What’s Next for Gay Rights in 2014?

LGBT GlobeThe year 2013 was a banner one for gay marriage—but some LGBT activists are asking whether the movement is headed down the path to true equality and liberation.

But more broadly, at the same time that LGBT civil rights had its banner year in America, economic inequality reached record highs, the Supreme Court gutted voting rights and threw affirmative action into question, and dozens of state and federal laws were pushed to restrict women’s reproductive freedom.  In this sense, it would appear that the rising tide of LGBT equality is not lifting the entire boat of justice.  That should give us all pause.

I don’t mean to be a party pooper. We should certainly celebrate the great leaps forward for gay rights in 2013, in marriage equality but also with cultural markers and especially polls showing that the public is becoming more accepting. But in 2014, we must revisit the guiding philosophy of the gay movement and whether our strategies and tactics are pursuing liberation for all—gay and straight, black white and brown, women and men and trans—or merely some.  This debate, more vibrant in decades past, is in urgent need of revival. If 2013 was the year that Americans of all stripes and social movements joined the careening bandwagon for gay rights, may 2014 be the year in which the LGBT movement returns the favor with a vision of liberation for all.

Read more: What’s Next for Gay Rights in 2014

1.01.2014 The Daily Beast

Call for Action!! Lawyer claims hefty sentencing for murderer of Trans Woman should, “..be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals”

Excerpt taken from Gothamist.com:

120613_gonzalezandujarLast month, 32-year-old Rasheen Everett was convicted of the 2010 murder of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a transsexual prostitute. Prosecutors said Everett, who has a history of abuse, choked the 29-year-old Gonzalez-Andujar to death allegedly after he discovered she had male genitalia, bleaching her body and fleeing her Queens apartment with her camera, suitcase, keys, laptop, coat and cell phone. “He said he choked her until she wasn’t breathing,” the prosecution’s witness, Darius Ferguson, told the court.

But at Everett’s sentencing hearing yesterday—at which he was served a sentence of 29 years to life—defense attorney John Scarpa caught the ire of the judge when he argued against the victim’s character. “Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?” he reportedly asked, adding, “Who is the victim in this case? Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?”

http://gothamist.com/2013/12/06/lawyer_argues_transgender_murder_vi.php

Luz’s Daughter Cares Statement:

We have a VERY serious dilemma when any individual in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA feels  proper sentencing for murder of a Trans Person is unnecessary because Trans People are of a lower class!! I’m certain LGBT organization’s are already seeking for this lawyer to be disbarred, right??

We are appalled by this inhumane declaration. It is yet another example of why Trans People rights and not gay marriage should be at the forefront of the LGBT equality movement and not at the tail end.

As a Lesbian, I will give up my right to marry if it means putting more effort and resources towards the safety, well-being and equality of Trans People. I don’t want to get married in a country that is okay with killing my Trans Sisters and Brothers.  Gay marriage does not have the same importance to me!!

My heart hurts and my fists are clenched in frustration.What are we waiting for? The Genocide of Trans People before we take SERIOUS action!? I am NOT okay with any HUMAN having less rights than an animal.

While we celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela and his transitioning to the Heavens, I ask who amongst our leaders, who amongst our community, who amongst out support groups, who amongst our heterosexual allies, who amongst our organizations, who amongst our churches,who amongst our celebrities, who amongst Trans People are ready to risk what little has been accomplished in order to gain EQUALITY for Trans People??

I am sick of the “pillow talk” approach to Trans People Equality!

I am Luz’s Daughter.

Society owes Trans People 40 Acres and a Mule

If Trans People decided to break-up with the LGB, this would be their theme song. If we are not going to push for FULL equality for Trans People – Give them their own voices, their own programs, jobs, sustainable life – DON’T KEEP THEIR FUNDING and give them their 40 acres and a mule!

Trans People, you have to call out the programs and people who speak of you but do not support you. You will not get equality by playing it safe. I know it may be hard to lose the little society gives you by speaking up but something has to give. Who are the leaders amongst you? Come forth…

I will not shut up or back off until someone picks up the torch and runs with it. I am Humanity 100% and I don’t see Humanity for Trans People.

LGBT Leaders fail to inquire why Simone Wilson (Mother of Paris Wilson, accused of beating Trans Woman Islan Nettles to death) who forced his friend to confess to the crime was NOT charged with a crime!

trans-killingIf Trans Lives Matter, when will our actions mirror those words? Luz’s Daughter Cares  is wondering why LGBT leaders and organizations are so quiet about  improper actions that took place during the investigation into the brutal murder of Trans woman Islan Nettles? Matter of fact, LGBT leadership have yet to “question” anything.

