Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Via WGB: Italian Sports Magazine Faces Backlash Over Gay Rugby Cover

"An Italian sports magazine has sparked outrage among readers after putting a gay rugby couple on its cover.

The cover of the 11 July edition of SportWeek features Giacomo and Stefano – teammates in life and in gay-friendly amateur Rome squad Libera Rugby – with the headline: ‘Who’s afraid of a kiss?’

Going by the backlash on social media, it would appear a lot of the magazine’s readers.

‘That’s disgusting,’ tweeted one fan.

‘You’re painfully conformist and ideological,’ wrote another.

The hate was balanced out with supportive comments, many seeing the cover as a positive challenge to the homophobia rampant in Italian sport.

‘I’m not afraid,’ wrote a Twitter user, ‘but many Italians are, and its fear and ignorance that create homophobia.’"
Full story here via Gay Star News!
WGB: I think we need to send Ben Cohen to Italy STAT to talk with these homophobes!

Via WGB: The Senate voted DOWN a measure to end harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

Senate Republicans Just Said 'FUCK YOU' to LGBT Kids Who are Bullied!

David Badash just provided an insightful update on today's vote: 

"Literally, 45 Republicans – and only Republicans – all voted to let LGBTQ kids continue to be bullied and discriminated against in our nation's school. Six Republican Senators did cross the aisle to vote for Sen. Franken's legislation, an amendment attached to a bill updating No Child Left Behind – an appropriate gesture, in fact, but eight more Republicans were needed to bring to vote to 60 "yeas."
The Washington Post credits Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander with leading the charge against Sen. Franken's SENDA legislation, the Student Nondiscrimination Act, claiming it would lead to “costly lawsuits.”

Apparently, fear of possible lawsuits outweighs Senator Alexander's concern about the actual emotional and physical harm being visited upon LGBTQ youth.

Here's the list of all U.S. Senators who this afternoon voted to allow our nation's LGBTQ youth to continue to be bullied – these are the NAY's. You'll notice that each NAY is from a Republican Senator, headed by Sen. Alexander:

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Here's the list of all the US Senators who voted to help protect LGBTQ youth from bullying – these are the YEAs:

Ayotte (R-NH)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hirono (D-HI)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Peters (D-MI)
Portman (R-OH)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not voting were U.S. Republican Senators and 2016 presidential candidates Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio. FULL DETAILS AND BACKGROUND ON THE BILL!

WGB: The Senate voted DOWN a measure to end harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. Forty-five senators voted no, leaving the measure short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. I AM SICK TO MY STOMACH OVER THIS!

Photo above: The image is made of silhouettes of real boys and girls who committed suicide because they were bullied for being gay, or because they were thought to be.

This animated map shows how religion spread across the world.

Promoted Music 18 Times Björk Was Right About Everything: 9

Via JMG: GLAD Sues Walmart Over Spousal Benefits

Via press release:
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC) have filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart, charging the retail giant with discriminating against employees who were married to same-sex spouses by denying their spouses health insurance benefits. The Complaint was filed this morning in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and can be read here.

The lawsuit, Jacqueline Cote, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the first class action filed on behalf of gay workers since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, and alleges that Walmart violated Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act by discriminating against Jaqueline Cote based on her sex. The action seeks to demonstrate how existing federal law can be used to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workers.

The class representative, Jacqueline (Jackie) Cote, works in Walmart's Swansea, MA store, and was denied spousal health insurance for her wife, Diana (Dee) Smithson. Dee has battled ovarian cancer since 2012. Due to Walmart's sex discrimination, Dee lacked health insurance to pay for her treatment and has racked up a minimum of $150,000 in uninsured medical expenses.
The couple has been together for 33 years.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: UNAIDS Report: Eight Million Lives Saved Globally Since Year 2000

NBC News reports:
The world has made "extraordinary progress" against AIDS, slashing the rate of new infections by more than a third and saving nearly 8 million lives since 2000, a new report finds. Fifteen years of work to make sure more people get drugs that can keep them healthy and keep them from infecting others has had spectacular effects on the pandemic that has killed nearly 40 million people, the United Nations AIDS agency UNAIDS says in its report. Distribution of condoms has averted around 50 million new HIV infections since the HIV pandemic started in the 1980s, and other programs to educate people about how HIV spreads and to encourage safe sex have helped, also. "The world has delivered on halting and reversing the AIDS epidemic," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
But temper your celebrations because more than a million are still dying every year. (Tipped by JMG reader David)
Reposted from Joe Jervis

The Buddha - Documentary

The Crazy Simple Wisdom Of Ho’oponopono

“Why forgive one who wrongs you? Because if you angrily strike back you misrepresent your own divine soul nature—you are no better than your offender. But if you manifest spiritual strength you are blessed, and the power of your righteous behavior will also help the other person to overcome his misunderstanding.” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

A Kahuna is a “keeper of secrets” in the ancient Hawaiian tradition, and they practice a special healing art called Ho’oponopono. Within their glossary of loving attention and creative action, problems are solved and stress is reduced by accessing information in ways that are not ‘traditional.’
A descendant of Queen Liluokalani and a native Hawaiian, Morrnah Simeona has been invited to teach her wisdom as a Kahuna all over the world. She explains:
We are the sum total of our experiences, which is to say that we are burdened by our pasts. When we experience stress or fear in our lives, if we would look carefully, we would find that the cause is actually a memory. It is the emotions which are tied to these memories which affect us now. The subconscious associates an action or person in the present with something that happened in the past. When this occurs, emotions are activated and stress is produced.

