Fort Lauderdale hires gay-tourism promoter

From GayCities.com

 

One of America’s first actively gay-friendly tourism destinations is redoubling its focus on LGBT travelers for the new year. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau has appointed its first-ever dedicated director for the LGBT market, Richard Gray, a fixture on the hospitality scene.

As then-owner of Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Gray became the official gay liaison to the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB in 1996, and later the first openly gay appointee to the Broward County Tourist Development Council in 2007. In his new role for the CVB, Gray will target LGBT travelers, who now enjoy a plethora of travel destination options worldwide.

“Having a full-time person for the gay market gives us an edge,” Gray said in a recent interview. Part of Gray’s new strategy will be attracting groups and promoting special events, such as May’s BeachBear Weekend, now in its third year.

Gray also plans to update the way Fort Lauderdale targets gay travelers, in a world where rainbow print ads are now a dime a dozen.

“Social media has definitely taken the forefront, as has guerrilla marketing,” he says. “We’re going to attend the Gay Pride Parade in New York City. We’ll have gorgeous hot guys in our beach mobile, handing out giveaways like ‘Sunny’ wrist bands.”

“Sunny” is a reference to Fort Lauderdale’s official “Hello Sunny” slogan. Last October, the CVB introduced

Fort Lauderdale shows off its “boyz” in one of its “Sunny” tourism commercials.

one of the world’s first mainstream tourism commercials to mix images of gay couples with straight ones in a spot that’s aired nationally.

Partner registries top local gay headlines of 2012

What was the biggest gay news event in the Orlando area in 2012? The establishment of domestic partner registries in Volusia County, Orange County and the City of Orlando.

So says the Watermark gay newspaper, which drew up a list of 5 major GLBT developments in the Orlando area over the past year.

The city of Orlando pioneered the registry concept in January, while Volusia and Orange Counties followed suit in July.

The registries allow couples to designate each other as “next of kin” for hospital visitation rights, funeral arrangements and some other matters. But they do not carry the same weight as a  marriage certificate, a will or a legal power of attorney.

A tally by GayDaytona found 182 gay and straight couples in Volusia County registered in the five-month period of July 2 through Dec. 17. Of these, 66 were female couples, 43 male couples and the rest mixed-gender.

Twenty Volusia couples signed up on July 2, the opening day of the registry. Since then, couples have been registering at the rate of 10 to 15 a month.

Other Orlando gay-related events that Watermark deemed signifcant were:

– Election of openly gay Joe Saunders, a Democrat,  to the Florida House of Representatives.

–  The Dec. 5 opening of Zebra House on Mills Avenue, Orlando. The building includes an emergency shelter for LGBT youth alienated from their families., and offices for the Zebra Coalition, ayouth advocacy group.

–  Orange County’s School Board enacted an anti-discrimination policy for the school system to protect GLBT students and staff.

– The Disney Gay Days festival again drew hundreds of thousands despite some rainy periods.

GLBT Hall of Fame honors Christian singer Shawn Thomas


The GLBT Hall Of Fame will induct gay Christian singer-songwriter Shawn Thomas this week.

Also to be honored by the Virginia-based organization are the late Sally Ride, a lesbian physicist and astronaut, and Donna Redwing, a longtime activist in Iowa.

The induction ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 19, will be broadcast live from the hall’s web site — www.glbthalloffame.com — and also from Rainbow World Radio, wwwrainbowworldradio, starting at 8 p.m.

Shawn Thomas, based in West Palm Beach, brought his lively music ministry to New Church Family in October 2011. The church is pleased to welcome him again on May 12, 2013, when he will present a special music service on Mother’s Day Sunday. The 10 a.m. service at 3520 W. International Speedway Boulevard (US 92), Daytona Beach, is free and open to anyone.

Traveling full time, Thomas visits about 100 churches and Pride events each year, singing about God’s love for people of all orientations. Last month, he was the featured artist at the Convocation of International Christian Community Churches in Greenville S.C. He has recorded several music CDs and has a new one coming out this spring. He also provides studio help and promotion for  other  GLBT artists, including the Canaan Band and Marcus Young.

In its award announcement, the Hall of Fame noted:

“Through his actions and music Shawn Thomas has built bridges of understanding and acceptance for the GLBT community within the non-GLBT Christian community.”

   Sally Ride was hailed for her contributions to children’s science literature and teaching materials, and for the founding of “Sally Ride Science” which is still operated by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy.

Redwing is being inducted for her “extensive work for full GLBT equality, and her work with One Iowa and the Interfaith Alliance.”

   The GLBT Hall Of Fame is a community based program designed to recognize and honor members and friends of the GLBT community who through direct effort and action have made an outstanding impact on the GLBT community and/or the worldwide community.

Founded by Len Rogers of the StoneWall Society, its first induction was held in December 2004. Over the years it has recognized, among others, author Patricia Nell Warren, actor-playwright Harvey Fierstein, the Rev. Troy Perry, singers Marsha Stevens-Pino and Melissa Ethridge, Olympic swimmer and author Greg Louganis, and the late Billie Boots, Daytona Beach drag comedienne and fundraiser for many AIDS organization.

