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NBA to Donate Proceeds from Jason Collins Jerseys to LGBT Groups

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The NBA will donate proceeds from sales of Jason Collins jerseys to LGBT causes, specifically GLSEN and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the Guardian reports:

The league said on Friday that donations would total no less than $100,000, and it will also auction off Collins’s autographed, game-worn jerseys to benefit the same organisations.

Collins says he is thrilled to help the organisations that “work tirelessly to ensure LGBT youth get the resources and assistance they need to be successful in life”.


Jason Collins, Who Wears '98' in Tribute to Matthew Shepard, Met His Parents Last Night: PHOTO

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Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, who wears '98' as a tribute to Matthew Shepard who was brutally murdered that year, met Shepard's parents and brother Logan for the first time last night after they drove four hours from their home in Casper, Wyoming to see him in Denver. He presented them with a jersey.

Said Collins before the meeting:

“I was in college at the time when [Matthew] was killed. Of course it’s a tragedy what happened and I just hope it inspires others to come forward. It’s definitely going to be special meeting them after the game (Thursday) and I’m looking forward to it."

Collins' jersey has been selling in record numbers since it went on the NBA's website earlier this week.

The NY Daily News adds:

Asked if he thought the popularity of the jersey could be seen as a symbol of support for those uncomfortable about revealing their sexuality, Collins said, “That’s something for you guys to speculate on. But I’m always encouraging others to live their life and speak up and come forward if you want to, and know that if you do there’s a lot of people waiting to support you.”

Tweeted Collins, with the above photo: "I'm so fortunate to have met Matthew Shepard's parents and brother tonight after @BrooklynNets win tonight in Denver"

An interview with Collins, and Shepard, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jason Collins, Who Wears '98' in Tribute to Matthew Shepard, Met His Parents Last Night: PHOTO" »


AFA's Sandy Rios Calls Matthew Shepard's Murder a 'Complete Fraud': VIDEO

Rios

American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios took the podium at the Values Voters Summit over the weekend to toot about how Christian conservatives are being threatened in America, citing a letter from the Southern Poverty Law Center and other civil rights groups urging Republicans to stay away from the Summit, Right Wing Watch reports.

She also took the opportunity, on the anniversary of Matthew Shepard's murder to tell those assembled that it was a "complete fraud", citing claims in a recent book by wingnut Stephen Jimenez that Shepard's death was the result of "a drug deal gone bad".

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Matthew Shepard Foundation has blasted the Jimenez book, saying "Attempts now to rewrite the story of this hate crime appear to be based on untrustworthy sources, factual errors, rumors and innuendo rather than the actual evidence gathered by law enforcement and presented in a court of law."

Continue reading "AFA's Sandy Rios Calls Matthew Shepard's Murder a 'Complete Fraud': VIDEO" »


Family And Friends Reflect On The Life And Legacy Of Matthew Shepard In New Documentary: VIDEO

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For those unaware, tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's tragic passing. To mark the milestone, a new documentary film titled Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine has been released, which tells the story of the Wyoming young man through the personal lens of family and friends. We previously reported on the documentary back in 2011 when it was still getting funding.

Check out the powerful trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

To find out more about the film and showtimes, visit the website HERE.

Continue reading "Family And Friends Reflect On The Life And Legacy Of Matthew Shepard In New Documentary: VIDEO" »


National Cathedral Dean: Homophobia is a Sin

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 4.23.51 PMAs part of a weekend honoring LGBT young people at the Washington National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall (pictured right) spoke out against homophobia and heterosexism, denouncing both as 'sin.' The Huffington Post reports:

"We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin," said Dean Hall. He continued, "Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are."

He criticized the role that some churches have in advancing oppression of LGBT youth, saying, "It's more than tragic - in fact it's shameful - that faith communities, especially Christian ones, continue to be complicit in putting out children at risk and abetting the attitudes that oppress them, thereby encouraging the aggressors who would subject our children to pain, humiliation, and violence."

Hall's sermon marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard and the third anniversary of the suicide of Tyler Clementi. Both Judy Shepard and Jane Clementi were at the Sunday service to honor their sons' lives. 

Back in January, Rev. Hall announced the prominent Episcopal cathedral would begin celebrating same-sex marriages.

(photo via National Cathedral


Brendon Ayanbadejo Pens Open Letter to Ole Miss on LGBT Inclusivity Following Heckling Incident

Brendon AyanbadejoIn an open letter posted on Fox Sports today, Brendon Ayanbadejo offered to help the University of Mississippi's educational outreach on LGBT inclusivity following reports earlier this week of a mass heckling of a student production of 'The Laramie Project,' the Moises Kaufman play about the Matthew Shepard murder. Approximately 20 Ole Miss football players were involved in the heckling incident, with reports of some calling cast members 'fags.'

Says Ayanbadejo, in part:

The alleged behavior of Ole Miss football players along with freshmen from other sports and students attending the play to fulfill some underclassmen requirements is abhorrent and unacceptable.

I blame the administration as much as I blame the athletes. This is a graphic play and a graphic production. People need to have an idea of what they are getting themselves into.

In no way do I condone this behavior but you need to have a conversation with these athletes when they set foot on any campus as to what is expected from them as representatives of the university.

This is why the work of Athlete Ally and groups like the Gay Straight Alliance, which serves as a bridge for gay and straight students in high school to form an alliance of inclusivity and nondiscriminatory behavior is so important.

Unfortunately everyone was not raised with the morality and values to treat all people equally.

A representative of the Ole Miss athletes allegedly apologized - after being prompted by a member of the school's academic staff - but many didn't quite understand what they were apologizing for. [...]

So before Ole Miss is quick to hand down punishment I would like to see them take a more holistic and proactive approach in educating students and student athletes alike. All you have to do is reach out and I will be happy to discuss how I can help you take the next step."

You can read the full letter HERE

(photo via Instagram)


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