Mardi Gla: Glasgow’s newest Pride event has city council backing

Mardi Gla: Glasgow's newest Pride event has city council backing

Gay pride GLASGOW’S new Pride celebration has won the support of its European peers as well as backing from the city council.

Mardi Gla, run by the LGBT Co-operative, will be Glasgow’s first ever Pride event recognised by the influential European Pride Organisers Association, known as Euro Pride.

Meanwhile, Glasgow City Council confirmed its support for the Merchant City-based event.

City Convener for Equalities and Human Rights Councillor Jennifer Layden said the council had been impressed by the team’s approach, following an uncertain period for Pride events in the city.

Ms Layden said: "Mardi Gla can be the successful, open, welcoming and free celebration of LGBT Pride that Glasgow deserves – and I’m very happy to support the event.

"I understand how important this is to the city and I’m confident the team have sustainable, realistic plans to ensure Glasgow has a quality Pride event that everyone in the community can feel a part of."

Euan Mcleod, a former Labour councillor, is executive director of the LGBT Co-operative and said the event will include a march and two-day festival.

Mardi Gla will take place on July 20 to 21, using some of the same footprint and infrastructure as the Merchant City Festival.

Its organiser aims to be one of the most accessible, transparent and democratic LGBT organisations in the UK; with one third of board members elected annually by members of Glasgow’s LGBT community.

Will Labate, chairman of the LGBT Co-operative, said: "We are delighted that our ambitious plans for transforming Pride in Glasgow have been recognised at a European level and we look forward to working closely with Glasgow City Council as we work together to deliver a free and educational Pride in Glasgow this July."

Mardi Gla and its organisers have also been granted membership of Euro Pride, with Glasgow only the second community in Scotland to meet entry conditions.

Euro Pride was formed in 1991 and now has almost 100 members across 30 countries.

It promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride across the continent and seeks to empower and support local and national organisations to promote Pride as both a celebration and a vital human rights movement.

The association also aims to facilitate networking and skill-sharing among member cities and is advocate for the Pride movement at a national and international level, including at the European Parliament.

Kristine Garina, President of European Pride Organisers Association, said: "We are delighted to have welcomed Mardi Gla – Glasgow’s Pride to our membership.

"Our Association is growing at an unprecedented rate and it’s great to see another Scottish Pride keen to engage in the international Pride movement.

"We look forward to working with the Mardi Gla team to support their event and ensure Scottish representation on the international stage."

Legislator calls Illinois House mandate for LGBT school lessons ‘Indoctrination, not history’

Legislator calls Illinois House mandate for LGBT school lessons ‘Indoctrination, not history’

Shutterstock.com March 19, 2019, LifeSiteNews — The Illinois House has passed a controversial bill requiring public school history textbooks to include “the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this state.”

Known as HB 246 , the measure passed by a comfortable 60-42 margin, largely along party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans in opposition to the proposed legislation. No Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

The bill aims to amend the state’s textbook block grant program, mandating the purchase of textbooks that highlight the contributions of all groups protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act.

“There is nothing that prevents the teaching of the lives of historical figures including if they were known to have been homosexuals,” said Rep. Darren Bailey. “But forcing that information on five-year-olds and elementary school children is more of an effort of indoctrination than of learning history about individuals who accomplished important discoveries in science or created great works of art.”

“I also opposed this legislation because it does not provide an ‘opt-out’ option for parents who do not wish their children exposed to this kind of information for religious reasons or because their child may not be of a mature enough age to fully understand the meaning and implications of what LGBT actually is,” added Bailey.

Another Republican, Rep. Tom Morrison, objected on mostly pragmatic grounds, focusing on how the newly mandated material would unfairly burden teachers who already face difficult workloads.

“We all know that we need to have a well-educated, well-informed citizenry. We have to have that if we’re going to maintain our form of government,” said Morrison. “But we’re already failing to teach history to today’s and future generations. We’re not even covering the basics of our shared history.”

The legislation now goes to the Illinois Senate, where it is expected to pass. If signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the measure would go into effect July 1, 2020.

Some are viewing this as a mostly symbolic act, with little or no impact in the immediate future.

