I hope you’ll join me May 4th in Billings for an amazing night of all-stars!
Monthly Archives: April 2013
Interchange- A Festival Of Color
Mark your calendars- because June is going to be a kick-ass month for Montanans into celebrating diversity and human rights!
Interchange is a festival conceived and created by the team who brought you Montana Pride 2012 and I’m proud to be a part of it. The lead on this is Tate Chamberlin- check out his video- it’s powerful:
When I was 15, I attempted suicide- a symptom, a statistic- of a social injustice. But I survived oppression with the hope of love. As we stand together and fight for equal rights, we look to one another for strength, support and power in numbers. Now as the tide turns our way, there is no turning back the power of history. With love and tears for all those who have suffered before us just wanting to be treated equal.
Listen closely. You are not sick, you are not a criminal. You are human, you are loved. You are not lambs- you are lions. It’s time to solve this. No more apologizing, no more hiding between pride and shame. We have to change us.
So Yeah. This is me. Might be you.
No more hiding- No more fear.
This is me.
I tried to kill it. I tried to hide it.
I’m not alone.
This is me. This is you.
This is us.
It’s time to get social.
Please share this.
- Join Pride Foundation Scholars At Special Reception (dgsmith.org)
- Two UM students awarded prestigious scholarships (missoulian.com)
Hepatitis C Seminar In Missoula
On Thursday, April 25th from 5:00pm-6:00pm, Open Aid Alliance is offering the first of three community seminars on hepatitis C. The first presentation will feature Dr. Rebecca Kinney. Dr. Kinney completed medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and did her residency at Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise. She is a family physician specializing in infectious diseases, with specific expertise in hepatitis C. This presentation will provide an overview of hepatitis C infection, transmission, and recommendations for testing. All three seminars are free and open to the public.
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
MCT Center for the Performing Arts (use the Main Street entrance)
For more information, call Open Aid Alliance at 406.543.4770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us for this opportunity to expand your knowledge of hepatitis C
Fair Is Fair
This past weekend was important to me for a number of reasons.
I got to meet and spend some quality time with one of my heroes, Bishop Gene Robinson. (story/interview to follow)
But I also got to meet and spend some quality time with dedicated Montana people who care about equality in our state. Some became even more strongly convinced after watching “Diversity Day” and “Love Free Or Die” presented in local churches.
Even I- a committed partner of the ACLU and the Fair Is Fair Campaign- became inspired after hearing Bishop Robinson speak about the need for Christian compassion and understanding in the face of fear and unintentional ignorance about LGBTIQ persons.
“Our job is to make this an issue of compassion and justice, not theology”, Bishop Robinson said. “We have to make the issue of fairness one that brings a face to mind whenever we talk about equality. This is about people.”
But being inspired is only as good as the actions it produces.
I want to encourage you to bolster the ACLU’s Fair Is Fair campaign by taking your inspiration and desire for justice and take action- by becoming a member.
My family belongs because we believe in the work of the ACLU. We believe it is important to support a coalition of organizations to bring full equality to all Montanans- but that only works if we all come together. The Montana ACLU is helping to make that happen, and I’m proud to be a supporting member.
I hope you’ll join us.
- You Don’t Want To Miss This: Big Gay Weekend In Billings (dgsmith.org)
- Win A Copy Of Love Free Or Die From ShockYa’s Twitter Giveaway (shockya.com)
- First gay Anglican bishop, Gene Robinson, reflects on tenure in New Hampshire (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Bishop Gene Robinson Predicts 6-3 Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down DOMA (ontopmag.com)
- ‘Love Free or Die,’ Film on Bishop Gene Robinson, Comes to DVD (advocate.com)
- Former Felons Celebration Thursday (dgsmith.org)
At INTERCHANGE: “Scripture and Science and Sex, OH MY!”
Evangelical Christian and LGBTIQ ally, Kathy Baldock, is confirmed for INTERCHANGE on Saturday June 29th at the Bozeman Public Library.
You may remember Kathy from last year’s Montana Pride Celebration- she was the one leading the contingent of people wearing T-shirts that said “Hurt by Church? Get a Str8 Apology Here.”
She also led the counter protest against the “Christian” on the ladder during the parade.
