Catholic Charities Of Buffalo Shuts Down Adoptions Over Same-Sex Couples

The Catholic Charities of Buffalo has announced the organization will end its adoption and foster care services because Jesus.

New York state law bans discrimination against same-sex couples when it comes to adoption or foster care, but the Catholic Church’s position is that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

“We’re a Catholic organization, so we have to practice what we do consistent with the teaching of the church,” Dennis C. Walczyk, the chief executive officer of Catholic Charities, told The Buffalo News.

The issue came to a head when a same-sex couple recently filed an application to become adoptive foster parents. Rather than place a homeless child with a loving couple, Catholic Charities chose to shut down.

It’s worth noting that this is the same Catholic Church which is currently facing enormous scandal in neighboring Pennsylvania where a two year grand jury investigation revealed over 300 priests sexually abused over 1,000 children across 7 decades.

The state issued a statement underscoring its commitment to allowing ALL qualified families to take part in foster care and adoption programs.

“In New York State, we welcome all families who are ready to provide loving and nurturing homes to foster or adoptive children,” said Children and Family Services spokeswoman Monica Mahaffey. “There is no place for providers that choose not to follow the law.”

There are currently 34 children in 24 of the the Catholic Charities certified foster homes. Those children will eventually be transferred to the auspices of another agency.

Sadly, those couples in the middle of the adoption process will be forced to begin again with a new agency.

In this day and age, its utterly ridiculous that an organization that alleges to care for children can’t somehow find a middle ground on this issue.

The editorial board of The Buffalo News agrees, writing:

It is a shame that the church cannot find a way to bridge this chasm, which will eventually open in every state. Does placing a child with a same-sex couple necessarily mean that the church endorses same-sex marriage? Surely there are differences between approving of such unions and simply acknowledging the fact of them. And isn’t any child better off with a loving family that wants to provide its support?

It’s clear the Catholic Church’s answer to those questions is ‘no.’

It seems it’s better to leave children homeless than allow a same-sex couple to offer their love and shelter.

Because… that’s what Jesus would have wanted?


Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or  fellow Contributors. 

GOP Governors & Attorneys General Ask SCOTUS To Limit LGBT Workplace Protections

Republican governors and attorneys general from 16 states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that LGBT employees can be fired based merely on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The states that signed onto the friend-of-the-court brief are Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming, Maine, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

Currently, only 20 states plus Washington, D.C. have passed laws expressly banning LGBT discrimination in the workplace.

A study by the Human Rights Campaign in 2011 showed 87% of voters erroneously believe its illegal under federal law to fire someone just for being LGBT.

Its notable that Maine and Utah, two of the 20 states that have LGBT workplace protections in place, have signed on in support of the brief.

The request to the Supreme Court comes in response to a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a transgender funeral home employee in Michigan, Aimee Stephens, who was fired in 2013 after sharing with her supervisor she was transitioning.

In 2017, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Harris Funeral Homes illegally discriminated against Stephens in firing her referencing Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which bans workplace discrimination based on sex.

At the time, Judge Karen Nelson Moore of the 6th Circuit wrote in the opinion that anti-trans discrimination is inherently sex based.

“[I]t is analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee’s status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee’s sex,” she wrote. Businesses that discriminate against a worker on the basis of being “transgender or transitioning status,” is taking sex into account thus violating Title VII.

Led by Nebraska Attorney General David Bydalek, the 16 states are asking SCOTUS to overturn that appeals court decision saying Congress didn’t intend for the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII to cover bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender employees.

“The States’ purpose is to note that ‘sex’ under the plain terms of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status,” Bydalek wrote.

The Supreme Court will decide this fall whether to take up the case.

(h/t Bloomberg Law)

When A Hater Criticizes Two Gay Dads & Their Adopted Daughter

ABC News’ popular What Would You Do? series took a dive into the issue of gay adoption and foster care with a scenario involving a gay couple and their seemingly adopted daughter.

Pointing out that almost 60,000 foster and adopted children across America are being raised by same-sex couples, WWYD notes that the laws regarding same-sex couples adopting vary from state to state.

