Damon Gress

posted about LGBT Language on Facebook 2015-03-24 11:43:22 -0700
Sign the petition: LGBT Language

LGBT Language

On March 11th, due to an increase in anti-LGBT rhetoric in our local public debate, four local LGBT organizations released a letter calling on the resignation of any elected or appointed official who engages in LGBT hate speech. (Click here to read petition.) It was discovered that one of the biggest offenders had recently been appointed by Councilwoman Christina Fugazi as her intern--even after two Record Reporters called this individual out for his racist and homophobic rhetoric. Now, this same person is being considered to be appointed to Stockton's Charter Review Commission, a very important committee that is tasked with updating our City's Constitution. Here are our concerns:

1)  We have seen an increase in the use of phrases like "gay pride mafia" or "rainbow mafia" when referring to local LGBT organizations or movement. This is inappropriate and unacceptable; and it's shocking to hear it come from political activist, candidates for office or elected officials themselves. Webster dictionary defines mafia as "a criminal organization". Comparing those in the LGBT movement who are advocating for equality as "criminal" is homophobic, intolerant and hate speech.

2) Referring to anyone as anything other then their gender is unacceptable. Doing it once is wrong and doing it repeatedly shows how unfit for public service an individual is.

3) Articulating one's position on policy, politics and public figures is a constitutional right, however, when you use words in a way that promotes racism, homophobia and to bully, you have crossed a line. 

4) What message does tolerating this type of behavior say to our city's youth? When a recent survey illustrates that 83% of our LGBT youth in San Joaquin County have heard anti-LGBT slurs and that same percentage have contemplated suicide---appointing individuals who use this type of hate speech to work on behalf of Stockton sends a message that homophobia and bigotry are accepted behaviors.
Please call or email your Councilmember and demand that they not appoint individuals who use hate speech and homophobia in their rhetoric.  (Click here for a Word version of petition for snail mailing or emailing.)

Mayor Anthony Silva

Phone: (209) 937-8499

Mayor@stocktongov.com

 

Vice Mayor Christina Fugazi

Council District 5

Phone: (209) 937-8244

dist5@stocktongov.com

 

Councilmember Elbert H. Holman, Jr.

Council District 1

Phone: (209) 937-8244

dist1@stocktongov.com

 

Councilmember Dan Wright

Council District 2

Phone: (209) 937-8244

dist2@stocktongov.com

 

Councilmember Susan Lofthus

Council District 3

Phone: (209) 937-8244

dist3@stocktongov.com

 

 

Councilmember Moses Zapien

Council District 4

Phone: (209) 937-8244

dist4@stocktongov.com

 

Councilmember Michael Tubbs

Council District 6

Phone: (209) 937-8244

dist6@stocktongov.com

 

102 signatures

 

Stockton City Council

425 N. El Dorado St.

Stockton, CA 95202

 

March 18th, 2015

 

RE: LGBT Hate Speech

 

Dear Stockton City Council:

Bigotry against the LGBT community is still enshrined in the law in most of the United States. Elected officials and politically active, engaged citizens may be able to shrug off the effects of hate speech, but it is nevertheless unacceptable, and contributes to an atmosphere of intolerance that at best discourages political participation, and at worst can be deadly. It is unacceptable to use slurs against the LGBT community; to deride non-cissexual orientation; to deliberately confuse the genders of LGBT people in order to mock them. If any of the above were directed towards any other group of minority they would be considered so outrageous as to demand immediate refutation.

Due to bullying and non- acceptance, our LGBT youth are our most at-risk demographic. They are in danger from others, whose hatred proceeds from hate speech to actual violence, and, sadly, from themselves, having absorbed the prejudice around them without the emotional resilience to resist. A recent survey conducted by the San Joaquin Pride Center found that 83% of LGBT youth in San Joaquin County have heard anti-LGBT slurs. These same proportions have contemplated suicide. It is not only important that as adults we choose our words carefully, but also that we not be bigots, and that when see it, we reject it.

Recently, it has become more common to see this kind of language used against others when they are perceived to be in the speaker's political opposition. We will no longer tolerate it. This is not normal expression of opposition; this is naked bigotry.

We call on the removal from office of any elected (or appointed) public figure who has engaged in hate speech, and ask that any and all others refrain from such heated rhetoric in the future.

 

Respectfully,


 


Massage Therapist and Artist making a go of it in Stockton CA, I've also been a model, talk show host, and cameraman. It sure sounds better than it's worked out so far! :) I'm artsy, sensitive, stuck in a lineman's body