Georgia Senate Approves Ban on LGBTQ Adoptions

A Georgia Senate committee amended a bill modernizing the state’s adoption laws to allow agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people seeking adoptions.

The amendment was added to House Bill 159. It would allow private agencies that receive state funds to refuse a adoptive or foster parents based on the “child-placing agency’s mission”.

LGBTQ advocates condemned the amendment, stating that it opened the door to discriminating against the LGBTQ community made them “second-class citizens.” Georgia Unites Against Discrimination blasted the amendment as “shameful.”

The Judiciary Committee approved the amendment 7-4 along party lines. The seven Republicans voting in favor of the amendment and the four no votes came from Democrats.

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NFL Trainer Saves Player’s Life

Kansas City Chiefs team trainer, David Price, unknowingly helped save a life. Player Ryan O’Callaghan recently came out after keeping his sexuality a secret during his entire football career. O’Callaghan states that he was in a dark place toward the end of his career and was contemplating suicide. O’Callaghan says that Price took the time to talke with him and referred him to the team psychologist when he could tell O’Callaghan was in trouble.

Price told TMZ that he was “elated” to find out he had such a positive impact. Price was unaware how important he was to O’Callaghan until he read an article online. “I was just elated, I mean on Cloud 9 that I had that much impact on somebody’s life in a positive way.” Price said.

O’Callaghan says he’s now in a MUCH healthier mental state and loves life.

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Transgender Firefighter Marches as Grand Marshall in NYC Pride Parade

Transgender Firefighter Marches as Grand Marshall in NYC Pride Parade

Brooke Guinan’s family has a history of careers in fire fighting. Guinan did not think she could continue the tradition in the male-dominated fire department because she identifies as a transgender woman. But Guinan’s love of public service ultimately drove her to continue her family legacy in the fire department.

Guinan began identifying as a transgender woman in 2011, three years into her firefighting career at FDNY. She first came out as a gay man at a young age, but began to question her gender identity in college.

Since 2015, Guinan has served the FDNY as its LGBTQ outreach coordinator. In this role she has directed and produced training tools and services to better equip the FDNY to understand and work with the LGBTQ community. “The firehouse can be fun, but I am so enamored with my community and I am very pleased and grateful to do a different kind of lifesaving work in the fire department,” Guinan said. James Fallarino, spokesperson for NYC Pride, said Guinan appears to be the first openly transgender member of the FDNY.

This year the NYC Pride Parade invited Guinan as a Grand Marshall. “It is an amazing honor to be the Grand Marshal of this year’s Pride parade,” she said. “I have always found inspiration in other people’s voices and it is an honor to be given an opportunity for my voice to be heard.”

The NYC Pride March is the largest pride parade in the United States and is meant to celebrate the LGBTQ community and bring awareness to issues the community faces.

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Let Them Eat Cake

Let Them Eat Cake

Hayden’s List has reported on many instances of business owners refusing to transact with customers because they are members of the LGBTQ community. These business owners cite their religious beliefs as the reasoning. Several lawsuits have been filed but none have made it to the Supreme Court until now.

Back in 2012, Charles Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado to design their wedding cake. Phillips claims he politely declined because of his religious beliefs.

Craig and Mullins filed a complaint with the state civil rights commission. Phillips was charged with violating Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, which says businesses open to the public may not deny service to customers based on their race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.

Phillips’ lawyers described him as a “cake artist” who will “not create cakes celebrating any marriage that is contrary to his understanding of biblical teaching.” They also said he has refused to make cakes to celebrate Halloween or created baked goods that have an “anti-American or anti-family themes” or carry profane messages.

The Colorado court ruled against Phillips and ordered him to provide wedding cakes on an equal basis for same-sex couples. “They said you have to create cakes for same-sex couples, so he removed himself from the market. He chose to stop making wedding cakes,” said Jeremy Tedesco, a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who appealed on Phillips’ behalf.

This appeal has now made its way to the Supreme Court. The case will be heard in the fall, and it could have a wide impact in the states that prohibit discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.No federal law requires businesses to serve all customers without regard to their sexual orientation, but 21 states have “public accommodations” laws that prohibit such discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Two years ago, the justices turned down a similar appeal from a wedding photographer in New Mexico. Since then, the issue has arisen in several other states whose laws forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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Real Life with Soup

Real Life with Soup

“Babe, I’m making soup, do you want any?” says a woman at the stove, heating up some Campbell Soup. That doesn’t seem like a very unusual opening to a soup commercial but when the camera pans, the viewer sees another woman.

Campbell Soup has just released another commercial in their Real Life campaign. Click here to see the quick fifteen second ad.

