Elijah Cummings has sadly passed away after complications from longstanding health problems. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty) Tributes are pouring in for the Democratic congressman and staunch LGBT+ ally, Elijah Cummings, who sadly passed away on October 17 aged 68.
The Maryland congressman and chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee was a prominent figure in the Trump impeachment inquiry, who made headlines recently after Trump dubbed his Baltimore district a “ rodent-infested mess .”
Cummings was a consistent ally of the LGBT+ community and voiced his support for same-sex marriage during Maryland’s 2012 referendum on marriage equality.
He reiterated his support after the Supreme Court extended marriage equality to the whole of the US in 2015. “It so clearly and rightly upholds the principles of freedom and equality under the law that our nation embodies,” he said in a statement .
In 2016 he shot down the arguments for the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT+ people under the guise of freedom of religion.
He pointedly drew comparisons to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion or disability, before asking the panel: “Now raise your hand if you believe it is acceptable for businesses in this country to discriminate against employees who are in same sex marriages.” He publicly condemned the timing of a Congress hearing to discuss the bill – exactly one month after the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida . 49 people were killed at the gay bar in what was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
“Even if you truly believe that being gay is morally wrong, or that people should be allowed to discriminate against gay people, why in the world would you choose today of all days to hold a hearing on this discriminatory legislation?” he said.
Cummings also proposed needle exchange programs to reduce the spread of AIDS. His death is mourned by many advocates in Maryland and beyond.
“What a terrible loss for the people of Baltimore and of Maryland,” tweeted Maryland LGBT PAC Treasurer Brian Gaither. Waking to the sad news about the death of @RepCummings — what a terrible loss for the people of Baltimore and of Maryland. My deepest condolences to @MayaRockeymoore and the rest of the Congressman’s family.
— Brian Gaither (he/him) (@briangaither) October 17, 2019 Stonewall Democrats praised Cummings for “act[ing] in defence of our democracy as a patriot to honour our constitution.” Rep. Elijah Cummings was a fierce champion of civil rights, including LGBT rights. We join the country in mourning the loss of a true hero of equality. He acted in defense of our democracy as a patriot to honor our constitution.
Rest in Power. https://t.co/ETUWZi4mz2
— Stonewall Democrats (@SDNYC) October 17, 2019 LGBT+ author Eric Rosswood called the senior congressman “a trailblazer and a beacon of hope.” We lost an icon today. Rep. Elijah Cummings was a fighter, a trailblazer, and a beacon of hope. Thank you for all you’ve done in the fight for equal rights. The world is a better place because you were in it. https://t.co/4VEu8te0A6
— Eric Rosswood (@LGBT_Activist) October 17, 2019 Hillary Clinton described him as “a giant” who championed “truth, justice and kindness.” America lost a giant with the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings, a man of principle who championed truth, justice and kindness. He fiercely loved his country and the people he served. Rest In Peace, my friend.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 17, 2019 Stars you didn’t know are gay or lesbian
Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling
Among those mourning his loss most strongly is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi , who paid tribute to “his wisdom, his warm friendship and his great humanity.” The House has lost our North Star. Chairman Elijah Cummings was a leader of towering character & integrity. His wisdom, his warm friendship and his great humanity will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, my friend. https://t.co/WP0830KCkV pic.twitter.com/Hx8RFIWFPC
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 17, 2019
Last week I wrote about a suburban Chicago school district’s Oct. 7-11 week of LGBT curriculum as an example of what the state legislature has required all Illinois public schools to teach starting next July. Although the Evanston/Skokie school district is in a very liberal area, not all parents were comfortable with their preschoolers being taught, among other things , that polyamorous families are equivalent to families of sexually faithful married biological parents, and that being gay simply means “loving” someone of your own sex.
According to a local newspaper called the Evanston RoundTable, the district’s administrators and school board heard from several dozen upset parents after their children started coming home and talking about what they were learning about sex in school. These officials responded with a condescending, inaccurate, and embarrassing defense of themselves.
