Category: LGBT

July 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Transgender activist and former Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, told a radio host she is considering running for the U.S. Senate.

In an interview that aired on Sunday on WNYM-AM with John Catsimatidis, Jenner said she would “look for a senatorial run” and that she “like[s] the political side.”

“There’s a rumor you want to run for the United States Senate in California,” Catsimatidis said.

“How did it get back to you? … I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner said. “If there’s one thing, I work very closely with a group called the American Unity Fund, that their sole purpose, their mission statement is to get the Republican Party to do a better job when it comes to LGBT issues. That’s kind of my issue.”

“The political side of it has also always been very intriguing to me,” Jenner added. “Over the next six months or so, I got to find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside? Kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody? Or, are you better from the inside? And we are in the process of determining that. But yeah, I would look for a senatorial run.”

Jenner’s “six month” timeline suggests if she does choose to run, it would likely be in 2018. Incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), who has held the seat since 1992, is very popular in California, but it’s not clear whether Feinstein, who is 84 years old and the oldest member of the Senate, will run for reelection in 2018.

In January, Feinstein told a reporter she had not decided whether she would run in 2018, but she hinted she would like to if her health holds up, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

“What I’ve said is, as long as I feel I can get things done, and I can, then I think I benefit the people of my state as opposed to someone new coming in. That, I realize is in anyone’s mind is different, but you asked me what I think. If I can produce, and I can produce, and I can continue to produce, then I will continue to produce. If I believe I can’t, either by health or any other way, I won’t, but as long as I believe I can, I will,” Feinstein said. “Is that pretty clear?”

If Jenner does choose to run for the Senate and Feinstein also goes for reelection, it’s likely Jenner would run as a Republican. She has roots in the Republican Party, identifies as fiscally conservative, and it’s hard to believe anyone, even someone as high-profile as Jenner, could beat the entrenched Feinstein in a Democratic Party primary race.

In Jenner’s interview with Catsimatidis, she was very critical of the Democratic Party on the controversial issue of whether Democrats should align with Islamic groups that, according to Catsimatidis, promote Sharia law.

“Being a part of the [LGBT] community, and the Democrats mostly being the pro-Muslim, pro-Sharia law — how do the Democrats justify liking the LGBT community when they’re also pushing Sharia law?” Catsimatidis asked.

“I totally agree with you,” Jenner replied. “We’re talking about equality for everybody. Actually, this afternoon, I’m going to meet with [U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations] Nikki Haley, and we’re going to discuss the international ramifications of being in the LGBT community … Yes, around the world, it’s very hard to support Saudi Arabia — ”

“When they’d rather cut your head off,” Catsimatidis interjected.

“Yes, they’re not very friendly to our community,” Jenner replied. “And so, yeah, I think the Democrats in a lot of ways — although in the United States, the perception of the Democrats is they’re pro-equality, pro-LGBT and this and that. And the perception of the Republican Party is that they are all about rich white guys trying to make money. I would hope in the next generation — because it’ll take a generation for this to change — that we can change the perception of the Republican Party and make it the party of equality. If you can do that — if you can be socially aware of what’s going on but conservatively economically [sic], I mean, that’s the way to go.”

Jenner also said she believes in “limited government” and conservative economic policies.

“Give the people of this country the freedom to go out into the workforce without tons and tons and tons and tons of regulations, and all the things that go on,” Jenner said. “I believe in the people, not in massive government.”

Posted in Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, California, Dianne Feinstein, LGBT, Politics

June 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

An openly gay California man identified as Jeff LeTourneau — co-chair of the Orange County Democratic Party — was caught on camera lambasting fellow gay men in a political rant because they were Republican.

While petitioning to remove Sen. Josh Newman (D-CA) over a proposed gas tax bill, Carl DeMaio and his husband, Johnathan Hale, were accosted by LeTourneau outside of a local Wal-Mart and eviscerated for their “disloyalty” to the LGBTQ community as they dared to identify as Republican.

“You belong to a f***ing party that writes our destruction into its platform!” LeTourneau blasted DeMaio and Hale. “Get your s**t and get out of here!”

Of the couple, LeTourneau said, “You are a f**king disgrace to any gay person I know, you piece of s**t.”

DeMaio — a conservative talk radio host, as well as a former Republican San Diego city councilman — and Hale — San Diego Gay and Lesbian News publisher — stood their ground and refused to back down, despite LeTourneau’s increasingly unhinged behavior.

“You can intimidate all you want, sir,” they said repeatedly. “This is the democratic process.”

LeTourneau became increasingly agitated as he turned on Hale — who was filming — as well as those signing the petition, and even on a Wal-Mart manager who came outside to diffuse the situation.

“I’m here as an openly gay person on Pride weekend seeing these two people disgracing my community and letting them know I don’t care about them. They’re liars! They’re liars!” LeTourneau cried. “You do not belong to our community. You also do not belong to the LGBTQ community either.”

In a statement to Fox News, DeMaio said:

“LeTourneau clearly thinks that if you are gay, you can only be a Democrat which is both arrogant and highly offensive. The idea that Californians are sick of paying higher taxes cuts across party lines and sexual orientation.”

Throughout the altercation, Republicans DeMaio and Hale remained calm and asked LeTourneau repeatedly to stay calm and to back away.

See the exchange in the video below.

Posted in gay conservatives, gay liberals, LGBT, LGBTQ, Lifestyle, Videos, viral videos

May 26th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Henry Amador-Batten plans to sue United Airlines after the airline reportedly filed a police report asserting that he inappropriately touched his son’s genitals on a flight from Newark to Raleigh.

According to Amador-Batten, police officers greeted him and his 5-year-old son Ben at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday after a flight attendant spotted the two cuddling on the United flight, and notified authorities after feeling that the father’s hand strayed too near his son’s genital area.

Returning from a family visit in Puerto Rico, Amador-Batten revealed that he was shocked by the accusation, but cooperated with law enforcement. He told police that his son had a fear of flying, and to comfort the child, he placed his hand on his son’s lap.

Amador-Batten was released and not charged with any crime.

In a statement to the Huffington Post, Amador-Batten said, “That flight attendant’s false accusation did not save a child, it put an entire family in danger. We’re [made to] understand that families like ours, created out of choice and love, are fragile by nature. … We are not as protected nor solidified, and we need to be.”

Amador-Batten noted that the airline apologized for the inconvenience, calling their apology “empty and hollow.” He claimed that he’s in the process of hiring an attorney to seek damages from United.

“The most painful part of this continues to be how this affected my son, and how it may continue to,” Amador-Batten said. “He’s not been sleeping well, refusing to sleep in his own room and just wants to be by his daddies.”

Posted in Gay, lawsuits, LGBT, LGBTQ, Lifestyle, Parenting, United Airlines

April 8th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A “nonstandard sexual orientation” depiction of the Russian President Vladimir Putin has now banned as being “extremist.”

According to the New York Times, the image was created by an artist named Alexander V. Tsvetkov, and it went viral on a Russian social media website, until the authorities put it on their list of “extremist materials.”

