Apr 17, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


11Healthy Organ Donor Rejected Because He Was Gay, Family Says

A 48-year-old Pittsburgh man who died earlier this month was rejected as an organ donor because he was homosexual, his family says.

Rohn Neugebauer died suddenly of a heart attack on March 16, but he was an otherwise healthy organ and tissue donor.

He was passionate about organ donation and just a month before his death he hosted a fundraiser for the local organization Center for Organ Recovery & Education.

Neugebauer’s sister, Sandy Schultheis, told ThinkProgress that hours after he died, she patiently answered questions from a CORE representative for 20 minutes, detailing her brother’s health and medical history. The last question: whether her brother had been in a homosexual relationship over the last five years.

She said her brother was gay and had been in a committed relationship for the last eight years.

That’s when CORE told her he wasn’t an eligible donor.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “men who have had sex with another man in the preceding 5 years” should be excluded from donation of organs or tissues “regardless of their HIV antibody test results.”

The only exception is made when not performing the transplant would be a greater risk to the recipient than the transfer of HIV, in which case “informed consent regarding the possibility of HIV transmission should be obtained from the recipient.”

If LGBT organ donation is largely prohibited, then why do some organ donation groups like LifeSharing.org encourage those in the gay community to sign up as organ donors?

The Center for American Progress claims discriminatory donor policies “substitute stereotypes for science.”

“Every day in the United States, 43,200 people — one every two seconds — need life-saving blood transfusions,” says the CAP website. “In that same 24 hours, 18 people will die while waiting for a donor organ, with the gap between donated organs and those on the waitlist growing every year."

"Yet the Department of Health and Human Services’ policies on donor eligibility prevent donation by gay men because of outdated assumptions that are decades out of step with medical science," says CAP. "These policies harm patients who would benefit from the department modernizing these standards, which amount to little more than discriminatory relics of the past.”

Neugebauer’s partner, Dan Burda, who co-hosted the CORE fundraiser, says he’s upset with the organization’s decision.

Burda wrote about the situation on Facebook, which garnered attention from the local Pittsburgh NBC affiliate, WPXI.

“We just had a big fundraiser at Studio Raw and raised about $7,000 for CORE. It really makes me nauseous to think they declined him,” Burda told WPXI.

“I think it's very prejudiced, implying that basically that gay people all have AIDS and HIV,” he said.

WPXI posted the story online but took it down a few hours later. An executive producer told ThinkProgress that the station pulled it down because Neugebauer’s father contacted the station and was upset. Some of Neugebauer’s family members weren’t aware that he was gay.

Schultheis said her brother was openly gay and anyone who knew him also knew his partner Dan.

Sources: ThinkProgress, WPXI

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11Christian School Kicks Out 8-Year-Old Girl For Not Being Feminine Enough

A Virginia Christian school told an 8-year-old girl’s grandparents that she’s too much like a boy for them to offer her enrollment for the next school year.

Sunnie Kahle’s grandparents received a letter from Timberlake Christian School that said the 8-year-old’s short hair had other students confused about whether she’s a boy or a girl. The principal wrote that Sunnie, who loves sports and sneakers, doesn’t meet the school’s “biblical standards,” according to WSET.

Sunnie’s grandparents, Doris and Carroll Thompson, decided to pull her out of the school when they learned she wasn’t welcome there anymore.

"How do you label a child, eight years old, or discriminate against an 8-year-old child?" said her grandfather, Carroll Thompson.

Now attending a public school, Sunnie misses her old friends.

"She cries every morning to get on the bus, she cries when she comes home because she wants to go back to Timberlake Christian with her friends," Doris Thompson said.

"You're probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment," Doris read from a part of the letter.

The letter says the private school reserves the right to refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle, or an alternative gender identity.

"We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education,” the letter said.

The Thompsons say their granddaughter isn't confused about her gender.

"Sunnie says, 'I'm a girl, I know I'm a girl' and she said then you know, you're acting like and looking, and wanting to look and act like a boy" said Doris.

"How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants, a shirt, and go out and play in the mud and so forth, how do you tell her, no you can't? You've got to wear a pink bow in your hair, and you've got to let your hair grow out long, how do you do that? I can't do that," said Doris.

