More mess from mother Russia. The country's highest court has upheld the ban on what it deems "LGBT propaganda," claiming the law was necessary to prevented children from being recruited into a non-heterosexual society.
The Advocate reports activists Nikolay Alekseev, Yaroslav Evtushenko, and Dmitry Isakov filed the complaint with the Constitutional Court of Russia, claiming it violated both their right to free speech and also discriminated against them. "The court, however, said the law was aimed at protecting minors from information that could "push [them] to nonconventional sexual relationships, which in their turn prevent from building a family, as it is traditionally understood in Russia." The court also said the law was not an outright ban or censure of homosexuality. Constitutional Court judge Nikolay Bondar said the law also contends that minors must not be allowed in pro-LGBT events like rallies or discussions, nor can the information promoted be aimed at young people. "The practices of some European countries, which are connected with the deformation of traditional values of family and marriage, can't be an example for us," Bondar said."
Read more HERE.
By now I'm sure you've heard about Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson being indicted on charges of injury to a child for hitting his four-year-old son with a tree--which, if you're black and/or you grew up in the South, likely translates to "he got a whoopin' with a switch."
Many an op-ed has been written about how Peterson's arrest brings up topics of race, parenting, class, culture and so on--just as Ray Rice's domestic violence has brought issues surrounding violence against women to the surface--and many more are likely to be committed to keyboard as this plays out. That said, I have few thoughts on the matter:
--Do I believe Adrian Peterson is a child abuser? No. Not because I believe what he did was right--judging from the photos TMZ has unearthed, this went way beyond a pop on the leg--because I don't believe his intent was to abuse and inflict harm on his child. Of course, he did inflict harm, and he knew by hitting his son he would inflict harm. But if his behavior both, private and public, is to be believed--he told his son's mother about the incident when it happened, expressed remorse, has cooperated with police and stated he loves his son--his intent was to dole out discipline, not abuse. I believe all of this should be taken into account as the case moves forward.
--That said, I don't agree with spanking or whipping a child. I got spanked as a kid, fortunately not with a switch. My parents never went as far as Anderson, but like him, they believed what they were doing was right and it was how their parents raised them. My parents were and never have been abusive; however, meeting the business end of a belt on my backside was not what made me change my behavior. It was the explanation of why what I did was wrong afterwards that did. I don't plan on having kids, but if I did, I'd cut out the middle man (i.e. the whipping) and go straight to the explanation and a non-violent punishment. Giving a child an concrete understanding of how their actions effect others is in the long run better than tears, fear and possibly a half-decent stand up comedy routine. And as we've all probably witnessed, sometimes the child doesn't get any of the former, just a warning they'll get something to cry about. Which leads to my third point:
--Habitually using any form of punishment, be it timeouts or whippings, is not and should never be a substitute for actually talking to and raising your damn child. Telling a child to "go get a switch (I overheard one white guy at the gym say his mother would sometimes let his sister pick the switch he got hit with--how's that for building sibling bonds...)" or sending them to their room for every infraction is not parenting. It is not an act of love. It is an act of abuse, one that creates emotional cripples instead of stable, functioning adults.
Students at a high school Brazil staged a protest in support of a transgender student, with boys and girls wearing skirts to class. The protest comes nine days after student Maria Muniz was fined by school officials at Colegio Pedro II after wearing a skirt.
Even better, the school overturned their decision shortly after the students' demonstration, with the school's principal saying it will consider relaxing its dress code.
"For me, wearing a skirt was about expressing my freedom over who I am inside and not how society sees me," Muniz told Orange News. "I am really happy about the way my classmates supported me and hope it serves as an example to others to feel encouraged to do the right thing," she added. "I was always taught at school to accept who you are. I am only trying to live that."
School officials also posted the pic above of students on social media, where it's gone viral under the hashtag #VouDeSaia.
More American churches are becoming accepting of gays and lesbians, according to a new study by Duke University. According to The Advocate, The data from the university's ongoing study showed a notable increase in acceptance of gays and lesbians from 2006 to 2012.
"In 2012, 48 percent of the congregational leaders surveyed said a gay or lesbian couple in a committed relationship would be welcomed as full-fledged members, up from 37.4 percent in 2006. The proportion of congregations that open all volunteer positions to out gays and lesbians increased from 17.7 percent to 26.4 percent. “The increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians is a well-known trend in America,” said study director Mark Chaves, a professor of sociology at Duke, in a press release. “Churches are no exception.”
The greatest increase in acceptance came from black Protestant churches, white liberal churches and non-Christian congregations, while Catholic congregations saw a decrease (ironic when you think about Pope Francis' public statements about gays). Meanwhile conservative white Protestant congregations saw a mixed response, embracing gays and lesbians as members but not volunteer leaders.
I know I'm more than a little late on this, but better late than never. Cece's story is an important one and needs to be told. For those who don't know, Cece McDonald, was sent to a men's prison after defending herself during an attack that happened while she and a group of friends were walking to a grocery store. Now Cece is the subject of a documentary produced by Orange Is The New Black star and transgender activist Laverne Cox and producer/director Jacquline Gares.
The documentary, titled FREE Cece, features Cox's interview with Cece during her incarceration at St. Cloud Correctional Facility in Minnesota, and followed her on her first GLAAD media tour following her release in January. According to the official website, the film will also feature interviews done in California, Minneapolis and New York.
As of June, the production has raised $57, 308, covering much of their budget for the year but not enough to meet their total feature documentary budget of $465,000, despite the crew's continued efforts via writing and submitting grant proposals. You can help by the crew meet its goal by making a tax deductible donation to the IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Page.
Cox and Gares hope to have the film completed in 2016. Watch the trailer below. And read Sabrina Rubin Erdely's excellent Rolling Stone feature story about Cece HERE.