Sara's News Roundup 10/31/10

Recent LGBT news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Conyers, Georgia, Advocate, October 29, 2010

Eugene, Oregon, Daily Emerald, October 28, 2010

Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana Daily Student, October 26, 2010

British Columbia, Canada, BC Local, October 26, 2010

U.S., Gothamist, October 25, 2010

All Things Considered, October 26, 2010, October 25, 2010

San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, October 22, 2010

Jerusalem Post, October 26, 2010

Miller, Moffitt and Phelps - Oh, my!

Tea Party candidate Joe Miller was born and raised in Kansas, stayed there after high school and met his wife there. She was also raised in Kansas. Later, he attended Yale and moved to Alaska, but his world view comes from Kansas.

When I heard about Miller's background, my first thought was, "Let's click our heels 3 times and send him home!"

My second thought: "I wonder if he knows the Westboro clowns?"

Just because he grew up in Kansas doesn't mean he was influenced by the Kansas "GodHatesFags" Phelps family clan, does it? No, you can't taint a whole state because of the antics of one crazy, media-obsessed family. Alaskans know that from painful experience.

I didn't think much of Miller and the Kansas connection until I read the Mother Jones report saying that he hired a political consultant who runs a pray-away-the-gay project... AND a hate group that thinks God will punish America for allowing gay people to be gay.

Well, heck, that sounds familiar!

Could Miller be connected to Westboro?
"We've got deep, deep roots in Kansas - multi-generations," Miller said.

Miller's parents, Rex and Sharry Miller, live in Manhattan [Kansas], where Rex used to own Christian Books & Gifts.
Manhattan, Kansas is just a few miles down the road from west Topeka, the home base of Fred Phelps' Westboro clan. It's a good bet that a radical Christian activist would check out the local Christian bookstores and get to know their owners.

Miller was raised in Salina and stationed at Fort Riley. His wife grew up in Junction City. These towns are just down Highway 70 from the Westboro compound.

Joe "deep roots in Kansas" Miller is now running for US Senate in Alaska. He won the GOP primary with the paid help of consultant Terry Moffitt, an extreme anti-gay activist with a goal very much like the Westboro hate group.

Mother Jones has the scoop on Moffitt:
Moffitt is the chairman of the Family Policy Network, a group that passionately opposes homosexuality.

Moffitt's Family Policy Network runs a project called "Hope for Homosexuals" that encourages "practicing homosexuals to 'come out' of that destructive lifestyle, and to 'come home' to the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ… While the homosexuals celebrate their perversions, they are confronted with the truth that there is hope for deliverance in Jesus Christ." In June, the group hired an airplane to fly a banner near Disney World during a gay outreach day that read "Jesus Christ: WWW.HOPEFORHOMOSEXUALS.COM." It has flown this banner in other spots where there might be a collection of gays and lesbians...

The group's guiding principles, according to its website, include opposition to all fornication and homosexuality. It denounces "any efforts to convince society that homosexual behavior or 'being gay' is somehow normal or natural." The organization explains its antipathy to homosexuality "is the result of a healthy fear of God's judgment that will otherwise be wrought on individuals who reject God's laws and our our nation for turning a blind eye." That puts the Family Policy Network in the extreme camp of anti-gay activists—those who believe that God could punish the United States collectively, if Americans tolerate homosexuality. (This is reminiscent of when Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson partly blamed gay rights activists for the 9/11 attack.)
Rachel Maddow covered the Miller/Moffitt story on her show before she came to Alaska. It's the reason she was determined to interview Joe, even if she had to come all the way to Alaska and follow him around for two days until he spoke to her. Here's her original story on Miller & Moffitt:

When she was in Alaska, Maddow asked Miller about gays being cured. He said it's a state issue. (His absurd response is posted HERE.) So each state can decide whether or not the gay people living there can - or must - be "cured" by the dangerous and ineffective methods pushed by Moffitt.