The Central District Court of Tver ruled that a number of the images — including one depicting the Russian leader wearing lipstick, eye shadow and fake eyelashes — were “extremist.” Last month, the Justice Ministry took it a step further and updated its federal list of extremist materials. Offenders face a fine of up to 3,000 rubles ($53) or 15 days of administrative detention.

While Putin is personally popular in Russia, the government’s policies about gays and other LGBT persons have faced a lot of criticism around the world for being very intolerant. This has occasioned many protests on social media against what many consider to be a bigoted government.

In 2013, Putin outlawed homosexual “propaganda” as pornography so that gay advocates could be arrested and fined for propagating any published material.

Recently it was reported that dozens of gay people were being rounded up in Chechnya in southern Russia. Some media outlets said that a few people were killed, while authorities denied that this was possible, saying that no homosexuals existed in Chechnya.

“You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,” said a spokesman for the president. This reminded some of what Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Columbia students in a 2007 speech. “In Iran we do not have this phenomenon,” he said to laughter from the audience, “I do not know who has told you we have it.”

Gay Putin Clown Banned In Russia

More recently, U.S. authorities have said they are investigating whether Russia had some part in the terrible chemical attack unleashed on civilians in Syria. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said there was “no doubt” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered it, but questioned whether Russia was complicit, or just incompetent to stop them.

Posted in Gay, Gay Rights, LGBT, LGBTQ, Politics, Vladimir Putin

April 2nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

An outspoken conservative advocate for LGBT rights is calling on LGBT groups to spend less time worrying about “bathroom bills” and more time focused on battling Islamic extremism, where the “real war” is being waged.

Christopher Barron—a conservative strategist, founder of LGBT group GOProud, and organizer of LGBT for Trump—appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday to discuss the threat he believes Islamic extremism poses to LGBT people.

“But why would groups that claim to advocate for the interests of gay Americans also advocate for the admission of immigrants who hate gays,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked Barron.

“It absolutely makes no sense, whatsoever,” Barron said. “None, whatsoever. I mean, look, we’ve had a conversation in the last couple decades about evolving opinions, about evangelical Christians’ opinions about LGBT people, and there’s been a lot of legitimate criticism, and I think we’ve seen a lot of changing of hearts and minds.”

“Meanwhile, the left has completely and totally ignored the fact that Islam has a serious problem with gay people,” said Barron. “We’re not just talking about, you know, won’t let people use the bathrooms that they identify with.”

“Yeah, not baking a cake for the wedding,” Carlson interjected. “This is a little different.”

“Right, throwing gay people off of buildings,” said Barron. “Killing them. You look at the countries in the Middle East and their positions on LGBT people: It’s illegal to be gay in Iran. The penalty for being gay in Iran is death. This isn’t just, ‘We don’t like you.’ This is, we’re talking about state-sanctioned murder of someone just for being gay, and the left turns a blind eye to it every single day.”

Barron’s comments came just one day after publishing a controversial article for The Hill, in which he argued a similar point.

“While the faux battle over bathrooms rages on, a real war on the lives of LGBT people is being waged by Islamic extremists who have pledged the global elimination of LGBT people,” wrote Barron. “Just this week, ISIS released photos of extremists in the Iraqi city of Mosul throwing a gay man to his death from the top of a building in the city. …”

“It is time that LGBT people stop being used as political pawns, it is time that we end the farcical bathroom wars and, most importantly, it is time to focus on the real threats to the lives of LGBT people worldwide,” Barron concluded.

Posted in Fox News, Islamic Extremism, LGBT, Media, Refugee Crisis, Tucker Carlson

December 21st, 2016 by Staff Writer

At first glance, it seemed like a dull if not confusing cover, given National Geographic’s repertoire of stunning photography, but upon closer examination, the magazine’s January 2017 issue becomes instantaneously polarizing.

“The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy,” reads the caption underneath a photo of a 9-year-old transgender girl, clad in pink cheetah print leggings and a T-shirt, staring directly into the photographer’s lens with melancholy eyes.

While many praised the move, some outlets noting the historicity of the image while others lauded it for sparking conversations, there was plenty of criticism to go around.

We devoted our entire January 2017 Special Issue to an exploration of gender—take a look https://t.co/AFW1VjWvWH #GenderRevolution pic.twitter.com/XvzKNddVum

— National Geographic (@NatGeo) December 16, 2016

National Geographic is trying to highlight what it has dubbed the “gender revolution” with it’s feature about Avery Jackson of Kansas City, Missouri, but the conservative American Family Association sees it differently, calling the celebration of gender dysphoria “shaking a fist at God.”

“National Geographic shakes a fist at God and biblical authority on their radical mission to advocate gender confusion in upcoming issues,” the organization wrote on its Facebook page. “The biblical teaching of the truth about gender identity is confirmed by biological science.”

“Human sexuality is binary by design,” the memo continued. “Binary means there are two and only two options according to medical science — a child either has an XY chromosomal pattern or an XX. These are genetic markers which indicate God’s master design for humanity and create the capacity for human reproduction.”

Some Twitter users expressed similar disdain for the provocative spread.

@NatGeo Doesn’t take long to explore chromosomes it’s pretty straightforward the rest is a mental disorder in need of help

— sooneralum78 (@sooneralum78) December 16, 2016

@NatGeo there are two. What you FEEL. like you should be doesn’t change your gender

— Ricks_Reviews (@R_Ashenfelter) December 16, 2016

@NatGeo So you support child abuse. How progressive.

— Don Carpenter (@MrDonCarpenter) December 16, 2016

In a note on the magazine’s website, Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg said many readers have weighed in “with opinions, from expressions of pride and gratitude to utter fury” since the cover was first shared by National Geographic last Friday.

She also revealed that some have even threatened to pull their subscriptions as a result of the cover.

“Avery was able to capture the complexity of the conversation around gender,” Goldberg wrote. “We thought that, in a glance, she summed up the concept of ‘Gender Revolution.’”

The editor said the decision to feature Avery on the cover is a symbolic gesture to highlight the shift U.S. culture has made on transgenderism. When the magazine prints next month, the Kansas City native will become the first transgender person to be featured on the National Geographic cover.

Posted in LGBT, Lifestyle, Mainstream Media, Transgender

December 8th, 2016 by Staff Writer

The military continues to become President Barack Obama’s personal laboratory of social experimentation with new classes with titles such as “Transgender 101” offered to help millennials understand how to provide “safe spaces” instead of learning how to slaughter military targets.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

The academy’s Center for Teaching and Learning is holding two events on Friday, one for faculty and staff and another for midshipmen. The hour and a half-long workshops will be hosted by Marnie Florin and Kevin Perry, who are “transgender trainers” for Google.

Midshipmen and staff who take the training course will get the opportunity to display cards outside their door that show they are allies of the LGBT community.

The course was described in an email circulated by the Naval Academy on Tuesday.

“On Friday, December 9, the Center for Teaching & Leaning welcomes Kevin Perry and Marnie Florin who will be presenting Transgender 101: Gender Identity in the Workplace,” the email said. “Marnie and Kevin have given this workshop at Google offices around the globe to more than 2,500 employees.”

