Gay What ?
Rest of site back up shortly!

Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

31
Jul
2014

Transgender teenager stabbed on Metro train

Reginald Klaiber, gay news, Washington Blade, transgender teenager

Reginald Anthony Klaiber, 24, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in the July 30 stabbing attack of a 15-year-old transgender woman on board a Metro subway car. (Photo courtesy of the Metro Transit Police)

A 15-year-old transgender teenager was stabbed in the back by a male attacker on board a Green Line Metrorail train about 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday shortly before the train arrived at the Fort Totten Station in Northeast D.C., according to a statement released by Metro.

The statement says the victim, a D.C. resident, was being treated at a hospital for a non-life threatening puncture wound.

Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel told the Washington Blade that Metro Police arrested a suspect in the case on the Fort Totten Station platform as he attempted to flee the scene.

The Metro statement identifies the suspect as Reginald Anthony Klaiber, 24, of Greenbelt, Md. It says police charged him with assault with a deadly weapon – a knife. The statement says the charge is classified as a bias related crime, which could result in an enhanced jail sentence under the D.C. hate crimes law.

“Witnesses told Transit Police detectives the suspect made bias-motivated remarks about the victim’s transgender status immediately prior to the assault,” the Metro statement says.

Jae-la White, 19, one of two friends accompanying the victim on the train at the time of the stabbing, told the Blade in a telephone interview that the attacker approached the victim and began making disparaging remarks about her appearance shortly after he boarded the train at the West Hyattsville Station.

“He came to my friend and said you have red hair,” White said. “My friend said ok, and then he said, ‘Oh, you’re a man!’”

“Then he started bothering my friend,” said White. “My friend got up out of her seat to go by the door while the train was moving and told him to please leave her alone. He faced her and said I will stab you up and blow your brains out.”

In a harrowing account of what followed, White said the attacker next “started to hug” the victim in a sexually suggestive way. Seconds later, White said, the victim began to scream and White and their other friend, a 17-year-old man, realized that the attacker was stabbing their friend.

According to White, the 17-year-old friend pulled out a canister of mace and squirted the attacker in the face, enabling the victim to break free.

“He started holding his face. We all started running for our life, running through the car doors to the last car,” said White. “The man was following behind us but he fell back in the second to the last car and he was just watching us.”

In the midst of the commotion and in a panic, White said she frantically pushed the emergency call button in one of the train cars and screamed for help.

Stessel said transit police were alerted by the train operator, resulting in a 4:38 p.m. call for police to come to the Fort Totten station.

As White tells it, the unfolding ordeal for the three friends didn’t end when the train stopped at the station.

“He then started chasing us with the knife upstairs and through the station,” White told the Blade, adding that to her horror, there were no transit police to be found. After the police finally arrived, in what she said seemed like an eternity, it took four officers to subdue and handcuff the suspect.

Stessel said police records show that the first officer arrived on the scene at 4:41 p.m., noting that a Transit Police substation is located next to Fort Totten Station.

“I will say that the witnesses in this case did everything right,” Stessel said. “They pressed the emergency intercom to notify the train operator, they provided a good description of the suspect, and they remained on scene to talk to detectives.”

Klaiber was expected to appear before a D.C. Superior Court judge on Thursday, where a decision would be made on whether he should be held or released on bond while awaiting trial.

Channel 4 reported that Klaiber has a lengthy criminal record in Maryland. The D.C. Superior Court’s online records show Klaiber pleaded guilty to July 2013 felony robbery charge and pleaded guilty to a July 2013 misdemeanor charge of threats to do bodily harm.

31
Jul
2014

Gay concerns at Doncaster school revealed

Some teachers are not happy talking in Doncaster's schools about gay issues, says a report by the borough's NUT.

31
Jul
2014

State Dept. official: Anti-gay laws ‘not consistent’ with African values

Uganda, gay news, Washington Blade

A State Department official on Wednesday said anti-gay laws in Uganda and other African countries are “inconsistent” with the continent’s core values. (Image public domain)

A State Department official on Wednesday said anti-LGBT laws in Africa are “not consistent” with the continent’s core values.

