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Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 16th

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

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

Bahamas: A survey shows 74.5% of respondents strongly disapprove of same-sex marriage, with just under 10% approving of it to any degree. full story

Egypt: A judgement issued from Egypt’s Administrative Court has set a precedent allowing the Interior Ministry to forcibly deport people suspected of being LGBT. full story

France: The French Government says it will not back down on its choice of senior diplomat and openly gay man Laurent Stefanini as its next ambassador to the Holy See but officially the Vatican is giving him the silent treatment. full story

India: Thousands of transgender women in India have pledged to donate their eyes in celebration of the first anniversary of a landmark ruling recognizing them as third sex. “Eyes do not discriminate, the perspective and perception of people do. We have decided to pledge our eyes as a thank you gesture to Justices A K Sikri and K S Radhakrishnan who had passed the landmark judgment,” transgender activist Laxmi Naryan Tripathi told the Press Trust of India. full story

Iran: A prominent Iranian cleric is teaching that men who fantasize about other women while impregnating their wives will cause their children to be gay. full story

Ireland: A new ad was just released by BeLonG To Youth Services which encourages people to bring family members to the polls for marriage equality. full story

Ireland: A mural in Dublin encouraging people to vote for same-sex marriage has been vandalized. full story

Spain: Spain’s interior ministry revealed some disturbing statistics on hate crimes on Tuesday, revealing that 40 percent of bias crimes reported in 2014 targeted gays and lesbians. full story

UK: A childless gay couple, two lesbian parents and their children, and a straight couple with their cat are some of the stars of a new advertising campaign from fashion brand Matalan, showcasing the modern family in Britain. full story

UK: The UK Independence Party has defended not making a single mention of LGBT people in its manifesto. full story

UK, Northern Ireland: The Northern Irish Assembly has been warned that a proposed “conscience clause” could lead to the same level of boycott which led the US state of Indiana to hire a PR company to perform damage limitation this week. full story

USA: A Mormon couple in a mixed-orientation marriage are objecting to their inclusion in a U.S. Supreme Court case filing because it argues that legalized gay marriage would demean the marriages of couples like themselves. full story

USA: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deadline for filing taxes can be a stark reminder for thousands of legally married same-sex couples of the inequality they face if they happen to live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage. full story

USA: Hillary Clinton supports a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court granting the right of same-sex couples to marry across the nation, a campaign spokesperson said Wednesday. full story

USA: Marco Rubio said he would attend a gay wedding if it was for someone he cared about. full story

USA: Public support for same-sex marriage has increased in all 50 states since 2004, especially in states that have legalized same-sex marriage, according to a report released today by researchers at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law and Drexel University. full story

USA: Matt Baume looks at how the next president could impact LGBT rights in the US. full story

USA: Richard Wolf at USA Today looks at five key arguments in the pending marriage equality cases before the US Supreme Court. full story

USA: Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s tietheknot.org is allowing users to create custom wedding invitations and then sends their invitations to every member of the Supreme Court. full story

USA: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and HRC Alabama kept up pressure on the Alabama legislature to halt the progress of Indiana-style “religious freedom” bills (H.B. 56)(H.B. 296/S.B. 261) that would allow discrimination in the arenas of marriage recognition and adoption. full story

USA, California: In an unprecedented move, more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members signed a full-page ad running Thursday in The Chronicle that calls on Pope Francis to replace San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for fostering “an atmosphere of division and intolerance.” full story

USA, Colorado: Organizers of a conservative conference in Denver this summer have told the Log Cabin Republicans that they cannot have a booth at the event. full story

USA, Florida: Watch as a gay couple, both Disney employees, gets engaged. full story

USA, Guam The governor of Guam, a tiny U.S. territory in the Pacific, on Wednesday backed legislation allowing same sex marriage but said the issue, which has sharply divided Americans, should be put to a referendum. full story

USA: full story

USA, Maine: A Republican Maine senator says he’s withdrawing his “religious freedom” bill that’s similar to proposals that have caused protests in other states, saying the bill wouldn’t get a fair hearing. full story

USA, Michigan: The owner of a Grandville auto repair shop says he won’t hesitate “to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons.” full story

USA, New York: The Harlem hate church sign has a new anti-gay message. full story

