Mayor Ed Murray signs new City budget Includes money for LGBT, Capitol Hill projects

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed the new 2017-2018 City budget on November 22 at a ceremony in City Hall’s seventh-floor conference room. The $5.4 billion budget passed the City Council the previous day on an 8-to-1 vote. Included in the budget are a number of items of interest to the LGBT community and the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The City’s Office of Housing will get an extra $54,000 to do a needs assessment on housing for low-income LGBT seniors. This study will include: o information on the demand for affordable housing by LGBTQ seniors; o identification of barriers and recommendations for reducing barriers to accessing housing for this population; o strategies for providing housing assistance to such seniors; and o a proposed work plan to implement identified recommendations and strategies. The number of LGBTQ seni

The 13th Annual Stronger Together World AIDS Day Breakfast is December 1

Seven of Seattle’s preeminent non-profit AIDS services providers have joined together in a powerful collaboration: the 13th Annual Stronger Together World AIDS Day Breakfast. The largest benefit of its kind in the Northwest, the breakfast is a fundraiser for Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, Seattle Counseling Service, and CareTeams, a program of Samaritan Center of Puget Sound, with support from African-American Reach and Teach Health Ministry (AARTH), Center for Multi-Cultural Health, Lifelong and Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center (SASG). This year’s event, emceed by KOMO 4 News anchor Molly Shen, will be held at the Sheraton Seattle, 1400 6th Avenue, on Thursday, December 1, 2016 from 8am to 9am, with registration starting at 7:30am. The event will recognize the achievements of long-time HIV/AIDS community activist Tony Radovich, and Phyllis Little-Epamynonda of People of Color Against AIDS Network (POCAAN). Our community’s progress in respondin

Glasgow gets BiTastic!

Saturday week sees BiTastic!, a day-long bi event for bi people in and around Glasgow. The organisers state, “ Join us in our particular Bi-Bubble and take part in a wide range of training courses, fun activities, or just enjoy the really feel of the space from 10: 30 to 17: 30. ” You will see a programme of workshop periods announced shortly. How do I […]

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ACLU honors Marsha Botzer with lifetime achievement award

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer The ACLU has honored veteran Transgender activist Marsha Botzer with its William O. Douglas Award for lifetime achievement. Named for the late Supreme Court Justice and famous civil libertarian, the award was presented at the ACLU’s November 12 Bill of Rights Dinner. ‘For 35 years Marsha Botzer has been a leading pioneer in working for the civil rights of transgender people. And her wide-ranging work as an activist, psychotherapist, and educator has contributed significantly to the advancement of equal rights for LGBT people in Washington,’ the ACLU said on its website. Botzer founded the Ingersoll Gender Center, named for 19th century freethinker Robert Ingersoll, in 1977, at a time of great stress for Seattle’s LGBT community. Seattle had passed a fair housing ordinance protecting the city’s growing LGBT community in 1975 – one of the first such laws in the count

Your bi week! 14-20 November 2016

Make new bi-mates immediately at bi meetups across the country! Tuesday it’s Manchester‘s regular bi bar meet, 8pm at the Waterhouse pub opposite the town hall (usually in one of the two rooms toward the back – look for the cuddly lion or even purple unicorn as either might be attending). Also that night in Swansea it’s the Bi Swansea […]

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SILVER LINING: Washington state votes for progress

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Although national election results were grim, voters in Washington state bucked the trend, passing landmark ballot initiatives and electing progressive candidates. I-1433, which will raise the state minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020 and establish paid sick and safe days, is passing by more than 300,000 votes, rolling up an almost 3-to-1 margin in King County. I-1491, to prevent people judged mentally ill from acquiring guns, is passing by 900,000 votes, again with a huge margin – more than 4 to 1 – in King County. I-1501, protecting seniors and their caregivers from identity theft and other invasions of privacy, is also passing by 900,000 votes. I-735 is passing by a 2-to-1 margin statewide and almost 3-to-1 in King County. The measure instructs the state’s congressional delegation to offer a constitutional amendment stating that corporate political donations are not prot

