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Conversion Therapy Survivor calls out “Ex-Gay’s” new weapon – Kegan Wesley:

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
KW

Sean Sala “God and Gays” with Lisa Ling (Left) “Ex-Gay” Kegan Wesley (Right)

 

 

Originally seen on: TALKHILLCREST

Sean Sala a national LGBT policy activist and a survivor of gay reparative therapy who was featured on “God and Gays” with Lisa Ling is speaking out on the pastoral work of Kegan Wesley.

 

Sala’s open letter to Kegan Wesley is below:

I remember sitting in a church energized, on fire and ready to make a stand for God in my generation. Nothing seemed to be able to stand in my way and I would let nothing alter me from that path.

I also remember sitting in the small chapel at (the former) Christian Life Assembly and weeping – crying out to God from the deepest part of my person, “why am I like this when I don’t want it at all?”

The week prior I had shared my “struggle” with being gay to my youth group. I even told them God had “delivered me.” That following Sunday I was removed from every position of leadership, called a “fag” in front of adults in my church and was systematically forced out of that church for simply sharing the most common thing that I had with other people, that I am a human.

I left Christian Life Assembly and began working under a new youth pastor at an Assemblies of God Church down the road under a pastor who became one of my most dear friends. During those years, I had a very troubled home life.

 

Many of the affiliates of the now debunked Exodus International and Living Hope Ministries said that my attractions to men were due to my parent’s divorce. The reality was, I grew up with two brothers and a father who was very present in my life. A Christian counselor told me years before I even went to Exodus that “you’re spending too much time with you mother” when she ended up being the bedrock of my family a just, good, righteous woman who put her needs before my own for years.

This was another of many attempts to justify, rationalize or pin-point “some reason” for me being gay. Hell, being young at that age growing up in Dallas, Texas in the midst of the Bible belt,  I too wanted a “way out”!  I would do anything.

Years later, I became a pillar of not only my church but also regionally as the poster-child for youth to “come to Christ.” In high school I dedicated almost 60-hours a week to ministry and by the time I left, I had been a major participant in church and the ministry for almost a decade. I gave my life, and sold out to the Lord.

I began training on “Mega Church/Mega Youth” ministry. I was ready and by the time that I was about to open the door to my “great life” in ministry, I had a realization. One night, I was setting up chairs for a youth service and a voice hit me like a ton of bricks: “Get out of the Church!”

 

I was stunned. I will never forget that moment.

 

Before I joined the military, Exodus International’s books had been a pivotal part of my life. I had read the books, participated in the online discussions and finally in a leap of faith, I started to attend counseling sessions with other people who shared a similar struggle. The promotions were flashy, much like your promotions of “Such Were Some Of You.” They branded “Change is possible, I have changed and Christ can set you free.” The shiny glamorous promise was on the outside, but within were men and women who had been in these programs for decades, pouring their money, blood sweat and tears into reparative therapy – to no avail.

I have heard your heartbreaking story of your 10th birthday party. It was similar to the heartbreaking story of Ricky, the “reparative therapy expert,” I was working under in Living Hope. Ricky had shared that his grandfather had molested him for decades which lead to his “confusion,” just like you have stated.

He said he gave his life to Jesus and one day “in the shower” he just realized that he “liked boobs.” On top of that, he wanted to know (especially within the younger group sessions) how many times we masturbated during the week, what we thought about and more prying details that have zero Biblical foundations in the life of Christ.

When I came to a Exodus International I initially met a different affiliate minister to find this group, it was a weird and awkward phone call. I called the number listed on Exodus’ website and explained that I wanted to change, and I was given an address to go to a local Church of Christ in the area and in walked a “delivered” minister (who was, as they say, “gayer than a two-dollar bill”). At this moment I had not yet met Ricky, who was “gay”as well. Much like you try to say that you “used to swish” as if Jesus Christ, who loves humanity, would give a damn if someone “swished their hips” like you “used to.”

How petty we make the message of God’s unconditional love about the outward appearance, huh? How the message of grace has been mired in the works of the flesh. Or is righteousness in God weighed in how good you decorate an apartment? You better hide your feminine traits or the church won’t accept you! That should have been your first red flag.

