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Martin Luther King Jr.'s true, radical legacy is being whitewashed by people looking for easy absolution
The celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. takes place this year amidst political chaos. In particular, it is occurring in the middle a weeks-long government shutdown that has pitted President Donald Trump, the leader of a party that is 90 percent white, against the most diverse Congress in American history over an idea that has been derided as racist and xenophobic.
Praise for Dr. King’s legacy will emerge from this partisan rancor. Rather than invoke unity, however, such praise exposes a difficult truth: King's legacy has become as segregated as the country he tried to heal.
Evangelical woman tells church to go fuck themselves after they insist she disown her queer daughter
After spending 20 years as a member of an Evangelical church, Susan Cottrell was absolutely convinced that “being gay was somehow wrong.” That is, until her own daughter came out as bisexual.
In a powerful new TED talk, the mother of five says her perspective completely changed the moment her 20 year-old-daughter, Annie, called from college to say: “Mom, I’ve got something to tell you. I’m attracted to girls. I think I’m bisexual. I prayed about it, Mom. I resisted, but it won’t go away.”
Cottrell’s immediate response: “Don’t give in. We’ll support you. How can I help?”
Up until then, Cottrell regularly attended a Bible study class where she and her peers were constantly told “homosexuality is a sin and we can’t accept it.”
Now, she had a choice to make.
Teens in Make America Great Again hats taunted a Native American elder at the Lincoln Memorial
A crowd of teenagers surrounded a Native American elder and other activists and mocked them after Friday's Indigenous Peoples March at the Lincoln Memorial.
Videos of the confrontation show a smiling young man in a red Make America Great Again hat standing directly in front of the man, who was playing a drum and chanting. Other kids could be seen laughing, jumping around and making fun of the chants.
"I did not feel safe in that circle," said Kaya Taitano, a student at the University of the District of Columbia who participated in the march and shot the videos.
Restaurant worker who says she was fired for speaking Spanish fights back
Francisca Pérez said she was going about her job as a line cook at a high-end California restaurant, where she worked for over a decade, when the owner fired her for speaking Spanish to a fellow worker.
“I felt humiliated," Pérez told NBC News. "I felt I was not worth anything in this country."
Pérez said that last May she and a recently hired waitress, Janet Ruelas-Nava, exchanged a few words in Spanish about whether a dish was ready to go out at Osteria Fasulo in Davis, west of Sacramento.
Pérez said the owner, Leonardo Fasulo, heard them and started yelling at Ruelas, saying they shouldn't speak Spanish at work.
Judge rules against elderly lesbians rejected from retirement home
A federal judge this week ruled against a lesbian couple who sued a Missouri retirement home for rejecting their apartment application because their marriage is not "understood in the Bible.”
Bev Nance, 68, and Mary Walsh, 72, were married a decade ago in Massachusetts and have been in a committed relationship for roughly 40 years.
Gay man films landlady demanding he move because of visiting ‘homosexuals’
A gay man in Florida recorded his landlady demanding he move out of her apartment. He says she turned unwelcoming after learning about his sexuality. The relationship broke down just days after he moved in.
Randal Coffman, 22, moved into the home of Jackie Cooper in Middleburg, Clay County, Florida. Cooper rents out a small apartment on the back of her property which has a separate entrance.
Coffman moved in 1 December. He says two weeks later Cooper demanded he move out. He believes his landlady had a change of heart when she discovered he’s gay.
His landlady told him he wasn’t allowed to bring girls back to the property late at night. That’s when he informed her that wouldn’t be happening as he’s gay.
Gay Star News
How Tumblr's adult content crackdown could alienate users
Tumblr says it is banning images and videos that feature "adult content," including pornography, from its platform. The change, which will start December 17, threatens to alienate some of the blogging website's most active communities.
The company said Monday that it will no longer allow any images or videos of sex acts, nor will it allow "real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples." It will make exceptions for non-sexual content, including breastfeeding photos and "health-related situations," such as sex-reassignment surgeries and mastectomies.
The Trump Administration Just Asked The Supreme Court To Let It Enforce Its Transgender Military Ban
The Trump administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to take up three cases challenging the administration’s repeated efforts to bar transgender people from serving in the military. The move is the latest unusual filing at the high court by an administration that appears eager to leapfrog over appeals courts that have previously sided with challengers to the administration’s policies.