Here are some highlights from the Evanston RoundTable report . 1. Teaching Transgenderism to Preschoolers Is ‘Age-Appropriate’
A Sept. 24 letter from District 65’s two interim superintendents and the head of the local teachers union twice said the district’s LGBT curriculum was “age appropriate.” Emphasis added in the below quotes from the letter: We are deeply appreciative of District 65 educators and members of the district’s Gender and Sexuality Educators Alliance (GSEA) for the many hours they spent this summer developing robust, thoughtful, and age-appropriate curriculum for use in D65. …All content has been developed to ensure that it is both developmentally and age-appropriate for all students. At an Oct. 7 board committee meeting, school board President Suni Kartha reiterated: “This really is a wonderful, thoughtful, age-appropriate curriculum.”
In my article last week, I sampled the district’s “age-appropriate curriculum” for children ages 3 to 5. It included numerous LGBT picture books such as the well-known “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “ They He She, Easy as ABC ” about using trans pronouns.
These preschoolers were told they can be “just like” a transgender teen celebrity named Jazz Jennings, and that transgender means having one sex’s body but a different sex’s brain ( which is not backed by one iota of medical science ). They were taught “We are all allowed to choose what gender we are.” They were shown this video: These preschoolers and kindergarteners were taught “Sometimes people use their bodies to help them know their gender, and some people know their gender in their heart.” Also: “If you have two mommies, they can be called LESBIANS. That means that they are two women who love each other.” This is a common way of explaining LGBT sexuality to young children in the curricula I have reviewed, such as the Queer Kids Stuff channel on YouTube (which District 65’s curriculum also linked to). Yet it’s neither age-appropriate nor accurate. Since preschoolers don’t know what intercourse is (and mostly shouldn’t), they are likely to understand that “loving” means feeling affection, which every normal preschooler does with people of both sexes, and that doesn’t affect their sexuality one bit.
To state what should be obvious, sexual attraction is not the same as love. I don’t know about all of you readers, but I love lots of people whose genitals I never want to touch. Deliberately obscuring crucial realities like this, and by trusted adults to children who have no knowledge of the world to help them know this is a lie, is one reason to call what the district did propaganda.
And the fact that these people think this is “age-appropriate” for preschoolers or, frankly, children of any other age, completely discredits their expertise and authority. They should all resign for egregiously abusing their power. But of course they won’t. 2. Sex Education Isn’t Sex Education
During the school board’s meeting, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, Stacy Beardsley, stated, “There’s nothing in [the district’s LGBT curriculum] that overlaps with sexual education that would require any form of opt out that State law requires.” As I noted in my earlier article, far-left activists have deliberately detached the gender ideology being taught in public schools from sex ed because many states provide extra legal rights to parents for sex ed, such as informed consent and opt-out.
It’s no matter to them that the only difference between a gay person and a straight person is the kind of sex each engages in, and thus any LGBT instruction obviously falls into sex ed. The defining element of being LGBT is one’s preferred sexual behavior, and absolutely nothing else. Thus any LGBT instruction is necessarily sex ed.
This is just a patent attempt to bypass state laws that obviously apply. When Christians do this, with much more legitimacy, by things like trying to have the Bible taught in world religions or world history, the left loses its everloving mind. That’s because their rule is “You follow the laws we make whether you like it or not, and we do whatever we want regardless of what the laws say.” 3. Religion Has Nothing to Say about Sex
“[W]hen people were talking about religious objections, it does become challenging, so we’ve been trying to help people understand that this is not a religious curriculum, this is not a curriculum that is advocating any form of sexuality,” Beardsley said, according to the RoundTable.
Where can people have ever gotten the ridiculous idea that any religions have anything at all to say about sexuality? In the event that Beardsley has only ever heard from culturally assimilated Christians on this, maybe she should make time to talk to, say, a practicing Muslim about whether sexual behaviors have any religious component. 4. Let’s Deliberately Keep Parents in the Dark
The school board also discussed what to do about the fact that parents were keeping their kids home from school during the LGBT week to protect their kids. The Evanston/Skokie school board’s vice president, Anya Tanyavutti, suggested in response, “Not telling people the time of the curriculum is an option.”
