Showing posts with label Religion Anti Gays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion Anti Gays. Show all posts

March 2, 2019

Walmart Features Gay Couple on Date But The *AFA Has Raised Hell and Built a Backlash Against The Company











































The American Family Association has petitioned against Walmart’s promotional video featuring a gay couple. (Photo: Walmart via Facebook)


                           
 
The American Family Association has petitioned against Walmart’s promotional video featuring a gay couple. (Photo: Walmart via Facebook)
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*The American Family Association is taking aim at Walmart after the superstore released a promotional video featuring two gay men.

After the company produced the second episode of a series called “Love is in the aisle: A dating show at Walmart,” which follows couples going on blind dates through Walmarts across the country, AFA president Tim Wildmon called on people to ask Walmart to remove it.


“It’s clear that Walmart is on the path of elevating homosexual relationships to the same level as the male-female model of marriage,” a post on the AFA site reads. “We have no choice but to ask our supporters to let the company know how they, the customers, feel about Walmart’s shift away from neutrality on this controversial issue to full support for same-sex relationships.”

The post goes on to explain the “betrayal” that the AFA feels, saying it would expect this from a company like Amazon that has been “liberal from the outset.”

“This seems more like a betrayal from a well-known friend. Sam Walton is probably turning over in his grave,” the post reads.

The AFA included a petition asking Walmart to go “back to its founding principles” and “remain neutral on the controversial issue of homosexuality.”

Many of the comments on Walmart’s Facebook video, however, are from people praising the store for the representation of a gay couple.

“Love this acceptance, keep it up!!!!” one person wrote. Another joked, “I don’t think Walmart is a great choice for a date, but the couple is super cute!!”

Neither the AFA nor Walmart has responded to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

• Little Caesars employee fired after writing ‘gay’ on receipt
• Parents outraged at first-grade teacher’s decision to read a book about gay bunnies to students
• Prominent Mormon gay conversion therapist comes out as gay

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January 6, 2019

Pastor Donnie Romero: Celebrated Massacre of 49 people at a Church, Dirty Fag*ts Snatch our Children



BY Hermant Mehta

Pastor Donnie Romero of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas is one of those “independent fundamental Baptist” preachers better known for spewing hate than teaching people to act like Jesus. Or at least he was a pastor at that church.
He resigned this week saying he’s been a “terrible husband and father.”
That’s… vague. But in a follow-up video, Steven Anderson, his colleague in Christian cruelty who also ordained him, Romero is no longer a pastor because he’s guilty of “being with prostitutes,” using marijuana, and gambling.
The reason these revelations ought to be discussed publicly — even though they are very much private matters and even though people may disagree on how seriously to take each of those “sins” — is that Romero has become infamous for his demonization of LGBTQ people as if they were the real sinners in society. 
In 2014, for example, Romero claimed that all “dirty faggots” want to “snatch your children” to “hurt and rape them.” He said in the same sermon that gay people should be put to death because the Bible says they’re filthy.  
Romero also celebrated the massacre of 49 people at Pulse nightclub in 2016 with a sermon declaring “the earth is a little bit better place now.”
I’ll pray that God will finish the job that that man started, and he will end their life, and by tomorrow morning they will all be burning in hell, just like the rest of them, so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and to hurt little children.
Considering how little the Bible actually says about gay people and how much he was able to extrapolate from it, one might think the sins of sexual affairs, drug use, and gambling would be even bigger deals… but in the cult he managed, calling for the execution of gay people is simply what God commands, while smoking pot is unforgivable. #IFBLogic.
No one should be surprised by this. We’re used to Christian hypocrisy. The only surprising thing, to me, is that his alleged sins didn’t involve being with another guy — the people who protest homosexuality the loudest are frequently the ones who are most closeted.
The Star-Telegram notes that Romero hasn’t been charged with any crimes. For now, all of these allegations are just in-house. But this would hardly be news in the IFB world, where hypocrisy and misconduct are part of the game.
Star-Telegram investigation published in December discovered at least 412 allegations of sexual misconduct in 187 independent fundamental Baptist churches and their affiliated institutions, spanning 40 states and Canada.
For now, the hate group is known as Romero’s church still has his pastor profile up on their website