As for Joe Miller: He isn't in Kansas any more, and it's up to the voters of Alaska to click our heels down to the voting booths and send him home!

McAdams to LGBT Alaska: Full Equality

Last night, the Grrlzlist, a weekly e-newsletter for the Alaska women's community, published a special letter from Scott McAdams to the LGBT community, and this morning Bent Alaska received the link to a longer PDF version of the letter uploaded on the McAdams site:

Dear friends,

I wanted to take a moment to share with you my position on issues of importance to the LGBT community.

All Americans should have the same rights regardless of sexual orientation, and as Alaska's next U.S. Senator, I am committed to standing up for members of the LGBT community.

I strongly believe liberty begins with the individual, from a woman's right to choose to a persons' right to marry their significant other regardless of sexual orientation. I believe the government has no place telling people whom they can and cannot love.

I'm also the only candidate in this race that supports the full repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Sexual orientation should not deprive anyone of the opportunity to proudly serve our country. Like many Alaskans, I am disappointed by Lisa's weak record when it comes to standing up for equality for all Alaskans.

While Lisa says we need her seniority in the Senate, in 2010, she used her seat on the Appropriations Committee to vote with her party against every appropriations bill. Lisa voted against over $400 million in funding for critical Alaska projects and programs, including domestic violence and sexual assault prevention funding. Seniority doesn't mean much if you put your party ahead of the interests of Alaska.

I'm also happy to report we've got great "McMentum." The most recent polling is showing this race as a dead heat between Lisa and me, with Joe dropping back into third. The polling has also shown movement towards our campaign and away from Joe and Lisa among women in Anchorage. I promise if Alaskans vote their values and not their fears on Election Day, you'll send someone who represents your interests to the U.S. Senate.

I would be proud to have your support on November 2, 2010.


Scott McAdams
Candidate for U.S. Senate

Scott or Lisa? Values, not fears

With Scott McAdams gaining in the polls and Tea Party Joe slipping, LGBT democrats and undeclareds don't have to vote for Lisa M out of fear of Joe. We can vote for the candidate who supports equality and can win, the only candidate who will vote to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell: Scott McAdams.

Two months ago, when Joe won the primary and Lisa announced her write-in campaign, LGBT Alaskans were divided between Lisa and Scott. We agreed that we had to stop Joe, but disagreed on which other candidate had the best chance of beating him.

When DADT came up for a vote in the Senate, we flooded Lisa's office with calls asking her to be the moderate Republican she claimed to be and vote for the repeal. When Lisa confirmed that she would have voted with the GOP filibuster to block the repeal if she'd been in D.C for the vote, we learned that LGBT Alaskans are not important to her. We gave her a chance, and she brushed us off.

But the real tipping point for many voters was Lisa's speech in honor of Rev. Jerry Prevo, a baptist minister who built his reputation by spreading lies and hate against gays. The man bragged that his main legacy is blocking gay rights in Anchorage. And Lisa honored him!

HERE is a sample of anti-gay hate spewing from Prevo, a sermon he gave last summer against the equal rights ordinance, including the long list of insulting names he repeatedly calls us. (If you're not familiar with Prevo, follow the link and watch the video so you know first hand why Lisa's tribute to him is so disgusting.)

Lisa fawned all over this hater at the 39 year anniversary of his career at the temple of doom, Anchorage Baptist Temple. (Did I mention that they do exorcisms on gay kids? Really!)

Watch Lisa's tribute to the leader of anti-gay hate in Anchorage:

"It is such an honor and a real delight to be with so many here today... So much of what we've seen that has been good and strong has been built right here at the Anchorage Baptist Temple by Reverend Prevo... We thank you for what you have given our community – the guidance you have shown, and the love for so many. Continue it for another 39."

Enough to make you sick.

Where was Scott McAdams that weekend? Scott spoke at the annual LGBT Pride Conference, impressing us with his support of equality and fairness for all Alaskans. Lisa didn't attend.

