Conversion therapy finds new home in Israel

By : Wire Report
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IsraeliStarJerusalem (AP) – A leading American Jewish group promoting therapy it said could turn gays to heterosexuals was ordered shut by a New Jersey court, amid growing efforts in the U.S. to curb the generally discredited practice. But therapists with ties to the shuttered group say they have found a haven for their work in Israel.

Israel’s Health Ministry advises against so-called “gay conversion” or “reparative” therapy, calling it scientifically dubious and potentially dangerous, but no law limits it. In Israel, practitioners say their services are in demand, mostly by Orthodox Jewish men trying to reduce their same-sex attractions so they can marry women and raise a traditional family according to their conservative religious values.

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Screened Out – Hail, Caesar!

By : Stephen Miller
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Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johannsson, Jonah Hill, Francis McDormand, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

What a disappointment is Hail, Caesar! Re-imagining the life of famous Hollywood “fixer” Eddie Mannix as a saint is fine. Making a messy movie seems a sin for a man who was known for cleaning up messes. Even with the homage to classic Hollywood, what a shambles!

Joel and Ethan Coen always shoot interesting projects (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men). They don’t always do successful ones. Hail, Caesar! is one of their low points. Clunky narration, long tangents, uneven scenes, and a lack of a drive damage this picture’s possibilities as a screwball comedy.

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SunCoast MCC welcomes interim pastor Rev. Gina Durbin

By : Krista DiTucci
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TB_News_MCC_mugSunCoast MCC experienced a new beginning on Aug. 17, 2015, as Rev. Gina Durbin became the new interim pastor.

The church experienced a devastating loss in March 2015 when the only pastor in its history, Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy, passed away suddenly. An MCC interim pastor is hired during these types of transitional periods and is specially trained to help with the grieving process. Although interim pastors usually serve 12 to 18 months, Rev. Durbin says this will be a longer term since Sherry was the church’s only pastor.

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Jury finds promise of ‘gay conversion’ therapy was a fraud

By : Wire Report
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A nonprofit organization that claimed it could turn gay men straight violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act, a jury found June 25 in a civil trial that an attorney for the plaintiffs called “a momentous event” for LGBT rights.

The seven-member jury found that Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, its co-founder, Arthur Goldberg, and counselor Alan Downing made misrepresentations and engaged in unconscionable business practices.

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Closing arguments start in ‘gay conversion’ trial

By : Wire Report
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Closing arguments have started in the trial of a Jersey City nonprofit that was sued for claiming it could change gays to heterosexuals.

Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing is accused of violating New Jersey’s consumer fraud laws.

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Head of group sued over ‘gay conversion’ therapy testifies

By : Wire Report
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) – The director of a nonprofit being sued for offering so-called gay conversion therapy acknowledged on the witness stand June 8 that the group claims a “success” rate of 65 to 75 percent to turn gay men to straight even though it doesn’t keep its own statistics and relies on anecdotal evidence from counselors.

Arthur Goldberg also testified that he believes homosexuality is a spiritual disorder and a condition caused by emotional wounds occurring in childhood and adolescence that can be cured through a “gender-affirming” process such as that offered by his organization.

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Jury to hear openings in New Jersey ‘gay conversion’ trial

By : Wire Report
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A jury in northern New Jersey is scheduled to hear opening arguments in the fraud trial of a nonprofit that offers so-called “gay conversion” therapy.

Four men and two of their mothers sued the organization, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, under New Jersey’s consumer fraud laws in 2012.

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Screened Out – True Story

By : Stephen Miller
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Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones

It’s no wonder James Franco and Jonah Hill were drawn to this. They’re best friends who usually churn out absurd comedies (This is the End), but True Story was too intriguing to pass up. Unfortunately, the subject matter is more fascinating than this film version, and the real-life characters more complex than the actors.

Hill portrays New York Times writer Mike Finkel – one of four national journalists cited for inaccurate reporting around the turn of the century. It’s a shame, too, because Finkel’s writing style was brisk and entertaining. However, once a journalist makes a choice to misrepresent sources and material, the damage to one’s reputation is pretty permanent.

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Gay conversion therapy claims are fraud says N.J. judge

By : Wire Report
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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A judge in New Jersey has ruled that claims of gay conversion therapy that describe being gay as a curable mental disorder are fraud.

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso Jr. ruled Feb. 10 in the case involving the Jersey City-based Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing and said that those claims are illegal based on the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. Bariso also said it’s fraudulent to offer “success statistics” because “there is no factual basis for calculating such statistics.”

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Baxter’s Lounge is getting a makeover

By : Anonymous
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Miss ASAP is Dunedin bound
The AIDS Service Association of Pinellas is shaking things up a bit this year with its annual Miss ASAP Pageant. The organization is taking the pageant north—at Blur Nightclub in Dunedin, to be exact. The annual pageant features female impersonators vying for the coveted title to represent ASAP for a full year. The move north pulls the annual contest out of St. Petersburg and stretches into the northern part of the county, where ASAP services many clients. Outgoing Miss ASAP Monica Moore will help organize and host the pageant and will also step down at the end of the night before crowning the next queen in the dynasty. For details or to enter, visit the Miss ASAP 2015 Facebook page.

Quench Lounge: The new Bear Cave
The Tampa Bay Bears finally have a home again! The social club for the hirsute and their admirers will meet every Friday at Quench Lounge in Largo for drinks and camaraderie. Bears president Mike Tobias told Watermark that he hopes the club will not only attract new members by having a new home, but that the group can schedule more outings and dinners throughout 2015 by having a common meeting place. The first official gathering of bears is Friday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. If you missed it, don’t worry, they’ll be back next Friday. The bears will also be the benefiting organization of January’s Watermark Wednesday event, held at Quench Lounge, at 6 p.m. Jan. 21.

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Screened Out – Dumb and Dumber To

By : Stephen Miller
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Jim Carey, Jeff Daniels, Kathleen Turner, Rob Riggle, Rachel Melvin, Laurie Holden

Are you ready for another couple hours of dumb, two long decades after the first foray? If you buy a ticket for this creaky flashback, you know what to expect. It may not be as funny or fresh as the first one, but it is the funniest Farrelly film since the original. That’s not saying much; like the lead character’s IQs, our expectations are pretty low.

Through all their wrinkles and gray hair, Carey’s Lloyd Christmas and Daniels’ Harry Dunne certainly remind us of a dumber, simpler time. There are some solid, intermittent laughs here. Nowadays, this throwback gets lost among the Hangover films, most of Jonah Hill’s oeuvre, and almost every Will Farrell and Adam Sandler offering.

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Red, Out and Equal 2014

By : Patrick O'Connor
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Orlando – Family Outfest was held for the first time in Orlando, celebrating the modern family and creating a family-friendly atmosphere for the local LGBT community to celebrate diversity.

Despite overcast weather and rain, the first ever Family Outfest still brought a good crowd of families to Orlando July 1-7. The weekend included a family night at Fun Spot America Orlando, a Parent’s Night Out at King’s Bowling, Nick After Dark at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Fourth of July at Magic Kingdom, and the Red, Out & Equal event at Lake Ivanhoe, which ended the weekend with a festival and fireworks show.

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