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24,000 Transgender People May Be Ineligible To Vote In November Due to Voter ID- VIDEO

Voting laws transgender people

Strict voter ID laws in ten states could create barriers to voting and lead to possible disenfranchisement for more than 24,000 transgender voters this November, reports LGBTQ Nation.

MapAccording to the study “The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2014 General Election,” about 84,000 transgender people across the ten strict photo ID states are estimated to be eligible to vote. The 24,000 transgender voters who may face barriers to voting reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In order for these 24,000 voting-eligible transgender people to obtain the updated photo IDs required to vote in the November 2014 general election, they must comply with the requirements for updating their state-issued or federally-issued IDs.

The study’s author Jody L. Herman, Ph.D, said:

“Some voters may not have the means or the ability to present the required voter identification for a variety of reasons, such as poverty, disability, or religious objection.

Transgender people have unique barriers to obtaining accurate IDs needed to vote.

As these ten states begin planning for their fall elections, educating poll workers is crucial in order to ensure that transgender voters in their states have fair access to the ballot.”

Watch the 2012 National Center for Transgender Equality's "Voting While Trans" campaign video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "24,000 Transgender People May Be Ineligible To Vote In November Due to Voter ID- VIDEO" »


Kansas Democratic Candidate For Governor Pulls Ad Featuring Actor With Gay Prostitution Arrest - VIDEO

Paul davis kansas campaign ad

Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis has pulled a campaign ad featuring an actor who in 2007 was arrested on suspicion of soliciting a male prostitute, reports The Wichita Eagle.

The actor, Jeff Montague was also banned from the Boy Scouts of America in 1989 after the organization learned that he had been suspended from a teaching position at a Topeka high school “for inappropriate conduct with a male foreign exchange student.”

In a statement, Davis said:

“It was brought to our attention that a participant in one of those ads has serious issues in his background. Upon hearing of these issues, the ad, which ran for a few hours, was pulled down immediately. I want to apologize to Kansans for this mistake.”

Reacting to the news, Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party suggested that Davis may no longer be fit for office.

Watch a report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kansas Democratic Candidate For Governor Pulls Ad Featuring Actor With Gay Prostitution Arrest - VIDEO" »


‘God Loves Gays’ Billboard Goes Up In Westboro Baptist Church’s Hometown: VIDEO

Gays

Last month we told you about the campaign run by the social media persona “God” to erect a “God Loves Gays” billboard in Topeka, Kansas, the hometown of the hate mongering Westboro Baptist Church. The campaign, which sought to raise $50,000 for this project, has been wildly successful, already raising over $80,000. On Monday, God’s billboard went up as promised. Mashable reports: 

Despite his omnipotence, God actually got the idea for the billboard from his social media followers. "One day I asked them, what would you like the LORD to do in the real world? Well, the top suggestion (with over 1,000 ‘likes’) was to put up a billboard in Topeka, Kansas that says ‘God Loves Gays.’ I shared this idea and asked them if I should do it, and the resounding answer was, ‘Yes please, for the love of all that is holy, yes.' “

The additional funds God raised will be used “toward ‘stretch goals’ of buying bus ads, donations to an LGBT suicide prevention organization, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.” The Westboro Baptist Church meanwhile embraced the billboard, attempting to spin the story in their typical hateful way on Twitter and in a written statement:

"Thank God for that lying billboard! Every soul that sees it will either rejoice for the lie and the vain hope of afflicting the servants of God at WBC," Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the Church tells Mashable via email. "Or, they will sigh and mourn for that awful sin and all the parts of it, knowing that every single soul that weighed in with money or words, in favor of that lying billboard, will stand before God in the Judgment, so very ashamed. Knowing also, that when they stand before God in the judgment, it will be TOO LATE for repentance, and eternal torment will follow."

Meanwhile, Lamar Advertising, the billboard company who sold the space, had a few reservations about the billboard according to God:

"They seemed a tad nervous," He writes. "Thus far they have only let Me purchase the billboard through March of 2015. I wanted to purchase the full year. I also wanted to investigate other bigger billboards around town. But before they’ll do that the billboard company wants to see if the community accepts it and likes it first.”

Lamar, however, insists, 

“We support the First Amendment right of advertisers and believe that it is in the best interest of our company and the communities we serve to accept advertising copy openly. We do not accept or reject copy based upon agreement or disagreement with the views presented. We are firmly committed to our copy acceptance policy.”

Q Salt Lake also reports that should the project reach $100,000 in funding, God will put up another billboard in Provo, Utah. 

