Showing posts with label Haters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haters. Show all posts

February 19, 2017

Number of Hate Groups on the Rise Second Year in a Row

                         A Neo-Nazi in the United States – Photo: Froofroo, via Wikimedia.
A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center finds the number of hate groups in the United States has increased for the second year in a row. SPLC, which conducts a yearly census of hate groups and other extremist organizations, attributes part of this increase to the rise of the “radical right,” which they say was energized by the candidacy of Donald Trump.
According to the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, he most dramatic increase occurred in the number of anti-Muslim hate groups, which almost tripled in number, from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016. SPLC notes that the growth in anti-Muslim groups has accompanied a number of crimes targeting Muslims, including the burning of a mosque in Victoria, Texas just hours after the Trump administration issued an executive order suspending travel from a list of seven Muslim-majority nations.
The total number of hate groups currently operating in the United States is up to 917, up from 892 in 2015. While the number of hate groups reached its peak in 2011 — when there were 1,018 active groups — this year’s total number of hate groups is still high by historical standards.  
“2016 was an unprecedented year for hate,” Mark Potok, an SPLC senior fellow and editor of the Intelligence Report, said in a statement. “The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we’ve made, along with the rise of a president whose policies reflect the values of white nationalists. In [Presidential Adviser] Steve Bannon, these extremists think they finally have an ally who has the president’s ear.”
The Intelligence Report finds that there are 52 active groups whose mission is expressly anti-LGBT, though other groups typically associated with white nationalism, Neo-Nazism, or other causes may also hold anti-LGBT views. Locally, there are five anti-LGBT hate groups listed for the D.C./Virginia/Maryland region: the Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council, and the Center for Family and Human Rights, in Washington; Public Advocate of the United States (run by notorious anti-LGBT former Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio) in Falls Church, Va.; and Mass Resistance Virginia, in Yorktown, Va.
There are 21 recognized hate groups in total whose operations are centered in Washington, D.C., 18 in Maryland, and 39 in Virginia — most of which are located in Northern Virginia or the Hampton Roads areas. Some of the more infamous ones in our area include ACT for America, an anti-Muslim organization in Leesburg; American Renaissance/New Century Foundation, in Oakton; the Southern National Congress, in Alexandria; the East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, in Annapolis; the League of the South, in Clements, Md.; and the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white nationalist group based in Silver Spring, Md.
SPLC notes that the number of hate groups likely understates the level of organized hatred in America, as a growing number of extremists operate mainly online and are not formally affiliated with recognized hate groups.


John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

October 24, 2016

“Let’s make America great Again Like Before the Homosexuals"



A Trump supporter part of a focus group on Face the Nation is asked what they would expect from a Trump Administrations versus a Clinton Administration. The answer she gave is not shocking coming from a Trump supporter what is surprising is that it was aired on national TV by a major network.

Im limiting my comments because the live video is so self explanatory and it speaks volumes that someone in this nation will feel like is 1982 again and such a wish can just be granted by the President of the United States and furthermore that is ok to say so on 2016.

There will always be subversives, bigots and homophobes no matter how good things are but usually they are shamed to be on their own circles and do their own hating to themselves. On this election cycle the unredeemable among us feel they have a place at the table and all they need is a Trump to make their dreams which at one point it was just a misguided notion but now is a dream that our system of government can make true. Are they right? Of coarse they are right. Notions of liberty and freedom to live undiscriminated by our government because of the type of people we love is something that will always have to be defended. We know this because there were times in history in which taking up a same sex partner and enter a union was not seen as abnormal.  Those times were reversed with a vengeance.

The voice from this woman admonishes us not to be contempt but to always be vigilant we are not regressing instead of moving forward. Money issues and the blaming of others for our self creating messes is always lead to people putting those things ahead of social issues. It’s always been so.

Adam Gonzalez


September 6, 2016

Wilton Manors Threatening Gay Hater Caught










Wilton Manors residents can kick back and relax this Labor Day knowing a potential threat to their community has been placed behind bars.

On Saturday, a man accused of making social media threats of violence toward members of Wilton Manors’ gay community was arrested and taken into federal custody on an unrelated charge.

According to police, Florida Highway Patrol troopers took 50-year-old Craig Jungwirth into custody in Osceola County after he was found driving with a suspended license. A Broward County judge had issued an arrest warrant for him for allegedly violating bond in a pending misdemeanor case.

“Mr. Jungwirth has been apprehended. He’s currently in custody,” said Wilton Manors Police Cmdr. Gary Blocker.

Police said Jungwirth lives with his mother in Orlando, which is 200 miles from Wilton Manors, but his Facebook posts rattled the community up until his arrest.