The legislation “only applies to textbooks purchased through the state’s textbook block grant program, which has not received any funding for the last five years, and which the State Board of Education has not requested funding for in the upcoming budget,” according to a saukvalley.com report.

Things to Know About the LGBT Community

Things to Know About the LGBT Community

A 2015 study found that 7.6% of the Japanese population—1 person in 13—identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We talk to Harima Katsuki, a psychiatrist and counselor for LGBT people, about what we know about these individuals, including the difficulties they face. Harima Katsuki Director of the Harima Mental Clinic. Earned his MD from the University of Tokyo. Director of the Japan Society of Sexual Science. He is also a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Pessimism About the Future

Sugita Mio, a Liberal Democratic Party member in the House of Representatives, made waves with her article in the August 2018 issue of Shinchō 45 in which she claimed that the LGBT community “received too much support.” Similarly controversial was Sugita’s 2015 appearance on a right-wing YouTube channel, during which she slammed as “unjustified” the use of taxes to support “unproductive” gays and lesbians, and even laughed when referring to high rates of suicide among LGBT children.

It goes without saying that suicide rates of any group should never be a laughing matter. As shown in the graph below, the transgender population is marked by a high incidence of suicide-related events. Harima attributes this to the growing discomfort experienced by transgender youth during puberty due to their changing bodies, an inability to come out to their families, which results in a sense that they do not belong anywhere and therefore feelings of isolation, and bullying at school and in the community.

“Then there is the issue of relationships,” says Harima. “For a romantic advance by a gay man or lesbian to be successful, the other party needs to be attracted to the same sex as well. Transgender people find it hard to form relationships at all, and sometimes when they do find a mate, it is only to be dumped on the grounds of realities beyond their control: They are not a ‘real’ man or woman. They cannot get married. They cannot have children. These transgender people suffer a double blow.”

It is not only external factors that can make LGBT individuals feel suicidal, he notes: Sometimes LGBT people evince harmful attitudes toward themselves.

“Take ‘internalized homophobia.’ For example, if an LGBT character on TV is portrayed as repulsive or ridiculous, LGBT viewers may internalize this message and feel that they, too, are repulsive. Some transgender individuals even take their own lives, believing that they will be reborn as a ‘real’ man or woman.”

Something that may be said about all LGBT persons, says the doctor, is that they are inclined to feel like they are not living their lives to the full. “This feeling can result in suicidal behavior. For example, a gay man with a crush on a male pop star might pretend to like a female one instead. A transgender person might pretend to like women despite actually being attracted to men, or vice versa. This may not seem like a big deal, but these people feel they are not being true to themselves—that they are not really alive. Be yourself and risk discrimination and bullying. Live a lie and feel like you don’t have a life. This dilemma makes people despair about their future.”

On a positive note, however, it is becoming easier for these people to be true to themselves, notes Harima. “Nowadays, if you simply pluck up the courage, it’s easier than ever to connect with other people like yourself online. Meeting others in a similar situation can provide a feeling of belonging and make you feel less isolated. LGBT people can also look to an increasing number of out-and-proud role models for inspiration. These role models send the message that it is possible to lead a happy life as an LGBT person. I urge LGBT individuals to be themselves, thereby doing their own bit to stop discrimination and harassment.” Well-Intentioned Outing

However, sometimes when an LGBT individual comes out to a friend, the friend might tell others, thereby “outing” the LGBT individual (disclosing his or her sexuality or gender-identity) on a scale he or she did not intend right away.

“It’s rare for a patient to come to my clinic with the specific complaint of being outed, which is actually evidence of just how common outing is. People come out for a reason: they want to get their secret off their chest or become closer to the friend. Transgender people may come out in order to be treated as the gender they identify with. Therefore, if a friend comes out to you, you should tell them that they are still the same person to you and, importantly, not tell anyone else. Asking them why they decided to come out to you in particular at this time can shed light on the situation they’re facing.”

A separate issue, says Harima, is that of coming out in the context of a romantic advance.

