems like a direct violation of the 14th Amendment.