Unidentified Smith College Student Proposes Exclusive Sorority For Straight Women On Campus

Smith

Smith College, an all-female liberal arts insitution in Northampton, MA, has had quite a media blitz this week. An unidentified student sent an email to her peers proposing the creation of a chapter of Delta Gamma sororities catering to straight women only. Smith students and faculty, as well as other involved parties, were not pleased.  

USA Today reports:

In the e-mail — which was originally posted and later removed on Tumblr by another Smith student known as “aQuieterRioter” — the unidentified author invited her classmates to help her create an “exclusive” chapter of Delta Gamma for “straight girls” with planned activities such as “sorority mixers with Amherst men, weekly dinner dates, weekly photo shoots where we would dress up nice [and] baking nights.”

The self-identifying heterosexual student wrote in the e-mail that she felt “marginalized” at the women’s college of 2,600 and that the straight-only sorority could be a “really great way to socialize with people we identify more with at Smith.”

The response to the email was swift and addressed the issue of privilege in the situation:

“As a straight smithie I have NEVER felt marginalized by the queer community,” @jnims wrote Sept 17. “I can’t fathom how you see it as a source of oppression. Being straight isn’t a burden, not at smith, anywhere.”

Public outcry was so strong that the Smith College student who leaked the e-mail removed the original post, apologizing for the subsequent “witchhunt” against the author.

DeltagammaThe proposal has got more than just Smith students on the defensive. Delta Gamma’s reputation is at stake as well.

Plans for the all-straight sorority was news to Delta Gamma’s Mary Ellen Hardies, the national chapter’s director of communication, who told USA TODAY Delta Gamma first heard about the Smith student’s e-mail from a Google news alert.

“Our attorney has been in contact with the university trying to figure out what the heck is going on, who this girl is, to what extent things are happening” Hardies said of the unidentified student’s e-mail. “That sort of approach does not fall in line with our values at all.”

Smith’s Student Body President, Augusta Gronquist, emailed her own words of support to her peers.

“Incidents of this type go against our understanding of what it means to be a community,” Gronquist wrote. “People in our community are hurting right now; many issues, a lot of which are unspoken or frequently ignored, have been raised and need our attention.”

The author of the original email remains unknown. Do you feel for her, or do you think the public outcry is warranted? Sound off in the comments.

Photo courtesy of PolicyMic.

via Towleroad News #gay http://www.towleroad.com/2013/09/unidentified-smith-college-student-proposes-exclusive-sorority-for-straight-women-on-campus.html

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If Putin Were ‘Put(t)in Out’ For Men Would Russians Be Better Off?: VIDEO

Puttinout

YouTube user graga gork has uploaded a deceptively cheery music video for their song “Put(t)in Out.”  They postulate that the Russian president would not be so sad, and so interested in making LGBT Russians sad (and in danger) too, if he would just come out…and put out.  

What do you think?  Is Putin closeted, or just a power-hungry homophobe?  

Watch the rainbow-filled video, AFTER THE JUMP

via Towleroad News #gay http://www.towleroad.com/2013/09/if-putin-were-puttin-out-for-men-would-russians-be-better-off-video.html

Archdiocese For The Military Services Tells Catholic Chaplains: Stay Away from Gay Ceremonies

Shortly after Pope Francis’s comments about gay marriage and the US military’s extension of benefits to gay couples, the two worlds of religion and military service have collided. This time, the result is not so positive. 

The Archdiocese for the Military Services has issued new rules regarding Catholic chaplains’ involvement in same-sex marriages, funerals, and couple’s counseling. The gist? Chaplains should not indicate support for gay marriage, as mandated by Catholic doctrine. Someone should see what Pope Francis has to say about this.

BrogllioHuffington Post reports:

Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

The rules, sent to chaplains on Sept. 18 by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio (pictured), head of the AMS, also bar chaplains from taking part in a funeral for a Catholic if that participation “would give the impression that the church approves of same sex ‘marital’ relationships.”

But the new rules also set out conditions that would allow Catholic military commanders to comply, without violating their beliefs, with rules giving same-sex couples under their command federal employee benefits as required by law.

Broglio cited an interpretation from the National Catholic Bioethics Center explaining that Catholic commanders can morally facilitate benefits for gay couples in their command if there was no other way to avoid it without jeopardizing their career.

“This is also contingent on the commander making known his/her objection to being required to … participate, as well as on attempting through legal channels to continue to accomplish changes in policy consistent with the historic understanding of marriage and family as based on natural moral law,” said the statement from the bioethics center.

The Archdiocese follows in the footsteps of other conservative organizations reinforcing their stance on the issue after the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, DOMA, and Prop 8 decisions. In fact, “The new policies were expected and follow similar guidelines issued last month by the Southern Baptist Convention for its chaplains,” though the Catholic military contingent is far smaller. Still, same-sex couples are the minority as Archbishop Broglio is quick to point out.

