The Blue Review: Oases of Welcome

In an exclusive interview for The Blue Review, I had the great honor to sit down with gay icon and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson. We talked about marriage equality, religious freedom, Add the Words and more.


Blue Review, Boise State University, BSU

Oases of Welcome

Openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson visits Boise

gene-robinson-660x300“Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop, was the keynote speaker at the Pacific Northwest regional conference for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Boise Oct. 4 at the Riverside hotel. About 130 PFLAG members from nine Northwest states attended. Some events were open to the community like the healing and reconciliation service on Sunday, officiated by Bishop Robinson — especially for LGBT people who have been hurt and rejected by their faiths.”

Read the entire interview HERE on The Blue Review

Crusade of Hate Lead by American Christian Radicals to Blame for Anti-LGBT Laws

Remember these guys?

Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, Don Schmierer, Rick Warren, Lou Engle, Richard Cohen, Uganda, Hate, Homosexuality

(from left to right) Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries, “Ex-gay counselor” Caleb Brundidge and Don Schmierer from Exodus International, Richard Cohen, who’s book Coming Our Straight was used in Uganda as proof homosexuality is a choice, Pastor Rick Warren of the California based Saddleback mega church and Lou Engel of revival group The Call.

Imagine what would happen if people like us were forced to hide in our homes for fear of being arrested, beaten or killed for simply trying to live our lives.

Well, in Uganda today our LGBT brothers and sisters are in hiding and living in fear for their lives because of a successful campaign of hate with roots right here in America.

These men (pictured left) and other Americans created a firestorm of hate that has led to the creation of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was signed into law on Feb. 24, 2014.

Under the new law, any Ugandan convicted of “Aggravated Homosexuality” will spend their life in prison, that is if they are not beaten or killed by angry mobs first.

Continue reading

VIDEO: Bryan Fischer – THE PROPAGANDIST

The Propagandist is an in-depth investigative piece about Fischer’s history in Idaho written for the Southern Poverty Law Center by Idaho journalists Jody May-Chang and Jill Kuraitis, both of whom have closely followed Fischer’s activities for many years. The article is included in a 23-page report issued by the SPLC Oct. 10, 2011

Oct 14, 2011 May-Chang discusses Fischer and the SPLC Report on Fox talk radio KLIX 1310, Twin Falls Idaho.

To hear the entire KLIX interview and download the full report, “THE PROPAGANDISTS: Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association & the Demonization of LGBT People”, please visit: http://may-chang.com/?p=3686

Hear Me! My Name is Catherine!
Legally a Woman, Jailed Among Men

On The Record with Catherine Carlson

Catherine Carlson in Payette Country JailA small and fragile transgender woman sits behind bars in solitary in a men’s section of an Idaho county jail for crimes sparked by years of mental and emotional torture brought on my a malicious parent, cruel state actions, and a savage legal system that refuses to recognize the most personal part of an individual’s identity, gender.

Meet Catherine Carlson, a 56-year-old, on her way to prison after years of what she describes as being terrorized by her family, the State of Idaho and the police.

Read her story and listen to Catherine’s emotional courtroom testimony and exclusive jailhouse interviews of why she says she finally came to the end of her rope and snapped.

On July 11, 2010 she set fire to her home and truck and was later arrested walking down the highway naked.

Convicted of first-degree arson, possession of a hoax destructive devise and indecent exposure, Catherine is facing up to 40 years in prison.

In this compelling and heart-wrenching story about one woman’s quest for simple respect and human dignity, Catherine talks exclusively to investigative journalist, Jody May-Chang from the Payette Country Jail as she awaits sentencing.

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Earlier Reporting On This Story:

Kristina Ross Guilty on Battery Charges

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Apr. 21, 2011

Kristina RossToday Kristina Ross, the woman arrested for practicing medicine without a license after allegedly offering breast exams in two area bars, was sentenced to 360 days in jail with 157 days deducted for time served.

Ross will serve out the balance of 203 days in county jail followed by two years of unsupervised probation. Ross also must abide by two no contact orders with the victims and pay a $1,000 fine, as well as pay court costs and an additional $700 for the reimbursement of the psycho-sexual evaluation she underwent as a part of the plea to reduce the charges from felony practicing medicine without a license to two misdemeanor charges of battery.

Judge John Hawley called Ross a con and said that although the case was presented in the media as titillating and, some thought, humorous, there was nothing funny about the humiliation the victims were made to feel by Ross’ actions.

After a psycho-sexual evaluation, the judge said the therapist who evaluated Ross concluded that her transgender status was not a factor in her crime. However she was found to be bi-polar with a borderline personality disorder and likely to re-offend.

Carlson Talks After Guilt Verdict

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Apr. 18, 2011

After being found guilty of first degree arson, possessing a hoax destructive device and indecent exposure on April 14, Citydesk talked to Catherine Carlson about her conviction.

“Well I expected it, and I didn’t expect it, and it blew my mind … I [am going] to prison because I couldn’t transfer that title of that trailer into my name because I refuse to register as transgender,” said Carlson.

The 56-year-old Payette woman has a long history of physical and psychological abuse, and has had numerous encounters with the courts and law enforcement over the years.

July 11, 2010, Carlson torched the trailer where she lived, placed four fake pipe bombs on her doorstep and put a note on her front door that read, “No one inside, booby trapped, it’s not worth your life, keep out.” She then headed to a storage facility where she set her truck on fire. Carlson was arrested shortly afterward, while walking naked down Highway 95 in Payette. Continue reading

Catherine Carlson Found Guilty On All Charges

It took the jury of five women and seven men one hour to come to a verdict, finding 56 year-old Catherine Carlson guilty of first degree arson, possessing a hoax destructive device and indecent exposure.

After the verdict Carlson’s attorney Phillip Heersink said that although he “was not overly surprised” he was still “disappointed” by the decision.

Against Heersink’s advice, Carlson took the stand as the only witness for the defense. Extremely thin and gaunt, the weathered looking Carlson began her testimony restrained and respectful. She responded to her attorney’s questions regarding the events leading up to her July 11, 2010 arrest.

During cross-examination Payette Country prosecutor Anne Marie Kelso’s, line of questioning agitated Carlson. It got particularly emotional during the following exchange between Carlson and Kelso. Continue reading

Catherine Carlson’s day in court
Advocates suggest a hospital is more appropriate than prison

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
NEWS FEATURE: Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Apr. 6, 2011

Catherine Carlson, Boise Weekly, Transgender, Prison, IdahoCatherine Carlson knows that when she steps into the Payette County courtroom on Tuesday, April 12, she faces the possibility of spending the rest of her days in prison. She also knows that she is her only defense witness. But she wants her day in court.

Carlson, a 53-year-old transsexual woman, is charged with three felonies: first-degree arson, unlawful possession of a bomb or destructive device, and usage of a hoax destructive device. She is also facing a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure. All told, she faces up to 35 years behind bars and a $120,000 fine.

On the morning of July 11, 2010, firefighters responded to a report of a blaze in a Payette trailer park. Tension quickly mounted when authorities discovered alleged pipe bombs rigged to a propane tank on the front porch of one of the trailers. Attached was a note warning that the home was booby-trapped. Law enforcement evacuated the area while bomb technicians defused the device.

Within an hour, firefighters received another call, this time for a car that had been set ablaze near a storage unit north of Payette. Emergency dispatchers received a third call shortly thereafter. Drivers on U.S. Highway 95 near Payette said they had seen a naked woman running down the highway. It was Carlson. Police said she owned the vehicle and the trailer home. Continue reading