He did it the old-fashioned way, too.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Creation Museum, the horrifying Kentucky institution that teaches children and anyone else willing to listen all sorts of Bible-based creationist inaccuracies. Like that humans walked the earth with dinosaurs, which would only makes sense given the indisputable fact that the earth is 6,000 years old.
Well one whack-job museum just isn’t enough for the Creation Museum’s creators. Now they’re planning a second Kentucky outpost, The Ark Encounters, dedicated to educating the masses on the Biblical Great Flood, and specifically the totally real story of Noah’s Ark.
But here’s the kicker. Answers in Genesis, the group building the new park set to open in 2016, is seeking $18 million in tax incentives from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority while barring gays, lesbians and anyone else who doesn’t prescribe to their creationist dogma from applying for a job.
A job ad posted on their website (which has since been removed) states that applicants must adhere to a “Statement of Faith” that would disqualify anyone but creationist fundamentalist Christians from doing everything from operating attractions to washing dishes at the park.
“In order to preserve the function and integrity of the ministry in its mission to proclaim the absolute truth and authority of Scripture and to provide a biblical role model to our employees, and to the Church, the community, and society at large, it is imperative that all persons employed by the ministry in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to our Statement of Faith, to include the statement on marriage and sexuality, and conduct themselves accordingly.”
The public funding conflict was first pointed out by Kentucky Paleontological Society president Daniel Phelps in an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader, titled “Non-Christians need not apply” in which he wrote:
“The tax incentive, along with the city tax breaks, and the parcel of land sold to the project at a discount by Williamstown, plus $200,000 cash given by the Grant County Economic Development Commission is clearly a case of government entanglement with religion.”
h/t Gay Star News
Even by the lofty standards of nuttiness that reflexive homophobes have established, we are seeing a bumper crop of amazingly loony (and offensive) remarks from the political fringe.
Here’s just a sampling from the past several days:
The Tea Party of Louisiana has declared Sen. David “Sorry About That Prostitution Ring” Vitter a traitor because he supports the Common Core education curriculum, which is proven to turn children gay. The problem is the Party cites a parody website that warns visitors “If you believe any of the shit you read here you are a freaking moron.” Indeed.
Michelle Duggar, a Z-list reality star from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, is making robocalls against a nondiscrimination measure in Fayetteville, Ark., claiming that transgender people are “males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female.” (Proof that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, oldest son Josh works for the homophobic Family Research Council.)
The ever-reliable Bryan “I Love Black Males” Fischer has declared that “somebody who is engaged in sexually deviant behavior is not qualified to hold public office.” Fischer was riffing on the case of Rosemary Lehmberg, the county district attorney in Texas. Then-governor Rick Perry tried to force Lehmberg out of office after she was arrested for drunk driving, an episode that led to Perry’s indictment last week.
Lehmberg is a lesbian, and that’s enough for Fischer. “Now lesbianism is sexually deviant behavior because it deviates from God’s plan and design for human sexually. So I believe that this is a person who, because she’s involved in sexually deviant behavior, should be, ought to be disqualified from public service.”
Rick Wiles, who just a couple of weeks ago was holding out hope that Ebola would cure homosexuality, is now claiming that President Obama is a radical Muslim who is promoting “the homosexual agenda” as part of his jihad against America. Just to prove how firm a grasp Wiles has on reality, he also asserts that the Islamic militant group ISIS is a U.S. government agency in on the plot.
Mission America leader and word-salad-maker Linda Harvey is declaring that the end is near—of something. “We’re heading into the End Times, and it sure looks like we may be, or the end of America—or both,” Harvey said during a radio interview.
On the same program, ex-gay activist Stephen Bennett complained about “militant activists” who are “marching in with their fist shaking, saying, ‘We demand equality, homosexuality is equivalent to heterosexuality.’ Folks, it is not, anyone with a brain realizes it is not equal.” Which is true, at least until the Supreme Court issues it’s final ruling.
Finally, Tim Brown, a columnist for the right-wing outlet BarbWire, is calling on Christians to hit the sheets to battle gay rights. Because same-sex couples can’t procreate, Brown believes that Christians can win the culture war if they have lots and lots of sex, if only because it will lead to lots and lots of babies. “If Christians simply took the command of God serious, in just a couple of generations there would be a mass expansion of Christianity and the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Brown believes. Of course, that would ultimately increase the number of gay people in the world, but, well, every plan has its little flaws.
