Wednesday, December 31, 2008
2008 is almost over. I plan to spend the time counting down in the solitude of my home in hopeful peace and quiet.
I haven't been in the party mood for years; although I do remember a wild New Year's Eve party ten years ago when I attended Winthrop University.
Shut your dirty mind because it wasn't that type of party. The most you can do when you are the only gay in a heterosexual fraternity is get drunk, dance badly and pass out on the floor.
Which is what I did. Glad to say that I wasn't alone. We all passed out on the floor eventually.
Ten years later, I face 2009 with more of a clear head and optimism.
Incredibly this year, this country elected our first African-American president. Yeah I know - the Rick Warren thing.
But that aside for a second, it's still a remarkable acheivement that I thought I would never see.
And despite the Warren thing, I remain hopeful that an Obama Administration will be good for lgbts. Bear in mind I did not say good to lgbts.
I said good for lgbts in that we get a lot done.
So Rick Warren aside, let's work on getting our goals met rather than how far we can throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Enough preaching cause I know some of you probably don't like what I just said.
The following links are a reminder of just who our real enemy is:
Study: Family behavior key to health of gay youth - This study repeats the same thing many studies say about lgbts and behavior. It is how our families and society treats us that can lead to positive or negative behavior. How long will it be before the religious right distorts this study like the others?
Advocates fear attack on gay adoption by Louisiana lawmaker - The very idea that Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal puts Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on a committee that could look at gay adoption and families just proves that he has no place NEAR the White House. You will remember that the FRC is the organization that once housed those Paul Cameronesque studies about gays and pedophilia.
Lesbian couple wins suit against Methodist camp - One News Now starts early work for a 2009 Misinformer Award. The article omits the part of the story about the tax breaks. Unbelievably, those posting comments didn't let One News Now forget.
Well that's it. Maybe Mr. "I want you, I need you, I gotta have you now" will show up at my door tonight.
Either way, Happy New Year and above all, be safe ;p.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Ye shall know them by their fruits - Matthew 7:16
The lies continue and they are doozies!
Janelle Hallman, a researcher from NARTH (National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality), an organization pushing discredited ex-gay therapy, cites Paul Cameron in her book, The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource.
Lifesite News, a Roman Catholic "news" site, refers to a discredited Paul Cameron study that he falsely claimed to have presented to the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007 .
Discredited researcher Paul Cameron tours Russia where his history of distortions is virtually unknown. He speaks at Moscow State University and repeats much of his discredited work, including lie about gays and child molestation.
Insure.com, a publicly traded insurance company, continues to cite work from discredited researcher Paul Cameron even after it is alerted on his many censures and breaches of professional ethics.
In a brochure, The Slippery Slope of Same Sex Marriage, the Family Research Council cites the 2001 Dutch study by Maria Xiridou despite the fact that the study had nothing to do with same sex marriage.
In an article published in the American Family Association's One News Now, ex-gay organization PFOX claims that a "recent study" says that "the increased risk of suicide that is linked with young people who identify themselves as homosexuals before achieving full maturity -- a process encouraged by many homosexual high school clubs." The study in question, Risk Factors for Attempted Suicide in Gay and Bisexual Youth by Remafedi, Farrow, and Deisher, is not recent because it was published in 1991.
Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and one of the authors of the study mentioned by PFOX (see above entry), claims the "ex-gay" organization distorted his research findings.
The Palm Center announces that a Duke University law review will be publishing a critique of a 2007 article by Elaine Donnelly. Donnelly is the president of the Center for Military Readiness, a traditional values interest group with no military or academic affiliation. According to Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin, Donelly's article is riddled with mistakes and misreadings of both Palm Center work and the "don't ask, don't tell" law and policy that governs gay service.
Elaine Donnelly testifies in front of a Congressional committee looking at the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law that deals with gays in the military. Her testimony, rife with fear stories of transgenders in the military, lesbians taking pictures of women in the shower, and gay men with AIDS, does nothing to help her argument in the eyes of the Congressional committee.
Robert Knight, of the right-wing Media Research Center, attempts to spin Donnelly's failed testimony as that of a "valiant woman facing an ultra liberal committee."
"Ex-gay" Greg Quinlan inaccurately claims that the director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins, said that homosexuality is not hardwired. Dr. Francis had gone on record in 2007 declaring that he never made this statement. When confronted with his inaccuracy by the webpage ExGayWatch, Quinlan accuses ExGayWatch of making up Dr. Collins's rebuke.
Dr. Collins confirms that he did complain about the inaccuracy of the "hardwired" quote.
The Maryland anti-gay industry group pushing the referendum against the anti-discrimination law protecting transgendered citizens is dealt a death blow when a court decision stops their efforts. The law goes into effect immediately afterwards. One News Now, however, inaccurately claims that the anti-gay industry group gained 900,00 valid signatures. They are off by a huge amount. The group only received 26, 813 valid signatures.
Professor Michael King of University College in the United Kingdom accuses the Catholic website LifeSite News and One News Now of distorting his work on the rate of depression and suicide in the gay community.
While misrepresenting Dr. King's work, One News Now adds to the distortion by citing the work of the discredited Paul Cameron.
Lisa Diamond, University of Utah professor, accuses anti-gay group NARTH of grossly and deliberately distorting her work on sexual orientation.
In a successful attempt to pass Proposition 8, a law that would outlaw gay marriage in California, the religious right group 'Yes on 8' spreads the following stories - not passing Proposition 8 will lead to pastors being arrested for not performing gay marriage and children will be forced to learn about homosexuality. On that last point, the group gets an assist from David Parker who films an interview with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins. Parker exaggerates his tale of being arresting including claiming that his son brought home a book about homosexuality. The book in question was about differing families and only one family featured in the book was of a same sex nature.
Members of the religious right make the claim that the gay community is conducting an organized campaign of violence and intimidation against the voters of Proposition 8. To prove this, they cite an incident of a 69-year-old woman who has a styrofoam cross ripped out of her hand during a silent vigil protesting Proposition 8. They omit the fact that the woman, Phyllis Burgess, pushed her way through the crowd of protestors to be on camera even at the point of allegedly knocking down a disabled man.
An uncoordinated wildcat gay rights group in Michigan, Bash Back, invade a local church where they allegedly pull a fire alarm, make out at the pulpit, and shout blasphemies in front of children. However, area police say the church exaggerated some details of the story. Also some religious right groups incorrectly link the group Bash Back with the Proposition 8 protests, which have been peaceful.
Mike Heath, head of the Main Family Policy Council, accuses the gay community of "hate crimes against Christians" because of the Proposition 8 vote, including a bomb sent to a missionary in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is a blatant lie because the incident and the organization the missionary was involved in had nothing to do with gays, Proposition 8, California, the Mormon church, etc.
