LGBT-free Zone stickers distributed with Polish conservative weekly magazine Gazeta Polska. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty) The world-famous venue Carnegie Hall, New York, has listed a concert presented by a group associated with the Polish publication which produced “LGBT-free zone” stickers.
The concert, titled “From Chopin to Gershwin,” is due to take place on October 24 and the only information provided is that it is “presented by the Gazeta Polska Community of America.”
The Gazeta Polska Community of America said on its Facebook page that its clubs in the US are “supported by… Gazeta Polska media and its editorial board,” but that it is “independent and separated from” the magazine.
It continued: “The Clubs represent a broad social movement which inherits the freedom and patriotism oriented legacy of Gazeta Polska.”
Gay concert pianist Paul Bisaccia told NBC News that he was asked to take part in the “star-studded event,” but when he realised the concert was associated with the anti-LGBT publication he said he had to turn it down.
He said: “It is not a small thing to turn down a concert at Carnegie Hall, no one does that.”
“To walk out on that stage is a great honor, to be asked to do it is a great honor, and to find out that the sponsor is someone who would besmirch this honor is very depressing and saddening to me.”
Carnegie Hall in New York City. (Peter Kramer/Getty) A member of anti-racism group Never Again said the Gazeta Polska editor was involved in organising the group
Carnegie Hall spokesperson Synneve Carlino also told NBC News that the show was “an event presented by an outside producer renting Carnegie Hall.”
Carlino said that Carnegie Hall “strongly rejects this sticker campaign and does not condone discrimination or intolerance against any group.”
Gazeta Polska said it would distribute “LGBT-free zone” stickers to readers with its July 24 edition, but earlier this month the Warsaw District Court ordered the magazine to cease distributing the controversial stickers.
A spokesperson for The Gazeta Polska Community of America told NBC News the organisation “does not support, take part or promote” the stickers.
However, a member of a Polish anti-racism group Never Again said that the organisation is “a political movement built around the newspaper… It shares the political perspectives of the newspaper and [ Gazeta Polska editor] Mr. Sakiewicz is very active in organizing it and leading it.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had draft "religious freedom" legislation presented to him yesterday. (Tracey Nearmy/Getty) A new poll has shown that Australians “overwhelmingly” believe that religious organisations should not have the right to discriminate against LGBT+ people.
The Galaxy/YouGov poll, commissioned by PFLAG Australia, showed that 63 percent of people in Australia disagreed with religious discrimination against groups like unmarried mothers or people who are divorced, as well as the LGBT+ population, according to Q News .
When same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia in 2017, conservatives in the country called for “religious freedom” to discriminate .
A draft of new “religious freedom” legislation was presented by attorney general Christian Porter to prime minister Scott Morrison’s cabinet on Tuesday, August 20, and it is expected to be revealed to the public in the next few weeks.
68 percent of Australians also said that religious organisations should not be able to discriminate against people with different views or values.
Almost half (48 percent) of people who described themselves as strongly religious said the same.
62 percent of respondents agreed that religious people and organisations should also be protected from discrimination because of their faith. Pride march in Melbourne, 2010. (Scott Barbour/Getty) PFLAG Australia spokesperson said “Christians in Australia are not persecuted and not likely to be”.
PFLAG Australia spokesperson Shelley Argent told Q News that the prime minister should listen to “the actual ‘quiet Australians’, those who don’t want discrimination in the name of religion”, and said that Australia needed a bill of rights to protect the “rights and freedoms” of everyone.
“Parents of LGBTIQ sons and daughters are concerned a small but vocal group of religious leaders are determined to keep our children second-class citizens,” she continued.
“Our children have families who love them. They contribute to society and pay their taxes – which is more than those in the churches can say.
“This push for religious freedom is just a backlash against marriage equality. Christians in Australia are not persecuted and not likely to be. Christians have nothing to fear except fear itself.”
More than 30 rainbow flags now decorate the street where the Manchester resident suffered ‘homophobic abuse.’ (Lis Sharpley/ Facebook) The neighbours of a man who suffered “homophobic” abuse for hanging a Pride flag outside his home are hanging their own rainbow flags along the street in solidarity.
Alex Hancock, 31, hung the flag last Monday (August 19) in celebration of Manchester Pride but only hours later he said he was harassed outside his house by two men who threatened to kill him.
Hancock told the Manchester Evening News : “They were calling me a f*cking b*tty b*y, a c*ck sucker, a p**f, shouting all this really vile abuse.
“I said they should educate themselves and that they should leave this neighbourhood. Then one of them started walking towards me. He said he was going to batter me and kill me.”
