November 12, 2019

Gay Discrimination Denies over 400K Kids a Loving Family

By Marissa Miller 

Nineteen years ago, when Greg Thomas and Ron Preston adopted Samantha, they didn’t expect the process to run so smoothly. “A lot of that had to do with the attorney we had,” says Thomas, who lives with his family in Wichita Falls, Texas. “His wife was one of our best clients. And she was rooting for us and pulled every string in the system to make sure this was going to happen.” 
Same-sex couples looking to adopt in the future might not be in so lucky. On November 1, the first day of National Adoption Month, the Trump administration issued a notice of nonenforcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposing to override the Obama administration’s anti-discrimination law, which included gender identity and sexual orientation as federally protected classes. If the rule becomes final after an upcoming 30-day comment period, Department-funded faith-based adoption or foster care agencies would be within their rights to deny same-sex couples or LGBTQ persons from adopting a child, a decision many belief treats children as commodities to be traded rather than people deserving of safe and loving homes.
When we talk about selective adoption, we often concentrate on the injustice of denying the rights of same-sex couples. But more than 100,000 children in foster care cannot be returned to their biological families and thus await adoption. Is their right to the best chance at a family not also denied when adoption agencies are allowed to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community? Prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting a child not only bottlenecks the adoption process but also sends children the message that identifying as anything other than cisgender is inherently wrong. Compounding this trauma is the fact that many LGBTQ youths entered the child welfare system because they had been rejected by their families, according to research from the Child Welfare League of America.
“Young people in foster care are now being subjected to living in this fear that their identity is something wrong or bad, and that because of it, they will have less of a chance of finding a safe, loving home,” Denise Brogan-Kator, chief policy officer at Family Equality, an LGBT advocacy and support organization, tells Well+Good.
Same-sex couples are valuable assets to child welfare since they’re more likely to adopt children of color or those with disabilities, both of which are overrepresented in the foster care system, according to Abbie Goldberg, PhD, author of Open Adoption and Diverse Families and psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. “LGBTQ parents are a resource for, not a drain on, the child welfare system,” she says. 
Of the estimated 442,995 children in foster care, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, racial and ethnic minorities comprise 53 percent of the population. A study published in the journal Children and Youth Services Reviewfound that up to 47 percent of the child welfare system population has some form of disability (compared to less than eight percent of the general youth population), with same-sex couples more likely to adopt children with special needs. In the child welfare system, children with disabilities are also more likely to be mistreated, abused, and overlooked, warranting an even greater pressing need for committed adoptive parents.
“Barring LGBTQ people from adopting or fostering makes no sense from a child welfare or economic perspective.” —Abbie Goldberg, PhD
Numerous large bodies of research cite equivalent parenting styles across a variety of orientations and identities, with a landmark study from the Journal of Marriage and Familyshowing that children adopted into same-sex or LGBTQ families are equally well adjusted both socially and academically. “Trump is not basing his agenda on empirical research, period,” says Dr. Goldberg. “Barring LGBTQ people from adopting or fostering makes no sense from a child welfare or economic perspective.”
Thomas, a devout Christian, explains that he proudly raised his daughter Samantha with his partner even at the expense of his relationship with his traditional parents. “I was raised in the Church of Christ so all of this was craziness to my parents, and they didn’t know that we were going to do this,” says Thomas. “So the day Samantha was born, I called to tell them. My mother said, ‘Oh, did you get another dog?’ and I said, ‘No, mom, it’s a little girl.’ ‘Well, what are two gay guys doing with a little girl?’ and I said, ‘Mom, we’re just going to love her.’”
And love her they did. “They have always treated me like they gave birth to me themselves,” Samantha tells Well+Good. “Never missed a basketball game or a dance recital. Been there for homework and boy troubles. Gave me a roof my head and unconditional love.” 
If the ruling does become final, Dr. Goldberg says not all hope is lost for youth in the child welfare system and their prospective same-sex parents. “Many agencies and social workers do recognize LGBTQ people and parents as incredible resources when it comes to fostering and adopting, and this cannot be overstated,” she says. “Not all agencies want to engage in and nor will then engage in discriminatory practices.”
And if the ruling does not make it past the 30-day comment period, Brogan-Kator says the administration’s proposal still raises an important question: “If the government allows us to be discriminated against here, where else can we be discriminated against?”

Gay Teen Defends Himself Against Bully Twitter Calls Him A Hero

jordan steffy fighting bully

An Indiana teenager has gone viral for defending himself against another teenager who had allegedly bullied him for his homosexuality, Insider reports.  

Last Friday, Jordan Steffy, a junior at LaPorte High School, tweeted a video of himself confronting a classmate who had purportedly posted a homophobic message about him on Snapchat. 

