LGBT and your parents’ hangups keep ’em away? These moms will show.

❝ Four years ago, when Sara Cunningham came home from a pride festival in Oklahoma City, she was covered head to toe in glitter. She had spent the day offering free mom hugs or high-fives (“Not everybody’s a hugger,” she says) to passersby, and the love and joy she felt was palpable.

Unfortunately, so was something else.

❝ “That day, I went home with real horror stories,” she says. “I was broken from hearing from the community — kids who had been living out of their cars, kids who had been kicked out of their churches or homes for just for identifying as LGBT.”

Cunningham’s son is gay, and her experience at that festival led her and other ally mothers to form what is now “Free Mom Hugs,” a nonprofit organization that offers mother-like support to LGBT youth.

RTFA. Folks who feel love and decency towards all is critical to family and community. The kind of stuff mainstream religious folk – even many conservatives – believed when I was a kid. Not the religions and Trumpublicans that get all the headlines, nowadays.

Conservatives Attack Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cup “Gay Agenda”

Another year, another nutball controversy over a Starbucks holiday cup.

This season, Twitter is convinced that the cup features a same-sex couple holding hands. The illustration in question is part of this year’s “Give Good” theme, which lets customers color in their coffee cups.

Starbucks did not confirm or deny “the lesbianism of The Hands.” In a statement, the coffee company said, “Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season, and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”

In past years, conservatives have criticized Starbucks for the “war on Christmas” and being too secular in its holiday designs. Many also denounced the new cup for its possible “gay agenda,” with some promoting the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.

Bigoted, backwards and useless for anything but conservative cannon fodder. Please, meatheads, start a campaign for anyone whose mind is this corrupt to enlist in the US military. Encourage them to volunteer for Trump’s warzone-of-the-week. If we’re lucky their prejudice will overcome their natural-born cowardice and they can die for their 19th-Century stupidity.

As for me, even though I think my wife makes the best coffee on the planet, next time we’re in town I’ll have to stop and have a Starbucks Holiday Coffee. Just to stick my finger in the metaphorical eye of some bigot.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Religious nutballs try to intimidate LGBT neighborhood – Response is rainbow decorations, good cheer!

❝ According to Micah Latter, who lives on Gay Street in New York City, someone has been chaining a massive wooden cross to various fences around her neighborhood since Good Friday. It’s fairly safe to say that whoever is responsible is trying to make a statement, which is odd considering that the street was named in 1833, when the word ‘gay’ had a much different meaning.

❝ Latter explains on Instagram that the cross first showed up chained and locked to her apartment gate, and that the owner kept moving it around every few days. So this weekend, Latter’s neighborhood banded together to make sure whoever is moving the cross gets a surprise when they next pay a visit.

They turned it into a “love cross” by painting it in the rainbow colors of the pride flag.

❝ “As a Christian, the cross is a sign of love, peace, and hope and it was clear the mysterious owner of the cross was not sharing those same values…”

A friend suggested to Latter that she should celebrate the cross rather than letting it get to her. So on Saturday, she texted equally frustrated neighbors with her plan: “We’re rainbow painting the cross. I’ll bring paint and Champagne for anyone that can make it.”

❝ Latter estimates that more than 50 people showed up, and it wasn’t just neighbors.

❝ “My favorite part of the event were locals sharing the experience with strangers. We had two tourists from Brazil stay for the entire painting; we had kids skateboarding by stop to paint; we had many straight couples, gay couples, and a transgender couple all sit, paint, talk, and stand in the street sharing stories. It was a magical NYC moment.”

Latter also added her own locks, so that the owner can’t remove the cross. “It belongs to the street now…”

Right on!

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Top UK football league players and officials support LGBT community with rainbow weekend


Click to enlargeGary Cahill, captain of 1st place Chelsea FCGetty

❝ The Premier League showed their support for the LGBT community this weekend with players and officials alike wearing rainbow laces in matches across the country…

Players from the 20 top flight clubs wore rainbow laces as a show of support while captains from each side had their armbands donned with the rainbow colours.

❝ “The Premier League is all about exciting, passionate and unpredictable football that is for everyone, everywhere.

“The Rainbow Laces campaign complements the work clubs are doing to promote inclusion and diversity in their stadiums, and across all levels of the sport”…PL chief Richard Scudamore on the campaign.

❝ A number of Premier League clubs…changed their social media backgrounds to the rainbow colours as did various media outlets.

The Premier League has also become a member of TeamPride, an organisation’s whose mission is to make sport everyone’s game…TeamPride works with fans and supporters and encourages them to show their support for the LGBT community so as to create an environment in which they can feel safe and accepted.

Every top flight team took part in the awareness push…Officials also wore the laces with massive rainbow flags opening each game…

The rainbow laces campaign was designed by charity Stonewall UK with the Scottish FA following the Premier league’s lead with their own efforts this weekend.

Anyone holding their breath for a campaign this all-encompassing in American professional sport?

Sometimes you get what you need, sometimes you lose what you deserve to lose – eh, North Carolina?


Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports

The NBA has decided to hold the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans after taking the midseason event out of North Carolina because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

New Orleans, announced Friday as the new location of the game, replaces Charlotte, which was set to host the game until the NBA decided last month to move it elsewhere.

Unlike several other Southern states, Louisiana has not been swept up in legislative efforts to pass laws similar to that in North Carolina — a fact Gov. John Bel Edwards has touted while lobbying the NBA to bring its All-Star weekend to New Orleans.

