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District proposes pro-gay t-shirt settlement
The school district issued press release saying that, in the proposed settlement of the case, Couch would be paid $20,000 and would be allowed to wear the T-shirt in school whenever he wanted. They had already allowed him to wear it for the National Day of Silence in April.
Couch tried to wear the shirt during the 2011 Day of Silence, and was told by his principal that he either had to hide its message or face disciplinary action. Couch, represented by Lambda Legal, sued the district for violating his first amendment rights. The school administration said that the shirt was sexual in nature, and was therefore inappropriate to wear in school.
Superintendent Patrick Dubbs said that the settlement was offered, in part, because taking the case to trial could cost the district over $100,000.
SPLC complaint against anti-gay therapist
Portland, Ore.—The Oregon Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association received complaints on May 8 that a Portland psychiatrist subjected a University of Oregon student to “conversion therapy.”
Max Hirsh, 22, went to the doctor in early 2011 seeking treatment for depression, but stopped going to the psychiatrist after realizing that the doctor was subjecting him to therapy intended to change his sexual orientation.
The complaint letter, sent by the Southern Poverty Law Center, accuse the doctor of violating professional ethics by failing to respect Hirsh’s sexual orientation; the doctor focused on the reason for his sexual orientation rather than looking more deeply for the roots of his depression.
“Indeed, Dr. [redacted] chose to direct his focus on what he believed to be the causes of Mr. Hirsh’s orientation, presumably in order to encourage Mr. Hirsh to question whether he was in fact gay,” the letter reads. “Dr. [redacted] then suggested to Mr. Hirsh that he would likely lead an unhappy life and have unfulfilling romantic relationships if he continued to identify as gay - incredibly damaging statements to any patient in a vulnerable state like Mr. Hirsh.”
The letter noted that a wide array of professional organizations condemn conversion therapy, and asserted that the doctor harmed Hirsh with his actions and statements, exacerbating the depression that caused him to seek treatment in the first place.
Maurice Sendak has died at 83
Maurice Sendak died of complications from a stroke, five years after the death of his partner of 50 years, psychoanalyst Eugene Glynn.
While he kept his sexual orientation a secret early in his career, thinking it would adversely affect his ability to get work writing and illustrating children’s books. By the time he was entrenched and willing to talk about it, nobody asked him.
In 2008, he was asked by a New York Times reporter what question he was surprised nobody asked him in interviews, and he said that he was surprised nobody brought up the fact that he was gay.
While his homosexuality, like his Judaism and growing
Bullied student expelled over stun gun
After pulling it to fend off his tormentors, however,
Young was expelled from
Young’s mother, Chelsea Grimes, said that when she complained to school officials about the bullying, they acted as if it were her son’s fault because he was too “flamboyant.”
On April 16, Young was surrounded by six other students who threatened to beat him up. He pulled the stun gun, which must be held to a person to work, from his backpack and set off the electric spark harmlessly, sending his would-be assailants running.
He was handcuffed later by school police officers and arrested.
Despite insisting that the school district has strong anti-bullying policies, Arsenal Tech principal Larry Yarrell said that school staff had been trying to get Young to dress in a more masculine fashion. He likes to borrow his mother’s jewelry and purses.
“If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they’re going to say whatever it is that they want to say,” he told the Indianapolis Star. “Because you want to be different and because you choose to wear female apparel, it may happen. In the idealistic society, it shouldn’t matter.”
Pastor says punch gay-acting children
Sean Harris’ sermon went viral on the internet, screaming about punching young children who act gay, and “cracking” limp wrists.
He said that it is all right for girls to play sports, as long as they try to look pretty doing so.
The website www.goodasyou.org ran the audio in a blog post on May 1.
“Ex-gay” confab canned due to no interest
Albuquerque,N.M.—Exodus International’s Love Won Out Conference, traditionally one of the largest “ex-gay” gatherings in the nation, if not the world, was canceled due to lack of interest.
The conference, slated for May 19, drew 1,000 attendees in Exodus’ salad days, but the last conference had around 400 people.
Last year, Exodus International held a secret meeting to try to come up with ways to rebrand the organization, which has seen repeated defections and repudiations over the last few years, including former leaders and founder recanting their earlier beliefs that sexual orientation can be changed.
The email sent to registered would-be attendees gives them the option of getting a partial or full refund of their registration fees, converting some or all of those fees to a donation to the organization or transferring the fees to another of the organization’s events this year.
Ousted Judges Receive Courage Award
Former Justices David Baker and Michael Streit and former Chief Justice Marsha Ternus were ousted in a special retention election. All three were presented with the award by Caroline Kennedy.
The award is given to public servants who worked
for the benefit of their communities
and was established in 1989 by
the Kennedy family to honor the
slain president. In 2012,
UMC: homosexuality “incompatible”
The May 3 vote saw supporters of changing the Book of Discipline to fully include LGBT people moving to the margins of the room to illustrate how the church was marginalizing gays and lesbians. After a recess, those supporters stayed outside and sang.
The debate over the proposed change saw one African
delegate say that God does not
create gay men and lesbians,
and comparing homosexuality to
bestiality. The UMC is making
inroads in the “global south,” places
like South America, Asia and
Virus detected in those taking HIV meds
All 101 men in the new study were on highly active antiretroviral therapy, 80 percent of them for over a year. Scientists measured the viral loads in their blood and semen, and checked for coinfections.
Around 20 percent of the men in the study had detectable HIV levels in their blood despite medication, but 30 percent had detectable levels in their semen. Researchers said the levels were high enough to carry the risk of infecting others through unprotected sex.
Two of the factors that seemed to correlate with detectable HIV levels in semen were having another sexually transmitted infection, and being a top in unprotected anal sex.
Other studies have shown that, even with an undetectable viral load, HIV can still be transmitted.
Rev. Jane Adams Spahr wins support
The presbytery refused to rebuke Spahr for performing same-sex weddings, voting 74-18 to support her. The weddings were performed during the window between when the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage and the voters passed Proposition 8, which barred the marriages constitutionally.
Spahr has been fighting the charges against her in ecclesiastical court since 2010.
Fox reporter praises Obama
Smith’s statements brought vitriol from right-wing pundit Rush Limbaugh, who asked on his radio show if Smith could show him anywhere that same-sex marriage had won at the ballot box. “Shep, where has the issue won? Where has the issue been victorious, Shep, outside your house?”
Shepard Smith, who was married to a woman from 1987 to 1993, was on Out Magazine’s Power 50 list in April 2011, despite not being out. Shepard Smith also took Rick Santorum to task earlier in the year on the former Republican candidate’s campaigning on an anti-gay platform. |
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