While updates from the DA’s office seem to suffice for others, I beg to differ.

In my opinion, it is no wonder the investigation was destined to fail, which it did, from the start.  The fact that once Islan  was rushed to Harlem Hospital, NYPD/DA did not follow up with Islan Nettles condition or contact her family until after she was pronounced dead, tells us the first 48 hours, the most important time frame of an investigation, was totally disregarded.  Another red flag is the “no camera footage” excuse the DA informed the public about. When the organizations were “updated” the DA couldn’t get a”visual” from the cameras on exactly who beat Islan to death, what was the response to that?

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Oh yes, now I remember –  “Some of the cameras were not working”. Is that right? Directly on and across the street from a police station? Did you see that huge camera set up on the same street Miss Islan’s  head was fatally slammed on? Be advised, non-working cameras on a Harlem street directly across from a police precinct is an issue within itself and should have been addressed ASAP! It only took Luz’s Daughter Cares 2 willing bodies, an hour travel time, a $9 metrocard and a camera phone to note some VERY important information related to those cameras but no one was interested.

Lastly and just as negligent, community leaders failed to question why charges were not brought against the Wilson mother for tampering with the investigation. Maybe forcing a family friend to confess to a crime isn’t one. Yeah, right. What a fool believes…

For those unaware of what I am referring to, continue to read:

“Wilson’s mother has now been accused of taking one of his friends to a police precinct, where she made him confess to the crime and claim he was too drunk to remember anything about it”.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2402793/Islan-Nettles-Mother-accused-killer-forced-friend-confess-crime.html

Luz’s Daughter Cares is praying those that can do something, will. Do refrain from repeating to the public yet another update from the DA’s office craftily put together by an intern. We don’t want to hear what THEY want us to know. We want to KNOW what THEY are NOT telling us. In other words, Luz’s Daughter Cares is saying, until the LGBT leaders are willing to “Get their hands dirty” and ask the “not so comfy” questions,we won’t get answers for the public. Even more importantly our Trans family deserves answers! Until you are ready to put your neck (or funding ) on the line  for true equality in everything for Trans people – stop waving the “Trans Lives Matter” banner.

The laziness all around has me yawning.

I know some of you are saying, “Who does this broad think she is? We have degrees, big titles, get political dinner invites and chat with the DA like buddies!”   

I’m nobody special.

I’m just Luz’s Daughter Cares.

Did Paris Wilson get away with murder? A Visual account of the Islan Nettles Court Hearing on 11/19/13

Visual account of events here: Occupy the Courthouse #2 Justice for Islan Nettles Protest

374495_10202643527795098_442932404_nStatement by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office at the trial of Paris Wilson, accused killer of Islan Nettles.
This was the complete statement read by the prosecutor in court Tuesday, 11/19/13:

“As the Court is aware, the defendant was originally arrested in this case on a charge of misdemeanor assault. Several days after the arrest, the victim died from her injuries. Since that time, we have been aggressively investigating the crime as a homicide.
For the reasons referenced in court on the prior two dates, however, the case has turned out to be a uniquely complex one, and we are not yet prepared to go to the grand jury. However we continue to actively investigate this case in the hopes of ultimately holding the person responsible for this crime accountable. Today, we concede that eh speedy trial time has run with only with regards to the misdemeanor with which the defendant is charged – and thus the case must be dismissed. It should be emphasized, however, that the crime we are investigating, homicide, has no statutory speedy-trial deadline. Therefore, should our ongoing investigation ultimately result in an indictment of Mr. Wilson for homicide, the case would be promptly restored to the calendar and would move forward, notwithstanding today’s dismissal of the misdemeanor charge.”

Related articles

Islan Nettles’ Murder and the Shameful (Non-)Response of LGBs

So, you haven’t heard about this? Haven’t seen your lesbian, gay, and bi friends posting about it and changing their profile pictures to raise awareness about this injustice?