December 3, 2018

Mile Pence Seems to Hate AIDS and The One Affected By It {There Was a President Who Would Not Mention AIDS and delay Treatment for a Year

YES PAPI GIVE ME YOUR LOVE and show me your empty heart full of dogma and ideas of Christ who Love us and gives you love to love us. In The Case of the of the Catholic church and contrary to it who hates the Sin but not the Sinner, Pence hates AIDS and the Homosexual but how about the one with AIDS and Heterosexual?? Adam🦊

Yesterday, in a speech given in advance of World AIDS Day, Vice President Mike Pence didn’t bother mentioning LGBTQ victims of the epidemic. Given what we know of Pence and his anti-gay Christian values, we can’t even call that hypocrisy, much less an oversight. It’s right in line with his character.
The neglect, however, is worth bringing up since conservatives and faith-based groups were the ones who looked the other way while LGBTQ people suffered.
Pink News reports:
Thousands of men who have sex with men lost their lives in the AIDS crisis, with homophobic stigma fuelling social and political rejection on the issue.
Pence failed to wear an AIDS ribbon for the speech and also failed to mention gay people or homophobia.
Instead, Pence recalled stories of straight people who contracted HIV/AIDS from contaminated blood and other sources.
Pence also pledged new funding to “faith-based organisations” who he claims are on “the frontline against HIV/AIDS.”
That makes as much sense as a future headline all about how evangelicals led the way in the struggle to achieve civil rights for LGBTQ people. They were, historically speaking, the obstacle, no matter what they’re doing about it now. 
It’s not the first time that Pence has made a mess of HIV prevention activism: As a congressman back in 2002, Pence condemned condom use as a means to prevent STDs, claiming they were in fact “poor protection,” a statement that contradicts virtually every study on the subject. He also insisted that abstinence was the best means of HIV prevention… which, while technically true, avoided reality. (You can also avoid gun violence by never leaving your bedroom. That doesn’t make it good advice.)
As governor of Indiana, Pence also cut funding for HIV testing and banned needle exchanges, resulting in a predictable — and highly preventable — HIV/AIDS outbreak: the largest in the state’s history.
But what else would you expect when toxic ideology is held to be more important than the facts?
(Image via Shutterstock)

By Patheos



June 26, 2018

Celebrating Gay Pride When Being Gay is Illegal in Jamaica








Life as an LGBTQ person in Jamaica can be fraught. Homophobic and transphobic violence persists in the country, and sex between men is still illegal (anti-sodomy laws date back to 1864, a cruel vestige of British colonial rule). The mob killing of LGBTQ teen Dwayne Jones in 2013 was particularly vicious; last year, the designer and stylist Dexter Pottinger, a former face of Jamaican Pride, was murdered in his home.
Suelle Anglin, an associate director at Jamaica’s foremost LGBTQ advocacy organization, J-Flag, wants you to know that these headlines don’t tell the full story. “One of the main narratives is that we are one of the most homophobic places on earth,” she says. “That [reputation] came from back in the ‘90s, when things were really bad for LGBTQ people. Not that everything is now peaches and cream. But over 20 years, so much has changed.”
In July, J-Flag is throwing its fourth annual Pride event, a week-long celebration of LGBTQ lives fueled by soca music and free-flowing rum. It’s a testament to the pockets of solidarity and strength within the country, and the networks that, once underground, are edging into the light. Here, in her own words, is Anglin on J-Flag and Pride in Jamaica.

