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Friday, May 4, 2018
A clip has gone viral of a far-right activist trying and failing to destroy a rainbow anti-fascist placard.
The clip posted to YouTube sees an alleged supporter of extremist group the Proud Boys – which is considered a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – take issue with a placard protesting fascism.
The man was reportedly attending a Proud Boys rally outside an immigration conference in Seattle when he seized the Pride flag-coloured sign from anti-fascist protesters, which bears the message: “NO! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America.”
Onlookers in the liberal city watched with glee as the man, who was sporting 1980s-chic fingerless gloves, repeatedly tried and failed to break apart the placard to put it in a bin.
A woman heckled him consistently throughout the two-minute video, telling him: “Oh, it’s so hard! You’re so close. The other way? You’ve got to do it again.”
As the man tries folding the placard to help him tear through it, she jokes: “This is a very educated city, there’s a lot of engineers in this city. You could get a lot of help.”
After an excruciating minute, the woman points out that he could simply remove the lid from the bin to fit the placard in, quipping: “You needed a liberal to help you with that? You’re too fucking stupid to work it out on your own?”
After her encouragement the man decided to walk away from the bin still carrying the placard.
The man has been named by Newsweek as college student Luke James Mahler, who denies he is a “member of Proud Boys” despite his presence at the group’s protest.
On Facebook Mahler wrote of going viral: “At first I was angered, then I realized this guy has nothing better to do than film me destroying a sign. Thank you people for wasting your time watching some random guy try to rip a polyester sign.”
He added: “All of the people who are giving me shit clearly don’t know how laminated materials work.”
Of the Proud Boys, the SPLC notes: “Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.”
Proud Boys co-founder Gavin McInnes has a history of anti-LGBT rhetoric, describing transgender people as “gender n***ers” and “stupid lunatics.”
He has also claimed that “sexless, depressed, old, chubby dykes control the political narrative” and insists closeted gay men “tend to be sociopaths who have a lot of bottled up sexual rage and want revenge on the world.”
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Hawaii lawmakers on Friday gave final approval to a bill that bans therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Such therapies go by names such as “conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy.
Both legislative chambers approved the bill, but amendments added in the House sent it to conference committee to be reconciled with the version approved last month in the Senate.
“This has been a priority of the caucus for years,” Representative Michael Golojuch, a Democrat and the chairman of the LGBT Caucus of Hawaii's Democratic Party, is quoted as saying by Hawaii News Now.
“This bill ensures that LGBTQ youth will not be tortured by mental health professionals,” Golojuch added.
Democratic Governor David Ige is expected to sign the bill into law.
After the bill cleared the House, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called on lawmakers not to water down the bill in conference committee.
“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is nothing short of child abuse with life-threatening consequences for countless LGBTQ youth,” HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof said in a statement. “It is time Hawaii join the growing number of states who are enacting laws to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous and discredited practice. We urge state legislators to swiftly advance SB 270 through conference committee with the strongest, timely protections intact and send it to Governor Ige’s desk.”
Similar legislation has been enacted in Maryland, Washington, Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Mexico and the District of Columbia.
An increasing number of local municipalities have also enacted similar protections, particularly in Florida. Late last month, Milwaukee became the first municipality in Wisconsin to enact such a ban.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
From Pink News:
The Catholic Church has demanded an apology from the BBC over a video that referenced the impact of religious homophobia from a “Bible basher.”
BBC Scotland’s The Social project released a powerful spoken word video earlier this month exploring what homophobia feels like in 2018.
The video, which has attracted millions of views on social media, is a first-person account of a man grappling the fear of casual homophobia from strangers while walking with his boyfriend.
The man encounters a string of intolerant people including “a Bible basher rehashing lies about Jesus, like how Poundland rip off mini cheddars and sell them on as cheese savouries.”
As the video intercuts footage from a Mass ceremony, he continues: “It seems to me like Jesus saved a lot of time when he died for all our crimes that he would have wasted teaching small minds that love is no sin.”
Addressing the anti-gay preacher he adds: “See him? He thinks it’s faith but under all that din it tastes like cardboard and it smells like hate.”
However, the video has led a senior Catholic bishop to accuse the BBC of religious discrimination.
Bishop John Keenan of Paisley has written to the Director of BBC Scotland to demand an apology for the video, which he claims “sanctions the idea that Catholics engender public hated of homosexuals.”
Keenan added: “In the current climate of growing hostility to Catholics I would appeal that the BBC guard against adding fuel to the fire. In that regard I would ask that the Corporation now reach out to Catholics to understand their concerns, that they are being portrayed in a prejudicial way.
“When it comes to important public debates about the wellbeing of the human person and the truth and meaning of human sexuality Catholics feel their views are becoming increasingly marginalised, almost criminalised’ by a narrative in BBC news, comment, arts and elsewhere that amounts to ‘LGBT views good, Catholic views bad,’ an assumption which you must know is simplistic and imposed, and which is not strengthened by longitudinal research.
He added: “At the same time the Catholic community is now worried that some elements in the Corporation have adopted an agenda that is overtaking the BBC’s unique position as a globally respected public service broadcaster in order to substitute it with something more akin to a mouthpiece for particular agendas on sexuality and gender, not uncommonly directed against Christians in general, and Catholics specifically.”
The Scottish Catholic Media Office also submitted a complaint, claiming the video violates BBC guidelines on “taste and decency.”
The BBC is sticking by the video, however.
It said: “The ‘Time for Love’ piece is a personal polemic about being gay in 2018 and the experiences outlined in the film are intended to reflect those of the filmmaker.
“As a young gay man, raised in the Catholic faith, it is seen though his eyes and told in his voice, and is intended to reflect the challenges and opinions he personally faced while growing up in Scotland.
“The BBC appreciates that some of our audiences will find it challenging in its approach to tackling some very difficult themes, but we do believe it important that we should provide platforms such as The Social to allow appropriate space for artistic freedom of speech.
“We do, however, regret that some church members found it to be offensive.”
The head of BBC Scotland Donalda MacKinnon has agreed to meet with Catholic leaders to discuss their concerns about the video.
The Catholic Church continues to teach that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” and its stance on LGBT issues remains controversial.
The Church has controversially taken an active role in battling against legal reforms for same-sex couples in Italy and Australia over the past few years.
In the US Catholic groups have also been linked to funding for anti-LGBT lobbyists, while the Vatican has recently cut ties with a human rights festival and International Women’s Day event over gay participants.