"He made an anti-gay post with a picture of me on it saying how he hated gays and a bunch of throwing up emojis all over it," he told Insider. "I walked up to him and said 'Why did you post this?' He said 'It was just a post.' And I said 'Well, it's not just a post. It's a post about me, saying how you dislike who I am, and I don't appreciate that.'"

Steffy, who added that he's been dealing with bullying since he came out in the seventh grade, said the classmate then tried to provoke him.

"He went on to say 'Okay, but what are you going to do about it?' I said 'I'm not going to deal with this, this is the last time I'm called anything,'" Steffy recalled. "And then he said 'What are you going to do about it, f*ggot?' And that's when I was like 'No, I'm not doing this.'"

In the now-viral video, Steffy tells the unidentified student to back up before the student calls him a homophobic slur. Steffy then shoves the purported bully before telling him to "not f*** with" him.

"I just got sick of it," he told Insider. "It's crazy the amount of hatred I received just for liking who I like and being me."

Unfazed, the student repeats the slur before a fight ensues seconds later.  

As of Monday afternoon, Steffy's video has received more than 2.4 million views and close to 24,000 retweets. Many on Twitter praised him for sticking up for himself. 

"Jordan I'm a retired teacher and judge of the juvenile court," one person wrote. "I don't hold with violence but I do hold with self-defense and I think you did a very very good thing. Maybe this youngster will think twice before trying to build himself up by being an idiot. Good for you!" 

"Jordan, I am so proud of you," another person tweeted back. "I wish I had your courage when I was in school. You probably don’t even realize that you just spoke for so many kids that get bullied. You will see how many other kids you inspire to be themselves and stand up for themselves." 

Steffy told Insider that he was sent to the principal's office and subsequently suspended. Though he admitted he regrets getting into a confrontation, he said he does not feel sorry for standing his ground. 

"If I could take it back, personally, I would," he said. "But I'm glad I stood up for myself. If you were in my shoes, you'd probably get sick of it and you'd want to stand up for yourself."

In several follow-up tweets on Monday, the teenager thanked his followers for their support while encouraging others to use his incident as a lesson to be more tolerant and inclusive. 

"I just want to say that people out there that are bullying the kid who calls me the slur, it needs to stop all bullying needs to stop regardless people calling him things is no better than what he said to me I want all the hatred and negative comments to stop," Steffy tweeted. "Please love All!!"

November 11, 2019

Anti Gay Justices, Alito, Bret and Kavanaugh are Urged to Recluse Themselves From LGBT Cases

               Image result for anti gay uS justices


 The director of a judicial activist group has written U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Brett Kavanaugh, and Samuel Alito, a letter demanding they recuse themselves from upcoming Supreme Court cases concerning LGBT rights, after the pair posed for pictures with the president of the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

The liberal group Takes Back the Court advocates adding additional justices to the Supreme Court. Their executive director Aaron Belkin wrote the letter on Tuesday, and it was shared with their website and social media on Wednesday. The letter concerns a recent photo showing Kavanaugh and Alito posing with members of NOM and the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in multiple cases that could have serious implications for LGBT employment rights. NOM has filed an amicus brief in at least one of the cases, urging the court to rule against LGBT rights.

NOM advocates for what they claim is "traditional marriage," and hope to take marriage rights away from same-sex couples. The group's president is Brian Brown, who boasted of a "great day at the US Supreme Court" when posting the contentious photo to his Twitter account on October 29.

Brown is also the president of the World Congress of Families, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
536 people are talking about this


Belkin claims that both Kavanaugh and Alito cannot reasonably be expected to be impartial in the LGBT cases, and have an ethical duty to recuse themselves in the cases.

"The credibility and impartiality of the current Supreme Court is in tatters," writes Belkin in the letter. "Posing for photographs with the president of an advocacy organization that has filed briefs in matters pending before the court makes a mockery of Chief Justice Roberts' assertion that a judge's role is to impartially call balls and strikes." 

"If you refuse to recuse yourselves, this incident will further illustrate the urgent need for structural reform of the Supreme Court in order to restore a Court that understands its role is to protect individual rights and our democracy," the letter ends.

U.S. Supreme Court Justices
The current justices of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for an official group photo on November 30 2018. Seated from left: Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Samuel Alito. Standing from left: Associate Justices Neil  

 Kavanaugh is the newest member of the Supreme Court, having been sworn in on October 6, 2018, after dramatic and tearful confirmation hearings saw him confronted by allegations of sexual assault. Since his confirmation, further claims of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh have emerged. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

Alito was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed in 2006. Both justices are considered by observers to be particularly conservative members of the court.

"Justices Kavanaugh's and Alito's inappropriate conduct underscores the importance of judicial reform including expanding the Court," said Belkin to legal news website Law&Crime. "The Justices seem to be flaunting that they have the power to disregard ethics, decency, and fairness, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. But I'm not so sure that they're right."