The former Wilton Manors resident’s arrest brought relief to those who live and work in the neighborhood. “I wasn’t going to let him ruin my holiday,” said Wilton Manors resident James Greaves. “So now, since he’s arrested, that makes it so much better.”

“This is a guy with nothing to lose,” said Nick Berry, owner of Rumors Bar and Grill, “and well known to have guns, so it was definitely a credible treat.”

Police said Jungwirth became a top priority after he posted threatening messages on a Facebook account aimed at gay residents in the community, last Tuesday.

However, he has not been charged in connection with those threats.

Multiple nightclub and bar owners, as well as employees told 7News they have had run-ins with Jungwirth in the past.

“We were actually concerned he would show up again,” said Rumors Bar and Grill employee Joshua Weigand. “I absolutely feel relieved. We weren’t really sure what was going to happen.”

Ever since Jungwirth’s threats surfaced online, Rumors Bar and Grill has been taking extra precautions. “We hired extra security. Nick, the owner, actually hired armed guards over the weekend because the fact that it could be a real threat was upsetting.”

One of the epithet-riddled posts in Jungwirth’s Facebook page even references the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.


Police said Jungwirth has advertised himself as an area event and party planner. He is accused of writing, “My events are selling out cause you [gay slur] are total patsies. None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait ’till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”

Another post read, “You can never catch a genius from MIT, and since you [gay slur] aren’t dying from AIDS anymore, I have a better solution to exterminate you losers.”

A third post reads, “I’m gonna be killing you [gay slur] faster than cops kill [racial slur]. Its time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers.”

“That Orlando thing affected all of us all pretty, pretty hard,” said Wilton Manors resident Gareth Chapman.

Blocker said the Wilton Manors Police has been working with the residents. “Immediately we’ve been communicating what we could with members of our community,” he said. “We beefed up patrols, we’ve beefed up Special Operations. We also met on Friday, door-to-door, with our local businesses.”

“[We are doing this] to provide them information on Jungwirth, information about the concerning posts and to let them know that we were going to be out there for them over this holiday weekend,” said Blocker. “We want to thank the members of our community who took the ‘See Something, Say Something’ initiative and reached out to us.”

Acquaintances told 7News Jungwirth is openly gay. He has denied writing those posts, even though he didn’t even read them when authorities asked him.

Jeff Scott, a security guard at Rumors Bar and Grill, understands the possibility of a tragedy. “I think he’s really capable of anything, from what I’ve experienced from the past,” he said. “I don’t understand where that comes from because he is gay, but he’s obviously got a lot of anger, hatred.”

The bar has a case pending against Jungwirth who they claim was caught on camera vandalizing the business with spray paint after he was angered over a pulled sponsorship in May of 2016.

The latest arrest warrant also reveals past complaints on file for stalking and harassment as well as incidents of sabotage and trespassing.

The FBI has taken over his case, and according to a federal complaint, he has been reported to the police before. The federal complaint stated, “multiple complaints for stalking and harassing behavior were documented, as well as incidents of sabotage, vandalism, and trespassing.”

The federal complaint goes on to detail an interview with one of the individuals who contacted Wilton Manors Police regarding the Facebook posts. The complainant stated they have filed multiple reports against Jungwirth. One of them resulted in a restraining order against him.

According to the federal complaint, the complainant also told officials in the past several months, Jungwirth sent them thousands of threatening text messages, Facebook messages and phone calls, many times with Jungwirth stating, “I’m going to get you.”

“There is something wrong with him inside,” Berry said.

With Jungwirth’s arrest, Wilton Manors residents felt free to enjoy Labor Day weekend without the added security concerns. “Wilton Manors doesn’t have to be in fear anymore,” said local resident Robin Almodobar.

Although Jungwirth is in custody, the investigation into his posts continues. “The word conclusion is obviously not correct because there is so much more we have to do,” said Wilton Manors Police Department Chief Paul O’Connell.

Jungwirth is expected to appear in federal court in Orlando on Tuesday.

