FREE — 3 Days of Training!!!
(1/2 day) HIV/STD/HCV Update, (1/2 day) OraQuick Rapid Test & (2 days) HIV CTRS Training
(Counseling Testing and Referral Services)
June 24-26th, 2013
8am-5pm each day
Big Horn Resort, Billings, MT
Please register by May 14th!!!
Annual TAP 365 event features Montana’s first openly transgender attorney and author
The new grassroots advocacy group TAP 365 will partner with the YMCA Writer’s Voice for SIP 4 PRIDE: A Meet & Greet with Montana author Bobbie Zenker. The free event will held from 6 – 8 PM, Thursday, December 6, at the Yellowstone Cellars Winery, 1335 Holiday Circle, in Billings.
Bobbie Zenker is the author of the new book, TransMontana: a Memoir of Transformation of Body, Mind & Spirit. TransMontana is the story of Montana hunter and former county attorney Robert Zenker’s transition from a male, popularly elected official to modern, professional woman. She will read from and discuss her book, and sign copies available for purchase.
Robert Zenker was a married man and father of two, boxed in the psychologically complicated, emotionally taut web of secrecy, shame, fear, doubt and ambiguity of self of a transsexual deeply in denial. Roberta inhabited that body and all the accoutrement of the life of a man in Montana for nearly 50 years before her transition from man to woman in 2007.
The remarkable story charts a complex, courageous and sometimes dangerous journey involving not only physical transition, but also alcohol recovery and the result of both – a spiritual transformation. Bobbie is now a beloved daughter, LGBTQ activist, and a supportive friend to many women.
Tap 365 is a grassroots, non-profit organization, campaigning to unite the diverse communities of Montana, creating strong social ties that oppose discrimination and promote acceptance. The mission is to create a sense of place and connection, fusing together all people, regardless of their differences. TAP 365’s “4 PRIDE” Event Series engage the greater Yellowstone region in issues of critical to their mission. Join TAP 365 and learn about their work in the Billings area on LGBT issues.
Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation inspires a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen leaders, students and organizations creating LGBTQ equality in the Northwest.
- Transgender Day Of Remembrance (dgsmith.org)
Jessica Mayrer wrote an article in today’s Missoula Independent about last week’s chicken stand-off in Billings. Money quote:
“We have got to ratchet back emotion,” Laszloffy says.
Montana Human Rights Network gay rights activist Jamee Greer agrees that violence is never appropriate. However, he finds it ironic that Laszloffy, a man who has consistently branded gays as perverts, sinners and criminals, now wants to tone down the rhetoric. “He’s made his living off of demonizing, scapegoating and harassing LGBT community members,” Greer says. (emphasis mine)
Now he wants to ratchet back emotion? After stoking the fires of emotion against fellow citizens for years? Now he’s nervous?
Oh, and if anybody knows the identity of the ‘local caterer’ that provided the hate nuggets- I’d love to know, too. And probably so would a lot of people. I’m surprised it wasn’t pursued in the article.
That kind of masked stuff is so 1870’s….
- Greer Among Young NW LGBTQ Leaders Invited to The White House (dgsmith.org)
- Chick-fil-A Brings Hate To Montana (For A Day) (bilerico.com)
- Fairness For ALL Families- Full Details! (dgsmith.org)
As an alternative to the Chik-Fil-A fundraiser for Montana Family Council- an obvious dig at gay people and “unnatural” families- The Montana ACLU, Montana Human Rights Network and Pride Foundation are holding a rally nearby.
From their Facebook Event Page:
Fairness for ALL families is important in Montana. If you would like to show your support for equality and fair treatment for ALL Montana families and declare that LOVE is the most traditional family value, please join us in Billings for an Fairness Rally on Saturday, September 8. Details are being worked out so check back for the specifics!
If you cannot join us, please consider donating to the following organizations that work every day to support all families and protect them from discrimination against LGBT couples and their children.
You can sign a statement of support with Fair is Fair Montana at: http://www.fairisfairmontana.org/statement-of-support-for-fairness-in-montana
or DONATE to our LGBT work at: https://www.aclu.org/secure/support-aclu-montana
You can donate to the Montana Human Rights Network’s Equality Project at: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=mthrn&id=1
You can donate to the Pride Foundation at: https://www.pridefoundation.org/giving/give-online/
Have a look and do what you feel you should.
- Hate (Officially) Comes To Billings For A Day (dgsmith.org)
- Why Does Marriage Matter? (dgsmith.org)
- Pacific NW PFLAG Conference Comes to Hamilton, MT (dgsmith.org)
- Pacific NW PFLAG Conference Comes to Hamilton, MT (dgsmith.org)
The U.S. House yesterday purposelessly voted to stop the Obama administration from going against the Defense Of Marriage Act- even though, officially, the administration is still enforcing the law. Essentially- and obviously- this is an attempt to countermand Obama and Biden’s personal positions on the issue of marriage equality. From The Washington Blade:
In a 245-171 vote, House lawmakers approved the amendment, introduced by freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), as part of Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations legislation. The amendment reads, “None of the funds made available under this Act, may be used in contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act.”
Ian Thompson, legislative representative for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the amendment in effect does nothing because although the Justice Department is no longer defending DOMA in court, the Obama administration is still enforcing it.
“The Huelskamp Amendment is a solution in search of a problem,” Thompson said. “While there are multiple legal challenges to DOMA working their way through the federal courts, it is still binding. This amendment serves absolutely no purpose other than to score political points at the expense of gay and lesbian couples.”
After the Obama administration declared DOMA unconstitutional, the Justice Department filed legal briefs against the anti-gay law and sent Justice Department attorneys to argue against the statute in court during oral arguments. However, the administration continues to enforce the statute, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
According to Roll Call newspaper, Huelskamp had initially planned an amendment that would barred the use of funds for arguing against DOMA in court — which, if passed into law, would have had real impact. Huelskamp ultimately didn’t press forward with that amendment.
Huelskamp reportedly said he introduced the amendment not only because the Justice Department stopped defending DOMA in court, but also because of Vice President Joe Biden’s endorsement of same-sex marriage Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“The most immediate reason was the comments of the vice president of the United States,” Huelskamp was quoted as saying. “Stating his position is fine, but you tie that together with the issues with the lawsuit in California in which, essentially, the attorney general walked away from DOMA and said, ‘I’m not going to defend that.’”…
Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said House Republicans “voted to tie the hands of the Obama administration with respect to their efforts to end discrimination against America’s families.”
“House Republicans continue to plant their feet firmly on the wrong side of history,” Hammill said. “Republican leaders refuse to bring up a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act that includes critical domestic violence protections for the LGBT community, and Speaker Boehner continues his legal boondoggle to use taxpayer funds to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act in court, including cases involving the families of our men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces.”
Hammill added, “These discriminatory actions only serve to advance fundamental unfairness in our society and are against the principles of liberty and equality that our country is built upon.” (emphases mine)
- House approves amendment to prevent ‘undermining’ of DOMA (rawstory.com)
- House strikes back on gay marriage (politico.com)
- Obama’s next moves on marriage (salon.com)
- Tell the Senate: Repeal DOMA by Daily Kos (socialactions.net)
- Obama dragged into Montana Senate election (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)