Please Share Your Story With Fair is Fair MT

The Fair is Fair campaign, a project of the ACLU of Montana, is dedicated to increasing public support for domestic partnerships by telling the stories of real couples who have been denied equal protection because their relationships are not legally recognized.
We are looking for same-sex couples who are willing to share their stories about how they have been denied basic protections afforded to other families.
 
MainLogo21If you are in a committed relationship with a same-sex partner and you have experienced difficulties (tax problems, pension issues, problems related to caring for children or making medical decisions for your family, or any other types of difficulties) because your relationship isn’t legally recognized, please e-mail me at niniab@aclumontana.org.
 
All communications will be handled as confidential by the ACLU.
 
Right now, loving, committed same-sex couples and their children still don’t have the protections they need to live their own lives in Montana.  The ACLU has brought a lawsuit, Donaldson and Guggenheim v. State of Montana, to win equal protection for same-sex couples.  Court cases are important, but to win lasting fairness for gay and lesbian couples we need to convince not just the courts but also the general public that Montanans need domestic partnerships.
 
Please don’t pass up this opportunity to tell your story and to help Fair is Fair change hearts and minds.
 

Against Marriage Equality? Gay Men WILL Marry Your Girlfriends

Been coming back to this all day- makes me HOWL.

Had to share:

Click for link to video

 

Helena: To Discriminate or To Not Discriminate?

An attempt at a discrimination graphic.

An attempt at a discrimination graphic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know gay, lesbian, bi and transgender Montanans are not protected under state law in the workplace, or in buying and renting a home?

 

The City of Helena is moving forward with a non-discrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT people who live, work and visit within the city limits.
You can sign the petition with just a couple clicks!

 

Visit http://www.mhrn.org/helena/ today.

 

Off To PFLAG Conference

Today, I’ll be in the great town of Hamilton, MT for the 2012 PFLAG “Big Sky/Big Dreams” Pacific Northwest Regional Conference.

This event is being organized by PFLAG Hamilton/Bitterroot and is being held from September 21-23, 2012, at the Bitterroot River Inn.  The conference is an opportunity for PFLAG members to share in education, advocacy and fun.  Presentations being offered include those by Dr. Robert Minor: The Fairness Project and Jean Hodges:  Chair of Regional Directors, National PFLAG – “Faces and Facets of Transgender Experience.”

Caitlin Copple and I will also be presenting on organizing and the power of creating a solid organizational model on behalf of Pride Foundation.

Hope to see some of you there!

Participate! Study about LGB persons In the Workplace

Received today:

My name is Paul Battle, I am a doctoral student at Oakland University working on my dissertation.   I am currently compiling research on the work experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals.  I hope that learning more about the work experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals will help improve work experiences and counseling education.

Participants should be over the age of 18 and currently be employed.  To participate in the study please click on this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Workplaceidentity

Flathead Valley Gay Community Center Opens

A new community resource center aimed at meeting the needs of the Flathead Valley’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) population opened in June downtown at 17 Second St. E., Ste. 205.

The center is a labor of love for the Flathead Valley Gay Alliance, Inc. (FVGA), a newly reorganized social group that has met for 20-plus years in the area but recently applied for its 501c3 nonprofit status. They are open 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays, with many evening events.

“FVGA’s opening of the community resource center has given the local GLBT residents and area visitors a volunteer-staffed one-stop location for information and referral services, as well a meeting location and activities center for organizations that serve the Flathead Valley community,” says Roger Blair, Secretary of the FVGA Board.

Game nights, family movies, and discussion groups for men, women, and transgender people, including support and information services for health needs, are among the center’s offerings. Events are posted at the center’s website and Facebook page.

Founded in 2011, Flathead Valley Gay Alliance, Inc. provides information, resources, and social support to the GLBT community, friends, and family in a safe, confidential, and inclusive environment respectful of all, serving Northwestern Montana. To learn more, visit www.flatheadvalleygayalliance.org or e-mail fvga.info@gmail.com.

Coming Out

Here’s to Anderson Cooper, who so eloquently came out as a gay man yesterday.

Anderson Cooper at Qualcomm Stadium during the...

“…I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

Being who you are is never a reason for shame. It can be, however, a reason for caution. It’s not always safe to be who you are- and everyone gets to make that call for themselves. For all the kids out there who may not yet be fully able to be themselves: Be patient, be gentle with yourselves and quietly gather supportive and loving people around you. Your day will come.