Budapest Production of "Billy Elliot" Cancelled Due To Homophobic Backlash

Budapest, Hungary is one of the most gorgeous cities you’ll ever visit. The Parliament building lit up at night is a sight you’ll never forget. Unfortunately, the conservative government’s views on homosexuality are an antiquated disaster. 

The Hungarian National Opera was forced to cancel 15 performances of the musical Billy Elliot in response to a conservative news site bashing the show and labeling it “rampant gay propaganda.” 

A report published on the government-promoting site Magyar Idok—think Fox News but in Hungary—  "the propagation of homosexuality cannot be a national goal when the population is getting older and smaller and our country is threatened by invasion.” 

The site also stated that Billy Elliot threatened “traditional” families and other conservative values.

"Our government is trying to ... help family prosperity with a lot of tools and money, so it's inexplicable and intolerable that a leading state institution is going against this intention and that it makes quite a few youngsters miserable, who would have not gone this direction by themselves."

Szilveszter Okovacs said in a statement that the harsh response from the media and Hungarian government led to a sharp decline in ticket sales, forcing the show’s producers to pull the plug.

With music by Elton John, and book and lyrics by Lee Hall, Billy Elliot: The Musical is an adaptation of the 2000 movie about a boy becoming a professional ballet dancer in northeastern England during the 1984-85 coal miners’ strike. The Broadway production won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

It’s worth mentioning that the National Opera’s production of this musical had already cut the only homosexual character, Billy’s friend Michael. But that didn’t stop the controversy. Clearly.

CNN reached out to the office of right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to ask if they had a part in the takedown. As of this writing, CNN hasn’t reported any reply.

h/t: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/22/europe/billy-elliot-canceled-hungary-intl/index.html

"Star Wars" Actress Bullied Off Instagram By Racist, Sexist Facebook Group

Discrimination is discrimination. Hate speech is hate speech. So, in a way, it’s a swipe at all of us when anyone is targeted by bigoted bullying.

Last week, 29-year-old Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico, deleted her all of her Instagram posts after months of hateful, racist and sexist bullying from Star Wars “fans.” Rose is the first non-white female lead in the history of the franchise.

Taking credit for the bulk of the attacks against the actress is a Facebook group called “Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys,” which has since made itself private [seriously, why hasn’t Facebook removed the hate group entirely?]. Check it out, and try not to gag:

Here’s more from the post you can’t see in the screen cap:

“Now go out there and fight for Legends restoration, go out there and reverse this forced diversity, go out there and show them what real Star Wars fans look like. Bring back the Straight White Male Hero that isn’t manufactured by a corrupt corporation like Disney.”

This group is also behind a campaign in February to give Black Panther a “Rotten” audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

On the positive side of things, since Tran deleted her photos last week, she’s gained over 50,000 new Insta followers. Celebrities have also shown an outpouring of support:

The best was from Stephen Colbert, who premiered a whole new Star Wars trailer dedicated to “broken hateful dweebs.” When addressing Tran’s racist cyber attackers, Colbert quipped, “It’s good to see Roseanne staying busy!” Zing.


Luke Skywalker himself Mark Hamill took a firm stand against the online bullies as well, posting a pic of him embracing Tran, with caption “What’s not to like? #GetALifeNerds”

Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson dropped the word “manbabies.”

And on Tuesday, Tran’s co-star John Boyega posted this to Instagram.

This whole thing is just rotten to the core. These aren’t Star Wars fans; this is cyber-terrorism of the most cowardly kind. Star Wars is supposed to be all about bringing balance. Clearly, Star Wars has a fan problem.

Homosexuality Declassified as a Mental Illness by Indian Psychiatric Society

Just in time for Pride Month, the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) declassified homosexuality as a mental illness last week.

The IPS was founded in 1929 and has about 3,000 members today. This is the first time the organization has publicly addressed the matter.

IPS president Dr. Ajit Bhide said:

“Certain people are not cut out to be heterosexual and we don’t need to castigate them, we don’t need to punish them, to ostracize them.


IPS chairperson Dr. Kersi Chavda stated:

“This statement is our official stand on homosexuality, that it is not a disease and should not be treated like one. This is the first time we have released an official stand.”

This is a small victory, though. Homosexuality is still illegal in India under Section 377, and conversion therapy is still common. India's Supreme Court is currently reviewing Section 377, and is expected to declare whether or not to uphold it by October. 

The law, which describes anal sex as an “unnatural offense” has stood since 1862 as a direct result of British colonization. The law was modeled from the British Empire’s buggery law. Britain decriminalized homosexual acts in 1967.