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman declares that Florida's ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional. She especially criticizes the testimony of George A. Rekers, an expert that the state called on to testify about its ban. Lederman says Dr. Rekers’ beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions that are not consistent with the science. Based on his testimony and demeanor at trial, the court can not consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy. This is the same conclusion that a judge in Arkansas reached regarding Rekers' testimony regarding that state's adoption ban in 2005. During his Florida testimony, Rekers repeated Paul Cameronesque lies about the gay community and even said he would consider banning Native Americans from adopting children for the same reasons he would consider banning gays.
President-Elect Barack Obama faces a firestorm of criticism from the lgbt community due to his selection of prominent pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Warren faces criticism due to his support of Proposition 8 in California and his comparing lgbt relationships to incest and pedophilia. In an address on his church’s website, Warren accuses his critics of “Christophobia” and claims that he never compared lgbt relationships to incest and pedophilia. However, an interview on Beliefnet.com clearly shows that Warren did compare lgbt relationships to incest and pedophilia.
The American Family Association complains that Campbell Soup is lending support to the alleged “homosexual agenda” because the company ran an ad in two issues of the lgbt-oriented Advocate magazine. The AFA is especially critical of the ad content because it features two lesbians and their son. This complaint comes at the same time the AFA’s newsite, One News Now, are calling lgbts “intolerant” for their anger over Rick Warren.
I am highly optimistic about 2009. The lgbt community are becoming more aware and highly skilled in exposing religious right distortions.
Consistency is the key to our victory. As long as they tell lies, we need to be there to tell the truth.
Like clockwork, the religious right is telling lies about the yesterday's decision in New Jersey regarding the church owned pavilion and the lesbian couple who sued for access to it for their wedding.
Even before yesterday's decision, the religious right distorted the case to make it seem that lgbts are forcing Christians to "accept" gay marriage.
However the church lost the case because it was accepting tax breaks for the pavilion and a proviso for these tax breaks said that the pavilion to all with no exceptions
But of course Matt Staver and the Liberty Counsel spins the case to make it seem that lgbts are attempting to harm Christians:
“The clash between same-sex unions and religious freedom has arrived, and that clash will increase. We’ve seen a pastor arrested in Sweden for preaching that homosexuality is contrary to biblical principles. When the alarm was sounded, some thought it was all hype. But when a church has to sacrifice its religious convictions in order to invite the public to use its facilities, the threat to liberty is not hype. Whenever a right is granted to same-sex unions, then a right is taken from religious liberty and freedom of speech. Same-sex unions pose a serious threat to freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion.”
Jeremy from Goodasyou exposes Staver's statment for the lie that it is:
FACT: The New Jersey pavilion was open to public usage, without any hesitation until gays and lesbians wanted to start using the building for same-sex civil unions. It's not a religious matter -- it's about allowing the heterosexual public to use your facility, but not the homosexual public.
FACT: Nobody is trying to force churches to marry ANYONE (straight or gay). But this building was not and is not a church, and folks like Mat Staver KNOW IT! They are exploiting the fact that the building had church ties, all the while overlooking that those church ties had never previously been used to bar straight couples.
FACT: The Swedish pastor that the right loves to use, Ake Green, was arrested (but later acquitted) because Sweden, unlike America, has strict hate speech laws. Plus, it was only after his words were published publicly that he caught scrutiny.
FACT: Nobody is proposing similar laws here in the states, regardless of what folks like Staver want folks to believe. In fact, gays and progressives are more commonly on the side of protecting unpopular speech. For an example, see how Barney Frank was one of only 3 members of Congress to vote against a law designed to restrict Westboro Baptist's funeral-picketing pastime.
FACT: As a movement, gays and progressive allies are seeking CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY. The way "religious freedom" REALLY applies to this matter is in regards to how everyone's civil liberties should be protected from being stifled by others' faith-based beliefs!
Monday, December 29, 2008
I haven't posted this much in one day for a while.
In New Jersey, a case that has been a flashpoint for and against gay marriage in New Jersey has been decided and it is a victory for our side:
A New Jersey township that is owned by a church probably violated the civil rights of a lesbian couple when it refused to rent an open-air beachfront pavilion to the couple for use in a civil union ceremony, a state commissioner has concluded.
The finding, issued by J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, director of New Jersey's Division on Civil Rights, said an investigation had determined there was reason to pursue anti-discrimination charges against the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association for denying Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster permission to rent its Boardwalk Pavilion for their civil union ceremony.
The pavilion had long been available for rental and use for secular events.
Today's ruling states in part, "When it invites the public at large to use it, the Association is subject to the Law Against Discrimination, and enforcement of that law in this context does not affect the Association’s constitutionally protected right to free exercise of religion."
The ruling -- called a "Finding of Probable Cause" -- does not resolve the civil rights complaint. It means only that the state has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is "sufficient evidence" to support a "reasonable suspicion" the anti-discrimination law has been violated.
Bernstein and Paster, who live in Ocean Grove, had applied for permission to rent the pavilion for their civil union ceremony in March 2007, but the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, which owns the pavilion, denied their request because it said the civil union ceremony conflicted with the religious beliefs of the United Methodist Church (UMC).
While this is a victory for our side, the case has been a rallying point for those against gay marriage. This ruling will, no doubt, add fuel to the fire of their claims that gay marriage does constrict religious freedom in this country.
Except for one thing.
When One News Now and the rest of the religious right start whining about this story, you most likely will not hear these details:
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, which is affiliated with UMC, owns the pavilion and all the land in Ocean Grove -- a nearly one-square-mile section of Neptune Township originally founded as a seaside religious retreat. Homeowners there lease land from the church group.
The Association said it was not required to permit civil union ceremonies in its Boardwalk Pavilion based on First Amendment rights.
But in its investigation, the civil rights division found that the Camp Meeting Association had been permitting the public to use the pavilion for weddings and secular events prior to the request from Bernstein and Paster.
The investigation found that the association was even granted a tax exemption for the pavilion from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) nearly twenty years ago.
The church group was eligible for the exemption under the state's Green Acres law, DEP found, because it said that the pavilion would be open to the public "on an equal basis."
So basically, while the pavilion is the church group's property, the church group has been applying for tax breaks under a state law that requires said property to be open and nondiscriminatory for all.
Seems to me that if you are applying for and receiving tax breaks under a law that requires your property to be open to the public on an equal basis, then you should follow that law.
Whether you are a religious body or not.
UPDATE - Box Turtle Bulletin breaks the situation down with its usual excellent analysis.