Previously the school district’s LGBT curriculum was fully available online, but it has now been made available only to people the district has approved for access.
In the several other states that are passing laws to require all public schools to teach curriculum like this, including California and New Jersey, U.S. Attorney General William Barr noted , this practice of forbidding opt-outs is common. 5. Differences of Opinion Make People ‘Fearful,’ ‘Unsafe’
An unnamed teacher told the school board that she and LGBT people whose emails had been given out to answer public questions had received “horrifying” emails. The RoundTable reported no details from this teacher about what “horrifying” meant, whether there were legitimate threats to these persons’ safety, or whether these emails expressed simply diverse viewpoints.
“Our names are linked to this curriculum, and there is real fear. … We didn’t want to be out this weekend in Evanston because we are truly fearful. I need that to sit with all of you. We are now truly unsafe in this community in which some of us live and all of us teach in,” the teacher claimed. 6. No Opt-Outs Allowed
Upon hearing reports that one school principal had — horrors! — informed parents of when the sexual indoctrination lessons would take place each day so they could take their kids home, school administrators discussed cracking down on this limited exercise of parent choice.
At an Oct. 7 school board meeting, Beardsley “said she had just spent 30 minutes on the phone explaining to a parent why there was no opt out,” the RoundTable reported.
As I reported earlier , the next day school board president “Kartha sent parents and staff a statement: ‘Our administration has heard from a number of parents who want the ability to opt their children out of this curriculum. The District 65 Board of Education does not support allowing students to opt out of this or any curriculum that seeks to include a more complete account of the role of historically marginalized people in our society.’”
The unnamed teacher complained about parents pulling their kids and two school principals allowing children to work puzzles or get picked up by parents during the instruction time. The board and other officials discussed ensuring this could not happen in the future.
“If the family says that they are refusing to have their child be part of the learning, we are not providing that safe space in the building and providing any form of alternate education,” Beardsley said. “…I stand by the fact that all kids should be part of the learning.”
The unnamed teacher asked, according to the RoundTable, “Can people opt-out of Black Lives Matter or the science curriculum that doesn’t meet the religious belief of a family?” Note that the teacher equated political propaganda with actual science instruction. Are the two comparable in this school district? Affirming anti-science positions like the gender unicorn certainly ought to make parents and taxpayers wonder about a school’s science and humanities instruction.
These district employees do, however, have an underlying point. If parents can opt out of one thing, why not another? How far does that extend, and why? What amount of harmful instruction will and should parents put up with before moving their kids to better schools? Do parents really think the kids who skip one week of school aren’t hearing about it from their peers once they go back? In fact, the district’s curriculum explicitly instructed teachers to include LGBT materials in other classes throughout the year, such as reading. The state has mandated that all schools start teaching it in history in 2020.
How can parents trust anything from any school that fails so horrifically on something so basic? Should taxpayers have to fund leftist propaganda that harms children? When are we going to get our kids and money back? By then will it be too late?
Have you ever eaten Froot Loops and thought, "This cereal isn’t gay enough?" Do you seek a safe space to eat your Rice Krispies? Are you concerned that your Corn Flakes aren’t sufficiently woke? Well, now Kellogg’s has the solution! On Thursday, the gay site PinkNews reported , “Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal so you can start your day with maximum gay… If you’re a fan of breakfast and being gay, we have grrrrreat news for you – Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal.”
And to think, we’ve been eating straight, cisgender cereal all this time.
Timed to coincide with GLAAD’s Spirit Day on October 17, they teamed up to produce the “All Together” cereal, which Kellogg’s says is the first to offer Corn Flakes, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini Wheats, Raisin Bran, and Rice Krispies “exclusively together.”
Unlike the mix of cereal the image on the box implies, it’s actually a Limited Edition Variety Pack with 6 individual sized boxes inside, but consumers are free to create any combination they like. Froot Loops and Raisin Brain together? Let your freak flag fly, honey!