“We certainly see it as that is not consistent with core African values; core African values of respect for human difference and diversity,” said Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, during a Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights forum at the National Press Club in D.C.

Malinowski noted that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and other African heads of state who support anti-LGBT laws are “resurrecting and building upon a set of laws that were imposed on Africa by colonial powers” during the 19th and 20th centuries.

“That irony seems to be lost on them,” said Malinowski.

Malinowski’s comments come ahead of a summit with African heads of state that will take place in D.C. next week.

The Council for Global Equality, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and other advocacy groups on July 25 urged President Obama to highlight LGBT rights during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

“In the lead up to the African leaders summit, this is a time that we and members of civil society and the U.S. government really has to think about how we are addressing sexual minority rights issues overseas, particularly in Africa,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Museveni in February signed a law under which those who are convicted of repeated same-sex sexual acts face life in prison. Jonathan a few weeks earlier signed a bill that, among other things, punishes those who enter into a same-sex marriage in Nigeria with up to 14 years in prison

The White House subsequently cut aid to Uganda that funded HIV/AIDS programs and other initiatives. The Obama administration last month announced a travel ban against officials who are responsible for anti-LGBT human rights abuses in the East African country.

Both Museveni and Jonathan are among the 32 African heads of state who have received invitations to attend next week’s summit.

“The American government has come out very strongly in Uganda,” said Richard Lusimbo of Sexual Minorities Uganda, a Ugandan LGBT advocacy group. “Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.”

Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal in 37 African countries. Homosexuality remains punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan and portions of northern Nigeria and Somalia.

Secretary of State John Kerry in February said he was “deeply troubled” when Gambian President Yahya Jammeh compared gay men to “vermin” during a speech that commemorated his country’s independence from the U.K. Cameroon and Zimbabwe are among the other African countries that have faced criticism from the U.S. and other nations over crackdowns on LGBT rights advocates and other issues.

“We know that there are thousands of people across the African continent who are standing up for an end to violence and for full equality for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First in a press release that announced the release of a report on LGBT rights in Africa that his organization wrote with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

African LGBT rights advocates continue to accuse Scott Lively and other U.S. evangelicals of stoking homophobic and transphobic attitudes on the continent.

The Center for Constitutional Rights in 2012 filed a federal lawsuit against Lively on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda that accuses the Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate of exploiting anti-gay attitudes in the East African country before Parliamentarian David Bahati in 2009 introduced the so-called Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The measure — which Museveni signed — once contained a proposed provision that would have imposed the death penalty upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.

U.S. District Judge Michael A. Posner last August ruled Sexual Minorities Uganda’s lawsuit can move forward.

“There is a need to support us in this kind of work we are doing by holding accountable your fellow citizens,” said Lusimbo.

Media reports indicate the Ugandan Constitutional Court on Thursday could potentially issue a ruling in a case that challenges the Anti-Homosexuality Law.

Malinowski told the Blade at the end of the National Press Club forum that he and Kerry discussed the anti-gay statute with Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa last month, two days after his unanimous election as president of the 2014 U.N. General Assembly.

“We conveyed our very strong views about the need for this law to go away for our relationship with Uganda to improve,” said Malinowski.

31
Jul
2014

Correction: Exxon Mobil-Gay Rights Story

In a story July 22 about new federal anti-discrimination rules, The Associated Press reported erroneously the value of Exxon Mobil Corp. shares held by investors who supported amending the company's equal employment opportunity statement.

31
Jul
2014

EXCLUSIVE: Miss. mayor has ‘no problem’ with same-sex marriage

Yazoo City, Diane Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade

Yazoo City, Miss. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

YAZOO CITY, Miss. — Yazoo City Mayor Diane Delaware told the Washington Blade earlier this month she has “no problem” with same-sex marriage.

“Marriage is a legal thing,” she said during an interview in her office inside Yazoo City Hall on July 10. “It is a passionate, deeply rooted thing in our culture and that’s very personal to the individuals and the tribes if you will — and I call us tribes — or communities who see it a certain way. I have no problem with same-sex marriage.”

