NGLTF Statement on New Jersey Marriage Ruling

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Statement on New Jersey Marriage Ruling

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 Statement of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on Judge Mary Jacobson of the Mercer County Superior Court ruling that LGBT couples can marry in the Garden State starting October 21
“This is a significant victory for same sex couples in New Jersey. The state’s motto is ‘Liberty and Prosperity’. Now lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples will get the chance to experience the ideas behind the motto through the freedom to marry. We applaud Garden State Equality, New Jersey United for Marriage, ACLU and Lambda Legal on today’s victory. We’ll celebrate today, and tomorrow we will continue the hard work of changing legislator’s hearts and minds until the freedom to marry is guaranteed for all New Jerseyans.” Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Lesbian and Gay Task Force.

New Report Finds LGBT Actors Face Continued Discrimination, Even As Opportunities Improve

Joint Press Release
For Immediate Distribution
September 27, 2013
Laura Rodriguez,, (310) 956-2425
Pamela Greenwalt,, (323) 440-2892
About a third of respondents believed that casting directors, directors, and producers may be biased against LGBT performers
LOS ANGELES— Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) actors face continued discrimination, even as workplace opportunities and conditions improve, according to a first-of-its kind report by UCLA’s The Williams Institute and the performers’ union SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). The report entitled, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Diversity in Entertainment: Experiences and Perspectives of SAG-AFTRA Members,” found one-third of all survey respondents believed that casting directors, directors, and producers may be biased against LGBT performers, and more than half of LGB performers had heard anti-gay comments on set. While the study shows industry discrimination, respondents’ opinions indicate that SAG-AFTRA members provide a supportive environment for LGBT performers; and many lesbian and gay respondents said they would encourage others to come out.
The report was presented at a press conference during the inaugural SAG-AFTRA National Convention in Los Angeles.
“We were pleased to see that our membership is overwhelmingly supportive of LGBT actors, and that many LGBT actors found benefits in coming out,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. “Nonetheless, coming out remains a significant and consequential decision for many performers and we are committed to supporting our members in living honest and authentic personal and professional lives.”
“The survey results show both progress and indications that more work will be necessary to make the workplace an equal and fully welcoming place for LGBT performers,” said co-author M. V. Lee Badgett, Williams Distinguished Scholar. “The good news is that almost no one thought that opportunities for LGBT actors were getting worse.”
Findings suggest LGBT performers may have substantial barriers to overcome in their search for jobs. Almost half of lesbian and gay (LG) respondents and 27 percent of bisexual respondents, for example, strongly agreed that producers and studio executives think LG performers are less marketable. Nine percent of LG respondents and four percent of bisexual respondents reported that they had been turned down for a role due to their sexual orientation. Further, LGBT respondents were less likely than non-LGBT respondents to have an agent, which may put them at a disadvantage when looking for work.
On the job, the report found:
  • Over a third of LGBT performers had witnessed disrespectful treatment that has also been noticed by non-LGBT performers.
  • Overall, 16% of LGBT respondents reported that they had experienced discrimination.  Gay men were the most likely to report they have experienced some form of discrimination, with one in five reporting an experience. Bisexual actors were about half as likely to report discrimination as gay or lesbian actors.
  • Gender nonconforming gay and bisexual men were more likely to experience discrimination, as were men who were out professionally.
The report finds that most heterosexual performers (29 percent) have never played an LG role over the course of their career, but 58 percent of LGB performers and 33 percent of bisexual performers have. Notably, respondents were less likely to have played a transgender role, with only 14 percent of LG performers and 8 percent of bisexual performers having played a transgender role; few non-LGBT performers (3 percent) have played a transgender role.
“Some study respondents felt that choosing to play an LGBT character limited future casting opportunities,” said Jody L. Herman, Peter J. Cooper Fellow and Manager of Transgender Research at the Williams Institute. “Given LGBT actors are significantly more likely to play LGBT characters, these actors are disproportionately impacted by any casting bias based on prior LGBT roles.” Indeed, about one quarter of LGB respondents who have played an LGBT role reported that experience had an impact on their ability to get non-LGBT roles.
This study expands the research on diversity and inclusion in entertainment and provides the first insight into how sexual orientation and gender identity influence performers’ experiences working in the profession. This report is based on an original survey conducted with SAG-AFTRA members, which was fielded from September through December 2012. The survey was developed with the input of SAG-AFTRA members who attended focus groups to discuss issues facing LGBT performers in the entertainment industry. The survey covers a range of topics, including demographics, work history, attitudes and beliefs of respondents and others in the entertainment industry, the workplace climate for LGBT performers, and experiences looking for work and working as a performer. SAG-AFTRA emailed a link to the online survey to its 160,000 members in the Fall of 2012. From September to December, 5,692 members responded, including self-identified 465 gay men, 61 lesbians, 301 bisexual men and women, and 7 transgender respondents.
The study can be viewed here.

