Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2011.01.23
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
Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The Emory Wheel - Plans for Gender-Neutral Housing Announced
2. Delaware Online/The News Journal - 'A great first step': UD paying medical costs for domestic partners
3. The Florida Times-Union - Talking about UNF's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness Days
4. The New York Times - More Students Seek Avenues to Gay-Friendly Colleges
5. The Harvard Crimson - A Stepping Stone to Equality
6. The Washington Post - Report details warning for fired Mich. asst. AG
7. Windy City Media Group - Stanford students fight ROTC's return based on trans bias
1. The Emory Wheel, January 17, 2011
Emory University, Drawer W, Atlanta, GA 30322
Plans for Gender-Neutral Housing Announced
By Jordan Friedman
Emory will offer a gender-neutral housing pilot program for the 2011-2012 academic year, a move that will allow juniors or seniors to request a roommate of any sex or gender.
The gender-neutral housing program will take place in approximately 60 two-bedroom apartments in the F Building of the Clairmont Residential Center (CRC). Residence Life and Housing will honor only mutual roommate requests.
Andy Wilson, director of Residence Life and assistant dean for Campus Life, said the pilot program will consist of approximately 120 students. Residence Life and Housing selected the F Building because it contains two-bedroom units, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Operations Joni Tyson explained.
“When you go beyond two bedrooms, it gets complicated,” Tyson said. She noted that two students can reside in each of the two bedrooms in the F Building apartments, but not in apartments with four bedrooms. This makes it easier for Residence Life and Housing to place any leftover students in need of housing.
“[Students] in two-bedroom apartments would have the option of pulling in another roommate, or we could place them with a same-gender roommate, which is in accordance with our standard policy,” Tyson explained.
Tyson said that up until this point, students either had to petition for gender-neutral housing or live off-campus. Residence Life and Housing has granted these requests as exceptions in the past.
Director of Clairmont Campus Frank Gaertner wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel that this program will enable students to “live with a roommate they most prefer, without limiting it to someone of the same biological sex.”
“We know that students can live off-campus with any other student they choose, and we’re happy to give them this same option here on campus,” Gaertner wrote.
Wilson noted that other colleges’ and universities’ successes with gender-neutral housing partially inspired this pilot program. The National Student Genderblind Campaign website, genderblind.org, lists more than 50 other colleges and universities with similar policies.
“Other schools have done this, and it’s important for us as an institution to offer the same kinds of options in our residence halls,” Wilson explained.
Gaertner, who wrote the proposal for the program, said he read over other schools’ proposals beforehand, which helped him create Emory’s own proposal. The proposal needed — and ultimately did receive — the approval of Vice President and Dean of Campus Life John Ford, as well as of University President James W. Wagner’s cabinet before it could be implemented.
Gaertner wrote that the policy is “responsive to student needs and issues.” For example, he noted, transgender students have had to make special appeals to the assignments coordinators if they desired to live with a student of a different biological sex. The new policy will allow them to live with whomever they wish without the special appeals process, Gaertner wrote.
Student inquiries played a major role in the administration’s decision to implement the new policy, Gaertner explained. According to Gaertner, Emory Residence Life and Housing worked closely with representatives from the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Student Government Association (SGA) to formulate the program.
SGA President and Goizueta Business School senior Beth Brandt wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel that last semester, SGA produced its own “ideal proposal.”
Brandt added that initiating the conversation about gender-neutral housing was a part of her campaign platform when she ran for SGA president.
“Fortunately for everyone, Residence Life [and Housing] was also interested in restarting these conversations,” Brandt said.
According to Gaertner, Residence Life and Housing asked a question in its annual Educational Benchmark, Inc. (EBI) survey about gender-neutral housing.
Sixty-one percent of student respondents said they were moderately to very interested in living with a student of a different biological sex.
Interest was greatest in juniors and seniors, a finding that, according to Gaertner, was part of the inspiration to administer the pilot in the CRC, which only houses juniors and seniors.
In addition, because the University has only recently been notified of the pilot program, Wilson said it is too early to determine the specific number of students actually interested in the pilot but added that this pilot will ultimately enable Residence Life and Housing to better understand students’ interests for the future.
Gaertner said that if successful, Residence Life and Housing will likely expand the program to other buildings.
Interested students can sign up for the gender-neutral housing program through the regular housing selection process.
2. Delaware Online/The News Journal, January 17, 2011
'A great first step': UD paying medical costs for domestic partners
By Wade Malcolm
In 2002, Jack Baroudi was a valuable addition to the University of Delaware’s faculty.
