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LOCAL

In the last two months, Portland has lost two much-loved members of the LGBTQ community. Bob Lamberson, co-host of “Cabaret with a Q,†passed away in February. The cabaret was a long-running musical sing-along program held at Q Center that incorporated theater, song, and humor. Lamberson is survived by his partner, Timothy Berg. Glen Dugger, owner of Scandals, passed away in March and will be remembered for the impact his bar had on the Portland gay rights movement. Dugger is survived by his partner Felipe. On March 14, two gay men, Kiah Lawson and Sam Smith, were assaulted outside Silverado while they were holding hands and walking to the bar. Two men approached them, called them “faggots,†and proceeded punch and kick the couple -- while brandishing a knife. Lawson eventually broke away, running to Silverado for help. Silverado manager Imer Rodríguez came to the couples' aid, and noticed the attackers down the street, vandalizing Smith's car. Rodríguez pursued the attackers, eventually restraining one until police arrived. Not long after the incident, police arrested Paul Anthony Martinson -- and confirmed it was, indeed, a hate crime. Martinson faces charges of assault, intimidation, and criminal mischief. It should be noted Martinson vehemently denies these charges and allegations. Anyone with information on the attack should contact Detective Paul Dolbey at 503-823-0451. Portlanders will participate in the Worldwide Civil Rights March for LGBTQ equality April 21 with an event at the Garlington Center, giving activists and advocates an opportunity to learn about each other's efforts and share ideas in small group conversations. Communities across the globe will host marches and meeting to promote civil rights for LGBTQ people.
State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Secretary of State Kate Brown will host Basic Rights Oregon's 19th annual “Oregonians Against Discrimination Business Leaders Luncheon†April 26. BRO will honor Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian with the 2012 Equality Advocate Award for his contributions to the passage and implementation of non-discrimination workplace protections for LGBTQ Oregonians. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and PSU's Women's Resource Center is working with Portland Women's Crisis Line to put on the 2012 Take Back the Night/Bike Back the Night April 26. This year's theme, “Survivors on the margins: Exposing Barriers, Breaking Silence,†highlights the impact of sexual and domestic violence on members of marginalized communities. Survivors, allies, and advocates will gather for speakers and performances followed by a bike ride and march. The Women's Resource Center will also host a workshop April 23 by the Sex-Workers Outreach Coalition on “Safety and Sex Work - Info and Tools for Negotiating Risks in the Trade.†The grassroots movement Unite Against the War on Women will rally April 28 on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol to speak out about legislative and policy decisions that impact women and their families. Among the many featured speakers are  Oregon's first African American woman legislator Margaret Carter, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Publisher-Owner of PQ Monthly and El Hispanic News Melanie Davis, TransActive Executive Director Jenn Burleton, and Portland City Council Member Amanda Fritz. Performers include The Marissa Mission, The Raging Grannies of Portland, and The Raging Grannies of Corvallis. Out Loud, KBOO's LGBTQ radio show, celebrates 10 years of queer culture radio May 11 with a party at Crush Bar. The show started out with a 30-minute monthly slot and has grown into a hour-long weekly spotlight of queer arts, culture, and news. Annie Vergnetti, Joaquín López, and others will perform at this benefit for the listener-sponsored not-for-profit volunteer-run community radio station. In partnership with the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Jupiter Hotel will host the first Portland public photo shoot for the NOH8 Campaign on May 4. Celebrity photographer Adam Bouska will take individual and group portraits, with the distinctive duct tape and temporary tattoo, for a fee. The NOH8 Campaign, which began in response to California's Proposition 8, uses interactive media to raise awareness about LGBTQ equality issues. Queer and trans youth and their allies from across the state and region will descend on Portland May 12 for the annual Oregon Queer Youth Summit. The summit will explore this year's theme -- “Intersections of Identity†-- through educational and recreational workshops, presentations, and conversations. The summit is free to attend and includes breakfast and lunch. Participants are encouraged to attend SMYRC's annual Queer Prom that evening. Registration is required for the summit.
Bradley Angle, the only Oregon domestic violence agency with LGBTQ-specific programming and services, recently welcomed Deborah Steinkopf as its new executive director. Steinkopf most recently served as the Director of development and communications for The Nonprofit Association of Oregon and has a long history of working with survivors of domestic violence, people impacted by HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of ages. Bradley Angle is also preparing to welcome guests May 17 to it annual fundraising event, “Wine, Women, and Shoes.† 

NATIONAL

Despite pressure from advocacy organizations, President Barack Obama declined to sign an executive order that would have barred federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. White House spokesman Shin Inouye said in a statement that the President is still committed to equal rights for LGBTQ people and that his goal is to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Some advocates have criticized the President, saying his refusal to sign the order is a sign of political maneuvering. A recent study from National Council of La Raza and Social Sciences Research Solutions found that 54 percent of Latinos support same-sex marriage, a higher rate than that found among the general population. The results stand in the face of common misconceptions about Latinos and LGBTQ equality that have been amplified by anti-gay groups such as the National Organization for Marriage.  

WORLD

A straight Russian lawyer was arrested in St. Petersburg earlier this month for violating the city's newly minted ban on gay “propaganda.†Sergey Kondrashov, who held a sign showing support for a lesbian friend and her family, joins the ranks of straight allies who are now joining LGBTQ Russians in jail for presenting homosexuality in a positive light. Activists are appealing to President-elect Vladimir Putin to repeal the law. According to the Huffington Post, Saudia Arabia is attempting to squelch homosexuality by banning gay and “tom boy†students from schools. It's not clear what entity is behind the order given to the Commission for the Promotion of Vice and Virtue, but students will apparently be allowed to return only after they prove they have “corrected†their previous ways.