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LGBT Rights Activists 'Troll' Southern Baptist Conference On Gay Marriage

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The Christian Post is reporting that there has been plenty of healthy and outspoken debate on the issue of “the homosexual lifestyle” at a conference hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Commission in Nashville. Much of the debate has taken place on Twitter (#ERLC2014).  

The conference is live streaming.

Russell MooreEarlier today we reported that Russell Moore, who serves as president of the ERLC, said at the conference that “ex-gay” therapy has been “severely counterproductive.”

The conference is addressing “how Christians should react to the ongoing battle between those framing the homosexual lifestyle debate as a civil rights issue and those supporting what they believe to be biblical moral values, including traditional marriage.”

Zack Ford, editor of LGBT issues on Think Progress, attended the event and was not shy in offering his opinions on Twitter.

“Doubt-filled believer,” author and blogger Rachel Evans also weighed in on the conference, questioning the decision of the conference organizers to not give a voice to LGBT people.

However, Dr. Richard Land, former president of ERLC, said:

“The gay community is never going to find the Evangelical response satisfactory because we're not going to accept their behavior. All sexual behavior that is outside of heterosexual marriage is a manifestation of the fall, and the fact that we are fallen creatures and this is the way fallen creatures behave.

"We are not singling out same-sex attraction. It was very clear in the conference on the first day, that this is one of the manifestations of the fall along with adultery, living together without matrimony, pornography, etc., etc., all of it."


Rosie O'Donnell Speaks with Twitter Sleuth Who Helped Identify Suspects in Philly Gay Bashing: VIDEO

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Twitter user @FanSince09, who played an instrumental role in identifying the suspects in the September 11 gay bashing in Center City, Philadelphia, appeared on The View to share why (and how) he decided to put his social media skills to work and help solve a crime. 

Said @FanSince09, who chose to keep his identity anonymous:

"I did maybe about 45 minutes of work, but with crowd sourcing, we got at least three people identified within two hours"

Find out how, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last Monday, a bill that would amend Pennsylvania's hate crimes statues to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity passed the House Judiciary Committee 19-4.

Continue reading "Rosie O'Donnell Speaks with Twitter Sleuth Who Helped Identify Suspects in Philly Gay Bashing: VIDEO " »


Dana McCallum, Trans Twitter Engineer Pleads Guilty In Spousal Rape Case

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Yesterday, Dana McCallum pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and false imprisonment in connection to the alleged rape of her wife. In January McCallum pled not guilty to the five initial felony charges which included three counts of spousal rape. She was released on a $350,000 bail.

A vocal member of the trans-rights community and a Twitter engineer, McCallum had previously made a name for herself as an advocate for sexual and gender minorities’ inclusion within the tech industry. Following the rape allegations McCallum’s web presences on sites such as Model View Culture were deleted. McCallum’s lawyer John Runfola said that the rape allegations came as a result of the couple’s ongoing divorce proceedings and McCallum’s financial success as a top Twitter engineer.

"I'm just disgusted that, you know, this is going on," Runfola told The Examiner. "Dana is an employee [at Twitter] and is about to come into a large amount of money. ... This whole thing is about money."

Erin Caton, a close friend of McCallum’s wife refuted Runfola’s claims, insisting that McCallum attacking her wife was an event separate from their divorce.

Today in court McCallum’s wife expressed that she wanted her ordeal to to be an inspiration to others, like her wife, who were dealing with alcohol addiction, rather than “an ugly headline for the vultures to pick over."


Sex and Queer Culture: Can Ello Succeed Where Facebook Won't Go?

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The Interplay is a special bi-weekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.

BY CHARLES PULLIAM-MOORE

Last week everyone seemed to suddenly begin pushing Ello, artist Paul Budnitz’s style-centric social media platform. Ello’s major selling points--a clean design, pseudo-exclusivity, and a lack of advertisements--made it an obvious alternative to services like Facebook or Twitter. Most of the coverage about Ello, including our own, highlighted the contrast between the service’s “come as you are” ideology and Facebook’s recent doubling down on its “real name policy.”

A vocal contingent of the drag community is protesting Facebook’s naming policies and adding some credence to the idea that Facebook just isn’t as “cool” as it used to be. That being said, one-fifth of the world’s population logs onto Facebook every month, and the site is projected to control almost 20% of U.S. mobile ad market by the end of the year. As tone-deaf as Zuckerberg and co. may have been in their policing of online identities, Facebook, contrary to popular belief, is doing just fine.

Tumblr_mvrapdFibC1qz8q0ho1_500For all of the grand proclamations of user-empowerment made in its manifesto, Ello looks a lot like the social networks that came before it, when looked at objectively. Profiles are styled in a similar fashion to Twitter’s, and Ello’s endless scrolling bears a striking resemblance to Tumblr’s primary dashboard interface.

Despite thriving on the idea of being edgy and anti-ad, a number of high-profile brands (like Sonos and Netflix) have staked out spots in Ello. Even more interesting are the questions being raised about Ello’s early venture capital funding, something seemingly at odds with it anti-establishment ethos.