The good news is that we don't have to settle for Lisa out of fear of Joe. We can vote for someone who will vote for us, someone who has a real chance of winning if we pull together. Vote your values, not your fears: Vote for Scott McAdams.

Sitka Lesbians, Gays & Allies for Scott McAdams

Scott McAdams is a serious contender for the U.S Senate and Lisa is trying to steal votes from him with an ad featuring her supporters from his home base of Sitka. It's a low blow to turn someone's neighbors against him, especially in a small town. But it doesn't seem to be working with LGBTA Sitkans. The few gays, lesbians and out-spoken allies that I could find in Sitka are all voting for Scott.

When Scott won the democratic nomination and Joe won the GOP primary, I contacted a straight friend of my lesbian friend who used to live in Sitka. What did she think of Scott, I asked, and did she know any gay or lesbian Sitkans who might educate me on his attitude towards us?

She knew someone, and they knew someone, and we started a conversation. Three of them gave me permission to publish some of their comments - one lesbian, one gay man, and one ally - but only Mo, the ally, is comfortable including her real name with her comments. The others are 'out' about voting for Scott, but they (or their partners) do not want to be known as gay or lesbian to their employers.

The gay man summed up the thoughts of many LGBT Alaskans:
Scott would be a big improvement on what we have had and would get otherwise.
Our ally Mo McBride worked with Scott and had more to say:
I know Scott very well having worked in the school district he was on the board for. I will give you my impression which has its own biases... He is mayor of our city and was on the school board here for about 10 years. He has served on the statewide school board and even did some work with the national school board... I did not agree with his decisions many times when he was one the school board but I did not find him to be biased in his approach to his decisions. He has political speak which for me is like coctail speech, can talk briefly on many things and has good sound bytes but not good depth... He is a quick learner and can search out info when he wants to. He is supportive of gay issues, he has openly gay people who are working under him and they say he has not ever made that a concern for them... He is the first to say he is still learning, but he also now has experience in goveernment... I plan to vote for him even with my disagreements on his school board stuff. I think he can be an advocate for Alaska... I just hope we can keep Miller out. So my vote is for him and I think he is the most GLBT friendly vote of the three.
The lesbian and her partner both like Scott:
[My partner] liked working with Scott... I have dealt with Scott in a different capacity. He was on the local school district school board when I was a teacher within that school district. I dealt with him occasionally and it was always professional. He is our current mayor and seems to be doing okay. There have been concerns that the meetings are not as thorough and inquisitive when the assembly should be delving further into issues. Also, there are concerns that he has conflicts of interest between being mayor and working for Community Schools, which is a part of the school district. [He is currently on Leave of Absence from Community Schools, and Cheryl Westover is the new mayor.] I don't know Scott on a friend level so I really can't speak to more than this.

I'm pleased to hear that he attended [the LGBT Pride Conference]. I will be voting for Scott on Tuesday. There is no question about that for me.
There you have it - the word from LGBTA Sitkans: Vote for Scott McAdams!

Thanks to my Sitka friends for adding their voices to the conversation.

Scott also has a Sitka ad. Watch:

Anti-gay group targets Alaska Supreme Court Justice

Voters received a flyer today from the anti-gay Alaska Family Action with a last minute attack against state Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe, because she agreed with the majority on several abortion and gay rights decisions that went against the agenda of the far right. Claire Rosston, an Anchorage attorney, wrote to Bent Alaska about the attack on Justice Fabe:
I am writing to bring to your attention an issue of concern to your readers. Outside special interests have launched an unfair last-minute attack on Justice Dana Fabe in an effort to try to control Alaska's judiciary. Today, voters across Alaska received a mailer campaigning against the retention of Justice Fabe. One of the many misleading statements made in the mailer is that Justice Fabe ordered "taxpayer subsidies for same-sex partners." In fact, Justice Fabe joined the unanimous decision of ACLU v. State, which ruled that government employees are entitled to equal compensation and benefits regardless of their sexual preference. As a result of this decision, workers who are employed by the state or a municipality and who are in committed relationships with a same sex domestic partner are eligible to receive the same employment benefits for their domestic partners that a married employee receives for a spouse.

