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Fox News Correspondent Todd Starnes Thinks Gay Marriage Will Lead to Man-Dog Marriage: VIDEO

JoniShow

Appearing on the Daystar talk show "Joni" last month, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes felt the need to get some personal woes off his chest and lament the redefinition of marriage at the hands of the gays. 

In one segment, Starnes agreed with another guest in saying that same-sex marriage allows for countless other forms of commitments to be made, including a man wanting to marry his dog--all this from a conversation about the Denver bakery that refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

And in another segment, Starnes said that he believes "the government is going to have to start coming after pastors in the pulpit," lamenting the probability that stricter hate crime laws (like the ones censoring anti-gay speech on Christian talk radio in Canada) will make their way to the United States. "I think that we're going to see some pastors who, quite frankly, may have to go to jail to protect their religious beliefs." If that weren't enough, he also throws out the old religious freedom argument, saying: "If I wanted to be persecuted for my faith I would go move to China. I like to live in America where we don't get beat up on the way to church." A classy line coming from someone boo-hooing about hate crime laws.

Check out the videos (provided by Right Wing Watch), AFTER THE JUMP...

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UCLA Study Reveals Hollywood May Not Be So LGBT-Friendly After All

Lgbt-hollywood

The film industry specializes in illusion: actors can play anywhere along a gay spectrum and full storylines are effectively created for gender non-conforming, bisexual, or transgender persons, even if American "culture" is not reflective of the willingness necessary to accept those representations. The "liberal Hollywood" archetype may be revealed as just an illusion, however, thanks to a new study out of UCLA's Williams Institute. 

In a survey of 5,700 SAG-AFTRA members, over half the lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents reported hearing anti-gay comments from the crew. 53% "believed that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers." These are surprising statistics when one considers the rapidity with which actors and actresses have been coming out in recent years, egged on by increasing levels of awareness and equal rights throughout the country. 

Deadline reports:

“We found that LGBT performers may have substantial barriers to overcome in their search for jobs,” said the authors of the study, M. V. Lee Badgett, a Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar and Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, and Jody L. Herman, manager of Transgender Research at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law...

According to the study, “gay men were the most likely to re­port they have experienced some form of discrimination, with one in five reporting an experience. Bisexual actors were about half as likely to report discrimination as gay or lesbian actors. Gender nonconforming gay and bisexual men were more likely to experi­ence discrimination, as were men who were out professionally...”

The study also found that LGBT performers are less likely than heterosexual performers to have agents, “which may put LGBT performers at a disadvantage when looking for work.

Still, 72% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents reported that coming out had had no ill effect on their career, and they recommended that other LGBT actors follow suit. The damning first-person accounts included in the study (gay actors being recast, fired, or told they "aren't right" for a role) would seem to suggest otherwise, but SAG-AFTRA is confident that the study will make an impact.

“Although our industry is heading in the right direction, there is clearly work left to do as certain attitudes and behaviors persist and continue to put pressure on actors to stay in the closet,” wrote Traci Godfrey and Jason Stuart, national co-chairs of the SAG-AFTRA LGBT Committee. “We are confident that this unprecedented study will have profound ramifications for the entertainment industry as a whole. By utilizing the data it contains as it reflects the realities performers face, we can identify the obstacles to equal employment opportunities and full inclusion.”

Image via Deadline.


Cameroon's Anti-gay Laws Often Invoked Based On Stereotypes and Trickery Rather Than 'Sexual Relations'

Michel-TogueAnti-gay legislation in Cameroon is meant to punish "sexual relations with a person of the same sex" and can result in prison sentences up to five years in length. One attorney, Michel Togue (right), is speaking out against the injustice not only of the law itself, but also the shoddy, treacherous ways in which it is reinforced. According to Togue, article 347 of the Cameroon penal code is more often than not invoked based on stereotyping and entrapment.

Think Progress reports:

Togue told ThinkProgress that of the dozens of such cases he has represented, very few people were actually caught in the act of actually having sex. Once an accusation of homosexuality is made, police make arrests based solely on how individuals present themselves. For example, if a man is found to be cross-dressing, that could be used as proof that he is gay in court. If somebody has a job that doesn’t fit their gender, like a male hairdresser, that too could be used against them. A judge convicted one of Togue’s clients for feminine mannerisms and for drinking Bailey’s Irish Cream, which he felt only a woman would drink...

Cameroon2One of the most high-profile cases was that of Jean-Claude Roger Mbede (left), who texted a picture of himself holding a sign that read, “I’m very much in love w/u” to another man. The recipient reported the image to the police as “sexual harassment,” then invited Mbede over to his home, where the police were waiting to arrest him. Mbede was sentenced to three years in prison. “If Roger was sentenced as a homosexual,” Togue asked, “with whom did he have sex?” Mbede was provisionally released on medical grounds in 2012 and went into hiding; he died earlier this year after he could no longer afford hospital treatment for a hernia.

