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Pennsylvania school board criticized for cancelling gay actor's anti-bullying speech

Education leaders have criticized a Pennsylvania school board for cancelling an upcoming appearance by actor and children's book author Maulik Pancholy, who is gay and was scheduled to speak against bullying at a middle school assembly. The board cited concerns about Pancholy's activism and lifestyle, as well as a policy against hosting overtly political events. The decision has sparked backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and others, with some calling it homophobic and starting online petitions to reinstate Pancholy's appearance.

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Image credit: Wikipedia Photo - Own work (By: Larry D. Moore)

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Pope Francis Apologizes for Using Homophobic Slur During Meeting With Italian Bishops

Pope Francis has apologized for using a homophobic slur during a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops in May 2024. He reportedly used the term while reaffirming the Catholic Church's ban on gay men being ordained priests, stating that there was already an “air of faggotness” in seminaries. The Vatican has stated that Francis did not intend to offend and expressed regret for any hurt caused by his language. Though Francis has offered a more welcoming public stance towards LGBTQ+ Catholics in recent years, this incident highlights the ongoing tension between his personal views and the Church’s official teaching against homosexuality.

Image credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

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Judge Blocks Gag Order on Trump in Classified Documents Case, Citing Procedural Issues

Judge Aileen Cannon, overseeing the classified documents case against Donald Trump, rejected a request by prosecutors to restrict Trump's public statements about law enforcement. Cannon ruled that prosecutors did not follow proper procedures by failing to adequately confer with Trump's defense lawyers before filing the gag order request. While prosecutors argued the gag order was necessary to protect law enforcement from potential threats after Trump made false claims about their intentions during a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate, Cannon criticized the timing and lack of pre-filing discussions, suggesting that the effort was more about optics than substance. The judge's decision highlights the ongoing friction between the Trump-appointed judge and the Justice Department, and it leaves the door open for prosecutors to potentially resubmit the request after proper consultation.

Image credit: Steven Hirsch - Pool/Getty Images

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