A school administrator told WSET that the problem with Sunnie goes a lot further than hair length, stating that "things disturbed the classroom environment."

The school’s website says, "TCS strives for academic excellence with a Christ-centered, discipleship focus. Students are grounded in the truths and implications of the Gospel through the preaching and teaching of our daily Bible classes, weekly chapels and accountability groups, as well as a curriculum consistently taught from a biblical worldview."

Sources: WSET, Jezebel

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11South Dakota Senator Supports Bill To Allow Businesses to Refuse LGBT Customers

South Dakota Republican lawmaker Phil Jensen tried to pass a bill that would grant business owners permission to deny service based on a customer’s sexual orientation – without fear of a lawsuit.

Senate Bill 128 follows a similar, unsuccessful attempt by Alabama lawmakers to give businesses an opening to discriminate against LGBT customers.

Jensen has expressed his firm belief that businesses should have the right to deny service based on a customer’s race or religion. Furthermore, he believes that the assessment of what is right or wrong should be addressed, not by the government, but instead by the free market.

“If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them,” Jensen said.

Like the Alabama bill, Jensen’s bill wasn’t passed; the South Dakota bill was killed in committee. It received highly negative responses, such as one GOP lawmaker’s deeming it a “mean, nasty, hateful, vindictive bill.”

Jensen, 61, is a GOP state senator and free market absolutist. He moved from Kansas to South Dakota in 2003 with a sign taped to his truck reading, “Vote Senator [Tom] Daschle Out.”

He has called himself a true conservative, and believes that many members of his party are, as the Rapid City Journal reports, “Republicans in name only.”

In 2008, he ran for state Legislature and won. He served in the House from 2009-2012.

Despite the negative attention his bill has received, he continues to steadfastly support it, claiming that the bill “protects the constitutional right to free association, the right to free speech and private property rights.”

Sources: http://talkingpointsmemo.com, http://rapidcityjournal.com

Photo Source: http://www.johnjudy.net

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11Rupert Murdoch Asks Irish-Americans To Boycott Guinness For Letting ‘Gay Orgs’ Bully Them Out Of St. Paddy’s Day Parade

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is calling on Irish-Americans to boycott Guinness after it pulled sponsorship from the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday.

The Irish brewer says it cannot participate in a celebration that does not allow gay groups to openly march.

“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all,” the brewer said in a statement released Sunday.

“Today, Guinness sent a strong message to its customers and employees: Discrimination should never be celebrated,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, the president of GLAAD.

Murdoch says gay organizations shouldn’t expect representation at a “religious parade.”

His tweet sparked a backlash of disagreement calling him "the internet's very own racist, homophobic grandad" and a "tedious bigot."

Sources: Talking Points Memo, Town Hall

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11Satanic Group Plans To Turn WBC's Fred Phelps Gay After His Death

Members of New York’s Satanic Temple have announced their plans to turn Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps gay after he dies.

Recently, Phelps’ estranged son Nathan, who himself is now an LGBT rights advocate and vocal atheist, announced via Facebook that his infamous father was dying and had actually been excommunicated from the church that he helped start.

“I've learned that my father, Fred Phelps Sr, pastor of the 'God Hates Fags' WBC, was ex-communicated from the 'church' back in August of 2013,” wrote Nathan Phelps in his post. “He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made."

The Westboro Baptist Church came to be known as a hate group for publicly protesting the funerals of fallen soldiers, out LGBT advocates, celebrities, etc. and holding up signs that say, “Thank God for 9/11,” “Thank God for IEDs,” and “God Hates Fags.”

Last year, the Satanic Temple held what they called a “Pink Mass” at the grave of Fred Phelps’ mother. This ritual, done to make a statement against the church, featured gay couples engaging in homoerotic activity at the site of the grave. After the ritual was completed, the Satanic Temple declared that Phelps’ mother was a “post-mortem homosexual conversion,” meaning that she was now officially gay in the afterlife. With the recent announcing of Fred Phelps’ declining health, Satanic Temple leader Lucien Greaves announced that the same ceremony would be done at Fred’s grave after he dies.