He explained to me that change was possible; that he and many were “living proof.” When he began to pry into my life he seemed disappointed.

“Do you have a father?”

“Yes.”

“Are your family believers?”

“Yes.”

Finally after trying and trying again to find “some reason” that I was “struggling” with being gay he said to me, “were you molested as a child?”

 

My answer was no.

 

“I think you were… you’re probably suppressing it,” he declared.

 

Those words were a blatant, desperate and sincere lie. It was told to me over and over again. (See 3:26)

Later on, people like Ricky and others cited my arrogance and my further denial was the full reason why “God would never deliver me.” I knew this was not true. Yet as a young man, all I wanted to do was serve the Lord. I had an incredible relationship with God.

 

Kegan, I was you.

 

As I watched you say, “I was not born this way,” I remember saying the same thing. When I watched you saying, “shut up Lady Gaga,” I remember the anger at the world “trying to define me.”

 

I remember the secret reality of my situation when I stood on stage and spoke to crowds. It was all a lie. (See 2:00)

Kegan, I believe am loved and saved by the same unwavering (emphasis on unwavering) grace and love that you have been saved by. I truly believe from deep within me that you are sincere. I believe that you truly think that you are doing good.

 

And so did I. But the damage I did was vast.

 

When you demean the way people “walk and talk” and affiliate that with “being gay” and the need for people to “act one way” and not the other, you are doing irrevocable harm to thousands of youth. Where I once thought I was helping them, I realized that I was damaging every single lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender person coming through the doors of my church – which were supposed to be the doors of grace. Instead, I traded the Gospel of Jesus for cheap behavior modification and rules. You are doing the same.

By insisting that being gay is the same as your addiction to drugs, as much as I sympathize with addiction and those who suffer from it, it has nothing to do with being gay or being molested. In fact, you actually are furthering the social damage of those who are molested. I have met many, including those in my own family, who were subject to molestation and they are straight. The lie that being molested will make you gay is as logical as the debunked groups you affiliate with. I must have missed the piece of Christianity that says “leave your brain at the door.” Your personal addiction is one in billions and the institutions that have told you that you personally define the standard for billions is allowing you a Christianity focused on selfish gain due to your pain. Your story is not special, grace is.

You are preaching this all as if it is new. After decades of abuse from Exodus, after decades of false testimony, after leader, after leader, after leader, has confessed that it was all a lie – I regret to inform you that you are no different. The God that loves us all has not done you a special favor that only you have a key to. He, as confirmed by many, is no respecter of persons.

In its “best intentions,” Exodus International has been responsible for global damage and the furthering of hate of LGBT people. It categorized millions of people like you are doing now. Your story is not a blanket for all. Your story is just one. You say church lead you to Jesus, but I will rejoice in the day that you realize that Jesus lead you to Him. Not a system of religion. Not a Church that says “don’t swish your hips.” The Jesus that broke every gender, social and religious stereotype of His day loves you. He loves the gayest rainbow squeal you make when you hear your favorite pop song – whether you like it or not. There is no shame in who you are friend.

In Christ, I love you brother. I have been in your shoes. Thanks to the grace of God, not the church, He reached into my life and heart and pulled me into a place of hope, restoration and love. Pull back the veil of “Pop Culture Evangelical Machine” and it’s lies and you will find that God loves you the same.

Even after Exodus is gone, in true fashion, the obsessed groups of the same people have reformatted the lie and put you at the forefront. You are nothing but a weapon for behavior modification.

You must say, “but the Bible says…”

 

I said that once too.

 

You had no choice in your sexual attractions. We all know that. I am here to say God loves you – your sexuality is a beautiful, wonderful piece of His vast Creation. The road you are on, is a road debunked – from this point on you for one “soul you save” you will turn thousands against innocent LGBT people who love the Lord too.

 

You had no choice in who you were. Remember though, you have full choice of what you believe. End the damage.

 

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@keganwesley

 

 

Full videos of “God and Gays” with Lisa Ling: The story of the International lies and take down of the World’s largest Ex-Gay Ministry can be seen here.