Harlem Hate Church sign

USA, North Dakota: One family breaks the silence on marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Ohio: A new bill is being introduced at the Ohio Statehouse that would allow officiants to refuse to marry same sex couples in Ohio. full story

USA, Texas: A top House Republican, Pasadena Republican Rep. Gilbert Pena, delayed a hearing on controversial legislation Wednesday that would limit transgender students’ use of school bathrooms and locker rooms, saying the author needed to its soften language. full story

USA, Texas: State Affairs Chairman and Republican Representative Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, voiced his explicit support today (Wednesday, April 15) for legislation that would allow same-sex couples and legal guardians of a child to receive a supplementary birth certificate reflecting both of their names. full story

USA, Washington DC: April 17 marks the 50th anniversary of what many LGBT rights advocates believe was the first-ever gay rights demonstration held outside the White House. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 11th

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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

Canada, Alberta: After fighting GSA’s for a year, the government has done an about-face and will mandate them in all publicly-funded schools. full story

Egypt: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) sent letters to prominent business leaders scheduled to speak at the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), urging them to raise the issue of LGBT rights abuses in the country. full story

Ireland: The Catholic Bishop who said being gay was like having Down’s Syndrome also said gays should wait to have sex until marriage. full story

Ireland: A Catholic priest who compared gays to people with Down’s Syndrome is defending his homophobic remarks. full story

Malawi: Malawi will not change its laws against homosexuality, the country’s Health Minister says. full story

Peru: Catholic Monsignor Luis Barbaren called the civil unions bill’s sponsor, Rep. Carlos Bruce, the Spanish equivalent of “faggot.” full story

Peru: Congress rejected a proposed civil unions bill, and activists called for protests. full story

Slovenia: On the same day the country’s upper chamber rejected an attempt to veto the marriage equality bill, opponents turned in 80K petitions to try to force a referendum, far more than the 2500 required. Parliament now has to decide if it can move forward. full story

Uganda: Frank Mugisha, the head of the country’s leading LGBT organization, discusses his strategy for changing the nation. full story

UK: A transgender man who was ordered to use a disabled toilet by a nightclub has received an out-of-court settlement of £1,500. full story

UK: The Conservatives look set to lose Brighton Kemptown, long considered the heart of the British gay community, over their support for same-sex marriage. full story

USA: “Christian” conservative John Price, author of The End of America, last week encouraged Americans to flee to escape God’s coming wrath over gay marriage. full story

USA: Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy S. Moore on Friday said that gay marriage opposition should be a litmus test for GOP presidential candidates – isn’t it already? full story

USA: The president of an anti-gay black pastors coalition has expressed his anger that President Barack Obama compared the civil rights movement to that for same-sex marriage at the Selma Anniversary. full story

USA: A new study has found that when transgender young people are allowed to fully identify with their gender and take steps toward transition, it significantly improves their depression and anxiety. full story

USA: The Family Equality Council, which represents LGBT families with children, last week filed along with the LGBT group COLAGE a 40-page “voices of LGBT youth and children” brief arguing the court should strike down prohibitions on same-sex nuptials based on the harms they inflict on children raised by gay parents. full story

USA: Ted Cruz is making a name for himself as the most anti-gay Presidential candidate. full story

USA: In a letter to the US Supreme Court, the conservative Heritage Foundation claims that anti-marriage equality bans are constitutional. full story

USA: A new class-action lawsuit has been filed seeks to recoup Social Security benefits given to married same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. full story

USA: Hot Air looks at the split over marriage equality on the GOP side in a new poll. full story

USA: The GOP-led Senate is calling FRC’s Tony Perkins to testify about “religious freedom”. full story

USA, Alabama: Attorney General Luther Strange is asking a federal judge to keep gay marriage in the state on hold until the US Supreme Court rules on the issue. full story

USA, Arkansas: In the wake of the anti-gay bill that stripped local LGBT protections, Rep. Greg Leding (D) filed HB 1959, which would add four words to the state civil rights law to prohibit discrimination in employment, public accommodations, property transactions, credit or the political process on grounds of “sexual orientation, gender identity.” full story

USA, California: San Francisco Catholics are fighting the church over LGBT rights. full story