Four Little Phrases

Though the Kahuna use many devices to impart their wisdom, Ho’oponopono is on the top of their list of effective tools. It involves primarily utilizing just four little phrases and a conscious look at an issue to evoke new insights and forgiveness. These are:

Please forgive me.
I’m sorry.
I love you.
Thank you.

It is profoundly straightforward wisdom, but really difficult for many of us to practice.
In this ridiculously simple system, there is no need to analyze, solve, manage, or cope with problems. You simply offer them to Divine Mind in the context of please, thank you, I love you, and I’m sorry.
In my many years living in Hawaii I saw this simple practice work effectively over and over again. It was uncanny how the ‘aloha spirit’ that tourists and locals alike in Hawaii gloat about was perpetuated through ideas like Ho’oponopono. Total strangers became friends in no time, and saying ‘I love you’ was an everyday occurrence. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘thank you’ was continuous music to my ears, and this inspired in me – a formerly mainland dwelling, break-neck speed, egoic-go-getter, to cool my jets and enjoy the trade winds. I slowed down long enough to see that I was creating so much of my own stress. It inspired me to forgive – even when that forgiveness needed to be directed toward myself.

Clearing Karmic Patterns

Now, as a yoga teacher, I use Morrnah’s advice aimed at those in the healing profession:
It is important to clear Karmic patterns with your clients before you start working with them, so that you don’t activate old stuff between you. Perhaps you shouldn’t be working with that person at all. Only the Divinity knows. If you work with a person and it isn’t your business, you can take on the person’s entire problem and everything associated with it. This can cause burnout. The Ho’oponopono gives the tools to prevent that from happening.

Peace, Pono, Practice

Matthew P. James, PhD had the great luck to study Huna, the ancient healing art which also uses Ho’oponopono, with the late Uncle George Na’ope who was named by the State of Hawaii as a Golden Living Treasure. His family was chosen to carry on a distinct lineage within the Huna tradition. In an article written for Psychology Today he says:
We’ve been led to believe for so many years that we are disempowered, that we live at the whim of circumstances around us. No doubt external factors – the loss of a job, our health or an important relationship – can affect our outlook. Yet there are some basic ideas from Hawaiian culture that we can reclaim to tap into a sense of empowerment, peace, Pono.
As someone who was blessed to live and work with individuals that embodied the best of the Hawaiian culture, I can enthusiastically support this crazy simple wisdom. I hope we all practice it collectively more often, no matter our cultural background.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that in some cases, forgiveness implies judgement, that something “wrong” has been done. Instead of thinking in terms of “right” and “wrong,” it’s better to view these instances as experiences, stepping stones and opportunities.

Make the jump here to to read the full article

Love Always Wins - Mikey Wax (Feat. Prophecy) #LoveWins

Via WGB: SERIOUSLY??? County In Missouri To Lower Flags “Below Half Staff” To Mourn Same-Sex Marriage

Elected officials in Dent County, Missouri, are so upset over the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision to legalize same-sex marriage that they voted Monday to lower flags “just below half staff” once a month for the next year in a public show of mourning.

“I just want anybody who sees that to be reminded we find it revolting that the Supreme Court has ruled in this manner,” Dent County Commissioner Darrell Skiles, who sponsored the proposal, told BuzzFeed News.

The three-member commission unanimously approved the proposal to lower the U.S. and state flags at the county court house and judiciary building — the same location where couples obtain marriage licenses.

“May all who see these flags at this lowered position be reminded of this despicable Supreme Court travesty,” said the proposal, which Skiles said he hand-wrote on a piece of paper, added to the meeting agenda, and brought up for a vote. “We feel sadness, shame, and outright revulsion of the U.S. high court’s stamp of approval of what God speaks of as an abomination.”

Full story here via Buzzfeed news!

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día - Flower of the Day 14/07/2015

“Injustiças sempre existiram e sempre existirão neste mundo. Mas, o karma cuida disso. É preciso confiar nessa lei espiritual; confiar que o grande mistério está cuidando disso. Você só cuida da parte que lhe cabe - tudo o que não consegue compreender, você entrega, deixando o rio te levar. O que você pode fazer é simplesmente não se opor ao fluxo e desistir de fazer justiça com as próprias mãos.”

“Injusticias siempre existieron y siempre existirán en este mundo. Pero el karma cuida de esto. Es necesario confiar en esta ley espiritual, confiar que el gran misterio está cuidando de esto. Tú solo cuidas de la parte que te cabe – todo lo que no consigues comprender, lo entregas, dejando al río llevarte. Lo que puedes hacer es simplemente no oponerte al flujo y desistir de hacer justicia con tus propias manos.”

“Injustice has always existed and will always exist in the world. But karma takes care of this. It is necessary to trust in this spiritual law. Trust that the Great Mystery is caring for this. We only have to take care of our own part, surrendering everything else that we cannot understand so that the river may carry us. All we can do is simply not oppose the flow and let go of the need to take justice into our own hands.”

Today's Daily Dharma: The Importance of Friendship

The Importance of Friendship
When you have a deep, deep friendship with someone, you don’t only care, “Is this good for me?” You care for them naturally. I believe it’s completely natural to have such love, compassion, and kindness. . . . This feeling transcends lay and monastic communities. It is vital to developing the deep heart of lovingkindness in the context of dedication to dharma.
Ayya Tathaaloka, "The Whole of the Spiritual Life"