Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2009.09.06
Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org
Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com
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1. Inside Higher Ed - Calvin's Ban on Gay Advocacy Angers Professors
2. The Red and Black (University of Georgia) - LGBT church offers a place to worship in peace
3. University of Florida News - Education played bigger role than race in approving gay marriage ban
4. The Daily Campus (University of Connecticut) - Rainbow Center provides free HIV testing to UConn students
5. Indiana Daily Student News - Students find a new home in cultural centers
1. Inside Higher Ed, August 31, 2009
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
Calvin's Ban on Gay Advocacy Angers Professors
Many professors at Calvin College are angry over a memo from the board telling them that "advocacy of homosexual practice and same-sex marriage is not permitted," The Grand Rapids Press reported. The memo is consistent with the Christian Reformed Church, with which the college is affiliated, but many professors say that the statement denies their academic freedom by barring them from taking certain positions.
2. The Red and Black, August 24, 2009
540 Baxter Street, Athens GA, 30605
LGBT church offers a place to worship in peace
By Tiffany Stevens
An activist for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community inspired the student group about church on campus Saturday.
Reverend Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Church, a denomination of LGBT affirming churches, helped celebrate the Athens MCC chapter's 10th anniversary.
During what the MCC called a "Justice Breakfast," Perry shared his life story and the different struggles he has undertaken since MCC's founding in 1968.
Perry said he knew his homosexuality and religion were not in conflict when he received what he believes to be a message from God, that "God does not have step-sons and step-daughters."
Perry advertised the church in a newspaper, identifying himself as a gay pastor, at a time when such an activity was controversial at best.
"The first service 12 people showed up," he said. "Nine friends, three strangers, one heterosexual couple, one person of color and one Jew. It was a vision of things to come."
After the first year, more than 1,000 attendees were regulars at MCC. Perry said meetings would often be held in theaters and in rented-out buildings, and the church was often asked to leave and find a new location.
"There was a time in the beginning of MCC when Troy said 'don't miss one or two meetings, `cause you won't know where to meet.' And it's true, because as people found out who we were and what we were about, they would kick us out," said Rev. Renee Dubose, pastor of Athens MCC.
Perry said he knew after he founded the church that he would have to become active in civil rights. A few years after the founding of MCC, Perry performed a sacramental marriage between two women.
"We decided to sue the state for [not recognizing] that marriage. We were laughed out of the courtroom. The judge told us I was just looking for publicity," Perry said. "Well, they're not laughing now."
Perry has been one of the activists leading the movement to abolish Proposition 8 in California. In 2003 he sought to have the State of California recognize his marriage to his husband, Philip Ray De Blieck, which was performed in Canada after the Canadian government lifted the ban on same-sex marriage.
The MCC also hosted a screening of "Call Me Troy," a documentary chronicling Perry's life.
Some Lambda Alliance students said they were interested in Perry's message because they wanted to examine how spirituality and sexuality intersect.
"I'm Catholic, so I'm not looking for a church, but I'm concerned with the idea of combining church and spirituality," said Michael Dibble, a freshman from Roswell.
Others said they wanted to find a religious community where they felt they could worship peacefully.
"I want to become more religious and find a place where I belong. I would like to find a place to worship and not feel chastised for my sexuality," said Erika Land, a junior from Norfolk, Va.
Devon Humphreys, a freshman from Fort Benning, said he felt it was important to attend such events because he wants to be involved in the struggle for LGBT rights.
"We're all somewhat related to gay rights and the gay church," Humphreys said.
3. University of Florida News, September 1, 2009
303 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32608
Education played bigger role than race in approving gay marriage ban
By Cathy Keen
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The level of voters’ education — not the large numbers of blacks who turned out for the first time to cast ballots for Barack Obama — best explains the passage of a Florida law banning gay marriage, a new University of Florida study suggests.
Many pundits claimed that newly registered black voters inspired by Obama’s candidacy to flock to the polls resulted in states narrowly approving amendments that opposed legalizing gay unions, said Daniel Smith, a UF political science professor and the study’s co-author.
However, Smith’s study found that education levels were about five times as important as race in Florida counties’ approval of Amendment 2, which defined marriage as a legal bond strictly between a man and a woman in the state’s constitution. Smith is scheduled to present the findings to the American Political Science Association in Toronto on Thursday.
“Our research challenges the assumption that the surge of black voters who turned out in unusually large numbers in support of Obama were also in favor of banning gay marriage,” Smith said. “We found that it really wasn’t race that led to an increased support for a ban on gay marriage but whether or not someone was educated.”
Controlling for other socioeconomic and political factors, for each additional 1 percent of a county’s population with a bachelor of arts degree, there was nearly an equal 1 percent decrease in support for Amendment 2, Smith said. By comparison, every 1 percent increase in a county’s black population led to only two-tenths of a percentage point increase in support for Amendment 2, he said.
“Education is so important because it increases exposure to those who are different,” he said. “Studies show very clearly that the more educated people are the more tolerant they are of differences.”
Because blacks tend to be conservative on social issues and attend church in large numbers, blacks were expected to hurt prospects for legalizing gay marriage, Smith said. Dozens of post-election news stories and political blogs drew upon exit polls to blame the surge of black voters for the passage of anti-gay marriage measures in California and Florida, he said.
According to CNN exit polls in Florida, 71 percent of black voters cast ballots for Amendment 2, compared with 60 percent of white voters, Smith said. Even among young people between the ages of 18 and 29, who tend to be more supportive of same-sex marriage, 71 percent of blacks supported the measure, compared with 49 percent of whites, he said.
But respondents may feel pressured to give socially acceptable answers in exit polls, and the margin of error is high because of the small sample of blacks, Smith said.
