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Vigil Staged Outside San Francisco Cathedral to Protest Archbishop's Anti-gay 'Purity Test' for Teachers

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San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's new anti-gay "purity test" for Catholic high school teachers was met with a protest vigil outside St. Mary's Cathedral on Friday, the AP reports:

"I chose to send my children to Catholic schools because I wanted their education to be grounded in love, compassion, and a strong sense of social justice," said Peggy O'Grady, a parent at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco. "This effort by the archbishop will do the opposite, and would run counter to all I believe and value in a Catholic education."

CordileoneCordileone this week presented teachers at the four high schools owned by the archdiocese with a detailed statement of faith affirming that Catholic school employees "are expected to arrange and conduct their lives so as not to visibly contradict, undermine or deny" church doctrine on matters related to sexuality, marriage and human reproduction.

The statement, which the archbishop said would be added to the faculty handbooks, outlines the church's teaching that using contraception is a sin and that sex outside of marriage, whether it is in the form of adultery, masturbation, pornography or gay sex, is "gravely evil."

The "purity test" also calls on teachers to back doctrinal teachings against stem cell research and the ordination of women. 

Watch video from Friday's vigil, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Vigil Staged Outside San Francisco Cathedral to Protest Archbishop's Anti-gay 'Purity Test' for Teachers " »


San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone Imposes Anti-Gay 'Purity Test' For Teachers: VIDEO

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Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is urging San Francisco Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to remove a new anti-gay “purity test” for teachers.

The new clause was introduced by drunk driver Cordileone who has in the past called same-sex attraction “self-destructive”, opposed employment protections for LGBT people and stated that marriage equality is "harmful to individuals and society as a whole."

6a00d8341c730253ef01a511cf483a970c-800wiDocuments presented on Tuesday characterize homosexuality as “gravely evil” and make clear to teachers that what they do in their personal and public lives after the work day could be used as grounds for dismissal. The language would also prohibit straight teachers from supporting LGBT non-discrimination measures.

Teachers in four Catholic high schools schools directly affiliated with the archdiocese and those at ten other private Catholic high schools with connections to the archdiocese are expected to experience the effects of the language.

Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, director of Latina/o and Catholic Initiatives for HRC Foundation's Religion and Faith Program, said:

"The new 'moral clauses' proposed in the contract by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone stand in stark relief to the message of inclusion being promoted by Pope Francis.

“In imposing what amounts to an anti-LGBT purity test, the archbishop is closing the door on dedicated professionals, many of them faithful Catholics, gay and straight, whose moral codes do not embrace discrimination."

In a heartening move, students in the diocese are using the hashtag #teachacceptance to voice their opposition to the archdiocese's anti-LGBT edicts. They have also set up the petition "Discrimination And Fear Don't Belong In Our Schools," which currently has close to 2,500 signatures.

Watch a FOX 2 report of Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory School students rallying against the "purity test" AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone Imposes Anti-Gay 'Purity Test' For Teachers: VIDEO" »


California Judges Barred From Joining Boy Scouts Due To Discriminatory Ban on Gay Leaders

State judges in California can no longer be members of the Boy Scouts beginning next year — at least until the Scouts lift a ban on gay adult leaders. 

The California Supreme Court voted unanimously this week to eliminate an exception for youth nonprofits to a rule that prohibits judges from belonging to groups that discriminate based on sexual orientation. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: 

Scouts“The people of California have a right to an impartial and unbiased judiciary,” Richard Fybel, a state appeals court justice in Santa Ana and chairman of the high court’s ethics advisory committee, said Friday. “This is important to accomplishing that.” ... 

In a statement that responded to the committee’s proposal last year, Deron Smith, a spokesman at Boy Scouts headquarters in Irving, Texas, said the Scouts “would be disappointed with anything that limits our volunteers’ ability to serve more youth. ... Today, more than ever, youth need the character and leadership programs of Scouting.”

The proposal had drawn a mixed response from judges. In written comments to the court, one opponent said the prohibition would elevate “gay rights above religious freedom rights,” and another said it would interfere with judges’ rights to raise their children as they choose.

California judges have been barred from membership in groups that discriminate based on sexual orientation since 1996 — with the exception of youth nonprofits. In 2003, the state's high court amended the rule to say judges who are members of the Boy Scouts must disclose their affiliation in gay-rights cases and recuse themselves if there's a conflict of interest. 

Last year, the ethics advisory committee recommended eliminating the exception altogether, and the proposal was backed by the California Judges Association, which represents three-quarters of the state's judges.

The Chronicle notes that judges can still be members of religious groups that discriminate, but not groups that discriminate based on religion. The Boy Scouts is not considered a religious group but does discriminate based on religion — barring atheists in addition to gays.

In 2013, the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift a ban on gay youth but continue to bar gay adult leaders. The organization recently reported that membership dropped 7.4 percent in 2014 in the wake of the decision.  


