As both a psychotherapist and educator, I realized how powerful, damaging, and therapeutic language can be. As a person living my entire live on the multiple intersections of identities that have been historically stigmatized, pathologized, marginalized, criminalized, sexualized, trivialized, minimized, criticized, demonized, and dehumanized, I have no choice but to be naturally conscientious, protective, and cautious about the way language is used to describe people, especially social identity groups. Depending on who has the power, control and privilege to determine which words and how words get to be used, certain terminology can affect people in demeaning or affirming ways. This includes the language we use in our profession as service providers.
I cannot say enough about language use, and it would take an entire university course to even scratch the surface of complexity. For the sake of this short article, let me invite you to switchgears for a moment, and place yourself in a multicultural context. Focus your mind on a historically oppressed group: persons who identify as lesbian or gay. This group is typically overlooked whenever cultural competency and ethical principles are discussed. The terminology we customarily use when referring to this population has its origins in our personal upbringing, training, and perhaps our clinical experiences. Yet, very little has been done to examine these terms and reevaluate them. Photo
Terms such as “homosexual,” “heterosexual” and “sexual minority” are antiquated and pathologizing, therefore disempowering those who are given these labels. They reduce people to strictly sexual beings. I recommend that they be eliminated from our vocabulary and replaced with updated terms that affirm our clients, especially those who identify as same-gender-attracted…
Read complete report: Gay Straight Alliance
NBJC Black History LGBT Profiles: Day 18 February 2008
Dr. Kofi Adoma (Amorie Robinson)
National Black Justice Coalition
At the Wayne County Juvenile Court's Clinic for Child Study in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Kofi Adoma enjoys conducting individual, family, and group psychotherapy with adolescents. She also conducts therapy at an outpatient psychiatric clinic called Counseling Associates where she works with children, adolescents, and adults including same-gender couples and families. Photo
In addition, Dr. Adoma is a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where she teaches Women's Studies courses including Introduction to LGBT Studies, Intersection of Race & Attractional Orientation, and Gender & Group Process in a Multicultural Context. Dr. Adoma has done presentations and trainings for various mental health agencies on psychotherapeutic considerations when working with gay and lesbian clients, mainly focusing on cultural competency in working with LGBTQ youth.
During the course of her scholarly and therapeutic work, Dr. Adoma coined the term "attractionality" to replace "sexuality" when relevant. Outside of conducting psychological evaluations/assessments, trainings, lectures, intergroup dialogues, and therapy, she has made herself available to mental health service providers for consultation services. At present, she is assisting a local community college in creating courses to enrich their mental health curriculum. Dr. Adoma has been a part of the Association for Women in Psychology, is a member of the American Psychological Association, and was recently nominated to serve as president of the Association of Black Psychologists Detroit metro chapter…
Read complete profile: National Black Justice Coalition
H. Alexander Robinson
Kofi Adoma: Creating history one organization at a time
By Jason Michael,
February 17, 2005 - Between The Lines News
She considers Mother Ruth to have been one of her greatest mentors. In the third installment of this year's Black History Month profiles, we take a look at the living legacy of Kofi Adoma, activist, organizer and, indeed, originator.
When she was born on October 19, 1956, the name on her birth certificate read Amorie Robinson. But she is best known to our community by the name she has adopted for herself, Kofi Adoma, or Dr. Kofi as she is often affectionately called. A Detroit native, Adoma's activism began while she was still in high school.
"Activism must be in my blood," she said. "Both of my parents were activists, though in other areas. My mother founded the first state chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists, and my dad ran for several state and city offices back in the 60s. They instilled in me the principles of social justice and equality for African Americans." Photo
While still attending Highland Park High School, Adoma protested with fellow students against the poor quality of education they were receiving. But if the school's shortcomings affected Adoma, she did not let them stop her. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Oberlin College and went on to earn a master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Michigan. Photo
"I came out to myself in the LGBT community in 1979, the year I first met Ruth Ellis," Adoma recalled. "Soon after, I helped create the Detroit Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays which later transformed into the James Baldwin/Pat Parker Society."…
Read complete report:
Ruth Ellis Center
Ruth Ellis Center is the only mission specific agency in the entire Midwest dedicated to LGBTQ, (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-atractional, Transgender and Questioning) youth. The Center provides residential and drop-in programs. LGBTQ youth need helpers and advocates who get “it.” We get it. We understand their needs and help them find pathways to safety and independence.
