Archive for February, 2011

Feb
24

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MONDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2011: CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR SLAIN GAY UGANDAN ACTIVIST DAVID KATO

Please Join The Here To Stay Coalition for a vigil to remember and celebrate the life of Ugandan GLBT Rights Activist David Kato and all of the other lives that have been lost because of homophobic violence in our communities (Attached you will find a press release and Flyers–please forward widely).

When: Monday February 28th, 2011 @ sunset (6pm)

Where: Leimert Park Fountain, Crenshaw Blvd. And Vernon Avenue
Please bring white candles and flowers if you can.
If you or your organization is interested in speaking at the vigil, please contact the number indicated below.

Contact: Iyatunde Folaya
Facebook
: www.facebook.com/people/Here T0 Stay/
1181244290
Website:
www.heretostaycoalition.weebly.com
Email:
Heretostaycoalition@gmail.com
Phone:
562 331 4038

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On the recommendation of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama has determined that sexual orientation discrimination should be presumed unconstitutional, and The Department of Justice has concluded that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” is therefore an unconstitutional and indefensible law. Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday the Justice Department will no longer defend a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act–which uses the “man-and-woman” definition– is being challenged in two federal suits filed in New York and Connecticut. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other congressional leaders, Holder said President Barack Obama “has made the determination that Section 3 … as applied to same-sex couples who are legally married under state law, violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.”

However, members of Congress could choose to defend the section on their own. Despite the administration’s conclusions, “the president has informed me that Section 3 will continue to be enforced by the executive branch,” Holder said. “To that end, the president has instructed executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA … unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality.” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi stated that “The Obama Administration’s decision is a victory for civil rights, fairness, and equality for the LGBT community and all Americans”. Here in California U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California) has announced she will introduce legislation to repeal DOMA.

The Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition is a civil rights organization that exists to eradicate racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and sexism in all forms. The Jordan/Rustin Coalition’s mission is to build the political power of the Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and our allies in the Greater Los Angeles Area through grassroots organizing, political advocacy, public education and community empowerment. JRC advocates for full equality, including marriage, and complete societal acceptance of all persons with regard to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression.
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david-kato
HERE TO STAY COALITION
Website: www.heretostaycoalition.weebly.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Here-To-Stay/1181244290
Email: heretostaycoalition@gmail.com
Contact: Iyatunde Folayan
Phone #: 562-331-4038

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak. ~ Audre Lorde (Gamba Adisa) Lesbian, African-American, Activist, New York Poet Laureate and National Book Award winner

LOS ANGELES, CA–February 9, 2011
We, the members of the HERE TO STAY COALITION, a grassroots Southern Californian-based, Black LGBT group committed to ending homophobia, hereby express our solidarity with the LGBT community in the East-African nation of Uganda, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and all activist organizations who are currently besieged by vile acts of homophobia, including assassination and media stigmatization.

We entirely condemn the recent cold-blooded murder of the prominent Gay activist, David Kato, following publication of his name by Rolling Stone, a Ugandan newspaper. The newspaper, two months preceding the assassination, published the names of 100 persons it described as “Uganda’s Top Homos” in the country.

The paper conspicuously displayed the words “Hang Them” across its banner. We acknowledge the years of struggle by Ugandan, regional and continent-wide organizations, Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, and Uganda’s own High Court decision condemning the violations of privacy and safety resulting from the Rolling Stone publication.

Very regrettably, the nation of Uganda - among other African countries - has become peculiarly infamous as a country where the existence of Lesbians, Gay men and Transgender individuals is recklessly endangered. By their pronouncements and actions, a powerful segment of the Ugandan political and clerical hierarchy has fostered an atmosphere in which homophobia thrives. For years now, Uganda has witnessed a frightening phenomenon of intensifying private and public campaigns against the LGBT community. This sickening trend has now culminated in the assassination of David Kato and presumably countless others.

As we join in solidarity with the Ugandan LGBT community, we remain critically conscious of the unfinished work against violence and exclusion we face within the African-American community and America as a whole.

We remember our historic role as African-Americans in solidarity with African, South African, and Southern African political campaigns, social movements, clergy and human rights champions calling for the end of apartheid in racist South Africa and see that the injustices and homophobia faced by LGBT Ugandans require from us that same conviction.

We support the demand of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in pressing the Ugandan government to investigate the killings of David Kato, additional Ugandan LGBT individuals, and to hold all perpetrators accountable.

As an urgent first step, the HERE TO STAY COALITION hereby calls on the Ugandan political leadership to immediately terminate further consideration of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill pending in the nation’s parliament. This horrendous bill, if passed would sanction the state execution of Ugandan LGBT people.
With the murder of David Kato, the Anti-Homosexuality bill has become indelibly stained in blood. We feel that the only way to honor David Kato’s fight for the human rights and freedoms of LGBT communities in Uganda is to insure that this bill never sees the light of day.

The HERE TO STAY COALITION equally urges the American churches, which are surreptitiously and overtly funding and supporting the ”evangelism” of homophobia in Uganda and other parts of Africa, to desist from their actions.

