Homosexual Zone

May 24, 2011

The Church of Scotland voted to end a two-year ban on congregations appointing gay ministers.

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The Church of Scotland has voted to end an moratorium on ordaining gay ministers.

The Kirk’s leadership agreed to allow gay ministers who were ordained before May 2009 – when a temporary ban was imposed after the appointment of the Reverend Scott Rennie in Aberdeen – to put themselves forward to take over congregations if they chose to do so. The minister, who lives with his partner, was appointed as minister of Queen’s Cross Church, Aberdeen. His ordination was opposed by many in the church but his congregation voted overwhelmingly for him to become their minister.

However, a decision on whether to allow gay men and women to be ordained in the future will be delayed for two years until the report of a theological commission is received.

Kirk leaders said they believed gay ministers already ordained would not push for open recognition while the new theological commission is undertaken.

Rev Rennie’s appointment caused deep divisions between traditionalists and liberals. Research has found that one in five church members have said they will leave if out gay ministers are permitted. However, one in ten said they will leave if the ban continues.

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May 21, 2011

7th ANNUAL OUTMUSIC Awards ceremony next week

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Things are looking up for OUTMUSIC: Its seventh annual awards ceremony next week, honoring artists from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, will be at its largest venue to date and has drawn big sponsors including Live Nation. Originally scheduled for December 2010, the OUTMUSIC Awards were postponed due to economic difficulties. However, in response to the postponement, the organization has received overwhelming offers of support from companies and individuals in the community.

“So many openly gay recording artists and entertainers like Melissa Etheridge, Ricky Martin, Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres, Lance Bass and many others have exemplified courage to come out as an effort to erase the stigma associated with being openly gay in the music & entertainment industry,” says Diedra Meredith, chairwoman and CEO of OUTMUSIC –The LARA.

When it comes to mainstream music, “artists are often persuaded to pretend to be straight to get the best opportunity,” said Diedra Meredith. Under her stage name, Deepa Soul, she herself was told “to essentially stay in the closet” when signing a recording contract.

Ray Boltz leads nominees with four nods, including album of the year for “True.” Deepa Soul, Jason Walker and Christine Martucci are scheduled to perform. The show will be broadcast on the Logo Network at a later date.

Chely Wright, a former country music star who’s to be honored at Monday’s awards show at Irving Plaza, announced last year that she was gay. Wright was ostracized; radio stations stop playing her songs, and she was made to feel like an outsider in the industry. Wright said it was as almost as if she didn’t exist.

Though she wasn’t thrown out of the Academy of Country Music or had any Country Music Television appearances canceled, she said “I haven’t gotten any invites, either.” Wright said she knew of the possible consequences when she came out but was still confused by the ordeal because she was the same performer who had enjoyed a successful career since 1994.

“It’s not like I was planning to write gayer songs after I came out,” she said.

At one time, Wright was one of country music’s darlings. She was romantically involved with country star Brad Paisley, whom she credits as one of her two main loves before coming out.

Immediately after her announcement, Wright says OUTMUSIC embraced her and made her feel like she was part of a community again. Now she’s touring in support of her 2010 release, “Lifted Off the Ground.”

The 7th Annual OUTMUSIC Awards is sponsored by LIVE Nation Irving Plaza, Dot429, Pink Approved, GO! Magazine, LOGO, Hello World Communications, Make-Up Forever Paris, Orbitz and Paramount Hotel New York.

July 16, 2009

Lithuanian president expressed her disapproval of new law to keep gay info away from kids

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Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite, who took office last week, says she is upset that lawmakers passed a censorship bill that aims to keep information about homosexuality away from children.

Grybauskaite said on Thursday that although she is required to sign the bill into law, she would attempt to use constitutional tools to to propose amendments to the law later this year. She told reporters that it won’t be possible to implement the vaguely worded measure, which is set to take effect in March 2010.

She cited the vague wording of the measure, which bans the public dissemination of material deemed harmful to the “intellectual and moral development” of minors, including material that “agitates for homosexual, bisexual, and polygamous relations.”

Lithuanian lawmakers on Tuesday passed the bill which calls for banning the public dissemination of material deemed harmful to minors. The measure lists 19 examples of “detrimental” information, including material that “agitates for homosexual, bisexual, and polygamous relations,” instructions on how to make explosives and graphic depictions of violence or death.

It also bars information that gives credence to paranormal phenomena, hypnosis or “promotes bad eating.”

While critics said the text violated the freedom of speech and international standards of human rights, others said the vague wording would make it difficult to enforce.

The text does not define “public information” in detail, though it makes references to TV programs, films, computer games and advertising as well as online and print media accessible by children.

“This is absurd. I cannot even imagine how they will implement this law,” said Dainius Radzevicius, chairman of the Lithuanian Journalists Union.

Lithuania’s former president rejected the bill before he left office last week, but lawmakers voted 87-6 on Tuesday to override his veto. Forty-eight lawmakers either abstained or were absent in the 141-member legislature.

Supporters said the measure was necessary to defend traditional family values in the former Soviet republic of 3.4 million people, which joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

December 3, 2008

Barack Obama opposes gay military ban, but warns that any action might take a year

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When it comes to President-elect Barack Obama making good on his campaign promise to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” gays and lesbians—70 percent of whom voted for him—may have to be patient. Advocates of the repeal are warning that any action might take a year or more.