“Among heterosexuals, it’s common to tell your friends if someone asks you for a date. This can be a way of trying to detract from the awkwardness of the situation, or simply because we don’t know what to do. Clearly, having an LGBT individual come out to you because they are attracted to you is an even bigger deal. The gravity of the situation makes us want to share it with others, and it follows that the act of outing an LGBT individual who ‘came onto you’ is not always done out of malice. For that individual, however, the experience of being outed by someone they were attracted to is devastating and may even push them toward suicide.” Harima puts his psychiatry training to use in helping LGBT patients improve their lives. Surgery Is No Panacea

“Outing is not the only problem that can arise innocently,” continues Harima. “For example, for a transgender individual, changing one’s legal gender is the ultimate solution to the problem of being deemed to belong to one’s birth sex in the workplace. If an MtF, or male to female, transgender person is legally female, it’s easier for her to use the women’s bathrooms and changing rooms at work. In Japan, however, one must undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to change one’s legal gender. The thing is, not everyone wants surgery. The prospect is intimidating. And yet surgery is presented as a solution to a problem, which makes transgender people feel that they need to have gender reassignment. This state of affairs makes those who have not undergone gender reassignment feel like ‘frauds,’ and thus reluctant to complain to their workplaces about things like bathroom options.”

This situation can also lead to employer intolerance, warns Harima. “The reasoning becomes that ‘preoperative’ transgender people can fix all their problems with an operation. This unspoken pressure to ‘hurry up and get a sex change’ makes life difficult for those who choose not to. Gender reassignment surgery has become a solution not for transgender people themselves, but for a society that doesn’t know what to do with them. This is frightening. It’s my belief we all need to take a more laid-back attitude to the transgender community. People need to understand that if a transgender coworker, even a slightly masculine-looking one, identifies as female, then she might use the women’s bathroom. Public toilets prevent more of a hurdle, but I think this approach would work in workplaces or educational institutions in which everyone is somewhat acquainted.” Respecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On Internet forums you will find some support for the idea expressed in Sugita Mio’s Shinchō 45 article, that is, that LGBT rights get too much attention. Pundit Ogawa Eitarō’s infamous article in the October 2018 edition of the same magazine (which ultimately spelled the end of that publication) was titled “The Government Can’t Fix Subjective Hardship.”

In it, Ogawa writes, “No hardship is so deep-rooted as that of the compulsive groper, who, upon smelling a woman’s scent in a crowded train, cannot stop himself from touching her. . . . Surely society should defend the right of these men to grope women.”

Harima stresses the need to respect sexual orientation and identity specifically. “I qualify my statement in this way for the reason that there are sexualities that infringe the rights of others, such as pedophilia, and the sexuality of individuals who are incapable of becoming aroused without inflicting violence. Public groping and rape are not acceptable between members of the opposite sex, so obviously unwanted sexual advances between persons of the same sex are unacceptable too.”

The doctor closes with a warning against prejudice. “At the same time, in the same way that we do not condemn all heterosexuals on account of a small number of heterosexuals who commit rape, we should not condemn all lesbians and gay men on account of a small number of people who commit these offences either. We accept all races and religions to the extent that they do not infringe on the rights of others. I believe that the same should apply to the spectrum of sexual orientations and identities.”

(Originally published in Japanese on February 25, 2019. Reporting and text by Kuwahara Rika of Power News. Banner photo: A rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBT pride and the LGBT movement. © TommyX/Pixta.)

Sara Ramirez Pulls LGBT Center Donation

Sara Ramirez Pulls LGBT Center Donation

Actress Sara Ramirez wants to make sure her donations are benefitting the bisexual community. Out bisexual actress Sara Ramirez has withdrawn a donation she made to the LGBT Community Center in New York after she said the organization failed to follow through on its pledge to use the funds to implement bisexual-based training for its staff.

“Just got a full refund from the NY LGBT Center because after a year & a half of promising my donation would create #bi+ assessments & training 4 their staff, it never happened,” Ramirez wrote in a tweet March 11.

A spokesperson for the Center acknowledged that the organization did not incorporate the trainings.

“We strive to meet donors’ expectations but unfortunately were not able to do so in this instance,” said Mary Steyer, the Center’s senior director of communications. “Given that, the most responsible course of action was to return the donor’s gift.