Currently, the Hall of Fame exists as just a website but organizers have long-term plans to establish a physical location and/or a traveling exhibit.

Details about the 2012 GLBT Hall of Fame Induction broadcast can be found at www.GLBTHallofFame.com.  More information about Shawn Thomas is available at www.shawnthomasonline.com.

FBI: 2 hate crimes in Volusia in 2011

By Tom Brown

The annual FBI report on hate crimes says Volusia police agencies recorded two hate crimes during 2011 — a Daytona Beach anti-gay incident and one in DeLand involving racism. No hate crimes were reported for Flagler County.

Nationally, the number of hate crimes reported to police in 2011 declined slightly compared to the previous year — 6,222 versus 6,628. In 2009, 6,604 crimes were reported.

Civil rights groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, say the numbers are fragmentary and unreliable because most police agencies lack training in detecting and investigating hate crimes. Thus, a fistfight in a bar may be entered into a police computer as just an ordinary “drunk and disorderly” incident.

Throughout the nation, the FBI counted only four murders and seven rapes involving hate.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal carried an Associated Press summary of the report, but did not include any local information. The FBI database contains no details of what allegedly occurred in Daytona or DeLand.

Nearly half of the reported hate crimes in 2011 were motivated by racial bias, and one of every five hate crimes was motivated by a sexual orientation bias or religious bias. One in five was motivated by bias involving national origin or ethnicity.

Crimes against people perceived as gay increased — from 1,470 in 2010 to 1,508 in 2011. The FBI does not yet track anti-transgender crimes but will begin doing so in 2013 as a result of the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Other types of hate crimes declined, according to the FBI count.

Within Florida, the FBI collected 54 reports of racial hate crimes, 29 religious incidents, 25 involving sexual or gender identity, 16 ethnic attacks and 1 involving a disability issue. Even large cities reported just a few hate crimes — Orlando, for example, tallied 4, with three of them involving sexual orientation.

Nearly 60 percent of the people who allegedly committed hate crimes nationwide were white. About 20 percent were black.

The FBI has been collecting information on hate crimes for more than two decades. The highest-recorded number of hate crimes was in 2001, when 9,730 such crimes were reported.

“FBI statistics vastly underestimate the actual number of hate crimes committed in the United States,” said Jack Levin, a hate-crime expert at Northeastern University told the Los Angeles Times.

Many victims are reluctant to report attacks. Immigrants, for example, may remember law enforcement officials as representatives of a repressive regime in their country of origin. Gay, bisexual and transgender victims may fear that police will be insensitive if they report the incident.

Furthermore, Levin said, perpetrators are “not always stupid enough to leave evidence at a crime scene,” so it is not always clear what is a hate crime and what isn’t.

“When the Justice Department asks victims anonymously whether they have been targeted for hate offenses, they get a figure that approaches 200,000 hate crimes annually,” Levin said.

 

Orange County school board approves anti-bias policy

Message from Michael Farmer, Equality Florida:

I wanted to make sure you heard about an important victory we had in Orange County yesterday (Dec. 11)

orangered.jpgFollowing an 8 hour hearing that lasted until 1:30am this morning, the Orange County School Board added sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to provisions that protect students, teachers and staff from discrimination.

For two years we have been working with the school board and with teachers in Orange County to pass these protections so nobody is afraid to go to school or afraid they will be fired because of who they are.

In the 11th hour an anti-equality group called the Florida Family Policy Council resorted to fear tactics and outright lies in an attempt to defeat the measure.

At last night’s hearing, the room was packed and the public comment included students, parents, community leaders and those whipped into a hateful frenzy by the far right’s tactics.

School Board Member Christine Moore attempted to amend the policy to remove gender identity or expression and was joined by Chair Sublette and School Board Member Pam Gould, but her amendment failed.

The School Board finally voted by a measure of 6 to 2 to add the protections. In doing so, Orange County Public Schools now joins other major school districts in Florida, a majority of Fortune 500 companies and cities and counties across Florida that protect people based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

A special thank you to School Board Members Daryl Flynn and Nancy Robbinson who really stood firm and championed protections for their LGBT employees and students in OCPS. At the end of the night, School Board Members Joie Cadle, Rick Roach and Kat Gordon and Chair Bill Sublette also stood against anti-LGBT discrimination by voting in favor of the policy.

Thank you to the Orange County School Board for rejecting last minute hate messages from a fringe group and doing the right thing for our teachers and students. Big kudos to the Orange County teachers, students and the LGBT and allied community who turned out to hold the line for fairness.

UCF Student Gov’t approves Pride Coalition

From Watermarkonline.com
After narrowly voting it down by four votes during its second reading on Nov. 8, the UCF Student Government Association (SGA) Senate passed a bill on Nov. 29 to create a new SGA-affiliated agency dedicated to LGBTQ+ programming, education and advocacy called the Pride Coalition.  The vote count for the third and final reading of the Pride Coalition bill was 26-14-0.The Pride Coalition will be the first LGBTQ+ organization in UCF’s 50 year history to function with backing from the Student Government Association.  With SGA agency status, the Pride Coalition will be eligible to receive direct funding from the University’s Activity & Service fee budget.  A full-time staff position dedicated to LGBTQ+ issues at UCF will also be created.

