October 6, 2015

A Home Sick Hero [Edward Snowden] Wants to Come Home Even if its in a Jail

An American Hero………

Edward Snowden says he has offered to return to the United States and go to jail for leaking details of National Security Agency programs to intercept electronic communications data on a vast scale.

The former NSA contractor flew to Moscow two years ago after revealing information about the previously secret eavesdropping powers, and faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.

Snowden told the BBC that he'd "volunteered to go to prison with the government many times," but had not received a formal plea-deal offer.
He said that "so far they've said they won't torture me, which is a start, I think. But we havent gotten much further than that."

In an interview broadcast Monday on the BBC's "Panorama" program, Snowden said he and his lawyers were waiting for U.S. officials "to call us back."
Earlier this year, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said a plea deal with Snowden was a possibility.

Snowdens revelations about the NSA, Britain's GCHQ and other intelligence agencies set off an international debate about spies' powers to monitor personal communications, and about the balance between security and privacy.

Critics say his disclosures harmed the ability of the United States and its allies to fight terrorism. FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano told the BBC that Snowden was a traitor.
"The question is, if I was a traitor, who did I betray?" Snowden said.   gave all of my information to American journalists and free society generally.

"I have paid a price but I feel comfortable with the decisions I've made," he added. "If I'm gone tomorrow, I'm happy with what I had. I feel blessed."
In September, Snowden officially joined Twitter. He is following just one account back: the NSA.

The previous week, Snowden appeared in New York via video to launch a campaign promoting an international treaty to protect privacy.
The former National Security Agency systems analyst appeared from Moscow via a video link at a forum in Manhattan about the so-called "Snowden Treaty."
Advocates say the treaty would curtail mass surveillance of phone calls and online activity.

Snowden called the surveillance "a global problem" that affects everyone.
The treaty also would give international protection to people who expose illegal domestic spying.

The gathering coincided with the United Nations General Assembly. Organizers say diplomats have shown interest in a draft of the treaty. But the organizers have declined to name what nations theyre from.

Hillary Makes LGBT Rights a Cornerstone of her Campaign for President


Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday delivered the strongest speech in support of gay rights in the 2016 presidential race on Saturday, promising that ending discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people would be a central pillar of her administration.

"I see the injustices and the dangers that you and your families still face," she told hundreds of gay activists at the annual meeting of the Human Rights Campaign. "I'm running for president to stand up for the fundamental rights of LGBT Americans."
She added: Thats a promise from one HRC to another."

The statement marked a remarkable evolution for Clinton, who opposed same-sex marriage for more than two decades in public life as first lady, senator and presidential candidate. As recently as this year, Clinton said that while she personally supported gay marriage, the issue was best left for states to decide —a position held by most of the Republican presidential field.
Since then, Clinton has placed equal rights at the forefront of her campaign, in part a reflection of the growing political and financial strength of the gay community in Democratic politics.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering a 2016 run, gave the keynote address to the group's star-studded dinner, where he called transgender rights "the civil rights issue of our time" and issued the Obama administration's most unequivocal statement of support to date for allowing transgender people to serve openly in the U.S military. As he spoke to the crowd of 3,000, he was interrupted by a loud shout of "You should run."
"There's homophobes still left. Most of them are running for president, Biden said, in a pointed jab at the Republican White House hopefuls.

Clinton, in her appearance, said she has been "fighting alongside you and others for equal rights and I'm just getting warmed up."
As activists chanted her name, she promised to work to pass legislation that would end discrimination, lower costs for HIV treatment and stop funding child welfare agencies that discriminate against gay parents.

She committed to pushing equal rights in the military, including for transgender people. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said the Pentagon's current regulations banning transgender individuals from serving in the military are outdated. He has ordered a study aimed at ending one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service.
Clinton's remarks, particularly on the transgender issue, were some of the strongest in the presidential campaign. "We need to say with one voice that transgender people are valued," she said. They are loved and they are us."

