The NAACP held its first-ever town hall meeting to discuss LGBT issues during its 102nd annual convention in Los Angeles last week. #
Julian Bond, an activist, and civil rights leader, said at the town hall that gay rights are civil rights. Bond said that black members of the LGBT community share a common history and a continued struggle to address issues of bigotry, yet their identities, talents, and leadership are often diminished because of homophobia and the fear of physical violence. #
Bond added that within black America and the NAACP there are differences of opinion on the subject, saying that we know that sexuality is not a choice and that LGBT black people suffer a level of discrimination and harassment far beyond the levels felt by straight black women and men. #
Bond added, “If you disagree or if your Bible tells you that gay people ought not to be married in your church, don’t tell them they can’t be married at city hall. Marriage is a civil right as well a civil right, and we can’t let religious bigotry close the door to justice to anyone”: #
Wanda Sykes, a lesbian comedian, and actress said at the town hall that she was raised in the church and taught that being gay was an “abomination.” She added that she suppressed everything and even got married, but her relationships could not go any further. #
“If you try not to be gay, you are being this other person and miserable,” Sykes said. “You can’t pray it away.” #
“I consider myself a Christian and the one thing that Jesus told us was to love, above all, to love thy neighbor,” she said. “What’s this crap about ‘Hate the sin, but love the sinner’? That doesn’t even make any sense. Either you love somebody or you’re judging them; you can’t have it both ways”: #
Gov. Rick Scott sparked a debate when he released the salary data on dozens of professors at Florida's public universities. The move, said a Scott spokesperson, was simply about transparency. Critics, however, argued the data was released as part of Scott's effort to push for major higher education change in the state. Now examination of the data by the Orlando Sentinel reveals that Florida professors actually earn less than the national average.