(Chicago, Illinois) Former evangelical pastor Ted Haggard’s wife says she knew about his struggles with same-sex attraction for years and felt he was “winning the battle” before a scandal involving a male prostitute triggered his downfall in late 2006.
Gayle Haggard makes the remarks in an appearance with her husband on …
(Riverside, California) A California appeals court has ruled that a Christian high school can expel students because of an alleged lesbian relationship.
The 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside on Monday upheld California Lutheran High School’s right as a private, religious organization to exclude students based on sexual orientation.
Two girls …
(Chicago, Illinois) Citing the need to have an accurate birth certificate for identification purposes, two women born in Illinois asked a court to order the State to issue new birth certificates that reflect their correct gender following sex reassignment surgery.
For more than four decades, Illinois has permitted individuals who have …
Disgraced Pastor ted Haggard’s fall from grace was swift and devastating. Once one of America’s most influential religious figures, he all but disappeared from the public square when it was revealed that he had been engaging in sexual relations with a male escort and was paying him to score crystal meth.
Since his downfall Haggard has made a couple forays back into public life, like when he claimed to have undergone intensive “restoration” which made him into a “complete heterosexual” (which was then disputed by the new pastor of Haggard’s church, who said Haggard quit the program early and was not yet completely “restored”). However, he is now on a promotional blitz for his new HBO documentary, “The Trials of Ted Haggard,” made by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Haggard, along with his wife Gayle, took to the Oprah Winfrey show today to promote the documentary and discuss his life-long struggle with his attraction to men. He also addresses new allegations that he had a cash-for-sex relationship with a young, male church volunteer for over three years. See Ted Haggard, Oprah Interview: Haggard And Wife Discuss Gay Sex Scandal (VIDEO)
Back in my day, you had to wake up pretty early to get expelled from high school. You had to rise at the crack of dawn and sell drugs to the children of well-connected bankers and lawyers. You had to trudge a mile in the snow to flip off a teacher (like, repeatedly). You had to make some kind of threat, like: I’m going to blow up this stupid school. I think maybe you could also get expelled for wearing shorts above the knee. Such are the baffling, inexplicable rules of high school expulsion.
But even in my conservative Texas high school, you could not be expelled for being a lesbian. Far less for exhibiting “a bond of intimacy” that was “characteristic of a lesbian relationship” — which, by the way, sounds like approximately 86 percent of female friendships. But such was the case in California, where two 16-year-old girls were expelled for “conducting themselves in a manner consistent with being lesbians.” An appeals court recently ruled that “the private religious school was not a business and therefore did not have to comply with a state law that prohibits businesses from discriminating,” according to a story in today’s L.A. Times.
The Times story recounts the twisty tale that led a teacher (tipped off by a student) to probe the terrifying waters of MySpace, where she found such incendiary evidence as the fact that one of the students identified as a bisexual. There was also a photo of the two girls hugging. (Hugging?!?! Shouldn’t you get some kind of merit badge for that?) Seriously, the story is worth a read. At one point, the principal seems to be coming on to one girl. The tables keep turning. It’s like “Doubt” or something.
So, OK: It’s a private school that wants to uphold a certain religious ethos. (The school is associated with the same religious denomination as Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. ) Should they be allowed to discriminate based on their shame-based ethos? I’ll leave that for the courts to decide. (A lawyer for the girls hopes to take the case to the California Supreme Court.) But at a time when our school system is so embattled — fingers crossed, economic stimulus plan — and at an age when kids are discovering themselves and in the very place you might hope adults would be trying to sheperd them into an adult world, it’s just a damn shame that a school would spend its valuable resources on this kind of witch hunt.
Icelandic Social Affairs Minister Johanna Sigurðardottir would be the world’s first openly gay leader if she becomes Prime Minister of Iceland, as is widely expected. Although Per-Kristian Foss served as acting Prime Minister in Norway very briefly in 2002, this represents the first time that a gay leader would assume the reins of a modern state.
As has been extensively reported, Iceland is in the midst of an economic and political crisis that has brought down the ruling coalition of Geir Haarde. Although elections have been called for in May, Mr. Haarde has announced that he will step down because of the discovery of a malignant tumor on his esophagus earlier this week. See World On Verge Of Getting First Openly Gay Prime Minister
NEW YORK, NY — Though it’s not widely known, psychoanalysts as a professional group are proactive on a number of social issues including homosexuality. During the organization’s Winter 2009 Meeting held January 14 – 18 in New York, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) approved a position statement regarding homosexuals and bisexuals serving in the military.
“President Obama has said that he will repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. For the mental health and safety of those in the military and for those who are contemplating joining the military, this repeal needs to happen now. Evidence shows the presence of gays does not undermine unit cohesion. Tens of thousands of gays, lesbians and bisexuals already do serve openly. Discharging gays, lesbians and bisexuals wastes thousands of highly trained, badly needed troops,” commented Ethan Grumbach, Ph.D., chair of APsaA’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.
The position statement begins as follows:
“The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) opposes the military policy mandated by Title 10 of the United States Code (Section 654) which prohibits an individual’s service in the military on the basis of sexual orientation. Section 654 bans openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals from serving in the military. APsaA strongly advocates that the United States Government overturn the current policy.
“It is the position of APsaA that sexual orientation is not germane to any aspect of military effectiveness, including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment or retention. Empirical evidence, as well as comparative data from foreign militaries and domestic police and fire departments shows that when lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are allowed to serve openly there is no evidence of disruption. APsaA recognizes and abhors the many detrimental effects the policy has had on individual service members, the military and the United States society since the enactment of Title 10, section 654 in 1994. Years of psychological research and experience have shown the extensive mental toll of keeping one’s sexual orientation hidden. Mandating a ban on self disclosure of sexual orientation for personnel in uniform is thus unnecessarily harmful to their mental health and well being.” (The full position statement and references continue online.)
The American Psychoanalytic Association is a professional organization of psychoanalysts throughout the United States and is comprised of approximately 3,300 members.
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