Tag Archives: religion

GLAAD: Trump Accountability Project

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is one of the many LGBT+ organisations I support, and am very fond of, not only because they are a non-governmental (and therefore non-profit) organisation, but also because of their purpose – GLAAD is a media monitoring organisation founded by LGBT people in the media. Their aim is to tackle tough LGBT issues and consequently create a narrative that leads to cultural change.

GLAAD has taken the open homophobic and transphobic statements made by republicans very seriously, and used this information to create ‘The Trump Accountability Project (TAP)’, “a resource for journalists, editors, and other news makers reporting on the Trump administration, which catalogues the anti-LGBTQ statements and actions of President-elect Donald Trump and those in his circle.”
The aim of TAP is to hold those on Trump’s team accountable for their hate speech, stemming from GLAAD’s original project ‘Commentator Accountability Project’ (CAP) which aims to bring anti-LGBT statements to life, putting information about anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, journalists and editors. Similarly to this project, GLAAD aims to do the following with TAP:

…Use first-hand statements, video, and/or audio to document the animus displayed by people being appointed into positions of power in the U.S. government. GLAAD will update the following profiles with new statements that disparage LGBTQ people, women, Muslims, Immigrants, and many others. GLAAD will also share this information with reporters, journalists, producers, activists, and fellow organisations each time they make headlines anew.

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What a great project. It’s a shame how targeting works on social media, as Trump supporters probably would never see these types of articles and projects on their feeds (not that it would necessarily change their minds). The US election really opened my eyes to targeted ads and news feed items, especially on Facebook…
Now listen up. Organisations like GLAAD can’t exist without donations, so please reach into your privileged pockets and donate towards an amazing cause – love, acceptance and unity! Pretty please!

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Amazon Prime: Priest and Imam

Everyone is talking about it. Created by Amazon’s in-house team, this Amazon Prime ad has put smiles on an increasingly divided worlds’ faces.
Is it glamorising a very important and serious world issue of racism, xenophobia and islamophobia for a shopping service? Perhaps… or is it just a fantastically simple but lovely ad concept? Hey, it even made me, an atheist smile!

The ad will air in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.

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A message to Trump supporters, from Ben & Jerry’s: One Sweet World

Here at Ben & Jerry’s, we’re concerned that the dominant message we see in society today is one of division. Whether it’s televised political debates or newspaper headlines, it’s sometimes easy to think the world is becoming increasingly divided. So, we’ve been thinking about how we can amplify a message of unity & love using the thing we know best… ice cream! Say hello to East Coneville!

Agency Nice and Serious created this heartwarming campaign for Ben & Jerry’s Europe after the US election results left the world in tears. The Leader Lemon’s leaf ‘hair’ reminds me of a certain someone’s iconic hairstyle…

Ben & Jerry’s is a brand that has always proudly maintained liberal values, and whilst most brands stay away from expressing political views, they have never been afraid to stand up for what’s right – in 2009, they celebrated the legalisation of gay marriage in Vermont by releasing ‘Hubby Hubby’, a supportive rename of its ‘Chubby Hubby’ ice cream.

The video contains a tone of hidden messages relating to the division and prejudice Trump’s campaign has created, such as “Zest is Best” and “Go Home!”. The dejected cherry is left furious (like millions of us all over the world) and intimidated, but is eventually welcomed by a kind Lemon, offering to share music followed by fake tweets such as “Coneville welcomes all flavours! #BetterTogether” (N.B. the LGBT flags!)

Anyone notice the name of the park ‘Rosa Park’? I’m not crying, you are.

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Donald Trump Made Me Cry: What His Leadership Will Do to the LGBT+ Community

This morning I woke up after having a wonderful dream that Hillary Clinton had won the US election. It took me half an hour to nervously scroll through Twitter and news websites to confirm in my panicked and confused mind that this was no dream – but an absolute nightmare.
Since 7:30am I have thought of nothing else. Despite not being American and having no personal ties to America, Trump’s words and beliefs have so deeply affected me. Why? Because I am a passionate activist – I have dedicated so much time an effort trying my best to spread equality, peace, love and tolerance in a world that is constantly being challenged by bigots. If you know me personally or have read a lot of my blog posts, you’ll know that the majority of my beliefs in equality surround the LGBT+ community. This is an incredibly important issue to me, and today has left me immensely fearing for this community.

Aside from every other hellish comment Trump has made about women, disabled people, immigrants, blacks and latinos (and everything other than a straight white male), this blog is going to be about the affect Trump’s power will have over the LGBT+ community not just in America, but the whole world.
When Trump officially takes over in January, it will be in the first time since 2005 that the Republicans will have full control of both the executive and the legislature. The Republican Platform passed earlier this year contained some of the most anti-LGBT plans in years. Topics mentioned were same-sex adoption and parenting, opposing a ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy, and lawmakers who’ve drawn up bills affirming ‘religious freedom’ exemptions from anti-discrimination laws. Additionally, Trump hasn’t released a policy plan on LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS, and I don’t believe he will.
The list goes on and on and on… Donald Trump signed a Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, permitting forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion, meaning that he will legalise religious discrimination against LGBT people in these sectors: employment, retail, healthcare – therefore banning the government from intervening. Therefore, the Democrat-backed Equality Act – a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to finally outlaw discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation on a federal level – will never happen under his ruling. This is devastating news for the community all over the world.