Ye shall know them by their fruits - Matthew 7:16
The lgbt community must never forget who our real enemies are. Our real enemies are not people of faith who believe that homosexuality is a sin. The real enemies of lgbt folks are ignorance and fear as well as the organizations and talking heads who exploit fear, ignorance for the sake of prominence and who will rely on discredited research and distorted anecdotes to make people of faith think that lgbts are out to get them.
And in 2008, these organizations and talking heads showed their asses often and unashamedly. This list of activities is so large that I have to break it up into two parts. Also, check out my last post on the 2008 Misinformers of the Year for a good laugh at the religious right:
Paul Cameron’s discredited study on “gay criminal habits” is cited as fact by supermarket tabloid magazine National Examiner.
Members of the anti-gay industry (i.e. Concerned Women for America, etc.) claim that a possible outbreak of staph infections amongst gay men in San Francisco is the result of a “politically correct” doctrine of not telling people about the so-called dangers of homosexuality. Some even infer that it is the new AIDS crisis. However, the Centers for Disease Control quickly issue a statement that will hopefully reign in future hyperbole. Amongst other things, the statement says: The strains of MRSA described in the recent Annals of Internal Medicine have mostly been identified in certain groups of men who have sex with men (MSM), but have also been found in some persons who are not MSM. It is important to note that the groups of MSM in which these isolates have been described are not representative of all MSM, so conclusions can not be drawn about the prevalence of these strains among all MSM.
In a show of unmitigated gall, anti-gay industry groups led by Concerned Women for America and Americans for Truth do not address their distortions of the MRSA infection. Instead, they try reverse psychology in claiming that they want to help gay rights group stop the infection.
Concerned Women for America leads the charge of anti-gay industry groups claiming that gay rights groups “strong armed” the medical community to play down the MRSA story. They do not offer any proof of their claims. In addition, Matt Barber (Concerned Women for America) and Peter LaBarbera (Americans for Truth) deny that they linked the MRSA infection to the AIDS crisis in their original spins. However, comments they originally said about the MRSA infection show otherwise.
An anti-gay industry group in Maryland hoping to get petition signatures against a law protecting the transgender community from discrimination are the recipients of an “interesting” media opportunity. They had complained that new law could lead to men “dressed as women” entering women’s locker rooms and bathrooms. Conveniently, there is a report of an incident of this situation taking place at a local gym. However it is highly suspicious. The woman reporting the incident just happens to be a member of the group attempting to get petition signatures. For this reason and others, the incident is dismissed by many as a publicity stunt. However the stunt and claims are successful. The group forces a referendum on the bill.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force head Matt Foreman says in a speech that the gay community must take more of a responsibility in fighting AIDS. He says that AIDS is a gay disease. Despite the fact that NAACP member Julian Bond has said pretty much the same thing about AIDS and the black community, members of the anti-gay industry trumpet Foreman's speech as proof that homosexuality leads to AIDS.
Concerned Women for America member Matt Barber claims to reveal the "gay agenda." His "revelation" is an old one; it is the claim that the gay community is trying to take over America through points of attack from After the Ball, a book that many lgbts have never heard of.
An article in a Focus on the Family magazine cites the 1984 book The Male Couple to make the case that gay relationships involve promiscuity. However the article does not give the name of the book. This means of course it omits the caveat by the authors of The Male Couple that their research was not meant to be the best representation of all gay couples.
Focus on the Family member Glenn Stanton says that there is a "clear consensus" among anthropologists that "A family is a unit that draws from the two types of humanity, male and female." Stanton, who is not an anthropologist, is quickly challenged by legitimate people in the field such as American Anthropological Association. They call his claim a "gross misrepresentation of the position of the anthropological community on gay marriage"
Deerfield High School is accused by the anti-gay industry of "indoctrinating students into the homosexual agenda." This accusation involves a book, Angels in America, that was recommended as an assigned book in a senior AP English class. The book details the early days of the AIDS crisis and contains sexually graphic language. However, many lodging the accusation against Deerfield omitted that the book was not required for reading. Also, parents had to opt-in their children in the class, which means they knew fully well what the reading choices would be.
Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern gives a talk to a local Republican group where she says homosexuality is worse than terrorism. She also cites Paul Cameronesque statistics on the alleged gay life span and claims that gays are trying to "indoctrinate" two-year olds.
In defending Sally Kern, Concerned Women for America brings up the 1987 book After The Ball. The organization accuses the gay community of relying on tactics in the book to "bully" Kern. The organization also does not give any proof as to an orchestrated plan by the gay community to do such.
Mary Frances Forrester, wife of a North Carolina state representative, writes a column for a right-wing publication in which she pushes forth the hackneyed claim that gays are plotting to undermine "Christian values." In her column, she cites the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. She also cites the Michael Swift piece from 1987, omitting the part of the piece that clearly called it satire. She even gets Michael Swift's name wrong, calling him "Mark Swift."
Concerned Women for America accuses Human Rights Campaign head Joe Solmonese of potentially "risking lives in pursuit of a political agenda." The organization claims that Solmonese "recklessly" demanded that the Food And Drug Administration's ban on blood donations by men having sex with men be lifted. However the group omits that Solmonese was merely commenting on testimony by American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks and America’s Blood Centers that the ban should be lifted. Concerned Women for America also does not comment on these organizations' testimony. The press release sent out by the organization focuses solely on attacking Solmonese.
Janet Folger, in a column defending Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern's statements about homosexuality, refers to a 1997 Canadian study as proof that gays have a short life span. However, in 2001 the authors of the study complained on record that the anti-gay industry have been distorted this study.
Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, in an interview about immigration laws denying the foreign partners of gay Americans the ability to immigrate to the U.S. unlike their heterosexually-married counterparts, says that he would prefer the United States deport gays and lesbians. He later apologizes for the comment.
Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern writes a letter to the editor to a local newspaper defending her comments about homosexuality. Amongst other things, she cites a study by Paul Cameron. She also distorts the 1997 Canadian study as proof that gays have a short life span. She does this despite the fact that in 2001 the authors of the study went on record complaining how it has been distorted by the anti-gay industry.
Matt Barber of Concerned Women for America falsely claims that "multiple studies have established that homosexual conduct, especially among males, is considerably more hazardous to one’s health than a lifetime of chain smoking." Barber also refers to the 1997 Canadian study to claim that gays have a short lifespan. He addresses the 2001 complaint by the researchers of the study regarding the misusage of their work. Barber tries to dismiss the complaint as "worthless fluff." He also says that the researchers were under "tremendous pressure" to complain. However, he neglects to go into detail as to what pressure was "exerted" on the researchers. He is taken to task for this distortion on many left-wing and right-wing webpages and blogs.
