SFGN’s “Speak OUT” is a weekly feature giving a regular voice to South Florida LGBT leaders.
This week: Name one story that sticks out in your mind this week?
In a TMZ and Kardashian controlled media environment, I am concerned about the Bruce Jenner interview with Diane Sawyer. It will be watched by millions and for most viewers, what will be said will help to frame their understanding of this topic. My hope is that Diane is schooled to stay away from sensationalistic issues and concentrates her questions on helping us understand the struggle Bruce has lived and how this change will lead to a better and truer self.
— David Jobin, executive director of The Stonewall National Museum & Archives
I think it’s important to focus on the bills being masked as religious protection but are really discrimination against the LGBT community. I have asked the question of many people and nobody can tell me how religious freedom has been curtailed or limited by freedom to love.
— Meredith L Ockman, a director of NOW; V.P. Florida NWPC & President of S. Fla Women's Health Foundation
Florida Republicans are trying to pass an anti-gay bill #HB7111 that would allow adoption agencies — whether religiously affiliated or not — to refuse to make placements with qualified families for reasons so broad that it could effect more than just the LGBT Community. In the bill they can deny placements to parents of different faith than the agency, if they don't attend church, or because they are single or divorced.
— Lee Rubin, Blogger and Community Organizer
I'm very concerned about the rise in violent attacks on LGBT people, which seems to rise along with the number of victories we win in civic and legislative arenas. The crimes that are part of this backlash are sometimes recognized by law enforcement as hate crimes, and prosecuted accordingly, but sometimes they're not. The three people in Philadelphia who attacked a gay couple in the street are a good example of criminals who are not being charged with hate crimes even though the attack was clearly prompted by homophobia. We need to keep up the pressure on authorities to prosecute these violent criminal acts appropriately.
— Judy Ireland, Assistant organizer for BLAST Women of WPB
Will misogyny be as much a motivating factor in the vitriolic response to Hillary Clinton, as racism has been to President Obama? Will gay Republicans vote for a GOP presidential candidate who wouldn't attend a gay wedding?
— Brian McNaught, noted columnist, author and LGBT activist
I am so proud of Aydian Dowling, who is currently competing in the Ultimate Men’s Health Guy Competition to be on the cover of Men’s Health. Aydian is vying to become the first transgender man to be on the cover of the magazine. He is very brave. Here’s a link to the article — MensHealth.com/best-life/aydian-dowling-mens-health-guy
— Rev. Leslie A. Rutland-Tipton, Senior Pastor, Church of the Holy SpiritSong