Friday, December 09, 2016

'Anti-lgbt hate group targeting CT state official because of legitimate investigation' & other Fri. midday news briefs

AFA attacking CT official for legitimate investigation.

Editor's note - if you haven't already, check out this morning's post  What we know (and should know) about the Family Research Council before or after going through the following news briefs.

Gay Connecticut Official Investigating American Family Association Now Target of Conservative Hate Campaign - Figures. A man is only doing his job and the American Family Association is screaming "persecution" because legitimate questions are being asked about their "charity."  

This trans rabbi is fighting bigotry in America - My kudos to a BOLD activist!

Stop erasing the humanity of trans people in life and death - It's bad enough when members of the transgender community are taken from us due to tragedy. The sadness is compounded by the disrespect given to them after they pass. 

 Arkansas’ Top Court Says Married Lesbian Moms Still Not Equal On Birth Certificates - So much damn work to do . . . 

Austin Ruse’s Anti-LGBT UN Crusade May Get Big Boost From Trump - Just in case you aren't aware, yes there is a group fighting against lgbt equality at the United Nations. And the head, Austin Ruse, is an odious man who cannot stand me. It's really a badge of honor.

What we know (and should know) about the Family Research Council

This blog has always focused on refuting the anti-lgbt propaganda spewed by the Family Research Council. With the Trump Administration coming next year, the efforts to refute the lies take on a new urgency because FRC would be one of the main religious right entities (unfortunately there are others) best positioned to cause problems for the lgbt community.

With that in mind, here is an old video from my friend Matt Baume refuting one of their infomercials as well a collection of blog posts (in no particular order) outlining the unscrupulous tactics FRC uses to undermine lgbt equality while hiding behind religion:




Family Research Council defends itself with distorted studies . . . again

Family Research Council pulling the 'gay = promiscuous pedophiles' card to defend DOMA 

 Peter Sprigg proves the Family Research Council to be a hate group (again)

 Seven ways the Family Research Council have lied about ENDA

 The Family Research Council's deceptive use of social science to defend DOMA

Family Research Council's anti-lgbt stance built on distortions
  
Family Research Council's 'detailed response' to SPLC's charges leave much to be desired

 Family Research Council caught falsely accusing Congresswoman of religious bigotry
 

Thursday, December 08, 2016

'NC Gov-elect says HB2 repeal a priority' & other Thur. midday news briefs

NC governor-elect Roy Cooper
Incoming North Carolina governor says repealing anti-LGBT law is a priority - Keep your fingers crossed. 

 A Watershed Moment for Equality - In a state (ugh) which Trump carried, a governor lost his office because he pushed an anti-transgender bill. Now if this were one of those sci-fi or superhero movies, members of the lgbt community would play the scientists who would attempt to isolate this occurrence in order to study and replicate it. Well this is neither a sci-fi or superhero movie but I have my lab coat and goggles ready. Who's with me? 

Massive survey paints bleak picture for transgender Americans - Because as you can see, there is a HELL of a lot of work which needs to be done. 

 Trans People Are Being Harassed In Public Restrooms, Survey Finds - More the above survey. 

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Zales Ad Execs Are Possessed By Demons - Because Zales featured a lesbian couple in one of its ads . . .

Religious right group angry that same-sex families are acknowledged, treated like normal

One Million Moms wants people to pretend these families don't exist

Have you ever noticed that the most dangerous and annoying groups out there are the ones who claim to be "protecting " decency and values?

As proof of this, I give you the American Family Association affiliated group One Million Moms. One Million Moms (which of course is an overstatement of how many mothers are actually involved) seems to be always raging against groups and organizations which violate its standard of decency. Naturally violations of this standard especially includes showing lgbts as regular people.