About Ruth Ellis (1899-2000)
Ruth Ellis lived in Detroit from 1938 until her death in 2000. She opened her home to the community on the weekends as a safe space from the 1940s through the 1960s, a time when African-American gay men and lesbians had few social venues…
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Vatican Inquisition Personnel Against LGBT People
GRAMICK/NUGENT CASE, 1988-1999
New Ways Ministry
Ratzinger, Hurley & Maida
Catholics Lead Support Gay Marriage - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz & Ricky Martinpublicly “coming out” March 29, 1997, 2010 | NY Gov Cuomo & Vatican Attacks
Benedict XVI 30 yrs Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups – 3/9/11
By Charley Honey,
The Grand Rapids Press - March 29, 1997
The Rev. Martin Kurylowicz got lots of hugs after Good Friday services at Sparta's Holy Family Catholic Church…
"I was just filled with tears, there were so many hugs," said Kurylowicz, 47, following Friday's well-attended afternoon service. "It means more now, because they know the real me."
…He spoke up after attending a national conference on gay issues and the Catholic Church in early March. He was disturbed by accounts of homosexual children feeling isolated and parents feeling they did something wrong.
"I just couldn't walk away from it," he said. "I couldn't deny the pain."
He hopes his admission will raise awareness of violence against homosexuals and teen suicide, and help teach others that homosexuality is not a choice…
Read complete report: Archived - The Grand Rapids Press
Kurylowicz comes out
By Charles Honey
June 28, 1997, The Grand Rapids Press
…A spokeswoman for the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference said Kurylowicz's coming out to his congregation, first in a newsletter then from the pulpit on Holy Thursday, is "unprecedented." "No one knows of anyone who has spoken of this from the pulpit," said Sister Mary Ann Walsh. Photo
"It was one part [being gay] of myself that was just closed off," says the youthful-looking 47-year old. But the feelings persisted.
"Just like any heterosexual, those feelings are always there," explains Kurylowicz, who speaks with a nervous but friendly intensity. "You're shamed by it every time they come up. Then you (start) running away.
"You stop being who you are. You become something that you think others will find more acceptable." Kurylowicz became a workaholic…
But he thought the source of his growing depression was overwork. He went into counseling, where in time he opened up about his sexuality.
"Every time I faced it, the better I felt," he recalls. He smiles often, furrows his brow frequently as he describes those days. Eventually he attended support groups for gays, which helped him shed layers of shame and fear. "It was the first time I saw more positive images of (gay) people," he says.
"I thought, 'What was I running away from?' "
…Meanwhile, classes in psychology and his own studies convinced Kurylowicz that homosexual orientation is not chosen,…
Gradually, he felt the pressure of suppressing his feelings lift, giving him "a tremendous capacity to live."
A few years ago he told family and friends he was gay. But he didn't decide to tell his congregation until he attended a national conference in March sponsored by New Ways Ministry, an organization advocating more understanding of gays in the Catholic Church.
Kurylowicz says his decision was triggered by a report that homosexually oriented children as young as 4 realize they're different. He was moved by the pain those children feel. Photo
"Then I realized they don't have a voice, and I'm the one [a Catholic priest] that's supposed to say something," Kurylowicz says. "That's why I couldn't walk away from it."…
Read complete report: Archived - The Grand Rapids Press
No US Civil Laws To Protect Out Gay Priest Protecting Children - From Vatican Attacks To Silence http://fathermartykurylowicz.blogspot.com/2010/09/gay-marriage-separation-between-church.html
By Alan Duke
CNN.com, March 29, 2010
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Pop singer Ricky Martin declared publicly this week what he avoided discussing for years: He is gay.
"I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," Martin wrote on his official Web site. "I am very blessed to be who I am."
…Now, Martin wrote, "these years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed."
The 39-year-old Puerto Rican native started off with the Latin boy band Menudo before launching his solo career in 1991. Photo
His song "Livin' La Vida Loca" rose to the top of the music charts in 1999 and propelled Martin to stardom.
Martin said he decided years ago to not share "my entire truth" with the world because people he loved warned him that "everything you've built will collapse."
"Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage," he wrote. "Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions." …
Read complete article – CNN.com
Ricky Martin Comes Out: 'I Am a Fortunate Homosexual Man' - ABC News – Read more
“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” Ricky Martin – Read more
In deep appreciation for your courage and kindness to children, with all best wishes to you and your family, Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
About Sexual Orientation
It's a natural part of life to have sexual feelings. As people pass from childhood, through adolescence, to adulthood, their sexual feelings develop and change.
During the teen years, sexual feelings are awakened in new ways because of the hormonal and physical changes of puberty. These changes involve both the body and the mind, and teens tend to wonder about new — and often intense — sexual feelings.
It takes time for many people to understand who they are and who they're becoming. Part of that understanding includes a person's sexual feelings and attractions…
Do People Choose Their Sexual Orientation?
Most medical professionals, including organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Psychological Association (APA), believe that sexual orientation involves a complex mixture of biology, psychology, and environmental factors. A person's genes and inborn hormonal factors may play a role as well. These medical professionals believe that — in most cases — sexual orientation, whatever its causes, is not simply chosen…
By Jonathan Capehart,
March 21, 2011 – The Washington Post
The Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that same-sex marriage is supported by 53 percent of those surveyed. That's amazing. For the first time in the poll's history, the level of support for marriage equality cracked 50 percent. For the first time, a majority of men (53 percent) say yes to allowing gays to wed. But what's truly historic is where white Catholics are on this issue.Photo
The question was straightforward: “Do you think it should be illegal or legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married?” In February 2010, an astounding 55 percent of white Catholics said "legal." In the current poll, the number jumped 8 points to 63 percent. This Post-ABC News poll corresponds with a Gallup poll I gasped at in June 2010. That survey showed that Catholics (62 percent) and men (53 percent) were leading the charge on acceptance of same-sex marriage, which was supported by 52 percent of all surveyed…
Read complete report, access related links:
CATHOLICS In the United States More Accepting Gay Marriage Than General Public – Following Personal Conscience
Report: Parting With Rome, Most American Catholics Favor Gay Rights
by Eyder Peralta,
March 22, 2011 – National Pubic Radio NPR
A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute suggests a majority of Catholics are supportive of gay and lesbian rights…
— Only 39 percent of Catholics give their church top marks for its treatment of the issue of homosexuality.
— 56 percent of Catholics believe that homosexual sex is not a sin.
— When marriage is defined as a civil marriage "like you get at city hall," 71 percent of Catholics support it.
…Dr. Michelle Dillon, professor of sociology and chair of the Sociology Department at the University of New Hampshire,… It also, she said, highlights the division between American Catholics and the Vatican. Photo
"Most American Catholics believe that one can be a good Catholic and disagree with the Vatican and the bishops on issues of personal conscience," said Dillon…
Read complete report, access related links:
Majority of U.S. Catholics back gay rights in survey
March 22, 2011 - Reuters
In spite of, or perhaps because of, Roman Catholic church teachings condemning homosexuality, many lay Catholics in the United States be more accepting toward same-sex relationships than the general public, a new survey found.
“The big finding here is that American Catholics are at least 5 points more supportive than the general population across a range of gay and lesbian issues,” said Robert Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute,…
Overall, the survey found 53 percent of Catholics supported the idea of same-sex marriage, while the general public is evenly divided on the issue. Fifty-six percent of Catholics did not believe sexual relations between two adults of the same gender constituted a sin, compared to 46 percent of the general population…
Read complete report, access related links:
Majority Of Catholics Support Same-Sex Marriage, Same-Sex Sex Not A Sin
March 22, 2011 – The New Civil Rights Movement
Gay marriage -> Restoring
"Hope of Love"
To Children In Early Childhood
March 23, 2010 – by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Marriage Equality, like Galileo, is the truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life.
Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades.
Sexual Orientation is less about sex and more about Love, being one with another human being. Attachment Theory
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times.
Letters sent out:
President of the United States
United States Congress
United States Supreme Court
United States Department of Justice
50 United States Governors
Dear -- --------,
My name is Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, a Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan ordained June 16, 1979.
In March 1997, after attending a National Symposium of the New Ways Ministry that was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I learned that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different. This feeling "different" is only identified in their adult years as being gay. However, the harmful influence of antigay social and religious norms -- in particular, for Catholics, the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings -- are severe and last throughout a child’s lifetime.