Given the host of issues on Obama’s plate, they say that some delay is understandable. But it may not simply be a fiscal crisis and two wars that could put off reversing the military policy, which mandates discharge of gays or lesbians if they speak about their sexual orientation or engage in homosexual conduct.

Instead, the delay could be a result of the repeal strategy that many advocates are encouraging Obama to pursue—one that would focus on consensus building and securing the military’s support.

The president-elect stated his opposition to “don’t ask, don’t tell” during the long campaign, and he included its repeal on the transition website’s agenda of issues. The fastest way to make good on his promise would be tacking a signing order onto a military appropriations bill, which President Bush has done in the past.
But Obama isn’t planning on taking that route. “I want to make sure that when we revert ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ it has gone through a process and we’ve built a consensus or at least a clarity of that, of what my expectations are, so that it works,” he said in a September interview. Such a process, he said, would include “getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be.”

A spokesperson for Obama’s transition team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said only that decisions would not be made until the national security team is in place.

A slow approach to change, however, worries Aaron Belkin, a leading expert on the issue of gays in the military, who says it likely will prolong the process without ensuring success. In the 24 foreign countries that overturned similar bans, he says, not once was the process initiated by the military. An early Obama supporter, Gen. Merrill McPeak, has even cautioned against repeal in remarks that Obama declined to repudiate publicly.

“Even the most hardcore opponents in the military understand that repeal is inevitable,” Belkin says. “But if you give them the option to weigh in, they will kick and scream for 50 years. Unless they are told what to do, the change will not happen.”

In fact, he warns, giving the opposition time to mobilize could hurt the repeal’s chances. That’s what happened when President Clinton attempted to make good on his campaign promise to allow gays into the military, sparking the fight that led to the passage of “don’t ask, don’t tell” as a compromise bill.

Most advocates of repeal, however, downplay the probability of a strong opposition. They point out that an ABC poll this summer found 78 percent of Americans in favor of gays serving openly in the military. More than 100 retired admirals and generals signed a letter as of last week calling for repeal, while a bill seeking to overturn the ban in Congress has accumulated 149 cosponsors.

Establishing consensus will take time, and repeal supporters say that overturning the ban might not happen until the end of 2009 or 2010.

November 21, 2008

Doctor Phil to host gay marriage debate today

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On Friday the 21st Doctor Phil will have discrimination attorney Gloria Allred, president of the Human Rights Campaign Joe Solmonese, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Pastor Jim Garlow, president of National Organization of Marriage Maggie Gallagher and co-campaign manager for the Yes on 8 Campaign Jeff Flint.

November 20, 2008

After Proposition 8 passes

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After Proposition 8 passed on the November 4th ballot in California, gay and lesbian singles have become highly focused on seeking long-term relationships that can lead to marriage, as evidenced by the dramatic, post-election increase in visits and registrations at onegoodlove.com. The Internet’s only relationship-minded online dating site created solely by gays and lesbians for gays and lesbians seeking loving, committed romances, oneGoodLove.com’s overall traffic increased over 300% since November 4th.

With so much national election focus on both equality for all citizens and gay and lesbian marriage rights, oneGoodLove.com’s Founder and President, Frank Mastronuzzi, isn’t surprised by the traffic surge to his dating site, which some are calling the “eHarmony for gays and lesbians.” “Since our launch, oneGoodLove.com has been very well received by the LGBT community, but with Proposition 8 passing and marriage rights being stripped from gay men and lesbians in California, our traffic and registrations have skyrocketed across the nation. We believe our traffic increase is a direct result of the LGBT community coming together to express their dissatisfaction with California’s voting outcome as well as their fundamental desire to create loving, romantic connections, which no vote will ever change.”

With many gay and lesbian marriage right protests being organized via online websites like Facebook.com, and on sites supportive of the LGBT community like Jointheimpact.com, gay and lesbian singles are socializing online now more than ever. “All of these discussions about Proposition 8 and its unfortunate passing serve as a constant reminder to lesbian and gay singles that love and marriage are possibilities in their lives too,” added Mastronuzzi.

November 19, 2008

Johansson is “flattered” to have inspired Katy Perry’s song I Kissed A Girl

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The Vicky Cristina Barcelona star – who recently married actor Ryan Reynolds – was unaware she had motivated Katy to pen the risque record.

She said: “I had no idea about the song, but I should get a cut! It’s really flattering, but my lips are kind of taken.”

Scarlett Johansson also spoke about her feud with Lindsay Lohan – which started when Lindsay was given the lead role in 1998 movie The Parent Trap over her and escalated when Lindsay allegedly wrote vulgar words about Scarlett on the wall of a New York toilet – insisting Lindsay is a nobody.

She said: “I really don’t know that person. I only met her, like, three times.”

Speaking about Lindsay’s bathroom scrawlings two years ago, Scarlett added to Allure magazine: “That’s what I heard. I don’t know what the motivation was behind that.

“I remember it was something really vulgar – I mean, shockingly so, like, ‘Whoa, what, who are you?'”

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