Welcome to Errattic! We encourage you to customize the type of information you see here by clicking the Preferences link on the top of this page.
LGBTQ people suffer when religion & government mix
A pair of recent decisions from two of the southern federal Circuit Courts of Appeals should be alarming us all. Instead, they’re only alarming a handful of us – because, overall, our community still clings to the inexplicable belief that religion can be our friend or, at least, a friend that we will be able to use to defend ourselves from certain others who also claim religion to be their friend.
Of the two recent decisions, only one has a direct LGBTQ component. Even so, it is truly difficult to say which one is the more disturbing, though the non-LGBTQ one, United States v. Brown, probably deserves the nod.
The Brown in question is Corrine, a former member of Congress from Florida, convicted on a slew of counts, the specifics of which are strangely irrelevant for purposes of what makes one of the opinions in her case problematic.
What does matter is that she was convicted by a jury. On appeal she took issue with the trial court’s decision to not allow “Juror 13” to contribute to rendering a verdict.
Shortly after deliberations began, “Juror 8” informed the judge that “13” had said, “A Higher Being told me Corrine Brown was Not Guilty on all charges” and that he “trusted the Holy Ghost.”
Do those sound like the words of someone who is going to make a decision based on earthly evidence?
What the LGBTQ community has never learned is that, when religion merges with government and science is reduced to having no more standing than faith, our religions and faiths and beliefs (or lack thereof) will never be recognized when they conflict with the particular religion and faith and belief of those who have seized power – legitimately or otherwise.
Once religion enters the government picture, everyone loses – at least everyone not sitting at the table of power.
NC Pastor Charged With Over 100 Sex Crimes
A pastor in North Carolina has been charged with over 100 sex crimes involving three children, according to local authorities. Fifty-eight-year-old Rodney Luffman, pastor at Open Arms Outreach Ministries in Elkin, NC, was arrested at his home in Eastern Wilkes County last week, and has since been charged for a decades-long litany of sex offenses against minors that began around 20 years ago.
Time reports that Luffman is accused of abusing three victims, dating back to the late 1990s. At the time of the alleged crimes, the victims were between four and 15 years old. Det. Amanda Boyd with the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office told news outlets that the department believes the crimes continued for around 16 years. Luffman currently remains in prison on $1 million bail, and it is unclear whether or not he is represented by council.
15 year sentence demanded for former coach in French child sexual abuse case
Church of England: Sex Is OK Only in Heterosexual Marriage
Sexual activity is only acceptable within the marriage of a man and a woman — so says a new document issued by the Church of England.
That’s not a new stance for the church, which is considered the mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the much more liberal U.S. Episcopal Church is a member. But the Church of England is putting out the guidance because the British government has made civil partnerships, which are not quite equal to marriage, available to heterosexual couples, The Guardian reports.
Michigan court reverses murder conviction, cites rap videos
The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously threw out a murder conviction Friday, saying YouTube rap videos spoiled the verdict by portraying the defendant as a “ruthless and menacing threat to the community.”
Jamal Bennett is serving a 32-year prison sentence for the fatal shooting of another man during a fight at a Grand Rapids party in 2013.
Gay basher accused of “one of the vilest” hate crimes will get off with maximum six months in jail
Investigators believe that Ferlenda got enraged at the sight of the gay couple together as they were leaving a concert at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse this past August 24.
Ferlenda allegedly punched one of the men in the face, starting a rage-fueled attack that lasted half an hour, as the couple tried to escape on foot and then by car.
Ferlenda followed them, shouting anti-gay slurs. And he didn’t stop when they got to their car.
Chick-fil-A's Last U.K. Location Shutters After Months-Long Protest
The last Chick-fil-A in the United Kingdom has flown the coop.
The restaurant, located in a Macdonald Hotels property in the Scottish Highlands, was controversial from its launch in October due to the fast-food chain's history of donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations.
Due to this problematic history, Scott Cuthbertson, an LGBTQ activist, had launched a petition calling for its closure, which quickly accrued 1,000 signatures.
Additionally, Patrick Harvie, the first out bisexual member of Scottish Parliament, called on a boycott of the restaurant among his fellow politicians, who often stay at the luxury Macdonald Aviemore Resort.
Lesbian couple left 'overwhelmed with anger' as South Africa venue declines their wedding
A South African wedding venue is facing criticism after the Christian owners declined to host a lesbian couple's wedding.
Megan Watling, 25, and Sasha-Lee Heekes, 24, said they contacted the owners of Beloftebos, a popular event place in Cape Town, inquiring about potential dates for their wedding.
However, they received an email response that the venue does not accommodate weddings between couples of the same gender, Watling and Heekes wrote on Facebook.
Watling said she cried and became overwhelmed with anger after reading the response last Friday.
The Amish Keep to Themselves. And They’re Hiding a Horrifying Secret
The memories come to her in fragments. The bed creaking late at night after one of her brothers snuck into her room and pulled her to the edge of her mattress. Her underwear shoved to the side as his body hovered over hers, one of his feet still on the floor.
Her ripped dresses, the clothespins that bent apart on her apron as another brother grabbed her at dusk by the hogpen after they finished feeding the pigs. Sometimes she’d pry herself free and sprint toward the house, but “they were bigger and stronger,” she says. They usually got what they wanted.
As a child, Sadie* was carefully shielded from outside influences, never allowed to watch TV or listen to pop music or get her learner’s permit. Instead, she attended a one-room Amish schoolhouse and rode a horse and buggy to church—a life designed to be humble and disciplined and godly.
2 Mass. Priests Suspended Amid Decades Old Abuse Complaints
French trial exposes how church covered for predator priest
Senators demand review of Army Reserve sexual assaults
Kanye West’s new religious fanatic friend joins anti-LGBTQ “freedom march”
Rapper Kanye West announced he will appear at Awaken2020, a stadium-sized prayer rally hosted by some of the nation’s most anti-LGBTQ religious conservatives.
