Showing posts with label Religion/homophobic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion/homophobic. Show all posts

July 17, 2018

Ads From Franklyn Graham Pulled on UK DoubleDecker Buses After Backlash






 Blackpool Transport has decided to remove the adverts promoting the controversial Festival of Hope at the Winter Gardens after a public backlash 




Bus chiefs have scrapped adverts promoting a controversial preacher’s visit to Blackpool after a public backlash. Banner adverts have appeared on Blackpool Transport’s Palladium fleet promoting the Festival of Hope at the Winter Gardens, which will feature American evangelist Franklin Graham in September. 

Franklin Graham Blackpool Pride canceled its two-day festival booking at the Winter Gardens, held in June, in protest at Graham’s appearance while MPs Gordon Marsden and Paul Maynard urged then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd to investigate whether Graham should be denied a visa. In 2014, Graham suggested the devil is behind LGBT rights and activism, saying ‘when he [the President] fails to defend biblically defined marriage, and he openly and zealously advocates for gay rights... we know we are locked in a war against the Christian faith, not culture’. He added: “The architect behind this offensive is none other than Satan himself.” 

He has also been accused of making anti-Islamic comments. A spokesman for Blackpool Transport said: “Blackpool Transport has recently been made aware of an advert in place on the side of some of our double-decker buses.

 “In light of customer feedback and reactions on social media which has resulted in heightened tension, we have taken the decision to remove all adverts relating to the ‘Time for Hope’ Festival with immediate effect.

 We will reimburse any income back to the advertising company. “We work with multiple advertisers and third-parties and in no way do we endorse or support any advertisement which is placed on our vehicles. Jane Cole, Managing Director at Blackpool Transport, said “The removal of these adverts is as a result of us listening and acting on customer and public feedback which we aim to do at all times. “Blackpool Transport is a proud ongoing supporter of the Pride and LGBT+ communities and in no way did we intend to cause any distress or upset.” “All buses carrying the advert will remain off the road until they have been removed. The Festival of Hope event is due to take place on September 21-23. 


January 18, 2018

The Perfect Marriage Against LGBT and Democracy: Conservatives/Evangel. in Latin America

 
 You can't tell these people with the holy spirit that you are not
a Putin's Russia

pedophile just because you are gay. They will turn against you
if you say most pedophiles are religious and straaight men.





 Ecuadoreans at an evangelical church. Evangelicals today account for
almost 20 percent of the        
population in Latin America.
 