Justice Fabe currently chairs the Alaska Supreme Court's Fairness, Diversity and Equality Committee, which seeks to ensure that the promise of "justice for all" is a reality for all Alaskans.

The attack on Justice Fabe is led by Alaska Family Action, Inc., whose top contributor is Citizen Link, a Colorado-based "family advocacy" organization. Another organization that has been identified as a top contributor is the American Family Association, a Mississippi-based "pro-family" organization. Alaska Family Action launched its attack just two weeks before the election--no doubt designed to ensure that Justice Fabe has little time to respond or correct the record.
Citizen Link is the activist arm of Focus on the Family. Likewise, Alaska Family Action is the activist arm of the Alaska Family Council, both run by Jim Minnery whose cousin Tom Minnery is senior vice president of Focus on the Family, a top outside contributor to the Alaska anti-gay lobby.

An editorial spat has broken out in the pages of the Anchorage and Fairbanks newspapers about Justice Fabe and the importance of a non-partisan judiciary. Alex Bryner, a former state supreme court justice, summed up the issue:
They do not attack her for doing her job poorly; they attack her for disobeying their particular agenda... Alaska's voters must resist this threat by casting informed votes based on the merits of Justice Fabe's history of judicial performance, not on her willingness to obey pressures exerted by vested interests funded outside Alaska.
To learn more about Justice Fabe, visit

Miller to Maddow on gay rights: "I wanna be straight with you"

Rachel Maddow broadcast her show live from Anchorage on Tuesday night, after interviewing our U.S. Senate candidates and their supporters. Well, she interviewed Democrat Scott McAdams and write-in Lisa Murkowski, and finally got Tea Party Joe Miller to answer a few questions while walking through a building.

At one point she asked Miller, "Do you agree that homosexuality can be cured?" and he responded "it's a state issue." (Huh?) When she asked if he thinks being gay is a choice, he began part of his answer by saying "I wanna be straight with you." (I guess he doesn't know that she's a lesbian.) Later in the interview, she corners him on the federal marriage ban, which he supports despite the fact that he thinks it's a state issue. (Gotcha.)

Watch the Miller "interview" here:

The other segment that covered LGBT issues in Alaska was her candid talk with Tank Jones, bodyguard for Levi Johnston and tour guide for Rachel. At one point she asked if people here are conservative on social issues and are anti-gay, and he gave an interesting response:
No. Not here because we have... 3-4 gay bars here in this small town of Anchorage, and probably over half of the people that's in these campaigns are secretly gay but they won't come out. So we don't really have a anti-gay movement here like they have in other places because... diversity runs big here, very very big here, so we don't have that problem.
Well, there wouldn't be so many people afraid to come out if they felt accepted by the community, and we obviously do have that problem here. We also have an anti-gay movement. On the positive side, his answer is the only comment on the show about gay life in Anchorage, and it completely denies the existence of the anti-gays. Anyone who disses the local bigots is OK by me.

Watch the Tank segment:

The best part of the evening was Rachel's interview of Vic Fisher, a delegate to the convention that wrote the Alaska state constitution, and radio host Shannyn Moore. Vic points out that a constitution is designed to be a living framework, not a static document, and asks us to vote our values, not our fears. Shannyn notes that this election is part of an on-going feud between the Murkowski family and the Palin family. They both explain why we need to support and vote for Scott McAdams.

Watch the Vic and Shannon segment:

The other Alaska segments can be viewed on The Rachel Maddow Show and include interviews with Scott and Lisa and their supporters, and a great segment with ignorant Joe supporters. Between the taped sections, Rachel reported live from the Taproot Cafe in Anchorage. (Guess which bloggers can be seen behind Rachel?)

