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Steve Carell To Play NJ Gay Rights Activist In 'Freeheld' Alongside Ellen Page, Julianne Moore

SteveCarellThe long-gestating narrative film adaptation of Freeheld, originally an Oscar-winning short documentary from Cynthia Wade, has added a new star to its cast according to Entertainment Weekly. Steve Carell has now replaced Zach Galifianakis in the role of Steven Goldstein, founder of Garden State Equality and an important ally to protagonist Laurel Hester who attempted to amend New Jersey's domestic partnership act to provide pension benefits for her partner. 

The film also stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, who was attached prior to her public coming out.

Freeheld does not yet have a release date.


Seattle Man Confesses to Gay Couple's Murder As 'Vengeance' for U.S. Military Role in Middle East

Ali Muhammad Brown, who was arrested last month for the murders of two gay men in Seattle on June 1, has confessed - saying that he committed the murders as an act of revenge against U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. 

Brown also confessed to two other separate murders, according to the King County Porosecutor's Office.

BrownThe Los Angeles Times reports:

"My mission is my mission between me and my lord. That's it," Brown said during a jailhouse interview in New Jersey, according to the court filings. "My mission is vengeance, for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day."

"All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government," Brown continued. "So a life for a life."

Police believe Brown used Grindr to lure Dwone Anderson-Young and Ahmed Said to a Seattle nightclub before shooting them both at close range.

Brown is currently in custody in New Jersey. Law enforcement officials have said he could face the death penalty for the killings.


New Jersey School Backs Down, Allows Transgender Teen To Enroll as a Girl

Rachel pepe

Rachel Pepe, a transgender student from New Jersey who we reported earlier this week was refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, has since had her refusal reversed by school administrators.

Last year, Pepe attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Pepe’s mother Angela Peters said at the time that the school failed to engage with her on proposed solutions to the problem.

However, the superintendent of the school district, William O. George, has since announced that he will work with staff to make sure Rachel can attend school in a safe environment. George also said Middletown Township Public Schools staff would undergo LGBT sensitivity training, reports Huffington Post.

"We as a district want to do everything we can as a district," George told the Asbury Park Press. "Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement."

Back in April, the Department of Education issued new guidance that made it clear Title IX law protects transgender students from discrimination.


New Jersey School Refuses To Enroll Transgender Student as Female - VIDEO

Teen

Rachel Pepe, a transitioning transgender student from New Jersey, has been refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, reports The Raw Story.

Pepe last year attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Rachel’s mother Angela Peters said that sending her daughter back to school as “Brian” would cause a recurrence of the crippling depression that she suffered with last year.

“She would get off the bus and just cry. Then she would go to sleep for 17 or 20 hours and refuse to go back there. Although Pepe wouldn’t share her grief, a mother knows when something was wrong.”

An official also told Peters that the school lacked the ability to accommodate Rachel and rejected her attempts to propose possible solutions.

Although Middletown Schools Superintendent William O. George said he had no knowledge of the controversy, he added that “every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement.”

Last year, California passed a bill requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their chosen gender identity

Watch a report about Rachel Pepe, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Jersey School Refuses To Enroll Transgender Student as Female - VIDEO" »


New Jersey Bear Strolls Through Neighborhood On Two Legs: VIDEO

Upright New Jersey bear

For a change of pace, this is a post about bears of the Stephen Colbert "godless eating machines" variety.

Ian Bohman of New Jersey stepped outside his suburban home only to find a local ursimorph out for a stroll. While a bear in your neighborhood is cause for concern, this particular bear tried to blend in with the locals by walking on its hind legs like your standard bipedal human. So either someone is very adept at costuming, or World of Warcraft's Pandaren race are less a flight of fancy and more a plausible evolutionary prediction.

You can watch Baloo saunter down the street AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Jersey Bear Strolls Through Neighborhood On Two Legs: VIDEO" »


Michigan Democrat Adam Zemke Introduces Bill To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy in the State

Adam zemke

New legislation has been introduced by Michigan Democrat Rep. Adam Zemke which aims to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in the state, reports mlive.com.

Zemke hopes Michigan can join California and New Jersey in banning “ex-gay” therapy for under-18s.  Efforts to introduce bans on conversion therapy in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York state have been blocked or stalled.

Zemke said:

"The evidence shows you cannot change sexual orientation, so the legislation was kind of a no-brainer. We want to make sure children cannot be exposed to situations that are emotionally harmful to them because of their parents' beliefs or desires to try to change their orientation."

In 2009, the American Psychological Association said that attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective and can have harmful side effects including depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety.

Zemke has had positive support from some Republicans. However, Republican Rep. Gail Haines, chair of the House Health Policy Committee, said that new laws intervening in the relationship between parents and their children "seems unnecessary."

The “ex-gay” movement has had a number of recent setbacks. Last week, Duane Youngblood was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenager. Yesterday, we reported that Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, announced that she no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups.


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