 

Louisiana Marriage Equality Ban Upheld by Federal Judge

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Louisiana Marriage EqualityFor the first time since the US Supreme Court ruled on marriage quality last year, a federal judge has upheld a state ban on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman upheld the Louisiana marriage equality ban.

NOLA.com reports.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman on Wednesday became the first federal judge at the trial court level to endorse state bans on gay marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last summer in the U.S. v. Windsor, a case that has become the foundation of some 22 successful lawsuits filed by marriage rights activists in federal courts across the country. But where those cases successfully won over judges who largely saw the Windsor ruling as a powerful defense of same-sex couples rights to the same legal protections as heterosexual ones, Feldman’s ruling reads Windsor as an endorsement of states’ rights to regulate marriage. And Feldman put little stock in the cases decided in other courts, it would seem.

Feldman, an 80-year-old Reagan appointee, included a fair share of homophobia in his ruling.

Queerty flags some of the worst parts:

Marriage equality paves the way for incest. “And so, inconvenient questions persist. For example, must states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female?”

It’s all about the babies. “This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest…whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others…in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents.”

The Huffington Post flags a few more:

1. Feldman incorrectly claims being gay is a choice. “This national same-sex marriage struggle animates a clash between convictions regarding the value of state decisions reached by way of the democratic process as contrasted with personal, genuine, and sincere lifestyle choices recognition.”

2. Feldman argues same-sex marriage was “inconceivable until very recently,” and claims there’s no fundamental right for same-sex couples to be legally wed. “No authority dictates, and plaintiffs do not contend, that same-sex marriage is anchored to history or tradition. The concept of same-sex marriage is “a new perspective, a new insight,” nonexistent and even inconceivable until very recently… Many states have democratically chosen to recognize same-sex marriage. But until recent years, it had no place at all in this nation’s history and tradition. Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental… There is simply no fundamental right, historically or traditionally, to same-sex marriage.”

Ari Ezra Waldmann at Towleroad.com takes down the ruling:

Judge Feldman gets it wrong. The fight for marriage equality is a fight for marriage, not anything special or different than what opposite-sex couples enjoy. Being gay is not a choice and loving someone of the same sex is not a “lifestyle choice”: it is love, it is human nature. And permitting gays to marry does not open the door to incestuous marriages, bestial marriages, or polyamorous unions. That kind of slippery slope argument doesn’t pass the laugh test. Countless jurisdictions have made the decision to allow gays to marry, a legal policy decision that has no negative health or cohesion effects on society, without improperly permitting marriages that could be damaging to those involved and to children…

(1) it [the ruling] makes a circuit split, a key reason the Supreme Court takes cases, more likely;

(2) it provides some measure of legitimacy to anti-equality forces by giving them a victory and resurrecting their outdated and hateful language; and

(3) it denies very real rights to very real families struggling in Louisiana.

LGBT activists held a rally in New Orleans to protest the decision, and the Forum for Equality has already promised a repeal.

Towleroad.com reports:

ABC News now reports that Forum for Equality, the ALCU, the Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT Community Center and PFLAG New Orleans are encouraging people in New Orleans to protest Judge Feldman’s decision tonight in Jackson Square, located in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.

From Forum For Equality: The ruling today upheld the unconstitutional ban on recognizing loving and committed same-sex couples. Forum for Equality and the courageous couples who have lead this battle will not stop! We will take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court! We will not let one decision turn back the tide of victories because we stand on the right side of history. Rally with Forum for Equality, ALCU, HRC, LGBTCC and PFLAG today to show Louisiana that we are committed to standing for love and fairness for all.

Marriage equality foes are, predictably, overjoyed.

Tony Perkins:

This ruling is a victory for children, each of whom need and desire a mom and dad, something our public policy should encourage. This decision is a victory for the rule law, and for religious liberty and free speech which are undermined anywhere marriage is redefined. We commend Judge Feldman for refraining from judicial activism and recognizing that Louisiana voters are free to uphold natural marriage in their state’s public policy.

Brian Brown:

Here we see the house of cards collapsing that supported the myth that redefining marriage in inevitable. This decision by Judge Feldman in Louisiana is a great win for the cause of marriage, coming as it does on the heels of other pro-marriage court victories, that puts the lie to the claim that it is inevitable the US Supreme Court will redefine marriage.