Pride in Jamaica is one of the best experiences you can think of. It’s a week of diverse events, so no matter where in the community you fall, it caters specifically to what you need. We have a sports day, a family fun day, health care, a religious service, and a beach picnic and cooler fête. And we also have a breakfast party, which starts from about five in the morning. We don’t have a parade that’s similar to what they do in America—we have never heard that people here have wanted to do a march.
In Jamaica, dancing and fashion is a very big part of who we are. At the beach party, people really come out dressed to the nines: rainbow umbrellas, rainbow bags, rainbow towels. Last year, I saw a lesbian couple with their dog, and the dog was dyed in rainbow colors. We have a lot of music: soca, hip-hop, pop, reggae, dancehall. It’s about enjoying our Jamaican culture in a Pride-inclusive space. Big Freedia performed, and it was really amazing. She said that if she had known this was the vibe of Jamaica Pride, she would have been here every single year. I’m a lesbian—out and proud. When I came out in 2011, the scene wasn’t as open. A lot of the events took place underground, and it was more like, "I tell you, and you tell your friends, and then you show up." The first Pride in Jamaica in 2015 was the first Pride I attended, ever. I really felt, "Oh, my God, are we really going to be able to do this in Jamaica?" There was a flash mob in New Kingston, in Emancipation Park, and Ellen Page was here filming for Vice. It was a very surreal feeling for people to be that open and that visible, on such a big scale.
I think now, things are pretty open—there’s been a tremendous growth regarding visibility. Businesses are saying that they are welcoming to the community, and there is an active LGBTQ party promoter scene. If you ask older people in the community, they’ll tell you that back in the day when they had parties, it was in very far, secluded venues—no hanging about—as opposed to now, where people are having events in very open, visible spaces.
The theme for this year’s Pride is "centering LGBTQ people in Jamaica’s future." That’s important because LGBTQ people in Jamaica are Jamaicans. They should be able to enjoy our music and culture, to go to different health facilities to get health care, and to get the best education, without harassment and bullying in schools.
I think that a lot of the reasons why a lot of LGBTQ people left back in the ’90s, and even consider leaving now, is because they feel as if Jamaica here is not their Jamaica. They feel as if they can’t enjoy the spaces that they should be able to enjoy. And when we send people away, we force them to adapt to a different culture: a different food, a different music, a different everything. We want to ensure that we are creating spaces here in Jamaica so that LGBTQ people can live their best lives. They can have their family, they can work, they can party, and they can enjoy everything that makes us Jamaican.
Occasionally, we get homophobic comments when we post things online. But in the three years that I’ve been with J-Flag, we haven’t had threats at any of our events. We provide security, and we have a good relationship with the police, so we have officers at our big Pride events. I’ve never felt scared at Pride in Jamaica, but I have felt anxious. Last year, we had between 1,000 and 1,500 people at our beach party and cooler fête. I’d never been in a space with so many people from the community, in such an open place. I was like, "I can’t believe I am in Jamaica, and I am in a space like this.”

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      GQ




April 1, 2018

Anti Gay Evangelicals in Costa Rica Threaten to Derail The Election on The Issue of Gay Marriage



The unusual but beautiful Costa Rican Frog

 Conservative Christian singer Fabricio Alvarado Munoz is in a tight race with his center-left ruling party rival ahead of a run-off on Sunday to decide Costa Rica’s presidential election, their campaigns are driven by dueling views on gay rights.Alvarado Munoz, a 43-year-old former television host shot to the top of the polls in January soon after denouncing a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that month which called for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The fight over whether gays and lesbians should be able to marry has overshadowed other pressing issues like a growing budget deficit seen limiting funding for public safety and social programs while crime is rising. 
The election is seen as a barometer for the mood in Latin America, where countries that passed laws favoring same-sex unions in recent years hold presidential elections over coming months. 
Costa Rica, one of the region’s more prosperous and stable countries, was ruled by a two-party dynasty until 2014 when first-time candidate Solis rode an anti-corruption wave to power. 
The unraveling of the old order raises the possibility that a significant number of Costa Rica’s 3.3 million voters will decide at the last minute.  
“The absence of party identification leads to a couple of very unusual conditions: lots of voters who are undecided plus an unprecedented volatility in voter preferences,” said Ronald Alfaro, a pollster at the University of Costa Rica. 
TWO COSTA RICAS 
The bitter race has laid bare divisions between urban professionals who want political leaders to embrace modernity and an older, more rural society that favors traditional ways. 
Alvarado Munoz(picture below) has pledged to fight what he calls the “secular state” and “gender ideology,” to eliminate sex education in schools and maintain strict restrictions on women’s access to abortion. He says he would stiffen penalties for corruption and unleash an “iron fist” against crime, but has said less about budget priorities or anti-poverty measures. 
 