Thanks to Rachel and her crew for reporting from Alaska, and thanks to Shannyn Moore, Taproot and everyone who encouraged Rachel to visit. She rocks!

Cheryl Wheeler performs in Alaska this week

Alaskan have two chances to see singer/songwriter Cheryl Wheeler: a solo show in Palmer on Wednesday, and a combined show with Dan Tyminski in Anchorage on Saturday.

Cheryl Wheeler writes folk music and love songs that have been performed by many other singers, for example Dan Seals and Chris LeDoux. But she's also known for her comedy songs, including humorous ditties about potatoes, politics and religion. From "Dubya, Dubya" to "Lady Gaga's Singing Program" and "Your God", she entertains audiences with funny stories and songs in between the love and folk songs.

Cheryl and her wife Cathleen were married in 2004:
Since Cheryl lives in Massachusetts, she and Cathleen were able to get married. Cheryl's sister flew up for the ceremony. When talking about the experience during her shows, Cheryl has mentioned that they are both surprised how different they feel now that they are married. They had assumed it wouldn't make that much difference (other than legal issues), but have come to find out that being married really does make a difference.
Watch a music video of Aces, a classic Cheryl Wheeler song:

AFL-CIO: It Gets Better

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speaks out against discrimination in the workplace and in support of the It Gets Better Project. He connects anti-gay school bullying to job discrimination, and encourages us to Make It Better by standing together for fairness and equality. (For a local example of this message, the Alaska AFL-CIO is working to unseat anti-worker & anti-gay Rep. Kelly.)


E Pluribus Unum

- a guest post by Abel Spark (not his real name), a member of our community in Anchorage, Alaska.

In case you haven't noticed, there is an election happening. The polls are open today and people are deciding who is most fit to represent Alaska in the US Senate. We have three choices this year. Well, really two. And for me, making this decision has required a great deal of emotional evaluation to determine who I will support.

I don't count Joe Miller a candidate. He is a palinesque joke and a thug.

This leaves Lisa Murkowski and Scott McAdams as the viable options. Being one who waits until he has as many facts as possible before making an informed decision, I really benefitted from the opportunity to listen, watch, and interact with them both at the same time.

He is well spoken, affable, and funny. She is smart and she is so kind. Really kind. She is no more a monster for being Republican than I am evil for being gay. And I challenge you to find any Alaskan who loves Alaska more. So this year's ballot has been a really difficult decision for me.

Lisa Murkowski is running on the proof of the record, while Scott McAdams is running on the promise of the future.

Joe Miller is an epic failure.

Lisa's best argument, and it is a good one, is that Alaska will become powerless, having the delegation with the least seniority in the Senate, a body in which seniority is everything. McAdams' argument is that he is not beholden to corporate interests and is best positioned to beat Joe Miller because his name is on the ballot. When Scott McAdams promises not to take corporate contributions I hear echoes of George Bush saying "read my lips." But I try never fault a person for optimism.

Joe Miller's best argument is that the Koch brothers thinly veiled as a populist movement want more control of the Senate.

Joe Miller? Lisa Murkowski? Scott McAdams? Yikes. This stuff is scary.

The America I was raised in told me that we are all due equal protection under the law. The America I was raised in showed me this is not the case. The Pharisees of today are leading a jihad against the LGBT community. They are making life so unbearable that young people are choosing to kill themselves rather than face the brutal reality of our culture. It has to stop. We must stop it. So which candidate is best prepared to join this fight?

On this point many votes will turn.

Joe, you are as bigoted an individual as they come. Your self-righteousness will prove its own reward.

Lisa, your record on LGBT issues reflects alignment with the forces that have allowed systematic demoralization of millions of Americans. You have disavowed the quote by the Lizard King Jerry Prevo that it is impossible to be gay and Christian. But last week you supplicated at his altar of bigotry. You have voted consistently against the LGBT community and in your response to their survey this summer, you promised nothing will change. It has been painful. You had many chances to help in the struggle. But you didn't. Here is what you told the Alaska Family Council; the Alaska version of Focus On The Family, a religious group with the blood of LGBT youth on its hands:

Scott, you have obviously not spent too much time contemplating the day to day reality of LGBT existence, but it is clear you understand the underlying issues. You unequivocally stated you support equality, that every citizen is sovereign, that no laws should be passed that create inequality in our system, and that we must do away with those that already do. I try never to fault a man for being an idealist.