I suppose it was inevitable that we would run across homophobic judge or two on the march to marriage equality. And it’s no surprise that the two judges so far have been in two of the most homophobic states in the country, Tennessee and Louisiana. Still, it’s a bit of a slap in the face that we can still be denied our rights in 2014 by a Federal Judge because he thinks we choose to be gay.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Louisiana.

Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/24/14

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Australia: The Queensland state branch of the Australian Labor Party voted today to join Tasmania in binding its MPs to vote for same-sex marriage regardless of their personal views. full story

Ecuador: Gays and lesbians and straight cuples) will be able to register their relationships with the government as a “union of fact.” full story

USA, Indiana: IndyStar.com has a great FAQ on the marriage equality appeals case due in court next week. full story

Defiled Luggage Tags at US Airways

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

According to Victoria Rosencrans, “This is a luggage tag that my wife made prior to her trip to Texas recently. She flew US Airways. Notice our mustache and beards. I’m appalled at the actions of US Airways staff. We will be contacting US Airways to file a formal complaint. I just thought you would like to know about this incident. … We need continued awareness of the treatment the LGBT community faces each day!” The photo that Victoria used for her luggage for their flight aboard a US Airways aircraft was that of her wedding day to her wife. US Airways has not responded with comment yet, but I would argue that this childish and inappropriate behavior is unacceptable. This type of defilement would be unacceptable if it were an opposite sex couple in the photograph.

I originally posted this photo on Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania’s Facebook page. The reaction we received was mixed. Some people said to just wipe off the ink. No harm done. Others said that it is disgraceful, and that they would never fly with US Airways again. Toni Wade posted, “At the very least, the airline’s PR dept. should be put on notice that employees are committing/tolerating activities like this and that it’ll be widely publicized if an acceptable response isn’t received.” So my question to all who read this is, did Victoria make a big deal out of this, or is the fact that a US Airways employee defaced her personal property a sign of a larger problem related to discrimination? Please take a moment to comment.

Victoria Rosencrans

Luggage Tag defiled by US Airways Employees

Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/20/14

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Gay Wedding - RingsHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Australia: Two studies have found rampant homophobia in Australia’s pro sports teams and school sports activities. full story

Ireland: The National Union of Journalists is supporting a radio host who had a complaint against him upheld for not being “balanced” and including an anti-gay representative on his show. full story

Malta: The country has just passed a law to protect transgender citizens from workplace discrimination, but Malta’s laws still require medical transition for the government to recognize a gender change. full story

Sweden: An Iranian lesbian couple married in a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. full story

Uganda: Some are questioning yesterday’s story that 6 LGBT Ugandands were stined to death. full story

USA: The Advocate profiles Richard Carlbom, the campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families who is now working with Freedom to Marry in the fight for coast-to-coast equality. full story

USA: Patricia Shiu, director of the Office Of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, has vowed to enforce transgender anti-discrimination rules with federal contractors. full story

USA: A former NOM official now says the US will have full marriage equality in all 50 states by next year. full story

USA, Arkansas: After almost 10 hours of debate, the City Council in Fayetteville, Arkansas passed a controversial non-discrimination ordinance by a vote of 6-2. full story

USA, California: San Francisco just got its first out transgender police officer. full story

USA, Florida: Marriage equality would generate an estimated $182.2 million in spending as well as 2,600 new jobs over three years, according to a new study from the Williams Institute. full story

USA, Idaho: The Ninth Circuit denied the state’s request for a full en-banc hearing. The case will be heard on 9/8, along with others from Hawaii and Nevada. full story

USA, Minnesota: As part of his settlement with the Minnesota Vikings, Chris Klue got them to contribute an undisclosed amount of financial support to a number of LGBTQ organizations, as well as banning discrimination based on race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. full story

USA, Tennessee: A coalition of anti-gay groups will hold a convention in Nashville from 10/27-29 to plan their next steps in the fight against same-sex marriage. full story

USA, Utah: Plaintiffs in the state’s marriage recognition lawsuit are protesting the government’s request for more time. full story

USA, Virginia: Court clerks are on hold pending the US Supreme Court decision on whether to allow weddings to begin this week in the state. full story

Next Week: CNN Films story of transgender Navy SEAL to premiere at FILMOUT San Diego

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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Originally seen on TalkHillcrest

CNN Films’ “Lady Valor” will premiere during a special screening by FilmOut San Diego on Wednesday, Aug. 20 at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas. The film follows the story of Kristin Beck’s service as a Navy SEAL and her continued fight for open transgender military service.