Delaware did not overtly back the issue during the interview.

“Draw a line and see which side I’m going to stand on,” she told the Blade. “I can’t tell you today because my line has not yet been drawn.”

Neither Delaware nor her staff responded to the Blade’s repeated requests to clarify her comments or position.

Yazoo City, which has a population of slightly more than 11,000 people that is 83 percent black according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is located roughly 45 miles north-northwest of Jackson, the state capital. It is known as the “Gateway to the Delta” region that lies between the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers.

The U.S. Census indicates nearly 49 percent of Yazoo City’s residents were living below the poverty level between 2008-2012.

Delaware, a Democrat, took office in April after she was elected with 87 percent of the vote.

She told the Blade during the interview that she would likely vote in support of marriage rights for gays and lesbians if given the opportunity.

“My heart says I would vote for same-sex marriage,” said Delaware.

Delaware spoke with the Blade less than a week before Waveland Mayor David Garcia became the first Mississippi mayor to join Freedom to Marry’s initiative that highlights mayors who publicly support gay nuptials.

Gays and lesbians are able to legally marry in 19 states and D.C.

Mississippi voters in 2004 by an 86-14 percent margin approved a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.

More than two dozen other federal and state courts have ruled in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples since the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2013 struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday filed an appeal with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that seeks to overturn a federal judge’s ruling earlier this year that found his state’s gay nuptials ban unconstitutional.

Mississippi and Louisiana are also under the 5th Circuit’s jurisdiction.

“The federal government and the people of America are moving towards same-sex marriage every day,” Delaware told the Blade. “It is moving that way at an ever-increasing speed. It used to be slow.”

30
Jul
2014

Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival thinks trans women aren’t real women, or something

"We have said that this space is intended to be for womyn who were born female."

.
30
Jul
2014

The Case of Jane Doe: How Public Systems Fail Our Most Vulnerable Youth

The plight of Jane Doe, a 16-year-old transgender girl in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families (DCF), should provoke national outrage. Jane's story represents one of the most devastating examples of how public systems fail the most vulnerable youth in their care and custody.

Removed from her family at the tender age of five, Jane has endured unrelenting brutality and abuse while in the custody of the system charged with protecting her. Despite the fact that Jane was never convicted of a crime, she was shunted off several months ago to an adult women's prison -- a practice that Congress prohibited forty years ago in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Protection Act. Recently, DCF Commissioner Katz moved Jane again, this time to a boy's training school, where she has been kept in solitary confinement.

Sadly, her story is all too familiar. Too many children "rescued" by the government from families unable to care for them are abandoned to caregivers who subject them to abuses more terrible than those prompting the state's intervention in the first place. Children whose appearance or behavior defies gender norms are especially vulnerable in the nation's child welfare systems. Transgender foster children are regularly subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, the scars from which are deepened when the system fails to intervene on their behalf.

Jane has undeniably endured significant trauma while in the custody of the state of Connecticut. The narrative circulated by DCF, however, makes no reference to this history nor to the precarious lives of transgender foster children generally. Instead, in her public remarks, Katz focused on Jane's "assaultive" behavior as a justification for incarcerating and isolating her.

Katz's op-ed in the Hartford Courant is problematic for several reasons. First, regardless of the circumstances surrounding Jane's behavior, nothing can justify isolating a young girl in a women's prison or a boy's training school. Moreover, accounts of Jane's behavior and the circumstances that provoked it vary considerably. Katz's account fails to provide important contextual information about the excessively violent environment at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS) where the alleged incident occurred.

In a recent public statement, the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) reported that the facility's records reveal over 200 incidents in the last 13 weeks in which CTJS staff reported using physical or mechanical restraints, including handcuffs, to control youth in the facility. OCA also justly condemned Katz's unprecedented "public shaming" of Jane Doe, particularly given her slanted portrayal of the conditions at CJTS and her choice to single out Jane among the many youth involved in violent confrontations with staff. Finally, Katz's response completely ignores the impact of abuse on the behavior of a traumatized child. Given the repeated abuse and betrayal Jane has suffered, it should be no surprise if she exhibits behavioral symptoms associated with exposure to chronic childhood trauma.