7[wsvn.com]


August 25, 2016

He Poured Boiling Hot Water on Sleeping Gay Couple, Gets 40 Years



A jury has convicted an Atlanta truck driver accused of pouring boiling water over two gay men as the couple slept in February.
The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Wednesday before finding Martin Blackwell guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault, according to the Associated Press.
Blackwell was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The 48-year-old wasn’t charged with a hate crime because Georgia is one of five states that doesn’t have a hate crime statute. An FBI spokesman told Reuters that federal investigators are considering whether to charge Blackwell with a federal hate crime.
Anthony Gooden had told his family he was gay shortly before the attack, which happened as Gooden slept on a mattress in his mother’s living room next to Marquez Tolbert, according to the AP. The men had been dating for about six weeks.
Blackwell, a long-haul trucker who stayed at the house when he was in town, came in and saw the two unconscious men lying next to each other.
He went to the kitchen, pulled out a pot, filled it with water and set it to boil. Moments later, he poured the scalding water over the men, The Washington Post reported.
“I woke up to the most unimaginable pain in my entire life,” Tolbert said, sobbing frequently during his testimony, according to the AP. “I’m wondering why I’m in so much pain. I’m wondering why I’m wet. I don’t understand what’s going on.” 
Then Blackwell allegedly yanked him off the mattress and yelled, “Get out of my house with all that gay,” Tolbert recalled to WSBTV.
“They were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and helped them out,” he said to police, according to the incident report. “… They’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water.”
Blackwell claimed the two men were having sex when he poured water on them. Vickie Gray, a friend of Tolbert’s, told the news station that’s not true; they were asleep after a long day of work — not that the alleged attack would have been justified in any case, she noted.
Tolbert must now wear compression garments 23 hours a day for the next two years, Gray wrote in an email to The Post, and is attending weekly counseling and physical therapy sessions to deal with his emotional and physical scars. It’s difficult for him to go outside because sunlight exacerbates the pain of his burns.
Gooden, who was burned even more severely, was in a medically induced coma for several weeks, Gray said. According to his GoFundMe page, more than 60 percent of his body was burned, and he had to undergo skin graft surgery to repair damage to his face, neck, back, arms, chest and head.

August 19, 2016

Nature Floods Anti Gay Lobbyist Tony Perkins


gay-flood
Sometimes a story is so thick with irony it feels like it has to be an act of divine intervention. Last Saturday, the home of anti-gay-rights lobbyist Tony Perkins was destroyed during the disastrous flood that’s ravaged his home state of Louisiana. Although no one should take an ounce of joy in the destruction of another person’s home, it’s a bizarre twist in the life of a man who claimed that god unleashes natural disasters on America to punish gay people.

In a 2015 interview, Perkins agreed with Messianic Jewish pastor Jonathan Cahn that Hurricane Joaquin was a “sign of God’s wrath” over the legalization of gay marriage. Perkins responded affirmatively saying, “God is trying to send us a message.” Perkins has a dark history of supporting violence against gays. As president of the Family Research Council he once backed the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda calling it an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others.”

Although Perkins has yet to attribute the Louisiana flood to the wrath of a supernatural being, he did say it was a “flood of near-biblical proportions” in an interview with the Family Research Council. “We had to escape from our home Saturday by canoe. We had about 10 feet of water at the end of our driveway. Our house flooded, a few of our cars flooded.” It’s good news that Perkins is safe, maybe this experience will allow him to reflect on the real causes of natural disasters. Like, extreme humidity and near-stationary low pressure hovering over the Gulf Coast, perhaps?


[NBC and The Guardian also ran postings on this story]

June 8, 2016

Manager on Ireland Learns Most Gay Jokes are Hurtful


 
                                                                         Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill during a press conference  in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill during a press conference in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
 
The chairman of Ireland’s only all-male gay soccer team has described a joke made by Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill in Cork last Wednesday as unhelpful and disappointing.
Mr O’Neill made a joke about not wanting people to think he and assistant manager Roy Keane were “queers” at an event at the Cork Opera House.

Dublin Devils FC chairman John McAree said the comment sent the wrong message to young LGBTI teens who love football and idolise people like Martin O’ Neill.
“This is the wrong message to send to the LGBTI community a week before the Euro 2016 championships. O’Neill is an idol to many young gay teens all over Ireland.
“His comments will make them feel isolated, confused and different. Many young LGBTI men and women play football at local level and support Ireland at international level.
Martin O’Neill regretted ‘crass’ comment straight away

Martin O’Neill apologizes for ‘queers’ remark

FAI maintains silence on Martin O’Neill’s use of word ‘queers’
“The club was disappointed to hear O’Neill’s comments as they do nothing to help with the ongoing issue of homophobia in the world of football - in fact, his comments are part of the problem.”
Mr McAree said he spoke for the entire club when he expressed a wish that they could put these comments behind them and focus on offering the Republic of Ireland team “as much support and encouragement as we possibly can”.

