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Soul Force Equality Ride Members Meet with LDS Church

(via Soulforce - Facebook)

Members of gay Christian activist group Soulforce met with LDS legislative lobbyist Bill Evans, public-affairs representative John Taylor, former TV reporter Ruth Todd and LDS attorney Alexander Dushku in Salt Lake City yesterday as part of their Equality Ride, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The group, Soulforce’s 2012 Equality Ride, had four specific requests for the LDS Church: to cut all ties with and denounce Evergreen International, which continues to use "reparative" therapy in its treatment of gays; to stop funding groups that are fighting civil marriage equality across the country; to encourage LDS Business College to bring its policies on homosexuality in line with current Mormon teachings; and to add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the faith’s policies for church employees.

The Soulforce group members had hoped to meet with Church leadership, although they described the meeting as "overall positive":

[Jason Conner, Equality Ride’s co-director] said Mormon officials also agreed to work on using "more inclusive language" and to reiterate to members that no gay person should "question their worth or value or be kicked out of their home because of their orientation or gender expression identity."

The church, for example, should stop describing members who were "struggling with their sexuality," Conner said. "I’m not struggling. I am completely comfortable with my sexuality."

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Soulforce Equality Ride to Meet with Focus on the Family

Soulforce announced today that it would meet with leaders from Focus on the Family for the first time since their tour began five years ago.

SoulforceFrom Sunday, April 15 through Thursday, April 19, the "Equality Ride" will tour Denver and Colorado Springs, where they will meet with evangelical organization Focus on the Family, which has agreed to sit down with the "Equality Riders" for the first time in the five years of the tour. On Monday, Soulforce’s Executive Director Rev. Dr. Cindi Love will join the activists on Focus on the Family's campus to discuss the organization's oppressive values that target the LGBTQ and allied community. In past years, Focus on the Family has arrested individuals advocating for LGBTQ rights on their property.

Following the visit, Soulforce will address Young Life’s discriminatory position on LGBTQ rights by non-violently protesting outside the headquarters in Colorado Springs. On Tuesday, in a non-violent protest of Colorado Christian University's anti-LGBTQ policies, the "Riders" will address the school’s lack of anti-discrimination or bullying policies that would specifically protect the rights and safety of all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Along with the non-violent protests the “Riders” will be holding a service project at Clinica Tepeyac and networking events during their time in the Denver area.

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Gay Activist Escapes Runaway Cheese Injury on The Amazing Race


On last night's premiere of The Amazing Race, teams were required to hike to the top of a steep hill in Switzerland and carry down heavy pieces of cheese using traditional wooden cheese carriers while workers at the dairy laughed at them.

As I've mentioned before, this year's show features the father/son team of Mel and Mike White. Rev. Mel White (above, concerned about runaway cheese) is the founder of gay Christian group Soulforce and the Equality Ride. His son, Mike, is a bisexual actor who's been in Chuck and Buck and School of Rock.

The show also features its first deaf contestant Luke, who is competing with his mother (she's the one who rightly calls the cheese carrier a "piece of crap"), and is also apparently gay, though it's not mentioned in his show profile.

Both teams feature in this clip, which was certainly the most entertaining portion of last night's show. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "Gay Activist Escapes Runaway Cheese Injury on The Amazing Race" »

Soulforce Founder Mel White and Son to Compete in Amazing Race


Soulforce and Equality Ride co-founder and longtime gay activist Mel White will compete with his son screenwriter/actor/producer Mike White (who is bisexual) on the next season of The Amazing Race, AfterElton reports:

Amazingrace"Rev. Dr. White was once a ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell before coming out as gay and parting ways with the homophobic evangelical church. (His story is told in the documentary Friends of God and in his book Stranger at the Gate.) He is currently married to his husband, Soulforce co-head Gary Nixon. White's son, Mike, is known for appearing in movies like the brilliantly unsettling Chuck & Buck (which he also wrote), School of Rock (which he also wrote), and The Good Girl (which he wrote). He also wrote and directed Year of the Dog (starring Molly Shannon) and was one of the forces behind the shortly-lived fan fave series Freaks & Geeks (in which he also briefly appeared)."

Last June, Towleroad posted an exclusive report on White's marriage to Soulforce and Equality Ride co-founder Gary Nixon in Pasadena. The couple has been together for 28 years.

We wish White and his son the best of luck!

Soulfource founder Rev. Dr. Mel White and son Mike White compete in "The Amazing Race" 14 [afterelton]

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #402

RAY BOLTZ: Christian singer Ray Boltz, who came out in September, releases his first post-outing single, created by Soulforce.

GAYDAR GUN: An ad that was apparently too gay for LOGO.

CANDIS CAYNE: Gets her "Single Ladies" performance in at L.A.'s Abbey.

PYGMY HIPPO: There's a new pygmy hippo in the world, in Hampshire, England. There are fewer than 3,000 pygmy hippos in the wild.

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here.


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