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Austin Police Department Welcomes First Openly Transgender Officer: VIDEO

Picture 3Austin Police Department's Senior Officer Greg Abbink introduced himself as the first openly transgender man on the Austin police force during his Transgender Day of Remembrance speech outside of Austin's city hall on Thursday reports KXAN News. Officer Abbink, who joined the force a decade ago as Emily, officially changed his name this past spring. This year also marks the first time a transgender officer was chosen from APD's Lesbian and Gay Police Officers Association to deliver the speech.

Said Abbink:

“I was honored when I was asked to speak,” said Abbink. “I can’t imagine the city of Austin or the Austin Police Department, for that matter, being any more supportive than they are. I consider APD my family. They are truly my brothers and sisters.”

Officer Abbink says coming out as transgender comes with its own challenges, but recognizes there are certain rewards that come with it as well.

Added Abbink:

“I didn’t do this for anyone other than me, and I don’t mean to sound selfish, but I had to do this to be the best person that I can be, so that I can serve the public — the city of Austin — to the best of my ability.

"I'd like to be a role model if I can."

Watch Officer Abbink's interview with KNAX, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Mark Regnerus 'Study': Pro-LGBT Christians More Likely To Support Polygamy, Casual Sex - VIDEO

Mark regenerus

Discredited anti-gay "researcher" Mark Regnerus, who previously claimed that children of gay parents had higher rates of life problems compared to those raised by heterosexual parents, has published a new "study" which aims to demonstrate that pro-LGBT Christians will lead to an immoral, sexually unrestrained world, reports GLAAD.

An internal audit of Regnerus’ previous study of same-sex parenting concluded that it barely studied gay parents, contained no original research, had a “highly unusual” timeline with an “unseemly rush to publication” and that all three of the report's peer-reviewers had ties to the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute that funded the study to begin with.

Regnerus' latest blog post - also published by the Witherspoon Institute - is titled Tracking Christian Sexual Morality in a Same-Sex Marriage Future and relies on "the Relationships in America survey, a data collection project...that interviewed 15,738 Americans, ages 18-60, in early 2014."

According to Regnerus, the survey asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with seven statements:

1. Viewing pornographic material is OK.

2. It is a good idea for couples considering marriage to live together in order to decide whether or not they get along well enough to be married to one another.

3. It is OK for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further.

4. If a couple has children, they should stay married unless there is physical or emotional abuse.

5. It is sometimes permissible for a married person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse.

6. It is OK for three or more consenting adults to live together in a sexual/romantic relationship.

7. I support abortion rights.

The University of Texas at Austin sociology professor reports that "there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage. More than seven times as many of the latter think pornography is OK. Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights."

In a Box Turtle Bulletin analysis of Regnerus' new study, Jim Burroway says that Regnerus, interprets a chart provided without context and few caveats as follows: Regnerus-Graph

“If more and more people, including church-going Christians, continue to come around to supporting marriage equality, then more and more people, including church-going Christians, are going to begin supporting...polygamy. Or anything-goes sex. Or the breakdown of the family through divorce. Or unlimited abortion. And so on.”

Burroway goes on to provide his own explanation for Regnerus’ findings:

Those who oppose marriage equality are much more likely to be the kinds of busybodies with Deeply Held Beliefs about how other people should live their lives. They may say they they oppose pre-marital sex, extra-martial sex, no-strings sex, and getting divorced despite having children — for other people — but they will wind up doing those many of those Very Bad Things themselves at rates rather similar to, and in some cases (divorce, for example) higher than many other people, despite what they may say in a survey.

Conversely, those who support marriage equality are more likely to have a healthier, more laissez-faire attitude toward how other people order their lives, and they tend to be much less judgmental of other people. And gays and lesbians, who have experienced a lifetime of busybodies giving them unrealistic, unsolicited edicts in how to order their lives, are the most reluctant of all to turn around and do the same to others. And what about the Population Average? Well, nobody likes a busybody.

Watch an interview with Regnerus on his previously debunked study, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mark Regnerus 'Study': Pro-LGBT Christians More Likely To Support Polygamy, Casual Sex - VIDEO" »


The Heterosexuality Experiment: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 9.43.36 AM

Youtuber Joseph Costello has conducted what he calls a "heterosexuality experiment" wherein he made his way around Austin, Texas asking people if they would vote for a heterosexual president. In doing so, he discovered that there are homophobes in that city who don't even know the definition of the word "heterosexuality."

