This Amazing Group Changed The Game For LGBT Military Families

JamesMichael Nichols | Huffington Post | February 12, 2016

Today’s RaiseAChild.US Huffington Post Queer Voices “Let Love Define Family®” series installment is about one of our partners: the American Military Partner Association. Families previously featured on our weekly series share their experiences of how AMPA has assisted in their lives and transitions with the military. Contributing writer Beth Hallstrom details the benefits of having AMPA and the significance it has for, what they call, America’s modern military families. 

45,000 members strong, the American Military Partner Association is marshaling the forces of the LGBT community serving our country, leading the charge to battle obsolete policies within the United States armed forces and providing a voice for their heretofore silent soldiers.

A non-profit organization run completely by volunteers, AMPA is the leading source of education, advocacy and support for what it calls “modern military families” — the LGBT soldiers, their spouses and children who have been forced to live in the shadows for years.

Jonathan West, who with his husband, Thomas, were featured in a recent edition of the Let Love Define Family® series, called AMPA, “One of the best things that ever happened to us.”

Read more

Stop Straight-Splaining Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to LGBT Voters

Michelangelo Signorile | Huffington Post | February 12, 2016



As a radio host and commentator, and as a gay man, I’m used to conservatives calling in or writing me to straight-splain the world to me. I apparently shouldn’t be defending Muslims against bigotry nor support allowing Syrian refugees into the country, for example, because ISIS throws gays off of buildings. “How could you defend people who want to see you dead?” It’s not always as simplistic, wildly inaccurate and ridiculous, but it is always just as condescending.

And now it’s happening with progressives and liberals, among Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters. Yesterday Charles Blow wrote a column in the Times headlined, “Stop Bernie-Splaining to Black Voters,” and it made me think about how the same arrogance is coming from straight supporters of both candidates to LGBT voters.

Sanders, I’m told by some heterosexual supporters, is the only true champion in the race in the area of civil rights for LGBT people because he was one of a small handful of members of Congress to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 — a law signed by Hillary Clinton’s husband and which she supported until recent years.

Read more

Joel Grey On Why He Decided To Publicly Come Out Gay At 82

On Top Magazine | February 12, 2016

In an a new interview broadcast Tuesday, actor Joel Grey discussed coming out gay at 82.

Grey is best known for playing the Master of Ceremonies in the stage and film versions of Cabaret.

Last year, he told PEOPLE that he’s “a gay man.”

Read more

Georgia House Approves Bill Protecting Clergy From Being Forced To Marry Gay Couples

Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | February 12, 2016

The Georgia House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill that aims to protect clergy from being forced to marry gay and lesbian couples.

Dubbed the “Pastor Protection Act,” House Bill 757 sailed through the chamber with a 161-0 vote.

Republican Representative Kevin Tanner said on the House floor Thursday that he heard from a constituent who said that she worried that the state would jail her husband for refusing to marry gay couples.

Read more

Religious Liberty Bill Clears West Virginia House

Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | February 12, 2016

The West Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a “religious freedom” bill opponents say would allow for discrimination against the LGBT community.

Sixteen Democrats joined a majority of Republicans in approving the bill, which now heads to the Senate.

Supporters of the West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act (HB 4012) argue that it’s needed to protect the free exercise of religion

Read more

In South Carolina, Ted Cruz Says Gay Marriage Ruling ‘Will Not Stand’

Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | February 12, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Thursday targeted the Supreme Court’s June finding that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, saying that it “will not stand.”

Speaking at the Carolina Values Summit at Winthrop University, Cruz called the decision “lawless,” and took aim at his GOP rivals.

Without naming Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio by name but as his top two challengers, Cruz suggested that their opposition to marriage equality was weak.

Read more

Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation 2016 Playwriting Competition

EXIT – South Africa’s LGBT Newspaper / Johannesburg – February 2016, p. 2



Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation 2016 Playwriting Competition.

The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation [NY] will accept submissions for its 2016 Playwriting Competition between March 1 and May 31, 2016.  All submissions must be made electronically and received by midnight on May 31.

Only full-length works (dramas, comedies, musicals, screenplays) are eligible for consideration.  All works submitted must be original and in English.  All must concern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or genderqueer life and must be based on, or directly inspired by, a historical person, culture, work of art, or event.

