MCC Church founder to donate artifacts to Smithsonian

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches, the first Christian denomination with a primary ministry to the LGBT community, is donating a collection of artifacts from the church’s 51-year history to the Smithsonian Institution.

An announcement released by the church says Perry and other church officials will present a 12-item collection of artifacts to Smithsonian History Museum official Katherine Ott at an Oct. 6 ceremony at the Metropolitan Community Church of D.C. at 11 a.m.

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Mormon leader reaffirms church’s opposition to gay marriage

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Russell M. Nelson speaks in Orlando June 9. Photo via Nelson’s Facebook page.

PROVO, Utah (AP) | The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed the religion’s opposition to gay marriage Sept. 17, while explaining that leaders lifted a short-lived ban on baptisms for children of gay parents because they felt the “heartache” it caused.

Church president Russell M. Nelson’s remarks in a speech to students at the church-owned Brigham Young University were the most detailed explanation to date of the faith’s surprising move in April to repeal 2015 policies that banned the baptisms and labeled people in same-sex marriages as sinners eligible for expulsion.

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Transgender Brazilians ‘afraid for our lives’

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Bruna Benevides of Associação Nacional dos Travestis e Transsexuais (L) and Alessandra Ramos, co-founder of Forum Nacional de Travestis e Transexuais Negras e Negros. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

Two transgender activists from Brazil who spoke in D.C. last week said their country has become even more dangerous for trans Brazilians since anti-LGBTI President Jair Bolsonaro took office.

The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights hosted Alessandra Ramos, co-founder of Forum Nacional de Travestis e Transexuais Negras e Negros (FONATRANS), and Bruna Benevides of Associação Nacional dos Travestis e Transsexuais (ANTRA) on Sept. 13.

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Ariz. court rules for wedding invitation business seeking to turn away gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled the City of Phoenix cannot apply its LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance to penalize a local business for refusing to make custom-made invitations for a same-sex wedding, delivering a victory for groups seeking to justify anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.”

In a 4-3 decision written by Justice Andrew Gould, the court determines the guarantee of freedom of religion and speech under the Arizona state constitution permits Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studios, LC, to deny services to same-sex couples.

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Ethiopian church-affiliated group urges action against gays

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Dereje Negash, photo via Twitter.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) | A group affiliated with Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church is condemning what it calls the government’s silence on homosexuality in the country.

Speaking at a conference Sunday in Addis Ababa, the capital, Dereje Negash of the Orthodox Church group dedicated to an Ethiopian saint, said the government’s indifference on the issue is helping the LGBT movement in the East African country.

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NFL star Drew Brees defends appearing in antigay group’s PSA

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is defending his choice to appear in a public service announcement for Focus on the Family, an evangelical organization with a record of anti-LGBT legislation.

Brees filmed a 20-second PSA titled “Bring Your Bible to School Day” for the group.

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Father of kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart comes out as gay

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Edward Smart, photo via Smart’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The father of Utah kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has come out as gay in a heartfelt letter that reveals he has struggled throughout his life with pain and guilt.

“The decision to be honest and truthful about my orientation comes with its own set of challenges, but at the same time it is a huge relief,” Ed Smart wrote in a letter posted on his Facebook page Friday.

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Polish city has peaceful pride march surrounded by police

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ABOVE: Police in Poland lead the city’s pride parade. Photo via Twitter.

PLOCK, Poland (AP) | LGBTQ activists held a central Polish city’s first pride parade with only minor incidents on Aug. 10 amid a deep divide in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

The parade in Plock, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Warsaw, came three weeks after anti-gay violence marred the first pride march in the eastern city of Bialystok. Far-right radicals attacked march participants with rocks, glass bottles and firecrackers on July 20, causing injuries and riot police to intervene.

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Julianne Hough comes out as ‘not straight’

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Julianne Hough, photo via Hough’s Facebook page.

Julieanne Hough publicly discussed her sexuality for the first time in an interview with Women’s Health.

The “America’s Got Talent” and “Dancing with the Stars” judge posed nude on the cover of Women’s Health’s “Naked Strength” issue and got candid about when she came out as “not straight” to her husband, hockey player Brooks Laich.

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Anti-LGBTQ ‘Activist Mommy’ targets Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “The Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston burns “Teen Vogue.” (Screenshot via Facebook)

ST. PETERSBURG | Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay and its host venue Community Cafe are the latest targets of the anti-LGBTQ vlogger Elizabeth Johnston, also known as “The Activist Mommy.”

Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay began in Sept. 2018. The majority of the monthly events—which exist to entertain and inspire children—have been held at the cafe in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District, affectionately referred to as “The Gayborhood.”

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‘Fuller House’ star Juan Pablo Di Pace comes out as gay

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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“Fuller House” star Juan Pablo Di Pace has come out as gay.

Di Pace, who hails from Argentina and was raised Catholic, opened up about his sexuality during a Ted Talk at a TedX event. The talk, titled “The Story of Your Life,” was recorded in March and recently uploaded to YouTube.

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Indiana school firing gay teacher to keep archdiocese ties

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Cathedral High School. (Photo via Facebook.)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) | A private high school is firing an educator to avoid having its ties cut with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Star reports Cathedral High School announced Sunday it’s terminating a gay teacher to avoid a split with the archdiocese, which last week stripped Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School of its Catholic identity over its decision to employ a teacher in a same-sex marriage.

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