USA, Colorado: The House passed a ban on “conversion therapy” for youth 35-29. full story

USA, Florida: Lee County residents may be able to register as domestic partners as early as late spring. full story

USA, Florida: The state’s ban on adoption by gays was ruled unconstitutional back in 2010, but is still in the constitution. A South Florida state representative is hoping to strike the ban from state law. full story

USA, Oklahoma: The House voted 67-24 to get the state out of the marriage business, shifting licensing to members of the clergy. full story

USA, South Carolina: Anti-gay groups held a rally pushing for a bill to halt same sex marriages in the state. full story

USA, South Dakota: The full South Dakota Senate opted not to take up a proposal that would void a South Dakota High School Activities Association policy on transgender student participation in sports. full story

USA, Texas: An anti-transgender bathroom bill would not only prohibit schools from allowing transgender students to use restrooms in accordance with their gender identity, but would also award a $2,000 bounty — plus actual damages, court costs and attorneys fees – to students who spotted someone transgender using the “wrong” bathroom. full story

USA, Texas: Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, announced Monday that he would reconsider his “right to discriminate” bill after the Texas Association of Business, Equality Texas and others expressed concern it would discriminate against LGBT people. full story

USA, Utah: The state Senate has approved a proposal to allow government employees to refuse to marry same-sex couples if they opt out of their right to marry anyone. full story

USA:, Washington DC D.C. Police Sgt. Jessica Hawkins began work on March 3 as the new supervisor of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, becoming the first transgender person to hold the position. full story

Queeny “Ex-Gay Minister” Kegan Wesley claims to his salon stylist that he can “raise the dead”:

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

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Originally seen on SeanSala.com

A couple of months ago an open letter to Kegan Wesley was issued by national LGBT activist Sean Sala, condemning  the ever so queenly and “delivered from homosexuality” minister. Yet the resident preacher queen has a new claim out about his experiences in ministry.

Kegan claims he was called to “raise the dead.”

At first you think he may be speaking figuratively, then in a video he posted about his “salon appointment” he tells his hairdresser that the dead “literally” have been raised.

A literal claim, that we challenge Kegan to prove scientifically that this even occurred. Surly God would make proof of that easy right?

Yes, Kegan Wesley has claimed that he has witnessed and been a part of “raising the dead” (In literal present tense.) See the “ever-so-not-gay” video here. Be sure to watch the whole thing if you can, your brain may hurt afterwards.

Here he claims he has the power to raise the dead.

In the shocking youtube video, Kegan claims that God purposely screwed up his hair appointment. He claims due to the event that he faced “immense paranoia” since someone else was working on his hair. Until, “God literally began to speak through him” to his hairdresser. Then when his “God words – filled up the salon stylist” he prayed that his hairdresser would not mess up his haircut since she was being “filled by God” in the hair salon.  After she “bursts into tears” because of the “power” flowing through him – he is quick to mention that there was a another salon artist nearby that quote, (paraphrased) “I knew he was a homosexual and his ears were burnin!!!”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Kegan continues to be as queeny as they come and out of his own obvious insecurity he points out the femininity in other men. Yet, he fails to remember on every sermon and Facebook post he seems to drop his purse without noticing.

Keep on queenin’ on girl. Your lies are destroying and marginalizing LGBT teens.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 31st

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

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

International: ExxonMobil has finally officially added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to its officially protected classes. full story

International: Sam Kutesa, the President of the United Nations General Assembly whose election was protested internationally by LGBT rights groups, took a swipe at his opponents. full story

Africa: The President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, who is a staunch opponent of gay rights, has been appointed as the president of the African Union. full story

Bermuda: LGBT rights advocates are criticizing a local church for hosting a weekend conference that promotes the discredited “ex-gay” movement. full story

Brazil: Sao Paulo hopes to encourage transgender youth to return to school and finish their educations by offering them monthly payments. full story

UK, Northern Ireland: LGBTI activists are rallying against a new “right to discriminate” bill. full story

Tanzania: A stransgender man and his female partner have been arrested for “gay sex”. full story

USA: A new report shows that foundation funding for LGBT health totals less than 0.5 percent of all health funding, and funding for HIV/AIDS is drastically out of proportion. full story

USA: A new study finds that transgender children identity as consistently and innately with that gender identity as other kids their age who are not trans. full story