“Our analysis suggests that these public opinion polls may have overstated the extent to which black and white voters differed on the issue of same-sex marriage,” he said. “We found that party identification, education and religiosity were much stronger predictors of a respondent’s attitude toward gay marriage than race was.”
Gay rights groups have questioned whether the black community is worth engaging in their efforts to win approval for same-sex marriages, Smith said. States that have passed these measures, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Maine, are largely white, he said.
“A very vibrant debate is going on in the gay and lesbian community about whether there should be any outreach towards minorities, particularly African-Americans,” he said. “Our research shows that writing off the black community, especially these newly mobilized voters that Obama brought into the fold, is very short-sighted.”
Equality Florida, one of the two major organizations in the state to campaign against Amendment 2, targeted blacks in its efforts to oppose the measure, Smith said. In studying polling data before the election, the group’s leaders believed blacks, though socially conservative, could be persuaded to align themselves with the gay rights cause, he said.
“They were able to approach and engage the African-American community that this is an issue of importance to the black community by making arguments along civil rights lines,” he said. “Equality Florida just lacked the financial resources to make the case to Obama supporters.”
Smith collaborated with Stephanie Slade, a political science graduate student at American University who did the research while an honors undergraduate student at UF.
4. The Daily Campus, September 3, 2009
11 Dog Lane, Storrs, CT 06268
Rainbow Center provides free HIV testing to UConn students
By Meghan Kruger
The Rainbow Center has partnered with the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective to provide UConn students with free and anonymous rapid HIV testing. The rapid HIV test, which provides students with results in about 15 minutes, will be administered monthly on select Wednesdays at the Rainbow Center, located in room 403 at the Student Union.
"There isn't a local place for UConn students to get an HIV test," said William Hickman, assistant to the Director of the Rainbow Center. "We are a mechanism for this to be available to the general public."
Hickman and the Rainbow Center encourage all students to take advantage of the free and completely anonymous HIV testing. "This opportunity is open to everyone," Hickman said. "You don't have to identify as gay or lesbian to utilize our resources."
Students interested in getting tested can come to the Rainbow Center on October 7th, November 4th and December 2nd from 6 to 9 p.m. To assure anonymity, appointments will not be made. Only nine spots are available per testing date so students are encouraged to arrive early, as the tests are administered on a first-come, first-served basis. The test is completely free of charge.
"[Other testing sites] charge for this service and the results can remain on a patient's medical record permanently," said Hickman. "This is a great alternative."
A rapid HIV test is conducted by collecting cheek cells and testing them for antibodies to HIV, with results produced in approximately 15 minutes.
According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 1 in 4 HIV-positive Americans are unaware of their infection.
"It is always better to know," said Hickman, who encourages students to get tested. The Rainbow Center is also a site for safer sex supplies, offering free resources such as male and female condoms to students.
Joel Teron, a 3rd semester HDFS major and employee of the Rainbow Center fully supports the HIV testing the center is offering. "It's a comfortable environment and is a completely confidential process," Teron said. "I think this will really encourage students to get tested."
Natalie Smith, a 7th semester education major, agrees. "I think it's really great," said Smith.
The Health Education Office is also providing free rapid HIV testing with the help of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut on select monthly dates throughout the fall semester. Their office is located on the ground floor in South D. For more information on dates and times, visit www.healthed.uconn.edu.
5. Indiana Daily Student News, August 30, 2009
IU Student Media, 940 E. 7th Street, 120 Ernie Pyle Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405-7108
Students find a new home in cultural centers
By Alyssa Goldman
Freshman Shaily Hakimian came across IU when she was flipping through a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual college guide.
“IU is top-20 and is closest to my home,” she said. “I’m excited about meeting older people because they established themselves and they are out and open in college.”
Hakimian was one of the students that attended the GLBT Student Support Services center open house on Friday.
All of the cultural centers on campus, including the Latino Cultural Center/La Casa and the Asian Culture Center, had open houses filled with food and a chance for students to interact with each other on Friday.
She said she wants to reach out to groups to increase acceptance on campus.
At a school of more than 40,000, many students end up feeling lost at IU, but students can find a smaller community within the University’s cultural centers.
La Casa was opened in 1973 to try to provide a space for Latino students to feel comfortable on campus.
Another purpose of La Casa is to educate the general IU community about who Latinos are and what they are all about beyond the superficial, graduate assistant Juan Berumen said.
“After being here for four years, I’ve seen that Indiana residents get most exposures to Latinos through television, film or mass media, and it’s not always in the most positive light, often with xenophobic tones,” Berumen said. “Culture centers counter, or better yet, correct those misconceptions.”
After four years at IU, students should graduate well-rounded and culturally competent, Asian Culter Center director Melanie Castillo-Cullather said.
“Where I come from, Columbus, Ind., there are not a lot of Asians,” freshman Stefan Khensouri said. “I didn’t feel most comfortable and relatable there. ... I hope to meet Asian friends here. It’s my goal.”
The culture centers allow students to learn about those who are different from them.
“We remind people that there is not just one way to be human,” said Doug Bauder, coordinator of GLBT Student Support Services.
GLBT Student Support Services is not a culture center; it’s an office. The administration under the dean of students thought this was a population on campus that needed support, Bauder said.
Their staff includes a counseling intern from the School of Education and a social work intern.
One of the biggest misconceptions of the GLBT Student Support Services center is that all students who walk through its doors are gay, Bauder said.
“A lot of students that come in here are not gay, but may have gay friends or are interested in GLBT issues,” Bauder said.
The culture centers at IU form a cohesive and rich community.
“Cultures are different, cultures vary, and each brings a richness to the whole,” Bauder said.
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