The harmful effects are not isolated only to these children who grow up to be gay, but also affect their families, siblings, friends and anyone whom they might consider special in their lives. They are a prescribed societal sentence of implicit isolation, which place at risk of suicide so many innocent adolescents and young adults. They stifle an enormous amount of human potential in the world that otherwise could be put to use for finding cures for diseases, offering better ways of maintaining peace among people and improving the quality of life for everyone in the world.
Gay Marriage - “SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE” Does Not Give Churches Or Benedict XVI - The Freedom To Abuse Children or Adults. July 2010 - By Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
California - Prop 8 judgment, August 4, 2010
“Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”
Judge Vaughn Walker
Schwarzenegger: Let Same-Sex Weddings Resume Now – Associated Press – August 7, 2010 - Fox News
SAN FRANCISCO -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who twice vetoed legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage, has surprised gay rights supporters by urging a federal judge to allow gay couples to resume marrying in the state without further delay…
"Doing so is consistent with California's long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect."
Jerry Brown, Attorney General California - Prop. 8 Ruling – August 2010
… [Jerry Brown], he took the unusual step of refusing to defend Proposition 8, the statewide initiative barring gays and lesbians from marrying. He argued instead that the courts should strike down the measure because it unconstitutionally denies a minority group its rights. Politics Daily
"While there is still the potential for limited administrative burdens should future marriages of same-sex couples be later declared invalid, these potential burdens are outweighed by this Court’s conclusion, based on the overwhelming evidence, that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional," Brown [Attorney General California] wrote. "Accordingly, the harm to the plaintiffs outweighs any harm to the state defendants." The Advocate
GAY YOUTH SUICIDE | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups – Negligence Protecting (1) Children & (2) LGBT Children | Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill – November 19, 2010 – CNN Photo
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee - unyielding force supporting - DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL Repeal Act of 2010 – ENDS discriminatory policy that “forces young men and women to lie,” – to lie – “about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” December 2010
Gov. Quinn to 'follow conscience' on unions
by Dave McKinney,
December 2, 2010 - Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief
Cuomo Says He’ll Push for Vote to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
By Thomas Kaplan
February 9, 2011 - The New York Times
Gay marriage: Obama administration won't defend part of marriage act
By David G. Savage and James Oliphant,
February 23, 2011 – Los Angeles Times Photo
Eric Holder, Attorney General,
U.S. Department of Justice
Defense of Marriage Act
February 23, 2011
… while sexual orientation carries no visible badge, a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable, seeRichard A. Posner, Sex and Reason 101 (1992); it is undoubtedly unfair to require sexual orientation to be hidden from view to avoid discrimination, see Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-321, 124 Stat. 3515 (2010).
Same-sex marriage: Courts expected to heed Obama move
by Bob Egelko,
February 24, 2011 – San Francisco Chronicle
“Gays and lesbians have been oppressed historically, lack substantial political power, should not be asked to suppress their identities, and have the same ability as heterosexuals to contribute to society, Holder said.”
Obama Ending Defense of DOMA Draws Gillibrand Praise
February 23, 2011 – Politics on the Hudson
Gillibrand To Albany: Pass Gay Marriage, End ‘Institutionalized Discrimination’
Md.'s top leaders cross Catholic hierarchy on gay marriage
By John Wagner,
February 24, 2011 – The Washington Post
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley regularly attends a weekday Mass and has sent his four children to Catholic schools.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) used to teach and coach at his old Catholic high school in Annapolis.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) grew up serving as an altar boy in the idyllic wood-frame Catholic church his family helped build in Clinton.
But the presence of three Catholics at the helm in Annapolis hasn't stopped a same-sex marriage bill from wending its way through the legislature, triggering deep disappointment among church leaders as it suggests a waning of Catholic influence in this heavily Catholic state…
Read complete report:
Gay Marriage | Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice - Defense of Marriage Act, February 23, 2011
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Letter from the Attorney General to Congress on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act
WASHINGTON – The Attorney General sent the following letter today to Congressional leadership to inform them of the Department’s course of action in two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman. A copy of the letter is also attached.
The Honorable John A. Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Defense of Marriage Act
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Standard of Review
The Supreme Court has yet to rule on the appropriate level of scrutiny for classifications based on sexual orientation. It has, however, rendered a number of decisions that set forth the criteria that should inform this and any other judgment as to whether heightened scrutiny applies: (1) whether the group in question has suffered a history of discrimination; (2) whether individuals “exhibit obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group”; (3) whether the group is a minority or is politically powerless; and (4) whether the characteristics distinguishing the group have little relation to legitimate policy objectives or to an individual’s “ability to perform or contribute to society.” See Bowen v. Gilliard, 483 U.S. 587, 602-03 (1987); City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Ctr., 473 U.S. 432, 441-42 (1985).
Each of these factors counsels in favor of being suspicious of classifications based on sexual orientation. First and most importantly, there is, regrettably, a significant history of purposeful discrimination against gay and lesbian people, by governmental as well as private entities, based on prejudice and stereotypes that continue to have ramifications today. Indeed, until very recently, states have “demean[ed] the existence” of gays and lesbians “by making their private sexual conduct a crime.” Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 578 (2003).iii
Second, while sexual orientation carries no visible badge, a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable, see Richard A. Posner, Sex and Reason 101 (1992); it is undoubtedly unfair to require sexual orientation to be hidden from view to avoid discrimination,see Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-321, 124 Stat. 3515 (2010).
Third, the adoption of laws like those at issue in Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), and Lawrence, the longstanding ban on gays and lesbians in the military, and the absence of federal protection for employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation show the group to have limited political power and “ability to attract the [favorable] attention of the lawmakers.” Cleburne, 473 U.S. at 445. And while the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act and pending repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell indicate that the political process is not closedentirely to gay and lesbian people, that is not the standard by which the Court has judged “political powerlessness.” Indeed, when the Court ruled that gender-based classifications were subject to heightened scrutiny, women already had won major political victories such as the Nineteenth Amendment (right to vote) and protection under Title VII (employment discrimination).
Finally, there is a growing acknowledgment that sexual orientation “bears no relation to ability to perform or contribute to society.” Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677, 686 (1973) (plurality). Recent evolutions in legislation (including the pending repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell), in community practices and attitudes, in case law (including the Supreme Court’s holdings in Lawrence andRomer), and in social science regarding sexual orientation all make clear that sexual orientation is not a characteristic that generally bears on legitimate policy objectives. See, e.g., Statement by the President on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (“It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed.”)
To be sure, there is substantial circuit court authority applying rational basis review to sexual-orientation classifications. We have carefully examined each of those decisions. Many of them reason only that if consensual same-sex sodomy may be criminalized under Bowers v. Hardwick, then it follows that no heightened review is appropriate – a line of reasoning that does not survive the overruling of Bowers inLawrence v. Texas, 538 U.S. 558 (2003).iv Others rely on claims regarding “procreational responsibility” that the Department has disavowed already in litigation as unreasonable, or claims regarding the immutability of sexual orientation that we do not believe can be reconciled with more recent social science understandings.v And none engages in an examination of all the factors that the Supreme Court has identified as relevant to a decision about the appropriate level of scrutiny. Finally, many of the more recent decisions have relied on the fact that the Supreme Court has not recognized that gays and lesbians constitute a suspect class or the fact that the Court has applied rational basis review in its most recent decisions addressing classifications based on sexual orientation, Lawrenceand Romer.vi But neither of those decisions reached, let alone resolved, the level of scrutiny issue because in both the Court concluded that the laws could not even survive the more deferential rational basis standard…
Read complete letter:
A $363,000 Tax Bill to Widow Led to Obama Shift in Defense of Marriage Act - by Andrew M. Harris,
February 28, 2011 - Bloomberg
First Openly Gay Person the:
White House Announces Jeremy Bernard as Social Secretary
February 25, 2011
Office of the Press Secretary – The White House
Key To the Protection of Children Is:
CONTINUOUS EDUCATION OF ALL THE FACTS OF HUMAN SEXUALITY –
Beginning first with:
Early Childhood Psychological Development Growing Up Gay
Safeguards - Gay Marriage From REPEAL
The CENTRAL ROUTE To Decision-Making - Permanent Change In Attitude
ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.” Erik Erikson
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!