WATCH: Christian Man Asks Pro-LGBT Bakeries to Bake an Anti-Gay Cake
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What we have to wonder is, what kind of occasion would call for such an angry cake?
Do you remember the controversy caused by the bakery that refused to make wedding cakes for gay couples? Eventually, Sweet Cakes by Melissa was shut down, but the conflict isn’t over. In response to the court decision, right-wing activist Theodore Shoebat set up a “social experiment” in which he cold called 13 pro-LGBT bakeries and asked them to make a cake with the message, “Gay Marriage is Wrong” on it. Unsurprisingly, none of the bakeries consented to making the cake with the anti-gay message on it.
“Each one denied us service, and even used deviant insults and obscenities against us. One baker even said that she would make me a cookie with a large phallus on it,” said Shoebat on his website. “We recorded all of this in a video that will stun the American people as to how militant and intolerant the homosexual agenda is.”
Shoebat posted the results of his contentious experiment in a two-part YouTube video. Many commentators have pointed out that asking a bakery to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and asking a bakery to make a cake with a hateful slogan on it is akin to comparing apples and oranges.
Opinion: Can a baker refuse to make an anti-gay cake?
High school debaters call it a turnaround: when one team manages to redeploy an argument made by the other team right back at them. A beauty of a turnaround is now being wielded by those who say business owners with religious objections shouldn’t have to do business with same-sex couples.
A baker in Denver was asked by a customer to write anti-gay phrases (in icing, presumably) on two cakes shaped like Bibles. The customer, named Bill Jack, also wanted Marjorie Silva to add “an image of two men holding hands, covered in a big, red X.”
Silva balked. USA Today quoted her as saying: “After I read it, I was like ‘No way.’ We’re not doing this. This is just very discriminatory and hateful.’ “Jack has filed a religious-discrimination complaint with the civil rights division of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
Nancy Leong, a University of Denver law professor, spoke up for Silva. “This is not a situation where a business owner denied service to somebody,” Leong told USA Today. “She offered to accommodate him to the extent that she could. In fact, requiring her to write that message would infringe on her own free-speech rights.”
But wait. What if a baker with traditional Christian views of marriage were asked to provide a same-sex couple with a cake bearing the message “Bob and Joe’s wedding” and showing two grooms holding hands (but without a judgmental X)? If that baker refused, wouldn’t she also be asserting her free-speech rights?
This episode demonstrates that some supporters of gay marriage are too dismissive of the tension between gay rights and other values such as free speech and freedom of religion. It’s easy to say every business must accommodate the customer, but what if the customer is (by your lights) a bigot?
On the other hand, civil rights laws would be gutted if business owners could routinely refuse to deal with customers who offended their beliefs, religious or otherwise.
So a line has to be drawn. One possibility is to make a distinction between “expressive” acts by a business owner -- those that force her to craft a message -- and the provision of a generic product or public accommodation. This argument has been made about wedding photographers.
In the wedding-cake context, that might mean that a baker couldn’t refuse to sell a gay couple a generic wedding cake, but could balk at using her pastry gun to embellish it with a congratulatory message. (The same principle would protect pro-gay-marriage bakers from having to inscribe anti-gay messages on their cakes.)
This issue has arisen before in Colorado. In 2012, a baker named Jack Phillips declined to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple, who then filed a complaint. An administrative law judge sided with the couple, writing that Phillips had been asked “to bake a cake, not make a speech.”
So far, so good. But in appealing that decision, Phillips’ lawyers argued that their client was a “cake artist” and that decorating cakes is “a form of art and creative expression.” Forcing him to provide a gay couple with even a “nondescript” wedding cake would require him to communicate a “celebratory message” about a union he viewed as being against God’s will. (Interestingly, Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal group defending Phillips, has come out in support of Marjorie Silva.)
At the risk of slicing the issue too fine, I’d argue that there is a difference between asking a baker to provide a ready-made wedding cake and making the further demand that she write out a message that offends her beliefs. But I also see that this bright line could blur in other situations: For example, could the owner of a photocopy business argue that he should be able to refuse to run off copies of an invitation to a same-sex wedding?
However this issue is resolved, one thing is clear: Any rule that requires anti-gay bakers or other businesses to perform work they object to will have to apply equally to their pro-gay counterparts. Coming to that conclusion is a piece of cake.
Follow Michael McGough on Twitter @MichaelMcGough3
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Michael McGough is the Los Angeles Times’ senior editorial writer, based in Washington, D.C. He has been writing editorials for The Times since 2006. Before that, McGough worked for 30 years for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a reporter, editorial writer, editorial page editor and Washington correspondent. He writes about law, national security, politics, foreign policy and religion. McGough is a graduate of Allegheny College and also attended the University of Kent at Canterbury in England and Yale Law School, where he received a master of studies in law degree.
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Christian With Christian Message Refused Service by 13 Pro-homosexual Bakers
It was the baker’s dozen of discrimination. A Christian went to 13 pro-homosexual bakeries and requested a cake with a Christian message.
And he was refused service every time.
It was reported in November that a baker was facing legal consequences for refusing to bake a cake with the message “Support gay marriage.” So Theodore Shoebat — son of Walid Shoebat, an ex-Muslim Christian convert and activist of some repute — decided to find out how well received a corresponding request from an anti-faux-marriage point of view would be. He called 13 prominent pro-homosexual bakers and asked them if they’d bake him a cake bearing the words “Gay marriage is wrong.”
In addition to being universally refused service, obscenities and hateful language were directed at him.
One baker even said that she would make Shoebat “a cookie with a large phallus on it.”
Shoebat posted videos of his overtures to the bakers, and the language does get quite nasty. He also received feedback that well illustrated the fuzzy thinking surrounding the issue in question. For instance, Inquisitr related one exchange in which a baker contrasted what she saw as the difference between her refusal of Shoebat’s request and the Christian bakers who have been persecuted by government for refusing to bake faux-marriage “wedding” cakes (examples of such cases are found here and here):
It was the act of making a cake that directly attacked her core belief — the statement “Gay marriage is wrong” — with which the woman had a problem.
In the Christian bakery cases, the woman points out, many are refusing to make cakes for gay couples, period, and “that is wrong,” she said.
Except that what the woman “points out” is incorrect.
Now, she certainly has a right to refuse to be party to a message she finds objectionable. But how is the matter different in the Christian bakers’ cases? None of them said they wouldn’t serve homosexuals they’ve simply refused to be party to creating cakes with homosexual or faux-marriage messages or symbolism. If a homosexual had requested a traditional wedding cake, he would have been served in keeping with this, if a heterosexual had approached the earlier-cited baker and asked for a cake stating “Support gay marriage” — and many straight people do advance that cause — he would have been refused.
Conclusion: It’s not the person’s sexual inclinations that have been the determining factor in any of these cases.
It is the requested messages.
This was never clearer than in the Kentucky case of a Christian printing company, Hands On Originals, in which it refused to print t-shirts with language promoting the Lexington Pride Festival. While a local human-rights commission ruled against the business in October on the basis that it was discriminating against a protected group, as owner Blaine Adamson had explained in a 2012 Kentucky.com op-ed:
My decision not to print the shirts requested of us has nothing to do with who was ordering the shirts it had only to do with the message of the shirts no matter who was ordering them.
In this situation, the message is in disagreement with my values. My faith calls me to love all people regardless of whether they share my values or not.
… All I ask is for people to respect my right as an owner to not produce a product that is contrary to my principles.
Yet while this respect is shown to the pro-homosexual business owners, it’s not offered to the Christian ones. And this again brings us to the fatal flaw in the Left’s argument. Many try to liken the actions of the Christian businessmen to those of people who would refuse service to blacks, but the proper analogy is refusing service to people — of any race — who ask for a black-power message to be put on a product.
The Left likes to say that freedom of religion also includes freedom from religion, and they’re correct insofar as free exercise involves the right to not engage in or facilitate religious practice. But freedom of speech also includes freedom from speech, insofar as it involves the right to not engage in or facilitate speech. Forced speech is not free speech.
The real illegal (as in unconstitutional) discrimination here?
When the government starts punishing business owners based on what messages they don’t want to be party to. That is an example of the state trampling on First Amendment rights. It is unconstitutional.
And aside from the explicit violation of a constitutional provision here, many would say there’s also the violation of an implicit one: freedom of association. As to this, no one would deny you the right to include in, or exclude from, your home whomever you please.
Why should you lose that right simply because you decide to sell cakes out of it?
It’s still your property, paid for with your money — and created by the sweat of your own brow.
Someone else who has defended freedom of association is George Mason University professor Walter Williams. As The New American wrote in August:
After mentioning older violations of the principle that people would today consider tyrannical — such as Virginia anti-miscegenation laws (prohibiting interracial marriage) and a Baltimore regulation forbidding whites and blacks from playing tennis together in public parks — he [Williams] asked in his 2002 piece “Freedom of Association,” “whether Virginia’s laws would have been more acceptable if instead of banning interracial marriages, it mandated interracial marriages?” Would Baltimore’s governmental intrusion have been any less “offensive if the regulation had required blacks and whites to play tennis with one another”?
