Wednesday, November 25, 2015

'Marco Rubio wants to take away gays' right to marry' & other Wed midday news briefs

Marco Rubio
Rubio says same-sex marriage ‘not settled law’ - Uh you wanna bet! It is settled law and we are not giving up what we EARNED. Looks like Rubio is polishing up his "why are you calling me a bigot simply because I believe differently than you" talking points. 

Marco Rubio: 'Ignore' Gay Marriage Decision Because 'God's Rules Always Win' - More on Rubio's nonsense. 

 Read this gay man’s emotional letter to the parents who refused to attend his wedding - SAD situation. Wouldn't happen in my family. Mother dearest will be attending my wedding (specifically if my groom is a doctor or lawyer) and the rest of my family would come if for nothing more than the sake of curiosity. 

 ‘The Danish Girl’ Takes The Transgender Story Off Of E! And Into Oscar Consideration - Speaking of  Oscar season, I have a feeling that this is only one of a few lgbt-oriented pictures going for the big prize. This may turn some people off, but I say go for it!

  The 8 Things You Should Never Say To Your Gay Friends - In my case, add "unless you want to get cut." 

 Liberty Counsel: 'Oppression Of America's Churches' Reminiscent Of Nazi Germany - Soon, anti-gay activists like Mat Staver is going to bring up Nazi Germany so many times, their supporters are going to become desensitized to it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Anti-gay right, conservatives falsely imply Obama is starting 'War on Christmas'

Obama is NOT declaring a 'War on Christmas.'

Thanksgiving isn't even here yet and some conservatives on the anti-gay right are already pushing the  "War on Christmas."

For the luckily uninitiated, the "War on Christmas" is a yearly event in which conservatives, Fox News, and anti-gay groups either outright lie or blow small incidents way out of proportion to claim that there is some type of  "conspiracy" to somehow strip the holiday of its supposed Christian  heritage.

In other words, it is merely a fear tactic used to generate big ratings or fundraising profits. And it must be working because America has been exposed to it for so long that many of us are now desensitized to how Christmas is exploited by this awful nonsense.

American Family Association's phony new service, One News Now, has already begun ringing the alarm:

"Those who deny that there's no war on Christmas just have a different reality in which they live," says Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver. The Christian attorney points to one recent example: the Veterans Affairs medical center in Salem, Virginia, which banned Christmas altogether – including the Christmas tree. "This year we've seen a number of attacks on Christmas – [one of them being] the absurd situation that Christmas trees are not permitted," he says, referring to the Salem situation. "That is probably one of the most absurd positions of any government official: that a Christmas tree cannot be permitted because it's Christian and establishes a religion – and yet that's exactly what was happening at Salem, Virginia." 

Remember how I said incidents are blown out of proportion?

'Will media ignore Ted Cruz's newest anti-gay alliance?' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz Welcomes Endorsement From Pastor Who Linked Ebola To Gay Rights - After a lot of folks in the media, particularly our lovely overpaid pundits, pretty much ignored Cruz's alliance with a pastor who talked about the death penalty for gays, I'm not hopeful that this will be an "item." 

N.Y. farm appeals $13,000 fine for refusing lesbian couple's wedding - This is NOT a church nor a religious institution. It is a business and those who talk about how businesses should be allowed to discriminate should take in a history lesson on segregation.  

With Millions On HIV Treatment, AIDS Pandemic Tide Turns - BUT slowly...

The Upcoming Film About Black Trans Activist Marsha P. Johnson Looks Absolutely Legendary - THANK YOU! We need more films like this.

'It Gets Better' Launches Inspiring New Project To Celebrate 5th Birthday - Wonderful campaign we all can take part in.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Online publication Vox exposes the Liberty Counsel as an anti-gay hate group.

If Mat Staver and the Liberty Counsel raised "holy hell" with the Associated Press for merely pointing out that the organization is considered by some to be a hate group, I imagine that they are going to be extremely angry at the online magazine, Vox.

