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As the United Methodist Church, America’s third-largest religious denomination, teetered on the edge of a schism this week over some members’ refusal to embrace queer Christians, one young gay college student stepped up to plead for his future in the church.
Jeffrey “J.J.” Warren, a United Methodist from New York, approached a microphone inside the vast St. Louis, Missouri, auditorium on Monday, where a conference convened to determine the UMC’s position on queer relationships is taking place.
The delegates had just voted against considering a plan that allowed regional bodies in the UMC to independently decide whether to conduct same-sex marriages and ordain gay clergy. The proposal would have also removed language from the church’s rulebook that states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
Instead, a majority of delegates (56 percent) affirmed a plan that would have enforced bans against queer weddings and queer clergy more strictly. It was a preliminary vote ahead of a final decision expected on Tuesday.
McKellen chatted with podcast host Ethan Davis, host of the #QueerAF podcast as part of the National Student Pride 2019 event in London. When the subject turned to sexual misconduct by Spacey & Singer, and the #MeToo movement, McKellen got direct. “Well frankly, I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something,” the actor quipped, “and me wondering whether they’re not telling the truth and me having forgotten [pointing to head] you know.”
McKellen’s attitude then turned serious. “But with the couple of names you’ve mentioned, people I’ve worked with, both of them were in the closet. And hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people, if they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’ve been accused.”
The admission seems to confirm that McKellen accepts the charges against his frequent X-Men collaborator Singer and his friend Spacey as true. Davis then injected that neither Singer nor Spacey has accepted that they’ve done anything wrong. McKellen then went on to address the pariah status in Hollywood for anyone accused of sexual misconduct. “Whether they should be forced to stop working,” McKellen observed, “that’s debatable. I rather think that’s up to the public. Do you want to see someone who has been accused of something that you don’t approve of again? If the answer’s no, then you won’t buy a ticket, you won’t turn on the television. But there may be others for who that’s not a consideration. And it’s difficult to be exactly black and white.”
Named The Gender Guardian, the school offers a full 12 years of academic education from the primary level to matriculation, and then leading up to college.
The school will also impart technical education, such as fashion designing, beautician and hair styling courses, graphic designing, computer and mobile repairing, among others.
Asif Shahzad, the school’s founder, told DawnNewsTV that the school has been built by an NGO named Exploring Future Foundation and that after the Lahore branch’s opening, two more such schools will be established in Islamabad and Karachi.
Los Angeles-based street artist Plastic Jesus made a replica of The Upside star and placed it near the Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars will take place Sunday.
The Hart-themed sculpture is designed to look like an Oscar statue, and shows the comedian wearing a gold suit and holding the gay pride flag. The words “Hollow Apology” are written across the base of the statue.
Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars in December amid controversy over homophobic tweets he posted almost a decade earlier that were resurfaced on Twitter.
After initially saying he “passed” on an apology — despite a plea from the Academy — Hart ultimately did just that and apologized via Twitter on Dec. 6, writing: “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
Hart’s apology apparently wasn’t enough for Plastic Jesus, who erected his statue on Hollywood Boulevard earlier this week.
“AND THE WINNER IS…” This year’s Oscar statue ‘Hollow Apology’ featuring Kevin Hart,” the artist captioned a photo of his statue Thursday on Instagram.“Over the past decades most countries have made great inroads fighting homophobia and hate, however the current divisive rhetoric seems to have taken us back to the 1970’s,” he added. “So much of the Entertainment industry output comes from LGBTQ Individuals we should be celebrating it and not creating a hateful environment.”Plastic Jesus is known for making bold statements about Hollywood and politics with his art.
In 2016, he placed a tiny “border wall” topped with razor wire and miniature U.S. flags around then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In March 2017, a lesbian student came out to Nicholas Breiner, a choral teacher at J.B. McNabb Middle School in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, and said her parents didn’t approve of her sexual identity.
Shortly thereafter, the student attempted suicide. Luckily, the student’s friend notified Breiner as soon as she read the suicide note, and police were able to intervene in time to stop the student from killing herself, but the incident left Breiner shook.
Breiner is bisexual, but he’d never come out to any of his students. Reflecting on her attempted suicide, he asked himself:
“If she knew long before that I, a teacher she liked and had a good relationship with, knew exactly what she was feeling, would she have gotten to that point? It’s impossible to know but, with the possibility that I could save even a single life, I could no longer ethically stay in the closet. I needed to value my students’ safety and well-being over my own privacy.”
He then went onto his Instagram and came out in a (now deleted) post which said:
”I honestly never intended to come out. I’ve known I was bi for years but, as far as I was concerned, that was nobody’s business but my own. It’s something I have never pursued and, honestly, likely never will. A couple of weeks ago, however, I was working with a person who was struggling. This was partially due to their orientation. I felt that they needed to know there was someone in the room that understood and supported them, regardless of who they were. As terrifying as it was to admit, I had to value someone else’s well-being over my own privacy. After a lot of support from people I decided that 30 years was long enough to wait. Hey world, I am what I am.”
The day he returned to school, administrators sent a fellow teacher to monitor his class. Afterwards, he was sent to the principal’s office and told to keep his “sexual preferences” private from students, lest parents think he was challenging students’ religious beliefs.
A month and a half later, District Superintendent Matthew Thompson wrote him a letter stating that his contract with the school wouldn’t be renewed because “of his teaching technique, lack of classroom management and that he failed to post grades in a timely manner.”
R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times, TMZ, The Blast, and the Chicago Tribune’s Megan Crepeau report.
