01.11.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution—at least that I can remember.It isn’t because I don’t hope for a better year than the last, particularly after a rather polarizing 2017. It’s just something that never really occurs to me, especially now that I have to wrangle my husband for my midnight-mandated “kissy” photo op. He hates pictures of people kissing.

There’s nothing wrong with people making resolutions. It works for some, and that’s wonderful. I try to make every day the best it can be, so an over-arching 365-day look-ahead just doesn’t do it for me.

Continue Reading >>

Senate unanimously approves Chechnya resolution

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that condemns the ongoing crackdown against LGBT people in Chechnya.

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the resolution earlier this year. The U.S. House of Representatives in June unanimously approved a nearly identical resolution that U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) introduced.

Continue Reading >>

Canada’s Anglican Church votes against same-sex unions

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

TORONTO (AP) — The Anglican Church of Canada narrowly voted against authorizing same-sex marriages July 11 after nearly a week of passionate debates about blessing such unions at the church’s triennial conference.

More than 200 delegates attending the six-day General Synod 2016 north of Toronto narrowly rejected the resolution after more than 60 speakers made their points, with most speaking in support of the resolution.

Continue Reading >>

Marion County School Board to vote on anti-transgender bathroom bill

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

MarionCountySchoolsLogoOcala (AP) – The Marion County School Board plans to restrict access to school bathrooms based on a person’s biological gender.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports that Board reached a consensus on April 21 on a resolution that would ban transgender students from using bathrooms for the gender with which they identify. The board plans to take a final vote April 26.

Continue Reading >>

Tennessee counties try to defy marriage equality

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Rogersville, Tenn. (AP) – Despite last week’s defeat of a proposed state bill that sought to defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, two Tennessee counties have attempted to vote on resolutions against the ruling.

A Hawkins County resolution against the ruling was approved 13-3 on Jan. 25 with three abstentions, the Kingsport Times-News reported.

Continue Reading >>

Tennessee representative says anti-gay bill worth $8.5 billion loss

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Nashville (AP) – The Tennessee lawmaker whose bill would bar the state from following the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling says he is undeterred by a projected loss of $8.5 billion in federal funds if the proposal becomes law.

State Rep. Mark Pody said at a state Capitol rally Jan. 21 that the proposal he has dubbed the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” is worth any cost – and the Republican from the Nashville suburb of Lebanon disputed the estimated loss of federal funds.

Continue Reading >>

Episcopal leaders say they will not change stance on marriage

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

NEW YORK (AP) – Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said Jan. 15 the U.S. Episcopal Church will not roll back its acceptance of gay marriage despite sanctions imposed this week by Anglican leaders.

In a phone interview from England, where he attended the gathering of top Anglican archbishops, Curry said he told his fellow leaders they should expect no change. The top Episcopal legislative body, called General Convention, last year voted overwhelmingly to authorize same-sex marriage ceremonies in church. In response, Anglican leaders stripped the Episcopal Church of any role in deciding doctrine or determining how the Anglican Communion operates for three years, effectively reducing the church to observer status in the 85 million-member global fellowship.

Continue Reading >>

Another Tennessee county moves anti-gay resolution forward

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Erwin, Tenn. (AP) – Unicoi County could become the next in a growing number of Tennessee counties to call for an override of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling on gay marriage.

The Johnson City Press reports that the Unicoi County Commission on Monday voted to have County Attorney Doug Shults review two versions of a resolution asking the Tennessee General Assembly to both uphold the state constitution’s definition of marriage as a legal contract between one man and one woman and to refuse to accept the Supreme Court’s landmark June ruling in favor of gay marriage.

Continue Reading >>

Reform Jews approve most trans-supportive resolution of any major religion

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Orlando (AP) – The largest movement of Judaism in the U.S. passed the most far-reaching resolution in support of transgender rights of any major religious organization, saying it’s a continuation of a tradition of inclusion in the Reform Jewish movement.

Members of the Union for Reform Judaism attending its biennial meeting in Orlando Nov. 5 approved on a voice vote the resolution, which calls for congregations and camps to have gender-neutral bathrooms and encourages gender-neutral language at Reform Jewish institutions. It also suggests training on gender issues for religious school staff and encourages advocating on behalf of the transgender community. There was no opposition.

Continue Reading >>

Reform Jews poised to pass transgender resolution

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – When Rabbi Elliot Kukla became the first out transgender rabbi ordained in the Reform Jewish movement almost a decade ago, he would get questions from other rabbis along the lines of “There’s a transgender congregant coming to services. What should I do?” He would tell the other rabbis to greet them with, “Shabbat shalom,” the traditional welcome for anybody.

Now, other rabbis ask more sophisticated questions and lack the discomfort of the earlier ones: Is there a ritual for a trans man who is converting to Judaism but doesn’t have a penis for a traditional circumcision? How can we celebrate a 12-year-old trans girl’s name change at her Bat Mitzvah?

Continue Reading >>

Men who beat gay couple are banned from downtown Philadelphia, avoid jail time

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two men accused of beating a gay couple in a case helped solved by social media sleuths will avoid prison time under a plea agreement announced Oct. 15 that outraged members of the gay community.

Instead, prosecutors said, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan must stay away from downtown Philadelphia for several years, pay just under $1,000 in restitution and perform 200 hours of service at a facility serving the LGBT community.

Continue Reading >>

Tennessee board drops vote seeking God’s mercy for marriage equality

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

MARYVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A resolution asking God to have mercy on a Tennessee county for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples apparently didn’t have a prayer of being considered Oct. 6.

The sudden adjournment shocked the 150 citizens who packed into the meeting room. Some of the attendees expressed their disbelief by shouting “Cowards!” and “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Continue Reading >>