Pride Coalition will not be the first LGBT organization at UCF. The Gay Student Association was the first official organization founded at the University in 1976.  Its current name is “Equal” and it continues to operate as a registered student organization focused on LGBT social programming.  It competes with more than 400 other registered organizations for funds from the Student Senate each year.As an SGA agency, the UCF community will benefit from more programming and resources geared towards LGBT awareness and overall campus inclusion, according to OUTreach Advocacy Board Student Director Nicholas Simons.

Simons led the initiative to create the Pride Coalition, arguing that LGBT and questioning students are underserved at UCF and many other campuses.

  He, along with other students and staff, worked with various SGA and university officials to move this initiative forward over the past four months.The OUTreach Advocacy Board is a student-run leadership initiative sponsored by UCF’s Student Development & Enrollment Services division and the LGBTQ Services office.  Both LGBTQ Services and the OUTreach Advocacy Board were founded in 2011.  They operate on a limited budget as UCF deals with continuing cutbacks in state financial support. This year UCF faced the second largest budget cut of any Florida public university with the state slashing $52.6 million from its operating budget.

“As one of the largest universities in the country, UCF is very far behind [in serving its LGBT students] and we need to play catch-up,” Simons said during his presentation to the Senate.

Not all LGBT students at UCF supported the Pride Coalition. SGA senator Jacob Kahn, who is gay, adamantly spoke against the measure at both readings.“No one minority group is more important than the next,” Kahn said. “By voting for this group, you are saying the LGBTQ community is more important than every other minority group on campus.”

Kahn thinks the Pride Coalition approval means other minority organizations will seek agency status.  Since 2002, the Multicultural Student Center has operated as an SGA agency to support multicultural programming and education. He expressed concern that the creation of the Pride Coalition would undermine the effectiveness of the Multicultural Student Center.

The Multicultural Student Center endorsed the formation of the Pride Coalition and sponsored the Senate bill.

When the bill passed, cheers filled the room as students began to hug, laugh and cry in celebration.

“It’s the proudest moment of my life,” said Simons. “I think it’s an amazing step forward for the LGBTQ community at UCF; I think that it was a necessary step forward for us because we’re finally going to join our peer institutions in meeting these students’ needs.”

The Pride Coalition still has to go before the University’s Activity & Service Fee budget committee to request funding in the upcoming weeks and more than likely will not begin operating until the next fiscal year.

In the spring of 2013, the UCF Student Union, the Student Government Association and LGBTQ Services plan to open a new communal space for LGBT students and their allies in the Ferrell Commons where Equal’s fist Diva Invasion was held in 1996. The newly formed Pride Coalition will also be involved in this venture.

Supreme Court to hear 2 marriage cases

The U.S. Supreme Count has agreed to hear two cases involving gay marriage, raising the prospect of a major ruling by next June that could affect gay and lesbian couples in Florida and other conservative strongholds.

One of the cases, from California, could establish or reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The justices could also rule on narrower grounds that would apply only to marriages in California.

The second case, from New York, challenges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that requires the federal government to deny tax breaks and other benefits to gay and lesbian couples married in states that allow such unions.

Voters in Florida amended its state constitution in 2008 to make marriage only a one man, one woman proposition. Some counties, including Volusia, have set up domestic partner registries to help gay partners with next-of-kin questions and a few other issues, but registration doesn’t provide any tax or Social Security benefits.

Support for gay nuptials has widened since 1996, when the anti-gay DOMA was approved 342-67 in the House of Representatives and 85-14 in the Senate before being signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Voters on Nov. 6 approved gay marriage in Washington, Maryland and Maine and rejected a bid in Minnesota to amend the state constitution to bar the practice. By Jan. 1, same-sex couples will have the right to marry in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Previous Supreme Court cases provide few hints as to how the court will rule. Although Justice Anthony Kennedy, who may cast the deciding vote, backed gay rights in 1996 and 2003 rulings, neither case involved marriage.

The California case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144, was filed in 2009 by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, two lawyers who were on opposite sides in the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore, which settled the 2000 presidential election. The suit argued that California voters had violated the federal Constitution the previous year when they overrode a decision of the state’s Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages.

A federal judge in San Francisco agreed, issuing a broad decision that said the Constitution required the state to allow same-sex couples to marry. The decision has been stayed.

A divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, also in San Francisco, affirmed the decision. But the majority relied on narrower grounds that seemed calculated to avoid Supreme Court review or, at least, attract the vote of the presumed swing member of that court, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt, writing for the majority, relied heavily on a 1996 majority opinion from Justice Kennedy in Romer v. Evans, which struck down a Colorado constitutional amendment that had banned the passage of laws protecting gay men and lesbians. The voter initiative in California, known as Proposition 8, had done something similar, Judge Reinhardt wrote.