CreditRodrigo Buendia/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 
Evangelical churches today can be found in almost every neighborhood in Latin America — and they are transforming politics like no other force. They are giving conservative causes, and especially political parties, new strength and new constituencies.
In Latin America, Christianity used to be associated with Roman Catholicism. The church held a near monopoly on religion until the 1980s. The only challenge to Catholicism was anticlericalism and atheism. There has never been another religion. Until now.
Evangelicals today account for almost 20 percent of the population in Latin America, up from 3 percent three decades ago. In a few Central American countries, evangelicals are near majorities.
Evangelical pastors embrace varied ideologies, but when it comes to gender and sexuality, their values are typically conservative, patriarchal and homophobic. They expect women to be completely submissive to their evangelical husbands. And in every country in the region, they have taken the strongest stands against gay rights.
The rise of evangelicalism is politically worrisome. Evangelicals are fueling a new form of populism. They are supplying conservative parties with nonelite voters, which is good for democracy, but these voters tend to be intransigent on issues of sexuality, which feeds cultural polarization. Intolerant inclusion, which is the classic Latin American populist formula, is being reinvented by evangelical pastors. 
Brazil is a prime example of the rising evangelical power in Latin America. The 90 or so evangelical members of Congress have thwarted L.G.B.T.-oriented legislative actions, played a role in impeaching the leftist president, Dilma Rousseff, and shut down museum shows. An evangelical pastor has been elected mayor of Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities. So grand are their successes that evangelical pastors elsewhere say they want to imitate “the Brazilian model.”
And that model is spreading. With the help of Catholics, evangelicals have also organized anti-gay marches in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Mexico. In Paraguay and Colombia, they compelled the ministries of education to ban books dealing with sexuality. In Colombia, they even mobilized to defeat a referendum on a peace accord with the FARC, the largest guerrilla group in Latin America, arguing that the accords pushed feminism and L.G.B.T. rights too far.
How have evangelicals become so politically powerful? After all, evangelicals, even in Brazil, are still a minority, and in most countries, irreligiosity is also rising. The answer has to do with their new political tactics.
No tactic has been more transformative than the decision by evangelicals to forge alliances with political parties on the right.
Historically, right-wing parties in Latin America tended to gravitate toward the Catholic Church and disdain Protestantism, while evangelicals stayed out of politics. Not anymore. Conservative parties and evangelicals are joining forces.
Chile’s presidential election in 2017 provided a perfect example of this union of pastors and party. The two center-right candidates, Sebastián Piñera and José Antonio Kast, courted evangelicals. Mr. Piñera, who won, even had four evangelical bishops as campaign advisers.
There is a reason conservative politicians are embracing conservative evangelicalism. Evangelicals are solving the most serious political handicap that right-wing parties have in Latin America: their lack of ties with nonelites. As the political scientist Ed Gibson noted, parties of the right used to draw their core constituency from the upper strata. This made them electorally weak
Evangelicals are changing that. They are bringing in voters from all walks of life, but mostly the poor. They are turning right-wing parties into people’s parties.
This marriage of pastors and parties is not a Latin American invention. It’s has been happening in the United States since the 1980s, as the Christian right gradually became arguably the most reliable constituency in the Republican Party. Even Donald Trump — who many see as the antithesis of biblical values — ran on an evangelical platform. He chose his running mate, Mike Pence, precisely for his staunch evangelicalism.
That there is convergence between the United States and Latin American on evangelical politics is no accident. American evangelicals coach their counterparts in Latin America on how to court parties, become lobbyists and fight gay marriage. Few other civic groups enjoy stronger external ties.
In addition to forming alliances with parties, Latin American evangelicals have learned to make peace with their historic rival, the Catholic Church. At least on the issue of sexuality, pastors and priests have found new common ground.
The latest example of cooperation has been in framing — the language political actors use to describe their causes. For social scientists, the more actors manage to frame an issue to resonate for multiple constituencies, not just the core constituency, the more likely they are to influence politics.
In Latin America, both Catholic and evangelical clergymen have come up with an effective frame for their conservatism: opposition to what they have baptized the “ideology of gender.”
This term is used to label any effort to promote acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. When experts argue that sexual diversity is real and gender identity is a construct, evangelical and Catholic clergies respond that this is just ideology, not science.
Evangelicals are keen on stressing the word “ideology” because this gives them the right, they argue, to protect themselves, and especially their children, from exposure to these ideas. Ideology of gender allows them to call for the protection of children as cover for homophobia.
The political beauty of “ideology of gender” is that it has given clergymen a way to recast their religious stand in secular terms: as parents’ rights. In Latin America, the new Christian slogan is, “Don’t mess with my kids.” It is one of the results of this evangelical-Catholic collaboration.
Politically, we may be witnessing a historic truce between Protestants and Catholics in the region: Evangelicals agree to embrace the Catholic Church’s strong condemnation of abortion, the Catholic Church embraces evangelicals’ strong condemnation of sexual diversity, and together, they can confront rising secularism.
This truce poses a dilemma for Pope Francis, now on tour in Latin America. On the one hand, he has expressed rejection of extremism, and a desire to connect with the most modern, even liberal groups in the church. On the other hand, this pope has made “Christian encounters” a hallmark of his papacy, and he himself is not entirely allergic to the cultural conservatism of evangelicals.
As a political actor, the pope worries too about the church’s waning influence in politics, so an alliance with evangelicals seems like the perfect antidote against its political decline. A pressing question the pope needs to ponder is whether he is willing to pay the price of greater conservatism to rekindle Christian power in Latin America.
Evangelicalism is transforming parties and possibly the Catholic Church. Conservative parties used to think of themselves as the region’s essential check against populism. That pitch is no longer credible. These parties are realizing that going along with pastors generates voter excitement, even if only among churchgoers, and excitement equals power.

