Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during September, 2012

Students and researchers at the University of Alberta have created a website that counts homophobic slurs on Twitter in real time. It’s both amazingly awesome and a little depressing, but makes me pretty happy to be a U of A alumni. Check it out.

A lot of gay people find their relationships don’t receive much support from their parents, but I think a lot of us can be glad we don’t have anyone quite this determined: A Hong Kong billionaire is offering over $65 million to any man who can woo his daughter away from her wife and partner of seven years. Because, you know, a strange man motivated by large sums of money is apparently a much, much preferable suitor than a woman motivated entirely out of love.

Australian Parliament Votes Down Equal Marriage Rights

September 24th, 2012

A man in an airplane wonders midflight: "Why does everyone in this time machine have an Aussie accent? I'm starting to think we're not travelling to the past at all..."

I’ve always thought that Canada and Australia are similar in a lot of ways. It’s kind of like a parallel Canada with a warmer climate, more poisonous animals, and a superior electoral system. And now, like Canada once did, it’s going through some setbacks in its transition on the path to equal marriage rights.

Australia’s parliament voted down an equal marriage bill last week in a vote of 98 to 42. It’s a big disappointment for a lot of same-sex couples who will now have to wait before getting the same civil benefits that opposite-sex couples have.

Canada had some similar votes, not long ago. In 1995, Canadian parliament rejected a bill that would have allowed for civil unions by a vote of 128 to 52. Then, in 1999 parliament passed a motion affirming the legal definition of marriage as “the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others” by a vote of 215 to 55. Yet, almost four years later to the day, Ontario was finally issuing legal same-sex marriages. Before two more years could pass, nearly all the provinces had followed suit. On July 20, 2005 (coincidentally, the anniversary of my coming out date) a parliamentary vote had given equal marriage rights to every single Canadian, six years after an overwhelming defeat for equality in the house of commons.

So, to my friends in Australia: I wouldn’t fret too much over this setback. According to polls, popular support is already on your side, and—more importantly—so is history. You might be a few years behind Canada in rights, and more than a few degrees above Canada in temperature, but thanks to everyone keeping up the good fight, you’re still ahead of many other countries around the world and I’m utterly convinced you’ll be enjoying full equality much sooner than later. Keep it up!

Principal Cancels Course To Prevent Gay Student From Taking It

September 17th, 2012

Thomas Amons sits with his hands folded beside a red button: "Blow up everything button activated."

The lengths people go to in order to stop gay people from enjoying their life…

Thomas Amons, a principal for the Beaumont Independent School District’s Taylor Career and Technology Center in Texas, has canceled an entire cosmetology course rather than let a student whom he thought was gay take it.

Cequada Clark, the course instructor, said that Amons had asked her to kick out the student because he seemed “flamboyantly gay,” but she refused for moral reasons. Undeterred, the principal then consulted BISD’s legal team to see if it would be possible to prevent the student from enrolling due to his sexual orientation. When the “no” response came back the next day, Amons shut down the entire course and Ms. Clark was fired.

Well, that’s a little drastic, wouldn’t you think? After all, from the school’s perspective, gay money works the same as straight money. If anything, money from a gay cosmetology enthusiast might even smell nicer and have fewer creases.

Slap reader Christian submits this bit of craziness: David Cecil, a British theatre producer, is facing a possible prison sentence after staging a play criticizing Uganda’s anti-gay attitudes. The performance, entitled The River and The Mountain, is about a gay businessman who is killed by his own employees. Since it clearly wasn’t very well received by Ugandan authorities, I have a proposal for his next production: The Producer and The Slapees, a gripping tale about a gay theatre producer who is jailed for putting on a freakin’ play.

Slap reader Daniel sends us this crazy bit of news: A doctor in Sydney, Australia has prescribed chemical castration drugs to an 18 year old New Zealand patient in an attempt to “cure” his homosexually. Cyproterone acetate blocks production of testosterone, mostly eliminating sexual drive in males. Luckily, the Medical Council of NSW did some of their own elimination after a thorough review of the case, banning the 75 year old doctor from practicing medicine outside the field of radiology.

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has launched a formal objection to a proposed kind of website address ending in .gay. The complaint asserts that the new top level domain name would offend their culture. Personally, I just wonder what the difference between google.com and google.gay would be. Perhaps the logo would be even more rainbowy.

Christian Group Sues School Board Over Lesson Plans

September 10th, 2012

A man dressed in black guards an encyclopedia.

A group calling itself the “Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund” along with an anonymous “beleaguered parent” is suing the Ontario school system for not providing advance notice of gay subject matter.

“The parent seeks nothing more than to be given advance notice so that he can […] withdraw his children before the lesson,” the group announced on Friday.

While the press release itself didn’t mention gay issues specifically, the newly-formed group’s website obsesses over the topic almost exclusively, also establishing their opposition to “misguided” Gay-Straight Alliances, and any book written by GLBT authors.

Say, isn’t it odd that the same groups who often demand schools “teach the controversy” when it comes to learning about evolution and other scientific progresses, are so quick to censor and block other material? I spent my entire grade school education in the Catholic school system where gay topics were never discussed, probably on purpose. The only thing that withholding this information did for gay students like me was leave us uninformed and ignorant for many years before having to find out what we needed to know on our own from an uneven selection of reliable and unreliable sources.

At any rate, I want to offer a thought to this parent. Since he has chosen to sue the school board anonymously, let’s refer to him as Count Moriarty Von Jafar IV.

Mr. Moriarty Von Jafar, expose your kids to as many ideas as possible and stop presuming ownership over their minds. By all means, introduce them to your own ideas (and trust me, there’s plenty of time to teach your kids your own ideas; they don’t have to always hear your worldview first), but have the responsibility to let them discover ideas you don’t particularly like. Shielding them from a world you don’t always see eye-to-eye with is a complete impossibility, and that’s a wonderful thing. The less sheltered and more challenged a mind is, the more resilient and capable it becomes.

Anti-Gay Group Says Equal Marriage Leads To Abortion

September 3rd, 2012

A man with green hair, being eaten by an alien, holds his grape-producing tree-like arm in the air so an ostrich with a vacuum cleaner can suck up the grapes.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), an anti-choice and anti-gay lobby group based in the UK, has distributed fliers suggesting that legal same-sex marriage will lead to an increased number of abortions.

“Legalised same-sex marriage will increase confusion about what it means to be a man or woman and removes natural conception from the idea of marriage,” the pamphlet states. “We must protect real marriage because it protects children in the womb.”

Now, I know it sounds like there are some logical connections missing in this assertion. You may think that, due to the dedication and procedures necessary for a gay or lesbian couple to have a child, abortions would be highly unlikely in the LGBT community. SPUC, however, was clearly limited for space and had to omit some details. So, on behalf of SPUC, here’s how I think that they think this works:

All men are secretly gay and always have been, which is why governments enact laws to keep them from marrying each other. Once such legal barriers disappear, however, men will no longer be interested in any sort of physical reproduction with women, threatening the human race with extinction. Desperate for babies to continue our survival, humanity will have no choice but to construct a system of automated weaponry to launch razor-thin projectiles tipped with pre-fertilized eggs directly into the tummies of women (all of whom are still heterosexual since everyone knows that lesbianism is just a myth). The impregnated women—now alone and having left the kitchen to pursue careers—will be ill-equipped to raise their egg-gun children on their own, forcing them to choose between a quick abortion and a life of poverty. Piles of aborted fetuses will litter the cities, one beside each coin-operated abort-o-matic booth.

Did I get that right, SPUC?