Zachary Crane // Artist // Paint Session
Someone just earned his merit badge in pulling his head out of his ass.
The Associated Press reports:
The national president of the Boy Scouts, Robert Gates, says the organization's longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable and is urging change in order to avert potentially destructive legal battles. In a speech Thursday in Atlanta to the Scouts' national annual meeting, Gates referred to recent moves by Scout councils in New York City and elsewhere to defy the ban. "The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained," said Gates, a former U.S. secretary of defense. Gates said no change in the policy would be made at the national meeting. But he raised the possibility of revising the policy at some point soon so that local Scout organizations could decide on their own whether to allow gays as leaders.
Last December, the prestigious journal Science published a study that was really good news for marriage equality supporters. The study found that when canvassers spent 20 minutes talking to people, those people were more likely to be supporters of marriage equality. Moreover, that change of opinion was likely to be long-lasting.
“A lot of time we find in social science that most things don’t work, they don’t change people’s minds,” said Michael LaCour, the lead author of the study. “But we found that a single conversation was able to change voters’ minds up to a year later.”
The study was heralded as a major finding. As it turns out, it was also a major fraud.
When other researchers tried to replicate the findings, they failed. They also discovered that the data hadn’t been collected as described, the project wasn’t funded as described and in fact there probably wasn’t any survey of attitude change at all.
That led LaCour’s co-author, Donald Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University, to ask to have the paper retracted. “I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green said.
LaCour, who is a doctoral student in political science at UCLA, hasn’t responded to the charge that he made it all up. He has tweeted that he’s “gathering evidence” and looking forward to “addressing the concerns raised.” In the meantime, he may want to consider looking for another career.
Photo credit: LaCour’s Twitter account
A mother and her gay son from Midland, Michigan have come forward with new information about how Reverend Matthew Makela behaved in his position as associate pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church before Queerty broke the news about his Grindr profile earlier this week.
Jennifer Kish says Makela nearly drove her then 17-year-old son Tyler to suicide.
“We had moved to Midland specifically to go to this church,” Jennifer told WNEM, but when Tyler was beginning to come to terms with his sexuality, Makela told him he’d be going to hell because he was gay.
Makela’s fire and brimstone (not to mention entirely hypocritical) warning caused Tyler to suffer serious depression and suicidal thoughts, and he reportedly told Tyler that the “sin of being gay is no different than the sin of committing suicide.”
“If he’s going to hell for being gay then he might as well commit suicide,” Jennifer said.
“What I took away from that is that I needed to repent and hold onto the hope that God could change me,” Tyler recalled.
Jennifer added that Makela became active on social media when her son came out, publicly broadcasting that it was wrong for Tyler to be gay and urging Jennifer not to support him.
Even before Makela was exposed, Jennifer confronted Makela about his dangerous attitude.
“Kinda set me into action, tell him what he could have done, other kids didn’t have a support system like Tyler had,” she said.
“I wish him happiness, but only as his truest self,” Tyler added.
Watch the segment below:
Here’s a follow-up segment in which Tyler shares his story:
Will Helm by jean
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The Texas House is expected to vote today on a so-called "Pastor Protection Act" championed by anti-LGBT hate groups. Senate Bill 2065, which has already cleared the Senate, is almost certain to pass, and Gov. Greg Abbott has said he'll sign it.r
The bill would protect pastors and churches from being forced to participate in same-sex weddings. Of course, pastors and churches already enjoy those protections under the First Amendment, but LGBT advocates say the Texas bill is written too broadly and could be used by pastors who also serve as government employees as a basis for discriminating against same-sex couples.r
Pro-LGBT groups are also warning that Republicans could attempt to amend the "Pastor Protection Act" with other anti-gay legislation. The Texas Freedom Network wrote Wednesday:r
"We’re down to just 12 days left in the 2015 legislative session, and attacks on LGBT equality are becoming increasingly desperate. Rumors are swirling about potential amendments to SB 2065, which is scheduled for debate by the House tomorrow.r
"This could be the last gasp for mean-spirited legislation like [Rep.] Cecil Bell’s 'Defy the Supreme Court' effort to block marriage equality in Texas, or [Rep.] Scott Sanford’s proposal to permit discrimination against LGBT families in the adoption and foster care system. Either of those previously dead bills could rise tomorrow as an amendment."r
Bell told The Texas Observer he doesn't intend to introduce his anti-gay marriage legislation as an amendment to the Pastor Protection Act, because such a move could jeopardize the whole bill:r
“A lot of work’s been done on that bill, and I don’t want to compromise that bill,” Bell said. “The intent is to assert the sovereignty of the state of Texas. If I can find a place to do that, then I’ll do that. But I’m not going to compromise the very structure and value system that I’m trying to affirm in that process.”r
Eighty-seven of the House's 150 members were co-authors of an identical bill, so the Pastor Protection Act should easily pass.r
Even though it accomplishes virtually nothing, the bill is being championed by anti-LGBT groups including Texas Values and the Texas Pastor Council, which have latched onto it because none of their other legislation is moving.r
From the Observer:r
“It suggests that really the goal here to increase hostility and animosity toward gay and lesbian couples who want to get married, rather than to protect pastors from having to perform their marriages, because pastors are already protected from doing that if they don’t want to,” Texas Freedom Network spokesman Dan Quinn said.r
Nevertheless, if SB 2065 is the only unfavorable measure that passes out of more than 20 anti-LGBT proposals that were introduced, advocates won’t hang their heads.r