While Americans would agree there should be freedom of association in the specific cases of marriage and tennis, what about freedom of association as a general principle? …Suppose I’m looking to hire an employee. You show up for the job, but I don’t want to deal with you. My reasons might be that you’re white, you’re a Catholic, you’re ugly, you’re a woman or anything else about you that I find objectionable. Should I be forced to hire you? You say, “Williams, that’s illegal employment discrimination.” You’re right, but it still has to do with freedom of association — and either you’re for or against freedom of association as a general principle.
That people should be forced to associate in ways they find objectionable is already widely accepted. The question is, will we now also force them to be party to speech they find objectionable?
Constitutionalists, where art thou?
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.
Gay Baker Jesse Bartholomew Says Leave Antigay Bakers Alone
Jesse Bartholomew is a gay man who makes cakes for a living (and he evidently took a cue from his vanilla frosting when choosing hairstyles).
After the announcement that nefarious Oregon bakers behind Sweet Cakes by Melissa would be fined $135,000 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, he’s posted a strident video response with histrionics cut from the same sequined cloth as Mommie Dearest.
Here’s but a taste a fluffy slice of his two-minute, Chris-Crockeresque monologue: “I cannot tell you how disgusted I am with my fellow gay and lesbian community that they would stoop so low as to force someone to bake a cake for them who simply doesn’t agree with them, and before you can go and blame me and say that, that, this is, that, they have to — no, they don’t have to they don’t have to bake a cake for you, and personally, that wedding cake should be so personal to you and your wedding, just as the ring, just as the invitation, just as to everything in planning a wedding that cake which costs hundreds and, in my cake, the cakes I bake can cost thousands… why would you want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a wedding cake and pay that money to someone who doesn’t want to bake the cake for you — are you stupid? — that is your personal piece of your wedding… your guests eat that! That cake is involved in your photos! That cake is taken in your mouth and you eat it in your stomach.That baker has to spend hours perfecting that cake for you. For your wedding day! And if that cake isn’t perfect, then it ruins your wedding.”
Incidentally, homophobic Sweet Cakes by Melissa Bakery has subsequently raised $358K in a crowdfunding campaign — a fact that could make the most even-keeled person reach for the peroxide and start screaming into a Logictech camera.
Christian Baker Back in Court After Refusing to Make Gender 'Transition' Cake
Jack Phillips is back in court, and every American has a stake in the outcome.
The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, is best known already for winning a 2018 decision in the U.S. Supreme Court over his treatment by the state’s laughably named Civil Rights Commission and its blatant discrimination against his Christian beliefs.
Now, he’s in a courtroom again, with those same beliefs under a new attack.
Phillips’ antagonist, as ABC News reported, is a transgender attorney named Autumn Scardina, who is suing Phillips for alleged discrimination over Phillips’ refusal in 2017 to bake a cake to celebrate what Scardina described in the original complaint to the Civil Rights Commission as “my transition from male to female.”
According to ABC, the cake order came on the same day that the Supreme Court announced it would hear Phillips’ case against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which he claimed the commission was biased against his religion during a hearing over his refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
Phillips’ religious beliefs were already a matter of public knowledge. The caller who placed an order for a gender “transition” cake had to know exactly what Phillips’ reaction would be.
Yet Scardina’s attorney on Monday told the state judge in Denver that the call wasn’t a “set up” at all.
“It was more of a calling someone’s bluff,” she said, according to ABC.
Actually, it sounds like a trap.
As veteran Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn noted Monday, Scardina’s lawsuit against Phillips for refusing to bake the cake now claims the cake was for a birthday party and that Phillips’ only reason for declining the job was a bias against gays and transgenders.
That’s the pitch. But Phillips’ attorneys see something deeper at work.
“Jack is being targeted for his religious beliefs,” Kristen Waggoner, general counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, told McGurn. “His opponents are weaponizing the law to punish and destroy him because he won’t create expression that violates his Christian faith. They want to make the law an arm of cancel culture.”
A phone call from The Western Journal to Scardina’s law office Tuesday was not returned.
It’s not as though Phillips hasn’t fought back, represented by Alliance for Defending Freedom attorneys. After the openly biased Civil Rights Commission found against him on the Scardina complaint, Phillips sued the state in federal court, arguing it was on a “crusade to crush” him, according to The Associated Press.
In 2019, the state and Phillips mutually agreed to drop their cases, but Scardina remained free to sue Phillips individually. That’s the trial that started on Monday.
McGurn’s readers, at any rate, get how important the latest case is.
Why are the customers targeting him never questioned on their motives?
— Heather Goodwin (@illdoyournails) March 23, 2021
Slavery live and in person, that’s what is when you force someone to do something that they do not want to do!
— Mike Smith (@MikeSmit13474) March 23, 2021
Gay marriage won’t infringe on anyone’s rights, they said. We knew it was a lie.
— Melissa (@tchangel) March 23, 2021
Are there No Other Bakeries? Ridiculous! Are you going to a Synagogue for communion?
— PrincessTT 2021 (@Princes63000366) March 23, 2021
He’ll keep going to court as long as there are people who hate religious freedom. It seems we’ll never run out of those folks.
— Movie Churches (@Dean_Min_Travel) March 23, 2021
Conservatives understand what’s happening here — and why it’s vital.
Phillips openly proclaims his Christian beliefs, which include the sanctity of traditional marriage and the belief that it can only apply to a relationship involving one man and one woman. Therefore, he declined to make a wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding.
Not too surprisingly, Phillips’ beliefs extend to the concept of transgenderism, so he declined to make a cake to celebrate a sexual “transition.” (Again, that’s how the cake is described — not as a birthday cake — in the original Civil Rights Commission complaint.)
Obviously, every American is free to agree or disagree with Phillips’ interpretation of Christianity. There are doubtless plenty of bakers — probably bakers right in Lakewood, Colorado, as McGurn noted — who consider themselves Christian and would be happy to accommodate customers celebrating a gay wedding, or a sexual “transition,” or any one of the increasingly bizarre concepts of sexuality leftists are imposing on the Western world in the 21st century.
(Those same leftists are curiously quiet when it comes to debating the merits of homosexuality and gay marriage in the Muslim world.)
But the point that matters here is that Phillips’ freedom to interpret Christianity as he chooses — and run his business accordingly — should be unquestionable in an American court as long as he is abiding by the law, which he appears to be doing.
Because he refused to make a cake for a gay wedding, he has given up making wedding cakes at all — effectively surrendering 40 percent of his business, according to McGurn and a Newsweek piece from August 2018.
(The piece also details the variety of attempts to place orders for literally satanic or pornographic cakes with Phillips’ bakery — either by Scardina or Scardina sympathizers — that can only be described as harassment.)
Now, Phillips is being sued in a court of law for maintaining those beliefs when he was maliciously put in a position where he really had no choice.
It all sounds too extreme to be happening in the United States, where the First Amendment to the Constitution ostensibly guarantees the freedom of religion. But it’s happening in Colorado, and the whole country has a stake in the outcome.
In an era when a doddering, almost-certainly corrupt Joe Biden is in the White House, with the power to name Supreme Court justices if a vacancy arises — or power-drunk Democrats go through with their court-packing plans — it might be one of many legal cases to arise targeting those whose faith is despised by the left.
“Today it’s Jack,” Phillips’ attorney told McGurn, but speaking to all Americans.
- The owner of a Christian bakery refused to make a pro-gay marriage cake
- Gay rights activist Gareth Lee's order for Bert and Ernie cake was declined
- Karen McArthur told court she 'knew in her heart' she couldn't bake cake
- Lawyer for equality campaigners says religious refusal was unlawful
Published: 13:38 BST, 27 March 2015 | Updated: 16:38 BST, 27 March 2015
Bakery owner Karen McArthur (pictured) said that as a Christian she does not support gay marriage and 'knew in her heart' she could not make the cake
A Christian baker who refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan has said she 'knew in her heart' she could not make the order.
Belfast-based Ashers Bakery refused to make a cake featuring an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto 'Support Gay Marriage'.
Karen McArthur, one of the owners, gave evidence on the second day of the high-profile legal action being heard in Belfast's County Court.
Mrs McArthur told the court: 'I knew in my heart that I could not put that message on the cake.'
Northern Ireland's Equality Commission took the case against family-run Ashers Bakery on behalf a gay rights activist customer whose order was declined.
Gareth Lee, a volunteer member of the LGBT advocacy group Queer Space, claimed he was left feeling like a 'lesser person' when his order was turned down.
It had been ordered for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Mr Lee told the court yesterday that he was left 'shocked' and in 'disbelief' when Mrs McArthur rang him and told him she would not be processing the order he had already paid for.
Today Mrs McArthur told the court: 'The problem was with the message on the cake because, as a Christian, I do not support gay marriage.'
District judge Isobel Brownlie heard that nine members of the McArthur family work in the business, which makes and delivers cakes across the UK and Ireland.
Mrs McArthur and her husband Colin, who belong to Dunseverick Baptist Church, are the only shareholders with voting rights on how the company is run.
