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    Exclusive: 60% of Brexit voters believe gay sex is unnatural

    PinkNews ExclusiveSex between two men is not natural, according to six in 10 Brits who voted for Brexit.
    50 years after homosexuality was partially decriminalised in England and Wales, a shocking new poll has revealed the number of people who oppose gay equality.

    It also found that Leave voters strongly oppose children being taught about same-sex relationships in schools.

    The revelations come in a new YouGov poll for PinkNews.
    59 per cent of Brexit supporters believe gay sex is unnatural, compared to just 25 per cent of Remain voters with that opinion.
    Furthermore, 68 per cent of Brexit voters children should not be taught about gay relationships in primary school, compared to 29 per cent of Remain voters.

    Commenting on the survey, PinkNews Chief Executive Benjamin Cohen said: “It has long been suggested that Brexit supporters would be likely to be anti-LGBT rights but now we know that there is a potential correlation with voting for Brexit and opposing gay rights.”
    A similar pattern held for those who voted Conservative at the last general election compared to Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters.
    61 per cent of Tories who expressed an opinion said that gay sex is not natural, while 73 per cent of Labour voters and 78 er cent of Liberal Democrat voters believe gay sex is natural.
    This comes despite the Conservative government’s progressive plans to review sex and relationship education in schools, and their commitment to update the Gender Recognition Act.

    Mr Cohen added: “It is depressing that 50 years on from the Sexual Offences Act that so many people still think that gay sex is unnatural and that a third oppose gay couples having children.
    “It is gratifying though to know that for younger people, gay relationships are considered perfectly natural and they strongly support gay parents and teaching young people about gay relationships.”
    The Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised same-sex acts between men in England and Wales, though only when both men were over the age of 21.
    The law changed in Scotland in 1980 and Northern Ireland in 1982. Further equality came in 2000 with the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, which equalised the age of consent for gay and straight couples.

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    Tony Blair: Equality laws for LGBT people great privilege of being Prime Minister

    PinkNews Exclusive On the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reflects on his government’s role in progress for LGBT rights.
    We have come a long way in the last 50 years on LGBT rights – legally, socially and culturally.

    But the path to achieving that change has felt sometimes painstakingly incremental.

    When I took part in a Parliamentary debate in 1994 making the case for equalisation of the age of consent, I said that “the most basic civilised value is the notion of respect for other people. That is what creates and sustains any decent society.”
    Tony Blair and Cherie Blair after being elected Labour leader, 21 July 1994
    We lost the vote on that night, but one of the privileges of being Prime Minister was that it made possible my determination to return to it and, using the Parliament Act, to see it through.
    It is one of the things of which I am most proud because it showed our commitment to make real progress in power.

    RELATED: Blair: Civil Partnerships happened because Labour ‘forced change’
    The Labour Government championed equality and fought the pernicious prejudice which caused so much misery and made people hide their sexuality through fear.
    So from repealing Section 28, the Gender Recognition Act, giving same sex couples the right to adopt, outlawing discrimination in the workplace and the provision of goods and services through to the introduction of civil partnerships, we changed the social and political landscape of our country.
    And I was so pleased that David Cameron was able to take it further by introducing legislation for same sex marriages.

    US President Bill Clinton, Cherie Blair, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and First Lady Hillary Clinton, 29 May 1997.
    RELATED: Theresa May: I believe in equal marriage for Northern Ireland
    So we have come a long way over the last 50 years and it’s right to celebrate.
    But while there are still challenges, such as pupils subject to homophobic and transphobic bullying or LGBT people having to think twice about even holding their partner’s hand walking down the street, then there is still further to go.

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    John Barrowman rushed to hospital for emergency surgery

    Torchwood star John Barrowman was rushed to hospital this week for emergency surgery.
    The actor said he woke up at 6am ahead of the surgery to remove his appendix in “agony” at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.

    The 50-year-old said he felt like he had been “hit by a car” when he woke up, in a video he published from his hospital bed.

    “I’m just sore all over and my voice is sore because of the tube going down my throat.”

    He continued: “The staff in the surgery knew who I was, they were fans which was kind of funny.
    “I was just lucky my appendix didn’t burst, they caught it in time.