Florin said that her preferred pronouns are “ze” and “they,” meaning that rather than referring to her as “he” or “she,” she demands that others use the transgender alternative “ze.” This is the kind of training our military is currently receiving.

A military spokesperson told the Free Beacon that 123 midshipmen and faculty had elected to take the voluntary training. We can all be assured that Obama’s military will be eager and ready to take on the transgender “safe space” challenges now and in the future.

Posted in LGBT, Military, Politics, social experiment, transgender training, U.S. Military

November 22nd, 2016 by Staff Writer

Republican Texas State Senator Konni Burton has found herself at the receiving end of a lot of ire for a recent bill she’s attempting to pass titled SB-242.

What does the bill do? It ensures that public schools cannot hide information about children from their parents, and subjects school officials to disciplinary measures if they attempt to encourage students to hide information from parents.

Burton created this bill when the Fort Worth ISD decided to pass rules using “administrative regulations” that required schools to acknowledge transgender students’ preferred genders, and allow them to use facilities reserved for that gender. Using this method to pass the rules means that the elected board of trustees for the district were bypassed, and thus no forum was opened up for discussion with parents. That means there was no debate, or allowing parents to help decide the environment their own child will learn in.

“Parents, not schools, are the primary decision-makers for their children; their opinion and input is absolutely invaluable and Fort Worth ISD was remiss in not tapping into the wealth of their perspective and experience,” wrote Burton in an editorial. “Involving parents should be the default position for any potentially controversial new policy of an independent school district, and unfortunately in this instance, it was not.”

It should be noted that Burton’s bill streamlines what is already state law. In Texas, it is currently illegal for schools to withhold information about students from their parents. Burton’s bill simply reinforces these laws to ensure that school districts do not attempt to come between students and parents again, as they did in Fort Worth.

For parents, this bill is a common sense measure. A school that can enforce rules that would affect students a great deal, and be kept secret from the parents is not only illegal, it puts public schools in a position equal to, or even above the parent depending on the time of day.

But Burton and SB-242 have come under fire from many publications including the The New Civil Rights Movement, and even Cosmopolitan under the guise that she and the bill are attempting to force LGBT students out into the open. The bill’s language does no such thing, and doesn’t even specifically say anything about LGBT students.

Regardless, Burton has been dogged by anger triggered by the lie being sold by these outlets, and preventing discussion about the true meaning of the bill.

“The distortion and outright false portrayal of this legislation has prevented any serious discussion on an issue, which is broadly supported, as evidenced by the reaction in my senate district when parental rights were threatened,” Senator Burton told The Blaze. “This bill does not target anyone and protects everyone while maintaining existing provisions related to abuse or neglect. Texans settle issues through the legislative process, but this vitriol being drummed up is preventing any kind of common sense discussions. And that is a shame.”

One of the criticisms being aimed at the bill is that it forces students not only to be outed, but subjected to abuse by the parents, including “conversion therapy.” However, it is also stated in the proposed bill, and current state law, that this is not true in cases of abuse. Burton even made this very clear in a response to a letter on her website that school laws “have an exception for abuse or neglect, which clearly calls for reporting without the knowledge or consent of the parent.”

The bill is intended to put taxpayer funded entities in their rightful place, but this resistance to the bill under the misrepresentation that it attacks minority students is attempting to keep the door wide open for government, and public administrators to put themselves between members of the family. Burton and SB-242 are attempting to slam that door shut, and remind our public servants that they are servants, and not decision makers within the family.

 

 

 

Posted in Fort Worth, Konni Burton, LGBT, parents, Politics, SB-242, school, Texas, Transgender

July 29th, 2016 by Staff Writer

The U.S. Navy is expected to name one of its ships after gay rights icon and San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, who became the first openly gay man to hold public office in California, according to a new report.

A July 14 notification, obtained by the U.S. Naval Institute’s news service, indicated the Navy will name a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler after the activist. The vessel, which will be constructed by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California, will be officially titled USNS Harvey Milk.

This file photo from April 1977 shows San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the mayor's office during the signing of the city's gay rights bill in San Francisco. A proposal to name a street after pioneering gay leader Harvey Milk is the latest display of Salt Lake City standing out as a blue dot in a deep-red state where the prevailing Mormon faith still has a fraught relationship with the LGBT community. (AP Photo/File)

This file photo from April 1977 shows San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the mayor’s office during the signing of the city’s gay rights bill in San Francisco. A proposal to name a street after pioneering gay leader Harvey Milk is the latest display of Salt Lake City standing out as a blue dot in a deep-red state where the prevailing Mormon faith still has a fraught relationship with the LGBT community. (AP Photo/File)

According to the USNI, Ray Mambus, the secretary of the Navy who issued the notification, will not release any more details about the ship until the formal naming announcement.

Milk came from a Navy family, according to the report, and joined in 1951, when he served as a diving officer doing the Korean War. He later received an honorable discharge as a lieutenant junior grade. After his time in the military, Milk was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1977. One year later, Milk — donning his Navy diver’s belt buckle — was killed by a fellow city official.

Ever since the 2011 repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation then-President Bill Clinton signed into law, California lawmakers have been pushing for a ship to be named after the assassinated politician.

“This action by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy will further send a green light to all the brave men and women who serve our nation that honesty, acceptance and authenticity are held up among the highest ideals of our military,” Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, told San Diego LGBT Weekly in 2012.

Milk will now join a fleet, known as the John Lewis-class, named after civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), of other ships named after well-known civil rights icons. Other names in the class include Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, according to the USNI.

The USNS Harvey Milk will be the second oiler commissioned out of San Diego. The ships serve as support vessels to other Navy ships by replenishing them with fuel, ammunition, mail, food and other necessities.


Follow the author of this story on Twitter:
Follow @tregp

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Posted in California, Gay Rights, Harvey Milk, LGBT, Military, Politics

July 21st, 2016 by Staff Writer

CLEVELAND — Following television personality Montel Williams’ address to a conservative LGBT brunch, Colorado Attorney Gen. Cynthia Coffman said she felt like she was at church.

Coffman’s speculation wasn’t far off. As Williams addressed the brunch held to promote inclusion of the LGBT community among the Republican Party less than a mile from the GOP convention, he admonished Christians to repel discrimination against anyone — especially discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.

Television host Montel Williams addresses those gathered for a brunch in Cleveland to promote LGBT inclusivity in the GOP. (Image provided to TheBlaze)

Television host Montel Williams addresses those gathered for a brunch in Cleveland to promote LGBT inclusivity in the GOP. (Image provided to TheBlaze)

“Too often we hear religious liberty used as a justification for legislative ideas that marginalize the LGBT community,” Williams, an ardent opponent of the so-called bathroom bills, said.

Williams recited Galatians 3:26-28 which declares:

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

“The fact is, even if you accept the argument that marriage is between a man and a woman, there is absolutely no basis for discrimination whatsoever in the Christian faith,” he said.