I thought when I Googled the ad, I would see many “conservative” or “Christian” sites recommending the boycott of Campbell Soup, but I didn’t.  The results of my Google search was minimal for negative or positive feedback.

However my Google search results did bring up Campbell’s Real Life ad in 2015 that featured two dads and a Star Wars theme. View that ad here. That promo received a boycott threat from the group One Million Moms. Campbell Soup issued a statement defending the ad and late night talk shows did segments about the controversy.

I would like to think that we’ve come a long way in the last two years and that a soup commercial featuring an LGBTQ couple is just not a big deal. But as I scroll through my google search results again, I see that in the last 6 months One Million Moms has protested LGBTQ ads from Chobani and Zales. What are your thoughts Hayden’s Listers?

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Chelsea Manning Marches at NYC Pride

Chelsea Manning Marches at NYC Pride

Released earlier this year from prison, trasgender activist Chelsea Manning, took part in her first LGBTQ pride parade in New York City on June 25.

Manning is the former U.S. Army soldier convicted by court-martial in 2013 for violating the Espionage Act after leaking the largest-ever number of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Prior to leaving office, President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence and she was released from prison in May.

Manning marched with the American Civil Liberties Union along with Gavin Grimm. Grimm is the transgender teenager whose lawsuit over a school bathroom was remanded by the Supreme Court.

Manning tweeted about the Pride event: “honored to represent the @ACLU at this years @NYCPrideMarch lost my voice from screaming so much thank you”

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Camille’s Anderson’s Journey to the Miss International Queen Pageant

Camille’s Anderson’s Journey to the Miss International Queen Pageant

Camille Anderson was in Thailand in early March preparing to compete in the Miss International Queen pageant. The Miss International Queen pageant has been held annually since 2004 in Pattaya City in Thailand. The pageant is open to female contestants between the ages of 18 and 36 who were born male. The contestants must represent either the country of their birth or the one listed on their passport. Gender-reassignment surgery is not required, and most contestants haven’t done it. Previous winners of the Miss International Queen pageant have gone on to movie, TV and singing careers in Asia and elsewhere. The only past American winner, Mimi Marks, has been a regular at Baton, a drag club in Chicago.

Its been a long road for Anderson to achieve her goal of competing in the pageant. Anderson was born as Mark Cordeta in Tacloban City, Philippines. Mark preferred playing with girls and by the age of 9 he was sneaking into his mom’s closets to try on her heels or bras. “I always felt like I was different,” Anderson told CNN. Mark’s devoutly Catholic family knew he was different, too. They thought he was gay, but nobody really talked about it. “It was like a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ thing. I was always afraid of what my family would say, and what other people would say.” Anderson said.

Not until he immigrated to the United States at age 21 did Mark begin to show more of a feminine side in public. Two years later, he began transitioning to becoming a woman. Mark then became Kim, complete with a legal name change.
The transition created some distance at first between Kim and her parents. She found herself acting differently around them than with her friends. “I felt like I was living two lives,” said Anderson, who asked to be identified by her pageant name. Eventually they adjusted and became supportive.

In 2013, Anderson married her boyfriend, Marco Hudec, in a glamorous outdoor ceremony. He was the one who encouraged Anderson to compete in beauty pageants. “I never had the confidence,” said Anderson, who now lives in Torrance, California, and works as a registered nurse. “He believes in me more than I believe in myself.”

Anderson proved proved to be a natural on the pageant circuit. Within two years she had won three local and national pageants: Miss Los Angeles Pride 2014, Queen USA 2014 and Queen of the Universe 2015. Anderson met Caitlyn Jenner. And her previous crowns qualified her for the big one. It was time to go to Thailand for Miss International Queen.

Pageants for transgender women are not that different from other beauty pageants. There’s an evening gown and a swimsuit competition. The finalists are asked about their hopes and dreams by a panel of judges. Winners wear a tiara and carry flowers. There is one key difference, though. Most traditional beauty queens haven’t faced discrimination, or worse. “Many of the contestants have had trouble being accepted by their families. So we’re trying to bring up their self-esteem,” said Alisa Phanthusak, chair of Miss International Queen’s pageant committee. “It’s not just beauty we are looking for. It’s confidence.”

For Anderson, the past week in Thailand has been a blur of costume fittings, media interviews and other appearances. She likes the message she’s sending to young LGBTQ people who may be watching. “…if you become a beauty queen you become a role model. There’s a lot of visibility for our (transgender) community these days. But there also are a lot of people who will hate, so you have to stay strong. Our voices are being heard now more than before. It’s just going to take a while.”

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