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Anti-gay advocates launch global ‘pro-family’ group

Protesters escorted out of D.C. press conference

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Scott Lively, anti-gay, gay news, Washington Blade
Scott Lively, anti-gay, gay news, Washington Blade

Anti-gay activist Scott Lively spoke at the Coalition for Family Values press conference at the National Press Club on Feb. 21. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two anti-gay advocates on Friday announced a new organization designed to combat the global LGBT rights movement.

Scott Lively of Defend the Family International and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality unveiled the Coalition for Family Values at the National Press Club in downtown Washington. Greg Quinlan and Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania spoke at the press conference.

Matt Barber of Liberty Council Action, Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern and Brian Camenker of MassResistance are among the more than 70 anti-gay activists and religious leaders from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and Brazil who have thus far joined the coalition.

“We share a Biblical world view and speak the plain truth of the LGBT agenda and its destructive influence on society,” said Lively. “Our goal is to promote and protect the natural family as the essential foundation of civilization, and family values as the sources and guide to mainstream culture in every society, while advocating reasonable tolerance to those who choose to live discretely outside the mainstream.”

The press conference took place against the backdrop of ongoing outrage over Russia’s LGBT rights record that includes a 2013 law that bans gay propaganda to minors.

Authorities earlier this week twice detained transgender former Italian Parliamentarian Vladimir Luxuria who protested the controversial statute during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Police in St. Petersburg and Moscow on Feb. 7 arrested 14 LGBT rights advocates who marched with a banner in support of the campaign to add sexual orientation to the Olympic charter’s anti-discrimination clause and sang the Russian national anthem near Red Square while holding Russian and rainbow flags.

Lively, who said during the press conference he has been to Russia three times, last August applauded Russian President Vladimir Putin for signing the gay propaganda law.

“On behalf of millions of Americans and Canadians who are concerned about the seemingly unstoppable spread of homosexuality in our countries and internationally, I wish to respectfully express my heartfelt gratitude that your nation has take a firm and unequivocal stand against this scourge by banning homosexualist propaganda in Russia,” wrote Lively in an open letter to Putin.

Lively reiterated his praise of the Russian president during the D.C. press conference.

“We want to praise the Russian Federation for providing much-needed leadership in restoring family values in public policy,” he said, adding he hopes other governments will enact laws similar to the gay propaganda law that Putin signed. “By taking these steps in the face of intense criticism and hostility by some Western governments and NGOs, the Russians have demonstrated the high value that they place on their children and the natural family model of society. We believe that God will bless the Russian people for their faith and courage.”

LaBarbera echoed Lively.

“The United States of America, especially under President Barack Obama has nothing to teach Russia and the world when it comes to homosexuality-based so-called rights and sexual morality,” he said. “Russia has enough problems of its own to be worrying about U.S. liberals who are obsessed with promoting the normalization of homosexuality and gender confusion, even to children.”

Ellen Sturtz and Slava Revin of the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance heckled Lively and LaBarbera for several minutes after they spoke. The LGBT rights advocates prevented Gramley from speaking for several minutes before security personnel escorted them from the room in which the press conference was taking place.

Ellen Sturtz, Coalition for Family Values, National Press Club, Washington Blade, gay news

Ellen Sturtz joined with other activists in interrupting the Coalition for Family Values press conference. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

“When it comes to their children and the efforts by homosexual activists to tell kids that gay is okay, Russia has made the right decision,” said Gramley. “Last year Russia sent a message to the world that their children are important.

Lively: We ‘unequivocally oppose any violence’ against anyone

Reports that emerged on Thursday suggested Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed his country’s so-called Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would impose a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.

The Center for Constitutional Rights in March 2012 filed a federal lawsuit against Lively, who is running to succeed outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, on behalf of a Ugandan LGBT rights group that accuses the evangelical Christian of exploiting anti-gay attitudes in the East African country and encouraging lawmakers to approve the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Judge Michael A. Posner of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts last August ruled Sexual Minorities Uganda’s lawsuit can move forward.

“I certainly disagree with the controversial legislation that Uganda may enact in the coming days,” U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who met with Museveni in the East African country on Jan. 23, told the Washington Blade on Thursday. “As I’ve said before, it is my hope that the country will abandon this unjust and harsh legislation.”

Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT and human rights groups have also criticized Museveni over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. They have also spoken out against the draconian bill Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed last month that bans nuptials for gays and lesbians, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership in LGBT advocacy groups.

Lively said in response to the Blade’s question about whether the coalition will contribute to additional anti-LGBT violence in Nigeria, Uganda and other countries that he and other members “unequivocally condemn any violence against anyone, including homosexuals.”

“We do not support the promotion of hatred,” said Lively. “We believe that existing laws in every country are sufficient to protect people from that kind of violence. Anyone who engages in violence against people like that should be prosecuted and punished.”

Lively further described the Center for Constitutional Rights that filed the federal lawsuit against him on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda as a “Marxist law firm from New York City.”

“The purpose of the lawsuit is to shut me up because I speak very articulately about the homosexual issue from a pro-family perspective,” said Lively in response to the Blade’s question.

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. chika

    February 21, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    nice move.

  2. Larry McCutcheon

    February 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I suppose we will have to launch a campaign to restrict the rights of right wing loonie evangelists who breathe fire and brimstone in public

  3. Doug Williams

    February 21, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    they seem to multiply faster than rabbits and have about the same IQ…pity

  4. Bobbi Prato

    February 22, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Why don't they just call themselves what they are, The Coalition for Fascist Values and 'christian' Dominionism

  5. Ronnie Bradley

    February 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    What gets me is that they clearly dont see that allowing gay couples to marry and giving equal rights and fair treatment to members of the LGBT community in now way threatens the family in fact it strengthens it when you think of the number of LGBT kids kicked out by ignorant parents and disowned by people who purportedly believe in "Family values" then the hypocrisy at work here is evident.

    As for living by Biblical views of marriage are they really trying to claim marriage in Biblical times was moral? if so they have one skewed view of marriage. marriage in Biblical times was essentially a contract where daughters from as young as 12 could be essentially bought off of their fathers for a few sheep and they had no say in the matter. Spousal rape was the normal order as the wife had no right to say no. Now yes, many marriages in Biblical times were based on love and commitment but many weren't and it still was a case of getting the father's permission because a woman had no say in the matter at all.

    If this is the idea of morality that these idiots want us to return to then I say forget it. The Bible is hardly moral anyway, as it presents us with a deity that is cruel, unjust, vain, spiteful and over-reacts consistently. Furthermore this same deity hates homosexuality but is okay with rape, despises shellfish but is fine with slavery.

    Truth is gay couples being allowed to marry doesnt threaten the family or "traditional" marriage. What it does do is threaten those people who want a fascist pecking order into accepting that gay people are not criminals or deviants to be demonized, but human beings worthy of equal respect to us straight people.

  6. Dennis Velco

    February 22, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to the largest LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 24,800+ global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=63687

    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 24,800+ of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world's countries.

    It's core value is – Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe's largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT – or a welcomed community ally.

  7. chika

    February 23, 2014 at 6:01 am

    @ronnie bradley, give it a rest. Am not surprised you are an atheist. What do you know and understand about scripture? NOTHING! The bible should be read with spiritual insight not with intellectual logic, o i forgot, you dont even understand spirituality, you think it’s mere morality or religion. Well done Mr. Lively!

  8. Junior Equality Mayema

    February 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    It is so sad some in the united states are exporting culture of hate and violence

  9. Mary Delaney

    February 23, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Rick Murray

    February 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    So much hate in one room.

  11. chika

    February 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    @mayema, its so sad that many in america have given way to perversion. Just because i dont believe in gay marriage does not i ‘hate’ gays, just as non-believers in christianity does not ‘hate’ christian. So to hell with all your gay propaganda. Big-ups Mr. Lively.

  12. chika

    February 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    sorry for typographic errors…

  13. Josh Kutchinsky

    March 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Thankfully most people in the United States are not represented by these cruel, uncharitable, greedy, vain, pompous and McCarthy-like people.

  14. Erica Pike

    March 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Christ, what a nutcase…

  15. Erica Pike

    March 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    The problem with a lot of Christians is that they seem to think that marriage is patented to Christianity. They forget that people with other religions get married too. As do atheists.

    And traditional family values? What exactly is that today? I'm a single mother. Shouldn't they be condemning me as well since I chose to divorce my kids' father?

