Monday, March 19, 2007

Can we talk...The Remix


The 24 news cycles of the world, as well as, the fury of the internet keeps my inbox humming and singing about what's really going on, not only globally, but breaking GLBT news locally . One of our readers E-mailed me to let me know that our site not only stays updated, but he can often discover community news posted here "first," before catching it elsewhere. I appreciate all comments, notations, corrections and salutations that acknowledge our work and keeps us on our toes. Now, can we talk....?



Capitol Watch

The 86th session of the Arkansas legislature continues to barn storm along with an array of interesting legislation and resolutions related to the GLBTQ community and beyond. Activist statewide have been very vocal about Shawn Womack's proposed, Senate Bill 959 which will severely impact gay people in the Foster care system. However, despite a variety of efforts including E-mail blast, insider sources, and a volunteer phone bank canvassing voters and friends in NWA, this legislation has been moving swiftly through the chambers of powers, supported by a well financed and organized Focus on the Family group. There machine went into overdrive this week with a "shock and awe" campaign of letters to House Representatives distinctively citing SB 959 as a means to"prohibit homosexuals from adopting children or serving as foster parents." This bill will be discussed in a house committee before being presented to the full House body. Meanwhile, as that fire rages on, there is another little known ditty HB 2615 filed by Willie Hardy (District 5) quietly being discussed (3.20.07) in the Public Health, Welfare and Labor committee concerning the establishment of an HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force. The subtitle of this measure states it will be an "act to create an Arkansas HIV/AIDS Minority Taskforce and to coordinate statewide efforts to combat the debilitating effects of HIV/AIDS on Minority Arkansas." Sound familiar? Yes, because another such "task force" exisited a few years ago and obviously they did'nt get the job done. But excuse me, Rep. Hardy, are you unaware of such groups as JCCSI's, Many Men, Many Voices which directly addresses MSM HIV issues, How about the Community Awareness Planning Committee, which had an entire banquet(2.24.07) hearlding their "statewide community awareness programming" or recently the Regional HIV/AIDS conference(2.1.07) which offered a plethora of workshops and speakers. All in the name of diversity and educating the community at large. So, do we really need yet another group of folks sitting around doing lunch, creating insipid programming and submitting a report to the Governor? Hmmm...I don't think so. Share your thoughts with Rep. Willie Hardy about SB 959 and his HB2615 call at 870.836.4607. Tell him you heard it here, first.


Talking theTalk: Truth Wins Out (TWO) launched a new campaign February 26 encouraging scientists to report distortions of their research by right-wing organizations like Focus on the Family on the Web site http://www.respectmyresearch.org/.“This Web site is a powerful response to the brazen and outrageous manner in which the far right has hijacked science to support their discriminatory aims,” TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen said. “Our goal is to make it easier for legitimate researchers to fight back, and demand their work be respected and not co-opted for an extreme political agenda.”“When people start spinning science, you have to respond,” Dr. Kyle Pruett, Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, stated. “Journalism used to handle this, but not anymore. So, it’s bounced back to become increasingly the responsibility of the people doing the research.”In a new trend, several researchers have come forward this year to say that Focus on the Family has distorted or exaggerated their work. RespectMyResearch.org features six such esteemed scientists who were “mortified” when they learned how Focus on the Family leader James Dobson cravenly manipulated their findings. The new Web site contains exclusive videos interviewing these professors.Letters from scientists obtained by TWO also are posted asking for Dobson either to stop using their work or to portray their studies accurately.“If ‘Double-Talk Dobson’ had been accused by only one professor of manipulating research, it might be a legitimate mistake,” Besen noted. “However, when six researchers in three countries have stepped forward in less than a year, I think it is fair to say that a disturbing pattern of deception has emerged. Unfortunately, Dobson has refused to address the concerns of these researchers, and continues to portray their reasonable requests for scientific integrity as a liberal conspiracy.”TWO is a nonprofit organization that counters right-wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth, and educates Americans about gay life.For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.
Soft Opening: Congrats to Discovery owner NJ on the newly unveiled lobby redesign, 3.18.07. The event was set off with a cocktail reception with invited guest as they milled around the new diggs conceived by Larry West of Interiors West.


For the Record: In past posting we have inadvertedly transposed some websites or not clearly defining the groups associated with them. They are as follows:

LittleRockPride.com is a news, business directory, features, blog portal for the GLBTQ community.

Http://lrcpride.org is the official website of the Little Rock Pride committee producing Pride 07, June 3, at the Rivermarket.


The countdown continues to the unveiling of our new flagship: CorneliusOnpoint.com Stay tuned! We're here, listening loud and clear so leave us a comment.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Shirley Q. Liquor is fetching $25 a ticket for two back-to-back performances. There is no way that Jesters will respond to ethical arguments against this racist, sexist money-machine. Rather than writing emails or making phone calls to Jesters the queer community should be cutting off the monetary life line to this gay bar. Why not contact those who perform at Jesters?

The Mob Kings have a performance there on March 24th. Tell them to cancel the show! The Arkansas Aids Foundation had a fundraiser there just this month! Tell them to give back the dirty money or at least never have a benefit there again (Black women targeted by Shirley Q. Liquor are also one of the demographics with the highest rate of HIV infection in the country)!

Just like with SB959 we must do more than write letters to those creating or sustaining oppression. That has NEVER been the solution.

I encourage you to read and promote Suzanne Pharr’s essay that makes the connection between the myth of the welfare queen and gay rights (http://www.suzannepharr.org/queens.pdf) and also to read about Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). This group is an animal rights organization created to shut down Huntingdon Life Services, an animal testing company that murders 500 animals a day. Rather than directly attack HLS, SHAC targets anyone and everyone that deals with HLS. This includes accountants, mail delivery services, IT companies, etc. They have seen unprecedented success and are a model of progressive activism. While this full scale attack may be beyond the necessity of the Shirley Q. Liquor problem some of the tactics can be employed on a small scale (like convincing drag performers to not perform at Jesters).

-Nick

PS – Question: Is it a coincidence that Charles Knipp performs blackface in drag? Would this same performance be acceptable without the drag aspect, and if not what does that tell us about the societal acceptance of mocking and defiling women?