Conservative columnist Kevin McCullough falsely claims that ENDA (Employee Non-Discrimination Act) would make it difficult for churches to fire youth ministers found to be having inappropriate relationships with young boys in church programs.
Coming tomorrow - things really get ugly.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
As 2008 draws to a close and we anticipate the possible joys and pains of 2009, let us not forget those who have tried to make life hell for lgbts.
This year, they were in rare form. Sometimes, they drove us a little north of where we were supposed to be.
But at other times, it was pleasureable to watch them leap through all sorts of ethical hoops in their ongoing struggle against the evil of the so-called Godless homosexuality, which everyone knows is the best kind of homosexuality.
So with that in mind, I present . . .
The Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Misinformers of the Year Awards
“Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes” Award Part 1
Peter LaBarbera - You just know that our friend Peter was going to snag at least one award. Of all of Porno Petey's exploits in 2008, one stands out.
Earlier this year, there was a small break out of staph infections amongst a group of gay men in San Francisco. Rather than waiting for the entire story to come out, members of the religious right (especially LaBarbera) claimed that this infection (MRSA) proved that homosexuality is a so-called “dangerous lifestyle.” LaBarbera in general tried to link MRSA to the early days of the AIDS crisis.
The Centers for Disease Control quickly said that based on the information, the MRSA infection had nothing to do with the lgbt orientation. In an attempt to backtrack from earlier statements, LaBarbera claimed that “gay activists” were falsely accusing him of calling MRSA a “new gay plague.”
But no one accused him of this. LaBarbera was playing a game of semantics to cover up his jumping the gun. However, judge for yourself after reading LaBarbera’s original claim:
Is this not an eerie reminder of the initial stories 25 years ago about AIDS -- then called GRID (Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disease)? It is unfathomable that after that plague, disease specialists and the media are now surprised at the correlation of new infections with homosexual behavior;Wake up, medical and political establishment: homosexual behavior is unhealthy -- no matter how many secular sermons you preach against "homophobia." Due to liberal political correctness, which treats aberrant -- even deadly -- behaviors as a "civil right," we as a society don't seem to have learned much from the AIDS pandemic.
Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes " Award Part 2
Rick Warren - Warren is a classic example of giving some people enough rope to hang themselves. In the furor caused by President-Elect Obama’s selection of him to give the inaugural invocation, Warren tried to blame lgbts for the controversy. In a video message on his church’s webpage, Warren said he never equated same sex relationships to incest or pedophilia. Unfortunately for him, an online interview with Beliefnet.com proved otherwise.
So the question remains were we the ones who gave Warren the rope or was it Obama?
“Now that I’ve got it on my shoe, how do I get it off” Award
The Mormon church - Come on guys, while it is true that you were well within your First Amendment rights, there are consequences for every action done and every word said. In your victory regarding the Proposition 8 vote in California, you did the following:
Jumped into a situation that had absolutely nothing to do with the survival of the Mormon church.
Put up a wad of cash to fund lies about gays forcing children to be “indoctrinated” about homosexuality.
Aligned yourselves with people and groups who think that you are a cult and basically despise you.
Beat up on a group of people who, to my knowledge, have never done you any harm.
And all in the name of God.
The "Height of Hypocrisy" Award
The American Family Association, various religious right groups - After weeks of railing against lgbts for our Proposition 8 protests, after espousing the beliefs about a free nation and people's right to make choices unafraid, after wrapping themselves up in the flag of democracy, the AFA and various religious right groups made a 360 degree turn and called for a boycott against Campbell Soup for ads placed in the Advocate magazine. And the main bone of contention - the ads dared to show a same-sex couple and their child enjoying a bowl of soup.
Now see, I thought we were going to do the soup indoctrination thing after the inauguration.
"If Edward R. Murrow was alive, he would beat the hell out of you" Award
American Family Association's One News Now - This phony news services makes any of the yellow journalism committed by William Randolph Hearst look like Pulitzer Prize-winning material.
From writing articles telling only one side of the story, to its citing of Paul Cameron and legitimate studies taken out of context, to the hilarious comments section (where the so-called Christian readers of the site repeatedly reveal their abject ignorance and bigotry), if One News Now tells the true "Christian" side of today's cultural issues, then I think Jesus needs to sit some of his followers down for a looooong talk on truth.
Janet Folger Porter - Anti-gay spokesperson Porter finally reached her nadir of nuttiness this year through a column that took an interestingly mind-boggling look into the future of a Hilary Clinton presidency. Apparently in this future, gays have taken over and are working to re-educate her and other “Christians.” Those who will not re-educate will be imprisoned in filthy dungeons.
And here I thought the most we were going to do was strap them down and force them to watch Funny Lady for 24 consecutive hours.
“Exposed for Lying but He Keeps on Trying” Lifetime Achievement Award
Paul Cameron - Despite the fact that he is constantly and consistently exposed for bad research tactics, Cameron continues to spout his discredited anti-gay studies. And what’s more, he is referred to continuously by members of the religious right. This year, Cameron even traveled to Russia and gave a talk at Moscow State University. You gotta admire his chutzpah if not his lack of integrity.
“Is She Our Ally or Enemy” Award
Elaine Donnelly - Donnelly, head of the Center for Military Readiness, gave testimony in front of Congress this year against allowing gays to serve openly in the military She actually did more to make our case than we ever could. She got her behind handed to her for spouting inaccurate anecdotes and horror stories designed to appeal to fears about lgbts. And she gives me an idea; perhaps Paul Cameron should be the next to testify in front of Congress.
"Is He Our Ally or Enemy" Award
George Rekers - Former University of South Carolina professor and Family Research Council board member George Rekers struck a blow for gay adoption this year by testifying against it.
Rekers had testified in defense of Florida's gay adoption ban in November. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman not only ruled against Florida but said that Rekers' testimony cannot be considered as credible or worthy of forming the basis of public policy.
Ironically, this is the same conclusion that Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Timothy White reached in 2005 when Rekers testified in defense of Arkansas's gay adoption ban.
This information enables Rekers to become a two-time award recipient as I now bestow upon him the coveted "Second Verse, Same as the First but the Song Still Sucks" Award.
“Say it loud if you are black and proud but keep that gay *&@ to yourself” Award
To Harry Jackson, Ken Hutcherson, Alveda King, and the rest of the black ministers and spokespeople (this means you too, Crystal Dixon) who spout silly homilies like “don’t equate my skin with your sin” and help propagate the lie that the lgbt orientation and the African-American identity are mutually exclusive.
To all of the black ministers nationwide who knowingly have lgbt of color congregants but will not pursue private one-on-one nonjudgmental conversations with them
To Ebony, Essence, Jet, Emerge and other African-American oriented magazines who write very few articles regarding lgbts of color.
