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04/19/2007


Terminally-Ill Man and His Partner Fly to Maryland to Marry on the Airport Tarmac: VIDEO

Arthur

John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, together for 20 years, decided that they wanted to marry after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, but Ohio bans gay marriage and travel is difficult. "Arthur is bedridden with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive neurological disease that robs patients of their ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe," Cincinnati.com reports, so conventional travel was out of the question.

CrossroadsDonations poured in that would cover the cost of a $12,700 private plane charter, Cincinnati.com adds:

Obergefell flew to Baltimore on Tuesday, obtained the marriage license and flew back a few hours later.

And then on Thursday Arthur and Obergefell boarded a Lear jet at Lunken Airport with a nurse, two pilots trained in emergency medicine, and Arthur’s aunt, Paulette Roberts, who’d been ordained to perform weddings with the hope that she’d someday get to do theirs.

They touched down in Baltimore at 10:39 a.m. The plane parked off the runway and the pilots stepped outside.

And then, in the cramped cabin of the jet, Obergefell seated next to Arthur’s stretcher, the couple turned to each other and held hands. Roberts sat behind them and began to speak.

Watch the beautiful story (warning: autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Baltimore-Area Police Chief Accused of Calling Officer a 'Fag' and a 'Rump Ranger': VIDEO

Larry Tolliver, the police chief of Anne Arundel County, has been accused of making homophobic slurs against an officer who testified in a corruption trial against former County Executive John Leopold. Tolliver allegedly called the officer a "fag" and a "rump ranger" and reassigned him and two others as retribution for their testimony.

TolliverTolliver is denying the charges, the Capital Gazette reports:

He said allegations he reassigned officers who had testified against former County Executive John R. Leopold are false. Tolliver did, however, admit to using off-color language about homosexuals, though he said he didn’t recall using it at the workplace. The allegations surfaced in a letter dated Monday from County Councilman Jamie Benoit, D-Crownsville, to County Executive Laura Neuman.

Benoit alleged Tolliver reassigned three officers from the department’s Intelligence Division to the Southern and Western Districts and relieved the major who oversaw the unit as “retribution against the very officers that led to the removal of the most corrupt elected official in our county’s history.”

Another officer left the unit voluntarily before he could be reassigned, Benoit wrote.

Benoit said one of the officers, a 20-year-veteran of the police department, filed a complaint against the police chief for making anti-gay slurs.

Benoit wrote that in the complaint against Tolliver, the police chief is alleged to have told the officer, “I didn’t know you that you were a fag” after looking at a picture of him.

Tolliver also reportedly called the officer a "rump ranger", according to WJZ.

Chief Tolliver refused to answer questions on camera but said in a statement, “I in no way, shape or form am homophobic. I don’t encourage any negative attitudes or feelings towards homosexuality and don’t question anyone about their sexuality…I fully support a culture of diversity in the agency and it is something I have worked very hard towards, specifically in our recruiting efforts.”

Watch a report from WJZ Baltimore, AFTER THE JUMP...

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News: NOM, Mark Twain, Google, Toni Braxton

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d NOM colleague Robert Gagnon compares gay-straight alliances to the KKK and skinheads.

Mark-twain-shirtless-2-e13612533887216a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d An authentic shirtless photo of a furry Mark Twain from the 1880s has made its way onto the Internet.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d One of two gay bashers in Kentucky apologizes to the victim two years after the attack: "I'm asking on your behalf if you'll have mercy on me."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Kanye Kardashian and Kim Kardashian announce they're having a baby girl.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Study says it explains the strong bond between many gay men and straight women: "...close friendships between straight women and gay men may be characterized by a unique exchange of unbiased mating-relevant information that may not be available in their other relationships." 

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Police car among property vandalized with swastkias and anti-gay graffiti in Bethesda, Maryland.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Booed gay soldier Stephen Snyder-Hill will work with FreedomOhio to be lead advocate for marriage equality in Ohio.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Goodbye, Jermaine Jackson. Hello Jermaine Jacksun.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Mgid-uma-video-mtv.com-507964Toni Braxton wants a specific film role: “I would like to play a lesbian … and do a whole make-out scene and the whole thing, just something completely different than people would expect from me. Not a lipstick lesbian, either.”

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Six actors who have taken home both Oscars and Razzies.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Google vs. Apple - the former might be in the lead: "Google has successfully positioned itself as the one company poised to take advantage of the next wave of technological progress."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Michelle Obama dances up a storm on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Are Republicans dropping their opposition to gay marriage? "The Republican Party may not be there yet, but...supporting gay marriage is the future of the GOP."


