Posts Tagged ‘Bent Alaska’

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Join us if you can

September 25, 2009
Join us at the Snow Goose for a shindig!

Join us at the Snow Goose for a shindig!

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Looking for some entertainment?

September 5, 2009

It looks as though there are  now two opportunities to enjoy some local GLBT-friendly theater in Anchorage.

Dog Sees God

Dog Sees God

First, I became aware of this play after I saw an article on Bent Alaska.  Out North Theater will be holding performances of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead.  From the Out North page:

When CB’s dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid offers CB peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that’s both haunting and hopeful.

The show will run from September 4 – 13, and tickets are $15 at the door or $14.50 online (includes ticketing fees).

Next, Equality Works is hosting a performance of Lay of the Land, also playing at the Out North Theater on Friday, September 18, 7:30pm – 10:00pm.  From the Equality Works event page on facebook:

Are you feeling drained after this summer’s activities surrounding AO 64 and searching for a way to re-energize your political and emotional batteries? Are you simply in need of a laugh after months of high drama?

Lay of the Land

Lay of the Land

If so, you should join us at Out North for a presentation of performance artist’s Tim Miller’s “Lay of the Land,” a show that explores the current state of the Queer Union with sharp insight and humor, and deftly taps into the emotional experience of what it’s like to be “perpetually on trial, on the ballot, and on the menu.” Miller has been closely following the public hearings surrounding AO 64, the Assembly’s 7-4 vote, and the ensuing veto and he is looking forward to a post-show discussion with all of you. Let’s give him a big Anchorage welcome!

Tickets are $20.00 (plus 1.25 if you buy online)
Students get in for $10.00 at the door with i.d.!!!

We’re planning on going to see both of these shows, and you should too.  Supporting intelligent local performances isn’t just good for you, it’s good for the whole community.  Plus, both of these plays sound like they’ll be good.

On a personal note, if you should find yourself with the opportunity to go see The Lion King while it’s still in town, we’d highly recommend it.  Wow.

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Looking back to the future

August 9, 2009

A lot has been going on over the past week or so, and much more will be happening within the next few days.  Don’t look to far ahead for the precipice, as we’re about to go over the edge.  Or some other big ominous metaphor.

Important things of note that happened this week:

Gay Rehab doesn’t work! Who knew that brainwashing people into repressing one of the most important aspects of their self would have a negative effect?  Research, as in scientific research, shows that homosexual rehabilitation is ineffective.  The American Psychological Association voted 125-4, that’s one hundred twenty five people against four people, that “reparative therapy” doesn’t work.

Dan Coffey - He's got ideas

Dan Coffey - He's got ideas

Dan Coffey, when he’s not busy playing solitaire on his iphone, took the time to call for a task force to look into whether discrimination against the GLBT community exists in Anchorage.  The results wouldn’t be in until after the 2010 elections in November.  How convenient.  If he wasn’t too busy reading a magazine during the Assembly hearings, maybe Assemblymen Coffey would have heard Mel Green’s testimony (of Henkimaa.com), or perhaps read the report that she provided copies of to the Assembly, about previous studies done concerning discrimination in Anchorage.  Perhaps you’re angry about this.  Perhaps you should direct that frustration toward Assemblyman Coffey? Perhaps he should know how you feel about that.

Important things coming up this week:

Monday, August 10

Don't let this be another tea party...

Don't let this be another tea party...

Have some of you heard about this whole stimulus bill thing?  Have you seen the news coverage lately regarding the astroturf response by strategically placed protesters during town hall meetings?  Did you know that this same type of protest will be going on in Anchorage on Monday?    These teabaggers don’t want the Alaskan legislature to overturn former Governor McQuitterpant’s decision to refuse stimulus funds to assist in weatherizing Alaskan homes and helping supplementing energy costs.  There are those of us

who will be at the Dena’ina center at 11:15am with Organizing for America and other groups to let the legislature know that we want these funds.  We also want them to know that while some Alaskans might participate in teabagging, we are not all teabaggers.  There is a difference, and it should be appreciated.  Bring a sign and we’ll see you there.

Tuesday, August 11

This is the one you’ve been waiting for.  The Assembly will be discussing the vote on the Equal Rights Ordinance, Ordinance 64.  The most recent version of the ordinance is the one that Equality Works, and we at sosanchorage.net, are endorsing.  The Assembly will choose which version of the Ordinance to vote on, so I encourage you to take the time if you haven’t done so already to let your Assembly representative know which version of the ordinance you want them to vote for.  Jerry Prevo’s people are raising a ruckus with our representatives, it’s time that they heard, respectfully, from our side as well.  We will be there with bells blue shirts on, and we’ll be there early.  Join us, if you would.  We’d enjoy the company.