Photo: USFWS Pacific Region
Once again, Farhad Z proves that age is just a number while posing in the latest FU e=fu8 underwear collection. The 43-year-old, silver-haired DILF puts his younger male colleagues to shame in these sizzling new pics by photographer Sam Devries.
Need proof? Scroll down to see Farhad rocking in red, white, and blue, paired with 20-something male counterparts.
THERE IS MORE, CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE POST
The actress joins Alan Cumming in the current production of Cabaret
Out market editor Michael Cook shares his favorite wardrobe staples
A clip from the documentary To Be Takei
A 30-year-old Los Angeles mother and her 34-year-old boyfriend are behind bars this week, awaiting trial on charges of capital murder and torture after brutally murdering her 8-year-old son over a pile of misplaced toys.
The horrific details of how Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre systematically tortured and humiliated Fernandez’s son Gabriel were made public on Monday.
Aside from their relentless bullying under assumption that Gabriel was gay, allegations from more than 800 pages of testimony describe in full detail the hellish life that young Gabriel endured before his untimely death. “For eight straight months, he was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war,” Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami testified.
Here are just a few more things Fernandez and Aguirre did to Gabriel before murdering him in May 2013, according to testimony provided by Gabriel’s siblings, police, and the medical examiner who performed Gabriel’s autopsy:
- assaulted him with pepper spray
- forced him to eat his own vomit, cat feces and rotten spinach
- locked him in a cabinet with a sock used as a makeshift gag
- forged doctor’s notes to explain Gabriel’s physical signs of abuse to teachers
- denied him use of the bathroom
- called him “gay,” beat him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear “girls’ clothes” to school
- beat his head with a belt buckle, metal hanger, small bat and wooden club
- knocked several of his teeth out with a metal bat
- shot him with a BB gun
According to Gabriel’s younger siblings, both of whom are minors, the attack that turned fatal was sparked when Gabriel refused to pick up his toys. Based on testimony and the medial examiner’s report, that’s when Fernandez and Aguirre dragged Gabriel into the bedroom and killed him with “blunt force trauma” to the head.
Fernandez reportedly called 911 to report that her son was “not breathing.” When paramedics arrived, they discovered the boy stripped naked, covered in blood, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets in his lung and groin. “It was just like every inch of this child had been abused,” first responder James Cermak testified. James Kemp Ribe of the LA county coroner’s office added: “I have never seen this many skin injuries on one child.”
Perhaps the only thing more disturbing than the abuse Gabriel suffered was the fact that his case went unnoticed by the LA County foster care system. According to reports, Gabriel’s case worker ignored abuse in the home, never checked his body for signs of abuse and failed to investigate reports of abuse from concerned teachers.
Official court documents also reveal that Gabriel had previously written a suicide note that was discovered by a teacher. The note was dismissed by social workers and police because there “appeared to be” no abuse in the home.
Following nearly 10 hours of debate, the City Council in Fayetteville, Arkansas voted to pass a controversial non-discrimination ordinance by a vote of 6-2 at 3:20 AM Wednesday morning. The ordinance will provide protections for citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in addition to discrimination based on age, gender, national origin, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, familial status, marital status, socioeconomic background and veteran status.r
The new law means landlords and business owners could be investigated and prosecuted for unjustly evicting or firing someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status or veteran status.r
State and federal law prohibits discrimination based on someone’s age, gender, disability, race or religion. But in Arkansas there are no state-level non-discrimination laws that cover the other categories, including sexual orientation and gender identity.r
The public meeting of the council that begin yesterday also saw many members of the public weigh in on the proposed ordinance. Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan referenced some of the stories shared by Fayetteville citizens when urging the council to pass the ordinance:r
“Just today we’ve seen many of our citizens who’ve been excluded from the table of equality, and I believe it’s time for everyone to have a place at that table, no matter where they come from, what they believe or who they love,” he said.r
“When we accomplish that then we can truly hold hands and sing, ‘The land of the free and the home of the brave,’ and actually mean it. We’ve got to go to some place we’ve never been or we’ll all just be stuck right where we are.”r
Watch a news report on the meeting and the packed house the vote drew, AFTER THE JUMP…rr
The Department of Labor has finally issued guidance to protect transgender employees of federal contractors from discrimination, reports Buzzfeed.r
The move comes after an April 2012 decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) supporting a claim for discrimination against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives filed by transgender woman Mia Macy.r
The EEOC ruled in favor of Macy’s claim under the sex discrimination ban in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act because anti-transgender discrimination is a type of sex discrimination.r