Raised in the Catholic church, multiple incidents with priests — including one who used the n-word while standing behind the pulpit — Williams decided to research religion on his own.

“Now I consider myself an independent religious person,” Williams told TheBlaze in an interview following the forum.

“I believe in the basic tenants, and one of the basic tenants is we are judged when we leave here by what we do for the least of us,” he continued. “Every religion on the planet — whether it be Hindu or Muslim — they all have a tenant where you are supposed to be a Good Samaritan, and that’s how you’re judged.”

Williams added that while some may not be willing to bring this message to religious people, he “cannot hold back.”

“We are all equal in the eyes of the Lord. He doesn’t see man or woman. That means he doesn’t see trans,” Williams said. “So how dare anybody who thinks or claims or stands up to say ‘I believe in Jesus Christ’ — you’re lying if you say trans people do not deserve the same rights as you.”

Reality star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner headlined Wednesday morning’s brunch at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She, too, referenced her faith and said that while she was grappling with her gender-identity as early as the 1980s, it was her faith that helped her get through that time.

She also quipped that while God had blessed her with many talents, including an Olympic gold-medal-producing athletic ability, he must have chuckled when he decided to “give this one the soul of a female and see what he does.”

“We are part of society. We are a real thing. We are part of humanity,” she said. “God created very colorful human beings all around the world.”

The brunch, hosted by the American Unity Fund, was not part of the official Republican National Convention, but Jenner did discuss her conservative political leanings; she joked that while it was “easy to come out as trans,” it hasn’t been as easy to “come out” as a Republican.

Follow Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) on Twitter

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Posted in Caitlyn Jenner, Campaign 2016, Faith, GOP Convention 2016, LGBT, Montel Williams, Politics

July 3rd, 2016 by Staff Writer

American rapper Boosie BadAzz gave a brutally honest answer in a radio interview this week after he was asked to comment on previous statements and social media posts he’s made regarding homosexuality.

Speaking to VladTV host DJ Vlad, Boosie claimed that modern TV shows and cartoons are designed to “make kids gay” by showcasing homosexual characters.

The Lousiana-born rapper explained that he has nothing against the LGBT community, but he believes it’s wrong for the entertainment industry to push a homosexual agenda on people “for monetary gain.”

Image source: YouTube

Image source: YouTube

“They trying to make everyone all f***ing gay. That’s what I think,” Boosie told DJ Vlad. “They’re putting it on our culture; they’re putting it everywhere.”

He added that “gay stuff is everywhere, and I think they’re just trying to do it to make monetary gain. They’re not doing it for the gays.”

The 33-year-old rapper, who was jailed in the Louisiana State Penitentiary from 2009-2014 on murder charges and conspiracy, said a lot changed during the years he was locked up.

“Since I’ve came home every time I turn on the TV some gay s**t on,” he reportedly wrote on Instagram last year. “Walked n on a cartoon doing gay s**t a f***in cartoon kids watch TV.”

When asked about the social media post, Boosie revealed that his thoughts on the matter haven’t changed.

“It wasn’t like that when I was coming up,” he said. “The Ninja Turtles wasn’t kissing. They didn’t have two men on The Flintstones kissing. The Jetsons wasn’t kissing.”

“I say in 10 years, you’re going to have damn near half the population gay because of what they put on TV,” he added.

DJ Vlad asked Boosie, who has children of his own, what he would do if one of his sons showed signs of being gay.

“First, I’m gonna try to slap his a** back straight,” he said frankly. “I’m gonna kick his a**, and maybe he’ll realize that he’s not gay,” he said.

“But if I can’t stop him from being gay,” he continued, “I’m not going to ban my son from my life. I’ll just have to find some crazy-a** way to deal with it.”

Watch (Content warning: Explicit language):

One day after the video of the interview was posted, Boosie took to Twitter to address those who disagreed with his comments:

rough times ahead…

— Boosie BadAzz (@BOOSIEOFFICIAL) July 1, 2016

You might not agree with the real, but the real will relate.

— Boosie BadAzz (@BOOSIEOFFICIAL) July 1, 2016

Boosie’s comments got the attention of gay rights activist, Jermone Trammel, who addressed the rapper in an open letter, which he tweeted Friday. Trammel accused the rapper of making uneducated claims about homosexuality while suggesting that his criminal record leaves him no room to judge others.

RETWEET:
My Letter To Boosie Regarding His Homophobia!

cc: @BoosieOfficial @VLADtv @DJVlad #LGBT pic.twitter.com/XmwZ1p8ZaN

— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) July 1, 2016

“TV also shows a lot of violence & crime, is that the reason your criminal record is so lengthy?” Trammel asked. “For a person to dislike gays so much, you sure stay in and out of prison a lot!”

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Posted in Entertainment, Gay, LGBT, Media, Rap

June 30th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Calum McSwiggan, a gay British YouTube star, claimed he was assaulted by three men near a gay nightclub in West Hollywood early Monday morning — but after police were called to the scene, they came to a different conclusion.

Calum McSwiggan (Image source: YouTube)

Calum McSwiggan (Image source: YouTube)

After McSwiggan called 911, KABC-TV reported that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies said they couldn’t substantiate his assault claim and found no visible injuries on McSwiggan.

Captain Holly Perez of the West Hollywood sheriff’s station told Wehoville — a West Hollywood publication — that deputies who examined McSwiggan saw no cuts, bruises or other evidence that he had been attacked.

Here’s the statement sheriff’s provided to Wehoville:

“Responding deputies were unable to substantiate the assault. Mr. McSwiggan, who had no visible injuries, was subsequently arrested after deputies observed him vandalizing a car in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. After being booked and photographed, Mr. McSwiggan was placed into a cell by himself at West Hollywood Station. Mr. McSwiggan was then observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell. Medical personnel were summoned and Mr. McSwiggan was transported to a local hospital for treatment.”

On Wednesday afternoon, McSwiggan gave a different account of the vandalism in a lengthy Facebook post, noting that after he was attacked and discovered one of his front teeth was broken, a “moment of devastation, anger and blind rage” came over him.

He then “kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with my hands. I also scratched the front of the car with the broken wing mirror before returning back to The Abbey for help.”

McSwiggan didn’t mention police witnessing his vandalism but said he admitted it to them after they arrived. “I did not think that under the circumstances that I would be treated as a criminal and I suggested bringing the police to the vehicle so that they could take the registration and find the owner to prosecute him,” McSwiggan wrote on his Facebook explanation.

After arriving at the vandalized vehicle with police, McSwiggan said a female officer approached him and said, “‘I’m sorry, but I have no choice but to do this,’ and reached for her handcuffs.” McSwiggan soon asked why he “was being treated as the criminal. She apologized but said that she did not believe I had been attacked due to the lack of physical injuries on my face.”

McSwiggan’s Facebook post doesn’t mention he tried showing police his broken tooth, and police didn’t mention a tooth, either.

