Tuesday, March 28, 2017

'Hate group accuses Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Tom Hanks, & Alec Baldwin of pushing 'aggressive gay agenda'' & other Tue midday news briefs

Anti-lgbt hate group accusing Amy Poehler and Tina Fey of pushing 'gay agenda.'

Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler accused of pushing an ‘aggressive gay agenda’ - The anti-lgbt hate group Liberty Counsel have accused Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Alec Baldwin of pushing an "aggressive gay agenda" because they are supporting a telethon for the American Civil Liberties Union. I have one question - why can't gay men keep their mouths shut. I mean that's four spies whose covers are blown! #snark 

School Pulls Book About Gender Non-Conforming Kid After Backlash - Meanwhile, those books about a wolf eating a little girl with interesting fashion sense, a blondie breaking and entering a house owned by three bears, and the juvenile living in sin in the forest with seven coal miners will remain. Come on folks. The child is simply wearing a dress. I mean is that so bad?! 

How a Gay Employee Fought Horrific Discrimination and Won a Major Legal Victory - Good for him! I hope he wins.

 Debunking the New Atlantis Article On Sexuality And Gender - Siiiigh! As usual, the anti-lgbtq right is always trying to sneak in a fake study on us.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Franklin Graham called out for homophobia & Trump hypocrisy

Charlotte Observer writer calls out Franklin's hypocrisy.

I hate it when I nearly miss good posts calling out the religious right, such as this one. Over a month ago, Issac Bailey of The Charlotte Observer called out Franklin Graham in a wonderful column Franklin Graham's God isn't mine; is he yours? 

The column blasted Franklin's hypocrisy  about Donald Trump and manic devotion to linking Christianity to conservative politics. Over a month later, it's still causing a buzz.  Check out this snippet:

I am a Christian, born and raised in a Christian family, a man who attended a conservative Christian church for nearly two decades and had my kids dedicated there. But I do not serve the God Graham serves. His God is vengeful and petty. His God favors the already-privileged and doesn’t mind condemning the already-marginalized. His God prefers preserving tradition to saving lives, or even souls. His God wouldn’t care much about the findings in a new study from Johns Hopkins’ School of Public Health, which showed that gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers have been less likely to try to kill themselves in states that embraced gay marriage.  
.  . . It has always fascinated me that a God who Graham says is never-changing always finds a way to morph in ways that seem to parallel shifts in the Republican Party. The GOP targeted abortion in the 1970s; Graham’s God has been condemning abortion since. The GOP decided to view transgendered Americans as a grave threat to the social order; lo and behold, now so does Graham’s God. After the GOP says a thrice-married adulterous man caught on video bragging about casually sexually assaulting women – after spending years elevating a bigoted conspiracy about the nation’s first black president – is the perfect standard bearer for the party of values voters, Graham’s God miraculously sees past sins for which Donald Trump never repented and elevates him to the highest office in the land. 

'Trump's actions greenlighting the harassment of transgender children' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Trump is greenlighting the harassment of transgender kids - "Make America Great Again," my ass. In the future when some folks vote, they need to think of all of the possible repercussions:

“Ever since Trump rescinded the guidance, I’ve been harassed and bullied and yelled at in the halls,” said Howard, a sophomore at Ozark High School in southwest Missouri. “I have been declared not a person. I am an ‘it.’” Howard, a transgender boy, says he had been using the boys’ bathroom at his public high school since the beginning of the school year without any problems. But that changed last month, when the Trump administration reversed Obama-era guidelines affirming transgender students’ right to use the bathroom in line with their gender identities. One day later, Howard says, he was chased into a bathroom stall by another boy, who banged on the door and yelled in the halls that there was a woman in the wrong bathroom. As he sees it, the timing of the incident was no coincidence. 

This Video About A Dad’s Acceptance Of His Lesbian Daughter Will Hit You Right In The Feels - I LOVE this . . . and I know you will too. 

 North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ law is costing the state’s economy hundreds of millions a year - And those who don't learn the lesson from this will no doubt repeat it.

 In West Virginia, LGBTQ advocates see a shift toward support - Hope for the future. 

