CHARLOTTE: Pastor Flip Benham Screams “Pervert” After Trans Teen Uses Restroom

This happened tonight during the LGBT rights debate. Matt Comer reports at Q Notes:

qnotes has received two reports of confrontations of transgender people using the government center’s bathrooms, including one confrontation in which anti-LGBT street preacher Flip Benham, once convicted of stalking a local abortion doctor, confronted a 17-year-old transgender girl. Olivia, 17, told qnotes she went to use the women’s restroom on the second floor of the government center. Inside, everything was fine and she heard no complaints from the adult women in the restroom. But when she came out, Olivia says a man confronted her, called her a “young man” and said she shouldn’t have been in the women’s restroom.

Olivia also said that Benham joined in the confrontation. Benham’s fellow activist, Ante Pavkovic, apparently recorded the incident, but Benham refused to show qnotes the video, saying he’ll send it to Shawn Hannity at Fox News. “I don’t want a pervert like yourself trying to misrepresent what happened in there when that young boy went into that bathroom with the young girls,” Benham said. The teenager said she responded angrily, calling Benham an “asshole,” but her mother, Darlena, said she felt Benham was the aggressor. She stepped between them. As they walked away, Benham allegedly said the teenager should be arrested. Benham called the teenager a “punk” and a “pervert” and claimed there were children in the restroom.

Hit the link and read the full report.

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What To Watch This Week On TV: Streaming ‘Kimmy Schmidt'; ‘Housewives’ Goes Down Under

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you’re catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won’t admit you watch when no one’s looking.

— There’s a lot to love about the new Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. For starters, it’s from the brilliant brain of SNL and 30 Rock vet, Tina Fey. Plus, it’s got the lovable Ellie Kemper (from Bridesmaids and The Office) in the titular role as a the former member of a doomsday cult who starts her life over in New York City. We’re laughing already. The series drops Friday.

Quakes, queens and a bunch of sassy sheilas, AFTER THE JUMP …

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— Ladies and ladyboys, the race is back on tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on Logo when RuPaul’s Drag Race season seven premieres. Get to know this year’s crop of charismatic, unique, nervy and talented queens with our handy primer.

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— Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feel the Earth move under their feet following the events of the winter finale. The team is back in action Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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— Fox’s breakout hit Empire brings Breakfast Club alum Judd Nelson into the fold Wednesday at 9 p.m., following in the footsteps of guest stars like Courtney Love.

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— Do the ladies of Drag Race just not wear enough makeup for your liking? Take a trip down undah with the ladies of The Real Housewives of Melbourne, making its second season debut Thursday at 9 p.m. on Bravo. In case you missed the series’ first season (which aired at all kinds of crazy times), these ladies make our reality countrywomen look downright dignified.

What are you watching this week?

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‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett Declines to Comment on His Sexuality After Co-Star Outs Him as Gay

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Empire actor Malik Yoba revealed in a recent interview with Black Film that lead co-star Jussie Smollett is gay. Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon came out publicly via song in a recent episode of the show and Smollett himself is an advocate of gay rights such as the NOH8 Campaign. Yoba frankly confirmed Smollett’s orientation in the interview, citing that the two actors share a close relationship.

YobaSaid Yoba: 

“I think that our show represents a huge opportunity to stay in the culture beyond entertainment value and there’s an intrinsic nature of you have the gay factor, right? So, obviously, Lee is gay. That was an important storyline for him. I think it’s important for people to see themselves. Even within the Black community. But if you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live in the community in a significant way…like I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community.He and I have a very close relationship.”

However, in a recent appearance on Sway In The Morning, Smollett was asked on-air if he is gay and he neither denied nor confirmed it, saying he chooses not to talk regarding his personal life.

Said Smollett: 

“I am not willing to confirm or deny anything, I live my life…if anyone is looking to put me in a box, then that’s not going to happen. But if you really want to know about me, just watch, because I don’t hide anything. I just don’t choose to talk about my personal life.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 3.30.05 PMSmollett expressed irritation with magazines hailing the show as a “black gay” show. “This is not a gay black show, this is a show about human experiences,” Smollett said, calling the single-category view of the show “silly,” and “unfair.”

The internet rumor mill believes that Smollett is currently seeing The Read guest co-host, actor and YouTube personality Dustin Ross after a post on Ross’ Instagram of the two together. The two actors played love interests in the movie The Skinny. You can watch Smollett address the gay rumors and how the smash hit Empire is more than just a “black gay show,” with Sway In The Morning, AFTER THE JUMP

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1702

THE TALK: Sara Gilbert’s baby announcement & first photo.

