Amid lawsuit, school OKs same-sex prom dates, student club

AP

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo school district says LGBT students will be allowed to bring same-sex dates to prom and form a club at a high school that was accused of discrimination.

Superintendent Kriner Cash and Board President Barbara Seals-Nevergold announced the decision Friday, two days after the New York Civil Liberties Union helped a student file a federal lawsuit claiming unequal treatment.

Student Byshop Elliot says administrators repeatedly thwarted efforts to form a Gay Straight Alliance at McKinley High School, where he’s a junior, and prevented same-sex couples from buying couples prom tickets.

The superintendent and school board say it’s district policy to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students are included and accepted throughout the district.

NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman called the district’s response a welcome first step.

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MTV Movie Awards shatters gender barriers one trophy at a time

AP

LOS ANGELES — Film hit “Beauty and the Beast” and Netflix newcomer “Stranger Things” were the night’s big winners with two trophies apiece as MTV partied with its Movie & TV Awards show.

For this, the 26th edition of what was formerly known as the MTV Movie Awards, TV was added to the mix. “Stranger Things” was decreed the Show of the Year, and its cast member, Millie Bobby Brown, was named Best Actor in a Show.

“Beauty and the Beast” was the Movie of the Year, with its star, Emma Watson, the Best Actor in a Movie.

But the awards had another trick up its sleeve, introducing a policy of breaking down gender barriers, as men and women competed jointly in the acting categories. Continue reading

Former SDA “Pastor” Alicia Johnston begins New Ministry, makes War on SDA Church, takes her LGBT Activism to NBC & World Stage

Andrew & Hilari Henriques
Saved to Serve

“The world is watching Seventh-day Adventists because it knows something of their profession of faith and of their high standard, and when it sees those who do not live up to their profession, it points at them with scorn.”[1] In recent months, Seventh-day Adventists have been brought into national and even international spotlight, sometimes for good reasons and other times for reasons that bring reproach upon God’s name, his cause and the Seventh-day Adventist Movement.  Most recently, Seventh-day Adventists have received national attention for something that is an embarrassment to the cause of Christ and the belief system that Seventh-day Adventists historically hold to, which can and will be used by Satan to cause individuals to look with disdain upon the biblical messages that are borne by faithful Seventh-day Adventists who hold solely to the law and the testimony (Isaiah 8:20). Continue reading

Drinking Alcohol Makes Straight Men More Sexually Fluid: ‘Beer Goggles’ Boost Physical Attraction To Same Sex

Source

Many of us are all too familiar with the “beer goggles” effect: friends and strangers alike become more attractive after a drink or two. Undoubtedly, drinking alcohol lowers our inhibitions and makes us more open to experimentation with the same sex. In a new study, published in The Journal of Social Psychology, straight men were found to be more physically attracted to other men after a few drinks.

“Most notably, alcohol intake was related to increased sexual willingness of men with a same-sex partner, suggesting a potential shift in normative casual sexual behavior among heterosexual men,” wrote the authors in the study.

Read More: Straight Women Turned On By Attractive Women Are Either ‘Bisexual Or Gay,’ Says Study

Researchers recruited a total of 83 straight men and women who were bar hopping in the Midwest at night. The participants were asked to complete a survey about how many drinks they’d had that night. In addition, they had to watch a 40-second video of either a physically attractive man or woman drinking at a bar and chatting with the bartender. Then, the participants rated their sexual interest in the person in the video, from buying them a drink to going home together to have sex.

Unsurprisingly, men showed high interest when the attractive woman was on the screen; women naturally were more attracted to the man. Moreover, men were more likely to make sexual comments about the woman after the video. Overall, they expressed more sexual interest in the women, regardless of how much they had. This coincides with previous research that concedes men tend to be more lax about casual sex with strangers.

However, the researchers noted an interesting observation: the more alcohol men drank, the more interested they became in the man in the video. Men who had nothing to drink showed no interest. Those who consumed over 10 alcoholic drinks were more likely to entertain the idea of gay sex just as much as having sex with a woman.

The more straight people drink, the more likely they’ll entertain the idea of gay sex. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, Public Domain

Sexual willingness was only influenced by alcohol intake and perceived attractiveness of a same-sex prospective partner,” the authors wrote.

