Archives GLBT Equal Rights

Gay & Lesbian Adoptive Family Study GALOP - Black Services Development Project

"HOMOSEXUALS OVER THE LINE ON BOY SCOUTS"

New Legislation in New Zealand for Same-Sex Couples
Help End Workplace Discrimination! When Equality Is Not Equal
Freedom to be Yourself

HRC's Response to ExxonMobil Statements

Poll: Majority back U.S. job discrimination law

TAMPA BAY COALITION FINDS TROVILLION'S ANTI-GAY DIATRIBE OF TEENS DESPICABLE School's Out! National
Coca-Cola & DP Rights  

Vol. III Issue 5 March 2002

Florida State University School of Social Work LOGO

Gay & Lesbian Adoptive Family Study

            The Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Family Project is a new research study being conducted at the Florida State University's School of Social Work by Dr. Scott Ryan and Dr. Scottye Cash.

            This study will look at a national sample of gay and lesbian individuals and couples who have adopted children.

            Please contact the research team for more information, or check out the project website at http://ssw.fsu.edu/gladoptions/ .

            Participation includes the completion of a mailed survey.  To receive a survey, leave your name, complete mailing address, phone number, and the number of adopted children in the home at 1-888-290-3155 or e-mail the information requested to gladoptions@hotmail.com .

            Please be assured that the phone and e-mail account are both password protected, and that only members of the research team have access to the information.


Vol. II Issue 7 August 2001

GALOP - Black Services Development Project

GALOP is London's only Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) anti-violence charity.  We provide assistance to survivors of homophobic violence abuse and harassment.  We also provide support in dealing with
the police.

GALOP's Black Services Development Project (targeted at the Asian, African and Caribbean LGB communities) is currently carrying out a needs assessment looking at the Black LGB experience of homophobic violence.

The needs assessment will be exploring the following areas:
Racism within the LGB community
Homophobia in the Asian, African and Caribbean communities
The extent of homophobic violence faced by the Black LGB communities
Service provision for the Black LGB communities
The Black LGB communities experience of policing

Interested individuals can either request a questionnaire or take part in a face-to-face interview.  The results of the needs assessment will be published and launched in November 2001.  The findings will be used to secure additional funding for the Black Services Development project and to set up services identified in the needs assessment.

If your organisation has Black LGB members, employees or clients who would be interested in taking part they can contact the project at
galop@onetel.net.uk or on 0207 704 6767.  All information will be kept
confidential.

Asfa Malik
Black Services Development Worker
GALOP


Vol. I Issue 13 September 10, 2000

"HOMOSEXUALS OVER THE LINE ON BOY SCOUTS"

From SWS Member Terry Here is a letter to the editor of the Antelope Valley Press (a somewhat conservative newspaper - in a very conservative Palmdale/Lancaster/Antelope Valley area - home to Pete Knight of California). Quoted by the writer with some notes from me.

"I'm sure most of you have read about the Supreme Court allowing the Boy Scouts to choose with whom they wish to associate. Reasonable? Certainly. Did you also read that the gay groups vowed to fight any public funding for the Boy Scouts? The homosexuals labeled the Boy Scouts as being akin to the KKK."  (My words, somehow this guy must have taken something out of context as I seriously doubt gays would associate the Boy Scouts with such a violent, racism organization - continuing).

