New Jersey Rabbi Mordechai Aderet told his followers not to go to a vigil for those murdered last Saturday (October 27) because it reportedly took place during a circumcision ceremony for the twins of two gay dads.
In a Facebook video which has been viewed more than 10,000 times since it was posted to Facebook on Sunday (October 28), Aderet said that anyone who attended the interfaith memorial was “spitting in Hashem’s (God’s) face.”
He continued: “The two men adopted a boy and did the brit milah (circumcision ceremony), and you wonder why there was a massacre? And now you want to go say Tehillim (readings from the Book of Psalms) for them?”
The rabbi also said that people shouldn’t go to pay their respects because the Tree of Life Congregation, where the shooting happened, invited other Jews to a vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.
He referred to the 49 people killed in the attack as “those sinners, trash… that were killed in a massacre in a club. The club was a club for men to men.”
“That’s the same people that invited the people two years ago to say Tehillim for those lowlives,” said the rabbi.
Aderet, who PinkNews understands has not attended the synagogue listed on his website, New Jersey’s Congregation Ahavath Torah, in the past year, continued: “All those people who go tonight, you protest against Hashem (God).
“This is not Tehillim, this is spitting in Hashem’s face. And you like it or you don’t like it, that’s the emet (truth).”
He added: “Those people do not let Moshiach (the Messiah) come. If you don’t go on the straight… thing, Hashem won’t bring the Moshiach.”
The doctor, who practised family medicine a short drive from the synagogue, was praised after his death by one of his patients, Michael Kerr.
In a Facebook post on Sunday (October 28), Kerr described Rabinowitz’s kind treatment of people with HIV during a time in which tens of thousands died and many were scared to touch sufferers, let alone care for them.
Kerr said that “in the old days for HIV patients in Pittsburgh he was [the] one to go to.”
“Basically before there was effective treatment for fighting HIV itself, he was known in the community for keeping us alive the longest.”
The leaked Department of Health and Human Services’ memo published in the New York Times on October 21 propose defining a person’s sex as unchangeably male or female from birth, barring official recognition of trans people. Trump later confirmed that the White House was “looking at” imposing a new transgender policy,
“This is bad news, but it isn’t new news,” Ames added.
“Playing politics with civil rights of a vulnerable population has consequences. But moments like this are exactly why Trans Lifeline exists.
“Our hotline intervenes at the moment of crisis,” continued Ames, encouraging cisgender people—those who identify with the sex assigned at birth—to speak up to other cisgender people about the issues affecting transgender people’s lives, as well as donating to trans-led organisations to express support for the community.
The leaked memo led trans activists to hold “We Will Not Be Erased” protests outside the White House and in New York and Washington State, among other locations, and around 1,500 parents of trans children to write an open letter to “bullies” Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
They said that the proposal was “the latest cruel attempt in a long line of attacks to diminish the existence and humanity of our children and to dismantle their basic human and civil rights.
“We want to make this very clear—when our children are under attack, we will fight like hell to protect them,” they added.
Parents of trans children from all of America’s 50 states signed the message, which continued: “We fear every day that our children will encounter bullies but we never imagined that the most threatening bullies would be in the White House.
“These children—all children—deserve to be treated with love, respect and acceptance.
“Our children cannot be reduced to a deeply flawed, debunked understanding of what makes us the people we are. Our children know who they are, and we know what they need.”
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255 or the Trans Lifeline on 877-565-8860.
A tweet highlighting how straight people sexualise small children has gone viral.
A common accusation aimed at people who try to educate children about LGBT+ issues, or at least let them be their true, potentially queer selves, is that they are ‘sexualising’ kids.
In July, Doug Mainwaring, a writer for LifeSiteNews, wrote on the site that June — which is celebrated as Pride Month around the world — should be called ‘Let’s Sexualise Children Month.’But, of course, in this heteronormative society we live in, it’s actually straight people who are more commonly guilty of pushing their expectations onto children.
