Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Duanna Johnson was arrested on prostitution charges. She was handcuffed and taken to the Memphis police station for arraignment. While in a holding station the officer that was processing her called her several offensive names then ordered to walk over to him for fingerprinting.

Duanna didn’t respond. So the officer called her more offensive names and then repeated his demands. Ms. Duanna still remained in her chair. She said that if the officer couldn’t address her by her name she had no reason to move. The officer then attacked the handcuffed Duanna and beat her down. The beating was caught on camera.

I’m happy to report that as of last week both officers involved in this incident have been fired. Duanna has now announced that she is filing a civil lawsuit against the city of Memphis. She will settle for $1.3 million.

Go head girl. I think she deserves every penny. And for the officers involved, I know they’ve been fired, but I want to go on the record to say that that isn’t enough. What they did was hate filled and there should be charges filed against them.

Last week Michelle Obama spoke for about twenty minutes to the Democratic National Committee’s Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council. In her speech she talked about her husbands support of LGBT rights, how he opposes DOMA (the defense of marriage act), and how he would like to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of the military.

She also shared with those in attendance how her husband worked in the state of Illinois to amend their Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

At a meeting at the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Washington DC’s largest gay political group, Marion Barry announced he would support a bill legalizing same sex marriage if such legislation were introduced. This announcement on June 16, was the first time Barry gave his position on this issue.

I’m still not sure about how I feel about this endorsement from the former mayor now city council member. I’m not a huge fan of Barry. I don’t have a dislike of Barry. But I feel any mayor (who should be a positive image for our youth) who chooses to fill his political career with drug abuse and prostitute chasing probably is someone who shouldn’t still be in the public eye.

I guess any support should be welcomed. And as a council member Barry he is still in a position to do positive things for our community in DC. Let’s see if he delivers on his promise.

This first congressional hearing to address the increasing needs of the trans community was held last Thursday. Rep. Robert Andrews chaired the meeting held by the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions.

The meeting is the result of increased incidents of transgender workplace visibility, hostility and discrimination. Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund says this meeting was a long time coming. “For far too long, transgender people have lived with the fear of losing their job simply because of who they are. Today’s hearing marks a critical step in addressing this travesty once and for all.”
I’m loving the fact that Congress is doing something to address the needs of this community following the devastating non-inclusion of the trans community in ENDA.

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