    “I was in a lot of agony yesterday. I knew something was up, I felt really bad. I felt like I was getting a flu.”
    He also shared a picture of himself wearing fan-made Tardis socks in the hospital bed.
    The star said he was “on a lot of drugs” in the hospital for appendicitis.
    Check out a video from the actor below:

    He later shared videos and tweets saying he was fine, and protested the news that President Trump had banned transgender people from serving in the US Military.
    Barrowman caused a stir when he turned up to a Doctor Who event at Comic Con in a fetching TARDIS dress.
    The former Doctor Who and Arrow star made an stir at the San Diego festival this week, when he rocked up in a fetching blue dress.
    The gay actor made an appearance the event in a sparkly blue TARDIS tutu.

    Pirouetting on stage, he shouted: “I’m so dizzy right now. I totally blinged myself out! I am the transgender TARDIS!”
    Given Barrowman recently departed from sci-fi series Arrow, he has plenty of time free should producers come a-knocking.
    The Doctor Who star showed off rather more of his husband than he intended to during a live-stream with fans last year.
    The actor was live-streaming a chat with fans from a Palm Springs hot tub when his husband Scott Gill happened to get in too… completely naked.

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    Powerful Philippines politician pledges to introduce same-sex unions

    A prominent Filipino politician who is a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte has proposed introducing same-sex unions.
    Pantaleon Alvarez, the Speaker of the country’s House of Representatives, made the announcement at the opening of Congress on Monday.

    The pledge represents yet another at least partial u-turn from an administration which has already once retracted a promise to introduce same-sex marriage.
    But it seems the government has changed its mind again, with the Speaker telling Congress: “We must also be considerate of the fact that marriage may not be for everyone.

    “Presently, it even excludes certain groups of people from its fold.
    “Let us tackle this issue head on. I will file a bill that will legally recognise and protect Civil Partnerships.”

    He added that “our citizens should not be excluded from society just because of the person they love.
    “They must also be treated with equality before the law.”
    Later on in his speech, Alvarez told the 321 politicians: “I simply want to be remembered as the Speaker of the people who listened to – and acted upon – the often unheard cries and complaints of the marginalised and voiceless members of our society.
    “Together, let us empower the disempowered.”
    At a forum in January last year, during the run-up to the presidential election, Duterte said he would push for legislation to allow same-sex marriage.
    He told the applauding crowd that it should have said marriages were for “Adam, Eve and the gays.”
    After he was elected, however, he completely reversed his stance, saying in March that “there is the civil code, which states you can only marry a woman for me, and for a woman to marry a man.
    “That’s the law in the Philippines.”
    The most recent opinion poll conducted in the country shows that Filipinos are against same-sex marriage, with around 70 percent opposed.
    It’s unclear how citizens would feel about same-sex civil partnerships, however.

    Duterte, who has been compared to US President Donald Trump in his behaviour and treatment of marginalised citizens, has overseen more than 7,000 deaths from his war on drugs.
    And just yesterday, he threatened to bomb indigenous schools which he accused of trying to convince students to overthrow the government.
    Earlier this year, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it would allow LGBT soldiers to sign up. However, there was a catch.
    The AFP promised LGBT recruits would not be discriminated against, “as long as they behave with dignity”.

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    Donald Trump bans transgender people from serving in the military

    Donald Trump has reversed an Obama policy allowing transgender people to serve in the US military.
    In June of last year, President Obama asked the Pentagon to lift its long-held ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the military.

    The Department of Defense was given until July 1 of this year to implement the policy, with LGBT advocates hopeful that transgender soldiers would finally be able to serve openly.
    The decision was delayed by Trump’s Defence Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis – and the President confirmed today that he would reverse the decision put the ban back in place.
    President Trump tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.

    “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
    Though Trump claimed the decision was taken “after consultation with Generals”, the Pentagon had not made any formal objection to the plan, and the decision rests entirely with the President.

    Some within the military have raised concern about the short implementation window of the changes, though chiefs had backed the plans.
    The decision was reportedly pushed by Vice President Mike Pence, a strong opponent of LGBT rights.
    The Human Rights Campaign attacked the White House for a “deeply troubling and patently unpatriotic assault on military families”.
    The group added: “[Trump and Pence should] be working to ensure all service members and their families are getting the support and resources they need and deserve, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
    Chad Griffin added: “15,000+ transgender Americans are already bravely serving our country. By attacking them, Trump is undermining our military.
    “I know transgender service members and vets who have done more to serve their country than Trump has in his entire life.”
    The President famously dodged the draft four times during the Vietnam war, and has never served in the military.
    Trump’s new ban is reminiscent of rules that banned gay people from openly serving in the military.
    Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which was repealed by President Obama in 2013, led to the expulsion of hundreds of gay and lesbian officials in the military.
    However, the ban on transgender people under separate medical rules was only lifted in 2016.
    It is not the first time Trump has gone out of his way to reverse a decision on LGBT rights made by Obama.