Under cross-examination from Robin Allen QC, Mrs McArthur told the court she had been a born-again Christian since the age of seven and 'sought to please God' in how she led her life.
She claimed she only took the order from Mr Lee in order to avoid a confrontation.
'I did not want to embarrass him or have a confrontation in the bakery,' Mrs McArthur told the court.
Public opinion on the landmark civil case has been split in Northern Ireland and beyond.
The Equality Commission, which monitors compliance with equality laws in the region, initially asked for the bakery to acknowledge it had breached legislation and offer 'modest' damages to the customer.
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By Trudy Ring
(Aug. 16, 2017 |Advocate)The Mormon Church has issued a statement of support for the LoveLoud festival, a music event celebrating LGBT people and benefiting LGBT charities — support that squares rather oddly with Mormon doctrine. Click here to continue reading this article.
Indonesia’s LGBT youth bears brunt of hostility towards gay and lesbian community
By Sharon Hambali
(August 16, 2017 | South China Morning Post) - Indonesian social media was flooded with images of the 141 men, many shirtless and faces turned away from the cameras, who were detained in a raid on the men-only Atlantis sauna in Jakarta.
. . .A study by the Asia-Pacific Social Science Review released earlier this year found that, despite appearing to be less heavy-handed compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, attitudes towards diverse sexualities in Indonesia are the most negative.
Opinion: "My Gay Agenda"
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
(July 24, 2017 | The New York Times) - My wife and I spent the morning riding our bicycles to the beach. It was a beautiful day. Seals dived in the surf, a couple played Kadima with their grandchildren, and Deirdre and I lay in the sun. Read more.
Op-Ed Column: "Voters love Lesbians"
By Frank Bruni
(July 29, 2017 | The New York Times) - Like other minorities, L.G.B.T. people are seriously underrepresented in our country’s political offices.
But I’ve seen a few signs that one consonant in that cluster is especially well positioned to gain ground. Lesbians are on the march. Read more.
Transgender Chinese man wins first-of-its-kind labor discrimination case
By Emily Rauhala
(July 27, 2017 | The Washington Post) - A day after President Trump announced a ban on transgender troops, China's LGBT movement scored a small but significant victory.
A Chinese court on Thursday found that a transgender man was unjustly fired from his job, a first-of-its-kind ruling that activists called a step forward in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Read more.
New pride flag divides Philly's gay community
(June 16, 2017 | New York Post) - A flag meant to bring the gay community together has ended up ripping it apart.
Last week, the city of Philadelphia revealed a revamped version of the gay pride flag, a collaboration between the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs and Philadelphia design firm Tierney. The revised flag has a black and brown stripe added on top of the traditional rainbow flag . . . Click here to read rest of the story.
A Bangladeshi telecomm company's "viral" Facebook video on equal rights for transgender people
Source: Robi Axiata Limited (June 16, 2017)
Texas House passes a bill to restrict bathroom access for transgender students
(May 23, 2017 | Reuters) - The Texas House of Representatives gave formal approval on Monday (May 22nd) to a bill that would restrict bathroom access for transgender students in public schools, a measure that critics say promotes discrimination against such children. Continue to read this story.
LGBTQ candidates make politics fierce in award-winning documentary "Out Run" is now available for educators
(April 19, 2017 | Walking Iris Media) - OUT RUN is a compelling new documentary that triggers dynamic discussions in the classroom about how to politically organize for equality on a national and international level. The film sheds new light on issues of critical importance such as: political engagement in global human rights movements, LGBTQ lives in Asia and the Global South, and personal stories of underrepresented communities fighting to defeat cultural, religious, and familial misunderstandings. Click here for more information.
After coming out as gay, a Russian violinist's new reality
By Anastasia Tsioulcas
(April 17, 2017 | NPR Music) - A 23-year-old, Russian-born violinist named Artem Kolesov is capturing international attention after posting a YouTube video in which he comes out as gay. Read more
‘American Bandstand’ kept secret that teen stars were gay
(March 12, 2017 | New York Post) - When cute young teenagers Arlene Sullivan and Kenny Rossi slow danced together on “American Bandstand” back in the late ’50s and early ’60s, kids across the country swooned.
They wrote thousands of letters. They joined Arlene’s and Kenny’s fan clubs. The big teenybopper magazines of the era — Sixteen and Teen — plastered “Bandstand” dancers on their covers and wrote glowing, gossipy stories about their lives in Philadelphia, where Dick Clark produced the show. Read more
TV shows that broke ground with gay and transgender characters
By Kathryn Shattuck
(Feb. 16, 2017 | The New York Times) - Last year was a remarkable time when it came to the representation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer regular characters on television, according to the latest Glaad report monitoring diversity on the small screen. But that milestone, along with more accurate story lines and fewer stereotypes, has been a long time coming — a turbulent 45-year trajectory from television movies to single episodes involving secondary players to fully fleshed-out characters central to a show’s story line. Read more
Trump rescinds rules on bathrooms for transgender students
By Jeremy Peters, Jo Becker and Julie Davis
(Feb. 22, 2017 | The New York Times) - President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind. Read more
Kellogg’s new corn flakes campaign includes a gay couple
(Jan. 25, 2017 | The Huffington Post) - A real-life British gay couple describe the unusual way they enjoy Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in a quirky new campaign.
Chris Hall and Mark Hearfield, who hail from Bury, England, are among the eight families featured in Kellogg’s “My Perfect Bowl” effort, which highlights the “weird ways” that people eat the signature cereal. In the clip above, Hall, 42, says he likes his cereal with “piping hot” milk and honey. Hearfield, 59, prefers a more straightforward, “room temperature” preparation. Read more.
Walmart settles discrimination suit over benefits for same-sex spouses
By Noam Scheiber
(Dec. 2, 2016 | The New York Times) - Walmart announced on Friday that it had settled a lawsuit that accused the company of discriminating against gay and lesbian employees when it denied health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses.
Under the deal, Walmart will set aside $7.5 million, mostly to compensate employees affected by the denial of spousal benefits during the three years before Jan. 1, 2014, when the company changed its policy. More than 1,000 people may be eligible. Read more.
Life in the heart of New York’s L.G.B.T. Latino community
By Jake Naughton
(Oct. 13, 2016 | The New York Times) - Roosevelt Avenue, in Jackson Heights, Queens, reminds my boyfriend of El Salvador, where he grew up. It reminds our friend Danny of where he grew up, in Mexico. And others of Colombia or Guatemala. That’s fitting, because it’s one of the vibrant centers of Latino culture in New York. A walk down La Roosevelt, as some call it, means taco trucks on every block, norteño and bachata music wailing from the pollo asado joints and barber shops that never close, and Spanish everywhere. Read more
The remarriage of Edie Windsor, a gay marriage pioneer
(Sept. 30, 2016 | The New York Times) - Edie Windsor, the veteran L.G.B.T. activist who emerged as arguably the most famous figure in the marriage equality movement, has gotten married again.
On Monday, she and her new partner, Judith Kasen, a vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors, were wed at City Hall in New York. Read more
Donald Trump pledges to sign anti-LGBTQ ‘First Amendment Defense Act’
By Jeff Taylor
(Sept. 26, 2016 | LGBTQnation.Com) - Donald Trump has been courting the LGBTQ vote throughout this presidential election, claiming he would be the better choice for the community than opponent Hillary Clinton and promising to protect us from terrorism in his Republican National Convention speech.
That argument gets harder to believe by the week, as he gives speeches at anti-LGBTQ events, sticks up for homophobic and transphobic legislation and surrounds himself with bigoted politicians and advisers. Now we have a new offense to add to the list. Read more
Video games allow characters more varied sexual identities
By Laura Parker
(Aug. 31, 2016 | The New York Times) - In the popular simulation game The Sims, players have long been able to create male and female characters — but only up to a point. That changed this year.
In May, Electronic Arts, the publisher of The Sims, released a patch for the game that removed all gender barriers, freeing players to create virtual characters with any physical attribute. Read more
New York’s highest Court expands definition of parenthood
(Aug. 30, 2016 | The New York Times) - Expanding the definition of what it means to be a parent, especially for same-sex couples, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a caretaker who is not related to, or the adoptive guardian of, a child could still be permitted to ask for custody and visitation rights. Read more
Economist: Gay rights in Indonesia under pressure
(Aug. 13, 2016 | The Economist) - For a Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has often been regarded as relatively tolerant on gay issues, as long as gay people were discreet. Homosexuality has never been criminalised and sexual minorities have mostly been left alone. But in recent years, as LGBT groups have become more vocal in pursuit of equal rights, religious conservatives have reacted angrily and started to push back. A report this week by Human Rights Watch (HRW), a pressure group based in New York, says LGBT rights have come under “unprecedented” attack this year. Read more
When everyone can be ‘Queer,’ is anyone?
