|Thousands to Visit Capitol Hill to Lobby Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act
For the first time in a quarter of a century, there is a spontaneous, grass roots effort underway in the United States to organize a massive political action in Washington, D.C.
Known as the March on Congress to Pass the Matthew Shepard Protection Against Hate Crimes Act of 1999, the movement is calling on people to come to the U.S. Capitol building, and adjacent House and Senate office buildings, January 6, to welcome the 106th Congress to Washington, and to demand of their legislators the immediate introduction and enactment of long-delayed federal hate crimes legislation. The movements goal is to bring upwards of 100,000 citizen lobbyists to Capitol Hill that day.
The effort, believed to be the first political action of its magnitude to originate and organize on the Internet, was sparked by the 105th Congresss failure to enact hate crimes legislation, and by the recent murder of 21-year-old gay college student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming.
January 6, the 106th Congresss opening day, marks three months to the day from when Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, tortured and left hanging from a fence on a Wyoming prairie. Shepard died as a result of his injuries six days later.
The grass-roots, people-sponsored movement is still developing and leadership is just beginning to emerge. A volunteer, ad hoc steering committee of sorts has formed to promote the effort and to direct interested people to housing, transportation and other resources. None of those involved in trying to promote the event have ever met. They, and others angry over congresss inaction on hate crimes, or horrified by Shepards murder, established contact with each other through the web site at http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2047.
Equality Begins At Home: Efforts to Focus on Dover
Never before has there been a coordinated effort to focus attention on the state capitals. Equality Begins at Home is the beginning of a national campaign to strengthen and unite the L/G/B/T communities. As shown recently, political momentum has shifted away from the federal government. The states have more authority and impact on the daily lives of L/G/B/T people than ever beforeadoption, foster care, civil rights, hate crimes, schools, health care and marriageare some of the issues being debated by state legislatures today. Equality Begins at Home will bring the national spotlight home.
The week of March 21-27, 1999 will be historic in its impact and importance to our struggle for L/G/B/T equality. In every state and territory a series of coordinated actions will take place promoting justice and equality for L/G/B/T people.
If you want to participate in planning the events in Delaware, a meeting will be held Sunday, December 13 at 2:00 p.m. at Epworth Methodist Church, 20 Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth. We expect to organize a Lobby Day, an event for youth, and coordinate other events promoting visibility with allied organizations. If you cannot attend, but want to be placed on the e-mail list for information, contact Beth Dewson at email@example.com.
Reeves Rear View
On Sunday, November 22 Christopher Reeve executive produces and stars in the remake of the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Rear Window (ABC, 9:00 p.m. EST/PST). The movie, starring Reeve and Daryl Hannah (Splash), tells the story of a man paralyzed after a serious car accident who spends hours watching his neighbors from his apartment window. Eventually, he believes he has witnessed a brutal murder. Numerous camera pans across the apartment building reveal several shots of couples, including an adorable gay male couple (played by Marc Holzman and David Pittu) who are affectionately shown feeding each other, having a dinner party with lots of other gay folk and playing charades with a lesbian couple.
Is a Kiss Just a Kiss?
Quotes pulled from a recent Philadelphia Inquirer story on Will & Grace seems to have spiraled a little out of control. Newspapers in New York and Reuters insinuated that the makers of the hit NBC sitcom were actively searching for a famous actor for Will Trumans (Eric McCormack) first big TV kiss. GLAAD has learned that while the troops at Will & Grace would surely love to have a big Hollywood star as Wills "first," they are looking to feature that plot point in the future. The producers still want viewers to fall in love with Will, before they risk alienating a skittish audience. McCormack quoted in the same reportswonders if Brad Pitt "wants to do some TV." Wed like to help him rehearse.
Variety reports that controversial In Living Color creator Keenan Ivory Wayans is in talks with Fox Broadcasting for possibly another sketch comedy show Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell (Ginger) recently revealed that after falling off the spice rack, she hid out at two of singer George Michaels homes... Stud Johnathan Schaech of the upcoming TNT flick Houdini tells Decembers Movieline Magazine that he met his longtime girl Christina Applegate through gay director Gregg Araki. He also tells the magazine that the craziest rumor hes heard about himself is that he was dating Ellen DeGeneres two years ago. "Needless to say," he says, "were just good friends."
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Inc., a national organization that promotes fair, accurate and inclusive representation of individuals and events in the media as a means of combatting homophobia and challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 8, No. 15, November 20, 1998.