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Gay Evangelical Raises 'Olive Branch' Funding For Anti-Gay Sweet Cakes Bakery

Matt Stolhandske

You may remember Sweet Cakes Bakery in Oregon, one of the first bakeries to make a stink about making cakes for gay weddings. The anti-gay attitudes of owners Melissa and Aaron Klein resulted in quick condemnation from activists, and the protests and investigations by the state's Bureau of Labor soon caused the bakery to close up shop and move "in-home."

A year and a $150,000 fine from the state of Oregon later and the owners of Sweet Cakes are finding an unlikely new supporter in the form of gay evangelical conservative Matt Stolhandske, who wrote a fundraising column in the Washington Post. Interestingly, Stolhandske doesn't appear to be a self-hating homosexual, an ex-gay, or even spouting the tired "religious freedom trumps all" falsehood. In fact, he even calls out the Klein's flimsy argument of endorsement of a "sinful" lifestyle:

This [lesbian] couple didn’t ask the Kleins for their blessing. They simply asked to pay for a cake. Last I checked, a pastry is not moral approval of a religious ceremony.

Furthermore, he explains that his motivation is that he doesn't want the family - who may potentially be bankrupted by the fines - to suffer. In his own words, "[T]his is what an olive branch looks like." This olive branch doesn't come with a dismissal of the Klein's behaviors, however:

I don’t want them to suffer. But I am also pleading with them and other Christians to stop using the name of Jesus to explain to the LGBT community why we don’t deserve access to the civil rights afforded to heterosexuals through the legal institution of marriage.

Turning the other cheek, forgiving trespasses, reaching out with an offer of reconciliation to prevent further suffering and unhappiness and engender peace...it's like Stolhandske actually read the teachings of Jesus and appears to be making an effort to live by those moral decrees. Right-wingers, take note.


Anti-Gay Groups Launch 'Unprecedented' Campaign Against Pro-LGBT Republican Candidates: READ

Pro-lgbt gop

Anti-gay activist groups The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Family Research Council Action and CitizenLink are launching “an unprecedented campaign” against three Republican candidates because of their support for marriage equality and abortion, reports Buzzfeed.

Family Research Council Action is the legislative arm of rabidly homophobic listed hate group Family Research Council.

Last month, NOM cofounder Robert George said that he couldn't think of any "logical stopping place" between gay-affirming Christians and pedophile-affirming or serial killer-affirming Christians.

The three ultra-conservative groups “will mount a concerted effort to urge voters to refuse to cast ballots” for Republican House candidates Carl DeMaio [top left] in California, Richard Tisei [middle] in Massachusetts and Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby [right] in Oregon. DeMaio and Tisei are the only out LGBT Republican federal candidates from the to appear on the ballot this fall.

A letter  - claiming to speak on behalf of all Americans and possibly suggesting a gay recruitment drive - sent to Republican congressional and campaign leaders yesterday reads in part:

“We cannot in good conscience urge our members and fellow citizens to support candidates like DeMaio, Tisei or Wehby. They are wrong on critical, foundational issues of importance to the American people.

Worse, as occupants of high office they will secure a platform in the media to advance their flawed ideology and serve as terrible role models for young people who will inevitably be encouraged to emulate them.”

The letter goes on to warn Republican leaders that it is a “grave error” for the party to support “candidates who do not hold core Republican beliefs and, in fact, are working to actively alienate the Republican base.”

In a statement, NOM President Brian S. Brown said:

Brown“The Republican Party platform is a ‘statement of who we are and what we believe.’ Thus, the platform supports the truth of marriage as the union of husband and wife, and recognizes the sanctity and dignity of human life.

“We cannot sit by when people calling themselves Republicans seek high office while espousing positions that are antithetical to the overwhelming majority of Republicans.”

Read the letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

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National Organization for Marriage Continues Its Fight Against Oregon's Pro-Gay Marriage Ruling

OregonFollowing U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane's ruling back in May striking down Oregon's ban on gay marriage, the National Organization for Marriage asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the decision. Two weeks ago, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit denied NOM its request, leading to the anti-gay organization to now ask the full Ninth Circuit Court to reconsider the decision.

