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04/19/2007


Gay Minnesota Teen Gets Death Threat After Coming Out on Facebook: VIDEO

Eichenauer

A police investigation is underway in Circle Pines, Minnesota after Ryan Eichenauer, a gay student at Centennial High School who recently came out of the closet, received an anonymous death threat in his English class, KMSP reports:

"I know there are going to be people in life who don't agree with it. But that's who I am," he said.

Eichenauer says that within weeks of coming out he had two threatening anonymous letters placed on his desk in two separate classrooms, the latest one on Tuesday:

Not only does the note attack his sexuality, but it says "I can't wait for the day that I get to walk over your grave and if you don't put yourself there, I will be glad to. Just do us all a favor and do it soon. Kill yourself already."

Letter

More of the letter:

"Ryan, I see there are many others who also want you dead. Good. And it's not just the two of us who have decided to speak up. It's everyone. […] like you don't deserve to live in this world. Innocent people die every day, but the scum of the earth like you gets to live? […] that. That is about to change. No one likes the fact that you are alive. No one likes the way you show your sexuality. You are a […] sinner. Someone should do something about it…I will. I am not a coward. I protect the house of god from […] like you."

Eichenauer says he's definitely afraid:

"A little scared, I feel safe in my school. Right now, mostly uncomfortable....The first threat I cried a lot. A lot of tears and emotions. Even though that was less threatening. Then this one came along. Is this what I am going to get forever, from now on?"

Watch KMSP's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Minnesota Teen Gets Death Threat After Coming Out on Facebook: VIDEO" »


Minnesota Lawmakers Who Took Risks to Support Marriage Equality 'Hauled in Cash' Last Year

Minnesota lawmakers who took risks and voted in favor of marriage equality made bank last year, the Star Tribune reports:

GarofaloThe House members whose 2013 votes were contrary to most in their party or their districts brought in double, triple or even quadruple the cash they raised in 2011, according to a Star Tribune analysis.

While many members of the House brought in more cash in 2013 than they did in 2011, the legislators who are expected to be targeted this year because of their same-sex marriage support stand out.

The hefty campaign coffers may prove particularly helpful if they face strong challengers or voter backlash.

The paper adds:

Thirteen legislators who voted for same-sex marriage in districts where the voters did not approve it, or in Republican districts, brought in 2  ½ times as much in 2013 as they did in 2011. When comparing all House members’ 2011 hauls with their 2013 hauls, those numbers merely doubled.

Rep. Pat Garofalo (pictured), a Farmington Republican who voted to legalize same-sex marriage, took in nearly $54,000 last year, among the most in the GOP caucus and four times what he raised in 2011.


Chris Kluwe Identifies Witnesses in Homophobia Claims Against Vikings Official

Back in January Chris Kluwe wrote a piece on Deadspin accusing the Vikings organization of releasing him for his anti-gay activism and said that he was fired by special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer, a "bigot", who said, very serious, in front of other teammates, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

KluweKluwe's accusations prompted an investigation and the former punter and his lawer Clayton Halunen spoke for five hours with investigators on Friday and named two players said to be witnesses to Priefer's remarks, Pioneer Press reports:

In a five-hour meeting Friday with investigators, Halunen said Kluwe identified [kicker Blair] Walsh and long snapper Cullen Loeffler as witnesses to Priefer allegedly making homophobic comments numerous times during the 2012 season in meetings with the punter, kicker and long snapper, and that Pico was told about it after the fact. Halunen noted that Kluwe told investigators he is willing to take a polygraph test.

Walsh issued a statement through the Vikings on Jan. 2 in defense of Priefer. But Halunen said Kluwe retained text messages in which Walsh referenced what Priefer allegedly said, including a text related to Priefer allegedly saying, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

"If Walsh is going to lie, this will all be exposed, I'm confident,'' Halunen said. "If Walsh is going to lie, that's his choice. But at the end of the day, we believe this is going to come out. We have evidence. So he made that choice, I guess.''

PrieferWalsh did not specifically say Priefer (right) did not make the remarks but testified to his "integrity and character" in his statement, according to the paper.

Halunen "believes the Vikings will end up contending that what Priefer said was a joke" and Kluwe will likely sue if Walsh Loeffler, and director of player personnel Les Pico lie during the investigation:

Halunen said if Walsh, Loeffler and Pico deny during the investigation having knowledge of Priefer's alleged homophobic remarks, Kluwe would consider legal action due to his client wanting to protect his integrity. Halunen said the three then would be under oath, unlike during the investigation.


Minnesota Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors: VIDEO

Allen

Minnesota Representative Susan Allen (DFL-Minneapolis) has introduced legislation to ban gay conversion therapy for minors, Patch reports:

“If you look at over the period of the last five years, they’ve sort of changed the way they advertise their services,” Allen told Capitol Report host Julie Bartkey. “It’s not as obvious anymore that some of the Christian, sort of, based mental health services that offer this type of therapy. It’s just sort of given that it’s part of their family therapy. So it is prevalent, and it is a nationwide problem.”

Minnesota’s best known conversion therapy practitioner is Marcus Bachmann, the husband of 6th District Congresswoman Rep. Michele Bachmann. In 2011, Marcus Bachmann acknowledged that therapists in his Christian counseling business will offer conversion therapy to those who want it—although he said the practice, which was renamed Counseling Care in December, is not focused on converting gays to heterosexuality.

Said Allen: “It’s a practice that’s been discredited. There’s 40 years of research.”

Watch Allen talk about it on Capitol Report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Similar bills have been introduced in New York and Maryland, and passed in New Jersey and California.

Continue reading "Minnesota Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors: VIDEO" »


Polar Vortex Brings with it a Massive Snow Shark: VIDEO

Snowshark

Three Minnesota teens set out to create something spectacular in the town of New Brighton, and the result is monstrous. Braving the frigid, negative-degree temperatures and mounds of snow, Austin, Connor, and Trevor Bartz spent 95 hours making a 10-foot tall snow shark, swimming its way through the boys' front yard. According to Business Insider the brothers previously crafted both a gigantic pufferfish and a large walrus out of snow, but neither compares to the size of the shark. 

Check out great videos of the brothers' progress and their finished product, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Chris Kluwe Joins Anderson Cooper and Chris Hayes to Discuss Vikings Homophobia Claims: VIDEO

Kluwe_anderson

Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe joined CNN's Anderson Cooper and MSNBC's Chris Hayes last night to discuss claims he made last week regarding homophobia at the Minnesota Vikings organization and objections to his gay rights advocacy which eventually led to him being released from the team.

"I made sure that I had witnesses because that's a very easy defamation of character case and it would be pretty easy for him to prevail in a court of law...I am 100% confident in everything I related is how it happened and really encouraged by the fact that the Vikings are taking it seriously and opening an investigation because I think once they talk with people they'll find out what happened."

Anderson noted that the investigation does not have subpoena power so it's up to players to cooperate and asks Kluwe if he thinks players will come forward.

"I'm confident because it's the right thing to do. One thing that I'm going to push for is there must be anonymity for these witnesses because being black-balled in the NFL is a very real possibility and this is not something I'm going to force my friends to submit to..."

Said Kluwe to Hayes about the possibility of an openly gay player coming out sometime soon:

"This doesn't just happen to me. This happens to millions of people across the country. But things are getting better. Progress is being made. At the same time, we can't just be content with the progress that's been made. We have to strive for more progress so that when that player does come out they know that they have support..."

Watch both clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Kluwe_hayes

Continue reading "Chris Kluwe Joins Anderson Cooper and Chris Hayes to Discuss Vikings Homophobia Claims: VIDEO" »


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