He had earned a doctorate from New York University’s prestigious Stern School of Business and held a top job at Morgan Stanley. During the recruitment process for an associate dean position, Baroudi learned UD didn’t offer medical benefits for domestic partners. It shocked him.
Single at the time, Baroudi accepted the job anyway. Since then, his family situation has changed.
“If I had been in the situation then that I’m in now, with a domestic partner and two children, I wouldn’t have come here,” said Baroudi, a Faculty Senate officer and chairman of UD’s LGBT Faculty and Staff Caucus.
At the beginning of this year, the university started a policy to eliminate what Baroudi called “inequitable treatment.” UD now pays for the medical benefits of domestic partners of its gay and lesbian employees, joining more than 300 other schools around the country offering similar benefits.
At least two Delaware private schools – Wesley College and Widener University – provide medical coverage for domestic partners. UD is the first public institution in the state to offer the benefits. Delaware Technical & Community College includes domestic partners in its medical leave and free tuition policies but not insurance coverage.
UD officials expect 25 to 50 partners of employees to request the benefits during the open enrollment period, said J.J. Davis, vice president for finance and administration.
But UD will not provide coverage, only finance it. The university will pay employees with partners a maximum stipend equal to the amount it spends for covering a spouse, plus an extra percentage added to account for taxes deducted from the stipend. It will add up to a maximum of about $9,000 per person per year, Davis said.
UD must use that method because its employees participate in the state employees' health insurance policy, which does not allow domestic partners to obtain insurance. Baroudi believes UD's efforts represent "a great first step" but that the state ought to do more.
Several large state universities in nearby states -- including Penn State, Temple and Rutgers -- offer partner benefits. And nearly all of the top-tier research universities that UD aspires to emulate offer the coverage, said Lori Messinger, a University of Kansas associate professor of social work who has studied same-sex benefits.
"If you aspire to be in the top 20 public schools, you need to jump on board," she said. "And that's what everyone seems to be saying to their boards of trustees: 'Look, we have to do this to be competitive.' "
Wesley added domestic partner benefits six years ago. The college spends about $1.5 million per year on medical benefits, with $65,000 of that on benefits for domestic partners, said Eric Nelson, vice president of finance.
"We were looking for ways to make ourselves more friendly to different constituencies, and that's one of the things we wanted to do," he said. "And it wasn't that expensive."
Getting those benefits can be challenging for public schools because of politics and "where the money comes from," Messinger said.
Not long after Patrick T. Harker took over as UD's president, the university's administration started quietly advocating for same-sex benefits. In a 2008 survey of 471 professors, nearly 70 percent said they "agreed" or "strongly agreed" with the faculty union's efforts to bargain for domestic partner benefits. When contract negotiations began, the faculty found the new administration "very cooperative" on the issue compared to the previous one, union president Joan DelFattore said.
Then at a General Assembly Joint Finance Committee hearing in February, Harker asked legislators to grant domestic partners the same access to the state's health care as employee spouses.
"It's the one benefit that people worry about the most," he said at the hearing. "If you look at the majority of universities that we compete against, we are losing very good faculty and staff to other institutions -- they don't come or we lose them because it is a non-trivial benefit."
During the 2010 legislative session, state Rep. Terry Schooley, D-Newark/Chapel Hill, proposed a bill that would cover domestic partners of all state employees. The controller general's office estimated the benefits would cost the state as much as $1.5 million in the first year, sinking its chances of gaining much momentum, Schooley said. The bill was later amended to allow partners to buy into the plan, paying the full premium out-of-pocket. That option left the state with about $66,600 in extra administrative costs, according to the controller general.
"The support was just not there, especially with the fiscal note attached," said Schooley, who hasn't decided whether she'll propose the bill again this session. "Whether it was a fiscal argument and that was something they could use or there were philosophical reasons for being against, I don't know."
Particularly when it comes to the less expensive bill, Baroudi considers fiscal consideration a false argument, and he believes Gov. Jack Markell should do more to publicly advocate for partner benefits.
"As much as I respect Gov. Markell and appreciate his efforts ... I think the economic situation has tied his hands even when it shouldn't," he said.
Markell spokesman Brian Selander said the governor would consider such a bill if presented with it.
"The idea behind the legislation -- giving same-sex partners the option to buy their share of insurance -- is a good one," Selander said. "We will want to review the bill if submitted to ensure that the approach it takes does not come with significant administrative costs."