    As for the Bible-thumpers, they like to pick and choose whatever is convenient for them and ignore the rest of the Bible. That annoys me to no end. Seriously, thumpers, follow the rules of the Bible to the last letter and then you have the right to judge others. Oh, no wait, you can't judge, because the Bible says you can't (a fact that ALL of them conveniently forget).

    I'm SO glad that my little country is very liberal when it comes to religious ideologies. I don't think I could live in a country filled with such hateful bigots, even if the bigotry wasn't directed at me.

  16. Chef Naddina

    March 16, 2014 at 7:30 am

    This Christian Nut seems to forget that his Tongue is Violent and he is using it like a Weapon! These kind of people should be put in Jail for what they started in Africa!

  17. Chika

    March 17, 2014 at 9:06 am

    @erica, that u are divorced is being permitted by the same bible u desperately try to water down. Genesis and book of ephesians makes it clear on what “one flesh” in marriage means. Alot of americans are still true believers, if u have a problem with dat, then u are guilty of what u accuse them of. Same-sex marriage has no place in christianity. Humans are HUMANS, NOT ANIMALS should incase you try the evolutionary (fake) approach. If u insist, then u are an animal and not a human.

  18. Scott E. Myers

    March 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    The real question is why gay newspapers like the Washington Blade continue to refer to the law in Russia as banning "gay propaganda to minors." This distorting language is taken straight from the Christian Right's playbook. The truth is you cannot wear a rainbow flag pin on your jacket lapel. How is this "propaganda to minors"? The Washington Blade is unwittingly adding fuel to the fire of ignorance.

  19. Steven Leong

    March 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    They sow hurt, discrimination, condemnation, and crucifixion on a group of people BORN different from themselves. Their OWN Gay children, family and friends! Then they have the sick gall to do it in the name of Jesus and God. May they reap what they sow … TENFOLD!

  20. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Erica Pike and Ronnie Bradley, I think the objection you hear most is in regards to the fact that, if you do not agree with Homosexuality or same sex marriage you will be labeled as a bigot and discriminatory. Just as you have a right to believe homosexuality to be ok we have the right to state our belief that is backed by the word of God (our Bible). But you don't stop there, you take it to a level that if we do not except your belief that Law should be authorized to punish us by means of penalties and fines (such as the Oregon baker who refused to bake a cake for a Lesbian wedding, not to mention the recent controversy over the appointment of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla who had to step down because of the objection and threats to boycott because Mr. Eich had contributed funds in support of proposition 8 in Califonia.). This is blatant reverse discrimination and needs to be stopped. If you are gay but claim to be Christian and believe the word of God (by biblical standards this is a requirement of God), then you will have a problem with devout Christians as they are commanded by their belief to fight Sin on every front. To boldly go out and spread the Gospel.
    Yes we are fanatical about our faith, just as you are fanatical about your beliefs. You can call it bible beaters, thumpers, anything you like but we are merely doing what we are commanded to do. We also understand than none of us is without sin, but when a brother (or sister) refuses to confess that sin is where we are called upon to approach that brother or sister with love and admonition. We do not hate gays, we hate the sin that gays are trying to force society to accept. I've always felt that gay rights would be a problem in American society but had no idea of the extent that activist would try to take it. With the recent development of the Mozilla/Eich controversy, I feel now that It is time to take a stand against further actions like this by any group.
    BTW, Proposition 8, a proposition to ban gay marriage in California, won by a very large margin. This is a democracy and more than 72% of this country happens to be Christian. So by our own form of Government the Law should be supported by he Majority. The only way Gays can get anything done is through the Supreme Court where they only have to convince 9 Justices.
    We as Christians depend on our vote to represent our views on how we should be legislated, and a great majority of Gay rights propositions have gone down in flames except for the heavily Gay populated communities.
    My final stand is, If you want to be gay, fine, keep it in your personal life and don't bother me with it or the rest of the non-gay community. Certainly don't demand that we condone your lifestyle to the extent that we will be punished if we don't.