The actress, who came out in 2016, instead opted to shift her funds to BiNet USA, a nonprofit bisexual community organization, in order to train folks at Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors United, which addresses youth homelessness with a particular focus on LGBTQ kids.

It is not clear how much money Ramirez originally donated or what kind of training will be carried out with the re-allocated funds.

BiNet USA tweeted in response to Ramirez, thanking her “for this opportunity to educate and make the world a little but [sic] better.”

Ramirez, who originally hails from Mexico, has a special connection the True Color Fund. She came out during the 2016 40 To None Summit, which was spearheaded by that organization, and she currently serves on its board of directors.

The actress’ career has included multiple roles depicting bisexual characters. She has starred as Callie Torres in “Grey’s Anatomy” and Kat Sandoval on “Madam Secretary.”

Prior to becoming known for her on-screen work, Ramirez nabbed a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress for her role in the Broadway musical comedy “Spamalot.”

Ramirez received the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign in 2015.

©2019

UK will spend £12 million to end LGBTI discrimination globally

UK will spend £12 million to end LGBTI discrimination globally

The British government wants to promote LGBTI inclusion around the world and has committed £12 million (US$16 million) over the next three years to do so.

Baroness Williams of Trafford made the announcement at the country’s first National LGBT Conference. The Women and Equalities office hosted the conference attended by about 300 delegates.

Baroness Williams is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities) and Minister of State for Countering Extremism.

‘It’s wonderful… I feel like we’ve really been making strides,’ Baroness Williams told Gay Star News.

‘In many ways we’re leading the world in equalities, I feel really proud in the advances of equalities.’

The UK slipped to fourth place on this year’s ILGA Rainbow Index. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Rainbow Europe Map and Index measures all European countries on LGBTI rights. The UK used to have the top spot in 2015. But it steadily dropped in rankings until hitting fourth place last year out of 49 European countries. A clear call from @OllieEntwistle : Our school system and the culture of #LGBT prejudice and abuse/bullying has remained stubbornly damaging despite more general shifts in societal attitudes towards our community and MUST be changed. #LGBTnatcon19 — Greg Owen (@Greg0wen) March 18, 2019 The £12 million is part of an UK AID initiative to improve LGBTI Rights.

Asked if the LGBTI focused aid was British reparations for introducing laws criminalizing same-sex relations throughout its former and current colonies, Baroness Williams said: ‘The motivation behind international focus is about influencing, we lead the world on equality, it’s important that we show leadership in this area… not just about tolerance, but acceptance of different types of lives that people want to lead.’ Momentum for LGBTI rights

Monday’s conference brought together stakeholders from civil society, public service and media to discuss how to improve LGBTI people’s lives through access to services and policy changes.

It followed the announcement of the UK’S first LGBT Health Advisory Panel headed by Dr Michael Brady . The panel was created out of the LGBT Action Plan following a survey of 108,000 LGBT people.

Commenting on how effective the panel could be, Baroness Williams made assurances parliament would take its advice.

‘If you see the people who are on the panel, they will be quite forthcoming in their recommendations,’ she said.

‘Generally we don’t set up advisory panels if we don’t want to hear what they’ve got to say. So I think as a government we’ve got to take all the recommendations and we will be as positive as we can in responding to them.’

Brady hosted a small forum where he answered direct questions about his role and listened to feedback about what his priorities should be.

‘It feels like a good time to take this on, it feels like there’s momentum for this,’ Brady said. Global summit

The Women and Equalities office will also host the first of its kind global summit on LGBTI issues. Heads of state and other influential people will be invited to attend to share ideas on how to end LGBTI discrimination.

While the survey did not ask anything specific about international issues, many survey respondents chose to comment about Britain’s global responsibilities in the open free-text response.

‘I feel in terms of reach and engagement it’s been fantastic,’ Baroness Williams said of the survey. Gender Recognition Act

Baroness Williams also updated delegates on the department’s review of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Some really good updates and announcements coming out of #LGBTNatCon19 , in particular latest on @WomenEqualities #GRA consultation response. — Liam Beattie (@Liam_Beattie) March 18, 2019 Last year, the government asked for submissions regarding the GRA. The process put the trans community at the center of a toxic national debate about their rights. The government received more about 100,000 submissions, with Baroness Williams saying it will hand down its response later this year.

