Rundown, Queer 411: Homophobic Salvation Army, Australia’s Viral Ad for Equality, Archie’s Gay Marriage, Get Equal Texas Fights Back + Oxford’s 1st Rainbow Flag

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.

Homophobic Salvation Army
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle bell donation centers have developed into a truly iconic part of the holiday shopping season. But, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates are now calling for shoppers to skip the donation buckets due to the organization’s anti-gay views. As Bill Browning notes on The Bilerico Project: “The organization also has a record of actively lobbying governments worldwide for anti-gay policies — including an attempt to make consensual gay sex illegal.” The Salvation Army’s public belief, according to their corporate communications, is that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.

Australia’s Viral Ad for Equality
An Australian same-sex marriage advocacy group’s theatrical new campaign has gone viral.  The independent LGBT support organization GetUp! Action for Australia produced a new ad, simply titled “A Love Story,” which shows two men enjoying romantic dates and dealing with a family crises before a proposal and the subsequent nuptials. The quote, “It’s time,” is featured at the conclusion along with, “End marriage discrimination.” A small majority of Australians support marriage equality; few reportedly rate it as a national issue.  Check out “A Love Story” at

Archie’s Gay Marriage
The highly-anticipated gay wedding issue of Archie Comics has finally been disclosed.  The January issue’s comic cover shows Kevin Keller, Riverdale’s 1st openly gay character who is also an active U.S. military officer, tying the knot with his African-American partner, Clay Walker. The story of the couple’s meeting, said to take place in a military hospital, “obviously deals with ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] but it doesn’t spell it out for the reader,” and may be revealed in flashback, according to Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater. When the miniseries was announced in 2010, author Dan Parent told the Associated Press, “The world of Riverdale has to reflect contemporary culture and to show it is an accepting, diverse place. And that’s why Kevin is important; to show that everybody is welcome in this all-American town we’ve embraced for over 70 years.” Parent was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for creating the character.

GetEqual Texas Fights Back
GetEQUAL Texas recently protested at a local job fair, asking straight questions of a business that has consistently lobbied for anti-immigrant legislation. Why immigration? The answer is simple, because lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are part of the fabric of every American demographic and, therefore, are subject to all aspects of injustice. We are black, Asian, Latino, white, poor, rich, differently-abled and, yes, undocumented.  Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is one of the three largest private prison corporations in the U.S. Its business model is to increase revenue by lobbying for tougher sentencing laws and for the creation of anti-immigrant legislation to keep prisons at maximum occupancy. The CCA receives $200 per inmate billed to taxpayers. According to, CCA spent $14.8 million between 2003 and 2010 lobbying the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Office of Management and Budget, the Bureau of Prisons, the Senate, the House of Representatives and others – and they bring in annual revenue of more than $1.5 billion.

Oxford’s 1st Rainbow Flag
Wadham College, an Oxford University campus, has raised its “first-ever rainbow flag” above a main school building in commemoration of its annual Queerfest celebration, according to PinkNews.  Queerfest organizer and student Michael Brooks, 19, thought of the idea after consulting with other students and decided to discuss it with school officials. “We discussed it with the college dean and then it went through to the Governing Body,” he said in the report. “Everyone responded really positively to the idea and we ended up flying the rainbow flag over Wadham for an entire week.” Queerfest, which began last week, is part of Queerweek, a collection of talks, forums, and social events intended to celebrate gay history and culture as well as raise awareness of LGBT rights.

That’s all folks and I hope you tune in next week!

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