In 2019, the town council of Krasnik, Poland, voted to declare itself an “LGBT free zone” in a bid to appease conservative voters. Now, Mayor Wojciech Wilk says the decision has become a costly embarrassment and turned “our town into a synonym for homophobia.”
A French town last year severed a partnership with Krasnik in protest. And Norway, from which the mayor had hoped to get nearly $10 million starting this year to finance development projects, said in September that it would not give grants to any Polish town that declares itself “free of L.G.B.T.”
“We have become Europe’s laughingstock, and it’s the citizens not the local politicians who’ve suffered most,” lamented Mr. Wilk, who is now lobbying councilors to repeal the resolution that put the town’s 32,000 residents in the middle of a raucous debate over traditional and modern values.
The mayor goes on to say that unless he can get the “free of LGBT ideology” resolution revoked, his ability to access foreign funds to help pay for electric buses and youth programs is greatly reduced. The youth programs in particular weigh heavily in the town where young people are leaving.
The French newspaper l’Indépendant reports that a 52-year-old father drove 500 miles to confront and threaten his daughter who had called him earlier in the day to come out to him as a lesbian.
The young woman, whose name hasn’t been released, had been dating another woman and began the process of coming out to friends at college. But when she phoned her father on October 16 to share the news, he reportedly jumped in his car and drove – without stopping – from Strasbourg to Norbonne.
Upon arriving at her college campus, he found his daughter and began berating her and threatening to “cut her throat.”
Eventually, the police showed up and arrested the dad for making threats and harassment. The daughter, her girlfriend, and her mother filed charges.
The man was arraigned in Norbonne’s criminal court on Monday, October 19.
Last month, longtime sportscaster Thom Brennaman surprised Cincinnati Reds fans when he was caught on a hot mic using a gay slur.
Coming out of a commercial break during the first game of a doubleheader between the Reds and Kansas City Royals on August 19, the play-by-play announcer was heard saying, “One of the f*g capitals of the world.”
Social media lit up about the remark seemingly without Brennaman’s knowledge until two hours later when he addressed the debacle with an awkward apology, pausing mid mea culpa to call a home run. After his statement, he was replaced at the mic.
The 56-year-old expressed his remorse again in a lengthy letter the next day to the editor of the Cincinnati Enquirerwriting, “I hope the LGBTQ+ community, the Reds and their fans and the people of Cincinnati can find a way to think better of me.”
“With all the humility I can muster, I ask for your forgiveness.”
Brennaman has been indefinitely suspended by the Reds since then and last week was removed from Fox Sports’ NFL schedule – a gig he’s has since 1994.
In the past weeks, he’s been on an apology tour of sorts reaching out to LGBTQ groups which, he tells the New York Post, have been forgiving.
Addressing the incident and its fallout with the Post, Brennaman says he doesn’t even remember the context of his remark.
“Everything happened so fast,” he told the Post. “And I’m watching literally everything fall apart at the seams while trying to announce a baseball game.”
“I couldn’t even tell you what happened, where it came from. … Look, I said it is all that matters. The rest of it is irrelevant. I said it. And I own it. And I’m the one who has to live with it.”
The veteran sportscaster added emphatically, “I have never used that word (before) in my life.”
While some are willing to forgive and allow space for some sense of redemption, believing Brennaman had ‘never used that word’ is a bit of a stretch for a few folks.
Ryan Messer, a leading LGBTQ activist in Cincinnati that Brennaman has reached out to, says “If he used it then, he used it before.”
He adds, however, “if we don’t open the dialogue to help explain (the meaning behind the word), how do we learn and grow from it? And that’s where my whole perspective comes, and I’m willing to make sure he understands that, which is why he is coming to my house Saturday to meet my family, my husband, and four kids.”
Messer has publicly called on the Reds to reinstate Brennaman.
“Cincinnati wasn’t always the most welcoming city (for LBGT people),” says Messer, who helped lead an effort to repeal an anti-LGBTQ ordinance in the early 2000s. “I believe I can tell when someone is sincere and I heard that in (Brennaman’s) voice.”
Brennaman also sat down with local gay newscaster Evan Millward, who believes “We should forgive, and we largely have forgiven.”
