Gay Rights Hub

Out Austin City Council Candidate Targeted By Anti-gay Opponent Who Linked Homosexuality To Pedophilia



An openly gay Austin City Council candidate is under attack for supporting marriage equality and a recently passed ordinance requiring single-stall bathrooms to be gender-neutral. 

Flannigan.JimmyJimmy Flannigan (above right), former president of the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, is in a runoff for the District 6 Austin City Council seat on Dec. 16. 

Flannigan's opponent, Don Zimmerman (below right), is a tea party candidate and an anti-gay extremist who has compared homosexuality to pedophilia and incest. 

Stonewall Democrats of Austin provided Towleroad with a copy of the mailer sent by the anti-gay group Texas Values Action. (Texas Values Action is led by Jonathan Saenz, whose wife famously left him for a woman.)

The mailer, shown above, highlights the fact that Zimmerman opposes both same-sex marriage and the "Transgender Bathroom Ordinance," while Flannigan supports them. 

Stonewall Democrats of Austin issued the following statement in response to the mailer: 

“Now that the finish line to the City Council run-off is in sight, its ‘here we go again’ with inflammatory and divisive rhetoric intended to suggest that LGBTQ people are anti-family. Nothing could be further from the truth. So, wake up Mr. Saenz, you are in Austin and its 2014.

"Rather, anybody who has heard Jimmy Flannigan knows that he talks about the real family values that are important to Austin and District 6.  In Jimmy Flannigan’s Real Solutions for District 6, he has ideas for fighting traffic, tax relief, affordability, improving public safety, smart growth and streamlining city government.

"Jimmy Flannigan cares about and will work for all families, regardless of their composition or political affiliation. Flannigan’s ability to unify and lead is exactly what our community needs as we address the challenges that face our city. The Austin Chronicle, the Austin American Statesman and over 20 community organizations have endorsed Jimmy Flannigan as the best choice for District 6. We are proud to be among them.”

Zimmerman.DonIt's not the first time Flannigan, who's vying to become Austin's first gay council member since 2011, has been the target of anti-gay attacks. In the general election, another candidate sent a mailer highlighting the fact that Flannigan is single and once led the gay chamber. 

Zimmerman, meanwhile, wrote a column oppopsing same-sex marriage for Texas Insider last year. In the column, Zimmerman traced homosexuality to the Cretans who lived circa 1650 B.C. and "celebrated the practice of harpagmos – the ritual kidnapping of a noble boy by an adult male of the aristocratic class":

Unlike some of Jerry Sandusky’s victims, the Cretan boys were believed to be pubescent (teenage), having a father’s consent, and having some conditions for refusing the adult male’s advances.  In any case, cultural and legislative acceptance of homosexual partnerships isn’t recent – it’s ancient!

Todays’ Democrats should at least privately admit such harpagmos as progressive, since it would end another discriminatory barrier to “having sex with the one you love” – a barrier the rest of us call the “age of consent”.  Today’s Republicans might also consider – as GOP Senators newly consent to SSM, that ancient homosexual practices could be couched as conserving tradition. ... 

If the SSM principle really is discrimination, progressives should battle against opposite sex marriage discrimination – but in fact we hear no objection to laws prohibiting brother and sister, or mother and son, from being married to have a “stable, loving family." 

Read Zimmerman's full column here

New Zealand Pastor Says Gays Should Kill Themselves Or Be Put To Death By The Government: VIDEO


Gay people are "filthy child-molesting fag[s]" who should commit suicide, according to one New Zealand pastor. And if they don't kill themselves, it's government's job to put them to death. 

Logan Robertson (above), pastor of New Zealand's Westcity Bible Baptist Church, made the comments in an email to a gay Christian author and in a TV interview over the weekend. 

MarjoramAuthor Jim Marjoram (right) said he emailed 400 churches in the Auckland region of New Zealand about his new book, It's Life Jim, which recounts his struggles as a gay Christian. Marjoram received only two responses, one of which came from Robertson.

"We are not interested in your filthy lifestyle or book," Robertson wrote to Marjoram. "Romans 1 clearly says God has rejected homos and they are worthy of death. You cannot be saved. I pray that you will commit suicide, you filthy child molesting fag."