But this latest complaint of theirs goes beyond the pale. They are angry at a children's magazine for (wait for it) having the nerve to acknowledge that same-sex families exist:

Where is the last place parents would suspect their kiddos to be exposed to same-sex "families" portrayed as normal? In the current controversy, Highlights magazine decided to include same-sex families in their magazines. Babies and preschoolers will soon be introduced to this sensitive topic in the Highlights line of magazines. Parents are seeing more examples of children being indoctrinated to same-sex families as normal, especially in the media. Children's publications are no longer off limits, even those that cater to toddlers and elementary age children.

A lesbian mom reportedly complained that the magazine Hello didn't feature any same-sex families. Hello's audience is children 0-2, and it's published by Highlights. Highlights had explained that they believe parents should decide when to bring up the topic because it's "still new, and parents are still learning how to approach the subject with their children, even the very little ones." They wanted to allow parents the opportunity to talk to their children about homosexuality as they considered appropriate. But after backlash from the LGBT community, Highlights committed to including same-sex families in future publications.

 . . .  Many parents and grandparents buy subscriptions to these magazines as gifts, especially at this time of year. They should be warned of the upcoming change of content in these kid's magazines. This would be a deal breaker for conservative families. Parents are left with no other choice than to cancel their subscription. Even if 1MM didn't disagree morally with the decision, it is not a magazines' job to introduce so called "social issues" to children. That is a parent's role.

TAKE ACTION

Urge Highlights to go with their initial decision and not cave into pressure from homosexual activists by including same-sex families in the magazines.

 According to Bowling Green University report published in 2013, nearly one-fifth of same-sex households contain children and 225,000 minor children live in same-sex households.

But this so-called moral organization One Million Moms, these families and their children don't matter. All that matters is keeping lgbts invisible. Ignore the simple fact that they have families and are raising children. Keep pressing the semantic argument that they are outsiders out to oppress religion and "recruit" children.

Same-sex families are normal and they deserve as much recognition as heterosexual families. Any person or group who thinks differently are in fact bigoted and no one should trust them to stand up for anything noble or good any more than they should trust a wolf to be in charge of a hen house.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

'MN business hopes to discriminate against gay couples' & other Wed. midday news briefs


Editor's note - When I began this blog a little over 10 years ago, it was a labor of love which I didn't expect to make money from. On that score, it has been very successful. I felt that the lgbt community wasn't getting proper education or guidance when it came to anti-lgbt propaganda. I am proud of how successful my efforts have been in THAT particular regard. 

However, things have changed. 

The proliferation of fake news sites make it very difficult for me to maintain my credibility.  Not impossible, but difficult. And then there are some in the insular world of lgbt news who have gone out of their way to make sure that I know they don't regard me as an equal in spite of my two GLAAD Media Award nominations, over four million readers, and mentions in Newsweek, The Advocate, etc. To make a long story short, I have been contemplating shutting this blog down.

But I won't for two reasons. 1. I'm a stubborn person and when I start something I feel is very important, I don't like to finish it until I feel the job is done. 2. With the Trump administration coming in next year, the lgbt community will need as many folks as possible who can uphold our rights, stand for our equality, and basically battle those who oppose us while utilizing innovation and unrelenting forcefulness. Therefore, instead of quitting, I will work even harder to gain more credibility ,make sure everything I post on this blog is accurate without fault, and continue to call anti-lgbt groups to the carpet for their homophobia, junk science, and outright lies.

 You have stuck with me these 10 years. I hope you will continue to do so.

Minnesota Business Owners Sue For Right To Discriminate Against Gay Couples - Here we go again. And it's about filming same-sex marriages. Unfortunately, while there is a good reason for folks to stand on the side of this business, what they fail to realize and acknowledge is that allowing businesses  to discriminate against marriage equality is a gateway to allow them to discriminate against lgbts period. First it's marriage. What else is next? Apartment complexes? Restaurants? We have not done a good job to explain this. 

 Minnesota’s nondiscrimination protections are the latest target for anti-LGBT law firm - More detail on this situation. 

