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Minnesota Newspapers Publish Misleading, Transphobic Ads From Anti-LGBT Hate Group

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Minnesota's largest daily newspaper is doubling down on its decision to publish misleading, fear-mongering, transphobic ads opposing a policy that would allow high school students to participate in athletics according to their gender identity.

But The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis isn't alone. Also publishing the latest ad from the anti-LGBT Minnesota Child Protection League on Sunday were The St. Cloud Times and The Duluth News Tribune, according to Media Matters

The ad states:

"THE END OF GIRLS' SPORTS? Her dreams of a scholarship shattered, your 14-year-old daughter just lost her position on an all-girl team to a male ... and now she may have to shower with him. Are you willing to let that happen?"

The ad calls on people to contact Minnesota State High School League board members, who are set to consider the policy Thursday. 

Back in September, LGBT advocates slammed The Star Tribune for publishing a similar ad from the Minnesota Child Protection League opposing the policy, which was originally set to be voted on in October: 

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According to the LGBT Sports Coalition, 15 states have adopted policies similar to the one proposed in Minnesota, with no reported problems related to trans athletic participation:  

"By running the ad again, the Star Tribune has once again contributed to a negative stereotype at the same time as it has potentially put trans youth in danger by fostering a demonstrably untrue accusation. Editorial decisions matter. Research has shown that LGBT teens and young adults are at greater risk for depression and bullying, and that bullying is a contributing factor in many suicides. By accepting and publishing this kind of advertisement, the Star Tribune has empowered the untrue expectation that one minority group -- transgender children, no less -- are a threat to their classmates.

"Worse yet, the Star Tribune already knew that the content of the ad was deliberately misinformative about trans youth while advocating discrimination, because editors at the Star Tribune have already discussed the first ad (run by the same local hate group in September) with local and national LGBT organizations after they ran the first ad in September. The Star Tribune already knew that the content of the new ad also misrepresented trans lives and endangered trans youth -- and elected to run it again anyway."

The Star Tribune is also taking heat on Twitter, including from NBC Sports writer Aaron Gleeman: 

Representatives from The Star Tribune, which editorialized in favor of the trans-inclusive policy in October, haven't commented on the latest ad. In September, the newspaper's vice president of marketing and public relations told Minneapolis City Pages: "The ad in question met all the requirements of our ad policy. Not much I can tell you about it beyond that."

But it appears that for many, that explanation isn't cutting it. While the advertising director of The Duluth News Tribune told Media Matters it's a question of free speech, some are calling on subscribers to make their own statement: 


Hollywood Chick-Fil-A Franchise Holds LGBT Youth Fundraiser - VIDEO

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A Chick-Fil-A franchise in Hollywood, California held a fundraiser last weekend with the national gay youth group Campus Pride to help raise funds to combat bullying, reports LOGO TV.

Chick-Fil-A has faced the wrath of LGBT activists in recent years following the revelation that anti-gay CEO Dan Cathay has been funding homophobic groups and activists including the anti-gay listed hate group Family Research Council. Dancathy

During Saturday’s fundraiser an unspecified percent of sales went to Campus Pride’s campaign to raise money for an anonymous $10,000 matching grant. A table was also set up with pamphlets about Campus Pride and the anti-bullying organization Stand Up Foundation.

Of the event, Campus Pride director Shane Windmeyer said:

“We’re not going to turn away anyone who wants to be an ally and help us fundraise. Activism is dirty work. It’s work that some people don’t always agree on the journey or the past and today we were just trying to be positive, to move forward and to do things that are common ground issues.”

Watch a Young Turks report on Cathy's anti-gay comments, AFTER THE JUMP...

And don't forget to check out the 10 Businesses To Avoid This Holiday Season If You Care About LGBT Rights.

Continue reading "Hollywood Chick-Fil-A Franchise Holds LGBT Youth Fundraiser - VIDEO" »


Dedicated Transgender Hotline Aims To Stem Epidemic Of Suicides Like Texas Teen Alex DeChiara's

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After relentless bullying at her high school in Texas, transgender teen Alex DeChiara (above) transferred to an alternative school in April. 

But switching schools cut 17-year-old Alex off from her closest friends and her biggest passion: working with special-needs children at Euless Trinity High School, in a conservative suburb of Fort Worth. Alex hoped to one day become a teacher for autistic kids. 

After Alex transferred schools, administrators at Euless Trinity even barred her from campus and threatened her with arrest when she tried to visit. Faced with loneliness and a deepening depression, Alex felt she had nowhere to turn. On May 8, she hung herself from a tree in her family's backyard. 

Alex's father, Rick DeChiara, who came home from work to find Alex and had to cut her down from the tree, told the Texas Observer this week he feels there are a fair amount of resources dedicated to gay youth. But he added: “As far as transgender awareness kind of stuff, that’s a different story. I don’t think that’s quite as popular, as out there in the open.” 

MartelaNow, a San Francisco-based group is hoping to help change that — and to stem the epidemic of trangender suicides like Alex's. According to Greta Gustava Martela (right), the founder of Trans Lifeline, half of people who are openly transgender will attempt suicide at least once in their lives. 

Trans Lifeline is a first-of-its-kind, nonprofit crisis and suicide hotline staffed by transgender people. 

“There are a ton of suicide hotlines. There’s no shortage of them,” Martela told Time.com. “But it’s really difficult to get a person who isn’t trans to understand what it’s like to be trans.”

According to Trans Lifeline's website: "Our hotline is staffed by the true experts on transgender experience, transgender people themselves. Our volunteers are all trans identified and educated in the range of difficulties transgender people experience." 

Although the hotline's goal is to prevent self-harm, it is open to any transgender person in need — as well as the parents of transgender children. 

