Woman faces two years in Poland prison for art showing Jesus and Mary with rainbow halos

Elżbieta Podlesna could spend up to two years in prison for "offending religious feelings" after putting up posters in Poland showing the Mary and Jesus with LGBT rainbow halos.

From CNN

Police claim that Podlesna, 51, put up the posters in the small city of Płock, Poland. And they say they found even more posters when they searched her car and home.

Podlesna was detained by authorities as she returned from an Amnesty International advocacy tour.

As a result of the searches, prosecutors are charging her with offending religious feelings. And those charges mean Podlesna faces up to two years in prison if found guilty.

Image: Amnesty International Read the rest

University dean resigns after school denies Chick-fil-A a location on campus

Cynthia Newman, dean of the college of business administration at Rider University in New Jersey, has resigned from that position after her school denied Chick-fil-A a campus location "based on the company's record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community." (Newman will continue as a tenured professor though.) According to the university administrators, Chick-fil-A's "corporate values have not sufficiently progressed enough to align with those of Rider."

I first suspected Newman stepped down because she loves Chick-fil-A's waffle fries so much, but she says she actually has "a problem with University leadership passing judgement on Chick-fil-A’s values which are reflective with the values of the Christian as well as other faiths.”

“I endeavor every day to do exactly what Chick-fil-A puts forward as its overarching corporate value: to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to me and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with me," Newman said in her resignation speech.

From CNN:

Newman wrote that she asked administrators to apologize for offending Christians, but ultimately decided to step down after the university stuck to its original stance.

"While we respect Dr. Newman's personal decision, we maintain that the decision about choosing an on-campus restaurant franchise was in no way a judgment on religious values," Kristine Brown, a spokeswoman for Rider University, said in a statement to CNN.

"Rather, our intention was to foster a sense of respect and belonging of all members of the campus community, including those who identify as LGBTQ+."

More in the Rider University newspaper: "Dean steps down from position due to religious beliefs" (The Rider News) Read the rest

Lawyers for Kentucky governor says office of Kim Davis must pay $225,000 in legal fees

[UPDATE 1/30/2019: The headline and first paragraph of the Lexington Herald Leader say that lawyers for Governor Matt Bevin want Kim Davis to pay the state's legal bills, but a quote from one of the lawyers later in the story makes it clear they want the office of the country clerk where Davis used to work to pay the bill, not Davis personally.]

When Kim Davis was the county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, she refused a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Her illegal shenanigans ended up costing the state a lot of money in legal bills, and now lawyers for Governor Matt Bevin say she has to pay it back to the tune of nearly a quarter million dollars.

From the Lexington Herald Leader:

“Her local policy stood in direct conflict with her statutory obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified Kentucky couples. The local policy also undermined the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s interest in upholding the rule of law,” Bevin attorney Palmer G. Vance II wrote in one brief.

“Davis had an independent and sworn duty to uphold the law as an elected county officer,” Vance wrote. “If fees are awarded, they must be the responsibility of the Rowan County clerk’s office, which should be deterred from engaging in conduct that violates civil rights — and leads to costly litigation.”

Don't feel sorry for Davis, a MAGAfundme campaign will undoubtedly come to her rescue.

Image: Mugshot of former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis from the Rowan County Sheriff's office Read the rest

Watch 193 pride flags stop a bullet

Fondation Émergence created a great PSA they call the Pride Shield, where 193 pride flags (one for each country) show that together we can end the worldwide epidemic of violence against sex and gender minorities. Read the rest

After the Boy Scouts opens up to trans kids, queer kids and girls, the Mormons severed their 105-year relationship to scouting

The Church of Latter Day Saints insists that its decision to end over a century of close association with the Boy Scouts has nothing to do with the organization's decision to admit girls, gay kids and trans kids -- the Mormon leaders say that its launching of a competing scouting organization based on the "spiritual, social, physical and intellectual goals outlined by the church" is merely a coincidence. Read the rest

Psychiatrist who "cured" gays busted for gay sex with clients

Since last time I wrote about Toronto's leading role in "reparative therapy" for curing LGBT people, the worst gender clinic was shut down and its head was fired. Now another "expert" had his license suspended after having sex with men he claimed he was "curing" of homosexuality. Read the rest

Dumbledore to stay in closet for new Fantastic Beasts movie

A decade ago, J.K. Rowling famously told the world that Dumbledore was gay. Just don't expect it to be shown any time soon.

“Not explicitly,” Yates replied when asked if the film makes it clear that Dumbledore is gay. “But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”

Yates then added a bit more about what Dumbledore is like in the new film: “He’s a maverick and a rebel and he’s an inspiring teacher at Hogwarts. He’s witty and has a bit of edge. He’s not this elder statesman. He’s a really kinetic guy. And opposite Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, they make an incredible pairing.”

Most opinions are of the kind that this is cowardly, homophobic and sad. One opinion that might matter more than yours is that of China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. But the supposedly growing influence of foreign censors on Hollywood wouldn't explain the oleaginous smarminess of "all the fans are aware."