This summer, her campaign jumped on the Supreme Court's watershed same-sex marriage decision, changing Clinton's red campaign logo to a rainbow colored H, releasing a video of gay wedding ceremonies and sending supportive tweets.
Clinton said Saturday that the courts decision could be overturned, should a Republican win the White House next year and appoint conservative justices.

The Human Rights Campaign made its first presidential endorsement in 1992, backing Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton cast herself as a champion for their cause. In 2008, the group stayed out of the primary fight, siding with then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama a day before Clinton dropped out of the race.
Clinton credited the organization with influencing her views.

"I'm really here to say thank you for your hard work and your courage and for insisting that right is right," she said. "You helped change a lot of minds. Including mine."
Clinton backed her husband's Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and said in a Senate speech in 2004 that marriage between a man and a woman was a "fundamental bedrock principle." In 2007, she dodged when asked whether she agreed with a statement from the then-Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman that homosexuality was immoral.

But like much of the Democratic Party and the country, her position shifted in recent years. As secretary of state, Clinton said at a 2011 conference in Geneva that "gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."
She referenced that statement two years later when she released a video saying she backed gay marriage "personally, and as a matter of policy and law." In April, her campaign released a statement voicing her support for making gay marriage a constitutional right.

But as recently as a year ago, she was still struggling to explain her switch in position.
"You are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons," she said, in an tense exchange last June with NPR's Terry Gross. "That's just flat wrong."
Her pivot on the issue may give her primary opponents a chance to broadcast their liberal credentials, allowing them to point out that they came to the right side of history years before Clinton.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2016 rival, voted against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act when he was in the House. His home state was the first to legalize same-sex unions in 2000 and gay marriage through legislative action in 2009 — both efforts Sanders backed. This spring, he told the Washington Blade that hed make a point to talk about transgender issues during his campaign.

"All I can say is I think I have one of the strongest, if not the strongest record, in the United States Congress on LGBT issues," Sanders said the May interview. "My record speaks for itself, and I will compare it to any candidate who is out there."
Biden won praise by endorsing gay marriage ahead of the 2012 election and became the highest elected official to support what was then a highly charged political issue. Obama followed soon after.
Associated Press writer Josh Lederman

Priest ‘Comes out’ in Rome [but] Gets Canned by Vatican


On Saturday evening, as hundreds of bishops convened in Rome for a major church assembly on family issues, former Vatican priest Krzysztof Charamsa headed a mile across town to a different gathering: the founding meeting of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, a group of 13 organizations advocating for inclusion of gays in the church.
Charamsa had lost his job just before, when he was fired from his position in the Vatican’s doctrine office after announcing that he was gay and introducing reporters to his boyfriend.

“I want the Church and my community to know who I am: a gay priest who is happy, and proud of his identity,” he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in an interview published Saturday. “I’m prepared to pay the consequences, but it’s time the Church opened its eyes, and realized that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman.”

The priest’s announcement came just 24 hours before the start of Pope Francis’s month-long synod on the family, which will discuss marriage, divorce and same-sex relationships.

[Pope Francis is about to convene a month-long meeting on family issues that could mark his legacy]  As he opens the meeting he praises straight marriage and Criticizes those that attacks it by advancing other ideas of marriage.

Vatican officials bristled at the timing of Charamsa’s announcement, which spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi called “very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure.”

But the eyes of the media and the world likely would have been on the meeting anyway, since news emerged last week that the pope spoke with both Kentucky clerk Kim Davis (who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage license to same-sex couples) and a gay former student and his partner during his visit to the U.S. Observers within and outside the church have exhaustively dissected the details of those meetings in search of clues as to Francis’s plans for the synod. Would the man who said “who am I to judge?” when asked about gay priests two years ago reinforce current doctrine, or loosen the rules?

