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Anti-gay Pennsylvania High School Students Wear Flannel, Harass Peers To Protest National Day Of Silence: VIDEO

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A group of students at a Pennsylvania high school dissatisfied with the national Day of Silence event, which is designed to raise awareness of LGBT bullying, organized an "Anti-Gay Day" on Thursday before the Silence event on Friday, wearing flannel and writing the phrase "Anti-Gay" on their hands reports The Advocate. The national Day of Silence event is a largely peaceful event, but the students taking part in the "Anti-Gay Day," hung posters on LGBT students lockers and physically harassed LBGT peers within the hallways of McGuffey High School.

The group utilized social media to spread the event, posting pictures of themselves in flannel and planned on enacting additional anti-gay events with the first event lasting a full week. Groups like Focus on the Family and the Illinois Family Institute have organized several of their own anti-gay day events such as walkouts and their version of the day of silence called "Day of Dialogue," which they claim is designed to get Christians’ voices heard on the matter in what they deem a "loving, respectful manner." However, LGBT students and their supporters at McGuffey High School encountered the complete opposite of a "loving, respectful" event.

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 5.54.35 AMSaid student Zoe Johnson (pictured right):

"There was pushing, posters hung on homosexual students' lockers. Teachers were having to run out and take them down. It hurts me to see how rude and cruel, and some of these people were my friends before this started."

McGuffey School District administrators are currently investigating the incident with the school’s superintendent, Dr. Erica Kolat, announcing that the school will "follow our Student Code of Conduct, and file legal citations as warranted…We will resolve to ensure that all children can grow and learn in a safe, supportive environment free from discrimination." However, students remain skeptical about returning to the school as a lynch list with students' names on it is reportedly circulating throughout the school.

Watch WPXI-TV’s report on the incident, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Anti-gay Pennsylvania High School Students Wear Flannel, Harass Peers To Protest National Day Of Silence: VIDEO" »


Texas GOP Lawmaker Wants To Ensure Taxpayer-Funded Adoption Agencies Can Discriminate Against Gay Couples

Sanford

Rep. Scott Sanford (above) has introduced a measure — similar to a proposal in Florida — that would allow child welfare providers to discriminate based on "sincerely held religious beliefs." 

The Texas Observer reports: 

On Wednesday, Sanford told a House committee that in some states where same-sex marriage is legal, organizations such as Catholic Charities have shut down rather than comply with laws barring discrimination against gay couples.

“Faith-based organizations have played a vital role in serving our nation’s orphaned and needy children since America’s founding, and this legislation protects their operations,” Sanford said. “States without these protective measures have had organizations cease to operate, placing more demand on government.”

HB 3864, which Sanford is calling the “Hope for Orphans and Minors Expansion Act,” or HOME, would prohibit the state from taking “adverse action” against child welfare providers that receive taxpayer dollars and act based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” It would also protect the rights of state-funded agencies to provide religious education to children and to deny them access to abortions or birth control.

Opponents of the bill say it would also allow discrimination against LGBT youth in foster care. For example, a faith-based agency could force them into reparative therapy.  

Ken-paxton_2_jpg_131x197_crop_q100A representative from the office of Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) testified in support of the bill, saying that like bans on cell phone use while driving, nondiscrimination laws are an example of government overreach. One tea party lawmaker on the committee — Rep. Debbie Riddle — called the bill "fabulous" and repeatedly told supportive witnesses from Christian groups they were "doing the Lord's work." 

Meanwhile, in Florida, a similar proposal that died in the Senate last week has been resurrected and will be voted on Monday, according to Equality Florida.

The Human Rights Campaign and five leading national child welfare organizations issued a joint statement Thursday opposing the anti-LGBT adoption measures in Florida, Texas and other states. From HRC's release:  

Organizations that signed the statement, in addition to HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, are the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association. ... 

“We, as organizations dedicated to serving the best interests and well-being of children and youth, are deeply concerned about the spate of anti-LGBT bills that have been introduced in state legislatures around the country this year,” the statement says, “including measures that would allow discrimination in adoption and foster care, criminalize transgender people who attempt to use restrooms, and, under the guise of religious liberty, give service providers the power to deny child welfare services to the very people who need our care the most.”

Finally, in related news, a Texas Democrat delivered impassioned remarks on the House floor this week in support of a separate proposal to allow same-sex parents to have both names on the birth certificates of adopted children.

Watch state Rep. Rafael Anchia's speech, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Texas GOP Lawmaker Wants To Ensure Taxpayer-Funded Adoption Agencies Can Discriminate Against Gay Couples" »


'Looking' Star Danny Franzese Talks Body Positivity, Bears And More With James St. James: VIDEO

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Mean Girls and Looking actor Danny Franzese sat down with James St. James this week to talk body positivity in the gay community, HIV awareness, PrEP and his plans for the future.

Franzese also discusses his journey to self-acceptance, and how going shirtless in Bully helped him overcome his fixation on his weight.

Check out the frank, funny discussion, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "'Looking' Star Danny Franzese Talks Body Positivity, Bears And More With James St. James: VIDEO" »


Photo of Toronto Cop Who Dyed His Hair Pink to Oppose LGBTQ Bullying Goes Viral

Toronto

Toronto police officer Luke Watson's desire to see an end to anti-LGBTQ bullying burns with a hot pink intensity. To mark yesterday's Day of Pink, an international day against "bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and transmisogyny across the world," Watson dyed his hair pink and pledged to keep it that way for an entire week if the Twitter photo of his new 'do was retweeted 1,000 times.

The photo has since been retweeted over 3000 times.

Global News reports that Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also took part in the Day of Pink, albeit without any body modifications. 

More on the day via the official website:

PinkThe International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia when 2 straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The 2 students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying.


Bullied Transgender California Teen Dies In Apparent Suicide: VIDEO

Taylor Alesena

A Fallbrook, California trans teen who spoke on YouTube about being the victim of bullying has taken her own life, reports ABC 10 News.

In a video posted last November, Taylor Alesena talked about her loneliness at Fallbrook High School, saying "I've lost friends - tons of friends - and it's been hell.”

Max Disposit, executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center in Oceanside, said that Taylor was constantly cyber-bullied and called names in school but nothing changed when she complained to counselors.

The Fallbrook Union High School District issued the following statement:

"One of Fallbrook High School's students tragically passed away during the spring break, on Thursday, April 2.

“We are attempting to honor the family's request for privacy while also helping our students and staff who have been impacted by this sad event. The district has had counselors on site to support our school community.

“Fallbrook High has a continuum of appropriate services (social, emotional, academic) to ensure every student is supported and successful at Fallbrook High School. It is never easy when something like this happens, but we are working to move forward together and stronger than before."

Last month 16-year-old North Carolina trans teen Ashlyn Haffner died close to his family’s Indian Trail home when he stepped into the path of an oncoming vehicle, the same way Ohio transgender teen Leelah Alcorn died in December of last year.

Watch an ABC 10 report on Taylor’s death, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bullied Transgender California Teen Dies In Apparent Suicide: VIDEO" »


Rachel Maddow Reports on President Obama's Call to End Harmful LGBTQ 'Conversion Therapy' for Minors: VIDEO

Maddow

Yesterday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow addressed last night's late breaking news that President Obama had responded to a "We the People" petition and joined the fight to end dangerous, discredited "conversion therapy" for LGBTQ minors.

Maddow also referenced the 2013 "We the People" petition calling on the Obama Administration to "begin construction of a Death Star by 2016" that was sadly unsuccessful.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Reports on President Obama's Call to End Harmful LGBTQ 'Conversion Therapy' for Minors: VIDEO" »


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