December 21, 2017

Pastor Dave Welch Primary TX. Anti Gay Mobilizer of Churches Vs. LGBT Community


Houston made international news in 2009 when it became the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. Six years later, Houston voters made a stunning about-face by repealing a city ordinance shielding LGBT people from discrimination.
Behind that electoral backlash was Dave Welch, a sturdy, serious-looking man. He is the executive director of the U.S. Pastor Council, a group that’s adept at mobilizing churches to participate in loud, ugly campaigns against LGBT rights. Welch and the Pastor Council were instrumental in peddling the “No Men in Women’s Restrooms” message that has animated Texas social conservatives in recent years.
DRUE WAGNER
Welch, who calls himself a “pastor of pastors,” formed the Houston Area Pastor Council in 2003 with a dozen other Houston-area clergy. As more church leaders joined the cause, he established the Texas Pastor Council and the U.S. Pastor Council, umbrella groups that have pushed the limits of what churches are allowed to do as tax-exempt organizations. They challenge pastors to distribute election guides, register congregants to vote and discuss political issues with churchgoers. By 2008, Welch was writing screeds against abortion, gay rights and Barack Obama for WorldNetDaily, a conspiracy-laced progenitor of alt-right media. In one column he declares war on the “radical sexual-diversity jihad.”
But it was Welch’s years-long grudge match with former Houston Mayor Annise Parker that really raised his political profile. In 2013, a pastor with his group sued to block Parker from extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples who work for the city. That the lawsuit even survived the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling in 2015 hints at the reach of Welch’s message. After first tossing the case, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to rehear it at the urging of Governor Greg Abbott and other leading Texas Republicans. In July 2017, the court issued a brain-wrinkling rulingconcluding that same-sex spouses of government employees still aren’t guaranteed the benefits of marriage in Texas.
Dave Welch
Dave Welch  DRUE WAGNER
The defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was an even bigger success. Welch stood before TV cameras to warn of “biological males, with no alterations, entering a woman’s restroom” when Parker pushed HERO, as the ordinance was known, during her final term in office. After City Council passed the law, Welch helped organize a ballot referendum to overturn it. When Parker’s administration made the face-plant move of subpoenaing sermons from pastors involved in the effort, Welch called it “as close as anything I’ve ever seen to Nazi Germany on our soil.” Anti-LGBT activists eventually convinced 61 percent of Houston voters to repeal HERO after a campaign featuring TV ads of men stalking little girls in public bathrooms. Earlier this year, Abbott signed a bill pushed by Welch that shields sermons from government subpoenas. 
Fran Watson, a Houston LGBT rights activist, says Welch’s ability to blend politics and religion makes him a particularly potent force. He “faith-washes” the anti-LGBT message for congregations but also brawls like a political operative. “He was able to get away with saying a lot of ludicrous, hurtful things in public because he masked it with faith,” she said. In one public forum over the equal rights law, when a trans woman asked Welch what bathroom she should use, he asked her about her genitals. When she said it wasn’t his business, he replied, “You’re making it my business.” The 2017 legislative session was both a sign of Welch’s influence and a hint at what may curtail it. Notably, the Pastor Council failed to help pass a bathroom bill amid opposition from a cadre of corporate interests and resistance from fellow believers, including dozens of progressive faith leaders. Welch dismisses his opponents as tools of powerful interests. “This isn’t about discrimination,” he told the Observer. “This is about political correctness being shoved down our throats by corporate fat cats pushing a radical agenda.” 
Welch says his group will continue to mobilize with other anti-LGBT activists against anything that “normalizes the gay lifestyle.”
As the lingering Houston court case shows, just because the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage doesn’t mean people like Welch will stop fighting it. “We have not changed our position that God created marriage, and that long preceded this country and its laws,” Welch said. Marriage equality, he added, “is no more settled than Roe v. Wade.”
Michael Barajas is a staff writer covering civil rights for the Observer. You can reach him on Twitter or at barajas@texasobserver.org.

December 14, 2017

The Salvation Army Looks Nice But Inside its Always Been Anti-Gay-What is a Giving Person to Do?







BY JACOB TOBIA


Growing up in suburban North Carolina, the sound of a tinkling bell and the subsequent call for donations became ubiquitous with the holiday season. Each time I went to the grocery store or Wal-Mart, I’d see someone ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, and if I was lucky, they might even be wearing a Santa suit or dressed up like an elf. As a kid, I had fond memories of running up to the person ringing the bell, slipping a dollar into the bucket, and feeling like I’d done my part.

Increasingly, those memories have become clouded, fogged up with knowledge about the Salvation Army’s complicated history with the LGBTQ+ community. These days, it’s hard for a queen like me to scroll through her newsfeed around the holiday season without seeing a post from someone reminding me not to give to the Salvation Army because they are homophobic, transphobic, fundamentalist, or worse.

For my own rainbow edification, I decided to do some digging, and the results were, well, confusing. What I can say, with absolute certainty, is that the Salvation Army has a pretty sketchy history of bigotryclose-mindednesshostility, and general weirdness towards LGBTQ+ folks around the world. They’re like that ex-boyfriend who cheated on you in ninth grade but swore that he changed this summer and tenth grade is going to be different. Sure, you could keep dating him, but you deserve better.

The problem with the Salvation Army is that they’ve layered the good in with the bad: the frosting is nice, but the cake is dry. In their mission statement, they say that their goal is “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination,” and the without discrimination part is what gets me. 

