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04/19/2007


Omaha Man Beaten by Three Men After Defending Gay Friends: VIDEO

Omaha

Ryan Langenegger, an Omaha man, was beaten over the weekend after sticking up for his gay friends, KMTV reports:

Out with two of his gay friends in the Old Market Saturday night, they decided to grab a bite at PepperJax Bar and Grill. Inside a group of three guys started to verbally harass his friends. Ryan said, to avoid confrontation they left PepperJax.
 
The three men followed them outside.
 
"My friend then said, yes, I know I'm a boy in a dress. After that he said, "yes I know", some "colorful words" and disgusting. I said hey guys, we're not looking for any trouble, just trying to get home. Just trying to get home", said Langenegger.
 
Ryan stepped forward and tried to stop the incident. Instead he took a hard blow to the face.

Watch KMTV's report (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Langenegger

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Creighton Catholic Student Group Blocks School's Macklemore Ticket Giveaway Over Gay Marriage

Macklemore

A ticket giveaway for Creighton University students to see Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was postponed earlier this week following protests from the Omaha school's Catholic Student Organization over the rap duo's vocal support for marriage equality.

Check out a news report of the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

CreightonThe Omaha World-Herald reports that members of the student group sent letters to the school paper and to the Catholic university's president, Rev. Timothy Lannon, expressing their opposition to the giveaway.

"We realize that not every act or performer that Creighton promotes will be in absolute accordance with Catholic values, but when artists so deliberately and outwardly advocate such a position, they should not be publicly supported," wrote James Doyle, the student group president, in a letter to group members obtained by The World-Herald.

In an open letter published in "The Creightonian," Creighton's student newspaper, students Ben Thompson and Christina Laubenthal went further.

"University backing of any kind for (Maklemore) and Lewis is in direct opposition with Catholic social teaching and Creighton's stated values...CSU's actions indicate that Creighton endorses (Macklemore) and Lewis as well as their position on same-sex marriage."

The students also asked that Creighton cancel the ticket giveaway

The letters set off a online firestorm, causing the university's student newspaper website to crash. School officials then delayed the giveaway until they could address the concerns of the students involved. Ultimately, in a response statement, officials announced that the ticket distribution would continue. 

The university said it is focused on educating students on social issues and that, "in the past, the university has hosted debates on the issue of same-sex marriage. We have had open sessions on this topic which centered on (Catholic) tenets of understanding and inclusion."

A spokeswoman for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis said they were not available for comment.

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College Student Expelled For Being Gay, Told to Pay Back Scholarship

GraceA college student in Nebraska is fighting to keep thousands of dollars in scholarship funds after revelations about her past relationship with another woman resulted in her expulsion from Grace University, a small Bible college in Omaha.

Danielle Powell says that Grace University is demanding she cover over $6,000 in scholarships she received during her undergraduate career. After eight months of being denied a transcript transfer because of the outstanding balance, making it impossible to transfer to another university, Powell has started a Change.org petition to demand that Grace University forgive the debt and allow her to transfer.

"I don't think a lot of people are aware of the fact that you legally can be kicked out of a school in 2013 for being gay," Powell said. "Yes, this is a legal, financial petition, technically speaking, but there's a lot of morals and social justice tied into it that is getting I think some necessary exposure."

After word of Powell's previous relationship with another woman worked its way up to top administrators, the two women were brought to campus to attend a judiciary hearing in which they were questioned separately about their relationship and their remorse. Powell was initially suspended and told she could re-enroll for her final semester if she agreed to a restoration program involving mandatory church attendance, meetings with counselors and mentors, and keeping in touch with a dean. Powell began the program, but was notified later that the administration had decided on expulsion instead. 

Most Bible colleges, including Grace University, require students to sign a statement of faith and conduct when they enroll that usually includes rules against "sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual acts."


Petition Drive to Repeal Omaha's LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance Fails

Right-wing religious groups have failed in their petition drive efforts to repeal Omaha, Nebraska's LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, the World-Herald reports:

City_omahaA church-led effort to repeal the ordinance did not gather enough signatures in time to launch a referendum immediately, organizers said Thursday.

The Omaha Liberty Project, sponsor of the petition effort, needed to submit roughly 11,400 valid resident signatures to the city today to potentially force a vote in May's general election.

The group's volunteer petition circulators led months of signature gathering and community-organizing efforts, its leader said, but didn't collect enough signatures to account for potentially ineligible entries. The group has already missed a deadline to place the issue on the primary ballot.

Organizers blame their failure on getting a late start, lack of education on the issue, and not public opinion.


Conservative Group Wants Public Vote on Omaha's LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

"Pro-family" and Tea Party-aligned groups in Nebraska are doing their best to do away with any LGBT non-discrimination ordinances that are passed in the state, Aksarbent reports:

BonnettIn May, after Omaha adopted an LGBT anti-bias ordinance, the Lincoln City Council did the same, on a 5-0 vote with the two Republican councilmen abstaining. The Nebraska Family Council and Family First of Nebraska immediately gathered 2500 petitions to halt implementation of the law, requiring the city council to either let the ordinance die or put it on the ballot. Petitions were gathered at every Catholic church in Lincoln and four times the required number of signatures were collected.

     Last week, a petition request with the City of Omaha to put the city's anti-bias law to a popular vote was filed by a group calling itself the Omaha Liberty Project. The organization includes a board member of the Nebraska Family Council, William Femi Awodele; its leader is a local Tea Party activist, Patrick Bonnett (pictured), owner of Encore Financial Services, Inc. of Omaha.

     Omaha legal officials are reviewing the proposed petition. If it is approved and attracts enough signatures, the council will have the option to enact or reject a petition-led proposal within 30 days of receiving it. Should the council not enact the proposal, it would go to a public vote during the next scheduled city election.

More at Aksarbent...


Straight Omaha Man Beaten in Alleged Anti-Gay Hate Crime Outside Omaha, Nebraska Bar: VIDEO

Omaha

A 24-year-old heterosexual man posted a video to YouTube on Saturday alleging that he and his brother were assaulted outside McFly's bar in Omaha, Nebraska in an anti-gay hate crime.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Says the YouTube uploader Darthn8er (my transcript).

Last night I was the victim of a hate crime. My brother and I were jumped by four guys outside a bar in Omaha, Nebraska because they said we were gay. My brother and I are not gay, however, my little brother is. I got into a guy's face about it, and we got jumped, and were called gay. You can see my face. It's so swollen...Getting ready to go to the hospital now. I've got scrapes, cuts. My lip, you can see how huge it is. It's black and blue. My brother's lip's cut up. I want to be a voice to let people know that it's not all right. People need to be tolerant. This shouldn't happen.

Adds the man:

The bar owner ended up banning my brother and I for life. And We were the victims at his bar. Which only goes to say he probably knew the guys who did it. We filed a police report. If anything happens from it we'll be lucky. Stand up and be heard.

While local news has not yet picked up the story there was interest from at least one station WOWT, in the YouTube comments. We'll see what they discover.

McFly's Facebook page is here.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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