After Marjoram shared Robertson's comments on Facebook, they went viral. Robertson later told a gay reporter from ONE News he would never grant an interview to a "filthy faggot" and doubled down on his statements in an interview with Sky News

"I think every single one of them should be put to death," Robertson said. "Christians shouldn't be doing it, I'm not going to do it, it's the Government's job to be doing it."

The leader of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand said Robertson's church, which the pastor reportedly runs out of his home, is not affiliated with the group. Robertson told Sky News he received death threats after his comments were reported, but Marjoram cautioned people against that. 

"The guy's deceived and a fruit-loop, but he doesn't deserve the same type of treatment," Marjoram said. 

Marjoram said Robertson's email was especially hurtful since he struggled with thoughts of suicide as a closeted Christian for most of his life. Marjoram and his wife ran an "ex-gay" counseling service before he came out after she died a few years ago. 

Proceeds from It's Life Jim, released today, will go toward Marjoram's support group for gay Christians, the Silent Gays Project.  

Watch news reports about Robertson's statements here and here

In related news from earlier this morning, America's own "kill the gays" pastor Steven Anderson recently compared gay people to ax murderers and Adolf Hitler in a heated exchange with an Arizona news anchor. 

South Korean LGBT Activists Occupy Seoul City Hall To Protest Mayor's Flip-Flop On Gay Rights: VIDEO


South Korean LGBT activists began a sit-in at Seoul City Hall over the weekend to protest the mayor's decision to delay a proposed human rights charter because it includes language banning discrimination against gays. 

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (right), a former human rights lawyer, made headlines when he expressed support for same-sex marriage earlier this year. But Won-soon, a potential future presidential candidate, reportedly caved to political pressure from the right, including calls for his impeachment, over the human rights charter.  

WonsoonThe Seoul Municipal Government appointed a Citizens Committee of 164 experts to draft the human rights charter, which fulfilled a 2011 campaign promise from Won-soon. Last month, despite intense opposition from anti-gay groups, the committee voted to approve the final draft of the charter, which states that a person “has the right not to be discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity." 

However, the Seoul Municipal Government subsequently announced it was indefinitely delaying the charter because the document had created "social conflicts" and because the gay nondiscrimination clause wasn't approved unanimously by the committee — even though that requirement had never been previously stated. According to Rainbow Action, a coalition of 20 LGBT groups, Won-soon later told a group of pastors, “As the Mayor of Seoul, I do not support homosexuality.”

On Saturday, Rainbow Action announced it was occupying Seoul City Hall to demand that the human rights charter be proclaimed on Wednesday, Dec. 10 — Human Rights Day — as originally scheduled. The group is also asknig people to support them by contacting Won-soon, who is sensitive to international pressure. From Rainbow Action:  

The Mayor’s denying the Charter for the reason that it states the non-discrimination principle on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is an act of discrimination by the State that does not comport with the Constitution and the National Human Rights Commission Act, as well as the international human rights law. The Charter must be proclaimed, as is originally scheduled on December 10, 2014, Human Rights Day, in Seoul.

We, LGBT activists and supporters, now occupied the City Hall to protest against the discrimination. Mr. Park has never responded yet to our repeated requests to have a meeting. We demand a meeting with the Mayor, Mr. Park Won-Soon. We demand him to proclaim the Charter.

Please show your support by sending messages to the Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government, Mr. Park Won-Soon (Twitter @wonsoonpark, Email, Fax +82-2-2133-0797 (Seoul Human Rights Center)), urging him to proclaim the Charter and observe the duty to protect LGBT people from any forms of discrimination and violence. 

To read and share the action alert, go here

Watch video of the sit-in, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "South Korean LGBT Activists Occupy Seoul City Hall To Protest Mayor's Flip-Flop On Gay Rights: VIDEO" »

Buddhist Temple Officiates Gay Weddings As Japan Continues to Struggle With LGBT Rights - WATCH


The Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto, Japan has become the first zen Buddhist temple offering to officiate symbolic same sex weddings within the country. Japan’s views on homosexuality and gender nonconforming individuals is a complex one. Despite artistic cultural exports that sometimes Japan as being a socially progressive society in regards to gender and sexual expression, the country still struggles with broad legislation that would ensure LGBT equality.

