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NY Mets' Daniel Murphy Disagrees With Out Former Player Billy Bean’s ‘Gay Lifestyle’

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New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy said in an interview with NJ.com that he would accept a gay teammate, but said that he "Disagrees with the lifestyle, 100 percent," reports Deadspin. Murphy’s comments come after Mets Manager Sandy Alderson had the first major league player to ever come out publicly, Billy Bean, spend a day in uniform with the team yesterday. Murphy says he wanted the team to meet Bean, and that he’s personally wanted to meet Bean for a long time, but the Mets player’s comments about the "Gay lifestyle," indicates that whatever respect he has for Bean as a player is undercut by his disrespect for his "lifestyle."

Said Murphy:

"I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him. I don't think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent…

"Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That's the way I would describe it for me. It's the same way that there are aspects of my life that I'm trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There's a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn't mean I'm just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That's not love. That's not love at all."

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.29.50 PMBean is Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion, and Alderson wanted Bean to share his story of how he left baseball because he struggled to continue playing while hiding his sexual orientation, and to make the Mets clubhouse feel more inclusive for all people. Bean heard Murphy’s comments after he received several emails asking how he felt about the player’s "gay lifestyle" comments. Bean responded to Murphy’s comments with class in an article he wrote for MLB.com.

Said Bean:

"After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.

"I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start.

"The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he "disagrees" with the lifestyle. It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others."


'Empire' Actor Jussie Smollett Declines to Comment on His Sexuality After Co-Star Outs Him as Gay

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Empire actor Malik Yoba revealed in a recent interview with Black Film that lead co-star Jussie Smollett is gay. Smollett's character Jamal Lyon came out publicly via song in a recent episode of the show and Smollett himself is an advocate of gay rights such as the NOH8 Campaign. Yoba frankly confirmed Smollett’s orientation in the interview, citing that the two actors share a close relationship.

YobaSaid Yoba: 

"I think that our show represents a huge opportunity to stay in the culture beyond entertainment value and there’s an intrinsic nature of you have the gay factor, right? So, obviously, Lee is gay. That was an important storyline for him. I think it’s important for people to see themselves. Even within the Black community. But if you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live in the community in a significant way…like I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community.He and I have a very close relationship."

However, in a recent appearance on Sway In The Morning, Smollett was asked on-air if he is gay and he neither denied nor confirmed it, saying he chooses not to talk regarding his personal life.

Said Smollett: 

"I am not willing to confirm or deny anything, I live my life…if anyone is looking to put me in a box, then that’s not going to happen. But if you really want to know about me, just watch, because I don’t hide anything. I just don’t choose to talk about my personal life."

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 3.30.05 PMSmollett expressed irritation with magazines hailing the show as a "black gay" show. "This is not a gay black show, this is a show about human experiences," Smollett said, calling the single-category view of the show "silly," and "unfair."

The internet rumor mill believes that Smollett is currently seeing The Read guest co-host, actor and YouTube personality Dustin Ross after a post on Ross’ Instagram of the two together. The two actors played love interests in the movie The Skinny. You can watch Smollett address the gay rumors and how the smash hit Empire is more than just a "black gay show," with Sway In The Morning, AFTER THE JUMP

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HRC Awards ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star Samira Wiley With Visibility Award: VIDEO

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The Human Rights Campaign awarded openly gay Orange is the New Black actress Samira Wiley with its Visibility Award last weekend during HRC’s 2015 North Carolina Gala. Known for her role as inmate Poussey Washington, Wiley reflected on her public image and coming out experience at the gala.

Said Wiley:

"I believe that our self worth and how we are taught to think about ourselves and the world around us almost always begins at home. I have two parents that not only tolerated who I am, but accepted me and embraced me. They embraced me before I came out, and they embraced me after. They told me everyday that I am enough. I am enough just of being who I am and that that alone makes me whole. 

"It’s interesting to me that tonight I am here receiving the visibility award…Over the past few years since my own public image has increased tenfold, I have been overwhelmed to witness the profound ways that I am able to make a difference simply by living my life openly and with love."

