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04/19/2007


Poll Finds Americans View Gays More Favorably Than Evangelical Christians

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A new bipartisan study commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign and Americans for Marriage Equality found that 53 percent of Americans view gay people favorably, while only 42 percent of Americans view Evangelical Christians favorably. Gays do better on the other end of the spectrum as well, with just 18 percent of respondents viewing gays unfavorably compared to 28 percent for Evangelical Christians.

The survey of 1000 likely 2016 voters was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and TargetPoint Consulting. Among the survey’s other main findings:

• There has been a huge shift toward social equality, with favorability ratings for “gay and lesbian” people increasing and the number of people who knows a gay or lesbian person  reaching 75 percent.  Even in football, the crucible of American culture, voters (79%-16%) judge a player by his ability, not his orientation.

• A 55 percent majority support marriage equality. While young people are at the vanguard of change, this survey also shows increased support among older voters, Catholics, non-college educated voters, and Republicans. 

• Rather than uniform opposition, marriage equality now splits the political right, with younger conservatives disagreeing with older conservatives. 40 percent of conservatives age 18-29 support gay marriage, compared to only 21 percent aged 50+

• Regardless of position on the issue, nearly 8 in 10 voters believe there will be less discrimination, it will be easier to grow up gay, and same-sex families would have more protection if marriage equality were legal in all 50 states.  

A presentation of the poll's findings is available at the GQR site HERE.  


Anti-Gay Chalkings At Georgia College

Sidewalk Chalking

Morehouse College and Spelman College of Georgia teamed up for Pride Week 2014 in order to bring awareness of the LGBT communities to students on their respective campuses. After the Monday night kickoff, students tweeted pictures of anti-gay sidewalk chalkings that had been scrawled in response, reading "Homo Sex is a Sin…” and “He loves YOU! He Hates Sin. Jesus Saves.”

This prompted Shane Windmeyer, the Executive Director of Campus Pride to call on the school President and administrators to step in to ensure the safety of campus students.

Religion-based bigotry of this kind is a harsh reminder of the hard work still to do on college campuses, especially at HBCUs [Historically black colleges and universities]. Campus Pride stands with the students at Spelman College and Morehouse College in working to change the campus climate — but, let’s be clear, it is not the responsibility of the students to accommodate their own inclusion and safety.  It is the job of the President and administrators to ensure a safe, welcoming learning environment for all its students.  Now is the time during SpelHouse Pride Week to step up.


Billy Graham's Son: Gays 'Recruit' Children Through Adoption - VIDEO

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After praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his moral treatment of homosexuals as pedophiles, Franklin Graham — the evangelical spawn of anti-gay preacher Billy Graham — doubled-down on his love of Putin, adding that gays don't "adopt" children so much as "recruit" them; a distinction that he never actually explains.

During an interview with Tim Funk of The Charlotte Observer, Graham calls up the right-wing bogeymen of the president's lockstep march with the so-called "gay and lesbian agenda" and religious intolerance of gay people who dare label his "difference of opinion" as bigotry or homophobia.

In one delicious part of the interview, Funk asks Graham why he's opposed to enshrining Islamic Sharia law into the U.S. society when he supports enshrining Christian Biblical law into anti-marriage legislation. Graham, unsurprisingly, doesn't answer, only responding with "Well I believe the Bible from cover to cover. And I believe the Old Testament as well as the New Testament."

Watch the interview AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel Defends Virginia School That Rejected Girl for Not Being Girly Enough

The anti-gay Christian law firm the Liberty Counsel has begun defending the Timberlake Christian School in Virginia that recently barred an 8-year-old girl from re-enrolling because of her “alternative gender identity” (meaning her short hair and love of sports).

Mat_staverOn Wednesday, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver (pictured), issued a statement on behalf of the school which said:

We are deeply dismayed over the inaccurate and public nature of this situation and the false and inaccurate reporting.

The Church and the School are limited in what can be related about this situation. With all due respect, the facts are not as [the student, Sunnie Kahle’s] great-grandparents have portrayed them. This matter is far beyond a simple ‘hairstyle and tomboy issue’ as inaccurately portrayed. It is not about that at all. At no time did the Church or the School state or imply that S.K. was sexually immoral or the like. Yet, reports like this have appeared in the media. The School has never told S.K. she cannot return to school…

We deeply regret that the great-grandparents either made inaccurate statements or were quoted out of context. This public discussion is not in the best interest of all concerned. S.K. has been attending our school for several years and we had looked forward to working with her and her great-grandparents privately.