Trump's religious dealmaking pays dividends - And we had better start quickly as possible based on THIS particular article. Trump is maintaining a very close relationship with the religious right.  

Linda Harvey Calls On HHS Nominee Tom Price To Crack Down On Homosexuality - Harvey is irrelevant. She has no idea what she is talking about (as usual). It is what Price will attempt should he become HHS secretary. Any anti-lgbt move he makes will be met by us. And we won't be smiling with crumpets and tea.

Family Research Council has yet to address article claiming that it uses anti-lgbt junk science

FRC president Tony Perkins
The Family Research Council is an organization which doesn't like to be publicly criticized about its agenda or tactics. The group generally likes to frame any public criticism it receives as an attack on "Christian values" and generally exploits said criticism as such in its emails and fundraising to its supporters

But not a recent public criticism.

Last week, the online magazine Wired called out FRC for using junk science to denigrate the lgbt community. The article was extremely scathing. Part of it reads as follows:

That the FRC has found its way back into a position of influence over the presidency shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The group has been making political moves since the early 1980s. Since then, it’s grown to become the most successful progeny of an effort among social conservatives to move the basis of their policy recommendations away from Scripture and toward sociology. Not that legitimate sociology is where the FRC has arrived. Rather, the group is to homophobia what the National Policy Institute is to the alt-right—a bland, respectable-sounding, quasi-academic front for a hateful, regressive ideology. It comes packaged in a way that looks like real science but is really just cherrypicked data stitched together to serve its agenda.

“A whole slew of real scientists who have demanded that the Family Research Council stop using their data,” says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has designated the FRC an extremist group.

 . . .  The papers the FRC produces often purport to be meta-analyses—studies of studies. Rather than compiling an accurate synthesis of mainstream scientific inquiry, however, the group mis-contextualizes data to arrive at a desired conclusion. This technique is how the FRC manages to link homosexuality to, among other things, pedophilia and shortened lifespans, despite strong scientific consensus to the contrary. When the group is not twisting mainstream scientists’ numbers, it’s citing organizations such as the American College of Pediatricians, which sure sounds like the American Academy of Pediatrics but is actually a far-right breakaway group with only 200 members.

The article was significant for two reasons. 1. It avoided the "religious angle" FRC generally uses to cover up its anti-lgbt bias. 2 Since its publication, no one from FRC, including its president, Tony Perkins, has made any comment on it.

And that last point is highly striking.  A high level Washington beltway organization, albeit one thought of as a hate group by a large number of people, not answering the charges that it relies on junk science is a major deal.

Maybe FRC is hoping that whatever controversy the article may bring will pass without generating any significant discussion or look into its doings. If this is the case, it sounds like there does need to be a serious degree of discussion on this issue.

I hope folks are paying attention.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

American Family Association fails miserably in its defense of Breitbart

Religious right groups are pandering very hard to defend the Breitbart news site from accurate charges that it panders to the white supremacist alt-right and embraces racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism.

First it was the Family Research Council defending the site and its former editor, Steve Bannon, while omitting the website's history of appealing to white supremacists.

Now, it is the American Family Association not only defending Breitbart but also its boycott of the Kellogg corporation. Recently, Kellogg, citing that Breitbart's appeal to the white supremacist alt-right, pulled its advertising from the site.  Via its fake news publication, One News Now, AFA said the following about the decision:

"... Kellogg's has shown how utterly intolerant they are of anyone's viewpoint other than their own," AFA spokesman Walker Wildmon says by way of explanation.

AFA is known for past boycotts, too, including an ongoing boycott of Target stores due to a liberal corporate policy that caters to transgendered employees and customers.

AFA is also familiar with left-wing scare tactics, since the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center has designated AFA a "hate group."

Writers at Breitbart.com wrote glowingly about Trump during the presidential campaign, drawing criticism from fellow conservatives about its editorial content. Yet the website drew little attention from the Left until Bannon was named an advisor to Trump in the final months of the campaign. 