O’Neill’s apology

Martin O’Neill has described the joke as “crass” and “inappropriate”, and has apologised for it.
Speaking after a training session at Abbotstown, Co Dublin, on Monday, Mr O’Neill said: “At the end of the day it was inappropriate, that comment, which I definitely apologise for.
“A genuine apology, if it has upset people. Almost the minute I had said it, I realised that I should not have said that, absolutely. I should not have said it.”

He recalled how he had played soccer with the late Justin Fashanu at a couple of different clubs and said he viewed him in the same way he did other team-mates.
Asked about the call by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) that he publicly endorse the greater involvement of the LGBTI community in sport , Mr O’Neill said: “I’ve no problem saying it, absolutely not. Not at all.

“I will do, first of all if it helps the apology, and secondly if it’s taken in the right spirit, I will definitely do it.”

Part of this posting was publish on The Irish Times

Jokes on Minorities that are loosing their lives and limbs somewhere in the world because of sentiments expressed on jokes makes it disrespectful but it also makes the young trying to come out and deal with his homosexuality even more difficult. Want to joke about something funny? With politics the way they are you should have plenty of suckers. Death, sickness and lack of civil and human rights are so sad to make light of.  Actually the joke is on us because many of us at one point or another helped the propaganda that LGBT and others were not real human beings and it was ok to laugh at their expense not realizing that to do so would be like  laughing at a combat soldier coming home with a prosthetic leg? 

April 28, 2016

Anti Gay Mouther Mad His Gay Lawyer Dropped Him





JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An outspoken opponent of gay rights says he’s being discriminated against by his own attorney.
Ken Adkins has been at the forefront of Jacksonville’s fight over whether to expand human rights ordinance protections to cover the LGBT community. He is against allowing those protections.
Adkins' attorney, Rick Block, recently sent the activist a letter saying that his beliefs mean that he can’t represent Adkins fairly in court.
In the letter, which Adkins shared with News4Jax, Block, who had been representing Adkins in a personal injury lawsuit, said that because of the way he raises his family, it wouldn't be fair if he represented Adkins in court.
Block, who has a gay son, said he’s been open about his belief that not expanding gay rights protections is hurting the city. Block said his son had trouble as a teen coping with his sexuality but now is flourishing, living in a gay community out west.
Adkins has recently been very vocal about his religious beliefs that homosexuality is wrong.
Block responded with the letter to Adkins, which read, in part:
"The issue I have is that your public pronouncements and obviously firmly held personal and religious beliefs regarding homosexuality have offended me as my son’s father. In fact, they have offended me to the point that I simply cannot in good conscience represent you knowing your feelings about my son and his sexual orientation ..."
Adkins said he was surprised by the letter and decided to share it with the media. Block responded to that decision.
“I really didn't want to say anything. This is a private communication between my client and me, so I was kind of surprised when you showed up with the letter, which he has apparently shared with the media, which is his right to do,” Block said. “I support his right. … I support his right to express his beliefs. I may not agree with them -- that's what America is about, isn't it?”
Adkins said Block was aware of his work before taking him on as a client, but might not have known how vocal he has been against LGBT rights.
“I feel discriminated against. I feel my opinion does not matter,” Adkins said.
He said he would not hire Block as an attorney again now that he knows how Block feels.
“I asked him prior to this, 'Is this going to be a problem, because this is important to me?'” Adkins said.
Adkins said he has no plans to take his discrimination complaint to the Florida Bar, but he believes that there are some problems with how Block handled the situation.
News4Jax contacted the Florida Bar Association about the incident, and a spokeswoman said that Block followed proper procedure and didn't break any rules when he dropped Adkins as a client.
Copyright 2016 by WJXT News4Jax 

April 4, 2016

GOP Self immolation over Gay Rights


Image result for republicans against gays

                                                                          
                                                                                 

                        


  
  OUR infrastructure is inexcusable, much of our public education is miserable and one of our leading presidential candidates is a know-nothing, say-anything egomaniac who yanks harder every day at the tattered fabric of civil discourse and fundamental decency in this country.

But let’s by all means worry about the gays! Let’s make sure they know their place. Keep them in check and all else falls into line, or at least America notches one victory amid so many defeats.

That must be the thinking behind Republican efforts to push through so-called religious liberty laws and other legislation — most egregiously in North Carolina — that excuse and legitimize anti-gay discrimination. They’re cynical distractions. Politically opportunistic sideshows.

And the Republicans who are promoting them are playing a short game, not a long one, by refusing to acknowledge a clear movement in our society toward L.G.B.T. equality, a trajectory with only one shape and only one destination.

