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Transgender LGBT Advocate Allyson Robinson Ordained Baptist Minister - VIDEO

LGBT advocate and army veteran Allyson Robinson became one of the few openly transgender pastors in the U.S. when she was ordained last month at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., reports Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

6a00d8341c730253ef019103bcd4ff970c-800wiSharon Groves, HRC’s Director of Religion and Faith Program, said:

"We at HRC who have had the privilege of working with her for years are excited to see her gifts put to good use at Calvary Baptist Church.

"Allyson Robinson is a born preacher and pastor who inspires everyone she meets. I have had the privilege of working closely with her and with Calvary Baptist Church, which is leading to new conversations among Baptists and all people of faith. Together they are one powerful combination.  

"As summer comes to an end and families are coming back to church after their summer break, they would do well to check out the prophetic ministry happening at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C."

Last year, Robinson featured in and acted as a consultant on web-funded series TransMilitary, which focused on the unique struggles of transgender service members on active duty. She was the first transgender leader of a national LGBT rights organization until she was asked last year to resign as executive director of LGBT military group Outserve_SLDN.

Robinson is also founder of boutique consulting firm Warrior Poet Strategies and Vice President at LGBT Tech Partnership.

Watch Allyson speak about her transgender journey at a TedX talk, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Transgender LGBT Advocate Allyson Robinson Ordained Baptist Minister - VIDEO" »


Gordon Klingenschmitt Says Rep. Jared Polis Wants To Behead Christians, Nominates Him In Ice Bucket Challenge - VIDEO

Gordon Klingenschmitt

Gordon Klingenschmitt, a Republican nominee for a seat in Colorado’s statehouse, has accused Democrats of lacking a sense of humor after he sent an email which said that Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) will “join ISIS in beheading Christians,” reports The Raw Story.

Klingenschmitt won a primary election in June and hopes to replace Mark Waller (R-Colorado Springs).

In the email, Klingenschmitt wrote:

“The open persecution of Christians is underway. Democrats like Polis want to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy. Next he’ll join ISIS in beheading Christians, but not just in Syria, right here in America.”

In reply, Mark Ferrandino, Speaker of the Colorado House, condemned Klingenschmitt’s remarks and demanded that Colorado Republicans do the same.

Colorado Republican spokesperson Owen Loftus said that Klingenschmitt’s comments “in no way reflect the views of the party.”

By way of apology, Klingenschmitt has since issued an apology of sorts via YouTube in which he blames Democrats for lacking a sense of humor and misunderstanding his use of hyperbole.

“This weekend I sent out an email alert to my constituents in which I used hyperbole. You know what hyperbole is. It’s a literary device where you exaggerate to make a point. Well, apparently some Democrats do not have a sense of humor and they were offended by some of the things I said using hyperbole this weekend.”

Although Klingenschmitt admitted in the video it was wrong to compare Polis to Islamic State extremists, he continued to claim that the Democrat was “persecuting Christian business owners here in America.”

Watch Klingenschmitt's half-hearted apology in which he extends the ice bucket challenge to Polis, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gordon Klingenschmitt Says Rep. Jared Polis Wants To Behead Christians, Nominates Him In Ice Bucket Challenge - VIDEO" »


Emails Reveal School Lied About Canceling School Musical For 'Homosexual Themes' - VIDEO

Spamalot

Emails procured through Pennsylvania’s “Right To Know” law confirm that South Williamsport Jr/Sr High School cancelled a production of Monty Python’s Spamalot because it included a same-sex wedding, reports Think Progress.

The uncovered emails show that despite the school’s attempt to claim otherwise, the only justification for the cancellation given by Principal Jesse Smith was the play’s “homosexual themes.”

Records also prove that contrary to claims made by school district Superintendent Mark Stamm that the musical had not actually been canceled because it was only “under consideration,” Principal Smith had already signed a check for nearly $2,000 to order the licensing rights for the play last May. South-Williamsport-Spamalot-Check-638x262

In emails sent last June, Smith said that he was concerned about “a gay wedding being performed.” Musical director Dawn Burch replied, “I am fully aware of their place in the script and am not certain what offense they create,” noting that marriage equality had recently arrived in Pennsylvania.

Smith then explained that he was “not comfortable with Spamalot and its homosexual themes” because “this type of material [would make] it very hard” for families to attend. He added that he did not “want students to have to choose between their own personal beliefs and whether or not to take part in a production.”

