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Clay Aiken Fights For First Place During NC Second District Debate: VIDEO

Aiken

Good ole' Clay Aiken! The openly gay American Idol runner-up fought his way through a debate Monday night with North Carolina second district representative (and opponent) Renee Ellmers. Ellmers has reportedly attempted to tie together Aiken and President Obama's beliefs in an attempt to win her congressional seat once again this November, but Aiken was not having it. 

ABC News reports:

“This Obama-Aiken economy is just killing us,” Ellmers said.

“You might need to get a new writer because calling it the Obama-Aiken economy is just preposterous,” Aiken responded.

According to Talking Points Memo, Aiken recently spoke with The New York Times about the very same topic, stating that there are "certainly areas where I disagree with [Obama]." Still, Ellmers kept digging, this time alluding to Aiken's vocal prowess and showmanship while discussing the U.S. military.

“It's almost as if as an entertainer, you believe that you can just go in with a song and dance and change the mind of the military leaders,” she said.

Aiken's priceless retort?

“The most embarrassing reality show in the country right now is Congress,” he said.

Good on you, Mr. Aiken!

Let's just hope that his pseudo-fame can make a difference. According to past elections, he has an uphill battle: President Obama lost there by over 10 percentage points in both 2008 and 2012.

Check out news coverage of the debate, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Clay Aiken Fights For First Place During NC Second District Debate: VIDEO" »


MICHIGAN: Anti-Homophobia Art Piece Vandalized - VIDEO

Love does not harm

An art piece in Grand Rapids, Michigan that aims to raise awareness about how damaging homophobic rhetoric can be was vandalized last week, reports WOODTV.com.

The conceptual piece by Timothy Gabriel, which has since been restored, was damaged earlier this week when a passerby splattered some form of red paint or ink across the surface of the 8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide installation.

The organizers of the event say that the work “depicts an androgynous silhouette, symbolizing the LGBT community, smeared with spiteful words on a cross of hateful quotes...The primary purpose of this piece is to raise awareness of the impact homophobic rhetoric has on the LGBT communities in Uganda, Russia, and around the globe. In many parts of the world, these minorities are oppressed, maimed, stoned, tortured, imprisoned for life, and executed. ‘Love Does Not Harm’ seeks to draw attention to the specific role many American Evangelicals play in this very real persecution.”

Explaining that he had allowed for a space on the back of the piece for feedback from locals, Gabriel said although most of the response has been positive, “it’s a shame that someone had to tarnish the front of it the way that they did.

He added:

"We were able to scrub most of it off the yellow section. But any attempt to move anything off the white left a stain or a residue. But it hasn't obstructed or destroyed it."

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "MICHIGAN: Anti-Homophobia Art Piece Vandalized - VIDEO" »


HRC Compiles 'Hall Of Shame' List, Outs 19 Least LGBT-Friendly Members Of Congress

MicheleBachmannHRC

The Human Rights Campaign has released an inaugural "Hall of Shame" list to discredit the 19 "most anti-equality" members of congress. The criteria? Each shameful inductee had to vote affirmatively for or co-sponsor legislation that "would enshrine discrimination into our nation's body of laws and our Constitution." There were a couple of notable facts about the list: one democrat, N.C. representative Mike McIntyre, made the cut, and only one woman, Minnesota's own Michele Bachmann, found herself among the hateful cohort.

Buzzfeed reports:

“If you want to understand why LGBT equality has hit a roadblock in Congress, you don’t need to look any further than these leaders of anti-LGBT obstruction and animus,” said David Stacy, HRC’s government affairs director. “These members go out of their way to oppose any step toward equal protection under the law or to protect LGBT Americans from violence, discrimination and harassment. They proactively work to undermine existing legal protections and promote anti-LGBT discrimination.”

Why did democratic McIntyre find himself on the list?

HRC stated that McIntyre made the list because he cosponsored the Federal Marriage Amendment, which aimed to define marriage in the U.S. Constitution as a union between one man and one woman, and “if there is a pro-equality vote opportunity, McIntyre can usually be counted on to vote no.”

A real shame indeed. The HRC will release its annual scorecard for congress on the whole later this week.

For now, check out the full 19-member roster, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "HRC Compiles 'Hall Of Shame' List, Outs 19 Least LGBT-Friendly Members Of Congress" »


Wingnut Peter LaBarbera Urges 'Massive Civil Disobedience' Following SCOTUS Decision

LaBarbera

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera has issued an infuriated statement following the Supreme Court's decision not to hear same-sex marriage appeals cases from the fourth, seventh, and tenth circuit courts. In it he urges others who feel wronged to fight back with "civil disobedience on a massive scale" in those states whose bans have been overturned. From "statesmen" to everyday "citizens," LaBarbera wants everyone to get involved; as he so astutely points out, "if 'We the People's' votes do not count, then We live not in freedom but under tyranny."

Right Wing Watch reported his statement:

We are witnessing a "gradual Roe v. Wade" by which unelected judges impose homosexual 'marriage' on the nation. Hubris rules the day as millions of Americans' votes defending actual marriage (one man, one woman) are negated by one court ruling after another. Each decision bastardizes America's noble quest for racial justice by invoking "equality" for unions based on disordered sexual behavior that can never be "equal" to God-ordained sex within marriage. Now the nation's highest court is content to let the ongoing disenfranchisement become law...