LEONARD NIMOY: Astronauts remember the Star Trek icon.

FAKE OSCAR PRANK: Look at the VIP treatment this guy gets!

DAVE DAUBENMIRE: Kardashian ‘debauchery’ caused Bruce Jenner’s transition.

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For more recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

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Headline Of The Day

Via TV Line:

The only thing crazier than the concept of an actual sharknado is the latest crop of actors(?) confirmed to appear in the Syfy saga’s upcoming third installment. Syfy on Monday added two more names to Sharknado 3‘s roster: mega mogul Mark Cuban and noted maniac Ann Coulter, who will be playing the President and Vice President of the United States of America, respectively. So in case you were wondering, yes, this is going to be a horror movie. That illustrious twosome joins a bevy of previously announced cast members plucked from yesteryear, including: Bo Derek, playing April’s mother May; Jerry Springer, playing manic tourist Mr. White; Chris Jericho, playing a roller coaster operator named Bruce; and Chris Kirkpatrick, playing… a pool life guard.

If Coulter meets the usual Sharknado gruesome end, at least we’ll get some entertaining GIFs. (Tipped by JMG reader Tim)

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Attorney General Eric Holder Names Openly Gay Man to Lead DoJ Civil Division

Former Ohio solicitor general Ben Mizer has been promoted to Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Mizer is one of more than a dozen out gay lawyers Holder and the Obama administration have appointed to senior positions at the Department of Justice, according to The Victory Fund.

Mizer“Ben Mizer’s unassailable integrity, sound judgment and steadfast commitment to the mission of this department are just a few of the reasons he’s been chosen to serve as the new Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division – a critical and demanding post, and one in which he will undoubtedly thrive,” said Attorney General Holder in a statement. “Ben’s work here in Washington and as Solicitor General for the state of Ohio has put him in some of the most challenging and demanding positions a lawyer can encounter.  But in every instance, Ben has repeatedly demonstrated that he is both a gifted lawyer and a capable leader.”

If confirmed, Ben would be the second most senior openly gay official at the Department of Justice. Stuart F. Delery, the gay senior Justice Department lawyer who successfully argued against the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the Obama Administration back in 2012 and previously served as head of the Civil Division, was promoted to Associate Attorney General back in September. Delery is the department’s no.3 lawyer and the highest-ranking openly gay official to ever serve in the DoJ.

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California GOP Tells Log Cabin Republicans To ‘Get Out Of The Back Of The Bus,’ Votes to Formally Recognize Gay Group

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In a move that drew comparisons to Rosa Parks and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the California Republican Party voted this weekend to officially recognize the Log Cabin Republicans. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The Log Cabin Republicans, a 38-year-old organization that had unsuccessfully sought a charter from the state party several times in the past, received the formal imprimatur on a 861-293 vote at the party’s biannual convention in Sacramento.

It is among the first gay groups officially sanctioned by a state Republican Party.

Brandon Gesicki, a delegate from Carmel who supported the effort, said the vote showed how much the party in California has changed in recent years.

“It would have been the complete opposite 15 years ago,” said Gesicki, who also turned in a proxy vote from former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado supporting the recognition. “The fringe does not control the party anymore. We truly are a big tent once again.”

The victory for Log Cabin in California comes on the heels of the national group’s exclusion (then re-admittance) as Conservative Political Action Conference sponsor this year.  

The LA Times reports that despite the decision to charter Log Cabin, the California GOP platform still includes anti-LGBT language: 

John Briscoe, president of the socially conservative California Republican Assembly, pointed to Log Cabin’s support of same-sex marriage.

“I have a hard time understanding how we’re going to charter an organization that’s in opposition to our platform,” he said during the debate.

The party’s official platform says homosexuality is unacceptable.

“We believe public policy and education should not be exploited to present or teach homosexuality as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle. We oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption,” the platform says.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that while some social conservatives like Briscoe voiced strong opposition to the decision, the vast majority of those attending the state GOP supported it. 

And, many said, their inclusion was long overdue.

“We’re Republicans,” said Brandon Gesicki, a longtime GOP strategist. “We’re not East Germany.”

“Get out of the back of the bus,” said Scott Wilk, Republican Assembly Caucus chair to the Log Cabin group at the close of the debate. “You deserve a seat.”

Watch the announcement of the group’s charter, AFTER THE JUMP … 

 

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