UD's policy -- and the proposed legislation -- covers only gays and lesbians. The couples must fill out an affidavit pledging to be in a committed relationship and show some sort of shared asset -- a mortgage, apartment lease or joint accounts, for example -- to qualify for the stipend, which must be used for medical purposes only.
House Minority Leader Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, said his caucus has not discussed the topic. But he wondered whether it would be equitable to include only gay couples in such a change and not men and women who choose not to marry. Any new state benefits would be difficult in the current budget situation, he said.
"Given the fiscal situation in the state and the employment situation in the state, those are the things we should be focusing on right now," he said.
3. The Florida Times-Union, January 20, 2011
P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231
Talking about UNF's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness Days
By Beth Reese Cravey
The University of North Florida will hold a series of workshops next week to highlight Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness (LGBT) Days. Natalie Nguyen, program assistant at the university's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, talks about the event.
What is the purpose of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Days?
To show that LGBT individuals face a different set of struggles and that there is an accepting community of individuals (allies). Many may not realize that a person who identifies as LGBT may face physical harassment, uncomfortable work environments, discrimination in housing or employment, or that a person who is not "out" may feel isolated if there is a perception that the community is not safe or accepting. There are things that people sometimes take for granted without even realizing that others do not have the same luxuries, such as having friends and family members who accept you for who you are, being able to go out without fear of physical harm, being able to dress in the clothes that fit your gender expression without fear of harassment and so on.
The schedule of workshops and activities includes a wide range of topics. Describe them.
The "Fearless" exhibit by Jeff Sheng is to promote athletes, both high school and collegiate, who are open about their sexuality and have found acceptance from their coaches and teammates. The exhibit is also used to help break the stigma of homophobia within athletics and to show that there's no way to "tell" if an athlete is gay or not ...
The "gay? fine by me" T-shirt campaign brings visibility to friends, classmates, co-workers and allies who are accepting. When a large community of people wears the T-shirts, it shows that there are people out there who are accepting, which is important for those who are struggling to find acceptance and safety in the community and in their everyday lives.
The "Bullied" documentary is very timely, especially with the string of youth suicides last fall. The documentary is a great way to open up dialogue about what it means to create a safe space for all students and that harassment, of any kind, is not only unhealthy but can also be dangerous. We hope to bring a lot of teachers, school administrators and students to not only view the documentary but discuss how to create a safe environment for students who are LGBT or even perceived to be LGBT.
The dialogue "Queers in the Spotlight" is a discussion on how LGBT individuals are portrayed in the media: either as overly sexual, confused, overly effeminate men (or overly masculine women) and how these portrayals create stigma and are a hindrance to the LGBT movement. If someone is coming to terms with their sexual identity or gender orientation, these media images can be very confusing.
The last discussion, "Out in the Workplace," will talk about the struggles of either being out, open and honest about your sexual orientation (or gender identity) in the workforce, what it could mean to your work environment, safety (both physical safety as well as secured employment) and chances for promotion. When I first started looking for employment, I was hesitant about different work environments and their level of acceptance (or lack thereof), so I often created duplicate copies of my resumes and cover letters: one that included my work within the LGBT community and one that did not for fear that I would not be hired based on my sexual orientation or my gender expression.
Will there be follow-up sessions?
Jeff Sheng will be available Monday to speak to students and community members about his work and his inspirations for the exhibit. Sheng will also visit with student-athletes to talk about his exhibit and how students can create a safe environment for their fellow teammates and how coaches can promote team unity and inclusion. There will also be a question-and-answer session after the "Bullied" documentary to talk about the importance of derogatory language, acceptance and safety.
Who would most benefit from attending? And how can LGBT members and supporters reach those people who should attend, but do not?
All community members would benefit from attending, especially those who are seeking community support if they are "coming out" ... and friends/family members who want to support those who are "out." Our allies are just as important to show that there is acceptance beyond those who self-identify as LGBT, but a lot of friends and family members may not know how to show their support or be aware of the struggles that LGBT people face. As far as reaching those who should attend, I would encourage dialogue and hope to promote acceptance and understanding. School administrators, faculty, staff and parents of students who are bullied at school would benefit the most from the "Bullied" documentary, not just to protect LGBT students but all students.
Tell us more about the Resource Center, its mission and how people can help.
The UNF LGBT Resource Center provides valuable education and resources for the entire campus community with a commitment to advocacy, equality, respect and support for the LGBT students, faculty and staff. Community members can help by attending events, donating to support the center's programs, facilitating dialogues, volunteering at the center and listening to their friend, family or colleague who may be looking for acceptance without judgment.