Pope Francis reaffirms Catholic opposition to gay marriage as he opens a three-week gathering of bishops, but says the church has to show love and understanding towards all. (Reuters)

At the opening of the synod Sunday, Francis seemed to reaffirm the church’s position on same-sex couples, speaking of the “true meaning of the couple and of human sexuality in God’s plan,” according to Reuters.
“This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self,” he also said. 
But he also called for the church to reach out to Catholics who struggle to adhere to doctrine: “A church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock.”

Charamsa, a monsignor from Poland who worked as a mid-level official in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, according to the Associated Press, told reporters that the timing of his announcement wasn’t related to the synod, though he aimed to add “a Christian voice” to the discussion.

“I came out. This is a very personal, difficult and tough decision in the Catholic Church’s homophobic world,” Charamsa said at a press conference in a Roman restaurant Saturday.
Still, in his interview with Corriere della SeraCharamsa acknowledged he hopes that the church will move to become more inclusive of gay Catholics.

“I hope that my personal experience will help stir the church’s consciousness in some way,” he said. “… A lesbian or gay couple should be able to openly say to their Church: ‘we love each other according to our nature, and offer this gift of our love to others.'”
According to the statement from Lombardi, Charamsa “will certainly be unable” to continue in his positions at the Vatican’s doctrine office and a professor at two pontifical universities in Rome.

It is up to his diocesan superiors to determine whether Charamsa will be allowed to remain a priest. Catholic priests take vows of celibacy when they are ordained, regardless of sexual orientation. And in 2005, the Vatican issued new guidelines reaffirming that openly gay men cannot become priests. According to the BBC, the policy “treats homosexuality as a ‘tendency,’ not an orientation, and says those who have overcome it can begin training to take holy orders” after three years.

Charamsa, 43, has been living in Rome for the past 17 years, according to Corriere della SeraHe said that he initially refused to admit to himself that he was gay, in accordance with Catholic doctrine. By 2005, when the new guidelines on gay priests were issued, he was more accepting of his own sexuality, and the rules came as a “shock,” he said.

Charamsa didn’t say when he met the man he introduced as his boyfriend, who was identified only as Eduard, according to the AP. But hours of study, prayer and reflection, as well as his relationship with Eduard, led him to decide to come out, even though it would mean losing his position in the Vatican and possibly his position in the priesthood as well.  
“There comes a day when something inside you snaps, and you can’t go on. If I had been alone I would have lived the nightmare of a denied homosexuality, but God never leaves us alone,” he told Corriere della Sera.
But, he added later, “I’m not doing this so that I can live with my partner. The reasons are much wider-ranging and based on a reflection on church doctrine.”

October 5, 2015

{Sickening Chick} 1st Chick-fil-A in NYC Opens in the Mist of Protests


“I don’t stand with their values. But I do stand with their sandwiches.” With this, Flatbush resident Jeremy McMahan succinctly captured the sentiment permeating the soggy masses huddled outside of New York’s first Chick-fil-A.
The opening of the company's first full-fledged NYC restaurant this weekend was marked both by sleeping bags and picket signs. As a steady stream of fast food enthusiasts joined the line snaking around the corner of 37th Street, the mood was festive and the crowd was hyped. “It’s great day to be an American right now,” proclaimed one woman as she stepped into the infamous establishment.
Chick-Fil-A Protest by Gothamist
Chick-fil-A sparked a wave of controversy and kiss-ins in 2012 when its CEO, Dan Cathy, publicly opposed gay marriage. The Atlanta-based chicken empire has a documented history of homophobia, despite recent moves to remake the company image (think less bigoted, more gimmicky). In addition to all that, Chick-fil-A has an atrocious animal rights record, brought to light by Mercy for Animals in an undercover exposé last year (warning: these images are really gross).