They’re also playing a provincial game, not a national one, and scoring points in their corners of the universe at the expense of the Republican Party’s image from north to south and coast to coast, a brand that needed a makeover — remember the broadly ballyhooed “autopsy” following Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat? — and somehow didn’t get so much as a tweezed eyebrow or dab of blush.

Yes, two of the four longest-lasting candidates for the party’s presidential nomination, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are the sons of Cuban immigrants, but much of the oratorical gunfire they exchanged revolved around who would be tougher on immigration. The autopsy didn’t recommend that.

Nor did it want Republican leaders to spotlight divisive social issues and hurtle anew into the culture wars, which is precisely what Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, who is up for re-election in the fall, just did. He hastily signed a sweeping anti-gay and anti-transgender law that was rushed through the State Legislature as if the state’s security and economy were in immediate peril.

                                                                             



It takes forever in this country to build a new bridge, tunnel or train line, but it took no time flat for politicians in the Tar Heel State to convene a special session, formally ostracize North Carolina’s L.G.B.T. voters and wrap conservative Christians in a tight embrace. Who says America’s can-do spirit is dead?

What happened in North Carolina is a problem for Republicans atop the major trouble (Cruz, Donald Trump) that they already had. It exposes divides within the party that are ever more difficult to paper over and contradictions that aren’t easy to explain away.

While the marriage of the party’s evangelical and business wings has never been a cuddly one, it’s especially frosty now, their incompatible desires evident in the significant number of prominent corporations that have denounced the North Carolina law and that successfully pressed the Republican governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, to veto recent legislation that would have permitted the denial of services to L.G.B.T. people by Georgians citing religious convictions.

Corporations want to attract and retain the most talented workers, and that’s more difficult in states with discriminatory laws. They want to reach the widest base of customers and sow loyalty among young consumers in particular, and the best strategy for that is an L.G.B.T.-friendly one, given that eight in 10 Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 support non-discrimination laws, according to a 2015 Public Religion Research Institute survey.

So they’re increasingly at loggerheads with the G.O.P., whose gay-rights advocates are still in the minority and whose socially conservative members still profit from and promote a derisive view of gays.

God is love and I’m  a loving man, I love Those that hate gays
                                                                                                                                             
 
The gay-rights front isn’t the only one on which there’s tension between the party and big business. The Republican primaries are awash in anti-immigrant sentiment and screed; corporate America generally backs immigration reform. The protectionism and nativism that have had such currency in the contest so far conflict with many corporations’ interests.

What’s more, several major companies are so concerned about the brew of misogyny, racism and xenophobia stirred up by Trump that they are debating whether to follow through with their usual sponsorship of the Republican National Convention, as The Times’s Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman reported last week.

THE party’s anti-gay efforts not only undermine its pro-business stance but also contradict conservatives’ exaltation of local decision making. The North Carolina law was drafted and passed expressly to undo and override an ordinance in the state’s most populous city, Charlotte, that extended L.G.B.T. protections against discrimination to transgender people who want to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. The law went so far as to forbid any municipality from instituting its own anti-discrimination protections, lest they contradict the state’s.

Apparently conservatives love the concept of local control when the locality being given control tilts right, but they have a different view when it leans left. Rural sensibilities must be defended while cosmopolitan ones are dismissed.

North Carolina harbors both. Its tensions are America’s in miniature, and in terms of gay rights, they’re a reminder that the Supreme Court’s ruling last June to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide was hardly the finish of the fight.

That ruling was certain to prompt the kind of backlash now occurring in North Carolina, Georgia and elsewhere, because the steadily growing majority of Americans who favor gay equality is not yet overwhelming, and the climate of acceptance changes greatly from state to state and county to county.

Too many of us L.G.B.T. Americans and our allies were too busy celebrating to stay alert to that. Too few of us acknowledged the tenaciousness of opponents who will resort to whatever they must, including the hallucinated specter of male sexual predators entering women’s restrooms, to sweep aside anti-discrimination laws that include us and to turn public sentiment against us.

Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.


They will lose in the end — whether that’s 10, 20 or 30 years from now. Meanwhile they’ll do undeniable harm to the Republican Party nationally and force tough, coalition-straining choices upon it.

They’ll also steal oxygen from matters more central to this country’s continued vitality and prosperity.

Look, I used to be a restaurant critic. I know dessert is important. But if you want to make America great again, you can’t waste time worrying about who’s cutting the wedding cake.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/frankbruni and join me on Facebook.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter. 


January 8, 2015

Atlanta Fire Chief Publishes book referring to Gays as Unclean, Vulgar, etc: YOU R FIRED!