For more information, go to unf.edu/dept/lgbt.
4. The New York Times, January 20, 2011
620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
More Students Seek Avenues to Gay-Friendly Colleges
By Sergio N. Candido
Blogger’s Note: The following article was prepared through the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, a workshop that was recently held in Miami. Mr. Candido is a student at Florida Atlantic University. –Jacques Steinberg
When Jamesly Louis chooses the university he wants to attend next year, he’ll be looking at two things: the theater program and how safe the university is for gay students.
He had a bad experience in high school, where he said some students told him “that homosexuals should go to hell.”
Mr. Louis, 19, is not alone. The number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students seeking a university that is “gay friendly” is increasing, driven by Web sites that rate schools on how supportive they are of gay students.
“It’s definitely a phenomenon,” said Luigi Ferrer, the director of programs and grant development at Pridelines Youth Services, a Miami Shores, Fla., nonprofit where he works with Louis, a counselor. “Students are sometimes prioritizing [LGBT] resources even over the academic reputation of the school or the financial aid they can get.”
One Web site that rates whether universities are gay friendly, the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, has become more popular over the past year.
The Index looks at policies, programs and practices each institution provides to its gay community and grades the university.
Shane L. Windmeyer, co-founder of Campus Pride, the national nonprofit that runs Climate Index, said the number of people going to the site increased significantly.
Visits have almost doubled from 6,850 a month in 2007, when the Web site started, to 13,580 a month in 2010, Mr. Windmeyer said. The index now has 258 colleges on its list; universities are asked to answer 50-plus questions including how the campus accommodates sexually variant students to what policies they have to protect students against harassment based on sexual orientation.
Mr. Windmeyer said he believed the increase in the number of visits to the site is a direct result of the attention on bullied gay students who committed suicide last year.
In September, Tyler Clementi, 18, a freshman at Rutgers, jumped off the George Washington Bridge; his roommate and a classmate are accused of secretly monitoring him with a webcam.
Around the same time, Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old gay student at Jacobsen Middle School, hanged himself from a tree in his backyard in Tehachapi, Calif., after being bullied.
“There have been an increasing number of kids to the index as a result of the need for parents to feel that the college they are sending their students to is safe,” Mr. Windmeyer said. “I received more phone calls last September from parents and students asking for advice than ever before.”
The Princeton Review, a company that specializes in test preparation courses and admissions consulting, also ranks “gay friendly” universities. Students can go to the Review’s Web site or get a printed survey form, where one question asks whether they think students, faculty and administrators at their university treat people equally “regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.”
About 122,000 students from 373 colleges and universities have answered that question, providing the basis for the rankings. The Review’s Web site also provides guidelines for what students should look for to tell whether a campus is friendly to gay students. Among the suggestions are unofficially touring the campus, visiting the school’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender center and talking with gay faculty.
For high school students, the search for a friendly campus is often driven by harassment they’ve already experienced.
A 2009 survey of 7,261 middle and high school students conducted by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that 9 of 10 students experienced harassment at school that year because of their sexual orientation.
GLSEN, an organization for students, parents and teachers seeking to end discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender students in K-12 schools, also found that 72.4 percent of those students surveyed heard homophobic remarks.
Fifteen-year-old Kayla Almeida, a freshman at Miami Beach Senior High School in Miami Beach, said she was a victim of a hate crime last year. Kayla, who publicly declared herself a bisexual in the fifth grade and now considers herself lesbian, said she and a friend were verbally assaulted by a group of six students during an English class because of their sexual orientation.
The incident, coupled with news reports about Mr. Clementi, terrified her mother, Kayla said.
“I can tell that she’s worried because it’s happened several times in so little time,” she said. “It could happen to anyone. It might be me next.”
Even though she still doesn’t know where she wants to go to college, Kayla said she planned to choose a school where she would feel safe.
“I would definitely look for a school with LGBT resources. I’m gay, and I would like to meet other people who are like me in college,” she said.
A Campus Pride LGBT report in September 2010 found that respondents were twice as likely to say that they were the target of derogatory remarks and were stared at by other people than their heterosexual counterparts.
The report documented the experiences of 5,000 students, faculty, staff and administrators who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer at colleges and universities across the United States.
“Students, faculty and staff still found a climate that was not welcoming, that often times they are leaving the campus,” said Susan R. Rankin, one of the main researchers for the report and an associate professor of education at Pennsylvania State University.