“It’s certainly encouraging that some of the really bad bills appear to be going nowhere, and that the only bill that’s moving forward does essentially what the law already does,” Quinn said. “If we can get out of the session without any of those other bills passing, it would clearly be a big step forward.”r
Sabra Hummus has launched a new 60-second spot featuring three couples, one of which happens to be real-life married couple Larry Sullivan (right) and Dave Monahan.r
Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Sullivan and Monahan are both actors (you might recognize Sullivan from his roles on Modern Family, CSI, or Will & Grace and Monahan from Crossing Jordan or - way back - Dawson's Creek, though both have appeared in dozens of roles in TV and film).r
We asked Sullivan, a longtime Towleroad reader, for a bit of behind-the-scenes commentary on how a commercial spot like this, with a real-life couple (and it's not the first time for them), comes about.r
"I got a call for an audition, just like any other. They were looking for a same-sex couple for a Sabra Hummus spot. Not necessarily a real life gay couple, but I asked my agents if I should bring Dave, anyway. My agents called the casting directors, who know both of us, and they said, 'Absolutely.' So, we both went on the first audition together. Actually, I remember being paired up with someone else, since there was a large group of actors there, and asking, 'Is it okay if I go in with my legal husband instead?' They laughed."r
After the first audition and callback for the director and agency they got the spot.r
"They were looking for chemistry and history more than anything and I guess we just had that, naturally, after almost 14 years together," adds Sullivan. "We really DO buy that Hummus. Our son loves it, too.They weren’t trying to make any kind of statement or anything, we just got the job as 'another couple in one of the vignettes.' I LOVE how much things are changing…have changed. Let’s hope we keep moving forward."r
With the firestorm still raging, real estate developer Ian Reisner has once again apologized for his decision to host a reception and dinner at his Manhattan penthouse (alongside business partner Mati Weiderpass) for virulently anti-LGBT senator and 2016 candidate Ted Cruz last month.r
Reisner, who back in January paid $10.1 million for a commercial strip along the Fire Island Pines, has also pledged to redouble his support for LGBT causes and cut a $20,000 check for the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA) PAC.r
In the wake of the controversy, some in the Fire Island Pines community sought to distanced themselves from the two hoteliers.r
FIPPOA President Jay Pagano stated that he had recently met with Reisner and was given the following apology that was read at the group's spring meeting:r
A study survey of 10,000 New York City teens over the course of three years revealed that gay and bisexual teens are twice as likely to get pregnant over their heterosexual peers reports nydailynews.com. The survey study conducted through the Center for Disease Control measured sexual orientation in two different ways: how an individual behaves sexually and how an individual labels their sexuality.r
The study found that women who identify as bisexual or lesbian, along with women who chose not to label their sexuality but admitted to sleeping with men and women, were more likely to experience a pregnancy than the 14.3 percent of heterosexual female students and 10.8 percent of heterosexual male students who experience one. The same results apply to men who identify as gay, bisexual or admit to sleeping with both men and women.r
It's unclear why the rates are higher among LGB youth however, the possibility of LGB youth hiding their true orientations through entering heterosexual relationships combined with a lack of proper sexual education is listed as a possible reason for the higher LGB youth pregnancy rate.
The Pride flags were out in force on Tuesday night during Russia’s performance at the Eurovision semi-final.r
At last year’s Eurovision final, Russian act the Tolmachevy Sisters received a less than enthusiastic reception. This year however, the audience appeared to be generally enthusiastic during Polina Gagarina’s performance of “A Million Voices”.r
Rob Watts, who was at the semi-final co-hosted by Conchita Wurst in Vienna, told BuzzFeed that he noticed many more pride flags in the audience during Russia’s song than in any other performance. “We were all told to be nice to all the countries ‘no matter who is in charge.’ We were asked not to boo anyone.”r
His friend Laura Cress said “there seemed to be much less resistance [and] apart from the extra flags everyone around us actually really liked the Russian entry.”r
Gagarina is likely a shoe-in to win but with Australia performing and voting for the first time anything could happen especially as Moldova’s ridiculous but brilliant entry “I Want Your Love” (right) and the Netherlands' old-school entry didn’t even qualify for the finals.r
Watch “A Million Voices”, “I Want Your Love” and the Netherlands' entry, AFTER THE JUMP...r
The second semi-final takes place tonight followed by the grand final on Saturday.rrrrr
ABOVE: That infamous “FAGS” receipt was actually just a joke.
Amazing al Qaeda document dump.
Aloha, Matt Bomer's nipples!
Man whose HIV took 30 years to show symptoms.
That infamous anti-gay church in Harlem is really spreading Christian love.
DIPDONNA!: Madonna dating Diplo?
Megyn Kelly's guest calls out Fox for “creating cloud of corruption” around Hillary.
Trespassing gynocopter pilot looking at hard time.
Duggar dad turned in his own son, Josh, for child molestation???
Ted Cruz won't deny personal contempt for LGBT people.
David Letterman signs off for good.
Maya Rudolph parodies over-singers.
BELOW: Check out the BULGE on this one.
I missed it in the theaters (did you?), but the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending arrives on Blu-ray and digital HD on June 2 from Warner Bros. Entertainment.
From a press release:
Channing Tatum (Magic Mike, Foxcatcher) and Mila Kunis (Oz the Great and Powerful) lead a cast that includes Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Douglas Booth (Noah), Tuppence Middleton (The Imitation Game), Doona Bae (Cloud Atlas), James D'Arcy (Hitchcock) and Tim Pigott-Smith (Alice in Wonderland).
Jupiter Jones (Kunis) was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but waked up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people's houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine (Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along.