  21. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Erica Pike and Ronnie Bradley, I think the objection you hear most is in regards to the fact that, if you do not agree with Homosexuality or same sex marriage you will be labeled as a bigot and discriminatory. Just as you have a right to believe homosexuality to be ok we have the right to state our belief that is backed by the word of God (our Bible). But you don't stop there, you take it to a level that if we do not except your belief that Law should be authorized to punish us by means of penalties and fines (such as the Oregon baker who refused to bake a cake for a Lesbian wedding, not to mention the recent controversy over the appointment of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla who had to step down because of the objection and threats to boycott because Mr. Eich had contributed funds in support of proposition 8 in Califonia.). This is blatant reverse discrimination and needs to be stopped. If you are gay but claim to be Christian and believe the word of God (by biblical standards this is a requirement of God), then you will have a problem with devout Christians as they are commanded by their belief to fight Sin on every front. To boldly go out and spread the Gospel.
    Yes we are fanatical about our faith, just as you are fanatical about your beliefs. You can call it bible beaters, thumpers, anything you like but we are merely doing what we are commanded to do. We also understand than none of us is without sin, but when a brother (or sister) refuses to confess that sin is where we are called upon to approach that brother or sister with love and admonition. We do not hate gays, we hate the sin that gays are trying to force society to accept. I've always felt that gay rights would be a problem in American society but had no idea of the extent that activist would try to take it. With the recent development of the Mozilla/Eich controversy, I feel now that It is time to take a stand against further actions like this by any group.
    BTW, Proposition 8, a proposition to ban gay marriage in California, won by a very large margin. This is a democracy and more than 72% of this country happens to be Christian. So by our own form of Government the Law should be supported by he Majority. The only way Gays can get anything done is through the Supreme Court where they only have to convince 9 Justices.
    We as Christians depend on our vote to represent our views on how we should be legislated, and a great majority of Gay rights propositions have gone down in flames except for the heavily Gay populated communities.
    My final stand is, If you want to be gay, fine, keep it in your personal life and don't bother me with it or the rest of the non-gay community. Certainly don't demand that we condone your lifestyle to the extent that we will be punished if we don't.

  22. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Rick Murray, please read my post and see if you find anything hateful in it. Don't confuse hate of a sin with hate of a sinner.

  23. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    lol Dennis. Nice try with the "80% of world Countries" to make you're group seem as though it is a substantial equal rights group. The 24800+ "Global members" is not all to impressive. That merely is because the MAJORITY of the worlds view does not agree with yours

  24. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    you mean like the Baker in Oregon that if he lived in Washington would be subject to 20,000 fine just because he refused to provide a cake for a gay wedding, or the recent development of Mozilla's CEO being chased out by Gay Activist merely because he donated funds to Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage in California. And okcupids (website that encourages gay relationships) note on their website that said this man "seeks to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame and frustration".

  25. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    lol Dennis. Nice try with the "80% of world Countries" to make you're group seem as though it is a substantial equal rights group. The 24800+ "Global members" is not all to impressive. That merely is because the MAJORITY of the worlds view does not agree with yours

  26. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Rick Murray, please read my post and see if you find anything hateful in it. Don't confuse hate of a sin with hate of a sinner.
    Reply · Like · 2 seconds ago

  27. Ronnie Bradley

    April 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Stan Osburn I see you've sort of missed the point here so let me educate you.

    1) There is nothing sinful about being gay. The Bible does say some things suppsedly about being gay but has equal condemnation for those who wear garments made of two different threads or those who eat shellfish. SO unless you have equal disdain for those who wear poly/cotton blend shirts and eat oysters I'd say you are guilty of selective reading of your text. Furthermore at no time does Jesus say anything negative about gay people. Now true, he doesnt say anything positive either but if it was really such a bad thing to be gay dont you think eh would have said something? What he did speak about is love and acceptance and tolerance.

    2) A majority doesnt make it right that is why there are courts to check against unfair laws. If laws were the result of pure vote then woman would not ahve gotten the vote when they did nor would black people be able to vote when they did. Both of those laws came into force against the majority opinion of the time and they were morally right to do so then as they are morally right to do so in this case.

    3) No one is attacking Christian beliefs. What saddens me is that you seem to regard Christianity as a religion that has hatred of innocent sections of society simply for being different as a pre-requisite for membership. Many Christians stand fully on the side of LGBT rights. The cases you cited did not turn on the proprietors faith nor should it, they were not acting as a faith-based institution. They were providing a public service and had no rational reason to refuse services and were rightly fined. As for the CEO of Mozilla, he left of his own accord. may I ask if he ahd been racist and had supported Bills to deny non-whites rights in your country and the non-whites protested would you say he was wrong to ahve been ousted? What you fail to understand is that racism and homophobia are two manifestations of the same illness. And yes I do consider those who ahve a problem with gay people to be the one with the problem, not gay people.

