Transgender Atheist Fights Kenyan Government (And Christian Law Firm) For Recognition

One of the biggest names in the global transgender rights movement is also an atheist, giving her home country yet another reason to target her.

Audrey Mbugua is a 29-year-old Kenyan trans woman who is suing the government of Kenya for failing to recognize her identity and name on legal documents such as her state-issued ID and her passport. She transitioned in 2001 and was diagnosed in 2008 with gender identity disorder, the medical diagnosis sometimes given to trans and gender-nonconforming individuals as a prerequisite for legal or medical gender transition procedures. But according to her governmental identification documents, she is still legally male and has a different name.

The Kenyan government has refused to update her documents accordingly, resulting in increased prejudice, discrimination, and difficulty finding a job in a country where being LGBT is illegal. (Not surprisingly, Kenyan media coverage of the case has been sloppy in using her correct name and pronouns.) In May, she sued the Attorney General and the Kenya National Examinations Council, but government officials are clearly taking their sweet time.

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Dr. Ben Carson: The Secular Movement’s Promotion of LGBT Rights Endangers ‘Everything Else in the Bible’

At a conference in Illinois earlier this month, conservative neurosurgeon and Tea Party hero Dr. Ben Carson made some bold — though unoriginal — claims about the terror that same-sex marriage will surely bring upon society.

Speaking to the anti-LGBT-rights group Illinois Family Institute (IFI), Carson invoked the Biblical notion that the relationship between Jesus and his followers is a marriage. Clearly, he’s not okay with using the same terminology to describe committed, loving same-sex couples.

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Pope Francis Writes Letter to Gay Catholic Group

The saga of Pope Francis attempting to win over the gays continues, and once again, it’s quiet, underwhelming, and almost certainly a PR stunt.

The Italian Catholic LGBT group Kairos of Florence wrote a letter to the Pope in June, undoubtedly addressing many of the well-known issues that put the Catholic Church at odds with the LGBT community. They reportedly asked for “openness and dialogue” in talking about this rift and stated that a lack of openness “always feeds homophobia.” Hear, hear.

Now, months later, the Pope has written them back, according to enthusiastic reports out of the Catholic news world. Unfortunately, though, it’s hard to tell if this is anything significant (spoiler: it probably isn’t) because Kairos has chosen to keep the contents of both letters private.

Here’s what they did reveal:

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Undercover Journalist Joins (and Exposes) Toronto Program That Claims to Turn Gay People Straight

While the Christian-led ex-gay movement is dying down in the United States, some “reparative therapy” or “conversion therapy” programs are still alive and well in other parts of the world. In Canada, for example, a government-registered charity called Living Waters (not affiliated with Ray Comfort‘s ministry of the same name) has chapters across the country to help gay people overcome their same-sex attractions.

Hearing of the program, an undercover reporter named Graham Slaughter from the Toronto Star joined a Living Waters chapter from January to May and recently published his account of the experience. In reality Slaughter is openly gay — contentedly so, it seems — making his description of the Christian program all the more interesting (and terrifying).

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Bill Maher: Atheism is ‘the New Gay Marriage’

Why won’t comedian Bill Maher be running for Congress anytime soon?

Because he thinks his atheism will get in the way.

In an interview with Hollywood site TheWrap, Maher chatted with host Sharon Waxman about the lack of representation of atheists in politics — and how it doesn’t quite match up with the rising number of atheists in the country. He told her that while the percentage of atheists in America is approaching 15%, “we have zero representation.” As a person who’s pretty public about his atheism, he should know:

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