USA: A Coca Cola Superbowl ad will star out football player Michael Sam. full story

USA: Some same sex couples are facing an unexpected hurdle getting married – Jewish oppisition to interfaith marriages. full story

USA, Alabama: The couple that toppled Alabama’s marriage equality ban is urging an appellate court to let the judge’s ruling take effect. full story

USA, Alabama: The couple who won their marriage equality case this week also filed a response with the 11th circuit with the help of NCLR. full story

USA: In both Searcy v. Strange and Strawser v. Strange, Governor Robert Bentley asked the Eleventh Circuit to extend the temporary stay that’s due to expire on February 9 until the appeals process is over. full story

USA, Alabama: The Alabama Probate Judges Association has joined Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in asking an appeals court indefinitely delay a court order mandating marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Georgia: Although the state’s marriage equality case has been put on hold pending the upcoming Supreme Court ruling, other parts of the case remain open for further review. full story

USA, Michigan: The Ann Arbor City Council on Monday night will vote on a resolution authorizing the city to be listed as a supporting municipality in a marriage equality amicus brief being filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. full story

USA, Montana: Lawmakers are weighing whether to strike down an invalidated voter-enacted ban on marriage equality from the state Constitution. full story

USA, New York: The gay couple from the recent Survivor Blood vs. Water season just got engaged. full story

USA, Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert used his sixth annual State of the State address Wednesday night to call on Utah lawmakers to pass a “right to discriminate” bill this session. full story

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Weddings A La Heart, Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Weddings A La Heart

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Officiants in Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI, USA. Aloha Gay beloveds. I warmly welcome you to Weddings A La Heart and eagerly await creating a one-of-a kind sunset soul ceremony for you both, to touch your hearts deeply. Complete wedding services and civil unions with gracious personal service from beginning to end. Gorgeous private and public Hawaiian beach venues. We also travel anywhere in the world bringing the sacred and romantic traditions of the gay Hawaiian ceremony to you.

See the Weddings A La Heart Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Hawaii

Iraq War Veteran confronts Anti-LGBT petitioner in #Plano, Texas:

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Plano-hatred

Originally seen at SeanSala.com

As some of you may know and have been following, a group called “Plano Citizens United” has been seeking to overthrow and repeal a nondiscrimination ordinance recently voted on and approved by the Plano, Texas city Council and Mayor.

This organization solely formed to target the LGBT community is spreading lies on what the ordinance does and why it was enacted. Of course they are leaving out some key details - it also protects women and Veterans from job place discrimination. Of course they’re not talking about that.

Sean Sala who is an Iraq War Veteran confronted the anti-gay, anti-women and anti-Veteran petitioners today outside of a post office in Plano, Texas.

The group supporting equal rights for all Texas can be found HERE

You can view the video HERE

 

Young #LGBT #Texans must rise up! – State Officials are ready to rain hate:

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

collage

Originally seen at SeanSala.com

I drove the long twenty hour drive from San Diego, California to Dallas, Texas with a flurry of emotions in my gut. I had lived in San Diego for almost ten years and anywhere I live I get the “ten year itch.” There were many reasons as to why I was moving back but a couple of big ones that were not “suggestions” to move back – they instead were a call of duty.

While I was in San Diego the fight for equal rights was avid and alive. I had organized the first active duty Military March in a Pride parade in History while Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was still law. The next year I pressured the Pentagon to certify Uniforms in a Pride parade for the first time in US History. I had helped spring board the American Military Partner Association which eventually led to a major shift in Veteran’s Affairs treatment of LGBT troops. I had sat face to face with Alan Chambers the President of the largest “Gay conversion therapy” clinic in the World and demanded on Lisa Ling’s documentary “God and Gays” that he end his lies and shut down. I had partnered with a iconic Transgender Navy SEAL, Kristin Beck to combat the Transgender Ban in the Military. My blog became nationally syndicated. I worked with an Oscar winning producer to screen “God loves Uganda.” I had the distinct honor among many other things locally and nationally to be on the forefront of. I remember though, the day that I thought about that vast land I came from. I remember the pain I had been subjected too as an LGBT teen and I knew that one day… I had to go back. You see, being an activist in California had become “easy.” Much was accomplished in my nine years there, but as an activist I know that my duty is not to just go where it is easy – but to go where it is hard.

