Equality Act 2019 – Historic Vote & Major Milestone – U.S. House has Your Backs

 

Today’s historic vote is a major milestone for equality and sends a powerful and profound message to LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ youth, that the U.S. House has their backs,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “No one’s rights should depend on which side of a state or city line they live on, and today we took a giant step forward in our journey toward full equality. This historic victory would not have been possible without the millions of LGBTQ people and our allies who organized, mobilized and turned out to elect a pro-equality majority in 2018. Now, we will take our fight to the U.S. Senate and turn up the pressure on Leader McConnell to allow a vote on this crucial legislation. And we won’t slow down in working to turn out the 10 million eligible LGBTQ voters and our millions more allies to elect a pro-equality president in 2020 who will sign the Equality Act into law.

Chad Griffin, HRC President

05/17/2019

 

 

I spent time working on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign at the end of 2015 to help pass the Equality Act which would prohibit discrimination in housing, education and employment against LGBT people in 36 states which currently have no protection. The Equality Act is currently before Congress. 

 
One college student shared with me that he signed up as a member of HRC because he has two moms. He shared that he is a well loved man because of it.

I was touched by one heart breaking story in particular. One woman shared that she had a friend whose son was gay. His family ostracized him for being gay so he left home with no further contact with them and perhaps felt pressured to leave his faith behind too. He died at age 26 from AIDS. Perhaps he died of famished affections due to a lack of love and acceptance from his family and church. But this same women also told me she has a gay son but she loves him unconditionally and their family welcomes him. As a result, he is now happy, healthy and well adjusted which demonstrates that love is the cure as stated by Sir Elton John.

 

 

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Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. (above), shown applauding during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in February, was one of eight House Republicans to vote for the Equality Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

 

 

Equality Act with Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen DeGeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita

The following from the pen of the Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy appeared in the New York World of December 30, 1900. It was written at the request of the editors, and was one of upwards of sixty replies received from prominent thinkers of the world, both men and women, in answer to the query, What is the chief danger, social or political, that confronts the new century?
“To my sense the most imminent dangers confronting the coming century are robbing people of life and liberty under warrant of the Scriptures, the rights of politics and human power, industrial slavery, insufficient freedom of honest competition, ritual, creed, and trusts in place of the Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

From the January 3, 1901 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

This article was later republished in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: My. 266:1-9

 

Premiered May 4, 2019

The actors and husbands discuss how their rights and protections as LGBTQ Americans can change state by state. The Equality Act would add LGBTQ protections to existing civil rights law. Text EQUALITY ACT to 472472 to become a Citizen Co-Sponsor today.

QUEER VOICES

Jesse Tyler Ferguson And His Husband Push For Equality Act In Emotional Video

The “Modern Family” star is pressing for the LGBTQ bill, so no one’s rights are “determined by what side of the state line they’re on.”

Jesse Tyler Ferguson has joined a growing chorus of celebs in pushing for passage of the Equality Act, a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill seen by many as the LGBTQ rights movement’s top legislative priority.

 

The “Modern Family” star and his husband, Justin Mikita, share their experiences in a new video by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national LGBTQ advocacy group. The video was released first to HuffPost on Friday.

 

“I’m from New Mexico. A lot of my rights are secured there,” Ferguson says in the clip, seen above. “But if I traveled right next door to Arizona, I could be kicked out of a restaurant for being gay. I could be denied a mortgage for being gay. I could be fired from a job for being gay, and all that’s within a matter of miles.”

 

“No one’s rights should be determined by what side of the state line they’re on,” he adds.

 

There is currently no federal law that extends discrimination protections to LGBTQ people nationwide. Anti-discrimination laws vary by state and even locality, a problem the Equality Act aims to fix.

 

The men, who married in 2013, are the latest to join HRC’s “Americans for the Equality Act” campaign. Olympic skater Adam Rippon, singer Shea Diamond and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have also appeared in videos released by the organization, which launched the campaign in February with a clip featuring Sally Field and her son Sam Greisman, who is gay.

 

In an email to HuffPost, HRC President Chad Griffin praised Ferguson and Mikita for being “key voices and partners” in the LGBTQ rights movement, citing their “outspoken visibility” and “longtime activism.”

 

“Both in the arts and in the public eye, Jesse and Justin are breaking down barriers for our community,” Griffin said. “It’s time for Congress to take action and pass legislation providing clear, comprehensive nationwide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans.”

 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jesse-tyler-ferguson-justin-mikita-equality-act_n_5ccc5c39e4b0e4d75731d895

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Mother’s Day 2019 with Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

 

Baby Birds know: Mother’s Day is for everyone!