Not discriminating against LGBTQ+ people isn’t a crowning achievement: it’s the bare minimum necessary to be a decent organization. To be an organization worthy of donations and financial support from people who care about LGBTQ+ folks and about equality, you have to do a whole lot more than simply not discriminating in order to pass go.

What's a girl to do if she's feeling philanthropic around the holidays? If you’re feeling extra generous this holiday season, and you care at all about the fact that an estimated 40 percent of homeless youth in the United States identify as LGBTQ+ or about the fact that transgender people in America are four times more likely to live in abject poverty, here are eight organizations that are a helluva lot more deserving of your donation:
The Ali Forney Center: Headquartered in New York City, the Ali Forney Center works “to protect LGBTQ+ youth from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.”

TGI Justice Project: Located in the Bay Area, the TGI Justice Project works with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated trans and gender nonconforming people to create a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.

The Hetrick-Martin Institute: With locations in both New York City and Newark, NJ, the Hetrick-Martin Institute provides a range of support services -- from community programming, art workshops, and GED programs, to crisis intervention, health counseling, and housing support -- for economically marginalized LGBTQ+ young people.
Casa Ruby: Open six days a week, Casa Ruby provides a bilingual, multicultural safe space for LGBTQ+ people in Washington, DC. Their staff and volunteers provide basic human services to more than 150 clients per week, including hot meals, support groups, case management, and emergency housing referrals.

True Colors Fund: Founded by Cyndi Lauper in 2008, the True Colors Fund works to support homeless LGBTQ+ youth through a combination of youth empowerment programs, public policy advocacy, and nationwide training with homeless service providers.
Audre Lorde Project: The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Nonconforming People of Color center for community organizing. With a major focus on community wellness and economic justice, ALP works to develop and implement culturally specific and effective programs reflecting the needs of LGBTQ+ People of Color in New York City.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project: The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Through a collective organizing approach, SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for gender nonconforming people, with a focus on low-income people and people of color.

Your Local LGBTQ+ Community Center: There are LGBTQ+ Community Centers in hundreds of cities across the country, and many centers have programs specifically designed to foster economic empowerment for folks in the community. Many, like the Los Angeles LGBT Center, provide services specifically for LGBTQ+ adults and young people experiencing homelessness.

So the next time you see an elf asking you to put money in a bucket outside the grocery store, first check that you’re not hallucinating. Then, resist your nostalgic instinct to put a dollar in the bucket, whip out your phone instead, and donate to any of these fabulous organizations — organizations that empower the most marginalized folks in the LGBTQ+ community while holding the fullness of our shimmering identities.

Jacob Tobia is a writer, producer, and author of the forthcoming memoir Sissy with Putnam Books at Penguin Random House. Named in the Forbes 30 Under 30, Jacob served as the Social Media Producer on Season 4 of the Emmy Award-winning series Transparent. Jacob's work and activism have been featured in TIME Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Playboy, and The Guardian, among others.







October 11, 2017

From Romania U.S. Evil Fighter Against Gay Marriage KIM DAVIS



Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk jailed for five days in 2015 for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, is touring Romania in support of a campaign to block legal recognition of such unions there





Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk jailed for five days in 2015 after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, is touring Romania in support of a campaign to block legal recognition of such unions there.

The group Liberty Counsel, which represented Davis when she vaulted into the national spotlight, says Davis and the group's vice president of legal affairs, Harry Mihet, are touring the Eastern European country to discuss the effects of same-sex marriage in the U.S.

Davis, who remains Rowan County's clerk, was jailed for contempt after refusing to issue marriage licenses in compliance with the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made it legal for gays and lesbians to marry in every state. Her office now issues licenses without her signature.
Davis and Mihet will be in Romania for nine days, according to a Liberty Counsel press release.

The pair, according to the press release, "are holding conferences in Romania's largest cities, including Bucharest, Cluj, Sibiu, Timisoara, and Iasi. Their message is simple and based on the recent lessons learned in the United States: same-sex ‘marriage' and freedom of conscience are mutually exclusive because those who promote the former have zero tolerance for the latter."

The tour comes as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the right of religious business owners to object to serving same-sex ceremonies in a case brought by a Colorado baker. Some states have anti-discrimination laws saying businesses cannot deny service based on sexual orientation.

Romania does not currently recognize same-sex marriage, nor does any neighboring country. Liberty Counsel says Davis and Mihet, however, are supporting a petition drive requesting a referendum to add a same-sex marriage ban to the nation's constitution.

