Saturday, July 22, 2017
From Pink News:
A homophobic Creationist theme park has given Noah’s Ark a rainbow makeover, and gay people are loving it.
The Kentucky Ark Encounter park, backed by evangelical anti-LGBT preacher Ken Ham, opened last year, featuring a ‘life-size’ Noah’s Ark in an attempt to instill creationism and fundamentalist views in visiting children.
The park, which took years to construct, previously attracted controversy when it emerged Ham forces staff to sign a ‘statement of faith’ banning homosexual conduct.
In an attempt to provoke LGBT people, the Kentucky tourist attraction has recently taken to lighting the Ark in the colors of the rainbow, as part of a growing evangelical attempt to reclaim the symbol from gay people.
Ham said: “In recent times the rainbow has come to represent… the LGBTQ movement.
“Indeed when the US Supreme Court legalized gay ‘marriage’ last year, the White House was lit up in rainbow colors.
“Sadly, people ignore what God intended the rainbow to represent and proudly wave rainbow-colored flags in defiance of God’s command and design for marriage.
“Because of this, many Christians shy away from using the rainbow colors. But the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promises before the LGBTQ movement—and will continue to be after that movement has ended.
“As Christians, we need to take the rainbow back and teach our young people its true meaning.”
However, when Ham posted a photo of the Ark on Twitter, much of his intention was lost.
One fan wrote: “check out this gay boat!”
Another added: “That’s the most beautiful gay boat I’ve ever seen! Such personal growth is hard. Yet you overcame hate to see the light. God would be proud.”
Reality host John Giddings said: “That is ABSOLUTE GAYEST BOAT and I 💯💯💯LOVE IT. #LoveWins
“Will you have a gay animal couple in there?! Penguins are overplayed – I say make the dinosaurs you have in there gay!”
He joked: “The town next to this Ark invested all this money into making it a destination but not much tourism. Now the gays can come help! #ArkParty🌈 ”
Of course, we would be remiss to talk about Ham’s Ark without mentioning the massive tax breaks it received from the Republican-controlled local officials during construction… and the brazen tax evasion since opening.
The group that runs Ark Encounter has dodged more than $700,000 in taxes by selling the Ark’s land back to themselves for just $10.
President Donald Trump has picked Richard Grenell to serve as ambassador to Germany.
According to CNN, the Trump administration has yet to announce the nomination, but Trump and Grenell met last week at the Oval Office. “Thank you, Mr, President,” Grenell captioned a photo of the pair on Twitter.
Grenell served as a US spokesman at the United Nations during former President George W. Bush's administration. He currently appears on Fox News Channel as a foreign affairs commentator and was one of the president's earliest foreign policy supporters.
Grenell, 50, is Trump's first openly gay ambassador nominee.
“I think it's natural the president would want to put him in a position he considers important,” an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity said. “In the event this comes to be, it seems a very logical appointment.”
The official added that Grenell's “very long service at the United Nations and during the Bush administration and the contacts he established through that are very strongly in his favor.”
In 2000, Grenell, a registered Republican, worked on Arizona Senator John McCain's unsuccessful presidential campaign. He's also a cancer survivor, beating a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2013.
On the surface Grenell seems a good candidate, but his appointment is nothing more than a talking point/token homo for conservatives who want you to believe this administration is inclusive.
Grenell is far more qualified to have been our countries representative at the UN than Nikki Haley yet he's being chosen instead to a simple ambassadorship to Germany.
Grenell himself, a staunch Republican, did sign his support for marriage equality back in 2013, but until that time (and even up to this date), he has served and supported politicians and political campaigns and agendas that are decidedly anti-gay.
Grenell is also a graduate of Evangel University a hyper conservative evangelical college with a poor track record for being LGBT inclusive.
There have been more than one gay student that has reported the college staff making it a requirement that gay students undergo reparative therapy as a condition to their attendance.
Grenell has stated, in his youth he has undergone reparative therapy.
Grenell also supports religious exemptions for people providing goods and services to deny serving gay people and though he is personally opposed to reparative therapy, he doesn't believe it should be made illegal for parents to torture and abuse their gay children based on their religious beliefs.