*Who Are These Evangelicals?
There are two things which are offsprings of extreme conservatism and extreme religion, usually in this case fundamentalist evangelicalism whose preaching is not caring too much about this physical life since they are going to have a better one latter one when Jesus come back or when they die.
 Some even want the failure of governments to rush down the pike so the second coming would hurry up and come so they can be with their king. Yes, they believe in kings and monarchies.  We do know kings don't do well in democracies which is the opposite. They don't believe :man: can have all those liberties and not get into trouble and lose their eternal lives. So they have never been friends of democracy except to have the opportunity to grow and preach their message like they are not allowed in their prefer forms of government which is federalism, capitalism and for even communism if they are given the freedom to coexist.
 They prefer what they link with the respect of the past to law and order and power of the parents to decide everything about their children and decry today's laws with parental control on books they have to read in school, fashion and people having the freedom to do as they want since they believe their life has to be sacrificed by living as the bible reads. They don't say one should pray but one should "pray incessantly" because that is the way the bible describes it.  Believing people should do as the good book says. Pray every awaken hour is how they interpret that passage. People who believe in god and the bible but are not evangelicals would see that passage as telling them to pray and think of god every chance they get. In other words is a reminder that one should prayVs. Pray every awaken hour even if its brings discomfort which is an order! 
 They don't care about budgets or the everyday wheels of governemnt as long as the right of preaching is done. Who cares if people are hungry and don't have a lot of money if in the next live they will have more than they need. Sacrifice now, don't enjoy now, not even sex because that is for procreation. On the other hand, there are some Federalists among them that believe the governemnt should not do much for people and not collect much in taxes and they should be given full reign with little or no regualations to work hard and acquire the fruits of their labor which would be to get ultra rich like you see some pastor's and others that support those particular believes being ultra rich and they don't have a problem with  Christ saying, "it would be easier for a man to enter thru the eye of a needle than a rich man thru the door of the kingsom of god". 
“This is the biggest fundamentalist threat that Costa Rica has ever faced,” said Julia Ruiz, a 36-year-old accountant, while she and her girlfriends tried on dresses inspired by “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a web TV series based on the anti-totalitarian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. 
The women plan to wear the dresses as a protest against Alvarado Munoz’s socially conservative agenda. 
Alvarado Quesada faces his own detractors, especially those fed up with the unpopular outgoing government. 
The candidate has sought to dodge accusations of corruption plaguing the Solis administration by launching a plan to halve the budget deficit while providing social assistance to the country’s poor and protecting minority rights. 
Additional reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Richard Chang
*Adam Gonzalez, 5yrs of Seminary studies in Divinity, Evangelism, the History of the Christian Church

Article by Enrique Andres Pretel

It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage. 4.9 Million Reads

January 31, 2018

Jamaica Finally Does Something For Safety of LGBT by Barring Preacher Whose Message is Death to Gays


Controversial US Pastor Steven Anderson reacts as he leaves the Botswana Department of immigration after being issued a deportation order by Botswana authorities, on September 20, 2016, in Gaborone.
Add caption




Image copyright Steven Anderson was deported from Botswana in 2016 after he said homosexuals should be stoned to death


A controversial US pastor was prevented from boarding a flight to Jamaica after the authorities there decided to deny him entry. 
Pastor Steven Anderson, who is based in Arizona, runs the Faithful Word Baptist Church which says that homosexuality is an abomination and should be punishable by death.
Officials said his statements were "not conducive to the current climate".
Mr. Anderson has been barred from South Africa and deported from Botswana. 
The pastor had planned to travel to Jamaica with his 14-year-old son to carry out "missionary work" when he was prevented by airline officials from boarding the plane on Monday.
"I had a connecting flight in Atlanta, so as soon as I got to Atlanta, Delta Air Lines told me that they received a notification from Jamaica that I was not going to be allowed to enter," Mr. Anderson told The Gleaner newspaper.
"I was kind of surprised that Jamaica would ban me for my views on homosexuality," he added.
Jamaica has laws criminalizing gay sex and rights groups have warned that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people face frequent discrimination.
But LGBT rights activists in Jamaica started a petition asking the Jamaican government to ban Mr. Anderson and it was signed by more than 38,000 people. 
Jay John, who launched the petition, said he was very pleased with the outcome and called it a "victory". 
"His literal interpretation of the Bible regarding the killing of gay people should not be echoed in a society like Jamaica," Mr. John had argued. 
In September 2016, Mr. Anderson was deported from Botswana after he said on a local radio programme that homosexuals should be "stoned to death".
A week earlier, he had been banned from South Africa, and before that, from the UK.