“We embrace our rich cultural heritage and see our diversity as a virtue,” Edwards wrote in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in late July. “Should the NBA choose to bring the All-Star Game back to New Orleans in 2017, it will strongly reaffirm its commitment to communities that value fairness and inclusion.”

The NBA’s decision — and the economic boost it will bring — provides a timely dose of good news following disastrous flooding across large swaths of southeast Louisiana that has killed at least 13 people and damaged an estimated 40,000 homes…

This marks the third time New Orleans, which became an NBA city for the second time in 2002, has been selected to host the league’s All-Star Game.

A number of entertainment acts, including a Bruce Springsteen concert, have canceled North Carolina events because of its so-called HB2 law…

The Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights group working on behalf of lesbian, gay and transgender people, applauded the NBA’s decision to choose New Orleans.

The boycott is an old and honorable political act. The opportunity to stick it to a state controlled by voters who elect and re-elect bigots – and take away $100 million in revenue that would have landed in the North Carolina business community – is enough to make an cynical old Leftie like me smile for days.

That the process ends up benefitting the people of a state traumatized by natural disaster – and expands upon services rendered to needy folks by the kindness and social understanding of NBA athletes – is a special bonus.

Christians should apologize to gay people and ask for forgiveness — says Pope Francis

The gay community has long been marginalized by the Catholic community, German Roman Catholic Cardinal Reinhard Marx said last week, calling on the church to apologize.

On Sunday, Pope Francis obliged, extending his apologies to all disenfranchised groups for the harm and offense the church may have caused.

❝ “I think that the Church not only should apologize … to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by – being forced to – work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons.”…

“We Christians have to apologize for so many things, not just for this treatment of gays, but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologize! Forgiveness! Lord, it is a word we forget so often!” he said.

…On Sunday, Francis repeated his comments from 2013, extending them past himself to say,Who are we to judge?

“The questions is: If a person who has that situation, who has good will, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?” Francis said.

Yet, we live in societies all too often called to judge others by standards, definitions, ideology centuries out of date. If someone as deeply tied to the past as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church can find his way into the 21st Century and move willingly towards a modern understanding of human sexuality — what excuse remains for those who still choose hatred and fear.

Obama names an LGBT landmark – Stonewall Inn – as a national monument


Memorial to Orlando victims outside the Stonewall InnKathy Willens/AP

President Obama is designating a new national monument around the Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.

The Stonewall National Monument in New York City will be the first addition to the National Park System specifically highlighting the history of the LGBT community.

The monument covers nearly 8 acres in New York’s Greenwich Village including a landmark gay bar, the Stonewall Inn. In June of 1969, patrons at the bar fought back against police persecution — an event that’s widely seen as a watershed in the campaign for LGBT rights.

“Raids like these were nothing new, but this time the patrons had had enough,” Obama said in a White House video announcing the new monument. “So they stood up and spoke out. The riots became protests. The protests became a movement. The movement ultimately became an integral part of America.”…

Designation of the Stonewall monument comes just days before the first anniversary of the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. It also follows less than two weeks after 49 patrons at a gay bar in Orlando, Fla., were killed in a mass shooting.

Like most advances in civil rights for Americans, religious conservatives recognize the change as somehow limiting their own freedom. A critical point of hypocrisy that unites the politically backwards of America with their peers in history. Fools who believed that hating other human beings on the basis of skin color, religion [or non-religion], where their parents were born, etc., were characteristics that should define full citizenship in the Land of the Free.

Not worthy of much more than contempt.

Republican and other conservative bigots will cost cities millions in lost sports dollar$

Thirty states and hundreds of cities could be barred from hosting the biggest events in college sports after the NCAA announced this week that it won’t hold playoffs and championships in cities and states without civil-rights protections for gay and transgender people.

That could include moving the 2017 Men’s Basketball Final Four from Glendale, Arizona, and this year’s college softball championships from Oklahoma City. It also puts in limbo places such as Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Boise, Idaho; and Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina, which are scheduled to host men’s basketball playoff games in 2017 or 2018.

Following national controversy over a law in North Carolina that restricted protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said Wednesday that it will require cities and towns that want to host collegiate championships and the organization’s administrative conferences to “to demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event.”

…The policy change applies to places that have already been awarded games and those that would bid for future playoffs, said NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn, but the organization’s national office still needs to decide what standard sites must meet.

Only 18 states have broad laws that protect people based on sexual orientation or gender identity specifically in accommodation or sports venues, according to Human Rights Campaign Fund, a gay-rights group based in Washington.

“If people have the ability to turn you away from the hot dog stand because of how you look, that’s a big problem,” said Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for HRC and author of a city-level LGBT equality index. “It’s also about safety, because a transgender person coming to see their favorite team shouldn’t have to worry about where they go to the bathroom after they’ve had a few beers.”

❝ “The higher education community is a diverse mix of people from different racial, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation backgrounds,” Kirk Schulz, chairman of the NCAA board and incoming president of Washington State University, said in a statement. “It is important that we assure that community — including our student-athletes and fans — will always enjoy the experience of competing and watching at NCAA championships without concerns of discrimination.”

In a modern, civilized nation run by reasonable law – instead of the opportunist whims of cowards and conservatives, religious communities beholden to one or another sharia – these problems don’t exist.

This is nothing new. We went through the same crap breast-beating over women voting, ending official racist barriers. The bigots of America command a sizable legion of lockstep politicians willing to sell out constitution, country and progress to ensure their political power. Along with federal courts, we the people have often had to resort to the economic power of the boycott.

So it shall be, once again.