It's ironic that AFA calls Kellogg 'intolerant" for its boycott of Breitbart and then in the next sentence admits that the organization itself has engaged in a number of boycott. So to AFA, Kellogg is intolerant for boycotting but the organization itself isn't.

'TX bill could endanger lgbt youth' & other Tue. midday news briefs

TX Lt. Gov Dan Patrick unveils a damaging bill for lgbt youth.

New Texas bill endangers LGBT youth: Behind the legislation that could lead to a surge in anti-gay conversion therapy - Texas again. Deferring to "faith-based communities" communities when it comes to the fostering and adopting of children is a HUGE mistake. And yes, it would be worse than the problem it's supposed to solve. Seems to me that some Texas officials were too concerned with picking on lgbts instead of doing their jobs and here we are.

 Here’s What It’s REALLY Like Having A Transgender Parent - With all of the talk about the transgender community in the news, does it bother you that the media doesn't spotlight enough medical professionals, transgender men and women, or their children instead of phony experts from religious right and conservative think tanks? 

University of Oklahoma football players targeted with anti-gay abuse - Isn't it awful how some people use calling someone gay as an insult? When someone told me once said to me, "at least I don't suck d#$k," I retorted, "well maybe if you applied yourself, you never know what you could achieve." 

 Trans Activist Whose Epic Trump Rant Went Viral Speaks Out - Sister girl when OFF on Trump!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Family Research Council's concern for persecuted Christians contradicts its message about persecuted lgbts

Today, the Family  Research Council sounded the alarm about persecutions of Christians abroad, complete with the image below:


If there's anyone busier than Santa, it's Congress. With just a handful of days left before members jingle their way home for Christmas, most leaders are scrambling to put a bow on the 114th Session. Hill offices are hoping to crank through a pile of unfinished business before Friday, when the House and Senate hope to adjourn. Before then, the to-do list is a diverse basket of priorities from funding the government to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

One of the bills at the top of our list, which we hope Congress can squeeze onto its schedule, is Rep. Chris Smith's (R-N.J.) "Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act," which would help turn the floodlights on the dark world of faith-based hostility. Under this administration, religious liberty hasn't been pushed to the back seat -- it has no seat at the table of U.S. priorities. In the waning days of 2016, conservatives are racing to fill the diplomatic gap left by this White House and help lay the groundwork for a new administration to combat a crisis that's caused the blood of countless innocents around the world to be spilled. Under Rep. Smith's bill, America would create a "special watch list of countries or violent state actors that have engaged in or tolerated such violations, but do not yet meet the criteria for designation as countries of particular concern for religious freedom."

As Frank Wolf and I explained in a joint column on the subject, the bill would hold offending countries to a higher level of accountability. It would also direct the president to appoint a Special Adviser for Global Religion Engagement and International Religious Freedom, a clear sign to the world that Americans take this issue seriously in U.S. foreign policy. If this president won't talk about religious persecution, Congress must. In the absence of strong leadership, our enemies only gain more power to destroy this fundamental right.

The legislation is good idea because no one should be persecuted in any country because of their religious beliefs.But at the same time, FRC's push for this legislation is extremely hypocritical.

'Anti-transgender NC Gov. Pat McCrory concedes race to Cooper' & other Mon. midday news briefs

"Pat you know it's true. Ooh, ooh, ooh, you are THROUGH."

McCrory concedes gubernatorial race to Cooper - McCrory concedes the election. Grand irony that is the mess of the 2016 elections? The one election that could be seen as an outright referendum on  transgender equality turns out to be a winner for the lgbt community.
 
Of course Mike Pence supported ex-gay therapy - Sorry Mike Pence. You aren't going to bull#@!% your way out of this one.

 Anti-LGBT group files brief in Fairfax County schools lawsuit - The Liberty Counsel strikes from Virginia. This ought to be interesting.

GOP Congressman Says Trump Team Has Given “Assurances” On Religious Freedom Measure - The hurricane is coming. Be ready. 