That reasoning, he added, meant that the ruling was confined to California.

The Supreme Court has several options in reviewing the decision. It could reverse it, leaving California’s ban on same-sex marriage in place. It could affirm it on the narrower theory, which would allow same-sex marriage in California but not require it elsewhere. Or it could address the broader question of whether the Constitution requires states to allow such marriages.

The second case the court agreed to hear, United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307, challenges a part of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. Section 3 of the law defines marriage as between only a man and a woman for the purposes of more than 1,000 federal laws and programs. (Another part of the law, not before the court, says that states need not recognize same-sex marriages from other states.)

The case concerns two New York City women, Edith Windsor and Thea Clara Spyer, who married in 2007 in Canada.  Spyer died in 2009, and Ms. Windsor inherited her property. The 1996 law did not allow the Internal Revenue Service to treat Windsor as a surviving spouse, and she faced a tax bill of about $360,000 that a spouse in an opposite-sex marriage would not have had to pay.

The Obama administration’s attitude toward same-sex marriage and the 1996 law has shifted over time. Until last year, the Justice Department defended the law in court, as it typically does for all acts of Congress. In February 2011, though, Attorney General Eric H. Holder announced that he and President Obama had concluded that the law was unconstitutional and unworthy of defense in court, though he added that the administration would continue to enforce the law.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama opposed same-sex marriage, citing his personal religious convictions. In May of this year, Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage.

After the Justice Department stepped aside, House Republicans intervened to defend the law. They are represented by Paul D. Clement, a solicitor general in the Bush administration.

Compiled by Tom Brown, with reports from the New York Times and Newsmax.com

 

Word Up 12-5-12

WORD UP –December 5, 2012

Weekly Newsletter No. 193

New Church Family ICCC,

3520 W. International Speedway Blvd.

Daytona Beach, FL 32124

Rev Beau McDaniels Senior Pastor

Rev Susan McDaniels Associate Pastor

www.newchurchfamily.org    Tel. 386-527-5952

“We are the love of Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit empowers us. We will serve the community.”

THIS SUNDAY – DEC. 9

 

New Church Family 10 a.m. – Praise, prayer and Holy Communion – Our annual Christmas Music service, led by Teresa Wright, assisted by Tom Brown.  Join us for some old-fashioned Christmas caroling, plus a short lesson about the lore of caroling and other Christmas traditions.

 

SCRIPTURE FOR SUNDAY — Lectionary Readings (Revised Common Lectionary, Year C) — Malachi 3:1–4 or Baruch 5:1–9; Luke 1:68–79; Philippians 1:3–11; Luke 3:1–6.

 PRAYERS –

  John St. asks quick healing for Rev. Susan’s fractured wrist. She is scheduled for a check-up by Dr. Clancy on Thursday.

  Healing for Bridget, a.k.a. Erika who has been suffering pain from hiatal hernia, bursitis and tendonitis.

  Thanksgiving for first-time visitors Ashley and Alex. It was also wonderful to have Dominick, Sylvia and Birdie back with us.

  Betty asks God to preserve good health for her grandson Spencer, who has a hereditary trait for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

  Tom gives thanks for our attendance of 30 and asks God to help us fill the many spare chairs stacked at the rear of our sanctuary.

  Bill asks blessings on the many members missing from Sunday’s service.

  Guidance for the McDaniels as they prepare for a new chapter in their lives

  Blessings for our music ministry and may the Holy Spirit encourage more people to share vocal or instrumental music with us.

 

REV. BEAU TO RETIRE – To help the congregation plan for 2013, Rev. Beau announced Sunday she intends to retire Jan. 31 after nearly 10 years at our church, our longest-serving pastor. Although she is not facing any health crisis, the pastor, nearing 70, said she believes the church needs a younger and more energetic spiritual leader to help it expand its ministry. She and Susan have placed their Port Orange home for sale and are considering relocation out of state. In the meantime, the board has offered Rev. Beau the option of continuing month to month beyond January, or alternatively, doing occasional fill-in preaching while they remain in the Daytona area.

    The board has begun the process of forming a search committee, which will survey the congregation, update and advertise the pastor’s position, review applications, select a short list of finalists, do interviews, and ultimately recommend a candidate to the board and the congregation. A congregational vote of approval is required to hire a new pastor. We expect the search committee will be meeting 2 or more times a month, but most of those meetings can be short sessions held right after service. If you are willing to help the church with this important task, please speak to a board member (Teresa, Mike or Tom) so you can be considered. We aim to get a committee of at least 5-7 people organized before the end of December.

     Also, please speak to the board if you have favorite fill-in preachers to recommend for the post-Beau period. A pastoral search takes time and a lot of prayerful consideration, so it possibly could be 6 months or longer before we have a new pastor. You can help right now by thinking and discussing what qualities we need in our next spiritual leader and how the position should be defined.