Watch Costello's ignorant interviewees (some more disturbing than others) give their answers, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "The Heterosexuality Experiment: VIDEO" »


Austin Trans Woman Humiliated By Lingerie Store Staff Member

A lingerie store in Austin, Texas has been accused of humiliating a transgender customer, reports Jezebel.com.

On her Facebook page, Kylie Jack said that a staff member at Petticoat Fair asked her for ID stating she was female.  Jack was also told that she had to have undergone sex reassignment surgery in order to have a fitting.


Kylie jack comment facebook

According to its website, "every woman [at Petticoat Fair] is treated with respect and given one-on-one attention and is helped to feel comfortable and confident in properly fitted undergarments."

JackThe store’s owner Kirk Andrews has since posted a lengthy apology which reads in part:

"There seems to be a misconception that Petticoat Fair has a policy of not working with the transgendered community. That is not the case. In fact, we have served the transgendered community for most of our 50 years in Austin. What we do have is a policy regarding who may or may not enter our fitting rooms.

The dressing room area is a particularly private and vulnerable place for many women and girls, so it's a protected area. For that reason, we also have a completely separate dressing area for women who have undergone mastectomies and need post-surgical care.

Just as a gym won't allow men in a women's dressing room for the comfort and safety of its patrons, we don't allow men or boys above a certain age in our dressing area.

Despite our otherwise inclusive approach, those who might be or who outwardly appear to be men (regardless of how they are dressed) pose a delicate challenge, and in the case of imposters, can pose a safety risk to the Petticoat Fair staff.

We respect our customers at Petticoat Fair. All of them. I hope that with this explanation, you have some helpful insight to who we are, how we do business, and that we are open to a productive dialogue."

In a response to Kirk’s apology, Jack replied:

"Kirk is sincere in his efforts to do better, but only time and actual action will tell. I'll consider the issue resolved when a formal public apology is issued to the Austin trans community along with the steps they're taking to update their policies to be trans-friendly and trans-inclusive."


Drunk Driver Plows Through Crowd at SXSW, Killing 2, Injuring Dozens: VIDEO

Austinstreet

A drunk driver plowed through a huge crowd of people at Austin's SXSW festival at approximately 12:30 pm last night, killing two and injuring at least 23, KXAN reports:

Police say the suspect sped off, after being stopped on suspicion of DWI.

The driver almost hit a police officer with the car while trying to get away, according to police. The suspect then went the wrong way on Ninth Street, plowed through a barricade on Red River Street, and hit the people in the crowd.

The suspect then went through 10th and 11th streets before hitting a van. That’s when police say the driver jumped out of the car and began to run, but police managed to use a Taser and arrest the suspect.

Watch KXAN's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

The NYT adds:

The Associated Press reported that the driver was drunk and was evading arrest when his car crashed into people gathered on a busy street, injuring about two dozen of them. The Austin police chief, Art Acevedo, was quoted by The A.P. as saying that two people were killed on a moped that was hit as revelers were leaving a club at around 12:30 a.m. He told The A.P. that the driver had jumped out of his car and had tried to run away after hitting a taxi.

The Austin Police Department wrote on Twitter than an individual had been arrested. “We owe it to the victims and their families to gather the evidence we need to bring them justice,” Chief Acevedo was quoted as saying on the police’s Twitter account.

Our thoughts go out to the victims of the accident and their loved ones.

Continue reading "Drunk Driver Plows Through Crowd at SXSW, Killing 2, Injuring Dozens: VIDEO" »


Julian Assange Calls for Public Action to Defend Against ‘Rogue' NSA

Assange

During a virtual conversation with SXSW attendees in Austin on Saturday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange railed against the overreaching surveillance programs under the "rogue agency" NSA and stressed that citizens need to be aware of the growing "militarization" of the internet by governments. 

S2_sxsw“Now that the internet has merged with human society … the laws that apply to the internet apply to human society,” Assange said. “This penetration of the internet by the NSA and [British intelligence agency] GCHQ is the penetration of our human society. It means there has been a militarization of our civilian space.”

Assange warned of the U.S. and other governments’ efforts to introduce “a new international regime of censorship” with various trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership. He also spoke at length about how it is no longer viable for everyday citizens to ignore privacy and security concerns.

“It’s not the case any more that you can hide from the state, and keep your head down, and hope that by sucking up or by being innocuous you can be spared,” Assange said. “So we have no choice but to try to manage the behaviour of the state that we have been forced to be part of.”

Towards the end of the talk, Assange briefly touched on future plans for Wikileaks, saying that it is preparing an “important” new release of material, but warned that he prefers not to give “the alleged perpetrator” the ability to prepare with “counter-spin” on what will be released. 


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