BYU Professor Fired for Post Supporting LGBT Community on Facebook

Ruthie Robertson, an adjunct professor at Mormon-operated Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus, sought to mark the start of Pride month with a post to social media expressing her support for the LGBT community.

However, she also raised her concerns about the troubling LGBT-rights record of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to which she belongs.

Within hours, Robertson was called in for a meeting with the university’s administration and ultimately found herself left without a job in retribution, with the classes she had been scheduled to teach in the summer and fall abruptly canceled.

Salt Lake City’s KUTV reports:

She wrote about the LDS church fighting for California’s Proposition 8, an amendment to the state’s constitution, fighting to stop same sex marriage in the state and allowing religious universities, doctors and adoption services, among other services, being denied to same-sex couples.

Robertson, a member of the LDS church, said she has many gay friends and wrote the post to let them know she supported and loved them. She said she could not remove or rescind the post.

“I could not take it back,” she said.

Robertson said she felt secure in making her post on Facebook because it is private; no students followed her online and her beliefs have never been taught in a classroom.

The text of Robertson’s original Facebook post was archived by The Washington Post, which also spoke with her:

Robertson told The Post that throughout her life, she has struggled to figure out where her personal beliefs fit into her religion. She was particularly dismayed in November 2015, when a new Mormon policy was leaked from the church clarifying that those in a same-sex marriage are considered apostates, and children living in a same-sex household may not be baptized until they are 18. Once they reach that age, children must choose to disavow their parents’ lifestyle in order to request to join the church.

“I fought for so long trying to find my place in this church,” Robertson said. “And then I kind of felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.”

Though she is still a practicing Mormon, Robertson said that since her firing, she has contemplated leaving the church. She worries the church will excommunicate her following the publicizing of her Facebook post and firing. But she does not regret the Facebook post.

“I think it was something that needed to be said, especially in the community I’m in,” Robertson said.

The LDS Church has since held fast to this new hardline policy against its LGBT members, and recently made negative headlines when one of its officials interrupted and silenced a pre-teen girl who was trying to come out about her sexuality in front of her congregation.

The post BYU Professor Fired for Post Supporting LGBT Community on Facebook appeared first on Towleroad.

via Towleroad Gay News http://ift.tt/2voQjjy

Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington Dead of Apparent Suicide

Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington, the frontman of the alt-rock band Linkin Park, was found dead of an apparent suicide on Thursday morning.

TMZ reports:

Law enforcement sources tell us the singer hanged himself at a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in L.A. County. His body was discovered Thursday just before 9 AM. Chester was married with 6 children from 2 wives.

The singer struggled with drugs and alcohol for years. He had said in the past he had considered committing suicide because he had been abused as a child by an older male.

Bennington was 41.

Linkin Park’s recent hit “Heavy”:

The post Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington Dead of Apparent Suicide appeared first on Towleroad.

via Towleroad Gay News http://ift.tt/2tjXHvd

Sue Bird, 2020 Election, Richard Grenell, Amanda Lepore, Lena Dunham, Jeff Sessions, Jake Paul: HOT LINKS

Robert MuellerRUSSIAGATE. Mueller expands probe to Trump business transactions: “The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. The president told the New York Times on Wednesday that any digging into matters beyond Russia would be out of bounds. Trump’s businesses have involved Russians for years, making the boundaries fuzzy so Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be taking a wide-angle approach to his two-month-old probe.”

2020. Democrats see huge field emerging to take on Trump: “The Democratic Party thought they could try and control the process, but I don’t think that’s going to be an option this time around. No one is going to be able to clear or winnow the field. There’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

JEFF SESSIONS. I’m staying.


BASKETBALL. WNBA superstar Sue Bird comes out as gay and in a relationship with Megan Rapinoe. “I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend. … These aren’t secrets to people who know me,” Bird says. “I don’t feel like I’ve not lived my life. I think people have this assumption that if you’re not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it’s this secret. That was never the case for me.”

APPOINTMENTS. Richard Grenell as ambassador to Germany?


BETSY DEVOS. Hundreds protest Education Secretary at Colorado statehouse: “Hundreds of people gathered at the Colorado statehouse Wednesday morning to protest the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council — a fact that wasn’t lost on the 1,500 or so conservatives in attendance.”

ELON MUSK. I have verbal govt approval to build Hyperloop between NY and DC: “Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that The Boring Co. received “verbal” government approval to begin building an underground Hyperloop, saying it would take 29 minutes to go from New York to Washington, D.C.”



PENNSYLVANIA. Allentown Council bans gay conversion therapy for minors: “The bill, which makes it illegal to provide therapy designed to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, was co-sponsored by the majority of council and had strong support from the local LGBT community.”

AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Lena Dunham is joining the show.


SCOTLAND. Man gets 32 months in prison for stabbing his partner with a kitchen knife. “At the time of his guilty plea, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard that his victim thought he had been punched until he realised there was a knife sticking out of his back.”

AMANDA LEPORE. Jacob Bernstein delves into the NYC nightlife figure’s numerous cosmetic enhancements: “Ms. Lepore has undergone cosmetic alterations to nearly every part of her body that can be altered. She has had her derrière injected with silicone, her nose made smaller, her forehead lifted and her hairline lowered. Her cheeks are regularly pumped with fillers, and her breasts have been enhanced three times.”

THE WORLD’S WORST PERSON. Vine celebrity Jake Paul.

THIRSTY THURSDAY. Milan Christopher.

Instagram Photo


Instagram Photo


Instagram Photo

The post Sue Bird, 2020 Election, Richard Grenell, Amanda Lepore, Lena Dunham, Jeff Sessions, Jake Paul: HOT LINKS appeared first on Towleroad.

via Towleroad Gay News http://ift.tt/2vFJ7Ph

Democratic Lawmakers Sued For Displaying Rainbow Flag Outside Capitol Hill Offices: VIDEO


Three House Representatives are being sued for displaying a rainbow flag outside of their Capitol Hill offices.

The plaintiff in the case is Chris Sevier who in 2014 made headlines by trying to marry his laptop to highlight his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Sevier’s suit argues that “‘homosexuality’ and other forms of self-asserted sex-based identity narratives are a ‘religion’” and rainbow flags are a religious symbol for the “homosexual denomination.” He has also suggested that the lawmakers who displayed the flag should be removed from office.

“The Defendants,” he said, “know or should know that they are advancing a threat to Democracy…to the point that they are unfit to hold office and should be removed for cause for representing an internalized danger to National Security interests.”

220px-Susan_Davis_CroppedAccording to the San Diego Union-Tribune, he is seeking $1 in damages.

However, Democratic Rep. Susan Davis (right), who has been named in the lawsuit, said that the legal action has encouraged her to continue her work on equal rights for members of the LGBTQ community. She added that the rainbow flag, which has been on display since 2015, will not be removed.

The other lawmakers – all Democrats – named in the suit are Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, Don Beyer of Virginia and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.

Watch David Pakman on Sevier’s attempt to marry his laptop below.

(Chris Sevier image via YouTube. Susan Davis image via Wikipedia)

The post Democratic Lawmakers Sued For Displaying Rainbow Flag Outside Capitol Hill Offices: VIDEO appeared first on Towleroad.

via Towleroad Gay News http://ift.tt/2tKJM0v

Joshua Grannell is ‘Better Known as Peaches Christ’, San Francisco’s Most Sought-After Drag Queen: SHORT FILM

Peaches Christ

Jeffrey Grannell is profiled in a short film by Jeff Dragomanovich  which takes an intimate look at how Grannell’s life has been transformed by Peaches Christ, the drag persona he created more than 20 years ago.

For those of you traveling to Provincetown this summer, you can see Peaches Christ perform with Jinkx Monsoon in Return to Grey Gardens, with Ryan Landry in 5 to 9, and with Mink Stole in Idol Worship.

Read more details and find out what’s going on in Provincetown in our 2017 P’Town Hacks, the ultimate guide to America’s favorite gay resort.

And watch Better Known As Peaches Christ in full right here:

The post Joshua Grannell is ‘Better Known as Peaches Christ’, San Francisco’s Most Sought-After Drag Queen: SHORT FILM appeared first on Towleroad.

via Towleroad Gay News http://ift.tt/2ueEZIk

Rachel Maddow Puts Jeff Sessions on ‘Resignation Watch’ After Trump Slam: VIDEO

Last night’s stunning New York Times interview with Donald Trump in which he publicly trashed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and said he wouldn’t have appointed him if he knew Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia probe has folks wondering if Sessions will resign.

The NYT reported:

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he added. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”

Mr. Trump also faulted Mr. Sessions for his testimony during Senate confirmation hearings when Mr. Sessions said he had not met with any Russians even though he had met at least twice with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. “Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers,” the president said. “He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t.”

Said Rachel Maddow who put Sessions and perhaps several other members of Trump’s administration, on resignation watch:

“In normal times, we would expect an official criticized this way by the president to resign before the evening is over. That said, these are not normal times.”



CNN reports that Sessions has no plans to resign:

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment to CNN about the President’s remarks regarding Sessions. But a source familiar with his thinking said Sessions has no intention of stepping down as attorney general in the wake of Trump’s comments.

The post Rachel Maddow Puts Jeff Sessions on ‘Resignation Watch’ After Trump Slam: VIDEO appeared first on Towleroad.

via Towleroad Gay News http://ift.tt/2vnl3Bp