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Brazil Presidential Candidate Goes on Bigoted Anti-Gay Rant

September 30th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Flickr

Image via Flickr

A former journalist, now “fringe” candidate running for president of Brazil stole the show at last night’s penultimate presidential debate, but not in a good way. With the election just a week’s away, the country wasn’t talking about the serious contenders political perspectives, but about Levy Felix, a candidate with just 1% of support in polls. The conservative said that gays “need psychological care” and should be kept “well away from [the rest of] us.”

According to the Guardian:

His comments went unremarked upon by the three main candidates – incumbent Dilma Rousseff of the Workers party, former environment minister Marina Silva and Aécio Neves of the pro-business Social Democratic party – though his insults quickly dominated post-debate discussion on social networks.

The incident highlighted the challenge of maintaining fairness in a campaign with seven candidates, four of whom usually poll less than 1% yet are entitled to almost equal prominence in televised debates.

 

NYC Council Member Pushes for Community Center for Gay Seniors in the Bronx

August 13th, 2014 Comments off
Ritchie Torres

New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres. Photo via Facebook.

The Bronx is New York City’s only borough that lacks any kind of gay community center. Ritchie Torres, 26, the youngest member of the New York City Council and the first-ever openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, hopes to change that through his recent plan for the 2015 construction of a community center for gay senior citizens in his home borough.

Out of about 100,000 gay seniors living in New York, approximately 5,400 of them are living in poverty in the Bronx, according to Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). SAGE opened the nation’s first publicly funded, full-time gay senior center in Harlem in 2004 and a second Chelsea-based facility in 2012. Brooklyn’s Griot Circle, an intergenerational and culturally diverse community-based organization, provides services for LGBT seniors, especially those of color. The Bronx Community Pride Center, which closed in 2012 following a corruption scandal, was the borough’s only facility that catered to its LGBT population. No center has since replaced it, but gay seniors are at a particular disadvantage because they often experience inhospitable conditions at “many retirement communities and nursing services,” Kira Garcia, a SAGE representative said in an interview. As a result, Garcia claims, “many gay elders go back into the closet as they age.” Now Torres has secured some funding to back the project, which he told New York Magazine, will benefit “the most underserved part of the most underserved New Yorkers.”

RuPaul Talks Personal Heroes and Trans* Controversy

May 23rd, 2014 Comments off
Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

In Monday’s episode of his “WTF” Podcast, Marc Maron sat down with RuPaul to discuss the famed drag queen’s personal heroes and inspirations. RuPaul surprises Maron (and undoubtedly many listeners) by revealing new details about his life. For example, growing up, one of RuPaul’s favorite things to watch on TV was Monty Python, and he has an obsession with the Matrix. RuPaul got personal during the interview, detailing the in’s and out’s of his career, spiritual beliefs, and daily routine.

The part of the podcast that is attracting the most media attention is a segment in which RuPaul discusses his feelings about the word “tranny.” In recent years, this word, along with the similar term “she-mail,” have brought controversy for RuPaul. In 2012, he defended Lance Bass’s much-criticized use of the term “tranny.” Just this year, after objection from trans* advocates, RuPaul’s Drag Race discontinued the use of “she-mail,” which had been a catchphrase on the show during a recurring bit.

On “WTF,” RuPaul commented on his feelings about the term “tranny” for the first time since that controversy. He reiterated his fondness for the term, and he denied the claim that it is the transsexual community at large who objects to the word as a slur. According to RuPaul, “[The people who are offended are] fringe peoplelooking for story lines to strengthen their identity as victims.” He continued, saying “if your idea of happiness has to do with someone elsechanging what they say, what they do, you are in for a f**king hard-ass road.”

This is the latest in what’s been a heated debate amongst the LGBT community, and it seems only likely that this will renew the conversation. Check out the complete version of RuPaul’s interview here.

Gambian President Threatens to Kill Gay People

May 19th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

President of The Gambia Yahya Jammeh (above), who is known for hate speech directed toward gay people, has made new statements that continue to stir concern for the fate of LGBT people in The Gambia.

In the latest of a string of anti-gay comments, President Jammeh claims that people from The Gambia who are not gay “go to the west and claim they are gays and that their lives are at risk…in order for them to be granted a stay in Europe.” He continues with the concerning part of his statement: “If I catch [these people] I will kill them.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Jammeh has made hateful comments of this magnitude. In addition to the aforementioned hate speech (calling gay people “vermin”), Jammeh has made threats to homosexual citizens of The Gambia, saying ““If we catch you, you will regret why you were born.”

[h/t Towleroad]

 

Pat Robertson’s Confused Ramblings About Gay People

May 19th, 2014 Comments off
ScreenCap via YouTube

ScreenCap via YouTube

What’s the best way to be a good Christian? According to a new, typically convoluted statement from the king of faux-compassion, Pat Robertson, the answer is simple: reject your gay family members! In answer to a TV viewer’s question on how, “as a Christian,” to best to react to a family member coming out, Robertson said:

“The last thing you want to be is judgmental, but at the same time, you want to be loving, and warm, and let them know that you love them. But! You cannot accept it. You cannot be an enabler. If they’re livin’ together as a homosexual [sic], you cannot say you accept this lifestyle.”