But the controversies surrounding the company didn’t seem to matter to the many hungry New Yorkers lined up and waiting for their fast food fix. “It’s not the sandwich that’s discriminating,” pointed out Geoffrey Kwan of Battery Park City. Fellow fan Steven Chi acknowledged the controversy, but said that “at the end of the day…the sandwiches are so good!” Bronx resident Jay Holmes agreed, explaining that the chicken is “just so good"—when pressed to describe what made it so good, he responded, “I just don’t know why.” When asked about Chick-Fil-A’s documented history of human and animal abuse, Holmes shook his head. “I can’t comment on that.”

One group that did care to comment was Collectively Free, who organized a protest during the grand opening. A small but spirited group brandishing signs and chanting “We’re here! We’re queer! Get used to it!” burst out of the restaurant and onto the street.
“We’re here to protest violence towards animals and LGBTQ individuals” explained Raffaella Ciavatta of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “Chick-fil-A perpetuates the idea that some lives matter more than others, and that is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”
In a surprise twist, the protest ended up being a double header: a group of self-proclaimed “Bible-Believers” joined the fray to protest the protest with battlecries of “Repent!” and “Sodomy is a sin! God hates gay!” The two camps settled in to yell at each other over police barricades while the line continued to work its way into the restaurant and people continued to order chicken sandwiches.

“We’re against these homosexuals,” explained Alan Ines of Stamford, Connecticut. “The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. God doesn’t approve.” Ines was careful to note that God loves all people before turning towards the protesters and screaming “We love Chick-fil-A! We hate homo sex!!”
Chick-fil-A issued a statement addressing the protest, saying: “Chick-fil-A is aware of demonstrators who gathered at our restaurant today. Our grand opening day activities continue as planned, and we are focused on serving customers delicious food with great service. We are excited to serve all of our guests in New York City!”
As the protest battle between Collectively Free and the Bible Believers raged, the customers continued purchasing their chicken unperturbed. “I’m gay and I’m obsessed with Chick-fil-A” Prospect Heights resident Courtney Kim told us from the middle of the line. “My motto is that they’ll never hate gay people as much as I love fried chicken.”
At the end of the day, the doomsday calls to repent from sodomy and queer-hating didn’t move the blasé hearts of passersby. “I don’t get it,” one girl remarked to her friend. “It’s just fast food.”

Honduras Gets Help on It’s Violence Problem against Gays

 Protest against the unprecedented violence against gays in Honduras
The Catrachas Network, a Honduran advocacy group, has received a $24,000 grant through the State Department that will allow it to undertake a study coverage of LGBT-specific issues in the country’s media. This funding will also allow the organization to publish a guide for journalists who want to report on these topics. “They’re now a direct partner of ours,” said Nealon, referring to Catrachas. Tim Wolff, director of “The Sons of Tennessee Williams,” a film that highlights New Orleans’ gay Mardi Gras, traveled to Honduras in late May at the invitation of the embassy to meet with university students and local advocates. Gay Long Beach (Calif.) Mayor Robert Garcia has also visited the country through the State Department’s Speaker Program.

 The U.S. Agency for International Development is also working with advocates on how to improve the relationship they have with the Honduran government. Francisco Martínez of the Honduran Secretary of External Affairs and Vice Minister of Human Rights and Justice Karla Cueva on Friday both spoke at the opening of an LGBT rights conference at a Tegucigalpa hotel the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has co-sponsored. Representatives of the Honduran government on Thursday attended a reception with advocates from across Latin America who are attending the conference. Randy Berry, the special U.S. envoy to promote global LGBT rights, and García also took part in the event. Luis Velásquez and José Gaspar, two Honduran LGBT rights advocates, turned their backs to Martínez and Cueva as they spoke at the conference. -

Local activists who took part in a conference they organized in Tegucigalpa on Thursday complained that existing laws do little to deter anti-LGBT discrimination. Many of them remain critical of the Honduran government for not doing enough to address discrimination and violence. “They have a conciliatory tone towards the LGBTI community and towards vulnerable groups in general,” Velásquez told the Blade after he and Gaspar protested Martínez and Cueva. “But the state’s actions are rather repressive.” - See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/10/03/u-s-seeks-to-promote-lgbt-rights-in-honduras/#sthash.8OtTWGSS.dpuf

The Honduran constitution bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The country does not have a law that specifically prohibits anti-LGBT hate crimes. Nealon told the Blade that the embassy has not faced any “pushback” from the country’s government over its efforts in support of LGBT-specific issues. He said the country’s influential Roman Catholic Church has also not publicly resisted these efforts.
“It hasn’t come up,” said Nealon.