There is no entry fee.  Prizes are as follows:  First Prize, $3,000; Second Prize, $1,500; Honorable Mentions, $500.  Prizewinners will be announced before the end of the year.

For complete submission guidelines, visit the foundation’s website:


The foundation also offers grants to not-for-profit production companies to offset expenses in producing theatrical works (plays, musicals, operas, choral works, orchestral works with text) and film or video.  All works must be based on, or inspired by, history and must concern LGBT life.

Proposals may be submitted throughout the year.  For complete details and proposal submission guidelines, visit the foundation’s website:


. ______________________ .


. shared fwd fyi per J. Stephen Hunt, Inference Reader chgo il usa – Feb. 12, 2016

Just say Christian

 | America Blog | February 12, 2016

The National Review‘s David French thought it was kind of silly that I and others took issue with Heidi Cruz embracing theocracy on behalf of her husband this week. In his telling, it isn’t at all problematic for Cruz to have said that her husband will govern  with a “combination of the law and religion” because, well, that’s the way it’s supposed to be:

The Christian flag flying over the American flag, via WBTV

The Christian flag flying over the American flag, via WBTV

In reality, Heidi Cruz’s comment represents a standard (and accurate) expression not just of Evangelical beliefs, but also of American history…As for Cruz’s statement that our nation was built on “Judeo-Christian values,” only sheer ahistorical revisionism would downplay the role of the Christian faith and Judeo-Christian values not just with the Founders, but in the founding generation, and the generations that followed. Though there have been (and are) many notable and patriotic atheists who’ve made immense contributions to American life, atheism did not build the United States of America.

Moreover, it’s critical to remind Americans — especially when the media exalts and celebrates secularism — that, yes, our commitment to individual liberty is derived in large part because our earliest Christian settlers fled religious persecution and — ultimately — envisioned a nation uniquely dedicated to limited government and individual liberty — including religious liberty. The Establishment Clause, in fact, was envisioned as a guarantor of religious freedom — and not as it is used today, as a mighty hammer of state religious discrimination.

I agree with Heidi. A President Cruz would safeguard individual liberty because he’s a Christian, not in spite of his faith.

There’s a lot going on here, starting with the rather puzzling assertion that a President Cruz would protect individual (religious) freedoms after preaching a particularly intrusive and privileged brand of Christianity on the campaign trail. But perhaps even stranger is the way that French and Heidi Cruz both seamlessly transitioned between insisting that America was founded on “Judeo-Christian values” and reminding us that America has a particularly Christian (as in, not Jewish) character.

Read more

The love that now can speak its name

Rev. Irene Monroe | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News | February 12, 2016

Valentine’s Day is for lovers — including LGBTQ Americans. Until last June’s historic Supreme Court ruling — Obergefell v. Hodge — that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, “the love that dare not speak its name,” which publicly outed Oscar Wilde at his “gross indecency trial” (Regina v. Wilde) in 1895, is finally and forever out of the closet.

We were told by religious conservatives if the US legalized such an ungodly act as same-sex marriage not only would it bring about the death the institution of marriage but it would also bring about the demise of civilization.

Many also said the righteous hand of God would be in that defining moment to stop same-sex marriage with ugly protests, with town clerks-like Kim Davis—the now infamous Kentucky County clerk who not only refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couple but she also forbade her co-workers to do so, too — engaging in civil disobedience by refusing to issue licenses, and with just those last minute unavoidable and inexplicable legal snafus.

Read more

Despite blacklash, LGBTI people make global gains

Peter Tatchell | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News | February 12, 2016

The last few years have witnessed an unnerving backlash against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in twenty countries, including Russia, Morocco, Uganda, Brunei, Syria, Nigeria and The Gambia.

This escalating repression has included more vigorous enforcement of long-standing laws criminalising same-sex relations; resulting in highly publicised arrests in several countries, including Cameroon, Egypt and Senegal.

Nearly 80 countries still have a total prohibition on same-sex relations. Over half of them are members of the Commonwealth.

Their homophobic laws were imposed by Britain in the nineteenth century, during the era of colonialism, and retained after independence.

Read more