    The GOP leader has already scrapped protections for transgender school kids, ceased government opposition to state-level anti-LGBT laws, and sought to slash HIV aid funding.
    The decisions sour Trump’s previous claims during his election campaign to be a “friend” of LGBT people.
    In a speech directly after the Orlando massacre he had claimed: “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the L-G-B-T community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words.”
    He also won endless praise from gay Republicans for waving a Pride flag on stage, while making no pledges on LGBT rights.

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    Texas Senate passes anti-transgender bathroom bill

    The Senate in the US state of Texas just passed a discriminatory anti-trans bathroom bill.
    The Bill forces people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth.

    It also prevents public buildings such as schools and government offices from enforcing rules which would allow trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
    Ten hours of testimony was heard at the weekend before a Senate Committee passed the legislation.

    It then went to the full Senate and passed with 21 votes to 10.
    “The Texas Senate just approved a blatantly discriminatory bill, demonstrating yet again that these lawmakers care more about pursuing cheap political points than protecting the lives of transgender Texans,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign.

    “It is appalling that after hearing more than 10 hours of testimony, overwhelmingly from Texans who oppose this legislation, the Texas Senate still voted to move SB3 forward. Despite this broad opposition — including from businesses, sports leagues, parents, and faith leaders — the Texas Senate and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appear to be fine with establishing Texas as the next North Carolina. HRC will continue to fight this harmful bill as it moves to the House.”
    Senate Bill 91 debated last week. The two pieces of legislature are almost identical.
    SB 6 was a similar bill that was passed earlier this year in the Senate, but it failed in the house.
    Activists spoke for 18 hours during testimonies against SB 6, meaning that the Senate set a registration limit for the hearing of SB 3.
    Senator Lois Kolkhorst, who authored all three pieces of legislature, said in the opening of the hearing for SB 3 that it was a “Texan tradition” to “take care of these issues”.
    Kali Cohn, a staff attorney for ACLU Texas, said that the bathroom bill is in violation of federal law and the US Constitution.
    Cohn testified before the senate committee, referencing Supreme Court cases and other legal precedents the ACLU says makes SB 3 and SB 91 illegal.
    “They’ve introduced legislation that targets transgender Texans under the guise of privacy and safety,” Cohn said. “That’s not what those bills do — what they in fact do is push transgender people away from being able to participate in public life.”
    Business owners in large cities in the state have already expressed fears about the effect the Bill is going to have.
    Phillip Jones, CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau said that Dallas had already seen losses of $40 million, and could expect to lose another $1 billion if the law is passed.

    It’s believed that HB2, a similar restrictive bathroom bill in North Carolina, will cost the state more than $3.76 billion.
    HB2 supporters have said its costs are tiny compared to a state economy worth an estimated $500 billion a year, but more than 2,900 jobs set to go to North Carolina have now gone elsewhere.
    The most damaging rejection came from money giant PayPal, which pulled out from a facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion and 400 jobs to North Carolina’s economy.
    Adidas, Deutsche Bank, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and former Beatle Ringo Starr are other prominent names who have pulled out from using the state.

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    Someone just created ‘beer for women’ and people aren’t happy

    A brewery has created a “beer for women”, and naturally lots of people are pretty annoyed.
    The beer is named ‘Aurosa Beer for Her’ and is packaged in a marbled bottle.

    It was created by Martina Šmírová, and seems to suggest that all other beer in history was made for men.
    The product’s website reads: “Aurosa is a representation of a woman’s strength and a girl’s tenderness. The two contrasting tempers, present in the female essence, are depicted through the elegant design yet the strong, unfiltered taste.

    “Aurosa was born to prove that women can succeed anywhere without having to adapt and sacrifice their natural femininity. Women have been disregarded in the beer industry but owing to determination and faith in herself, Aurosa is set to redefine the perception of beer.”
    Many took to social media to complain about the absurdity of yet another an unnecessarily gendered product.