When I asked Kathy what she hoped to give us at this workshop, she said, “I want people to realize that the limits of scripture and science and human knowledge have to always be tempered by human experience. In the six years of engaging in dialogue with the straight Evangelical and Protestant communities, I have learned what works to bring understanding on the issue of homosexuality and the Bible. I want to help you find the way to productive conversations through Scripture, science, reasoning and discussion techniques.”
Kathy Baldock, of Canyonwalker Connections, represents the journey many Evangelical Christians are considering as they try to reconcile what the have been told about the LGBTQ community and what they are experiencing in relationship with gay and transgender friends. The tension of “How do I understand what the Bible says?” with “How do I accurately represent Jesus?” is creating conflict in the conservative church. From her own life, Kathy will share how she has been able to guide people with their personal questioning in a new way to a fuller understand of the message of God’s inclusion of His LGBT children.
This presentation is sponsored by Gallatin Valley PFLAG.
- Evangelicals and the fundamentalist tendency (meetjesusatuni.com)
- Changes on the Evangelical Front (algemeiner.com)
Former Felons Celebration Thursday
Senate Bill 107 is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature and last week’s historic vote deserves a celebration!
SB107 finally removes the unconstitutional language from Montana law that labels gays and lesbians felons, punishable by fines of up to $50,000 and/or up to ten years in jail. It was ruled unconstitutional by the Montana Supreme Court in 1997, but remained on the state’s law books because of homophobia and fear. Last week it passed the Montana House on a 64-35 vote, after passing the Montana Senate 38-11.
The passage of SB107 is a “decades in the making” event that deserves some celebrating!
Come enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, music and fun sponsored by the Montana Human Rights Network, Planned Parenthood of Montana, ACLU of Montana, Pride Foundation, and generous personal donations from Senators Tom Facey, Christine Kaufmann, Pat and Carol Williams, Diane Sands, Jamee Greer and Linda Gryczan.
What: Former Felons Celebration
When: Thursday, April 18th at 5:30pm
Where: Jorgenson’s Ballroom, 1714 11th Ave. in Helena
Cost: Free, although donations accepted!
** Governor Steve Bullock will sign Senate Bill 107 earlier that day in a special signing event in the Montana Capitol Building Rotunda at 12:30pm.
All supporters are welcome to attend!
And yes-I’ll be at that signing. No way I’d miss it…..
Baucus Continues Fight Against DOMA
I have to be honest, last year when Max Baucus announced his support for marriage equality, I was surprised. I didn’t expect him to be the first statewide elected Democrat in Montana to take this step. Since this time, Max has continued to impress me with his commitment to pursuing full equality for LGBT Montanans.
Last month, when the US Supreme Court heard cases on LGBT relationships, Baucus announced that he would sign-on as a cosponsor of the DOMA repeal bill in the Senate. And this past weekend he sent out an email to his campaign email list asking everyone on the list to stand up for marriage equality. The email read:
The federal government shouldn’t interfere in people’s private lives. And it shouldn’t legislate who can and cannot enter into a loving, committed relationship.
But that’s exactly what it does right now. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) denies federal benefits to same-sex couples, even if they’re legally married in their own states.
It’s not fair. And there’s a growing movement to see DOMA overturned. For the first time, a majority of Senators are standing up for marriage equality. And I wanted to give you the opportunity to join us.
It’s time to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. Click here to add your name in support of marriage equality.
In Montana, we believe in personal freedom. We believe the government shouldn’t interfere in the people’s private business.
Overturning DOMA will give same-sex couples, married legally in their states, equal rights under federal law. Add your name.
Thank you for your support to help end marriage discrimination.
It’s great to see a US Senator that has Max’s prominence take such a strong stand and make such a commitment to equality for all Montanans. I quickly signed on to his petition.
Also of note, while Max is standing up for equality for all Montanans, his Republican opponents have doubled-down on their bigotry.
You Don’t Want To Miss This: Big Gay Weekend In Billings
Bishop Gene Robinson is a pioneer, and I’m really looking forward to meeting him- this is a big deal for Montana.
I’m also excited about Gregory Hinton’s play about the Missoula non-discrimination ordinance. It promises to be an informative, enlightening and inspirational weekend for everyone interested in equality. I will be in Billings Friday through Sunday- I hope to see you there!
B.A.S.S Copper Cotillion May 4th
Butte AIDS Support Services holds their Third Annual Copper Cotillion to benefit those living with HIV in Southwest Montana. Check out their Facebook event page here.