Here’s his booking photo via the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department:

Calum McSwiggan (Image source: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

Calum McSwiggan (Image source: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

As for the sheriff’s statement that McSwiggan was “observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell” after he was booked and photographed, McSwiggan admitted the same on Wednesday’s Facebook post — but said there was a reason behind his actions.

“My father eventually called the station and I could hear them speaking to him on the phone. I pleaded with them to let me speak with him but they wouldn’t allow me to. They were asking him to pay $20,000 to release me otherwise I’d have to stay in jail until my court case. I did not understand this was bail or how bail worked and I freaked out. I knew he would pay it and couldn’t allow him to do that. In a moment of desperation to get out of the cell, I took the pay phone off the wall and hit myself once across the forehead with it as hard as I could. I knew I had to injure myself to get out of the cell and into a hospital, and it was the only solution I could find to get myself out of there. This is incredibly out of character for me and is testament to how upset I was in that moment. I do not regret doing this as I could still be in the jail cell if I didn’t.”

After being taken to a hospital and receiving stitches in his forehead, McSwiggan posted a selfie from his bed:

His photo included a long caption, including the following sentences: “The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye.”

Some have taken issue with McSwiggan’s hospital post, particularly the sentence about his stitches, as it may appear he’s connecting them to his alleged attack and didn’t mention having injured himself in his jail cell.

McSwiggan added in his Wednesday Facebook post that he attended court Wednesday morning but “there was no record of my case on file. We’re going back later to try and resolve this fully.”

He ended his Wednesday post in this manner:

“The injuries sustained from the attack were as follows:
– Three broken teeth
– Cut and bruise on my collar bone (visible in the mug shot)
– Bruising to my left arm and shoulder, barely visible, but unable to raise arm fully
– Bruising on my right wrist
– Minor scrapes on body

The injuries sustained in the holding cell:
– One wound to the forehead which required six stitches

Thank you for those that believed me from the start. Your support has been the only thing that has gotten me and my friends through this nightmare of a situation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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Posted in Crime, LGBT, Los Angeles, Video, watch

June 24th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Following the deadly terror attack in a gay Orlando nightclub that left 49 dead and dozens more injured, multiple rumors circulated that shooter Omar Mateen was secretly leading a gay lifestyle.

Several came forward claiming they saw Mateen in gay clubs or communicated with him via gay dating app Grindr and Univision even broadcasted an exclusive interview with a man claiming to be an ex-lover of the attacker, but the FBI announced Thursday that none of that is true.

Omar Mateen (MySpace via AP)

Omar Mateen (MySpace via AP)

According to the Los Angeles Times, FBI investigators have been going through all of Mateen’s electronic devices and his digital paper trail in addition to the devices of some of the individuals who have made public claims about being acquainted with Mateen before the shooting.

Through their investigation to date, the FBI has discovered no photographs, text messages, smart phone apps, gay pornography or any cell-tower location data that would suggest Mateen, who was twice married to women and had a young son, was engaged in any sort of secret homosexual lifestyle.

FBI investigators will continue to look into the various claims, but officials are now increasingly believing the people who made the accusations questioning Mateen’s sexuality were either being untruthful or confusing the shooter with someone else.

But there is one accuser who isn’t buying what the FBI is saying. Cord Cedeno, who claims to have communicated with Mateen on Grindr, told the Times the FBI was attempting to “cover up” something about the radicalized Muslim.

“The FBI obviously is trying to cover up their information,” he said of gay men who reported being contacted by Mateen. “I can go take a lie detector test. I know for a fact Omar messaged me.”

Cedeno even went so far as to blame the FBI for allowing the terror attack to occur.

“They let him go. They let him do this massacre. They could have arrested him. It just does not add up,” he charged.

Cedeno said he did not contact the police about his contact with Mateen, according to the Times, because some of his friends who did had their phones taken and were instructed not to speak with reporters.

He said he does not trust the FBI, given the fact that they investigated Mateen in 2013 and 2014, placed him on the terror watch list, but then removed him.


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House Democrats Stage ‘Sit-In’ to Force a Vote on Gun Control Bill

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Posted in Crime, FBI, Government, LGBT, Omar Mateen, Orlando Shooting, Pulse, Radical Islam, Terrorism

June 22nd, 2016 by Staff Writer

A man claiming to be the ex-lover of the Orlando attacker Omar Mateen came forward Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Univision, saying he engaged in a sexual relationship the shooter.

“I’ve cried like you have no idea,” the man, identified only as “Miguel,” told Univision News. “But the thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism.”

Instead, the heavily disguised man believes Mateen “did it for revenge.”

Image source: Univision screen grab

Image source: Univision screen grab

Miguel claimed to have met Mateen via Grindr, a popular gay dating app. He told Univision host Maria Elena Salinas that he met the radicalized Muslim between 15 and 20 times during the span of their relationship, which ended in December of last year, when Miguel moved away from Orlando.

Mateen’s alleged lover said the two engaged in a “friends with benefits”-style relationship, adding that the Orlando shooter, who killed 49 people in his violent raid, was “100 percent” gay. When news of the shooting first broke, Miguel said he was surprised because he always felt his supposed ex-lover was “affectionate” and “sweet.”

Mateen even enjoyed being cuddled, the man said.

Miguel also suggested Mateen’s rage against gay Puerto Rican men might have been rooted in the fact that the terrorist had sex with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom was later revealed to be HIV positive.

“He adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin — but he felt rejected,” the man said. “He felt used by them — there were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him.”

Mateen, according to Miguel, was “terrified” he, too, was HIV positive.

“When I asked him what he was going to do now, his answer was, ‘I’m going to make them pay for what they did to me,’” Miguel recalled.

The FBI confirmed to Univision that they have interviewed the alleged lover.


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Senate Blocks Four Gun Control Measures Proposed in Wake of Deadly Orlando Attack

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Posted in Crime, Gay Rights, HIV, Islamic State, LGBT, Omar Mateen, Orlando Shooting, Radical Islam, US

June 14th, 2016 by Staff Writer

An LGBT activist, writing anonymously, pledged support for Donald Trump, defending their decision to stand with the presumptive GOP nominee in an open letter.

According to the gay activist, who penned the letter that was published by PJ Media, progressives have failed to protect the LGBT community from the most prominent threat: radical Islamic terrorism.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on June 2, 2016. Protesters who oppose Donald Trump scuffled with his supporters on June 2 as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee held a rally in California, with fistfights erupting and one supporter hit with an egg. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

In response to the deadly attack in an Orlando Sunday morning that left 49 dead and at least 53 injured, the anonymous writer admitted “the events of Orlando have shattered my political beliefs, as I can no longer swear allegiance to a peace-love-and-unicorns progressive philosophy that only helps to get my fellow queers killed.”

“Yes, there is a war between religious fundamentalism and the spirit of love and tolerance. But we progressives here in America still labor under the delusion that the religion we need to combat is Christianity. But that’s a strawman opponent, and has been so for decades,” he wrote.

“Since the 1990s, Christian extremists have essentially lost all their power, and are now toothless nonplayers in the ‘culture wars,’” the letter continued. “Meanwhile, Muslim extremists, with guns, murder us, and on the left our only response is to bleat about ‘Islamophobia’ and jump through hoops trying to explain away the self-evident religious motivation for the killings.”