    They used the hashtag ‘#beerforher’ to express their distastes.
    One Twitter user wrote: “Wait…All this time I’ve been drinking (& enjoying-gasp!) beer FOR MEN???”
    Another added: “A beer for women?!?!? Oh fuck off Aurosa 😤 JUST FUCK RIGHT OFF AND TAKE YOUR BEER-FLAVOURED LAMBRINI WITH YOU.”

    While the Pool wrote: “#BeerForHer campaign will finally let women drink a drink they’ve been drinking for centuries.”
    Responding to the backlash in an interview with Cosmo, a spokesperson said: “We never said that beer was not for women, we simply want to break the misconception that it has garnered.
    “What our message carries is different, we are here to support those women who like to celebrate their femininity and elegance, who want a nice glass of beer with their dinner and who enjoy something elegantly packaged. That is all. We are giving them choice, we are giving them diversity and there should be nothing shameful against that.”

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    Gay people are turning to Satan

    The Satanic Temple has a thriving LGBT community, according to one of its most senior figures.
    Ash Blackwood, who established a Satanist chapter in New York City, spoke to Vice about how the movement has become a hub for LGBT people.

    Mr Blackwood explained to the outlet that in contrast to a lot of organised religion, Satanism has fostered an “enthusiastically accepting atmosphere for LGBTQ people”.
    Its inclusive platform has paid off – and Satanic Temple founder Lucien Greaves added that he wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of the congregation identifies as LGBT.

    He said: “It’s not a big deal, we don’t have strict separations or definitions of our gay membership, our trans membership, or anybody else.”
    Despite its name – intended to freak out Christians – the Satanic Temple is essentially an atheistic movement, explaining “we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan”.

    The group explains: “To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions.”
    The movement is also proud of its pro-LGBT record, while using its status as a quasi-religious group to challenge the seeping of religion into secular government activities.
    It adds: “The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.
    “Politically aware, Civic-minded Satanists and allies in The Satanic Temple have publicly opposed The Westboro Baptist Church, advocated on behalf of children in public school to abolish corporal punishment, applied for equal representation where religious monuments are placed on public property, provided religious exemption and legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women’s reproductive autonomy, exposed fraudulent harmful pseudo-scientific practitioners and claims in mental health care, and applied to hold clubs along side other religious after school clubs in schools besieged by proselytizing organizations.”
    Naturally the news has freaked out the evangelical anti-LGBT lobby online.

    A California pastor recently claimed that Satan is responsible for gay weddings.
    The claim comes from pastor Jim Garlow, the pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego
    Speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, Garlow suggested that gay couples getting married is a Satanic plot.
    Related: Devil statue with giant erection appears in public, and no-one knows why

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    Louis Tomlinson says fans are ‘disrespectful’ for thinking he’s gay

    One Direction star Louis Tomlinson has hit out at fans who think he’s gay, saying it is “disrespectful”.
    The star and bandmate Harry Styles have for years been the subject of rumours about their relationship.

    Harry Styles earlier this year opened up about his sexuality.
    The singer has always stayed coy on the subject, but has long spoken out in support of LGBT rights.

    Earlier in 2017, Styles said he’s never felt the need to label himself.
    But Tomlinson has again addressed the rumours, saying they are “disrespectful” to his girlfriend.

    He told the Sun: “I’ve never actually been asked about it directly. It’s a funny thing. It kind of happened naturally for me and Harry because a certain amount of the fans drew up this conspiracy. When it first came around I was with Eleanor, and it actually felt a little bit disrespectful to Eleanor, who is my girlfriend now.
    “I’m so protective over things like that, about the people I love. So it created this atmosphere between the two of us where everyone was looking into everything we did. It took away the vibe you get off anyone. It made everything a little bit more unapproachable. I think [what’s happened since] shows that it was never anything ‘real’ if I can use that word.”
    Tomlinson last year blocked people from using the name ‘Larry’ on his Instagram because people kept suggesting he was in a gay relationship with Harry Styles.
    But fans got around the ban by using variants of the name, including Larrry and Lerry.
    Bandmate Liam Payne previously said the ‘Larry’ ship drove him “insane”.
    In 2015, Payne took to Twitter to refute claims that he is homophobic, after controversial comments at a One Direction live show in Columbus, Ohio.
    Liam Payne previously praised “the family values” of the notoriously homophobic stars of reality show Duck Dynasty, after a homophobic rant from the family’s patriarch.
    Styles, who has his first acting role in a feature film, Dunkirk has long been an enthusiastic advocate for the LGBT community.
    In 2014, he showed his support for out NFL star Michael Sam while performing at a One Direction concert, by wearing the American football player’s St Louis Rams jersey.