"Taking vengeance against the Boy Scouts is absolutely unconscionable. What arrogance. Pete King of the East Bay Pride said, {they can be sure that we will be out in the cities and out in the counties making sure they (Boy Scouts) get no public assistance ever again}.  "Folks, I don't know about you, but I've had it with homosexuals. I've tried hard to be tolerant and nonjudgmental as far as they're concerned, but no longer. They have turned me 180 degrees against them. I hope they are happy with this attitude that will most certainly backfire against them. Up till now I have supported them in a lot of their attempts to NORMALIZE themselves in the sight of the world, but it's all over. We are parting company as of now and I frankly hope that they are stopped from any more advancements of their sometimes questionable demands." CHARLES E. COMPTON, Palmdale, California.
Well -- this guy is so ignorant I am not at all sure how to respond to him -- but I seriously want to. I live in an area that is very homophobic and so I do my little part in openly showing that I am gay by my rainbows and my cap that's say I am gay all in the hopes that people will see gays as we really are - just like them, their sons, daughters, grand children, friends, neighbors and employee's etc. etc. etc.
Mr. Compton above is obviously akin to Elmer Fudd. If the Boy Scouts do in fact receive public funding then by all means I think they should NOT be allowed to decide who can or can't be in their clubs - it is after all everyone's tax money to include gays who just happen to make above average salaries thus paying more in taxes - hope I am right here?. I do have to say that I've always felt strongly that people have the right to associate with whom they please under the right circumstances - that is girls clubs don't want boys there, the VFW certainly does not want people who did not serve during WAR - on and on. And I've always felt it was a terrible loss for the Boy Scouts to discriminate against gays - and that it in fact is one large slap in the face of all homosexual men and a continuance of the myth that gay men will molest the boys.
But continuing with Elmer above. He is, always has been and will continue to be INTOLERANT of gays everywhere - his own letter just shines brightly with his own ignorance - he has "had it with homosexuals" and "tried hard to be tolerant and nonjudgmental as far as THEY'RE concerned". Mr. Compton is about as tolerant as a white hooded person at a diversity meeting. I wonder, is he tormented by having to be tolerant of blacks, hispanic's, asians - and I could be mistaken he may be of some ethnic background - but somehow I think his only ethnicity is in being a red neck homophobic hater who is hiding his real feelings. I'd like to turn him a 180 degrees, maybe even 360. With this kind of mans help and support, I think the gay community will be that much
better off with him out front of us, then behind us. So, at minimum it makes two of us happy that he is parting company with the gay community.
I read and read again his statement "supported - attempts to normalize themselves in the sight of the world". What in the world is he talking about, normalize - how about just being accepted as human beings - something that African Americans (especially) and Hispanic's are still trying to do within white America - almost 140 years after their freedom was won and the Declaration of Independence was applied equally and wholly to them. Finally Mr. Compton's last statement of "stopped from - advancements of - questionable demands". Well, I guess he has his right to his opinion, but I am surprised that someone would put such rubbish from their mouths in printed form in the local paper. As far as I can tell gays, like everyone before us, currently and in the future - we just want what the so called normal society gives itself, to be treated humanely and legally. The gay agenda is not to take over the world by noon, nor even your children's sex education classes nor to run the Boy
Scouts management - but only acceptance as it was meant as part of the "pursuit of happiness" upon which so many died - so I could live peacefully with nincompoops who could have such moronic views of life.
Well.... if anyone wants to add comments or has a thought about this idiots letter and would like to include it or have my consider including it in my letter to the editor, please fill free to Email me at; tboner4@hotmail.com

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Vol. I Issue 18 April 30, 2001

New Legislation in New Zealand for Same-Sex Couples
Four new pieces of legislation with significance for same-sex couples were passed by the Parliament in New Zealand on Thursday, 29 March 2001.
Legislation was introduced in March 1998 to amend the Matrimonial Property
Act 1976 (for married couples) and to create a new De Facto Property Act to
provide property rights for de facto different-sex couples. There was much debate about the inclusion of same-sex couples, and the National Party Government of the time delayed final consideration of both pieces of legislation to avoid responding to the call to include same-sex couples - an election was looming!
The Labour/Alliance Coalition Government (elected in November 1999) reactivated the passage of the legislation, and incorporated both Bills into one piece of property legislation designed to provide for married couples, de facto different-sex partners, and same-sex partners. They have also received the support of the Greens Party.
The Bills which have now been passed are:
1) The Property (Relationships) Amendment Act 2001 - This will give same-sex couples and de facto different-sex couples the same relationship property rights (and obligations) as married couples upon the breakdown of a
relationship. Essentially, there is to be a presumption of 50-50 division of
property for couples who have been together in a relationship "in the nature
of marriage" for a period of three years or more. Division is based on contribution to the relationship (not just to the relationship property).
There is a provision which allows for contracting out.
2) The Administration Amendment Act 2001 - This will give same-sex partners access to the same rights as married partners in relation to the estate of a deceased partner who has not left a will.
3) The Family Protection Amendment Act 2001 - This will provide same-sex
partners with the same rights and legal standing to make a claim against the
estate of a deceased partner where, for example, the deceased's will is out-of-date or has failed to make provision for the surviving partner. 
4) The Family Proceedings Act 2001 - This will provide for "spousal maintenance" after relationship breakdown (where necessary) - but is a separate issue from the division of property.
The most contentious issues for conservative opposition groups have been:
(a) the inclusion of same-sex couples and de facto opposite-sex couples in
the same provisions as married couples - many arguments around the "sanctity
of marriage";
(b) the provisions relating to "future economic disparity" and ability of the courts to award a lump-sum payment to offset this;
(c) the fact that property legislation will now apply to, for example, the situation where a married man has a "secondary (de facto) relationship" - and the de facto partner makes some form of claim. That is, the provisions apply to successive and contemporaneous relationships.
On the other hand, these are seen as the first major pieces of legislation to be compliant with New Zealand's human rights legislation. For same-sex couples, while there is still a feeling that our relationships are now being recognised if they come to an end, but not being recognised when they begin or throughout their existence. At the same time, however, there are other issues which Government is considering, such as child adoption and guardianship/custody/access issues, and the possibility of the legal recognition of same-sex relationships. We remain confident that this is not the end of legislative inclusion, but the first step.
All this legislation comes into effect on 1 February 2002.
I am more than happy to attempt to answer any queries about the legislation.
Nigel Christie
Solicitor (Attorney)
Wellington
New Zealand
Message originated from laglauk@hotmail.com

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Vol. III Issue 4 February 2002

This was addressed to Members in Ohio, however I believe we all need to address this from wherever we live! Len

TO: ACLU Action Network Members in Ohio
FR: Angela Colaiuta, National Field Organizer
DT: February 25, 2002

Help End Workplace Discrimination!