Davis and Mihet, who is originally from Romania, have met with Orthodox church leaders, members of the country's parliament and are giving "numerous television and radio interviews," according to the release.

After Davis refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, citing "God's law" as her reason, it emerged that she personally has been married four times to three different men.

Holly Meade, a spokeswoman for Liberty Counsel, said that rather than hypocrisy, Davis' personal history shows "the amazing grace of God to use someone like that" and that "her past is forgiven."




April 8, 2017

Notre Dame Giving Highest Honor in Rabidly Anti Gay/Women Priest



 

The University of Notre Dame will award its highest honor to a priest who has openly dissented from Church teaching on homosexual “marriage,” women “priests” and worthiness to receive Holy Communion.
Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle will be this year’s Laetare Medal recipient, the university announced recently.
Father Boyle is renowned for his decades-long work with incarcerated and gang-involved individuals. He will be given the award at the university’s May 21 commencement ceremony.
Father Boyle criticized the U.S. Bishops’ opposition to homosexual “marriage” in a 2010 interview during the debate over California’s Proposition 8 referendum banning same-sex “marriage.” He further described opposition to gay “marriage” as “demonizing people.”
He also stated in the interview that the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination was “shameful, “nonsense” and not “honest.” And the priest said those opposed to women’s ordination were “frightened that women will be ordained.”
He also mocked Church teaching on reception of the Eucharist for individuals married outside the Church in the broadly publicized television interview.
The Laetare Medal is not only the highest honor Notre Dame bestows, according to the university, but also the highest honor American Catholics can receive.
The university website states the medal is “intended for a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.”
Catholic groups expressed dismay at the Laetare recipient decision.
The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) referenced the choice of Father Boyle in its news briefs as a scandal for the “dissenting priest” to be honored by Notre Dame. The news brief was also published on the Creative Minority Report blog. 
CNS asked supporters in an email, “What is the motivation behind Notre Dame’s honor to an unfaithful priest who has reportedly alleged that his 'own sad, tragic church' is 'just about power and privilege and secrecy and sometimes even a willful wandering away from Jesus and the living of the Gospel?'”
“Father Gregory Boyle’s good work with Los Angeles gangs is admirable,” CNS stated. “But how can a Catholic university ignore his public advocacy for same-sex marriage? Even Father Boyle has acknowledged that he doesn’t toe 'the party line' when he suggests that God disagrees with the Catholic Church.”
The Sycamore Trust, an alumni organization that works to protect Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, said in a statement, “After last year’s unsettling award of the Laetare Medal to Vice President Joe Biden despite his championship of abortion rights and same-sex marriage, one might have hoped for a respite this year. It was not to be.”
The choice to honor Biden last year drew significant criticism from pro-life facultystudents and outside groups.
Sycamore Trust clarified that it does not suggest that having at some time expressed disagreement with a significant Church teaching should automatically disqualify one for the Laetare Medal.
“Father Boyle displayed an utter contempt for the magisterium,” the Sycamore statement said. “He looks for truth elsewhere.”
Father Boyle’s admirable history of good works meets the award’s enrichment of humanity standard, it explained.
However, the group continued, “a Catholic priest who dissents from that teaching and is being honored for ‘illustrating the ideals of the Church,’ and thus the unstated but evident rephrasing to accommodate the honoring of Father Boyle is illustrated some ideals of the Church while ridiculing others.”
Notre Dame was the center of sustained widespread criticism for honoring former President Barack Obama as its 2009 commencement speaker.
The Notre Dame invite to Obama came despite his fervent support for abortion and homosexual “marriage” and his HHS mandate imposing employer-subsidized contraception, abortifacients, and abortion in U.S. healthcare.

March 27, 2017

Appaling Anti LGBT Letter to Trump from Ministers in the Caribbean






 

Nearly 300 religious officials from the Caribbean and Guyana have urged the U.S. to no longer promote LGBT and intersex rights abroad.

The 289 ministers who are from the Bahamas, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana made the request in a letter they sent to President Trump on Jan. 31.

“We write to you as concerned Christian ministers and churches from the Caribbean region (including the Bahamas) who hope and pray that the United States, under your leadership, will once again cast a light from ‘The City upon a Hill’ of which your American forefathers and President Ronald Reagan so frequently spoke,” reads the letter. “Sadly, during recent years, that City has too often cast shadows instead of light.”

“We refer specifically to the policies of the U.S. State Department and other government agencies involved in foreign policy that have undertaken to coerce our countries into accepting a mistaken version of marriage,” it continues.

