Weekly Round Up Friday September 2, 2011

Happy Friday! Happy Labor Day Weekend!

So we all know Labor Day is a day for BBQ, hiding our white shoes in the back of our closets, and the national herald of “back to school.” But I am here to edify you with the help of Wikipedia as to what Labor Day really means….

The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York. The origins of Labor Day can be traced back to Canada when, in December 1872 a parade was staged in support of the Toronto Typographical Union’s strike for a 58-hour work-week. Ten years later, American Peter J. McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was asked to speak at a labour festival in Toronto, Canada on July 22, 1882. Returning to the United States, McGuire and the Knights of Labor organized a similar parade based on the Canadian event on September 5, 1882 in New York City, USA. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.

Ok, history lesson done, let’s move on to more recent events, namely this week’s news and notes!

You have probably been following the trial of Brandon McInerrney, the 17 year old accused of shooting his gay classmate. After eight weeks of testimony and three votes, the jury was unable to deliver a verdict and the judge ruled a mistrial.

In Alaska, a group called One Anchorage is working on a ballot imitative that would add gay and transgendered residents to the city’s anti discrimination protection laws.

Despite the fact that North Carolina has a statue on the books banning gay marriage, Republicans in the state are concerned about a future court ruling and therefore are working on getting a constitutional ban of gay marriage on the state’s November ballot.

Just in case you can’t wait another year for Pride… or haven’t yet made weekend plans, Oakland will be hosting its Pride Celebration on Sunday, this year’s theme is “We Are Family.”

September 20th marks the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… but it also marks the date when gay themed magazines will start hitting Army bases. These magazines, written for and about gay servicemen and servicewomen feature photos and essays… some of which will “out” soldiers.

Speaking of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… remember Lt Dan Choi? Here is an update on his current trial.

National Suicide Prevention week starts next week, and what better way to kick it off than by announcing the new project form the awesome minds that brought us the Trevor Project (It Get’s Better). The new campaign is “Talk to me” and focuses on the other side… those of us not at risk being willing to listen and help those in trouble or crisis. Glee star Kevin McHale (Artie) is a big part of the launch.

New Jersey’s latest polling puts support squarely behind legalizing gay marriage.

The drama surrounding FL teacher Jerry Buell gets worse … Now it isn’t even a question of his personal thoughts on his personal (and maybe private) webpage/Facebook… evidence coming to light now points to flagrant religious rhetoric in the classroom and in public statements to local media. LGBT groups are calling for more investigation.

And lastly, an interesting breakdown of views on same sex marriage broken down by religion or non religious affiliation.

But back to Labor Day. I hope you all have a great weekend, and if my earlier history rant didn’t do it for you, check out this video from the History Channel about the origins of Labor Day.

Have a fun, and safe, weekend!

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