Anti-LGBT Doc Paul McHugh: I Will Not Be Silenced - And neither. will. we. You damn right we are an army because people like you have been getting away with your trash for too long.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Family Research Council fails to clean up sleaze of its attack on transgender children

Yesterday, the anti-lgbt hate group Family Research Council exploited the alleged rape of a Maryland high school student in order to smear transgender children. Now the organization is attempting to play a pathetic form of defense for the offending post:

In a follow-up to yesterday's Update story on the Rockville High School tragedy, a handful of critics have accused FRC on social media of somehow exploiting the rape to advance our privacy agenda. In their opinion, if anyone saw the 14-year-old girl go into the boys' bathroom, they would have reported it. However, one of the defense attorneys told Fox News's Bret Baier last night, "This is a bathroom in the middle of the day, where it doesn't appear that she was screaming or that anybody heard anything going on. And there were other kids that apparently saw her going in..." We may never know what role the district's transgender bathroom policy played in this horrible incident. But we do know one thing: it's just one more obstacle to ensuring the safety of students like this one.

On the risk of sounding egotistical, the "handful of critics" FRC alluded to may have been just little ole me. For one thing,  I published a post last night calling out the group for the same reason it cites in the above supposed clarification.  For another thing, a quick investigation by myself failed to find any other blog or news source who called out FRC.

The organization's attempt to clarify its post is simply pathetic. Notice how  FRC alters its description of the incident.

FRC yesterday:

Headlines about school bathrooms have become pretty commonplace over the last year, but there was nothing common about what happened in Rockville, Maryland. In a horrifying story that's rocking the nation, a young 14-year-old girl was walking down the hallway when two older students in her class allegedly grabbed her, dragged her into the boys' bathroom, and took turns raping her.

FRC today:

In a follow-up to yesterday's Update story on the Rockville High School tragedy, a handful of critics have accused FRC on social media of somehow exploiting the rape to advance our privacy agenda. In their opinion, if anyone saw the 14-year-old girl go into the boys' bathroom, they would have reported it.

What happened to the "grabbing" and "dragging?"

But the central point I was making is that FRC was extremely sleazy in not only exploiting the incident, but how it exploited the incident. And I stand by my point because of FRC's  ridiculous statement today:

We may never know what role the district's transgender bathroom policy played in this horrible incident. But we do know one thing: it's just one more obstacle to ensuring the safety of students like this one.

That's not true because we do know.  The district's trans-inclusive policy played NO PART in the incident.  Furthermore, there was no reason to introduce the policy into debates about the incident until the Family Research Council attempted to slip it in.

But exploitation, fear, and scapegoating never needs a reason, right FRC?

'Trump picks anti-lgbt activist to lead civil rights office' & other Fri. midday news briefs

Trump taps anti-LGBTQ activist Roger Severino to lead HHS Civil Rights Office - And the award in the category of 'ARE YOU #!@^ KIDDING ME!' goes to . . .

Adoption bill stalls in Georgia after anti-LGBT amendment added - Poison pill poisons a bill (yeah, I know. It's a corny rhyme.)

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal opposes anti-LGBT provisions to adoption bill - And IF that bill gets un-stalled, it continues to face problems. 

Social Conservatives’ ‘Free Speech Bus’ Vandalized in NYC - THIS is depressing. Not defending any type of vandalism here, but that's really the reason WHY this project was formed - to get a reaction and to get those reacting to act foolish, publicize the foolishness to generate press and funds by playing the victims. The organization behind this, the National Organization for Marriage, have used this tactic on so many occasions and unfortunately it always works.

Rick Perry Is Challenging Texas A&M’s Election Of Its First Gay Student Body President - Go ahead, Rick. Make people remember THE COMMERCIAL.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Family Research Council exploits rape incident to smear transgender children

FRC's latest attack on transgender youth is especially vile.

Just when one thinks the anti-lgbt hate group Family Research Council reached the zenith of bad taste in its desire to attack the lgbt community, the organization reveals that it can go to another level:

Headlines about school bathrooms have become pretty commonplace over the last year, but there was nothing common about what happened in Rockville, Maryland. In a horrifying story that's rocking the nation, a young 14-year-old girl was walking down the hallway when two older students in her class allegedly grabbed her, dragged her into the boys' bathroom, and took turns raping her. Later, after the arrests, police explained that the young men, who were enrolled as ninth graders despite being 17- and 18-years old, never should have been in the country in the first place.  
 According to reports, both boys crossed the Mexican border illegally last year. And although they were taken into custody by border control, they were allowed to move to relatives' homes until their deportation hearings. Last night, at a packed PTA meeting, parents were furious that more hadn't been done to protect students. "There are a lot of people here that maybe don't belong here," one said. "They haven't been checked out and I really need to know that my kids are safe." Others complained that the school admitted the students in the first place. Administrators were in damage control mode, explaining that the Supreme Court forbid schools from denying education based on a person's immigration status. Still, one attorney said, "There were long speeches from the principal, from the superintendent, from others who were associated with them explaining why this could never have happened when it did. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound to cure it."  
 Outside, members of the community held signs that read, "Safety for students" -- a rallying cry that's been on parents' minds since President Obama made school bathrooms and locker rooms a sexual free-for-all last spring. Suddenly, areas that should be safe and private aren't. And while school officials promise that they're more vigilant in monitoring the school, transgender policies like these only make that job more difficult. Some liberals argue that letting boys into the girls' bathroom isn't a big deal. But who knows if, in Montgomery County Schools where Obama's policy is in effect, someone saw this girl go into the boys' bathroom and didn't say something because of it?  
Administrators told Rockville parents to remind their kids that if they "see something inappropriate, they should immediately tell a staff member." That becomes infinitely more difficult when what's inappropriate has already been normalized! In the county's own guidelines, students are told to "foster understanding" -- code for students to look the other way when something seems amiss. Maybe a bystander would have been told, as the Pennsylvania junior was when he saw a girl in the boys' locker room, to "tolerate" it.
 As I told members of the Texas Senate, who, like 12 other states, are doing everything they can to restore some semblance of safety to bathrooms, policies like Montgomery County's are dangerous. They ignore the deterrent value of the ordinary citizen empowered to sound the alarm when something appears out of place -- like a biological male in a girls' bathroom. Students may be less willing and less likely to "say something if they see something" out of fear they would be accused of "gender identity discrimination." Regardless of the circumstances, schools should be rushing to remove any obstacle that stands in the way of students and safety. It's what parents expect, and what children deserve.

At no point am I attempting to minimize the awful situation regarding that young girl, but it's incredibly tacky for FRC to exploit the incident. FRC is saying that jf transgender youth were allowed to use locker rooms and bathrooms which correspond to their desired gender identity, it would make other students so confused that they wouldn't be able to report seeing a young girl (let's repeat FRC's words describing the incident) grabbed and dragged into a bathroom. FRC is also saying that pro-transgender policies would make it difficult for school officials to keep students safe for this same reason.  This is a ludicrous argument. Its inanity is best emphasized by this line

But who knows if, in Montgomery County Schools where Obama's policy is in effect, someone saw this girl go into the boys' bathroom and didn't say something because of it?  
The child didn't go into the boys' bathroom. She was dragged in. It stands to reason that if anyone saw it, they would have reported it regardless of any policy.

FRC's spin is not only a vile attack on our transgender youth, but also one on common sense. Its not surprising, though. Appeals to fears don't require the usage of common sense.

Editor's note - Regarding the incident in Pennsylvania the Family Research Council alluded to, here is the actual situation.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Religious right salivating over possible havoc SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch could cause lgbt community

According to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch, religious right groups and figures are practically giddy over Trump's SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch. In fact, it's downright disgusting how they are already celebrating the possible negative effect he may have on lgbt equality:

Family Research Council president, Tony Perkins . . . the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who had been invited to Trump’s announcement of the Gorsuch nomination, noted (accurately) that “conservative groups like FRC are lining up behind Neil Gorsuch’s nomination” and wrote (inaccurately) that Democrats were “having trouble finding anything wrong with the Supreme Court nominee.” Perkins was among other Religious Right leaders putting stock in Gorsuch’s grounding in “natural law,” which they see providing a basis to reject reproductive choice and LGBTQ equality: 
"For so many Americans, who have watched as a handful of justices redefine thousands of years of tradition and natural law, listening to Gorsuch was like a breath of fresh air. Unlike so many judicial activists today, he understands his role. In a world where issues like same-sex marriage and abortion were suddenly discovered in the invisible ink of the Constitution, Gorsuch offered hope that he would not declare what he would “like the [law] to be” but “what it is.”

NOM -  . . .the National Organization for Marriage called Gorsuch “an intellectual giant and proven pro-family conservative who can help transform the Court” and who “has the potential of leading the Supreme Court in a conservative direction for a generation to come.” NOM specifically touted the potential for overturning the Court’s 2015 marriage equality decision: 
The clearest path to reversing that illegitimate decision is, thus, changing the makeup of the Supreme Court. The confirmation of Judge Gorsuch is the first step on that path. Then we need to make sure that the next vacancy on the Court is filled by an originalist judge in the mold of Justice Scalia, as Judge Gorsuch’s background and track record show him to be. 