The Oregonian reports:

NOM unsuccessfully sought to gain standing to appeal McShane's decision. But McShane denied the group's attempt to intervene in the case and NOM has so far failed to find any success on appeal. 

In its latest petition, NOM said the lack of an opposing party in the Oregon litigation is part of a dangerous trend  "threatening the very adversarial nature of our system of justice."

In February, Oregon's Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced she would no longer defend the state's gay marriage ban in court. 


GOP Senate Candidate From Oregon To Run Pro-Marriage Equality Ad: VIDEO

MonicaWehby

Monica Wehby (above left) is proving to be a rare bird in the GOP senate race. The Oregon candidate, battling against incumbent Jeff Merkley (D), is set to air a television ad touting her pro-gay marriage stance. Not only is her position surprising, but the ad also stars one of the plaintiffs from the case which struck down Oregon's ban, Ben West (above right).

Mediaite reports:

“Marrying my husband was the happiest day of my life,” West says in the ad. “I was proud of Oregon and our country. But there’s a lot of work left to do. Whether it’s standing up for equality or for the unemployed or for the next generation, we need leaders who have the courage to do what’s right. That’s why I support Monica Wehby. I know she’ll fight for every Oregon family, including mine.”

Kudos to Wehby! The probability of her winning the race is slim as she currently trails Merkley in the polls by 13 points, but the blatantly supportive message is admirable to say the least.

Check out the campaign ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GOP Senate Candidate From Oregon To Run Pro-Marriage Equality Ad: VIDEO" »


Neighbors Defend Gay Oregon Grandmother Harassed by Property Manager, Hate Graffiti: VIDEO

Diedyke

A grandmother in Rainier, Oregon had a hateful gay slur painted on the side of her home and says it's just the latest incident of targeted harassment she has faced since the park she lives in hired a new property manager.

GrandmotherKOIN reports that Melanie Powell has been living out and proud (with a rainbow flag outside her home) at the same trailer park for 25 years without any trouble but when a new property manager was hired she suddenly felt threatened.

Powell began receiving repair notices for her roof, porch, and paint, and was subjected to harassment from the new manager Maureena Schmaing, KOIN adds:

“I’m tired of being yelled at, screamed at, vulgar language, being accused of doing stuff we are not doing,” said Powell.

Several of Powell’s neighbors, including William Pierce, said they haven’t had any problems with the new property manager and that all focus seems to be on Powell. Neighbors believe they may be targeting Powell because she is gay.

Manager“I’ve watched it enough where I had to come down here myself and stop the manager from yelling at her the way she was,” said Pierce.

When confronted, the park’s manager...denied she was targeting Powell because of her sexual orientation. “I’m a landlord. I follow the Manufacturing Housing Oregon Law, and I follow all the Title 10 Law with any park site I manage,” said Schmaing.

It's unclear who is behind the hateful graffiti.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Neighbors Defend Gay Oregon Grandmother Harassed by Property Manager, Hate Graffiti: VIDEO" »


Mills College Becomes First All-Women's School to Welcome Transgender Students

Mills hall

Yesterday, Mills College in Oakland, California, became the first all-women’s college in the U.S. to openly welcome transgender and gender nonconforming students, reports Think Progress.

Last December, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill providing unprecedented protections for transgender students in the state.

Mills College is one of 119 single-sex universities across the U.S., 48 of which are women’s colleges.

According to Brian O’Rourke, vice president of enrollment and admissions, about three to five of the college’s 1,000 undergraduates identify as transgender or gender non-conforming every year.

The new policy allows for numerous ways to accommodate transgender students while still maintaining an identity as a women’s college:

  • The college welcome any student who self-identifies as a woman, regardless of what sex she was assigned at birth.

  • Applicants “who do not fit into the gender binary” are welcome provided they were assigned “female” at birth.

  • Female students who enroll but later identify as a man may stay and graduate.

  • The policy does not apply to undergraduate students who were assigned “female” at birth but who already legally identify as a man.

Last month we reported that George Fox University in Oregon and The California Baptist University continue to legally discriminate against transgender students.  Under exemptions, George Fox University can legally discriminate against a transgender student who identifies as a man and was refused permission to reside in housing for male students.  In The California Baptist University case, a scholarship student was expelled by the university on the basis of “fraud” after she appeared on a reality television program to discuss her transgender identity.


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