Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hate group still hating on Obama

As President Obama leaves office and the Orange Encrusted Overlord prepares to attempt to take his place, the thing which aggravates me probably the most is what people are missing about Obama's time in office.

Obama has said that at times he failed to translate his personal popularity to support for his policies and no doubt, this probably be what a portion of his legacy may be. And it's a fallacy.

No president, as far as I know, had networks, think tanks, and "news sources" constantly undermining him 24 hours a day as Obama did. No president had opposition who constantly pushed lies about his background, his motivations, and the successes of his policies as Obama did.

Case in point is this nonsense below. Even though he is leaving office, the anti-lgbt hate group the American Family Association, through its phony news service One News Now, can't resist taking at least one more dig at Obama via a false poll:

America is substantially better in all of these areas as Obama leaves office, but One News Now will spin it in the opposite direction. And of course its "Christian" readers will respond like sheep. As of 7:51 a.m. PST, the results are:

Some have claimed that Obama always had a problem with white evangelicals. When any group, be they white evangelicals or anyone else, are constantly relying on a news sources which gives consistently them negative headlines and articles about Obama, what does one expect him to have BUT problems.

Ironically, One News Now is also running articles implying that we need to "come together" under President Trump.

Keep dreaming. It ain't gonna happen.

Friday, January 13, 2017

'Some homophobia & transphobia simply cannot be ignored' & other Fri. midday news briefs

This is Theodore Shoebat, an incredibly insane Christian militant who was fairly popular in religious right circles, even appearing in an anti-lgbt documentary created by Janet Folger in 2015 and starting some nonsense about gay bakeries refusing to cater to homophobes in 2014. The video above is an example of why those folks are now wary to associate with him. In December, he verbally attacked the editors of National Geographic for putting a transgender child on the cover and also verbally attacked the child. He isn't joking. He means everything he says and it is the reason why sometimes we can't ignore homophobia or transphobia. Someone is always listening. 

156 LGBT Elected Officials Call On President-elect to Advance LGBT Equality During His Presidency - Noble endeavor. 

 Pompeo tells Kamala Harris he won’t discriminate against LGBT workers at the CIA - Senator Kamala Harris grills Trump's pick to run the CIA, Mike Pompeo, on lgbt rights in the organization. Conservative magazines and online news sources aren't happy. To hell with them and good for her!

LGBT groups 'heartened' by Mattis' testimony - Looks like at least one pick in Trump's cabinet has good sense. 

Trump Nominee Won’t Disavow Claim That Women, LGBTQ Soldiers Harm Military - But then again, there is is an alternate view of the situation. 

 Making Elder Homes More LGBT-Friendly - An important article.

Family Research Council ignores 'Christian' values in rejoicing over possible Obamacare repeal

Family Research Council happy about possible Obamacare repeal.

Even though this blog focuses specifically on lgbt issues, there are times I have to comment on other issues. And regarding the issue of the GOP attempting to repeal Obamacare, I must say that I am amazed and disturbed about the spin the Family Research Council is attempting to put over on its supporters:
President Obama has been unwilling -- and soon, unable -- to undo his policy blunders like Obamacare, but Congress is giving his successor a chance to try. In the wee hours of this morning, the Senate took the first step of a journey that Republicans have been on for the last seven years: the repeal of Obamacare and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. For all of the question marks heading into last night's marathon session, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered on his biggest promise -- to pass a budget resolution that would clear the decks for rolling back Obama's worst atrocities.

By the slimmest of margins, 51-48, he held together his coalition -- which was no small feat after the threats of at least five moderate Republicans earlier in the week. By 1:36 a.m., when members finally walked bleary-eyed to their cars, 180 amendments had been filed (and 20 voted on) in the unique budget free-for-all -- which, for all the frenzy, isn't even legally binding. As it has for years, the Senate uses this crazy process to map out a budget blueprint. The benefit is that, unlike other legislative business, leaders can offer an unlimited number of amendments without worrying about filibusters. That usually means senators will take the opportunity to make a political point -- or try to get their colleagues on the record on an issue that they can use to their advantage in campaign ads later on. "Unlike normal legislation, which can be debated for weeks on end, this law limits the total debate time for a budget resolution to 50 hours... This is quite different from the process on a normal bill," former Senate staffer Keith Hennessey once explained, "where you can offer an amendment but not be assured of a quick vote."