There Is No "War On Christmas," Unless You Count The Battle For Christian Supremacy - Unfortunately this is true.

American Family Association publication links to race-baiting Breitbart article

Apparently this perspective includes race-baiting articles from Breitbart.

With President-elect Donald Trump naming former Breitbart News head Steve Bannon as his chief White House strategist, well-deserved attention is focused on how Bannon made the publication a hot bed of the white supremacist alt-right. 

However, there is something the media is missing about Breitbart; just how much did it's dog-whistle message affect other so-called conservative publications. Or rather in this case, religious right publications such as the American Family Association's One News Now.

This morning, I noticed a news brief on the Latest from Web links on One News Now:

Race Warriors Decry ‘White Jesus’
 
The link led to a Breitbart article The first two paragraph reads as such:

 In their attempt to politicize everything along racial lines, race warriors are now denouncing traditional Christianity as an invention of white people seeking to dominate and control “people of color” (POC).

Writing for the Blavity website, billed as “the Buzzfeed for black millennials,” race warrior Danni Roseman proclaims her progressive alienation from Christianity after being “bombarded with images of this sandy-brown-haired, blue-eyed, White man”—namely, Jesus Christ.

I doubt that this is merely the first time  One News Now linked to  Breitbart  and it does lead one to wonder just how much does race-baiting play a part in the American Family Association's supposed Christian message. It's not as overt as the publication's usual anti-lgbt message but it's just as ugly.

Friday, December 02, 2016

'GLAAD's 'Trump Accountability Project' perfect tool for community, journalists' & other Fri. midday news briefs


GLAAD Launches ‘Trump Accountability Project - GLAAD is showing us how to deal with four years under Trump. We've only got two choices - either quake in abject fear of what may happen to our community or jump on that horse and fight him when he and his Administration steps against us while at the same time using their new spotlight as a "sword of Damocles" over their heads to show America that behind their "traditional values" veneer lies a nasty homophobic sheen they can't  even baptize away. You know what choice I've already made. And GLAAD is making the same one: 

 The Trump Accountability Project was conceived in the immediate aftermath of the election and cemented after Trump’s 60 Minutes interview, in which he made statements on LGBTQ issues that differed from things he had said in the past, Ellis says. “We convened and decided that as we started to see possible cabinet members and people that were surrounding Donald Trump,” she says, “We realized that we really needed to create a resource for the media that allowed them to understand where these people actually stood.” The project website already includes pages about Trump as well as Vice President-elect Mike Pence; Steve Bannon, who will be Trump’s chief strategist; future chief of staff Reince Priebus; Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for secretary of education; attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions; and others. Trump’s page, for example, is comprised of sections titled “on LGBTQ equality,” “on race/religion/national origin,” “a history of attacking women,” “on climate change,” “on civil liberties” and “on vaccinations.” 
Trump Accountability Project - GLAAD's project in living color. Let's dance. 

In other news: 

 An Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Is Wielding Growing Power On Trump's Transition Team - Media Matters jumps on the Wired magazine article I featured last night. More of an example of why FRC should be afraid. There will be a closer scrutiny on its tactics.  

LGBT groups sign letter opposing Sessions nomination - Wonderful beginning.

 Want to Feel Better About the World? Help an LGBT Senior - Let's end today's news briefs with a kind note because in the end, love is what it's all about. . .  

Why These Moms Chose To Travel A ‘Scary’ Path To Becoming A Family - . . . love for ourselves, our communities, and our families

Video: Trump appointees are potential disasters for the lgbt community

Just how bad are President-elect Trump's cabinet appointees look when it comes to lgbt rights and equality. Let my friend, Matt Baume count the ways. The following video isn't meant to depress you. It's meant to motivate you:

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Family Research Council called out for using anti-lgbt junk science

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council constantly uses junk science.