In women, the more alcohol they drank, the more interested they were in other women, and the opposite sex.

This suggests sexuality for men and women does not fall under straight and gay, but instead is fluid. A 2016 study found women have been evolutionarily designed to have same-sex encounters. The researchers proposed women’s sexuality has evolved to be more fluid than men’s as a mechanism to reduce conflict and tension among co-wives in polygynous marriages.

In men, studies have found a large number of straight men watch gay porn and even have gay sexual fantasies. Researchers believe homosexuality has evolved in humans because it helps us bond with one another. In other words, sexual behavior is not a means to an end of reproduction, but it can also be used to help form and maintain social bonds.

It’s no surprise drinking alcohol leads to sexual behavior, and even makes us sexually fluid, and less inhibited. Alcohol’s influence on specific brain circuits has led us to feel euphoric and less anxious. It makes us more empathetic and leads us to see other people — even the same sex — as more attractive.

Alcohol may allow us to freely express our sexual side, without judgment or reservations.

Children Must Be Taught Transgenderism, Homosexuality Starting in Nursery School, Teachers Say

Stoyman Zaimov
The Christian Post

Members of the National Union of Teachers group voted for a measure at a conference in Cardiff to “campaign to ensure a comprehensive age-appropriate content including promotion of LGBT+ matters for all schools from nursery throughout all phases of state education,” The Evening Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

Annette Pryce, a NUT executive member from Buckinghamshire, claimed that the U.K. government hasn’t been doing enough to promote inclusion. Continue reading

NCAA returns to North Carolina after transgender bathroom law repeal

Reuters

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday formally reversed course and scheduled championship games in North Carolina, returning to the state after previously stripping it of events to protest a law on transgender use of public bathrooms.

Transgender advocates immediately criticized the decision, saying although the bathroom law was repealed last month, North Carolina still discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and did not deserve to be rewarded.

The controversy started with the March 2016 approval of House Bill 2, which required transgender people to use bathrooms matching the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. In response, the NCAA disqualified North Carolina from hosting neutral-site championship events for the 2016-17 academic year.

Similar boycotts by other sports organizations, companies and entertainers cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business. In a basketball-crazed state, losing events such as the NBA all-star game and big NCAA tournament games was also a blow to residents’ pride.

Seeking to win back business, state lawmakers repealed the law on March 30, but they also approved a new measure banning cities from passing their own anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people until 2020, drawing outrage from civil rights advocates.

Still, the repeal of the bathroom law was enough to win over the NCAA, which announced on April 4 its board of governors would consider returning to the state. At the time the NCAA said its board would have preferred an unconditional repeal of House Bill 2 and that a majority of the board “reluctantly” decided to return to North Carolina.

On Tuesday, the NCAA selected more than 600 host sites for events to be held from the 2017-18 through 2021-22 seasons, including placing events such as men’s basketball games in North Carolina.

For example, the first- and second-round men’s basketball games in 2020 will be held in Greensboro.

Greensboro will also host regional women’s basketball games in the championship tournament in 2019.

Rights groups criticized the NCAA for returning to North Carolina while its cities were still banned from passing anti-discrimination laws.

“By rewarding North Carolina with championship games, the NCAA has undermined its credibility and is sending a dangerous message to lawmakers across the country who are targeting LGBTQ people with discriminatory state legislation,” JoDee Winterhof, a senior official with the Human Rights campaign, said in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the decision a “shame” and the anti-discrimination group Athlete Ally said it was “deeply concerning.”

An Atlanta Theater Faces Criticism for Gay Versions of Bible Stories

Sopan Deb
The New York Times

What if it really was Adam and Steve? That’s what the Out Front Theater Company in Atlanta, which stages shows created only by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, will set out to answer for audiences during a three-week run of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” starting April 27.

However, its decision to do so has provoked a torrent of criticism over the play, which has been called “blasphemous.”

The work is an alternate version and comedic sendup of stories from the Old Testament, presented through the eyes of a gay couple named Adam and Steve and a lesbian couple named Jane and Mabel. It was written by Paul Rudnick and premiered Off Broadway in 1998. The New York Times called it, a “seriously silly theology treatise of a play.”

The Out Front Theater decided it would do its own rendition of it about a year ago. However, on March 27, emails, phone calls, letters and Facebook messages blasting the decision started pouring in.

