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04/19/2007


Lesbian Couple Married Across the Street from Westboro Baptist Church: VIDEO

Equality_wedding

As Julian reported on Thursday, Kimberly Kidwell, a 31-year-old EMT, married Katie Short on Saturday at Equality House, across the street from Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church.

The HuffPost reports:

Members of the church, who have travelled across the U.S. to promote their anti-gay message, didn't even need to leave their headquarters to protest, putting up some signs in their front yard and a banner over the wooden fence outside their property.

The brides hardly noticed. "I guess I was almost numb after seeing them for a minute. I knew the signs would be there, and I wasn't even angry about it. We were just so ecstatic to be getting married," said Kidwell, who wore a white pantsuit for the occasion.

The proximity to the WBC was no coincidence. Kidwell and Short were hitched in the front yard of the rainbow-painted residence owned by Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of the charity Planting Peace, whose intention is to confront Westboro and its history of anti-gay activism.

Watch a stunning video Equality House made of the wedding, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Lesbian Couple Married Across the Street from Westboro Baptist Church: VIDEO" »


College Basketball's First Openly Gay Player Jallen Messersmith Was Raised Mormon, Leads Catholic Team

College basketball

Outsports has a wonderful feature piece about Jallen Messersmith, the first gay men’s college basketball player to come out while still playing. Messersmith, who plays for Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, was raised Mormon, overcame intense bullying in school, and now leads his Catholic college’s team in blocked shots for this past season. Messersmith contacted Outsports about telling his coming out story prior to NBA player Jason Collins declaring he is gay.

College 2“When I came out, there was nobody in my sport I could [relate to],” Messersmith said about why he agreed to share his story. “I always wanted to put it out there and I had a great experience with it and I wanted to show people it could be fine.”

Messersmith goes on to discuss the severe bullying he faced in adolescence and how he found refuge in a place not usually seen as a sanctuary for gay teens wrestling with their sexuality: sports.

“The people making fun of me pushed me into basketball further and made me want to be the best at basketball and get somewhere with myself," he said. "After my sophomore year, I didn't care what people thought. I grew stronger because of it and it rolls off my back now."


Above all, Messersmith says self-acceptance is the most important aspect of living out and proud both on and off the court.

“You've just got to be comfortable with yourself," he said. "I wasn't very comfortable with myself for a long time and then when I was, if you put off the confidence and you are 100% comfortable when you tell someone, they will support you. They can't, as much as they can try, drag you down. It's all about you. It's what you think. If you are comfortable with yourself, you can do anything."

Read Messersmith’s full story at Outsports. 


Want To See What The Inside Of A Tornado Looks Like? - VIDEO

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Storm chasers Brandon Ivey and Sean Casey captured this incredible footage yesterday in Kansas in an eight ton modified Ford F-450 truck known as the “Tornado Intercept Vehicle.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Want To See What The Inside Of A Tornado Looks Like? - VIDEO" »


Shirley Phelps-Roper Loves the New 'Sodomite Rainbow House' Across the Street from Westboro Baptist: VIDEO

Rainbow

Yesterday I posted about the new 'Equality House' painted up right across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.

Aaron_jacksonShirley Phelps-Roper loves it:

“I love it,” she said. “What he does is he keeps the eyes of the whole earth on this message. Now everyday all people are thinking about is God will not have same sex marriage.”

The church even put out a statement.

"We thank God for the Sodomite Rainbow House. It is right across the street from the ONLY church that loves people enough to tell them the Bible truth about the filthy, soul-damning, nation-destroying sin of sodomy...The Sodomite Rainbow house helps shing a bright spotlight on this!"

Watch CNN's Jeanne Moos interview the house's new owner, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Shirley Phelps-Roper Loves the New 'Sodomite Rainbow House' Across the Street from Westboro Baptist: VIDEO" »


Kansas Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Lesbian Mother's Rights

In what is being called a groundbreaking decision, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the nonbiological mother of two children who was in a long-term lesbian relationship can have the same parental rights as the biological mother. 

Kansas_scThe case involves Kelly Goudschaal (who carried the children after undergoing artificial insemination) and her former partner, Marci Frazier. The Kansas City Star reports:

The couple had signed a co-parenting agreement that stated Frazier’s “relationship with the children should be protected and promoted,” and that they intended “to jointly and equally share parental responsibility.” After they separated, Goudschaal began limiting Frazier’s visitations and moved with the children to Texas.

Frazier filed a legal action seeking to have the parenting agreement enforced. After a trial, Johnson County District Judge Kevin Moriarty found that joint custody was “in the best interests of the children.”

Goudschaal was granted residential custody. Frazier was ordered to pay monthly child support and was granted “reasonable parenting time.”

As for the court's decision:

The Supreme Court said in Friday’s decision: “We have declared that the public policy in Kansas requires our courts to act in the best interests of the children when determining the legal obligations to be imposed and the rights to be conferred in the mother and child relationship.”

The court said that “what Goudschaal really wants is to renege on the co-parenting agreement without regard to the rights of or harm to the children, all in the name of constitutionally protected parental rights. “Surely, her constitutional rights do not stretch that far.”

Not enforcing the parenting agreement would deny the children the opportunity to have two parents as children in a traditional marriage would have, according to the court.

“The agreement is not injurious to the public because it provides the children with the resources of two persons, rather than leaving them as the fatherless children of an artificially inseminated mother,” the court ruled.


Kansas Presses Sperm Donor to Pay Child Support to Lesbian Couple

William Marotta, a Kansas sperm donor who answered an online ad placed by a lesbian couple three years ago, is now being pressed by the state to provide child support. The state says that despite the fact an agreement was signed waiving his rights, the man is responsible based on the fact that a doctor was not used for the insemination.

SpermThe AP reports:

Marotta, a 46-year-old Topeka resident, answered an online ad in 2009 from a local couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, who said they were seeking a sperm donor. After exchanging emails and meeting, the three signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility.

But instead of working with a doctor, Marotta agreed to drop off a container with his sperm at the couple's home and the women successfully handled the artificial insemination themselves. Schreiner become pregnant with a girl.

Late last year, after she and Bauer broke up, Schreiner received public assistance from the state to help care for the girl.

The state says Marotta is responsible for $6,000 that the child's biological mother received through public assistance and future child support.


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