    4) Prop 8 was a vote that went %2% to 48% hardly a whopping majority but it was also called into question when many people who ahd anti-gay leanings decided to move into the state in order to try and skew the vote and some colleges voted in block for Prop 8 even though the students were against it. There was much to be said about the voting in california on that vote, plus the lies that were told by the Yes campaign were disgusting.

    5) if you dont like gay people, dont be one. if you dont think gay people should be married, dont marry one. But dont tell legitimate sections of society that because they were born a little different, they cannot be treated as equals in their country even though their union does not break the law. No one is denying you the right to free speech, what people like you seem to want is the right to speak without allowing other the right of reply. Now that is censorship.

    As for America being a Christian nation, not an argument you want to make. Firstly, America only became a Christian nation because of violence and subjegation of the religion that was in America before, the religion of the native Americans. Christianity has a legacy of goodness for sure but also a terrible legacy of hatred and division. Quite frankly it has no right to consider itself to be morally superior in many issues.

    There is nothing wrong in being gay, neither legally, spiritually nor morally. There is however a great deal wrong in being disdainful of a legitimate section of our society simply for being different. Instead of hating, trying thinking. Instead of assuming a book written centuries ago, supposedly based on what some one says that someone says God, if he/she even exists, is supposedly all about try looking at the world as is and if you ahve to follow Biblical commands at all, as you undoubtedly cherry pick as all Christians do, how about the many passages that speak about love and tolerance rather than banging on about certain possible sanctions that were applied, if at all, to a specific tribe half way round the world millenia ago. We are not those people, we are better.

    Instead of assuming your deity is a vengeful, hateful tyrant incapable of change and incapable of growth, how about assuming for a moment that your diety is above your petty hatred and perhaps show a little human dignity and respect to those innocent people that you clearly do not understand.

  28. Stan Osburn

    April 5, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    you mean like the Baker in Oregon that if he lived in Washington would be subject to 20,000 fine just because he refused to provide a cake for a gay wedding, or the recent development of Mozilla's CEO being chased out by Gay Activist merely because he donated funds to Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage in California. And okcupids (website that encourages gay relationships) note on their website that said this man "seeks to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame and frustration"

  29. Alexander Alexandrin

    April 9, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Erica Pike Since you choose to divorce your kids father you deprive them their family.

  30. Alexander Alexandrin

    April 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

    It's long overdue. Good luck, Scott!

  31. Erica Pike

    April 9, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Alexander, If you don't know what our situation was then you can't say that my kids came out worse than they would've if I'd stayed married. Staying together just for the sake of the children isn't always the right thing to do. It's easy to judge from the sidelines. Besides, my kids see their dad all the time, so no, they're not deprived of their family. They've actually gained a wonderful stepmother and a baby brother.

  32. Alexander Alexandrin

    April 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Erica Pike Your children said that? Or it's just your opinion?

  33. Erica Pike

    April 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Alexander Alexandrin My opinion, our therapist's and my cousin's whose parents divorced when she was five. I didn't make this decision on a whim. I can pull up unbiased professional research (that is, research that isn't conducted or financed by conservative religious groups or fanatics about "traditional family values") about how people shouldn't stay together just for the sake of the children. I'm sure you know how to use a search engine, though, if you're interested in learning more about it.

    My sons felt the negative tension when we were all living together and it came out in their behavior, but they don't feel this tension anymore and their behavior has improved greatly. My boys (who were four years old when we divorced) smile and laugh a lot more now since both me and my ex are finally happy and can spend more energy focusing on our sons rather than resenting each other.

    Thing is that how a divorce is handled has a lot to say about how much the children are affected (these are the therapist's words). They will always be affected, but one can minimize it. My ex and I decided to do it the adult way and not use the children against each other, not talk badly about each other in front of the kids, and communicate a lot about the boys. We are still raising them together even if we don't live together.

    Like I said, it's so easy to judge from the sidelines, especially if you're raised to believe in "traditional family values." Fact still remains that you don't know me, my ex, or my children. You don't know about our past, health or any other issues we been facing, so you can't give me an expert's advice on what was the best thing for us to do. I'm sure there are children in divorced families who are miserable, and I feel for them, but my children are strong, healthy, well behaved and happy (and they do tell me when they're feeling happy and when they're feeling sad since I encourage them to talk about what they're feeling (I'm a big believer in talking things through instead of yelling and scolding)). Sure, they want their parents to live together – all kids do – but they don't obsess over it and when they bring it up I talk to them openly and listen to them instead of brushing it off.