The court is expected to rule on the LGBT cases in 2020.

Representation of LGBT Characters on TV Are at on All Time High, But Let's Not Celebrate Yet!


You could forgive Glaad, the media advocacy group for LGBT people if it decided to do a victory lap this year.
Among scripted characters on prime-time TV shows this season, more than 10% were LGBT—and a majority of those were women or people of color. Estimates of the percentage of Americans who identify as LGBT vary from 4.5% of the population to as much as 12%, according to Glaad’s recent data, meaning that certain subsets of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are now more common on screen than in real life. But in Glaad’s data, about twice as many millennials, people aged 18 to 34, identify as LGBT compared with the general population, so the group is pushing the TV industry to more than double by 2025 the record level set this year, said Mathew Lasky, director of communications for Glaad, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. It released its latest data on Thursday. 
“As those people age, we want them to see themselves reflected authentically in the television that they’re seeing,” Lasky said in a telephone interview. 

🏳️‍🌈 @glaad released its annual "Where We Are on TV" report, forecasting the presence of LGBTQ characters in original scripted series between June 2019 and May 2020.

The study found that only 10% of regular characters in scripted primetime broadcast series were LGBTQ

21 people are talking about this
Progress on television matches gains in society, where gay marriage has been legal since 2015 and acceptance is generally growing. The share of Americans who support gay marriage overall rose to 61% this year, with 31% opposing it, near the highest support since Pew Research began polling on the topic. As recently as 2004, 60% of Americans opposed gay married, Pew found.

As we see more LGBT people on TV, that doesn't mean advocates' fight for representation is over. Delta Airlines was criticized last month after reports that the airline was broadcasting programming on its flights that cut out scenes showed LGBT kissing, same-sex love scenes and other depictions of LGBT sexuality. Delta has since said the decision to air the edited versions was an error, and it is re-instating theatrical versions of movies that retain LGBT content.
A Harris poll released this year in cooperation with Glaad indicated that the percentage of non-LGBTQ millennials who favor gay rights fell to 45% in 2018 from 63% as recently as 2016. More of those same respondents reported being uncomfortable in situations such as learning a family member, teacher or doctor is LGBTQ.
“We know that young people are affected by the culture and the world around them,” Lasky said, citing what LGBT advocates see as hostility from the Trump administration and his supporters. “To us, it’s almost surprising that it hasn’t eroded more.”
Glaad research associate Raina Deerwater said in an interview that the on-screen representation is not just a way for LGBT people to see themselves being accepted by society, but also a foundation for changing hearts and minds of others.
“There have been several studies that show that if somebody doesn't know an LGBTQ person,” she said, “the next best thing is television.”

Another Beautiful Stud Comes Out...Guess...

“I was terrified,” actor Brian J. Smith tells Attitude in an exclusive new interview. “At school, I really couldn’t fit in anywhere. I wasn’t a jock or a nerd.”
Smith, known for his roles in Sense8 and the new Bourne Saga USA series, Treadstone, comes out as gay in the U.K. magazine cover story. He reflects on growing up in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, where he says there were no support groups for LGBTQ people: “There was absolutely nothing. I was completely alone. I heard all the names: pussy, faggot.”

“I could never be who I was. I was constantly having to check myself and make sure I wasn’t looking at someone too long or making someone feel uncomfortable,” he explains. “I had to be very, very careful about telling people the truth about myself. It still reverberates. A lot of my work is about that. The things that move me as an actor are those echoes that come up.”
Smith appeared on Gossip Girl and The Good Wife, and he notably played gay opposite Benjamin Walker in the 2009 film The War Boys. While he had played gay before, he tells Attitudehe didn’t feel fully comfortable with his sexuality until filming the cult Netflix series Sense8.

Although it had a rabid fanbase, the series was canceled after two seasons, and the characters were given a send-off in a two-hour movie finaleSense8: Together Until the End.
“I remember being so relaxed,” Smith says of filming Sense8. “I thought, ‘Finally, I can just be myself, I don’t have to put on airs for any of these people.’”

Looking back on his childhood, Smith wishes there had been more people around to tell him he was “perfect” just as he is:
“There weren’t enough people there to say to me: ‘You don’t need to be someone different, you don’t need to change who you are.’ What that kid needed was somebody to pick him up and say, ‘You’re perfect as you are, it’s OK.’”

November 10, 2019

24 Yr Old Turkmenistanian Doctor Who Disappeared After Coming Out Gay is Back


A 24-year-old doctor from Turkmenistan who admitted he was gay and went missing on October 24 after obeying a police summons has reappeared at his home and has recanted his comments.
Kasymberdy Garayev -- whose mother and father and siblings had also disappeared -- on November 6 denied ever having previously contacted RFE/RL about his plight during a video call on a messenger application.