Breaking the long-standing Indian law can result in a 10-year prison sentence, an equivalent punishment to rape. It’s worth noting that oral sex, even between a man and a woman, is prohibited under the law.

Also, as we reported earlier this week, India’s Central Board of Film Certification has outright banned critical darling Love, Simon because it features a gay lead character.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/stop-treating-homosexuality-as-an-illness-says-indian-psychiatric-society/story-EqoFV1KjFE0mxAxOimX8oN.html


CrossFit Exec Fired Following String of Anti-LGBT Tweets

Members of a downtown Indianapolis Crossfit Infiltrate gym are bailing after general manager Brandon Lowe canceled a pride-themed workout via email. 

The rapid fallout doesn’t end there, though—on Friday evening, Crossfit fired company executive Russell Berger for supporting Lowe’s discriminatory move in a series of homophobic tweets just hours before. 

“Thank you #CrossFitInfiltrate for standing by your convictions and refusing to celebrate sin by hosting an @indypride workout,” Berger shared on his personal Twitter account. "The intolerance of the LBGTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.” The tweets have since been deleted. 

And here is Crossfit’s public statement about their Chief Knowledge Officer's termination mere hours later.

Shortly after receiving an email that the Indianapolis gym’s pride workout had been axed, member Ryan Nix confronted Lowe on Facebook, in a message that has since been made private.

“We emailed the owner since it seemed that there was an issue with people who may be LGBT,” Nix wrote. “You can see from his response that there is…. Please tell your friends not to join this place.”

Lowe told Nix that the gym was for “total health,” and that pride prevents people from seeing themselves “as God truly defines them to be.”

“Our underlying goal for the staff and members at CrossFit Infiltrate and our other gyms CrossFit White river and University Ave CrossFit is total health and well-being for the individual and community. Total health involves the body, the emotions, relationships, and the spirit. At the foundational detractor from health, as we believe God sets the parameters for, is pride. We believe that true health forever can only be found within humility, not pride. Humility is seeing oneself as they truly are, and as God truly defines them to be. As a business we will choose to deploy our resources towards those efforts and causes that line up with our own values and beliefs.

Of course we will continue treat anyone and everyone with the same respect and provide the same service at CrossFit Infiltrate to anyone that wishes to take part.”

Several members and employees of the Indianapolis gym have already cut ties. 

Member Becca Kimball told local station RTV6, “It’s been a fabulous community… I quit my membership within an hour of receiving the email. I didn’t wanna be associated with a discriminatory organization.”

On the upside, Lowe’s decision has brought members of the Indianapolis community together. Some of the gym’s employees have rescheduled the pride-themed workout for Thursday June 7 at an outdoor location. The rescheduled workout will be open to the public. 

It looks like CrossFit still has some serious damage control to tend to.

h/t: https://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/indianapolis/downtown/crossfit-leader-placed-on-unpaid-leave-after-supporting-indy-gym-s-decision-to-cancel-pride-workout


SD GOP Lawmaker Says Businesses Have a Right to Turn Away Blacks, Apologizes

The aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling in favor of a Colorado baker’s refusal to serve a gay couple just keeps getting deeper and weirder.

GOP South Dakota state rep. Michael Clark was forced to eat his words on Tuesday after he typed a message proclaiming the Supreme Court’s ruling a “win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion”— and then took things to another level by saying he believes businesses should have the right to turn away black people if they want to.

“He should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants,” Clark wrote. “If he wants to turn away people of color, then that(‘s) his choice.” 

Clark quickly took the post down, but it had already gone viral.

The Argus Leader published a story about the comment, and an hour later Clark issued an apology to the reporter who broke the story via email.

"I am apologizing for some of my Facebook comments," he wrote. "I would never advocate discriminating against people based on their color or race." 

In an interview with the Argus Leader, Clark had said that business owners with “strongly based beliefs” should be able to turn away customers.

“If it’s truly his strongly based belief, he should be able to turn them away,” Clark said. “People shouldn’t be able to use their minority status to bully a business.”

Clark is running unopposed for reelection to represent District 9.

h/t: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2018/06/05/s-d-lawmaker-says-businesses-should-able-turn-away-customers-based-race/673317002/

Ruth Bader Ginsberg's Dissent of Supreme Court Wedding Cake Ruling is a Scorching Must-Read

On Monday, the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans took a devastating blow when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Masterpiece Cake Shop owner Jack Phillips, who refused to serve same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins due to his Christian religious beliefs.