“We had already been in rehearsals for several weeks and had auditions before that,” Paul Conroy, the theater’s artistic director, said. “I guess that’s just when someone found us and my best guess was that it was a Monday, which means that people were at church on Sunday the day before, and that’s when it picked up steam.”

The main driver of the protest seems to be a conservative Catholic group called America Needs Fatima, which circulated an online petition that has garnered more than 40,000 signatures. The group has protested earlier productions of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” along with other works it found objectionable, such as 2006’s movie adaptation of “The Da Vinci Code.”

This petition reads: “I vehemently protest your showing the blasphemous play ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,’ which, among other blasphemies, refers to the Virgin Mary as a lesbian. Please cancel your showing of it.” It also refers to the play as showing a “homosexual version of the Old Testament.”

Mr. Conroy said there were no plans to cancel the show.

“I’m going to let the show speak for itself,” Mr. Conroy said. “I don’t see the benefit in responding because I don’t think they’re going to change their minds no matter what I say or anyone else says. These people have their minds made up even before it starts.”

General Conference Issues Statement on Transgenderism

Alisa Williams
Spectrum Magazine

The last item on the agenda for day one of Spring Meeting was a “Statement on Transgenderism.” The statement, crafted by the Biblical Research Institute (BRI), a General Conference entity, has been in the works for several years. A previous version of the statement was set to be voted on during last fall’s Annual Council, but dissension among the executive committee led BRI to revise the statement and re-present it at Spring Meeting.

BRI has been issuing studies on transgender individuals since 2008 and crafted its first official “statements on transgenderism” in October of 2014. The topic of transgender individuals within the church has been the subject of multiple position statements, at least one film project, and numerous articles in recent years.

The presentation of the revised document at Spring Meeting spanned an hour and a half. Artur A. Stele, General Conference Vice President, introduced the topic, acknowledging its sensitive nature and telling the committee BRI sought advice from both inside and outside the church, including specialists. President Ted Wilson added that this document has now gone through 21 revisions, and while it may not be perfect, it has been “vetted and vetted and vetted.”

Elias Brasil de Souza, Director of BRI, then took the Executive Committee through a lengthy presentation, discussing various definitions and descriptions of transgender individuals, how the Bible guides on this topic, and references to transgender individuals throughout history.

Brasil de Souza then led the Committee through a reading of the three-page statement. Afterward, the floor was opened for questions. Many committee members issued praise for the statement. A few offered concerns and critiques.

Randy Roberts, pastor at the Loma Linda University Church, questioned the use of Deuteronomy 22 in the document and the church’s support of only the verses regarding gender, sexuality, and marriage, while seeming to disregard the verses on other subjects. Brasil de Souza responded by saying the Church seeks to uphold those verses that speak to God’s original intent for humans in the Garden of Eden. Roberts also mentioned that transgender research is ongoing at Loma Linda University and this should be taken into account.

Allan Handysides, an obstetrician/gynecologist, brought up multiple concerns regarding the wording of the document, particularly the use of the phrase “transgender phenomenon” because it implies a reduction of transgender individuals to “phenomenon.”

Ted Wilson thanked Handysides for his “passion for people,” and said BRI may be open to some phrase adjustments. After several more comments and a reiteration from the front that many specialists and experts were consulted during the document’s creation, Wilson called for a vote. The vote appeared to be unanimous with strong “yays” heard throughout the audience and no audible “nays.”

The “Statement on Transgenderism” can be read in full below.

[embeddoc url=”https://ftsnautodesk.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/344973332-statement-on-transgenderism-1-1.pdf” download=”all”]

Kentucky PCUSA Congregation Being Kicked Out of Church Building After Rift Over Marriage Definition

Samuel Smith
Christian Post

A congregation in Kentucky could soon be evicted from its church building by its regional Presbyterian Church (USA) governing body after the congregation voiced disapproval with the denomination‘s decision to recognize and allow gay marriage.

The Presbytery of Western Kentucky has given First Presbyterian Church of Calvert City until April 19 to vacate its church building.

Paul Ambler, clerk of session and husband of the church’s pastor, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that the congregation received a notice to vacate the building, which is owned by the presbytery, last week. Continue reading