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04/19/2007


Proud Christian Texas Rangers Pitcher Robbie Ross and Wife Pose for 'NoH8' Campaign

Robbie Ross

In addition to showcasing their LGBT solidarity, Texas Rangers pitcher Robbie Ross and his wife Brittany are also prominently displaying their Christian faith in a new photo for the long-running NoH8 campaign. During the shoot, the couple spoke with Outsports' Cyd Ziegler about their vocal support for LGBT rights coming not in spite of their Christian faith, but because of it:

 "Being in sports, and being around all kinds of different people, you just want to accept everyone for who they are," Robbie told Outsports at the NoH8 campaign's Burbank, Calif., studio. "My wife Brittany and I are Christians, and we believe we as Christians should love everyone and show everyone love, and if this is the best way to do it, then we want to support them."

In organizing the shoot, Brittany said she has been motivated by seeing the way the Bible and religion are used to persecute LGBT people.

"It genuinely breaks my heart," Brittany said. "We're all human, and we can all take things from the Bible and twist them however we want. You can basically take a verse from the Bible and say it's OK to beat your wife, but the world says that's not OK, so that's what we go with. And I think the world is saying that gay people in the community are OK. Jesus came to love people. He never persecuted anybody. There are a lot of confusing things in the Bible, and I think if anything is confusing and it promotes hate, then you're taking it the wrong way.

"Being gay shouldn't just be tolerated, it should be celebrated that people can embody who they truly are," Brittany added. "I think that's the main thing."

You can check out the full article HERE


Anti-Gay Evangelist Scott Lively Takes Credit for Russia's Anti-Gay Laws: VIDEO

American anti-gay evangelist Scott Lively, who is on trial for crimes against humanity, and who we've written about many times on this site, sat down with NBC News for an interview about Russia's anti-gay laws.

Scott_livelyHe takes credit for them:

“Yes, I think I influenced the Russian law,” Lively said. While some gay rights activists still think he’s just a laughingstock, Boris Dittrich, the director of LGBT advocacy for Human Rights Watch, tends to confirm Lively’s claims. Russia was plenty homophobic before Lively’s arrival but the American pastor appears to have given shape to that free-floating hatred, Dittrich said. As he passed through Russia’s regions, Lively met with politicians and bans on homosexual propaganda followed, spreading to more than a half-dozen areas before Putin swept them into a national standard.

Lively — who calls himself the “father” of Uganda’s anti-gay movement — also shared the first sharp details of his work in Eastern Europe and responded to the rise in hate crimes that seems to follow him around the globe.

2_livelyNBC posted two clips of Lively speaking at a Watchment on the Walls conference in Novobsibirsk, Russia's third-largest city, in August 2007 where he spoke to 1,000 Christians:

“There is a war that is going on in the world,” Lively said through a translator. “There is a war that is waging across the entire face of the globe. It’s been waging in the United States for decades, and it’s been waging in Europe for decades. It’s a war between Christians and homosexuals.”

NBC goes on to describe Lively's other anti-gay crusades abroad, and the lawsuit that could put a halt to them:

Pamela Spees, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the group pursuing Lively for alleged “crimes against humanity” in Uganda, said she is prepared to file a second lawsuit related to his work in Russia and the surrounding countries, assuming there’s evidence that Lively was “an architect of the persecutory program” there.

And that’s why the case against Lively is so important, gay-rights activists say. As the Olympics draw nearer and the boycotts and homophobic backlash continue, Putin will be the guy paraded down the world’s front pages and social media feeds. But Lively may be the secret agent to watch.

If he loses his lawsuit he could be prohibited from spreading his message abroad, a terrible precedent for other anti-gay crusaders. However if he wins, he emerges stronger than ever, the self-described “hero” of an expanding fight to restore “godliness to society,” as he puts it – or else “pull as many people as possible into the lifeboat before the ship goes down.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP....

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Evangelist Scott Lively Takes Credit for Russia's Anti-Gay Laws: VIDEO" »


NM Wedding Photographer Who Refuses Gay Couples Taking Case to Supreme Court

Lawyers for Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin (pictured), who refused to photograph the commitment ceremony of Vanessa Willock, a resident of Albuquerque, on the grounds that same-sex marriage conflicts with Christian beliefs, is taking her case to the Supreme Court.

ElanephotographyThe New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Elane Photography was violating the antidiscrimination provisions of the New Mexico Human Rights Act in August.

SCOTUSblog writes:

The couple, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, have summed up their views on the issue in this statement, excerpted from a legal brief in the state supreme court:

“Jonathan and Elaine are Christians, and as such, they believe the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.  They also believe that preserving marriage as the union of a man and a woman is ‘the best way to order society.’  Thus while the company wants to create photographs that tell the stories of weddings between a ‘bride and groom’, its policies prohibit creating images that convey an understanding of marriage that conflicts with Jonathan and Elaine’s beliefs.   Jonathan and Elaine believe that if they were to convey a contrary message about marriage, they would be disobeying God.

