Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kennedy Killer Gets Three Years

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Stephen Moller, who killed 20-year-old Sean Kennedy, will serve three years for involuntary manslaughter.

Moller used anti-gay slurs as he attacked Kennedy — pushing the young gay man to the ground, leading to the head trauma that killed him.

The defense attorney said after the hearing that Moller "didn't know Sean was gay."

We're sure he probably didn't. But it would certainly seem that he assumed Sean was gay. Hence the anti-gay comments as he hit Sean and the circumstances that lead to the attack which sound a little like gay panic.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Reprieve Of Sorts

Posted by D. A. Smith on Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 7:51 AM

A threat has passed for now, but only for the next couple of weeks. Please notify your friends in the the Midlands about this upcoming school board meeting.

District 5 postpones vote on club rules

(IRMO, SC) AP--Lexington-Richland 5 trustees postponed a vote on a controversial plan to add more regulations to noncurricular student clubs.

The proposal would add stringent rules to such clubs, including requiring parental consent for participation, banning those clubs from fundraising on school campuses and prohibiting clubs from using the school’s name.

The board is expected to take up the measure again June 23.

Eddie Walker, principal of District 5’s Irmo High School, said last month he would step down at the end of the next school year because a planned Gay-Straight Alliance club conflicts with his beliefs and religious convictions.

Officials had said the district couldn’t stop the alliance from forming because federal law prohibits discriminating against a club based on its purpose.

I suspect this new proposed requirement of parental consent is just another dodge designed to discourage enrollment in the proposed Gay-Straight Alliance at Irmo High School. Not all parents of LGBT teens are aware of their kids' sexual orientation and for some kids, this awareness on the parents' part has proven to be fatal.

Folks can't expect the public schools to raise their children for them AND get to cherry-pick what gets discussed and what gets shoved under the mat.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bad News From The Midlands

Posted by D. A. Smith on Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Today, we hear things could go from bad to worse for LGBT teens in Lexington-Richland School District 5, mother ship of Irmo High School--home of a hotly contested proposed Gay-Straight Alliance student organization.

IRMO, S.C. (AP) -- Rather than risk a lawsuit by banning a gay student organization, a South Carolina school district is considering whether to ban all student clubs that don't relate to academics or sports.

The Lexington-Richland School District 5 school board plans to vote Monday night on whether the district should ban the clubs as a way to shut down a proposed group called the Gay-Straight Alliance.

A school spokeswoman says the district couldn't stop the alliance from forming because federal law prohibits discriminating against a club based on its purpose.

Last month, Irmo High School principal Eddie Walker announced he would step down at the end of the next school year because the Gay-Straight Alliance conflicts with his beliefs and religious convictions.

I've heard several behind-the-scene stories about this controversy, including conjecture regarding the principal's departure. This, to me, is only just so much noise that detracts from the very real problems faced by LGBT teens nationally that include ostracism, violence, suicide, substance abuse and the like. Besides, if you've never been to Irmo, SC before, I'm here to tell you that it's not the most progressive environment in the Palmetto State. If you know anybody up there, get on the horn and make 'em attend that school board meeting.

I mean, if the board bans all clubs lacking an academic of athletic reason for being, then just how-in-tarnation are they ever gonna get prayer back in schools?

Obama Releases Pride Month Statement

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 10:36 AM


 “I am proud to join with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters in celebrating the accomplishments, the lives, and the families of all LGBT people during this Pride season. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us.  But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans.

“It’s time to live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. Let’s enact federal civil rights legislation to outlaw hate crimes and protect workers against discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Let’s repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and demonstrate that the most effective and professional military in the world is open to all Americans who are ready and willing to serve our country. Let’s treat the relationships and the families of LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. 

“We are ready to accomplish these goals because of the courage and persistence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people who have are working every day to achieve equal rights. The gay couple who demand equal treatment in our family laws as they raise their children; the lesbian soldier who wants nothing more than to serve her country openly and honestly; the transgendered workers who asks for the simple dignity of being judged by the quality of their work. Generations of LGBT Americans, at once ordinary and extraordinary, have made possible this moment in our history. With leadership and hard work, we can fulfill the promise of equality for all.”

Thursday, May 22, 2008

South Carolia Equality calls for Irmo principal to go

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Thu, May 22, 2008 at 2:25 PM

The South Carolina Equality Coalition has called for the resignation of the Irmo principal who announced he would leave his position at the end of the 08-09 school year because he's being forced to allow a gay/straight alliance at the school.

C. Ray Drew, Executive Director of South Carolina Equality, states “This Principal has emphatically and publicly stated that he does not support a significant portion of his student body.  He has created an atmosphere where intolerance is considered a principled stand.”

That is certainly the thing that got me. The school district's response isn't that this club provides a home base of sorts for gay and lesbian students to feel comfortable without fear of intimidation or harassment (or worse). No, instead the district argues that it had to allow the club — its hands were tied.  More from SCEC:

National research from the Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) shows that 80% of gay students do not know a single supportive adult at their school.  They show that 38% of gay students face hostility and violence in the course of their required attendance at school.  18% of gay students experience physical assault. Gay students face more verbal harassment and physical violence than any group of students.  Yet, the one mitigating factor for students is when they know a supportive adult at school.

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