To all of the African-American social organizations who will not even mention lgbts of color.
To all of the African-American oriented television shows (such as House of Payne) who feature no lgbt of color characters.
To all of the African-American motion pictures who feature lgbt of color characters strictly as vehicles for the worst form of comedy.
To BET network for continuing to show Soul Plane almost every month (thereby showcasing the worst stereotypes about lgbts of color).
To all of the civic minded African-American spokespeople and leaders who will not even address the fact that lgbts of color exist.
To all of those in the African-American community who reduce lgbt of color relationships to sexual innuendoes by their patronizing comments like "not caring about who someone sleeps with."
To all of you, thank you for sowing the seeds of inferiority in the minds of lgbts of color and thereby causing them to act in ways that make the HIV rate go up in the African-American community.
And finally . . . .
The Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Misinformer of the Year Award
Matt Barber - This guy’s entire career as a religious right spokesperson has been a fluke from the beginning. Originally, he was fired from AllState Insurance for anti-gay columns he wrote. Although Barber claimed to have written them on his own time, it was alleged that he used company equipment to do so. Also he did involve the company in his nonsense by listing the fact that he was an employee in his columns.
Barber parlayed that furor into becoming a spokesman for Concerned Women for America, where he scrapped with folks like Wayne Besen and Keith Boykin on coast to coast television, despite often times being in way over his head.
Whether using antiquated arguments against lgbts (citing that old inaccurate line about lgbts engaging in a organized campaign to take over America put forth by the book After the Ball) or constantly reminding everyone about alleged gay sexual intercourse (aiding and abetting LaBarbera on the MRSA debacle), Barber's attacks on the lgbt community have bordered on fanatic and loony.
But one act cements this award for Barber.
In June, he repeated the “gays have short lifespan” lie. In doing so, he cited the 1997 Canadian study with the full knowledge that in 2001 the study’s authors complained about the distortion of their work.
And he attacked the credibility of the authors for daring to complain. He called their words “worthless fluff” and said they were under “tremendous pressure” to refute their original work. Naturally Barber did not elaborate about this “tremendous pressure.”
You get that: a failed insurance salesman-cum-rightwing spokesman attacks the credibility of prominent researchers simply because they complain as to how their work has been distorted.
So in the grand scheme of things, we are talking about going from the Immaculate Conception, calming stormy seas, turning water into wine, healing the sick, and raising the dead to attempting make inaccurate information credible with a stroke of a keyboard.
Christianity hasn't fallen this far since Jan Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting discovered hairpieces.
Barber left Concerned Women for America in late 2008 to be a staff member at the religious right college, Liberty University. But he refuses to let go of the spotlight.
Like a quarterback falling on the football and thereby sealing a Superbowl victory, Barber cemented this award with a recent column comparing lgbts and progressives in general to idol worshippers and child sacrificers of Biblical times.
No need to run the clock out, Matt. At this juncture I doubt anyone can match your silliness.
So that's it. Those are my award winners. And by the way, the award is a huge bronx cheer.
Hey, if I really hated these guys, I would force them to listen to the Osmonds' One Bad Apple.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
In the transcript of Rick Warren's comments about the controversy (talked about in my last post), he said he never equated gay marriage with pedophilia or incest:
I have been accused of equating gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia. Now of course as members of Saddleback Church you know I believe no such thing, I never have. You've never once heard me in 30 years heard me talk that way about that.
Well then just what is this statement taken from an interview with Beliefnet.com:
Rick Warren: But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.
Steven Waldman: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?
Rick Warren: Oh I do . …
You can see the video of the interview here and judge for yourself.
In his defense, Warren does try to clarify what he meant in this interview:
. . . in that interview I named several other relationships, in fact I've done it several times, I've named other relationships such as living together, uh or a man with multiple wives or brother sister relationship or adults with children or common law partnerships or all kinds of other relationships. I don't think any of them should be called marriage. Now I was not saying that those relationships were the same thing because I happen to not believe that and I've never taught it. I was just pointing out that I believe the definition of marriage should only be included one definition, a man and a woman for life.
You can take it for what you want, but to me, Warren needs to man up and own his comments. The "explanations" he gives for equating same sex marriage to pedophilia and incest are weak at best.
And it is more proof that Warren's attack on lgbts for calling him out on his dishonesty is unfounded.
In the transcript, Warren also blames the media and bloggers for "creating this controversy."
I guess his lying has nothing to do with it, huh?
Someone needs to tell Warren that the more he talks, the worse he looks.
UPDATE - Apparently Steve Waldman, the Beliefnet writer who interviewed Warren, doesn't agree with the explanations either, but he does add a caveat in another attempt to clarify Warren's comments. I happen to not agree but still it is worth mentioning:
In his December 22 video Warren had an opportunity to do something quite straightforward and healing: clarify, take resonsibility and, ideally, apologize. He did clarify but did not, in my view, take responsibility. He could have simply said, "it came out in a way I didn't mean and I apologize for those who I hurt because of that." It wouldn't have required him to back off his position on gay marriage one iota. Instead, he blamed the media and misremembered or mischaracterized what he'd said.
On the other hand, what's most important is that he did make it clear that he doesn't believe gay relationships are the moral equivalent of incest etc. That idea should now be put to rest.
Hat tip to Teach The Facts for the transcript and to Box Turtle Bulletin for the part about Waldman.
Had to post this one.
Apparently Rick Warren has posted a video about the recent controversy.
According to Americablog:
Warren accuses gays of "hate speech," of launching "hateful attacks" against him, and he then says that gay and lesbian Americans have "Christ-ophobia," a clear effort to mock the term "homophobia." He goes on to explain that gays are "afraid of any Christian," suggesting that gay and lesbian Americans - gay and lesbian Obama voters - are not Christians. He then goes on to call gays criticizing him "evil." All this from a man who compared gay marriage to incest and pedophilia, and who explicitly bans "unrepentant gays" from his church membership.(He also adds that bloggers are "rude" and "need to get a life." I don't really care about that part, it's just more evidence that we're getting under Warren's skin, and that he's not quite ready for prime time.)
Lgbts are obviously getting to Warren and that's good.
And I am glad to see that NO ONE is allowing Warren to get away with playing the victim here.
As John Aravosis so eloquently stated, Warren was the one started this mess by comparing gay marriage to incest and pedophilia, and who explicitly bans "unrepentant gays" from his church membership.
