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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.


St. Petersburg Queerfest Hit With Additional Closures and Attacks from Anti-gay Activists & Police: VIDEO

Queerfest

As we reported earlier, the International Queer Culture Festival in St. Petersberg had a rough opening week - with a series of disruptions by numerous anti-gay activists - including lawmaker (and leading sponsor of Russia's anti-gay propaganda ban) Vitaly Milonov. Now, however, it has become clear that the roadblocks being placed on the festival are coming from more than just anti-gay activists, but from Russian police as well. 

In an updated post, GLAAD reports that QueerFest has faced additional venue closures and harassment - with police attempting on Wednesday to shut down a press conference ironically titled "Who is Shutting Down QueerFest?" Festival organizers have stopped openly publishing festival venues and have begun streaming events through an online video feed. 

Organizers have shared a video of the opening ceremony attack, which you can watch AFTER THE JUMP...

You can also head over to GLAAD to see the timeline of anti-gay incidents at Queerfest. 

Continue reading "St. Petersburg Queerfest Hit With Additional Closures and Attacks from Anti-gay Activists & Police: VIDEO" »


Northern Ireland Health Minister Blocks LGBT, Womens' Rights Groups On Twitter

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Northern Ireland’s new Health Minister, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) member Jim Wells, has taken to blocking critics on Twitter, reports Pink News.

Appointed to the post on Tuesday, Wells replaces Edwin Poots (DUP) who has opposed same-sex marriage and refused to lift the country’s ban on gay men donating blood. Blocked from twitter by Jim Wells

Wells has previously said that he finds Pride “repugnant” and has refused to take part in gay rights debates.

In 2011, he told Belfast Pride:

“I find the behaviour of those who take part in this march repugnant. I do not wish to be associated in any way with this event. My position on this will not change in the future and I would politely suggest that any further requests of this nature will be a total waste of your time.”

According to Pink News, although their official Twitter account has been blocked, Wells has yet to give them a reason for doing so.

A hashtag #BlockedByWells has sprung up among users targeted by the Minister, including women’s rights activists groups, gay rights advocates and gay Christian group @FaithAndPride.

Yesterday, Wells took to Twitter to praise Edwin Poots' time in office as Health Minister.


Serbian Christian Orthodox Church Denounces Belgrade Pride - VIDEO

Serbia pride

Patriarch Irinej, the head of Serbia's Christian Orthodox church, yesterday denounced a Gay Pride march planned for this weekend, reports ABC News.

In a statement, Irinej said that the "shameless" event casts a moral shadow on Serbia.

OrthOfficials have suggested they could allow the event to go ahead despite fears of a repeat of the violence in 2010 when right-wing groups attacked a pride march, triggering clashes with police that left more than 100 people injured.

Following the attacks, authorities banned LGBT rights marches for the following three years, citing security reasons.

Holding the march is seen as a test of the country's pledge to respect human rights as it seeks membership in the European Union.

However, Irinej said that the pride organizers "and their mentors from Europe" haven't learned the lesson from the past marches.

Several far-right groups have announced anti-gay marches in Belgrade next Saturday.

On Tuesday, police announced they have filed charges against eight people who had made threats against LGBT people on social media.

Milorad Todorovic, the police officer in charge of cyber crime in Serbia, has vowed to “secure the safety of all citizens” and is hopeful that the Pride event will go ahead. "I hope the pride event will be held on Sunday."

Watch police combating extremist protesters at Serbia's 2010 Gay Pride, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Serbian Christian Orthodox Church Denounces Belgrade Pride - VIDEO" »


Anti-gay Activists Disrupt St. Petersburg QueerFest, Attack Festival Goers With Gas: VIDEO

Queerfest2

The International Queer Culture Festival's kick off in St. Petersburg on Thursday was disrupted by anti-gay activists - including lawmaker Vitaly Milonov [pictured below] and others associated with the Russian Orthodox faith.

MilonovReported Polina Andrianova, one of the QueerFest organizers:

About 20 hooligans sprayed guests with green substance and some sort of putrid gas. At one point, two foreign guests were being pulled into the venue by the security while being pulled out by their feet by the perpetrators.

The police, who carried themselves professionally, were taking numerous statements by the victims, while St. Petersburg ombudsman urged more people to document violations.

Andrianova also reported on the on-going struggle to secure a location for the festival - as venues continue to cave to anti-gay pressure and cancel on organizers.

Molinov, you may recall, was a leading sponsor of Russia's bill banning homosexual 'propaganda.' Molinov also called for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year - or as he called it the "Sodom show" because of drag performer Conchita Wurst's participation. 

Check out a video of the festival - including a brief apparance by Molinov, AFTER THE JUMP...(note: Russian language)

Continue reading "Anti-gay Activists Disrupt St. Petersburg QueerFest, Attack Festival Goers With Gas: VIDEO" »


Catholic Choir Director Fired For Same-Sex Engagement Meets With Cardinal, Receives Support Rally

Collette

Colin Collette (above center in white jacket) was fired from his position as music director at Holy Family Catholic Community church in Inverness, IL this July after photos of his same-sex marriage proposal emerged. Ever since he has received an intense outpouring of support from the church's parishioners, though the archdiocese of Chicago have remained tight-lipped. When Collette reached out to Cardinal Francis George for a meeting regarding the incident, however, the response was immediate and affirmative; the two met on Tuesday, praying together and, if all went to Collette's plan, discussing his job. 

Collette1The Chicago Tribune reports:

“I was incredibly grateful to the cardinal for meeting with me. This is an incredibly difficult time for him. ... I was moved beyond words that he would meet with me,” Collette said of George, who is battling cancer. “We prayed together. He was wonderful. He was very pastoral.”

Collette declined to elaborate on the nature of the discussion Tuesday. He said he had sought the meeting in hopes of getting his job back. While there was no indication that would happen, Collette said the cardinal urged him to speak to his pastor.

“My head is sort of spinning, but as I said over and over, my whole life has been the church. It's my love. It's my passion, and I pray for the opportunity to do that,” he said.

Check out a Chicago NBC 5 report on Collette's meeting with the Cardinal, AFTER THE JUMP...

Though Collette has been the recipient of a great deal of community support--including a rally held Sunday to indicate that support to church leaders--he is well aware that his sexual orientation and relationship are not to everyone's liking.

“I'm not that naive to know that there are some people who believe that who I am basically is wrong. I'm not that naive, but the love and support I have received is truly humbling and is beyond words,” Collette said.

We will continue to report on Collette's story, but for now we are happy to see the level of affirmation he is receiving from church members, and a willingness on the part of some church officials to discuss the matter. Collette said that he and the Cardinal would meet again soon.

Check out video coverage of the press conference at the Chicago Tribune.

Continue reading "Catholic Choir Director Fired For Same-Sex Engagement Meets With Cardinal, Receives Support Rally" »


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