The court reversed a lower court’s ruling-- one in favor of the couple. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion argued that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, who opposed Masterpiece in the case, had shown “hostility” toward religious freedom arguments in the past and was not a “neutral” decision-maker. Kennedy and six other justices pointed out that Colorado Civil Rights Division has previously supported bakeries’ rights to refuse to make a cake that would have had “decorations that demeaned gay persons or gay marriages.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, RBG herself, isn’t having any of it. “I strongly disagree with the Court’s conclusion that Craig and Mullins should lose this case,” she says in her dissent. Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion was shared by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Kennedy’s side referred to a 2014 case, which was detailed in the court ruling, a man named William Jack had complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Division that bakeries were discriminating against his religious beliefs by refusing to make a cake for him— one which was to include an image of two groomsmen holding hands with a red ‘X’ over them, inscribed: “Homosexuality is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:2.” One bakery [reasonably] refused to make the “hateful” cake, and when Jack brought his complaint before the state’s Civil Rights Division, arguing they were discriminating against him for being Christian, the state found no probable cause of unequal treatment.

And here is where RBG steps in as the voice of reason. In her dissent, she states the cases aren’t comparable, that a bakery’s refusal to print offensive text isn’t comparable to a bakery’s flat-out refusal to bake cakes for someone because of who they are.

“When a couple contacts a bakery for a wedding cake, the product they are seeking is a cake celebrating their wedding ― not a cake celebrating heterosexual weddings or same-sex weddings ― and that is the service [the couple] were denied,” Ginsburg wrote.

“The cases the Court aligns are hardly comparable,” she says. “The bakers would have refused to make a cake with Jack’s requested message for any customer, regardless of his or her religion. The bakeries’ refusal to make Jack cakes ... scarcely resembles Phillips’ refusal to serve Craig and Mullins: Phillips would not sell to Craig and Mullins, for no reason other than their sexual orientation.” 

“Jack, on the other hand, suffered no service refusal on the basis of his religion or any other protected characteristic. He was treated as any other customer would have been treated — no better, no worse,” she added.

Read Ginsberg’s powerful dissent in full here : https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-111_j4el.pdf

In related news, a splendid documentary called RBG is now playing in theaters.

California Bans State-Funded Travel to Oklahoma Due To Anti-LGBT Law

On the first day of Pride Month 2018, it was announced that California is banning state-funded and state-sponsored travel to yet another state as a result of discriminatory legislation.

On Friday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra made the announcement in a statement obtained by USA Today.

Under a 2017 CA law, the state’s attorney general is required by to keep a list of all states subject to a travel ban because of “laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

The Oklahoma bill in question, signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin last month, allows adoption and foster care agencies to reject same-sex couples on the grounds of religious beliefs.

"California taxpayers are taking a stand against bigotry and in support of those who would be harmed by this prejudiced policy," said Becerra.

Michael McNutt, a spokesperson for Fallin, defended the Oklahoma law later on Friday. "There appears to be more and more Californians sharing our values as we are seeing more Californians move to Oklahoma,” he said in a statement. "With our state’s economy being as strong as it is, we won’t miss a few Californians traveling on state business showing up in our state.”

An anti-LGBTQ+ adoption bill similar to the one in Oklahoma was signed into law in Kansas two weeks ago by Governor Jeff Colyer. Kansas has already been subjected to a California travel ban on the grounds of the 2017 anti-discrimination law, along with Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

California’s Oklahoma travel ban will go into effect June 22.

h/t: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/06/02/california-bans-travel-oklahoma-due-discriminatory-lgbt-law/666320002/

Kansas Governor Signs Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill Into State Law

On Friday, Kansas governor Jeff Colyer signed a bill into state law legalizing discrimination against LGBT persons looking to adopt. This news comes just one week after Oklahoma’s governor Mary Fallin signed a similar bill.

Senate Bill 284 enables adoption agencies in Kansas, even those which receive taxpayer funds, to deny children placement into homes with LGBT parents over “religious objections.”

Both houses of the legislature approved the bill this month. 

It’s worth mentioning that technically the law could also permit these agencies to subject LGBT children in foster care to conversion therapy.

According to The Wichita Eagle, Colyer said: “What I want Kansans to know is this is about fairness and that we are protecting everyone. It’s not about discrimination; it’s about fairness. We’re looking after those kids that need a forever home.”

JoDee Winterhof, senior VP of Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, condemned the bill in a press release: “Kansas now joins Oklahoma as the only states to allow anti-LGBTQ state bills to become law this year. Kansas lawmakers, from the legislature to the governor, are clearly stating that it is more important to them to discriminate against their own constituents than it is to find loving homes for children in need. Make no mistake: this law will harm the kids, families and reputation of this state.” 