The embassy’s efforts are taking place against the backdrop of the Obama administration’s decision to make LGBT rights a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

Obama on Monday referenced LGBT rights in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly. The president last month invited retired gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, among others, to a White House ceremony with Pope Francis.
Berry in April officially assumed his post within the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He joined six gay men who represent the U.S. in the Dominican Republic, Spain and Andorra, Denmark, Vietnam, Australia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as ambassadors. 

The State Department and USAID coordinate the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership that is designed to promote LGBT rights around the world. The Obama administration nevertheless continues to face criticism from advocates who maintain it has not done enough to challenge countries with anti-LGBT rights records.
Nealon told the Blade he is “very proud” of the White House’s continued focus on global LGBT rights.

“As an ambassador one of your jobs is to deliver difficult messages sometimes or unpleasant messages or messages that you’re not comfortable delivering, but that’s not the case with these issues,” he said. “These are issues that we can all be proud of. We can all be proud of how far our country has come.”


Legal Civil Rights in Honduras 

Same-sex sexual activity legal
        yes       Since 1899          
 Equal age of consent
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)
Hate crimes laws include sexual orientation and gender identity
Same-sex marriages
         No (Constitutional ban since 2005)
Recognition of same-sex couples
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples
Joint adoption by same-sex couples
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military
Right to change legal gender
Access to IVF for lesbians
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples
MSMs allowed to donate blood

The Pope, Gay Marriage and a Publicity Seeking Clerk [What Really Happened]


There is no wondering where I am with this Pope, any Pope or the Catholic Church. I believe no matter who has been leader of the catholic church there is not much difference between them. Its has been whether the man was introverted or extroverted. The introvert would be the majority (they don’t travel much nor make many pronunciations on anything, be politics or doctrine)  but once in a while you get a Polish Pope that criticizes communism or what seem to be a humble people liking Uru-Argentinian Pope. As adults these two extroverts had very strong opinions of the politics of their respective countries and the world thus becoming more vocal on world politics once they came to the Vatican.

In the case of popular Pope Francis the issue of Gay marriage had already hit both Uruguay and Argentina in which found him in a position of power or strong voice within the church. He is on the records on gay marriage, civil Unions and adoptions by gays. Those positions have not change. What has change is the perception of this man and the speed in which those issued have been settled in the United States and other countries, as far as any decision is settled; which means the government backs it as most of the voters.

Now we have the incident of the County Clerk who refuses to obey both the Supreme Court and the order from the Governor to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. There is no doubt she is breaking the law everyday and has done jail time for it. Had it been a Reporter protecting its sources he or she would still be in jail but it was decided this is what the woman wanted as well s those backing her in the extremes of the GOP political machine. Every day she spent in jail was a money making day for the anti gay machine to fight more [a settled law] same sex marriage and adoptions.

 Many including myself wished there was real change coming from a place that doesn’t change, the Vatican. There were fixed inclement changes like being open about giving Mass on other languages other than Latin that only the Priests understood and some form of relaxing dress codes particularly for nuns but those have been just dressing changes not changes on their or doctrine or the way they think. A bishop or a Pope is not someone that can come out of the streets and clean house. It is a long hard process that weeds out most. Only those who have shown real obedience and respect to the way things are done and to the past are those that grow in the church. The Pope most posses the qualities of a smart politician being that he has to convince others to vote for him as pope without openly asking for their vote.
Olivia Goldhill gives us on the Quartz.com site a summation going back to 2010 of what Pope Fracisco is said about these issues. 