When Burch wrote to Stamm that she found it “extremely disappointing that homosexuality would be the basis of not approving a show,” noting that “this is how we raise children to be haters,” the superintendent replied that he was familiar with Smith’s objections and stood by them.

Last year, a high school in Ottumwa, Iowa said that students could not perform The Laramie Project, Moisés Kaufman's play about the hate crime murder of gay Wyoming teen Matthew Shepard, because it is "too adult."

Watch South Williamsport Area School Board President John Engel, Jr., address a July 3 press conference on the controversy over the cancellation of the play, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Emails Reveal School Lied About Canceling School Musical For 'Homosexual Themes' - VIDEO" »


UK's Channel 4 Aims To Shock With New Gay Drama 'Cucumber' - VIDEO

Cucumber

The UK’s Channel 4 hopes to “outrage” tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail with it’s new “channel-defining” gay drama Cucumber, reports The Independent.

DaviesFifteen years after screening Russell T Davies’ ground-breaking drama Queer As Folk, Channel 4 has boasted that new series Cucumber - also produced by Davies [pictured right] - is so risqué that it "wouldn't get past an American network".

Set to be aired next year, Cucumber looks at gay life across different generations and stars Vincent Franklin [above left] as a 46-year old man going through a relationship break-up, and Freddie Fox [above right] as a young object of his desires.

Cucumber will be broadcast alongside a sister show, Banana and a related web series called Tofu. According to Davies, the titles for the three shows came from a scientific study on the erection:

"It divided the hard-on into four categories, from soft to hard. One, tofu. Two, peeled banana. Three, banana. And four, cucumber. Right there and then, I knew I had my drama."

Channel 4’s Head of Drama Piers Wenger said that although the new series is "amazingly warm, incredibly funny and beautifully written", viewers might be "challenged" by the explicit content.

Named Channel of the Year on Friday at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Channel 4 recently ran a campaign challenging homophobia in Russia, to coincide with the Sochi Winter Olympics. New projects from the broadcaster include Carol, which examines a lesbian affair between a female department-store assistant and an older married woman; My Million View Sex Change, a project showing young women recording the progress of their gender reassignments; and Gay Love: Sex and Apps, which will follow a young man looking for a partner on apps such as Grindr and Manhunt.

Watch a deleted scene from the original UK version of Queer As Folk, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "UK's Channel 4 Aims To Shock With New Gay Drama 'Cucumber' - VIDEO" »


Rose Of Tralee Maria Walsh Reveals She's Gay - VIDEO

Rose

Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh, the 2014 winner of Irish international beauty pageant The Rose of Tralee, has revealed that she is gay, reports The Independent.

Now in its 55th year, the Rose of Tralee includes young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world. 

In an interview with the Irish Sun, Walsh, who was crowned the new Rose in County Kerry on Saturday night, said:

"I'm confident in who I am as a person. The Rose of Tralee is about celebrating women's intelligence, careers, their volunteer work. The question of sexuality never came up. To me, being gay is normal. It's natural."

Walsh is a Boston native who moved to County Mayo with her family 20 years ago. Following her graduation, she moved to New York and later to Philadelphia.

Last week, reigning Miss Spain Patricia Yurena became the first openly gay national pageant queen.

Watch an interview with Walsh, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO

Ban

Equality California, the largest LGBT advocacy organization in the state, has partnered with Assemblymember Richard Bloom to advance an assembly joint resolution (AJR 50) urging President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce blood donor policies that do not discriminate against men who have had sex with other men.

Currently, the FDA prohibits men from donating blood for life if they have even once had sex with another man since 1977.

Medical organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Association for Blood Banks have called for a reevaluation and/or repeal of the policy citing its excessively broad nature and advances in blood testing.

BloomThe Williams Institute think tank estimates that an additional 130,150 men would likely donate 219,200 pints of blood each year if the ban were lifted, helping blood banks which routinely operate with a short supplies.

Bloom said:

“The FDA's archaic exclusions are both discriminatory and unwise, considering the nation’s chronic blood supply shortages. It is time for the FDA to restructure its blood donor deferral policies to reflect sound science, not outdated social prejudices.”

The resolution, which passed the Assembly Floor yesterday with a final bipartisan vote of 58-15, will now move to the Senate for consideration.

Watch a report on a blood donor protest at the University of Cincinnati's Hoxworth Blood Center last month, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO" »


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