Kellogg’s chief diversity officer (why does a cereal company need such a thing??) Priscilla Koranteng said, “At Kellogg, we are firmly committed to equality and inclusion in the workplace, marketplace and in the communities where we work and live.” As part of the Spirit Day partnership, Kellogg’s is donating $50,000 to GLAAD.
According to the All Together Cereal page on Kellogg’s website, Spirit Day is when “millions wear purple to stand up against bullying, and to support a more accepting world for LGBTQ youth.”
The site explains the thinking behind the cereal: We all belong together. So for the first time in history, our famous mascots and cereals are offered exclusively together in the same box for All Together Cereal. It’s a symbol of acceptance no matter how you look, where you’re from or who you love. We believe that all people deserve an environment where they can be their best selves. GLAAD’s John McCourt said, “The All Together cereal encompasses the values of diversity, equality, and solidarity that Spirit Day is all about, and we hope that LGBTQ youth everywhere receive the messages loud and clear.”
Equality and inclusion in a breakfast food – it’s social justice cereal! I think I’m gonna lose my breakfast.
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Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin / Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Andrea Meyerson Productions (AMP) have announced a special, one-night-only screening of More Beautiful for Having Been Broken, the new feature drama from award-winning filmmaker Nicole Conn. Cast and crew members will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A. The event has been set for Saturday, November 9, at 7pm at the LGBT Center’s Renberg Theatre. VIP pre-reception begins at 6pm.
More Beautiful for Having Been Broken is the story of three women whose lives intersect at a lakeside resort and are forever changed by the love of a boy with special needs. Directed by Nicole Conn and produced by Lissa Forehan, Jayne Goldstein, and Chakinta Jones, the film stars Kayla Radomski, Harley Jane Kozak, Cale Ferrin, French Stewart , Bruce Davison , and Zoë Ventoura. An award-winning filmmaker, Nicole Conn has achieved world-wide industry recognition with her features Claire of the Moon, Elena Undone, A Perfect Ending and little man.
The evening’s program will include a VIP pre-reception and an after party for everyone with a complimentary food buffet, cash bar, and dancing under the stars with DJ Tish Corleone.
General admission tickets are $25 and include the screenings, Q & A, and after party. A $50 VIP ticket will include the general admission items, a hosted wine and cheese pre-reception, and preferred seating for the screening. Tickets may be purchased online at www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre or by phone at (323) 860-7300. Net proceeds from all ticket sales will support the full range of free and low-cost programs and services offered by the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Renberg Theatre is located at 1125 N. McCadden Place (one block east of Highland, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard), in Hollywood, 90038. More Hot Stories For You
James Ledward was a dedicated activist and journalist MOURNERS stopped to pay their respects to a community stalwart at his funeral today.
James Ledward was an activist, campaigner, and magazine editor who promoted Brighton’s LGBT community.
He died earlier this month, aged 65, and his funeral was held at St Mary’s Church, Kemp Town today.
There was standing room only as Rev Michael Hyde gave the eulogy in two parts, recounting Mr Ledward’s life first in London, then in Brighton .
Andrew Kay from Latest TV and Chris Gull from the Rainbow Fund shared their memories, while the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus and the Actually Gay Men’s Chorus gave a "spectacular" performance.
Mr Ledward edited GScene magazine, and staff described him as a kind and passionate advocate for equality who will be missed by everyone who knew him.
The magazine has been regarded as the "go to" publication for LGBT people in Brighton and Hove.
Hove MP Peter Kyle Mr Ledward’s death had left the community bereft.
Mr Kyle said: “James was part of the fabric that holds our community together and kept us going through good times and bad."
Brighton and Hove City Council leader Nancy Platts described him as a "kind and thoughtful man".
She said: "He was such a kind and thoughtful man who was always ready to stop for a chat – often an impromptu discussion about Brighton politics in the middle of the road.
"He approached life with a sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye and will be sorely missed.
"My thoughts are with his family and friends."
Former Hove MP Ivor Caplin was among the mourners and said: "It was very much a coming together of the LGBT community in difficult circumstances.