Maybe that’s because Islan was a Trans Woman of Color (TWOC)!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-fuscarino/islan-nettles-murder-and-the-shameful-non-response-of-lgbs_b_4310858.html

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Luz’s Daughter Cares Press Release “Occupy the Courthouse” Justice For Islan Nettles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 18, 2013

CONTACT:  E.NARIKO WRIGHT

EMAIL:  Luzs.Daughter.Cares@gmail.com

PHONE:

RE: Luz’s Daughter Cares & LGBT Community Demands Justice in Brutal Transphobic Murder of Islan Nettles

On November 19th, 2013, New York-based activist group, Luz’s Daughter Cares, in collaboration with supporters from LGBT organizations and allies, will protest the NYPD’s negligent investigation of the brutal beating death of transgender woman, Islan Nettles.  New York County District Attorney Cyrus R.Vance, Jr. and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also failed to raise the criminal charges against alleged murderer, Paris Wilson, from a misdemeanor to a hate crime. The protest will take place during the second court hearing for Paris Wilson on Tuesday, November 19th in New York City at the Criminal Court on 100 Centre Street.

In Harlem, N.Y., on August 17, 2013, Paris Wilson, accompanied by friends, flirted with Islan Nettles and upon realizing she was transgender, became enraged and began to harass her and her transgender companions with homophobic slurs. Directly across the street from an NYPD station on 148th Street and Frederick Douglas Boulevard, Wilson was seen forcefully punching Miss Nettles until she fell to the pavement, slamming her head on concrete. Wilson was still punching Nettles in the face and head when police arrived (they were notified by one of Nettles’ friends). Police pulled Wilson off of Nettles and Nettles was transported to Harlem Hospital and admitted with severe head trauma. Following a misdemeanor charge of third degree assault, Wilson was immediately released from jail on a mere $2,000 bail. Nettles never regained consciousness and the NYPD took no further action. Sadly, on August 23rd, Islan Nettles was declared brain dead and removed from life support.

Between August 17th and 23rd, authorities failed to take statements from witnesses at the crime scene, nor did they question the friends present with Wilson or Nettles. In the interim, Simone Wilson, mother of Paris Wilson, allegedly coerced a friend of her son to confess to the crime. The said young man ultimately denied the allegations; Simone Wilson was not held accountable for falsifying evidence or hindering the investigation; and police took no action on behalf of Nettles. Finally, on August 23rd, NYPD officers took the time to go to Harlem Hospital to investigate further and question the family and friends of the victim. By then, Miss Nettles was pronounced dead. At Paris Wilson’s October 4th hearing, authorities claimed they did not have enough evidence to proceed, that they were still “vetting” the evidence and that in fact, the alleged suspect was perhaps a victim of mistaken identity.

This protest calls for DA Vance and NYC Police Commissioner Kelly to investigate the precinct and arresting officers initially involved in the arrest of Paris Wilson for failure to immediately and adequately investigate the crime scene, question witnesses, and retain video footage from the ten (10) cameras located in the area. This protest also calls for the charges against Paris Wilson to be upgraded to a hate crime. Further failure to do so sends a message to the public that the lives of Islan Nettles and other transgender individuals do not hold the same value as heterosexual or lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in our society. Further, the protesters assert that had either the victim or the accused been Caucasian, the investigation would have been thorough from the start, the charges would have been upgraded to a homicide/hate crime, and the bail increased.

Paris Wilson should not be on the streets on a $2,000 bail while Islan Nettles lies in her grave.

See: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/978/907/411/justice-for-islan-nettles/  and    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKLVsckKqXo

Date & Place: Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 2:15 P.M. SHARP

NYC Criminal Court – 100 Centre Street, New York, NY

Contact: Twitter @Luzs_D_Cares

https://luzsdaughtercares.wordpress.com

Email: luzs.daughter.cares@gmail.com

November 2013 L.D.C. Activist of the Month is…

DWAYNE BROWN

of the LGBT rights group Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand!!

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Mr. Brown fled his native land under the threat of death and is now working in the U.S. for justice for LGBT people in Jamaica.

To learn more about Dwayne Brown and how he is challenging the dire plight of LGBT people in Jamaica, connect to his blog here:

http://www.minority-insight.org/

Follow Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Jamaica.AHS

Don’t miss his interview by GAY USA:

http://www.gayusatv.org/Site/Podcast/Entries/2013/11/7_Gay_USA_with_Ann_Northrop_and_Andy_Humm_VIDEO.html

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CONGRATULATIONS DWAYNE BROWN RECIPIENT OF OUR HIGHLY SACRED LOTUS AWARD!!

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THANK YOU FOR GIVING A DAMN!!