Friday, May 04, 2007
  Good News on the Hate Crimes Bill
One of the bills that I was in Washington D.C. lobby for just passed the House of Representatives. The anti-hate crimes bill is a no brainer -- extending the federal protection against hate crimes to the glbt community. Of course, President Bush has threatened to veto it.

Gays, or people perceived to be gay, are one of the most targeted groups for hate crimes. Obviously, no matter what someone may think of someone else's orientation, even if they consider it a grave sin, that in no way gives anyone the right to assault, maim, or kill someone else!

The religious right has been trying to position themselves as the sole arbiter of morality. Various liberal and progressive spiritual movements have been to take up that claim and challenge it heartily. The Clergy Call to Justice was one such effort -- an effort that brought over 225 religious leaders from every major religion and a few smaller ones, and from every state in the union, together to say that as people of faith, we take seriously the commands to want for your brothers and sisters what you want for yourself. We take seriously the notion that all human beings are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that among them are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Anyway, the hate crimes legislation is on its way to the Senate. I hope you will call your Senators and tell them to support this bill. It is known as the Matt Shepard Bill in honor of a young college student who was brutally murdered in Wyoming several years ago. (If you haven't heard of Matt, read his wikipedia entry; it's heart breaking.)

I hope you will also ask them to support anti-workplace discrimination legislation that is due to come to the floor sometime in late summer. Again, this seems to me to be a no brainer. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with whether a person is a good employee or not. It's only other people's intolerance that make problems.
Both worthy bills :) But the trouble with "no brainers" is that we have a president equally equipped.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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