For instance, in New York state, gay couples are allowed to adopt children no matter their marital status. But in Kentucky, the state requires same-sex couples to be married in order to adopt.

In the experiment, the show set up the same scenario in those two very different states to see if folks’ opinions varied as well.

What would you do if you heard a restaurant patron openly criticize a gay couple for raising a little girl?

First up, in Bardstown, Kentucky, the actress portraying the “intolerant” role calls across the restaurant to compliment the young girl. But when she finds out the couple are two gay dads, things go sour quickly.

“Don’t you think she should have a mother?,” the woman asks loudly. “I don’t think a child should be raised that way,” she adds.

A customer at a table between the couple and the hater quickly shifts her seat so that she blocks the hater’s view.

When the hater addresses the customer, her husband doesn’t hesitate to quickly stand and ask, “Lady, are you nuts or something?”

“You want me to leave?,” the hater asks. “That would be great,” says the gentleman as he sits down to his lunch as the woman exits the restaurant.

In another scene, when the Kentucky hater yells,  “That’s an innocent child with two gay men raising her,” another patron calmly explains to the woman, “I’m a teacher. I see it all the time and the children do not have problems.”


Up in Orangetown, New York, the hater is calmly confronted by a diner patron with this epic takedown:

You need to lighten up lady. You need to back off. Get into the real world. You’ve got two people celebrating and demonstrating love for a child. You’ve got a lot of nerve. It doesn’t matter. Love is love. Would you rather see that child homeless, starving to death? It’s not about your opinion. It’s about the welfare of a child, a human being. The problem in the world is not two men raising a child. The problem in the world is you making comments like that.”


Flipping to Bardstown, when the Kentucky hater tells a restaurant customer, “I can’t believe you’re ok with this,” the patron doesn’t miss a beat: “I can’t believe you’re as intolerant as you are.”

Eventually, the entire restaurant turns on the hater and demands she leave.

Back at the New York diner, a male customer claps back in direct style telling the harasser, “My wife was raised by two women. It’s still love for the child and that’s all that f**king matters. You got a problem with that, f**king leave.”

Watch the scenarios unfold below.






Hottie John Duff's New Music Video Pays Tribute To His "Girly" Pop Divas

In a gay world where hyper-masculinity is often revered, singer/songwriter/director John Duff has drops his first pop creation celebrating femininity and fluidity - “Girly."

"It's about freedom. It's about expression. It's about equality. Above all, it's f*cking fierce," Duff said.

The music video for “Girly” pays homage to several of Duff’s top pop queens including Madonna ("Hung Up"), Mariah Carey ("Heartbeaker"), Britney Spears ("Stronger"), Beyoncé ("Crazy in Love") and Christina Aguilera ("Come on Over").

As the kids say, "it's iconic." The music video also features Drag Race superstars Bianca Del Rio, Willam and Mariah Balenciaga.

Rejecting what he calls toxic masculinity, Duff’s mission here is to promote honest and genuine self expression.

"You could have your pump on - two plates. Or get your pumps on - first date. No one cares just pump the bass, full speed ahead don't pump the breaks."

Duff says he has been told in the past he “would do better in the industry by playing up my masculinity.”

Duff found that approach to be insulting not only to his creativity but who he is in general. Instead, he decided to throw down his girly gauntlet.

Via press release:

Being girly, or being a girl for that matter, is nothing to be ashamed of. The video was created from those same frustrations. While paying homage to some of my greatest female influences, I wanted to highlight the sexualization of female performers and how absurd it looks to simply replace the ingenue with a hairy man."

And speaking of 'throwing down,' the music video features a hysterical bathroom brawl between Duff and Bianca Del Rio.

The adorbs Duff recently told OUT, "I wanna say it was 7am. We’d been filming since midnight the night before. We were completely on edge, falling apart. He and I started boozing. So, we were a little tipsy filming it. We had a blast. We always cackle."

Duff also wanted to bring some fun back to pop music.

“I feel like in music, we’re missing some joy,” Duff told OUT. “I don’t see pop stars presenting fun. I see dark, sexual, honestly evil energy coming out of most popular music.”

