Episcopal priest will replace Anti-Gay Pastor at Inauguration

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The Reverend Luis León will deliver the benediction during President Obama’s  inauguration ceremony next week.  The pro-LGBT rights priest replaces Pastor Louie Giglio who withdrew from the ceremony after it was revealed that he once  preached a 54-minute anti-gay sermon, entitled “In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality.”

According to Gay Star News,”León has previously publicly expressed his support for gay-marriage and diversity and opposition to prejudice.”

“He ministers at St. John’s Church, also known as ‘Church of the Presidents’ just across the park from the White House.”

“León immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1961 at age 11 as one of the ‘Peter Pan children,” reports the site.

“This will be León’s second invocation, the first being in President George W. Bush’s second inauguration, in 2005.”

Watch León’s inspiring message of diversity and equality:

Taste the Hate: Chick-Fil-A opens in Twin Falls

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It looks like Idahoans have a big appetite when it comes to hate laden chicken served up on a  toasted homophobic bun. The opening of the  restaurant chain’s Twin Falls location, on Thursday, makes it the fourth one to open in Idaho within the past year.

Not surprisingly, the Twin Falls media chose to ignore the controversy surrounding the brand, focusing instead on the PR department’s scripted opening day excitement.

But for those that don’t know, sometimes a chicken sandwich is more then just a chicken sandwich.  In Chick-Fil-A’s case, sometimes it’s a donation to some of the most bigoted and homophobic causes in the country.

As we reported last year,”Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, The WinShape Foundation, has been particularly active in the fight against marriage equality. They’ve hosted conferences with some of the leading opponents of gay marriage in this country. A higher up at WinShape has even praised the efforts of anti-gay activist David Blankenhorn.

Last July,Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy spoke favorably of the company’s donations to anti-gay groups,““I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,” Cathy told the “The Ken Coleman Show,” during an interview.

It looked like there was a little hope in September when Chicago Alderman Proco Joe Moreno met with Chik-fil-A executives. It was announced that the company would end its donations to anti-equality organizations.

The news was to good to be true.

As The Dallas Voice points out,”Chick-fil-A later clarified that the contributions were misconstrued and they would continue to donate to current beneficiaries, some of which fund campaigns against marriage equality. The company released a statement that all customers are valued at its restaurants, but ultimately the company’s views didn’t appear to change.”

The Times-News reports,”…Owner Bill Ystueta says he wants this (the Twin Falls restaurant) to be about the community and our local economy, “We hired 75 people which automatically has an impact on the community, and then just the fact we’re a meeting place and creates excitement.”

Let’s just hope that none of those 75 employees happen to believe in marriage equality, the inclusion of the LGBT language in corporate non-discrimination policies or domestic partner benefits. If they do, we have a feeling they might just be out of luck.

The restaurant chain  has opened locations in Boise, Meridian and Ammon-all within the past year.

Hate Watch: Limbaugh, Hagee attack Marriage Equality

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Let’s be totally honest. Every time a wing-nut talk show host or pastor starts spewing anti-gay rhetoric chances are it’s because either their ratings are slipping or their donations are down.

Rush Limbaugh and televangelist John Hagee have both been around long enough to know how the game is played. Once you attack a minority group or make a hateful comparison from your bully pulpit you are almost guaranteed hundreds if not thousands of re-tweets, Facebook memes and people tuning in to see how you are going to handle the controversy.

Sadly, hate makes big headlines.

During his nationally syndicated radio show on Wednesday, Limbaugh chose to compare marriage equality with pedophilia:

“There is a movement on to normalize pedophilia, and I guarantee you your reaction to that is probably much the same as your reaction when you first heard about gay marriage,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “What has happened to gay marriage? It’s become normal — and in fact, with certain people in certain demographics it’s the most important issue in terms of who they vote for. So don’t pooh-pooh. There’s a movement to normalize pedophilia,” the conservative talk show host  told his listeners.

(Towleroad has the audio.)

Hagee, meanwhile, told his viewers that anything but a male and female marriage is “two disturbed people playing house.”

Both comments come from men who know how to manipulate an audience. Hagee has been using the “homosexuals are taking over America” theme as a fundraising scare tactic for years. Limbaugh, of course, is one of the great  masters of spewing hate in the name of creating “entertaining controversy.” Neither comment comes as a surprise.

