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NCLR Hosting #BornPerfect Twitter Town Hall On Conversion Therapy

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 4.44.43 PMThe National Center for Lesbian Rights said it's hosting a Twitter town hall today at 6:30 p.m. ET to discuss the dangers of conversion therapy, the efforts to stop these practices once and for all and what the community can do in a release issued to the public. The town hall comes days after the tragic death of Leelah Alcorn, who took her life after facing years of rejection and enduring the harmful effects of conversion therapy. Twitters users can submit their questions using the hashtag #BornPerfect.

Town hall panelists include NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, conversion therapy survivor and marriage and family therapist James Guay, Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis of the the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and co-author of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, NCLR Staff Attorney and #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator Samantha Ames and Maris Ehlers-sister of Kirk Murphy who took his life at the age of 38 in 2003 after undergoing conversion therapy as a child.

NCLR launched the #BornPerfect campaign in June 2014, an initiative geared toward eliminating the practice of so-called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy through increased public awareness and the passage of laws across the country to protect LGBT kids from the serious harm caused by these practices. Recently NCLR helped pass legislation in California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia to ban the dangerous practice of conversion therapy. In November 2014, members of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) questioned U.S. Department of State representatives asking why the use of conversion therapy is still considered a valid practice despite reputable medical organizations condemning the practice.


D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray Signs into Law Bill Protecting LGBT Youth from Conversion Therapy

GrayWashington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray today signed into law a bill protecting LGBT youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.

D.C. is now the third jurisdiction to ban the harmful practice following California and New Jersey. 

NCLR reacts via statement:

“This law ensures that mental health practitioners can no longer abuse their power to harm young people and families by propagating the dangerous lie that there is something wrong with being LGBT or that therapy can change their core sexual orientation or gender identity,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Staff Attorney and #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator Samantha Ames. “By signing this bill into law, Mayor Gray has taken an important step to protect the health and safety of LGBT youth and to prevent unscrupulous therapists from preying on vulnerable families.” 

The National Center for Lesbian Rights has been a leader in the movement to protect youth and their families from these dangerous practices and helped pass legislation in California and New Jersey. Earlier this year, NCLR launched its #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy across the country over the next five years by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

FRC hate leader Tony Perkins attempted to derail passage of the bill earlier this month by claiming it would open "a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs".

 


FRC Radio Host Craig James Isn't Sure About Executing Gays, But He's All For Dying To Deny Them Equal Rights

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Craig James, a former TV football analyst, is fond of saying he was fired by Fox Sports merely because of his views against same-sex marriage. 

But it's beginning to seem more likely that Fox Sports let James go because he's a total wingnut with a variety of extremist anti-gay views, which he only began to publicly articulate in 2012 during a failed campaign for US Senate in Texas.  

Those views have come much more into focus during James' current tenure as a radio host for the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group. 

The most recent example was Friday, when James spoke with a caller to FRC's "Washington Watch" program.  

Right Wing Watch reports: 

“I want to say something very horrific, a solution, and I think it’s the right solution,” said the caller, who said his name was Phillip. “We pray for the homosexuals, we’ve prayed for our enemies but at the same time when they try to force us to go against God, I think that’s where they cross the line and we should pass laws to execute them when they have judges to go against our businesses.”

And here's James' response: 

"Thank you Phillip. You know what, that part there, I don’t know about the executing, but I do know that we have to be bold and firm and much stronger. God doesn’t tell us and calls us that we have to be timid and to stand for our straight — our beliefs. I’m doing a course right now in seminary and it’s the history of the early church and it’s fascinating, there’s been lots and lots and lots of men and women who have died for their Christian beliefs since the beginning and now we are in a time in this country and in this world where we must be bold and stand for God and His truths." 

In other words, James isn't sure about executing gay people, but he's all for dying to stop them from getting equal rights.

Is there a difference? 

It sounds like James, a one-time NFL running back, would probably do whatever it takes to win — but I suspect the outcome of this struggle will be similar to that of his Senate campaign, when he ended up with 4 percent of the vote.  

Listen to the audio, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "FRC Radio Host Craig James Isn't Sure About Executing Gays, But He's All For Dying To Deny Them Equal Rights" »


'Orange Is The New Black' Stars Join Thousands Rallying in NYC Against Police Violence

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The ladies of Orange is the New Black were spotted alongside thousands of protesters on the streets of New York City yesterday for the #MillionMarchNYC demonstration protesting police violence and the grand jury decisions surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. 

