The diligent student staff of the Brigham Young University bookstore are relieved to have spotted and removed the ungodly cards celebrating same-sex marriage from their shelves this afternoon.
Though no reports of injuries or widespread panic were made in the very short time that the Hallmark greeting cards crassly labeled “Mr. and Mr.” and “Mrs. and Mrs.” remained in public view — it was “not long,” BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins tells the AP — the stench of their former presence will surely remain on the minds of many concerned students.
The placement of said cards was apparently the handiwork of an insensitive Hallmark employee tasked with regularly stocking the school’s retail shelves. As an almost exclusively Mormon school owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the cards’ mere presence on school property was a direct violation of the honor code.
The AP reports: “It states that while being attracted to people of the same gender doesn’t violate the honor code, acting on those feelings is a violation.” Jenkins added that “homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”
Strangely enough, BYU has an Understanding Same Gender Attraction (USGA) club, and its senior president Samy Galvez can’t stop raving about “how welcoming and how loving people are [at BYU].”
Though he declined to comment on the greeting card situation, Galvez mentions that changes in the honor code now “allow students to talk about their sexual orientation without fear of being expelled.” Phew!
“Even though you know people adhere to a standard of conduct of not advocating for same-sex marriage, at the same time that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of showing empathy,” he said.
Facebook’s $10,000 donation to antigay Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes pales in comparison to the huge donation AT&T made to the gubernatorial campaign of Greg Abbott, the antigay Republican of Texas currently running against Wendy Davis.
The telecommunications giant recently shelled out $75,000 to help elect Abbott the next Governor of Texas. That’s in addition to a $50,000 donation made to his campaign for Attorney General last year, when it was expected he would enter the gubernatorial race. In total, AT&T has handed over $125,000 to the guy who claims gay people aren’t discriminated against, that they do have the freedom to marry… members of the opposite sex.
“All persons in Texas – regardless of sexual orientation — are subject to the same definition of marriage, and the plaintiffs are as free to marry an opposite-sex spouse as anyone else in the State,” Abbott said while arguing in favor of upholding Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year.
In an e-mail to Long Star Q, AT&T spokesman Marty Richter insisted that, despite the company’s $125,000 in donations to a politician who is actively working against the equal rights of LGBT people, AT&T loves the gays. Richter went so far as to tout the company for being a “leader” in equality.
“Diversity and inclusion are part of AT&T’s culture and operations, and we’re proud to be recognized as a leader in this area,” he said. “[E]very year since 2004 we’ve received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for our fair treatment of our LGBTQ employees, including protection against discrimination, parity of health care benefits for domestic partners and other criteria.”
But AT&T isn’t the only one proclaiming their love for Abbott. It is joined by none other than Sarah Palin, who endorsed the homophobic candidate earlier this year by saying, “If he is good enough for Ted Nugent, he is good enough for me!”
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court is delaying the start of same-sex marriage in Virginia. The court on Wednesday granted a request from a county clerk in northern Virginia to block same-sex marriages across the state while the issue is being appealed to the Supreme Court. The court provided no explanation for its order.
Drag Race season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio hopped into bed with Joan Rivers for the latest episode of In Bed With Joan, resulting in some epic pillow talk.
Bianca has made a name for herself being a sharp-tongued tell it like it is kinda gal, and Joan is, well, Joan. The combination is perfect as the two talk everything from dealing with negative audience reactions to fucking Justin Bieber because “now that Michael Jackson’s dead, somebody’s got to fuck the children.”
It’s a crass-off for the record books, and totally worth a watch. We could do with a weekly installment of this duo.
PALMDALE, Calif. -- Graphic grand jury testimony reveals details of the abuse suffered by an 8-year-old Los Angeles County boy who was allegedly battered to death by his mother and her boyfriend. Court documents made public Monday show Gabriel Fernandez was doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth...
The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival just wrapped up its 39th year, and not without controversy after enduring a boycott for telling trans women yet again they aren’t welcome at the six day community event.
The Indigo Girls became the latest high-profile protestors. Though they still performed at this year’s event, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers released the following statement on their website:
“We have made it clear that this will be our last time at the Festival until MWMF shows visible and concrete signs of changing their intention. We have no animosity towards anyone in this case but see the deep and fearless legacy that MWMF has had during its existence and we honor that. We also honor the prayerfulness that has been a part of this struggle on both sides.”
And now that the festival is looking towards their milestone 40th anniversary next year, festival founder Lisa Vogel put out a statement on her personal Facebook page to address the policy of only welcoming “womyn born womyn.”
Her statement reads to the effect of “trans women aren’t asked to leave the festival, they’re just asked not to come in the first place,” while maintaining her heartfelt opinion that a space designated for women who had the unique experience of growing up as girls is meaningful at the expense of other experiences. She also notes the importance of having a lesbian-centric space, though she doesn’t mention the fact that trans women can be gay or straight just like everyone else.
Here is her full statement:
1. Get Your Facts Straight
As the 39th Festival closes and we turn our hearts and minds to our landmark 40th anniversary, we reiterate that Michfest recognizes trans womyn as womyn – and they are our sisters. We do not fear their presence among us, a false claim repeatedly made. What we resist – and what we will never stop fighting – is the continued erasure and disrespect for the specific experience of being born and living as female in a patriarchal, misogynist world.
Over 20 years ago, we asked Nancy Burkholder, a trans womon, to leave the Land. That was wrong, and for that, we are sorry. We, alongside the rest of the LGBTQ community, have learned and changed a great deal over our 39-year history. We speak to you now in 2014 after two decades of evolution; an evolution grown from our willingness to stay in hard conversations, just as we do every year around issues of race, ability, class and gender. Since that single incident, Festival organizers have never asked a trans womon to leave the Festival. We have a radical commitment to creating a space where for one week a year, no one’s gender is questioned – it’s one of the most unique and valued aspects of the Festival. The Michfest community has always been populated by womyn who bear the burden of unwanted gender scrutiny every day.
The truth is, trans womyn and trans men attend the Festival, blog about their experiences, and work on crew. Again, it is not the inclusion of trans womyn at Festival that we resist; it is the erasure of the specificity of female experience in the discussion of about the space itself that stifles progress in this conversation. As long as those who boycott and threaten Michfest do not acknowledge the reasons why the space was created in the first place, and has remained vital for four decades, the conversation remains deadlocked.
2. Acknowledge the Validity of Autonomous, Female-Defined Space Michfest is widely known as a predominantly lesbian community.
This does not mean that heterosexual womyn, bisexual womyn, or those who do not share this identity are not present or welcome. But for a week, we collectively experience a lesbian-centered world; we experience what it feels like to be in a community defined by lesbian culture.
3. Acknowledge That Michfest Creates Spaces That Do Not Exist Elsewhere.
This year, thousands of womyn and girls from 3 weeks to 92 years old attended our 39th Festival. This included over 75 deaf womyn who came to rejuvenate and be in community. Nearly 200 womyn with disabilities came into the woods to thrive. At one of the workshops held this year, young womyn stated that until they came to Festival, they had never seen an old gender-non-conforming female in person; they did not know that those womyn existed. We built this space to let these womyn be seen and celebrated. We built this space around the fierce solidarity of female experience that has always been and continues to be deconstructed into invisibility; where that unique experience is relegated to a place of dishonor. Whenever females honor ourselves, wherever we take up space, and sit collectively in the source of our collective power, we are burned and stoned, both literally and metaphorically.
4. Turn Your Energy Towards the Real Enemies of Female and LGBTQ Liberation.
While the abuse and disenfranchisement of womyn and girls escalates around the world and LGBTQ people experience life-threatening harms, LGBTQ organizations have turned inwards on a curious target – a weeklong music festival that does not ban or exclude anyone, that simply seeks to devote its focus to an experience that is denigrated in the larger world: the experience of being born and living as female.
Equality Michigan and the organizations endorsing its petition including HRC, the Task Force, NCLR and the National Black Justice Coalition, are targeting Michfest with McCarthy-era blacklist tactics. Specifically, they have called for attendees and artists to boycott the event, and – astonishingly – have threatened the livelihood of artists and vendors by branding those who participate in the Festival as “having committed anti-transgender discrimination.”
These organizations are targeting artists who perform at Michfest while remaining completely silent when queer-identified artists play at venues that generate profits for racist, transphobic, and homophobic corporate entities and individuals, whose interests are dangerous to the global LGBTQ movement and all basic human rights.
We call on the constituents, donors, and dues-paying members of the LGBTQ institutions targeting Michfest to hold them accountable for this misuse and misdirection of organizational resources, and to withdraw their time and dollars from these organizations until the targeting of Michfest ends. Sisters – we urge you to redirect your money to organizations that speak to your lives and speak for you.