However, the writer concedes Trump is an “asshole,” “clown” and “motormouth buffoon,” but adds he’s the “only person saying anything about putting the brakes on Islamic extremism.”

“In light of what happened last night in Orlando,” the anonymous author wrote, “suddenly that is the only issue that really matters when it comes to the health, well-being and safety of the queer community.”

The writer points out that Trump has often contrasted himself from traditional Republican views, standing against anti-gay rhetoric and slamming Democrats for standing with Muslim lives over the lives of gays and lesbians.

“I am ashamed. I am angry. And I am sad,” the writer concludes. “I don’t want to vote for Trump, but I must. And if you care about the safety of the gay community in America, so must you.”

(H/T: Mediaite)


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Posted in Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Gay Rights, GOP Convention 2016, LGBT, Orlando Shooting, Politics, Republican Party

April 30th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Following the Target Corporation’s decision to allow transgender customers and employees to use whichever bathroom they prefer, the retail brand’s stock has slightly fallen.

The drop may be nothing more than a coincidence, but Target’s stock price has dipped by 5.8 percent since April 19, when the store first announced the “inclusivity” policy.

Image source: target.com screenshot

Image source: target.com screenshot

“We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest, and every community — deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally,” Target said. “Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”

At the time of publication, the American Family Association’s “Boycott Target” petition had garnered more than one million signatures. The pledge was first published last week shortly after Target’s bathroom announcement.

Shares of Target Corporation Common Stock (TGT) have fallen from $84.14 a share on April 19 to $79.27 a share as of Friday evening, 10 days after the transgender policy was enacted.

The stock price had fallen by 2.52 percent on Friday alone, as of 4 p.m. Ultimately, the drop “would represent a corporate loss of over $2.5 billion,” according to the Family Policy Institute.

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Posted in Finance, LGBT, Stock Market, Target, Transgender, US

April 25th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford announced that he will be marrying a man 50 years younger than himself almost 20 years after his wife passed away from leukemia, according to an op-ed that was published in the New York Times Sunday.

Wofford, 90, a former Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, had also been a top adviser to John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., according to CNN. In his op-ed, Wofford attempted to explain his reasoning behind his decision to marry a man significantly younger than himself after having been previously married to a woman.

In this June 21, 2011, file photo, former Sen. Harris Wofford attends the National Building Museum for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

In this June 21, 2011, file photo, former Sen. Harris Wofford attends the National Building Museum for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

“Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall — straight, gay or in between,” Wofford wrote in the op-ed. “I don’t categorize myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness.”

Wofford proceeded to explain how at age 75 he met the then 25-year-old Matthew Charlton standing on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“As we talked, I was struck by Matthew’s inquisitive and thoughtful manner and his charm. I knew he was somebody I would enjoy getting to know. We were decades apart in age with far different professional interests, yet we clicked,” Wofford recalled. “We took trips around the country and later to Europe together, becoming great friends. We both felt the immediate spark, and as time went on, we realized that our bond had grown into love.”

Wofford also spent time explaining in the op-ed his relationship with his late beloved wife, Clare, who passed away in 1996. Wofford wrote that the two of them “fell in love trying to save the world during World War II.”

“… I held her hands in mine as she died. During 48 years of marriage, we had spent a lifetime together,” Wofford wrote. “We spent a happy half-century together with different perspectives on life. Growing up during the Depression, in which her father suffered while my family prospered, she became a skeptic while I emerged an optimist.”

The former senator indicated that he felt the need to write his op-ed to explain his new relationship that “comes as a strange surprise.”

Mr. and Mrs. Harris Wofford (AP Photo/John Lindsay)

Mr. and Mrs. Harris Wofford (AP Photo/John Lindsay)

“To some, our bond is entirely natural, to others it comes as a strange surprise, but most soon see the strength of our feelings and our devotion to each other. We have now been together for 15 years,” Wofford wrote. “Twice in my life, I’ve felt the pull of such passionate preference. At age 90, I am lucky to be in an era where the Supreme Court has strengthened what President Obama calls ‘the dignity of marriage’ by recognizing that matrimony is not based on anyone’s sexual nature, choices or dreams. It is based on love.”

Wofford revealed that he and Charlton will marry on April 30.

The former senator’s op-ed was met with a variety of responses on social media.

After reading ex-Sen. Harris Wofford (D-PA), at age 90, is marrying a man who is 50, all I can say is “con men are now conning men.”

— John Gizzi (@johngizzi) April 24, 2016

Beautiful story of love and loss. Congratulations to Senator Harris Wofford and Matthew Charlton on their marriage. https://t.co/EliooQD82S

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) April 24, 2016

I have to admit that Harris Wofford saying he is marrying a man who is 50 years younger than he is probably is more unexpected than Trump.

— Harry Enten (@ForecasterEnten) April 24, 2016

I was a huge Harris Wofford fanboy in college. If I’d known I had a shot with him romantically, my life might be very different.

— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) April 24, 2016

Harris Wofford is marrying a man? Reminds me of Louis CK joking he might “do the second half gay.” No joke this time https://t.co/pV1ZYZWq9u

— Will Saletan (@saletan) April 25, 2016

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter

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Posted in Gay Marriage, LGBT, New York Times, Pennsylvania, US

April 9th, 2016 by Staff Writer

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Bruce Springsteen has canceled his concert in North Carolina, citing the state’s new law blocking anti-discrimination rules covering the LGBT community.

Bruce Springsteen performs with the E Street Band at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Bruce Springsteen performs with the E Street Band at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

In a statement on his website Friday, Springsteen said he was canceling the concert scheduled for Sunday in Greensboro because of the law, which critics say discriminates against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Springsteen says the law “is an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.”

Because of that, he said he and the E Street Band must “show solidarity with those freedom fighters.”

Later, Springsteen used his Facebook page to urge followers to contact lawmakers, adding a link to find them.

People who bought tickets will get refunds.

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Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Entertainment, LGBT, North Carolina

March 26th, 2016 by Staff Writer

The North Carolina General Assembly overrode legislation Wednesday that would have allowed transgender individuals to use the restroom that coincides with their gender identity, and the mayor of San Francsisco is not happy about it.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. (Image: Twitter @mayoredlee)

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. (Image: Twitter @mayoredlee)

Mayor Edwin Lee banned city employees from traveling to the Tar Heel State after hearing that Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed the bill, known as House Bill 2, into law Wednesday night.

“We are standing united as San Franciscans to condemn North Carolina’s new discriminatory law that turns back the clock on protecting the rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,” Lee said in a statement Friday.

“Effective immediately, I am directing City Departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of North Carolina that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety,” he added.

It was not immediately apparent how many travel plans Lee’s decision will impact.

Barring publicly-funded City employee travel to North Carolina due to new discriminatory law against LGBT community https://t.co/F1t2vAMHGv

— Edwin Lee (@mayoredlee) March 25, 2016

Though the California mayor condemned North Carolina for the new legislation, he offered praise for Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who condemned House Bill 2, saying she has “taken steps at the local level to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.”