   
ATLANTA — The city's fire chief was relieved of his duties Tuesday after he published controversial comments about homosexuality in a book.
In the self-published book titled "Who Told You That You Were Naked?" Kelvin Cochran referred to homosexuality as "unclean," "a sexual perversion," "vulgar" and "inappropriate."
Cochran received a monthlong suspension in November. At the time, Mayor Kasim Reed said, "I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran's book is not representative of my personal beliefs, and is inconsistent with the administration's work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all citizens — regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, and religious beliefs."
At a news conference Tuesday, Reed announced Cochran had been "relieved" of his position.
"Not one time during the course of preparing this book did Chief Cochran ever think that it was appropriate to have a conversation with me despite the fact that I have made my opinion — and this administration's opinion — clear on this topic," Reed said.
Reed said Cochran was given an opportunity to resign and refused. "Bottom line, he was terminated," Reed said.
Still in uniform after the news conference, Cochran told reporters, "I'm not apologetic for writing the book."
He said he will not hide his Christian faith.
"Everything I wrote in the book is based on scriptures, not my opinions," said Cochran.
Cochran said he only learned that he was losing his job about an hour before the news conference.
"LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their belief regarding sexual orientation and deserve to be respected for their position without hate and discrimination, but Christians also have the right to express their beliefs as well," said Cochran.
Cochran said that he ran the idea of the book by the city's ethics department and didn't receive any pushback. He said that he gave Reed copy of the book a year ago.
Alex Wan, the only openly gay member of Atlanta's City Council, supported Reed's decision.
"I support the administration's decision to terminate Kelvin Cochran's employment with the City of Atlanta," Wan said in a released statement. "This sends a strong message to employees about how much we value diversity and how we adhere to a non-discriminatory environment.
Wan's statement said Cochran's suspension came after some of Cochran's employees complained about internal distribution of his self-published book. Reed would not discuss details of the investigation.
Reed said that the Fire and Rescue Command staff and his Cabinet will undergo sensitivity training.
"We wanted the city to take strong, decisive action which today they've done," said Stephen Borders, president Atlanta Professional Firefighters.
Borders took his colleagues' complaints about Cochran's book to city officials before the controversy went public.
"It was the fire chief. He is our judge, and our jury, and our executioner when it comes to (discipline). He is the ultimate representative of the city when it comes to public safety," Borders said.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition posted a call to action on its website, asking members to contact the mayor demanding Cochran be reappointed.
"In our country we don't punish people for the potential to discriminate we punish them for actually discriminating. To our knowledge unless the mayor knows about it and hasn't said so there's no allegation to speak of," explained spokesperson Robert Potts.
However, Reed did not list discrimination as cause for termination. He said Cochran violated the city's code of conduct in releasing the book.
"This is about how we treat one another. And so those folks who are calling me and telling me I should retain him. I just want you to know one thing. His religious decisions are not the basis of the problem. His judgement is the basis of the problem,” Reed said.
Julie Wolfe, WXIA-TV, Atlanta

October 4, 2014

Wedding Postpone Because of Insults Finally Takes Place


                         

Coronado residents and merchants have banded together in an extraordinary effort to save a wedding, and maybe even the city’s reputation.
A “do-over” wedding is scheduled Oct. 11 at one of the city’s fanciest hotels for a gay couple whose August nuptials in one of Coronado’s bayside parks were marred by a heckler shouting hateful slurs.
The goal of the second ceremony is giving the couple a more positive experience and showing that Coronado is a welcoming community where discrimination won’t be tolerated.
“The people of Coronado, who said they wouldn’t tolerate what happened to us, have created a happy ending,” said Oscar de Las Salas, who will marry Gary Jackson again next week. “We never expected this. It’s incredible.”
Leaders of the region’s gay and lesbian community said Thursday that the outpouring of support from such a wide cross section of Coronado shows the military town isn’t as conservative as its image. They said it also strengthens San Diego County’s reputation as one of the most welcoming places in the world for lesbians, gays and bisexuals.
The aggressive rallying on behalf of a gay couple, which has been a hot topic on Facebook and message boards focused on gay rights, is also a sign of the times, community leaders said. Gays have not only won the right to get married, but now the public won’t tolerate it when someone fails to respect that right, they said.
“A decade ago we wouldn’t have had same sex marriages here, much less this kind of response to a same-sex wedding gone wrong,” said Stephen Whitburn, executive director of San Diego Pride.
Coronado residents and city leaders have called the heckling, which police said Thursday they’re investigating as a possible hate crime, an isolated and unusual incident.
“The hateful shouts of one person should not serve as a representation of how our community as a whole behaves,” Mayor Casey Tanaka, who is scheduled to officiate next week’s do-over wedding, said Thursday. “I’m happy our city has a chance to make things right.”
That was the goal of four young Coronado women who have spearheaded planning for the event, said attorney Alisa Kerr, a member of the foursome.
“Their wedding being marred by some jerk is such an inaccurate reflection of the community and the kindness we have here for everybody,” she said.
“We were planning at first to just throw them a little party, but the whole community has been so generous that we’re really going to be able to show them how awesome Coronado is.”
Loews Coronado Bay Resort donated a 300-seat venue, Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality restaurant chain will supply the food, Coronado Cupcakery is handling the wedding cake and Vigilucci’s Ristorante contributed champagne for the toast, Kerr said. Many other local restaurants and merchants have also made contributions, she said.
“It’s insane how much they’re donating,” said Kerr, whose planning partners are Rita Alipour, Kate Blumenthal and Cerissa McPartlin Kieffer. “I mean a Loews wedding on a Saturday — I have no idea how much that would cost.”