    There is no one right form for families. To try to conform everybody into one mold is a recipe for a disaster. Do you know how many parents have absolutely no parenting skills? Who stay drunk all day and beat up their children? Who kill their children? In my country, people need permits to own pets, but any idiot can have children. Me being a capable single mother is not what's wrong with this world.

  34. Ronnie Bradley

    April 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Alexander Alexandrin Why do you automatically assume that the divorce has been done on a whim? Sometimes the best thing for the kids is for the parents to divorce rather than live in a house where there is unbearable tension (which kids do pick up on). As you do not have the facts you are quite wrong to judge. You should do the honourable thing and apologise.

  35. Alexander Alexandrin

    April 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Erica Pike "our therapist's and my cousin's "
    Who did you divorce? Father of your children or your therapist and cousins? Of course your therapist will always tell you what you want and like to hear, who wanna lose their money, right?
    Your cousin… normal women's behavior – "if I have trouble, let she has!".
    "My sons felt the negative tension when we were all living together "
    I'll never believe that children feel any "tensions" living with both parents, of course, unless their are not alky's example. Parents, not children. In family, woman is responsible for smooth, good, warm etc climate. There are tensions – that's woman's fault. There is not enough money or safety- so that's man's.
    If woman writes about traditional family values in quotes – there is nothing surprising that boys have no family anymore.

  36. Alexander Alexandrin

    April 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Ronnie Bradley "Why do you automatically assume that the divorce has been done on a whim?"
    Where I've been written that?

  37. Ronnie Bradley

    April 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Alexander Alexandrin So not only are you staggeringly ill-informed, you are also sexist. Not worth my time mate. Bye.

  38. Erica Pike

    April 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Alexander Alexandrin Wow, you seem to be set on the idea that women are the cause of all evil and men can do no wrong (except if they're homosexual, according to your Facebook wall). Remember when I said that me being a capable single mother is not what's wrong with this world? Pigheaded bigots with disregard for human life, freedom and equal rights are what's wrong.

    You come off as extremely sexist and we will never agree on this matter so I don't see the point in continuing. I will not respond further.

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In a historic first, Colorado now has a 1st gentleman as Gov. Polis marries

The governor and his now husband decided to hold their nuptials on the 18th anniversary of their first date

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Governor Jared Polis and 1st Gentleman Marlon Reis exchange vows (Screenshot via CBS News Denver)

DENVER – Colorado’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis married his longtime partner Marlon Reis in a ceremony that marked the first same-sex marriage of a sitting Out governor in the United States.

The couple was married Wednesday in a small traditional Jewish ceremony at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where Reis had matriculated and graduated from. The governor and his now husband decided to hold their nuptials on the 18th anniversary of their first date.

“We met online and went out on a date and we went to the Boulder bookstore and then went to dinner,” Polis told KCFR-FM, Colorado Public Radio (CPR).

In addition to family and close friends in attendance, the couple’s two children participated with their 7-year-old daughter serving as the flower girl and their 9-year-old son as the ring bearer.

The governor joked that their daughter was probably more thrilled than anyone about the wedding. “She was all in on being a flower girl. She’s been prancing around. She got a great dress. She’s terrific,” he said CPR reported.

Their son was also happy, but more ambivalent about it all according to Reis. “Kids are so modern that their responses to things are sometimes funny. Our son honestly asked us, ‘Why do people get married?”

Colorado’s chief executive, sworn in as the 43rd governor of Colorado in January 2019, over the course of nearly 20 years as a political activist and following in public service as an elected official has had several ‘firsts’ to his credit.

In 2008 Polis is one of the few people to be openly Out when first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as well as being the first gay parent to serve in the Congress. Then on November 6, 2018, he was the first openly gay governor elected in Colorado and in the United States.