The letter specifically notes the appointment of Randy Berry as the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBT and intersex rights in 2015 was central to “the promotion of same-sex marriage” in American foreign policy. It also questions then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2011 speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council in which she said “gay rights are human rights.”

“We have our rights by virtue of being human beings and not by anything else — not our ethnicity, not our religion, not our race, not our tribe and certainly not our sexual orientation,” reads the letter.

The letter also points out to Trump that “several of your government agencies” are “using executive orders to foist transgender confusion through the bathroom issue on your public schools by threatening the loss of federal funds.”

“Please understand that this same kind of coercion is being used against our countries to force us to fall in line with the entire same-sex agenda,” it reads.

The Obama administration last year advised public schools that Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 requires them to allow trans students to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. Trump rescinded this guidance on Feb. 22. 

Guyanese group receives grants through Global Equality Fund

The promotion of LGBT and intersex rights abroad was a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy during Obama’s second term. The promotion of marriage rights for same-sex couples internationally was never a publicly articulated part of this strategy.

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, a Guyanese advocacy group known by the acronym SASOD, has received grants through the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership the State Department manages with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Officials at the U.S. Embassy in the Guyanese capital of Georgetown also meet with SASOD staffers and support their efforts.

Dennis and Judy Shepard met with LGBT rights advocates, parents and officials at the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago in 2014. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has also supported HIV/AIDS programs in the country.

Consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. St. Maarten recognizes same-sex marriages that are performed in the Netherlands. 

Ministers’ letter is ‘appalling’

Steven Anderson, who was deported from Botswana last September, traveled to Guyana earlier this year. The anti-LGBT pastor from Arizona who has said gays and lesbians should be killed and described the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Fla., as “disgusting homosexuals,” claims a hotel in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, cancelled his reservation earlier this month.

Activists in the region with whom the Washington Blade spoke on Wednesday criticized the pastors who wrote to Trump.

“It’s appalling that they are pandering to President Trump — a head of state who has demonstrated nothing but prejudice and intolerance towards entire communities, immigrants and Muslims especially,” said SASOD Managing Director Joel Simpson.

Erin Greene, an LGBT and intersex rights advocate in the Bahamas, agreed.

“The statement and petition is a desperate move by a once powerful structure in Caribbean societies,” she told the Blade. “The Christian church was once the center of Caribbean societies, and now, these pastors are grasping to retain power and relevance as they are being stripped of their influence in policy making and national development.”

“In fact, they would be fulfilling their Christian mandate by denouncing the exportation of anti-LGBTI hate speech to the region, and asking President Trump to focus on foreign policy initiatives that prevent the spread the of U.S.-based religious terrorism in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Global South,” added Greene.

Bahamas Transgender Intersex United President Alexus D’Marco echoed Greene’s criticism while defending Obama, Clinton and Berry’s appointment.

“It is inconceivable that these ‘Christian’ reverend gentlemen and gentle ladies could not find the love of Christ in the hearts,” D’Marco told the Blade.

A State Department spokesperson on Friday said “protecting universal human rights is at the core of U.S. foreign policy.”

“All people should be protected from discrimination and violence, and must be allowed to exercise their human rights, including their rights to the freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and religion or belief,” the spokesperson told the Blade.

The White House did not respond to the Blade’s request for comment.

 

- Michael K. Lavers, Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association

March 8, 2017

Franklin Graham a True Homophobe (fear of being gay) Now Goes After Disney







What would you call someone who has this particular interest in everything gay? I am sure there are preachers that feel something is wrong but it does not drive their energies and the funds they get from people to support him and his preaching. Of all the things gay he picks on a Disney character that doesn’t know who or what he is. We know that a man that says he is straight but spends his time watching to see what gay people do is not straight just narrow and it meets the definition of homophobe and closeted. I think he is got a fear of being converted but he should know by now gays don’t convert unlike his church. So may be he knows he is and is taken this crusade to proof to himself and others that he is straight~~~~~~~~~~~~~~adamfoxie blog~~~~~~~~~~

When it was announced last week that Disney’s forthcoming Beauty and the Beast film would feature  the company’s first gay character, many responded with singing and dancing. But some conservative Christians have opted for sackcloth and ashes.

Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and a lightning rod of controversy himself, tweeted that while Disney has the right to control the content of their cartoons, Christians “also have the right to not support their company.” LifeSiteNews.com, a popular conservative Christian website, launched an online petition to boycott Disney that has already received nearly 100,000 signatures. And at least one Christian theater owner has cancelled screenings of the film.