 

CHRISTMAS EVENTS:

 

We are celebrating Advent week by week, and adding to our Christmas decorations. If you can come to church early on Sunday, we will retrieve some of our decorations from the attic and get them put in place.

We will hold Christmas worship on Sunday 10 a.m. on DEC. 23. Following the service, we will have a Grab-Bag party and potluck light refreshments – finger foods and desserts. For the party, please bring a simple, wrapped gift (unisex) worth no more than $5. (We will have extras in case you forget.). Our grab-bag is similar to musical chairs – each person takes a turn picking out a gift and opening it. They can either take that gift or exchange it for one of the previously opened gifts. So the last person to pick in theory gets the best gift. This is a suspense-filled game in which we ask God to set aside the “Do not covet’ commandment for a bit.

SUNDAY SERMON RECAP — .The Redemption —  Rev. Beau encouraged us to set aside a few minutes each day this month to pray about what the “coming of Jesus” means to us. Some of us may focus on the Bible stories about an infant born to a humble teenager in an obscure town 20 centuries ago. Others may look ahead to the Second Coming which could occur anytime from the next minute to untold millennia in the future. Speculating about a date for the bodily return of Jesus is useless, Rev. Beau said, although headlines about alleged Mayan predictions of an end of time on Dec. 21 will no doubt give us pause on that day. She urged us, instead, to think about how the spirit of Jesus is present in our lives right now, helping to mold us into better, kinder people if we will let Him.  

 

US  92 UPDATE —  Tom contacted Florida Dept. of Transportation to request that a church entrance warning sign  be placed near our driveway. Willie Allen of DOT said a blue warning sign will be installed soon. He also recommended that we check http://www.cflroads.com/ periodically for alerts about lane changes and detours. He said notices are generally posted a week in advance. The web site indicates the temporary single-lane westbound pattern in front of our church will continue at least through Dec. 8. Incidentally, the web site also says U.S. 92 from the I-4 ramp east to Tomoka Farms Road will eventually be widened to six lanes. However, that project is still in a design stage, and actually construction may not start until 2015 or later.

 

CHURCH & COMMUNITY EVENTS – THIS WEEK AND NEXT

 

DEC 6-7 – AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT DISPLAY – The Names Project Foundation’s regional chapter in Jacksonville plans to bring several panels from the national AIDS quilt for a two-day display at the Photography Building (Bldg. No. 530) at the main campus of Daytona State College. Our own quilt will be included. The display runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Viewing it is an experience that is difficult to put into words. If you have ever visited the Vietnam Veterans Walls in Washington, DC, and various other cities, the quilt evokes a similar encounter with the realities of life cut too short. More Information: Jeff King, Volusia County health Dept., 386-274-0587.

 

DEC. 6-14, daily – A GIRL and Her ROOM – If you go to the quilt display at Daytona State,  drop in at the Southeast Museum of Photography to catch the final days of Rania Matar’s photo exhibit about adolescent girls.

 

DEC. 7 – “SCROOGE: The Musical” opens at Athens Theater in DeLand, continues thru Dec. 16. Production of the Sands Youth Theater.

 

DEC. 7, 8:30 a.m.  – TGIF Coffee Hour – Church members and their friends meet for an hour of chitchat and java at Panera Bread, next to Target, Port Orange. Anyone is welcome to join us.

 

DEC. 7, 2 p.m. – CRIME & TERRORISM MEDIA DISCUSSION by journalist and author Robyn Walensky, courtroom reporter for the Casey Anthony trial and CNN’s

Nancy Grace Show. Robyn will open the floor for questions about any high profile case on which she’s reported. She also will sign copies of two books, “Beautiful Life?” The CSI Behind the Casey Anthony Trial” and “Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report 9-11-01” Port Orange Library. Free

 

DEC.7 – “Empty Bowls” Soup & Salad meal benefiting Halifax Urban Ministries. Entertainment, gift bowl made by Mainland High School students and silent auction. Mainland H.S., 1255 W. Intl Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.

 

DEC. 9, SUN. 2 – 5 p.m. — Neighborhood Holiday Festival — Christmas Caroling and Cheer in the lobby of the News-Journal Center. Area church choirs and soloists from the Daytona State College Choir will provide entertainment along with light refreshments – all in the midst of lovely holiday décor! Free admission. 221 N. Beach St. Daytona Beach. For information, visit www.DaytonaState.edu/TheArts.

 

DEC 9 – First day of the Chanukkah season.

 

DEC. 9, 10 a.m. – CHRISTMAS CAROL Music Service at New Church Family  led by Teresa Wright. Join us at New Church Family for singing some of your favorite carols and learning some lore about the caroling tradition. Speak to Teresa if you have Christmas music requests for the Dec. 16 and Dec. 23 services.