My grandson took this awesome video (view at end of post) of a spring nest of birdlings waiting to be fed. That is, until they aren’t waiting at all! They can’t see and they really don’t care if it is mom or dad or my grandson – whoever is there, FEED ME! In that moment, worm in beak or in hand, everyone is a needed caregiver, everyone is a mom!

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As you walk through your day, who (or what) is calling out for mother-love? This is the compassionate, unhesitating care that meets the need without considering whether you are able, or they are worthy. Are you prepared to share from your deep well of spiritual abundance, placed in your heart by the loving Parent of us all? Placed there by the Creator to nurture you – and for you to nurture others.

When you are consciously aware that you already embody fully all the spiritual qualities of good, such as intelligence, kindness, generosity and courage, to respond to any cry for help then you will also have tangibly what is necessary, right at hand. This is inherent, always-right mother-love – not gender specific – from anyone and for everyone…for good.

Here is something to think about: every problem on the planet is pretty much a relationship problem! Is our relationship with our neighbor – at work, in the community or church – appreciating, valuing and loving like a mother?

The birdlings know that whoever cares for them is their mother. Let’s all be the best moms and care for every neighbor we have!

“…a mother’s love behind words has no language; it may give no material token, but lives steadily on, through time and circumstance, as part and paramount portion of her being.” – Mary Baker Eddy

 

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Fear Never Stopped Ellen DeGeneres or BYU Student Matt Easton – Now Playing

 

If standing up for what I think is right makes me an activist then I’m an activist.

Ellen DeGeneres

 

 

Published on May 6, 2019

Ellen welcomed Matthew Easton, who recently graduated from Brigham Young University as Valedictorian. During his commencement speech, he bravely came out as gay at the famously conservative school. He sat down with Ellen to talk about what made him decide to make the announcement in front of so many people, and his post-graduation plans.

Commentary: Ignore those shouting from the ‘great and spacious building’

May 4, 2019

Two years ago, a distant relative I had not met before contacted me on Facebook because of my name.

 

My last name, uncommon in the United States, is uniquely concentrated in Utah because of immigration to the territory during the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After some conversation, we established our relational link through my great-grandparents, who owned a grocery store in the Uintah Basin during the 1960s. I didn’t hear from her again until January of this year.

 

On Jan. 19, I became engaged to the most remarkable man I have ever met. We exchanged rings on the very mountain overlooking Phoenix that we had summited a year earlier on our first date. Like any engaged couple, we were overwhelmed with emotion and unfettered joy as we anticipated the joining of two families and the prospect of building a life together.

Later that day, I shared this event to our friends and family on Facebook with the modest announcement: “This afternoon Matt and I hiked a mountain and asked for each other’s hand in marriage.”

 

One of the first comments was from this long lost relative who posted, “That is so sick.” At first I thought this was her way of saying, “Congratulations!” However, my heart sank upon clarification that her “sick” meant mentally ill.

 

It was such an out-of-place comment hurled through the Internet at a member of her distant family on such a happy occasion.

 

Last week, I saw the same thing happen to Matt Easton on social media, only on a much larger scale. Matt courageously came out in his Brigham Young University valedictorian speech, in such a savvy and powerful way. It was electrifying when he declared, “I am proud to be a gay son of God.”

 

Successful heterosexual men and women often cite their own sexuality in speeches, acknowledging the support of their spouse or children. Matt’s speech was a pivotal moment in BYU history, where a gay man could also stand and declare that part of who he is, a gay son of God, contributes to the accomplishments in life he is proud to own.

As news outlets reported this event, the social media comments began. While many were positive, a great many were shockingly mean and exclusionary. I won’t highlight the nasty remarks, but they came in waves from the Facebook sites of the Deseret News, LDS Living, the Daily Herald, and other publications along the Wasatch Front.

 

These commenters are our friends and neighbors. And, regrettably, on social media, these friends and neighbors pointed their fingers and mocked a young gay valedictorian, just because he delivered a BYU-approved speech at his commencement. It was a surreal moment as the comment sections became a “great and spacious building,” as spoken of in Lehi’s vision in the Book of Mormon, full of detractors scoffing at LGBTQ members of the church pressing onward towards the tree of life.

 

The fruit of the tree of life is the love of God. When the prophet Lehi tasted this fruit, the thing he wanted most was to share it with his family. LGBTQ individuals do not reside in a vacuum. They are part of a family and a part of a home.