Brian Johnson, managing director for Loews Coronado, said it was an easy decision when his staff heard about the circumstances.
“For us, it’s really an honor to take part,” he said, estimating that such a wedding would typically cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
Jackson and de Las Salas called the outpouring of support they’ve received remarkable.
“We’re excited this group of people are showing us there is not homophobia in Coronado,” de Las Salas said Thursday. “These people are standing up against that little heckler who tried to destroy our day.”
The heckler, who witnesses say shouted “go home homos” and other gay slurs, was hiding on the balcony of an upscale condominium on the edge of Centennial Park, an area open to the public that extends from San Diego Bay to First Street in Coronado.
De Las Salas, who lives with Jackson in Phoenix but visits San Diego frequently, said he was surprised the heckling happened in this part of the country.
“We chose Coronado without hesitation because it’s California, one of the most open and inclusive states,” he said. “I wouldn’t be as surprised if we had been in Iowa or Idaho or some other states.”
The scene at the August wedding was awkward and upsetting, said David De Alva, who played live music at the event.
“Everyone started fidgeting when we first heard it — we all just hoped it would stop,” De Alva said Thursday. “It was in the background but it was loud enough to hear. The guy sounded a little drunk and it was clear he wanted what he was saying to be heard.”
Lea Corbin, community relations director for the Coronado Police Department, said police have a few more witnesses to interview before they decide whether the heckling was a hate crime.
She said one factor that might make a prosecution tough is that no one heard the man say anything threatening. Another problem is that no one has been able to identify the man or exactly which condo balcony he was on, she said.
Kerr said extra precautions are being taken to prevent hecklers from marring the do-over wedding. She noted that Loews Coronado has significantly more security than a public park.
But Kerr said she doubts the heckling would happen again no matter where in Coronado the second wedding was held.
“There’s great tolerance in Coronado because there’s so much diversity,” she said. “We have military people stationed here from all over the country and tourists come here from all over the world.”
Maureen Steiner, a gay Coronado resident who organized an “Out in Coronado” event for local gays more than 20 years ago, agreed with Kerr.
“Because of the military presence, many of our residents are well-educated and have had worldly experiences," Steiner said. “They’ve seen up close real discrimination, poverty and hardship.”
david.garrick@utsandiego.com (619) 269-8906 @UTDavidGarrick

September 16, 2014

Anti Gay Politicians in Kazakh Claims Blood Test Can Find Who is Gay


                                                                         
Dauren Babamuratov, leader of the nationalist “Future” or “Bolashak” movement, held a meeting on Thursday petitioning to ban so-called “gay propaganda” in the country, Tengri News reported.
Standing in front of a poster reading "homosexuality is a threat to the nation", he urged the Government to change the law to stop gay people holding public offices and serving in the Kazakh army.
“We have stooped so low that LGBTs no longer hide their orientation,” Mr Babamuratov said, claiming he could identify gay people because they wore coloured trousers.
“This means they no longer hide their (sexual) orientation,” he continued.
“I think it is very easy to identify a gay person by his or her DNA.
“A blood test can show the presence of degeneratism in a person.”
Kazakhstan’s anti-sodomy laws were only dropped in 1998 and the Bolashak movement has complained about difficulty “suppressing activities of the LGBT community” in the former Soviet nation.
David Cameron with the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan NazarbayevDavid Cameron with the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan NazarbayevMr Babamuratov said there were around 14 gay clubs and bars in the largest city, Almaty, calling it “the gay capital of Central Asia“, and expressing his outrage at the fact that "open discussion of the issues related to LGBT community is treated by the society as a natural process". 
An advertising poster for a club in the city provoked outrage earlier this year when it depicted a gay kiss between the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly.
Local politicians and the Secretary of the People’s Communist Party have come out in support of Bolashak’s calls for the illegalisation of homosexuality.
Parliament is also changing parts of the country’s Marriage and Family Code, which already bans gay couples from adopting children, to imitate Russia’s anti “gay propaganda” laws.
There have been no pro-gay rallies or pride parades in Kazakhstan, according to activist and journalist Zhanar Sekerbayeva.
“There is no gay 'propaganda' in Kazakhstan, but there is homophobia,” she said.
READ MORE: KAZAKHSTAN LACE UNDERWEAR BAN SEES WOMEN ARRESTED IN PROTEST
KAZAKH DICTATOR' RENEWS FRIENDSHIP WITH DAVID CAMERON