 

DEC. 16, 10 a.m. – NEW CHURCH FAMILY worship & communion. One of our favorite clergymen will fill in for vacationing Rev. Beau

 

VIVA OUR VOLUNTEERS 

    BUILDERS’ GIFT – The Builders Association has donated the lighthouse model for our use. Thank you for this beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

    SANTA’s SUPPLY LIST –    Looking for a stocking stuffer for our church? Some items we could use: Photocopy paper; coffee cups (non-styro please), drip-type ground coffee, 2 plastic or wooden wastebaskets for our rest rooms (the Builders are taking their plush metal ones with them.), a nice outdoor ash receptacle for the smoking zone near the Dumpster, and a sturdy  wooden or metal pole (6-8 ft. long) for folding up our attic staircase. Thank you to John Sk. and others who brought in a Christmas tree and poinsettias for display at Advent services. 

    BOOK DONATIONS – The Friends of the Port Orange Library periodically gives us GLBT books for our church library. Duplicate titles are transferred to KingChamp Books for consignment sales benefiting our church. Jerry C. also has donated several bags of GLBT titles for our consignment sales.  

     AV TEAM – Teresa met with audiovisual tech Nate Mudge and received pointers on operating our built-in sound system. She would love to have more helpers run the sound equipment. Check with her if you are willing to get some coaching. It’s painless!

CHURCH & COMMUNITY CALENDAR – FUTURE Events

 

DEC. 19, 2-6 p.m. – MOVING DAY at New Church Family. Volunteers needed to help shift the pastor’s office to a larger room, unpack cartons and position bookshelves. Check with Bill if you help for an hour or two.

 

\DEC. 20, 1:30 p.m. – NCF Computer Training Class – Rev. Beau will give pointers on using our financial software and how to post income and expense items. Open to anyone willing to help keep our accounting records fully computerized.

 

JAN 8, TUES,  6 p.m.  – NEW CHURCH FAMILY Board of Directors monthly meeting (date tentative)

 

JAN. 8, TUES. 6 p.m. – BUSINESS GUILD monthly dinner and social hour, Clubhouse Restaurant, Wilder Blvd., Daytona Beach. This gathering is open to anyone. You don’t have to be a Guild member. RSVP to Bob Baxter. brobertw@bellsouth.net

 

JAN. 10 7 p.m. –VOLUSIA PRIDE 2013 Kickoff Planning Meeting, UCC,  203 Washington St., New Smyrna Beach. Details: Kathy@Seibert.net.

 

NEWS OF OUR EXTENDED FAMILY – Darrell Rose sends a card letting us know he is back in Florida, managing a storage center in Tallahassee. Darrell was a member of our church in the early 90s.

 

 URBAN LEGEND WATCH  — REPORT: The ACLU is suing to stop Navy chaplains from mentioning Jesus. FALSE. This urban legend has been circulating a long time, and it recently reached the in-boxes of people in our church. Snopes.com says the ACLU has never challenged chaplains or military prayer. Our frequent visitor, Rabbi Howard, a longtime Army chaplain, says the message may be erroneously harking back to 1982 when two Harvard law students challenged military chaplains, and the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. A friend of Rabbi Howard, Israel Drazin, an Army Reserve chaplain with a degree in constitutional law, won the case for the Pentagon. Rabbi Howard writes: “During his military career, Drazin revolutionized the role of military chaplains, making them officers responsible for the free exercise rights of all military personnel and requiring them to provide for the needs of people of all faiths as well as atheists.”

 

IMHO – Guest column by Bill Perrine

 

What’s the Point?

I’ve been traveling back and forth between Florida and Virginia so that I could visit with my mother who is in an Assisted Care facility. I made a commitment that I would still visit, even after I moved to Florida, and for the most part I’ve honored that commitment.

I’m wondering now if my visits are worthwhile, as my mother slowly slips away. She seems happy to see me, but lately she doesn’t seem to really know who I am. She more often thinks her brother came to visit her.

One day I must have been the man who lives down the hall from her. The first thing she asked me was if I’d had my pills yet.

Her body has been wearing out for years, but now her mind is getting threadbare as well. A year ago, she was proud of having a good mind. Nowadays, when she has a lucid moment, she realizes that she isn’t always able to relate to things and people in this world.

It seems that as people get close to death, they sometimes live between two worlds. They often see things and people that we can’t see. I like to think that God is helping that person transition into heaven.

We learn that everything has a time and a purpose, but sometimes we don’t always appreciate God’s time. We want God to hurry things up or slow them down to fit our needs.

We’re running late and we get every red light possible. It’s hard to thank God for every red light.

Christmas is coming, and we’re just not ready for it. Maybe one more day would help. Still, that’s not God’s plan. Ready or not, time marches forward.

Maybe having my mother slowly fade away, as she gets ready to go to heaven, is my transition time. We don’t always get a nice long transition time. Some people leave our lives before we’re ready. It’s hard to thank God for those quick exits too.

Yet, we know we can trust that God is in control. Romans 8: 28 states that “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God…”

Whether you get a long transition time or a quick exit, it’s important to tell the people who are important to us that we love them. God brought these people into our lives, as we know when we have the time to reflect. We look back and can thank God for their presence in our lives.

It’s important to thank God for people in our lives. It’s important to thank these people as well.