Inclusive homes know just as much as Lehi did that the love of God is desirable above all other fruit. These families are no longer persuaded to leave their LGBTQ children and siblings behind. And as they press forward together, the sad commentary is that they are met with self-righteous and snide remarks flung from a foundationless gallery of cowardly spectators.

 

This is unfortunate.

 

We are now living in a home-centered, church-supported era. And as these wonderful, supportive LGBTQ inclusive homes point the way to health and eternal safety, they are worthy of all our support.

To Matt Easton, I applaud your courage and your journey. I support you and I support your home, a home which you so vulnerably shared a small part of in your speech to a world of strangers. I am filled with much hope and optimism by you and by all my LGBTQ siblings who are unashamedly themselves. You do not need the approval of those calling to you from the great and spacious building.

 

Press forward!

 

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Left Behind with Danielle Steel and a Wednesday Night Testimony Meeting

Why do you think your books are so appealing to so many people?

I write about the struggles, defeats and victories we all experience in a wide variety of situations, and I think people get caught up in the stories and identify with them and the characters because they see themselves in them. And often, readers find hope in what I write, that they, too, will survive whatever they’re going through.

Danielle Steel

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/danielle-steel-my-books-are-more-than-a-beach-read/2015/07/02/8b9a011c-fa4f-11e4-9ef4-1bb7ce3b3fb7_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.af47a967a283

 

… sometimes I do some religious reading, to clear my head, or help me find the answer to some problem I’m struggling to find a solution to, or an answer that eludes me. It’s not for everyone, I realize, but it helps me to problem solve when I’m really stumped.

Danielle Steel

http://www.daniellesteel.net

 

And among the papers, I found some things that had inspired me and I was happy to find. And I thought I’d share two of them with you here, about love, and life.
The first one was written by Mary Baker Eddy: “I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power”. I like that one a lot.

Danielle Steel

https://www.daniellesteel.net/82415-whisper-thanks/

 

In my earliest days on the streets, on a night when several disturbing-looking people ran up to me, I pulled myself together and thought, If Jesus came to me looking like this man, would I run? Or would I stand right where I am, face him, and embrace him? I forced myself to see Jesus in him every time I saw someone who scared me, and eventually I felt blessed, not frightened.  And the people who seemed so upsetting to me melted into kind people, who welcomed us into their world.  That vision worked for me.

Danielle Steel

A Gift of Hope

Helping The Homeless

 

 

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April 29, 2019
It’s a particularly special day for me because it’s the birthday of my late son Nick. It was a perfect day for a birthday. I invite friends to dinner every year on that day, just close friends, for a quiet dinner, to remember his birthday and what a very special sweet boy he was. I loved the fact that he was born on May Day. And we’ll have lily of the valley on the table at dinner.

Danielle,

Thank you for sharing how you are going to spend Nick’s birthday with us. I wanted to share a simple Bible passage with you because it brought me healing over losing a family member to suicide. I needed to know that regardless of how he died [suicide] that he was still loved and safe as he continued on his journey. Below is the passage that set me free. I shared it at a Wednesday night testimony meeting not too long ago. Perhaps it will bring you comfort and peace on Nick’s birthday too. May it bring others who lost a loved one to suicide regardless of their denomination. May God bless us all.

Bible, King James Version

Rom.8 Verses 38 to 39

[38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
[39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

https://www.daniellesteel.net/4-29-19-hudson-yards-and-may-day/

*Danielle Steel was a student of Christian Science at one time.  Her books are loaded with the Christ message of finding hope and healing in the heart of darkness.

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Imagine Dragons Frontman Slams Conversion Therapy At 2019 Billboard Music Awards

Several articles and editorials have been written explaining why homosexuals cannot be admitted to membership.  One of these I wrote myself, the title: “Homosexuality Can Be Healed.”  All I can say in defense of myself for writing it is that it was based on information I thought was authentic, but which later was disproved …  If I were to write another article on the subject now, I would probably entitle it, “We’re ALL God’s Children.”

Former Editor of the CSPS [Christian Science Publishing Society],  C.S.B.

Houston, TX – October 11, 1986

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Imagine Dragons Frontman Slams Conversion Therapy At Billboard Music Awards

Dan Reynolds urged the star-studded crowd to take action to “protect our LGBTQ youth.”
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I am proud to be a gay son of God – BYU Valedictorian, Matty Easton

I am not broken,” he continued in a speech that immediately went viral. “I am loved and important to the plan of our great creator. Each of us are.