September 7, 2014

Leader of Crimea describes What they would do to “those people”(Gay people)


Sergei Aksyonov said "we do not need such people."


 Gay-rights activists in Russia have expressed concern about provocative comments by a senior official in the de facto government of Crimea, the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula that was annexed by Russia in March.
Sergei Aksyonov, the de facto prime minister of Crimea, on September 2 said "we in Crimea do not need such people," referring to gays and other sexual minorities. 
In addition, he said, if activists try to demonstrate in the region "our police and self-defense forces will react immediately and in three minutes will explain to them what kind of sexual orientation they should stick to."
"For a politician and for the head of a region it is a very upsetting comment. For one thing, it is not for Aksyonov to decide who can and can't live in Crimea," says Igor Kochetkov, director of the Russian LGBT Network in St. Petersburg. "Regardless of sexual orientation, no one should have to ask Mr. Aksyonov or his officials where they can live. It is an absolutely awful statement."
Gay-rights activist and lawyer Nikolai Alekseyev wrote on September 2 that "Aksyonov's statements are purely political words since such actions violate the law [on public gatherings] and Russia's international obligations."

“If Crimea has become part of Russia, naturally, it must follow federal law, which does not delegate such authority to subjects of the federation,” Alekseyev was quoted as saying on September 3.
Aksyonov's harsh remarks reflect a growing climate of official social conservatism in Russia that was characterized by the adoption last summer of a law banning "the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors.
In April, Alekseyev's request to hold gay-pride events in Sevastopol and Simferopol was rejected by the authorities, citing the antigay propaganda law. Alekseyev said the rejection is being challenged in courts in Crimea and in Moscow and he continues to hold out hope the ban will be overturned.
Situation Dire
According to Alekseyev's website, 164 applications for gay-pride events have been rejected by cities across Russia to date. In response to an appeal by Alekseyev's group, the European Court of Human Rights in 2010 ruled that Moscow's ban on gay-pride events in 2006, 2007, and 2008 was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Ukrainian gay-rights organization Gay Forum Ukraine estimates there are about 10,000 gays and other sexual minorities living in Crimea. Russian activist Kochetkov says they have been caught up in the "general deterioration of human rights" in the region since it was annexed by Moscow.
LGBT activists in Russia have complained of increased rights violations and violence since the new law was passed last year. Alekseyev and fellow LGBT activist Kirill Nepomnyashchy were assaulted in Kostroma by two unknown assailants on September 1 while attempting to participate in a court hearing over that city's ban on gay-pride events. Alekseyev was also attacked during another trip to the central Russian city last year.
Kochetkov says that conservative and nationalist groups have "turned their attention to other targets" in recent months, but the situation remains dire for sexual minorities. Nonetheless, he says, Russian officials and institutions have been busy "enforcing" the antigay propaganda law.
"We are seeing new challenges, including a wave of firings of teachers and university instructors on the basis either of their sexual orientation or their public position calling for equal rights for all people without regard to sexual orientation," Kochetkov says. "These people are either being fired or have been threatened with dismissal."
In the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, LGBT activists have been accused by local security services of forming a "gay-terrorist" organization with the goal of fomenting an "Orange revolution" in Russia.
Several activists, many of whom have spoken out publicly against President Vladimir Putin and Russia's policies in Ukraine, have undergone searches and questioning by regional law enforcement.
Activist and blogger Andrei Marchenko told RFE/RL's Russian Service that the investigators who came to his home in Khabarovsk "were very rude and threatened me with four years in prison."
"They didn't find anything extremist -- no dollars or anything," Marchenko said. "But they got very happy when they saw I had a business card from Elizabeth MacDonald," a U.S. consular representative in Vladivostok whom Marchenko says he met last year. 
 By Robert Coalson

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