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THINK PROGRESS LGBT By Annie-Rose Strasser on May 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

North Carolina Pastor Charles Worleyshared with his congregation this weekend how he thinks the country should deal with the scourge of gay men and lesbians: Lock them into a pen with an electrified fence, drop food down to them, and because they can’t reproduce, they will die out.

The Pastor’s leper colony-esque proposal came in response to the president’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, which he said “anybody with any sense” would be against. Worley explained that the idea of two men kissing makes him “pukin’ sick,” so he developed a proposal to “get rid of all the lesbians and queers”:

WORLEY: I figured a way out — a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. But I couldn’t get it passed through Congress. Build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ‘em, and– And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.

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These comments are in line with other anti-gay religious leaders in the state, like Sean Harris, who said parents should “crack” their children’s “limp wrist.” Harris walked back his statements, but Worley emphasized in his speech that he did, in fact, “mean to say that.”

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MADONNA Interview Tonight! Network: ABC on 20/20 at 10:00pm EST

New York Post, Jan 13th, 2012

While many listeners were quick to call Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” a rip-off of Madonna’s “Express Yourself” both in melody and video styling, the Material Girl herself is only just now speaking out about the controversy.

In an interview with “20/20” airing tonight, Madonna finally comments on whether she thinks Lady Gaga’s imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or straight-up plagiarism. In the interview, Cynthia McFadden asks Madonna, who is releasing her 13th studio album “M.D.N.A.” in March, about Gaga.

Gaga often seems to reference Madonna. Her white dress here feels like a nod to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”

“She’s a very talented artist,” says Madonna, sitting on a floral coach in a blue sweater with sparkly shoulders.

“I certainly think she references me a lot in her work,” Madge continues. “Sometimes I think it’s amusing and flattering and well done. [She makes] a statement about taking something that was in the zeitgeist, you know, 20 years ago and turning it inside out and reinterpreting it.”

But Madonna demures from outright criticizing Gaga.

“There’s a lot of ways to look at it,” said Madonna. “I can’t really be annoyed by it because, obviously, I’ve influenced her.”

Still Madonna hinted that the emulation in “Born This Way,” which sounds much like Madonna’s 1989 hit, was a little too close for comfort.

“When I heard it on the radio, I said that sounds very familiar,” said Madonna. “It feels reductive.”

When asked about her choice of the word “reductive,” Madonna said, “Look it up.”

While the comment seemed dismissive, the two women certainly seem to get along in person. In 2010, they participated in an “SNL skit” where they had a hair-tugging catfight.

Gaga, when first faced with allegations that she had copied “Express Yourself” last year, simply gushed about her idol.

“I genuinely love her so much. I think she is so amazing,” said Gaga. “She could never be replicated and, yes, I’m Italian, I’m from New York, and not for nothing, it’s not my fault that I kind of look like her, right?”

About the It Gets Better Project

The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can’t imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves.

Justin Aaberg. Billy Lucas. Cody Barker. Asher Brown. Seth Walsh. Raymond Chase. Tyler Clementi. They were tragic examples of youth who could not believe that it does actually get better.

While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

Statistics

  • Since our launch, calls to the Trevor Project suicide hotline have increased over 50%.
  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students have experienced harassment at school.
  • LGBT teens are bullied 2 to 3 times as much as straight teens.
  • More than 1/3 of LGBT kids have attempted suicide.
  • LGBT kids are 4 times as likely to attempt suicide then our straight peers.
  • LGBT youth with “highly rejecting” families are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than those whose families accept them.
  • By the end of 2010, the It Gets Better Project raised over $100,000 from 2,500+ grassroots contributors to help LGBT youth.

Contact & Press Inquiries

“Like” us on Facebook: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ITGETSBETTERPROJECT

Follow us on Twitter: @ITGETSBETTER

For general information, contact us at info@itgetsbetter.org.

For t-shirt inquiries, contact us at merchandise@itgetsbetter.org.

Our mailing address is: “It Gets Better Project” 8315 Beverly Blvd. Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90048. YOU CAN ALSO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS HANDY FORM.

 

By Ivan Watson, CNN – January 13, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New Turkish movie highlights homophobia in the country
  • In part the film is based in the slaying of Ahmet Yildiz, which is known as Turkey’s first honor killing
  • Directors, who were friends with the student, say Turkey has entrenched institutional homophobia
  • One of them told CNN minority communities “want to be able to live, first of all, and not be murdered”

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) — In colloquial Turkish, the word zenne means male belly dancer. It is also the title of a new film that explores sexual identity while also highlighting a deadly case of homophobia in modern-day Turkey.

