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New Minnesota Policy Allows Trans Students To Compete On Sports Teams 

Minnesota has become the 33rd state to adopt a formal transgender student policy after the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) last week voted to accept a policy that will allow transgender students to join sports teams that correspond with their gender identity, reports the Guardian.

The new policy creates a protocol to determine if someone who identifies as female but was born male can compete on female school sports teams.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c7152718970b-800wiIn opposition to the policy, anti-gay Minnesota Child Protection League published a transphobic ad in several newspapers which read:

"THE END OF GIRLS' SPORTS? Her dreams of a scholarship shattered, your 14-year-old daughter just lost her position on an all-girl team to a male ... and now she may have to shower with him. Are you willing to let that happen?"

The same group sponsored another ad in October which asked "A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?"

Anti-gay activist group the Minnesota Family Council had proposed a bylaw change stipulating that a student’s sex at birth be used to determine eligibility. However, the proposal wasn’t considered.

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07ba2ec6970d-800wiWhile MSHLS executive director Dave Stead acknowledged that support for the policy wasn’t unanimous among the league’s member schools, he added:

“I’ve heard from a limited number of schools that say, ‘I don’t like the idea,’ and then once we’ve talked about it they said, ‘I still don’t like the idea, but I’m supportive of the initiative of trying to give us direction.’

“There was nothing that was done today that would prevent a school from being a member of the High School League. Not one scintilla.”

Elliot Kunerth, a 17-year-old transgender male, said:

“The passing of this will change the lives of so many transgender people who are going through hell. With the passing of this, I hope it will erase the ignorance and help people understand that trans kids are just looking for equal opportunities."

In a statement, Democratic Representative Keith Ellison rebuked those in opposition to the law:

“Too often when trans kids speak out, they’re told that they’re sick, or joking, or just plain wrong. Many of the people who opposed the MSHSL’s policy suggested that trans students might threaten other students’ safety. These depictions are bigoted and do not protect our students.”

To establish eligibility under the new ruling, students will have to produce written statements from their parents or guardians and health professionals affirming their gender identity. School activities directors will make the final decision on each application. Private schools with religious affiliations are exempt from the policy, which will take effect in the 2015-2016 school year.


MLB Player Torii Hunter Calls Reporter a 'Prick' for Asking About His Opposition to Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Hunter

The Minnesota Twins held a press conference on Wednesday to officially announce that they had signed MLB veteran Torii Hunter.

Earlier this year, Hunter recorded a radio ad for Arkansas governor-elect Asa Hutchinson in which he trumpeted Hutchinson's bigotry as a selling points to voters.

Said Hunter in the ad: "Asa is committed to the principles we hold dear, like a strong faith in God, equal justice for all, and keeping marriage between one man and one woman."

A Pioneer Press reporter at the Twins press conference on Wednesday decided to bring it up, asking Hunter if he felt that the controversy over his views had impacted his free agent process as his contract with the Twins was a 19-percent decrease over his last contract.

Hunter said "no" but the reporter, Mike Berardino, brought it up again.

"The marriage question, is that the kind of thing that going forward that you're not going to mess with, or are you just such an open honest guy that if we asked you a question, you're going to answer it."

Hunter responded, "Nah, there's nothing to talk about. You already know. There's nothing to talk about. You already know, so why keep talking about it? I said it. It is what it is."

Hunter then called out the reporter, saying, "Hey, Mike is kind of a prick man. No, seriously. You're a prick, man. I don't even know you. You're a prick. Seriously. Ain't nothing wrong with that, man, that's your job. He's definitely a prick, though."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Hunter has said in the past that the idea of playing with an openly gay athlete made him "uncomfortable", "as a Christian."

Continue reading "MLB Player Torii Hunter Calls Reporter a 'Prick' for Asking About His Opposition to Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


Minnesota Newspapers Publish Misleading, Transphobic Ads From Anti-LGBT Hate Group

STad

Minnesota's largest daily newspaper is doubling down on its decision to publish misleading, fear-mongering, transphobic ads opposing a policy that would allow high school students to participate in athletics according to their gender identity.

But The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis isn't alone. Also publishing the latest ad from the anti-LGBT Minnesota Child Protection League on Sunday were The St. Cloud Times and The Duluth News Tribune, according to Media Matters

The ad states:

"THE END OF GIRLS' SPORTS? Her dreams of a scholarship shattered, your 14-year-old daughter just lost her position on an all-girl team to a male ... and now she may have to shower with him. Are you willing to let that happen?"

The ad calls on people to contact Minnesota State High School League board members, who are set to consider the policy Thursday. 

Back in September, LGBT advocates slammed The Star Tribune for publishing a similar ad from the Minnesota Child Protection League opposing the policy, which was originally set to be voted on in October: 

Stad2

According to the LGBT Sports Coalition, 15 states have adopted policies similar to the one proposed in Minnesota, with no reported problems related to trans athletic participation:  

"By running the ad again, the Star Tribune has once again contributed to a negative stereotype at the same time as it has potentially put trans youth in danger by fostering a demonstrably untrue accusation. Editorial decisions matter. Research has shown that LGBT teens and young adults are at greater risk for depression and bullying, and that bullying is a contributing factor in many suicides. By accepting and publishing this kind of advertisement, the Star Tribune has empowered the untrue expectation that one minority group -- transgender children, no less -- are a threat to their classmates.

"Worse yet, the Star Tribune already knew that the content of the ad was deliberately misinformative about trans youth while advocating discrimination, because editors at the Star Tribune have already discussed the first ad (run by the same local hate group in September) with local and national LGBT organizations after they ran the first ad in September. The Star Tribune already knew that the content of the new ad also misrepresented trans lives and endangered trans youth -- and elected to run it again anyway."