“Elane Photography does not refuse customers because of their sexual orientation.  Crucial to the company is the message conveyed through its photographs, not the sexual orientation of its customers. Therefore Elaine will not create photographs of heterosexual polygamous weddings just the same as she will not create photographs of same-sex ceremonies.  And she will decline to create photographs telling the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony even if the ceremony was part of a movie and the actors playing the same-sex couple were heterosexual.   On the other hand, Elaine will create portrait photographs for and provide other services to people who identify as homosexual so long as the message communicated through her pictures does not conflict with her beliefs about marriage.”

Their planned petition to the Supreme Court will seek to convince the Justices that their photographic work is a form of artistic expression that conveys messages, and it will argue that enforcing the New Mexico “public accommodation” law in ways contrary to their views compels them to express messages they do not embrace and interferes with the free exercise of their religious beliefs.


New Video Project from Dan Savage Hopes to Show Anti-Gay Christians are 'Not All Like That' — VIDEO

Savage

A new video project being launched by Dan Savage, author John Shore, and Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen and Evan Hurst, seeks to show the world that not all Christians espouse the hateful anti-gay views of people like Tony Perkins and NOM's Brian Brown.

The NALT ("Not All Like That") Project will consist of videos uploaded on YouTube featuring religious folk showing support for their LGBT friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members.

Watch Dan's inaugural video, AFTER THE JUMP...

And check out the site here.

Continue reading "New Video Project from Dan Savage Hopes to Show Anti-Gay Christians are 'Not All Like That' — VIDEO" »


Tennessee Church Kicks Out Family For Supporting Lesbian Daughter

Kat Cooper

The Coopers of Collegedale, TN had been members of the Ridgedale Church of Christ for over three generations. That all changed when they were photographed at a city council meeting that voted 4-1 to approve same-sex benefits to government employees. The Coopers' daughter, Kat, is a lesbian and a detective with the Collegedale Police Department and had been leading the cause to have those benefits extended to gay couples. Because they showed up to support her, the church met privately with Kat's parents, aunt, and uncle and gave them an ultimatum: repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation, or leave the church, the Times Free Press reports.

The sin of Kat's relatives, according to minister Ken Willis, is that of endorsing her 'lifestyle', which he says the Bible is explicit about. While Willis doesn't expect the Coopers to disown Kat, he says that while parents should still love their children they shouldn't support their sin; love the sinner, hate the sin. But it would also seem that loving a sinner is itself a sin, judging from the actions of Willis and the church authorities.

Willis insists that since Kat's actions and support from her family were made so public, they had no choice but to take action. The implication evidently is that if Kat had stayed in the closet or kept quiet about her lack of rights then the church wouldn't have had to punish her family for loving her.  After 60 years, the Coopers chose to leave the church rather than repent for a sin they did not commit. Kat's mother is still driven to tears by the events, but the family remains resolute in the support of their daughter. 

Related: as of this writing, it appears that the Ridgedale Church of Christ's Facebook page has been hacked and filled with gay-positive posts and pictures.


Bigot Insults Trans Man During Televised 'Debate' on CNN - VIDEO

Randy-Thomasson-Screenshot1

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill two days ago enacting new legal protections for transgender students. Thanks to the new law, trans public school students will now be allowed to use the restroom and locker facilities and play on the sports teams that correspond to their desired gender. The landmark decision was naturally praised by some and lamented by others. 

EqualityCNN recently tried to feature just a small portion of that debate during one of its broadcasts. To do so, they brought on Masen Davis, the Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, and Randy Thomasson, president of the SPLC-identified hate group Save California. The debate proceeded rather unremarkably, with Thomasson repeatedly claiming that the new “sexual indoctrination laws” violates the privacy of cisgender students. It wasn't until the very end of the debate that Thomasson decided to end the debate with an unnecessary and bigoted bang. 

As host Brooke Baldwin thanked her two guests, Thomasson countered back with a placid “hey, good to talk to you ladies.”

Davis, who behaved rather placidly on the air, shared his thoughts on the barbed comment with Raw Story

"Thomasson’s attempt to disrespect my own gender identity by referring to me as a ‘lady’ said more about him than me (I’m no lady, and clearly he is no gentleman). I am comfortable in my own skin, and proud of my journey as a transgender man. I have heard, though, from many transgender people and allies who are very upset by his shallow attempt to mis-gender me. Failing to honor the gender identity of a transgender person is a common way for anti-equality zealots to try to undermine our credibility and humanity...I am surprised and disappointed that CNN relied on Randy Thomasson, described by Media Matters as the leader of an ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ to discuss the passage of California’s AB1266 (the School Success and Opportunity Act). Thomasson’s extremist sentiments exemplify why transgender youth and adults alike need legal protection from discrimination and bias. I urge CNN to engage more reasoned and legitimate ‘experts’ in future segments about transgender issues."

Perhaps Thomasson is still bitter about being previously humiliated while on the airwaves. Or perhaps Thomasson and Save California are simply following their usual pattern of fearmongering and making hateful and ignorant remarks.

View the entire exchange AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bigot Insults Trans Man During Televised 'Debate' on CNN - VIDEO" »


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