Conservative Christian outrage over any positive portrayals of LGBT people in film and television is a tale as old as time, but this effort seems particularly misguided. It risks making Christians look like antiquated bigots, and it reeks of moral hypocrisy. And worse, it diverts energy from a more worthwhile effort: teaching Christian children to co-exist in a pluralistic society.

Graham sparked the furor with a Facebook post warning that Disney is “trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of young children.” But Beauty and the Beast has not yet released in theaters, so Graham, like the rest of us, hasn’t actually seen the film. Here’s what we know:


  • There are no explicit discussions in the film about gay rights, gay marriage or the morality of gay relationships.
  • The character in question, Gaston’s manservant LaFou, doesn’t have a husband or a boyfriend or even an explicit same-gender love interest in the film
  • In a single scene, LaFou experiences a “subtle” moment where it seems he may (or may not) be attracted to Gaston.The character is not explicitly gay but rather, according to director Bill Condon, seems “confused about what he wants” and is “somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”

The nefarious “agenda” to which Graham refers simply does not exist. So boycotting the film makes it appear that these Christians object to the mere existence of gay people. And even if Graham was right and there were some discernable “agenda” in this film, a boycott would reek of hypocrisy. After all, conservative Christian leaders just helped elect Donald Trump and a whopping 81% of white evangelicals voted for the real estate mogul in November. In light of this, the boycott looks like a Mickey Mouse position and Goofy double standard.

It’s impossible to reconcile boycotting Disney for including a kind-of-sort-of-possibly gay character in a film while supporting a thrice-married serial liar who has bragged about bedding married women and has admitted to grabbing women’s genitals without permission. Such a paradoxical position would be a perfect example of what Jesus called “strain[ing] out a gnat but swallowing a camel.” Rankled Christians are motivated by a desire to protect their children from a view of sexuality that conflicts with their religious beliefs. But is boycotting this film the best way to accomplish that goal? LGBT people have long left the closet. They exist in every corner and level of society.

A Christian parent may be able to prohibit their children from viewing a movie, but they will still encounter LGBT people elsewhere. Avoiding the subject of homosexuality will not prepare kids for a world where it is almost totally accepted. It does the opposite, almost assuring they encounter and form opinions about the matter in secular spaces absent their parents. Their energy would be better invested in teaching their children to understand and coexist alongside people who may not share their beliefs and practices.

Some culture warring Christians, however, will continue their crusade against Disney no matter how much it defies logic. It bears mentioning that this isn’t the first time. In 1997, Southern Baptists officially called on Christians to boycott the entertainment company in response to the “gay days” at their theme parks.

Disney thrived despite the resistance they received then. A boycott today would be even less effective now given that conservative Christians wield less cultural influence. If Christians keep shouting “boycott,” don’t be surprised if Disney responds, “Be our guest.”


By Jonathan Merritt who is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and senior columnist for Religion News Service.

January 23, 2017

In Ghana Preacher Says if Dogs Don’t Do it, Gays Shouldn’t Either

                                                                       
 This might not be an everyday occurrence but as you can see it happens. Many people know that there are Penguins and  member of other species that voluntarily in an regular basis go male to male.






The founder and Presiding Bishop of the Lighthouse Chapel International in Ghana, pastor Dag Heward-Mills has caused massive controversy in South Africa over a sermon on homosexuality.

Bishop Heward-Mills who was preaching at a well-known church in Soweto, the Grace Bible Church described homosexual as “unnatural” and “unbiblical.”

“…You don’t find two male dogs, two male cats, or two male lions…even lizards, two male elephants, there is nothing like that in nature, it is unnatural, yes, there is nothing like that.”

But his sermon angered a popular South African choreographer and radio personality Somizi Mhlongo who is also a known homosexual.

He stormed out of the service and later posted a video on Instagram saying he wasn’t going to sit there and be offended. The video has been viewed more than 62,000 times and has attracted almost 1,000 comments.

Mr Mhlongo said the congregation had been cheering as the Ghanaian pastor said homosexuality was “sinful and disgusting”.

“This is who I am. I am a gay man. Get it into your skull. My soul is all right with my God.

“I’m disappointed at all the gay men and women who sat there and listened to him offending us and didn’t do anything about it. I walked out and visibly so,” Mr. Mhlongo said.

Learning lesson:  If you are a gay man/lesbian do not just sit there while anyone, anyone disrespects you because you are gay. They can be what ever they want to be, a gay person does not need to be respectful of someone who demean him/her because they think they have their bible right or their feelings towards gays are more important that a gay human being. if someone does not like gays, don’t be around them. As in public places no one has the right to demean someone else.
This disrespectful, ignorant pastor does not know the difference between a dog and a human being but for everyone’s information, dogs, penguins, ducks, fish, etc. do it too. Get educated!!