Lee’s travel ban comes on the heels of religious liberty legislation in Georgia, where Disney, Coca-Cola, UPS, Home Depot and Time Warner — CNN’s parent company — have threatened to leave the state if the bill is signed into law.

“With other states like Georgia on the verge of passing more discriminatory laws, let me be clear that San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in any City or State,” Lee said.

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Posted in Discrimination, LGBT, North Carolina, Politics, Religious Liberty, San Francisco

February 25th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Justin Trudeau

Marching in a Pride Parade

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be marching in a pride parade, as announced on monday. If you are an advocate for LGBT rights and visibility, you know how big of a deal this is. While this news is not surprising of the Prime Minister, it is still historic.

The Prime Minister is in favor of expanding protections for transgender Canadians and wants to end the homophobic barriers that right now prevent gay men from donating blood. Trudeau tweeted that he is, “very much looking forward to being there again, this time as PM.”

He is planning on walking next to the country’s first openly gay premier, Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne.

Trudeau has been one of the biggest leaders for Canada in their moving forward with human rights and equality. While we said before that this may not seem like a big deal for him to be marching in the parade, it is because this is more than just a parade. The parade is symbolic of creating a community, a world even, that embraces its queer brothers and sisters as one.

 

Justin Trudeau

 

 

Posted in LGBT, Uncategorized

February 22nd, 2016 by Staff Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — In one of the most exhaustive and damning reports on diversity in Hollywood, a new study finds that the films and television produced by major media companies are “whitewashed,” and that an “epidemic of invisibility” runs top to bottom through the industry for women, minorities and LGBT people.

A study to be released Monday by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism offers one of the most wide-ranging examinations of the film and television industries, including a pointed “inclusivity index” of 10 major media companies — from Disney to Netflix — that gives a failing grade to every movie studio and most TV makers.

In this Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015 file photo, Uzo Aduba accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for "Orange Is The New Black" at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

In this Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015 file photo, Uzo Aduba accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for “Orange Is The New Black” at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Coming just days before an Academy Awards where a second straight year of all-white acting nominees has enflamed an industry-wide crisis, the report offers a new barrage of sobering statistics that further evidence a deep discrepancy between Hollywood and the American population it entertains, in gender, race and ethnicity.

“The prequel to OscarsSoWhite is HollywoodSoWhite,” said professor Stacy L. Smith, one of the study’s authors, in an interview. “We don’t have a diversity problem. We have an inclusion crisis.”

The study, titled the Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity, examined the 109 films released by major studios (including art-house divisions) in 2014 and 305 scripted, first-run TV and digital series across 31 networks and streaming services that aired from September 2014 to August 2015. More than 11,000 speaking characters were analyzed for gender, racial and ethnic representation and LGBT status. Some 10,000 directors, writers and show creators were examined, as was the gender of more than 1,500 executives.

The portrait is one of pervasive underrepresentation, no matter the media platform, from CEOs to minor characters. “Overall, the landscape of media content is still largely whitewashed,” the study concludes.

In the 414 studied films and series, only a third of speaking characters were female, and only 28.3 percent were from minority groups — about 10 percent less than the makeup of the U.S. population. Characters 40 years or older skew heavily male across film and TV: 74.3 percent male to 25.7 percent female.

Just 2 percent of speaking characters were LGBT-identified. Among the 11,306 speaking characters studied, only seven were transgendered (and four were from the same series).

“When we start to step back to see this larger ecology, I think we see a picture of exclusion,” said Smith. “And it doesn’t match the norms of the population of the United States.”

Behind the camera, the discrepancy is even greater. Directors overall were 87 percent white. Broadcast TV directors (90.4 percent white) were the least diverse.

Just 15.2 percent of directors, 28.9 percent of writers and 22.6 percent of series creators were female. In film, the gender gap is greatest: Only 3.4 percent of the films studied were directed by women, and only two directors out of the 109 were black women: Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) and Amma Asante (“Belle”).

In this Jan. 2, 2015 file photo, Ava DuVernay poses at the Palm Springs International Film Festival opening night screening of "Selma," at Palm Springs High School, in Palm Springs, Calif. (Photo by Rob Latour/Invision/AP, File)

In this Jan. 2, 2015 file photo, Ava DuVernay poses at the Palm Springs International Film Festival opening night screening of “Selma,” at Palm Springs High School, in Palm Springs, Calif. (Photo by Rob Latour/Invision/AP, File)

Following a request made in May by the American Civil Liberties Union (which cited previous USC studies, as well as those by UCLA and the Directors Guild in claiming women have been “systematically excluded” from directing jobs), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year began investigating gender discrimination in Hollywood.

The federal investigation is just one element of growing scrutiny for the industry. But for protesters, finding a target for what some consider a systematic problem isn’t easy. Even many of those, like Spike Lee, who have criticized the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, have insisted the issue goes far deeper than Oscar nominees. When academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs recently announced dramatic steps to diversify the overwhelmingly white and male film academy, she said: “The academy is going to lead, and not wait for the industry to catch up.”

USC’s study, which the school has been publishing in various forms for the last 10 years, also seeks to add a new metric in the conversation. The “inclusivity index” is a report card for the performances of 21st Century Fox, CBS, NBC Universal, Sony, the Walt Disney Co., Time Warner, Viacom, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix. Those companies encompass all the broadcast networks, most major cable channels, all of the major movie studios and three of the dominant streaming services.

Each was rated by their percentage of female, minority and LGBT characters; and of female writers and directors. None of the six major studios rated better than 20 percent overall; Time Warner fared poorest of all with a score of zero. The report concludes that the film industry “still functions as a straight, white, boy’s club.”

In this Jan. 30, 2016, file photo, Laura Prepon, center, and the cast and crew of "Orange is the New Black" accept the award for outstanding ensemble in a comedy series at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP, File)

In this Jan. 30, 2016, file photo, Laura Prepon, center, and the cast and crew of “Orange is the New Black” accept the award for outstanding ensemble in a comedy series at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP, File)

Some of the same companies, however, scored better when their TV and digital offerings were evaluated. Disney, the CW, Amazon and Hulu all scored 65 percent and above.

“When we turn to see where the problem is better or worse, the apex to this whole endeavor is: Everyone in film is failing, all of the companies investigated,” said Smith. “They’re impervious to change. But there are pockets of promise in television. There is a focus that change is possible. The very companies that are inclusive — Disney, CW, Hulu, Amazon to some degree — those companies, if they’re producing and distributing motion pictures, can do this. We now have evidence that they can, and they can thrive.”

USC researches also, for the first time, added analysis of those 10 companies’ executives. Researches didn’t have racial or ethnic background information, but did find that women represent about 20 percent of corporate boards, chief executives and executive management teams.

“As prestige or power of the title increases, we see fewer women at the top,” said Katherine Pieper, who co-authored the study with Smith and Marc Choueiti. “Film still has a prestige to it, so we see fewer women filling those positions.”

