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Salem Mayor Writes Awesome Defense Of City's Decision To End Contract With Anti-Gay College - VIDEO

Kim driscoll mayor salem

On Wednesday we reported the decision by the City of Salem, Massachusetts, to kill a contract with anti-gay Gordon College.

Under the contract, the college operated the city’s Old Town Hall.  College president Michael Lindsay was one of more than 140 signees of a letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions from a pending executive order which aims to prevent work discrimination by federally funded organizations. Letter by Kimberly Driscoll

Speaking to The Christian Post, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said that Gordon College's "behavioral standards" policy, which specifically forbids "homosexual behavior," "is in violation of the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that was unanimously adopted by the Salem City Council earlier this year.”

Driscoll has since published an awesome letter defending Salem’s inclusive policies and calling out attacks made by right wing blogs and websites.  Specifically citing wingnut Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Driscoll writes that “this has resulted in a number of phones calls being place to my office from people outside of Massachusetts who have expressed some patently offensive views regarding LGBT individuals.”

In response to the barrage of phone calls, Driscoll goes on to say “we are keeping a tally of these phone calls and for each one we receive I will be making a donation of $5 to nAGLY [North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth], in support of your good work to create, sustain, and advocate for the policies and services that support youth here on the North Shore.”

Driscoll also asks that individuals make contributions to nAGLy as a response to “the persistence of those who would deny LGBT citizens their equal rights.” 

Watch a video introducing nAGLY, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Transgender Students Face Discrimination By Religious Colleges

George_fox_university

A July 14th Inside Higher Ed article highlights two cases of discrimination against transgender students that are representative of the broader ability of institutions to ignore federal laws that interfere with their faith.

The article comes following last month’s Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, which upheld the right of some businesses owned by religious individuals not to finance contraception coverage for employees; and a letter by more than 140 religious organizations and individuals petitioning for an exemption from President Barack Obama’s pending executive order which aims to protect LGBT federal employees.

The article discusses in detail an exemption granted to George Fox University, Oregon, that allows it to discriminate against a transgender student who identifies as a man and was refused permission to reside in housing for male students; and The California Baptist University case in which 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.

The article goes on to consider the case of Gordon College in Massachusetts. College president Michael Lindsay signed the letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions. Citing Gordon’s anti-gay policies, the City of Salem, Massachusetts, has since killed a contract under which Gordon has operated the city's Old Town Hall. Additionally, the college’s accreditor is now reviewing whether Gordon’s policies violate NEASC’s anti-bias rules.


Oklahoma Lesbian Student Expelled For Marrying Her Girlfriend

Minard

Southwestern Christian University student Christian Minard has been expelled from the Oklahoma college for marrying her girlfriend, reports Religion News Service.

The university is affiliated with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Bethany, Oklahoma, which has consistently opposed homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

ASouthwestern christian university oklahomas part of her admission requirements, 22-year-old Minard, who is one semester from completing her sports management degree, signed a lifestyle covenant that prohibits “homosexual behavior,” harassment, sexual misconduct, pornography, alcohol, tobacco and other “sins.”

Minard and Kadyn Parks were married on March 17. On July 9, a letter from the university’s vice president Brad Davis, arrived at Minard’s parents’ home, telling her she was being expelled.

The letter read in part:

“I was informed that you recently married someone of the same sex and saw a few pictures from Facebook. Of course, this is opposing to our view as an International Pentecostal Holiness denominational university as well as the Lifestyle Covenant that all students must agree and sign.”

Speaking to The Washington Post, Minard said “other students violate parts of the covenant all the time, but they don’t get expelled.”

Although university provost Connie Sjoberg declined to comment, she cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which prohibits colleges from disclosing information about students, even to parents.

(image facebook)


Teacher Fired For Being Gay in 1972 Receives Apology 42 Years Later: VIDEO

Gaylord

Washington-based Jim Gaylord, fired for being gay in 1972, will finally receive an apology from the Tacoma School District, reports The Olympian.

When confronted by the the vice principal at Wilson High School, Gaylord decided that he couldn’t live a lie any longer and confirmed rumors that he was gay.

