Cleve Jones invites Obama to stand with us at National Equality March

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Cleve JonesLGBT activist and event organizer Cleve Jones has officially invited President Obama to attend the National Equality March in DC on October 10-11. Jones’ letter below:

Dear President Obama:

Thank you for honoring Harvey Milk with the Medal of Freedom Award. Harvey was my friend and teacher. In the 30 years since he was assassinated lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have attained a handful of rights in a handful of states, but we are still second-class citizens.

Your historic election gave us hope that change can happen, and now tens of thousands of LGBT people, along with our straight allies, are taking action to demand it. On October 11 we will march on Washington in support of a single goal: full and equal protection for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.

Equal rights are not a “gay” issue. They are about our shared human rights: safety in our schools and jobs, equitable healthcare and housing, and protection for our families, to name a few.

I compare our National Equality March with the Civil Rights March of 1963. Martin Luther King had a dream; we have a dream too.  We share Dr. King’s belief in the dignity and equality of all peoples, and his commitment to non-violence. And we share his faith that justice will prevail.

We do not expect to achieve our goal overnight. Our struggle for equality has taken many years, and much hard work remains ahead. The nation is preoccupied with economic hardship and war. But you have given us hope that civil rights remain on this nation’s agenda. The time is right for us to call on our fellow Americans, our elected leaders, and you to reaffirm our shared commitment to civil rights.

With hope in our hearts, we invite you to join us on the west lawn of the Capitol on October 11th. We ask you to take the microphone and renew our faith that Washington will work with us, and not against us. We urge you to remind the world that we are welcome members of this nation.  We invite you to stand with us in pride.

Cleve Jones
Co-Chair, National Equality March

EBAR is reporting that the President Obama may be in San Francisco that same weekend attending the Presidents Cup Golf Tournament.

If the President chooses golf over us, perhaps we should bring the march to him. This is San Francisco after all…

Why Bill Clinton changed his mind on gay marriage…

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Bill Clinton on gay marriageFormer president Bill Clinton revealed in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN why he’s nolonger hung up on word “marriage” when its preceded by the word “gay.” Watch:

Census worker found dead, “FED” scrawled on his chest

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Bill SparkmanBill Sparkman, a part-time Census field worker in Kentucky, was found hanging from a tree in a Clay County cemetery with the words “fed” scrawled across his chest.

FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is helping state police with the case.

“Our job is to determine if there was foul play involved — and that’s part of the investigation — and if there was foul play involved, whether that is related to his employment as a census worker,” said Beyer.

Beyer declined to confirm or discuss any details about the crime scene.

Lucindia Scurry-Johnson, assistant director of the Census Bureau’s southern office in Charlotte, N.C., said law enforcement officers have told the agency the matter is “an apparent homicide” but nothing else.

Census employees were told Sparkman’s truck was found nearby, and a computer he was using for work was found inside it, she said. He worked part-time for the Census, usually conducting interviews once or twice a month.

Video below is from Sept. 15, before details of Sparkman’s death were released…

It’s certainly to early to say whether growing anti-government resentment played a role in this “apparent homicide.” Clay County is part of the fifth district of Kentucky which happens to be one of the poorest in the nation. The region has been led by Republicans for decades, and is currently represented by Harold Rogers (R).

It is curious however that the body was found on Sept 12, 2009, tea party day. And folks like Glenn Beck and Rep. Michelle Bachman are heroes of that movement, aren’t exactly fans of the Census either… as in the clip below:

Lifting of HIV travel ban may be imminent

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HIV travel banA memo released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services appears to finally signal the end of the HIV travel ban which prevents HIV-positive travelers and immigrants from visiting the United States. Enacted in 1993 under President Clinton, the ban was finally overturned last year but the Bush administration failed to implement the new rules before leaving office.

The CIS’s communication instructed employees working on green card applications that would be determined solely by the applicant’s HIV status to wait until the expected change in immigration rules.

Commentators have suggested that the pausing of green card applications which come down to the applicant’s HIV status is a strong indicator that the rule change will be implemented soon, and that HIV will be removed from the list of exclusionary communicable diseases.

Vishel Trivedi of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis said: “Once we’re confident that HHS will remove HIV from the list, we need to focus on more practical aspects of eliminating the vestiges of this discriminatory policy.”

We’re nine months in and this is only happening now? What took so damn long?

The memo is available at Immigration Equality.