Kansas is the ninth state to enact an adoption law permitting agencies to deny placement into homes over religious objections; the others are Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma.

The new adoption law isn’t the only current anti-LGBT law in Kansas. In 2016, former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill allowing student organization’s at public universities in the state to deny membership to LGBT students. Brownback is now United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom under the Trump Administration.

Earlier this week, Colyer and six other Republican governors signed a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee saying president Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize for “his transformative efforts to bring peace to the Korean peninsula."

h/t: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2018/05/18/kansas-governor-signs-anti-lgbt-religious-freedom-adoption-law/

Black Men Share Video of 'Humiliating' Encounter and Being Kicked Out of L.A. Fitness

Where do we begin ... where do we end?  We know where we would like to end when discussing bigotry, hatred, racism, stupidity.  We would like to end where it all doesn't exist any more. But until that time, we will be presented with incidences like this one in a New Jersey L.A. Fitness.



None of us were there.  None of us saw what happened before or after the video was shot, but do we need to?

Which variable do you want to point at for the racial tension in the United States. It doesn't matter which one you choose, they all add up to a feeling of discord. There is no easy solution when individuals are involved.  You can blame a company for not having enough training, you can blame parents for not educating their children correctly, you can blame the school systems for babysitting instead of teaching, you can politicians for ... and on and on and on. Whomever is wearing that LA Fitness shirt at the time, it is not LA Fitness that is making those backwards/wrong choices, but it's those synapses in that person's brain that are just not connecting correctly.

Why mention this on our page?  We all need to stand up when someone else is treated inferior, may it be a black person, a woman, a fellow LGBTQ citizen, a non-citizen.  The only way we all will get better, the only way we as America will be great again (yuck, I just used that phrase), the only way we can all win is together.

Now if these men were misusing the facilities, this case would have been a different matter.  That was never stated by L.A. Fitness.  Goodness, I was thrown out of two parties this past weekend in Nashville, Tennessee and I know I should have.  I owned up to it and I know I was at fault.  But these men were thrown out for nonpayment and one membership was terminated.

The video clip showing what reason the membership was suspended had nothing to do with pay.

Number 14 reads:

L.A. Fitness may suspend or terminate Member's right to use the Club facilities and services if Member or Member's guests violate this Agreement or engage in other misconduct in or about the L.A. Fitness facility. Member shall not be entitled to any refund, credit or abatement if such a breach of the Agreement occurs.
People know when they are in the wrong and the truth will come out, but when you put on your ignorance hat, well, you'll be the one being asked to leave the building.

h/t: nbcnewyork.com

This is all pretty much news, but the opinions shared in here are those of the contributing writer and not those of Instinct Magazine, but we all hate racism and stupidity, so, yeah.

A Gay Man Sustained A Broken Leg After Being Attacked At A College Frat Party

A gay man was attacked by several men while at a University of Delaware Frat party.

Rancel Valdez is a former student at the University of Delaware. Valdez was visiting his Alma Mater last week for a joint-hosted event. Two fraternities, Phi Gamma Delta and Kappa Sigma Xi-Lambda, were holding a party off-campus last Friday.

Valdez spent a few hours at the event and then decided to head outside. Valdez stood outside as he waited for a friend to meet him after she went to the bathroom.

That's when Valdez was confronted by a man who demanded that Valdez leave. When Valdez said he wouldn’t because he was waiting on his friend, the man and his friends started calling Valdez homophobic slurs.

“They were just being rude, telling me to leave, calling me names,” Valdez told NBC10.

Valdez responded by lifting his middle finger towards them, which caused one of the men to push Valdez to the ground.

“I got up and pushed them back, and then they all started throwing punches,” Valdez said. “I fell and broke my ankle, and they still kept going until my friend Erica … tried to pull them off. I was literally just walking to their backyard with my friend and then they just targeted me and came towards me.”

Valdez sustained a leg fracture from the attack and is currently recovering. Meanwhile, the University of Delaware is investigating the situation.

Apparently, Phi Gamma Delta is an off-campus fraternity tht isn’t formally recognized by the university, and Kappa Sigma Xi-Lambda is currently suspended for disruptive conduct and alcohol.

University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis said in a released statement:

“This kind of reprehensible behavior is not tolerated at the University of Delaware. We will take all appropriate measures in the student conduct process to ensure any offenders are held accountable for their actions.”

h/t: The UD Review