What Pope Francis has known about gay priests

Pope Francis Portrait Painting

Pope Francis Portrait Painting (Photo credit: faithmouse)

The Rev. Irene Monroe | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News | September 26, 2013

Pope Francis continues to send seismic shock waves across the globe with his liberal-leaning pronouncements. And they are the most affirmative remarks the world has ever heard on the dicey subjects of abortion, contraception and same-gender marriage.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” Pope Francis said last week in wide-ranging interview with 16 Jesuit publications.

However, for many religious conservatives, the Pontiff’s remarks are heretical, and they vehemently contested that Pope Frances has not only desecrated century-old church doctrine, but also that he has diminished his authority as the head of the church.

But as the Pontiff aptly stated in his interview “the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards” should the Catholic Church, in this 21st century, continue on it anti-modernity trek like his predecessor.

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Barilla Pasta CEO: ‘I Would Never Use Homosexual Couples in my Adverts’

Fiori-shaped pasta by Barilla. Approximately 0...

Fiori-shaped pasta by Barilla. Approximately 0.5″ in diameter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jodie Gummow | AlterNet | September 27, 2013

The CEO of top-selling pasta brand Barilla, Guido Barilla, is under fire for anti-gay comments he made on an Italian radio show that Barilla won’t put gays in its advertising because it likes ‘traditional’ family values.  Fuelling the fire, he added that if the gays don’t like it they, “they can always go eat someone else’s pasta,  Americablogreported.

The comments caused outrage amongst gay rights advocates, consumers and politicians alike who in response launched a boycott of all Barilla products:

“This is another example of Italian homophobia. I’m joining the boycott of Barilla and I hope other parliamentarians do the same,” said Alessandro Zan, a gay rights campaigner and an MP from a left-wing party,  Independentreported.

Within hours, the hashtag #boicottabarilla was trending on Twitter, thanks in part to the outrage voiced by Italian members of parliament.

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Pope Francis and His Followers Backslide –– Already

English: Emblem of Vatican City Italiano: Embl...

English: Emblem of Vatican City Italiano: Emblema della Ciattà del Vaticano Македонски: Амблем на Ватикан {| cellspacing=”0″ style=”min-width:40em; color:#000; background:#ddd; border:1px solid #bbb; margin:.1em;” class=”layouttemplate” | style=”width:1.2em;height:1.2em;padding:.2em” | 20px |link=|center | style=”font-size:.85em; padding:.2em; vertical-align:middle” |This vector image was created with Inkscape. |} Emblem of Vatican City.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PAUL SCHINDLER | Gay City News | September 24, 2013

Just days after an interview with the Jesuit magazine America in which Pope Francis signaled a promising new tone on the gay community comes word that an Australian priest has been defrocked and excommunicated for his views on homosexuality and women priests.

The International Business Times, on September 23, reported that actions taken against Father Greg Reynolds, who resigned from his Melbourne parish under pressure in 2011, originated at the Vatican under the authority of Francis.

The newspaper reported that the order, written in Latin, did not specify a reason for the extraordinary steps the Vatican took.

Reynolds said he adopted his favorable views on marriage equality and the ordination of women as a matter of “conscience.”

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Marriage Movement Advances in New Jersey, Illinois Rulings

American Civil Liberties Union

American Civil Liberties Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Gay City News | September 27, 2013

In a big day for the marriage equality movement, trial judges moved the ball forward significantly in New Jersey and Illinois on September 27.

In New Jersey, Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson granted a motion for summary judgment filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of Garden State Equality, the state’s LGBT rights group, ruling the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning on October 21, an order that could be stayed pending appeal.

In Illinois, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia H. Hall denied a motion by several county clerks to dismiss two pending lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union contending that the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples violates equal protection and due process provisions of the State Constitution.

Superior Court in Trenton orders equal marriage rights by October 21; Chicago judge allows lawsuit to go forward

In both states, the decisions may have a quick political impact, since potential legislative action on marriage equality is expected to come before legislators before the end of the year. In New Jersey, a marriage equality law approved by the Legislature and vetoed by Governor Chris Christie last year could come up for a veto override vote in the lame duck session following the November election. In Illinois, a marriage equality measure approved by the Senate could get a vote in the General Assembly during the “veto session” that will begin late in October.