“The starting point was a dear friend of ours who was murdered in 2008 for being gay by his own father,” said Mehmet Binay, producer and co-director of “Zenne,” which opens in theaters across Turkey on Friday.

Binay was referring to the 2008 killing of Ahmet Yildiz, a 26-year old physics student who was gunned down in Istanbul.

Court records identify Yildiz’s father, Yahya, as the primary suspect in the killing. The father’s motive, according to a copy of the indictment, was that he “did not accept the victim to be in a gay relationship.”

More than three years after the slaying, Yildiz’s father is a fugitive, still wanted by Turkish police.

The death has since been widely referred to as Turkey’s first gay honor killing.

One of the main characters in “Zenne” is based on Ahmet Yildiz and his tragic story.

Caner Alper, the writer and other co-director of “Zenne,” was also a friend of Yildiz’s. Alper said before he died, Yildiz often spoke about receiving death threats from his family, who were trying to “cure” him of his homosexuality.

Court documents show Yildiz reported these death threats to the Turkish authorities.

In an interview with CNN this week, the filmmakers said they hoped their film would force Turkish society to debate hate crimes that target victims based on gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual identity.

“Death and murder is still on the agenda of our country. We can’t get rid of this mentality,” said Binay. “People need to tolerate each other. They need to understand that different identities can live next to each other without disturbing each other.”

Binay and Alper are not only creative partners. Shortly before the debut of their debut film at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Turkey’s most prestigious film festival, the two men announced they had been a couple for 14 years. Alper said their families advised against coming out publicly.

“They thought it would be career suicide,” he said. “Until we won five awards from the first festival that we attended.”

Despite recent critical acclaim, the filmmakers agreed Turkey still has a long way to go before it overcomes deeply entrenched institutional homophobia.

According to Article 17 of the health regulations of the Turkish Armed Forces, homosexuality is considered a “psychosexual deviance.”

All Turkish men are required to perform military service. But gay men can be exempted from conscript duty provided they first prove their homosexuality.

“Zenne” depicts the degrading process its main characters endure at an army recruiting center.

In the film, military doctors perform anal examinations and hurl homophobic insults at conscripts. They also demand photos of the characters having sex with other men.

Gay rights activists say the military has long demanded graphic photo and/or video evidence from men asking to be released from military duty.

“In the photograph and the video you have to show your form and your face. Your face has to be clearly identified and another man has to be penetrating,” said Kursad Kahramanoglu, who teaches international law and human sexuality at Istanbul’s Bilgi University.

CNN asked Turkey’s defense ministry to comment on what gay rights groups claim has long been an unwritten military policy.

“The practice of asking for video and photographic evidence is out of question,” a defense ministry spokesman responded, speaking on condition of anonymity, a common practice in Turkish government bureaucracy. “I cannot confirm that it definitely did not happen, but we do not have any information that such a thing happened,” he added.

The spokesman said the current policy is for conscripts to prove their homosexuality with a doctor’s report from a private or military hospital. “The evaluation is made based on the medical report,” he said.

Less than two years ago, a senior Turkish government minister was quoted in an interview calling homosexuality “an illness … that should be treated.”

These types of statements have not stopped members of Turkey’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from demanding equal rights.

Thousands marched in a rainbow-hued gay pride parade through downtown Istanbul last July.

Some of the activists carried large posters of Ahmet Yildiz with the slogan “get the murderer.” Among those marching was Yildiz’s former boyfriend, Ibrahim Can.

“I am fighting for the rights of my lover and for all the gays and lesbians and transsexuals in the world and in Turkey. And I want the Turkish government to change the homophobic attitude in Turkey,” Can said in an interview with CNN.

LGBT activists are lobbying the Turkish government to have the constitution amended to protect the rights of Turks on the grounds of gender and sexual identity. The Turkish Constitution is currently in the lengthy process of being re-written.

Binay, meanwhile, points to what he calls remarkable progress for minority rights in Turkey over the last decade. He said: “All sorts of minorities including gays and lesbians are demanding their rights. They want recognition, they want protection by the state. They want to be able to live, first of all, and not be murdered.”

Albert Nobbs R In theaters: January 27th, 2012

Film Synopsis

Award winning actress Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) plays a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland. Some thirty years after donning men’s clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making. Mia Wasikowska (Helen), Aaron Johnson (Joe) and Brendan Gleeson (Dr. Holloran) join a prestigious, international cast that includes Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Janet McTeer, Brenda Fricker and Pauline Collins. Rodrigo Garcia directs from a script that Glenn Close, along with Man Booker prize-winning novelist John Banville and Gabriella Prekop, adapted from a short story by Irish author George Moore.

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Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs Interview at TIFF 2011