San Francisco LGBT Groups Protest String Of Police Abuse Cases By Blocking Streets In Castro

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Close to 200 people, many from the LGBT community, blocked streets in and around San Francisco's Castro district on Christmas Eve morning, with a protest rallying against what they described as systemic police violence toward minorities reports SFGateThe demonstration is just one of numerous rallies around the country protesting the deaths of unarmed black men Mike Brown and Eric Garner, amongst many others, at the hands of police. Janetta Johnson, the program director for a transgender justice project in San Francisco, was one of the 200 protesters.

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 4.24.04 PMSaid Johnson:

"We want to stand in solidarity and say the killings have to stop. There’s a lot of fear of police — especially by black people and brown people."

Wednesday's group amassed at Market Street and Octavia Boulevard, blocking the Highway 101 ramps temporarily before marching down Market. Organizers chose to rally on the morning before Christmas to disrupt shopping, saying it was "No time for a celebration." Officers from the California Highway Patrol and the San Francisco Police Department stood by while some in the group placed a large pink triangle in the middle of the intersection at Market and Octavia; a sign next to the symbol read, "Silence = Violence."

Thea Matthews, a student and activist leader at City College of San Francisco, described the purpose of the black-LGBT intersectional march. 

Said Matthews:

"Today, we march, proclaiming our demands for police accountability, transparency and an end to institutional racism. In order to truly have all lives, especially black lives, matter, we must unite all oppressed communities who face police repression and violence."

San Francisco Police spoke with protest organizers at the beginning of the rally to find out what their plans were at the rally. S.F. Police then proceeded to help direct traffic around the protest. The protest ended around 10 a.m. at Market and Castro, with marchers singing and holding hands. 


'Hot Cop of Castro' Is Apparently Too Hot for Castro Street: VIDEO

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In an interview with Mike Enders of Accidental Bear, Chris Kohrs (aka) "The Hot Cop of the Castro", says his supervisors now keep him out of the Castro area because "it gets kind of crazy" whenever he is seen there.

Kohrs also shares how he deals with all the attention that comes his way and reveals he hasn't worked out in over three months. Towards the end of the video, Kohrs can be seen striking a few poses in Blade + Blue clothing to help raise money for the Officer Down Memorial Fund, a fund that donates money to families of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Check out the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

See more photos over at Accidental Bear here. And for more information on the Officer Down Memorial Fund, visit www.odmp.org

Previously, "Hot Cop of Castro Gets Wet for Charity" [tlrd]

Continue reading "'Hot Cop of Castro' Is Apparently Too Hot for Castro Street: VIDEO" »


Dedicated Transgender Hotline Aims To Stem Epidemic Of Suicides Like Texas Teen Alex DeChiara's

DeChiara.AlexTR

After relentless bullying at her high school in Texas, transgender teen Alex DeChiara (above) transferred to an alternative school in April. 

But switching schools cut 17-year-old Alex off from her closest friends and her biggest passion: working with special-needs children at Euless Trinity High School, in a conservative suburb of Fort Worth. Alex hoped to one day become a teacher for autistic kids. 

After Alex transferred schools, administrators at Euless Trinity even barred her from campus and threatened her with arrest when she tried to visit. Faced with loneliness and a deepening depression, Alex felt she had nowhere to turn. On May 8, she hung herself from a tree in her family's backyard. 

Alex's father, Rick DeChiara, who came home from work to find Alex and had to cut her down from the tree, told the Texas Observer this week he feels there are a fair amount of resources dedicated to gay youth. But he added: “As far as transgender awareness kind of stuff, that’s a different story. I don’t think that’s quite as popular, as out there in the open.” 

MartelaNow, a San Francisco-based group is hoping to help change that — and to stem the epidemic of trangender suicides like Alex's. According to Greta Gustava Martela (right), the founder of Trans Lifeline, half of people who are openly transgender will attempt suicide at least once in their lives. 

Trans Lifeline is a first-of-its-kind, nonprofit crisis and suicide hotline staffed by transgender people. 

“There are a ton of suicide hotlines. There’s no shortage of them,” Martela told Time.com. “But it’s really difficult to get a person who isn’t trans to understand what it’s like to be trans.”

According to Trans Lifeline's website: "Our hotline is staffed by the true experts on transgender experience, transgender people themselves. Our volunteers are all trans identified and educated in the range of difficulties transgender people experience." 

Although the hotline's goal is to prevent self-harm, it is open to any transgender person in need — as well as the parents of transgender children. 

After a surge in calls thanks to the Time.com story this week, Martela launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for training for additional volunteers. Those interested in volunteering for Trans Lifeline can learn more here. 

The hotline covers the US and Canada and is staffed by volunteers outside the Bay Area.

For those in crisis, the number is 877-565-8860

 

 

 

 


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