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LGBT Movement Update Event

“Gay Landslide! Victories for Human Rights: Four Decades of Progress,” Oct. 30 features USF alum, attorney Mitchell Katine, Tampa Commissioner Kevin Beckner and USF Assoc. Prof. Sara Crawley.

                                                                                                                                                                                               Graphic by Anne Scott | UCM


By Barbara Melendez
      USF News

Tampa, Fla. (Oct. 22, 2014) – As barriers to equal treatment continue to fall around the nation, and as further battles remain, the legal status of LGBT rights in the United States will be discussed with one of the movement’s leading voices, attorney Mitchell Katine, at “Gay Landslide! Victories for Human Rights: Four Decades of Progress.”

This signature event for the USF Libraries’ rapidly growing LGBT initiative takes place Oct. 30 at the USF Alumni Center’s Traditions Hall. There will be a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by Katine’s speech at 6:30 p.m. and a panel discussion with Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner and USF Associate Professor Sara Crawley.

Kitane, a USF alumnus, is part of LGBT rights history as the local counsel for the groundbreaking Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas and his career has been devoted in large part to advocating for society’s most marginalized members.

“This is Mitchell Katine’s first trip back to campus since his graduation from USF,” said USF Libraries Dean William A. Garrison. “He will be talking about the court case that he was involved in and talk about latest legal developments with same sex marriage. I am very excited about having him visit USF and speak here. I believe that he is going to give us all some insight into what it was like to be gay on the USF campus when he attended. I am also looking forward to what I think will be an exciting discussion with Commissioner Beckner and Dr. Crawley.”

Beckner, a champion for at-risk children and their families, created the Juvenile Justice Task Force, whose mission is to help at-risk youth become more productive citizens. He has also been successful at passing important consumer and public safety initiatives that shut down pill mills and tackled the epidemic of insurance fraud related to staged auto accidents in Hillsborough County.

From the USF Department of Sociology, Crawley’s areas of interest include gender and sexualities theories, queer and feminist theory, qualitative methods, social psychology and sociology of sport. She has published articles in “Gender & Society,” “The Sociological Quarterly,”” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography,” “Journal of Lesbian Studies,” and “Hypatia,” among others.

“Lawrence v. Texas,which overturned sodomy laws in the US is understood as beginning a sea change toward legal affirmations of same-sex relationships nationwide,” Crawley said. “Importantly, the judges’ decision in Lawrence was greatly influenced by academic scholarship from the humanities and social sciences which strives to understand sexuality, marriage and intimacy as culturally- and historically-specific to the places and times in which we live, not trans-historical essences of human nature. This demonstrates how important sexualities scholarship, like USF Library’s own LGBT Initiative, is for understanding social practices, recording social movements and creating positive social change.”

The LGBT Initiative includes historically significant lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) materials in monographic, audio-visual, ephemeral and archival formats.

“In addition to seeking financial support, we are collecting materials that document LGBT history, culture, politics, community relations and public health and while an important focus is the Tampa Bay region the collections span the world at large,” said USF Libraries Director of Development Merrell Dickey. “The LGBT collections provide valuable research material for scholars across just about all disciplines, from history and law to sociology, political science, and so much more.”

Among the collections are those devoted to queer literature, LGBT ephemera, documents from the organizations Equality Florida, St. Pete Pride, USF Pride Alliance and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, as well as personal collections from Eunice M. Fischer, alumnus Donald L. Bentz, Lee Ann Wojtkowski, Edith Daly and Rex Maniscalco.

The presenting sponsor is PNC Bank and additional sponsors include USF Libraries; USFCISOGI; USF Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity; USF College of Arts and Sciences; the USF Alumni Association; and Equality Florida.

RSVP is requested, but not required; to do so, click here or call (813) 974-1642.

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563

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