But now, more than 30 rainbow flags outside homes on Hancock’s street have been hung by his neighbours in a show of solidarity.
He told Metro : “It started with one of my neighbours, Liz, who responded to the original email letting them know what had happened.
“She was acting in solidarity and was putting up a flag anyway and said she would put in an order for some more flags and it just spiralled from there.”
He added: “The community is just very accepting, open and diverse and they wanted to put two fingers up to the haters.”
Alex Hancock’s original flag in Old Trafford, Manchester. (Manchester Evening News) The abuse suffered by the Manchester resident reflects an increase in hate crimes in the whole of England and Wales
Hancock told Metro that it meant even more that people outside of the LGBT+ community were supporting him.
“Often it is the LGBT+ community that speak out when something like this happens, but in this case it has been the whole community,” he said.
“It’s been totally led by my neighbours and that’s really touched me. Culturally we have come a long way.
“There is often still a stigma and as long as people don’t speak out that’s what keeps prejudice for future generations.”
The abuse suffered by Hancock in Manchester reflects an increase in hate crimes in the whole of England and Wales and he said “we can’t take it for granted” how far LGBT+ rights have come.
He added: “The visibility of the rainbow flag is really important. There might be someone out there who is not able to be their true selves and I think by seeing the flag out there it may give them that courage.”
A Welsh man said that being the victim of a homophobic attack ten years ago inspired him to join the police.
Cairn Newton-Evans, 28, told BBC Radio Wales that he was punched multiple times and had his head smashed into the tarmac during the assault in November 2008.
The 28-year-old was attacked by someone he knew from school who followed him over a railway crossing in his home town of Ammanford. I wanted to “change things from within,” says police officer beaten in homophobic attack.
Newton-Evans spoke out ahead of Pride Cymru this weekend. (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty) He said he was left with a fractured nose and displaced cheekbone, which required surgery, after the assault.
His assailant also subjected him to “homophobic remarks” and death threats.
Speaking ahead of Pride Cymru, Newton-Evans said he decided to join the police in a bid to change attitudes, after officers only gave his attacker a caution and a “slap on the wrist”.
However, he said an LGBT+ officer from his local police station supported him and encouraged him to join the force to “change things from within”.
Newton-Evans joined Dyfed-Powys Police in 2009 and is currently the chief officer of the special constable. Police officer is now friends with person who attacked him.
He even said that he is now friends with the man who assaulted him.
The officer met his attacker, who works in emergency services, again in 2012 after they were both called to the same incident.
“He came and apologised,” Newton-Evans told BBC Radio Wales .
“What happened gave both of us the kick up the backside to achieve something.
“He knows he is so lucky he has the life he has now – it turned a negative into a positive.”
In June, analysis by The Guardian revealed that homophobic and transphobic hate crime has more than doubled in England and Wales in the last four years.
The rate of LGBT+ hate crime, including offences like harassment, assault and stalking, increased by 144 percent between 2014 and 2018.
There were 4,600 LGBT+ hate crimes reported in 2014, but in 2018 that number rose to 11,600.
Beth Ditto is the lead singer for the recently reformed band Gossip. (Cowan/Getty) Beth Ditto, of the recently reformed band Gossip, has voiced her concerns about the “pink pound” and said of Taylor Swift’s single “You Need to Calm Down”: “Great anthem… straight white girl?”
Ditto, who announced Gossip’s return in March this year, said in an interview with the Independent that the “pink pound,” which she describes as “a whole market deliberately aimed at gay men to take their money,” bothers her.
She continued: “That’s what Taylor Swift did [with “You Need to Calm Down”] . I was like, great anthem… straight white girl? Cool, thanks.
“Released just in time for Pride! I wonder where the proceeds are going for that, you know? That’s the thing that bothers me about it.”
When the song was released in June this year, there was controversy on social media, with Swift facing accusations of pandering to the LGBT+ community during Pride month.
However, in April Swift did make a six-figure donation to the Tennessee Equality Project in April , a non-profit group fighting for LGBT+ rights in the southern state.
When questioned about this, Ditto responded: “She did? She is doing that?
“Good, she should! Especially if you’re releasing a song like that. That makes me happy, I’m glad she’s doing that.” Shot from the music video for Taylor Swift’s single, “You Need to Calm Down.” (YouTube) Beth Ditto also questioned Taylor Swift’s portrayal of “rednecks”
Ditto also questioned the”You Need to Calm Down” video’s portrayal of homophobic protesters as “rednecks,” and said it could add to negative portrayals of Southern women.
She said: “It gets very academic very quickly, doesn’t it? And I never went to college, so I don’t even f***ing know.