'Ex-Gay' Therapy Video Approved by State Regulators and Shown to Maryland Students is Pulled

Acception

Students taking seventh grade health classes in the Prince George's County Public Schools system were shown a video espousing "ex-gay" therapy as a viable option for students who are LGBT and bullied, Washington City Paper reports:

Betsy Gallun worked as the supervisor for health education in Prince George's County Public Schools until she retired last year, and she thinks information about gay-to-straight therapy should be available to Prince George's County students. "I feel very badly that it's coming under scrutiny, to be honest with you," says Gallun...

...Six health classes have shown "Acception" since last fall, according to PGCPS spokesman Briant K. Coleman—and more were expected to use it this year, says Doyle.

State education regulators also approved the video, according to Coleman. But on Wednesday, PGCPS pulled the video pending further review, only to terminate the program permanently later that day.

AcceptionstillGallun was introduced to the 21-minute anti-bullying video (stills from it above, and right) "Acception" by "ex-gay" quack Richard Cohen:

[The video] at first appears to promote the acceptance of gay children. In the video, four students are assigned a project on homophobic bullying, with the group splitting up to study the issues of bullying and the origins of homosexuality. Two of the students encounter a cavemen parable about the origins of bullying, but the teens researching same-sex attraction soon find themselves in a different kind of scientifically dicey territory. While the video initially explores gay teenagers being bullied and a young man coming out to his parents, it soon features a student talking about how his once-lesbian cousin used therapy to become attracted to men. Then, the students in the video "watch" an interview with a gay-to-straight therapist.

"If someone wants to live a gay life, I respect that, and if someone wants to change from gay to straight and choose a different path, I respect that too," says the character, played by an actress. The success of "reparative therapy" is touted elsewhere in the video: In a portion of the video you can watch on YouTube, a woman who once felt attracted to other women says that growing closer to her mother and female friends—a trope of sexual orientation-switching theory—helped her become attracted to men. Discussion questions provided to teachers using "Acception" feature scenarios in which sexual orientation is changed through therapy.

Watch a trailer for the video (which does not show the part where it veers into ex-gay therapy) and a clip from it, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via anthoony catalino)

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Boy Scouts Successfully Bully Troop Into Dropping Non-Discrimination Policy

BoyScoutsHQ

Maryland-based Boy Scout Troop 442 defied the national leadership's anti-gay culture by posting a non-discrimination policy on their website last week. The national Boy Scouts of America responded by threatening to pull their charter, and, sadly, the threat did the trick: Troop 442 had no choice but to remove its inclusive notice, but vowed on its site to keep welcoming all families.

Here's a screenshot of Troop 442's notice announcing the reversal:

442notice

The Boy Scouts of America's bigwigs sure know how to bully the little guy.


Boy Scouts Threaten to Cut Off Maryland Troop for Posting Non-Discrimination Policy Supporting Gays

Pack442logo

The Boy Scouts of America are threatening a local Maryland troop, Pack 442, after the troop posted a Non-Discrimination Policy on its website reading "Pack 442 WILL NOT discriminate,against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin, ability, or sexual orientation."

NondiscriminationMother Jones reports:

In September, the families of Pack 442, which is based in Cloverly, Maryland (a small town less than 20 miles from the nation's capital), anonymously voted and overwhelmingly approved to adopt a non-discrimination statement. According to Theresa Phillips, committee chair of Pack 442, the pack wanted Boy Scouts of America to know "we will not stand for the discrimination of homosexual minors or adults whatsoever."

Not long after the statement was posted, the National Capital Area Council (NCAC), one of the bigger local councils of the Boy Scouts of America, asked the pack to strike it from the website. "At first they [said] they would "allow" us to leave it up based on our right to freedom of speech. Now they are doing a 180 and basically asking us to either conform to BSA's discriminatory policy or get out," says Phillips.

The BSA has given the pack until tomorrow to remove the message or lose recognition from the BSA, which means losing access to member insurance, rank badges, and scout camps.

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick told Mother Jones:

"To think that the Boy Scouts would rather cast out elementary school children than accept a parent-approved policy allowing gay children and parents to participate is just unconscionable. How many young Scouts is the BSA willing to sacrifice in order to preserve its harmful and discriminatory policies? This despicable act of bullying and intimidation is yet another reminder that the BSA is out of touch with its members and the American public at large."


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