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We the future of Alaska, in Solidarity

July 20, 2009
[Reprinted from my husband’s site, Alaska Commons.  Now it’s my turn to be proud.  Your eloquence humbles me at every turn.]
Loussac Library

Loussac Library

Tomorrow is round six of the public hearings surrounding proposed Ordinance 64, which would extend equal rights protection, in cases of discrimination in the workplace, housing, and credit, to the LGBT in the municipality of Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaska Commons will be live blogging, provided I make it into the Assembly chambers, as will my wife, Heather, over on SOSAnchorage.net, and I’m guessing we’ll be joined by the multitude of other usual suspects; MudflatsShannyn Moore,HenkimaaCeltic DivaImmoral Minority, and more (check my links to the right for additional sites)

I’ve heard and learned a staggering amount during these hearings. Some words have left me in absolute awe of the intelligence, bravery, and perseverance on display. Other words are harder to drink away.

During our time in chambers, those in attendance have heard from our friends, family, and neighbors. We have heard Alaskan legal opinions,  medical opinions, the One In Ten and Identity Reports conducted in the 80’s and presented to this Assembly by one of the reports’ authors, Mel Green of Henkimaa. We’ve heard from our own Equal Rights Commission. We even heard from Vic Fischer, who helped write our state constitution, as a delegate of the Alaska Constitutional Convention. All offered their unwavering support in the pursuit of equality.

Many don’t view this ambitious catalog of participants as evidence painting an urgent need for this ithinkthereforiamlegislation, nor do they recognize it as grounds for legal precedent. Some view it as utterly obsolete, simply because Jerry Prevo says so. Some people speaking before the assembly, as well as from the Reverend himself, preaching from the pulpit of the Anchorage Baptist Temple, have challenged that religious institutions should be exempt from codes dictating tolerance on matter of “sexual behavior,” ignoring the reality that this ordinance does no such thing. It offers protection regarding sexual orientation. They are two separate issues; Sexual behavior is a choice to proceed in a manner reflective of your morals. Sexual orientation is a core part of who you are. Who we all are, no matter if you choose to thump a bible or a bed stand; indifferent to which bible you thump, or which gender attracts your gaze.

There are those who have claimed that this violates the First Amendment, which affords all citizens of the United States our most intrinsic freedoms. However, this specific translation of the United States Constitution is as narrow as the interpretations of the Bible that these men and women subscribe to, and equally as devoid of context and intent. Our First Amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or the prohibiting free exercise thereof.”Free exercise is explicitly different than free reign, and this Amendment was carefully designed to offer protection both for and from religion and its often conflicting interpretations, written by framers (largely deists) who in no way wished to write into law a narrative where they were actors in an American theocracy. Glenn Beck can tea-bag himself until he’s blue in the face and the cows come home. He still can’t change that fact.

For now, the fate of Ordinance 64 rests with the Assembly. We need to keep showing up, and keep reminding the Assembly that we won’t go away. The filibuster put in place by certain shadows of organized religion in our society (what Shannyn Moore has dubbed X-ians), has lasted long enough to usher in a new Mayor, and regardless of how these Assembly proceedings pan out, will most likely result in a ballot measure for the public to vote on. But if we are unsuccessful in passing this ordinance, it will remove us from having an established precedent to base future attempts on. And, this legislation is absolutely still on the table and a risky choice, for the elected Assembly members, between constituents (long thought to be a minority) who fight for a better future within the Anchorage community, and crusaders (the alleged majority) who, in the case of one local church, the Northern Lights Baptist Temple, clearly state in their charter that religious law supercedes state and federal law, declaring a “sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origins.” Being above the law is granting special rights; granting equality is upholding civil rights.

Courtesy of Floridana Alaskiana v2.5 (and congrats!!)

Courtesy of Floridana Alaskiana v2.5 (and congrats!!)

Tomorrow, the struggle continues, and along with it all the sideshow highlights: the busing in from the valley, the faux-grass roots, mass produced, carbon copy signs delivered in a single red pick up truck, and the convenient childcare service that will, no doubt, form again outside on the lawn; equality opponents dropping their impressionable children off, who are forced to represent an inherited ideology independent of personal growth and development, to display messages of hate while Mom and Dad attend the meeting.

Inside, we have heard testimony that has cut deep into our LGBT community.

One sentiment that has profoundly struck me is the passionate debate regarding differences between this and other civil rights movements. On a personal note, I make a concentrated effort to keep the different movements separated. The Civil Rights Movement was its own struggle, as was the Womens Rights Movement. But, this is a civil rights issue of its own, and shouldn’t be dismissed as anything less. And to those who ask: “where are the fire hoses and where are the police dogs?” With all due respect, I would humbly submit in return: Is that what you need to see before you react?