In the ideal world, everyone would be judged on the quality of their work. Today, however, many hardworking and successful workers continue to find themselves judged only by their sexual orientation rather than their work performance. In fact, it is perfectly legal in 38 states to fire someone because of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would protect against workplace discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation.  This legislation, called the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA), S. 1284, does not call for preferential treatment or quotas and it excludes the military and businesses with fewer than 15 employees.  It simply offers the same protections against discrimination for gays, lesbian and bisexual employees that should be provided to all workers. After all, workplace fairness is a basic American value.

Take Action! It is important that Senator DeWine support this legislation and attend the hearing! You can read more about this legislation, and send a special FREE FAX from our action alert at:

http://www.aclu.org/action/endahearing107.html

Thank you.

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Vol. II Issue 7 August 2001

When Equality Is Not Equal
By: Len aka Codi

     The main reason for StoneWall Society as many of you know is to address the problem of a lack of equality from within our own community. This occurs when we as GLBT community members use discriminatory and or prejudicial methods against our own. Do not believe this rarely occurs, it does and frequently. I find it particularly distasteful when I see GLBT groups taking part in prejudicial, discriminatory actions. Especially when the group/groups in question use words like Equal and Equality as a part of their name.  The reason being the name indicates the group is in some way active in seeking equality.

     When any equality group's focus becomes distracted from the issue of equality, they are breaking the chain, disrupting their community, and furthering the cause of those who would prevent equality. By distracted I am referring to actions which are a detriment to the community as a whole or to the group itself. Many times this is action by individual members, not the group or organization. However when that group or organization fail to arrest the distraction, and make a correction, they are aiding the distracter. In that the group/organization become equally responsible for the negative force, possible destruction, and loss of credibility. It is in this vein which I write this article.

     This is intended as a support issue for the group Equality Alliance. I have participated in QUEER RIGHTS, the e-mail discussion list run by the Equality Alliance for about a year now. I have immense respect for most of its members, the work I have seen done, and especially the information they make available. They have done much to educate and assist issues of equality. Recently however, something has changed. And not for the better.

     The following is from the current welcome letter you receive when subscribing to "the list".

"Welcome to QUEER RIGHTS, the e-mail discussion list run by the Equality Alliance.

This list is for activists to exchange information and discuss ideas that are relevant to past, present or future LGBT campaigns.

To post a message to the list, send it to . To unsubscribe, send a blank message to . (I have removed the links as I do not have permission to post them here. A link to the Equality Alliance will be provided at the end.)

Before contributing, please remember that the people who subscribe to QUEER RIGHTS have varied backgrounds and beliefs. We expect a respectful debate and will not tolerate prejudice or personal abuse.

Thanks for joining us!" (this was signed by the list Moderator Marky.

     The above statement is not only hypocritical, but also false. At least by the conduct I saw. I have seen nothing on the Equality Alliance website which substantiates, justifies or indicates that the Equality Alliance itself would approve of the actions which recently went on within the list. I have sent my list of issues to several members of E.A. in hopes of a resolution from within E.A.. However to date there has been no response.

     That the moderator and a few members would not only practice selective equality, but include vicious attacks at a personal level, foul language indicating to "go away" if you disagree, and threats of suspension to individuals who disagreed with the conduct, is more dictatorial than equal. I have resigned from the list over this issue. To allow certain people to post and not others, to only post one viewpoint, that being the one with which you agree, are not in my opinion acts of equality. I understand there may be reasons why an activist is not popular. However, there should be preset methods of handling personal disagreements and accusations other than what I would classify as tabloid standard conduct. Persecution is persecution no matter what the guise. For any part of an organization calling itself Equality Alliance to permit such activity is counterproductive to the overall cause of equality, After all, if internal disagreements are not handled with professionalism why would we want to empower these persons to act in our behalf? 

     Again, my hope would be that the Equality Alliance itself would not permit such socially and politically suicidal behavior. My goal in writing this is to inform the E.A. that their services are being abused. That they are not helping the issue of equality anywhere with the infighting, name calling, and personal attacks. The statement above states they will not tolerate prejudice or personal abuse. Well the moderator and several members not only tolerate but practice both. So my question is;  "What are you doing to arrest this community effecting negative behavior Equality Alliance?" As there has been no answer from emails I have sent, public questioning is the only recourse left. If you agree with these statements, take a minute and visit the Equality Alliance website, drop them a line and let them know we the GLBT community need their activity, involvement, and positive works. Please return to the business of equality for all, equally, and end this personal tirade by a few members. I also suggest a list of formal guidelines for the list moderator/moderators. If allegations and accusations need to be addressed, do so properly with a panel of the community, present both arguments, reach a decision based on fact not he said/she said. Then get back to business as usual.