By Jenna Wortham
(July 12, 2016 | The New York Times) - Earlier this year, Vice published an essay that posed the question “Can Straight People Be Queer?” The article includes an image from Jaden Smith’s Facebook page of the musician looking petulant in a skirt, alongside the caption “My mood when they try to hate.” Read more
U.N. panel moves to curb bias against LGBT people
By Nick Cumming-Bruce
(June 30, 2016 | The New York Times) - The United Nations’ main human rights body on Thursday adopted measures to strengthen protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, despite fierce resistance from Muslim and African countries. Read more
After Orlando, Gay rights moves off diplomatic back burner
By Somini Sengupta
(June 14, 2016 | The New York Times) - For years, diplomats were more comfortable talking about nuclear warheads than sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation was one of those subjects burdened with too many cultural sensitivities. American officials, even if they wanted to advance it on the diplomatic agenda, were wary of offending their allies, not least in the Islamic world. Read more
The attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., moved the needle. Read more
Gay Mullah flees Iran over secret same-sex weddings
(June 8, 2016 | BBC) - In Iran, homosexuality is banned and punishable by execution under its strict code of sharia, or Islamic law.
In a country dominated by the religious class, being gay is taboo, and especially among the establishment. One Iranian gay cleric, who conducted gay weddings in secret, was forced to flee the country, and has been threatened with death. Visit BBC website to watch the video version of this story.
House approves LGBT anti-discrimination measure
By Kelsey Snell
(May 25, 2016 | The Washington Post) - The House voted late Wednesday night to approve a measure to bar the government from paying federal contractors that discriminate based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Members erupted into cheers Wednesday night after the measure, sponsored by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.), was approved 223-195. Read more
Roy Moore, Alabama Judge, suspended over gay marriage stance
By Campbell Robertson
(May 6, 2016 | The New York Times) - An Alabama judicial oversight body on Friday filed a formal complaint against Roy S. Moore, the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, charging that he had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” in ordering the state’s probate judges to refuse applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples. Read more
Dozens testify in support of monument to gay rights near Stonewall Inn
(May 9, 2016 | The New York Times) - Every day as Gil Horowitz, 80, passes by the Stonewall Inn near his home in the West Village, he is transported back to the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. He was in his early 30s then, a bisexual man still living largely in the shadows, when, he said, he was arrested by a police officer as part of a protest outside the bar and taken to the Sixth Precinct station house. Overnight in jail, he said, he witnessed dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people chained to radiators and beaten with nightsticks. Read more
Walking in the shoes of LGBTQ student
(May 2, 2016 | Bellingham Public School) - I wanted to share my recent Walking in the Shoes experience and the time I spent with Tristan, a junior at Squalicum High School. This school year (2015-16), I am focusing on spending time with students with unique circumstances. I’m a little behind schedule! I had a great time last year shadowing staff, and I’m thrilled to be able to focus again on our students. Read more
Before the stonewall uprising, there was the ‘sip-in’
By Jim Farber(April 20, 2016 | The New York Times) - On a bright, warm day 50 years ago this week, three young men went out to have a drink that they hoped would make history.
The men, members of the early gay rights group the Mattachine Society, aimed to challenge bars that refused service to gay people, a common practice at the time, though one unsupported by any specific law. Such refusals fell under a vague regulation that banned taverns from serving patrons deemed “disorderly.” Read more
For the first time, LGBT community joins celebration of Sikh festival and takes part in Baisakhi parade in canada
(April 24, 2016 | Galaxymag.Com) - The LGBT Community in Vancouver, Canada, created history when it took part in the Baisakhi Parade taken out by the Sikh Community in Canada as part of the celebration of Sikh festival Baisakhi. Thousands marched in the parade, including Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Read more
Bruce Springsteen cancels North Carolina concert over "anti-LGBT" 'bathroom law'
By Tom Kludt
(April 8, 2016 | CNN Money) - Bruce Springsteen is the latest to shun North Carolina over its so-called "bathroom law."
The legendary musician announced Friday that his upcoming show in Greensboro, North Carolina, has been canceled in "solidarity" with those protesting the measure. Read more
Two GOP Governors, two different calculations on LGBT rights
(March 30, 2016 | Associated Press) - Two Republican governors. Two proposals at the heart of LGBT rights. One rejection. One new law.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he has prevented discrimination and protected the economy by vetoing a measure that would have allowed certain individuals, businesses and faith organizations to deny services to others based on "sincerely held religious beliefs." Read more
Senate passes 'religious freedom' bill: Its implication on same-sex marriage
By Kate Royals
(March 31, 2016 | The Clarion-Ledger) - The Senate passed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” late Wednesday on a 32-17 vote.
House Bill 1523 would allow clerks to deny same-sex marriage licenses to gay couples because of their religious beliefs and not face any repercussions. It would also allow private businesses and faith-based organizations to refuse services based on those same beliefs without retribution. Read more
Anti-gay laws bring backlash in Mississippi and North Carolina
By Jonathan Katz and Erik Eckholm
(April 5, 2016 | The New York Times) - The divide between social conservatives and diversity-minded corporations widened Tuesday with developments in Mississippi and North Carolina related to the rights of gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender people in both states.
Mississippi’s governor signed far-reaching legislation allowing individuals and institutions with religious objections to deny services to gay couples, and the online-payment company PayPal announced it was canceling a $3.6 million investment in North Carolina. Read more
Gay Imam helps young Muslims balance religion, sexuality
(Feb. 11, 2016 | The New York Times) - Growing up in Algeria, Shaira had almost everything a young man could wish for. But he also had a big secret.
In a land where homosexuality is still a crime and a sin, he was forced to live a secret life, hiding that he was gay from everyone — even his closest family. Read more
Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool will be the first queer superhero film
By Joe Morgan
(Nov. 5, 2015 | Gay Star News) - With Ryan Reynolds starring in the upcoming film of the character, both the actor and film’s director Tim Miller have revealed that the superhero’s sexuality will be definitely still fluid. Read more
"I now pronounce you husband and husband"
By Henry Alfrod
(Feb. 12, 2016 | The New York Times) - What’s in a name? The answer is increasingly subjective.
“I never got used to saying ‘husband,’” said Tony Valenzuela, the executive director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, who married his husband in California in 2008. Read more
Italians rally for gay civil unions ahead of battle in parliament
By Hanna Rantala
(Jan. 24, 2016 | Reuters) - Thousands of Italians took to the streets on Saturday in support of gay civil unions as the battle over legal recognition for homosexual couples heats up ahead of a bill to be debated in parliament.
"Wake up Italy, it's time to be civilized," was the slogan chosen for rallies in almost 100 towns and cities in the only major country in the West not to give same-sex couples any legal recognition or protection on issues from pensions to parenthood. Read more
Why ‘self-identifying’ is different from coming out
By Wesley Morris
(Jan. 3, 2016 | The New York Times) - By necessity, the folks officiating your sports are a relatively anonymous lot. You come to watch a game. They enforce its rules, and given the hell that keyed-up spectators can give an official, the maintenance of a kind of privacy makes sense. Anonymity does have its exceptions. Some are happy. Ed Hochuli, for instance, is known for both the work he does as an N.F.L. referee and the work he does on his body (he’s ripped). Some exceptions are less happy. The Bill Kennedy situation is one of these. Read more
While Alabama Chief Justice "tries to ban same-sex marriage in his state," Chinese Court takes "historic step"
The Huffington Post reporter Daniel Marans reports, "the Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court issued an administrative order on Wednesday barring state judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, in contravention of the broadly accepted meaning of a June 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling." Read more
On another part of the world, we have a new development. According to a Reuters report, "A Chinese Court has agreed to hear a case that could grant a same-sex couple the right to marry."
Media must ensure it reflects the full diversity of trans people
By Helen Belcher
(Dec. 14, 2015 | The Huffington Post) - For many years before 2011, British broadcasters covered trans people as if they were earnest (and often slightly sad) scientific experiments or, more often, as targets of comedy. The British press was usually harsher, with trans as deviant, trans as undeserving or trans as comedy being the three main themes. Trans people were regularly outed "in the public interest" even if they were only lorry drivers or police officers. Trans people had learnt to distrust the media. Read more
"Unfreedom" has been banned in India
(Oct. 26, 2015 | GayLaxy Magazine) - Earlier this year, the Indian Censor Board had banned the movie Unfreedom. IMDB describes the storyline as : “Shifting between New York and New Delhi, the film juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance, one of which follows a Muslim terrorist attempting to silence a liberal Muslim scholar, while the other is about a young woman who defies her devout father and escapes an arranged marriage because she is secretly embroiled in a taboo lesbian romance. In this searing portrait of the polarized world we live in, all four characters go to their absolute limit-and beyond-in their struggle to defend their deeply-held and conflicting viewpoints on freedom, faith, family and love."