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Tony Perkins Appointed to Louisisana State Commission

English: American politician Tony Perkins.

English: American politician Tony Perkins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John M. Becker | Bilerico | September 27, 2013

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has appointed Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council — an anti-gay hate group — to a spot on the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.

According to Baton Rouge’s Capital City News, the LCLE “awards grants and governs practices of State Police and local law enforcement agencies.” Perkins will be able to remain in his job as a hate group spokesman while he serves on the commission.

Perkins’s homophobia is notorious. He falsely claims that homosexuality is linked with pedophilia; endorses the dangerous and discredited “pray away the gay” myth; and calls LGBT people intolerant, hateful, vile, spiteful “pawns” of the “enemy.”

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Welcoming Schools Launches New Anti-Bullying Program

Seal of the United States Department of Education

Seal of the United States Department of Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John M. Becker | Bilerico | September 27, 2013

Welcoming Schools launched the latest salvo in the ongoing crusade against school bullying this week when it released What Can We Do? Bias, Bullying, & Bystanders, a film designed to equip educators with information that will enable them to more effectively respond to bullying.

In addition to the 12-minute professional development film, What Can We Do? includes a user’s guide, training materials, and innovative lesson plans that create a platform for kids to talk about bullying, how it makes them feel, and the impact it has on their lives and their learning.

The film premiered Wednesday at an event sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which runs the Welcoming Schools project. It was hosted by the Cleveland School, a public elementary school in Washington, D.C. In addition to the film screening, the event included a panel discussion, a reading of two popular children’s books about bullying, and remarks from David Esquith, director of the Office of Safe and Healthy Students at the U.S. Department of Education.

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PFLAG Omaha Newsletter October

PFLAG contingent at San Francisco Pride 2004.

PFLAG contingent at San Francisco Pride 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Our October newsletter is now available to view at

October is National Coming Out month. Join us at our October 10th meeting to share your coming out story. Everyone has one, moms, dads, families and friends come out too. Or share whatever is currently on your mind.

Patrick Heese

Pope Francis: Sexism With a Human Face?

Katha Pollitt | The Nation | AlterNet | September 28, 2013

Pope Francis seems a lovely man. He washes the feet of prisoners, drives a Ford Focus and lives in the Vatican guesthouse instead of the isolated papal apartments. He even calls people who write him with their troubles. In July, he made headlines when he said of gay priests, “Who am I to judge?” Most recently, he astonished the world with a long interview in America, the Jesuit magazine, in which he said the church is too “obsessed” with abortion, gay rights and birth control and risked becoming a “house of cards.”

Liberals are ecstatic. The theologian Daniel Maguire, who has championed reproductive rights for decades, heralded the pope’s words in a piece titled “The End of the Catholic Church’s Pelvic Zone Orthodoxy.”  New York Times columnist Frank Bruni was happy about the “olive branch” extended to gays, rhapsodized over the pope’s “modesty” and “humility,” and advised President Obama to emulate him. (Modesty and humility being definitely not part of a columnist’s brief, why not urge a total stranger, the president, to remodel his character?) Even Catholics for Choice was warily hopeful. As for non-Catholics, one friend of mine summed up the feelings of many: if he really means this, she announced, I’m converting.

Not so fast. Of course it’s refreshing to see a change from the all-abortion-all-the-time programming of the last two popes, who did not seem to mind how many faithful drifted away as long as the ones who remained held fast to official teachings. “Fewer but better” cadres, as Lenin succinctly put it. Liberals are so fed up with American prelates fulminating against homosexuality, comparing abortion to the Holocaust and allying themselves with the Republican Party that they have seized on the pope’s words as signaling a change in the church’s teachings, the way they did when Pope Benedict XVI seemed to say condoms were permissible to prevent AIDS. (Actually, he didn’t quite say that.) There has been no doctrinal change, nor is there likely to be one anytime soon. Rather, the pope was calling for a change of tone and emphasis: forbid with love. “Like Jesus, he’s saying, hate the sin, love the sinner,” said New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who as president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has helped lead the church’s war against gay marriage, abortion and the Affordable Care Act. As the Catholic conservative George Weigel put it in National Review, “Francis underscored that ‘the teaching of the Church is clear’ on issues like abortion, euthanasia, the nature of marriage, and chastity and that he is ‘a son of the Church’ who accepts those teachings as true.”

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