    During times of such dissent and stress these groups need our support. They need to know that we appreciate the good things they are accomplishing. They need to hear our, the GLBT community feedback. I resigned the list out of frustration. I would hate to see many others do so as well. I will always support the efforts of E.A. with regards to legitimate equality. As well am happy to,  as I have in the past, provide space for their announcements. I will not accept the rude and immature behavior I have seen directed at others and myself. Equal does not in any way indicate accepting less or unjust treatment. You may visit E.A. at http://equality-alliance.diversity.org.uk/ . You will see on the website, they have achieved many positive goals and do a great job of information sharing. It is my sincerest hope they return to their previous record, end the attacks, and institute some moderator controls. It would be a literal horror for our community to loose such a productive force over internal personal likes and dislikes. However, it would not be the first time that internal dissention and personal ego has destroyed a needed and positive force for our community.

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Vol. II Issue 6 Special Issue 2001

Freedom to be Yourself

The Liberal Democrat Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Manifesto 2001

A message from Charles Kennedy

The ideals of freedom and social justice are why I am involved in politics, and why I am a member of the Liberal Democrats. Social justice is partly about tackling the divides between rich and poor in Britain. But it is also about ensuring that Britain is a just society for all, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

Liberal Democrats have a consistent track record on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. We have given these issues a clear priority in our work in Parliament, where Labour's nervous promises have not been matched by determined action. The issue of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace is serious and must be addressed; Section 28 is as wrong now as it
was in 1988 and must go; transgender people must have full civil rights; and same-sex partners must be properly recognised within the law.

The civil liberty agenda is ground upon which the Liberal Democrats have stood fast. We will continue to stand fast throughout this election and into the next Parliament. With your support, we can win more votes and more seats to be a still more powerful voice for equal rights for all.

The Liberal Democrat Philosophy

"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity... Upholding these principles of individual and social justice, we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation" - Preamble to the Liberal Democrat Constitution

The Liberal Democrats put freedom first. Freedom is about promoting independence for individuals and communities. For many actions, the lowest appropriate level to make decisions must remain the individual, with the opportunity to live our lives as we choose, without trampling the rights of others. We celebrate diversity, and believe that every individual is too important to be bullied. Freedom also needs fairness. We want to see social justice in Britain, which means equality before the law and fighting the inequalities and threats that people face because of their sexuality or gender identity. Liberal Democrats will not tolerate a society where some are treated as second class citizens.

For most groups in society, equal opportunities are gradually replacing discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of sex, disability or race, for example, is not only frowned upon, but illegal. However, while there have been many piecemeal improvements over recent years, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity is still legal, often seen as acceptable, and sometimes set in the law itself. This must change. Ignoring equal opportunities for some undermines a decent society for all. It is a key role of the state to enhance liberty, enabling each individual to seek personal fulfilment and enrich all the community. A society that values diversity and is based on equal rights for all is a stronger, more open society.

The Liberal Democrats have been unwavering advocates of equality and individual rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people. The voice of minorities should never be silenced because of political expedience - and we have not let that happen. You have the chance to support the team with the strongest record demanding equality and promoting diversity across Britain. In Scotland, where the Liberal Democrats are part of the government, Section 28 has been abolished. Labour on their own at Westminster have failed to achieve this.

The Liberal Democrats are the only people who can deliver this because only we put freedom first. We are the only political party whose primary mission is to protect, promote and proclaim freedom, delivering new opportunities to every citizen in a liberal society. That is the challenge for Britain in 2001. That is what this document is all about.

Freedom to Live: Health

Health is a fundamental freedom. No-one can fulfill their potential without good health. We will invest more in early detection and prevention, saving money in the long run as well as achieving better levels of health.

We will:

Extend legislation against discrimination on grounds of disability to include perceived disabilities such as HIV infection, and give patients access to independent advocates. We will also make more tests available in GP surgeries and pharmacies for HIV/AIDS, maintaining the availability of
counselling, and develop new NHS National Service Frameworks on hepatitis C and HIV and AIDS.

We also advocate fair and effective aid policies to address the greatest problems of developing countries and promote democracy and human rights. As part of this programme, we will:

Step up the fight against HIV/AIDS. We will increase backing for the development of an AIDS vaccine. We will support large-scale AIDS/HIV education programmes and press for mother to child AIDS treatment drugs to be made available more cheaply.

Freedom from Crime: Law and Order

We all want freedom from crime and the fear of crime that blights the lives of many people. The state must offer all its citizens equal and adequate protection in law enforcement, and equal treatment under the law. Government must help free individuals from oppression, but it is equally important that government itself does not become oppressive.

The law and the police have a mixed record in providing support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The Liberal Democrats will reform the law and build on the good practice established by many police forces, to make the police more effective and increase public confidence in them from all sections of society.

