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Salvation Army Refuses Shelter to Transgender Woman

Wiley

Jodielynn Wiley — a transgender woman from Paris, Texas (pictured above) — has filed a discrimination complaint against the Salvation Army-run Carr P. Collins Social Service Center in Dallas after the center allegedly refused to place Wiley into a 2-year housing program unless she had gender reassignment surgery.

The Dallas Voice reports:

Wiley said her counselor chimed in about there being a waiting list for the same program, but Wiley questioned that because two women who arrived at the shelter after she did had already been placed in the program.

“They then tried to say there’s a waiting list,” Wiley said.

Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, sat in on the meeting by phone. She said she explained to the women they were “requiring a special condition that they wouldn’t require of another person.”

Blake Fetterman, operations director at Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, said the complaint is a surprise because of the Salvation Army’s own nondiscrimination policy.

“What you describe is not in keeping with our nondiscrimination policies,” she said. “Clients receive services and placement with their self-identified gender.”

Dallas’ nondiscrimination ordinance forbids discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations. According to The Dallas Voice, Fair Housing spokesman Calvin McAllister pledged to investigate Wiley’s complaint, though the parties involved have not yet been been notified of the investigation process.

However, John Wright of Lone Star Q notes:

Although this exception may come into play, I’d suggest Wiley’s complaint also faces another major obstacle: The Salvation Army is a religious organization, and religious organizations are exempt from Dallas’ nondiscrimination ordinance…

Even if the city of Dallas were to decide that the Salvation Army is not a religious organization, the Salvation Army likely would have an affirmative defense against Wiley’s complaint under Texas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act. And even if a Texas court were to rule that it doesn’t have an affirmative defense, the Salvation Army would face a maximum fine of $500.

In the meanwhile, Wiley is staying with another Dallas metroplex trans woman through Dallas Trans* Shared Housing Project.


Out HGTV Designer David Bromstad Defends Participation in Anti-Gay Salvation Army's Fundraiser

BromstadOut HGTV designer David Bromstad is hosting an event for the Salvation Army on October 18 in Fort Lauderdale and many of his fans are unhappy that Bromstad would be supporting such a blatantly anti-gay organization.

The Salvation Army's bias against gays is well documented, including statements by officials that homosexuality is "an unacceptable urge", its lobbying against same-sex marriage in the UK and Australia, its threat to stop serving NYC if it had to obey an equal benefits ordinance, and its statement by an official last year that gays should be put to death.

Wrote Bromstad on Facebook over the weekend:

Dear fans,

I've read your feedback on my participation with The Salvation Army USA, as an openly gay person whom just happens to also be a celebrity, I took the Salvation Army's request to participate in their fundraiser as one step in the right direction towards equality. If we simply separate ourselves from those that we assume appose us or our beliefs then we will never make strides in the right direction. I applaud the Salvation Army's symbolic handshake towards acceptance and would be foolish to not extend my hand in acceptance.

SalvationarmyLast year, radio host Stephanie Miller apologized after allowing a rep from the Salvation Army on her show caused a firestorm of anger from her listeners. The rep. blatantly lied after she asked if the organization was anti-gay. Miller said she had not done her research on its "long and checkered history in olving LGBTQ people".

Do you agree with Bromstad's strategy?


150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever

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A remarkably short four decades ago, the Stonewall Revolt of 1969 opened the flood gates for LGBT rights. The closet, so sturdy for so long, started being swept away in a rush of pride. Still, LGBT Americans lived in a culture of "tolerance," a popular euphemism for enduring.

There have been momentous years since then — both Barney Frank's 1987 coming out and the 2003 Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-sodomy laws come to mind — but when we look back in twenty years time or ten or even five, 2012 will be remembered as quantum leap for LGBT rights in the United States of America. It's the year that equality went from being a far-off dream to becoming an inevitable, immutable and irreversible reality. Even Newt Gingrich agrees!

This was the year of equality, the year the American dream came into sharper focus and the nation crossed from begrudgingly tolerating gays, and sometimes even acknowledging their relationships, to demanding our inclusion in the greater American family. Coming out is for the large part no longer a big deal, which is a big deal in and of itself.

There have never been as many out and proud elected officials; never before has Wall Street embraced us with such force; never before have so many conservatives admitted they need to shift gears on marriage equality and embrace change. This was a year of "never before" and "never again."

AFTER THE JUMP, 150 reasons why 2012 was a year of permanence for LGBT Americans, a year that the next wave of rights began its swoop across the purple mountain majesty and above the fruited plain.

And for more of our 2012 Year in Review, be sure to read "I'm Gay: 50 Most Powerful Comings Outs of 2012" HERE.

Continue reading "150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever" »


UC Berkeley Student Government Demands School Ban Salvation Army from Campus for its Bias Against Gays

The UC Berkeley Student Government has passed a resolution demanding that the school ban the Salvation Army from campus over its bias against gays, Campus Reform reports:

SalvationarmyThe resolution, cleared on November 14, accuses the charity of openly discriminating against gay individuals.

“Salvation Army church services, including charity services, are available only to people ‘who accept and abide by the Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline,’ which excludes homosexuality,” reads the bill, SB 176.