It took the online magazine Wired only one article to do to the anti-lgbt Family Research Council what I have been attempting to do for over a decade and what our lgbt leaders should be doing on a daily basis

Like I've said many times before, it's not enough to call the Family Research Council bigots and a "hate group." You have to go into detail, like Wired magazine does in this wonderful article, Trump’s Transition Team Is All Tied Up With Anti-Gay Pseudoscience:

The Family Research Council isn’t content to oppose homosexuality on religious grounds; instead, it uses pseudoscience to give its homophobia a flimsy veneer of objectivity. And it could wind up shaping the incoming president’s policies.

 . . . That the FRC has found its way back into a position of influence over the presidency shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The group has been making political moves since the early 1980s. Since then, it’s grown to become the most successful progeny of an effort among social conservatives to move the basis of their policy recommendations away from Scripture and toward sociology. Not that legitimate sociology is where the FRC has arrived. Rather, the group is to homophobia what the National Policy Institute is to the alt-right—a bland, respectable-sounding, quasi-academic front for a hateful, regressive ideology. It comes packaged in a way that looks like real science but is really just cherry-picked data stitched together to serve its agenda.

 . . . The papers the FRC produces often purport to be meta-analyses—studies of studies. Rather than compiling an accurate synthesis of mainstream scientific inquiry, however, the group mis-contextualizes data to arrive at a desired conclusion. This technique is how the FRC manages to link homosexuality to, among other things, pedophilia and shortened lifespans, despite strong scientific consensus to the contrary. When the group is not twisting mainstream scientists’ numbers, it’s citing organizations such as the American College of Pediatricians, which sure sounds like the American Academy of Pediatrics but is actually a far-right breakaway group with only 200 members.

 It’s pretty much the same story with the research FRC produces itself. “The FRC’s research is just a giant exercise in selection bias,” says Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “If being rich makes you more likely to be married, a study that says being married makes you rich will always find that result.”

The FRC has mis-designed many sociological experiments. If you want to study whether children fare better emotionally when raised by heterosexual or homosexual married couples, as FRC purported to do, you would need to make sure all conditions besides the parents’ sexual orientations were the same in order to truly compare them. Instead, the FRC study mostly looked at children of same-sex couples that weren’t married, had pre-existing emotional troubles, and were the offspring of previous marriages that ended when one parent came out. The FRC’s findings don’t even pass a basic scientific smell test, according to the American Sociological Association. What’s more, the group’s work isn’t peer-reviewed.

If there is any time a wake up call is due for the lgbt community, it is now.  It's time we stop playing FRC's game and put them on the defensive for a change It's long overdue.

Related post - .16 reasons why the Family Research Council is a hate group

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch

'World AIDS Day should be commemorated with love' & other Thur midday news briefs


Powerful video shows how far the world has come in HIV treatment - Today is World AIDS Day. It's not a sad day but a bittersweet one. Let us remember those we have lost, those who are touched by this situation, and above all, let's celebrate our universal capacity for strength, resilience, and love.  

These Posters Vividly Document The History Of The HIV/AIDS Epidemic - And let's not forget history. 

Related post - Events for World AIDS DAY  

Also - Resources

Trans students sue school district which bans them from using certain bathrooms - Good going, kids! Stand up for yourselves. I support you fully.  

Family Research Council creates false persecution controversy & defends white supremacist enabling publication - Reposting last night's item. Not only is the Family Research Council attempting to create a new so-called victim of "gay persecution," but at the same time, the group trying to shield white supremacists from criticism in order to protect it's "investment" of Donald Trump.  

Man Pleads Guilty for Role in Same-Sex Parental Kidnap Case - It's been a long time, but we haven't forgotten about the Lisa Miller/Janet Jenkins case.

 Michael Brown: Christians Who Accept Same-Sex Marriage Spread ‘Poison,’ Should Not Be Welcomed Into The Church - Just when did God give Michael Brown the right to decide who should be allowed in "the Church?"