Right Wing Watch correctly points out however that the media reports have accurately reported the story as most have them have simply reprinted the letter that the school issued to Kahle’s adoptive great grandparents verbatim. While the letter did not forbid Kahle from attending school during the current academic year, it did say “we (the school) must ask that you not re-enroll Sunnie here at TCS [unless she adheres to our sexist expectations].”

KahleAnother report from The Roanoke Times explains the difficulties that Kahle has experienced at the Timberlake Christian School as well as the qualities that make her and her adoptive great grandparents so wonderful:

That same year [that Kahle began Pre-K at TCS], Sunnie decided she wanted to wear boy-style clothing and cut her hair short. She gave the extra hair away to a child with cancer.

Thompson (Kahle’s adoptive great grandmother) said the girl’s pre-K teacher raised questions and concerns with her about Sunnie’s gender identity and behavior, so Thompson sought an outside opinion.

“I took her to the doctor and I asked the doctor and he said, ‘Leave that child alone,'” Thompson explained.

She said she feels confident about her choice to not try to push Sunnie to be more feminine and to let her make decisions for herself.

Thompson said Sunnie, who now attends public school in Campbell County, goes to counseling and gets professional help for mood swings, but that counseling is not specifically targeted at discussing gender identity.

When a fellow kindergarten girl mistook Kahle for a boy in the girls’ bathroom and again in second grade when some boys tried to pull Kahle into a boys’ bathroom.

Similar to the Texas school that forbade a bullied student from wearing a My Little Pony backpack, it seems that the Timberlake Christian School wants Kahle to change her behavior to help placate her bullying peers.


World Vision U.S. Reverses Decision To Accept Married Gay Employees After Attacks By Right-Wing Christianists

World-visionOn March 24, the American branch of the World Vision evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization announced that they would no longer forbid current or potential employees from being in committed same-sex marriages.

Then, after two days of lambasting by right-wing 'Christianists' like Franklin Graham, Matt Barber, Bryan Fischer, and Peter LaBarbera, World Vision U.S. reversed its decision, calling it "a mistake."

Before March 24, World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns (pictured) said that the organization never asked job candidates about their sexual orientations but rather questioned them about their Christian faith and affirmation of the Apostles' Creed and World Vision's Trinitarian statement of faith.

Richard_stearnsHe said that this organization’s sexual conduct policy for employees only ever “required abstinence for all single employees, and fidelity for all married employees.”

But in an interview with Christianity Today, Stearns explained that the group’s policy change to accept same-sex marriage employees had nothing to do with receiving federal funding. In fact, World Vision opposed a 2012 USAID proposal that would have "strongly encouraged" faith-based organizations such as World Vision to follow government hiring guidelines requiring the employment of LGBT people.

And yet Stearns says that his group’s initial decision in favor of married gay employees reflected a growing acceptance of same-sex marriage within churches at large, and was not caused by any external pressure or lawsuits. Rejecting legally-married LGB candidates, he said, would create a fractious divide within his own organization:

World Vision now has staff from more than 50 denominations—a handful of which have sanctioned same-sex marriages or unions in recent years, including the United Church of Christ, The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Meanwhile, same-sex marriage is now legal in 17 states plus the District of Columbia, and federal judges have struck down bans in five other states (Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, and—most recently—Michigan) as well as required Kentucky to recognize such marriages performed in other states.

"Same-sex marriage has only been a huge issue in the church in the last decade or so. There used to be much more unity among churches on this issue, and that's changed."

Continue reading AFTER THE JUMP...

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American Anti-gay Group Cancels Family Conference in Russia over Crimea Tension

KremlinThe World Congress of Families, a virulently anti-gay umbrella organization that includes the American Family Association, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, and NOM, has announced that it will be suspending its upcoming family summit in Moscow due to travel and logistical concerns related to “the situation in the Ukraine and Crimea.”

Right Wing Watch reports that the Brian Brown and Scott Lively-approved summit came under increased scrutiny after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine earlier this month.

WCF’s press release, however, makes it clear that the group still stands behind Russian president Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on LGBT people.

Wcf logoThe foregoing is not meant to reflect negatively on the Russian people, churches or individuals who have taken a leadership role in the fight to preserve life, marriage, and the natural family at home and as part of the international pro-family movement.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our Russian Partners, and applaud the moves of the Russian people, through their elected representatives, to protect life, the family and the innocence of children. At a time when Western governments are moving backward to a pagan worldview, Russia has taken a leadership role to advance the natural family.

Complicating things further for WCF is the fact that Yelena Mizulina, the architect of Russia’s gay propaganda ban and one of the primary organizers of the summit, was among those sanctioned by President Obama for interfering with Ukrainian sovereignty.   


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