And yet in spite of all that Ello is growing.

Ello doesn’t seem to have a means of determining a user’s sexual orientation, but Budnitz has said that his team has seen a particular spike in new LGBT users. According to Budnitz, Ello’s LGBT userbase is playing a “particularly helpful [role] in shaping their development going forward,” which could mean a number of different things.

In the past non-dating social networks designed with gay men in mind have tried--and generally failed--to carve out a unique space for themselves. Fab.com, the one-time wunderkind of daily deals, began in 2010 as Fabulis, a gay Facebook clone without an obvious business model. Fabulis’s decision to reinvent itself as an e-commerce hub says a lot about the viability of a “gay social network.”

So what is it, then, that Ello is doing to solidify itself as the queer-friendly anti-Facebook? Well for starters, it’s pro-porn.

Sex-positive tech journalist Violet Blue recently took to Twitter to warn her followers that an early version of Ello’s terms of service prohibited posting work-unfriendly content. Justin Gitlin, one of Ello’s lead developers quickly responded to Blue, asserting that Ello’s position on racier content was quickly evolving.

Screenshot 2014-09-29 09.14.32“We don’t have a problem with porn at all,” Ello creator Paul Budnitz clarified to BetaBeat “But we would have a problem with (adult content) that encourages people to hurt each other, or anything that has to do with children.”

As timely as comparisons to Facebook may be, Ello would have a much better shot at becoming the social for edgy, artistic gays by borrowing from Tumblr. Though Tumblr has made a name for itself for being a lightweight, customizable blogging tool for the masses, the service owes a large part of its success to its highly active community of pornography curators.

Tumblr hosts a wide variety of mature content ranging from hardcore, animated gifsets to erotic prose and poetry. Diving into Tumblr’s depths proves not only that Rule 34 is very real, but also that vibrant, engaged non-sexually explicit communities can exist on the same platform as the raunchiest of skin flicks. Straddling that gap could be the key to Ello’s future success.

Queer Young Cowboys, a St. Louis-based micropress, specializes in smart, stylish literary raunch. QYC creator Johnny Murdoc explained that his interest in Ello went beyond seeing an opportunity to grow his brand.

Screenshot 2014-09-29 16.40.35“I know I'm getting a more authentic report from the writers and artists I follow, and not just the narratives or work that fit within guidelines,” he said. “Guidelines have never been friendly to queer creators, especially when it comes to sexual content.”

Artists working in adult spaces, Murdoc says, have worked around the limitations imposed by platforms like Facebook and Instagram, by tailoring their content to fit within acceptable parameters. But that ingenuity comes, at least in part, with a degree of creative censorship.

“There may be a post about some new thing, but they're never showing the new thing, especially with visual artists.” he described. “I know some creators who are dogged by people who report any risqué content, and that leads them to talk about their work in other venues rather than risk being shut down.”

Projects like QYC aren’t uncommon, but all too often their signal gets lost in the social media noise as a result of having to contort their messages to fit within narrowly defined standards of acceptability. How many more independent films like Travis Matthews’s I Want Your Love and In Their Room might have a chance to flourish if only their creators were given a central, social hub in which to share and spread their ideas?

Whether Ello intends to become that hub remains to be seen, but being known as the digital epicenter of risqué, avant-garde content creation certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.


Disgusting Wingnut Bryan Fischer Links Bestiality Conviction With Homosexuality

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Vile wingnut rent-a-voice Bryan Fischer has taken to Twitter to link bestiality with homosexuality, according to Good As You.

Fischer is head of anti-gay listed hate group American Family Association, a pitiful organization which recently claimed the reason gay people are gay is because they suffered sexual abuse and are broken individuals

Responding to a story on USA Today about a Florida man who has been jailed for five years for raping his 8-month-old pitbull puppy, Fischer tweeted:

"How long before an attorney defends a guy like this on grounds it's his orientation, he was born this way?"

The response to Fischer’s disgusting tweet? Gratifyingly angry...

 


Northern Ireland Health Minister Blocks LGBT, Womens' Rights Groups On Twitter

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Northern Ireland’s new Health Minister, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) member Jim Wells, has taken to blocking critics on Twitter, reports Pink News.

Appointed to the post on Tuesday, Wells replaces Edwin Poots (DUP) who has opposed same-sex marriage and refused to lift the country’s ban on gay men donating blood. Blocked from twitter by Jim Wells

Wells has previously said that he finds Pride “repugnant” and has refused to take part in gay rights debates.

In 2011, he told Belfast Pride:

“I find the behaviour of those who take part in this march repugnant. I do not wish to be associated in any way with this event. My position on this will not change in the future and I would politely suggest that any further requests of this nature will be a total waste of your time.”

According to Pink News, although their official Twitter account has been blocked, Wells has yet to give them a reason for doing so.

A hashtag #BlockedByWells has sprung up among users targeted by the Minister, including women’s rights activists groups, gay rights advocates and gay Christian group @FaithAndPride.

Yesterday, Wells took to Twitter to praise Edwin Poots' time in office as Health Minister.


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