compiled by Howard Israel
“I am going to miss watching Mitt preach religious tolerance – for Mormons only – and practice intolerance towards atheists, Muslims, gay people, and immigrants.”
– Katie Halper, a political humorist, writing about Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate, The Huffington Post, Feb. 11, 2008.
“It made me mad that they were punishing the gay students. I did it because everybody should be able to voice what they believe in.”
– Heather Gillman, a straight 11th-grade student, at Ponce de Leon High School, Ponce de Leon, FL, as reported by ExpressGayNews.com, Feb. 7, 2008. Gillman and other students wore rainbow-colored T-shirts, belts and other garments to express support for gay students. The ACLU of Florida is suing the principal and school district for allegedly violating Gillman’s First Amendment rights. According to the suit, principal David Davis questioned the student about her sexuality, told her that “gay pride was a disgrace to the school” and that “being gay is a against the Bible.”
Members of the LGBT community are 50 – 200 percent more likely to be addicted to smoking than their straight peers. Smoking rates are higher in the gay community for four reasons: discrimination, vulnerability, social situations and targeting. Discrimination against members of the gay community creates stress and people use their addiction to nicotine to cope with stress. Smoking is a pediatric epidemic, self-perpetuating cycle.”
– Scout, Director of the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network, a Boston-based, non-profit organization, as reported by The News Record (student newspaper) University of Cincinnati, Feb. 11, 2008. Ohio state health officials are allocating $60,000 from a federal grant to study the smoking habits of gay teenagers in Ohio.
“This oppression [of SGL/LGBT congregants) is not making SGL people straight. It is just driving SGL people further underground. The real questions are, what actions are necessary to move churches beyond toleration to acceptance and affirmation and eventually to celebration of the SGL community and their extraordinary contributions to the Christian Community? What is the alterative for those who cannot wait for change to occur? What is the responsibility of SGL people to participate in their own freedom?”
– Bishop Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship and Senior Pastor, City of Refuge United Church of Christ, Oakland, CA, in a response to the outing of more than 100 same gender loving/LGBT congregants in a large black Baptist church in Washington D.C., from the Bishop’s web blog, Jan. 30, 2008.
“By leveraging the economic identity of the LGBT community through pocketbook advocacy, we have the ability to create significant change. When legislators are looking at making decisions, they look to their constituents who are business owners. The LGBT community needs to leverage our positions as part of the small business engine that makes the American economy run. LGBT people are realizing that we can and should leverage our businesses to create change. Call your representatives – both state and federal. Make sure that they know what is important to you – not just on issues of importance to your business, but on issues of social concern.”
– Chance Mitchell and Justin Nelson, co-founders of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the only national not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the economic opportunities and advancements of the LGBT business community, interviewed on QueerCents.com, Feb. 8, 2008