Now one of the organizers of the event has announced he will join an upcoming anti-LGBTQ “freedom march.”
Related: If you’re boycotting Chick-fil-A, why aren’t you protesting Adidas & Kanye West?
Pastor Lou Engle will join “former homosexuals” in Boston to help lead a “rainbow revival.” Engle has said America has become like Nazi Germany because of gay rights. He helped fan the flames of hate in Uganda at a time when this nation was debating whether to enact the infamous “Kill the Gays” bill.
Kanye West’s Dark Turn to the Anti-Gay Christian Right
Socialism Will Not Cure LGBTQ Oppression
...a lot of LGBTQ people lately have taken to the media to say that socialism is the answer to LGBTQ oppression and all I can say to that is, “Bullshit.” Every last bit of history proves otherwise. Now, I’m not arguing that socialism/communism is anti-LGBTQ, but it hasn’t been the best system for LGBTQ people in all cases. Yet, neither has capitalism. In fact, the social progress of LGBTQ rights in different countries under different systems has been so haphazard that it’s impossible to argue who has been better for LGBTQ rights. The only logical conclusion, and I know this may sound crazy to a lot of folks, is that somehow, and this is crazy, systems of economics and government don’t actually have a lot to do with social values. In fact, and I may be going out on a limb here but I’m feeling crazy, it seems that governments and economic systems reflect what society values. Woah, mindblowing ain’t it?
Do Open Relationships Work?
An open relationship means you still have one primary partner but both can have other sexual partners. Polyamory means you have multiple relationships that are both emotional as well as sexual. There is no primary.
I grew up like you. Thinking you find your “one”, exchange vows, make babies, and live happily ever after. This person is your best friend and soulmate. Your forever and one and only. This is what love looks like and what everyone wants.
If I look at this through a biological lens, we are not designed to be with one person forever. That is a social/societal construct with a shame fence that keeps us from straying. Our bodies crave diversity. We are curious creatures. We have fantasies and imaginations. We are hardwired this way.
My conclusion with “the obvious.”
Good Men Project
Minnesota Senate Leader: Sexual Assault, Bad Parenting Make People Gay
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka defended conversion therapy and claimed that sexual assault can cause homosexuality, all in a wide-ranging interview with televangelist Andrew Wommack.
The senator, a Republican, recalled hearing the story of “a lady that was lesbian, and [a counselor] said before you judge her, let me just tell you her backstory. … He said she was chained to a toilet as a like 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-year-old girl and raped by her dad, for years and years. How do you think she’s gonna feel? In other words, he’s trying to get you to realize that there’s a deeper backstory, and if you understand that, you can love them while you’re … bringing truth and trying to help them.”
He also contended that lack of closeness to a parent of the same sex can cause a person to be gay. In a conversation with a gay man, Gazelka said he asked if the man was raised by a mother and father or just by his mother; it turned out the man was brought up by his mother and grandmother. “We actually had a conversation that we could talk about the issues around the why and the what,” the senator said.
“I think the best place to land is let the church have the total freedom to do as they please, and then for professional counselors, if an adolescent comes into their office, says I have unwanted same-sex attraction, I’m hoping that counselor can say ‘How can I help you?’” Gazelka told Wommack.
Bali villas targeted by authorities for “catering” to the LGBTQ community
Republicans declare war on transgender people in state legislatures all over the US
Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Armed Militias Threaten to Storm the Capitol
In response to what he described as “credible intelligence” of threats of violence at an upcoming gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency and will temporarily ban individuals from carrying firearms on Capitol grounds.
The governor said at a press conference Wednesday that authorities believe “armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol” during the January 20 rally.
He also said that law enforcement had intercepted threats and “extremist rhetoric” similar to what was observed prior to the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. “We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here,” he said.
Kanye West joins stadium “prayer rally” with some of America’s most anti-LGBTQ activists
Rapper Kanye West announced he will appear at Awaken2020, a stadium-sized prayer rally hosted by some of the nation’s most anti-LGBTQ religious conservatives. After West’s announcement so many people rushed online to get free tickets to the event, the group’s website crashed.
West, who’s erratic behavior has seen him suddenly becoming a rightwing Christian and devout worshipper of Donald Trump, has been pushing his new gospel album recently. One of the songs is an ode to Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain most frequently identified with religious controversy over LGBTQ rights.
Florida Republicans submit 4 anti-gay bills on last day to file
Tennessee Will Allow Adoption Agencies to Ban LGBTQ+ Parents
Indonesian mayor plans LGBT raids after infamous rape spree, outraging activists
Mother Files $5.5 Million Lawsuit After Son Is Bullied Over 50 Cent Friendship
The mother of a Brooklyn teen is blaming 50 Cent for the merciless bullying of her son, and is now suing the Department of Education for $5.5 million.
Myasia Dickerson believes her 14-year-old son Davian Fraser’s friendship with 50 Cent has made him a target, the New York Daily News reports. Now, Dickerson has filed a claim against the city, accusing Williamsburg Charter School of not protecting her son after he was regularly attacked by fellow students.
After the students learned about Fraser’s relationship with the rapper at the beginning of the school year, some of them started to harass him. “It caused a big uproar in the school,” Dickerson told the outlet. “The kids started to follow my son around, tried to put him on Snapchat, tried to take videos of him. They were following him to the train station.”
During Fraser’s lunch break on Dec. 16, four classmates came up to him near a stairwell and started punching him. “He was attacked from behind as he tried to walk away," Dickerson said. “He was punched in the head and then the student proceeded to fight him and then he slammed my son’s head onto the ground.”