In a recent issue, Vox shined a bright spotlight on the Liberty Counsel, publishing a piece which should serve as a lesson on how to create a proper article.

German Lopez's article, Meet the little-known religious group that turned Kim Davis into a right-wing superstar, is detailed, thoroughly researched, and downright brutal. An excerpt is as follow:

The group presents itself as a reasonable arbiter of religious liberties in these fights, citing discredited scientific research and supposed experts. But a theme runs through all of these battles: Stop LGBTQ rights — even basic ones, like legally allowing consensual same-sex relationships — at any cost.
Here are just a few examples of Staver and Liberty Counsel's past work and comments, largely gathered from Right Wing Watch's archives:
  • In 2003, Liberty Counsel submitted a brief to the Supreme Court arguing that the court should not strike down states' anti-sodomy laws, which banned gay sex. The brief stated, "Statistical evidence concerning the medical and social harms resulting from 'private, consensual' same-sex sexual conduct, together with recent legislative and judicial battles, underscore the long-term, devastating consequences of a decision declaring a fundamental right to engage in private consensual same-sex sodomy.
  • In 2004, Staver argued in Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk, "Homosexuality is a destructive lifestyle both physically and emotionally. Same-sex marriage cannot be viewed in isolation from homosexual activity and its consequences on those who engage in such practices, and especially on children raised in such an environment." He was citing the now-discredited work of psychologist Paul Cameron.
  . . .  Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told me that the long history of anti-LGBTQ activism and incendiary comments is what led his organization to classify Liberty Counsel as a hate group. "We do not list groups on the basis of opposition to same-sex marriage or the belief that homosexuality is a sin," Potok said. "We base it on the propagation of known falsehoods and, to a lesser extent, repetitive name-calling."

Staver denies that Liberty Counsel is a hate group, saying his comments have been taken out of context and noting that his group strictly advocates for nonviolent protest. But looking at the collection of all these statements, an obvious pattern emerges — one that is clearly demeaning to LGBTQ people.
But as offensive as these comments are, they're not even the most bizarre aspect of Liberty Counsel's recent anti-LGBTQ work. In the past month, Staver and the group have also been caught repeatedly lying — in what seem to be two failed attempts to appear as if the group and its anti-LGBTQ crusades are still a major, well-supported force in the world.

'Anti-gay backlash coming? Do I look scared?' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Vander Plaats
LGBT Leaders Warn of Looming Gay Rights Backlash - Those of us who study history know that this is inevitable. Historically, after any group becomes successful with attaining some form of equality, backlashes by other parts of society occur. The lgbt community does have one advantage. If we followed history, we know what to expect so we can launch a full-throated, unapologetic, aggressive defense of what we have attained. It beats standing out with your thumb in your ass waiting for the wave of homophobic backlash to knock you down. Make sure those folks know that "you have to bring some to get some."

GOP Candidates Seek Endorsement Of Iowa Anti-Gay Leader Bob Vander Plaats - The fact that many lgbts aren't familiar with Vander Plaats or will write him off as "simply a bigot" is a mindset that we need to overcome.  

Transgender Women’s Health Benefits From Transition Surgery, Study Finds - It's interesting and unfortunate that whenever the media talks about the transgender community, we hear more from pundits and religious right leaders rather than medical professionals and the transgender community itself. 

 I'll Go With You - A Mother's Personal Story About Her Trans Child And Public Bathrooms.  

Victory Fund won’t dump gay lawmakers over refugee vote - I respect the Victory Fund but I also feel that lgbt lawmakers should be called to the carpet, like any other lawmaker, when they do things which simply aren't right. And what these lawmakers did with regards to the Syrian refugee vote was shameful.

Heterosexuality can be cured . . .

No doubt, rampant heterosexuality is a major problem. The following video demonstrates how one can get help in overcoming it:

(In case you haven't realized it yet, this video is strictly satire. These days, it seems that you always have to clarify the obvious.)

