Tag Archives: Colorado

LGBT Pride and History Month 2014: Jared Polis

29 Jun

JaredpolisToday I would like to honor and celebrate Representative Jared Polis from Colorado.  Polis is currently one of a handful openly gay member of congress — no small feat given how welcoming John Boehner has made the House of Representatives for the LGBTQ community. He’s also the first out gay parent to serve in Congress.

Polis has dedicated his life to improving education. While his business enterprises have been diverse, he has focused his extensive philanthropy and political aspirations on ensuring access to quality education for everyone. His first elected office was to the Colorado State Board of Education, where he served part of his term as Chair. He also worked to ensure the passage of the largest school bond proposal in Colorado history, improving and modernizing educational facilities in the Boulder Valley School District.

Polis has put his own money to work as well, creating a foundation dedicated to creating “opportunities for success by supporting educators, increasing access to technology, and strengthening our community.” His work focuses on ensuring that schools have adequate technology to prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world. He also demonstrates amazing dedication to issues of racial equity, as he strives to create better access for targeted and immigrant children.

Since 2008, Polis has been the Representative for Colorado’s 2nd District. In Congress he continues his push for quality education, serving on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. He also chairs the Red to Blue program, helping Democratic candidates in competitive Republican-held districts. Rep. Polis is an outspoken critic of the lives and money the U.S. has wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan. A staunch supporter of civil rights, he has supported legislation and action opposing US involvement in countries with anti-gay laws as well as programs supporting the LGBT community in Iraq, Honduras, and elsewhere.

Jared Polis has been open and out throughout his career, providing a visible example of a proud, successful gay man as well as a supportive partner and father. I would also like to take time to thank all of the LGBTQ parents raising children and being visible! It is still relatively early in Rep. Polis’ career, but his work thus far indicates a commitment to equity and opportunity. I look forward to seeing how that passion grows.

Bigot of the Week Award: November 18, Poudre School District

18 Nov

Bigot of the Week

In a sad parallel to this week’s Hero, Fort Collins High School, part of the Poudre School District in Colorado, earns this week’s BWA for its treatment of transgender students. Dionne Malikowski, a 16-year-old junior, was suspended for using the women’s bathroom at the high school. The school acknowledges that she is transgender, but insists that she only use a staff bathroom; these bathrooms are far fewer than those for students, thus denying her equal access. Dionne is so upset by the situation that she has decided to transfer to another school.

Sadly, the school district has taken this stand despite the fact that Colorado is one of the few states to have clear protections in place for its transgender citizens, including bathroom access. Schools are often given special exemptions in the interest of “student safety” despite the clear recommendations of the Transgender Law Center. As Dionne herself wisely points out, she would likely be less safe using the men’s bathrooms.

Dishonorable mention goes to the Union-Scioto local schools in Ohio for their refusal to act promptly in updating their bullying policy and practice after the beating of this week’s Hero, Zachary Huston.

Celebrating LGBTQ History Month: June 28, Monica Marquez

28 Jun

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Monica Marquez.  Marquez is the first Latina and openly gay member of the Colorado state Supreme Court.  She was sworn in by her father, retired Judge Jose D.L. Marquez.  There are only 5 openly gay state supreme court justices, two of whom are in the state of Oregon. The first openly gay state supreme court justice in the nation was Oregon’s Rives Kistler. The second openly gay state supreme court justice was Oregon’s Virginia Linder.

Marquez has been a consistently visible force for social justice, including LGBT equality. She  is a past president of the Colorado GLBT Bar Association and a board member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and served as chairperson of the Denver Mayor’s GLBT Commission.  Regarding marriage equality and her role as a state supreme court justice, Marquez says:

On the bench, of course, my allegiance is to the law, not to any particular constituency…which is fine, because the law — and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1996 decision in Romer vs. Evans, which overturned Colorado’s repeal of anti-gay discrimination laws.

I want to thank Justice Marquez for her dedication to social justice and for being visible.  Our being visible helps LGBT youth see the possibility of an end to discrimination.  Click here to read an article regarding Marquez.

That Whacky Draconian Tea Party…

22 Mar

What madcaps!

The overwhelmingly misogynistic and overall misanthropic Tea Party is proving far more sadistic than I would have thought possible in 21st Century America. While I’m sure most Americans, when not consumed with the life of Charlie Sheen, are aware of the anti-woman and anti-choice legislation currently being introduced.  But now we have people like Mark Christensen (R-NE) going so far as to introduce a bill to legitimize the murder of abortion providers by classifying such homicides as “justified.”

But wait! It gets worse. The Georgia Legislature is creating a regressive sales tax on food that would then finance a brand new corporate tax cut–makes great sense to protect corporate profits in a time of increasing homelessness and poverty! Speaking of Corporate America: Scott Walker went so far as to statutorily bar  workers from ever again collectively bargaining.

But wait! It gets worse.  Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-MO) has proposed to eliminate child labor laws that would allow corporations to employ any kid under 14 and would terminate restrictions on the number of hours that kid can be forced to work. How nice of the Tea Party to bring us back to the 1850s.

Is America paying attention? The Tea Party is moving a national conversation of governance so far to the right, that the center has now been obliterated. Click here to read about even more legislation that is sick, twisted, and does nothing to help, protect, or defend the American people.

Racist/Homophobe in Colorado

11 Feb

Thirteen year veteran of the Douglas County, Colorado police force, Lt. Jeff Engor has just resigned from his post. We open minded people can breathe a sigh of relief. In addition to writing racist epithets, Engor, in response to the repeal of DADT, wrote the following on news websites:

The few, the queer, the Marines! Butt Rangers lead the way! Be as gay as you can be! Aim for a high hard one, Air Force! Join the Navy, see naked men!

Engor sure does think a lot about gay sex, for a straight man.  How long before we see this closet case at boy bar? Click here to see the full story.  There is even more information on this particular story if you click here.

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