You will see now how things happened with this pope, the clerk and as important why would any of this means the Pope is change his mind or not about gay, lesbians and marriage as it applies to the Catholic Church. 

Some American liberals were prepared to claim Pope Francis as one of their own after his hugely successful visit to the US last week. But the pope’s left-leaning image was shattered when it was revealed that the pontiff met with Kim Davis, a county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. 

News of the meeting stirred confusion over the pope’s attitude toward gay marriage. A battle of press releases between the Vatican and Davis’s lawyer—each seeking to portray a different interpretation of the meeting—only muddied the waters more.

As the country continues to debate whether the pope’s stance on gay marriage is more or less progressive based on recent events, it’s worth mulling over a timeline of some of his most noteworthy comments on the subject, including the breakdown of events over the past few days.

2010: He comments positively on civil unions. When Argentina was debating legalizing gay marriage, Francis—then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio—reportedly proposed civil unions as an alternative option. “We believe that we must propose more comprehensive civil union rights than currently exist, but no gay marriage,” Bergoglio’s spokesman, Federico Wals, told Argentina’s Infonews. Argentine bishops did not endorse the idea.

June 22, 2010: He opposes gay marriage and adoption. In a letter to the Carmelite Nuns of Buenos Aires in 2010 (pdf), Bergoglio made his opposition to gay marriage extremely clear. He called the political movement “the destructive attempt toward God’s plan,” and “the envy of the Devil.” He also said that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children: “At stake are the lives of so many children who will be discriminated against in advance, depriving them of the human maturation that God wanted to be given with a father and a mother.”

July 29, 2013: He says, “Who am I to judge?” Francis made some of his most tolerant remarks while talking to a plane full of reporters on the way back from his first foreign trip as pope, to Brazil. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said.

November 17, 2014: He advocates that children should be raised by a mother and father. Speaking at a Vatican colloquium called, “The Complementarity of Man and Woman”, Pope Francis re-iterated his belief that children should be raised by heterosexual parents. “The family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation,” he said. “Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.” Pope Francis added that family is an anthropological fact that cannot be qualified “based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history.”

July 10, 2015: He blesses a gay couple. Pope Francis wrote in response to a letter from Francesca Pardi, author of the children’s book Why do you have two moms?. Pardi summarized the letter on her Facebook page, saying the pope “hopes for an always more fruitful activity at the service of young generations and sharing authentic human and Christian values.” The pope ended the letter with his “apostle’s blessing” for Pardi and her partner, Maria Silvia Fiengo.

August 28, 2015: He clarifies that a blessing does not endorse “unfit behaviors.” statement from the Vatican insisted that the pope’s blessing was meant for the individual and was “not in line with the church’s doctrine on gender theory, which has not changed in the slightest.” The letter was not “meant to endorse behaviors and teachings unfit to the Gospel.”

September 29, 2015: He meets with Kim Davis. Davis’s lawyer, Matt Staver, revealed on Sept. 29 that Pope Francis had a private meetingwith the county clerk on Sept. 24. “I was humbled to meet Pope Francis. Of all people, why me?” Davis said in a statement. “Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.'”

September 30, 2015: The Vatican confirms his meeting. Eight hours after Davis’s statement, the Vatican finally confirmed the meeting took place. “I don’t deny that the meeting took place,” said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, “but I have no comment to add.”

October 2, 2015: His meeting ‘does not endorse Davis’s views.’ The Vatican issued an unusual statement attempting to downplay the pope’s meeting with Davis. The meeting was “brief” and dozens of people had been invited, said the Vatican. “The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” added the statement. A spokesman, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, minimized the event further, saying the invitation came from the papal nuncio’s office in Washington, not Rome. He also implied that Pope Francis didn’t know of Kim Davis’s recent political activism.

I would simply say: Her case is a very complex case. It’s got all kinds of intricacies. Was there an opportunity to brief the pope on this beforehand? I don’t think so. A list is given — these are the people you are going to meet.