********************

Gov. Jared Polis And First Gentleman Marlon Reis Are Newlyweds

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U.S. Catholic theologians call for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections

Joint statement says church teachings support equality

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More than 750 of the nation’s leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators, and writers released a joint statement on Sept. 14 expressing strong support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

The six-page theological statement, “A Home for All: A Catholic Call for LGBTQ Non-Discrimination,” was scheduled to be published along with the names of its 759 signatories as a four-page advertisement on Sept. 17 in the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper widely read by Catholic clergy and laypeople.

The statement was initiated by New Ways Ministry, a Mount Rainier, Md., based Catholic group that advocates for equality for LGBTQ people within the church and society at large.

“As Catholic theologians, scholars, church leaders, writers, and ministers, we affirm that Catholic teaching presents a positive case for ending discrimination against LGBTQ people,” the statement says. “We affirm the Second Vatican Council’s demand that ‘any kind of social or cultural discrimination…must be curbed and eradicated,’” it says.

“We affirm that Catholic teaching should not be used to further oppress LGBTQ people by denying rights rooted in their inherent human dignity and in the church’s call for social equality,” the statement adds.

The statement notes that its signers recognize that a “great debate” is currently taking place within the Catholic Church about whether same-gender relationships and transgender identities should be condoned or supported.

“That is a vital discussion for the future of Catholicism, and one to which we are whole-heartedly committed,” the statement continues. “What we are saying in this statement, however, is relatively independent of that debate, and the endorsers of this statement may hold varied, and even opposing, opinions on sexual and gender matters,” it says.

Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministries executive director, said his organization and the signers of the statement feel the issue of nondiscrimination for LGBTQ people can and should be supported by Catholic leaders and the church itself even if some are not yet ready to support same-sex marriage and sexual and gender identity matters.

“LGBTQ non-discrimination is being debated at all levels in our society, and the Catholic perspective on this is often misrepresented, even by some church leaders,” DeBernardo said. “Catholics who have studied and reflected deeply on this topic agree that non-discrimination is the most authentic Catholic position,” he said. 

DeBernardo said those who helped draft the statement decided it would be best to limit it to a theological appeal and argument for LGBTQ equality and non-discrimination and not to call for passage of specific legislation such as the Equality Act, the national LGBTQ civil rights bill pending in the U.S. Congress.

The Equality Act calls for amending existing federal civil rights laws to add nondiscrimination language protecting LGBTQ people in areas such as employment, housing, and public accommodations. The U.S. House approved the legislation, but the Senate has yet to act on it.

“We wanted this to be a theological statement, not a political statement,” DeBernardo said.

He said organizers of the project to prepare the statement plan to send it, among other places, to the Vatican in Rome and to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has expressed opposition to the Equality Act.

Among the key signers of the statement were 242 administrators, faculty, and staff from Sacred Heart University, a Catholic college in Bridgeport, Conn. New Ways Ministries says the statement was circulated by the school’s administration and eight of its top leaders, including President John Petillo, are among the signers.

Some of the prominent writers who signed the statement include Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking;” Richard Rodriquez, author of “Hunger of Memory;” Gary Wills, author of “Lincoln at Gettysburg;” and Gregory Maguire, author of “Wicked.”

The full text of the statement and its list of signatories can be accessed at the New Ways Ministry website.

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Activists reflect on Black Trans Lives Matter movement resurgence

Blade speaks with Alex Santiago, Jasmyne Cannick

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An I Am Human Foundation billboard along Atlanta's Downtown Connector expressway on Feb. 22, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The world came to a standstill last year as a video surfaced online that showed then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd. The video went viral and sparked numerous protests against racism and police brutality in the U.S. and around the world as many people felt it a potent time to relay their frustrations with and to their governments.

For the LGBTQ community, these protests brought to light the need for human rights for transgender individuals as the murders of people like Tony McDade in Florida and Nina Pop in Missouri reawakened the flame within the Black Trans Lives Matter movement.

A tribute to Tony McDade in downtown Asheville, N.C., in June 2020. McDade was a Black transgender man who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Tallahassee, Fla., on May 27, 2020. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Washington Blade more than a year later spoke with Alex Santiago, executive director of the I Am Human Foundation in Atlanta, and Jasmyne Cannick, a Democratic political strategist and journalist in Los Angeles, to reflect on last year’s Black Trans Lives Matter movement, how far it has come, and what’s in store for the future. 

Uplifting voices often silenced

Participating in the Black Lives Matter protests was an easy decision for Santiago. He is a member of the Legendary House of Garcon, a ballroom house headquartered in D.C. 