Friday, November 20, 2015

'Why 'Transgender Day of Remembrance' is important' & other Fri midday news briefs

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015: A Reporter's List - I wish days like this weren't necessary, but they are. Cases in point:  

Ted Cruz: Obama Administration Support For Trans School-Aged Children Is “Lunacy” - Idiots like this going for the low hanging fruit of ignorance and fear.  And ignorance and fear only fuels violence.

Wisconsin transgender 'bathroom bill' draws emotional public hearing - While deliberately ignoring the voices of the transgender community - men, women, and children who merely want to live their lives authentically. 

 As 2015 Sees A Record Number Of Documented Transgender Murders, A Glimmer Of Hope - Days like this are necessary because they remind us that there is A LOT of good which has been done, but there is A LOT more to do. 

 In other news: 

 Queer Voices: Do I Sound Gay? Does It Matter? - Or "does this imitation of Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues or Angela Lansbury doing 'Rose's Turn' in Gypsy make me look gay? I certainly hope so.  

US Embassy mocks Russian paper over fake ‘outing’ letter - Sock it to them!  

Gay, bisexual lawmakers support bill to block Syrian refugees - I am not, repeat, NOT happy about this.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Family Research Council falsely accusing Obama of discriminating against Christian refugees

There is no doubt that the situation involving the Syrian refugees has caused much controversy due to the attacks on Paris. Much of the controversy has to do with the fact that even though the perpetrators were identified as European nationals, many conservatives, GOP members, and religious right figures have exploited the situation to demonize not only the Syrian refugees but also those who practice Islam.

We've even had some folks, including presidential candidates such as Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, offer the idea that only Christian Syrian refugees should be admitted because - as the more coarse of their colleagues put it - "only Muslims are looking to harm people."

To accentuate that mindset comes a new, but callously inaccurate spin which accuses President Obama of favoring Muslim refugees over Christian refugees. And who else is helping to forward this lie but none other than Tony Perkins and the  Family Research Council.

'Say you love America, or shut up!'

Let me just preface that I do NOT condone any type of violence. However, I consider the following clip as a stress reliever.

The Fox News network has practically bent over backwards to demonize lgbts, undermine Obama, and now fan the flames of hysteria against the Syrian refugees. The network is clearly out of control and has gotten to the point where, while in the past I have watched the following clip privately and laughed my ass off,  I am now posting it publicly on my blog because I know so many other folks need a stress reliever from that God-awful network.

The following clip is from the Adult Swim show The Boondocks. This episode, Return of the King, deals with a dream had by the main character, Hughie (he's the little boy at the end. When you see him, you'll know) in which Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. was actually not assassinated but put into a coma.  He comes out of the coma and attempts to revive a civil rights movement. This includes an appearance on a program which looks like Fox News (beginning at 19 seconds).

Watching what happens next is MY dream and guilty pleasure:

'GOP candidates not wanting to talk about alliance with 'death penalty for gays' pastor & other Thur midday news briefs

Ted Cruz
GOP Candidates Really Don't Want To Talk About 'Kill The Gays' Conference - Don't worry. We will talk about it for them. Every chance we get. 

Oklahoma Expands Rights For Same-Sex Parents - Good for Oklahoma!

 The Charlie Sheen Moment You Probably Missed - One of the few pieces regarding Charlie Sheen and his HIV status worth your time to read.  

This Is What Happens At A Formal For LGBT Teens - Hey religious right! Don't you just hate it when the reality doesn't match up to your ignorant fantasies.

Washington Post editorial board stands up for transgender student

Regarding the case in Chicago of a transgender girl attempting to be treated fairly, while the anti-gay right spins awful lies of her being an exhibitionist and a predator, legitimate media sources, such as the Washington Post editorial board, offers basic clarity and accuracy to the issue:

 . . . details of the two-year investigation prompted by the girl’s complaint paint a far different picture than that suggested by the rhetoric of school officials. How the girl, who is undergoing hormone therapy and is recognized by the school as a female in all other respects (including her use of bathrooms), first asked — and was denied — an opportunity to change clothes privately within the girls’ locker room in an area such as a restroom stall. How the school’s insistence she use separate facilities for the past two years has stigmatized her. It is clear from the government’s investigation, which included inspection of the facilities and interviews with school staff about conduct common in the locker rooms, that the privacy of all students could be protected without singling out this girl for separate and discriminatory treatment. It is a point that was underscored by the hundreds of students and community members who signed a student-led petition in support of her access to the locker room. 