I have a handful of LGBT friends who will disagree with me. There is only one genuine choice on this ballot for LGBT voters: Scott McAdams.

To those of you fearing change, I offer this. A long overdue generational shift is under way. An emerging generation of leaders now assumes its rightful place at the table. We are up to the challenges of the future with the same energy and acumen as those who crafted our state and those who have lived here for untold generations.

And to those who claim that Lisa and seniority are the only answer to the problems we now face, and that we are going to be the weakest Senate Delegation because our senior Senator will have only two years of seniority, I have a different perspective to offer.

When Scott McAdams is elected to the US Senate, Alaska might have the least seniority of any State delegation. But it will also be the youngest. In a body where seniority matters, perhaps Alaska is embarking on the first steps of a long journey.

Now for a little history lesson. The youngest and least senior delegation in Alaska history began on December 24, 1968. On January 3, 1969, Alaska enjoyed 11 days of seniority in the US Senate. Look at what Ted Stevens built: the most prosperous era of Alaskan history. Perhaps past is prologue.

Measure 1: Redistricting is an LGBT Alaskan issue

- a guest post by Maxine Doogan on Ballot Measure 1: a Constitutional Amendment to Increase the Number of Alaska State Legislators and Districts

Redistricting is the process of redrawing congressional and legislative district boundaries to reflect population changes based on the 2010 census information gathered every 10 years. This state constitutional amendment would expand the current State House Representatives from 40 to 44 and the State Senate from 20 to 22. When redistricting is done correctly, it should maximize the impact of one person, one vote. Redistricting is done to make sure no district is larger by population than another. It also groups people with common interest such as belonging to a rural or economic area and is critical in determining the makeup of the governing bodies. Representatives have to make sure that all parts of their district's needs are being served. And the degree of support and opposition to LGBT related legislation could be determined by the redrawing of district line.

One of the concerns for passing this ballot measure is recognizing the difference in population from the bush communities to the larger cities and assuring rural community members continue to get enough representation. If this ballot measure doesn't pass, resources to serve the current population could be spread too thin. If this ballot measure does pass there will be costs incurred for the additional staff, offices and travel. However, we generally don't put a price tag on democratizing representation.

Making sure the redistricting process is democratic is important. This constitutional amendment was put before the voters by bipartisan support and opposed primarily by Republicans. It is our responsibility as part of the LGBT community to ensure the passing of redistricting legislation, as it effects our population and will ensure the voices of all LGBT people get heard. We must ALL turn out our vote and cast our ballots for governor and legislators who support the LGBT community. In doing so, we will decide whether Democrats or Republicans will dominate the State governing bodies and therefore have a say in the redrawing of state and federal political borders for the new decade.

With fair-minded voters voting for fair minded candidates, extremists cannot lock-up or lock-out certain interests for the next decade. Measure 1 needs our immediate response and support to ensure our voice gets heard now and for years to come. If this legislation is blocked by extremists, it will not be good for the LGBT community and the effects will be felt for the next decade. If this constitutional amendment passes, there will be more representation that reflects our best interests and Democrats have traditionally shown the LGBT community that they take our concerns seriously when we care enough to show up at the polls and tell them so.

Early voting and In-Person Absentee Voting is available now. Don't wait till the last minute.

Vote on November 2nd and Vote Blue

Rachel Maddow in Alaska Tomorrow!