And it was this point which American activist Alex Jackson made in an excellent fashion on Sunday (October 14), writing: “straight people: gay people are forcing their sexuality onto their children.
“Straight people, to a 5 year old boy talking to a girl: IS THAT YOUR GIRLFRIEND.”
This observation clearly struck a chord with lots of people, as it has attracted more than 110,000 retweets and likes in less than 24 hours.
Many of these fans were people who readily shared their own experiences of straight adults pushing their own sexual experience on children, and even babies.
One wrote: “This girl i went to school with on fb posted she was pregnant and her friend goes ‘i hope its a boy so [her kid] can play with him, or if its a girl [kid] can be her boyfriend’ THE THING AINT EVEN FULLY FORMED AND THEY WERE DOING THE BOY/GIRLFRIEND THING LOL.”
Another tweeter commented that “onesies that say ‘CHICK MAGNET!’ and ‘don’t let my dad know you’re staring at me’ and shiz like that makes me feel so yucky inside.
“I don’t think parents that say and buy things like that really know what they’re doing is wrong, but hopefully that trend will die off soon 😅.”
And others told stories of when they were personally affected by straight pressure.
“I’m embarrassed to say that this was done to me, speaking to a grown woman, by my dad, who knows I’m gay. I’m 27 yall,” one person tweeted.
Another said that their family “kept asking me about having a girlfriend since I was in preschool, so I really thought I had to even though I liked boys instead of girls.”
And yet another commenter wrote that “my coworker says her 9 month old is flirting with me because he loves touching my hands and playing with my fingers as if thats not what all babies do.”
Over the past year, anti-LGBT+ critics have said that drag kids Desmond is Amazing and Lactatia are the result of children being sexualised by queer advocates.
A group of mothers even launched an attack against Aldi because the supermarket chain stocked David Walliams’ The Boy in a Dress, a book they said was part of an “agenda to groom and sexualise” children.
Since the last National Coming Out Day, dozens of celebrities have stopped, taken a deep breath and revealed to the world that they’re gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, queer, non-binary, pansexual — and even in one controversial case, two spirit.
From singers and political figures to sports stars and Hollywood’s brightest, the past 12 months have shown, in case anyone needed reminding, that anyone can be LGBT+.
As we look ahead to National Coming Out Day on Thursday (October 11), let’s celebrate the icons who put their heads above the parapet to be representative of the community — starting with some amazing musicians.
Coming out can be difficult — and so can labels. When the “I’m Yours” singer revealed in July that he had enjoyed sexual experiences with men in the past, he defined himself as two spirit.
This term, which is used by Indigenous North American and First Nations people to represent those who possess both masculine and feminine spirits and can encompass sexual, gender and/or spiritual identities, attracted backlash.
Nevertheless, it’s good that the 41-year-old musician felt comfortable enough to publicly announce his sexual orientation.
The British musician, who went to number one in more than 20 countries as a featured artist on Clean Bandit’s hit song “Rockabye,” opened up about her sexuality after releasing her debut album, Speak Your Mind.
She said: “I’ve never ever just been attracted to men. I’ve never just been attracted to women. I’ve never felt the need to tell anyone that I’m bisexual.
“I don’t feel like I am. I just feel like I’m attracted to who I like. I honestly feel like everyone is like that.”
The British model, actor and Instagram star was one of many celebrities this year who chose to come out in a heartfelt YouTube video.
The actor, who lives in Los Angeles and has had small roles in Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Shameless, decided to share his sexuality to inspire others who might be struggling to come to terms with their LGBT+ status.
In the video, Hodgson said: “I wanted to tell everyone that I am gay, and although that doesn’t change anything for me, and hopefully not for you, I just thought it was a really important thing to share with everyone.”
He added: “I wanted to do this video as well, because when I think about all the kids out there that are being bullied, or are really struggling with their sexuality, even teenage or adults, I just want you to know that you are not alone.”