“At the time, I predicted that Fred hadn’t too much longer till he would pass, and I stated –- in a direct tweet to the WBC -– that I would be presiding over Fred’s own Pink Mass before too long,” said Greaves to Vice. “As I have made a promise to a dying man, I fully intend to do my very best to see it through, and the pomp and circumstance of this Pink Mass will surely far, far exceed that of the original event in Meridian, Mississippi.”

Phelps has allegedly been excommunicated from the church he helped build for advocating a “kinder approach” between church members. The WBC says they will not hold a funeral for Phelps, as they don’t believe in worshipping the dead.

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11Transgender Serial Killer Says Her Former Male Self Committed The Crimes

A transgender woman charged with three murders in Washington State is blaming the crimes on her former male self.

Donna Perry, 62, is charged with the 1990 murders of three prostitutes.

She told police that when a person undergoes gender reassignment from male to female “there’s a great downturn in violence,” according to a 2012 affidavit filed in Spokane Superior Court.

Perry underwent gender reassignment surgery in Thailand in 2000. She claims she did it “as a permanent way to control violence.”

Police say Perry shot and killed Yolanda Sapp, Kathleen Brisbois and Nickie Lowe, leaving their bodies on the banks of the Spokane River. Perry was linked to the murders through DNA evidence and fingerprints.

She says it wasn’t Donna who killed those women, it was Douglas Perry.

After declining to appear at an initial hearing, Perry was in court Tuesday.

Richard Brisbois, the brother of victim Kate Brisbois, drove from Fruitland, Wash., to Spokane to attend the hearing this week. He said he thought it was unethical that Perry could refuse to show up.

“That was quite aggravating,” Brisbois told the Spokesman-Review.

He said finally seeing Perry in court Tuesday brought a sense of closure.

“It was good to see and hear that he's in jail and will be staying in jail,” Brisbois said. “We’re all really happy to have some closure even after 24 years.”

His sister left behind three daughters, who now have children of their own.

“It still brings tears to my eyes,” he said. “My heart gets heavy when I think of my sister. I miss her.”

Perry is being held in Spokane County jail on $1 million bond.

Sources: PennLive, ABC News, Spokesman-Review

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11Lindsey Graham Challenger Dave Feliciano Calls Single Senator ‘Ambiguously Gay’

Challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for the Republican nomination, ex-cop Dave Feliciano called the incumbent “ambiguously gay.”

During a campaign event in Columbia Thursday, Feliciano, who quit his job with the Spartanburg Police Department to run for office, appeared with three veteran GOP running mates at the State House.

Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, Easley businessman Richard Cash, Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor and Feliciano all pledged to back each other in a runoff against Graham.

“It’s about time that South Carolina [says], ‘Hey, we’re tired of the ambiguously gay senator from South Carolina. We’re ready for a new leader to merge the Republican Party,'” Feliciano said. “We’re done with this. This is what it’s about, all of us coming together and saying, one way or the other, one of us is going to be on that ballot in November.”

Graham, 58, has never married.

While Cash distanced himself from Feliciano’s comments, calling them inappropriate, Bright defended them.

“He hasn’t said anything that would be contrary to conservative beliefs,” Bright said. “He just expressed an opinion. But that doesn’t say anything about how he would vote in the U.S. Senate. Graham has done and said much more offensive things.”

Feliciano said in a statement Thursday evening that he has no intention of apologizing for the remark, citing Graham’s incompetence in stopping abortion.

“First off I stand by my comment,” he said. “I will not apologize. You’re right, I came off as a bit insensitive, but it got your attention. It should have, there is more at stake here then a job. Lindsey Graham confirmed two judges that will continue the abortion holocaust in America for years to come.”

“As far as respect for the man, not going to happen here,” he continued. “He has millions of lives that will be lost because of his incompetence. And for what, so he can look pretty in Washington.”

Graham was caught on a hot mic Thursday telling Secretary of State John Kerry, “Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner.”

Graham was referring to a bill that would provide economic assistance to the Ukraine. Both House and Senate Republicans oppose the measure.

Feliciano is one of six candidates running against Graham in the Republican primary.

Sources: The State, New York Daily News, TheBlaze

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11Lesbian Couple Files For Divorce In State That Doesn’t Recognize Gay Marriage

A lesbian couple is filing for divorce, but their home state of Alabama doesn’t even recognize their marriage.