The Star Tribune is also taking heat on Twitter, including from NBC Sports writer Aaron Gleeman: 

Representatives from The Star Tribune, which editorialized in favor of the trans-inclusive policy in October, haven't commented on the latest ad. In September, the newspaper's vice president of marketing and public relations told Minneapolis City Pages: "The ad in question met all the requirements of our ad policy. Not much I can tell you about it beyond that."

But it appears that for many, that explanation isn't cutting it. While the advertising director of The Duluth News Tribune told Media Matters it's a question of free speech, some are calling on subscribers to make their own statement: 


Minnesota Man Receives Six Month Jail Sentence After Shooting Gay Couple With BB Gun

OdegardA Minnesota man, Wayne Steven Odegard, who harassed patrons and shot a gay couple with a CO2 powered BB gun outside of a Minneapolis gay club in September was sentenced on Thursday to spend six months in Hennepin County adult detention center reports LGBTQ Nation. The court also ordered Odegard to undergo chemical dependency and psychological evaluations and attend anger management classes. Due to the factor that his crime was based on the sexual orientation of his victims, the court raised his probation period from three years to five years.

The attack occurred on Sept. 25 when Odegard approached the Saloon bar on Hennepin Avenue and started harassing patrons standing outside, hurling gay expletives and making disparaging remarks toward the crowd and a gay couple holding hands. Shortly after his remarks, Odegard pulled out the BB gun and began shooting into the crowd of patrons. Tyler Erickson, a security guard for Saloon, witnessed the entire altercation and pursued Odegard as he fled the scene.

EricksonSaid Erickson:

"I ran after him and then it ended up he shot a different gay couple in the leg, with that gun and it went through his jeans and drew blood.

"He told me multiple times that I’m going to go to hell and he’s going to bring me with him. He recited a biblical passage — I think it’s a Deuteronomy passage."

Erickson caught Odegard and held him until police arrived, charged and arrested Odegard for making terroristic threats-Odegard plead guilty to the charges in October. No one was seriously injured in the attack; the man shot in the leg only suffered minor injuries.


Full-Page Advertisement In Minnesota Newspaper Paints Transgender Teens As Locker Room Predators: VIDEO

TransphobicMN

A full-page advertisement in Sunday's issue of the Minnesota Star Tribune had a deeply transphobic and infuriatingly close-minded message to put across to readers. Depicting two shower heads in a locker room, the ad asks: "A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?" The image is in reference to a policy to be discussed this week by the Minnesota State High School League which would allow transgender students to join sports teams based on their gender identity. 

Not only does the ad completely deny transgender students' gender identification (by referring to a person who identifies as female as "male"), it was also paid for by an entity titled the Minnesota Child Protection League, casting a sinister light on an already maligned minority group. 

My Fox 9 Twin Cities reports:

It remains unknown if any transgender athletes have been barred from sports in Minnesota, but the state's high school league believes it's only a matter of time. In fact, ever since Dr. Renee Richards decided to play women's tennis nearly 40 years ago, the sports world has wrestled with transgender issues. The International Olympic Committee and NCAA both have similar policies in place...

Those like Autumn Leva, of the Minnesota Family Council, say they share the concerns about locker rooms, privacy, and the "fundamental fairness" cited in the [Minnesota] draft.

"We segregate teams for a reason -- for safety reasons, for privacy reasons," she said. "Now, you have a biological male to female taking the place of a female student. That becomes really problematic."

Yet, the MSHSL says that's why they need a policy -- to be ahead of the ball for when schools encounter such a scenario. The draft aims to provide schools a framework for identifying trans athletes and guidelines for working with doctors who may be administering hormone therapy that would equalize the playing field.

Many Minnesotans were outraged by the transphobic advertisement. CityPages.com reported about several subscribers' tweets on the issue, including "Well that's the end of me buying the Star Tribune" and "Why did @StarTribune publishers amplify that hate?" The paper has reportedly stated that the advertisement "met all the requirements of [their] ad policy."

A disturbing story to say the least. We will keep our fingers crossed for a vote in favor of the policy this Thursday.

Check out news coverage of the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Full-Page Advertisement In Minnesota Newspaper Paints Transgender Teens As Locker Room Predators: VIDEO" »


Christian Shoots Gay Couple With BB Gun In Minneapolis Bar: VIDEO

Minneapolis

A gay couple visiting Minneapolis from Brooklyn and Philadelphia were targeted and shot with a BB gun by a homophobic Christian man in a popular local gay, KMSP-TV reports. The man, 43-year-old Wayne Steven Odegard, harassed customers at the Saloon, hurling expletives and making disparaging remarks “towards a couple that was holding hands”, a public display of affection that Odegard “obviously didn't appreciate": 

EricksonShortly after his expletives, Odegard's sheer disregard for the establishment, or humanity, then escalated. After yelling gay slurs, he allegedly pulled out a CO2 powered BB gun.

“I ran after him and then it ended up he shot a different gay couple in the leg, with that gun and it went through his jeans and drew blood,” [said Tyler Erickson (pictured right), a security guard at the Saloon.]

Before Odegard could run even 30 feet, Erickson nabbed him, arrested him and called police.

“He told me multiple times that I'm going to go to hell and he's going to bring me with him,” Erickson said. “He recited a biblical passage -- I think it's a deuteronomy passage.”

Being that they were from out of town, the couple "joked that they came to progressive Minneapolis and got shot for being gay,” according to Erickson. Though neither was seriously injured, Erickson pointed out, “Even if the guy was shot with the same CO2 powered bb gun in the face it would've gone right through his cheek." Odegard now faces second-degree assault and gun possession charges.

Watch a news report on the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Christian Shoots Gay Couple With BB Gun In Minneapolis Bar: VIDEO " »


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