Saturday, July 22, 1995

Opposing Discrimination in Washington way back in 1995.

Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 21:32:30 -0400 From: Did you get my article? Here's another one that might interest you. It's from the Gay Pride issue of my store newsletter. Discrimination is defined as "the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually." This definition is from the online dictionary from America Online. It means using stereotypes to define a person instead of true knowledge of them as an individual. Two initiatives are currently going around Washington State that directly affect anyone who has dealt with legal discrimination based on sexual orientation. These initiatives are 166 and 167. Hands Off Washington, Citizens for Fairness is an anti-discrimination political force that sprang into being when 608 and 610 came up a few years ago, and is now working to fight these new initiatives to ensure they do not get a chance. Initiative 166 is a retry of Initaitive 608. This initiative would void the few legal protections that already exist against discrimination based on sexual orientation on local levels like Seattle's city ordinance. It would ban the future enactment or enforcement of such protections. Further, it would censor employees, students, and guests in public schools of any grade level from any discussion of sexuality issues except in negative terms or condemnation. There remain serious questions about its impact on parenting by gays and lesbians, contractual relationships (i.e. co-ownership of your home with a same-gender partner), and wills and other legal arrangements regarding decisions in the event you become incapacitiated or die. Initiative 167 is even more misunderstood and dangerous. This initiative is being discussed in the press and elsewhere as a "ban on lesbian and gay adoption". That description is incomplete and inaccurate--this initative is an attack on the entire adoption and foster care system. While it does contain a ban on gay & lesbian adoption and foster parenting, it also bans such parenting by any unmarried couples, gay or not. It also sets a preference for placing children with married male-female couples over single people. (Forget the fact that currently, the vast majority of foster care is provided by single women!) To quote the text of the initiative, "The people further find that there is a compelling state interest in the adoptive and foster care placement of minor children, if at all possible, in sound, married, male-female households." This means that, even if you make custodial arrangements for your child, the state can override those arrangements if your chosen godparent is not married to someone of the opposite gender. In other words, the state would rather put your child in a home with married strangers rather than allow a widowed grandmother, a heterosexual uncle who lives with his girlfriend, or a lesbian aunt to raise them per your own wishes. Amazing but true! I have the entire text of the bill if you would like to see it. Basically, anything less than the Brady Bunch is just not acceptable. Initiative 167 also says this: "A person residing in the state of Washington or a nonprofit entity doing business in this state has standing to enforce the provisions of this act." This means that individuals or non-profit entities (i.e. Churches) who disagree with where a child is living can call the state and request to have the child removed from where he/she is living. I really need to talk about this, but I'm wondering how to put it in words. I hope this works: Some people are under the impression that discrimination against Gays and Lesbians is not the same as discrimination against Women, Blacks, Jews or Native Americans. But being a woman is not defined by how a female dresses, or thinks, it's who that person is. Being Black is part of someone; it doesn't wash away. Being Jewish or Native American is not primarily defined by genetics, but by culture; the way a person is raised to follow a certain set of values. The way I understand being Gay or Lesbian is the same way. It's not important what a person does or does not do, or how that person thinks or works or lives. Being Gay or Lesbian is not "just a phase." Nor is it an act. It just is. Being Gay is not what I do, it is WHO I AM, and there is a definite difference between the two phrases. Being Gay defines me as a person, just like being American defines me as person. I was raised to find my own way to my own brand of happiness. And I have found it. No one has the right to try and take it away from me because they don't agree with it. Anyone who tries is wrong. These two initiatives and many others nationwide affect me directly. My husband Kyros and I have been together for 6 years as of May 6th, and we are damn proud of that fact. So I am spending some of my energy to fight these initiatives, and stop them or anything like them from ever bothering me or mine again. As far as I am concerned, anything that advocates discrimination is a direct violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. I was born here, so I have my rights. No one is going to take them away. Chad A. Lupkes Orion at Twilight 2934B Colby Ave Everett, WA 98201 (206) 303-8624 - Information is free. It's the paper and binding that costs money. That makes the Internet totally free. -

Tuesday, July 18, 1995

PFLAG Everett Chapter Launched

Found this on Usenet:

In a message dated 95-07-18 21:12:18 EDT, wrote:

A National Support, Education and Advocacy Organization
by Chad A. Lupkes

In 1972, an elementary school teacher named Jeanne Manford started a 
national movement. Her son, Morty, was the victim of a Hate Crime 
perpetrated by a member of the New York City Fireman's union, and the 
police stopped to watch the fight instead of trying to stop it. Mrs. 
Manford's subsequent letters to the New York Post and appearances on TV 
talk shows nationwide made the family very well known. Then Morty asked 
his mother to join him in walking the 1972 New York City Gay Pride March. 
Her sign read "Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of Our Children." P-FLAG 
was the result.

P-FLAG is needed in the city of Everett now as much as it was needed in 
New York City in 1972. Many of the kids that are living on the street in 
Everett don't feel comfortable at home.  That constitutes a problem that 
everyone should be aware of. Thus this article, and thus the formation of 
an Everett chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.  
Confusion about sexuality issues is only one source of the discomfort in 
the home, but it's the one that we can do something about immediately.

P-FLAG offers families and friends a support group where they can learn to
understand and love one another and to offer support where needed. At a 
time when gays and lesbians are coming out to their parents and family, 
P-FLAG can be helpful. For people going through the coming out process, it 
gives a chance to talk with other parents and to help you decide the best 
way to tell his or her own family. If you are a parent who has just found 
out your child is gay, you can talk with other parents who are going 
through the same things you are or who have gone through them in the past. 
You also can have a chance to interact with other gays and lesbians and 
ask questions to help you better understand what your child has been going 

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the health and
well-being of gay, lesbian and bisexual persons, their families, and 
friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to 
enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and 
to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians 
and Gays provides an opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation, 
and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human 

If you have E-mail, the Everett Chapter can be contacted at  

To subscribe to a private, confidential P-FLAG group on the Internet where 
you can talk with other parents, send E-mail to: 

with the following message:

        subscribe pflag-talk

There is even a World Wide Web (WWW) page created by the Las Vegas Chapter 
of P-FLAG at

P-FLAG affiliates are located in more than 340 communities across the 
United States and in 11 other countries. For information about P-FLAG in 
your area, contact P-FLAG, 1012 14th Street, N.W., Suite 700, Washington, 
D.C. 20005 or call (202) 638-4200 or e-mail: PFLAGNTL@AOL.COM. For 
additional Everett reso