NY Court Rules Against Farm Owners who Discriminated Against Lesbian Couple
(SFGN) A New York court has found the owners of a farm that was also used as a wedding venue violated the state’s nondiscrimination law when they turned away a lesbian wedding, Metro Weekly reports.
Robert and Cynthia Gifford of Liberty Ridge Farm say their conservative Christian beliefs justify their refusal to host the 2013 wedding of Melisa and Jennie McCarthy. The State’s Division of Human Rights(SDHR) had already found the Giffords guilty of discrimination and fined them $13,000. However the Giffords appealed the ruling, claiming that being forced to host the wedding violated their First Amendment rights.
The Giffords lost the appeal in a 5-0 ruling.
"While we recognize that the burden placed on the Giffords' right to freely exercise their religion is not inconsequential, it cannot be overlooked that SDHR's determination does not require them to participate in the marriage of a same-sex couple," Judge Karen Peters said, writing for the court. "Indeed, the Giffords are free to adhere to and profess their religious beliefs that same-sex couples should not marry, but they must permit same-sex couples to marry on the premises if they choose to allow opposite-sex couples to do so.”
'Looking' Director to Take On Alexander McQueen Biopic
(EDGE) Andrew Haigh, the director behind HBO's now-canceled dramedy "Looking," has found his next project: A biopic about the late fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, Deadline reports.
The film's screenplay will be written by Chris Urch, who wrote the "The Rolling Stone," which just opened in London to excellent reviews. Andrew Wilson's McQueen biography "Blood Beneath the Skin" has been optioned by producer Damian Jones, but the book will likely be used as research material for Urch.
Haigh's first break out film was the 2011 gay romantic drama "Weekend." More recently, Haigh directed "45 Years," starring Charlotte Rampling, who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
McQueen took his own life in 2010 when he was 40. He created clothes for Prince Charles and Mikhael Gorbachev, wardrobes for David Bowie's 1996-1997 tours, and later developed a close relationship with Lady Gaga.
"Openly gay, McQueen's growing fame and fortune also witnessed an increase in drug dependence as well as a slew of failed relationships. He committed suicide in 2010, nine days after his mother Joyce had died of cancer," Deadline writes.
The biopic is expected to go into production by the end of 2016.
Pastor Blames World Collapse on Dead Bisexual Economist
(EDGE) In a broadcast on his 'Generations Radio" program Thursday, pastor Kevin Swanson, who in the past called for the biblical punishment of death for homosexuality, blamed the recent turmoil set off by the faltering Chinese economy on U.S. national debt, to which he blames John Maynard Keynes, the father of macroeconomics who happened to be bisexual, Right Wing Watch reports.
"It will be interesting to know that a homosexual ruined the world," the anti-gay pastor said of Keynes, whose widely accepted economic theory Swanson claims was shaped by his sexuality. "Somebody will indeed write the story about this in the year 2060 or 2070, no doubt. This will be the great exposé of how the world economies came down all because of a homosexual who was promiscuous, who was perhaps one of the most wicked, flagrantly licentious men who has lived in the modern world and he becomes the grandfather of the modern economies, bringing them all down. It makes a lot of sense: Sexual nihilism, of course, will produce sexual burnout, and that must be tied to economic burnout and epistemological burnout as well when societies lose the will to live."
Keynes, who was married to well-known Russian ballerina Lydia Lopokova in 1921, was openly bisexual and even kept a male lover during the early years of his courtship with her.
IOC Relaxes Guidelines on Transgender Athletes
by Stephen Wilson
(AP) Transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympics and other international events without undergoing sex reassignment surgery, according to new guidelines adopted by the IOC.
International Olympic Committee medical officials told The Associated Press on Sunday they changed the policy to adapt to current scientific, social and legal attitudes on transgender issues.
The guidelines are designed as recommendations - not rules or regulations - for international sports federations and other bodies to follow and should apply for this year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Under the previous IOC guidelines, approved in 2003, athletes who transitioned from male to female or vice versa were required to have reassignment surgery followed by at least two years of hormone therapy in order to be eligible to compete.
Now, surgery will no longer be required, with female-to-male transgender athletes eligible to take part in men's competitions "without restriction."
Meanwhile, male-to-female transgender athletes will need to demonstrate that their testosterone level has been below a certain cutoff point for at least one year before their first competition.