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Gender & Sexuality

Gender & Sexuality

Mormon leader gives anti-gay sermon after suicides -- Sign the open letter!

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  • Mormon Church Attempts to Re-Write History; On-Line Change Proof Sermon was Harmful and Dangerous
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  • Organizations to hold press conference and deliver petitions to Elder Packer calling on him to fully correct the factual record
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  • Stop the suicides: put an end to bullying in schools!
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Human Rights Campaign

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The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – continues to call on Elder Boyd K. Packer, president of the Mormon Church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, to correct his inaccurate and dangerous statements calling same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural,” claiming that it can be corrected and characterizing same-sex marriage as immoral. (Recently), the Mormon Church changed one set of words and eliminated an entire passage from Elder Packer’s sermon online. They didn’t go far enough.

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“People across this country still need to hear from Elder Packer that he was wrong and that his statements were dangerous,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Trying to re-write history is simply not good enough. Elder Packer and the Church must immediately and fully correct the factual record. Sexual orientation and gender identity is an immutable characteristic of being human and no matter how hard you pray, that won’t change.”

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Mormon leader gives anti-gay sermon after suicides -- Sign the open letter!, Human Rights Campaign

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  • Boyd K. Packer, the second-highest Mormon leader, said same-sex attraction is "impure and unnatural" and can be overcome, and that same-sex unions are morally wrong and "against God's law and nature."
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  • Please add your name to our open letter showing the Mormon Church hierarchy that it has risked further alienating vulnerable LGBT youth with potentially devastating consequences
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Stop the suicides: put an end to bullying in schools! Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign

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  • Ask US Education Secretary Arne Duncan: improve our nation's anti-bullying programs so we can end this tragedy.
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  • Making Schools Safer for Gay Students
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  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides
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Christine O'Donnell's Witchcraft

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  • It’s certainly a sick individual who brings Christ’s blood into a discussion about pornography, but then again, what besides an offensive mishmash of imagery should one expect from an ideologue who also suggests that the medical bills accrued by an AIDS patient are embodiments of God’s wrath?
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  • O’Donnell is wrong—wrong for America, wrong for Congress and wrong for Christianity—on so many levels that mere logic and common sense preclude supporting her.
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Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation

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Pat Oliphant

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Anyone want to ask Christine O’Donnell how many stars there are on the American flag? Because as a “2 + 2 = 5”-believing officer of the Thought Police, she just might insist that there are fifty-one—and keep you locked up in a chastity belt till you agree.

O’Donnell claims to know what’s going on in your brain and your heart when you’re at your most intimate, and it’s not Al Green-style love and happiness. O’Donnell instead equates sexual pleasure with impurity and lust, two demons that she wants excised from the American mind. It’s anyone’s guess, really, as to why she cares so much about what (or who) goes down in beds that she’s not sleeping in, but the senatorial candidate certainly has—pardon me—a hard-on for the sexual motives of her neighbors.

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"You can’t masturbate without lust,” she says, equating self-pleasure with adultery. (Who knew?) And she wrote in 1998, “I know many physical virgins who are not sexually pure. I know many virgins who are into pornography or who are 'doing everything but' with their boyfriends. On the flip side, I know many non-virgins who live beautiful, holy, pure lives through the power of Christ's blood.” Aside from the creepiness of O'Donnell's ability to channel the thoughts of a masturbating teenager’s mind, there’s also the logical conundrum of how someone who perceives the world in such a black-and-white, positive-or-negative fashion, can imagine such a vast gray area concerning sexuality and virginity. No hymen examinations for her, no ma’am—not intrusive enough. What’s more, it’s certainly a sick individual who brings Christ’s blood into a discussion about pornography, but then again, what besides an offensive mishmash of imagery should one expect from an ideologue who also suggests that the medical bills accrued by an AIDS patient are embodiments of God’s wrath?

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Making Schools Safer for Gay Students

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  • New report with recommendations and model legislation
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  • LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says
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  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides
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Cathy Renna

A new report documents the persistence of hostile and unsafe school environments that can result in lower educational outcomes and higher rates of depression and suicide for LGBT students.

The report, Safe at School: Addressing the School Environment and LGBT Safety through Policy and Legislation, contains a series of key policy recommendations to ensure schools are welcoming and safe for LGBT students. These recommendations cover areas such as school climate, curriculum, and the particular role of school sports in defining a school’s culture.

The report also contains model legislation for state legislatures to adopt, including general prohibitions against bullying, harassment, intimidation in schools, and sections addressing teacher education and professional development.  "The addition of a Model State Code to the analysis and recommendations in the report will encourage state legislatures to adopt a comprehensive and tested set of statutes to help remedy the problems of discrimination in our schools," said report co-author Sheila Kuehl, a former State Senator from California.

The overarching purpose of all recommendations from the report is to make schools safe and improve the quality of life for everyone within our education system. “In this area, educators are not required to change their personal values or religious beliefs,” said Stuart Biegel, author of a new book on the subject. “However, all students must be treated with equal dignity and equal respect by school officials, both under the law and as a matter of morality and common decency.”