Another model, actor and Instagram celebrity to come out this year was Derek Chadwick, who made the announcement in July, explaining that his parents were “not very accepting” when he first told them he was gay — and that he hoped his coming out would help others.
“Coming out in this way allows me to use the privilege that I have to help other people who don’t have that,” the Scream Queens actor added.
Andrea Russett came out to her 7.5 million Twitter followers and four million Instagram fans last month, the day before Bi Visibility Day, because — she said — her best friend Sandra Poenar told her she believed that queer people go to hell.
“I came out to Sandra as bisexual four years ago. (Surprise! Yeah. Not exactly how I planned to come out publicly, but s**t happens I guess),” she wrote in a lengthy social media post.
She added that she wanted to tell “anyone who is struggling with anything similar in their life, you are not alone.
“You are not any less of a person because of who you may choose to love.”
The Thor: Ragnarok actress spoke publically about her sexuality for the first time in June.
Thompson, who’s best known for her appearances on dystopian drama Westworld, as well as her role as the explicitly bisexual hero Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, said: “I can take things for granted because of my family – it’s so free and you can be anything that you want to be.
“I’m attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion.”
The 19-year-old, who made their name in The Hunger Games series and uses gender-neutral they/them pronouns, previously came out as queer and—in 2016—as bisexual.
But in an interview with lesbian pop singer King Princess—real name Mikaela Straus—in June, they said: “*Insert Ellen DeGeneres’ TIME Magazine cover squat and wide smile* Yep I’m gay.”
The actor, who has since starred in hit film The Hate U Give, added: “I’m grateful for how being gay has afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way.”
The actor, who rose to fame in Disney Channel movie series Teen Beach, came out as gay in August, revealing at the same time that he was in a long-term relationship with screenwriter Blake Knight.
Ahead of his film Reach being released, he wrote on Instagram that he had “personally dealt with suicide within my own family [and] intense bullying in high school.”
He added that “myself and the man I’ve been in a relationship with for a long time (@hrhblakeknight) have both experienced shootings within our hometown school systems, and have witnessed the heartache that takes place in affected communities after such tragic events.”
The Glee actor appeared to come out on Instagram in March, when he posted a picture of a photo of one man’s hand on top of a different male hand, with an emoji performing the hand gesture for “I love you” in ASL.
The Steven Universe creator came out as non-binary in July.
The 31-year-old is the mind behind the popular American cartoon series, which has repeatedly earned praise for its portrayal of queer characters like lesbians Ruby and Sapphire, who got engaged earlier this year.
Sugar, who has previously worked on Adventure Time and has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award five times, revealed: “One of the things that’s really important to me about the show is that the Gems are all non-binary women.
“They’re very specific and they’re coming from a world where they don’t really have the frame of reference. They’re coded female which is very important.”
Sugar added: “I am also a non-binary woman, which has been really great to express myself through these characters because it’s very much how I have felt throughout my life.”
We move on from one kind of brilliant writer to another, and Ronan Farrow’s decision in April to publicly come out.
The influential journalist, who was key in exposing Harvey Weinstein, quietly came out as he accepted an honour from the Point Foundation, which supports LGBTQ students.
The former NBC News personality, who is the son of Mia Farrow and director Woody Allen, told the audience: “Each and every LGBT person who has to go through a process of accepting themselves and turning rejection and isolation into strength is richer and more creative and more determined for that journey.”
As well as culturally important people, the past year has also been notable for the political figures who have taken the brave step of revealing their true identities.
One of these was Huanwu, the grandson of Singapore’s first prime minister, who sparked celebrations in the country — where homosexuality is illegal — when he came out as gay in July.
Huanwu, who is also the nephew of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, broke the news through Out in Singapore, an exhibition for “LGBTQ persons who wish to come out to family, friends and peers in the community.”
Huanwu, 31, changed his Facebook profile picture to a photo of him and Yirui Heng, a 27-year-old veterinarian, after they were pictured together in the exhibition.
The Danish cabinet minister revealed he was bisexual after years of speculation.
Ahlers, who has been the Minister of Science, Technology, Information and Higher Education since May,
said that he was coming out publicly at the age of 42 because his position as a minister meant he could not hide any part of himself.
“When people mention that they have heard a rumour, I explain to them that it is not a rumour, because there is no touch of fiction in it,” he said.
“But the truth is also that I have come to the conclusion that I like both men and women.”
Jones, who sits in the Florida House of Representatives, came out as gay almost six years after he was first elected.
In doing so, the politician became the first openly gay African-American legislator in Florida.
He revealed that he had known he was gay since kindergarten, but only opened up about his sexuality around five years ago when he decided to tell his family.
Jones came out by allowing Equality Florida’s political director to include him in a list of endorsements of openly gay candidates, saying he was initially unsure if it would be the best “coming-out party” before deciding to go ahead.
And here’s one more for this retrospective, which was too ambiguous to include as a definitive coming out moment, but too amazing to leave out entirely.
But Styles’ lyrics for his song “Medicine” led his fans to explode with excitement and hail him as a bi icon, as the 24-year-old star sang: “The boys and the girls are here, I mess around with them, and I’m okay with it.”
He followed up those sensational lines by singing: “I’m coming down, I figured out I kinda like it, and when I sleep I’m gonna dream of how you tasted.”
Three people have been injured after a man opened fire outside a Texas LGBT+ bar.
An argument at a taco truck outside the Pegasus nightclub in San Antonio escalated after a man reportedly used a racial slur against another man, who then drove away while shooting a gun, injuring three people.
While the injuries suffered by the victims—two men and the club’s doorwoman—were not life-threatening, the attack stirred memories of the terrorist attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016, which killed 49.
Police have told KSAT that none of the people hit by gunfire were involved in the initial argument, adding that they were working to find the shooter.
The manager of Pegasus, Mike Rodriguez, described the incident to a News 4 reporter, saying: “A nicely dressed gentleman was ordering food.
The guy behind him I guess got irritated that he couldn’t make up his mind, called him a name. They started to push and shove each other.
“Our security broke it up, kept one inside, and took the other one outside, just to separate them. The one inside kept on yelling through the fence names at the other one and he got upset, and at that point, he walked off.
“Then a couple minutes later he came back here to the stop sign and he had a gun and he shot three times in the air,” Rodriguez added.
“They called me to the front and I came to the front and I told all the customers, everybody, to get inside, and started pushing people inside.
“We got mostly everybody cleared out of our outside area and I guess he got in his car, drove around the block behind us and came down this road and open-fired at the gate.”
While the Texas shooting does not appear terror-related, LGBT+ venues have faced increased security risks.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told a committee of the National Assembly that the terrorists had a “plan of violent action” targeting “Parisian nightclubs and in particular gay clubs” in August 2017.
High school students have sparked a huge backlash after spelling out anti-gay and racial slurs on their tops.
Senior students at Escondido High School in southern California combined their T-shirts, each of which had a different letter on it, to spell out the words “FAGS” and “N****R.”
The offensive pictures were taken on Thursday (September 27) at the traditional senior barbecue, where pupils are permitted to wear T-shirts with a letter on them so they can spell out words with friends, according to KGTV.
It is understood that although the wording of the official photo must be agreed beforehand, students often get together afterwards to create their own phrases.
The resulting images were posted on social media platforms, prompting understandable outrage.
Former students also voiced their disgust at the pictures, with Cade Pannell saying: “It hurt me personally.
“Whether they thought it was a joke, it’s not. And if you do think it’s a joke, I think that’s very ignorant of you.”
Jovan Pete, who graduated last year, said the pictures didn’t reflect his experience at Escondido.
He added that people not familiar with the school will “just look at that and assume that’s how it is there. Just racist kids there or just obnoxious kids who don’t know right from wrong.”
Pete said this didn’t ring true with his time at the institution.
“I think it’s a great school. The teaching is great, sports are good, I never had problems here,” he said.
The school apologised for the photos, and — like Pete — insisted that they were not representative of Escondido.
“Today, during a senior event on campus approximately 10 students made a poor decision to participate in an activity that is not aligned with Escondido High School’s culture, values or history,” the statement read.
It said that Principal Dr Adriana Lepe-Ramirez had “expressed her deep sadness with this occurrence” and had added: “We are a campus that prides itself on inclusion and embraces diversity.
“We will not tolerate actions that send messages of racism and promote divisiveness. We will work with students, as well as staff, to ensure a respectful and safe environment is maintained throughout our campus.
“We all need to understand the power of our words and actions, and we must take responsibility for the decisions we make each and every day,” she continued.
“At Escondido High School we will continue to work every day to build a culture of family and unity across our community.”
The school reassured the community that the Escondido Police Department was reviewing the incident and that “appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken.”
Speaking to all the school’s students over the intercom on Friday (September 28), Lepe-Ramirez said: “I’d like to address you all and express my sadness and disappointment in the choices that were made during the senior barbecue.
“I understand that the messages that were posted on social media incited anger and frustration, but I want to encourage you all to remember that the only thing that combats hate is love, the only thing that combats divisiveness is unity.”
Homophobic bullying affects queer students all over the US, like nine-year-old Jamel Myles of Denver, Colorado, who died by suicide earlier this year, and teenager Guadalupe Paredes, who is suing Wisconsin’s Kenosha Unified School District because staff were allegedly “indifferent” to his suffering.
Tommy Koh, the country’s former UN ambassador, called for a class action suit to change Singapore’s Section 377A law, which, like India’s now-defunct legislation, was put in place under British colonial rule.
Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam has also raised the possibility of repealing the law, which carries a sentence of up to two years in prison and predates Singapore’s independence in 1965 by a decade.
“The law is there but generally there have been no prosecutions for private conduct,” said Shanmugam.
“People openly express themselves as gay, you [have] got the gay parade. Police even approved a licensing for it, no-one gets prosecuted for declaring themselves as gay.
“So, really, when was the last time someone was prosecuted?”
Shanmugam hinted at his personal acceptance of gay people, saying: “Speaking for myself, if you ask me, in a personal capacity, personal view—people’s lifestyles, sexual attitudes—(we) really should be careful about treating them as criminals or criminalising that.”
He refused to explicitly voice his support for LGBT+ equality, though, saying: “But again, it will be wrong for me to impose my personal views on society or as a policymaker.
“We live our lives, live and let live. If one side pushes, you will expect a substantial pushback.”
Li Huanwu, the grandson of Singapore’s first prime minister and nephew of its current prime minister, came out as gay in July, but his public statement was seen as brave and unusual, rather than commonplace.
A gay couple has claimed that they were denied early boarding with their daughter—only to see straight parents walk through with children.
Jeff Cobb and his husband were flying with Taiwanese airline EVA Air from San Francisco to Thailand on Saturday (September 1) when they were reportedly separated on the false basis that only one parent could accompany a child onto the plane.
Cobb described on Twitter how “my husband and I were told only one of us could join our 19-month-old in the family boarding group of EVA Air 27 from SFO on 9/1/18.
“I explained we were both the fathers of the child, and they said it was their policy that only one parent can board and the other has to wait in the normal line.
“Not having flown EVA before, I accepted it and let my husband and child go while I boarded later.”
But Cobb said he was in for a surprise when he was finally reunited with his husband and daughter.
“When I met him on the plane, he said there were many other (straight) families all boarding together,” he wrote.
“I’m very disappointed that the EVA ground staff at SFO thinks it’s ok to separate same-sex families during boarding.