According to Media Matters:

 The Post's calls for equality for transgender students are backed by the collective experience of 17 school districts around the nation that have implemented policies protecting transgender students with no negative consequences, and falls during Transgender Awareness Week, which according to LGBT media advocacy organization GLAAD, "help[s] raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

'Indiana saying no to refugees, yes to anti-gay bill' & other Wed midday news briefs

Indiana has bad priorities

With two stunningly ugly actions, the state of Indiana practically NAILS what's wrong with American Christianity these days:

Pence: Indiana won't accept Syrian refugees - While Indiana Governor Mike Pence appeals to hysteria by refusing to allow the state to accept Syria refugees . . . 

Indiana Republicans Introduce The Most Anti-LGBT LGBT Rights Bill Ever - members of his party will be pushing the most vicious anti-gay bill through the state legislature. It's that new Bible they are following; the one with the verse which says, "use any excuse to preserve xenophobia and homophobia cause if one thing Gods hates more than homosexuals, it's those brown skin people who aren't victims but the victims of terrorism, but who gives a crap. They aren't Christian anyway."

 Tony Perkins: Refugee Resettlement Shows Obama & Liberals 'Hate America' - Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council apparently not content with being extremely hypocritical last night with regards to the Syrian refugees, wants to extend his ignorance.  

Parents' friend calls their gay teen son 'fag', parents immediately cut friend out of their life - Oh yeah. I would have cut that fool, too . . . out of my life . . .  

Everything You Need To Know About The New Attacks On Caitlyn Jenner In One Sentence - Caitlyn Jenner is catching a lot of flack. She has been called a disgrace to women, a disgrace to the transgender community, a disgrace to the lgbt community because allegedly she plans to vote Republican in the next presidential election. Just cut it out. I may not be happy with some of her statements and choices but she is still a part of our community. I think the problem lies with folks anointing her as the transgender spokesperson for the community. We simply have to stop relying on celebrities. I am one for visibility but I am also one for intelligent visibility and pushing the good people we have into the spotlight instead of lucking out on having some celebrity come out. Just my thoughts which may or may not have anything to do with the article.  

House lawmakers launch bipartisan transgender task force - Now THIS sort of action is what we need to be pushing and supporting in droves.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The so-called Christian group Family Research Council supports abandoning Syrian refugees

FRC president Tony Perkins
I have yet to see any of these so-called morality groups appeal to kindness  or clarity when it comes to the case of the Syrian refugees who have become the scapegoats of the recent attack on Paris. If their comments are like those below from the Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, then its simply another notch in their belts of lies and duplicity:

That's an uncomfortable reality, even for the church. There seems to be a growing chorus of Christians who justify these open-door policies on immigration or asylum with the Bible's command to "love the stranger." I agree, we should love the stranger -- but that doesn't mean we have to do so at the expense of our own security. The president's chief responsibility is to protect Americans from all enemies, foreign and domestic. It's our job then, as individuals, to show love and compassion. And there are plenty of charitable solutions for refugees that don't involve bringing them to America, unchecked and unaccountable. One option would be to make their homelands safe while we offer as much humanitarian relief as possible.

Our nation can be caring and benevolent without unnecessarily endangering our own people. What many forget is that in Scripture, loving the stranger is just one component. God also commands these foreigners to assimilate and keep the laws of the land. As Exodus 12:49 makes clear: "There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you." The United States' goal should be a safe haven for everyone. And that means protecting the refugees' shelter abroad without sacrificing ours at home.

The statement sounds reasonable except for the fact that it is predicated on the unverified belief that one of the perpetrators of the attack in Paris posed as a Syrian refugee.

