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Tyler Oakley Interviews First Lady Michelle Obama: VIDEO

Oakley_obama

First Lady Michelle Obama sat down with gay vlogger Tyler Oakley to talk about her new Reach Higher initative encouraging young people to complete an education beyond high school. She also revealed some college facts about herself: her job while in school, how often she visited home, whether she ever failed a test, her biggest fear about going off to college, and her proudest moment while at Princeton. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Discrimination Against Gay Teachers In Ireland To End Soon

Ireland’s Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has indicated that a forthcoming change in legislation will ensure that public service workers will no longer face discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, or gender identity, reports The Journal.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73e1313c7970d-800wiThe Irish government announced in June that it intended to introduce an amendment to the Employment Equality Act.

The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI), which “has vigorously campaigned for amendment of the act in order to remove the cloud of fear and intimidation which hangs over many of our members because of its continued existence,” said that it welcomes Ó Ríordáin’s commitment to amend Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act.

Ó Ríordáin said:

“This has been of particular concern to those in the education and health sectors where many schools and hospitals are funded by the state, but run by a religious order.

"The consequence of this Act can have a chilling effect on concerned workers who are divorced or are single parents, as well as members of the LGBT Community, as it can mean that they cannot be open about their status in their workplace.

"In education, it denies many young LGBT people role models, as their LGBT teachers cannot openly identify their sexuality.”

The TUI added, “It should go without saying in 2014 that nobody should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or family status."

Ireland is set to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in early 2015.


Founder Of Internatonal Gay & Lesbian Review Guilty Of Sex With Underage Boys - VIDEO

Walter Lee Williams

Walter Lee Williams, the founder of the International Gay & Lesbian Review, has pleaded guilty to having sex with underage boys he met online, reports The Desert Sun.

Williams was a Fulbright Scholar, a tenured professor at the University of Southern California, and the founder of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives. His 1998 book The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, won the Gay Book of the Year Award from the American Library Association, The Ruth Benedict Award from the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists, and the Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the World Congress for Sexology. Jpeg

According to the FBI, under the guise of academic research, Williams traveled to the Philippines and elsewhere to have sex with underage boys. Ten victims between ages 9 and 17 have been identified.

He pleaded guilty last Friday to one federal count of engaging in illicit sexual contact in foreign places.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a prison sentence of no more than five years, 10 years of supervised release, lifetime registration as a sex offender and $25,000 in restitution to be divided between seven of his victims.

Richard L. Arlington, a one-time roommate of Williams’, was arrested last year in connection with the case. Arlington, who shared illicit computer images of children with Williams, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and will be sentenced November 17th.

Williams and Arlington were members of the Buddhist Universal Association in Los Angeles, which advocated for “extreme sexual freedoms,” according to the FBI.

District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez set December 15th for Williams’ sentencing.

Watch a 2013 FBI report on Williams' arrest, AFTER THE JUMP...

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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...

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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.


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