TempleA Pew poll conducted in 2013 found that Japanese citizens, while divided on the issue, were slightly more inclined to agree with the idea that homosexuality should be accepted by society. Nevertheless, change has been gradual.

“It’s not like we have to keep tradition the way it is,” Takafumi Kawakami, a priest at the Shunkoin Temple said in an interview with CNN. “We welcome every couple regardless of their faith or sexual orientation.”

Though there are a number of openly queer politicians in Japan, openly gay people run the risk of being evicted, fired, or denied access to Japan’s health care infrastructure.

“Japan still has no LGBT protection laws, lawmakers aren’t even talking about it,” said LGBT activist Maki Muraki. “If more people come out and get married, it’ll increase LGBT awareness, marriage equality, and workplace equality.”

Watch Buddhist priest Takafumi Kawakami and LGBT activist Maki Murakai’s interviews with CNN AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Buddhist Temple Officiates Gay Weddings As Japan Continues to Struggle With LGBT Rights - WATCH" »

Ben Carson: Gay Rights Activists Inspire Hatred, Are 'Enemies Of America' - VIDEO


Anti-gay activist Dr. Ben Carson, who has compared gays to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals, thinks that supporters of gay rights are using “hate speech” to split the U.S. apart, reports Right Wing Watch

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fd2eb406970b-800wiIn an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network last Tuesday, Carson - who thinks that being bisexual means you have to have sex with men and women at the same time - also implied that god has suggested he should consider running for president.

He added that gay rights activists are “hateful people” and “the enemies” of America because they “try to divide everybody up” and “incite people to anger and to hatred.”

“A good example would be somebody who is pro-life, the inciters would come along and say, ‘you’re anti-women, you hate women’ and they try to get women to hate you, when in fact you love women, you just happen also to love life and love babies. But that’s how they try to create the divisions.

“Somebody who is pro-traditional-family, they’ll come up and say, ‘he’s a homophobe, they hate gay people, they’re nasty’ and they just try to incite all this stuff really to further their own agendas.”

Carson failed to make clear how his incitement to hatred against gay people fits into the scheme.

Watch the interview with Carson, AFTER THE JUMP...

Fast becoming a familiar theme among anti-gay wingnuts, earlier this week Scott Lively said that the continued acceptance of gay rights is leading to the destruction of the United States.  It has since been announced that Lively will stand trial for crimes against humanity because of his mission to instigate anti-gay laws in countries including Uganda and Russia. 

Continue reading "Ben Carson: Gay Rights Activists Inspire Hatred, Are 'Enemies Of America' - VIDEO" »

From Stonewall Inn to Stonewall Warehouse: Nation's Fastest-Growing City Gets A Gay Bar


The nation's fastest-growing city now has a gay bar. 

San Marcos, Texas, nestled between Austin and San Antonio on Interstate 35, has been named the fastest-growing city in the US for each of the last two years by the U.S. Census Bureau — growing at a rate of 8 percent from its official 2012 population of 50,001 people. 

Back in September, San Marcos hosted its first LGBT Pride celebration. And on Wednesday night, the Stonewall Warehouse opened its doors, becoming the city's only gay bar. 

Forty-five years after the unofficial start of the gay-rights movement outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City, perhaps the opening of the Stonewall Warehouse deep in the heart of Texas is a sign of just how far we've come. Or maybe it's just a bar. 

General Manager Chris Rue discussed plans for the Stonewall Warehouse with with The University Star in August: 

When Rue attended Texas State from 2003-2007, he knew only of LAMBDA as an on-campus resource for members of the LGBTQIA community. Rue said he was not out in college for fear of being judged.

“Managing Stonewall is my way of giving back to the San Marcos community,” he said, adding that he wants to become something of a “beacon of hope” for everyone regardless of orientation. ...

As far as obstacles go, Rue said they exist but he tries to not let them get in his way. He said he isn’t worried about people who may not necessarily want a gay bar in town, and most people with that mentality haven’t even been to one before.

“There’s a certain mentality whenever you step into a bar in a big city, but this is still San Marcos,” Rue said. “We’re going to do things in a classy way that could only benefit and improve upon the town.”




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