The Rachel Maddow Show will be broadcast live from Anchorage on Tuesday! Shannyn Moore, host of Moore Up North, made the announcement on her radio show and blog today:
Grab a Redbull and buckle up, Buttercup. The Rachel Maddow Show is coming to Anchorage! Apparently, our tight, 3-way US Senate Race is generating a lot of national interest. Rachel did a great 10 minute segment on our crazy race last week... [posted Friday on Bent HERE]

So, here are the details. Rachel will be broadcasting live from the new home of Moore Up North, Taproot, TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm.
Tickets are free but limited. Go to the announcement on Moore's blog, Just a Girl from Homer, to request your tickets.

Thanks to Shannyn and Linda Kellen Biegel for convincing the incredible (and openly lesbian) Rachel Maddow to give national attention to Alaska's election!

Don't Forget the Legislature, the Key to Alaska's Future

- another great guest post by Caleb Pritt

You've heard about Ethan and Sean, Diane and Mead, Harry and Don. Joe and Lisa and Scott too. But do you recall... the most important election in Alaska of all. Sorry, having some fun with the nearing of Christmas. But the clever use of the old Rudoph the Red Nose Reindeer song is meant to remind you that besides the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and Governor, there is one other VERY important race for many of you in Alaska... the State Legislature.

From the State Legislature comes so many laws that affect everyday life. And there are some pitched battles for legislative races that I thought I would highlight in brevity the ones that are the key to Alaska's lock on the future.

The State Senate is split 10 Democrats to 11 Republican-Coalition members.

State Senator Bill Wielechowski (D), a progressive young Democrat, is seeking re-election against Ron Slepecki (R). You can listen online to the debate between the two. But what should concern you in this year of odd & crazy elections in Alaska is that Mr. Slepecki is a minister at the Anchorage Baptist Temple (yes, the lair of Jerry Prevo himself.) Yet Slepecki fails to point out that profession or the fact that he is one who helps those who have fallen prey to the cults of the New Age, Hinduism, or Bhuddism. And on, Rev. Slepecki compares President Obama's education plan to the THIRD REICH! Honestly, Bill Wielechowski has worked hard to be re-elected. He is one of the leaders working to end violence against women and children in Alaska. He has fought for seniors, to lower their prescription drug prices, and he's an all around good guy. Vote for Bill Wielechowski.

Those in State Senate District P have a choice between Janet Reiser (D), Catherine Giessell (R), and Phil Dzubinski (I). Ms. Giessell is very proud of her Tea Party roots. In fact, she proudly declares about civil rights that "I support strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and Alaska Constitution." Has anyone bothered to tell her, and all these other Sharon Angle clones, that had there been a "strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution" then they as women would not have the right to vote, much less run for office? More importantly, Giessell was the individual that Joe Miller propped up to attempt to oust Randy Ruedrich as Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, an unsuccessful attempt that saw Miller improperly use the property of the Borough Government in Fairbanks to promote Giessell. [And Giessel wants to take away partner benefits.] Dzubinski is a conservative like the outgoing member, Con Bunde, who all three hope to succeed. He has outspent the two female candidates and has Andrew Halcro advising his campaign. Reiser is a pro-business, pro-oil development candidate who calls herself a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. She likely will appeal to the considerable number of moderate Republicans in the district as well as her own Democratic base. Vote for Janet Reiser.

MEANWHILE... in the State House, but for a handful of seats, the House could tilt Democrat. Can you imagine a Speaker of the House Les Gara??? It can happen with a few of these House seats flipping.

A shout-out to all my Fairbanks friends. Here is your chance to vote for the right Miller. Vote for Bob Miller for State House and rid Alaska of Mike Kelly. Other races I view the pros and cons of who is running but Mike Kelly is one individual who gives Alaska politics a bad name. Rep. Mike Kelly co-sponsored the $1.2 million advisory vote bill to block same sex employee benefits granted by the Alaska Supreme Court. I refer you to this article on why to vote against Mike Kelly. [There's a newer article HERE.] Meanwhile, during the Pub Crawl for Coronation Weekend, Miller joined the group at Spenard Roadhouse. He's open minded and one who sat down with Empress 37, MeMe Jenkins, to listen for over a half an hour about what matters to the community. BOB MILLER cares and BOB MILLER will get results for Alaska, because he believes ALL Alaskans deserve a seat at the table of state government. Vote for Bob Miller.