Matt Easton

 

I am sure you helped someone that was sitting in the audience who was feeling desperate, you may have even saved a life. You have a full life ahead of you, filled with love companionship and adventure. Love is love. 

C. Weber

In Commencement Speech, Brigham Young Graduate ‘Proud to Be a Gay Son of God’

At a university where its honor code explicitly prohibits “homosexual behavior,” Matt Easton’s very public coming out was not without risk.

At a university that considers same-sex marriage a “serious transgression,” and where its honor code explicitly prohibits “homosexual behavior,” Matt Easton’s very public coming out was not without risk.

 

But Mr. Easton, the valedictorian of Brigham Young University’s political science department, put aside fears that he could be expelled and found the courage he said was inspired by a presidential candidate.

“I stand before my family, friends and graduating class today to say that I am proud to be a gay son of God,” he said last Friday in a commencement speech before 10,000 people inside the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.

To his surprise, the crowd erupted into cheers.

“I am not broken,” he continued in a speech that immediately went viral. “I am loved and important to the plan of our great creator. Each of us are.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/30/us/byu-gay-graduation.html

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This Easter, we rise with Virginia Harris, C.S.B.!

This Easter, we rise!

by Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

In a Christian calendar filled with celebrations, memorials and historical events, this one day and its glorious lesson shines brightest of all.

Easter is the day that represents something momentous for all humanity to know and understand: The Resurrection of Jesus proved that his life is spiritual and not affected by a fatally-wounded material body. He overcame the violence and cruelty of religious and political hatred to demonstrate that his life is inseparable from eternal Life and wholly safe. Therefore, it is untouched by material conditions, despite what the crucifixion temporarily appeared to show.

Christians honor this day because it is a vital reminder of present spiritual power. The Christ-spirit that protected and lifted Jesus out of anguish and death is a gift from God, Spirit, to all of us, throughout all time. This Christ power is present and active, for everyone and every life. “He is risen!” for all humanity today.

Prayer and devotion by followers who are focused and centered unwaveringly on the life-affirming message of the Resurrection can have a powerful effect. The love and practice of the one Christ-spirit – true Christianity – is to eliminate any hint of separation from God and His sons and daughters, therefore there can be no division between them either. No Muslim, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist separated from Christian. It should be obvious, then, there are no nationalistic or regional divisions as well.

Let’s consider every area of distressing conflict, whether it is on a faraway border or in our own community. Can we Christians stand apart, mentally mute – and passively “walk by on the other side” in the face of hatred and discrimination? No…the demand is to prayerfully and defiantly rise in the conscious strength of one Christ, one Love for all our sisters, brothers and children. It is to know there is no power – no cruel violence – that can separate His children from the unconditional love of Christ and preserve all life. Let us pray that spiritual power inspires and guides practical wisdom wherever it is needed.

This Easter, more than ever, we must stand united, inseparable, and rise in our spiritual strength. In honor and celebration of the Resurrection let us commit our focus and devotion to the divine message, our love and practice of the divine nature, and our joyous expectation of the divine demonstration of universal life in Spirit.

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Good Friday with Laura Moliter

 

e-inspire, April 19th, 2019

“…behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:” (Luke 24: 4-6)

 

Good Friday- Jerusalem

Worshippers carry a large wooden cross during a Good Friday procession along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem’s Old City. REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD

As Easter arrives this year, why not pause and reflect on our own attitude and focus? Some women followers of Jesus had come to the tomb with burial spices, and were gazing into it, looking for their savior. The crucifixion has occurred, and their world seemed turned upside down.

These two men in their shining garments, angels of God’s wisdom, admonished them with a question. Why were they looking into the tomb, into darkness, into mortality, when the Christ was a living presence, risen, transcending the limits of death and the grave?

These radiant messengers instructed these mourning and fearing women to wake up to what was really going on. In this, we might also be well-advised. We can look to material life, time, the seeming end called “death” looming ahead of us. We can sink into fear and apathy and discouragement and limitation. Or we can seek our lives in Life itself. We can come to realize that what Jesus was proving, the overcoming of all material limits, was for our benefit. It was the demonstration of Life everlasting.

And this Life can’t be lived, the Christ-message honored, by gazing into an empty tomb, which holds only darkness and lies. Truth is realized, and healing goes on, as we allow ourselves to go and see the risen Christ—to celebrate the good news, the loving Word that has risen in our hearts and shines on our expansive lives!

Laura Moliter, Divine Purpose Coach and Spiritual Activist

www.beingfreenow.com
https://www.facebook.com/poeticandpowerfulliving/