By the end, the Senate will typically have crammed in a third of their votes for the year into this one chaotic night. While our government affairs team worked late tracking amendments, there were a few surprises. As usual, the president's party tried to throw a few wrenches into the process, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-N.Y.) "women's health" amendment, which would have stopped the GOP from making any changes to Obamacare that affect the contraception mandate or taxpayer-funded abortion. Fortunately, the Senate deadlocked, killing it by a tie vote (49-49).

Although no one is settled on an official replacement plan for Obamacare, the hows and whens took a backseat to getting this crucial vote out of the way. Knowing that America is also on the path to hollowing out federal tax funding of Planned Parenthood should taste sweet to the millions of voters who streamed into polling places to protect the unborn. The bottom line is the bottom line: Planned Parenthood doesn't need taxpayer dollars. All the government's contributions do is enable Cecile Richards's group to spend more money on politics and candidates who support their radical agenda. This forced partnership must end. And thanks to Senator Mitch McConnell's leadership, it's well on its way.

Granted, I despise the Family Research Council because the group was founded to undermine lgbt equality via lies and junk science under the guise of religion. But I am also incredibly disturbed how unbelievably tone deaf the group is about the dangers of  an Obamacare repeal.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

'Will Caitlyn Jenner attend Trump's inauguration?' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Caitlyn Jenner at Trump's inauguration? We will see.
Caitlyn Jenner Will Reportedly Attend Donald Trump’s Inauguration - Now some folks may think this is a bad thing, but I say it has wonderful potential. Sit her next to Franklin Graham or Tony Perkins. If so, I hope she knows judo or owns some pepper spray. Especially if she tries to shake Trump's hand. 

 Tillerson declines to say whether ‘gay rights are human rights’ - Trump claims that he will be an lgbt ally, but his nominee for Secretary of State won't say if our rights are human rights. It's a simple trick using your mouth - YEEES! 

Anti-lgbt hate group wants 'religious liberty' for Kim Burrell but not for Carrie Underwood - My post from this morning. It's going viral, but I want more. This is a wonderful discussion for the lgbt community to initiate BEFORE any Congressional action on one of those dreary "religious liberty" bills. Just whose "religious liberty" are they looking to protect? 

 Gay man legally donates blood after a year with no sex - I love his commitment, but at the same time, ugh to the dumb rule which made him do it in the manner which he did. 

 Donald Trump’s Inauguration Singer Speaks Out Against Transgender Bathroom Bills - Good for her in the way she used her platform!

Anti-lgbt hate group wants 'religious liberty' for Kim Burrell but not for Carrie Underwood

The American Family Association pushes the idea that criticizing Kim Burrell (first picture) for her homophobic sermon is anti-Christian persecution. But at the same time, the group criticized the selection of marriage equality supporter  Carrie Underwood (second picture) as a singer for a recent Christian festival. Why does AFA believe that Burrell deserves 'religious liberty' for her beliefs, but not Underwood?

 Under the Trump Administration, there will probably be a Congressional battle regarding the so-called concept of "religious liberty." When that time comes, I expect there to be a huge inundation of horror stories about "Christian"business owners being "forced" to act in opposition of their faith and serve members of the lgbt community. No doubt, the focus will be on bakeries, flower shops, and other wedding businesses. Of course the effects of "religious liberty" bills becoming law will be the allowance of discrimination against the lgbt community in a wide variety of places other than wedding businesses (because those individuals and groups supporting these bills have neglected to say where a line should be drawn) under the guise of religious expression.

We all know that when the religious right talks about "religious liberty," they are pushing anti-lgbt discrimination in terms which make it sound more palpable. My guess is that they don't really mean "religious liberty" for everyone.

Two recent incidents and a hate group's response to these incidents prove my point.

Popular singer Carrie Underwood has been criticized because she recently sang at Atlanta's Passion, an evangelical conference for youth. The reason? She supports marriage equality in accordance to her religious beliefs.  Leading the charge against Underwood is the anti-lgbt hate group, the American Family Association.

Via its online phony news site, One News Now, AFA focused two articles on criticizing Underwood and the founder of the conference, Louis Giglio. Both articles highlighted a letter written to Giglio by Wesley Wildmon, AFA's director of Outreach. The letter itself appeared Engage Magazine, another online project of AFA.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

'Sessions says he will uphold pro-lgbt laws, lgbts of color done with black church hypocrisy,' and other Wed midday news briefs

Jeff Sessions Says He’ll Uphold LGBTQ Protections - So in his hearing yesterday, Trump's pick for attorney general Jeff Sessions claims that a woman's right to choose and marriage equality are "settled" laws. That s until the religious right and their allies attempt to drudge up challenges. He may become our attorney general, but Sessions will be watched intensely.

Jeff Sessions Deflects Questions About His Anti-LGBT Record - More details from yesterday.

 Kim Burrell Reminds Us How The Black Church Uses, Abuses Gay Christians - Kim Burrell's attack on the gay community is the last straw to many of us lgbts in color. As Irene Monroe says in this wonderful piece, the conciliatory attitude lgbts of color take when attacked by the Black church has been thrown out of stained glass window. We have had it up to our necks with helping to create the ambiance of black church worship behind the scenes while being called sinners in public. And we've are SO OVER scenes like in the above video. Remember him?
‘Visionary’ Religious Right Activist Mike Farris Takes Over Alliance Defending Freedom - An anti-lgbt group has a new leader who is as odious as the old one. It's important that we keep tabs on these folks and groups.

Don’t Forget Exxon’s Lousy Record On Gays And Women - Today, Trump's pick for Secretary of State, former Exxon Mobil CEO, has his hearing. I wonder will questions about Exxon's crappy record on lgbt rights come up?

President Obama's Farewell Address

He is the first African-America president and came into office hoping to repair a bad economy without the help of the GOP, who chose to oppose everything he pushed.

But he was successful, loved, and will be remembered as one of this country's greatest presidents. AND his administration was scandal-free. He redefined humility, love of country, and helped to bring lgbt equality to the mainstream. Enjoy President Obama's farewell address:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

'Religious right leaders thrilled that Dept. of Justice 'will no longer be obsessed with this civil rights issue'' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Editor's note -  The hearing of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next Attorney General is happening this morning. It has been interesting, particularly what he said about marriage equality. He tried to be general but I don't think he answered the question. If anything, it may give us a clue as to how religious right groups will attempt to dial it back. There will be more on that later. I'm guessing that since the GOP is the majority of the Senate, he will get through. However, do not despair. He is just a player put in place. He is neither the game nor the end of the game.

Jordan Sekulow: Under Sessions, DOJ Will No Longer Be ‘Obsessed With This Civil Rights Issue’ - Okay this makes NO sense. But these are the Sekulows who, for those who don't know, have made an obscenely large amount of money suing in the name of Jesus. Apparently they missed the story about Jesus and the rich man. 

A day in the life after you've been kicked out for being LGBTQ - A sad occurrence which needs more attention paid to it.

 Anti-lgbt hate group caught in lie about incident in MA public restroom - My post from this morning demonstrating how the American Family Association lied when smearing the transgender community for a recent incident in Massachusetts.

Kerry apologizes for past LGBT discrimination at State Department - We needed to hear this even though it took so @#$! long!