The notion that nine men and women in black robes know more about what constitutes marriage than 76 percent of Oklahoma's voters is insulting and preposterous. Now is the time for civil disobedience on a massive scale: we hope that statesmen and citizens alike--in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, Utah and Virginia—indeed, any state where the people's will has been robbed by elitist judges—will reassert their state sovereignty against escalating judicial supremacy. 

LaBarbera makes a somewhat coherent argument here, one that at least falls in line with the beliefs of many conservative groups across the country. It all goes downhill, though, when he invokes shoddy right-wing Christian "facts."

Homosexual activists yearn to be told that their defining sin is not a sin at all—and legalizing genderless "marriage" is their holy grail to achieve that end. "Love is love," we are told, or rather scolded. But God is not mocked: the Scriptures are clear that homosexual practice is an offense against both God and the very bodies of those who practice it (as is all sexual immorality).

The truly loving thing for Christians to do is not to "bless" same-sex relationships but to guide men and women caught up in false homosexual identities to the One, Jesus, who will forgive them and guide them to a life pleasing to God.

With 30+ states now, or soon, affording the right to marry for same-sex couples, we'll see how many homosexuals take LaBarbera up on his Christian kindness.


Delaware School Board Member Opposes Curriculum's Discussion Of Homosexuality, Gender Identity

DelawareDelaware has not had the best school board-related news of late. In August, the Cape Henlopen school board voted to remove a coming-of-age book about a lesbian girl from its summer reading list (after which the summer reading program was removed altogether). Now, the Indian River school district board of education is facing a particularly irate and talkative member who opposes any mention of homosexuality and gender identity in the curriculum.

Pink News reports:

Last week, Shaun Fink, Indian River School District Board of Education member, spoke out at a school board meeting against lesson plans that would address issues of gender identity and sexual orientation in Indian River high schools...

He said: “I am objecting publicly to anything that discusses gender identity, homosexuality. Schools have no role in teaching someone ‘if you’re gay you’re normal.’ That is not the school’s role. When did the school become the arbiter of what’s normal and what’s not normal?”

One response? Schools have always been arbiters of normalcy, and leaving definitions of varied identities out of the curriculum only furthers some students' lack of understanding. Nina Lou Bunting, another member of the school board, had an appropriate response at the ready as well.

She said: “Whether you go into transgender, cross-dressing, all the different aspects, is that really so important? It’s just if someone is different, we are to respect them as human beings as we wish to be respected.”

It turns out that Mr. Fink also opposes lessons about STI, HIV, and pregnancy prevention, citing Title 14, which enforces an abstinence-focused education.

He said: “You can’t teach both sides of it. Condoms don’t belong in a classroom. End of story.”

Miseducation, or an utter lack of education, has never been a means to fight misunderstanding. Hopefully Fink's comments will not derail further discussion of these issues in the Indian River school district.


North Carolina Pastor's Pro-Gay Blog, 'If I Have Gay Children', Goes Viral

JohnPavlovitzJohn Pavlovitz, a North Carolina pastor, recently wrote a blog post titled, "If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Parent/Pastor." Since hitting the web, the blog has blown up, taking over Facebook newsfeeds and receiving over 2,500 comments. The reason for its popularity? Probably because Pastor Pavlovitz approaches LGBTQ identity with a warm, open-minded message of love and support.

WBTV reports:

In the blog, Pavlovitz writes that "sometimes I wonder if I'll have gay children" and says he thinks about it often.

"Maybe it's because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It's in my genes and in my tribe," he wrote. "Maybe it's because, as a pastor of students, I've seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church."

Pavlovitz says there are four simple steps he will take if his own child(ren) are gay, steps that distance him and his family from the often negative message put across by the Christian right.

1) If I have gay children, you’ll all know it.

My children won’t be our family’s best kept secret...

2) If I have gay children, I’ll pray for them.

I won’t pray for them to be made “normal”. I’ve lived long enough to know that if my children are gay, that is their normal...

I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them...

3) If I have gay children, I’ll love them.

I don’t mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm’s length. It will be an extravagant, open-hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing-them-in-the-school cafeteria, kind of love...

4) If I have gay children, most likely; I have gay children.

If my kids are going to be gay, well they pretty much already are.

God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them.

Not only is the message almost overwhelmingly touching, Pavlovitz is also a beautiful writer whose passion and concern for the topic at hand is evident throughout the entire blog post.

Since the blog was posted, Pavlovitz says he's spent several hours a day pastoring to people who have reached out to him saying they were touched by his blog...

"I was prepared for some people to applaud it, and for others to condemn it. That's what happens whenever you put an opinion out there," he said. "I was fully prepared for the waves of both support and hostility that accompany any vantage point, especially on a controversial topic like this."

"What I was not prepared for in any way, were the literally hundreds and hundreds of people who have reached out to me personally to thank me for bringing some healing and hope to their families; for giving them a message they rarely get from Christian leaders," he continued.

"People who haven't ever before, or in many years, are telling me the piece has moved them to engage with God and with the Church, which is the most any pastor can hope for."

Congratulations, Pastor John, for crafting an elegant and moving piece! Read the entire post here.


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