Father Rosica added that the Vatican press office knew of the pope’s meeting with Kim Davis but “may not have been aware of the full impact of the meeting. It is very difficult sometimes when you are looking at things in America from here.”

The Vatican’s official statement also had an intriguing yet vague allusion to a significant meeting. “The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family,” said the statement.

October 2, 2015: He confirms meeting with a gay couple. It turns out the pope’s “only real audience” was with one of his former Argentine students, Yayo Grassi, a gay man who brought his partner of 19 years to the meeting in the Vatican’s embassy in Washington. “He has never been judgmental,” Grassi told CNN. “He has never said anything negative.” The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis met with Grassi on Sept. 23.

October 2, 2015: Davis’s lawyer contradicted the Vatican version of events. Matt Staver released a second statement, insisting that the meeting was initiated by the Vatican and the invitation was issued on the day Davis returned to work after her time in jail. Staver also said Kim Davis met privately with the pope. “This was not a meeting with other people in which Kim and Joe Davis were a part, but rather a private meeting with no other people in the room except Vatican security and personnel,” he said.

On Sunday (Oct. 4), the Vatican will begin a three-week meeting of bishops and laypeople to discuss the Catholic Church’s approach toward the family. Gay relationships may come up for discussion, but the working document (link in Italian) for the meeting suggests that they will be firmly rejected. The document reads:

There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.
Pope Francis may have a kindly attitude but, as head of the Catholic Church, he leads an organization with a long, firm history of opposing homosexuality.

October 3, 2015

Mass Shootings in the U.S. [[Interactive Graph on shootings]]


Obama expressed frustrations with American gun laws in a press conference on the Oregon community college shooting. He said "we know states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths." The visualization below echoes this sentiment using data from The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the CDC to show Gun Laws vs. Gun Deaths.

In Honduras You can’t discriminate by law-You Can’t marry Either or Adopt

 Gay pride in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This city is known as the Murder Capital of the World and the Gay population is one of the targets. 

The Honduran constitution bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also prohibits same-sex couples from marrying and adopting children.

Honduras does not have a law that specifically bans hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Advocates continue to urge the country’s lawmakers to support a law that would allow trans Hondurans to legally change their name and gender.

“The state of Honduras must guarantee the protection and the defense of human rights,” reads a statement the organizers of Thursday’s conference released. “[It must] remain independent from all religious influence in accordance to the constitution of the republic.”
Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, a trans advocacy group in San Pedro Sula, the country’s second largest city, has met with local police officers and soldiers to make them more sensitive to LGBT-specific issues.

Rampant gang violence and drug trafficking that frequently contributes to it has prompted many to describe San Pedro Sula as “the murder capital of the world.” Gabriela Redondo, director of Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, said during the conference that her group’s work with the authorities has had a positive impact. 

“This has helped us,” said Redondo.
Anti-trans violence remains commonplace in San Pedro Sula, despite the aforementioned efforts.

Six members of Congress earlier this year in a letter that urged the U.S. Agency for International Development to fund LGBT advocacy efforts in Central America noted a Honduran television broadcast a video showing police “brutally” beating a trans woman. Nahomy Otero, a trans woman who lives in the city, told the Irish Times in May that trans Hondurans face “torture” and other abuse from “police officers and other public security agents.”
“Honduras has a bunch of bills and inclusive bills, but they do not translate into practice,” said Romero.

Thursday’s meeting took place a day before more than 200 LGBT rights advocates from throughout the Western Hemisphere will gather in Tegucigalpa for a regional conference the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund co-organized.
                    God or Hell, Homosexuality Made or Born?
Learning about HOMOSEXUALITY Answer the great question: 1[Born or made] 2[God or Homosexuality] “God or Hell. Where would you like to spend eternity?