The termination of his contract came after a Wilson student approached Gaylord to discuss the student’s same-sex attractions.  After a later suicide attempt, the student related to police that he had spoken to Gaylord.  The police visited the school and the vice principal then paid a visit to Gaylord.

A letter received by the former teacher informing him that he was fired read in part:

“The specific probable cause for your discharge is that you have admitted occupying a public status that is incompatible with the conduct required of teachers in this district. Specifically, that you have admitted being a publicly known homosexual.”

Gaylord never returned to teaching and a long court battle that went to the U.S. Supreme Court was unsuccessful.

Although Gaylord did not seek the apology, he said that it will help to “put a relatively pleasant end on an unpleasant situation.”

Last week, Flint Dollar, a teacher in Macon, Georgia, filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against a school after his contract was not renewed when the school found out he plans to marry a man.

 Watch KIRO7's report on the apology, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Teacher Files Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Against Georgia Catholic School

Macon georgia

Flint Dollar, a music teacher at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Georgia, has filed a suit against the school after his contract was not renewed when the school found out he plans to marry a man.

DollarSpeaking to NPR, Dollar said that he was honest about his sexual orientation with administrators at the Catholic school.  However, at the end of the school year he was told that “the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah called and expressed his concern that if I was to return it would be against the teachings of the Catholic Church."

The school has released a statement saying they have to consider an employee's ability to teach Catholic doctrine when making staff decisions.

Dollar’s lawyer Charles Cox says that although there is nothing to be done under employment discrimination legislation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

According to Cox:

“When you fire somebody because they are engaging in a same-sex marriage, I think that pretty clearly fits with gender discrimination. You're being fired because you're not complying with traditional gender stereotypes, and that's wrong, and we believe it's unlawful."

Although Dollar has since filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging sex discrimination, Matthew Franck, a constitutional scholar at Princeton says that even though it might work, it shouldn’t because “it's fairly clear that Title VII's reference to sex as a category of discrimination, that the people who wrote that had nothing like sexual orientation in their minds.”


50 UK Schools Teaching Homosexuality Is A Choice

Leaving fundamentalism blog

While the Trojan Horse investigation into an alleged Muslim plot to take over schools in Birmingham, England, has recently hit the headlines, less attention has been given to around fifty schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that follow a strict "fundamentalist" Christian curriculum.

Those schools are currently listed as using a curriculum provided by U.S.-based Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) which teaches that homosexuality is a choice, that AIDS can be avoided through religion, that evolution is a lie, and that abortion is wrong.

The majority of institutions using the ACE curriculum are private Christian schools. Students at these schools do not study for British state exams and instead prepare for an International Christian Certificate of Education.

One ACE textbook states that:

“Some people mistakenly believe that an individual is born a homosexual and his attraction to those of the same sex is normal. Because extensive tests have shown that there is no biological difference between homosexuals and others, these tests seem to prove that homosexuality is a learned behaviour. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is sin. In Old Testament times, God commanded that homosexuals be put to death. Since God never commanded death for normal or acceptable actions, it is as unreasonable to say that homosexuality is normal as it is to say that murder or stealing is normal.”

According to ACE King of Kings School Headteacher Brenda Lewis, the textbooks are "a starting point not a finishing point. As Christians we believe the Bible and we believe what the Bible says, and it does say a number of those things, but we are not single-issue people and we teach our students to think for themselves and realise there are a vast number of issues.”

Speaking to the BBC, Ben Medlock, a co-founder of the SwiftKey smartphone keyboard app, who attended Victory Christian School in Bath said his experience had been "broadly positive".

"While my own faith has evolved significantly from the conservatism of my childhood, I do feel that the values of the school provided students with a positive - though inevitably flawed - framework in which to view the world and interact with those around them."

However, according to Jonny Scaramanga, a former student of the same school who campaigns against the ACE curriculum and writes the blog Leaving Fundamentalism, the school adopted a "fundamentalist attitude" to religion.  Scaramanga added:

"If you believed what they believed, you were Christian. If you believed anything else, you were not Christian."


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