‘We have seen fierce debate on this issue in recent months. And it’s right that the government has listened to every one of those views,’ she said.

She assured delegates the government was ‘committed’ to updating the GRA despite rumors saying otherwise.

‘We are far from slowing down, we are deep in the process. There is no rolling back on the Gender Recognition Act, we are very committed to it,’ she said.

‘I don’t know where these Chinese whispers came from, but we remain committed as ever to it.’

Fans loved Fleabag’s bisexual reveal

Fans loved Fleabag’s bisexual reveal

Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) was revealed to be bisexual Fans have praised comedy series Fleabag , after casually revealing the main character is bisexual.

The BBC Three comedy series featured the storyline in the episode that aired Monday (March 18).

A scene featured saw the nameless protagonist Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) in a bar with businesswoman Belinda (Kristin Scott Thomas).

When Belinda asks Fleabag if she is a lesbian, she responds: “Not strictly.” Belinda (Kristin Scott Thomas) kisses Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). After an emotional conversation about getting older the pair kiss, though Belinda eventually rejects her, adding: “I wish you were my type.”

The scene was taken by fans as confirmation that Fleabag, who is also lusting after Andrew Scott’s priest character, is bisexual. Fans praise Fleabag bisexual representation

On Twitter, a fan joked: “that one scene in fleabag episode three with kristen scott thomas in the bar is everything my bisexual ass needed.” The bisexual scene went down well with fans Another fan added: “ Fleabag has introduced a bisexual story line and I’m in TEARS. Overjoyed at some bi representation.” Fans were overjoyed at the bi representation. One user wrote: “The new episode of fleabag is so good and she’s now confirmed bi could life get any better.” The TV show was praised for bisexual representation. Fleabag was adapted from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman-show of the same name, in which the character was confirmed to be bisexual, but it’s the first time her sexuality has made the TV series.

The show is currently in its second season. Fleabag star Andrew Scott: Being gay doesn’t stop me playing opposite women

Gay actor Andrew Scott previously opened up about the show’s romance.

He told Huffington Post : “It’s not remotely difficult for me to have chemistry with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and that goes for a lot of women I’ve played opposite.

“It’s ludicrous and almost insulting to say otherwise. The most important thing is that you have a real chemistry with the person you’re playing opposite.”

He added: “There hasn’t been a particularly level playing field with regards to who gets to play what. I can only speak for myself, but I think it’s very important that all of us are able to imagine acting is about being empathetic: what is it like to be in someone else’s shoes?

“So, I think it’s dangerous territory to go down sometimes to think that we’re only allowed to play our own – not just our own sexuality, but our own nationality or identity – that we’re only allowed to… represent things that are within our experience.” Novelodge

LGBT centre faces closure due to lack of funding

LGBT centre faces closure due to lack of funding

Facing closure: the Teach Solais resource centre at Victoria Place. Just two years after it opened following a seven-year campaign, the only resource centre for the gay community in the West of Ireland is threatened with closure after being turned down for funding to cover its operating costs.

Since opening its doors, Teach Solais has been a sanctuary for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) people of all ages and from across the region.

To view this media, you need an HTML5 capable device or download the Adobe Flash player. From the hub on Victoria Place, a host of volunteers run the LGBT helpline, have drop-in sessions on Saturdays, host peer support groups, offer free HIV testing and provide cultural competency and social inclusion training for professional service providers working with member of the LGBT community.

Social and well-being events which take place at the resource centre include meditation and yoga sessions, self-defence, writing and photography classes.

A once-off grant of €25,000 from Galway City Council and an award of €45,000 over three years from the Maureen O’Connell Fund through the St Vincent De Paul allowed Amach to open the resource centre and cover its running costs.

Amach have been repeatedly turned down by the HSE for funding of €90,000 to meet the €25,000 running costs for the building and the wages of a resource manager and an outreach worker.

LGBT resource centres in Dundalk, Dublin and Cork City receive ongoing funding for core staff, overheads and other operating costs.

Other than small project-specific grants, the centre has not received any State funds to provide services. Daily operations were managed by a worker through a community employment scheme, whose contract is coming to an end, explained Amach spokesperson Cameron Keighron. No permanent staff have ever been taken on due to funding.

