Matthew Shepard Observance in Boise Sat. Oct. 9

Matthew Shepard Hate Crime In the early morning hours of October 7, 1998 Matthew Shepard was savagely beaten and tortured for no other reason than he was gay. Left naked out in a field and tied to a fence, 21 year-old Matthew endured the cold Laramie Wyoming night until he was found the next day. Matthew was taken to the hospital where he died 5 days later. Matthew has become a national symbol of anti-gay bullying and hate crime violence in our country. This 12th anniversary of his death is even more somber and poignant with the recent five gay youth suicides as a result of anti-gay bullying and homophobia. Please join us as we gather to remember Matthew, grieve and re-energize our fight for equality in his name. Saturday October 9, 2010 3:00 PM at the Idaho Anne Frank Memorial. I will be speaking with a great line up of other community leaders.

Idaho’s Uniform LGBT Hate Crime Reporting, Not So Uniform

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang By Jody May-Chang Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com July 21, 2010 Idaho is not among 22 states reporting hate violence targeted toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program issued its annual report for 2009 last week. Accurately quantifying anti-LGBT hate crime in Idaho is difficult in part because of a disconnect between federal, state and local reporting criteria. Additionally, LGBT people are less likely to report hate crime for fear of being outed or retribution, especially in conservative and rural areas. Human rights activists say there are also concerns about police harassment or indifference. “Brutal attacks against actual or perceived LGBT people are hate crimes,” said activist Emilie Jackson-Edney. “But in the eyes of Idaho law, they’re just another assault or battery.” Boise Police Department’s Victim Witness Coordinator, Janet Lawler told Citydesk that, “Boise police have a real proactive malicious harassment policy which is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.” However, Lawler explained that while a misdemeanor battery that includes a racial slur would be elevated to a felony, the same is not true if a sexual orientation or gender identity slur is used. Pennie Blamires of the Idaho State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit told Citydesk there are 107 Idaho law enforcement agencies that report data to her unit. Her division documents crime and submits it to the FBI. But the ISP report doesn’t record gender identity. Lawler said in Boise,“maybe three to four cases were investigated over the last year because of sexual orientation.” In a Law and Order edition of Catch 22, the federal government is required to track crime data on sexual orientation and gender Identity from the states, but they do not require states to track it. Ironically, the front page of the 2009 Idaho Uniform Crime report motto reads: “You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure.”

Hate Crimes Act to hit Obama’s Desk

Matthew Sheppard
Matthew Shepard
Thursday the Human Rights Commission and the Matthew Shepard Foundation announced the passage of the The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The act, named to honor Matthew Shepard as well as James Byrd, an African-American resident of Texas brutally dragged to death in 1998 in a notorious hate crime. as a provision of the Defense Authorization Conference Report in 68 to 29 vote. “Dennis and I are extremely proud of the Senate for once again passing this historic measure of protection for victims of these brutal crimes,” said Judy Shepard, president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board. “Knowing that the president will sign it, Continue reading

Hate is a Lifestyle Choice for Bryan Fischer

Jody May-Chang© May 18, 2009 PrideDEPOT.com Bryan Fischer Idaho Values AllianceIt should come as no surprise that Bryan Fischer, executive director of the non-profit “organization,” Idaho Values Alliance, which consists only of himself, is once again being reckless with the facts. Fischer’s desperate attacks against LGBT people are practically a daily obsession that could easily be dismissed as ridiculous were it not for his malicious tone. He is Idaho’s front man for the anti-gay industry and he is betting the farm that his lemming-like followers will keep coughing up cash so he can continue his operation of sewing the seeds of fear and loathing. Fischer’s contempt is so strong he regularly calls us Nazis, fascists, child molesters and more recently his lunatic claim that including sexual orientation in hate crime legislation would protect pedophiles. Adding a new drum beat to his act, Fischer is parroting other far right extremists with, “GREAT NEWS: Even the left admits there is no gay gene.” A weak and flailing attempt to argue homosexuality is nothing but an immoral lifestyle choice. Continue reading

Twisted Logic:

Jody May-Chang© May 12, 2009 PrideDEPOT.com

Bryan Fischer+Hate Crime Prevention Bill=Pedophile Protection Act

H. Lukas Green contributed to this piece. Bryan Fischer Idaho Values AllianceThe economic recession has had an adverse impact on nearly every sector of the American economy except for one; the growing anti-gay industry lead by self-proclaimed Christian leaders who sell fear and contempt inside a package called “family values.” Idaho’s chief CEO of lies and misinformation about LGBT citizens is none other than Bryan Fischer, the pitchman for the so-called Idaho Values Alliance. Fischer’s talent for garnering easy access to the Idaho news media to sell his poisonous product rivals any Wall Street crook with a Ponzi scheme designed to separate grand mom from her life savings. Except that in this case, Fischer’s game is to separate citizens he loathes from their rights as equal citizens under the law by promoting stereotypes that illicit fear and hate through a marketing plan crafted by far right extremists whose vision of America and the world is limited to their own narrow-minded ideology. Continue reading

Faith-Based Hate Speech Pollutes Idaho

Jody May-Chang© May 18, 2008 PrideDEPOT.com One of the biggest recruiters of hate spoke at the so-called “Shake the Nation” conference here is Boise this weekend was Scott Lively, author of “The Pink Swastika,” an evil tool that blames homosexuals for the Holocaust. Lively is a fraud who masks his hate speech as a spiritual message. His brand of faith-based bigotry is specifically crafted to generate fear about gay people, the kind of fear that escalates into violence. Bryan Fischer is the local mouth piece for the right-wing agenda, which seems increasingly obsessed with homosexuals. While in his role as executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, Fischer uses the non-profit IVA website to promote Lively’s twisted political propaganda. “The Pink Swastika” has little to do with religion and promoting Christian values, but everything to do with hiding behind non-profit status while promoting political propaganda. Lively sows the seeds of hatred masked as God’s message by lying about LGBT people. Anti-Gay Author of The Pink Swastika Scott LivelyLast summer, in a speech Lively (left) gave in Novosibirsk, Russia, he spews his religious extremist garbage saying, “I have been working with the Russian community in Sacramento; I want to tell you that this is an example that will show you how bad things are in the United States. Because we have come to a place in the United Sates where the homosexuals have achieved very high power and that they have begun to punish, they have begun to cause the political powers to punish anyone who says that homosexuality is wrong,” says Lively. Continue reading

Boise Non-Profit Spews Anti-Gay Hate Propaganda

Jody May-Chang© May 17, 2008 PrideDEPOT.com Idaho Values Alliance Executive Director Bryan FisherBryan Fischer (left), Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt organization, is widely known as the self anointed moral police for family values in Idaho. Fischer recently posted a rabidly homophobic article on his website. This brand of fiction, also reproduced on Alan Keys website Renew America, does nothing but perpetuate fear, loathing and hatred of LGBT people. In the May 15th “story”, “The truth about homosexuality and the Nazi Party,” Fischer defends Scott Lively, author of ‘The Pink Swastika.’ Published in the mid-nineties, the book has been extensively debunked as anti-gay propaganda. Why now, well Lively will be speaking at a Christian conservative religious conference here in Boise this weekend called “Shake the Nation.” In an apparent response to comments made about Lively and his book by The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho, Fischer claims the “far-left” group accused Lively of “bearing false witness” and of being “mean-spirited and hurtful.” Fischer’s discourse goes on to parrot Lively’s obsession with homosexuals and Nazi’s to Idaho conservatives. “Lively’s crime? says Fischer, “In his book, ‘The Pink Swastika,’ Lively exposes a secret homosexual activists don’t want you to know about Nazi Germany: that although the Nazis did persecute homosexuals, the homosexuals the Nazis persecuted were almost exclusively the effeminate members of the gay community in Germany, and that much of the mistreatment was administered by masculine homosexuals who despised effeminacy in all its forms.” Continue reading

Murder in Indiana: State of Neglect

H.Lukas Green and Jody May-Chang© June 29, 2007 PrideDEPOT.com Indiana’s Christian Conservatives lobbied aggressively to kill HB 1459, a hate crimes bill. Indiana is one of four states without any kind of hate crime legislation. Indiana’s religious conservatives mirrored the same tactics used successfully in other states; lie, fear monger, and label homosexuals as a threat. Continue reading