“My mum used to say when we were growing up: ‘You’re poor, you’re not stupid.’ And when you do equate being poor with being ignorant, I think that is when it gets insulting.”
President Donald Trump speaks during campaign MAGA (Make America Great Again) rally at Southern New Hampshire University Arena on August 15, 2019. (Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) There were reportedly empty seats at a New Hampshire rally for US president Donald Trump earlier this month after a LGBT+ teen played a prank on Twitter.
Twitter user Noah hinted to his followers that they should reserve free tickets to Trump’s rally campaigning for his reelection on August 15 – but then not turn up.
“Hey everyone you totally shouldn’t go on tr*mp’s website and reserve tickets for his rally and not show up so that there’s empty seats (the tickets are free) but you should definitely not do that!!,” he wrote.
Noah’s tweet soon went viral, racking up more than 17,000 re-tweets and over 60,000 likes at the time of publication. Twitter users reserve free tickets to Donald Trump rally with no intention to show up.
Twitter users then began to respond about how they had reserved multiple tickets with no intention to attend the rally.
“Can’t wait to NOT be there,” wrote one person , alongside screenshots of two tickets.
One ticket was reserved for “ligma ass”, while the other was listed under “yoongis Asscrack”. Empty seats reported at Trump’s reelection rally after viral Twitter post.
(noahforchange/Twitter) What’s more, the hashtag #EmptySeatMAGATour even started trending on Twitter.
Following Noah’s tweet, it was reported that there was a notable number of empty seats at the evening rally at Southern New Hampshire University Arena (SNHU) in Manchester, New Hampshire, with genuine Trump supporters unable to get in.
“Thousands of Trump supporters were locked out of the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, for Thursday’s reelection campaign rally by president Trump even though there were plenty of empty seats in the upper deck of the arena,” reads an article for far-right news site The Gateway Pundit . Hey everyone you totally shouldn’t go on tr*mp’s website and reserve tickets for his rally and not show up. Noah also took to Twitter to acknowledge the alleged mishap, writing “we did it barbz”, alongside images of The Gateway Pundit and social media reports of Trump supporters stranded outside the arena.
Speaking to Out Magazine , 17-year-old Noah said: “I really didn’t know if it would work or not, but according to articles I saw, there were all these empty seats, but they weren’t letting anyone in.
“My only logical conclusion is that it’s because of this, that since we had all these reserved seats, they couldn’t let people without a ticket in, even if they were true fans.”
MANSFIELD — Earlier this month, religious freedom advocates held an outreach mission onsite during the local PRIDE rally in downtown Mansfield bringing a visible presence and Biblical truth.
One of the evangelical coordinators, Greg Jevnikar has hope for the future.
“I believe we are reaching the hearts and minds of future generations. A recent survey found that millennials who have been raised in the politically-correct LGBT movement, say they are less enamored with the movement compared to previous years. Today we had a local group of students witnessing to Mansfield PRIDE event attenders.” Several students minister to attenders at the Mansfield PRIDE event. “We attended the PRIDE event to witness and strike up conversations with the event supporters,” says Tara Beechy , coach/host for an area Bible Bee group of students. “We left with a feeling that many of these people are searching for real answers in life.”
According to Jevnikar, multiple scientific studies find there is no gay gene .
“Since homosexual conduct and transgender behavior are conditioned or chosen lifestyles, they should not be categorized with race, color, sex or ethnicity as Civil Rights. A man can put on makeup, wear dresses, or have a sex change operation, but he still has X and Y chromosomes. This is biological fact and GOD designed him that way. No political opinion can change the truth.”
Coach Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries was also onsite and points out that the politically-correct society does not tolerate the Biblical view on sexual morality.
“They have marginalized , censored , penalized , and even jailed Christians who believe in traditional marriage. How can we call this a free country when Big Tech silences anyone who holds a different viewpoint? I personally have been shadow-banned. It seems that rather than holding civil discourse on the issue, they bully Christians and either call you a bigot or silence you. Telling the truth about homosexuality is not hate, it just sounds like hate.”
The Mansfield Gay Pride Association, organized the event which was sponsored by OhioHealth , Planned Parenthood and the pornography chain Lion’s Den . The event included a parade down Park Avenue West and a drag queen story time for children. Several from Ministries of Hope & Healing minister during afternoon shift at Mansfield PRIDE event. Reverend Clyde Kerby of Ministries for Hope and Healing had several of his church members ministering at the event.