January 22, 2018

New Freedom of Religion Law Makes HHS A complicit on People Dying for Others Religion




 If Jesus was a man on the street, How would he feel about some dying so others can feel better about their religion (Him)?
Since the invention of religion man has always thought that it requires sacrifices and death of others. From the Mayas to the Hebrews, Muslims, to the conservatives Christians of today. Why? To pay for sins? To get a better crop, better luck, health. Then how come it requires the death of others and not the one who has the religion? (Adam)





Jionni Conforti, a transgender man in his 30s, was scheduled to have a total hysterectomy in the summer of 2015. The surgery was deemed medically necessary by both his primary care physician and his therapist as part of his treatment for gender dysphoria, and a surgeon had agreed to perform the operation at a hospital near Conforti’s New Jersey home.

Ahead of his surgery, however, Conforti received an email from the religiously affiliated hospital — considered one of the best hospital systems in the state — saying the surgery could not be performed there.

"This is to inform you that as a Catholic Hospital we would not be able to allow your surgeon to schedule this surgery here at St. Joseph’s,” Father Martin D. Rooney, director of mission services at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, wrote.

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, an attorney with Lambda Legal who is representing Conforti in a lawsuit against St. Joseph’s, said he fears that what happened to his client could happen to more people as a result of a decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, announced Thursday, to create a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.

Gonzalez-Pagan said he worries that the new division will “use religion as a license to discriminate.” He’s not alone in this fear.

“CHANGE IS COMING”

Existing federal and state laws protect health care workers who express religious objections to performing abortions and certain other procedures. HHS said the new division would focus on enforcing these laws, which "protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.”

This move is the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration to advance the cause of religious liberty. In May, Trump issued an executive order stating the executive branch would “vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom.” 

Then in October, the Justice Department, led by Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, released a memo outlining 20 principles of religious liberty, asserting “free exercise of religion includes the right to act or abstain from action in accordance with one’s religious beliefs,” and that this right extends to both “persons and organizations.”

Eric Hargan, the acting HSS secretary, applauded Trump after Thursday’s announcement.

“President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom,” Hargan said. “That promise is being kept today,”

The administration of President George W. Bush put in place a rule widely interpreted as allowing health care providers to opt out of a range of services, but under President Barack Obama, HHS officials rewrote the rule in such a way as to narrow the scope of services health care providers could elect not to perform. The new division and the subsequent proposed rule released by HHS on Friday — titled Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care — will presumably reverse the Obama-era changes.

“Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren’t enforced," Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said in a statement. "No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice.”

“For too long, governments big and small have treated conscience claims with hostility instead of protection, but change is coming and it begins here and now," Severino said.

Prior to his HHS post, Severino was the director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, where he advocated for the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provision to exclude transgender people.

“CRUEL AND UNCONSCIONABLE”

Critics, including Democrats and LGBTQ advocates, say the creation of a new “religious freedom” division could encourage a broader range of religious objections, with a potentially strong impact on less-settled areas of the law like the status of gay and transgender individuals under anti-discrimination statuses.

"This would be yet another attempt to let ideology dictate who is able to get the care they need," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement. "Any approach that would deny or delay health care to someone and jeopardize their well-being for ideological reasons is unacceptable."

The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, which is led by six openly LGBTQ members of the House, blasted the announcement of the new division on Twitter, characterizing the move as an attack on transgender people and calling it “absolutely cruel and unconscionable.”


Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the new division is an example of the Trump administration's “doubling down” on discrimination “all in the name of religion.”