“But you can’t just then sweep it under the rug and then place it into this whole societal cancel-culture thing,” Millward told the Post. “If we just shut people down, and tell them they’re trash and that they’re canceled, then we’re avoiding a difficult dialogue.”
For his part, Brennaman told the Post, “If I get another chance, someone will be hiring a better person than the person who walked out the door that night on August 19.”
What do you think, readers? Should it be one strike and you’re out? Or is there space to allow for redemption?
Teenage Tik Tok personality, Cash Baker, is apparently uber-popular, but recent comments about LGBTQ people and Jewish, Muslim and Hindu folks have backfired in a big way.
Funny how that works…
The Christian teen reportedly has over 16 million fans on the platform and had racked up over 800 million likes before he shared videos attacking other religions and the queer community.
“Me, being a Christian, can I support the LGBT+ community?” Baker said in one clip. “So am I behind the LGBT+ community? Do I promote it? Do I encourage it? Absolutely not.”
“But guys, you gotta understand,” continued the teen. “Everybody gets that so confused with us saying that we hate LGBTQ people and all that. But guys, no, that is completely, completely wrong.”
“Guys, in the Bible it says that one sin is as equal as all sin, and it says man should be with woman and woman should be with man,” he continued. “So, therefore, guys, yes, it is a sin in the Bible. But guys, everyone sins. I sin all the time. That does not mean I love you any less or look at you any different.”
In another clip, Baker went on to say he can’t “support” other religions like Islam, Judaism or Hinduism because Christianity was “the only true religion” and those other faiths all worship “false Gods.”
Here’s a couple of the videos that resulted in Baker’s current backlash.
Cash Baker fans outraged calling his latest videos homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic etc. In rants, Cash says he does not support LGBTQ+ community and other religions because of the Bible—rants and reactions in thread. Cash has 16.4M TikTok followers. What are your thoughts? pic.twitter.com/psAe20TN98
After deleting the controversial videos, Baker posted a clip explaining the viewership on his TikTok videos has dropped by 80 percent as he used to get about one million views on each video and now only garners around 200K.
He also clarifies that just because he explained biblical views on homosexuality (which he stands by) saying he doesn’t “support” LGBTQ people, that doesn’t mean he “hates” gay folks.
Baker also shares his friends have warned him his religious videos could cost his big dollar endorsements. But he says he doesn’t care about those potential deals since he’s “just trying to preach the truth and what the Bible says.”
“If you believed in a hell, and you believed that some of your family and some of your friends, even people you don’t know, might go to hell and burn in hell for the rest of eternity—would you tell them about it, or would you just stay quiet and not say anything?” Baker asks rhetorically. “You would most likely tell them about it, right? And that’s what I’m doing.”
Ok…so, this is really all for US. Got it.
By the third video below, it looks like little Cash is getting kinda frantic.
Two people who allegedly beat a gay Oklahoma man unconscious are not expected to face hate crime charges despite the victim and a witness telling police officers the assailants hurled anti-gay slurs during the assault.
Oklahoma City-based real estate agent Christian Council, 28, told police he was returning home in his car in the early hours of June 27 with a friend, 26-year-old Andrew Martinez, when he came upon a pickup truck parked in the street blocking traffic in his apartment complex.
Council says he honked once then again before the truck finally moved out of the way at which point Council parked his car several spaces down.
As he and Martinez exited the car, two men and a woman were standing nearby. The woman, later identified as Amery Dickerson, 23, called Council and Martinez “c**ksuckers” and one of the men used another homophobic slur.
According to the police report, when Council explained he honked his horn because he couldn’t get by, Dickerson charged at him, shoving him into a parked car. As she charged him a second time, he pushed her in the face to protect himself.
Council says at that point the two men yelled, “You f*ggot, don’t you know you can’t hit a girl?’”
“And the driver of the truck and the girl’s boyfriend beat me,” adds Council. “Beat me unconscious.”
Bennett Stone, 24, was identified as the man who started the fight. As the incident escalated, Council and Martinez say the trio was yelling homophobic slurs. Martinez tried to intercede but the unidentified man restrained him while Stone continued the beating.
