Here we go: What I’ve been reading online today, paired with an open thread to discuss these articles, or stuff you find interesting.

Marriage rights celebration, ‘D-List’ celeb among celebration’s highlights. Excerpt:

After 34 years of celebrating diversity and rights for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) San Diego LBGT Pride Festival And Parade 2008community in San Diego, the local organization Pride San Diego is reaping the rewards of activism and education.

Comment: I’m volunteering at the Transgender/TASC booth on Saturday, and the Scouting For All booth on Sunday.

The Scouting For All booth is extremely important to me. I have an Eagle Scout son, and I two other sons in scouting. If it were known that my two sons who are still in the Boy Scouts had a transgender parent, in accordance with how the Boy Scouts Of America’s national policy is applied, my sons would be kicked out of scouting. For me, protesting against the Boy Scouts has a lot to do with them discriminating against youth because of how their parents identify their sexuality or gender identity.

DiversityInc: Jena 6 Aftermath: Nooses Punishable By Prison. Nooses hung at Germantown Performing Arts CentreExcerpt:

Nine months after the nation began witnessing an uptick in the number of reported noose sightings following the furor over the Jena 6 incident in Louisiana, lawmakers there, as well as in Connecticut and New York, have made hanging a noose a crime punishable by imprisonment. And more states are likely to follow.

Since September of last year, the number of reported noose incidents nationally jumped to nearly 80, according to the DiversityInc Noose Watch, the first and only tracker of national reported noose sightings.

San Francisco Chronicle: 24% of state high-schoolers likely to drop out. Excerpt:

Nearly 1 in 4 California students will drop out during high school, state educators said Wednesday, basing their prediction on what they said is the most accurate information about student attendance they’ve ever collected.

Using a new student-tracking system, state educators found that 127,292 high school students in ninth through 12th grade quit school during the 2006-07 school year. That means 24 percent of incoming freshmen won’t stay in school long enough to graduate, researchers said, assuming that pace remains steady.

…The new dropout rate is far higher than the 13 percent educators had earlier estimated using less-sophisticated counting methods they had relied on for years.

Comment: I wonder what the graduation and dropout rates are for LGBT youth — I did a quick look this morning, and couldn’t find any statistics on the subject. I’m sure they’re out there, but I’m not sure where to look for the stats.

– MSNBC: Gore pitches 10-year shift to clean energy; Former VP praises Obama, McCain on climate issue, sees huge opportunity. Excerpt:

Just as John F. Kennedy set his sights on the moon, Al Gore is challenging the nation to produce every kilowatt of electricity through wind, sun and other climate-friendly energy sources within 10 years, an audacious goal he hopes the next president will embrace.

Bay Windows: A novel defense: Convict’s bid for retrial hinges on alleged anti-trans discrimination against potential juror. Excerpt:

At first glance the murder trial of Roxbury gang member Sam Smith, known as “Fat Sam” according to press reports, seems to have little to do with transgender civil rights. In June 2001 a jury convicted Smith of first-degree murder for shooting and killing a member of a rival gang in Roxbury’s Ramsey Park in 1991. But Smith and his attorney, David Mirsky, are hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will force the state to grant Smith a retrial on the grounds that one of the prosecutors in the case allegedly dismissed a juror because the juror appeared to be transgender.

Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield sued for allegedly lying about its coverage; L.A. city attorney’s suit contends Blue Shield of California has illegally rescinded the coverage of more than 850 policyholders since 2002.

Comment: * sigh *

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (UK): Open meeting held for gay community and local police. Excerpt:

On Monday July 28, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will have an opportunity to meet representatives from Merseyside Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to discuss homophobia and hate crime.

The meeting, organised by the Police, the CPS, Terrence Higgins Trust, Wirral LGBT forum and Trans Wirral will be held from 6.30 -8.30pm at The Lauries Centre in Birkenhead.

The open meeting, ‘Merseyside Police and Hate Crime response’ allows members of the LGBT community to meet directly with representatives of Merseyside Police and the CPS to address concerns around homophobic and transphobic incidents and other safety concerns. Homophobic incidents and attacks are often under reported and this meeting will provide a forum for open and honest dialogue.

Comment: I hope this clears some air, but my guess is that bad feelings from the incident that precipitated this meeting are going to linger for awhile.

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen