Obama Speaks Out Against Homophobia in Africa

President Obama visited Africa last month with something important on his agenda: equality. President Obama has compared homophobia to racism.

“…the truth of the matter is, is that if you’re treating people differently just because of who they love and who they are, then there’s a connection between that mindset and the mindset that led to racism, and the mindset that leads to ethnic conflict. It means that you’re not able to see somebody else as a human being.”

President Obama went on to compare the oppression of black people in Africa due to European Imperialism to the way LGBTQ people are oppressed in some African countries.

“You can’t, on the one hand, complain when somebody else does that to you, and then you’re doing it to somebody else,” said the President.

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Greater Diversity Needed

Florida’s Department of Children and Families were scheduled to remove protections for LGBTQ youth in foster and group homes. Equality Florida and child welfare experts immediately took action and met with DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. A three hour public hearing followed and all testimony unanimously expressed strong support for reinstating the protections for LGBTQ youth.

Along with reinstating these protections against discrimination, bullying, psychological abuse and forced “conversion therapy” DCF also announced its plan to implement long-term training plans. Care providers and other professionals working with DCF will be trained to implement nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ youth. Also a position will be developed to address any complaint of discrimination. An anonymous hotline will be established that will allow an immediate investigation into a claim of mistreatment.

Equality Florida also issued a challenge to members of the LGBTQ community to become foster parents. Greater diversity for foster families is needed. “Nothing will improve the lives of young people in the child welfare system more than proper placement and that depends on an expanded pool of diverse options. I encourage all LGBTQ adults to seriously consider this challenge, and to be the adult you wish you had in your life when you were young. “

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Vote!  When People Raise Their Voices There is Power

Vote! When People Raise Their Voices There is Power

While this is certainly not the case for Everyperson in Everytown, USA, it seems that something is happening across this nation.  Some of us have begun to remember that what we want matters.  Those of us who were napping or not getting to the polls or forgetting to ask for an absentee ballot have started rubbing our eyes, asking ‘Wait, what?’  If we weren’t before, we’re sitting up and tuning in.  More of us have started to care more and as a result, things are shifting.

Unlike in other countries where voting is compulsory, in this country, it’s “just” an option.  This is, of course, another one of the many freedoms Americans enjoy: choice.  We have the option to care or not care.  It seems that in order for us to care most, the things we care about most must be threatened.  Our freedom must be at stake.  And that’s the thing: there’s a lot of freedom at stake, depending on which way things go, depending on who’s voting and how they vote.

Election day feels like the perfect opportunity to take a minute and be reminded of what the Declaration of Independence states:


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Voting allows us the freedom and the right to “alter or abolish” and institute the new.  No, it doesn’t happen overnight.  But as Americans we’re fortunate to have had keen foresight from our founding fathers.  Thanks to their vision of freedom and equality, we have a foundation which allows for change, should we want it.  And it certainly sounds like we want it.


When people raise their voices there is power.


Blog entries we love about voting:

Seth Godin’s “I’m not a Cobbler”


Dulcie Witman’s “Selection Day”




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A Celebration of Family

Love.  Justice.  Family.FEC_logo  Equality.  Those are the beautiful and moving words you see when you go to the website of one of our favorite nonprofit organizations, Family Equality Council.

This Saturday, November 8th FEC is hosting an event highlighting their southern initiatives in Atlanta.  Not only is the evening designated as a fundraising event but also as a “friendraiser,” an opportunity to share all the good work they do with a larger audience.

Certainly a lot of good has been done but there’s still more to be accomplished, especially in the south.  For example,  according to Family Equality Council, LGBTQ parents raising children live in 93% of all US counties but we also live in the highest proportions in the states with fewest protections for LGBTQ people.   As a result, Family Equality Council now has placed staff in the south who are working along with rest of their national team to build programs and advocacy that support LGBTQ-headed families across the region.

Recently they’ve piloted a new project in Mississippi, providing a free legal clinic for LGBTQ low-income families — a project they hope to replicate across the southern states.    Elizabeth Haranas says, “Our goal is to introduce Family Equality Council to the locals, sharing with LGBTQ community and allies in Atlanta the programs we offer and the exciting plans we have for the south in the coming year and beyond.”

If you live in Atlanta or happen to be passing through the city this Saturday, they’d love to have you.   Don’t live in Atlanta but want to find a way to get involved?  Family Equality Council is always seeking volunteers.  In the South, they’re launching the Southern Advisory Council and are looking for people interested in becoming a member.  If you’d like more information, please contact Tatiana Quironga TQuiroga@familyequality.org 

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We’ve Only Just Begun

We’ve Only Just Begun

Good news.

Wyoming is now free to marry.

Idaho, too.

In the northern-most town of Alaska, in a town where not even roads exist, the first known gay couple marries.

One glance at the news this week and it’s easy to assume that because there’s progress, the battle is over.  Sure, these are much-awaited victories that we’re happy to rejoice and celebrate but the reality is, this is just the start.  While we gain traction with equality on a national scale, there’s still a lot more to do before we gain our footing in places where it counts, such as within schools, churches, communities and sometimes our own families.  Until people change their attitudes and open their hearts to love and in love, the truth is, to quote the Carpenters, We’ve only just begun.

This is why Hayden’s List exists.  We want to give the community a voice.  We want you to speak out and have your say.

Have you been somewhere and been treated less than fairly?  Tell the world wide web about it.

Have you had an excellent experience and want to commend your favorite dentist or doctor or local cafe?  Write a review.

Don’t keep it to yourself, share with your community and be an active part of making the difference you want to see in the world.




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Let Love Rule

let_love_rule_by_oliflys-d3ow5plToday is October 3, 2014.  Why is this day important?  It’s not.  Not really.  Except that it’s one more day that the Supreme Court has yet to take action on what everyone has labeled “gay marriage.”  And yet the issue isn’t really about “gay” marriage (whatever that means).  We don’t know about you, but here at Hayden’s List, we’re tired of this kind of talk.  We want lawmakers to address the real issue here — and it’s not about “gays” and it’s not really even about marriage.  It’s way bigger than that.  It’s about equal rights.  It’s about the spirit of freedom, the very principles upon which this great country was founded.  October 3, 2014 might not seem significant right now.  But we hold a flicker of hope that it will go down in history as one of the last days of its kind.  And so, on this very special occasion, dear U.S.  Supreme Court, we would like to dedicate a song to you.  With all due respect, we hope you hurry up and get out of the way and as Lenny Kravitz says, LET LOVE RULE.

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