Vicky Jeudy, who plays Janae Watson on the acclaimed Netflix series, posted the above photo on Twitter. She was joined by Jackie Cruz (Marisol Gonzales), Kimiko Glenn (Soso), Lea DeLaria (Big Boo), Danielle Brooks (Taystee), and Emma Myles (Leanne Taylor). 

In a separate rally in DC yesterday, the Rev. Al Sharpton led thousands of demonstrators down Pennsylvania Ave demanding better oversight of policing. 

More photos and video from the rallies, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Orange Is The New Black' Stars Join Thousands Rallying in NYC Against Police Violence " »


Tony Perkins: Ban On 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Will Help Recruit LGBT Youth - VIDEO

PerkinsTony Perkins, the leader of rabidly anti-gay listed hate group the Family Research Council, has issued a press release condemning the introduction of a law banning gay “conversion therapy” in Washington, D.C., reports Joe My God.

Writing on the hate group’s website, Perkins takes a positive spin on a harmful practices condemned by the American Psychological Association, promulgates the idea that LGBT youth choose to take part and compares “conversion therapy” to “counseling aimed at helping kids make the transition into another sex.”

“In Washington, D.C., destructive behavior isn’t just encouraged -- efforts to stop it are punished! If kids are looking for a way out of their same-sex attractions, they’ll have to start outside of the nation’s capital. Under a measure just passed by the D.C. Council, counselors can lose their license just for offering the kind of therapy these children seek. Like California and New Jersey, the District is radically opposed to helping young people shake the unwanted sexual feelings they have for members of the same sex.

“It’s all part of the new Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Act, which makes it a crime for therapists and mental health practitioners to coach children out of the sexual confusion they’re experiencing. Council member and author Mary Cheh insists that the District’s move is “a crucial step in the long battle” against “the counterproductive anti-homosexual mindset.” The fact that children are seeking this help doesn’t seem to matter to D.C., which is intent on locking kids into a lifestyle with devastating health, emotional, and societal consequences. Instead, the District wants to make it an offense to help children come to grips with their natural biology -- opening a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs.

“In a twisted irony, the Council made it quite clear that counseling aimed at helping kids make the transition into another sex is perfectly acceptable. It’s a ludicrous double standard -- one that should draw the ire of every parent who rightly believes they should be the final authority on the kind of treatment their child should receive.”

Watch David Pakman on Perkins' claim to be on the winning side in the fight for same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last month, Perkins hinted at a possible boycott of Apple after CEO Tim Cook came out as gay. He has also said that gay rights are part of a wider "anti-life" agenda to end humanity as we know it.

Continue reading "Tony Perkins: Ban On 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Will Help Recruit LGBT Youth - VIDEO" »


HarperCollins Refuses To Publish Book Until Author Renounces Gay Daughter

Author Dawn Bennett has been told by HarperCollins Christian Publishing that she will have to condemn her daughter’s sexual orientation before her book can be published, reports Human Rights Campaign.

BXLSvElftuSRpRI-580x326-noPadBennett’s book centers on her story as a Christian mother supporting her lesbian daughter and “the hurt and harm that my daughter and our family has experienced at the hands of certain biblical interpretation.”

In an email from the publisher’s content evaluation department - managed by HarperCollins subsidiary Thomas Nelson publishing group, which considers homosexuality to be sinful behavior - Bennett was told any mention of “homosexual behavior” would have to be “presented as a sin”.

The email also insisted “the person who committed the act is remorseful and has or currently is taking steps to change their lifestyle.”

Bennett has attacked the implication that homosexuality is "sinful behavior that can and should be changed" and highlights the harmful effects of so-called "ex-gay" therapy, a practise that was recently banned in Washington, D.C.

Bennett says the publisher, which has many LGBT titles in its catalogue, "shouldn’t be able to take our money with one hand and then shame us with the other."

Bennett has started a petition on Change.org to make customers aware of the publisher’s actions, especially where it “promotes causing others harm.”

No stranger to controversy, the Thomas Nelson subsidiary was sued back in 2008 by a man who said that versions of their Bibles which call homosexuality a sin violated his consitutional rights. HarperCollins Christian Publishing is also marketing and promoting a number of Christian-themed products from the Duck Dynasty family.

UPDATE: Towleroad has receieved the following message from HarperCollins in response to our post:

As soon as we learned of Ms. Bennett's petition we looked into the situation and determined that there was a third-party subjective application and misinterpretation of the editorial guidelines. It was not an accurate reflection on the editorial standards of Thomas Nelson, or any other publishing group within HarperCollins. We issued an apology to Ms. Bennett immediately, refunded her money and offered for her to continue the publishing process with WestBow. We are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that this does not happen again. We are sincerely sorry to her and her family for any harm, pain, or embarrassment that this may have caused.


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