Category Archives: Anti-Gay

Escaping Scientology

For years, Michelle LeClair, former President of Scientology’s international humanitarian organization, tried to reconcile her sexual orientation with the anti-gay ideology of the church. Michelle finally ends her horrific marriage, finds the love of her life, a woman, and ultimately leaves the Church. But the split comes at a terrible price. Her once pristine reputation is publicly dragged through the mud, the police raid her home, her ex-husband tries to gain full custody of their children, and the multi-million dollar business she built from scratch is utterly destroyed. In her tell-all memoir, Michelle offers an insider’s perspective on Scientology’s pervasive influence, secret rituals, and ruthless practices for keeping members in line. Michelle LeClair answers Norman B’s questions about her memoir, Perfectly Clear: Escaping Scientology and Fighting for the Woman I Love.

The Podcast is available at NPR One & iTunes

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Show #291

Controversy #2.

Peter Tatchell

“Should a Muslim printer be obliged to publish cartoons of Mohammed or a Jewish one theCake words of a Holocaust denier? Will gay bakers have to accept orders for cakes with homophobic slurs?” These are the controversial questions from noted gay activist Peter Tatchell. Like most gay and equality campaigners, Tatchell initially condemned Christian-run Ashers Bakery in Belfast over its refusal to produce a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan for a gay customer, Gareth Lee. Tatchell supported Lee’s legal claim against Ashers and the subsequent verdict, which last year found the bakery guilty of discrimination. Now, just before the Asher’s case is being considered by the Appeal Court, Peter Tatchell has changed his mind. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, the always eloquent Peter Tatchell  explains why he made the controversial decision to reconsider his original opinion. 

The Peter Tatchell Foundation 
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Controversy #1.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.00.59 PM

After viewing Trump Rally, the skillfully produced documentary that zooms in on the people who believe Donald J. Trump should be the next President of the United States, it would be easy to mock and deride the enthusiastic fans of the bloviating billionaire. But Sean Dunne, the talented, youthful director of Trump Rally has a different take on the folks he trained his cameras on. Sean, a keen observer, has spent the last ten years, self-financing a series of thought-provoking documentaries, Trump Rally, being his latest directorial accomplishment. Getting up close and personal with the Trump supporters, and at one moment, mere inches away from a sweating Mr. Trump, Sean offers an alternate perspective to predetermined opinions. Make sure you don’t miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere with Sean Dunne and hear all he has to say about Trump Rally.

The photo & audio clip above are from Trump Rally, used by kind permission of Sean Dunne and
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One Love?

Love permeates the next edition of Life Elsewhere. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, rainbows have suddenly appeared, on almost everything, everywhere. You’d be forgiven if you thought everyone was delighted that love and marriage now included gay people. Except, of course, not everyone is so  jubilant. So what happens when your family members follow a strict religious dictum that says homosexuality is an abomination? Can you discuss the notion of same sex marriage with them? What do you say when your family are outraged at your happiness for your gay friends? This is the dilemma that faced a learned professor, which resulted in her writing the following on her FaceBook page: “My heart hurts. I have tried this week to engage honestly and respectfully with my family about the SCOTUS’ decision on gay marriage. I did so because I firmly believe that we are all good people who do not want others who suffer, who, if we could step away from the rhetoric could find a way to live and let live. I found that we cannot. I should perhaps not be surprised, but I am so profoundly sad and disappointed.”  Professor Julie Langford, who wrote those powerful yet despondent words will join the program to talk about an issue that concerns more families than all the rainbow flags may suggest. Professor Langford teaches courses in the cultural, social and political history of Ancient Rome. We’ll ask her how the Romans handled same-sex love…and marriage.

Love is also the central theme of a new book, The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater. She tells us that shufu means “housewife” in Japanese and that was the last thing she thought she’d call herself. She was a writer and academic with a carefully constructed and fiercely independent life in Boston. But then everything in her world upended when she fell head-over-heels for a most un-likely mate: a Japanese salary-man, who barely spoke her language. “I lub you”, he told her and so began a poignant adventure and the clash of two cultures. Tracy Slater will join Norman B to recount some of those adventures and how “lub” won the day.

This week’s Hit That Never Was features a beautiful love song by Martin James Norman Riley, better known as Jimmy Riley, who was a member of the successful Jamaican harmony group, The SensationsRiley left The Sensations in 1967 and as a solo singer and writer, he worked with a host of Jamaican producers, including Bunny Lee and Lee “Scratch” Perry, before settling in with the legendary drum and bass duo, Sly & Robbie who released Love & Devotion on their Taxi imprint. Although a number one in Jamaica, the single never saw the attention it deserved in the US of A, making it deservedly, a Hit That Never Was that fits right in with our love theme edition of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere airs Sunday, July 5 at 12 noon ET on The Source WMNF HD3 and Monday, July 6 at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Peter Tatchell Speaks Movingly On Anti-Gay Agenda At Sochi

Peter TatchellSpeaking from London, Peter Tatchell, political campaigner best known for his work with the LGBT social movements, spoke to Norman B about the International Olympic Committee allowing anti-gay agendas to be present at the Sochi Winter Games“We are raising two issues of homophobic discrimination that have not been acknowledged or remedied by the IOC. It very disturbing that the IOC has not sought to overturn the ban on Pride House, despite being urged to do so way back in 2012 when the Russians announced that it would not be permitted. I hope that even at this late stage the IOC will take action to uphold Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits discrimination,” says Peter Tatchell. In a  moving interview Peter eloquently tells of his past visits to Russia, being singled out and severely beaten because he is gay. The Peter Tatchell Foundation seeks to promote and protect the human rights of individuals, communities and nations, in the UK and internationally, in accordance with established national and international human rights law.

To hear the Life Elsewhere interview with Peter Tatchell go to the Podcast

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