 Gordon Klingenschmitt - . . .anti-gay activist and former Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt slammed LGBTQ groups for raising concerns about Gorsuch’s ruling in Hobby Lobby: “Clearly the homosexual leftists hate religious freedom as much as they hate Neil Gorsuch.” Klingenschmitt posted a picture of Gorsuch fishing with the late Antonin Scalia, adding that Gorsuch “may actually be more conservative than Scalia on issues like de-regulation.”

And all of this is happening in the backdrop of allegations that Trump's people coordinated with Russia to influence last year's presidential elections. How many folks want to bet that there are certain prayers by certain parties asking that Gorsuch be confirmed before the Russia investigation continues 

'Trump Administration turns its back on elderly lgbts' & other Wed. midday news briefs

The Trump Administration just eliminated the voices of elderly lgbts from national survey.

Trump Administration Removes LGBTQ Questions From Elderly Survey - It's official and we need to be PISSED about it for a multitude of reasons. 

Trump administration erases LGBT people from survey of older adults - More information on this issue and why it is significant in a terrible way.  Is it too paranoid for me to smell the religious right tentacles in this decision?

 Don’t Be Fooled: Neil Gorsuch Is Having It Both Ways On Gay Marriage - Most likely the newest SCOTUS justice. A product of obstruction and folks refusing to pay attention.  

NOM & Global Culture Warriors Launch Anti-Trans Bus Tour - Doesn't this make you feel nauseous?

 This Gorgeous Photo Series Crushes Stereotypes About Black Masculinity - Destroying stereotypes about black masculinity is something which interests me A LOT.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Anti-lgbt hate group playing defense for Trump's false wiretapping claim

By now, I don't think I have to rehash the situation involving Trump's false claim that Obama had him wiretapped last year. Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey became the latest government official to refute it.

However, don't tell that to the anti-lgbt hate group American Family Association or its fake news site, One News Now. You would ruin the organization's attempt to provide credibility to Trump's continuously refuted claim via an article on its site, A quest to stump Trump, not dig for truth

The article says that disputing Trump's claim is a part of a conspiracy to harm his presidency (as if he needs the help). The pièce de résistance of this hot mess is the One News Now poll below:

One would think that a group which prides itself on morality wouldn't be so quick to defend the lies of a man who doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "honesty." Perhaps the American Family Association has decided that until Trump gives up that "religious liberty" executive order, the group will kiss his butt and then brag about how it tastes like what was served during The Last Supper.

'How Trump transformed the religious right into lapdogs of the alt-right' & other Tue. midday news briefs

The religious right have deserted the guy on the right for the guy on the right.

Amazing Disgrace: How did Donald Trump—a thrice-married, biblically illiterate sexual predator—hijack the religious right? - Probably the best article you will ever read which explains Trump's appeal to the religious right. However, there is one error as far as I'm concerned. Trump didn't hijack the religious right. The way this article breaks this down, it is very appropriate that someone like Trump would become a religious right leader.  Under their  facade of piety was always an appeal to basic prejudice.

Religious Right Rallies ‘Round Trump’s Anti-LGBTQ UN Delegation - Trump appealed to the religious right's need for power.

  The Dangers Facing Trans Women Of Color In 2017 - Siiiigh! 

 Why Neil Gorsuch’s Idea of ‘Religious Liberty’ Is A Direct Threat to LGBTQ Rights - Pay attention. Signorile breaks it down again. 

 Georgia governor slams ‘religious liberty’ change to adoption bill - Trying to slip some evil "religious liberty" junk in GA bill.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hate group: Pro-lgbtq ordinances means automatic anti-religious discrimination

It would seem that the anti-lgbt hate group Alliance Defending Freedom is taking the fight against pro- lgbt laws a step further. In the past, an incident would happen, such as the case of Melissa and Aaron Klein or Barronelle Stutzman, which would cause strife between pro-lgbt ordinances versus the so-called personally held beliefs of business owners to discriminate against lgbts. But now, ADF is trying to eliminate the "middle man," so to speak.