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A list of Supreme Court candidates released by Trump contains only anti-LGBT conservatives. This includes the vile and intolerable Vice President Mike Pence, who confirmed that he will be rolling back Barack Obama’s groundbreaking equality act and marriage laws. Imagine someone after President Lincoln rolling back slavery laws after they’d been imposed. There is no difference. We’re living a civil liberties nightmare of the 21st century.
Mike Pence confirmed his intentions to turn back time on a radio show last week claiming that his “Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution” in an anti-LGBT evangelical tirade…

This is such an example of an administration that seems to have… there’s no area of our lives too small for them to want to regulate, no aspect of our constitution too large for them to ignore. Donald Trump and I both believe these questions can be resolved with common sense at the local level. These issues are resolved in the state of Indiana whenever they come up, and they should be resolved, for the safety and wellbeing of our children first and foremost, their privacy and rights, and with common sense. Donald Trump and I simply believe all of these issues are best resolved at the state level, by communities. Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools. It’s just one more example of the heavy hand of this administration, and Donald Trump and I will stand by that common-sense people that when it comes to our kids, and the operation of our schools, those decisions should be made at the local level. Washington DC has no business imposing its bill and its values on communities around the nation. No-one should fear persecution because of their deeply-held religious beliefs. I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order. The Trump-Pence administration will be dedicated to preserving the liberties of our people, including the freedom of religion that’s enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

This man is everything I despise. He has even suggested that HIV prevention funding be used elsewhere to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy (yes, you ready that correctly – gay-f*cking-cure). Also, last month it was uncovered that Pence approved extreme anti-LGBT articles when he was the head of the Indiana Policy Review journal in the 1990s. These views included the claim that being gay is a choice and an illness:

The more extreme of the gay movement consider themselves members of a sexual determined political party. Homosexuals are not as a group able bodied. They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle.

My head hurts and my heart hurts. I cried all this morning and I’m struggling not to break down writing this. I cannot comprehend how people still exist in this world who hold the believe that LGBT people are diseased. It is pure insanity.
I thought that people like Trump and Pence died out before my generation, but it goes to show how much work we actually have to do. I’ve never been surprised by the extreme views of Trump and his party, but I was stunned and sickened that half of the USA agree with him too. How have we allowed this to happen?!
Unfortunately, I believe this is the beginning of a terrible, disturbing snowball effect that will influence other evangelical countries, including the anti-LGBT Russian government. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve most likely seen the gay-bashing videos taken in Russia where men use fake Grindr profiles to meet up with gay men to attack, humiliate and film them. I bet every penny I own that this will happen in the USA over the next few months. I predict we will see a rise in bigotry, hate and violence, and we must stand up against this. I predict high suicide rates within the LGBT+ community.
People always ask me why I care so much about human rights, and gay rights in particular if I’m not gay, and this is exactly why – the battle is not over. We are not free, and that means my loved ones are under threat. A great deal of my closest friends are part of the LGBT+ community, and I cannot comprehend how distraught they must be, no matter what country they live in. I cannot allow my friends to exist in a world where they don’t feel comfortable or safe.

America has chosen guns over civil liberties. What a terrible time to be alive.

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Brexit and the consequences Human Rights face

When Brexit was first announced this year, my initial concerns consisted of what will happen regarding EU laws with human rights and animal rights. I’ve already written a blog post on animal rights – mainly the recent EU animal testing policies, so it’s time for human rights to take to the stage.

Current EU law protects rights affecting millions of people in the UK, for example:

  • employment rights
  • economic and social rights
  • equality and anti-discrimination protection in the UK (from European Court of Justice)
  • protection of gender, disability, age, religion, nationality, sexual orientation

Brexit could have a huge impact on these human rights protections, and would be the first time that a significant legal protection of rights was removed from UK citizens. What concerns me most is that there is a risk that the UK government could weaken the anti-discrimination and employment rights protection in UK law. These laws were born from the EU legislation (the rights set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights), and although many EU laws would remain, if the UK segregates itself completely from the EU (and consequently from jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice) the government would be able to adopt laws that weaken those human rights protections.

Scary, right? I’m British, but was born in Belgium (and moved back to London at 8 months old), so if I had stayed and obtained a Belgian passport, but moved back to London in my teens, for example, I could be in fear of my employment and human rights… Even though my family are of British heritage. This poses a very scary situation for those who have moved to the UK without British heritage, which although I can mildly relate to, cannot ever totally contemplate.