After a surge in calls thanks to the Time.com story this week, Martela launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for training for additional volunteers. Those interested in volunteering for Trans Lifeline can learn more here. 

The hotline covers the US and Canada and is staffed by volunteers outside the Bay Area.

For those in crisis, the number is 877-565-8860

 

 

 

 


Russia Levies Charges Against LGBT Internet Support Group For 'Gay Propaganda'

Russia's persecution of LGBT citizens is spreading from the streets to cyberspace as the Russian government starts cracking down on LGBT affiliated websites reports Buzzfeed. The government has its eyes set on Children 404, a group page hosted on Facebook doppelgänger Vkontakte where LGBT Russian teens can discuss their sexuality with others and without fear of retaliation.

Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, commonly known by it's alternate name Roskomnadzor, is pressing charges against Children 404 founder and journalist Elena Klimova. A local branch of the agency is revealing the full charges levied against Klimova on Tuesday. Under the existing law Klimova's group can incur a fine of one million rubles ($21,000), and find itself forcibly shut down for 90 days.

Picture 2Modeled after America's "It Gets Better" campaign, the group came to fruition shortly before Russia passed its anti-gay laws last year. Users, which are mostly teenagers, share their stories on the site and have the opportunity to interact with up to 15 volunteer psychologists that offer professional counseling services. The name "Children 404” is a reference to the “Page Not Found,” error which is a commonly encountered server error.

Roskomnadzor only specified that they pursued the group after receiving 150 online complaints about the group. Klimova expressed her frustration with the agency's profiling of her and the website.

Said Klimova:

“Roskomnadzor says that it’s found homosexual propaganda, but instead of showing where I have forbidden materials, they’re writing that I just don’t have the special knowledge to publish them. It’s absurd!”

Anti-gay activists have targeted the group before including disrupting the filming of a documentary centered on the group with protests. Moscow prosecutors even went so far as to summon the directors of the film for questioning. A screening of the film in Vladivostok sparked controversy in September when minors managed to attend the film--the movie carries a rating of +18.


'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Responds to Viral Video of His Megachurch Conversion

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The International Business Times reports that Andrew Caldwell, the "not gay no more" young man from the viral megachurch video, has written a response via Facebook.

Ha addresses his criticism — the widespread doubt that Caldwell had actually been "turned straight," but also the suggestion that Caldwell staged the moment for publicity.

Here's an excerpt of the statement:

As a child, I was raped by a member of my own family. At that time I did not think of it as abuse. I kind of enjoyed it. I kept it to myself, not realizing how it had changed me. Growing up wasn't a pleasant experience. I was harassed, heckled, and ridiculed by classmates...After joining my present church, it came to me that this lifestyle was not right. It seemed that the more I tried to quit on my own, the more intense was the temptation. All last week I fasted and prayed. On this past Saturday at the Convocation, there was an alter call. I came forward and offered my testimony. It was unscripted.

If you are quick to mock Caldwell, or if the story is leaving a bad taste in your mouth, be sure to check out BET Entertainment Editor Clay Cane's take, over at HuffPo. It's an empathetic and sensitive reminder that in discussing this issue, we should use care. Says Cane:

I hope this boy is on suicide watch. The way he is being shamed in the public [and] in that church is heartbreaking to see...The bishop said he chose to do this. No he didn't. When you're brainwashed you're not choosing anything...He's doing what he thinks will make him feel loved and accepted in his community. The funny thing is, people are mocking it... but if he were 'more masculine,' people would take it seriously.

Caldwell's "conversion" took place at the Church of God in Christ’s 107th's Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri. In a statement posted online, COGIC responded to the viral video:

We believe that we should reflect the love and compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do. We do not in any way compromise our biblical position against same sex unions or in favor of biblical teaching on matters of sexual conduct. At the same time we expect that our clergy and laity will be civil and considerate as they speak to men and women regarding issues related to our Christian faith. We love all people, regardless of their faith or moral standards. When we fail to express ourselves with love and humility we contradict our witness
to the world.

Furthermore, the Church of God in Christ wholly condemns acts of violence against and the subjugation of any person to verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their sexual stance. Such actions violate entirely the Christian’s obligation to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

The Church of God in Christ will have no further comment on this matter.

Video from HuffPo, including Cane's take is AFTER THE JUMP...

Caldwell also briefly spoke to Atlanta's CBS 46 News about the video and his "conversion," which you can check out after the jump as well. 

Continue reading "'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Responds to Viral Video of His Megachurch Conversion" »


Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund Announces New Partnership to Fight LGBT Youth Homelessness

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Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund is embarking on a new partnership with homeless youth service provider Covenant House International to help fight the LGBT homeless youth epidemic.

Via press release:

Covenant House, which offers shelter to more than 1,900 homeless youth every night in 27 cities across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua is expanding the overall number of beds dedicated to homeless youth, including LGBT youth. The True Colors Fund is partnering with Covenant House to support and strengthen programs and services available for LGBT homeless youth served by Covenant House.

While LGBT youth make up only seven percent of the total youth population, they comprise up to 40 percent of all youth experiencing homelessness in America. Together, the True Colors Fund and Covenant House are committed to reversing this trend and providing help to homeless youth, many of whom become homeless after their families reject them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“At the heart of the True Colors Fund's work is supporting service providers in ensuring the safest and most affirming care possible for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth experiencing homelessness. For us, partnering on this effort is a natural fit and speaks volumes about Covenant House's commitment to providing the best possible support to all youth,” said Cyndi Lauper, co-founder of the True Colors Fund. The partnership is beginning with Covenant House in New York City, and will expand to include other Covenant Houses in the US, Canada, and Latin America over the next year.

More information about the new partnership can be found here


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