Via a case in Phoenix, the group is making the claim that pro-lgbt laws and ordinances automatically will lead to religious discrimination, therefore such laws and ordinances shouldn't exist in the first place.

According to the American Family Association's phony news site, One News Now:

Alliance Defending Freedom works to preserve and defend religious freedom, calling it "our most cherished birthright." Toward that end, ADF is representing Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio in Phoenix who specialize in hand-painting, hand-lettering, and calligraphy for weddings and other events. ADF filed suit on the artists' behalf against a local ordinance that forces the business owners to use their artistic talents to promote same-gender "wedding" ceremonies. 
 The ordinance also forbids them – under threat of fines and jail time – from publicly stating religious beliefs that might "imply" anyone would be "unwelcome" in their business because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco tells OneNewsNow the lawsuit is designed to temporarily block enforcement until a full hearing can be held on the ordinance, which could force Duka and Koski to violate their faith.

Duka and Koski filed their case in May of last year with the help of the ADF as sort of a first salvo. According to ThinkProgress, it didn't go well for them:

With support from the anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, co-owners of the Brush & Nib calligraphy studio, filed suit in May challenging Phoenix’s ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations. Though they have not yet been asked to provide invitations or other designs for a same-sex wedding, they want to overturn the law so that their eventual refusal to do so won’t be illegal. 
 . . .Judge Karen Mullins rejected the artists’ claim that being required to serve same-sex couples violated their freedoms of speech and religion. She denied them a preliminary injunction as the case proceeds, sending a not-so-subtle hint that their pro-discrimination claims aren’t going to get very far. ADF had argued that if Brush & Nib is forced to create products that are used in a same-sex wedding, it would constitute compelled speech. Mullins countered that “the only thing compelled by the ordinance is the sale of goods and services to persons regardless of their sexual orientation.” Duka and Koski are perfectly free to publicly state their religious views concerning same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual activity — so long as they don’t publicize an intention to discriminate in their business.

Since that time, religious and conservative publications have been pushing Duka and Koski as martyrs for their faith, making sure to emphasize the possibility that the two could go to jail, while pushing a false idea that the religious liberty argument is about "Christians" vs. lgbts.:

Christian Artists Threatened With Fines and Jail Time for Refusing to Make Gay Wedding Invitations

Christian Artists Could Be Fined, Jailed for Refusing to Make Same-Sex Wedding Invitations

The War On Wedding Vendors Is Ultimately A War On Free Thought

Christian Artists Face Prison for Refusing to Make Gay Wedding Invitations

 In reality, this "religious liberty" argument is about a group of people bogarting a religion and exploiting it to excuse their personal biases and false entitlements. Today's article in One News Now is simply more of that same bluster and balderdash. And bear in mind that neither woman is in any danger of going to jail. As far as it is known, to this day, no gay person has come to their business asking for wedding services.

Even so, the case is going in front of an Arizona appeals court, so we will be hearing about it again. It's cases like this which have religious right groups and personalities practically salivating when thinking of what type of judges Trump could appoint to the bench.

'Anti-transgender law being blamed for Duke's upset loss in NCAA tournament' & other Mon. midday news briefs

NC's anti-transgender law is being blame for Duke's NCCA upset loss.

Here’s Why Some Irate Duke Fans Blamed Team’s Upset Loss on North Carolina’s ‘Bathroom Law’ - Duke University was predicted to win the NCAA championship but got upset last night by the University of South Carolina. And some Duke fans are blaming NC's anti-transgender law, HB2. Well this is interesting. 

Duke Got Burned By North Carolina's HB2 Bathroom Law - Another article on the matter. This sounds like the making of an anti-HB2 argument. EXCELLENT!  

A roaring hit! Beauty And The Beast smashes U.S. weekend box office records with staggering $170m debut - So much for THAT religious right boycott.

 Trump Administration Proposes Eliminating LGBT Elders from Key Federal Survey - A press release on a vital danger to our lgbt elderly citizens. This cannot happen!  

North Texans Head To Austin To Rally For LGBTQ Rights - Wonderful, cause they are acting screwy in Texas. Big time.

  YouTube apologizes for hiding LGBTQ users’ videos in its Restricted Mode - Alright youtube, Don't be foolish.

This just in - 'transgender bathroom predators' is STILL a myth

The following graphic is courtesy of a Media Matters 2014 investigation. Though it is almost three years old, I'm secure in saying that it remains accurate. And a reminder about truth never hurts: