compiled by Chris Tittel, qnotes contributor & Lainey Millen, qnotes staff

Southern belle chimes in on Kim Davis

Hannah Roberts, aka Miss Mississippi, is a biochemistry graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi, and she recently lit up social media after throwing a bit of Southern-style shade at Rowan County clerk Kim Davis during the Sept. 13 finals of the Miss America contest.

“Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was jailed for defying the Supreme Court’s order to issue same-sex marriage licenses. She claims the order violates her religious freedom. Does it?” the judge asked.

Though she had 20 seconds to answer the question, Roberts only needed half the time. Without missing a beat, she smiled and said: “It absolutely does not violate her religious freedom. That is her job that she was voted into doing, and that law is a federal law throughout the rest of the country. So, yes, she did violate the law there. Thank you.”

Afterwards, Roberts was met with thunderous applause from the auditorium. Some folks on social media, however, weren’t so supportive of the response.

“Renowned theologian Miss Mississippi says Kim Davis violated federal law,” Fox News contributor Todd Starnes tweeted.

“She lost it with her Kim Davis answer,” another person tweeted.

Roberts may not have been crowned Miss America, but she certainly won in our book, LGBTQ Nation commented.

LGBTQ Nation (lgbtqnation.com), a qnotes media partner

South Carolina student suspended for ‘disruptive’ T-shirt

WCBD 2 News reports that Brianna Popour, a gay student at Chesnee High School in South Carolina, has been suspended after refusing to remove her “Nobody Knows I’m a Lesbian” T-shirt.

Popour claims she wore it to encourage other students to come to terms with their sexuality, but was told to either change her outfit or go home.

When she pointed out that there was nothing in the school’s dress code that suggested there was anything wrong with the shirt, she was told by an administrator that “not everything is in the handbook” and that the shirt was “disruptive.” Then she was suspended.

Brianna’s mother, Barbara Popour, says the move was discriminatory and is fighting back against the school.

“Isn’t that what school is supposed to teach you?” Brianna asked. “To be happy with who you are? Maybe people will be more comfortable showing who they are, because you should be able to wear what you want to wear.”

Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth and Family Program at Human Rights Campaign Foundation, is strongly against the school’s decision and thinks it could be damaging to other gay students.

“It’s quite an extreme measure,” she told Dailymail.com. “I think the majority of school administrators and national organizations would tend to agree that it’s an extreme punitive reaction.”

LGBTQ Nation (lgbtqnation.com), a qnotes media partner

‘Straight’ couple’s message on hell burns server

Here’s the advice a gay server has for a couple who recently wrote “straight” on their receipt and left along a bit of fire and brimstone Christian literature: Don’t.

Britton Weaver of Boise, Idaho, recently served a middle-aged couple lunch and remembers them as pleasant and respectful.

That is, until the bill came.

“They signed their receipt not as their first or last name; they signed it as ‘Straight,’” said Weaver.

The pamphlet titled “What you miss by being a Christian” with headline “HELL!” made their intention clear.

“I got a little offended. I got a little angered by it,” said Weaver.

Maybe the 21 percent tip helped soften the unsolicited “you’ll burn for eternity if you don’t address your perversion” message.

LGBTQ Nation (lgbtqnation.com), a qnotes media partner

Actor Tom Hardy’s sexuality? Um…

At a recent press conference for the upcoming gangster film “Legend,” one reporter discovered that beating around the bush isn’t always the best way to get an answer.

“In the film, your character Ronnie is very open about his sexuality,” Graeme Coleman from Canadian LGBT-outlet Daily Xtra asked star Tom Hardy. “But given interviews you’ve done in the past, your own sexuality seems a bit more ambiguous. Do you find it hard for celebrities to talk to media about their sexuality?”

“What on earth are you on about?” he responds.

Then Coleman gets to the real reason he asked — not to hear Hardy’s broad stance on how celebrities discuss their sexuality with the media, but to bring up those “past interviews” for the sake of attention.

Hardy told Attitude in 2008 that he’d experimented with guys as a teenager. In part, he said, “I’m an actor, for f*ck’s sake. I’ve played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I’m in my thirties, it doesn’t do it for me.

“I don’t find it difficult for celebrities to talk about their sexuality,” Hardy answered Coleman before asking, “Um, are you asking me about my sexuality?”

“Um… sure,” says Coleman.

Hardy responds, “Why?” to which Coleman comes back with “Um.”

“Thank you,” Hardy says, moving on to the next question. : :

LGBTQ Nation (lgbtqnation.com), a qnotes media partner

QUICK HITS

Rabbis push for inclusivity
NEW YORK, N.Y. — The Reform Movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis released “Mishkan HaNefesh,” a new machzor (prayer book), for the High Holidays that is more inclusive, self-reflective and embraces an open-minded approach. The two-volume set is especially mindful and inclusive liturgically with regard to the feminist and LGBT communities and prayers are inclusive.
info: urj.org. ccarnet.org. ccarpress.org.

rainbowdoritosSnack goes rainbow
PLANO, Texas — For those who are tortilla chip fans, then the upcoming launch of Doritos’ rainbow-colored chips will be right up one’s alley. The Pride flag inspired snack is being rolled out in partnership with the non-profit It Gets Better to show support for the LGBT community. Available in cool ranch flavor, this is a limited edition offering.
info: fritolay.com.

Conference opens registration
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 28th Creating Change Conference slated for Jan. 20-24, 2016 in Chicago, Ill., is now open for early bird registration. The National LGBTQ Task Force produces the conference annually as a way to cultivate leaders and activists toward making strides in equality and enabling innovation. Visit the website to register or to learn more about the conference, its speakers and workshops, as well as other aspects of the event.
info: creatingchange.org.

‘Go purple’ against bullying
NEW YORK, N.Y. — GLAAD is counting down the days to Spirit Day to be held on Oct. 15. In preparation, it has assembled its Spirit Day Kit with anti-bullying resources for students, parents and teachers. Presenting partners, Target and Wells Fargo have lent theirsupport to bring this initiative to fruition, as well as other companies, sports leagues and more.
info: glaad.org/spiritday.

Org gives safety kits
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Aug. 31, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network began giving away 2,000 Safe Space Kits to K-12 educators across the country. The initiative was so successful that at press time all of the kits have been spoken for. They did so to create a positive learning environment for every student. Kits included 10 Safe Space stickers to help students identify safe and welcoming areas in their schools, a Safe Space poster, and a guidebook giving concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students. Wells Fargo helped fund the project. In 2013, every middle and high schools received a kit, numbering 63,000 units.
info: glsen.org.

History project opens
ATLANTA, Ga. — On Sept. 3, the Center for Civil and Human Rights opened its doors for “Forward Together: A Look at Atlanta’s LGBT History Since Stonewall,” a temporary exhibition which showcases the history and struggles on Atlanta’s contemporary gay rights movement. Individuals from area universities, historical societies, media, as well as national representatives serve as the curatorial team. Tickets are available online for those who wish to visit the exhibit.
info: civilandhumanrights.org.