What’s your LGBT news IQ?

Where did Anne Rice announce her departure from Christianity? Who’s replacing Ellen on ‘American Idol’? Test how well you keep up with the LGBT news of the day

Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres
HERE COMES THE JUDGE | Ellen DeGeneres, pictured here with Simon Cowell, is leaving “American Idol.” Who will replace her as judge? See question No. 4.

I have shirked my duty. I haven’t provided you with an LGBT news quiz in an eon. Shocking behavior.

I’m back on the case now, ready to help you figure out whether you know your news.

For each multiple-choice question below, circle the right answer. Or the wrong one — in my current contrite state, I can’t be pushy.

1.  At a rally in Indianapolis, a man held a sign that said, “The solution to gay marriage,” and underneath the words dangled a couple of nooses. Which organization staged the rally?

a. the Republican Party

b. Westboro Baptist Church

c. the National Organization for Marriage

d. the Taliban

2. “Interview with the Vampire” author Anne Rice announced, “In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian.” Rice, mother of gay novelist Christopher Rice, declared she refuses to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist” and “anti-Democrat.” Where did her written declaration appear?

a. in Newsweek

b. on Twitter

c. on Facebook

d. on a church door in Wittenberg

3. Intent on staging a counter protest to Jerusalem’s Pride parade, Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus sought permission to greet marchers with live animals to represent the “bestial” nature of the parade. Which real animals did he want to use?

a. dogs

b. sheep

c. donkeys

d. armadillos

4. Ellen DeGeneres has chosen to leave “American Idol.” Her reported replacement as a judge will be:

a. Rosie O’Donnell

b. RuPaul

c. Jennifer Lopez

d. Madeleine Albright

5. And in further lesbians-and-TV news, the now officially out actress Sara Gilbert (“Roseanne”) will co-host a new daytime talk show in which celebrity moms discuss the trials of motherhood. What will the show be called?

a. “The Mothers”

b. “The Mom Show”

c. “The Talk”

d. “The Stretch Marks”

6. Eight GetEqual protesters were arrested in the Capitol rotunda, their sit-in an effort to push House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring ENDA up for a vote. Pelosi’s spokesperson said:

a. “Go away.”

b. “I told you that floor is cold.”

c. “ . . . passing ENDA before DADT repeal has been finalized jeopardizes both initiatives.”

d. “You people have too many acronyms.”

The answer to each question is c. Since it’s been so long, I didn’t want to strain you by mixing things up.

If you didn’t do well, fear not. I’m feeling sufficiently guilty that I hereby declare everyone has aced the quiz. What’s a little grade inflation between friends?

E-mail Leslie Robinson at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and visit her blog at GeneralGayety.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 6, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Anne Rice quits Christianity, but not Christ

Anne Rice

I have been a fan of author Anne Rice for years. I read her books — the vampire books, the Witching Hour series — over and over. And one of the personal highlights of my 28 years as a journalist was getting the opportunity to interview some years ago.

Then I found out that her son, Christopher Rice — a successful author in his own right — was gay, and that she supported him completely. And I loved her even more.

Then a few years ago, I heard that Anne Rice, who had been an atheist, had found God and become a Christian convert. I couldn’t help but wonder: How would her conversion  affect her relationship with her son? Would she continue to support and love him as always? Would she take the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach? Would she insist he be “cured” of homosexuality? Would she turn her back on him completely.

I also wondered how her conversion would affect her stance on LGBT rights overall and if we were losing an ally.

Well, as it turned out, Anne Rice didn’t think converting to Christianity meant becoming anti-gay. Unfortunately, “Christianity” didn’t agree.

So this week, on Wednesday, July 28, Anne Rice posted a notice on her Facebook page declaring she has “quit Christianity.”

Here’s what she said: “For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

And there was more. She also said, “In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

So, I knew there was a reason I am an Anne Rice fan! I don’t think I have ever heard anyone give a better explanation of the difference between following Christ and being “a Christian.”

Read Karen Ocamb’s blog about Ann Rice’s announcement here. It includes a statement from Christoper Rice as well. Here’s what he had to say:

“For ten years I watched my mother bravely attempt to engage the hostile fundamentalist forces that dominate the leadership of almost every popular Christian denomination. She was met, in most instances with an iron wall of derision and scorn. Her departure from organized religion is a testament to the moral rot that exists at the politcized core of most church leadership. Throughout it all, her love and support of me as a gay man has never wavered and I love her just as much today as I did when she considered herself a member of the Catholic church.”

Oh, and here is the link to Christopher Rice’s Facebook page, just for good measure.

—  admin