And as Jeremy from Goodasyou.org has said:
We're not hiding. We're not life-deprived. We are daring to stand up against your attempts to deny us of our lives. We in the gay community, in particular, are putting our lives on hold to fight this needless battle that you are FORCING US TO FIGHT! Why? Because we DO love our lives and we refuse to hide them for anyone! HOW DARE YOU trivialize the pain you have caused?!?!?
This is truly a wig-snatching off, earring-removing moment for the lgbt community.
It's like that old ghetto saying: "don't start nothing and there won't be nothing."
I have tried to be moderate about this (mainly because I remember how unneccesarily angry I was about the Donnie McClurkin incident) and I still believe that despite this misstep, an Obama Administration is good for the lgbt community.
But this constant whining by Warren is getting me this close to "losing all of my religion."
Just who in the hell does Warren think he is?
I know I am preaching to the choir, but I really want to know this.
He tells lies about gays wanting to jail Christians, he disrespects us and our relationships, and then when he is called on it, we (the community that have been maligned) are the ones in the wrong because we are complaining about it?
We are the haters? My head is spinning from that lack of logic.
No one has threatened Warren. But there have been vigorous disagreements with his statements. I guess Warren is channeling the mindset of the rest of the religious right - to attack their lies amounts to hatred because they are right even when they are wrong.
I know about Warren's work to fight AIDS but to me, it is the equivalent of putting out a fire that you have started.
Doesn't he realize that the things he says goes a long way in fostering an inferiority mentality amongst lgbts that would lead them into dangerous behavior which in turn leads to catching AIDS?
When you infer that someone is a freak and help to make sure that they cannot prove you wrong, don't be surprised to have a freak on your hands.
If Warren really cared about the lgbt community and AIDS, he would do more to foster monogamous lgbt relationships rather than tell lies in order to kill them.
And then comes the alleged elimination of anti-gay language on his church's webpage.
Instead of trying to beat up on lgbts, Warren needs to come clean on this. Obviously there was a feeling that the language was inappropriate. If not, then why was it removed?
That in itself proves that Warren's whining is inaccurate. Mike Rogers said it best in his smackdown on Hardball - the lgbt community at large has not changed on our position regarding Warren. It is Warren who made the changes.
Warren should just get off of the cross and stop trying to be Joan of Arc because HE started this mess with us.
And we are finishing it.
Warren’s church removes anti-gay statements from website. (If you haven't done anything wrong then why do you feel the need to remove stuff from your webpage, Mr.
Mike Rogers owns Warren defender on Hardball (Of course it's never about "gotcha politics" but I am so sick of weak ass spokespeople on news shows allowing people like Tony Perkins or Mike Huckabee to walk all over them with an Atticus Finch stick. Rogers was clear, to the point, never raised his voice, but controlled the conversation)
Lesbian's brutal gang rape investigated in Calif. (God, I hope this is just an urban legend)
Rule Shields Health Workers Who Withhold Care Based on Beliefs (If Concerned Women for America supports this then it can't be good for the lgbt community)
Yes on 8 Campaign: Liars (You mean they lied about not wanting to overturn the gay marriages that already took place in California? No shit.)
Monday, December 22, 2008
Despite all, I am convinced that despite the Rick Warren controversy, lgbts are in a much better state than we would be in if McCain had been elected president.
And I am equally convinced that an Obama Administration will be good for us.
But I guess a lot of folks don't really get why the lgbt community are up in arms about Warren. Much has been said, broken down, and manipulated, but what I read in One News Now today gives a perfect reason for our anger:
The American Family Association (AFA) says Christian consumers need to know that the Campbell Soup Company embraces the homosexual agenda.
Campbell Soup bought two 2-page ads in the December and January issues of The Advocate, the nation's largest homosexual magazine. The ads promote their Swanson line of broth, and one of the ads highlights the lives of two lesbians, who are portrayed as being married, along with "their" son. Other ads feature chefs from New York City.
Randy Sharp, AFA's director of special projects, says concerned consumers should contact company officials and ask them to stop endorsing homosexuality.
"When you specifically target a homosexual magazine, then your company is basically endorsing these activities; you're endorsing the lifestyle," claims Sharp. "And in one ad, which...clearly shows two lesbians who say they are married, who say they have a son together, ...the Campbell Soup Company is saying 'we approve of homosexual marriage.' There is no question whatsoever of what the intentions of the company are."
Yeah it's clear what the company is trying to do - sell soup, you moron.
Now Mike Huckabee, Warren, and the rest can do fluff televised interviews in order to their point of views sound palpable, but the AFA's objections regarding Campbell Soup is the real face of the religious right in America.
Why shouldn't Campbell Soup sell their products to lgbts? We have families and we eat soup.
Or better yet - just what gives AFA the right to dictate lgbt images? The organization is basically saying, "despite the fact that lgbts families exist and despite the fact that they are consumers, we don't like the idea of lgbt families so we are going to do everything we can to hinder that image."
I'm sure the AFA will give us the standard line of "not hating gays" and "just because you don't agree with the lifestyle means that you hate the person," but it just doesn't wash here.
It's one thing to be angry at a company for whom it gives money to, but this goes beyond the pale.
The AFA is angry because Campbell Soup dared to acknowledge the fact that not only lgbt families exist but they are pretty normal.
This attempt to dehumanize us and stigmatize our families under the guise of religion is what lgbts have to deal with everyday in one form or another.
And frankly, we are getting tired of it.
Unfortunately no one ever seems to want to ask Warren or Huckabee about things like this. And I won't hold my breath waiting for those questions.
Friday, December 19, 2008
It took him a while but our friend Peter LaBarbera finally came through in trying to defend Pastor Rick Warren. Let's look at some clips from his defense:
By blasting Obama for choosing Rick Warren as an Inaugural speaker — and demonizing Warren as a “homophobe” because he supported Prop 8 — homosexual activists are showing the world just how empty their “tolerance” ideology really is
Here’s an outstanding release from Pastor Bryan Fischer with the Idaho Values Alliance, an affiliate of American Family Association. Poor Barack Obama: he’s promised the world to one of the most demanding and unreasonable special interest movements on the planet. Imagine blasting the gregarious Warren as a “homophobe” because he supported Prop 8 in California.
The press release makes it seem that lgbts going to riot in the streets during the event:
Prediction: for the first time in American history, a speaker at a presidential inauguration may be booed unmercifully, and his remarks completely drowned out by angry jeers from an incensed crowd. We may even see shoes tossed at the inauguration platform by the hundreds. It could be a modern day lynching, only this time the victim of a vigilante mob will be proverbially strung up not because of skin color but creed.
At the end of the press release, there is a listing of articles detailing the controversy as if to further illustrate how supposedly "intolerant" lgbts are.
Allow me to present my own list and it speaks to the audacity of the folks on the other side of the issue.