The research offers the chance for comparison between mediums. Do streaming services adhere to the established patterns of traditional television or deviate from them?

In some cases, they do, but in many, they don’t. Netflix (20 percent on the inclusion index) scored about the same as NBC Universal, CBS and Fox. There were far fewer female directors working in digital series (11.8 percent) than in broadcast (17.1 percent), in the shows studied. Broadcast, cable and steaming series also all revel in sexualized female characters and nudity more than movies do.

But some of the study’s most troubling finds are simply absences. Roughly 50 percent of the examined content didn’t feature one Asian or Asian-American character; 20 percent didn’t include one black character. Researchers argue for change beyond “tokenism,” including making target goals public and creating a system of checks and balances in storytelling decisions.

“People are still erased. It’s 2016 and it’s time for a change,” said Smith. “We’ve laid out concrete actionable steps because we don’t want to do this again in 10 years.”

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January 3rd, 2016 by Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA (TheBlaze/AP) — Philadelphia’s incoming mayor and some organizers of the city’s annual New Year’s Day parade called for increased sensitivity on Saturday, a day after some participants mocked Caitlyn Jenner, were accused of harassing gays and painted their faces brown to portray Mexicans.

Not cool #mummers. Not cool!!! #GayPride @wheaties @Caitlyn_Jenner pic.twitter.com/eVUHMg73QD

— Philly Sports Live (@PhillySportLive) January 2, 2016

The 116-year-old Mummers Parade — often characterized as the city’s version of Mardi Gras — has faced annual criticism for its lack of diversity and racial insensitivity.

Critics found the activities of some amateur performance groups, called brigades, offensive again this year. One member dressed like Jenner, who won a 1976 Olympic gold medal in decathlon as Bruce Jenner before recently transitioning to a transgender woman. And a gay man who was out walking a dog accused the same group of assaulting him but did not file charges.

That brigade, Finnegan NYB, displayed signs of a Wheaties box picturing Bruce Jenner alongside a box of Froot Loops picturing Caitlyn Jenner.

A man with that group was seen shouting ”F*** the gays!” in a video shot by New York Daily News editor Nick Kurczewski, Philly.com reported Saturday.

Content warning: The following clip contains a slur and profanity:

@FinneganNYB @visitphilly @NBCPhiladelphia @phillydotcom #MummersParade hate on display. WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE pic.twitter.com/voWDbrcHyO

— Nick Kurczewski (@NKcars) January 1, 2016

Philadelphia police and Mayor Michael Nutter’s office didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and emails Saturday, but Mayor-elect Jim Kenney weighed in.

“It was bad. Hurtful to many Philadelphians. Our Trans Citizens do not deserve this type of satire/insult. #Berespectful,” Kenney tweeted.

Michael Inemer Sr., who identified himself as a captain of the Finnegan Mummers group, refused to apologize for the Jenner display, saying it was a parody in keeping with the parade’s history that includes cross-dressing. He did apologize for the marcher who shouted against gays.

“I find myself, as do many, many members of Finnegan NYB, wholeheartedly apologizing for the abrasive, gross and disturbing action of one of our members who, unfortunately, took it upon himself to embarrass us all with his conduct and inexcusable and hurtful insults to the crowd at the end of the parade,” Inemer wrote.

The group had tweeted earlier: “One bad apple and blame the whole group. Typical of people out there. THAT individual has been dealt with in house. #LoveGays #HappyNewYear.”

But Inemer’s email went further, saying the marcher who shouted the slurs would be “dealt with without any outside influence.”

John Holtz, 28, told reporters he was walking his parents’ dog with friends when a group of Mummers approached him Friday. He said one called him a gay slur before another punched him in the eye.

Image source: WCAU-TV

Image source: WCAU-TV

“They start giving me some kind of crap because I’m a big guy and I have this little fluffy dog,” Holtz said, referring to his parents’ Shih-Tzu. When Holtz went to confront the group about the comment, he said, another man “jumped in, clocked me in the face.”

Officers asked Holtz whether he wanted to file a police report, but he declined, not wanting to spend hours at the precinct with his friends on the holiday.

Holtz believes the men who accosted him were part of the same group satirizing Jenner.

Inemer said he did not know whether Finnegan NYB members were involved in the incident with Holtz.

George Badey, the Publicity Director for the Philadelphia New Year’s Shooters and Mummers Association, said parade organizers expected to issue a statement later Saturday.

Before apologizing, the Finnegan NYB group tweeted a photo of a Mummer holding a sign saying, “Mummers Lives Matter” — an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter group that has protested the deaths of blacks at the hands of police in various parts of the country.

pic.twitter.com/iGVUEpafHm

— Finnegan NYB (@FinneganNYB) January 2, 2016

About 50 members of the Black Lives Matter group and the Coalition for Real Justice staged a protest during the parade. Two people with the group were cited, one for disorderly conduct, the other for disrupting a procession.

The incidents during this year’s parade occurred even after organizers created the “Philadelphia Division,” which was meant to diversify the parade with two new Hispanic performance groups, a black drill team and the LGBT Miss Fancy Brigade.

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December 5th, 2015 by Staff Writer

CHICAGO (TheBlaze/AP) — School officials in a suburban Chicago district may back out of a deal with the U.S. Department of Education allowing a transgender student to use a girls’ locker room.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Township High School District 211 Superintendent Daniel Cates on Friday angrily condemned a top federal official for how she portrayed his description of the settlement.

Cates says the department’s Office of Civil Rights “acted in bad faith,” so the district will convene an emergency board meeting to discuss actions, “including the potential retraction of the agreement.”

Cates and the government are at odds over whether the settlement requires the student to use privacy curtains. The student was born male and identifies as female.

The district has been at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding over the issue.

Here are the terms of the agreement, according to a press release from the Department of Education:

Under the agreement, the district agreed to take the following specific actions:

  • Provide the student with access to the girls’ locker rooms at her high school based on the student’s request to change in private changing stations in the girls’ locker rooms.

  • Protect the privacy of its students by installing sufficient privacy curtains within the girls’ locker rooms at the high school to accommodate the transgender student and any students who wish to be assured of privacy.

  • Provide a reasonable alternative for any student requesting additional privacy—beyond the privacy afforded by the privacy curtains—in the girls’ locker rooms. Examples could include use of another private area or assignment of a locker in near proximity to the office of a teacher or coach.

  • Coordinate with hosts of off-campus, district-sponsored activities to arrange for the transgender student to be provided access to facilities for female students.

  • Engage a consultant (who may be a district employee) with expertise in child and adolescent gender identity, including transgender and gender nonconforming youth, to support and assist the district in implementing the resolution agreement.

  • Establish a support team, if requested by the transgender student and her parents, to ensure that she has access and the opportunity to participate in all district programs and activities, and is otherwise protected from gender-based discrimination at school.

  • Adopt and publish a revised notice of nondiscrimination on the basis of sex. And,

  • Provide OCR with a copy or detailed description of all gender-based discrimination or harassment complaints or incidents.

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