He [Broglio] said that same-sex couples account for less than half of one percent of couples in the armed forces and “such a small group cannot be allowed to mandate policy for all.”

“A clear disservice is rendered if the truth of the Gospel is confused by the actions of those ordained to disseminate that truth,” the archbishop said, adding that chaplains should also “never forget that it is the sin that is hated and never the sinner.”

via Towleroad News #gay http://www.towleroad.com/2013/09/archdiocese-for-the-military-services-bar-catholic-chaplains-from-performing-services-for-same-sex-c.html

Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins Appointed to Louisiana Law Enforcement Commission

6a00d8341c730253ef01901c847424970b-800wiWhen looking to fill a high-profile job opening–say, membership on the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, for example–you might not opt for the virulently homophobic leader of an organization labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.  Or, if you’re Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s Republican governor, you might do just that.

According to its website, the commission’s mission is “to improve the operations of the criminal justice and juvenile justice system and promote public safety by providing progressive leadership and coordination within the criminal justice community.”  (There’s a delicious and sad irony in the idea of Perkins being part of a group’s ‘progressive leadership.’)

Slate points out that Perkins’s appointment to a body “which awards grants, trains officers, and regulates law enforcement throughout the state” could add to Louisiana’s already less-than-stellar record of support for LGBT individuals and “may well drag the state to new, even darker depths of anti-gay enmity.”

Just this month, Perkins–who leads the Family Research Council–said that straight solders were facing discrimination from the federal government because of a recent Pentagon policy allowing service members in same-sex relationships living in non-marriage equality states paid leave to travel to states which allow marriage equality.  He also called on his followers to boycott Betty Crocker because the company donated custom cakes to three same-sex couples in Minnesota who wed after the state legislature voted in favor of equal marriage rights.

As we’ve noted before here on Towleroad, Louisiana is not very friendly to its LGBT citizens.  Earlier this month, the state’s National Guard said that it would not comply with orders from the Pentagon to begin approving benefits requests from married same-sex couples, pointing to the state’s ban on marriage equality.  This summer, the Baton Rough Advocate published a disturbing exposé revealing that the city’s sheriff’s office had conducted undercover stings for at least two years arresting gay men for engaging in consensual sex.  In doing so, the sheriff relied on Louisiana’s sodomy ban, which was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision but still technically remains on the books in the state.

via Towleroad News #gay http://www.towleroad.com/2013/09/hate-group-leader-tony-perkins-appointed-to-louisiana-law-enforcement-commission.html

U.S. Division of Barilla Apologizes for Chairman’s Anti-Gay Remarks

Barilla US, the American division of the Italian Barilla pasta company, apologized via Facebook and Twitter late this afternoon for remarks by the company’s chairman Guido Barilla, made on a radio program last night.

4_barillaAt Barilla, we consider it our mission to treat our consumers and
partners as our neighbors – with love and respect – and to deliver the
very best products possible. We take this responsibility seriously and
consider it a core part of who we are as a family-owned company. While
we can’t undo recent remarks, we can apologize. To all of our friends,
family, employees, and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are
deeply sorry.

On Wednesday night, company Chair Guido Barilla told the Italian radio show La Zanzara that the company would never make an ad with gay people and if they didn’t like it they can find another brand of pasta:

“I would
never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it
they can go and eat another brand…For us the concept of the sacred
family remains one of the fundamental values of the company….Everyone
has the right to do what they want without
disturbing those around them…”

He then added: “I have no respect for adoption by gay
families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose.”

The remarks ignited a firestorm on social media and caused Guido Barilla to apologize this morning:

With reference to my statements yesterday to the press, I apologize if my words have offended some people.For clarity I would like to point out that I have the deepest respect for all people, without distinction of any kind.

I have
the utmost respect for homosexuals and freedom of expression. I also
said, and repeat, that I have respect for marriages between people of
the same sex. Barilla
in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because
this is the symbol of hospitality and love for everyone.

Equality-minded people around the world are calling for a boycott of the company.

via Towleroad News #gay http://www.towleroad.com/2013/09/us-division-of-barilla-apologizes-for-chairmans-anti-gay-remarks.html

Google Chat Misfires

Tech sites are buzzing today after some Google chat users found that their messages were going to the wrong people. CNN reports that some cube dwellers found themselves copied on the private chats of their bosses.

Google has acknowledged a problem with its Talk service that misrouted messages from users to unintended recipients. At 10:30am EDT today, Google reported on its Apps Dashboard that it had “identified an issue with Google Talk messages sent between 22:00 PST and 01:30 PST. Any messages sent after 01:30 PST are unaffected.” That “issue” resulted in messages typed into a Google Talk or Hangouts chat with one user to be sent to another random person on the sender’s Talk contact list. A number of users reported the problem on the Google Chat product forum, and Ars has gotten confirmation of the problem from other Talk users.

Surely Buzzfeed will post a hilarious recap of these exchanges.

via Joe. My. God. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/09/google-chat-misfires.html