4/21/09

Obama : Torture is NOT Tolerated by America

Call to Action

Who: President Obama, the former Justice Department officials Jay Bybee, John Yoo and Steven Bradbury. Bybee is currently a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Yoo is a professor at the University of California-Berkeley.

What : Charges of conspiracy to commit felonies, including torture be considered against among others Jay Bybee, John Yoo and Steven Bradbury and the goverment and contracted officials of the United Stared who participated in planning for and or committed criminal acts of torture.

When : NOW! Call on your legislative representatives to demand full transparency, accountability and justice.

Were : From your keyboard. Tell him now to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate Bush administration officials who authorized torture.

Why : He[Obama] said anew that CIA operatives who did the interrogating should not be charged with crimes because they thought they were following the law. Obama, so did HITLERS henchmen.

Obama would rather forget than pursue justiceUNLESS we force him to.

Americans are coming to realize that we were mislead by Obama's presidential promises and that we must act to keep all politicians honest.

Citizens, hold Obama accountable to his campaign commitment to end torture and prosecute those criminals who perpetrated and carried out act's that freedom loving democratic countries worldwide and formally the United States had decried as illegal torture.



Unresolved debate in DOJ memos: Does torture work? AP
How Waterboarding Got Out of Control Time.com
Obama defends secret memo release to CIA employees AP
Scientists Claim CIA Misused Work on Sleep Deprivation Time.com
Waterboarding: A Mental as Well as Physical Trauma, Expert Say Time.com



By Kelli Anne Busey, April 22, 2009 planetransgender

Walking With Integrity: Write Congress

Cross Posted from Walking With Integrity: Write Congress
Please take action with Queers United action to Demand Hate Crimes Legislation http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2009/04/demand-national-hate-crimes-legislation.html

Andrade Murder Trial for the Death of Angie Zapata :" Jurors hear defendant’s jailhouse calls"

Jurors hear defendant’s jailhouse calls
Source CNN Side Bar by Beth Karas Posted: 10:40 PM ET

GREELEY, Colorado–Jurors heard from accused killer Allen Andrade today in recorded jailhouse calls with two former girlfriends, Angie Tyree and Felicia Mendoza. A cavalier-sounding Andrade said he “can’t cry over spilt milk” regarding the brutal killing of transgender teen, Angie Zapata, last July. That call and three others, recorded in the days after his July 30th arrest, gave some insight into Andrade’s reaction to his plight.

“It not like I went up to a schoolteacher and shot her in the head…or like I killed a law-abiding straight citizen,” he told Tyree. Andrade said he could do “10 or 15 [years]” but that he hoped not to be imprisoned forever. At one point, Tyree scolded him: “You should’ve stayed home.” His response: “I know I should’ve stayed. I should’ve done a lot of things differently…shoulda, coulda, woulda.” Though no longer dating, the two were living together for about three months at the time of Andrade’s arrest.

Full story at CNN sidebar by Beth Karas, In Session correspondent
Jurors hear defendant’s jailhouse calls

Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial: Pink Vibrator With Only Andrade's DNA Entered Into Evidence


Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial: Pink Vibrator With Only Andrade's DNA Entered Into Evidence
by: Autumn Sandeen Originally posted Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 07:22:00 AM EDT on Pam's House Blend. Reposted with permission from Autumn Sandeen in an our effort to to bring national attention to the murder trial of Allen Ray Andrade for the death of Angie Zapata.


When I was a teen, I acted shamefully. I had a friend, who's name was Brett, who I ended up shunning when he came out as a gay teen. I was a closeted trans person who's church -- I was raised a Pentecostal. I didn't want to hang out with my effeminate gay friend because I was afraid people would be able to tell I was trans -- or believe I was gay -- if I was seen in the company of a gay peer.


As many of us remember doing, some of us in the gay community go beyond shunning when we were in the closet -- we were homophobic and transphobic bullies. We were the ones who were the worst at calling individually out lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans (LGBT) people, or gender variant people (effeminate males and masculine females) as "faggot," "fairy," "dyke," "it," and "that thing." Many of us, when we were closeted, were physically violent against those who were out as LGBT, or who were gender variant.

We were so often afraid of being discovered as LGBT ourselves that we called others names, and/or became physically violent to out LGBT individuals because we were afraid that if we were seen as not being bullies against out LGBT individuals and gender variant people, we would be discovered as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender ourselves.


In court yesterday, three things that I thought were very significant were entered into evidence. To me, these explain this crime is a way many in the LGBT community "get."


The first thing is that Allen Ray Andrade, according to his ex-girlfriend, was seen browsing the bisexual pages of the social networking website Mocospace.


The second thing is that hat Allen Ray Andrade, according to his ex-girlfriend, was a "snap cat" (or "snap cat"). He was called this because he was often quick to snap to anger. The ex-girlfriend also testified that he literally hit himself sometimes when he got angry at himself.


Lastly, a pink vibrator was entered into evidence that was collected from Angie Zapata's apartment. When DNA tested, only Allen Ray Andrade's unidentified DNA (as in it was with scientifically certainty that this was his DNA, but it wasn't as being his semen -- not sure identifiable as which part of the body the DNA came from), was on the vibrator. The defense was trying to argue that this could be "touch" DNA from someone who was particularly sweaty, but the DNA testing expert stated that "possible, but not probable." This is because of the amount of Andrade's DNA was on the pink vibrator.