Even if we don’t appreciate or understand God’s timing, we need to at least realize that God is in control and God cares. God really cares. I guess that’s the point.

In My Humble Opinion,

Bill

 

OUR CLASSIFIEDS –

FOR SALE: Double wide in 50 plus secure community in Port Orange off Clyde Morris Blvd. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, air conditioned lanai. New roof, carpet, dishwasher. HUGE walk-in closets. Garage size attached storage unit with washer, dryer and full kitchen sink and addl refrigerator. Fully furnished, move in ready. Park has heated pool, clubhouse, work out room with equipment, pool tables. Reduced to $7,995.00. Please see rev susan at church or call at 386-566-9827

HELP WANTED – Haven Recovery Center in DeLand seeks caseworker. Please send resume to: mindy.sanders@havenrecoverycenter.org.

 HELP WANTED – Part-time independent living skills instructor for disAbility Solutions for Independent Living, Inc. (DSIL) 12 hours a week, planning and running a weekly cooking class for adults and children. DSIL will provide training. Deadline for applications Dec. 10. E-mail resumes to info@dsil.org.  The application period ends one

 

HELP WANTED – Freelance counselors and behavior analysts sought by Adapt Behavioral Services.  Master’s degree required, plus at least 6 months experience in counseling. Full time and part time caseloads available in Deland, Deltona, Daytona, Palm Coast and surrounding areas. Full time caseloads are preferred. E-mail resume to ormond@adapt-fl.com.

 

HELP WANTED – Bishop’s Glen Retirement Center in Holly Hill is seeking a marketing director.

 

SOME USEFUL LINKS & FRIENDLY PLACES:

 

SOME USEFUL LINKS & FRIENDLY PLACES:

OUR CHURCH’s Web site: www.newchurchfamily.org

*OUR CHURCH FACEBOOK PAGES – New Church Family of Daytona Beach, and The Porch of Daytona (youth outreach) – Post a note occasionally

*GLBT AA Group Meetings at the Lambda Center, 320 Harvey Ave., Daytona Beach,  on Fridays at 6 pm

DAYTONA  area general gay news and Events Calendar : www.gaydaytona.com

  Operated by the Daytona Beach Business Guild.) (Back issues of Word Up can be found at this site.)

  VOLUSIA PRIDE 2012  – KATHY SEIBERT, chair, pflagnewsmyrnabeach@live.com

www.volusiapride.org 

*International Christian Community Churches,  our denomination: www.icccnow.com

*ICCC’s social networking web site: www.internationalchristiancommunity.ning.com

ICCC and its Emmaus Institute also have Facebook pages

Jim Geary’s AIDS ministry —  Jim’s confidential HIV support group meets Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes-beachside. Call him at 386-235-6420 or 441-7562 for permission to attend.) – www.delicatecourage.com

Outreach Community Care Network: Provides HIV and AIDS testing, counseling, support, information and referrals. outreachinc.org or 386-255-5569. Contact person: Joaquin.

OneDaytona – Nonprofit coalition working for GLBT solidarity & Pride (youth support, education & history, social events). Contact Rev. Susan or Tom for details. www.onedaytona.com

LOVE WELCOMES ALL www.lovewelcomesall.ning

– Interfaith group in the Carolinas.

*Equality Florida for gay-rights updates: www.eqfl.org

*Youth Counseling web site for GLBT coming-out issues, bullying and depression: www.thetrevorproject.org   Their suicide prevention hotline is 866-4-U-TREVOR

SUICIDE Hotline – 1-800-539-4228 (Act Corp. psychiatric stabilization for Volusia County)

GENERAL GAY CHRISTIAN NEWS & VIEWS, including an international gay-affirming church directory, an international e-mail forum, dating service  and non-pornographic chat, hosted by Mary Pearson in Oshawa, Ontario. www.christiangays.com. Most Sundays at 9 p.m., their chat room offers a clergy-led “Hot Topic” discussion that connects a GLBT issue with the Bible and other Christian teachings.

PFLAG New Smyrna Beach/Volusia meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month (no meetings during the summer), 7 PM at United Church of Christ, 203 Washington St, New Smyrna Beach.  We can be found on Facebook, our email address is pflagnewsmyrnabeach@live.com, or contact Kathy at 386.299.0698.

 ”JUST US” for professional women 35+  meeting on a monthly basis at local restaurants.  Contact dee1023@yahoo.com

SOME USEFUL LINKS & FRIENDLY PLACES:

OUR CHURCH’s Web site: www.newchurchfamily.org

 

 

 

Workplace protection bill bogs down again

 

By Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed.com

WASHINGTON — The LGBT movement scored a surprising wave of victories in marriage equality votes this November, but its efforts appear to have stalled on another front: job discrimination.

Indeed, from a stalled bill to bar private employers from discriminating against LGBT employees or job applicants to President Obama’s continued unwillingness to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from anti-LGBT job discrimination, the national landscape for LGBT workplace protections appears falling behind other LGBT issues.