“Trust is a big thing in the LGBT community and having the same friendly face there makes a huge difference so permanent staff is ideally what the centre needs instead of constantly having to change staff and build up that trust every single time,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

“We’ve spoken with politicians including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Simon Harris, who all tell us we’re doing a great job which is great to hear but we need to establish ourselves on a more secure footing in order to continue that great job.”

Without a cash injection, the centre can only continue to operate as it currently is until November.

Its closure will be a big blow to all those who campaigned tirelessly to set it up since Amach was created in 2010. It will also devastate those who have come to rely on it, said Mr Keighron.

“We’ve had people who’ve driven up to six hours to be in that space for just two hours and have the support and social network that exists in Teach Solais,” he revealed.

“It’s the only space of its kind in the region, the only place they can get vital support and important information as well as being comfortable in a social setting that isn’t a pub. Often we’ll be the first public place that people openly admit they’re LGBT. The centre is so busy the board can’t even meet there sometimes.”

Amach has invited all local politicians to a meeting to discuss the funding crisis on Friday, March 29 at 7.30pm in Teach Solais. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Liberal Australian Greens want to wipe out religious programs, replace them with LGBT agenda

Liberal Australian Greens want to wipe out religious programs, replace them with LGBT agenda

Shutterstock.com March 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Australian Greens party has hardened its stance on the LGBT agenda in view of the 2019 federal elections to the Senate on May 18 and the House of Representatives on November 2.

The long list of “LGBTIQ+” policies the Greens want to implement includes a commitment to end an existing program funding the presence of religious chaplains in public schools and to use the money in favor of “secular” and “inclusive” support for “diverse” students.

Other anti-religious initiatives are included on the list, in particular “the removal of religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.” Religious and private schools are especially targeted.

The Australian Greens are a nominally environmentalist organization that started with “ecological” concerns. From its creation in 1992, the left-leaning party not only campaigned for “sustainability” but also for “social justice,” participative democracy and pacifism, in the vein of the Green movement that had objectively supported the Soviet Union from the 1970s onward.

Through the years, the Australian Greens added other concerns to their list, favoring heavier taxation, socialist policies, and all the facets of the culture of death, including the liberalization of drug use and the legalization of euthanasia and same-sex “marriage.”

Their recently adopted commitments on “Sexuality – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Queer Issues” call “freedom of sexuality” a “fundamental human right:” “acceptance and celebration of people of diverse sexuality, e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer, are essential for genuine social justice and equality,” according to the party’s official platform.

From compulsory sex education about “the diversity of sexuality” to absolute rights for gender identification as described in their “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex,” the Australian Greens massively support the removal of all restrictions and “discriminations” in the field, including restrictions on medical hormone treatment for young people.

Teenager requests to the courts for permission to start hormone treatment rose 360 percent between 2013 and 2017.

One can only wonder how this equates with the defense of nature and the environment.

The Australian Greens’ extreme “pro-LGBTQI+” program would be anecdotal if the party were not on the rise. With nine of 76 senators in the Senate since 2016, it plays a decisive role there. The leading Liberal/National Party has 34 senators, closely followed by the opposition Australian Labour Party (31 seats). Neither of the larger parties has a majority.

The Greens made their entry into the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently have only one member of the 150, but their electorate is also on the ascent (10.23 percent of the vote at national level in 2016).

This means that their current proposal to scrap school chaplains might well find support in the larger parties.

The school chaplains’ program took over in 2017 after federal funding for the liberal “Safe Schools” program ran out under conservative pressure, and several states and territories decided not to support it on a local basis. In May 2018, Australia’s federal budget announcement earmarked 247 million Australian dollars (about $175 million US) to finance religious chaplains in public schools, with “a special new anti-bullying” focus. The federal grant was made permanent for the next four years.

At the time, the “Star Observer,” a pro-LGBT media active in Australia since 1979, quoted critics of the move who “said that the very religious leaders who are likely to have opposed Safe Schools and marriage equality” would “now be the chaplains delivering programs intended to prevent homophobic bullying.”

A massive majority of school chaplains are Christian.