The Indian censor board found the lesbian love and sex scenes too hot for the Indian audience, and was concerned about the “unnatural passions” that the movie might ignite. Read more
Gay marriage is legal but not on tribal lands
By Felicia Fonseca
(Nov. 27, 2015 | Yahoo! News via Associated Press) - Cleo Pablo married her longtime partner when gay weddings became legal in Arizona and looked forward to the day when her wife and their children could move into her home in the small Native American community outside Phoenix where she grew up. Read more
Obama’s quiet transgender revolution
By Juliet Eilperin
(Dec. 1, 2015 | The Washington Post) - Years before the White House was lit in rainbow colors celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, President Obama used a routine bureaucratic tool that ended up significantly changing the government’s understanding of gender and how it can be changed. Read more
Straight actor Bruno Gagliasso kisses another man to protest toxic 'machismo'
(Nov. 28, 2015 | Gay Star News) - Brazilian social media is on fire today after two of the country’s most famous (straight) actors shared a kiss on TV. Bruno Gagliasso shared this picture on Instagram of him kissing fellow actor João Vicente de Castro at the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2015 at Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. Read more
Salt Lake City elects first openly gay mayor amid setbacks
By Michelle Price
(Nov. 17, 2015 | Yahoo! News via AP) - Former Utah lawmaker Jackie Biskupski on Tuesday became the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City, the capital of the conservative state where the Mormon church and a small town judge delivered setbacks last week to the LGBT community. Read more
Marvel’s Iceman cometh out
(Nov. 5, 2015 | The New York Times) - “If I knew then, what I know now” is a familiar, wistful refrain. What would we tell our younger selves if we could? In “Uncanny X-Men” No. 600, which was published Wednesday by Marvel Entertainment, readers get to see the mutant hero Iceman have a conversation with his past self thanks to time travel (because, you know, comics). But it is the younger Iceman that forces the older to acknowledge a truth: He, Bobby Drake, is gay. Read more
Are Americans lying to pollsters about same-sex marriage?
(Nov. 9, 2015 | The Atlantic) - Conservatives have lost the war against same-sex marriage on the two most important fronts: American law and American public opinion. Between 2003 and the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, it had become law in all but 15 states. During the same period, American public opinion shifted swiftly from solid opposition of gay marriage to swelling support. Read more
Union for reform Judaism adopts transgender rights policy
By Richard Perez-Pena
(Nov. 5, 2015 | The New York Times) - The largest Jewish group in North America adopted a broad transgender rights policy on Thursday, not only stating its own commitment to equality, but also urging synagogues and other Jewish groups to be advocates for transgender rights and to take steps like training their staffs on accommodating transgender people. Read more
This man identifies as 'Graysexual.' Here's what that means.
By Noah Michelson
(Sept. 8, 2015 | The Huffington Post) - You know what "gay" and "lesbian" and "bisexual" mean. You might even know what "asexual" and "pansexual" mean. But have you ever heard of someone identifying as "graysexual?" Read more
Same-gender couples seeking marriage licenses meet resistance
(July 13, 2015 | DiversityInc.) - In a historic decision on June 26 the Supreme Court made same-gender marriage legal nationwide. However, on July 6 a judge refused to issue a marriage license to two women in Toledo, Ohio and in Grandbury, Texas, a federal lawsuit had to be filed in order for a same-gender couple to make their marriage legal. Read more
Transgender military service: Pentagon announces moratorium on discharges
By Sheryl Estrada
(July 14, 2015 | DiversityInc.) - The Department of Defense (DOD) announced on Monday a moratorium on discharges of transgender service members in conjunction with a new six-month study to dissect its transgender policy. “Today’s announcement is welcome news, not just for the 15,500 transgender personnel serving currently, but for all Americans,” Palm Center director Aaron Belkin said in a statement. Read more
A documentary film "Daddy & Papa"
When the number of non-traditional families increases exponentially, films like Daddy & Papa, a remarkable and honest portrayal of the daily lives and challenges of LGBT families, bring essential dialogue into our communities and classrooms. Read more about this film.
Makeup workshops create safe environment for trans community
By Morgan Sullivan
(Sept. 17, 2015 | North Texas Daily) - For transgender individuals, an overload of gender expectations proves to be one of the hardest parts about transition. In a society where all women are expected to look the same, transfeminine individuals often struggle with the process of redefining themselves in order to comply with strict social standards.
“Makeup is one of the easiest ways to come across as feminine,” theater sophomore and the UNT Pride Alliance’s graphic designer Christina Bridges said. Read more
Obama names first openly-gay civilian to lead Army
By Moses Frenck
President Barack Obama on Friday announced he is nominating Eric Fanning to be the next Secretary of the Army, which, if confirmed by the Senate, will make Fanning the first openly gay person to serve in the Army’s highest civilian role. Read more
Media sheds light on transgender community, but more is needed
By Molly Snyder
(May 2, 2015 | OnMilwaukee.Com) - The recent death of Ohio transgender teen Leelah Alcorn – who took her own life because her parents refused to support her as a female – and Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday during which he spoke openly about transitioning into a woman brought more light to those whose self-identity does not conform to conventional notions of male or female gender. Read more
41% of #LGB adults do not have any religious affiliation
By Caryle Murphy
(May 26, 2015 | Pew Research Center) - Although many lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults feel that most major faiths are unwelcoming to their community, a majority of LGB adults are religiously affiliated, according to a new Pew Research Center study. But they are much less likely to be Christian than the general public and are more drawn to smaller, non-Christian denominations.
About 5% of the 2014 Religious Landscape Study’s 35,000-plus respondents identified themselves as members of the LGB population. Of that group, 59% said they are religiously affiliated. But only 48% of them reported belonging to a Christian faith group, compared with 71% of the general public. Read more
Bruce Jenner came out as transgender woman in a televised interview
By J. Brown Lowder
(April 30, 2015 | Slate) - Bruce Jenner’s televised coming out as a transgender woman on April 24 was one of the most surprising non-surprises in recent memory. The Diane Sawyer 20/20 special had been teased for months (Jenner’s “revelation” all but promised), and his gender identity had been the subject of speculation—oftentimes prurient and transphobic—in the tabloids and mainstream media for much longer. Read more
GLAAD honors supporters of LGBT community in media
(March 23, 2015 | Associated Press via Press Herald) - Actress Kerry Washington, director Roland Emmerich, the film “The Imitation Game” and television shows “Transparent” and “How to Get Away With Murder” have received stamps of approval from GLAAD. Read more
Tiffany & Co. features first same-sex couple in engagement campaign
By Victoria Dawson Hoff
(Jan. 9, 2015 | Elle.Com) - It's almost a cliché at this point—that a little girl dreams of opening a Tiffany blue box from her beau when he finally pops the question. But what about the boys who dream of being proposed to by their beaus? Read More
Documentary highlights LGBT issues in east valley
By Tatiana Sanchez
(Jan. 9, 2015 | The Desert Sun) - The slaying of a gay man in Mecca has become the basis of a short documentary and a platform to discuss LGBT issues in the eastern Coachella Valley, where strong cultural and religious traditions have made acceptance of this community slow to take root. Read more
A first! NFL credentials gay media outlet for the Super Bowl
(Jan. 26, 2015 | Outsports.Com) - The NFL has credentialed a gay publication for the Super Bowl for the first time. With Outsports headed to Phoenix this week for Super Bowl XLIX, we requested a credential late last year and the NFL granted the request with a press box credential. Cyd Zeigler will represent Outsports in Phoenix Wednesday to Monday, connecting with folks in the sports media and various players, coaches and front office executives. Read more
LGBT images are "less invisible" in Latino media in 2014
By Monica Trasandes
(Jan. 5, 2015 | HuffPost Latino Voices) - At GLAAD we're often asked how LGBT equality is doing in Latino USA and in Spanish-speaking countries. The answer isn't simple, not a thumbs up or thumbs down. It's instead complex, just like the world in which we live. We've seen many setbacks and there's a lot of work to do, but we've also seen some hard-fought wins. And more inclusion. Here's our top ten list of moments that mattered in Spanish-Language and Latino media in 2014. Read more
OUTmusic awards 2015 preview: Celebrating 25 years of LGBT artists
By Mike Ciriaco
(Jan. 9, 2015 | Frontiers Media) - Music and gay culture have always enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. In Greek mythology, this concept was personified by the golden god Apollo, who not only served as the Olympian patron of music but who indulged in a dalliance with a tasty little twink named Hyacinth. More contemporarily, the intersection of music and gays is epitomized by the OUTmusic Awards, which will rock out New York’s Town Hall Theater later this month. Read more
8 reasons why the 2015 Golden Globes are the gayest ever
By Jase Peeples and Michelle Garcia
(Jan. 9, 2015 | Advocate) - If you're like us, you look forward to awards season. And the Golden Globes are sort of like the All-Star Game during baseball season. It's not the World Series, but it's a significant event, and it's fun to watch. Read more
Google+ offers infinite gender options
By Eliana Dockterman
(Dec. 11, 2014 | Time) - Google+ has joined Facebook in offering an expanded array of gender options for users’ profiles. The two social media sites used to only offer three options—”male,” “female” and “other”—but now both are expanding their drop down menu to accommodate an increasing array of identities. Read more
