This adorably playful rainbow mural on the Talaee Al-Noor International School in Riyadh reportedly led to a $25,000 fine, and jail for the school administrator who was blamed for the festive art. Why? Because rainbows are seen as “Emblems Of Homosexuality,” and anything remotely gay is a Very Bad Crime in Saudi Arabia.
Why do you hate rainbows, mister? Read the rest
Read the rest
You heard it here first.
[via Christian Nightmares]
Reverend Matthew Makela has two problems with queer people: he can't stop calling them predatory sickos, and he can't stop having sex with them.
According to his official bio, the associate pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Michigan enjoys family, music, home improvement, gardening and landscaping. According to his Grindr profile, discovered and exposed by Queerty, he likes topping and cuddles.
Of course, how someone behaves between the sheets is really nobody’s business but his own, except when he’s actively doing damage to others. We’ve seen it time and time again. The lawmaker who spends his days fighting against gay rights and his nights cruising for bottoms, or the ex-gay activist who isn’t quite as ex-gay as he’d like everyone to believe.
Which brings us back to Makela. The married father of five from Midland, Michigan doesn’t just preach Jesus’ love and help with bake sales. He also uses his position of authority and respect in his community to broadcast his self-loathing view on same-sex attraction.
The collection of statements is damning: he's a full-spectum hater, ranging from gay-curing nonsense to effortlessly nasty transphobia aimed at a specific local resident. Makela told Queerty that he has resigned and told his wife and senior pastor, but Queerty is having none of it:
…his community also deserves to know. If Makela made even one LGBT kid at St. John’s “Christ-based” elementary school, their parents, friends, family or anyone who ever stepped foot in the church feel like being true to yourself is shameful (and it seems all too likely that he did), then we’re glad to share his hypocrisy with the world.
Disney has dropped the Boy Scouts of America from the roster of charities eligible to benefit from its Voluntears program, through which the company donates money to charities when its employees do volunteer work in their communities. The Scouts have a policy banning gay people from serving as scout leaders, and Disney has a policy banning charities that are "inconsistent with Disney's policies on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation."
South Carolina legislature confiscates budget of college for assigning Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home" as a reading
The South Carolina House of Representatives has withdrawn $52,000 from the College of Charleston for including Alison Bechdel's brilliant, celebrated memoir Fun Home in its summer reading program. Bechdel, creator of the Dykes to Watch Out For strip, published the memoir in 2006. In graphic novel form, it tells Bechdel's story of growing up closeted in a family riven by a father who can't admit that he is gay and an embittered mother who doesn't allow herself to notice her husband's affairs.
Representative Garry Smith said that the book "didn't merit scholarly consideration" because it "graphically shows lesbian acts." He led the campaign to withdraw the funds. $52,000 is the cost of the entire summer reading program.
Bechdel expressed gratitude to the college for assigning her book, and added, "It's sad and absurd that the College of Charleston is facing a funding cut for teaching my book – a book which is after all about the toll that this sort of small-mindedness takes on people's lives."
To its credit, the college is refusing to allow its reading choices to be affected. College president P. George Benson said, "Any legislative attempt to tie institutional funding to what books are taught, or who teaches them, threatens the credibility and reputation of all South Carolina public universities."
The College of Charleston isn't the only institution whose funding has been cut for assigning readings that don't meet with Rep Smith's approval; another $18,000 was confiscated from the University of South Carolina Upstate's budget for including a book with LGBT themes in its curriculum.
I would certainly contribute to a fundraiser to make up the colleges' shortfall, especially if they'd guarantee that the funds would go to a program whose readings consisted entirely of things that Representative Gary Price didn't like.
Update: In the comments, Timstellmach writes, "Money has been put where my mouth is. For reference, the name of the program in question is "The College Reads!", and the college's donation page is at https://giving.cofc.edu/donate.
Read the rest
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford -- who has steadfastly refused to attend the city's massive, economically vital and glorious Pride parade -- has pitched a tantrum over the decision to fly a rainbow flag from the auxiliary flagpole at City Hall. The flag was raised in solidarity with LGBT activists and athletes in a project led by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam at the request of Pride House TO. Ford says he tried to get the flag removed, and has pasted Canadian flags over his office window and the doors of city hall.
Wong-Tam characterises this as evidence of Ford's long-suspected homophobia, which strikes me as extremely plausible. The article in the Globe and Mail points out that Ford recently told reporters that he would not attend Pride festivities even if he was not away with his family, this being Ford's usual excuse for missing it.
Wong-Tam hypothesizes that Ford has "let it all hang loose" and other councilors agree. I wonder if he thinks a dog-whistle for the city's bigots will win him votes come election day.
Read the rest
Read the rest
Ryan Sohmner and Ben Bates imagine the first page of Orson Scott Card's upcoming Superman comic. (Thanks, Neowolf!)
He has since issued an equally-intelligent apology:
"The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel."
This is the same week that former-49er offensive tackle Kwame Harris was outed as he faced charges for assaulting his ex-lover, a man, outside a Chinese restaurant during an argument about soy sauce and underwear.
Meanwhile, 49ers safety Donte Whitner, who previously appeared in an "In Gets Better Project" video supporting LGBT teens, expressed disappointment in Culliver's intolerance:
"I actually do feel differently from what Chris said," Whitner said. "We are NFL players, but we are humans also. Who knows? There could be somebody gay in our locker room right now that's scared to come out, which he has a right to be if he is scared to come out because of all of this and how other teammates might feel. But I feel like anybody can be who they want to be if they want to be that. As long as you don't disrespect other people and go about your own business in your way, I don't see what the problem is."
In a video made viral by our pals at Dangerous Minds, a child sings:
"I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong / I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong / Ain't no homos going to make it to heaven."
Then, a crowd of adults cheers and gives a standing ovation.
You can watch the video at Dangerous Minds.
In the Washington Post, testimonials by prep school classmates of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney paint the former Governor of Massachusetts as a homophobic bully. So, basically— he hasn't changed much. Snip:
John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.
“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.
With help from other bullies, the story goes, Romney then tackled Lauber, pinned him to the ground, and while the young man was weeping, cut off his hair with scissors.
Bruce Wilson has been looking deeper into ties between Invisible Children, the group behind "Kony 2012," and a secretive fundamentalist Christian organization known variously as The Family and The Fellowship—which, as it turns out, is said to be a force behind Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill. For a primer on The Family, by the way, there's no better place to start than Jeff Sharlet's book.
What Wilson dug up is now detailed in an extensive blog post. There's a lot to sort through, but it's exhaustively-researched stuff.
At least two of Invisible Children's programs have involved collaboration with The Fellowship and and its members, and by 2007 -- according to accounts from both Invisible Children and Fellowship members -- Invisible Children had partially merged its developing school and mentoring programs in Uganda with The Fellowship's Ugandan educational and leadership training system, which works to raise up a cadre of elite Jesus-centered leaders who will transform their nation along "Biblical" lines - with one apparent objective being the categorical elimination of homosexuality.