They attack lgbts for our anger at the Warren selection and play that "they say they are tolerant but this proves that they are not" game despite the fact that a short time ago, a lot of them were angry at Newsweek for its article on gay marriage. And they made this displeasure known:
Homosexuality — The Evangelical Temptation
AFA Takes on Newsweek’s Shameful Distortion of the Bible to Shill for Homosexual ‘Marriage’
Mohler on Newsweek article: The ‘biblical case for gay marriage’ falls flat
Newsweek Religion Editor Rewrites the Bible
They call us intolerant despite the fact that a prominent pastor on their side was forced to resign because of his support of same sex relationships:
Evangelical Leader Takes Heat For His ‘Shift’ On Same-Sex Relationships
They call us whiners because of our anger over Warren despite the fact that they have been acting like serious crybabies over incidents involving aetheist displays at Christmas. (Editor's note - If you want to see true award-winning whining, check out the comments section of these articles):
Illinois Christians angry over atheist display
Washington State rewrites holiday display policy
Multicultural displays 'neutering' Christmas
And not long before Peter started shilling for Warren's presence at the inauguration, he was raising hell that a gay marching band would be appearing:
Transgender Twirlers? Homosexual Band to March in Obama’s Inaugural Parade
So what's the deal here?
When the religious right complain about something, it's perfectly okay but when lgbts do the same thing, we are being intolerant?
I don't think so.
I noticed that One News Now has been noticeably silent on the Warren controversy. Thank God for Peter LaBarbera whose pathetic attempts to be relevant does his side more harm than good.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I've noticed that in the Obama/Warren controversy, folks have been making comparisons between inviting Rick Warren and inviting a known racist like David Duke:
You wouldn't give David Duke a prominent place at the inaguration. Also if Warren maligned any other group like he maligned gays, we wouldn't be having this conversation about "having a dialogue."
Those who press this argument do have a point. But the devil is in the details.
People are throwing around the word "homophobic" to describe Warren but what they don't understand is that the word "homophobic" does not have the same power as the words "Anti-Semite" or "racist."
With the words "racist" and "Anti-Semite" comes the history of lynchings, cross burnings, the Holocaust and various other acts of violence.
But before you point out the case of Lawrence King, Matthew Shepard, and others who have suffered homophobic violence, remember one thing.
The racists and the Anti-Semites don't have people like Tony Perkins or James Dobson invited on news programs to give their positions.
And not matter how ugly anti-gay violence is, people like Perkins and Dobson are able to distance themselves from these acts. With a calm visage and a smiling face, they are able to bat down the word "homophobic" as a term that gays use to bash Christians.
This speaks as to how insidious the war against lgbts actually is. For the most part, the weapons are not sticks, knives, and guns, but carefully worded rhetoric and soundbites that have been practiced consistently in meeting rooms until they have the semblance of sounding unthreatening.
So the question is how do we combat this without looking like raging dogs.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I cringe to say this and I know folks are going to be a little upset but . . .
Everyone needs to chill out about Obama selecting Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inaguration.
For the record, I am not in favor of the choice. I think Obama was showing that he is a president for all Americans, even though many of us do not share same views on controversial issues.
It was a clumsy attempt but as much as I hate to admit it, I have to give him points for it.
And I will tell you why I feel this way.
I was involved in the protest when Donnie McClurkin toured for Obama in 2006. I didn't like what happened then but mostly I hated how the entire thing ended. There were folks on our side who were too strident and undisciplined, Donnie McClurkin came out of the controversy smelling like a rose, and still the issues of lgbts of color were not addressed.
Subsequently, I did some soul searching and came to the conclusion that sometimes you have to step back and look at the bigger picture before going off half cocked.
Also, I remember how the religious right acted when Bush was re-elected in 2004.
I remember the cocky comments from pastors who loudly declared that they were the ones who got Bush re-elected and as such folks had better show them some respect.
I remember the words of Bob Jones University in a letter written to Bush after the election:
You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you.
I remember how Bush said the election gave him capital and he was going to use it. And use it he did. We are going to be paying for how he used his capital long after he leaves office.
So when I remember these things, I cringe when I hear the comments of my lgbt brothers and sisters who are already declaring “game over” and calling Obama everything but a child of God.
I cringe to hear the extreme hyperbolic claims that Obama has thrown lgbt families over the side.
Has he really?
No he hasn’t. All he did was reach out to a core of constituents.
Warren and people like him have been unfairly appropriating words like “family” and “values” and making their views seem moderate when they are anything but moderate.
But they are Americans too. And while we see them as misguided, Obama sees them as people that he has been elected to reach out to and represent.
The problem here does not lie with Obama. The problem lies with the assumption that Obama’s election is a magic lamp that will make our problems go away.
That’s not the case. The road got less bumpy with Obama in office but it is still a long road that we have to travel to get what we need.
And we still have work to do. We still have to educate Americans (Obama included) on who we are, what our needs are, and how we have a right to words like “family” and “values.”
Obama is going to be in office for at least four years. During that time, I know that I will not agree with every decision he makes.
But I am still glad he was elected. And I am not ready to say “game over” just yet.
Homobigot Rick Warren to deliver invocation at inauguration
I don't like it but can we do something other than getting on our computers and spew venom? I swear if some of us lgbts did what we needed to do in our individual communities as quick as we throw around hyperbole on blogs, we would be unbeatable.
Of course it's not supposed to be all peaches and cream. I'm sure before it's all said and done, Obama will do things to piss us off as well as delight us.
One thing for sure though. In light of their protests over the recent Newsweek article about religion and gay marriage, the religious right had better not say a damned thing about our supposed "lack of tolerance."
Of course who am I kidding?
But this is the perfect time to act as a community. I am sorry if I offended some by my first statements but I am of the opinion that we shouldn't waste time talking about how "Obama betrayed us."
We need to show our anger as a community over this action. When the religious right gets angry, they complain en masse.
Why should we be any different?
I don't like the assumption that Obama should "get where we are coming from" without some prodding from us from time to time.
And this is one of those times.
So, if you want to complain, here are the appropriate emails to do it. I don't think I have to tell you all to show some dignity and respect. Be courteous:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Parag Mehta is Obama’s LGBT liaison in the transition team.)
email@example.com (Steve Hildebrandt)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
While we are all anticipating an Obama Administration and while the religious right continues to compile inaccurate anecdotes about “gay persecutors,” something strange has taken place on the Family Research Council’s webpage.
Several “studies” about homosexuality are gone.
The following studies are no longer on the Family Research Council’s webpage - The Negative Effects of Homosexuality, Homosexuality and Child Abuse, and Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk.