    And he also said his partner being female was “not that important” to him, after remarking about dating men: “Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.”
    Two years ago, he ran around on stage during a New York concert in a Pride flag, prompting cheers from the audience.
    Earlier this year, he said on French TV that LGBT rights were fundamental, not political.

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    Charlize Theron: I experimented with women

    Charlize Theron has revealed that she had a “swim in the lady pond” when she was young.
    The Mad Max: Fury Road actress is playing a bisexual character in new film Atomic Blonde.

    Appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, she opened up about her own sexual experiences.
    Discussing the new film , Cohen had asked her if she had personally “swam in the lady pond”.

    She said: “Ooh! When I was young, yes. When you’re young you’re just kind of exploring it all. But it was pretty clear that I really like dudes.”
    Asked about playing a bisexual character, she said: “Why not? It’s just so strange when we talk so much about it. It should be normalised by now.

    “It’s something I feel is not represented enough in cinema… I feel that when you make movies, if you’re going to hold that mirror up and reflect society, then you should reflect society.”
    Theron kicks ass in Atomic Blonde while playing secret agent Lorraine Broughton.
    Instead of hooking up with male co-star James McAvoy, as dictated by heteronormative movie tradition, she has sex with another female spy, played by Sofia Boutella.
    She confessed previously: “I just loved it, for so many reasons.
    The first reason, she said, was her “frustration of how that community is represented in cinema, or lack thereof.
    “And also, it made perfect sense. It just suited her,” Theron continued.
    “It just felt there was a way through that relationship and the fact that it was a same-sex relationship to show a woman not having to fall in love, which is one of those female tropes.
    “It’s a woman; she better fall in love – otherwise, she’s a whore!”, she joked.

    This isn’t the first time Theron has played an LGBT character.
    Her portrayal of real-life mass murderer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film Monster earned her the Best Actress awards at the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

    She has also been a long-time LGBT activist.
    In 2009, she pledged not to marry her long-term boyfriend at the time, Stuart Townsend, until same-sex marriage was legal across the US.
    The couple split in 2010.

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    One Tree Planted. The Real Deal

    One Tree Planted

    Deforestation is a severe problem that has been grossly overlooked in today’s society. All of us know how important trees are and how it aids in the sustainability of all kinds of life, humans included. Trees clean the air we breathe and the water we drink, helps with biodiversity loss, assists in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, and improves the overall social impact and health for the inhabitants of this planet. The more trees that we cut down or lose, the bigger our problems will become.

    While there is only so much we can do to prevent corporations and organizations and the general population of human beings from adding to this chaos of deforestation, there is a glimmer of hope for reforestation and renewed sustainability of the planet that has presented itself…

    Here at Phoenix Voyage, we are proud to have joined forces with One Tree Planted in the goal towards worldwide reforestation. This wonderful non-profit organization has various programs geared towards the re-population of trees in many areas across the globe where they are desperately dwindling – Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America. With years of experience and an array of fundraising campaigns, One Tree Planted has taken huge steps towards the goal of reforestation and a more healthy and sustainable planet.

    At Phoenix Voyage, we are proud to have already donated 100 trees to this cause!

    However, it takes more than just one person or organization to make the difference – it needs YOU! With many programs and ways to raise funds, One Tree Planted needs your help in really giving it the boost to create the ultimate change.

    This affects us ALL ​and the time to do something is NOW!

    It’s fun and easy to donate on their website!

    ​To learn more or to donate to this cause, visit www.onetreeplanted.org for more information!