While the widespread misuse of the penal code is disturbing, the reinforcement of anti-gay laws by the Catholic church is spreading a message of hate further than it would otherwise reach. in 2013, bishops from around the country issued a statement reading: "homosexuality opposes humanity and destroys it." The cultural ramifications of such fear-mongering are incredibly dangerous.

This stigma is also having a negative impact on health care in the country, particularly when it comes to HIV outreach. “They can’t go to the hospital for the treatment or even for a test because they’re afraid,” Togue explained. He knows of at least one case where an individual admitted to a nurse that he’d had same-sex relations and she called the police on him.

CameroonTogue remains hopeful, however, and believes that the work of LGBT organizations in Cameroon could positively impact the cultural milieu surrounding homosexual identity.

Togue hopes that local organizations in Cameroon will help people learn that “a homosexual is our friend, is our brother, is our sister, is part of our family — is not a stranger, not someone coming from outside.”

Image of Togue via Global Rights.


New Zealand Gay Rights Proponents Angered By Heterosexual Pair's 'Gay Wedding'

ZackTravisNZ

New Zealanders Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick are jumping the broom and getting hitched this week. The "aww"-inducing announcement has been tampered, however, by the two friends' status as heterosexual pals out to win a trip.

The Edge radio station in New Zealand recently hosted a contest to see which bromance could make the ultimate cut. The prize? An all-expenses paid excursion to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The catch? Travis and Matt have to get married. Since same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand just last year, many gay rights groups see the heterosexual union as a mockery of what they spent so long trying to achieve.

News.com.au reports:

LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood told the Otago Daily Times that the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

“The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at ...

“Maybe on the day that statistics around mental health for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people are better, when high schools are safe places for LGBTI youth, we can look back on all this and laugh.

“But competitions like this don’t bring that day any closer.”

Though Zack and Travis likely support same-sex marriages, and are apparently quite confident in their heterosexuality, their statements about the ceremony are admittedly lacking in sympathy or nuance.

“We are not here to insult anyone. We are here to do our own thing and travel our own path,” McCormick told the Otago Daily Times.

McIntosh said the wedding was not mocking the institution of marriage.

“It’s just seeing how far two good mates would go to win a trip to the Rugby World Cup."

As one gay rights group commentator noted, the language of "how far" the pair are willing to go seems to suggest that same-sex marriage on the whole is "something outrageous that you'd never consider." Of course Zack and Travis's ceremony can also be chalked up to a lark and an occasion to celebrate their friendship.

What do you think of the wedding? Sound off in the comments below.


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.

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Massachusetts Could Make History This Fall Electing First Out Gay Attorney General, Lt. Governor

Massachusetts

On Tuesday night, two openly gay candidates secured their party's nominations in the Massachusetts primary, paving the way for a history-making election night on November 4th.

Maura Healey (top left) beat out former state senator Warren Tolman to become the Democratic nominee for attorney general. Steve Kerrigan (top right), became the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee alongside gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley. If Healey and Kerrigan are elected this fall, they would be the first LGBT people to hold their respective positions in the United States.

Buzzfeed reports:

“As an advocate, as a prosecutor, and as a civil rights attorney, you have got to make your case and you have it give it all of your heart,” Healey said in her victory speech. “We have made our case tonight.”

As an assistant attorney general in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Healey played a key role in the state’s fight against the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing against DOMA’s constitutionally at the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012.

Martha Coakley, Kerrigan's gubernatorial running mate, coincidentally filed the very same DOMA suit in 2009 while serving as attorney general. 

Kara S. Coredini of MassEquality was thrilled with the primary's outcome:

“Tonight was a tremendous night for LGBTQ justice and equality. Voters saw Steve Kerrigan and Maura Healey for what they offer and not solely who they are — and both won by resounding margins. For the young LGBTQ people growing up anywhere in Massachusetts and anywhere in the country, the people of Massachusetts have said to them tonight, it’s what you do that matters, and we celebrate who you are...

Massachusetts is poised to shatter several glass ceilings after tonight. Our first elected female Governor of Massachusetts, our first openly gay Lieutenant Governor and state Attorney General in Massachusetts and the country, and the second female treasurer in the Commonwealth’s history, which is a great accomplishment given the glass ceiling that has existed for women in politics, both statewide and nationally. They will bring to the job the wisdom and insight of the lives they’ve led, and they will give hope to all that follow.”

Congratulations to Healey, Kerrigan, and Coakley!


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