According to the Sun-Times, a no-bail warrant for Kelly’s arrest has been issued and he is due in court on March 8. Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx will detail the charges against Kelly today (February 22) at a press conference at 3 p.m. Eastern. The Sun-Times also reports that the alleged victims in the prosecution’s case against Kelly were abused between 1998 and 2010. Prosecutors assert that the alleged victims were between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of the crimes. Pitchfork has contacted R. Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg for comment.R. Kelly continues to face allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct, most recently outlined in the Lifetime series “Surviving R. Kelly.” Last week, it was reported that a videotape that allegedly shows Kelly sexually assaulting an underage girl was handed over to Kimberly Foxx. In January, after Lifetime aired “Surviving R. Kelly,” Foxx held a press conference during which she encouraged any survivors and witnesses with information about Kelly to contact her office in order to initiate an investigation.
Yesterday, two more women stepped forward with more allegations of sexual misconduct levied against Kelly. One of the women, Latrice, said she was 16 years old when Kelly had sexual intercourse with her after giving her drugs and alcohol. The other woman, Rochelle, alleged that Kelly exposed himself to the two of them and asked the then-teenage girls for a threesome.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic’s gay partner has given birth in what the PM’s office said was a first for a world leader.
A statement said the birth mother, Milica Djurdjic, and baby, reportedly a boy named Igor, were “doing fine”.
Ms Brnabic, 43, became both Serbia’s first female and first gay prime minister in June 2017.
Her appointment was seen as a surprise move for the Balkan nation where same-sex marriage is not recognised.
“Ana Brnabic is one of the first prime ministers whose partner has given birth while in office… and the first in the world in a same-sex couple,” the AFP agency quoted her office as saying.The country’s constitution explicitly defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, and gay civil partnerships are not officially recognised.
Same-sex couples are also barred from adopting children, though single people can adopt regardless of their sexual orientation.
Serbia has several laws in place to tackle discrimination, inequality and hate speech, but activists argue that not enough is being done to expand these rights or enforce them.
Critics have spoken out against Brnabic, arguing that she has not done enough to bolster LGBT rights.
A transgender woman has launched the world’s first range of specially designed luxury lingerie – for trans women.
She said trans women who haven’t had surgery have few options to help conceal their genitals – and what’s out there is a far cry from anything found on the shelves of Victoria’s Secret and Anne Summers.
Carmen Liu, 27, from London, has designed flattering underwear that ‘tucks’ the genitals in while featuring pretty bows and lace trimmings usually found on conventional lingerie.
Slamming the traditional ‘gaff’ – which she describes as the “love child of Borat’s mankini and a jock strap” – Carmen says all women deserve the experience of wearing sexy lingerie.
She is also adding bras to the range to match her innovative bottoms, which keeps the area down below looking flat with a secret combination of design and fabric.
As well as underwear, the entrepreneur is also bringing out her own ‘tucking tape’ – which is safe for skin and a less painful alternative to household tapes that many trans women use.Carmen said: “It’s something I think is very important.
“What a lot of trans women do is they use tape, a household tape or even Gaffa Tape.
“Taking that off is very damaging to skin. They want it to be flat and look as feminine as possible and not be spotted as transgender.
“It can also be such a worry, you are worrying all day about having to pull this tape off, it’s not pleasant.
“The tape we have designed is safe to use on the skin. It allows trans women to be able to tuck comfortable and safely.
“You don’t want to be damaging down there, you just want it to be simple – as simple as putting on your eye lashes.”
Carmen, who is originally from Morecambe Bay in Lancashire, said she burst into tears when trying on her first prototype – because she had never felt so comfortable.
The lingerie have cotton gussets inserted into them – just like cisgender underwear.
Transgender woman launches world's first range of luxury lingerie - for transgender women | SWNS TV - YouTube
ennis star Martina Navratilova has claimed transgender women in sport are ‘cheating’ unless they have irreversible surgery to change their anatomy.
The nine-times Wimbledon champion, 62, says she is happy to address transgender athletes by whichever pronoun they desire, but would not be happy to compete against them unless they have fully transitioned.
This is the second time Navratilova has spoken out on the subject, following a furious Twitter row with transgender female cycling champion Rachel McKinnon at the end of last year.
Writing in the Sunday Times today, she said: ‘To put my argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies. It’s insane and it’s cheating.’ Navratilova says she supports Caster Semenya, the intersex South African runner born a woman but with naturally high testosterone levels.
Semenya is this week launching legal action against the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), claiming their new rules that women with high ‘male’ hormones’ should take medication that lowers them are discriminatory.
Czech-born Navratilova has campaigned widely for LGBT rights after coming out as a lesbian in 1981 and being faced with mass homophobic abuse.
A FOX News poll found that 25% of Americans believe God wanted Donald Trump to become president, echoing comments Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a couple of weeks ago.
Or to put it another way, 25% of Americans are confident in their speculation about the political thoughts of a fictional being. (We are not a smart people.)
Also interesting is that only 55% of white evangelical Christians agreed that God wanted a Trump presidency. 31% said God didn’t. How is it possible that those people believe God is all-knowing and all-powerful… yet had no control over an election?
That said, there are also progressive Christians who would argue God doesn’t make mistakes and would likely say God wanted Trump in the White House because of “mysterious ways” and all. So the 25% number includes people who aren’t thrilled about his presidency.
Here’s an idea, though: To all those Christians who believe God wants Trump in the White House, do the rest of us a favor and just don’t vote in 2020. Let God take care of Trump’s re-election. The rest of us can vote for his opponent. If your faith is strong, then my side can’t possibly win, right?