The White House LGBT Liaison Is Worried Trump Will Scrap The Position - If we hear that Trump tries to do this, we should make lots of noise. We need this White House Liasion.

Anti-lgbt hate group caught in lie about incident in MA public restroom

The American Family Association just got caught in a lie.

An attack on the rights of transgender men and women exploiting the "bathroom predator" myth demonstrates just how eager religious right groups are when it comes to telling lies and smearing lgbts.

One News Now, the fake news publication of the anti-lgbt hate group American Family Association ran an article yesterday which claimed that transgender women put other women at risk in the public restrooms in Massachusetts. In order to justify this claim, the publication referenced a recent event:

A woman who requested anonymity was in a women's bathroom at a T.J. Maxx in Plainville, Massachusetts and recalls her experience in an interview with WCVB TV:

"I looked down and I saw a man's shoes, and as I looked up, there was the camera. His cell phone camera was in my stall."

She left and asked store personnel to call police, and when they let her know they were forbidden to do so, she made a 9-1-1 call herself. Police soon arrived and arrested 48-year-old Gabriel Muniz, who has pled not guilty. But Chanel Prunier of Keep MA Safe tells OneNewsNow this woman may not have been the only victim.

"When security later viewed the footage, they found that he had been in the bathroom for over a half hour, so it's entirely possible that he videoed and photographed other women without their knowledge," Prunier reports.

Similar incidents have been reported throughout the country, especially at Target stores. But in Massachusetts, the problems stem from a state anti-discrimination law that includes transgenders. That means a man can say he is transgender, whether or not it is the truth, and pose privacy and safety dangers for women.

Unfortunately, the incident did take place, so One News Now's rendition of the situation was accurate EXCEPT for the last part:

  . . . in Massachusetts, the problems stem from a state anti-discrimination law that includes transgenders.

Nothing in the original story (the link was provided by One News Now itself) said anything about the transgender community. And no one indicated that the suspect pretended to be a transgender woman. Not the victim, not the police, and definitely not the suspect himself. Basically there nothing to indicate that the incident had anything to with the state's anti-discrimination law.

No doubt, One News Now and the American Family Association hoped to scare its readers by pushing a horror story. What they succeeded in doing is demonstrating just how low they will stoop to attack the transgender community.

Monday, January 09, 2017

'Don't get distracted by Meryl Streep's dragging of Trump' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Streep's dragging of Trump shouldn't distract us from this week's cabinet hearings.

Editor's note - Meryl Streep's dragging of Trump during last night's Golden Globe Awards was truly sweet. However, don't let it - and especially Trump's ridiculous response to it - distract you from the fact that the GOP is trying to push in multiple confirmation hearings of his cabinet nominees this week. And these nominees have NOT been thoroughly vetted. A distracted people cannot unite to oppose wrongdoing.

Lambda Legal: Jeff Sessions Would Put LGBT Rights at Grave Risk if Confirmed - For example, THIS guy Trump wants to appoint as Attorney General. 

 Ted Cruz Lost, But Trump Is Giving the Religious Right His Cabinet - AND the rest. 

 In other news:

 Moonlight wins Golden Globe Award for Best Picture-Drama - In a huge coup last night, Moonlight, a movie about being a black gay man in America, nabbed the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama. I think this makes it the "dark horse" (apologies) for Best Picture at the Oscars. Double sweet! I would be happy for several nominations.  

"Moonlight" Director Explains The Need For Diverse Storytelling In Trump’s America - Speaking of which . . . AMEN!!  

Percy Jackson author snubs Texas lawmakers over ‘nonsense’ bathroom bill - I own two of his books! Good for him! 

 Gordon Klingenschmitt: Gay People ‘Should Be Disqualified Immediately’ From Being Teachers ‘Because Of Their Immorality’ - Gurl, sit your behind down! 

Anti-lgbt hate group removed from list of Connecticut approved charities for payroll deductions.