We will:

Tackle hate crimes. We will establish police hate crime investigation units to co-ordinate information and action against racist, homophobic and other hate crimes. We will also legislate against hate crimes and incitement to hatred by widening current legislation to include all hate crimes on the same basis as that existing for racially motivated crime.

Make the police more accountable. Public confidence in the police has declined. As well as seeking to improve the visibility of the police and improving police relations with the whole community, we will create a genuinely independent police complaints system to deal with complaints speedily, efficiently and impartially. We will encourage police forces to be more representative of the communities they serve.

Ensure that fostering and adoption law and practice are based on the suitability of individual fosterers and the needs of the child.

Freedom to be Yourself: Civil Liberties

Civil liberties are the basis of a genuinely free society. Civil liberties are about protecting individuals' freedoms from all those who would attack them - lawbreakers and lawmakers alike. They are essential to a liberal society in which people are enabled to fulfill their potential and make informed choices about their lives. Civil liberties must be promoted not only by fairer new laws, but also by attacking discrimination and changing attitudes to celebrate diversity as a source of strength.

Civil Liberties are at the core of our critique of the other parties. Both are dominated by illiberal, authoritarian desires to interfere in people's lives. The Labour Government has been too quick to boss people around, and not quick enough to tackle discrimination. Labour's habit of saying anything to anyone has repeatedly led them to smile in friendship to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, then back down as soon as they are put under pressure by the friends of bigotry. They refused Liberal Democrat proposals to tackle homophobic attacks, and delayed attempts to get rid of Section 28 until too late in the Parliament to succeed. The Conservatives
pushed through Section 28 and have fought vociferously to keep it. While some individual Tories have stood up for decency, the party today uses the extremist rhetoric of hate to try to profit by prejudice. Labour's fear of doing much to change anything hardly challenges such attitudes.

Liberal Democrats will strip away discriminatory laws and establish a strong framework of individual rights, extending the protection already afforded by European law, so that the rights of the individual outweigh the power of the Government to tell them what to do. Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people must end, in law, in the workplace, in the armed forces and in society. As a basis for the freedom to live their own lives, transgender people need the ability to change their birth certificate. The key to all this will be our Equality Act.

We will:

Strengthen the fight against discrimination with an Equality Act. This will fight unfair discrimination on whatever grounds, including race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age or gender identity. A new Equality Commission will be able to investigate potential breaches of the Act and take action in its own name. We will also create a separate Human Rights Commission to safeguard human rights. 

Establish a scheme for the civil registration of partnerships. This will give two unrelated adults who wish to register a settled personal relationship legal rights which are at present only available to married couples, including for example maintenance, property, inheritance, pensions, immigration, tax and social security, rights as next of kin, adoption and fostering and employee benefits.

Repeal Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act, which gives legal sanction to discrimination, prevents schools taking effective measures against bullying and hampers responsible sex education.

Free immigration laws from discrimination. We will ensure that immigration policy is non-discriminatory in its application. We will reform current immigration laws so families of all kinds are not divided.

Support recent European anti-discrimination legislation. We will back measures under Article 13 of the Treaty of Amsterdam on anti-discrimination. This includes employment legislation and action.

Promote equal opportunities in the armed forces. We will oppose unfair discrimination in the forces.

Protect privacy. Privacy is protected by the European Convention on Human Rights which is now incorporated into UK law. We believe that there should be a presumption in favour of an individual's freedom from intrusion into their private life and that it should be up to the Government to prove the need for it.


Mark Ynys-Mon
Internet Officer DELGA
Liberal Democrats for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality
http://www.delga.libdems.org/delga/

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Vol. II Issue 6 Special Issue 2001

HRC's Response to ExxonMobil Statements

This rebuttal was issued by the Human Rights Campaign in response to statements made June 13, 2001, by officials of Exxon Mobil Corporation:

1. ExxonMobil's Non-Discrimination Statement (covering U.S. employees only)

ExxonMobil's nondiscrimination policy does not include the words "sexual orientation." In ExxonMobil's "Standards of Business Conduct," (the document it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1999 and 2000 in attempting to oppose a shareholder resolution on this subject), it states:

"It is the policy of Exxon Mobil Corporation to provide equal employment opportunity in conformance with all applicable laws and regulations to individuals who are qualified to perform job requirements regardless of their race, color, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, veteran or other legally protected status. [italics ours] Managers and supervisors are responsible for implementing and administering this policy, for maintaining a work environment free from unlawful discrimination, [italics ours] and for promptly identifying and resolving any problem area regarding equal employment opportunity."

To discriminate based on sexual orientation is not unlawful in most jurisdictions of the United States. First, discrimination based on sexual orientation is not covered by federal law. Second, it is perfectly legal in 39 states (38 when Maryland goes into effect Oct. 1) to discriminate based on sexual orientation in hiring, firing, promoting or other employment-related decisions.

ExxonMobil spokesman Tom Cirigliano told The Washington Post (May 24, 2001): "We include things that the U.S. government forces us to [italics ours], and then there's the statement we follow as a matter of practice around the world and that is a statement that doesn't break out any group," Cirigliano said. "If we continued to add to that U.S. statement, where would we stop?"