Though unmarried, Grenell has a partner of 15 years that he lives with.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, on Wednesday signed a bill into law that prohibits 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.”
Rhode Island is the tenth state in the nation to approve such a law, and the fourth this year. The District of Colombia has a similar ban.
Raimondo announced on Twitter that she had signed the bill.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded the news.
“No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow in a statement. “Medical professionals agree this outdated and discredited practice not only doesn't work, but can also have life-threatening consequences. It is nothing short of child abuse.”
States with similar bans include Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York and New Mexico. An increasing number of local municipalities have also enacted similar protections, particularly in Florida.
Opponents of such bans have attempted to challenge the laws, saying that they violate freedoms of speech and religion. The Supreme Court, however, has refused to hear their arguments, leaving in place lower court orders upholding the bans.
Jeffery Payne, the owner of The Eagle in Dallas, has said he wishes to oppose current governor Greg Abbott.
‘Texas needs a governor who believes in real Texas values, like integrity, honesty, freedom and independence,’ Payne said in his announcement.
‘It’s time we stopped wasting our time and money on silly legislation and start investing our time finding ways to help Texans, their families and businesses prosper.’
Payne is an active fundraiser, LGBT advocate, and a former winner of International Mr Leather.
‘It’s time we stopped letting the Republican Party run unopposed in this state,’ Payne declared.
‘We need a governor who is not a career bureaucrat, but one with real world experience and dedication to making Texas a better, safer and healthier place for all Texans.’
Texas has seen 24 bills introduced to the Legislature that could see LGBT rights severely infringed.
One bill could see it legal to decline adoption services to gay couples. One could see it legal to deny them marriage licenses.
Another bill could see transgender Texans banned from using a public bathroom that matches their gender.
LGBT rights activists say these bills, ‘more than any other time in state history’, are the greatest attack on their rights in Texas.
Chuck Smith, president of Equality Texas, said: ‘This is the most number of specifically anti-LGBT bills that we’ve ever faced…It’s an all-out assault on LGBT people.’
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Muslim radio host Maajid Nawaz has called on the Muslim community to understand why people in the LGBT+ community are angry at Islam.
In a heated segment of his show, he listed the ten countries that still punish homosexuality with death, pointing out that they “are all, without exception, Muslim majority countries.”
“These guys marching at Pride have every right to be angry because they would be killed in these countries,” he said.
Nawaz went on to list names of countries, including Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, all placed where LGBT people face the death penalty because of their sexuality.
He said he believed Islam deserved CEMB’s anger when so many Muslim countries persecute gay people.
“These people marching at Pride have every right to be angry because people like me, Muslims, are killing them simply for being who they are.
“That’s done in the name of my religion, so don’t try and tell me that our religion doesn’t have a history of homophobia,” he added.
His rant on Saturday’s LBC show was prompted by East London Mosque’s demand for an apology from Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) and the organizers of London Pride.
They’d taken offence at CEMB’s “Allah is gay” placards, calling them Islamophobic.
Nawaz said Muslims needed to understand the difference between Islamophobia and satire.
“People have every right to criticize the religion of Islam itself.” he said.
He compared the signs to the Monty Python film Life of Brian or the musical Book of Mormon, and said that the left not only didn’t care about, but encouraged satire and criticism of Christianity.
Nawaz went on a separate rant about intersectionality in faith and sexuality earlier this week after a newly wed Muslim gay man received a torrent of online vile abuse.
Jahed Choudhury, 24, and Sean Rogan, 19, tied the knot last week in a ceremony in the West Midlands.
The pair donned Islamic garb for the marriage ceremony, which was carried out in Walsall registry office.
However, the happy couple have since been targeted with hundreds of messages of abuse by online trolls, some from fellow Muslims.
Nawaz hit out at a caller who complained about the wedding and said that you cannot be both gay and Muslim.
He said: “You’re either a vegetarian or you’re not. I don’t describe myself as practicing or devout, but you do. Who are you to declare Jahed Choudhury suddenly a non-Muslim because he does something you do not approve of?”