5. Join the Conversation, Not the Digital Sound Bite War.
Our community is strong enough to hold disagreement and to engage deeply with each other, face-to-face, through difficulty. The Michfest community welcomes conversation; we do not stifle it. We have and will continue to remain in community with those trans womyn for whom Michfest has been home; trans womyn like those organizing the New Narratives Conference who do not require females to disappear ourselves or our unique experiences to prove our political and social solidarity.
We turn to our LGBTQ community and say: we hear your truths; we ask you to acknowledge that you hear ours.
Listen to the voices of the tens of thousands of women who call Michfest home. Join the conversation in person in your home communities, not exclusively through social media platforms or online petitions. We invite our sisters to participate in this conversation in person on the Land. Make room in your heart to hold difference of opinion and disagreement – this is the challenging path to honoring true diversity. We turn to our LGBTQ community and ask you to unite with us in the belief that we can work together as a movement and stand together in solidarity. We ask you to work with us, not against us.
SALT LAKE CITY -- Greeting cards celebrating same-sex marriages turned up at the Brigham Young University bookstore Tuesday. Placed by Hallmark, the cards reading "Mr. and Mr." and "Mrs. and Mrs." were quickly removed when bookstore staff discovered them after photos surfaced online. The outside vendor stocked the shelves without realizing the school wouldn't want ...
James Franco fine-tunes his kinky image today with the trailer debut for Kink, his most recent completed film project that takes you behind-the-scenes at San Francisco’s Armory, home of Kink.com, the largest BDSM porn empire on Earth.
The film’s description reads:
Director Christina Voros and producer James Franco pull back the curtain on the fetish empire of Kink.com, the Internet’s largest producer of BDSM content. In a particularly obscure corner of an industry that operates largely out of public view, Kink.com’s directors and models strive for authenticity. In an enterprise often known for exploitative practices, Kink.com upholds an ironclad set of values to foster an environment that is safe, sane, and consensual. They aim to demystify the BDSM lifestyle, and to serve as an example and an educational resource for the BDSM community.
In kink, we discover not only a fascinating and often misunderstood subculture, but also, in a career far from the mainstream, a group of intelligent, charismatic, and driven people who really, truly love what they do.
The film’s original release at Sundance last year followed James’ 2013 film Interior: Leather Bar, which was both applauded and denounced by critics for including explicit sexual imagery. Check out the new trailer for Kink below, which includes glimpses of gay porn fave (yes, that Speedo dude) Jessie Colter.
And just in case the words “gay porn,” “kink” and “BDSM” weren’t clue enough, the trailer does not contain nudity but may be considered NSFW by some:
Last year, additional footage was released ahead of the film’s Sundance premiere. Check that out below:
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Creation Museum, the horrifying Kentucky institution that teaches children and anyone else willing to listen all sorts of Bible-based creationist inaccuracies. Like that humans walked the earth with dinosaurs, which would only makes sense given the indisputable fact that the earth is 6,000 years old.
Well one whack-job museum just isn’t enough for the Creation Museum’s creators. Now they’re planning a second Kentucky outpost, The Ark Encounters, dedicated to educating the masses on the Biblical Great Flood, and specifically the totally real story of Noah’s Ark.
But here’s the kicker. Answers in Genesis, the group building the new park set to open in 2016, is seeking $18 million in tax incentives from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority while barring gays, lesbians and anyone else who doesn’t prescribe to their creationist dogma from applying for a job.
A job ad posted on their website (which has since been removed) states that applicants must adhere to a “Statement of Faith” that would disqualify anyone but creationist fundamentalist Christians from doing everything from operating attractions to washing dishes at the park.
“In order to preserve the function and integrity of the ministry in its mission to proclaim the absolute truth and authority of Scripture and to provide a biblical role model to our employees, and to the Church, the community, and society at large, it is imperative that all persons employed by the ministry in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to our Statement of Faith, to include the statement on marriage and sexuality, and conduct themselves accordingly.”
The public funding conflict was first pointed out by Kentucky Paleontological Society president Daniel Phelps in an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader, titled “Non-Christians need not apply” in which he wrote:
“The tax incentive, along with the city tax breaks, and the parcel of land sold to the project at a discount by Williamstown, plus $200,000 cash given by the Grant County Economic Development Commission is clearly a case of government entanglement with religion.”