It is clear that Cirigliano admits the ExxonMobil policy does not include sexual orientation. He is also stating that the company only covers certain classes of people because it is "forced" to by the federal government. It is unfortunate that it is ExxonMobil's position that it will not provide full and fair compensation and protection to all of its employees unless forced to by a government body.

2. ExxonMobil's statement on harassment in the workplace (modified for application in the U.S., according to the company's "Standards of Business Conduct")

ExxonMobil's Statement on Harassment does not include sexual orientation. It states: "It is the policy of Exxon Mobil Corporation to prohibit any form of harassment in any company workplace. The policy prohibits unlawful harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, veteran or other protected status, as well as any other form of harassment, even if the harassing conduct is lawful." [italics ours] If ExxonMobil intends to include gay and lesbian employees in this policy, it should state so explicitly.

3. ExxonMobil's reference on its website

ExxonMobil makes reference to sexual orientation on its website. The website is not the employee handbook nor does it constitute the corporation's official human resources policies. Such a random reference is of questionable value when an employee goes to enforce the policy. If ExxonMobil intends to specifically protect its employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation, the policy needs to be stated explicitly and clearly in its official human resources documents. ExxonMobil has not taken this step, which is precisely why it fought three separate shareholder resolution actions aimed at this result. The latest shareholder resolution asking the company to adopt a nondiscrimination policy based on sexual orientation received 13 percent of the shareholder vote on May 30, 2001. In the proxy statement, ExxonMobil claims to protect its employees based on sexual orientation; based on all documents known to the Human Rights Campaign, this is simply not true.

4. ExxonMobil's position on domestic partner benefits

At the time of the ExxonMobil merger, Exxon closed the Mobil program to all additional employees. ExxonMobil has said no employee has complained about this decision. Our response is a simple one: What employee would? The Human Rights Campaign has heard from a number of current ExxonMobil employees who have shared with us they feel too intimidated to advocate for reinstatement of the Mobil nondiscrimination policy and the domestic partner coverage. The fact is it appears that ExxonMobil's current corporate culture is experienced by some employees as hostile to such suggestions.

Providing domestic partner benefits is a fundamental part of providing fair and equitable compensation. Because lesbian and gay Americans cannot get married, those at ExxonMobil can never reach economic parity with their married colleagues, who take for granted that their spouses and children have access to health insurance and other benefits.

More than 3,700 U.S. employers many with tens of thousands of employees have determined that they can structure a domestic partner benefits program that is "fair, rational and consistent," to borrow from ExxonMobil's rationale for why it closed Mobil's domestic partner benefits program. It defies logic that the largest corporation in the world can't do the same.

5. ExxonMobil in Context

ExxonMobil is not just out of step with most of the Fortune 500, it is out of step with its own industry.

ExxonMobil competitors Shell, Chevron, Sunoco, Atlantic Richfield, BP Amoco and Texaco explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, while BP Amoco, Chevron and Shell also offer domestic partner benefits.

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Vol. II Issue 6 Special Issue 2001

TBC News Update

Hello My Friends
Tampa Bay Coalition has learned of the Senate's vote on the Boys Scouts of America Equal Access Act,[H.R. 1, Sec. 922, Equal Access]. The U.S. Senate, on Thursday, voted 51-49 to punish public schools that deny the Boys Scouts equal access to their facilities.
Even though the Boys Scouts, as of yet were denied access to any public school facilities.  Conservative Republicans said the legislation would protect the Boy Scouts against discrimination by school leaders unhappy with the groups policies. In other words, it protects Boy Scout's right to discriminate and protects them from being discriminated against. It will force, those who condemn, have moral objections or policies that prohibit discrimination, to accept the Boys Scouts policy of discrimination. To do different, they risk the loss the government funding our taxes contributed to.

Although not unexpected, certainly unpleasant never the less. This is an outrage that a group that blatantly discriminates, is granted special protections that force others as unwilling participants in their discriminatory policy. What makes this so appalling, is the Boy Scouts policies discriminate against gays, so their rights to do so must be protected. Those who oppose this were just sent a message, by those elected to protect our rights no less. Discriminating against Gays is a right to be protected.
Zeke.
 
Should we remain silent and refused to be involved
We lose all right to complain on how things are,
But, if we join our voice with others and speak out loudly,
And, if we get actively involved in the pursuit of change,
We will all have much less to complain about.    Z.
R. Zeke Fread
Organizer - Coordinator
Tampa Bay Coalition
no2laura@tampabay.rr.com
TBC Main Entry & Index
http://tampabaycoalition.homestead.com/home.html

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Vol. II Issue 6 Special Issue 2001

Poll: Majority back U.S. job discrimination law

By Barbara Dozetos, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network

No matter how you ask the question, about two-thirds of U.S. adults think federal legislation should ban job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, according to a recent poll.