The decision had confused many people. I had people here and there coming up to me so confused “why would you go there?” “That place is a crazy Republican State” and “they will kill you there!” I had someone very close to the Speaker of the California Assembly, Toni Atkins fervently try to persuade me to stay.  The decision had been made though. The State of Texas needs a “great awakening” of the LGBT community. Specifically the young LGBT community. I am one among a handful of activists State wide who have been longing to see that day and moment. If I can be one more piece of the puzzle to add to that vision, that is all that matters. I am one of many in the this State longing for a new era of Equality. To stay in a comfortable California seat would have been the most cowardly thing I could have done. In the end I must be able to say to myself that I stood there in the hard times in California and I stood there in the hard times in Texas.

I am often moved by the story of Harriet Tubman. A woman who during her plight was not only less privileged due to the color of her skin, her gender too was a huge boundary to her equal treatment as a person as well. When she finally escaped her slave master her own husband out of fear refused to go with her to escape. She ran alone through the dogs, the lanterns in the distance hunting her down, the cold wooded nights to freedom. She had an opportunity to live in her new life in the North. Instead she turned right back around, began the Underground Railroad and  after escaping hell she ran right back into hell to take others out. To LGBT Texans scattered abroad. To former Evangelical LGBT people. To those who are scorn by the wayside by how this State and it’s Government has treated us. To all LGBT afar. We must answer the call of Harriet. We must turn around, return and we must fight back. It is a hard thought but it is our sacred duty.  If we do not fight now against the discrimination soon to be poured unto us by the Theocratic tyranny of Greg Abbott and the State legislature – many more will suffer.

Can you see it though? Through the darkness of the woods? Through the pale morning sky? Through the cold plains of Texas – can you see LGBT people living open and free? Not just in the big Cities, but in the small towns. In Plano, in Bridgeport, Galveston, Brownsville; can you see LGBT teens no longer being thrown into the prisons of Evangelical behavior modification? Can you see LGBT teens no longer being thrown homeless into the streets in numbers so high? Being thrown out by Churches who profess “Christ” to cover their bigotry. Can you see a generation of young LGBT people standing up in every city, every small town, every Church, every place and declaring that we are not a minority to be marginalized any more? Can you see the young people of this state fulfilling the cry of the late Harvey Milk… “come out… come out! You must come out!” Can you see the Theocracy of Evangelical tyranny crumble? We can’t “maybe” see it – we must see it. Today is the day our tone, tenure and resolve must be multiplied.

I remember sitting in the small chapel of (former) Victory Assemblies of God in Carrollton, Texas after I had “come out” about my “struggle” with being gay. Only to have the Church hierarchy squash me like a bug. They systematically removed me from leadership. A teenager in the Church openly called me a fag in front of other adults who stood by and said nothing. I remember looking up into the stained glass white dove in that Chapel which symbolized the Holy Spirit… and I wept. I wept so hard it hurt. I cried out more than I ever had in my life and I asked God, “why is this happening to me?”

Years later I have returned and finally understand the answer to that question.

It’s time for our young LGBT people to rise up.

It’s time to bring people through the underground railroad.

HS

“Looking” Returns for Season 2 – Win a DVD of Season 1

Monday, January 5th, 2015

looking-500HBO is partnering with Purple Unions/Marriage Equality Watch to announce the second season of Looking, the gay drama set in San Francisco. We’re giving away ten copies of the Season 1 DVD – just post a comment below with your name and email address. We’ll draw the winners from all the entries received by 1/11

There’s more out there in the all new season of the hit HBO series LOOKING starring Jonathan Groff and Frankie J. Alvarez. LOOKING focuses on current gay life in the Bay Area and on themes that everyone, gay and straight, can relate to: falling in love, finding professional fulfillment, forging an identity in a complicated world, and searching for happiness. Don’t miss the season premiere Sunday, January 11th at 10pm/9pm Central, only on HBO.