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    Eye’z Gives Back, Part 2

    Eye'z Gives

    On Saturday July 22 at the White Horse Bar in Oakland, Eye’z performed at a benefit put on by Cseneca St James and the Imperial Star Empire of Alameda and Contra Costa counties chapter of the International Court System to help collect personal care products for the Crossroads homeless shelter. In addition to personal care items, a little over $1,000 was raised. Eye’z is a talented singer, pianist, and actress, based out of the Bay area who has been performing since the tender age of four. In addition to writing and performing her own music, she also performs cover songs of the artists that have most influenced her. This is not Eye’z first appearance to raise money for the Crossroads shelter. On June 10th, she had another performance at the White Horse Bar, also to raise money for the shelter. Eye’z also helps to raise money for various other charities. Not only is Eye’z a talented performer, she is also a role model for those younger than her and for up and coming artists.

    Eye'z singing
    Eye’z singing at the white horse bar White Horse Inn
    Serving the LGBT community since 1933, this bar hosts karaoke nights, DJ dance parties & drag shows. (6551 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609)

    The Crossroads homeless shelter is part of the East Oakland Community Project which offers emergency and transitional housing in the Alameda County, California area. Crossroads has 125 beds. In addition to providing homeless people with shelter, they also have wrap around services to help the people who enter their doors become able to have homes of their own once they leave the shelter. Without these services, some of the people that pass through the shelter would not be able become self-sufficient and therefore able to sustain their own home. With the economy such as it is, the homeless shelters in this country are stretched to the limits, not only in the number of people that they serve, but also in being able to provide the very basics that the people they serve need. Crossroads is only one of the programs of the EOCP. They also have a traditional housing program and a program for homeless youth.

    Cseneca St James

    Having worked as a case manager in a woman’s homeless shelter, which also had a men’s homeless shelter as part of the network, I can attest to the fact that personal care items are always needed. When donating to homeless shelters, people think of things like food and clothing, but they don’t always think of personal care items. A lot of the people who enter the doors of a homeless shelter have nothing or very little, so they need  things such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and razors. Also, women always need things like tampons or pads. They are constantly in need, but not always donated. Since money is often scarce in social service agencies, having these things donated is very important to shelters. When they are trying to pay for things like food, heat, and electric, shelters don’t have the money for all of the important things needed. This is why it’s very important that performers such as Eye’z,  Cseneca  St. James, and the Imperial Star Empire, do what they can to help. Social service agencies can’t do it alone and everything donated, whether it be money or some type of product, is vital to the existence of them. There are many performers who don’t do things to help give back to their communities, which is why people like Eye’z are to be commended.

    Article Written by Janet Lee Smith
    Eye’z website: Itseyez.weebly.com

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    Donald Trump’s UK state visit could be put off until 2019

    President Donald Trump may be no stranger to golf clubs in Scotland, but he might have to wait a bit longer for an official visit to the UK.
    The American leader had hoped for all the pomp and fanfare of a state visit, after the Prime Minister Theresa May extended the offer earlier this year.

    However, it now looks as if plans for a visit could be delayed until at least 2019.

    It comes after almost two million people signed a petition for the invitation to be recalled in February, forcing the Government to defend their actions.
    At the time, a spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said while it acknowledged the “strong views expressed by many,” they “looked forward to welcoming President Trump when dates are finalised.”
    Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, also joined in condemning the President, saying he would not be welcome in the Houses of Parliament.
    Similarly, sources close to Prince Harry also claimed he was “not a fan” of the Republican politician.

    President Trump himself ruled out a trip in the near future, saying he did not want to visit the country if there were going to be large scale protests.
    With the rest of 2017 effectively off the cards, it has now emerged that a state visit for a separate state dignitary is already planned for the UK in early 2018.
    It is unlikely the former businessman would come in the latter half of 2018, as this would take place just weeks before key elections for Congress.
    While sources say some 2018 dates are still being looked into, the Queen is only believed to be willing to give two state visits a year.
    In effect, the US President will now have to wait until at least 2019.
    The American leader has repeatedly come under fire for not acknowledging LGBT people, recently ditching the eight-year long tradition of Pride Month in the US.
    Speaking at Pride in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan slammed the President, saying he should visit the town to see how LGBT people improved the community.

    He told PinkNews: “My message to Donald Trump and others around the world who don’t recognise the huge contribution the LGBT+ community can make is to come to London and see the contribution they do make.
    “They help make London the greatest city in the world. Economically, culturally and socially I want London to be a beacon for the rest of the world in how we do it.”
    Trump also failed to bring up LGBT rights during his Presidential trip to Saudi Arabia – despite repeatedly attacked Hilary Clinton for not doing so in the past.
    He has also repeatedly failed to speak out about he persecution of gay men in Chechnya.