The effort to reverse Obama-era policies allowing for open transgender military service began when President Donald Trump tweeted out news of the ban in July 2017 and has been met with heavy skepticism from courts around the country since that morning.
COURT RULES NONCONSENSUAL SEX WITHOUT VIOLENCE DOESN’T COUNT AS RAPE
A Spanish court has cleared two men who had nonconsensual sex with a woman of rape because their actions weren’t “violent” enough to warrant such a verdict.
The victim’s “vulnerable nature” and prior alcohol intake allowed the pair to have sex with her without resorting to violent acts, the ruling said, according to the BBC.
The court jailed the men for sexual abuse rather than sexual assault—Spain's legal equivalent to rape.
The perpetrators—an uncle and nephew—received sentences of four and a half years. Sexual assault crimes can result in prison terms of up to 15 years in Spain, the BBC stated.
The U.S. is denying marriage benefits to this gay widower, so he’s suing the government
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has a policy that says a spouse must be married to their partner for at least nine months before they’re eligible to receive a deceased partner’s survivor benefits.
That’s not a problem for most couples, but it is for Michael Ely, a 65-year-old gay Arizona resident. He was denied SSA survivor benefits when his husband of six months died of cancer in 2015.
Ely and his partner Jim Taylor met in 1971 and they stayed together for the next 43 years. But because marriage wasn’t legal in Arizona until October 2014, they couldn’t marry until just before Taylor died.
“We got married as soon as we could, quickly gathering our loved ones together in less than three weeks,” Ely said. “But we were only able to be married for six months before I lost him to cancer.”
Letting go of the “no gender” utopia
Now that the U.S. government is threatening to define gender as only male or female, we need to fight more than ever for transgender rights. But the idea there should be no gender categories and we should live in a label-free world, as some have argued, is a utopian dream.
Pioneering scholar Dennis Altman spoke for many gay and lesbian activists at the beginning of the modern queer rights movement in 1971 when he suggested the battle for acceptance of human and legal rights for gay and lesbian people had only one goal: the eradication of the need for any such rights at all.
According to Altman, categories of sexuality were a necessary evil, but in an ideal world they would be replaced by “a new human who is no longer imprisoned by limitations of sexuality and compassion….”
Cultural theorists Daniel Harris and Bert Archer continue to embrace Altman’s original utopian vision. Harris gleefully announced the death of both gay culture and straight oppression in his 1997 book, The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture:
Trump is forcing 4-H to stop welcoming LGBTQ kids & the guy who tried to block him just got fired
The youth development and mentoring organization 4-H is the latest target of the Trump administration. The group is under fire for being too nice to LGBTQ youth.
After the international youth organization issued diversity guidelines meant to grow membership by ensuring all children felt welcome, evangelical Christians and anti-LGBTQ hate groups targeted the group to try to get the policy withdrawn.
The Trump administration, beholden to the far right for power, has taken up the cudgel on behalf of their political overlords once again and this time they’re going to war against children.
Supreme Court asked to mandate segregation for transgender students
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an anti-LGBTQ hate group, has yet another case it wants the Supreme Court to consider. This time, they’re hoping the justices will mandate that schools must segregate transgender students to single-use restrooms for the sake of other students’ “comfort.”
In its petition to the Court, ADF asks it to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that upheld a trans-inclusive policy at Boyertown Area Senior High School in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Third Circuit recognized that it is important to transgender students’ well-being to be recognized according to their gender identity and that excluding them from facilities is detrimental to both their physical and mental health. While the students ADF represents may have been uncomfortable, they are not suffering comparable discrimination or violations of privacy simply for being expected to share facilities with their transgender classmates.
Child bride auctioned on Facebook in 'barbaric use of technology'
Facebook has come under fire for a "barbaric use of technology" that allowed the sale of a child bride to be held on its site.
An auction was held on the social media platform for a 16-year-old girl in South Sudan which sought payment for her hand in marriage.
Facebook said the post was taken down as soon as the company learned of it, but that wasn't until after the girl was married.
According to children's rights organization Plan International, the girl was bid on by five men, some of whom were reportedly high-ranking South Sudanese government officials.
Man Sentenced to Life for Raping 7-Year-Old Girl Just 6 Weeks After Being Released for Another Rape
More than 420 suspects are being investigated in £100m Rotherham grooming inquiry after conviction of gang who forced girl to have sex with 'at least 100 Asian men' by the time she was 16