“I will definitely not be flying this airline again after this incident.”
When they got their connection in Thailand with EVA Air, the two dads were allowed to walk through early boarding with their daughter, according to Attitude.
An EVA Air spokesperson said: “EVA Air and most especially our San Francisco International Airport team sincerely apologise to all the passengers affected by this incident.
“It is our policy that passengers travelling with infants can have priority boarding. The policy does not limit the number of accompanying adults or specify the relationship to the infant.
“This unfortunate incident was due to misunderstanding. Our San Francisco ground-handling agent understood that only one parent could board with an infant.
“We have apologised to our passengers and reminded our airport staff and agents about our priority boarding policy so that we can prevent this kind of incident from happening again.”
The law school, which was first proposed by the evangelical university in 2012, required all students to sign a pledge to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
The university applied for accreditation in every province – meaning that its law students could be called to the bar anywhere in the country – but Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia’s law societies – as well as the BC government – refused.
This led to a prolonged legal battle in which the university claimed their religious liberty had been infringed.
But, faced with continued opposition from the British Columbia and Ontario law societies, the university took the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
By dumping the gay sex ban – which the school called the ‘Community Covenant’ – it seems that TWU has finally admitted defeat and the saga is over.
The school has passed a motion to end the ban, which states that “the Community Covenant will no longer be mandatory as of the 2018-19 Academic year with respect to admission of students to, or continuation of students at, the University.”
TWU president Bob Kuhn said everyone was welcome at the school and that the motion was meant to make it clear that “nothing that’s been discussed over the past few years during the law school battle should make anyone feel unwelcome.”
However, he added: “The theological, biblically based definition of marriage (hasn’t) changed, in our perspective,” the National Post has reported.
“That continues to be something we adhere to as a principle. It’s a question of application, and the application of that principle to students or prospective students.
“And (this policy change) is to clarify the fact that we will not discriminate… no matter how that’s defined, with respect to LGBTQ (people) or people of other faiths.”
Despite Kuhn’s sentiment, students and activists have welcomed the decision, with former TWU Master’s student Cam Thiessen saying: “I think it’s long overdue.”
Thiessen, who is bisexual and non-binary and dropped out of the university because it was too stressful, refused to sign the school’s contract because of its “blatant homophobia” and overt attempt to control his sex life.
He said: “I just kind of ignored them. No one came for me and I got my credits.”
Speaking about the controversy, he said: “Society cannot accept LGBT being promoted because that is against norms, culture and religion.”
Since then, a series of political figures – including members of the Government – have voiced disturbing views about Malaysia’s LGBT+ populace.
The latest to do so, Dr Wan Azizah, appeared to conflate gay people with the entire LGBT+ community when she told the Malay Mail: “LGBTs have the right to practise whatever [it is] they do in private.
The MP for Pandan, who is the first woman to hold the position of Deputy Prime Minister, added: “Islam is the official religion [of Malaysia], whereby you have certain practices and it is there in black and white.
“As a Muslim, I have my preferences as to their rights. They are the same [rights] as the people who do not believe in Islam,” the 65-year-old continued.
She added: “Homosexuality, there are laws [against it].”
It is illegal to have gay sex in Malaysia, there are no anti-discrimination laws, same-sex marriage is banned and same-sex couples and transgender people enjoy zero legal recognition from the state.
Dr Wan Azizah’s husband, former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, has been charged twice for having gay sex, serving three years in prison before he was released earlier this year. Human rights groups have said his convictions were politically motivated.
Authorities said they intervened to “mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into our society.”
Last week, Latteffah Ali, state chairperson of the women’s wing of the United Malays National Organisation, said that if LGBT+ people keep pushing for equal rights, it could destroy the health and ethics of a generation.
The Universiti Sains Malaysia, based on the island of Penang, advertised the competition as “a campaign to invite friends who have [a] disorder in [their] sexual orientation to return to their natural nature in a worthwhile way.”