We recognize that a powerful grouping of these same American clergy members have been fomenting and funding hatred and division between African-Americans of faith and the African-American LGBT.

We will no longer accept such insidious and predatory practices in our community and will do everything in our power to uproot and expose its destructive presence. We resolutely reject attempts to eject us and condemn us as LGBT people from the human family.

For the HERE TO STAY COALITION, it is our moral and ethical obligation to initiate and join on-going campaigns in the battle to protect ourselves and other LGBT communities from hate crimes whether legislated, preached, or published.

We must, in the name of David Kato, Audre Lorde and all African LGBT freedom fighters, let our sisters and brothers in Uganda know that they are not alone. Coordinated telephone calls, Facebook, e-mails and all other forms of communication must be activated to convey our condemnation of this killing and opposition to the draconian Anti-Homosexuality bill to the Ugandan government and consulates in the United States.

Bigotry’s birthplace is the backroom of the mind where plots and schemes are hatched for the persecution and oppression of other human beings.~ Bayard Rustin, Gay, African-American, Civil Rights leader, architect of the 1963 March on Washington and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Contact the Ugandan Embassy in Washington, D.C.,
The Republic of Uganda and the US Department of State: His Excellency Professor
Perezi K. Kamunanwire
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
5911 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20011 Phone: (202)726-0416
Fax: (202) 726-1727
Email: ugembassy@aol.com

Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 Phone: (202) 647-5924

President of The Republic of Uganda,
H.E. Yoweri Museveni
Parliament Building
PO Box 7168
Kampala, Uganda
Email: info@govexecutive.net
Fax: + 256 414 346 102
Salutation: Your Excellency

Inspector General of Police, Major Kale Kayihura
Police Headquarters
PO Box 7055
Kampala, Uganda
Fax: + 256 414 255 630
Salutation: Dear Major

Minister of Justice, Hon. Makubuya Kiddu
Parliament Building
PO Box 7183
Kampala, Uganda
Email: info@justice.go.ug
Fax: + 256 414 234 453

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family_faith_trimel

A special Black History Month screening and Q& A discussion of the critically acclaimed film by
Faith Trimel!!

Wednesday February 23, 2011
6:30-9PM
Lucy Florence Cultural Center
3361 West 43rd Street
The Historica Leimert Park Village
Los Angeles,C A 90008
Tickets: 10$
*A portion of all proceeds will go to benefit the Jordan/Rustin Coalition’s community organizing campaign to empower the Black LGBT Community in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Please RSVP at staff@jordanrustin.org as dinner will be served.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact:
January 26, 2010
Milton Davis
Mobile: 323 273 0347
Email: milton@jordanrustin.org

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Jordan/Rustin Coalition to Launch Exciting New Canvassing Project in South LA

The Barbara Jordan/ Bayard Rustin Coalition is proud to announce the JRC Canvassing Project which will launch on Monday, February 28th 2011 and continue for approximately 14 weeks. The project is designed to promote acceptance, visibility, dialogue and community-building as a strategy to fight homophobia and promote more awareness of Black LGBT issues within the Black community.

The goals of the project are:
1) Measure the effects of door-to-door canvassing on persuading African American voters to be more supportive of marriage equality.

2) Identify specific segments of the African-American voting population that are most susceptible to targeted field messaging.

3) Gather a large amount of anecdotal data on what pieces of messaging are most effective with African American voters.

4) Identify a list of 2,000-4,000 African-American voters in Los Angeles County who support marriage equality.

5) Develop a model for canvassing in African-American communities which can be used in upcoming LGBT field campaigns in states with heavy African-American populations.

“This is a historic project for our country and the Black LGBT community, and JRC is in a critical position to ensure that we are not misrepresented or forgotten amidst the statewide and national climate,” said Rodney Nickens Jr. Field Organizer for the Jordan/Rustin Coalition.

Milton Davis, Program Director for the Jordan/Rustin Coalition added that “This is a very exciting project to undertake after what we saw during Proposition 8 here in California. Not only is this an opportunity to address some of the misconceptions about African-American opinions on marriage equality, it is also a chance to have a broader dialogue within our own community about the importance of embracing our LGBT and same-gender loving friends, family, and neighbors.”

The project is an extension of previous volunteer canvassing by JRC in collaboration with Equality California and Vote for Equality which showed potential for comparatively high levels of voter persuasion in the African American and Latino communities.

The Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition is a civil rights organization that exists to eradicate racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and sexism in all forms. The Jordan/Rustin Coalition’s mission is to build the political power of the Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and our allies in the Greater Los Angeles Area through grassroots organizing, political advocacy, public education and community empowerment. JRC advocates for full equality, including marriage, and complete societal acceptance of all persons with regard to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression.


JRC envisions the Greater Los Angeles Area to be a place where Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are ensured full equality under the law, enjoy equal rights and protections, and are embraced as full members of the community in every aspect of their lives: at home, at work, at school and in their places of worship.
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