“There’s a place for funny people, and there’s a place for happy people,” the 28-year-old added. “I want people to feel happy and no pressure to be anything else.”

There’s no denying “Girly” is packed full of fun. Not only does the track have a catchy hook, but Duff is uber-adorbs.

Plus, alongside his Drag Race co-stars, the whole cast presents as a rainbow of diversity. Bravo!

Sit back and have some fun with John Duff’s “Girly.”




(h/t OUT)

Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey Breaks Down 'Pretty Privilege'

Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey shares his thoughts on the effect of “pretty privilege” in life, and specifically in the LGBTQ community.

Dempsey begins by defining exactly what “privilege” is.

In other words, what he calls ‘unearned advantages’ some folks are born with like being white, straight, male, cisgender, and yes, attractive.

When it comes to the ‘attractive’ component, Dempsey lists traits like being tall, having good hair, symmetrical features that he calls “hitting the genetic lottery.”

In the United States, its certainly true that all those characteristics can make life a bit easier to maneuver through.

Many studies have shown that being attractive may make it easier to find a mate, are perceived to be more intelligent and likable, and are viewed as healthier.

Speaking candidly, Dempsey admits to his audience that he knows he’s enjoyed “pretty privilege” in his life saying, “I didn’t have to work to be 6’3” and I didn’t have to work to have my face look the way it did.”

“This is just something that I was born into,” he adds.

And what does this get folks? According to Dempsey this ‘privilege’ translates into getting party invites, dates, job offers and more thanks to the way they look.

Admittedly, its somewhat uncomfortable to watch and listen to someone describe their “born under a lucky star” status.

Even Dempsey admits, the discussion can come off a bit douchey:

“So you might be watching this after a couple minutes and thinking, ‘Why am I watching this douchebag talk about how attractive he is and how easy his life has been?’ Totally get it.

“Listen, my intention here is not to brag, I promise, because I recognize that I’m putting an easy target on my back for people to just drag me for days and tell me that I am no Pietro Boselli. I know that I am no Pietro Boselli!

“I don’t consider myself the pinnacle of physical beauty, but I do recognize that I have had an advantage in life just because of how I look. And so that’s what I want to talk about and acknowledge ‘pretty privilege’ is a real thing.”

Where Dempsey is going with all this is to say that when those with ‘unearned advantages’ admit those privileges, it helps honor and validate the disadvantage of others.

For instance, when hunky guys complain about not having 6% body fat to their friends who may truly struggle with their weight, that not only doesn’t ‘honor’ their friends but it is insensitive to others.

The comments on the YouTube page ranged from disgust to agreement.

• "6:31 minutes of this video basically : 'I am hot and I acknowledge I am hot.'"

• I can relate to you Matt. But people let's be clear there is a dangerous side to "pretty privilege". The most morally, spiritually, and mentally bankrupt people are the "Hot Gays".

• Thanks for acknowledging this struggle. Gay Asian male here who has probably internalized all the bad stuff going around about being gay and Asian while living in a mostly white, western NA city.”

• Disappointed in you Matt . I’ve been following you from the very beginning. But lately your vlogs have been very stereotypical on our lgbt community. Hunny this vlog was very narcissistic. I mean let’s be real . You live in Hollywood where you live and thrive on you looks . Smh. Conceited is boring . There are wayyyy more important things going on this world.

• “’… just because of how I look.’ I don't think I have heard anyone say it more louder and honestly. Thanks Matthew. ”

To be fair - watch the full six minutes to get Dempsey’s take on the subject and let us know what you think.

Is this a real conversation to be having? Or is it narcissistic to admit “pretty privilege?”



Miss Vanjie Covers 'Gay Times Magazine' In Glam Style

Breakout star of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (aka 'Miss Vanjie'), covers the latest issue of Gay Times Magazine in glam style.

In an tease for the upcoming issue, GTM shares just a bit of what the 26-year-old thinks of her name becoming a pop culture catch-phrase and more.

First of all: the name thing is still ‘a thing.’

While she may have chanted “Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie” during her infamous exit from RPDR, its not something she wants to hear in the bedroom.