“We may not know exactly what this new division will look like in practice, but we do know that this means they prioritize religious liberty over the health and civil rights of women, transgender people and others,” Melling said. “They are prioritizing providers’ beliefs over patients’ health and lives.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president, and CEO of the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD was blunt in her criticism.

“Any health care worker who has moral objections to providing medically necessary care to an entire vulnerable population is in the wrong line of work,” Ellis said in a statement. “Denying a transgender person — or any person — life-saving care if they walk into an emergency room is far from a moral act, it is unjust and dangerous.”

ADDING TO EXISTING BARRIERS

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people already face health disparities compared to the general population, several studies have shown, and LGBTQ advocates worry about the additional barriers and negative health effects this new division may create.

In a report released Thursday, the Center for American Progress found “LGBTQ people face disturbing rates of health care discrimination,” and such discrimination can discourage them from seeking care. The types of discrimination cited in the report included refusal of a health care worker to recognize a patient’s same-sex partner, purposeful misgendering of a patient and refusal to provide care altogether.

“It is that brazen discrimination that is so dangerous to the lives of LGBTQ people,” Gonzalez-Pagan said.

For some patients, Gonzalez-Pagan said, it’s possible to find another health care provider after being discriminated against or denied care. Conforti, for example, was able to eventually get his hysterectomy, although months later at a hospital farther from his home. But other patients, Gonzalez-Pagan added, aren’t as fortunate.

“If you live in the middle of rural America,” he said, there may “only be one provider close to you.”

“Access to health care cannot be prohibited because of who you are,” he said.
  
by Julie Moreau
NBC 

January 18, 2018

LGBT Art Display at Newman U. Invited then Cancelled When Catholics Objected


{Im going to post it and let you be the judge of it...Adam}

Centuries had some catholics see gays only for two things on the church, sex and the chorus

WICHITA, Kan. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, is welcoming a pro-LGBT artist to display her work in a special event on campus.
The display is titled "Rainbow in Reverse: Queer Kansas History." It features sculptures and photographs celebrating prominent members of the LGBT community in Kansas. 
In an email drawing attention to the scandal, Catholic author Jean M. Heimann wrote, "First of all, why is it necessary to expose students to evil? Why do students need to be encouraged to learn more about a sickness in our society?"
As of Tuesday, the university has canceled the controversial exhibition.
 Free clip from CHURCH MILITANT Premium
Heimann invited fellow Catholics to write to Newman University voicing their distaste.
She also linked to a previous email thread between a concerned Catholic and a university spokesperson. The spokeswoman had written, "As a university, we understand that diverse perspectives are key to learning, and at Newman, we seek to provide an atmosphere of deeper understanding and appreciation of Catholic teaching, in [which] the human dignity of each person is respected."
Heimann's email asked rhetorically, "Why, instead, don't they have an exhibition of holy and beautiful artwork which represents the treasures of the Church?"
First of all, why is it necessary to expose students to evil?Tweet
While the exhibit has reportedly been canceled, Catholics are still concerned by the fact that the university has an official LGBT student club.
Ruben Lerma, a student at Newman, gave a speech and wrote an article in the student newspaper in 2016 calling on administrators to accommodate openly gay students. 

In spring of 2017, the university gave him what he wanted. A university committee met and established guidelines for the creation of an LGBT organization.
"Catholic" heterodox, pro-gay group New Ways Ministry celebrated the move at the time.
The committee in 2017 wanted to create the club but did not want to openly contradict the Catholic Church's teaching. The committee members played a balancing act.
They decided to imitate the pro-gay club at Notre Dame University, which gives lip service to the Church's teachings on chastity, even though some of its members dissent against Natural Law.
The local news,  The Wichita Eagle, reported in April 2017, "The Notre Dame-type model included language that emphasizes that the club cannot contradict the Catholic view that LGBT students should be "chaste" because sex is condoned only in marriage between a man and a woman."
The report by New Ways Ministry complained, "The plan, unfortunately, reveals the compromises which LGBT students are often required to make in more conservative Catholic environments."

January 5, 2018

X-Hasidic Mom Lost Her Kids When She Came Out but Now She's Recovered Custody






NEW YORK — Chavie Weisberger is braving a new world as a single mother in New York City after walking away from a failing marriage and her conservative religious roots.

