Anti-Gay MTV Boycott, Dublin’s Gay Poster Drama, Cleveland’s Gay Spouse Benefits, Texas Hate Crime + Kentucky Church Takes Gay Marriage Stand

An LGBT activist’s view of entertainment and world news.

As an LGBT activist, the promotion of queer rights is #1 on my homosexual agenda. This weekly column serves as a forum for me to comment on issues and causes currently affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. My “rundown” of these topics is from the perspective of an LGBT activist; it is my goal that by keeping our community informed, we can all help contribute to the battle for equality.

Anti-Gay MTV Boycott
The Florida Family Association (FFA) requested advertisers boycott the Degrassi: The Next Generation series on TeenNick (a subsidiary network of MTV) because the program inlcludes a positive portrayal of a young transgender man. FFA chairman David Caton made his argument in the following letter to advertisers: “It is very concerning that your company would knowingly advertise during a television show that condones and promotes transgender lifestyles to an audience that is almost exclusively watched by young teens and children.”

Dublin’s Gay Poster Drama
A controversial poster invoking Jesus to promote marriage equality will appear all over buses and trains in Dublin this week. The poster shows an illustration of several protesters at a rally, with one holding a sign that says, “Jesus Had 2 Dads and He Turned Out Fine.” The ad is for the third annual March for Marriage, to be held August 14, 2011 in Dublin. Max Krzyzanowski, an organizer for the gay rights group Noise, told Irish Central that the posters are a reminder that gay people still don’t have the same rights as straight people.

Cleveland’s Gay Spouse Benefits
The City of Cleveland, Ohio is considering a plan to offer domestic partner benefits to city employees. The city approved a gay-inclusive domestic partnership registry in 2009 but did not offer same-sex benefits, which became the basis for a legal claim stating that the registry was illegal because in 2004 voters approved a gay marriage ban. In 2010, the appeals court dismissed the case.

Texas Hate Crime
Police in Austin, Texas reported that Jose Alfonso Aviles – upset that his daughter was in a lesbian relationship – shot and killed his daughter’s girlfriend and her mother on Monday. The Austin American Statesman reports Norma Hurtado, 24, and her mother Maria Hurtado, 54, were found by Aviles’ daughter who went to visit her girlfriend’s home. There had been past police reports by Norma Hurtado regarding Jose Aviles that included a sexual assault and a family disturbance. Aviles was arrested and has been charged with capital murder but the district attorney is unsure if they will pursue additional hate crime charges.

Kentucky Church Takes Gay Marriage Stand
The members of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church, located in Louisville, KY, voted to stop signing marriage licenses for heterosexual couples until same-sex couples are given equal marriage rights. The pronouncement comes at the same time that a CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans now support legalizing same-sex marriages, the fourth poll to show similar results in the past eight months. In 2008, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church (DBCC) decided to be an open and affirming community of faith, signifying its “commitment to full acceptance of all people, regardless of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation,” and this decision keeps it in line with those values, church leaders said. The church will continue to perform religious wedding ceremonies but will no longer sign official licenses, according to an official release.

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