Honduras is a good but rare example of the politicians being ahead of the populace. The reason for this, is education. In the United States and most countries in the West people have learn about the LGBT community by learning it from their families, friends, neighbors and coworkers. They showed others they were just people like them. Nothing specially good nor bad, just people like everyone else. The only difference being something that is not uncommon in other species, something sexual and something that affects no one except themselves. Once that education took place it was gay community organizations who pushed the politicians to try to protect them by passing laws against bigotry and abuses against them.The laws are there but they really haven’t work and the government on hand hand recognizes the LGBT community and in the other hand discriminates against them.

What’s going on in Honduras ?

The key words are coming out and education. This is what is missing in Honduras. You have many LGBT people and their close ones being anti gay before they realized their orientation. The interesting thing is, they didn’t quiet change their minds about gays when they realized what they were gay. They came out but their opinions of ‘gays’  did not change. They just became tolerant. Those that are gays sometimes see themselves as an aberration, a sin, something not quiet right but something that they have to tolerate because they have no choice or they don’t want to change. They believe and their families believe this is something “Malo, Un Pecado” [bad, a sin!]but What can they do if they can’t change? This is not just in Honduras but it is common in those less developed countries in Central and South America as it is in Africa and the Baltic’s and in a very small percentage even in the U.S.

The Catholic church doctrine and the new comers since the 60’s the pentecostals, the Scientology and their missionaries being sent particularly from the United States. Even small churches are sending people and paying for them to travel and live there for a few moths or a few years at the time. Living among them and teaching about salvation and not being able to improve this world for them but guaranteeing a good world after they die.

I know this first hand as I grew up in a couple of small Pentecostal Churches. Whatever church I belonged to I found they were asking for extra money to keep their own missionaries or the missionaries of sister churches in different parts of central America. Central America because you find countries that are very poor, little education and governments that don’t care if foreigners want to come in and set up their own schools. Sometimes there are no government schools at all. It is these teachings that have spread and ingrained a sense of guilt on the parents, friends and the LGBT people themselves. They will tell you “ He is my son or daughter and I have to love him but I don’t agree.” “This is my friend and I know he is but I don’t  care but at the same time I pray for him/her to change.” It is very common to hear these words where you have homophobia continuing to grow just like a bad poisonous seed.

The answer is, coming and out and education. Educating people that being gay has nothing to do with Christianity. Jesus himself never mentioned it, so how important can it be for Christianity? One has to learn the roots of homosexuality and learn this is something that is been around since the first families were formed. Gay peoples’ history. Who was gay and important? Athletes that are gay but continue to play wonderful great roles in the world.
This is what is missing from Honduras and this is the answer for Honduras and other countries like it. In the age of the computer and global information exchange, those that are LGBT most learn not just to defend themselves but to educate themselves and then to educate others. The battle is half way won with people in government in many places which now only needs the education to LGBT people and their circles. 

At the same time pressure out to go on the politicians to learn about us and to educate, just like the President of the United States and many people in commerce i.e.  The CEO of Apple and famous athletes that are out to the world. The president of the U.S. wether you politically like him or not, he has been great in explaining why we need human rights or gay rights or what ever you call it but they are rights that everyone should have and that no human deserves to be put down or abuse because of who they are. 

The LGBT population has been accused of many crazy things from inventing AIDS to causing calamities. You still hear this in the U.S. by preachers of another century.  It is not enough to wish them to go away and with them these crazy teachings but one most be able to appeal to the common sense of others now. I still hear gay people on TV on shows or the news describing themselves as having a choice in being gay not an orientation. 

The drug trade has brought a lot of violence to Honduras and the gay population is been a target of all people the police! You would think that it would be the drug cartel but instead the violence against gays is centered on the people paid to protect the community. This is a tough place to be gay. Still gays in the U.S. have been targets of the police also. What worked here was the community not just protesting at Pride and other places but becoming  visible where it counts: At home at school with people that know you. Those are the places where the acceptance most begin. No tolerance but understanding of who we are. The community there have their work cut out for them.

Adam GonzalezPublisher, blogger

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