Wiley is a Juilliard School graduate and played the role of Maria in Love’s Labour’s Lost by The Public Theater in 2011. The actress is currently in a relationship with Orange is the New Black writer Lauren Morelli. You can watch the rest of Wiley’s gala speech, AFTER THE JUMP

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WATCH: Trailer For Malcolm Ingram’s New LGBT Sports Documentary ‘Out To Win’

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The teaser trailer for acclaimed film Director Malcolm Ingram’s new LGBT documentary Out to Win, which provides insight into the lives of LGBT athletes, is now available on the web reports Out. The documentary examines the lives and careers of professional and aspiring LGBT athletes from around the world including interviews with Martina Navratilova, Charline Labonté, Conner Mertens, Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, Wade Davis, David Kopay, John Amaechi and Brittney Griner.

Ingram is known for several LGBT documentaries he directed including Continental and Small Town Gay Bar, which was a huge hit with critics at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

Out in Film debuts at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month. Watch the trailer, which features brief but enlightening clips from interviews with various LGBT athletes, AFTER THE JUMP

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EEOC Finds Walmart Discriminated Against Lesbian Employee Who Sought to Add Sick Wife To Health Plan

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found Wal-Mart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her sick wife and has now ordered a resolution for violating her civil rights reports ABC News. In a Jan. 29 EEOC ruling, the agency stated Wal-Mart employee Jacqueline Cote of New Bedford, Mass. “was treated differently and denied benefits because of her sex."

Cote attempted to enroll her wife Diana Smithson, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, in Wal-Mart’s health plan in 2008 however, her coverage was denied and the company didn’t provide it until 2014. Randy Hargrove, a spokesman with Wal-Mart, said the company is willing to meet with the couple to resolve the issue at hand.

Said Hargrove: 

"While we disagree with the finding of reasonable cause, we have notified the EEOC of our willingness to meet with them and Miss Cote to discuss resolving the matter."

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.26.23 AMSmithson, who married Cote in Massachusetts in May 2004, attempted to enroll her wife online starting in 2008 but found that the system denied her from proceeding when she denoted that her spouse is a woman. Cote sought an explanation and was told that same-sex spouses are not covered. Cote attempted to enroll every year since then, including 2012 when Smithson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Cote approached Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in 2013, which filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC the following year. 

The couple has $100,000 in medical bills and paid out of pocket for said expenses in 2012 when Smithson lost private health coverage.  The couple’s attorney, GLAD attorney Allison Wright, is seeking a settlement negotiation with the retail giant to cover Smithson’s costly treatments.

Cote, 52, and Smithson, 63, met while working in a Wal-Mart store in Augusta, Maine. For Cote, the lawsuit is more than just recouping damages. "I'm not only doing this for me, I'm doing this for other gay and lesbian couples that have been discriminated against as well," said Cote. 

Wal-Mart expanded its policy in January 2014 to cover same sex spouses and domestic partners.


Lionsgate Picks-Up LGBT Rights Drama ‘Freeheld’ Starring Ellen Page, Julianne Moore

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Freeheld, an LGBT drama starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, was picked up by Lionsgate after the company and several other high-profile companies including Sony Pictures and Netflix bid on the feature reports SheWired. Execs only saw 12 minutes from the film and went through a night-long bidding war that resulted in Lionsgate acquiring the film.

FreeheldThe film tells the true story of Laurel Hester (played by Moore), a lesbian police officer with terminal cancer who fights government officials for equal rights so her partner Stacie Andree (played by Page) can have access to Hester’s pension benefits. Moore and Page’s co-stars include Steve Carell, Luke Grimes and Michael Shannon. Ron Nyswayner wrote the script for the film and the feature is directed by Peter Sollet. Page is also a producer on the film and considers it her passion project. Moore is a strong contender for this year’s Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Still Alice, and Carell is nominated for his work in Foxcatcher. The film is currently in post-production.

A documentary on the couple, also called Freeheld, was released in 2007. The feature film adaptation is currently in post-production. You can watch the heart wrenching trailer for the 2007 documentary, AFTER THE JUMP

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