AFA gets smacked down by Connecticut

It's no doubt that the following item will be exploited as an example of how Christians are supposedly being "persecuted" in America:

From the Hartford Courant:

Mississippi-based Christian organization is being dropped from a list of approved charities for state employees after the group failed to provide a copy of its anti-discrimination policy.
Timothy K. Newtown, chair of the Connecticut State Employee Campaign Committee, wrote to the group's president, Tim Wildmon, on Thursday notifying them they were being removed. The program allows state employees to direct payroll deductions to a charity of their choice.

"I am grateful for the committee's unanimous vote to remove AFA from the state charitable campaign – and I'm proud to live in a state that broadly prohibits discrimination, whether based on an individual's race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, national origin, ancestry or disability," Lembo, who is openly gay, said in a written statement.
Apparently, this was a unanimous vote of the Connecticut State Employees’ Campaign (CSEC) Committee. But before the vote, the AFA chose to focus on Lembo's sexual orientation:

 Lembo had asked the group for information regarding its non-discrimination policy and the group responded by asking its members to contact Lembo for attacking their group’s Biblical beliefs and what they saw as his attempt to diminish those beliefs by asking for information about discrimination. Lembo has said most of the communications were uninformed.

Not that I'm telling anyone anything that they aren't aware of but for the record, the American Family Association is a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group. According to SPLC:

The AFA has been extremely vocal over the years in its opposition to LGBT rights, marriage equality and allowing gay men and lesbians to serve in the military. The group's arguments are filled with claims that equate homosexuality with pedophilia and argue that there's a "homosexual agenda" afoot that is set to bring about the downfall of American (and ultimately, Western) civilization. In one October 2004 article, the AFA Journal suggested that gay influences are leading to a "grotesque culture" that will include "quick encounters in the middle school boys' restroom."

For years, until 2010, the AFA had a section on its website that supposedly exposed "The Homosexual Agenda." There, a reader could find articles and other AFA publications that claimed LGBT people were trying to force the acceptance of homosexuality on children through sex education programs in schools; condemned companies like Disney for supporting LGBT rights and programming; and, also until 2010, featured a particularly noxious booklet the AFA had published in 1994. That booklet, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths, included the bogus research of thoroughly discredited psychologist Paul Cameron as a source. One of the publication's authors, Richard Howe, used Cameron's "research" to claim that LGBT people don't live as long as heterosexuals, that they're more promiscuous and that the "disgusting details of the homosexual lifestyle explain why so many diseases are present in the homosexual community." Another claim was that "[p]rominent homosexual leaders and publications have voiced support for pedophilia, incest, sadomasochism, and even bestiality."

The question shouldn't be should the AFA be included on the list of groups Connecticut employees can donate to via payroll deductions. The question should be how in the world did the AFA get on this list in the first place.

Friday, January 06, 2017

''Religious right tries to silence Carrie Underwood while whining about lgbt 'thought police' & other Fri. midday news briefs

Carrie Underwood

Christians decry ‘thought police’ then call for blacklisting Carrie Underwood

The Stunning Hypocrisy Of The AFA’s ‘Thought Police’

Just so we are clear - Kim Burrell calling us "perverted" is perfectly okay and the "homosexual thought police" should "stop trying to destroy her career." Carrie Underwood supporting lgbt equality? Unacceptable! She should shut up! She is not a Christian! How dare she gets invited to sing at a Christian conference. I hope you all know that the religious right will attempt to get away with such rank hypocrisy if no one calls them out on it.

Texas and Virginia join other states competing for the most anti-trans legislation - Just an opening salvo. We knew it was coming. That doesn't mean we are going to lose and it certainly doesn't mean we need to get all chicken#@!%. Bring it on.

'Bathroom bills' are cynical exploitation of parental fears - This morning's post to chew on.
Coachella’s Owner Under Fire For Alleged Ties To Anti-LGBTQ Groups - This is HUGE!