This features a race between Bob Lynn (R), a Republican politician who was elected in California and now elected in Alaska, and a small yet very effective Democrat named Lupe Marroquin. One thing about Mr. Lynn is one of his top contributors is Joe Miller. But Lynn learned to be stealthy at an early age as a Republican in California. So he plays up labor money and endorsements and has a fiscally liberal voting record. Marroquin meanwhile is a social progressive and fiscal conservative who is working hard to go door to door and earn the votes. In the end, it's about who is genuine and there's only one candidate. Vote for Lupe Marroquin.

Be sure to remember (3) other Democrats who need our vote: Jodie Dominguez is an advocate who needs support. Martin Lindeke is a veteran out in Eagle River who needs support. Lynn Zaugg has experience in office and is running. She has a wonderful plan to modernize voting so that Alaskans can vote by mail or online.

There are other legislative races. Look into the candidates and let's paint Alaska blue in 2010. It's time for a meaningful change... an ALL-ALASKA Change on November 2nd.

Sara's News Roundup 10/24/10

Recent LGBT news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Tallahassee, Florida,, October 22, 2010

Washington, CBS News, Oct. 20, 2010

Anchorage, Alaska, Anchorage Daily News, October 11, 2010

Washington Post, October 13, 2010

Paris, Yaggs, October 14, 2010

Dallas, Texas, MTV, October 19, 2010

Kampala, Uganda,, October 19, 2010, October 21, 2010

NewYork, ThirdAge, October 22, 2010, October 10, 2010

Huffington Post, October 24, 2010

Gay City News, September 29, 2010

Taipei, Taiwan, Reuters, October 22, 2010

New York, Yahoo News, October 23, 2010

Not In Our Town: Juneau

In the spring of 2009, the Juneau Human Rights Commission showed the video Not In Our Town to start a discussion about prejudice and discrimination in general and about specific incidents in Juneau. Now they're working on the next step: setting up a local coalition on human rights.
The members of the Juneau Human Rights Commission have been working this past year on developing a Juneau Human Rights coalition of organizations and individuals here in Juneau. Juneau has many people of different ethnic origins and nationalities whom, in the past, have been victims of discrimination. Nationally, there has been an increase in groups promoting hate crimes towards racial minorities, gays and lesbians, and those of different religions and ethnic backgrounds. Bullying in schools has continued to plague communities around the country. To counter these concerns and to develop opportunity for dialogue among our citizens, the Juneau Human Rights Commission proposes to develop a local Human Rights Coalition.

The impetus for this has come from the efforts of the people in Billings, Montana, to confront hate crimes in the late 1980's and early 1990's. When violence against racial, ethnic and religious minorities exploded in Billings, the people of that city, through various groups and as individuals, drew together to demonstrate their belief in the pluralistic values that have been the bedrock of our nation. They dubbed their efforts, "Not In Our Town". Since then, "Not In Our Town" has become a national movement emulated in communities and cities across the country.

The Commission members here in Juneau want to foster that movement here in Juneau for many reasons. We want to foster a high level of understanding, support and acceptance of all members of our community. We want there to be a forum where issues can be discussed. We want to support the school district in its efforts at reducing bullying in the schools.

To better understand the nature of such a coalition and how it functions, we have invited Eran Thompson to speak at the Egan Library on the evening of November 3. Eran is from Billings, and while he wasn't there during the initial period of the early 1990's, Eran is current president of their "Not in Our Town" coalition. He will speak on the formation of the coalition, what it does, who belongs, how it relates to the community, and how it provides a forum for issues that Billings confronts.
This Not In Our Town video is an excerpt from a program they produced about communities uniting against hate.

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