"James Ledward is going to be hugely missed."
A funeral service was held this morning, and traffic was diverted away from St James’s Street to allow the funeral cortege to pass.
Mr Ledward is survived by his husband Besi.
HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) — Two days after a 14-year-old was hit and killed on Highway 55 in Holly Springs, a scholarship was announced in the teen’s honor.
According to the LGBT Center of Raleigh, Scout Undercoffer’s parents reached out to set up a scholarship fund in their child’s name.
"Scout was about to be one of the world’s most fierce LGBT advocates," Scout’s mother told the LGBT Center of Raleigh.
"We grieve the untimely loss of this young person, a champion for equity, and a compassionate soul," the LGBT Center said in a Facebook post.
Scout was hit and killed around 5 p.m. Wednesday near Somerset Farm Drive.
People who live in the area told ABC11 the road is dangerous because there are no crosswalks.
"It’s devastating because I always warn my son about this road and going across the street to the gas station or McDonald’s is just dangerous," said Erika Kiesenhofer. "I tell him never go past this sidewalk and go on 55, it’s 55 mph and people are going 60 if not more. There’s no crosswalks. There’s nothing so it’s just an accident waiting to happen."
In an email statement, Holly Grove Principal Janiece Dilts called Scout "a wonderful person."
Donations to the LGBT Center of Raleigh can be made through the website donations page by typing "Scout" in the "In Honor of" section. If you wish to donate by check, write "Scout’s Scholarship Fund" on the memo line.
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Today is the annual “National LGBT Center Awareness Day.”
It was started in 1994 as a way to call attention to all the services these centers provide to the LGBTQ+ communities.
Including offering spaces where community members can network, find support, employment and more.
Here are links to centers in the Bay Area: SF LGBT Center: sfcenter.org
UCSF Center for LGBT Health and Equity: lgbt.ucsf.edu
San Francisco Project Open Hand: openhand.org
Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center: defrankcenter.org
Pacific Center for Human Growth: pacificcenter.org
Parents and children demonstrate against the No Outsiders programme at Parkfield School in Birmingham in March [Photo: Getty] One of the mildly amusing moments on the first day was when counsel for the protesters brought up Roy and Silo, heroes of a little book called , one of the books used in the school’s ‘Educate and Celebrate’ diversity programme. Roy and Silo, you see, are just like other penguin couples at the zoo: they bow to each other, walk together and swim together. But they are, ahem, boy penguins. So when the keeper finds them trying to hatch a stone, he realises it’s time to give them an actual egg — and bingo, Tango makes three. Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson was asked about this book in court: would it cause tension, given the religion of the pupils (mostly Muslim)? ‘There is a tension, of course, when some people believe homosexuality is sinful,’ she replied. ‘It is not sinful in British law.’
Donald Miralle/Getty Researchers in the US have discovered that there are more tanning salons in neighbourhoods with high numbers of gay men – and that this could be raising skin cancer rates.
For the study, researchers looked at data of households where there were male same-sex couples across 4,091 census tracts, NBC News reports.
They then looked at the distribution of tanning salons in the same cities and founds that the odds of living near a tanning salon were twice as high in areas with high numbers of male couples. Research is important as gay men experience higher rates of skin cancer than heterosexual men.
“This matters because gay men already experience many health disparities and also have higher rates of skin cancer,” Dr Eleni Linos, one of the study’s authors said.
She said that tannings beds are “a known carcinogen” and that having more of them available in neighbourhoods with high concentrations of gay men is problematic.
Gay and bisexual men are six times as likely as heterosexual men to use tanning salons, which doubles the risk of skin cancer. This matters because gay men already experience many health disparities and also have higher rates of skin cancer. Stars you didn’t know are gay or lesbian
Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling
Researchers examined the rates of tanning salons in 10 US cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Dallas, Phoenix, Portland, Denver and Washington D.C.
They also looked at other factors such as the percentage of white residents and the number of young women living in these areas, but they did not affect the outcome significantly. Research has previously found a need to target gay and bisexual men with preventative measures.
