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Suspect In Nebraska Gay Pride Flag Arson Case Heads To Trial: VIDEO

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A Nebraska man arrested on suspicion of taking his neighbor’s pride flag off their front porch and burning it is officially headed to trial reports wowt.com. Cameron Mayfield attended a preliminary hearing with his defense attorney, James Martin Davis, in a Douglas County court room Wednesday morning. 

Davis asked that his client’s felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor charge, arguing Mayfield didn’t know the couple is gay and doesn’t know that rainbow flags symbolize the gay community. The prosecution objected, arguing that the rainbow flag has symbolized the gay community for more than 40 years; the judge rejected Davis’ request, noting that a hearing is to establish probable cause to a crime, not to ascertain guilt or innocence.

Mayfield now faces a felony arson charge and hate crime and is headed to trial at a later date. Omaha Police Department Burglary Detective Chad Simmons noted in his testimony that the Mayfield family had a sign posted in their yard that read "Protect Traditional Marriage" six months before the crime occurred.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 2.15.43 PMThe couple, Ariann Anderson and Jessica Meadows, filed a Harassment Protection Order against Mayfield after the incident; the court granted their request. The couple filed the order after police detectives informed the couple that Mayfield was making "delusional claims about stalking." At the time of the incident Mayfield's father told detectives that his son had recently lost his job and was drinking leading up to the incident. The couple has since replaced the flag and announced that they plan to marry again in their home state after a federal judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

After the hearing, Mayfield issued an apology on-air to the couple saying that it was a prank and that he doesn't "hate anybody or anything." The couple feels quite differently.

Said Ariann Anderson:

"Regarding Mr. Mayfield's comments: a prank is defined as a 'trick of an amusing or playful nature.' Mr. Mayfield's actions were neither amusing or playful. The events that night were frightening, especially considering that we have small children at home."

Watch Mayfield's on-air apology, AFTER THE JUMP...

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D.C. Mayor Appoints Local LGBT Activist To Newly Created Deputy Mayor Position

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 1.40.27 PMD.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday that she named local lesbian activist and public affairs lobbyist Courtney Snowden as her administration’s Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, a new position within the executive office of the mayor reports The Washington Blade. Snowden, who originally ran for a seat on D.C.’s City Council as an independent, is the highest ranking LGBT official in the Bowser administration and the fourth gay or lesbian appointee named to a cabinet-level position.

Over the last 10 years Snowden has worked as a lobbyist and public policy strategist for both corporate and non-profit clients for the Raben Group, a D.C.-based public relations and communications firm founded by gay attorney Robert Raben. Snowden has also worked in several policy positions for the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and then-Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. Snowden also served on Bowser’s mayoral transition team prior to Bowser taking office on Jan. 1. 

The D.C. government website posted a revised organization chart showing the newly created post of Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity as one of four deputy mayor’s positions. According to Bowser the deputy mayor "will be charged with creating solutions to improve outcomes for residents who face challenges to entering the workforce or starting their own ventures."

 


LGBT Indians Give Advice To Their 15 Year-Old Selves: VIDEO

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In one of its newest YouTube videos Being Indian asks people attending this year’s gay pride parade held in Mumbai to share words of wisdom with their 15 year-old selves. The overwhelming sentiment: coming out and loving yourself are crucial components to living happy stable lives.

These words of wisdom come at a time when Indian society is growing increasingly hostile towards its queer population, but, as one respondent explains: “This world is just waiting for you. There’s so much of love and beauty in it, why do you just think of some fuckers who think about hate?”

Check out Being Indian’s video letters to its queer 15 year old self AFTER THE JUMP...

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LGBT Group Delivers Perfect Response To Texas Lawmaker's Hateful, Islamophobic Rant

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An LGBT group delivered a pitch-perfect response to a Texas lawmaker's hateful, Islamophobic rant on Facebook last week. 

State Rep. Molly White, a Republican from Belton, Texas, posted the following to mark Muslim lobbying day at the Capitol on Thursday: 

White“Today is Texas Muslim Capital day in Austin. The House is in recess until Monday. Most Members including myself are back in District. I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office.”

White's post drew widespread condemnation, but Equality Texas had perhaps the most original retort. Employees from the statewide LGBT group dropped off a gay Pride flag at White's office: 

White would later say her Facebook post had been "blown completely out of proportion."

In addition to White's diatribe, protesters greeted Muslim lobby day participants, many of them children, outside the Capitol. The protesters carried signs saying things like, "Radical Islam is the New Nazi" and "Go Home & Take Obama With You." They shouted as Muslim lobby day participants sang the national anthem, and at one point protesters hijacked the microphone. 

No word on what Rep. White plans to do with the Pride flag. But we somehow doubt she'll be flying it when Equality Texas holds its first lobby day later this month. 

Watch video of the mic-snatching incident as well as an interview with White, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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Israeli Travel Group Offers First Ever Gay Tour of Auschwitz: VIDEO

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To mark the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation, Hebro Travel, a new Israeli tour company serving “gay Jews and those who love us,” is to offer the first ever gay tour of Auschwitz, reports The Jewish Daily Forward.

10616057_10152689450860552_4292009992408762534_nThe August Poland & Prague Pride Trip - which includes a Jewish heritage tour of the Schindler’s List route, visits to historic synagogues and stops at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt - will end with Prague’s Gay Pride festival.

Jayson Littman (right), the founder of Hebro Travel, says he has been asked “how can you go from touring concentration camps to celebrating Pride?”

The grandchild of Hungarian survivors of Auschwitz, Littman explains:

“I look at it the same way as Jewish trips that go from the camps to Israel to celebrate continuity.

“I knew I was touching on uncharted territory. I kept hearing, ‘Who wants to go on a trip like that?’ But many more people said it’s a wonderful idea. And surprisingly few people realize how many gay people were murdered in the Holocaust.”

With the trip still at the planning stage, he added:

“We’re working out details on the actual visits to the camps. It’ll probably involve laying a wreath, having a rabbi there from the local community, and inviting someone from the local LGBT population to speak as well.

“What’s been interesting is that every tour operator, Jewish or not, knows the Jewish stuff in these destinations. We’re having to fill in the blanks ourselves on some of the gay stuff.

“We’re showcasing how, after 70 years, Jewish life has blossomed, and gay life has gone through so many changes. An important part of this tour is appreciating the evolution of both communities, their contributions to society, and how governments around the world now welcome both minorities. Going to those places helps make that happen.”

Watch a video documenting Hebro's Israel and Tel Aviv Pride Trip 2014, AFTER THE JUMP...

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New Nikon Ad Campaign Features Gay Couple Social Media Made Famous, Kordale And Kaleb Lewis

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Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 2.31.03 PMNikon shot a new commercial for its "I Am Generation Image," campaign featuring Kordale and Kaleb Lewis and their three children, whose morning routine selfie they posted to their Instagram went viral overnight last year. The morning routine selfie, showing the two fathers styling their two daughters' hair, garnered thousands of favorites, likes and comments; both positive and negative. Many of the negative comments they received were homophobic and racist in nature. 

In Nikon's video the two fathers explain the background story behind the selfie, confidently address the negative comments they received and express what they hope for their children going into the future. Kordale Lewis is also a writer and wrote a memoir about his life and the selfie that made them famous called, Picture Perfect? In it, Kordale talks about dealing with abuse, coming into his sexual identity, becoming a father at a young age and how he and Kaleb dealt with their new-found fame that came after posting the now famous selfie to Instagram. Despite all the negative comments they've received about the photo, the family is all smiles in Nikon's new video. Watch the heartwarming video that'll bring a smile to your face, AFTER THE JUMP...

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