The strangest part of the clip comes when, out of left field, Robertson praises gay people for their creativity. “There are some homosexuals who have enormous capacity for artistic expression,” he said. “You find a lot of this in the homosexual community. Very talented people! And, you know, but, you need to have love!”

Listening to Robertson speak is more than a little painful, but if you’re so inclined, you can decipher his “uh’s” “um’s” and hasty clichés here on YouTube courtesy of Right Wing Watch.

Federal Judge Denies Idaho Governor’s Appeal. Gay Marriage Ban is Ruled Unconstitutional

May 14th, 2014 Comments off

Image via Passport

Image via Passport


In a response to a lawsuit from four gay Idaho couples, a Federal District Magistrate Judge from the state, Candy Wagahoff Dale (above) has shot down Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban. With this decision, starting next week, the state will be required to provide couples with marriage licenses. In her decision, Judge Dale specifically declares that the ban is unconstitutional because it denies gay people the “fundamental right to marry.” Further, Judge Dale disputed the state of Idaho’s claim that gay marriage poses a threat to children.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter originated the appeal that was denied, leading the way for gay marriage in Idaho. The governor says he plans to appeal to a higher court.

[h/t TPM]

MoveOn.Org Calls for Public Action on Net Neutrality

May 13th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Image via Facebook

MoveOn.Org has asked its members to speak out against a plan by Verizon and Comcast to “allow corporations to take over the Internet—providing a ‘fast lane’ for big companies willing to pay for the better service and relegating the rest of us to second-class service.”

Recently appointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (above), was sworn in to office November 2013 , and he is set to unveil a new proposal on May 15. There have been rumblings that Chairman Wheeler’s new policy may be weak on net neutrality, allowing corporations to take over. However, the vocal outcry over this news has proved unexpected, so MoveOn encourages people to make their voices heard.

To take action, MoveOn recommends calling 202-456-1111, and telling the operator: “I call on President Obama to urge FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to pursue nothing less than full Net Neutrality.”

 

Venice, Italy Votes for Independence from Italy

March 27th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

The city of Venice, Italy voted in an unrecognized referendum to break away from Italy, after nearly two million people from the municipality voted online. While the vote is largely symbolic as it is not recognized by either Rome or regional authorities, the municipality has seen a resurgence of nationalism. Making up nearly nine percent of Italy’s GDB, the region feels its contributions to Italy outweigh the benefit. Historically too, Venice existed for 1,100 years as an independent city state until Napoleon’s conquest in 1797. 
A recent rise of separatist movements has taken place in Scotland, Crimea, and now Venice. And, as one professor said to CNBC, “Although history never repeats itself, we are now experiencing a strong return of little nations, small and prosperous countries, able to interact among each other in the global world.”
It is also one of the first times a vote was conducted online in Italy. Using a unique voter number, the region was able to quickly answer the question online using their computers or smartphones. This contributed to the record-high “turn-out” of 2.3 million people who voted overwhelmingly to separate with 89% voting for independenceIt is not the first time that Venice has seen a rise in nationalism, but the high level of support may have some in Rome worried.

Santa Fe Elects Openly Gay Mayor

March 6th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

Santa Fe, New Mexico has elected the city’s first openly gay mayor on Tuesday when Javier Gonzales won the election beating out two others. The 47-year-old vice president of a real estate firm also chaired the state’s Democratic Party. His win is being widely contributed to the support he received from businesses as well as his grass-roots campaigning, which consisted of over 70 house parties and eight community “conversations.” “This campaign was never about me. It was about us,” he told his supporters alongside his two daughters. “I stand before you humbled. I stand you before standing on the shoulders of people like Mayor Coss and my father and so many who have been before in this position to say that I am ready to accept the responsibility and the honor of being your mayor,” he said.

 

Arizona Senator Steve Gallardo Comes Out

March 5th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

For gay right’s activists, there may be more victories than expected in the wake of Jan Brewers veto. Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo has come out as gay, and he attributes the decision — at least in part—to the recent fight in his state over SB 1062 (the bill that would allow business owners to deny LGBT people service).

Said the senator in an announcement held in the Arizona Senate Caucus room, “After I stood up on the floor and argued against 1062, as I’ve done on many bills before, I sat down and said, ‘Wow. This bill affects me. It affects me directly.'”

He notes that the decision has received mixed reaction from his family and friends. That is, his family wonders “why [Gallardo] has to do this,” while his friends’ attitude is more along the lines of “it’s about time.”

This year, Gallardo will run for US House of Representatives in Arizona’s 7th congressional district.