Because support can "vary widely depending on precise question wording," according to the Harris Poll released June 13, it divided almost 2,700 respondents into three groups. One group was asked simply whether it supported or opposed federal legislation that would ban job discrimination on sexual orientation grounds. The other two groups received more context for the question: One was also told that such legislation -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- is currently in the works, and the other heard that gays and lesbians can currently be fired in most places in the country just because of their sexual orientation.

Despite the difference in questions, levels of support for the legislation were almost identical -- 59 percent, 61 percent and 58 percent -- across the three groups. Opposition varied slightly more, from 20 percent of respondents in the first group to 29 percent of the people whose question specifically mentioned gays and lesbians.

The same poll, conducted online during the first two weeks of May by market research firm Harris Interactive and public relations company Witeck-Combs, also found that 42 percent of the population thinks federal protection from sexual orientation-based employment discrimination already exists. A third of respondents said they weren't sure; only a quarter correctly answered that such legislation does not exist. The 729 people who identified as friends and family members of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people fared a little better than the average heterosexual: The same quarter knew the right answer, but only 36 percent gave the wrong answer. They also tended to be more supportive than average of the legislation.

Almost half -- 47 percent -- of the 128 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered respondents knew the correct answer. Twenty-nine percent mistakenly believed they were federally protected. Another quarter didn't know.

A similar poll released by the Gallup organization earlier this month found that 84 percent of those polled support equal opportunity in the workplace. If you'd like to know more, you can find stories related to Poll: Majority back U.S. job discrimination law .  

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Vol. I Issue 18 April 30, 2001

TAMPA BAY COALITION FINDS TROVILLION'S ANTI-GAY DIATRIBE OF TEENS DESPICABLE, SHOULD SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS ACTIONS.

April 15, 2001
 
Press Release for Immediate Release
 
Contact: R. Zeke Fread  Organizer & Coordinator  (813) 251-0693
no2laura@tampabay.rr.com
TAMPA BAY, FL SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2001- Tampa Bay Coalition joins with GLSEN and Florida Equality and Denounces Rep. Allen Trovillion for his despicable treatment of Gay Students. We believe his actions to be cruel and calculating, inviting the students into his office, knowing fair well what he intended to say to them. Such tactics for a lawmaker to stoop to are deplorable. The students would have accepted and respected him for simply telling he did not approve of their proposal and even of homosexuality. They were certainly aware people have negative views on gays, after all they were there because
of those views.
 
  Trovillion abused his position in office, the ethics expected from our elected officials and the Gay Teens right to be treated with respect for participating in our governments lawmaking process. He has yet to even offer as much as Dr. Laura Apology. By refusing to do so, he continues to be a blight of discrimination and religious bigotry holding an office that is to be representative of all the people in his district. He has shown by his berating of our gay teens, he is guided by selective selections of scripture in his decision process. He ignores the premise of separation of church and state. He shows outward contempt, discrimination  and despise to those he does not agree with. This is a person who has a voice on decisions on granting or denying rights and protections to Gays. This is a person who must be challenged for his views and actions of recent condemnation of gay high school students and all gays. Because of powers he enjoys by his position as a lawmaker, he representatives and even greater threat to Gays then the Hate Speech of the Dr. Laura's of our world.
 
  Tampa Bay Coalition has contacted our Governor Jeb Bush, the House Speaker and a number of Senators expressing out outrage and requesting their public condemnation of Rep. Allen Trovillion and his disgraceful behavior. We have posted articles, statements by the DNC Chairman, Two other Senators and contact information for Trovillion, FL Governor and all U.S. Senate and House members on our web site. http://home.gay.com/boxerj/rights.html . We ask for help in contacting these lawmakers and for you to request public statements of condemnation by these government officials. Few have come forward publicly to do this to date. Trovillion has made such statements, of which he berated our gay teens with, as, "We are going to cause the downfall of this [Our] country, which was built on Christian principles",  "We are all going to hell", "God destroyed
Sodom and Gomorrah, he is going to destroy you [the students] and a lot of others [Gays]. He also was Quoting selective scripture, "No Homosexual will see the Kingdom of God" adding to that, "I can't put it much straighter than that".  Then to show even more intolerance of our victims of violence.  A student told him of being targeted for being attacked an beaten, because he was gay. The gay bashers were suspended for one day, he was also suspended. The school officials suggesting he provoked the violence directed at him for being, "to openly gay". Trovillion response to him was, "You suffer the consequences of your actions". Those actions were being the person you are. On this matter I partly agree, but, not to the gay teen brutally assaulted. To Trovillion, he should be made to  suffer the consequences of his actions. So we ask you to join us, Florida Equality and GLSEN to "Denounce"  Rep. Allen Trovillion. For his berating of these brave young gay activists who were trying to fight discrimination in our schools and make them safer for gay students. Please take a moment, view the material we have posted and learn what our gay youth had to endure at the hands of this
anti-gay fanatic. Then, I am sure you will see we must take action to protect our gay teens and show them we appreciate, support and are proud of them for their dedication to our community. Contact us if we can help you in any way in contacting our elected officials. If you are be discriminated against or a target of verbal or physical abuse at school, workplace or where you live. Thanking You In Advance For Taking a Stand Against Discrimination.