But according to Think Progress:

The majority of attackers were identified as French or Belgian nationals. An Egyptian passport was also found, but the Egyptian Ambassador to France said it belonged to a critically wounded victim and not a perpetrator. The Syrian passport caused a ruckus, with some politicians in Europe and the U.S. calling for a halt to Syrian refugee resettlement. An increasing number of state governors are trying to defund the settlement program. American officials told CBS News that the passport might be fake, while British-daily the Independent reported that a man was arrested in Serbia while carrying a Syrian passport with matching details to the one found in Paris.

We all know that the Islamic State of  Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks but again, the passport claim has not been verified as a complete fact.

'Bathroom bills' scare merely a cynical shift in anti-gay lies

The right has abandoned this fear tactic because

this one is more successful.

The success of the anti-gay right with stopping a non-discrimination act in Houston has led the Family Research Council to heights of great audacity.

In Houston, anti-gay activists stopped the measure by claiming that  it would lead to male predators invading women's restrooms, i.e. exploiting ignorance about the transgender community. The Family Research Council is using the same distortions to stop a national non-discrimination ordinance, The Equality Act.

FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg had an interview with the American Family Association's One News Now in which he spouted off several lies:

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council notes that U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) is sponsoring the "Equality Act," which would amend current federal laws to protect homosexuals based on claims of discrimination. Asked if the Equality Act mirrors the non-discrimination bill that was recently defeated by voters in Houston, Sprigg tells OneNewsNow that it is.
In fact, he says, it also includes the "public accommodations" requirement in Houston's HERO law. That allowance is the reason Houstonians described HERO as a "bathroom bill" and likely a reason it was soundly defeated. 
The Equalty Act would give homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, trangender, and "gender noncomforming people" access to "places of public accommodations,"  Lambda Legal, a pro-homosexual legal organization, admits on its website.

"And it does not make any exception for facilities in which there's a normal expectation of privacy from the opposite sex such as restrooms, locker rooms and showers," Sprigg warns. "So it would be a bathroom bill on a national level being forced on all 50 states."

Sprigg and the rest of the religious are merely exploiting a useful hook. In the past, they spoke against ENDA, another national non-discrimination ordinance which lgbts were attempting to make into law, by claiming that children would be "trapped" in classrooms with "drag queen" and "cross-dressing" teachers:

It now seems that they have abandoned the classroom lie because focusing on bathrooms and locker rooms, where females are seemingly more vulnerable, reaps more success.

If you don't think so, check out the comment section under the Sprigg article.  The religious right know how to exploit a good scare when they see one.

Of course it's a lie. Transgender-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances will NOT lead to predators coming into women's restrooms and bathrooms. In fact, that has never been a problem with other areas which do have transgender-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances.

 The following graphic is courtesy of Media Matters:

But we know what they say about how hard it is for the truth to compete with a lie, particularly one draped in religion and false concerns about safety.  The sad thing is that people are either so scared or so exploited by their religious beliefs, they won't see that they are being used by folks like Sprigg and organizations like the Family Research Council

'Scalia compares legal protection for lgbts to protection for pedophiles' & other Tue midday news briefs


Scalia Compares Legal Protections For Gay People To Protections For Pedophiles - Based on his logic, you can compare legal protections for African-Americans and women to pedophiles, too. To help answer your question, Scalia, minority groups whose behavior is not against the law and historically have been the victims of historical oppression should have legal protection. Folks, whoever wins the next presidential election gets to pick SCOTUS judges and Republicans want more judges like THIS $@!*

Charlie Sheen, HIV Stigma and Why the Media Panic Is Ugly - Charlie Sheen announcing his HIV positive status opens a much needed discussion on stigma.  

Breaking: Utah Judge Who Mandated Foster Child Be Placed With Heterosexual Parents Removes Himself - Just in case you haven't heard this piece of good news . . .

Manhattan Fed Judge Says Trans Equal Protection Claim Merits Heightened Scrutiny - Wonderful!

Here's How These Two Amazing Gay Dads Started Helping Other LGBT People Adopt - I need more "happy." THIS is happy.