“GOD and His Word does not change. There is no question this event goes counter to our local faith community’s standards . Just three years ago we had over one hundred area clergy oppose the federal transgender restroom mandate. Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Concern still exists in religious circles as even parents’ rights are being undermined. Last year a Cincinnati judge removed a child from her parents to allow for a non-FDA approved sex change surgery to proceed.
“With drag queens having story time with our children in Mansfield, as a pastor I am compelled to speak out,” says Kerby. “They are coming after our children .”
“The people that came to us to ask questions and take our educational materials were just kids. A lot of them told us they knew what they were doing was not right. During the event, we learned there were at least three people who committed themselves to Christ. If the Body of Christ has a visible presence onsite, we can win our city back.”
Click on the video below to see brief summary of John Hopkins study that found no evidence of gay gene.
The intention of a short film, short review article is to be as concise as the running time is. Short and sweet. But there is much to be said about Bears Rebecca Fonté’s LGBT horror short film Conversion Therapist so ‘bear’ with us for a moment longer than usual.
Their LGBT horror short film had its U.S. premiere at the All Genders Lifestyles and Identities Film Festival (AGLIFF) last night but it has been on our radar since it’s world premiere here in Toronto back in May so we are happy to be able to catch up with it and report back to you. Conversion Therapist follows a pansexual, polyamorous trio as they set out to kidnap and convert a ‘pray-the-gay-away’ therapist, using some of the same methods he used on queer youth, and some that are maybe a little more extreme. To help set up Fonté’s short film we should know why it’s here. Conversion Therapist was born after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. In their director’s statement Fonté wrote… In the aftermath of Pulse, I couldn’t believe the bigotry of certain “ministers” who did more than hint that they believed the terrorist had done the world a favor. I poured my anger into this script and project. But I also had started a ticking clock. I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to bring this story, with its transgender character, into the world and honestly discuss the story with the actors, crew and audiences without first being honest about myself. When I launched our Kickstarter campaign, I also announced to the world that I was Transgender. Yes. If we have anything to thank the Christian right for, is that they are encouraging the horror filmmaking community to respond to their bigotry. And respond Fonté has, personally and artistically.
First, it was important to Fonté that they cast a transgender person in the transgender role of Salina. "Transgender actors should be able to tell their own stories". Sound familiar? Does that sound like something that the genre community has been back and forth on recently? So Fonté found Evalyn Jake, a first time actor. While their craft is pretty raw they are called upon to work through the emotional crux of the story and they do okay with the material. Coming from a transgender person the monolgue is more authentic through it’s rawness. However, they do stand out against Fonté regular Sara Fletcher and her deliciously seductive and vengeful Justine.
Film wise, Conversion Therapist is a bit clunky. The timeline in the narrative lacks a bit of fluidity, where character emotions flip-flop unnecessarily it seems. Still, when a character expresses that they are tired, I don’t think this is meant to be literal but metaphorical, that the community is tired of facing all this hate, but the moment of expression feels out of place in the edit.
As this is a horror short film as well does Fonté deliver on the genre front? Yes. Yes they do. Teetering on falling into the realm of torture porn Fonté decidedly keeps most the violence off camera. When the trio start carrying out their revenge the blood and the horror does fly. On that it delivers what we want to see happen to the therapist, to see him pay for his sins. There will be no forgiveness here.
This short film is nothing if not a dark dream of what it would be like to lash out at the hate that is flung at the LGBT community. If anyone ever responded the way that the trio do in C onversion Therapist they would not be helping the cause because conservatives would be crying foul and raising a ruckus. The trio would be no better than the animals that hunt them down. Liberals are held to a higher standard, to ironically turn the other cheek as Scripture says. But it costs nothing to dream these nasty little dreams of revenge against those who act out of hate.
Conversion Therapist is how we wish we could act against the hate and bigotry raging against the LGBT community.
Photo credit: Nicole Murrary-Ramirez Reports from the Town Hall For The Black LGBTQ Community say there were many who voiced concerns.
The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) held a T own Hall for the Black LGBTQ Community on Thursday and reports from attendees say some black leaders and activists reflected on how they felt the organization mistreated, disrespected and made them feel overall unwelcome in the past.
A few black elders accused the Center of racism, something they claim has been going on since the ’70s.
Others said because they don’t feel welcome, they just don’t go. They also chastised The Center for its lack of black leadership and staff.
Caroline (Cara) Dessert, the new executive director since the retirement of Dr. Delores Jacobs last year, was present and listened as some speakers got very emotional about their experiences at The Center. Dessert is a queer Latina.
One of the biggest ovations from the crowd came when an African American lesbian stood up and boldly stated ”The Center is definitely off-center " and then sat down; the room filled with applause.
The community has noticed dozens of longtime employees leaving the organization in the past few months for unspecified reasons.
City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez, a long-time Latino and gay activist who was invited and attended Thursday’s meeting was so moved by the testimonies that he sent a proposal to Dessert to change the name of his "Nicole Murray-Ramirez Latino Services" to the "Nicole M. Ramirez – Vertez Burks All People of Color Services" at The Center.
Murray-Ramirez told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News that the meeting brought up issues that the Center needed to hear.
"Last night’s LGBT Black Town Hall has to be a wake-up call that all is not well with the Center and the LGBTQ community," said Murray-Ramirez. "While it was painful for me to hear the pain and anguish of our LGBTQ black community, I was very proud that well over a hundred people showed up and many of them spoke. I must also commend the Center for holding this long-overdue meeting."
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News reached out to The Center for comment and they have yet to respond.
New York’s Carnegie Hall. Bebeto Matthews / AP file Buried deep in Carnegie Hall’s schedule of upcoming events is an Oct. 24 concert titled “From Chopin to Gershwin,” and in small text are the words: “Presented by Gazeta Polska Community of America.”
When gay concert pianist Paul Bisaccia received a call from Poland asking him to partake in this “star-studded event,” he was elated. The 64-year-old musician has performed on four continents but he has never played Carnegie Hall.
However, after searching Google and uncovering the newspaper’s historic bigotry, Bisaccia found himself wondering whether he should accept.
“It is not a small thing to turn down a concert at Carnegie Hall, no one does that,” he told NBC News.
Gazeta Polska, a far-right weekly newspaper in Poland, is infamous for publishing anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ content. Just weeks ago, the publication ignited global controversy by distributing “LGBT-Free Zone” stickers in an August issue. A controversial 2017 cover read “refugees have brought deadly diseases,” which many in Poland saw as echoes of Nazi-era propaganda against Jews.
Carnegie Hall spokesperson Synneve Carlino said the concert “is an event presented by an outside producer renting Carnegie Hall” and added that the venue “strongly rejects this sticker campaign and does not condone discrimination or intolerance against any group.”
Carlino shared a statement from Gazeta Polska Community of America, which said, “The foundation is independent and separate from the Gazeta Polska print media and its editorial board.”
However, the group’s Facebook page has a longer version of this statement that notes its chapters are independent but also “supported by” the Gazeta Polska editorial board in Poland.
Maciej Rusinski, a spokesperson for Gazeta Polska Community of America, said the foundation “does not support, take part or promote” the sticker “stunt,” and added that the anti-gay stickers “may be interpreted as discriminatory.”
“The foundation stands against political censorship of any kind, discrimination on the basis of beliefs, nationality or sexual orientation, as well as against totalitarian systems and ideologies, and those principles are written into the charter," Rusinski continued.
Rafal Pankowski, a sociology professor in Warsaw, Poland, and member of the anti-racism “Never Again” association in that country said the Gazeta Polska newspaper has been on his organization’s radar for some time.
“I think it became more radical under the current editor,” Pankowski said of Tomasz Sakiewicz.
As for both the Gazeta Polska Community of America and the chapters that exist around the world, Pankowski claimed they are all "a political movement built around the newspaper, and so they exist in Poland, and they exist outside of Poland.”
“It shares the political perspectives of the newspaper and Mr. Sakiewicz is very active in organizing it and leading it,” Pankowski said.
Rusinski, the Gazeta Polska Community of America spokesperson, confirmed that the U.S.-based foundation and its chapters have in fact hosted Sakiewicz at events.
Pankowski said the paper is well known in Poland for using the “apocalyptic language” of the far-right. Aside from the sticker controversy, a summer 2019 issue featured an image of rainbow paint-stained hands desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus under the headlines “They want to destroy civilization” and “They want to stamp on everything that we have been.”
Another controversy in recent years, Pankowski said, came after the magazine published an article suggesting that after the Nazi invasion of Poland, the country’s Jews did not “have it that bad because the Jews in the ghetto had self government.” In fact, Poland had 3.3 million Jews before the Nazi invasion, and just 380,000 Polish Jews survived the extermination of the Nazi Holocaust, according to Yad Vashem .
Paul Bisaccia, the pianist, said he plans to decline the invitation to play at Carnegie Hall.
“To walk out on that stage is a great honor, to be asked to do it is a great honor, and to find out that the sponsor is someone who would besmirch this honor is very depressing and saddening to me,” Bisaccia said. “I’m 64 years old, I have had a happy life, and who knows — maybe Carnegie Hall will come under more pleasant and exciting circumstances.”