Paraphrasing he DNA expert, she explained that her studies and experience in DNA that would lead her to a reading amount of 3.19 measuring units of DNA if he had put the pink vibrator in his mouth, but he had 19 point something units of measuring units of his DNA on the pink vibrator -- in other words, more than six times the DNA material expect if he had sucked on the pink vibrator. The Deputy DA who was questioning the DNA expert asked if this large amount of DNA could be explained by putting that pink vibrator up an anus, and the DNA expert said yes, this would be one of the ways one could expect to find that much DNA material on the a pink vibrator.


In other words, the Deputy DA was essentially making the case Andrade had sexually used the pink vibrator in his anus.


Today, we're going to hear a jailhouse telephone call between Allen Ray Andrade and his ex-girlfriend. In that phone call, he is going to be heard saying:


.............Gay things must die........

I go back to how I treated my friend Brett in high school. It was self-hate that motivated me to act homophobicly.


I'm only speculating, but it sounds like to me that we had a self-hater who killed someone whom he regretted that he spent time with. We in our community who have been in-the-closet homophobic bullies on the way to accepting our own sexual orientation, or own gender identity, know what that this not only is possible, but in this case probably probable.


By circumstantial evidence, the prosecution is showing that he went to traffic court on July 15th, 2008 with Angie -- the day before he admittedly killed Angie. He allegedly heard the court refer to Angie by her male name approximately 36-hours before he killed her.


And, we heard the testimony last Friday that Angie's sister Monica literally saw Angie "always" out herself to strangers -- especially male strangers that were hitting on her. Frankly, Angie was young and gorgeous, so she was hit on "a lot" by men. And yet, she had the habit of outing herself to men.



In my mind...by my speculation...this wasn't a crime of passion. Allen Ray Andrade very likely knew Angie was trans many hours -- more than a day -- before he admittedly killed her. It looks to me that a publicly homophobic, closeted gay or bisexual man killed a woman he saw as trans and gay because he didn't want to be identified as gay himself. In my mind, this reads as a crime of angry regret instead of a crime of passion. The gay panic, trans panic strategy that Andrade's defense is using seems to me to be a convenient ruse to violently attempt to hide his own sexuality. This would be no excuse for killing Angie -- the young woman that he, after admittedly killing her, referred to as "it."


Not he, not she, but "it."

So, let me backtrack a bit -- back to my story about Brett.


Brett, if you're reading this piece, I'm so sorry. So, so, very sorry. I was a closeted, homophobic fool. I regret so deeply being an emotional bully to you -- just so I wouldn't be discovered as a gender variant, trans person. It's my greatest regret in life -- shunning you. You were my friend, and yet I behaved so wrongly to you. I'm so, so very sorry.

Original post found at Pam's House Blend by Autumn Sandeen :: Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial: Pink Vibrator With Only Andrade's DNA Entered Into Evidence


Dallas Lives large and thinks big at next National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change


MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592


Live large and think big at nextNational Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change
Co-chairs announced, Dallas/Fort Worth Host Committee launches April 23
WASHINGTON, April 20 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announces the co-chairs of the Dallas/Fort Worth Host Committee for the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement’s premier annual gathering will return to Dallas, Texas, Feb. 3–7, 2010. The conference, which also took place in Dallas in 1994, is produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Meet the co-chair leadership team for the 2010 Creating Change Conference:
Henry Ramirez III works at the Resource Center of Dallas (RCD) as the center programs manager, where he manages Gaybingo Dallas, the workforce development series and other programs.He began volunteering at RCD in 1994, working with outreach and education programs, then moved into a part-time role as prevention educator in RCD’s community health programs. Ramirez has worked more than 20 years with the Hispanic and LGBT communities in Dallas, having served on the board of directors of the Hispanic Bankers Association during his eight-year stint in the banking industry.


Beau G. Heyen, M.S.Ed., is the co-chair of the Dallas chapter of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN-Dallas), which works to create schools and communities that are safe for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression.Heyen serves as the minister for youth and spiritual formation at Cathedral of Hope, a congregation of the United Church of Christ with a primary outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied individuals, and on the advisory board for Dallas P.U.M.P. (Pride Unity Music Power) GLBTQA Youth Choir.



Lovely Murrell was a principal organizer of “Ladyfest in the Biblebelt,” a festival held in Denton, Texas, in 2004 that focused on women in film, the arts and politics.She has also been active in her local chapter of Sokka Gakai International, an international Buddhist community, organizing youth summits and festivals. Murrell is currently the nutrition and bodycare manager at Cupboard Natural Foods. She lives in Denton with her wife, their two dogs, two cats, turtle and their large family of humans.

Marlene Tovar served on the operations staff of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 2001 to 2007, attending and working at five Creating Change conferences where she coordinatedvolunteers and oversaw meeting-room operations. She currently works at the Texas State Historical Association in Denton, where she is the membership coordinator and assistant to the executive director. Tovar is the first-ever straight ally to co-chair a Creating Change Host Committee.

“We are delighted with our co-chair team of four accomplished and experienced community leaders,” says Russell Roybal, the Task Force’s deputy executive director of external relations. “We’re coming back to Dallas to host our annual movement family gathering and we look forward to a robust and visionary event in the heart of Texas. Our 2010 Creating Change attendees will be treated to real Texas hospitality. Let’s live large and think big at Creating Change!
”The co-chairs will convene the first Creating Change 2010 Host Committee meeting on Thursday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rainbow Room at the Resource Center of Dallas, 2701 Reagan St. For directions or information, call 214.521.5124.
For more information about the Creating Change conference, visit http://www.creatingchange.org/. For details about the Dallas/Forth Worth Creating Change Host Committee, e-mail creatingchange@theTaskForce.org.

–30–

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge. © 2009 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. Fax 202.393.2241. TTY 202.393.2284.