DISASTER! What a Trump presidency means for the LGBT community

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer ‘Fasten your seat belts,’ as Bette Davis said, ‘it’s going to be a bumpy ride.’ While it may take months or years for the full effects of a Trump presidency to be felt by the LGBT community, the prospects look grim. With Republicans still controlling both houses of Congress and – starting January 20 – the White House, the Equality Act, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to US civil rights laws, seems dead in the water for the foreseeable future. Absent statutory protections, LGBT workers could at least count on President Obama’s 2014 executive order barring discrimination in companies that do business with the federal government. Once Obama is out of office, however, and Trump is in, he can cancel any and all executive orders protecting the LGBT community. The same goes for guidelines issued by executive departments – for example, the Departm

Trans Day of Remembrance Events UK

November 20th is Transgender Time of Remembrance. This year that drops on a Sunday, so most activities to mark it are on the 20th itself. The date provides us space to remember those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held within November to honour Rita Hester, whose murder in November 1998 kicked off […]

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SCOTUS will review Virginia Trans case

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer The US Supreme Court said on October 28 that it will review a Virginia case in which a Transgender high school student sued his school district to be able to use a restroom corresponding to his gender identity. Gavin Grimm, now 17 and a senior in a Gloucester County, Va., high school, has identified as a boy for several years and began using the boys’ restroom at his school. During his sophomore year, some parents objected, and the school ordered him to use restrooms that corresponded to his ‘biological gender.’ Grimm then sued with the help of the ACLU, citing the Obama administration’s finding that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects the rights of Trans students through its prohibition of sex discrimination. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in an April ruling, but the school district then appealed to the Supreme Court. At the same time, 23 other states cha

Democratic landslide in Washington, Elway Poll predicts

by Mike Andrew – SGN Staff Writer Democrats will sweep to victory in Washington state, according to the last Elway Poll to be released before election day. ‘Washington Democrats are poised for a good day on November 8,’ pollsters reported. ‘With two weeks until voting ends, Democrats enjoy a 16-point advantage over Republicans in party identification. Their top-of-the-ticket candidates have strengthened their leads; Democrats are leading in four of the six statewide down-ballot races; and voters are more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans for the Legislature by a 4:3 margin.’ According to the prestigious poll’s findings, Hillary Clinton has a 48% to 31% lead over Donald Trump. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson is at 6%, with the Greens’ Jill Stein barely registering at 1%. US Sen. Patty Murray is far ahead of her Republican rival, former GOP State Chairman Chris Vance. Murray is at 58%

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Is ANY sexual desire a “choice”?

Sexual orientation has a strong physiological component. It appears to be influenced by both genetic and hormonal factors.

• The trait is similar to being left or right-handed; the genetic influence on
both traits is estimated at less than 50%; and both seem to be established at an early age or before birth.

• A same-sex orientation is held by approximately 3-5% of the world’s population. There are twice as many homosexual males as females.

• Sexual orientation is a complex trait which appears to have multiple
mechanisms acting upon it. It is unlikely that there is a single cause,
although it is quite clear that the primary roots of the trait lie in biology.

• Gay men and lesbians are more likely than straight men and women to be left-handed. Since hand preference can be observed in the womb, this suggests a prenatal influence.

• Gay men’s object location memory skills exceed that of straight men. Gay men’s skill level in this involuntary indicator of brain organization between the sexes approaches that of straight women.

• Both lesbians and gay men outperform heterosexual men and women in verbal fluency from early childhood.

How can you explain it?

Which sexual orientations are “ok”?

"All of this logic goes for the sexual paraphilias, too, which are primary patterns of arousal that lie outside the norm. The paraphilias, of course, are less tolerated as a whole than simply being gay, straight, or bi, and we argue over which groups get to use the term sexual orientation, but I see no rational reason not to regard the paraphilias as their own distinct sexual orientations."

"“I don’t ‘hate’ gay people,” they say. “I just disagree with them, that’s all.” By “disagreeing,” either you’re willfully ignoring the obvious fact that sexual orientation is not a choice (which indeed makes you a bigot), or you’re simply unable to grasp the obvious fact that sexual orientation is not a choice (which makes you stupid)."

Great comments from Jesse Bering