'Bathroom bills' are cynical exploitation of parental fears

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick held a press conference on Thursday announcing that he will be pushing an an awful anti-transgender bathroom bill which is similar to North Carolina's HB2.

The bill is terrible enough, but what really puts the icing on this bitter cake is the propaganda used by the Family Research Council to defend it:

If Texas thought it had seen the end of the transgender bathroom agenda, they were mistaken! After the overwhelming defeat voters delivered to the Houston mayor and city council for its gender-free, anti-religious liberty ordinance, conservatives are ready for the next chapter: more permanent protections against this dangerous and unpopular crusade of the Left. Like most sane people, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) doesn't think grown men should be sharing fitting rooms, locker rooms, showers, and restrooms with little girls.
To put the brakes on the Left's campaign, Lt. Gov. Patrick has teamed up with State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, in unveiling a statewide bill, the Texas Privacy Act of 2017 (S.B. 6), which would bar public schools, state government agencies, and political subdivisions from throwing open bathroom doors to people of the opposite sex. Sounds reasonable, right? Not to the Left, which is already fueling up its propaganda machine to pump out false information about the measure would and wouldn't do. "I don't know what problem he's proposing to solve," said Chuck Smith of Equality Texas. Why not ask the women and children at Target stores, who have been victims of voyeurs or sexual predators under genderless policies like these? Or the high school girls in Illinois, who are so afraid to undress in the locker room that they wear their gym clothes under their regular ones? The concern is not that transgendered individuals are more likely to be sexual predators, but rather that sexual predators could exploit such laws by posing as transgendered in order to gain access to women and girls.

Although the bill is similar to North Carolina's H.B. 2, this version is exclusively focused on bathroom and shower privacy. It doesn't preempt local entities from taking a position on gender identity in the context of hiring, housing, health care, or public accommodations like the Tar Heels' did. "This is a public safety issue, not a discrimination issue," Patrick said. "It's about common courtesy and privacy, particularly for women." And that's a goal both sides can get behind!

First of all, let's look at the links provided by FRC in answer to Chuck Smith of Equality Texas. Both are questionable. One is from another anti-lgbt site, One News Now (which pushes heavily slanted news courtesy of an anti-lgbt hate group, the American Family Association). It talks about an alleged incident in Texas where a man was caught filming a women in a public restroom. I say alleged because no link to any article talking about the incident was provided.

The second link is from Fox News personality Todd Starnes, a man infamous for creating false stories of anti-Christian persecution. In any legitimate media organization, Starnes wouldn't be able to get a job cleaning bathrooms, much less writing articles about them. Of course it is Fox News which employs Starnes. That speaks for itself.

But what really gets me going in a negative way about FRC's propaganda was a phrase it uses when talking about the issue:

 Like most sane people, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) doesn't think grown men should be sharing fitting rooms, locker rooms, showers, and restrooms with little girls.

That's not a deliberate concern of FRC. It's a deliberate reliance on fear by conjuring up images of disgusting predators dressed unconvincingly as women being alone with innocent little girls.

Like this:

 And therein is the problem. You will notice that FRC doesn't say a word about transgender children or transgender men. The organization stooped to the lowest common denominator, the most extreme example in order to exploit parental fear. FRC deliberately plants a seed in the minds of parents. It's  just a little seed, but it is strong enough to blossom into a full spread paranoia. People will gladly act in error when it comes to the safety of their children. Religious right organizations like FRC know this and that is why in almost every issue of lgbt equality, be it marriage equality, lgbt ordinances, and especially transgender equality, they deliberately take the form of Helen Lovejoy from 'The Simpsons' and interject their battle cry "won't someone please think of the children" into the fight.

They do this because facts aren't on their side, especially not in the case of transgender women using public restrooms. The transgender predator image is an ugly creation which has been debunked time after time.

But every time it's debunked, so-called Christians groups like FRC continue to conjure it up. They know they are lying but they don't care.  They just don't care.