Shrie Michelle Richmond and Kirsten Allysse Richmond married in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2012.

Living in Madison County, Ala., they are unable to file for divorce electronically on the state’s Alafile system.

"It accepted all the information I input, but there is a box on it you have to check that designates whether the party is male or female,” Shrie’s attorney, Patrick Hill, told AL.com. “I designated both parties as female — it said the plaintiff and defendant could not be the same gender."

The couple filed a petition, citing irreconcilable differences, with the Madison County Circuit Clerk to dissolve the marriage, introducing a complicated legal precedent for Alabama.

State law says Alabama "shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued."

Alabama is one of 17 states that don’t recognize gay marriage.

If the couple wanted to divorce in Iowa, they would be required to live there for one year to meet the residency requirement.

"When she first came to me, to ask what options were, she had no idea," Hill said. "She didn't know she could not just go down to the courthouse and file for a divorce, and she had no idea about Iowa's residency requirement.”

Hill says the uncontested divorce will require a divorce decree from a judge.

Sources: AL.com, New Yokr Daily News

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11Lesbian Couple Sues Vermont Town For Decade Of Discrimination

A lesbian couple is suing Addison, Vt., for discrimination and intimidation they say has been going on since 2004.

Barbara Ernst and Barbara Supeno, commonly referred to by friends as “The Barbaras,” have been together for 21 years.

Their attorney, David Bond, says they moved into their lakefront property in 2004 and since then have been the target of harassment from other Addison residents who want to drive them out of town.

“It's entirely based on their sexual orientation,” Bond told WPTZ. “Neighbors insulted them, made obscene gestures to them. There were dead animals left on their property.”

Despite filing numerous complaints, the town refuses to respond to their grievances. Furthermore their property has come up twice during zoning meetings, and the couple was never informed.

The couple put up a fence in 2008 because they were fearful of the ongoing threats. Residents complained about their fence and a handicap ramp Supeno installed for her mother. Bond says Supeno tried to file the required forms for the ramp to avoid a $100 fine, but the town clerk refused to take the paperwork.

In April 2011, an anonymous letter was circulated throughout town titled “The truth about The Barbaras,” which alleged Ernst and Supeno were scam artists.

“It has been over 6 years that the Subject two women have been passing themselves off as involved citizens and very concerns about the town direction and in particular with Zoning, the school and the environment,” the letter said. “Beware: This is a totally phony perception that they have fabricated is a front to cover their devious and vicious behavior.”

A Middlebury, Vt., lawyer says he received a nasty letter allegedly from the couple refusing to pay him for services.

“We just thought we would give you a heads up as to our past games with previous attorneys in the state of VT and also lawyers in Middlebury,” the letter reads in part. “We love to play head games with them and give them a run for their money.”

The couple says they never sent such a letter.

Then someone spray-painted a homophobic slur on the pavement outside of twon offices.

The couple is suing Addison for defamation, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with prospective business relations, sexual orientation discrimination, common law retaliation and violations of common benefits clause.

Sources: ThinkProgress, WPTZ

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11Transgender Woman Sues CrossFit For Banning Her From Competing As Female

A transgender personal trainer is suing CrossFit for banning her from competing in the CrossFit Games.

Chloie Johnson says the state of California recognizes her as a woman and the fitness company should, too.

"The fundamental, ineluctable fact is that a male competitor who has a sex reassignment procedure still has a genetic makeup that confers a physical and physiological advantage over women,” CrossFit’s attorney wrote in a letter to Johnson in September.

Johnson underwent sexual reassignment surgery in 2006 and her female hormone therapy is ongoing.

“[Jonnson] doesn’t have an advantage over other women. She’s been on estrogen for such a long time,” her attorney, Waukeen McCoy, told CNN.

Anti-androgen therapy neutralizes the effects of testosterone and reduces masculine features.

"She's female," McCoy said of Johnson. "She's legally female. A corporation like CrossFit, they're doing business in California. The law precludes from discrimination on gender identity."

The Olympic Committee allows transgender athletes to compete in their indentified gender after sexual reassignment surgery.

Johnson is seeking $2.5 million in damages and a reversal of the company’s policy.

Sources: TIME, CNN

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