The Australian Education Union immediately said the funding would have been better spent, and are in fact “desperately needed” for professional development of principals and teachers as well as “student well-being programs.” The AEU is likely to support The Greens’ move.

Last June, liberal (as opposed to left-wing socialist) Scott Morrison took over as Australia’s Prime Minister on a climatosceptic platform and now leads a minority government. But he also pledged to take action against “anti-LGBT” discrimination in faith schools where students and teachers may currently be expelled because of their “sexual orientation” under religious exemption from anti-discrimination laws.

These exemptions have been criticized by NGO’s such as Amnesty International and other “Human rights” groups.

Under pressure from The Greens and with the promise of bipartisan support from Labor, Morrison said in October that Attorney General Christian Porter has been charged with drafting legislation to put an end to religious exemptions “within weeks.”

For the time being, however, no steps have been taken to implement such measures.

Brie Larson endorses relationship between her and Tessa Thompson’s Marvel characters

Brie Larson endorses relationship between her and Tessa Thompson's Marvel characters

We stan our new hero | Photo: IMDB/Marvel Studios As fans continue to rave about Marvel’s first female-led superhero film, Captain Marvel , star Brie Larson gave them another reason to feel giddy.

In movie, Larson plays Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers. Her best friend is Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), a fellow Air Force pilot, and many fans began shipping the two characters.

On Monday (18 March) morning, Larson tweeted out her endorsement for another Carol ship.

This one is between Carol and Tessa Thompson’s canonically bisexual Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok.

Artist Bev Johnson tweeted out some dreamy fanart of the two heroes. It shows Carol carrying Valkyrie bridal-style as they stare into one another’s eyes.

Thrilling fans, Larson quote retweeted the art and wrote: ‘We cute.’ She also tagged Thompson in her tweet.

Many fans collectively had a meltdown in response to Larson’s tweet. They responded with a slew of hilarious ‘gay rights’ and other LGBTI memes. What is Marvel’s stance on LGBTI heroes?

Marvel has cut LGBTI scenes in numerous movies, including Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. It also happened with Black Panther .

Lately, executives at Marvel have been talking more and more about including LGBTI heroes in their future films.

President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, said last year there were plans to show LGBTI heroes . This included both characters fans already knew and new ones.

More recently, he said these plans are ‘ percolating ‘.

The comics also have representation, both good and bad.

With the X-Men, their mutant superheroes meant to represent marginalized groups, they introduced the first ever drag queen superhero , while also putting one of their out heroes back in the closet .

Last year they also revealed couple Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have an open relationship and may also be bisexual.

Captain Marvel is currently dominating the box office, earning over $260 million domestically and $760 million worldwide in only two weeks. This is already more than the lifetime domestic intakes of several past Marvel films.

After two weeks, it’s the 13th most financially successful Marvel film in North America with plenty of time to keep rising. See also

School wins an award for being a ‘LGBT friendly place’

School wins an award for being a ‘LGBT friendly place’

DIVERSE SCHOOL: Pupils at Cockfield Primary School with a rainbow flag A PRIMARY school has been given an award recognising its work in helping children learn about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Cockfield Primary School has received a Educate & Celebrate LGBT+ Gold Award, which shows the school supports equality and diversity.

Since launching the programme in November 2017, the children, staff, governors and parents have worked together in promoting our school into an “LGBT+ friendly place”.

Teacher Lyn Boustead said: “In our school entrance we have made a permanent rainbow flag display, this is made from rainbow coloured glass tiles which the children and staff worked collaboratively to produce. We have also held special assemblies, worked in house groups, and enjoyed completing LGBT+ activities during focused lessons. We also shared some of our work at the 2018 LGBT+ showcase and held our own ‘pride’ event. More recently, we were part of the amazing Great Bake-off Final making cakes to the theme of peace, reconciliation and activism. Everyone has worked extremely hard, we are truly an LGBT+ friendly place, and proud of

it. We would like to say a big thank you for all the training and support, provided by Educate and Celebrate, especially Claire Pattison, whose support and guidance we could not have done without. Educate and Celebrate has helped us realise that we all have a very important part to play in promoting equality and diversity. We are all on this journey – let’s do it together.”