Research has long documented the devastating neurological, developmental and behavioral impact of repeated victimization in childhood, particularly at the hands of caretakers. Childhood victimization of transgender and gender nonconforming youth is disturbingly common. On the positive side, behavioral health professionals have documented promising treatments for childhood trauma, which are focused on creating connections with trusted adults, mitigating stress, increasing resiliency and improving communication. In other words, the antithesis of incarceration and isolation.

The Commissioner's zeal to protect the safety of institutional staff and other youth would be commendable if she were equally committed to promoting Jane's safety and well-being. Instead, her decision to imprison and isolate Jane -- as well as the juvenile court's shameful rubber stamp -- merely compound the inhumane and harmful treatment to which Jane has already been subjected. These decisions convey powerful messages about how her guardians perceive Jane and her future prospects. If the Commissioner and judge viewed Jane as an abused child capable and deserving of healing, DCF would presumably recommend placement in a therapeutic environment equipped to provide intensive trauma treatment. By contrast, isolating Jane in a prison-like environment sends the disturbing and unacceptable message -- to Jane, the system and the community -- that she is worthless and irretrievably damaged. For too many youth, this message is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The life trajectory of incarcerated youth is demonstrably poor in every domain: education, employment, health and mental health. Transgender foster youth already face nearly insurmountable obstacles. Adding the impact of incarceration to the heavy burden of transphobia and stigma is unconscionable.

If DCF set out to plot a course of action that would inflict the most devastating injuries on Jane Doe, it has succeeded. It is not sufficient to claim that Connecticut does not have the appropriate settings or services to competently care for Jane. This tired excuse has never prevailed in civil rights litigation, and for good reason. It is Connecticut's responsibility to meet the needs of all of the children in its custody. Jane Doe -- like all foster children -- is entitled to a permanent connection with caring adults, placement in the least restrictive setting possible to meet her needs, services that respect and support her gender identity and ensure her safety and treatment to help her heal from a lifetime of trauma and abuse.
30
Jul
2014

Hobby Lobby plans D.C. Bible museum

Bible museum, gay news, Washington Blade

A Bible museum is scheduled to open in 2017 in a sprawling building at 300 D St., S.W., that was the home of the Washington Design Center. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The evangelical Christian family that owns the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores plans to open a Bible museum in Washington two blocks from the National Mall, prompting outrage from some LGBT advocates.

The concern expressed by LGBT advocates comes just one month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s contention in a controversial lawsuit that corporations with religious owners cannot be forced to provide health insurance coverage for contraception.

“Leaders in Washington should soundly reject a theme park for extremism disguised as a legitimate museum,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out.

“The project, conceived and funded by Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green, would make a mockery of surrounding museums, which are based on research, history and scholarship,” Besen said in a July 16 statement.

Representatives of the Museum of the Bible, Inc., a non-profit organization created by Green, president and CEO of the multi-billion dollar Hobby Lobby store chain, say the museum will include a collection of rare and ancient biblical documents and artifacts of proven historical significance.

“The museum won’t be interpreting the Bible but presenting it from a scholarly perspective,” said museum spokesperson Mark DeMoss in a statement released to the Blade.

“This museum is about a book: the best-selling, most read and, arguably, most influential of all time,” DeMoss said. “A lot of people are making assumptions about a museum that hasn’t even been built yet.”

Information on the Museum of the Bible website says the museum is scheduled to open in 2017 in a sprawling building at 300 D St., S.W., that has been the home of the Washington Design Center and its interior designers and furniture showrooms for more than two decades.

The building, which has been designated as a historic landmark, was used between 1923 and 1959 as a cold storage and ice making plant. At one point it was owned by a Chicago-based company founded by Joseph P. Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy.

City property records show that the Museum of the Bible, Inc., bought the building in July 2012 for $37 million. Some media outlets, including the New York Times, have reported the purchase price as $50 million. Museum spokesperson DeMoss did not respond to a Blade question asking which figure was correct.