The report also found that respondents of color were more likely than their white counterparts to indicate race as the basis for harassment.
Mr. Louis agrees.
“It is easier if you are white and gay,” he said. “It’s very hard for the Hispanics or blacks because of the culture.”
Mr. Louis said he had used the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index Web site to look for colleges before graduating from North Miami Beach Senior High School. He decided to stay in Miami and enrolled in New World School of the Arts, a magnet high school and college, where he will receive an associate in arts degree in the spring of 2012.
He said he wanted to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee in the fall of 2012 to complete his bachelor’s degree, a decision he made after comparing schools on his own. The university has a renowned theater program, a national fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Student Union and a counseling center.
“New World only fits one of my priorities: it was like a huge LGBT club,” said Mr. Louis with a smile. “This university fits all my criteria.”
Do you have advice of your own you’d like to share? Please use the comment box below.
Want to read more? See Finding a Gay-Friendly Campus” by John Schwartz, in last April’s issue of The Times’s Education Life supplement.
5. The Harvard Crimson, January 21, 2011
14 Plympton St., Cambridge, MA, 02138
A Stepping Stone to Equality
By Saieed Hasnoo
As we celebrate recent milestones in the fight for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual equality in the United States, discriminatory practices against the queer community remain insidiously ingrained in the fabric of our society. One of which, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ban on blood donation by men who have had sexual contact with another male, perpetuates the perspective that the male homosexual population is inherently “at increased risk” for infected donations and should be disallowed from giving plasma.
The FDA rationalizes its position on men who have sex with men (“MSM”) through the claim that this group has the highest incidence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and is therefore excluded due to safety precautions. In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control found that 19 percent of the MSM population in 21 major U.S. cities was infected with HIV. Seemingly, this would provide a solid, impartial warrant for the FDA’s stance. However, if we contextualize the transmissibility and prevalence of various blood-borne illnesses, there is an unquestionable lopsidedness in the qualifications for blood donation. For example, in 2008, state prisoners in California filed a federal lawsuit, citing that as many as 40 percent of California prison inmates become infected with hepatitis C; however, the FDA has no restrictions on former inmates donating plasma. Further, if the FDA seeks to ban certain distinguishable groups in the interest of risk management, why is sexual orientation a target while race is not? Demonstrating this disparity, Hepatitis B, classified by the World Health Organization as 50-100 times more infectious than HIV, is carried by much as 20 percent of the population in East Asia. Should, then, the FDA prevent East Asian immigrants or descendants from donating blood due to the “increased risk” of hepatitis B infection? No—racial discrimination in the name of “risk management” would be unacceptable. Similarly, excluding the MSM population from donation due to a statistical likelihood that mechanically classifies an individual’s blood as empirically “riskier” is inadmissible.
In June 2010, a Health and Human Services Committee recommended that the FDA uphold the ban established in 1985. Ultimately, the panel concluded that allowing MSM to donate plasma still poses a risk to the safety of the blood supply. However, as the Red Cross reported in September that it could only cover 45 percent of its daily blood needs for medical procedures and emergency situations, equal opportunity must be given a fair chance. A report published by the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law estimated that an additional 219,000 pints of blood could be made annually available if the ban on MSM donations were lifted. Indeed, the dire shortage necessitates a reexamination of the antiquated perception that those who engage in gay sex are somehow tainted or substandard. The FDA must shed the 1980s pre-Lawrence v. Texas ideology that the homosexual lifestyle is one that inherently guarantees hazard and immorality.
At Harvard, we unknowingly come into contact with this mentality. As the 2011 Harvard-Yale Blood Drive begins on January 31st, institutions of higher education have once again graciously opened their arms to blood centers. Though these drives serve an important cause, this continual welcoming subverts the very principle that Harvard and its leaders have defended in the past—the belief that any organization that operates within the university must be inclusive and non-discriminatory. In that sense, the Harvard College Red Cross seems to institutionalize the same recently discarded notion of the ROTC.
The idea that a queer male should be restricted from participating in any campus activity, whether it be donating blood or enlisting with the ROTC, must always be challenged in order to uphold our university’s maxim of equality. However, a firm campus-wide ban on blood centers is neither a practical nor productive solution to this obstacle. Rather, the university must join in the fight against misinformation and inequity by employing its vast resources of intellect. Those who have the responsibility for knowledge and reason must disseminate both the statistical and moral truths. It is the duty of not only our science-based departments, but also our LGBT advocacy centers to speak out against the conception of homosexuality as a confinement.