January 5, 2017

No Amen from Peers of a Filthy Mouth, Homophobia Spewing Evangelist



The tittle reflects adamfoxie’s sentiments based on dismay after listening to this aberration of a Christ follower who speaks in the name of someone who was never quoted with such behavior.

Below please find PAMELA K. JOHNSON post on nbcnews.com. [The tittle as all the tille’s belong to this blog]:

Kim Burrell's controversial sermon calling homosexuality perverted reflects a woman squeezed between two worlds: the black church with its traditional, heterosexuality-as-sin narrative, and the gay-friendly artistic arena, African American religion experts say. 
The Grammy-nominated gospel singer, in a now viral video, predicts gays and lesbians that those "who play with it in God's house will die in 2017." Her comments were roundly denounced by a wide range of black artists from Pharrell Williams, who does a duet with her on the “Hidden Figures” soundtrack to Chaka Khan. Ellen DeGeneres canceled Burrell's January 5 appearance on the Ellen show. 
A theological student, who has pastored in Baptist and Pentecostal churches, was inspired to start a new blog, Hu-Muse, with Burrell's perceived hypocrisy as its first subject. 
"I'm straight, but I'm sick and tired of hearing [about homophobia in the church]," says Marlon Millner, a doctoral fellow in religious studies at Northwestern University who has followed the artist's career for more than two decades. 
Burrell, black religious studies scholars say, has benefited from the support of the LGBTQ community for years—even as she preached against them. 
Indeed, Burrell makes a guest appearance on "Godspeed," a song by Frank Ocean, wrote about his sexuality and romantic interest in a man. 
She was booked on DeGeneres' show to help promote the new film Hidden Figures before the host, who is a lesbian, uninvited her. 
Millner suggests Burrell can't have it both ways: "If they're so bad say, 'No I can't go on your show,'" Or, 'It's nice you would think of me Frank, but you're bisexual.' " 
Darnell L. Moore, a writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at New York's Columbia University, adds to the list of people Burrell should not profit from if she continues to condemn their sexual orientation: "Tell LGBT people to stop placing their demonic tithes in your sanctified offering plates." 





Image: Kim Burrell performs on NBC's "Today" show at Rockefeller Plaza on Dec. 9 in New York.





Kim Burrell performs on NBC's "Today" show at Rockefeller Plaza on Dec. 9 in New York. Charles Sykes / Invision/AP

In response to the backlash against her first video (apparently posted to the Internet by someone in her church), Burrell recorded a second one, suggesting that she'd been misunderstood. 
"I never said all gays were going to hell," she said. 
Nonetheless, her comments rubbed a raw wound for many gays and lesbians in a number of black churches which have long wrestled with reconciling views on how to practice their faith while embracing homosexuality. 
Bishop Yvette Flunder, a pastor from Oakland, CA, who is a lesbian, wrote an open letter to "Pastor Kim Burrell" suggesting that she had "touched the nerve of a wounded, greatly unappreciated and misunderstood group of people who have contributed countless underrated and unappreciated gifts to the church…" 
B.Slade, a singer with a Pentecostal upbringing whose career was temporary derailed when he admitted to feelings for the same sex, urged homosexuals to stop allowing themselves to be mistreated, he wrote
"Black gay members continue to run to Pharoah's House [the Black Church] to be whipped back into submission to make the heterosexual majority comfortable," and where gays have "been instrumental in building the foundation of too many mega Black Churches and careers of singers like Kim Burrell." 
Were it not for her fame, this story might never have gained traction, said Josef Sorett, author of the new book, Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics





Image:  Josef Sorett





Josef Sorett Department of Religion & Institute for Research in African-American Studies Columbia University Courtesy of Josef Sorett

"Gospel artists have a degree of celebrity. They're featured on reality shows like Preachers of L.A. and Mary Mary," said Sorett, an associate professor at Columbia University, who runs its Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice. 
He notes that gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, similar to Burrell in some ways, was catapulted to wider prominence with his appearance on the TV show Girlfriends, but later was uninvited from a 50th Anniversary March on Washington event after gay-rights activists protested his stance that God had delivered him from the "sin of homosexuality." 
But Millner and other black religion experts said the black church needs to do more to be a welcoming place for all. 
"Of all the things espoused in Christian theology," Millner said, "justice, vengeance, wrath… The greatest idea we should try to uphold is love.

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