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Of course, when it came to vote, I voted remain! I knew this would happen – I knew the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (which is so fantastic and fundamental for our nation) would come under strain if we left. Another scenario I could have predicted with a crystal ball was this rise in xenophobia – however, I had no idea it would be this bad. The increase in hate crimes since Brexit is absolutely terrifying! There was a 60% increase in hate crimes after the referendum compared to the year before (from the National Council of Police Chiefs), including reports of assaults and arson attacks towards EU citizens.

Since “What is Brexit” and “What is Britain” were popular Google searches during the referendum, it doesn’t surprise me that people are interpreting Theresa May’s words as an excuse to attack EU citizens, mainly those of non-British heritage. Even the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) recommended that politicians choose their language and policy proposals carefully when it comes to political speeches, suggesting that

…public officials not only refrain from such [hate] speech but also formally reject hate speech and condemn the hateful ideas expressed so as to promote a culture of tolerance and respect.

When I heard that the government wants to require schools to record the country of birth and nationality of children, I thought this was a joke – a parody of racists – it wasn’t. It was also suggested that employers list their foreign workers and restricted entry to foreign students… these policy statements are very risky as they are conveying a message that the referendum result was a vote to rid the country of “foreigners”. I do believe that’s why the majority of Brexiters voted leave. And that’s scary because essentially, and genetically, I’m pretty sure none of us are actually British through-and-through…

The government now must make it clear what will affect EU citizens and their families as leaving the Council of Europe would significantly weaken human rights protection in the UK. It could weaken the court system in ways that would harm human rights protection across the Council of Europe region. That is scary. Something that makes me very proud to be British (and that never happens – for obvious reasons regarding association of Brexiters) is the amount of asylum seekers who start new lives here, such as members of the LGBT community who fear violence and even death in their country due to laws and a lack of human rights. Not just that, but most people I know have parents who fled their country to start a better life in the UK and have created a happy, successful, thriving life and home here. I don’t think that makes anyone less “British” – anyway, who are these racists and bigots to define “Britishness”?! We should all be forced to have DNA tests on “Who Do You Think You Are?” to shut everyone up (hey, I have French heritage!)

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Jewish Grandparents: it’s time to defeat Donald Trump

During Barack Obama’s Election (2008), comedian Sara Silverman encouraged young Jews to convince their grandparents to vote for Obama. Now, the tables have turned and it’s the hilarious Jewish grandparents who are taking to the stand (or the camera) to make the American millennials vote for Hillary Clinton. Bend the Arc Jewish Action’s national campaign is part of the We’ve Seen This Before (referencing Nazi Germany) campaign, which encourages the younger generation to get out and vote.

Whilst the first half of the video contains a more serious discussion regarding Trump’s racist bigotry, and the links between these narcissistic views and the Nazis, the second half of the video contains a hilarious series of threats from the future ghosts of grandma and grandpa:

If you don’t vote – if you don’t vote for Hillary – and that crazy Trump man is elected – I’ll haunt you when I die.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the video:

My ghost will make sure that the kale in your fridge will rot twice as fast.

I will haunt your Tindr and only let you swipe right on the rabbi’s daughters.

When you’re having a dinner party, my ghost will come down and say something racist. But if you’re voting for Trump you probably don’t care.

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The Greatest Story – The Good Guys Christmas – Unicef Sweden

Hilarious Christmas ad! There are two more ads from this campaign, but I think this one was the best.
I can’t imagine this would be received too well in the USA!

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Westboro Baptist Church threatens to picket funerals of those slain at the Boston Marathon

“…

In the hours since the two explosions rocked the streets of Boston, messages of love and support have saturated the internet — but these inspiring and compassionate posts were not universal.

In fact, the commentary streaming across the Twitter feed of the Westboro Baptist Church was both hostile and hateful.

The Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kansas, is a small, virulently homophobic, anti-Semitic hate group that regularly stages protests or pickets institutions and individuals they think support homosexuality or otherwise subvert what they believe is God’s law. 

WBC even protested the funerals of children who were slain in the horrific Newtown shootings this past December.

Given their history, perhaps it should come as no surprise that members of the Westboro Baptist Church have vowed to picket the funerals of those killed at the Boston Marathon today.

In one tweet, the church wrote, “God sent the Boston Marathon Bombs for the sin of Massachusetts passing same-sex marriage!””

 

One word: freaks.

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Jed Bartlett Shows Us How to Respond To Scott Renfroe

No idea where this is from, but it’s brilliant.
I don’t understand how people can believe certain parts of their holy book, but ignore the rest. Frustrating.

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Gospel of Intolerance

The filmmaker Roger Ross Williams reveals how money donated by American evangelicals helps to finance a violent antigay movement in Uganda.

This is awful. I usually know quite a bit about what goes on within religious sects, but I had no idea that people in the USA actually raised money to promote homophobia because it’s a ‘sin’. The most disturbing part is the Americans mumbling bullshit into the children’s ears, trying to brainwash them.

And that is why you should never give money to charities (especially religious charities) unless you know EXACTLY what it goes towards.

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