Fortunately, both men are a part of a dwindling segment of America. It doesn’t take a Nate Silver to pick up any sort of polling research to know that the majority of Americans, especially younger Americans, no longer view LGBT equality as part of some sort satanic plot.

All one has to do is look at right-wing talk radio’s aging audience and declining ratings to know that Limbaugh and Hagee’s days of being any sort of influential force in this country are coming to a close.  Both of them are smart enough to know that, but as long as hate pays the bills, buys their mansions and puts them in the spotlight, they just won’t care.

Video via Right Wing Watch:

Uganda Watch: Authorities Raid Equality Conference

Just a week after Uganda’s parliament reintroduced a controversial anti-homosexuality bill, which would impose the death penalty on those who participate in “serial” homosexual acts, a raid has sent some of the country’s most visible activists into hiding.

According to the Vancouver Sun,”Ugandan Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo personally attended the raid in Entebbe with the police on Tuesday and ordered the arrest of Kasha Jacqueline, who was profiled in The Vancouver Sun in 2010, but she was able to escape and is now in hiding, according to her Facebook page.”

According to the BBC,”The workshop was organized by Freedom and Roam Uganda, an organization founded by the prominent Uganda gay rights activist.

“I have closed this conference because it’s illegal. We do not accept homosexuality in Uganda. So go back home,” Lokodo told the group.

“The minister also ordered the arrest of Ms Nabagesera , who was given the prestigious Martin Ennals rights award last year for her work fighting homophobia in Uganda, but she fled the hotel,” the BBC reports.

Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill can be traced back to radical evangelical groups here in the U.S.

Michael Airhart at “Truth Winds Out” explains that the American anti-gay religious fascists are directly tied to the horrific bill,” In 2009, Exodus International director  Don Schmierer traveled to Uganda and co-keynoted what became the launch conference for the kill-the-gays legislation. Along with Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Caleb Lee Brundidge — an acolyte of discredited therapist Richard Cohen — the Exodus board member assured Ugandans that parental upbringing and religious infidelity were to blame for any increase in undesirable sexual honesty and authenticity in their country — and that legal sanctions combined with Christian ex-gay therapy could rid their land of homosexuals.”

Click HERE to learn more about the roots of the horrific bill.

Religious Right Inspired “Kill the Gays” Bill Back in Uganda

One of the most horrific pieces of legislation in the world has been reintroduced in Uganda. According to the Herald-Sun, “David Bahati, the MP behind the bill, formally reintroduced the legislation after politicians voted last year to automatically pass it over to the new session after failing to debate it.” r

As we reported last fall,”Michael Airhart at “Truth Winds Out” explains that the American anti-gay religious fascists are directly tied to the horrific bill,” In 2009, Exodus International director  Don Schmierer traveled to Uganda and co-keynoted what became the launch conference for the kill-the-gays legislation. Along with Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Caleb Lee Brundidge — an acolyte of discredited therapist Richard Cohen — the Exodus board member assured Ugandans that parental upbringing and religious infidelity were to blame for any increase in undesirable sexual honesty and authenticity in their country — and that legal sanctions combined with Christian ex-gay therapy could rid their land of homosexuals.”

“Politicians applauded Bahati as the bill – which US President Barack Obama has described as “odious” – was introduced, clapping their hands, thumping the seats in parliament and chanting “our bill,” reports the Sun.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman  tells the MetroWeekly,”Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill is “manifestly inconsistent with Uganda’s international human rights obligations.”

State Department spokesperson Hilary Fuller Renner said in a statement, the U.S. remains attuned to the possibility that Parliament could take action on the Bahati bill, and we continue to raise these concerns with senior Ugandan officials.”

“According to its original text, the bill’s objectives are to “provide for marriage in Uganda as that contracted only between a man and a woman; to prohibit and penalize homosexual behavior and related practices in Uganda as they constitute a threat to the traditional family; to prohibit ratification of any international treaties, conventions, protocols, agreements and declarations which are contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act; and, to prohibit the licensing of organizations which promote homosexuality,” reports the website.

For an excellent read on American ties to the bill, be sure to check out Jody-May Chang’s 2010  Boise Weekly feature piece, “Exporting Homophobia: American far-right conservative churches establish influence on anti-gay policy in Africa”

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