He furthermore said that everything that was reported on him -- he spoke to RFE/RL last month about the problems he faced as a homosexual in his country, where being gay is a crime -- was false.
WATCH: The missing Turkmen man recorded a farewell video message for his family.
Garayev said a farewell video message that he sent to RFE/RL in which he apologized to his family for any problems he may have caused them for publicly announcing his homosexuality was recorded for a different purpose.

The recording, he said, was sent to RFE/RL by mistake.
After detailing his tormented life being gay in the conservative country on October 21, Garayev three days later was called into a police station, which is the last time he and his family were heard from. 
Gays face prison sentences of up to 2 years in Turkmenistan.

The prestigious clinic in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, where Garayev worked told RFE/RL that the trained cardiologist “no longer works here.”

Attempts to find Garayev’s family also failed after discovering that the family was no longer living in their home in Ashgabat and the neighbors didn’t know what had happened to them.

Then on November 6, a man claiming to be Garayev’s father, Maksat Garayev, called RFE/RL asking it to inform all the organizations that we're concerned about his son’s fate that he and his family members are doing fine.

Kasymberdy Garayev later told RFE/RL the same evening that he is at home and had never spoken to RFE/RL, adding that everything that was published about him earlier was not true.

The father also said that the reports about his son were wrong. He did not specify what exactly was inaccurate in the reports.

Earlier, on November 6, an Italian Senator Monica Cirinna issued a statement, calling on the Italian government to challenge Turkmenistan’s official delegation, led by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, which was expected to visit Rome, regarding the disappearance of Garayev.

Several LGBT rights groups have started a campaign to protect Garayev.

Human Rights Watch, on November 1, urged Ashgabat to give detailed information about the whereabouts of Garayev and members of his family.

Trump's Flame Thrower Rep. Jim Jordan is Being Sued For His Involvement With Sex Abuser Dr. Strauss

It makes so much sense that Trump's defender in the Committee collecting evidence for a possible Trump impeachment, who yells about the law, unfairness, etc. is himself involved on disgusting allegations with a Doctor Richard Strauss who is in Jail now (A professional referee says in a lawsuit filed Thursday that disgraced doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him in a shower after a wrestling match at Ohio State University, and that he reported the encounter directly to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who was then the assistant coach). To me, this Congressman with a salty tongue belongs to the man he is a defender to and who does not want to see him impeached.

    Jim Jordan

By Tim Marcin/ Vice and NBC
A wrestling referee alleges in a lawsuit that when he told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) that now-disgraced Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him in a shower, Jordan did nothing. 
The pro referee is identified only as John Doe in court documents, reported NBC News on Thursday. In 1994, when Jordan was an assistant coach on Ohio State’s wrestling team, the ref alleges, Strauss performed the sex act in front of him in a shower after he worked a match.  
John Doe says Jordan shrugged it off. 
“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson told Doe, according to the lawsuit. 
Jordan — an extreme loyalist to President Donald Trump — has taken on an increasingly prominent role within the GOP amid the impeachment inquiry. Republicans are considering adding him to the Intelligence Committee days before public impeachment hearings are scheduled to begin, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. 
Jordan has repeatedly denied that he knew about the abuse carried out by Strauss. The longtime Ohio State doctor — who died by suicide in 2005 — abused at least 177 male students, according to a report from the university released in May. But the referee alleges it was an open secret.
“It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing, so the attitude was it is what it is,” he told NBC News. “I wish Jim, and Russ, too, would stand up and do the right thing and admit they knew what Strauss was doing, because everybody knew what he was doing to the wrestlers. What was a shock to me is that Strauss tried to do that to me. He was breaking new ground by going after a ref.” 
Former Ohio State wrestler Dunyasha Yetts was the first to state publicly that he told Jordan about Strauss’ behavior. Yetts said he told his coaches that when he went to see Strauss for a thumb injury, the doctor pulled the wrestler’s pants down.  “It’s good that people are starting to come forward and say the truth, which is that Jordan and the other coaches knew what was going on and they blew it off,” Yetts told NBC News.
Jordan claimed vindication when the report from Ohio State found no hard evidence he knew about the abuse. 
“It confirms everything I said,” he told reporters at the time. “If we’d have known about it, we’d have reported it.”
But the report did find that many in Ohio State acknowledged rumors of abuse were rampant and that Strauss went out of his way to shower with wrestlers. And team members who competed for Jordan in the ‘80s and ‘90s continued to say the former coach knew about Strauss’ behavior, the New York Times reported.
Cover: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., right, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, near the area where the interviews for the impeachment inquiry are being held. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Featured Posts

Gay Discrimination Denies over 400K Kids a Loving Family

By Marissa Miller   Nineteen years ago, when Greg Thomas and Ron Preston adopted Samantha, they didn’t expect...