“Growing up in the Hasidic community, that takes up every detail of your life,” Weisberger explained. “I was living under this threat of losing my children completely which ultimately happened.”

Like most teens in her Hasidic Jewish community, Weisberger recalls having little choice in who she could marry. At the age of 19, she met with her future husband, twice.

“My parents encouraged me and said as long as you respect him you’ll learn to like him,” she recalled.

After the wedding, three children quickly followed and so did the doubts. Weisberger sought professional help.

“I came home and told my mom the therapist said that I might be a lesbian and she said, ‘what’s that?’”

In 2009, she was granted a divorce.

“Eventually I discovered a Jewish LGBT community where there was support for people to live their truth.”

But her ex-husband moved to get full custody of the children claiming Weisberger violated the religious upbringing clause in their divorce.

He won custody in 2015, but the decision was reversed in 2017 and now Weisberger has primary custody of the children.

“Now we can go to the public library and we can go to the beach and we can read Harry Potter which it turns out my children are obsessed with," Weisberger said. "So it's an exciting new world.”

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December 30, 2017

Two Bakers Loose Appeals of The Cake and Fine($135k) For Refusing to Bake for Gay Couples


 

 

The Oregon Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a ruling — and a $135,000 fine — that two Gresham bakery owners discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to make them a wedding cake, violating Oregon law. 

The courts did reverse a portion of the Bureau of Labor and Industries decision that said Melissa and Aaron Klein violated Oregon law by communicating their intent to discriminate against same-sex couples in the future. 

The appeals court decision, released Thursday, came almost nine months after attorneys representing the Kleins and the attorneys for the Bureau of Labor and Industries argued before the three-judge panel. 

It came years after Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer first stopped at the Kleins' custom-cake bakery. 

The couple had no idea a simple item on their pre-wedding to-do list would end in such controversy. 

They decided to order a cake from Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a Gresham bakery recommended by a relative, for their upcoming commitment ceremony. Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her mother stopped by the shop for a tasting and to order the cake.  


When Aaron Klein found out the cake was for two brides, he told Bowman-Cryer he and his wife did not make cakes for same-sex weddings because of their religious beliefs. 

According to a brief filed by the civil rights organization Lambda Legal, when Bowman-Cryer's mother returned to the bakery to reason with Aaron Klein, he called her daughter and her soon-to-be daughter-in-law "abominations."

The Bowman-Cryers filed a complaint with the state Bureau of Labor and Industries, alleging they were denied public accommodation of the Kleins' business services because of their sexual orientation. 

BOLI investigators determined the refusal constituted unlawful discrimination and ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 in damages to the Bowman-Cryers.

The Kleins balked at first, then paid the $135,000 and vowed to appeal the case. The money was placed in a government account until the appeals process ends.

Oregon bakery owes damages to same-sex couple
First Liberty Institute, a national religious freedom law firm, which represented the Kleins along with Boyden Gray said attorneys will review the decision and consider their options for further appeal with the Kleins. The case could continue to the Oregon Supreme Court if they file a petition within 35 days. 

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty Institute, said they are disappointed in the ruling. 

“Freedom of expression for ourselves should require freedom of expression for others," Shackelford said. "Today, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution’s promises of religious liberty and free speech.”

A similar case, involving a Colorado bakery, went before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month. 

Paul Thompson, attorney for the Bowman-Cryers, said he will be watching that case closely.  

The Oregon Court of Appeals listened to an appeal Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017, in Salem by the lawyer for Melissa and Aaron Klein, the Oregon bakers who were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding in 2013. The couple that sued the Kleins listened during the hearing.  

When Thompson contacted the couple Thursday morning, he said they were elated but still processing the news.

"We're really happy with the outcome," he said. "It's a great day for equality in Oregon."

The Bowman-Cryers held a commitment ceremony in June 2013 and were married in May 2014, four days after same-sex marriage became legal in Oregon.

The legal battle made national and international headlines.

