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Mills College Becomes First All-Women's School to Welcome Transgender Students

Mills hall

Yesterday, Mills College in Oakland, California, became the first all-women’s college in the U.S. to openly welcome transgender and gender nonconforming students, reports Think Progress.

Last December, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill providing unprecedented protections for transgender students in the state.

Mills College is one of 119 single-sex universities across the U.S., 48 of which are women’s colleges.

According to Brian O’Rourke, vice president of enrollment and admissions, about three to five of the college’s 1,000 undergraduates identify as transgender or gender non-conforming every year.

The new policy allows for numerous ways to accommodate transgender students while still maintaining an identity as a women’s college:

  • The college welcome any student who self-identifies as a woman, regardless of what sex she was assigned at birth.

  • Applicants “who do not fit into the gender binary” are welcome provided they were assigned “female” at birth.

  • Female students who enroll but later identify as a man may stay and graduate.

  • The policy does not apply to undergraduate students who were assigned “female” at birth but who already legally identify as a man.

Last month we reported that George Fox University in Oregon and The California Baptist University continue to legally discriminate against transgender students.  Under exemptions, George Fox University can legally discriminate against a transgender student who identifies as a man and was refused permission to reside in housing for male students.  In The California Baptist University case, a scholarship student was expelled by the university on the basis of “fraud” after she appeared on a reality television program to discuss her transgender identity.


Emails Reveal School Lied About Canceling School Musical For 'Homosexual Themes' - VIDEO

Spamalot

Emails procured through Pennsylvania’s “Right To Know” law confirm that South Williamsport Jr/Sr High School cancelled a production of Monty Python’s Spamalot because it included a same-sex wedding, reports Think Progress.

The uncovered emails show that despite the school’s attempt to claim otherwise, the only justification for the cancellation given by Principal Jesse Smith was the play’s “homosexual themes.”

Records also prove that contrary to claims made by school district Superintendent Mark Stamm that the musical had not actually been canceled because it was only “under consideration,” Principal Smith had already signed a check for nearly $2,000 to order the licensing rights for the play last May. South-Williamsport-Spamalot-Check-638x262

In emails sent last June, Smith said that he was concerned about “a gay wedding being performed.” Musical director Dawn Burch replied, “I am fully aware of their place in the script and am not certain what offense they create,” noting that marriage equality had recently arrived in Pennsylvania.

Smith then explained that he was “not comfortable with Spamalot and its homosexual themes” because “this type of material [would make] it very hard” for families to attend. He added that he did not “want students to have to choose between their own personal beliefs and whether or not to take part in a production.”

When Burch wrote to Stamm that she found it “extremely disappointing that homosexuality would be the basis of not approving a show,” noting that “this is how we raise children to be haters,” the superintendent replied that he was familiar with Smith’s objections and stood by them.

Last year, a high school in Ottumwa, Iowa said that students could not perform The Laramie Project, Moisés Kaufman's play about the hate crime murder of gay Wyoming teen Matthew Shepard, because it is "too adult."

Watch South Williamsport Area School Board President John Engel, Jr., address a July 3 press conference on the controversy over the cancellation of the play, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Emails Reveal School Lied About Canceling School Musical For 'Homosexual Themes' - VIDEO" »


Brigham Young University Pulls Hallmark Same-Sex Wedding Cards

CardSame-sex wedding greeting cards have been removed from the Brigham Young University (BYU) bookstore in Provo, Utah, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

BYU is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which believes that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

The Hallmark cards reading "Mr. and Mr." and "Mrs. and Mrs." were removed when bookstore staff discovered them after photos surfaced online. According to BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins, Hallmark stocked the shelves without realizing the school wouldn’t want to sell the cards celebrating same-sex marriages.

Explaining why the cards were removed, Jenkins cited BYU’s honor code which states "homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

Although the university does not intend to end its contract with Hallmark, staff have asked the company to not leave similar cards in the bookshop in the future.

Last month we reported that John Dehlin, a Mormon advocate of LGBT rights, was facing excommunication from the church.


New Jersey School Backs Down, Allows Transgender Teen To Enroll as a Girl

Rachel pepe

Rachel Pepe, a transgender student from New Jersey who we reported earlier this week was refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, has since had her refusal reversed by school administrators.

Last year, Pepe attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Pepe’s mother Angela Peters said at the time that the school failed to engage with her on proposed solutions to the problem.

However, the superintendent of the school district, William O. George, has since announced that he will work with staff to make sure Rachel can attend school in a safe environment. George also said Middletown Township Public Schools staff would undergo LGBT sensitivity training, reports Huffington Post.

"We as a district want to do everything we can as a district," George told the Asbury Park Press. "Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement."

Back in April, the Department of Education issued new guidance that made it clear Title IX law protects transgender students from discrimination.


Robert Oscar Lopez: Same-Sex Marriage Is 'A Tidal Wave' Sweeping Up Children - VIDEO

Robert Oscar Lopez

In a July speech to the Stanford Anscombe Society, anti-gay activist and "ex-gay" Robert Oscar Lopez said that he cannot support same-sex marriage because it has become a “tidal wave” that has “swept up children,” reports Right Wing Watch.

The Stanford Anscombe Society aims “to help university students and young adults to promote the values of marriage, family, and sexual integrity to the broader popular culture” and “defines marriage as a union, until death, between one man and one woman.”

Lopez said that although he once supported same-sex marriage, many people “have chosen to yoke gay marriage and gay parenting together” which forced him into the opposing camp “because it ultimately means that in order to protect the sexual relationship between two adults, you have to shatter the relationship between a child and either his father or his mother.”

Lopez also attacked what he called “a very powerful gay lobby that has a lot of money” which works to “erase” the realities of life for LGBT people, including high rates of domestic violence in same-sex relationships,”rampant problems with depression, anxiety, eating disorders” and “the fact that HIV infection rate recently went up among boys 13 to 19.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Robert Oscar Lopez: Same-Sex Marriage Is 'A Tidal Wave' Sweeping Up Children - VIDEO" »


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" »


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