Martinez told police Council lost consciousness for “a minute or two” as he stopped responding to the blows and his body went limp. Martinez was eventually able to call 911.
The police charged Dickerson and Stone with misdemeanor assault and battery which could result in up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. Council was treated for a concussion as well as cuts and bruises at a local emergency room.
In the weeks since the attack, Council says he’s experienced post-traumatic stress disorder while in public.
According to The Oklahoman, the initial police report didn’t mention any of the homophobic slurs used during the assault even though Council and Martinez relayed that to the officers.
In characterizing certain crimes, Oklahoma City police can indicate whether an incident was domestic violence, a drive-by shooting, or a hate crime. The officers didn’t check the hate crime box.
The report was later amended to include the use of anti-gay remarks after the police reviewed body camera footage showing Council mentioning the slurs.
In Stone’s version of the events, he claims he saw Council “punch” Dickerson and he was merely defending Dickerson.
A spokesman for the Oklahoma City police, Master Sgt. Gary Knight told The Oklahoman the incident is currently under review before referring it to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office.
“There is no hard evidence that suggests the attack was because of his sexual orientation,” Knight told The Oklahoman. “Right now it appears the conflict was because of a truck not moving out of the way of his vehicle. These people did not know each other. There’s no indication they jumped out of their vehicle because of his sexual orientation.”
Council, however, disagrees saying the incident escalated because Stone and Dickerson realized he was gay.
“I want to make this very clear,” said Council to The Oklahoman. “They got out of their truck because they were mad that I honked at them. They beat me unconscious because I was gay.”
“It was very clear to me that as soon as they saw that my friend and I were gay, or that they assumed we were gay, it was very clear to me that it went from they were mad that I had honked at them, to they were mad that two gay men had the audacity to honk at them, or inconvenience them in any way,” he added.
Council is aware LGBTQ people aren’t a protected class in Oklahoma meaning Stone and Dickerson won’t be facing state hate crime charges. Still, he says he has filed a hate crime report with the FBI.
Council also says he’d prefer that Dickerson and Stone be sentenced to some form of restorative justice.
“These people can go and sit in a jail cell and just let their hate against queer-trans people build, or they can be forced to go work community service hours alongside the queer and trans community and see the humanity in us, and I think that that kind of restorative justice will do a lot more for our community than jail time will,” Council told The Oklahoman.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help Council cope with the cost of medical treatment in the ER and downtime from work as well as legal fees as Council is planning a civil suit against his attackers.
• Throwback Thursday: Amid all this turmoil in the country, I loved chatting with my high school doll Addester (above) last night who came to visit Las Vegas in February. A fun night at Chippendales, and then cocktails at VooDoo on the roof of The Rio. #GoodTimes
• LGBTQ Nation: In May, haters succeeded in striking down LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections passed by the city of Jacksonville, Florida, on a ‘legislative technicality.’ So, this week the City Council voted to restore those protections – correcting the ‘technicalities’ – by a vote of 15-4.
• AP News: In related Jacksonville news, the city has been selected to host the celebration marking President Donald Trump’s acceptance of his party’s nomination for reelection, the Republican National Committee chairwoman said Thursday.
• The Advocate: Residents of Ketchikan, Alaska, have rallied around a same-sex couple denied flowers for their wedding by a local florist. Although the couple had wanted to support a local business, they have now ordered flowers from a Safeway supermarket. Supporters of the couple have donated hundreds of dollars to pay for the flowers. The couple plans to give any leftover funds to charity.
• The Hill: Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a narrow lead over Donald Trump in Florida, according to a new poll released by Republican polling firm Cygnal on Thursday. The survey shows Biden with 47 percent support among likely voters in the Sunshine State as Trump trails by roughly 3 points at around 44 percent.
• CNBC: The Labor Department reports unemployment claims last week totaled 1.54 million. Since the pandemic began, more than 44 million workers have filed claims.
• Reuters: The United States surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, as rising hospitalizations in states such as Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina prompt fears about reopening the country. The U.S. has now reported nearly 113,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Health authorities in Texas on Wednesday reported a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the third consecutive day. #SoMuchWinning
A doctor in New York City has filed a lawsuit alleging he was repeatedly the target of homophobic comments during his first-year residency at The Brooklyn Hospital Center.