When Labor Secretary Tom Perez addressed the issue in February, he said that the issue was under review. However, it wasn’t until President Obama announced in June that he would be signing an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT employees of federally-funded organizations that Perez announced the Labor Department would be applying the Macy decision to the existing executive order.r
The guidance was issued yesterday “[t]o clarify that existing agency guidance on discrimination on the basis of sex under Executive Order 11246, as amended, includes discrimination on the bases of gender identity and transgender status.”r
Welcoming the decision, Sarah Warbelow, The Human Rights Campaign’s legal director, said:r
“The Labor Department guidance issued today is a giant step toward ensuring American workers are judged based on the work they do, and never because of a fundamental aspect of who they are — like their gender identity.”r
Watch a Center for American Progress profile of Mia Macy, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
Josey Greenwell was a country musician who made waves by being out and proud, appearing in places like DNA Magazine and on Dr. Phil, gaining attention both for his music and his model looks. Then in January 2013 he vanished. Now, over a year later, enter Nate Green, a ripped, blonde-haired, blue-eyed new country music star who is immensely popular with the 13-24 female demographic...and just so happens to be the new "persona" for Greenwell.r
It was all speculation until WeHo Confidential ran a story with confirmations from former bar co-workers and BNA Talent Group representative Josh Robbins, the latter of whom was shown a picture of "Nate" and immediatley said, "Oh, that's Josey Greenwell!"r
Given the pigeonholing that tends to happen with gay artists it's understandable why Greenwell chose to rebrand. It's just a shame that the singer who told DNA Magazine, "Music should be about talent and not sexuality, but I'm proud of mine nonetheless," would trade the opportunity to shatter preconceptions for a nice big closet for him and his guitar.r
Watch a video of 'Josey' performing at Motor City Pride in Detroit in 2012, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
Lambda Legal has filed suit against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the American Military Partner Association, an advocacy organization dedicated to supporting partners and spouses of LGBT troops and veterans.r
Lambda argues that the denial of benefits to same-sex spouses of veterans living in states that refuse to recognize their marriages violates the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).r
The petition argues that the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of DOMA specifically flagged as unconstitutional the deprivation of veterans benefits to same-sex spouses.r
The petition further states:r
“Having weathered the federal government’s past, longstanding discrimination against them, lesbian and gay veterans and their families find themselves once again deprived of equal rights and earned benefits by the government they served and the nation for which they sacrificed.”r
Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal, said:r
“Gay and lesbian veterans have served their country and risked the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill their duty to this nation. Married veterans and their spouses, wherever they live, need critical veterans benefits, earned through years of often perilous service, to take care of their families. No member of our community should be left behind just because their home state continues to discriminate against their marriage.”r
Read the petition HERE.
A growing number of lower-court judges tasked with reviewing the Constitutionality of states’ bans on same sex marriage are reconsidering a pivotal order issued in Baker v. Nelson, a 1972 Supreme Court case. Baker, a case challenging a state’s ability to legally limit marriage to opposite sex couples, was initially heard by the Minnesota Supreme Court before being rejected and appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The Warren E. Burger-led Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, citing a “want of a substantial federal question,” effectively giving legal merit to Baker’s ruling.r
Baker has been used widely by opponents of same sex marriage as a legal precedent reflecting the then-Court’s views on gay marriage. Speaking to the lawyers defending California’s gay marriage ban, Ruth Bader Ginsberg expressed her doubts about Baker, citing the ways in which society and the court have changed,r
“The Supreme Court hadn’t even decided that gender-based classifications get any kind of heightened scrutiny," she said at the time. “And the same-sex intimate conduct was considered criminal in many states in 1971, so I don’t think we can extract much in Baker v. Nelson.”r
When taken in account, Baker automatically guides courts to decisions affirming bans because the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Baker’s appeal acts as an affirmation of the original Minnesotan Supreme Court’s ruling. More and more, however, the Supreme Court’s move to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act is being read as a broad consensus that Baker is a chunk of legal history that needs to be dealt with.r
“These cases demonstrate that, since Baker, the Court has meaningfully altered the way it views both sex and sexual orientation through the equal protection lens,” Circuit Judge Henry Ford wrote to the Washington Post. “The Supreme Court’s willingness to decide Windsor without mentioning Baker speaks volumes regarding whether Baker remains good law.”
A short film by JOHAN VANCAUWENBERGH
Marie and Steven are a young and happy couple... although so it appears.