And now is your chance to catch up before the premiere with Season 1, available to own now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD: http://amzn.com/B00HX3ZJOY

F.D.A. to Lift Lifetime Ban on Blood Donations by Gay Men in 2015

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

bloodThis just in from The New York Times:

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a change that experts said was long overdue and could lift the annual blood supply by as much as 4 percent. The F.D.A. enacted the ban in 1983, early in the AIDS epidemic. At the time, little was known about the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes the disease, and there was no quick test to determine whether somebody had it. But science and the understanding of H.I.V. in particular has advanced in the intervening decades, and on Tuesday the F.D.A. acknowledged as much, lifting the lifetime ban but keeping in place a more modest block on donations by men who have had sex with other men in the last 12 months. In a statement, the agency said it had carefully examined and considered the scientific evidence before changing the policy. It said it intended to issue a draft guidance detailing the change in 2015.

So you’ll still have to wait 12 months without having sex to donate. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Response to Bigot “Pastor” @jackngraham in His Effort to Repeal Plano, Texas LGBT Protections:

Monday, December 22nd, 2014
Jack-Graham

Mega-Church Senior Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church

 

Originally seen on SeanSala.com

It was almost nine years ago that I left the Dallas metropolis to join the Military. Shortly thereafter I was thrust into the Naval campaign of the Iraq war, guarding the Iraqi oil platforms just off the coast of the nation. At that time I was closeted, still hiding from myself. Also the unconstitutional law known as DADT (“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”) was in full affect – ruining the lives of many gay and lesbian servicemembers who were laying down their lives for our Country. When I returned from the war I was so broken physically and mentally. Not just because of the stress of being in a combat theater, but because DADT had caused me to be emotionally paranoid every day while under combat stress. The Dallas, Texas area as well had done it’s number on me. I was kicked out of Churches for admitting that I simply “struggled” with being gay. I was singled out, demonized and I underwent what is known as “Gay conversion therapy.” In the past I shared my story on “Our America with Lisa Ling.”  This story is just one of the many stories of the horrible persecution of growing up gay in the South. Months before I exited the Military I began my “righteous revenge” on the DADT policy. I began to fight the very system that demonized us. To this day I am still fighting on national level for the LGBT community – fighting for the rights that so many of us were denied, but so many of us laid our lives down for.

For many reasons I have returned to the Dallas area after almost nine years. One of the key reasons I have returned is so I can fight, advocate and speak out against the atrocities the “Christian Church” committed against me and many others for simply being born gay. I vowed to get settled down, then began to work to build a coalition to reach out to the Evangelical community. Seeking to bring more LGBT freedom to the State of Texas. Sadly to my surprise though I have to immediately address a grandly horrible, unethical and unchristian action that is currently being committed, targeting gay people in the area of Plano, Texas.

Dr. Jack Graham Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church (a Church I used to attend,) has decided that in his position of Evangelical authority, instead of preaching a message about advocating for the poor, instead of preaching a message of reaching out to the widows and orphans of this world, instead of embracing the heart of Jesus (who never denied service to any person) – he has begun to lead a coalition to REPEAL a LGBT protection ordinance that was recently approved by the Plano City Council. This ordinance for the first time would embrace the full Constitutional body of our founding principles and it would protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Much like it has been done time and time again for other groups such as African Americans, Women and even Christians. These groups currently enjoy Constitutionally protected laws that specifically lets them not be denied freedom and public services based on their race, gender or belief. What is purely disgusting about all of this is Graham has used the phrase “darkness” to portray gay people. He agrees that “Christianity” has been “criminalized” in Plano and other absolutely adolescent, ridiculous and unfounded claims. So for a man who helps head the Baptist National Convention and uses the phrase “Doctor” in this title, for a man who preaches the “grace” of God – let me address him as such:

Dr. Graham:

I know that being the Senior Pastor of such a large Church that fully funds your every need you must live “such a painful” life. I know that someone who uses the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring in millions to live like a “Christian King,” building a grandeur huge building that uplifts your social platform you must be “so aware” of what painful persecution is. You live in the United States of America. Apparently though Plano, Texas with its sea of wealthy and well off white people (many of whom attend your Church,) to you it has literally become a “brutal dictatorship” against you personally. I mean, you can’t eat in restaurants because you are a Baptist right? You can’t get promoted in certain workplaces because you are Baptist right? You can’t fully know that you will keep your job simply because of the way you were born right? I am sure the money you rake in from book sales etc. are “in jeopardy” because you are “so discriminated against?” – WRONG.