The New York Post reports Dr. Chad Jensen, a surgical resident, says among the vulgar jokes made at his expense was a supervisor referring to him as a member of the ATM or ‘a** to mouth crew.’
In his lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Jensen alleges the surgical residency program director, Dr. Armand Asarian, and Dr. Sandeep Sirsi, the associate director, “regularly made hateful, anti-gay comments about their gay patients and unscientific judgments that these patients’ own ‘lifestyle’ caused their illnesses.”
The 32-year-old physician, who left the residency program before his year was up, told the Post he was surprised to experience ‘that kind of discrimination’ in New York City.
Jensen moved to New York City from California in June 2017 to take the one-year residency. It was during that time he came out as gay.
“It just reinforced all of those fears, essentially putting me back into those 29 years that I was living in fear, feeling like I couldn’t be myself,” Jensen told the Post.
According to the lawsuit, the Brooklyn Hospital Center did determine after Jensen’s departure that he “had been harassed because of his sexual orientation.” Asarian was reportedly removed as director of the surgical residency program and Sirsi was forced to resign.
Jensen is now a resident in the Bronx at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.
He tells the Post he brought the lawsuit because he felt “like he had no voice.”
“It made me think of all the other people in this country that are also gay and feel like they have nowhere to go and it leads them down dark paths,” Jensen explained to the Post. “So me coming forward, I wanted to let people know that they’re not alone.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and asks for the hospital to institute anti-bias training.
Brothers Khaled (52) and Mahmoud (34) Khayat were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences after planning to hide a bomb in their unsuspecting gay brother’s luggage on an international flight.
The brothers schemed to blow up an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney, Australia, to Abu Dhabi in July 2017.
According to the Newcastle Herald, they built a gas bomb in one of the men’s garage using plans transmitted with an encrypted app by their older brother, Tarek, who is a senior member of ISIS.
They then hid the bomb inside a meat grinder which was placed in the luggage of their brother Amer, pretending it was a gift for family members. The court was told during the trial the attack was intended to support groups fighting the Syrian regime.
“Neither offender was particularly close to Amer, although each said he loved him as a brother and spoke to him when he saw him,” said Justice Christine Adamson on Tuesday.
“They disapproved of him because he drank, went clubbing, gambled and was gay which they regarded as bringing shame on the family.”
The plan was foiled when a Sydney Airport attendant noticed Amer’s luggage was overweight. Khaled removed the bomb for fear of being discovered.
The two brothers were found guilty in the NSW Supreme Court earlier this year of conspiring to prepare or plan a terrorist act.
Adamson noted that, had the scheme gone as planned, “no one in the aircraft carrying the bomb and no one exposed to the poisonous gas would have survived.”
”The scale of the intended impact adds significantly to the gravity of the offence,” she added.
Adamson sentenced Khaled to 40 years in prison and Mahmoud to 36 years with non-parole periods of 30 and 27 years respectively. The two men maintain they are innocent and plan to appeal their cases.
Meanwhile, Amer spent two years in a Lebanese prison before being found not guilty of involvement in the plot by a military court in September.
Tarek was found guilty in a Lebanese court and sentenced to hard labor for life for his participation in the plot.
Last week, Amer said that despite his ordeal he still loves his brothers because they are his “blood.”
Florida state Rep. Mike Hill (R) with Donald Trump (L)
A Florida lawmaker is being called unfit for office after a recording revealed him joking about executing gay Floridians.
An op-ed in the Pensacola News Journal shares an audio clip of Florida Rep. Mike Hill in a recent meeting with a group called Women for Responsible Legislation.
In the recording, a citizen comments, “In 1 Corinthians, it says that a man who has an affair with another man will be put to death.”
Hill can be heard responding, “It says that in the Old Testament, too.”
Another attendee inquires, “Can you introduce legislation?”
Laughter is heard in the background as Hill joins in the chuckles before saying, “I wonder how that would go over?”
