Spotlighting Petitioners: I received an e-blast that touted the alliance of a local organization with a national outfit to assist in keeping it real from the public record. This forum has also posted items that are matter of public record concerning issues that affect the SGL community and beyond for a "FYI" moment for readers. Even though the use of this information is important to certain causes, I still believe that if we are "spotlighting" those with opposing viewpoints, then we certainly can't turn a blind eye to our internal characters that don't measure up either. According to that e-mail, CAR was contacted by Tom Lang of Know Thy Neighbor, a Massachusetts based organization that specializes in posting on their website for public viewing the names of all of the individuals who sign ballot petitions that further disenfranchise members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. Until now the primary focus has been on anti-marriage initiatives. We deeply appreciate that Tom Lang and Know Thy Neighbor understands how important what happened in Arkansas is to not only LGBTQ Arkansans and our allies, but to the rest of the nation. CAR was asked to partner with Know Thy Neighbor to publicize the signatures that were used to place Act 1 on the 2008 ballot here in Arkansas. Jerry Cox has rebuffed the idea and is seeking to possible legal or other legislative action to sue his supporters. To see the list go to http://www.knowthyneighbor.org/ and click on National and then click on Arkansas.
Transgender Law: I attended the The Bowen Lambda and the ACLU of Arkansas Student Chapter program on 4.27.09 concerning Transgender Law. It was a refreshing session that took a serious look at the local scene juxtaposed to the national aspects of this issue. Recently, the death of local trans person and the assault of a transgender person at the LR National has elevated interest. The program promoted an understanding of what it means to be transgender and of the challenges transgender people face. Moderated by President Matt Lauro the program included a personal story from an individual who transitioned from male to female; a survey of how courts treat transsexual litigants; an analysis of transgender sexual harassment and employment discrimination; and perspectives on mental health. I was not surprised that this forum couldn't discover any stats or define any organization that is monitoring this type of hate crimes. At the conclusion the panel suggested ways to make laws and policies more fair and how society can be more inclusive of transgender people. Bowen Lamba was developed in response to a ABA survey team that queried the law school on it's positions on GLBTQ issues. Congrats to Lauro and Lamba for their enduring work to earn law degrees as well as conscious of SGL issues. You can get some great FREE down loadable info on gender issues, just click it to http://www.lambdalegal.org/
Radio Rainbow: Just when I thought I had heard it all about the ill fated unproduced, Under the Rainbow show on KABF. It seems that I need a follow up sorta. I'm still in waiting on an firm explanation from Public Affairs Coordinator, Ari. C on exactly what's going on here. Supposedly theirs been "miscommuications," and "misunderstandings," that sent mixed signals. Signals? Then now comes the tidbit that Ms. C has begun seeking "replacements" for training for the as yet unnamed SGL focused show slated for premiere in May. Excuse me but why seek others when there were willing "volunteers" already on board from it's inception? I don't know about you, but something smells under the rainbow and I suspect that there's some power plays being crafted and concocted with possible personal nuances involved. Ms. C stated to us in the first meeting that the effort was a "Dangerous" exercise in telling our stories, seems like it's not the stories that may be so dangerous after all. What do you think? Did you answer our call to action? Do we need a GLBT radio show in Arkansas? What could you do to support it? The floor is always open for discussion.