'I Am Santa Claus' documentary slammed on social media for featuring gay man who plays St. Nicholas
By Curtis Wong
(Dec. 2, 2014 | The Huffington Post) - It seems not everybody is merry and bright over the release of a new documentary, "I Am Santa Claus," which focuses on the personal lives of men who portray St. Nicholas at shopping malls during the month of December. Read more
Second transphobic ad hits press as Minn. debates student athlete policy
By Dawn Ennis
(Dec. 1, 2014 | Advocate.com) - The discussion about how to best protect transgender student athletes in Minnesota’s high schools is set to resume this week, and despite two months of cooling-off time, one side in the debate is roaring back, full speed ahead and guns blazing. Read more
Study: National trends in public opinion on LGBT rights in the United States
(Nov. 27, 2014 | LGBT News) - Public support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) people in the United States has increased significantly over the last three decades, according to a new study released by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Read more
Op-ed: When trans men's visibility comes at the cost of self-esteem
By Mitch Kellaway
(Dec. 2, 2014 | Advocate.com) - Catchy headlines can thoughtlessly reproduce some of the most harmful messages that we, as trans men, receive from cisgender (non-trans) society. Take, for the most recent example, Gay Star News' splashy list, "11 Insanely Hot Men You Will Not Believe Are Trans," a follow-up to the much-discussed 2012 list from Oddee, "10 Handsome Men (Who Were Born Female)." Read more
GLAAD media study: 'We've made incredible gains over the past decade'
(Nov. 12, 2014 | The Frame) - This fall’s new batch of TV shows saw an increase in recurring or regular characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. But as the quantity of these characters increased, has the quality of how they are depicted improved as well? Read more
The Smithsonian's Queer Collection
By Stephanie Fairyington
(Nov. 12, 2014 | Advocate.Com) - Over the summer, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C., announced the expansion of its LGBT collection. “As cultural sensitivities and politics have changed,” curator Katherine Ott says, “now seemed like an opportune time to more aggressively, directly, and openly collect LGBT materials.” Read more
Kellogg gets criticism, support for gay pride ad
By Frank Utsil
(Nov. 12, 2014 | Batte Creek Enquirer) - Conservative groups are taking to social media to criticize a Kellogg ad featuring Frosted Flakes character Tony the Tiger that says, "Wear your stripes with pride," and sponsorship of a gay pride march in Atlanta. Read More
'Drag Race' girls star in first Starbucks LGBT commercial
By James Nichols
(Oct. 30, 2014 | The Washington Post) - Well here's one place we certainly didn't think we'd see the "RuPaul's Drag Race Girls" pop up. Starbucks released what is reportedly its very first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-themed commercial this week starring the top two contestants from "Drag Race" season six: Adore Delano and Bianca Del Rio. The commercial is cheeky, fun and a little bit silly, but it's nice to see these two gaining some more mainstream traction. Read more
More gay and transgender characters are on TV, report shows
By Jeremy Egner
(Oct. 27, 2015 | The New York Times) - Cable and streaming services are far outpacing broadcasters when it comes to including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters in their shows. Read more
Identity-free identity politics
By Tim Murphy
(Oct. 22, 2015 | The CUT) - “Currently, I say that I am agender. I’m removing myself from the social construct of gender,” says Mars Marson, a 21-year-old NYU film major with a thatch of short black hair.
Marson is talking to me amid a roomful of Queer Union students at the school’s LGBTQ student center, where a front-desk bin offers free buttons that let visitors proclaim their preferred pronoun. Of the seven students gathered at the Queer Union, five prefer the singular they, meant to denote the kind of post-gender self-identification Marson describes. Read more
Cuomo planning discrimination protections for transgender New Yorkers
By Jesse McKinley
(Oct. 22, 2015 | The New York Times) - Taking action on a political issue that has long been stalled in Albany, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday announced executive action intended to protect transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and other areas. Read more
Round-up: State of gay rights in other countries
Six LGBT ads that challenged traditional adland thinking
(Aug. 13, 2015 | The Guardian) - Advertising reflects society. More often than not, it presents an image built on traditional views of sexuality, gender identity and gender roles. However, in recent years, brands have been presenting a more diverse world view. Read more
GLAAD says LGBT well-represented on TV Next step is diversity
By Whitney Friedlander
(September 3, 2015 | Variety) - LGBT-focused media advocacy organization GLAAD had some positive news to report when it released its Network Responsibility Index on Thursday: Two channels received the top score of excellent from the annual report that charts the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBT representation on television. Read more
Jenner to DeGeneres: ‘I’m a Traditionalist’
By Sheryl Estrada
(Sept. 10, 2015 | DiversityInc.) - Caitlyn Jenner hardly supports same-gender marriage.Jenner publicly came out as transgender in an interview with journalist Diane Sawyer in April. However, during the season premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which aired on Tuesday, she expressed lukewarm feelings toward marriage equity. Read more
Ellen Degeneres and Gap launch inclusive clothing line for girls
By Caroline Bologna
(Sept. 2, 2015 | The Huffington Post) - Ellen Degeneres just reached a new level of awesome. The comedian and talk show host teamed up with Gap to launch GapKids x ED, which is described on the company's site as "a collaboration dedicated to supporting girls just as they are, whether they skateboard or dance, wear dresses or jeans, build forts or paint rainbows, or everything in between. We encourage girls everywhere to take pride in what makes them unique." Read more
UK ad industry gets its first LGBT leadership group
(Sept. 3, 2015 | The Guardian) - The UK advertising industry is to get its first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leadership group, PrideAM, whose founders include the chair of Stonewall. Read more
Once a pariah, now a judge: The early transgender journey of Phyllis Frye
By Deborah Sontag
(Aug. 29, 2015 | The New York Times ) - Nearly four decades before Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself to the world, Phyllis Randolph Frye came out as a transgender woman in a far less glamorous way. No Diane Sawyer, no Vanity Fair. Read more
Lesbian couples are featured in TV commercials of Wells Fargo and Chobani
LGBT rights issues got more exposure because of social media
By Kerri-Anne Mesner
(June 10, 2015 | The Bulletin) - A gay rights advocate says people are happier to support Marriage Equality over the internet than in person. Kris May, a former Rockhampton resident now living in Mackay, says social media has given the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community much more exposure than pre-social media days. Read more
U.S. presidential candidates's outreach among LGBT community
Gay in Putin's Moscow: Why the city is pinker than you think
(June 13, 2015 | The Guardian) - “Moscow is like a small European city in the mid-90s,” says Anton Krasovsky. “Everybody knows everybody. Everybody knows who’s gay, even if nobody’s out.”
Well, not nobody. In 2013, when the Duma was debating a new law outlawing “gay propaganda”, Krasovsky was a beloved Russian TV personality, working for a news channel he’d co-founded called Kontr TV. At the end of a wide-ranging discussion on the proposed legislation, Krasovsky said, on air: “I’m gay. And I’m just as much a human being as President Putin, or Prime Minister Medvedev, or the members of the Duma.” Read more
LGBT Press spending up in 2014
By Erik Sass
(May 19, 2015 | Media Post ) - While mainstream consumer magazines and newspapers suffered another round of print ad declines last year, LGBT media continued to defy the trend with increased spending, led by local media. Read more
‘Entertainment Weekly’ shows pride with LGBT issue
By Dominic Preston
(June 16, 2015 | Frontiers Media) - Entertainment Weekly is the latest mainstream company to get involved with Pride month, celebrating with a special LGBT issue on newsstands right now.
Laverne Cox graces the front cover dressed as Lady Liberty herself for an in-depth interview about her career, Caitlyn Jenner and the pressure of being the world’s most famous transgender actor. “My beauty is not about how I look,” Cox explains. “My beauty is about my heart and soul.” Read more
Global discrimination against LGBT persons: 2015 United Nations report
(June 8, 2015 | Journalist's Resource) - On February 23, 2015, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that career diplomat Randy Berry would be the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons. Berry’s mission is to “advance efforts underway to move toward a world free from violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.” While Berry plans to travel to countries such as Uganda, where homosexuality is a criminal offense, his primary focus is to target the large number of states with moderate views hoping to expedite the already rapid progress some regions are making. Read more
One new opportunity for LGBT media makers
By Briana Rodriguez
(March 13, 2015 | Backstage) - Shahid Manning is the founder of the not-for-profit Millennia Scope Entertainment Foundation, aiming to dispel homophobia by giving LGBT filmmakers a leg up in the entertainment industry. Read more
LGBTQ media confab looks ahead to post-marriage reporting
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond
(March 25, 2015 | Windy City Media Group) - LGBTQ media professionals gathered in Philadelphia on March 13-14, as they looked forward to the issues that will take center stage post-marriage-equality and inward to their reporting of them. Read more
Kevin Naff: Shame on Wash Post for defending Schock, attacking LGBT media
By Kevin Naff
(March 20, 2015 | Washington Blade) - The Washington Post’s Steven Petrow should stick to polite and safe-for-suburban-sensibilities columns about which side of the aisle to sit at a gay wedding and leave the politics of outing to those who know something about it.
