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Callers Threaten To Behead Kansas Pastor For Performing Same-Sex Marriages: VIDEO

Carter

The pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Wichita, Kansas, says she's been receiving about one threatening phone call a day since same-sex marriage became legal there last month. 

The Rev. Jackie Carter says the calls have ranged from heavy breathing to someone threatening to cut off her head off and carry it through the town square on a stick. 

This past Monday, someone called the church, rang the doorbell and threw rocks at the windows all at the same time, The Wichita Eagle reports: 

“Honestly, I’m beginning to get more scared every day that this goes on,” she said. “I’ve kind of talked myself into trying to be more calm about it and realizing that there are more people out there that are supporting us than threatening harm to us.”

She said the church has instructed people to leave the building in pairs, especially at night, for safety. Carter said that she has reported some of the threats to the Wichita Police Department, but that the department’s ability to investigate is limited because the callers have been anonymous and no number shows up on the church’s caller ID.

Even a leading opponent of same-sex marriage, conservative Wichita pastor Terry Fox, is condemning the threats: 

“Anybody who does something like that, there’s nothing Christian about threatening someone bodily damage or something like that. In fact it’s about as unchristian as anything can be,” Fox said. “And it helps no one’s cause. If anything, it hurts that cause. It breaks my heart to hear that anyone would have to endure those kinds of threats from the right or anywhere else.”

Last month, Carter performed a group wedding ceremony for 15 same-sex couples on the steps of the county courthouse. The ceremony was interrupted by a protester chanting "God says no," but the wedding party drowned him out with chants of "God says yes" as he was led away. 

"I'm not going to change my message of inclusion, I'm not going to change my message of love, and I'm not going to stop marrying people. I'm going to keep it up," Carter told KSN.com. 

Watch KSN's report on the threats, as well as last month's same-sex marriage ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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Former Westboro Baptist Church Member Helps Homeless LGBT Jamaicans

Grace phelps

A former member of listed hate group the Westboro Baptist Church has travelled to Jamaica to work with gay people who have been ostracized by society and made homeless, reports Pink News.

Grace Phelps (pictured above right with sister Megan), the daughter of Westboro Baptist Church spokeswoman Shirley Phelps, went on a trip organized by Planting Peace, a grass roots equality project which runs Equality House with a base opposite the Phelps family church.

Grace and Megan left the hate church last year.

She explained:

Shirley phelps-roper“I spent twenty years learning why God hates gays, preaching that they’re ‘beasts’ and ‘depraved,’ and protesting anyone who dared to speak up for them.

“When I heard about the young people living in Jamaican sewers because their parents kicked them out for being gay, my heart hurt for them.

“I know what that’s like, being rejected by your family for not going along with their beliefs.

“There’s an irony there that I couldn’t ignore: that I share a fate with the very people I was taught to dehumanize so fiercely. I wanted to meet them, to see their plight for myself, and help tell the world their story.”

Planting Peace president Aaron Jackson said:

“Grace and I have become good friends since she left the church, and she jumped at the opportunity to join with Planting Peace and help document the conditions in Jamaica when I told her what was happening there. What we witnessed in the sewers of Kingston was nothing short of horrific.

"We documented acid attacks, stab wounds and even personally witnessed an altercation. The world has made great strides in the fight for equality, but this trip was a sobering reminder of how far we still have to go.”




ACLU Revises Challenge to Kansas Gay Marriage Ban

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The American Civil Liberties Union has updated its challenge to Kansas’s ban on same sex marriage to prevent the state from ignoring marriages performed in and out of state. The revised lawsuit is looking to require the state to extend insurance and taxes benefits to gay and lesbian married couples as well as allow them to legally change their names on identification to reflect their unions. The original suit was filed on the behalf of a single lesbian couple who were not granted marriage licenses in two different counties. The suit now adds an additional three couples agitating to have their marriages recognized.

Previously, Kansas governor Sam Brownback publicly asserted his refusal to grant gay couples the same marital benefits afforded to their straight counterparts.

"We are very disappointed the state has continued to play this obstruction game," said ACLU attorney Doug Bonney. "The time is here to recognize the marriages as valid and lawful just like any other marriage.”

Secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue, Nick Jordan; director of the division of Vehicles, Lisa Kaspar; and director of the State Employee Health Plan have been added as defendants following the ACLU’s new revision. According to the lawsuit the each of the newly added defendants represents a Kansas agency responsible for discriminating against same sex married couples.


ACLU Will Sue Kansas to Force State Agencies to Recognize Gay Marriages

Kansas

The ACLU of Kansas is poised to amend its lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage in order to force state agencies to grant marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

Yesterday, we reported that despite marriage equality having commenced in many Kansas counties, Governor Sam Brownback was refusing to allow any state recognition of same-sex unions.

The Wichita Eagle reports:

Doug Bonney, who represented the couples suing the state, said the plaintiffs would amend their complaint to force state agencies to recognize the marriages and grant full legal rights to the newly married couples.

This includes the right to change the last name on your driver’s license to your spouse’s. For the spouses of state employees, it also includes receiving state health care benefits.

Bonney said they would sue Gov. Sam Brownback if necessary. He added the governor has the authority to direct agencies on how to respond to the ruling but said the administration’s combative response was disappointing. He also said it would cost taxpayers a lot of money in the long run.


Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Refusing to Grant Marriage Rights to Gay Couples

Kansas

Despite marriage equality having already commenced in many counties in Kansas, GOP state officials are continuing to drag their heels in defiance, with Governor Sam Brownback announcing today that he will not allow any state recognition of same-sex unions. 

NPR station KCUR reports:

BrownbackBrownback said Thursday that he won’t offer any of the benefits heterosexual couples get, such as name changes on a driver’s license or employee benefits for gay and lesbian state workers.

“There is still considerable legal ambiguity on the topic of same-sex marriage,” said Eileen Hawley, a Brownback spokeswoman. “Once that ambiguity is gone, the governor will direct state agencies to comply with applicable laws.” 

The Wichita Eagle adds:

Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, an LGBT rights organization, said it was outrageous for state agencies to not treat legally married same-sex couples the same as they would newly married heterosexual couples.

“These are legal marriages legally performed in the state of Kansas,” Witt said.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt told the Associated Press on Wednesday that his vigorous defense of the state’s gay marriage ban is designed to get a final U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether such bans are constitutional.

While things get sorted out, Equality Kansas has a list of counties that are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Check out the list here


Kansas City Royals Marketing Executive Matt Schulte Comes Out as Gay - VIDEO

Schulte

Matt Schulte, marketing coordinator for Major League Baseball team Kansas City Royals, has come out in an interview with Outsports. 

As the Royals made their unexpected run through the playoffs this year, Schulte began exploring the idea of coming out. Through conversations with other out gay people in sports he saw a side of sports that was inclusive of gay people.

As team victories mounted this year and the elusive World Series drew near, his confidence grew and he began to find inner pride in a way he had never experienced before.

Although coming out to his father and stepmother had been a positive experience, doing so in the macho environment of Major League Baseball was a whole different matter.

"To walk into my boss's office, how do I set it up? Do I give them a warning? Do I spring it on them? I'm still not even totally comfortable with saying the words, 'I'm gay.'"

Still not knowing how to address the topic with co-workers and friends, he decided to share his story publicly via Outsports.

Watch Matt talk about his lifelong connection with Kansas City Royals, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continuing a positive recent trend, professional strongman Rob Kearney came out earlier this year as did Sky Sports presenter Mark McAdam.

[photo via Facebook]

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