Last week, the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board gave final approval of the Museum of the Bible’s architectural plans to convert the building into a museum.

Gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Andy Litsky, former chair of ANC 6D, which has jurisdiction over the area where the museum will be located, said the ANC also voted to approve the use of the building as a museum.

“It’s private property,” Litsky said. “They showed us their architectural drawings and explained the changes they plan to make,” he said. “We did not question the content of the museum. I don’t believe that is our role.”

Besen of Truth Wins Out said he believes it is within the role of the D.C. government to raise questions about a museum that he says would promote misinformation and discrimination. He called on D.C. government officials to invoke zoning restrictions to block the museum from opening so close to the National Mall, where he said tourists and visitors would mistakenly assume it is part of the federal Smithsonian Institution’s museum system.

“It’s not designed to be a museum but to be a Trojan horse to get their ideas and make it look and feel like a museum,” Besen told the Blade. “These are hard core rigid politicized, radicalized ideologues that want to pretend they represent Christianity when in fact it’s just a narrow version of it and the most virulent and dangerous version of it.”

Besen was the only LGBT advocate reached by the Blade who called for preventing a Bible museum operated by the Green family from opening near the National Mall. Officials with other local and national LGBT groups, including the D.C. Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, cited First Amendment grounds for allowing a privately owned museum to open on private property, even if they disagreed with its message.

“LGBT groups should not seek to suppress the First Amendment rights of those who oppose us,” said GLAA President Rick Rosendall. “As we are told by our friends in the ACLU…the proper response to offensive speech is more speech,” he said in an email to the Blade.

“Urging the government to suppress ignorant and obnoxious viewpoints is not only heavy-handed and improper, it is unnecessary since we have the better arguments and science on our side,” Rosendall said.

Rosendall and representatives of other LGBT organizations said they nevertheless remain concerned that a Green family-sponsored Bible museum could be used to promote an interpretation of the Bible that considers homosexuality an abomination – an interpretation that activists and many biblical scholars say is no longer supported by scholarly biblical research.

Green and his Museum of the Bible spokespersons have given conflicting signals on what, if any, message the museum would present on issues like homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

Museum of the Bible spokesperson DeMoss, founder of an Atlanta-based, religious-oriented public relations firm bearing his name, did not respond to written questions from the Blade asking about Steve Green’s views on LGBT rights, homosexuality and the Bible, or whether the museum would address those issues.

However, The New Republic magazine reported in a March 25, 2014 article that the museum’s chief operating officer, Cary Summers, said the museum “won’t mention homosexuality, abortion, or any other ‘political commentary.’”

The New York Times reported in a July 16 story about the Bible museum that Green himself has referred to the Bible as “a reliable historical document” and said he is developing a public school curriculum “to reintroduce this book to this nation” as part of the museum project.

“This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught,” the Times quoted Green as saying in a speech last year in New York. “There are lessons from the past that we can learn from, the dangers of ignorance of this book. We need to know it. If we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary,” the Times quoted him as saying in his speech.

Observers who favor a scholarly, non-judgmental approach to the planned museum point to Green’s expenditure of $30 million of his own money to acquire in recent years a vast collection of Bible-related documents and artifacts from sites throughout the world that are to be part of the museum’s exhibits.

Known as the Green collection, the objects and documents include early recordings of the New Testament in the Aramaic language, ancient manuscripts, Torahs, and a nearly completed book of Psalms on papyrus paper, according to Scott Carroll, an archaeologist and historian who acted as an adviser to Green on the acquisition of the artifacts.

Although Carroll’s role as director of the Green Collection gave Green’s plans for the museum credibility, Carroll, a former Baylor University professor, told the New York Times he decided in 2012 to withdraw from the Green Collection and museum project.

“While he believes in the scholarly roots and historical significance of the collection, he is concerned that the Green family faces a difficult challenge in balancing its passion for ministry with the objective mission of a museum,” the Times reports.

Brent Childers is executive director of Faith In America, a national group that seeks to protect LGBT youth from mistreatment and abuse due to what he says is an incorrect interpretation of the Bible pertaining to homosexuality. He said the Green family has a right to open a Bible museum in Washington. But he’s concerned that it could be harmful to LGBT young people visiting its exhibits if it promotes a message of hostility toward homosexuality.