For years, readers have endured the Post’s irresponsible, inaccurate and sometimes downright homophobic coverage — from straight-washing our obituaries to ignoring our contributions to the military to carefully excising any mention of sexuality or significant others from news and feature stories. Read more
See how far a onetime enemy of gay equality has evolved
By Neil Broverman
(Feb. 26, 2015 | Advocate.Com) - Mike Bowers set the gay rights movement back 17 years. Bowers, Georgia's former attorney general, successfully argued to the Supreme Court in 1986 that bans on consensual gay sex are constitutional. His narrowly won case — a 5-4 decision — not only repudiated private same-sex relations, it helped usher in other antigay measures, like laws banning adoption by same-sex couples and policies allowing employees to be fired for being LGBT. Read more
Michigan may allow adoption agencies to refuse service to gay couples
By Kate Abbey-Lambertz
(March 18, 2015 | The Huffington Post) - Legislation that would allow Michigan adoption agencies to refuse service to same-sex couples for religious reasons -- while still receiving public funds -- will head to the Michigan Senate. Read more
Half of young people believe gender isn’t limited to male and female
By Jorge Rivas
(Feb. 3, 2015 | Fuson.Net) - Half of all Millennials believe that gender exists on a spectrum, and shouldn’t be limited to the categories of male and female, according to Fusion’s Massive Millennial Poll, which surveyed 1,000 people aged 18-34 about everything from politics to dating to race issues. Read more
Why does Facebook censor gay images?
By Christopher Harrity
(Jan. 30, 2015 | Advocate.Com) - Michael Stokes is a well known photographer with a thriving business. His beautifully staged images of physically fit men are familiar to many. He's also a photo collector and historian who recently produced a book with Taschen on WW2 photos of soldiers at ease and quite naked. Read more
LGBT love and anxiety: The ambiguity and politics of the world press photo of the year
(Feb. 13, 2015 | BagNewsNotes.Com) - You can talk about a photo in terms of what you believe it generally reflects or you can be more rigorous and address its content and nuances in a more specific way. In this case – and to the credit of the World Press Photo of the Year – a more careful reading of the picture reveals Mad Nissen’s photograph, “Jon and Alex,” as that much more powerful a choice. Read more
Dot[.]LGBT domain is officially launched
By Brian Fagioli
(Feb. 10, 2015 | BetaNews.Com) - One of the proudest things of my lifetime, is witnessing the growing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States. While hatred and discrimination still exist, it is far less nowadays. Heck, the number of states that allow gay marriage is increasing all of the time, while more and more people are being open-minded about gender. Today, a monumental thing is happening on the Internet -- the .LGBT domain launches to the public. Read more
LGBT Ugandans Launch Magazine to Share 'Our Voices, Our Stories, Our Lives'
By Dawn Ennis
(Feb. 11, 2015 | Advocate.Com) - The writers, activists, and poets behind Bombastic, a new magazine published by and for LGBTI Ugandans, are bringing real stories, commentaries, and poems by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people in Uganda to its people. Read more
This Philippine clothing brand’s pro-LGBT ad is being helped out by a hashtag
By Matt Ortile
(Feb. 15, 2015 | BuzzFeed) - The billboards feature Filipina actress and icon Gloria Romero with her grandson, Chris Gutierrez, and Bench model Solenn Heussaff with her fiancé, Nico Bolzico. Read more
"Little" media coverage of the murders of 4 "unarmed" Black transgender women
By Julissa Catalan
(Feb. 10, 2015 | DiversityInc.) - While the media has been focusing on the killings of unarmed Black men—particularly Eric Garner and Michael Brown—there has been little coverage of the murders of four unarmed Black transgender women. Read more
Google apologizes, fixes anti-gay slurs in translator
By Julissa Catalan
(Feb. 4, 2015 | DiversityInc.) - Google has released a formal apology following backlash for a glitch in its Translator tool, which converted the word “gay” into homophobic slurs when translating from English to French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Read more
Alabama becomes 37th state to legalize same-gender marriage
By Julissa Catalan
(Feb. 10, 2015 | DiversityInc.) - On Monday, Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to stay a federal judge’s ruling striking down the state’s same-gender-marriage ban. Read more
Segal: Hollywood lags behind on LGBT issues
(Jan. 23, 2015 | Source: Philly.Com) - Hollywood’s award season is upon us! This week we saw the Golden Globes and the release of the nominations for the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars. At both, several LGBT people were recognized — and that’s important, since a major part of the fight for equality is about visibility and being treated equally in all areas. Read more
How the media gives anti-LGTBs a platform they don't deserve
By Steve Williams
(Jan. 2, 2015 | Care2.Com) - Doctor Who has a big “gay agenda!” That’s the cry of a handful of complaints made to the BBC this past year. Rather than the complaints themselves being worrying, though, it’s the media’s treatment of them that ‘s really the big problem here. Ever since the science fiction show was revived in 2005, Doctor Who has prompted accusations of having a “homosexual agenda” because of its inclusive attitude to depicting characters of various sexual orientations. From omnisexual Jack Harkness to female (and cross-species) couple Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint, the series hasn’t been shy about same-sex kisses or relationships. Read more
Cartoon Network allegedly censors first on-screen gay kiss
By James Nichols (Oct. 28, 2014 | The Huffington Post) - Did Cartoon Network just censor their first representation of a same-sex kiss on air? During a recent episode of "Clarence," the network featured an (extremely) brief gay kiss between two characters -- on either cheek. According to Queerty, not only is this the first same-sex kiss on Cartoon Network, but the characters serve no relevant plot purpose and seem to be on the receiving end of a tired joke. Read more
Fox News is trying to kill Houston's equal rights ordinance
By Carlos Maza
(Oct. 6, 2014 | The Huffington Post Blog ) - Fox News helped turn a bogus story about subpoenas sent to a handful of Houston pastors into a national rallying cry for religious liberty. Now the network is helping promote an event that will pit some of the country's most extreme anti-LGBT voices against the city's nondiscrimination ordinance. Read more
Kyrgyzstan's anti-gay bill: Just following in Russia's footsteps?
By Cai Wilkinson
(Oct. 7, 2014 | EurasiaNet) - In early 2013, shortly after the Russian Duma approved a bill outlawing what Russian officials described as "homosexual propaganda," I spent several weeks in Bishkek interviewing local LGBT and human rights activists. The aim was to discern how Kyrgyzstan had emerged as a bright spot for LGBT activism in a region well-known for intolerance of homosexuality and gender variance. Read more
Why LGBT communities and our allies should care about Net Neutrality
By Mary Gray
(Nov. 12, 2014 | The Huffington Post) - It's easy to forget the larger, community benefits of an Open Internet that doesn't discriminate based on the content flowing through the fiber (or however it gets to you). But let's get specific. How does this open network nurture and support underserved and marginalized LGBT communities and why does something like Net Neutrality matter to our future? Read More
Man takes legal action after baker refuses to make anti-gay cake
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DENVER (KDVR) — A man is taking legal action after a baker in Denver refused to make an anti-gay cake.
At the Azucar Bakery in Denver, love is spread one stroke at a time. But even love has its limits.
So when a still-unidentified customer came into her shop about a year ago asking to have a gay slur written on a Bible-shaped cake, owner Marjorie Silva said she felt she had to draw the line.
Now she’s facing legal action.
“I just want to make cake for happy people,” Silva said. “I’m Christian. I support Christians. We make a lot of Christian cakes. But this just wasn’t right.”
The customer came into Silva’s shop in March of 2014, just months after the conclusion of a very similar incident that took place inside a Lakewood bakery in December of 2013.
In a decision that was eventually upheld by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a judge ruled that Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips broke discrimination laws when he refused to make a cake for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, a gay Colorado couple who had attempted to purchase the baked good for their Massachusetts wedding in July of 2012.
Flash forward almost two years, and Silva found herself dealing with a man she described as “very pushy and disruptive,” asking her to bake a cake with an anti-gay message she won’t fully repeat to this day.
Silva said she told the customer she would make the cake with a blank Bible page so that he could write whatever he wanted inside. She said she even offered to give the man an instrument to write the words himself.
He declined, Silva said, and instead told the baker she “needed to talk to an attorney about this.”
After making the statement, Silva said the man returned a short time later and asked her if she had spoken to an attorney. When she said no, he left again — only to return once more. At that time, Silva said she had called her brother into the shop to assist in asking the man leave for good.
Even though the man hasn’t returned, the ordeal is far from over. Silva has since been notified by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) that a religious discrimination complaint has been filed against Azucar Bakery.
Silva said she recently received a notice from DORA requesting a final letter describing her account of events. She also said the department has indicated it will make a decision within 30 days of the receipt of that letter.
For legal reasons, Silva didn’t want to talk about the controversy directly. Instead, she recited directly from the first letter she sent to DORA.
“The customer wanted us to draw two males holding hands with a big ‘X’ on them,” Silva said. “We never refuse service. But we did feel it was not right for us to present hateful words or images about human beings.”
On Monday, Jessica Mason was among the customers who patronized Azucar Bakery. She was there with her same-sex partner to order a cake for the couple’s wedding anniversary.
“(Silva) just didn’t want to put hate out there,” Mason said. “Everybody’s free to have their own beliefs, but there’s no reason to spread hate. And I think the message (Azucar Bakery) has clearly sent here is love.”
And now Silva, a woman who wants to do nothing but to spread love, is getting a taste of her own medicine in return. Since word of her refusal started to spread on social media, messages have started flowing in on her shop’s Facebook page from all over the world.
