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04/19/2007


Dear Abby to Bigot: Gay People Are 'Born That Way'

History repeats itself, and as the saying goes, those who don't learn from it are doomed to repeat it.

PhilipsEchoing the famous 1979 letter in which Abby told a writer who took issue with the same-sex "weirdos" in their neighborhood that they "could move," a couple in Tampa, Florida moved into a new neighborhood and took issue with the two same-sex couples in the local social circle.

Despite being welcomed by everyone, when it was time for the new couple to host a gathering they deliberately excluded the same-sex couples, citing not wanting to compromise their "values" (of which "love thy neighbor as thyself" is evidently not one), and are now perplexed by the sudden shunning they are experiencing from the rest of the community. 

Abby took the time to set them straight, so to speak, starting with the direct statement, 

[R]egardless of what you were told in your previous community, a person's sexual orientation isn't a "lifestyle choice." Gay people don't choose to be gay; they are born that way. They can't change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.

While never being cruel, Abby takes them to task and lets them know that they have a golden opportunity here and not to blow it.


FL School Decides Against Expelling Student Who Defended Gay Student From Attacker: VIDEO

2_betterson

Mark Betterson, a student at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres, Florida who was suspended after trying to stop another student from beating a gay student, has now been allowed to return to school. The news came after Betterson attended a punishment hearing Monday morning, NBC2 reports:

Betterson says he got into the fight with another student after that student hit another kid for being gay, and he says -- given the choice -- he would defend the victim again. 

"Bullying isn't called for, and everyone should be respected for what they want to be and what they want to do," Betterson said.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "FL School Decides Against Expelling Student Who Defended Gay Student From Attacker: VIDEO" »


Former FL State Rep Ana Rivas Logan Leaving Republican Party Over Its ‘Extremist’ Positions

Another former Florida GOP lawmaker is switching to the Democratic Party.

Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, like former Gov. Charlie Crist, says she is leaving the GOP because the party has become radicalized by the far right-wing. The Huffington Post reports:

Ana Rivas Logan"The GOP of today is not the party I joined; it's not the party of my parents," Rivas Logan said in a statement. "It's a party that has been radicalized and held hostage by a group of extremists. It's a party that attacks women and minorities -- and one that asked me, and my former Hispanic Republican colleagues in the Florida legislature, to turn on their own people by supporting extreme anti-immigrant policies. It's a party I was no longer proud to be a part of."

Rivas Logan served on the Miami-Dade County school board before heading to Tallahassee in 2010. She lost a nasty re-election primary in 2012 after redistricting shuffled her into the same district as another incumbent Republican. Miami-Dade GOP chair Nelson Diaz suggested her switch was motivated by a desire to regain office.

Crist tweeted his support for Rivas Logan's switch, "Bienvenida @anarivaslogan to the Democratic Party! Glad you are here my friend."


Florida High School Student Suspended for Defending Gay Student from Attacker: VIDEO

Betterson

Mark Betterson, a student at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres, Florida, was suspended for 10 days after trying to stop another student from beating a gay student, WFTX reports:

Mark Betterson says he realized he had to do something when he saw a fellow student throw milk in another's face, use gay slurs, and then start to hit him. James Griffin, 18, is charged with battery. His alleged victim, 18-year-old Jonathan Colon, who is openly gay, walked away with bruises on his head. Many who saw the fight say it could have been worse if Betterson didn't step in.

Said Betterson: Johnathan was just going to stand there and get beat up. And if I didn't jump into it, it would have gotten serious. I was just trying to break up the whole thing because it's jst not fair for somebody to get beat up for something that he is."

Watch (warning: autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Florida High School Student Suspended for Defending Gay Student from Attacker: VIDEO" »


Obama Nominates Second Gay Black Judge to Federal Bench

More than a year ago, Obama nominated Judge William Thomas to the Federal District Cour for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas would have been the first gay black judge on the federal bench had it not been for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who succeeded in blocking the Thomas nomination for political reasons.

GaylesNow, Obama has nominated a second out gay African-American judge to the federal bench.

Gayles' background, via the White House:

Judge Darrin P. Gayles has served as a Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida since 2011.  From 2004 to 2011, he was a County Judge in the same Circuit.  From 1999 to 2004, Judge Gayles served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and from 1997 to 1999, he served as an Assistant District Counsel at the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Judge Gayles began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 1997.  Judge Gayles received his J.D. in 1993 from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. in 1990 from Howard University. 

Gayles was endored by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund for his reelection in 2012, according to MetroWeekly.

They write:

If confirmed, Gayles, much like Thomas before him, would become the first out black man in the nation's history to serve on the federal bench. He would also be the second out African-American to serve as a federal judge. The first, Deborah Batts, was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Gayles was nominated today along with three other Florida judges to serve on U.S. District Courts.

Rubio does not take issue with any in the latest round of nominees, according to a statement.


Florida Teen Allegedly Suspended for Performing in Sean Cody Film Allowed Back to School: VIDEO

Maruchi

Robert Marucci, an 18-year-old Florida teen, will be allowed back to school, officials said, after students protested his dismissal, which was allegedly for his participation in a Sean Cody film.

MarucciEarlier this week, a Redditor on the subreddit GayBros posted about Marucci:

He got severely bullied and, instead of helping him, the school will not let him graduate due to him causing a "campus disturbance". They suspended him for 10 days, which leads to an automatic FA (failure from absences). Several students planned to protest by wearing support shirts, making posters, and skipping a class. The principle is threatening to automatically expel any student who joins in.

I am still very closeted, and it hurts to hear friends and family think this guy is a sick and disturbed person...

Marucci said he turned to making gay adult films in order to help pay his family's bills.

Marucci's mother spoke with Local 6 News: "She (Dr. Sullivan) flat out told me that my son was expelled not just suspended, he was expelled due to his explicit, adult, lifestyle career."

The school will not say why Marucci was suspended but after the student's dismissal and protests by fellow students (who say the school threatened them as well) began making national headlines, he has been allowed back.

Said the school district's spokesperson: "In this particular case, we had an investigation, which is now complete, and the student is welcomed to come back to talk to Dr. Sullivan about his educational options."

Watch the Local 6 report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Florida Teen Allegedly Suspended for Performing in Sean Cody Film Allowed Back to School: VIDEO" »


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