A multitude of legal, religious, and organizational limitations have all synthesized to paint the image of the gay individual as intrinsically inferior. Each one of these restraints must be met with outrage. The queer community finally has attained the long overdue right to serve openly in the military, and we are actively engaged in the fight for universally recognized marital rights. However, we must not overlook the multiple dimensions that exist in the quest for equality.
Saieed Hasnoo ’12, The Crimson's associate business manager, is an Economics concentrator in Currier House.
6. The Washington Post, January 23, 2011
1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071
Report details warning for fired Mich. asst. AG
The Associated Press
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A former assistant state attorney general who was fired after being accused of harassing the gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan was previously warned about using state resources for anti-gay attacks on politicians, according to details of a report published Sunday.
A report compiled by the attorney general's office said Andrew Shirvell was warned last February after sending an e-mail to a former state representative and others that included a gay slur, said AnnArbor.com, citing the report that it obtained.
The warning came two months before Shirvell started a blog that criticized student assembly president, Chris Armstrong, as a racist with a "radical homosexual agenda." The e-mail was listed among the eight reasons for Shirvell's firing.
A message seeking comment was left Sunday with Shirvell's attorney, who has said the actions were constitutionally protected as free speech. A spokesman for the attorney general's office said Sunday he didn't have a copy of the report with him, but one could be available as early as Monday.
National criticism erupted over the blog last fall. The attorney general's office drew more than 22,000 e-mails, 150 letters and 940 phone calls, most advocating for Shirvell to be fired, documents show. He was fired in November.
Then- Attorney General Mike Cox said at the time that the firing came after a state investigation revealed that Shirvell "repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately used state resources."
Shirvell, a 2002 University of Michigan graduate and one of about 250 lawyers in the attorney general's office, handled cases in which convictions are appealed in federal court, writing defenses for the state. It was not a management or supervisory position.
After Shirvell was fired, Armstrong and his lawyer Deborah Gordon petitioned the state Attorney Grievance Commission to have Shirvell disbarred. That process is still ongoing. Gordon said Armstrong has not ruled out further legal action against Shirvell.
The investigation found that Shirvell harassed Armstrong's friends as they were socializing in Ann Arbor and made numerous calls to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office while Armstrong was working there as an intern.
The investigation revealed that while at work during normal business hours, Shirvell called Pelosi's office and posted attacks on Armstrong on the Internet.
7. Windy City Media Group, January 2011
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113
Stanford atudents fight ROTC's return based on trans bias
From a News Release
Palo Alto, CA. - Several student organizations have launched a new campaign against the return of ROTC to college campuses in light of the repeal of DADT due to their policy of discrimination towards transgender service members. The National Marriage Boycott, the largest national youth-led LGBT rights organization, has called for youth activists on college campuses that include gender identity in their non-discrimination clause to oppose the introduction or return of ROTC to their institutions. On the campus of Stanford University "Students for Queer Liberation", an LGBTQ rights group, is currently lobbying Stanford administration and organizing against the return of ROTC to campus.
"Now, more than ever, is the time for college students across the country to take a stand and organize against transgender discrimination, an issue that has been historically ignored by the mainstream gay rights agenda" said Alok Vaid-Menon, President of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation. "A re-introduction of ROTC on college campuses (including Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia) that include 'gender identity' in their non-discrimination clause is a fundamental violation of policy and an endorsement of discrimination."
The Military Leadership Diversity Commission issued the recommendation of a ban on transgender service member as part of a draft report on diversity in the services. The final report is due to lawmakers this spring and commission members are meeting this week in Virginia to debate final changes.
This treatment of transsexual service members was recently highlighted in the Washington Post article titled "Transgender Vets Want Military Access For Own" telling the story of First Class Autumn Sandeen and her trials as a trans-women veteran. http:// www.washingtonpost.com
The National Marriage Boycott is a youth-led grassroots movement determined to create a world where everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can live with dignity and security. NMB mobilizes youth activists at college campuses across the country to become involved in the struggle for LGBTQ equality. You can learn more about NMB at www.nationalmarriageboycott.com or on Facebook at http:// www.facebook.com/NMB
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 regarding fair use of copyrighted work, this material is distributed without profit for information, research, and educational purposes. The Consortium has no affiliation whatsoever with the originators of these articles nor is the Consortium endorsed or sponsored by the originators.