Sean Sala, National LGBT Policy activist and Iraq War Veteran based in San Diego, will be facilitating the Q&A session that will follow the film to expand on the issues facing transgender military service members today.

Some of the most powerful scenes in the film features the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s “Veterans Wall of Honor” ceremony held last year.

“Lady Valor” will premiere on CNN/U.S. on Sept. 4. According to Sala, the film is a “must see.”

To see the exclusive trailer click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luhJct7oLIA

For tickets and the location of the screening click here: http://www.filmoutsandiego.com/lady-valor.htm

Film Synopsis Below:

 As a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL, Christopher Beck experienced some of the most intense combat known to anyone. Yet Christopher’s journey to become Kristin Beck, an openly transgender veteran fighting for the rights of all transgender people, has proven to be the greatest battle of her life. This eloquent documentary explores Beck’s courageous and very public transition—one that has challenged many people’s assumptions of how elite military commandos should look and sound. We meet supportive advocates from her family and military community, as well as voices of opposition to her transition. Compelling footage of Beck’s SEAL unit training illustrates the multiple, near-suicidal operational risks Beck willingly performed as a deeply unhappy gendered male. The film bears intimate witness to Beck’s pain in coming to terms with her identity while not only on active duty but also having a wife and two young sons—fragile relationships that remain largely uncertain. 

Lady Valor—structured as a road trip through Beck’s life as she pilots her motor home across the country—unflinchingly reveals both her indomitable spirit and her indisputable flaws. It’s a journey that mirrors the lives of many people who have fought to embrace what they know to be true about themselves despite confining cultural pressures. With unflagging courage and compassion, Kristin Beck redefines social notions of heroism and devotes true service to her country in entirely new, surprising, and transcendent terms.

— Leah LoSchiavo

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/5/14

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Australia: The eight-year-old niece of a gay couple will write to the Prime Minister every day this week in support of marriage equality. full story

Bolivia: Rolando Villena, Bolivia’s public advocate, is calling for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. full story

Canada, British Columbia: Anti-gay crackpot and former prostitute Bill Whatcott marched in Vancouver’s pride parade and handed out fake condoms with anti-gay notes in them. full story

China: LGBT activists are pushing for a disclaimer on books that promote so-called “conversion therapy.” full story

India: India’s University Grants Commission has added a “third gender” category for transgender applicants. full story

Uganda: At the Dish, Andrew Sullivan looks at what’s next for the country’s LGBT community now that the new anti-gay law has been struck down on a technicality. full story

USA: A gay Eagle Scout is taking a creative approach to the Boy Scout’s homophobia after being thrown out when he turned 18. full story

USA, Arizona: A ruling on the state’s marriage equality ban is expected soon. full story

USA, Arkansas: Plaintiffs in the state’s marriage equality case are asking any judges up for re-election to recuse themselves from the case. full story

USA, Arkansas: The city of Eureka Springs just held a mass gay wedding reception for 500 couples. full story

USA, Colorado: Colorado regulators say a Denver gay bar discriminated against a man in drag by denying him entry. full story

USA, Indiana: Dozens of Indiana firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers filed a brief in support of marriage equality at the Seventh Circuit. full story

USA, Minnesota: An openly gay reporter interviewed anti-gay Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt, who is accused of having had “inappropriate sexual relations” with other men. full story

USA, Ohio: A Cincinnati church held an interfaith service Sunday in support of marriage equality, just days before the Sixth circuit hearing for four states. full story

USA, Ohio: Tomorrow is the Fourth Circuit hearing for marriage equality ban challenges from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. full story

USA, Virginia: Plaintiffs in the state’s marriage equality case opposed extending the stay on the recent Fourth Circuit ruling. full story