“If you walk into that museum and you see a section on biblical interpretation and how this historical book has been misinterpreted in the past, that could be a great service,” Childers said. “But from what I’m reading I don’t know if I could expect to see such a section in Green’s private museum.”

Added Childers, “If it’s going to be a museum where only his interpretation of the Bible is going to be on display, then I think that would be an unfortunate endeavor for everyone because it would open up divisiveness.”

Rev. Dwayne Johnson, pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, an LGBT-oriented congregation, said he, too, would oppose an effort to block the Green family’s museum from opening on private property.

“Those of us who come from another perspective will have to be very alert and monitor the messaging and offer a counter voice when that messaging is going to have anything that would potentially lead to self-hatred or violence or an anti-gay message,” he said.

“At this point the weight of scholarship does not support the Bible as condemning homosexuality,” Johnson said. “The Bible does not speak to homosexuality as we experience it today. That’s why you’re seeing so many churches that are now becoming more accepting and affirming,” he said.

“It’s based on further weight of scholarship as they continue to do research on the original languages and looking at the context,” according to Johnson.

“I don’t think this proposed Bible museum is appropriate for the National Mall because the museums on the Mall should reflect the non-religious values of our nation,” said Earl Fowlkes, president and CEO of the national LGBT advocacy group Center for Black Equity.

“However, I would be careful not to say that a Bible museum should not be built in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “The same argument could be used by those who would be opposed to an LGBT museum in Washington, D.C., which I support.”

Tim Gold, founder and director of the Velvet Foundation, a non-profit, tax-exempt group created to build and maintain a National LGBT Museum in Washington, said the foundation is currently finishing a comprehensive master plan for the museum and hopes to have a site selected by the end of the year.

Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the Human Rights Campaign, said HRC supports religious freedom for all people and recognizes that people of faith increasingly are supporting LGBT equality and viewing that support as an extension of their faith.

“To the extent the National Bible Museum empowers and enlightens then it will be a welcome addition,” he said. “But if the museum misuses the holy document as a cudgel for discrimination against LGBT people then it will have not only sullied the Bible, it will have exposed a dastardly political agenda.”

Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out, Bible Museum, gay news, Washington Blade

‘The project, conceived and funded by Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green, would make a mockery of surrounding museums, which are based on research, history and scholarship,’ said Wayne Besen. (Photo by Michael Murphy)

30
Jul
2014

Westboro Baptist Church Will Protest Pretty Much Every Tech Company

The Westboro Baptist Church is heading out on a "God Hates the Media Tour," with plans to picket pretty much every major technology company in Silicon Valley.

ValleyWag noted WBC's announcement on Wednesday. The quasi-religious group, known for its vitriolic anti-gay rhetoric and picketing of funerals, will kick off its latest crusade on Aug. 12. Facebook, Google and Apple headquarters are just a few of the sites on the docket.

From a July 25 press release about the stunt:

God hates the media; in all its forms. God did not set these social media networks in place to facilitate perverts pursuing their divers filth; nor do they exist for paedophile grooming, spreading sodomite agenda, other wicked political ropaganda or propagating mountains of false doctrine. On the contrary, all these media platforms have one purpose; to spread the gospel far and wide. Though you labour in vain to demonize and stop the words we speak; you only succeed causing more people to see, hear and be convicted [all sic].


The WBC's rationale behind the slew of tech protests is muddled.

In a release about the Apple picket, the group calls the company's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, "a rich, proud fool who now inhabits hell." The group is also protesting YouTube, because the site "has a long history of removing videos and comments that are biblically accurate."

Even Reddit is a target of the Aug. 12 event, because the site's late co-founder, Aaron Swartz, was "a poster boy for this online community: a fag, an atheist and a thief."

Before the tour begins, however, WBC will host a Reddit AMA on Aug. 10. We're expecting a level-headed and informative exchange of ideas.

See the full press release below.

westboro
30
Jul
2014