“I would not want somebody saying the ‘Vanjie’ bullshit in the middle of intercourse,” says the drag star. “Fans love to send me videos of them being in an intimate setting with somebody else, and then say my name in the middle of them having sex. It's so weird. It's the freakiest fucking thing."

“For me, I would automatically get turned off and get really soft, so I don't get why saying my name during the session became a thing,” she adds.

The pop culture phenom also hopes to inspire LGBTQ youth telling GTM, “If I’m able to make people relate and express themselves, and I inspire them to do whatever they might want to do – even if it's Barbie or flowers on a corset – I think it's great.”

“Growing up, I had Britney Spears... so for them to have RuPaul's Drag Race is great as we can show them that you get to be yourself,” says Vanjie, aka Jose Cancel. “There's always hope when you get to grow up, you get to dress and up and do whatever you want to do. You don't have someone telling you what to do.”

Want more of the vivacious Miss Vanjie? Pre-order the September 2018 issue of Gay Times at gaytimes.co.uk/buy

Also gracing covers of the LGBT publication in September are recording artists MNEK and Jake Shears, the woofy Russell Tovey and Chloe Grace Moretz.

Travel Thursday: Why New Haven, Connecticut is State’s ‘Drag Capital’

When you think of the words “gay hotspot,” New Haven, Connecticut isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind. But it’s areas like this that can be the most surprising when it comes to the deep LGBTQ history and fun places to hang out in for our community that can turn that ignorance into complete bliss.

New Haven, Connecticut is about a two-hour train ride from NYC, where it finds itself comfortably in between The Big Apple and much of New England. The area itself has a ton of wonderful parks, beaches, museums and foodie attractions, as well as the city where Yale University is located (if you are into the cute, pretty guy kind of thing).

They also have a wonderful LGBTQ scene that’s worth hopping off the highway and experiencing should you be cruising through CT. New Haven Pride Center’s Executive Director Patrick Dunn spoke with Instinct exclusively about it all.

Tell us about the LGBTQ scene in New Haven and what separates it from the rest?

Personally, I think that New Haven is one of the most important queer cities in New England. We are the drag capital for Connecticut.  We have multiple owned queer bars and businesses, along with an incredible arts and culture scene including places like the Yale Cabaret which regularly produces LGBTQ+ themed performances. We play host to some of the largest LGBTQ+ events in Connecticut including PRIDE New Haven. We have many resources for many different segments of the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. We have a huge student and academic community including Yale University which is dubbed "the Gay Ivy," and we are on the crossroad of Boston, New York City and Providence. All of this uniquely positions us to have thriving LGBTQ+ scene.

Does New Haven have pride every year, and if so, when does it take place and what do you do for it?

We do! This year marks the 20th year that New Haven is hosting PRIDE New Haven. PRIDE New Haven has a long tradition of being built by the community for the community and was originally founded by the owner of Gotham Citi / Empire Entertainment Robb Bartolomeo. Since then, Robb has built up a group of community members who help organize and run the event every year. About six years ago, Robb engaged the New Haven Pride Center to become one of the producing partners which allowed for even more community investment in PRIDE New Haven. This year's pride celebration will take place between September 9-16 in downtown New Haven with more than seven days of jam-packed events and activities including street festivals, concerts, theatre performances, drag shows, dance parties, music, circus, and more! Check out newhavenpridecenter.org/programming/pride for all the details of this year's event.

What are the most happening gay bars in town for people to visit?

It really depends on the day of the week - if you're looking for a drag or burlesque show on a Friday night, you're going to want to head to Partners Cafe for one of the monthly shows that takes place there. If you're looking for a friendly casual bar scene you might head to 168 York Street Cafe where you get a mix of regulars, students, and community members. York is also the home of the long-standing Robin Banks Show and the disco diva dance party produced by Soul Haven.

Then of course, you might be looking to dance the night away to DJ music, drag and male dancers - head over to Gotham Citi on a Saturday. Another hot spot - and the best happy hour in town - that is queer-owned, but doesn’t identify as a “gay bar,” is Barracuda Bistro & Bar. Of course there are so other many amazing queer-friendly spaces including 116 Crown, Barcelona Wine Bar and Kitchen Zinc. Oh and if you're looking for a late night snack after - head over to Mamoun's Falafel.