Research conducted in 2015 found that gay and bisexual men were more likely to use tanning beds and also experienced higher rates of skin cancer than heterosexual men.
At the time, reserachers said that there was a strong need to target gay and bisexual men with preventative measures.
The research – which was published in JAMA Dermatology – involved 78,500 straight men, more than 3,000 gay and bisexual men, 108,000 straight women and 3,000 lesbians.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has claimed that indoor tanning beds are in no way safer to use than outdoor tanning.
Despite this, tanning salons remain persistently popular among various cohorts of society.
Paddy Smyth took home £70,000 after winning reality show The Circle. (Channel 4) Paddy Smyth, a gay disability activist with cerebral palsy, was announced tonight (October 18) as the winner of Channel 4’s reality show The Circle and took home £70,000.
Georgina placed second, Tim and Sammie came joint third, and fifth place was taken by recently out bisexual festival-goer Woody.
Paddy, who was a late arrival to the show, originally introduced himself by saying: “I’m disabled, I’m queer and I’m here.”
He was praised by contestants and viewers alike for his dazzling personality, and his determination to not let his disability get in his way. To be honest even though Paddy came halfway he truly deserved win. He was genuine and he didn’t allow his disability to get in the way his personality.
Big thumbs up is his outfit. #TheCircle
— ♣Selina♥ (@SelinaGiGi) October 18, 2019 Before entering the apartment block, he said that if he were to win he would use the money to help his mum, as his dad recently passed away, but he added: “I’d bedazzle my crutches and get gold-plated ones… Then I’ll probably squander most of it away and go on a big piss up.”
It was a double queer win, as gay theology professor and cat owner Tim Wilson also took home £30,000 as the “Viewer’s Champion”, voted for by viewers on the night of the final. the uk might’ve voted wrong for brexit, but they voted right for tim to win viewer’s champion and that’s all i could ask for #TheCircle
— (@beatrizblib) October 18, 2019 In the final episode, the five remaining contestants gave the ratings which would decide the winner of the game, and then met around a table to see each other in person for the first time.
The only remaining “catfish” was single mother Sammie, and the other players were shocked when they discovered that “Sammie” was actually James.
When Tim entered the room, he exclaimed: “Who is this? Oh my god, Sammie! You’re going to have to tell me quite a lot about yourself, you’re a very naughty boy.” #TheCircle TIM I WANTED YOU TO TEAR THIS JAMES BLOKE TO SHREDS BUT YOU HIT OUT WITH “you are a very naughty boy” AND IM ALMOST HAPPIER THAN I THOUGHT
— bennett (@bnnt_t) October 18, 2019 James said he chose to play a single mother because he loves his own mum, who raised him on her own, and he wants to support her by winning the prize money.
However Tim hit back, saying: “It’s really difficult to do a good thing by doing something which is really dodgy .” Dont hug me you untrustworthy Catfish #TheCircle pic.twitter.com/5gYsgSOsJd
— F.Thought.Less (@FThoughtLess1) October 18, 2019 Paddy told the other contestants: “My vulnerability is for everyone to see. The Circle gave me the opportunity to see if people liked me for me.”
He also told Woody, the son of Zoe Ball and Fatboy Slim : “You’re hotter in person that you are in your pictures!”
In the live interviews before the winner was announced, professor and former monk Tim revealed what he had learned on the show. He said: “Everyday I was learning!
“New hashtags, new emojis, some very naughty acronyms. The one that’s going through my mind right now is ‘WTF’. Woody taught me another one, ‘MILF’. And I thought, I could be a ‘DILF’!” I want Tim to have his own chat show please #TheCircle
— Laura (@houseofcaley) October 18, 2019 In Paddy’s interview, he spoke about his special relationship with fellow contestant Georgina, who lives with Crohn’s Disease.
He said: “Our foundation was that I’ve never met someone who understood what it’s like to have a condition you’re stuck with… It was almost like she was female version of me.”
Stars you didn’t know are gay or lesbian
Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling
He added: “[My disability] all people see when they look at me. I realised people love me for who I am and I’ve never really believed that.”