“For some reason in Colorado, people seem to want to start fights in bakeries, of all places,” one reads. “I’m sure this will work out in your favor. Thank you for being such a beautiful person inside and out.”
In Silva’s eyes, the world is built much like the cakes she creates — with the filling being no more important than the icing.
“We’re all the same,” Silva said. “We’re all human beings.”
Colorado Christian cakeshop sued a third time for discrimination
The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop -- which won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court recently -- was sued for a third time this week.
Jack Phillips, the Lakewood, Colo. bakery owner who has refused to bake cakes that violate his Christian faith, is being sued again by Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman, for refusing to bake a gender transition cake.
Scardina claims it is textbook LGBT discrimination. But Phillips said she is rehashing old claims that hold no merit.
Phillips describes himself as an artist who uses cakes as "canvas" to express ideas and celebrate events. He has insisted he doesn't want to do something that goes against his faith. He said the cases against him have directly affected his family and business and he's faced death threats and harassment.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips last year in a case where he refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. The high court ruled the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed "anti-religious bias" when it filed a discrimination charge against Phillips.
The commission then filed another complaint against Phillips after he refused to make Scardina a cake celebrating a gender transition. He, in turn, sued the state claiming he was being singled out for his religious beliefs.
The Commission and Phillips agreed to drop their cases in March after discovery showed "anti-religious hostility" from the state toward the family-run bakery.
Scardina decided to pursue separate litigation, which attorneys filed Wednesday in district court.
“The dignity of all citizens in our state needs to be honored. Masterpiece Cakeshop said before the Supreme Court they would serve any baked good to members of the LGBTQ community. It was just the religious significance of it being a wedding cake,” Paula Griesen, one of the attorneys representing Scardina, told the local CBS station. “We don’t believe they’ve been honest with the public.”
Scardina claims Phillips violated Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act and Consumer Protection Act for refusing to bake a "birthday cake" celebrating the plaintiff's gender transition, which was to be blue on the outside and pink on the inside, symbolizing a transition from male to female.
Jim Cambell, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented Phillips in the other cases, called it further harassment rehashing old claims.
"So this latest attack by Scardina looks like yet another desperate attempt to harass cake artist Jack Phillips," Cambell said. "And it stumbles over the one detail that matters most: Jack serves everyone he just cannot express all messages through his custom cakes.”
Bigger Fish to Fry. or Bake
All you have is right now. I've heard it and read it many times. It wasn't until I finally caught onto this concept that the future is all an illusion -- that worrying about things we have not yet to experience is just an unnecessary route to more madness. The other day I was driving home and heard that song "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac. It goes, "Don't stop dreaming about tomorrow, don't stop, it'll be here soon. It'll be here better than before -- yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone." When the song ended, the DJ said something much more profound than his listeners probably took it. He said, "If you have one foot in tomorrow and one foot in yesterday, whaddya' all doing about today?" Then he chuckled and went on about his show. Lately, I have been asked so many things about my future. Someone asked, "Well, 'if this happens' then what will you do? You need to have a plan."
Nope. No plan whatsoever. I plan to be in the present. I know that sounds very 'hippyish' and vague about my life -- perhaps even irresponsible, but the fact is, it would be more irresponsible of me to worry and fret every day, every single present moment about the future. Like my father said before he died, "All those wonderful years, having my own business, enjoying time with the family and just. like. that. (snaps his fingers) -- it's all gone and your life is about to end. What's it all for?" It's not to say that life is just meaningless, but more so that today -- the day that you can see right before you is much more important. Your steps today create your future, but when you constantly live in the future or the past, you sabotage the one thing that is truly real: this very moment.
Throughout the years of my writing in this blog, I have tried to help those who are gay and lesbian who also love God, to accept and love themselves as well. The problem lies with God's followers -- not God Himself. So when I battle controversial debates whether being gay is wrong or right or what the Bible says and how people interpret it -- it's not about defending myself as it is about helping other people to love themselves. Many Christians make people feel bad about themselves and tell them they're going to hell and that they live a disgusting lifestyle. They make them feel worthless. This is NOT love at all! In fact, it's the total opposite. It's fear. I remember Dad used to say, "It's better to be feared than loved." He said it jokingly (I think), but think about what the egotistical mind does: it puffs out its feathers and says, "I'm better than you!" Fear makes people lash out, possibly discrediting all they ever believed about "GOD". Thing is -- you don't have to give up your beliefs, but you should give up your ego and realize that faith is just that: a belief system that cannot be proven.
I'm still learning. I learned that "the now" isn't always pleasant. It is not a pleasant experience to watch Mom battling cancer. Sometimes "the now" trickles into the "what ifs" of the future. I have a lot of work ahead of me. But when I focus one day at a time, I can pull myself together more. It hurts to see her suffering and going through the side effects of all the chemo and radiation. It pains me to see her get up at the crack of dawn to be at Sloan-Kettering in NYC when she barely got an hour's worth of sleep. They talk about enjoying "the golden years" and I wonder how much enjoyment is she truly getting out of life. Even with the faith we all have that she's gonna pull through this, "the now" can sometimes really suck.
Anyway, just to sidetrack a bit, remember that Indiana pizzeria called, Memories Pizza? The owner who was interviewed by a reporter was asked a hypothetical question: "Would you cater to a gay and lesbian wedding?" And the owner stated that they would not, however they would still serve pizza to those who were homosexual. And how can you really know who's gay or lesbian unless you ask them? But anyway, they closed their shop due to harassing phone calls and a ton of social media outrage. Hey listen -- people are passionate about equal rights which is fine, but to harass people who disagree with your lifestyle is wrong as well. Just leave them. Just go on with your life and leave them alone. Why call them and threaten their lives? A fundraising page was held for this pizzeria and they made off with almost 1 million dollars. Let me say that again: 1 million dollars! This money was donated from other Christians who felt bad for the owners who stood their ground. Here's my question: how can you give almost a million dollars to a pizzeria who discriminates against gays and lesbians as far as catering goes, but yet our food pantries and shelters are at an all time low? That one is a bit much for me.
Then there was a twist to this interesting story. A lesbian donated $20 bucks to the owners of Memories Pizza. Courtney Hoffman wrote a personal note to them, on our behalf.
“As a member of the gay community,” she wrote, “I would like to apologize for the mean spirited attacks on you and your business. I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business according to those beliefs. We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild.” She also added that “there is a difference between operating in a public market space and then attaching the name of your business to a private event,” acknowledging that she would turn down a request to organize an anti-gay marriage rally.
|Would you bake this cake?|
OK, I sidetracked a great deal. My POINT is: who cares? Seriously -- you will not go to hell if you serve someone of a different stance. Anti-whatever -- you still get money, you still get to go to "your heaven" -- you still have your dignity as a business owner. Why are people so angry at other people. Let them hate, let them love, let them rally, let them do whatever it is they are called to do. Why are we so worked up by others either not serving us or being forced to serve someone of another lifestyle? It really doesn't matter. The stress that you put yourself in by grinding an ax over someone who is "offending your god" is more detrimental to your health than anything else. The negative energy that goes into it all -- the fights -- the intolerance and bickering -- is it worth it? Even online debates -- why? I know I do it and at this point, you can't convince me that being gay is wrong, nor can I convince you that there is nothing wrong with it. We have to accept that our opinions, faith and thoughts are our own and cannot be changed, unless we're really not sure about our convictions.
At this point, it seems like we're all intolerant of each other. We see something 'different' from our environment and we FEAR it. We put energy toward that and we let it feed on fear. Do you really think that gay marriage will ruin the sanctity of traditional marriage? Hasn't Kim Kardashian proved that to be wrong? I also get, "Well, you can't reproduce." OK, so let me ask you this: a man and a woman get married. They try to have a baby and well, the doctor said that the husband's sperm count is too low and that they cannot conceive. What then? Ah, artificial insemination? Adoption? Not natural my Christian friends. But, it IS natural to adopt a child with love, no matter what gender raises them. Some straight parents shouldn't have reproduced at all in my opinion. It's not about reproduction. It's about love, loyalty, growing old together and living a life you want to live. What about that quack, Pat Robertson? All he can talk about is the gays and anal sex. You know, don't go guessing what I do in my bedroom because that's far from the truth. And what about a straight couple? Does he condemn them for anal sex as well? It goes both ways. Hmm, bad example.
What a waste of energy to concern yourself with other people's lives. There is nothing you can do to change it. And yes, it is between God and whomever, or wait -- some people don't even believe in a God. And if you wanna go even deeper -- prove to atheists that there even is a god! It doesn't matter. YOU do the right thing and YOU concern YOURself to YOUR business and get YOUR nose out of other people's bedrooms. and bakeries. Start with "NOW". Start with loving yourself. Maybe if you had a little self-respect and love for yourself, you can also give it to others just as freely. But I see many of these aggressive Christians are nothing more than angry little homo-hunters on a beheading mission. It's time to live your own lives folks and thank God for the present moment right now, because you may not get another tomorrow. No use. I have bigger fish to fry.