According to the Oregonian/OregonLive, donations poured in for the Kleins, they campaigned in Iowa with Ted Cruz at "Rally for Religious Liberty," and C. Boyden Gray, the former White House Counsel for George H.W. Bush, offered to represent the couple for free. 

Since their complaint became public, the Bowman-Cryers have received countless harassing messages calling them evil and "the dumb lesbians who ruined those Christian bakers' lives," according to Lambda Legal's brief. 

The Bowman-Cryers said the case was not simply about a wedding cake, their marriage or their wedding. It is about whether it is OK for a business to refuse to serve people because of the owner's religious beliefs.

The couple said they moved to Oregon because the state stands strong for equality and they are proud to raise their daughters where people believe in dignity and respect.

"Today’s ruling sends a strong signal that Oregon remains open to all," BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian said in a statement. 

The shop front for Sweet Cakes by Melissa closed in 2013, but the couple continued to run the business out of their home until 2016, when it closed permanently.

"We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build," Melissa Klein said following oral arguments before the Oregon Court of Appeals in March.

Through tears, Klein said she poured her heart and passion into each cake and designed each one to fit each couple perfectly. As a devout Christian, she incorporated her faith into every aspect of her life, especially her work. 

The Oregon Court of Appeals listened to an appeal Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Salem by the lawyer for Melissa and Aaron Klein (center), the Oregon bakers who were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding in 2013. 

"I was happy to serve this couple in the past for another event and would be happy to serve them again, but I couldn't participate in the ceremony that goes against what I believe," she said. 

Klein said she feels like the government violated her family's religious beliefs and told her what to believe. 

During oral arguments before the Oregon Court of Appeals in March, the Kleins' attorney Adam Gustafson said forcing someone to participate in a same-sex wedding violated their free speech and religious freedom.

Oregon court hears Sweet Cakes bakery owners' appeal
The law cannot compel art, he said. Simply put, Melissa's custom cake-baking was her art and should be fully protected by the First Amendment.

The Kleins did not discriminate based on sexual orientation; rather, they chose not to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony because they believe marriage should only exist between a man and a woman, Gustafson said.

Judge Joel DeVore asked whether it would be discrimination if a baker refused to make a cake for an interracial couple based on religious belief.

"Race is different from sexual orientation," Gustafson said, adding that laws barring interracial marriages were proxies for racial bias and white supremacy.

The First Amendment also protects the right to be free from compelled speech. The state is required to extend an exemption for religious hardship to protect "decent and honorable" people like the Kleins, he said.

Carson Whitehead, the assistant attorney general with the Oregon Department of Justice, represented BOLI. He argued the case turns on two simple facts: The Kleins refused to provide the exact same service for a same-sex couple that they would with a heterosexual couple, and the denial of services was based on sexual orientation.

The Kleins denied the couple service before there was even a discussion of an inscription. Whitehead said this constituted a refusal of services, not compelled speech.

"Cake baking isn't pure speech," Whitehead said, adding that cakes serve all kinds of functions for all kinds of reasons.

He also argued that the damages awarded to the couple were reasonable considering the emotional distress they experienced. 

The appeals court ruled that the Oregon law barring discrimination was clear and the Kleins violated it by refusing service based on the couple's sexual orientation.

The judges also stated the Kleins' attorney failed to show that wedding cake constituted "fully protected speech or art." At the most, the business was a combination of expressive and non-expressive elements. Therefore, the Kleins' First Amendment rights were not violated. 

The court also ruled the $135,000 fine was reasonable and consistent with past BOLI rulings on emotional distress. 

After the arguments in March, the Bowman-Cryers left the courthouse in tears. The Kleins gathered with their attorneys outside. 

"I'm thankful we actually got to have our day in court," Aaron Klein said. "Man's court is going to do what man's court is going to do. The honest truth is we just seek to serve the Lord."

In a statement issued Thursday, the Bowman-Cryers said now all Oregonians can go into any store and expect to be treated like any other person. 

"It does not matter how you were born or who you love," they said. "With this ruling, the Court of Appeals has upheld the long-standing idea that discrimination has no place in America."

 By Whitney Woodworth: wmwoodwort@statesmanjournal.com, call 503-399-6884 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth


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