For more information on New Haven Pride, please check out their official website.

If you have travel ideas, places we should visit, or work for a PR company and are looking for writers to visit, please reach out to customerservice@instinctmagazine.com and address your comments to the Managing Editor.


After 12 Successful Seasons, 'The Big Bang Theory' Star Jim Parsons Calls It Quits

CBS has announced The Big Bang Theory, arguably one of the most successful sitcoms in television history, will come to a close at the end of the upcoming 12th season.

The reason for the series ending, according to Entertainment Weekly, is out actor Jim Parsons felt he was ready to walk away from the sitcom.

To date, the series has not only brought Parsons immense fame but 4 Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe award, starring roles on Broadway (The Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band) and in films (Hidden Figures, A Kid Like Jake).

As the series’ neurotic “Dr. Sheldon Cooper,” Parsons has become the highest paid actor on television earning, along with his costars Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg, about $1 million per episode.

EW reports that had he stayed for the two years CBS was negotiating, he stood to earn more than $50 million.



“We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past 12 seasons,” read a joint statement by Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions. “We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close.”

According to reports, Parsons will continue to do voiceover work for the prequel series to TBBT, The Young Sheldon.

Although he never officially came out, Parsons has remarked in interviews that he was “delighted” when the New York Times outed the actor by casually writing, “Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship” near the end of a profile in 2012.

Since that time, the 45-year-old has spoken out on behalf of LGBTQ equality and representation.

He married his longtime boyfriend, Todd Spiewak, last year in New York City.

The final season of The Big Bang Theory premieres on September 24.

The question now is: will the sitcom have a 'bang' of a series finale?

(h/t EW)

Accused Of Murder, California Man Denies Incident Was A Hate Crime

A 21-year-old man from Newport Beach accused of killing a former classmate could face life in prison without parole after prosecutors added a hate crime enhancement to murder charges.

Samuel Woodward is accused of murder in the stabbing death of his former high school classmate Blaze Bernstein.

Bernstein was reported missing by his parents in January while he was visiting home during the winter break at the University of Pennsylvania. His body was eventually found in a shallow grave in Borrego Park with over 20 stab wounds.

DNA evidence found in Woodward’s car and Borrego Park led to his arrest.

At the time the hate crime component was added to existing murder charges, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told CBS News that a search of Woodward’s social media and cellphone data revealed “graphic” and “chilling” photos and text messages.

Rackauckas said the material, which was "homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and anti-government" showed Woodward's "dark side."

CBS News also reports that Woodward has been linked to white supremacist group.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Woodward denied the hate crime enhancement during a court appearance on Wednesday even though he admits it was a kiss that sparked the altercation.

According to an affidavit, Woodward told investigators that Bernstein kissed him while they were sitting in a parked car Jan. 2. Woodward told authorities the kiss was unwanted and that he pushed Bernstein away.

After Wednesday’s court appearance, Woodward’s attorney, Edward Munoz, said his client has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder that can hinder a person’s ability to socialize or communicate.

Munoz said that “there’s going to be some evidence that comes out to say he’s very confused” about both his sexual identity and “his own identity.”


Colton Haynes Shares Emotional Message From His Late Mother

Colton Haynes shared a funny yet emotional message that his late mother left for him on his Instagram Tuesday.

Dana Mitchell, Colton's mom, passed away in late March due to kidney complications. He first shared about her grim diagnosis only a month beforehand, where she was suffering from advanced cirrhosis of the liver & kidney failure and how her doctors recommended that they stay focused on her quality of life as opposed to the quantity.



He posted a photo of a message she left him months after her passing, that really read as something anyone would want to hear from their parent or a loved one.



"Colton you little shit...I will come back & haunt you if you don't follow through on your dreams. My love to my 4 beautiful children. Mom" it read. 

The Arrow actor finished the caption up with "My moms last written words. I got u mom. Are they ready? Haha...this town has never been ready for us Kansas folk...get ready."