USA, Wisconsin: The ACLU filed its brief in the state’s marriage equality case at the Seventh Circuit Monday. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/28/14

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Wikipedia Marriage Equality MapHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Denmark: Copenhagen celebrates 25 years of legal recognition for same sex couples. full story

Jamaica: A new documentary highlights the lives of homeless gay, bisexual and transgender (GBT) youth in Jamaica. full story

Mexico: A lesbian couple has won the legal right to have children in the state of Michoacan full story

Sweden: Sweden’s largest LGBT rights group has ranked the Green Party as the country’s most gay-friendly parliamentary party. full story

Turkey: A new documentary looks at Istanbul’s transgender sex workers. full story

UK, Scotland: The Government is launching a new “Scotland believes in equality” campaign. full story

USA: Wikipedia has a new marriage equality map. full story

USA, Alabama / Arkansas / Mississippi: HRC has hired Kendra Johnson to direct its efforts for LGBT equality in the three southern states. full story

USA, Alaska: The state Supreme Court is ruling on marriage equality around the edges. full story

USA, Arkansas: HRC releases a new study on the state’s LGBT community. full story

USA, Colorado: Attorney General John Suthers on Monday filed a motion with the Colorado Supreme Court to try to force Boulder County clerk Hillary Hill to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. full story

USA, Texas: Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office tried to refuse delivery of marriage equality petitions this week. full story

Every Circus Needs a Clown

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Nash GrierI enjoy the circus acts I have seen in the past with clowns completing all sorts of acrobatic tricks, juggling routines, breathing fire, and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. This is one act I could have missed and lived the rest of my life happily ignorant. It is one of those images that once seen, cannot be unseen, no matter how hard I try. I am, of course, referring to Nash Grier, and his repugnant comments on Vine. The story about his rude and demeaning comments can be found on The GailyGrind.

I raised the question on our Facebook page, what are we doing wrong? I meant that about ME4PA, not about his parents or society at large. We have been reaching out to Pennsylvanians to promote equal rights, fairness, and an understanding about the LGBTQ community. We have rallied people, sent letters to the editors of newspapers, and done our very best to inform with the most up-to-date information we can get. We admit when we make mistakes, and we correct them as quickly as possible. We struggle to gain 300 to 400 readers per article we post. Meanwhile, Nash has attracted nearly 9 Million viewers to his sideshow tent on Vine.

One of our followers on ME4PA, Brian John noted that, “People always line up for freak shows — but once the novelty wears off, they move on to the next one. This kid has 8.7 million followers today, but by next year he’ll be forgotten. Meanwhile, the truths you post will endure for generations to come.” I take some comfort in that thought, but I also know that the Internet is slow to forget what is posted to it. His image, and his message will resonate to his millions of viewers. What really concerns me most is that he has people who while sitting in their homes, or watching on their I-phones, are nodding in agreement with him. As he reaches a rather young audience, he is poisoning their minds with the message he is sending. For all the work we do to fight back against bullying, it only takes a handful of clowns like this one to destroy a child’s life.

My takeaway from this message is twofold. We need the genuine support of our friends, families, and loved ones. We need people who care about us in our lives, and we need them to stand up for us, when we come under assault. This young man is a poison to the nearly 9 million children who watch his message and silently agree with him.

My second takeaway to consider is that according to the CDC, in 2011, in the United States, children between the ages of birth and 19 years old had 2,485 people contract HIV. In 2011, another 8,045 people between the ages of 20 and 24 contracted the disease. Overall, since records began through 2010, over 214,000 people with HIV infection became infected as a result heterosexual contact. HIV is not a gay disease. To see more CDC statistics, click here. My advice to all is to get tested.

Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/6/14

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Jersey: A Senator from the island of Jersey is trying to stall or kill the marriage equality bill there. full story

UK: The United Reform Church has put off a decision on supporting marriage equality until next year. full story

USA, Florida: The Tampa Bay Times is calling on AG Pam Bondi to drop her defense of the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Florida: The state can expect an economic boom from same sex weddings if the marriage equality ban is overturned. full story

USA, Utah: Lawyers representing the state’s marriage equality lawsuit are raising funds to fight an expected US Supreme Court appeal. full story