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    Riverdale to introduce first bisexual character as it returns for second season

    American teen drama Riverdale is set to introduce its first LGBT character, as the show returns for a second series.
    After first hitting screens earlier this year, the show will be returning this October, and bosses have promised to explore bisexual themes.

    Based on characters from Archie Comics, the series has yet to see a gay character.
    However, the original books have always hinted that famously pink-haired Toni Topaz is bisexual.
    Vanessa Morgan, who previously starred in MTV’s Finding Carter and teen sitcom The Latest Buzz, will be taking on the role which will be introduced in October.

    Speaking to Entertainment Today executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also hinted the new character could be trouble for Betty and Jughead’s relationship.
    “Toni Topaz is a character who was added on a little more recently in the comic books and she’s always been very, very vivacious, exciting and a bit of a disrupter,” he explained.

    When asked about the character’s bisexuality, he added: “That’s a really good question and I believe yes that is something that we’re going to explore.”
    He also revealed Morgan had previously auditioned for the show – but missed out as she didn’t quite fit the characters.
    “Vanessa auditioned for Riverdale for us last year and we all fell in love with her.
    “We didn’t have a spot for her last year, but I called her after she auditioned and tested and I said, ‘I’m so sorry I’m not going to be able to bring you aboard this year, but I love you and I promise you’re going to come and be a part of Riverdale next year.’”
    Andrew J. West stars as Henry in Once Upon A Time with Dania Ramirez as Cinderella. (ABC/Eike Schroter)
    The announcement follows the news Once Upon a Time is set air a “prominent” gay storyline in new series this autumn.

    Speaking about the new plot executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis promised this time a main character would be in line for an LGBT romance.
    “One of the show’s franchises is love,” Kitsis explained. “This iteration is reflecting the world today. It will not be anything more than just one of the other love stories that are happening.
    “I don’t think it’s an arc,” he continued. “It’ll be a character who is gay and that’s who they are and they exist in the world. They don’t have a sign that says ‘special episode.’”
    As yet though, the pair are again keeping tight-lipped on who could be part of the story.

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    Chris Christie signs transgender rights bills into law

    Chris Christie has bucked the trend for Republicans by signing two pro-trans bills into law.
    The embattled Governor of New Jersey, who faces a Democratic-controlled state legislature, took aback many of his party colleagues with the announcement last week.

    While Republicans across the country have pushed anti-LGBT legislation aimed at rolling back transgender rights, Christie signed a bill enshrining vital protections into law.One of the new laws seeks to establish a “supportive and nondiscriminatory environment” for transgender children in New Jersey’s schools, establishing a clear non-discrimination policy and making sure that trans kids are treated in accordance with their gender identity.
    The second law is targeted at healthcare provisions, and  prohibits health insurers and medical practitioners from refusing service or coverage to someone because they are transgender.
    According to ThinkProgress, it comes after a New Jersey Catholic hospital refused to carry out a hysterectomy procedure on a transgender man on the grounds of religion. The procedure is routinely carried out on cisgender women.

    Crucially, the new protections also prevent insurers from treating being transgender as a pre-existing condition, which secured more affordable healthcare.
    By putting pen to paper on the laws, Christie takes a divergent path to other Republican Governors. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has splashed out on a special legislature session in order to railroad through anti-trans laws.

    In contrast, Christie has said he would likely refuse to sign into law any anti-trans ‘bathroom bill’.
    Referring to North Carolina’s car crash anti-trans law, he said: “It strikes me as not something I’d sign here in New Jersey. But I don’t know all the specifics of it.”
    Christie has made other moderate concessions on LGBT rights in the past – refusing to waste money defending a gay marriage ban, opposing anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ laws, and signing a law to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy.
    When a court ruled in favour of equal marriage, Christie – who had battled against the ruling – said: “The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
    He was branded a ‘traitor’ by the anti-LGBT movement.

    Brian Brown of the National Organisation for Marriage said at the time: “The mark of a leader is to walk a principled walk no matter the difficulty of the path.
    “Chris Christie has failed the test, abandoning both voters and the core institution of society – marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
    “Governor Christie’s decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions.
    “As far as we are concerned, it’s a disqualifying failure. His surrender on marriage effectively surrenders any chance he might have had to secure the GOP nomination for president.”