I don’t know if you need a refresher course on US History, or the basics of a functioning Constitutional Republic, but allow me to educate you since you have forgotten what actual discrimination is. Actual discrimination is you actually being DENIED a right, service or equal protection as cited under the 14th Amendment. This is the same clause that deemed DADT, DOMA (The “so called” Defense of Marriage Act) and now only roughly thirty seven States’ gay marriage bans to be unconstitutional. These laws were struck down not by “crazy gay liberals.” You know the gays that you profile as Nazis who are coming to force you to actually (Gasp! Serve them food.) Many of these were Bush and Reagan era appointed Judges who are staunchly conservative figures. Because they unlike you, actually give a damn about full Constitutional protection for all people – not just your exclusive Baptist resort. They, unlike you actually practice this “magical” philosophy that you profess to practice yourself. I don’t know if you have heard about this man named Jesus? Have you heard of Him? Well, if not please allow me “Doctor” to fill you in on His way of life, philosophy and doctrine.

Now, I would like you to take out a pen from your nice office fully funded by your congregation. I know it must be very hard to attain basic office supplies, since you go out to Office Max and a attendant screams “Get that disgusting fag Baptist out of this store!” That has happened to you right? You have had a lifetime of hateful slurs thrown at you simply for being Baptist? You agree that Christianity has been criminalized. So when are you getting arrested? Back to my point, please carefully write down this phrase that Jesus defined. I’m sorry I asked you to use a sheet of paper. I know supplies must be scarce in the prison you’ve been thrown in. Are you ready?

“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” – Jesus

“Judge not lest ye be judged.” – Jesus

You may be in utter shock that actual Christianity calls for these “crazy” and ludicrous things like treating people with actual dignity and respect. I am happy to inform you though  that now you actually have a chance to live out your faith! You have the opportunity to actually lead people to the same Christ who offered water to a Samaritan woman. Someone who in Jesus’ day was deemed less than and filthy, simply because of her social status and gender. Yes! Jesus actually reached out to social minorities and social rejects of his day! Insane right?! The Jesus that you “claim” to serve actually demands that you treat people equally and you never deny them any sort of service.

I also want to take some time to explain to you some simple concepts that even a child can understand. Imagine this as your “School House Rock” moment. You can follow along and hum the repetitious beat if you get lost. It goes like this:

You are a registered business with the State and with the National Government

– You pay taxes to operate as a business to the public, therefore you have to do this thing called “providing a service” to the public.

- BREAKING NEWS: LGBT people are part of the public!

Ludicrous isn’t it? I know I thought the same thing! Sadly for you and your “dazzling” Baptist palace, the truth of the matter is there are billions of people in the world. There are thousands of religions, many genders, many sexual orientations and many races. I regret to inform you that the World is not all heterosexual white males. I imagine you just fell out of your leather office chair but don’t worry! Pick yourself up and dust off your brand new tailored suit! After all, it must be hard to get your suit tailored because of all the Baptist discrimination you suffer. After getting beat up in all those hate crimes, you must be famished. Embrace the good news though! You live in the United States of America. You esteem to be a follower of Jesus and you actually are asked, nay demanded by Him to treat people equally.

Since you have been discriminated against so fervently, you have a chance to right a wrong in this world. The real “darkness” – a hypocritical Christianity that uses liturgical and religious dogma to demonize a group of people and shut out God’s Kingdom to them. So since you lead a congregation of thousands, I am hoping you have the balls as a man, as a Christian and as an American to actually tell them that discrimination is wrong. I hope you have the bravery to tell them that purposely trying to repeal a law that protects a minority, is the farthest thing from the Christian faith. I hope you realize that when you deny service to someone who is LGBT you are denying service to a mother, a father, a professional, a Veteran, a Active Duty Military member, a brother, a sister a police officer, a firefighter and yes to a gay Christian – and so on. You also are denying service to Jesus Himself:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.  For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

– The Book of Matthew

Until then, I am so sorry for your “horrific Baptist persecution.” Remember, you don’t choose to be gay but you do choose your religious belief. So let your hair down out of your ivory tower and allow some sense to climb into your space.

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