Although the house is composed mostly of LGBTQ members, Santiago still felt the need to center trans voices and experiences by visually representing them during Black Lives Matter marches. 

“[I decided that] when I go I’m going to have signs that say ‘Black Trans Lives Matter.’ After talking to a couple of the people in the house, they said it was a great idea. So, they got these t-shirts made that incorporated the trans colors [baby blue, baby pink and white],” says Santiago.

Out of the 250 people in the Legendary House of Garcon, 175 showed up to D.C. from other states to march in solidarity with Black trans people. Santiago says that from what he was told, his was the largest group of activists representing Black trans lives at protests. 

“At first I thought people were going to look at us crazy, like, ‘Why are you separating yourselves or being exclusive?’. But, we got a great response from the general population that was there that day. It was a good day,” says Santiago.

Cannick, who was in Los Angeles during the protests, lent her efforts to platforming pertinent issues. She identifies herself as an ally and a “friend” to the LGBTQ community. 

“I’m active in the LA community and everybody knows me. So, whenever something happens, someone is hurt, someone is killed or someone needs to get the word out about something that’s going on particularly as it relates to the trans community, I’m always asked to get involved, and I do,” says Cannick. 

Over the past year, she reported on multiple LGBTQ issues including the trial of Ed Buck, a Democratic political fundraiser who was convicted in the deaths of two gay Black men who he injected with methamphetamine in exchange for sex.

What happened to the BTLM movement and what needs to change?

The nature of many social movements is that as the intense emotion surrounding them fades, people’s fervor for change wanes as well. This is especially true with allies who are not directly linked to the cause.

“Fatigue and frustration at the relatively slow pace of change to a growing backlash on the right against efforts to call out systemic racism and white privilege — has led to a decline in white support for the Black Lives Matter movement since last spring, when white support for social justice was at its peak,” US News reports about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Cannick believes this is the same for the Black Trans Lives Matter movement. She says Americans allow the media to dictate how it behaves and responds to issues. Thus, when stories “fall out of our media cycles … they fall out of our memories.”

“I think that’s not going to change, and that’s a psychological thing, until we learn how to not let the media necessarily dictate our issues,” says Cannick. 

She suggests that individuals remain plugged into their communities by “doing anything to make sure they keep up with an issue” including following the “right people” on social media and setting up Google alerts for any breaking news. 

Jasmyne Cannick (Photo courtesy of Jasmyne Cannick)

Santiago also echoes Cannick’s sentiments. 

“We wait until something happens before we do something. And, I don’t want to be retroactive; I want to be proactive. I want people to see me when things are going well [and when they’re not going well],” says Santiago. 

Upon returning to his home in Atlanta after the D.C. protests, Santiago contacted a billboard installation company and paid for a billboard labelled, “Black Trans Lives Matter” to be displayed on University Avenue near downtown Atlanta. He says that the billboards got attention and helped to spread much-needed awareness. Following this success, he is now in the process of installing a new billboard labelled, “Black, Trans and Visible. My life Matters.”

“Unless you’re in people’s faces or something drastic happens, people forget. Unless you’re living it, people forget,” says Santiago.

As time progresses, both Santiago and Cannick nest hope for the Black Trans Lives Matter movement. However, this hope can only persist when crucial steps are taken to ensure Black trans individuals around the country are protected, most importantly through legislation.

The New York Times reports there are close to 1,000 elected LGBTQ officials in the U.S., with at least one in each state except Mississippi. 

“We need to have more legislation. We need more voices in power like the council Biden has right now,” says Santiago. 

“You know that [Biden] has a lot of trans people and Black trans people [involved], and a part of that’s a positive step in the right direction, but we need that times 10,” says Santiago.

He believes that political representation should extend to local governance where ordinary Black trans individuals can be trained to assume leadership roles. 

Cannick’s focus is on the Black community. 

“[Trans women] are usually murdered by Black men. If we ever expect that to change, we need to start talking about that,” says Cannick.

She’s open to having conversations that put people, including her as a cis-identifying woman, in uncomfortable and awkward spaces. 

She hosts a podcast titled “Str8 No Chaser” and recently aired an episode, “Why Are Black Men Killing Trans Women,” where she discussed with three Black trans women about the gender and sexuality dynamics within the Black community and their perils. 

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