It probably won’t surprise you to know that Hill’s Twitter account describes the 60-year-old as “Pro Life! Pro Guns! Pro Jesus!”
Andy Marlette, who penned the op-ed, writes that with that comment, “Hill proved why he is both an unfit legislator and an unfit Christian.”
Remember folks, this is the same state that lived through 49 people shot to death and 53 more injured at a gay bar, Pulse Nightclub, in June 2016.
Hill went on to share in the same meeting that he believes being gay is “a behavior, and it’s a choice” and that LGBTQ people don’t need legal protections.
In a longer audio clip obtained by The New Civil Rights Movement, Hill can be heard saying, “You can say, ‘But I was born that way.’ OK, well, fine, but nobody’s forcing you to engage in that relationship, even if you were born that way.”
In his essay, Marlette wonders why Hill, who clearly considers himself a Christian, didn’t just say, “No sir, stop right there, that’s wrong, that’s not what Jesus would do.”
But, he didn’t.
The op-ed calls for the Florida House to weigh in as well as Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.
“It’s not enough to groan, roll our eyes and privately lament Mike Hill,” writes Marlette. “When public officials espouse cruel and immoral ideas, we are morally obligated to shout them down in the public square.”
As news of the recording has gone public, State Rep. Carlos Gulliermo Smith, who is the first openly gay Latino legislator in the state, has called on Hill to either apologize or resign.
I’m shocked & disgusted to discover a colleague who I’ve worked closely with would joke about punishing me by death for being gay. As a survivor of anti-gay hate violence, I know the consequences of homophobia are real. @MikeHillfl should apologize to LGBTQ Floridians or RESIGN. https://t.co/BqMoxLc6Vo
Bigotry like this is the reason LGBTQ Floridians need protection from discrimination in state law. Homophobic and transphobic individuals can also happen to be employers, landlords, and business owners who may engage in legal discrimination. It still happens in 2019 people!!!!
To add insult to injury, I joined forces with @MikeHillfl last year to protect greyhound racing dogs. Apparently, he thinks DOGS deserve protection, but not LGBTQ people. Those are his priorities. How insulting…. https://t.co/zw0ISCwWCB
Last week, I reported on yet another baker who has refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple.
After meeting with Susie Dennison of Susie’s Sweets bakery in Burns Tennessee, Brandi Ray shared on her social media that Dennison sent her a Facebook message saying she wouldn’t make the cake in question because ‘Jesus.’
“I really enjoyed our time together and I truly wish you the best but after realizing that your union will be of the same sex, I cannot with my spiritual conviction and beliefs, do your cake,” wrote Dennison. She added, “I want you to know in saying that, I do love you in The Lord.”
Ray responded writing, “I’m sorry you feel that way. Have a good night.”
After the story went viral, celebrity baker Jay Qualls of Nashville stepped up and has offered to bake a free wedding cake for Ray and her fiancé, Michele Schmidt.
With over 30 years in the baking industry, Qualls has worked with Martha Stewart, appeared on TLC’s The Next Great Baker and Cake Boss, as well as Food Network’s Cuthroat Kitchen.
“This has to stop. It’s discriminatory,” Qualls told the newspaper. “I can’t sit back and allow this, as a gay man who has a very healthy and meaningful life with two adult children who are loved, and a very meaningful relationship.”
The baker shares that his outrage stems in part from having experienced discrimination himself when planning his second wedding.
Qualls was married to a woman for 13 years and has two grown children. He was 33-years-old when he came out, and three years ago was denied wedding services due to homophobia.
He and his fiancé had made plans to hold their ceremony at Montgomery Bell State Park’s Cumberland Presbyterian Church. But when the couple went to pay the facility fee, they were turned away due to the same-sex marriage.
At the time, he didn’t go public with the story because he didn’t want his wedding “turning into a circus.”
But this time, he’s speaking out on behalf of Schmidt and Ray, and told the couple they can have “anything they want.”
Over his 30+ years as a professional baker, Qualls says he’s “sat across from thousands of couples over the years,” and some of them he didn’t share the same beliefs. But he didn’t turn any of them away.
“When you are serving the public, you have to be willing to serve all the public,” Qualls said.