You can still contribute to God’s IndieGoGo campaign HERE

And ICYMI, check out the video message from God about his billboard project, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "‘God Loves Gays’ Billboard Goes Up In Westboro Baptist Church’s Hometown: VIDEO" »


Kansas GOP Congressional Candidate In Hot Water Over Appearance In LGBT-Themed Movie

Alan LaPolice (right) is challenging incumbent Representative Tim Huelskamp in the Hutchinson, Kansas republican primary, but a film role dredged up from his past has been seen as a source of controversy for some GOP Kansans. LaPolice played what he describes as a "homophobic bigot" in the 2008 release, "The Art of Being Straight." Now, while LaPolice defends his participation in the film, the news is shifting campaign politics toward issues of sexual orientation and away from the issues he believes are most important.

LaPoliceHutchNews.com reports:

“I am very concerned that a candidate for national office would be so out of touch with the deeply held beliefs of a great many Kansans,” said Dennis Blick, chairman of the board for Kansas Family Policy Council, Wichita.

“KFPC believes Kansans deserve candidates of the highest integrity committed to traditional Judeo-Christian values, which have been the bedrock of rural Kansas communities for generations,” Blick said in a press release Tuesday from the KFPC.

Phillip Cosby, director of the American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri, said in the release that it’s “highly inappropriate” to be “featured in a homosexual movie.”

While right-wing organizations are clearly hung up on the appearance itself (perhaps as some sort of endorsement), it is less clear if LaPolice fears that positive endorsement, or if his role (as a "bigot") is the problematic issue.

In an email response to The News, LaPolice wrote:

“I agree wholeheartedly that Kansans do indeed deserve a candidate of the highest integrity and I firmly believe that I offer this. I have clearly stated that anyone attempting to undermine my candidacy by fixating on a very small movie role from nearly 10 years ago would be guilty of small-minded bigotry and I hold to that. No Kansans are guilty of this.

“As I said, every Kansan I know can easily distinguish between movies and reality. I am concerned that individuals in leadership roles who claim to share my strong family values would confuse acting with advocacy,” he said.

Is the "small-minded bigotry" he refers to homophobia? Was his acting advocating for gay rights/representation, or for bigotry? The message is convoluted, but LaPolice, a straight man with three children, is up front about his 45-second role in the film, and its lack of relevance to his political campaign.

“I am in no way ashamed of anything from my past. I celebrate the strength of my character and every choice I have made for better or worse has made me the man I am today.” LaPolice wrote.

Photo via LaPolice's campaign website.


Topeka City Council Narrowly Approves LGBT ‘Equality Package’ Proposals

Chad manspeakerWestboro Baptist Church sure isn’t going to be happy about what their city council approved this week…

Amid emotional testimonies and a standing-room-only crowd Tuesday evening, the Topeka City Council narrowly approved both parts of a pro-LGBT “equality package” proposed by Councilman Chad Manspeaker [pictured].

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports:

Manspeaker said the votes send the rest of the world a message “that Topeka is an open, inclusive community and that we welcome all people here and we look forward to grow in that direction.”

The council heard at-times emotional testimony — in which both advocates and opponents claimed the moral high ground — before voting 5-3 to establish a city domestic partnership registry, which will be open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. [...]

The council then voted 5-3 to approve a proposal banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the city’s employment and hiring practices. The measure also requires the city to make a good faith effort to contract to provide health coverage for any city employees registered with the city as being part of a domestic partnership.

Both measures were decided after the council voted 6-2 to reject a motion seeking to give the public a ballot question vote on them.

Topeka is now the second city in Kansas to have domestic partner registries, behind Lawrence.

 


Catholic Rep. Louis Ruiz Introduces LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill in Kansas House

Rep. Louis Ruiz, D-Kansas City, has introduced a bill in the Kansas House banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Wichita Eagle reports:

RuizRep. Louis Ruiz, D-Kansas City, introduced the bill a month after the Kansas House passed a bill that critics said would have legalized discrimination against gay and lesbian couples.

“What’s our message when we have these type of discriminatory bills that come out at either the federal or the state level? We’re defeating our own purpose as a country that wants to be inclusive. To me, this is a no-brainer,” said Ruiz, who is the ranking minority member on the Federal and State Affairs Committee, which initially passed HB 2453. He was one of its fiercest critics.

His bill, which does not have a number yet, would extend the same legal protections that prohibit discrimination based on religion, gender and race to sexual orientation and gender identity. This would make it illegal for a company to refuse to hire or serve someone for being gay or transgender, just as it is illegal to refuse to hire or serve someone based on skin color.

Kansas has a law protecting LGBT people in state employment but that's as far as it goes.

Ruiz "expects the bill to receive strong opposition, but hopes it will get assigned to the Federal and State Affairs Committee."


Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/03/11/3338790/house-bill-would-ban-discrimination.html#storylink=cpy

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