A Reporter’s Weekend with WBC

This man was either very brave or very stupid. I cannot decide which. I’ll leave that judgement to you.

My weekend with the Westboro Baptist Church will never leave me. And I wish it would.

I can’t stop thinking about them. I’m still trying to understand why they behave the way they do, and I’m still thinking up counter arguments that I wish I had had at my fingertips during my many “discussions” with Steve Drain, who was our host for the weekend. Steve, and the church, believe the increasing acceptance of gay marriage is a harbinger of the End Times. I do not.

The decision to spend a weekend with Westboro was a difficult one. My ABC News bosses and I had cooked up an idea that I should spend weekends with slivers of American society that, as a recent immigrant, I found puzzling and perhaps even bizarre. Westboro was my first choice.

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Murkowski Backs Gay Marriage

I’m not sure I agree that ‘evolving view’ is overused, but perhaps I am wrong.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) expressed support for gay marriage Wednesday, becoming the third sitting Republican senator to do so.

The Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay rights group, announced the Alaska senator had backed marriage equality in a statement.

“This is a hard issue. It is hard because marriage is such a deeply personal issue,” Murkowski told Anchorage television station KTUU. “There may be some that when they hear the position that I hold that are deeply disappointed. There may be some that embrace the decision that I have made.”

“I recognize that it is an area that as a Republican I will be criticized for,” she added.

Murkowski had said in March that her views were shifting on the issue. “The term ‘evolving view’ has been perhaps overused, but I think it is an appropriate term for me to use,” she said.

Same-Sex Couples Face Significant Housing Discrimination

Well that’s no surprise, really. I can only hope that when the time comes for my girlfriend and I to get an apartment or whatever we decide on, that we don’t face problems like this.

WASHINGTON — Same-sex couples face significant levels of discrimination in the rental housing market, according to a landmark government study released on Tuesday.

The new survey by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is the first-ever study examining housing discrimination against same-sex couples at the national level.

HUD found that same-sex couples were “significantly less likely than heterosexual couples to get favorable responses to e-mail inquiries about electronically advertised rental housing.” In fact, heterosexual couples were favored over gay male couples in 15.9 percent of the tests, and over lesbian couples in 15.6 percent.

The survey is based on 6,833 email correspondences in 50 metropolitan markets from June to October 2011. Testers would send two emails to the landlord, each asking about the availability of a rental unit advertised online. The only difference between the two was in the sexual orientation of the interested couple.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the findings on Friday during an event at the agency for HUD GLOBE, the association for federal LGBT employees. In his remarks, he told a story illustrating the different treatment that heterosexual and same-sex couples were given by some rental agents.

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5-Year-Old Protests the Westboro Baptist Church

Jayden Sink is my new hero. If a five year old girl can peacefully stand up to the hatred, I think we all can and should. I shouldn’t be surprised that these so-called Christians shouted obscenities at a 5 year old, but I am. They certainly don’t act Christ-like.

For convenience, this is the link to donate to Jayden’s pink lemonade online: Jayden’s Pink Lemonade Stand for Peace

The always controversial Westboro Baptist Church just earned itself another critic, but this one is only a few feet tall and her chosen method of protest is pink lemonade.

On June 14, five-year-old Jayden Sink held her first “Pink Lemonade for Peace” event on the front lawn of the famed Equality House—a rainbow-wrapped home located directly across the street from Westboro headquarters in Topeka, Kansas.

Equality House belongs to one of the founding members of Planting Peace, an organization dedicated to spreading good will. The brightly colored home opened its doors this March in an effort to stage a peaceful counter-protest to the hatred and fear-mongering perpetrated by the Westboro organization.

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Twin girls speak at White House event

I always feel a ray of hope when kids these girls’ age speak out about LGBT rights.

When twin sisters Zea and Luna Weiss-Wynne, both 9, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama last year, they asked for his attention on a few things.

Obama invited the sisters to join him at a reception at the White House to outline their requests in public. The girls, who asked for his support of marriage equality, spoke at the LGBT Pride Month reception Friday, which is part of the annual celebration dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. The president made sure to give the third graders a turn in front of the microphone.

“We told the president that we would like for him to make some changes this year,” the girls said to the crowd, which was composed of leaders in the LGBT community and supporters. Among the requests the girls outlined in their speech and their letter was to help “make it harder for bad guys to get guns,” more funding for schools and a commitment to gay marriage.

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‘Ex-Gay’ Group Leader, Apologizes For Practices

I’m sure he’s damaged some lives. He needs to do WAY more than just sit on camera and take whatever people have to say to him.

For almost 40 years, the group called Exodus International, widely considered one of the world’s largest “ex-gay” organizations, claimed to offer a “cure” for homosexuality — one that prescribed prayer, devotion and what leaders called “reparative therapy” to help gay people become straight. Lisa Ling explored the controversial practice in a 2011 episode of “Our America,” during which she first encountered Exodus International’s leader, Alan Chambers.

Back then, Chambers had said, “Change is possible. I stand by that phrase and I live by it. The opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality; it’s holiness.” But now, Chambers has a new message: an apology.

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Teen comes out in graduation speech

I guess in Texas you go big or you go home. I wish Mr Anderson all the luck in the world. The future is his for the taking. 🙂

A Texas high school senior used his graduation speech last week to announce to his family, friends and fellow students that he’s gay.

Mitch Anderson, a member of Belton High School’s 2013 graduating class, told a local radio station that he had never come out to anyone before his salutatorian speech on Thursday at the Bell County Expo.

“Once I got up there and started talking, I felt completely fine,” Anderson, who lives in Temple, Texas, told KTEM News Radio.

“I myself am guilty of self-doubt, relying on others to give my life definition,” Anderson said in his speech. “But that time has passed, and I feel the moment has arrived for me to be publicly true to my personal identity. So now, I can say, I’m gay.

“It is both a significant portion of who I am and an inconsequential aspect,” he continued. “It’s as natural and effortless to me as breathing. I couldn’t change myself even if I wanted and, believe me, I have.”

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Pope Francis: Gay Lobby Exists

I guess if you acknowledge it exists, that means it must be destroyed…

Pope Francis acknowledged the existence of a ‘gay lobby’ in the Roman Curia for the first time last week and suggested that he was considering taking action on it.

The Pontiff made the statement on a ‘gay lobby’ in the Vatican during an audience granted to CLAR (the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women – Confederación Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Religiosos y Religiosas) on June 6, 2013, the Catholic blog Rorate Caeli reported.

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DIY blogger comes out

So glad to have a nice DIY blog to refer to for projects. And if you don’t feel like going to the Huffington Post story to find the link to her blog, I have added it to my list on the right.

Grace Bonney is one of the best-known stars of the crowded design blogosphere. Through her gorgeous blog Design Sponge and possibly more gorgeous book, she single-handedly convinced the world that DIY design can be stylish and beautiful. She’s an advisor to small businesswomen, a preservationist and has been featured and profiled in too many publications to count. And as she revealed in a blog post on June 10th, Bonney is also gay.

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