Continued Republican control of the House means the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will again face an uphill battle in the 113th Congress. The choice of whether to push the Democratic Senate leadership for a full Senate vote on the legislation will be one of the key strategy decisions fought out among LGBT advocates in the coming months.

There also are signs that activists are renewing criticism of the nation’s largest LGBT political group, the Human Rights Campaign. The group’s new leadership, followed by the marriage victories, had quieted complaints for a time about the group’s pace of and priorities for change.

At a post-election wrap-up panel on LGBT issues organized by UCLA’s Williams Institute on Nov. 14, however, Freedom to Work’s Tico Almeida asked HRC president Chad Griffin why he hadn’t mentioned getting a floor vote in the Senate on the workplace bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as a priority for 2013.

“Why not push for that as well?” Almeida, a former House staff counsel who worked on ENDA, asked. “Wouldn’t we do important public education and build momentum by getting that vote, even if we get to 57, 58, 59 votes? Let them filibuster, let them out themselves as on the wrong side of history.” A filibuster would require the bill’s supporters to secure 60 votes to move forward.

Griffin responded by urging caution.

“All of these things take work,” he told Almeida. “And it’s very easy to say, ‘Let’s just move forward and get a vote on this or that.’ I’m for doing it where we know we have a plan to win and we have the votes to win. And if that’s today, then let’s move forward. But, I do think we have to be smart. … I’m not looking to set up ourselves for losses.”

The comments were notable coming from Griffin, who made his name in the LGBT world by starting the group that sued to invalidate California’s Proposition 8 after all existing LGBT legal groups decided the move was too risky.

Charles Butler of Get Equal-DC, who also was in attendance, told BuzzFeed that he had been giving Griffin “the benefit of the doubt” since Griffin had taken over at HRC, but that, at the Williams Institute event, “it seemed to me like he was … presenting an old agenda that was somewhat tepid and favored partisan politics over LGBT rights.” Heather Cronk, also of Get Equal, agreed.

A floor vote would be an improvement for advocates pushing the bill from the past several sessions of Congress. LGBT advocates had sought a mark-up and committee vote on the bill this year, but the Senate’s Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee — helmed by Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa — did not even get that far with the legislation. The fact that it would be seen as ambitious to get a floor vote is itself a sign of the way that workplace issues have fallen behind the marriage debate. In contrast to ENDA, the bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the Respect for Marriage Act, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011 although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid never brought the bill to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.

Where groups like HRC and Freedom to Work do agree, however, is that the first and most immediate step that they believe could be taken to oppose anti-LGBT workplace bias would be for Obama to sign an executive order to ban federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The order could amend or be modeled after an existing executive order signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson that bans federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In April, White House officials said Obama would not be signing such an order to address sexual orientation and gender identity bias “at this time.” (Later in April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held that “sex discrimination” prohibited under Title VII includes “gender identity discrimination,” which arguably means that gender identity discrimination already is prohibited in the existing order.)

ENDA’s lead Senate sponsor, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, had criticized Obama’s decision not to sign the executive order, saying at the time, “I am deeply disappointed that the administration will allow companies that accept federal contracts to discriminate against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” House leaders like Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, who is expected to take up the lead on ENDA in the House because of Rep. Barney Frank’s House retirement this year, has been clear in his support of the executive order route as a first-step move. A spokesman on Monday noted that Polis “has urged the White House to do so.”

With the election done, advocates are hopeful that Obama will make a move on the executive order in the coming months. Thus far, however, the White House has not budged on the issue, with White House spokesman Shin Inouye telling BuzzFeed only that there is no update on the issue.

Pride boosts GLBT scholarship fund

OneDaytona leaders have received a $250 donation from the Volusia Pride Committee to support OneDaytona’s annual GLBT scholarships.

The donation gives OneDaytona a big boost in moving toward its minimum target of $500 to fund at least one scholarship. If more funds are received by May, the organization will consider awarding more grants, depending on the number of applications received.

The scholarship fund, now in its fourth year, offers small grants of $250 to $500 to GLBT persons attending area campuses or vocational programs. The grants can be used in Volusia and Flagler counties and adjacent areas, including Orlando. The awards are based on academic achievement, financial need and commitment to the GLBT community.

Application forms will be posted on the GayDaytona site by Feb. 1.

An artwork raffle at Volusia Pride raised an additional $53 for the scholarship fund. About $70 was left over from last year’s campaign.

People who wish to make donations to the fund should send checks payable to OneDaytona, PO Box 1936, Daytona Beach FL 32115. Include your name and address if you wish to receive a receipt for making a charitable tax deduction.

OneDaytona will meet Sunday, Nov. 25, at 11:45 a.m. to discuss additional fundraising events, such as occasional “gay film nights.”  The meeting will be at New Church Family, 3520 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. The church is about three miles west of I-95 on U.S. 92, next door to the Animal Emegency Clinic. (WAtch out for construction barrels.)

OneDaytona meetings are open to anyone interested in gay solidarity and equality. All age groups are invited — from high school and college students to retiree.

For more information, contact Tom Brown, secretary treasurer, at 386-576-6671.