The Blue Review: Oases of Welcome

In an exclusive interview for The Blue Review, I had the great honor to sit down with gay icon and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson. We talked about marriage equality, religious freedom, Add the Words and more.


Blue Review, Boise State University, BSU

Oases of Welcome

Openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson visits Boise

gene-robinson-660x300“Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop, was the keynote speaker at the Pacific Northwest regional conference for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Boise Oct. 4 at the Riverside hotel. About 130 PFLAG members from nine Northwest states attended. Some events were open to the community like the healing and reconciliation service on Sunday, officiated by Bishop Robinson — especially for LGBT people who have been hurt and rejected by their faiths.”

Read the entire interview HERE on The Blue Review

VanderSloot has Etch-a-Sketch Moment!

Frank VanderSloot, Melaleuca, Greta Van Susteren, Fox News, Idaho Falls, Romney, 2012

Melaleuca CEO and Romney finance co-chair, Frank VanderSloot phoned in a new chapter of his billionaire victim story to Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show last Friday claiming he is has a target strapped to his back.

VanderSloot’s latest attempt to salvage his Mr. Nice Guy brand after weeks of national news coverage about his anti-gay record and attempts to silence bloggers and journalist, was to launch a golly gee gosh some of my best friends are gay poor me media strategy.

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Journalist & Author Glenn Greenwood in Boise for ACLU Event

Glenn Greenwald, Jody May-Chang, ACLU, Idaho, Salon.com

Glenn Greenwald, prominent author, journalist, and political commentator from Salon.com is here in Boise tonight and will be the guest keynote speaker at the annual Bill of Rights diner for the ACLU of Idaho. I had the great honor and privilege to have sit down with him for a face-to-face interview earlier this morning. More on that later.

I am really looking forward to tonight. Glenn is a captivating and inspiring speaker and has done a tremendous job with his latest book, “Liberty and Justice for SOME, How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.”

PODCAST: KLIX “Top Story” with Jody May-Chang Discussing Bryan Fischer & SPLC Report

Independent journalist Jody May-Chang discusses the Southern Poverty Law Center Report: THE PROPAGANDISTS: Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association & the Demonization of LGBT People on Fox talk radio KLIX 1310, Twin Falls Idaho.

Download the full Southern Poverty Law Center Report Here!

Jody May-Chang, Bryan Fischer, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Family Association, AFA, SPLC, LGBT, Jill Kuraitis, KLIX, Radio, Fox, 1310, Twin Falls, Idaho

Equality Campaign “Add the Words, Idaho” Launched Today

Guest Post by Mistie Tolman

Add the Words, Idaho, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Idaho Human Rights Act, AmmendmentDaily, people across Idaho, in small towns and in cities, live in fear of being fired from their jobs, being denied housing, public service or educational opportunities because they are gay or transgender.

In last winter’s legislative session, people posted sticky notes on the Senate State Affairs Committee doors asking the Chairman to allow a public hearing on the bill to add the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act.

The stickies were a powerful presence, like having voices from all over the state speaking from the committee room doors. Security took the stickies down, but, every day, people put new ones up.

Last winter, we asked the Idaho legislature to hear us. It seems they didn’t. This year, from every town in Idaho and in every room of the statehouse, we want a sticky note saying it’s time to finally Add the Words.

Please stand with us. Idaho’s gay and transgender community can’t do this alone.

Activist Laura Doty sits by I84 freeway spreading the word for equality.

To write a paper or virtual sticky note and find you your legislators are go to http://addthewords.org

A 2007 statewide poll found that more than 63% of Idahoans felt it should be illegal to fire someone because they are gay. Yet still lawmakers have failed to do what the majority know is the right thing to do… Add the Words, Idaho!

Aryans Nations Promote Valley County “Eat, Greet and Meet”

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com June 23, 2011

The Northwest Region of the Aryan Nation is promoting an all-day “eat, greet and meet” event Sunday, June 26, at Valley County’s Lake Cascade State Park.

Idaho Parks and Recreation Communications Manager Jennifer Blazek told Citydesk Lake Cascade’s park manager has been communicating with John Bolen, Aryan Nations NW Coordinator, informing him of Camp Buttercup’s park rules.

State parks require a per-approval application for groups larger than 25 persons. Blazek said the park has yet to receive an application from the group and so far only two campsites were reserved for attendees.

“Because it is public property, we cannot be selective on who utilizes the property,” said Blazek. “We do ensure everybody abides by the same rules.”

Fliers promoting the gathering posted on the Aryan Nation website claim, “lying, cheating, sexual deviants are running America,” “hate crime legislation targets whites,” “non-white crime is under-reported” and “by 2020 there will be no white child-bearing age females to sustain a viable population.”

The website has a link to the state park page for Lake Cascade that, when clicked on, opens the state’s park page framed inside the Aryan Nation website under the banner: “Fighting Jewish Takeover for 35 years.”

Lake Cascade, Idaho State Park, Camp Buttercup, Aryan Nations

“I prefer our agency didn’t at all look as if it was affiliated with or endorsing that entity, because certainly we don’t,” said Blazek. “There is really nothing we can do to control the links or windows they have pop up on their website.”

Hear Me! My Name is Catherine!
Legally a Woman, Jailed Among Men

On The Record with Catherine Carlson

Catherine Carlson in Payette Country JailA small and fragile transgender woman sits behind bars in solitary in a men’s section of an Idaho county jail for crimes sparked by years of mental and emotional torture brought on my a malicious parent, cruel state actions, and a savage legal system that refuses to recognize the most personal part of an individual’s identity, gender.

Meet Catherine Carlson, a 56-year-old, on her way to prison after years of what she describes as being terrorized by her family, the State of Idaho and the police.

Read her story and listen to Catherine’s emotional courtroom testimony and exclusive jailhouse interviews of why she says she finally came to the end of her rope and snapped.

On July 11, 2010 she set fire to her home and truck and was later arrested walking down the highway naked.

Convicted of first-degree arson, possession of a hoax destructive devise and indecent exposure, Catherine is facing up to 40 years in prison.

In this compelling and heart-wrenching story about one woman’s quest for simple respect and human dignity, Catherine talks exclusively to investigative journalist, Jody May-Chang from the Payette Country Jail as she awaits sentencing.

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Earlier Reporting On This Story:

Carlson Talks After Guilt Verdict

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Apr. 18, 2011

After being found guilty of first degree arson, possessing a hoax destructive device and indecent exposure on April 14, Citydesk talked to Catherine Carlson about her conviction.

“Well I expected it, and I didn’t expect it, and it blew my mind … I [am going] to prison because I couldn’t transfer that title of that trailer into my name because I refuse to register as transgender,” said Carlson.

The 56-year-old Payette woman has a long history of physical and psychological abuse, and has had numerous encounters with the courts and law enforcement over the years.

July 11, 2010, Carlson torched the trailer where she lived, placed four fake pipe bombs on her doorstep and put a note on her front door that read, “No one inside, booby trapped, it’s not worth your life, keep out.” She then headed to a storage facility where she set her truck on fire. Carlson was arrested shortly afterward, while walking naked down Highway 95 in Payette. Continue reading