Read the rest

Bigots who swore their religious beliefs would force them to divorce if Australia passed marriage equality renege on promise

In 2015, Nick and Sarah Jensen publicly swore that their religious beliefs would force them to divorce in protest if Australia enacted marriage equality laws that allowed for same-sex marriage. This week, Australia passed such legislation, but the Jensens were evidently lying, and now Nick Jensen told the press (by text-message!) that they meant their "public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state." Read the rest

Roy Moore is still in the running because "values voters" would support Satan himself if he was anti-abortion and homophobic

The term "values voter" is taken to mean someone who votes for politicians on the basis of their personal integrity and values; in reality, polls and studies show that evangelicals who identify as "values voters" support candidates they know to be repugnant or even monstrous, if they believe that those politicians will promise to take away abortion rights and persecute queers. Read the rest

Septic masculinity: when homophobia prevents men from literally wiping their own asses

Keith Calder has been looking around on Reddit and has found a string of messages from baffled, distressed women whose male romantic partners literally don't wipe their asses because touching themselves between the cheeks might make them gay. Read the rest

Ugandan ethics chief boasts of his new magic South Korean pornography filter and its efficacy against "homos"

It's been a year since the Ugandan government placed an order with a South Korean company for a "censor gadget or machine" that would "detect homos and porn actors, especially those misusing applications like Whatsapp with sex acts." Now, they've taken delivery of same. Read the rest

Livejournal's Russian owners announce new anti-LGBT policy, fandom stages mass exodus

Mitch Wagner writes, "LiveJournal is a venerable online community that predates Facebook and even blogging. It got acquired by a Russian company a few years ago, but some of its American and British users hung on, including sf and fantasy writers and fans. Lately, I know one of my friends was scrambling to leave, but I'd been too busy to look into why." Read the rest

13 shots fired into Tulsa gay center

Thirteen shots were fired into Tulsa's Dennis R. Neill Equality Center Monday from a passing truck or SUV. The Gayly reports that no-one was hurt.

Around 12:30 am last night a white, four door pickup pulled up in front of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center and fired 13 shots at the windows and front door. Office Administrator Olivia Cotter discovered the damage to the protective glass on our windows and front door around 8:15 am Monday morning, March 6. ...

"We are working closely with Tulsa Police," said Oklahomans For Equality officials. "Captain Cathy Reynolds, the LGBTQ liaison with the Tulsa Police Department, has made our safety and security a top priority."

"I am sickened, yet not surprised, by the bullet holes that now riddle the front of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center," said Geoffrey Brewster, Board President, Oklahomans for Equality. "They are the latest reminder of the deep-seated hatred some individuals have towards the LGBTQ community. Oklahomans for Equality condemns every act of hatred and violence perpetrated against any individual or group based upon difference.

"We are keenly aware after an event such as this, or the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, FL, that sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes in current hate crime legislation. Even though hatred of difference is the motivation for such acts, our community is not equally protected under the law. This must change, and we call on our community and our allies to demand it."

Oklahoma legislators are planning to pass a bill that reportedly strips LGBTQ people of housing and employment protections. Read the rest

Idiocraski: the apocalyptic situation in Poland after a year of trumpism

It's been a year since the Law and Justice Party won the Polish election, on familiar-sounding promises to drain the swamp and restore Poland to its former greatness: now school textbooks are being redesigned to downplay evolution and climate change and to recount a fanciful version of Poland's history; the government is mooting giving hoteliers the right to turn away customers based on sexual orientation or skin-color; a minister rejected an international accord against wife-beating because it subverted traditional gender roles; Parliament is about to get the right to choose which journalists may report from its debates; the guy in charge of national sex-ed curriculum believes that condoms give women cancer; a proposed law will virtually end opposition protests; and disloyal journalists at the "independent" state broadcaster have been purged. Read the rest

Homophobe-in-chief Mike Pence rented a house in DC, so his new neighbors are flying rainbow flags

VP-elect Mike Pence's political career has consisted of a series of attacks on the rights of LGBTQ people and women, and his new neighbors in the navy blue precincts of DC know it, and they want him to know that his medieval views are considered aberrant by good people, so they've festooned their homes with rainbow flags that he'll have to pass during the transition -- until he gets to move into the new VP's residence in the basement of Trump Tower. Read the rest

Conservative Alberta politician changes sides over Trumpism, gets gendered death threats and slurs from the Tory base

Sandra Jansen was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, but now she sits with the left-leaning New Democratic Party, who took the provincial government is a surprise upset that was driven by a mix of a split in the right (the Conservatives are mired in infighting with the ultra-right Wild Rose Party) and the decline of the oil industry. Read the rest

Can you guess what happened when a Young Adult lit mag suggested a bi character wasn't OK for younger readers?

Kody Keplinger's young-adult book, Run, has a queer character in it. In its review, the trade publication Voices of Youth Advocates (Voya) suggested this was inappropriate for younger readers: “The story contains many references to Bo being bisexual and an abundance of bad language, so it is recommended for mature junior and senior high readers.”

Asked why it thought a bisexual character made it inappropriate for young readers, Voya's editors went defensive in record time:

Since this is Bi Visibiliy Week, I understand your need to find and destroy your enemies in a public forum, however, Voya magazine and I are not your enemies."

The complaint referred to was privately emailed; it was Voya's decision to publish it, without permission, along with this response. In another response, it doubled down on the notion that sexuality is inherently inappropriate for exposure to younger readers:

Sexuality (the act or the discussion or the mention, in some cases) and language generally reserved for adults are two issues that are legitimate concerns when addressing the maturity of a teen reader. ... This does not have anything to with with whether the sexuality was homo, hetero, bit or other – sexuality is sexuality. It just happened to be that the sexuality in this particular title (Why does that upset you?)

(Bonus points were not awarded for the parenthetical suggestion of emotional fragility.)

When scrutinized, Voya's archives were found to have covered many books "CHOCK-A-BLOCK with heterosexual sex". Only queer moments were subject to such "legitimate concerns."

To readers (and many authors) this wasn't just the usual media practice of hiding queerness from the young while slyly showering them with heterosexual titillation. Read the rest

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