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Canadian School Under Fire for Hiding Student Mural of 2 Boys Kissing After Complaints Surface

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Students at Onoway Jr/Sr High School in Edmonton, Alberta are pushing back against an administrative decision to cover up one student's mural depicting two boys kissing, CBC reports:

"At the time we should have put more thought into the bigger picture," said principal James Trodden.

"There are a bunch of issues … What is appropriate? Should it be in a school, should you allow kissing?" he asked.

"Should you allow same sex couples to have a picture of kissing?"

The mural was hidden from view with a bulletin board, but students angry with the censorship removed the board Thursday. The mural is uncovered for now and the principal has said he hasn't yet decided if it will stay up when classes resume Monday. 

On Friday, a Facebook group entitled "Petition for OHS painting" was created to help build support for 16-year-old Kaela Wilton's mural. 

CTV News reports:

WiltonWilton told CTV Edmonton that when she pitched the concept a few weeks ago, her art teacher and principal gave their approval. Her painting, which features two men embracing and exchanging a kiss, was inspired by her desire to deliver a positive message about gay rights.

"I wanted to do something controversial," she said.

"Gay rights are something I've always felt strongly about," she added.

The school has a long tradition of allowing art students to empress themselves on school walls.

Wilton is in the process of creating a cover up for the mural in case it is censored permanently. She added:

"I want the comfortable to feel uncomfortable and the uncomfortable to feel comfortable."

Watch a CTV report on the story here


Lesbians Ordered to Leave Vienna Cafe After Kissing

Café Pruckel vienna Austria

A lesbian couple was ordered to leave a cafe in Vienna, Austria last week after they shared a kiss which was deemed appropriate “in a brothel,” reports Pink News.

The couple, Eva Prewein and Anastasia Lopez, were told to leave Café Prückel after a waiter refused to serve them.

When they complained to the manager, they were told that kissing belongs “in a brothel and not in a traditional coffee house."

Around 2,000 people have indicated they intend to take part in a kiss-in protest planned at the cafe this coming Friday.

Café Prückel claims to "offer everything a Viennese coffee house has made world famous" - excluding a welcome for LGBT customers it would appear.

In June of last year, Austria's first openly gay politician, Ulrike Lunacek, was attacked with acid at Vienna's Rainbow Parade.


Michael Sam on Whether His 'Cake Kiss' Was Staged and If He Thinks Homophobia Is Why He's Not In the NFL: VIDEO

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Sitting down with Oprah for an interview that aired on OWN last night, Michael Sam was asked about the infamous "cake kiss" he shared with boyfriend Vito Cammisano that aired on ESPN after Sam was drafted to the St. Louis Rams late in the seventh round of the NFL draft. 

Oprah asked Sam whether the kiss was staged for the cameras, as well as whether he thought the kiss itself was "too much" for America and the NFL to handle

In a separate clip, Oprah asked Sam if he thinks he isn't in the NFL now because he "wasn't good enough to play" or because he's gay.

Find out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Did you watch the interview and documentary? What did you think?

Continue reading "Michael Sam on Whether His 'Cake Kiss' Was Staged and If He Thinks Homophobia Is Why He's Not In the NFL: VIDEO" »


UK Soccer Player Gets Yellow Card for Kissing Opponent: VIDEO

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Hoping to "defuse the situation" before it escalated further, Bristol Rovers midfielder Lee Mansell planted a kiss on the lips of opposing player J.J. O'Donnell during a confrontation last Friday.

Mansell was given a yellow card by the ref and by the looks of things O'Donnell probably didn't give him his number after the game. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via BBC]

Continue reading "UK Soccer Player Gets Yellow Card for Kissing Opponent: VIDEO" »


Jessie Ware's 'You & I (Forever)' Video Features a Few Tender Gay Kisses Amid a Sea of Love: WATCH

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British singer-songwriter Jessie Ware takes a photo booth as inspiration for the video for her latest single "You & I (Forever)". The blissful clip features friends of Ware as well as her husband Sam Burrows.

Also taking a turn in the booth is Miguel, who co-wrote the track with Ware and Benzel.

Says Ware's label of the video:

"In celebration of the themes of love and life-long companionship in the song, Jessie made an open invitation to family, friends and fans to feature in the video for the new single. People were asked to come down to the shoot in a photobooth, whether that was with friends, lovers, married couples, family, siblings – all were invited to be on film. The results are a touching montage of a moment captured in time to the backdrop of You & I (Forever)'s heartwarming message."

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Jessie Ware's 'You & I (Forever)' Video Features a Few Tender Gay Kisses Amid a Sea of Love: WATCH" »


Study Finds Straight People - And Even Many Gays - Are Still Alarmingly Uncomfortable With Same-Sex PDA

Becker.John

Some gay activists have long espoused a theory that the so-called "ick factor" — straight people's aversion to the idea of same-sex intimacy, especially involving men — is a fundamental obstacle to full equality. It helps explain the strategy behind historical gay kiss-in protests — or, more recently, same-sex couples posting photos of themselves kissing (above) on the Facebook page of anti-gay reality stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

But now a scientific study gives credence to the "ick factor" theory and, in doing so, could even help chart a course for the LGBT movement post-marriage equality.

The study, authored by Indiana University researcher Logan Doan and published in The American Sociological Review, surveyed more than 1,000 people and found that while 70 percent of heterosexuals support things like inheritance rights for same-sex couples, only 55 percent approve of gay men kissing on the cheek in public, according to Al Jazeera America. That's compared to 95 percent who approve of straight couples kissing on the cheek in public.

What's more, over 20 percent of heterosexual respondents said they disapprove of gay men talking about their relationships.

Even gay male respondents were less approving of gay PDAs than straight PDAs — perhaps, Doan says, due to internalized stigma and an inherent fear of hate crimes. And not surprisingly, heterosexual respondents were far more approving of lesbian PDAs, at a rate of 72 percent.

But approval of gay male PDAs was similar to support for same-sex marriage (53 percent), which many Americans view as a social construct separate from equal legal rights. And while marriage equality can be achieved in the courts, it seems a significant percentage of straight Americans still won't approve of same-sex relationships on a moral level.

From Al Jazeera America:

“We had civil rights laws long before we had positive attitudes toward ethnic minorities,” Doan said, adding that Americans support rights because they see themselves as egalitarian, regardless of their personal views on homosexuality.

“The more informal, subtle types of prejudice linger much longer, because that actually requires people to change their views,” he said. ...

The survey may offer clues to gay rights activists on the direction of the movement going forward, Doan said. “It would be great to take a more comprehensive approach.”

“There’s this informal type of prejudice that has primarily been neglected. There’s a push for more positive portrayals in the media, but the bulk of what people think of when they think of the gay rights movement is marriage,” he said.

Of course, we all know marriage equality isn't going to stop gay youth from being rejected by their families, or LGBT people from being fired by their employers — much of which correllates to the "ick factor."

But the solution isn't just more same-sex PDAs or gay sex on TV. It's for gay people to be not only out, but also open about their relationships.

Before we can do that, though — as the study's finding of lower approval for same-sex PDAs among gays would suggest — we'll first need to fully accept ourselves.


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