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Vol. I Issue 15 November 6, 2000

School's Out! National
Working for Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transperson equality in education
secretary@schools-out.org.uk       HTTP://www.schools-out.org.uk

An open letter From:-
Joint Action Against Homophobic Bullying (JAAHB); Families and Friends of
Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG) and School's Out!  November 2000

To:- Head Teachers and all school staff . School Governors, Parents, Local
Education Authorities

Dear Colleague-
Anti-Bullying Resources for Schools
We ask you to work with us to protect young people against homophobic bullying. Homophobic bullying exists, but it is going on out of sight. Even when a victim does ask for help, many school staff feel they do not have access to appropriate resources for dealing with it. But there are resources available. Please make sure young people in your school can securely ask for help-before things get too much for them.
Protection
Manchester County Court ruled last month that a local Grammar School was in breach of its duty of care for failing to protect a 12-year-old student against homophobic verbal abuse.  Damages were awarded. We believe that each and every school should equip itself both to defend its pupils against this kind of hidden abuse, and to protect itself against this sort of legal action. This is in the interests of children, schools, and society as a whole.
The law
When schools and LEAs take targeted action to combat homophobic bullying, the law sends them a clear message of support. Under the School Standards and Framework Act each Head Teacher has a legal duty to combat all forms of bullying equally. Under the Children Act, to protect young people from harm is the paramount duty of every responsible adult. This is an obligation on all schools, whether maintained, voluntary aided, or independent. Moreover the Act provides the same protection to all young people across the board, irrespective of their sexual orientation. Finally, Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 does not affect any maintained or independent school, or any school staff or governors. Government policy sends the same message. The Secretary of State's Circular 10/99 specifies that schools must combat homophobic bullying, and lays down the lines on which good practice should be developed. The same message is repeated in the new Sex and Relationship Education Guidelines.
Good Practice
Resources are available, nationwide. If you would like further information, or to discuss good practice, please contact: The JAAHB Project (Joint Action Against Homophobic Bullying) at The Intercom Trust on 01392 678744; School's Out! http://www.Schools-out.org.uk on 0116 251 0655; FFLAG (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) on 01392 279546.
Message originated from secretary@schools-out.org.uk

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Vol. I Issue 12 July 2, 2000

The Article Jacy Submitted.....

Rather than run an Ask Jacy column this month, I wanted to share this with you. Please read it all the way through, especially the last paragraph. There is an address to respond to.  Please write to them and politely but firmly, let them know that the writer has no idea what he is talking about.  I think it might be nice to drop a line to Coke to tell them we appreciate what they are doing for GLBT rights. Thanks, Jacy
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2000
http://www.afa.net/news_issues/Press_Releases/pr062300a.shtml

The Real Thing? Coca-Cola Grants DP Benefits to Homosexual Employees
TUPELO, MS - The Coca-Cola Company announced yesterday that it will extend health benefits to the domestic partners of its homosexual employees, triggering protests from the American Family Association.
"At Coca-Cola, marriage is no longer 'the real thing,' because the company has elevated same-sex relationships to the same level as the God-ordained institution of marriage," said Tim Wildmon, Vice President of AFA. "These health benefits have traditionally been reserved for married couples, because it was believed there was something special about marriage. In the eyes of Coca-Cola's leadership, that's no longer true. Two men shacking up is now the equivalent of a married couple."
Company president Jack L. Stahl said the change in policy, which will go into effect January 1, 2001, was made for the sake of diversity. "The Coca-Cola Company is committed to attracting and retaining the most diverse workforce in the world," adding that the announcement was another step toward achieving that goal.
"This isn't about diversity, or fairness, or even health benefits," Wildmon said, noting that domestic partner benefits are rarely used by homosexuals, who are notoriously promiscuous and rarely monogamous. "This is about homosexual activists getting corporate America to elevate their community to minority status. This is about politics and power, not economics or health."
Contact:  Tim Wildmon
(662) 844-5036, ext. 228

AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION
Post Office Drawer 2440
Tupelo, Mississippi  38803

The Action I have taken....

I have contacted the American Family Association by telephone and spoke with an individual who refused to identify themselves. I was informed that if I had a problem with A.F.A. or didn't agree with their stand that they did not want to hear what I had to say. The conversation was abruptly ended when the A.F.A. individual hung up. Brave souls aren't they? As well as open to freedom of speech, sorry couldn't help myself.

I have also written to the Coca-Cola Company and congratulated them on making an employment decision based on accurate criteria and not prejudicial rhetoric in the name of the StoneWall Society. Take a moment and do the same. It is equally important to show support especially if we expect support in return. Codi

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