I had trouble not reacting to a nurse, who offered testimony asserting that sexual orientation is social engineering on par with Nuremberg and the Tuskegee experiments. I had trouble with a dentist’s sudden outburst, saying “I don’t want gay folks putting their fingers in my mouth!” (That one really conflicted with my entire concept of modern dentistry, and caused panic that a proctologist might be next in line to speak) One gentleman boasted about having to be restrained after assaulting a gay man who, many would argue, just paid him a compliment (Would he have beaten a woman who hit on him too, if he didn’t find her satisfactory?). Possibly most audacious was hearing a terminal AIDS patient described as a “cesspool of life,” while in a similar description wee heard the disease (which has no sexual orientation or preference) defined as a complication due to a lifestyle. Abomination. Perversion. Deviance. And there’s been some talk about the fate of our restrooms, too.

Hate, in no way, results in the betterment of a society. And we are foolish if we pretend that Anchorage is somehow immune.

The vicious and twisted accusations put on display for this Assembly are followed up, often in the same breath, with the position that this is rushed legislation, and that we would be better served by an exploratory committee, and an issued report based on its findings. I would posit that any of us, including those who serve us on the Assembly, who have sat in these chambers over the past handful of meetings, or watched from home, our out in the lobby, have represented and effectively participated in such a committee. You can read the findings in the ADN, Anchorage Press, the Northern Light, Mudflats, Shannyn Moore, Celtic Diva, Henkimaa, Progressive Alaska, Immoral Minority, among countless others. We’ve explored every ugly side of this issue, both in fact, fiction, and deranged fantasy. And that all important report has already been filed. Through hearing this public testimony, we, as citizens have been shown, beyond a shadow of doubt, the dire necessity of equal rights legislation.

And we need to show the Assembly, Mayor Sullivan, our members of the state legislature, Senators Murkowski and Begich, Representative Young, incoming-Governor Parnell, the media, and each other, that we won’t go away.

See you all tomorrow.

-john

Courtesy of Floridana Alaskiana v2.5

Courtesy of Floridana Alaskiana v2.5


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Most recent meeting wrap-up

July 8, 2009

Hey folks!  John and I weren’t able to make it to the meeting today as we were busy doing a mad dash to get back from our honeymoon, but here are some great articles that can give you an overview of what happened:

From Bent Alaska – Ordinance Hearing #5: Equality Rally and Town Hall, Today at the Library

From the Mudflats – Ordinance 64 Public Testimony – Live Blog

From the Anchorage Daily News – Assembly hears another round of gay rights testimony

I’ll keep an eye out for more posts as they come up, so keep checking back.  Also, feel free to send in any links if you come across anything.

Also, I thought I’d just link this as it brightened my day:

Voted “best couple” by their senior class at a South Bronx high school, out new graduates Victoria Cruz and Deoine Scott made history and helped to change attitudes.

Update:

Janson from Floridana Alaskiana has posted several articles and beautiful photographs of the most recent Assembly meeting.  Please check them out if you get a chance:

Obama and Hitler, oh my…

Ordinance 64 Continues, 07 July 2009 – Part 01

Ordinance 64 Continues, 07 July 2009 – Part 02

Ordinance 64 Continues, 07 July 2009 – Part 03

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Gearing up for Round Two

June 15, 2009

There’s been a lot written about the Assembly meeting that took place last Tuesday.  Some of it positive, some of it not.  It is evident that the people on the inside of the meeting had a very different experience than those who weren’t, either in the auxiliary room or outside the Loussac Library itself.

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting over the past week, but I don’t think that I have anything more productive to add after I’ve read some of these articles.  These writers are more eloquent than I am:

 

From Mel at Henkimaa.com

Identity Reports & One in Ten — now online!

Billboards

Assembly report 1 and Assembly report 2 as well as Outside influence

From the Alaska Commons

City Assembly Meeting Transcripts: Volume 1

City Assembly Meeting Transcripts: Volume 2

Eleven Hours in a Library; the City Assembly Meeting on Equal Rights Ordinance

(A special “Thank You” to my fiance for his infinite patience in taking the time to listen to the testimonies from last Tuesday and transcribe them word for word, or as close as he can get.  His dedication continues to impress and humble me.)

From Bent Alaska

Palin Snubs PrideFest, Wasilla Fundies Protest Gays

Photos from the Ordinance Hearing

Ordinance Hearing, Week 2

From Mudflats

Equal Rights in Anchorage. A Small Step on a Long Road.

From the Anchorage Daily News

Gay rights ordinance returns to Assembly

 

equality1I can tell you that I will be in the meeting room again this week if I can get a seat, and will be live blogging throughout so long as my laptop battery holds up.  If you are not able to physically attend to lend your support, please do so by sending your Assembly Representative your thoughts.  Most of them are willing and eager to hear what their constituents have to say about this matter.  So tell them.

Take care of each other tomorrow.