In the resolution, the student body also demands school administrators revoke the Salvation Army’s permit, which currently allows them to collect donations on the Berkeley campus.

“Allowing the Salvation Army to collect donations on campus is a form of financial assistance that empowers the organization to spend the money it raises here in order to discriminate and advocate discrimination against queer people,” it adds.

The Salvation Army denies it is anti-gay:

"The notion that we require those we help to 'accept and abide by the Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline which excludes homosexuality' to receive assistance is totally false," wrote Kathy Lovin, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army.

In fact, the Salvation Army's bias against gays is well documented, including statements by officials that homosexuality is "an unacceptable urge", its lobbying against same-sex marriage in the UK and Australia, its threat to stop serving NYC if it had to obey an equal benefits ordinance, and its statement by an official just this year that gays should be put to death.


News: Jovan Belcher, Hoverboard, Frank Bruni, Drones

Model Renato Seabra was found guilty of murdering and mutilating journalist Carlos Castro in January of 2011. He will be sentenced December 21.

HoverboardA detailed review of Mattel's so-called hoverboard.

The New York Times' Frank Bruni to Bill Clinton: "...DOMA, which says that the federal government recognizes only marriages of a man and a woman, is one of the uglier blemishes on your record, an act of indisputable discrimination that codified unequal treatment of gay men and lesbians and, in doing so, validated the views of Americans who see us as lesser people. If our most committed, heartfelt relationships don’t measure up, then neither do we. If how we love is suspect, then so is who we are. No two ways to interpret that. No other conclusion to be drawn"

Watch Adam Lambert's performance from the Mnet Asian Music Awards.

Florida tossed out Christian Slater's vote because his signature didn't match the one they had on file.

Boy Meets World actress Danielle Fishel does Lindsay Lohan doing Elizabeth Taylor.

Tom Daley and his mama hit the town.

The Rabbinical Council of America has come out against "ex-gay" reparative therapy.

Get excited for Jonny Pierce from The Drums' solo album.

I got a chance to talk with Darren G. Davis about Lost Raven, the graphic novel he wrote about coming to terms with his HIV positive status. I'd love for you to read it.

Belcher_JovanPolice confirm that Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, fatally shot his girlfriend and then, despite his coach and others' attempts to calm him down, he shot himself. "[His coach, general manager and others were] standing outside and appeared to be talking to him. It appeared they were talking to the suspect," said police. "The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that's when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life."

Despite some architectural activists' efforts, an apartment complex where JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald will be torn down. "We're not just losing a piece of fundamental history to Dallas related to the assassination, we're also losing a piece of fundamental architecture to this area," said the building's owner.

US drones keep crashing at civilian airports overseas. "A review of thousands of pages of unclassified Air Force investigation reports, obtained by The Washington Post under public-records requests, shows that drones flying from civilian airports have been plagued by setbacks. Among the problems repeatedly cited are pilot error, mechanical failure, software bugs in the 'brains' of the aircraft and poor coordination with civilian air-traffic controllers."

Salvation-army-kettle-bellThe Salvation Army continues to deny it endorses hateful anti-gay politics and rhetoric, despite evidence that says otherwise.

Hillary Clinton compares her ever-changing hairstyles to the "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers."

Sally Field spoke with Oprah about raising a gay son, our very own Sam Greisman.

Edie Windsor, 83, says she just wants to be alive when DOMA's overturned.


Stephanie Miller Apologizes After Gay Firestorm Following Interview with Salvation Army Official: VIDEO

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Yesterday Stephanie Miller angered a lot of listeners to her radio show after allowing Major George Hood of the Salvation Army to blatantly lie after she asked him if the organization is anti-gay.

SalvationarmyListen to the announcement on her radio show, AFTER THE JUMP...

She also issued a statement:

Monday on my Current TV program Talking Liberally, broadcast simultaneously on my national radio program, The Stephanie Miller Show, I announced that my friend and colleague Bill Press and I were launching a three-week competition to raise money for the Salvation Army to help Americans in need.

This was in conjunction with an advertising buy by the Salvation Army on Current TV. We all thought that we were doing something positive in the spirit of the holiday season.

Where I screwed up was in not doing more research about the Salvation Army’s long and checkered history involving LGBTQ people and our issues. I sincerely apologize for that.

When I returned from the Thanksgiving holiday, I learned a lot more — much of of it from friends like John Aravosis at America Blog and Michelangelo Signorile at Sirius OutQ — and I decided that, effective immediately, Talking Liberally and The Stephanie Miller Show would no longer be a part of the Salvation Army’s Online Red Kettle Campaign.

Please understand that I do believe the Salvation Army does much good work in the world and I also believe in redemption. I sincerely hope they will change their mission statement and policies regarding the LGBTQ community and I am very willing to continue that dialogue with them.

Through yesterday, your generosity has raised $1,150 for the Salvation Army in the Stephanie Miller Red Kettle.

I am now going to personally match that amount with a donation to the Trevor Project, whose work and mission I can endorse without any reservation. The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

As always, I am grateful to my viewers and listeners for holding me to the high standards that I always try to set for myself.

Love,

Stephanie

Listen (and watch), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Stephanie Miller Apologizes After Gay Firestorm Following Interview with Salvation Army Official: VIDEO" »


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