Jointly released by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education, the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, and the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, the report is being formally release today at the National Education Association (NEA) headquarters.

The full report is available here.

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LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says, Huffington Post

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  • Unequivocally, the 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People demonstrates that LGBTQ students, faculty and staff experience a 'chilly' campus climate of harassment and far less than welcoming campus communities.
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  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides
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Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides, Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent
“Well, news flash: There are homosexual people all over the world. Having your kid meet a homosexual in school and possibly even having a nice conversation with one isn’t going to turn your kid into one.” --Tammy Aaberg

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Secrets and lies: National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Exposed!

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  • Along with our friends at the Courage Campaign, we've launched a website that pulls back the curtain on NOM for everyone to see.
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  • We'll post up-to-the-minute news on NOM over the coming months and years, so bookmark the site and come back often.
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Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign

Are you tired of the National Organization for Marriage, a.k.a. NOM, putting on a mask of tolerance for the media?

Are you sick of their claim that they speak for a majority of Americans – while they support extreme anti-gay zealots and keep their donors secret?

Well, we are. And today, along with our friends at the Courage Campaign, we're launching a website that pulls back the curtain on NOM for everyone to see.

NOM Exposed uncovers shocking secrets so people can get the real facts as NOM throws its weight around in race after race this election cycle. We'll post up-to-the-minute dirt on NOM over the coming months and years, so bookmark the site and come back often.

Check out our new site – then add your name to the "NOM Doesn't Speak for Me" petition and help spread the truth!

NOM recently released a slick new ad on behalf of Tom Emmer, the candidate for governor of Minnesota with ties to a group that condoned the execution of gays. The ad disguises NOM's anti-LGBT agenda behind a fake claim of protecting civil rights.

NOM even had the gall to compare itself to Martin Luther King, Jr., flashing images of his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. It's a flagrant distortion of reality – the latest in a history of deception since NOM opened for business during the Prop. 8 campaign.

NOMexposed.org is about spreading truth. We've spent months digging into NOM's funding, shady ties, ethics violations, and more. We created this site so that every time someone searches for NOM – voters, elected leaders, reporters – they'll get the real story. They'll find out that:

▪    Brian Brown, NOM's President, has said that "allowing gay marriage is akin to allowing polygamous marriage."
▪    Not to be outdone, NOM founder Maggie Gallagher has said same-sex marriage is worse than polygamy.
▪    NOM has close ties to the powerful and secretive right-wing religious group Opus Dei.
▪    Robert George, the "reigning brain of the Christian right" and Chairman of NOM's board co-authored the Federal Marriage Amendment that would have written anti-gay discrimination into the U.S. Constitution. He also believes that repealing antiquated laws banning sodomy will lead to incest.
▪    To hide its political activities, NOM has blatantly flouted campaign finance laws.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. We've tracked NOM's financial ties, showing how huge, secret donations have swelled its budget from $500,000 to $10 million in just three years. We've connected the dots to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church.

Now we need your help to get the word out – share shocking facts on Facebook and Twitter or spread the truth by simply passing this email along.

If you believe that strong families aren't about "straight" or "gay" but about love and commitment; if you're a person of faith; if you're straight or LGBT, married, partnered or single – add your name and say "NOM Doesn't Speak for Me." We'll share this petition with officials and the media in states where NOM is at work.

Visit NOMexposed.org – add your name, and share the truth with friends and family.

We've called NOM out before, whether revealing the audition tape for "Gathering Storm" or alerting the press to their lies. But NOM Exposed goes deep into the organization's roots and represents a commitment to keep tabs on their activity and connect the dots for voters.

NOM wants to claim the middle ground. But people don't know who they really are. We are not going to sit by and let them dictate the terms of the debate. We're going to expose the lies – not just today, but every day.

Won’t you join us?

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Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) In Legal Shambles

Last week (Sep 19-25), in a 56-43 vote, Senate Democrats failed to invoke cloture on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, falling several votes shy of the 60 need to break a Republican filibuster.

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The Progress Report, Think Progress

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Last week (Sep 19-25), in a 56-43 vote, Senate Democrats failed to invoke cloture on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, falling several votes shy of the 60 need to break a Republican filibuster. Along with concerns about voting to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy before the Pentagon completed its year-long review and the suggestion that the DREAM Act was unrelated to national defense, Republican Senators who say they support DADT repeal used procedural reasons to explain their vote against debating the measure. Republican  like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) took to the floor and equated repealing the ban against open service in the military to restricting the right of Republicans to offer alternative amendments.

"I was the sole Republican on the Committee that voted for the Lieberman-Levin language on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I think it's the right thing to do, I think it's only fair. I think we should welcome the service of these individuals who are willing and capable of serving their country," Collins insisted. "But I cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down debate and preclude Republican amendments. That too is not fair." Sen. Blance Lincoln (D-AR) similarly voted against cloture but said that she supported repeal of DADT. As Democrats now prepare to take up the defense authorization bill after the midterm elections, a series of court decisions have severely weakened DADT in the interim and galvanized opponents of the policy to pressure the administration into looking for alternative ways to begin the gradual process of ending the ban before the end of the year.

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