If you click the following links (taken from here), you will see what I am talking about:
"Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse," Insight No. 247 (Washington, D.C.: Family Research Council), May 17, 2002 (online at: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS02E3)
· "The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality," Insight No. 232 (Washington, D.C.: Family Research Council), March 6, 2001 (online at: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS01B1)
· "Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk," Insight No. 238 (Washington: Family Research Council) November 1, 2001 (online at: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS01J3)
These studies were supposed to show the so-called “dangers of homosexuality.” All of the religious right talking points about lgbts are touched on including:
Gays molest children at a high rate,
Gays have a short life span,
Gays and lesbians don’t know how to be monogamous,
Gays and lesbians have high rate of domestic violence.
The author of these items, Timothy Dailey, is still employed with the Family Research Council and one of his areas of "expertise" is homosexuality. This is highly strange because according to his bio, Dailey’s Ph.D. and qualifications all fall under religion.
For the record, his studies about homosexuality were highly flawed.
In them, Dailey cited out-of-date data compiled in the early 1970s, distorted other studies (including the 1997 Canadian study concerning the “gay life span”), and relied on discredited work (i.e. discredited researcher Paul Cameron).
One of his papers in particular, Homosexuality and Child Abuse, got complaints from former director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections, A. Nicholas Groth.
In 2002, Groth said that Dailey distorted his work to claim that gays molest children at a higher rate than heterosexual men.
The irony is that this was the same error Paul Cameron made with Groth’s work in 1984. Groth complained then too.
I don’t know when Dailey's studies was removed, but they were on the webpage in 2006. It was at that time on my blog I noted how some of them included the following proviso:
Please note: this article is an archived item on Family Research Council's website; the information contained therein may be outdated.
At the time, I called it a "cover your ass disclaimer."
I called the Family Research Council last week in order to get some answers. A very nice woman who answered my call told me that I would have to speak Dailey to get more details.
I left two messages via email and have yet to receive an answer.
So the question is are we seeing some quiet acknowledgment by the Family Research Council that some of their “studies” on lgbts were flawed?
Since I haven't spoken to Dailey, I cannot give a definite answer.
But if this is the case, then I think the Family Research Council owes the lgbt community more than an covert abandonment of these studies.
I would like to have something a bit more public from the Family Research Council. These studies are present on other unaffiliated sites and have probably been used numerous times in attempts to beat back pro-gay legislation.
Also they have helped form inaccurate images put forth about lgbts by the religious right.
In light of how we lgbts have been unfairly called terrorists for our reaction over the Proposition 8 vote, anything less than a full and public acknowledgement is unacceptable.
Anything less than a full and public acknowledgement would be a classic case of throwing rocks and then pleading innocence when those hit by the rocks react.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Rumor control has it (via People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch) that long-time anti-gay talking head Robert Knight is out of a job. This was an email sent to Tips-Q (which despite the email is not an anti-gay site):
We need Bob Knight in the pro-family movement!
Bob and his whole department at Media Research Center have been laid off. Please circulate this message in hopes that another position will surface for him and the rest of his terrific staff.
The list of Bob’s stellar accomplishments would take pages and more time than any of us have. He was a reporter with the Los Angeles Times, has held key positions at several conservative think tanks, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America. He has been instrumental in the battle to preserve marriage. He has written compelling pieces about the threat to religious liberty of “hate crimes” and ENDA legislation. He has exposed the pseudo-science of the “born gay” claims of homosexual advocates.He has appeared on countless TV and radio shows and always represents our side with truth, humor and grace.
At MRC, Bob’s department has done a terrific job of tracking the bias against Christians and conservatives in the mainstream media.
As we approach one of the darkest times in recent American history, the knowledge and experience of a fine Christian man like Bob Knight is needed more than ever. We understand the tough financial woes of Christian groups, yet a background like his is rare and should not go unutilized.
Please circulate this to all Christian and conservative contacts.
Robert Knight is many things but I really don't think being a Christian would fit his classifications. And he has NOT represented the other side with truth, humor, and grace. On the contrary, he has used lies, innuendoes, and out-and-out deceptions.
For years, via his involvement with the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, Knight has accused lgbts of everything except pulling tags off of mattresses and squeezing the Charmin.
Knight has called us pedophiles on more than one occasion:
“The ‘gay agenda’ targets children. They’re luring kids into homosexual behavior. There is a strong undercurrent of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture.” - Rolling Stone, March, 18, 1999
“Knight feels the festival organizers’ excuse that the kids’ films were being shown in a separate part of the theater is not good enough. He says there is a cavalier attitude on the part of pro-homosexual advocates, who believe there is nothing wrong with homosexual sex, and therefore, if the kids happen to get exposed to it, their response is ‘So what? Maybe some of them might be gay, and maybe this will inspire them.’" - Parents Warned Against ‘Family-unfriendly’ Film Festivals - Agape Press - December 13, 2004
He has disrespected our lesbian sisters:
“If you look at the footage from Operation Rescue, um, vigils outside abortion clinics, you will see that the anti Operation Rescue demonstrators invariably have a pink triangle on and they are usually pretty big heavy set women who look like they’ve been over working October Fest for the last six years . . .” - Reclaiming America For Christ Conference, “Homosexuality” panel, February 28, 1999
He has on occasion distorted the work of legitimate researchers and have attacked their credibility when challenged on it. In 1998, he attacked pediatrician Robert Garafalo when Garafalo complained as to how the religious right was misusing his study on gay teens. Knight had the temerity to call him a "thrall of political correctness."
Knight has even used the lovely time-old bullshit claim that homosexuality is wrong because the "parts don't fit:"
Just look at the human body!” Says Knight. “You can’t fool nature. The rectum was not made for sexual activity.” Then, impishly, he adds, “it is an exit ramp, not an entry ramp.”
To me, the most egregious thing Knight has done is to refer to the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. He has done this on many occasion in his "research studies" and including in front Congress on July 29, 1994 when speaking against ENDA.
I had the misfortune of meeting Knight in 2004 and I asked him about using Cameron's work. His words to me were:
“Yes we have used his research. So what?”
And here I thought the Bible spoke against bearing false witness.
So if the rumors are true and Knight has been put out to pasture, I will not mourn his loss. I won't necessarily dance in the streets either.
To do such a thing would be tacky and let's face it - Knight will probably not be out of work for long. The religious right can always use a morally malleable individual like him.
But if he can't get a job with some other religious right group or conservative thinktank, let's hope Knight pursues an honest line of work for a change.
Might I suggest pimping. After all, he has gotten enough experience pimping lgbts.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The United Nations resolution urging countries to decriminalize homosexuality gives us an interesting view into the religious right mindset.
The non-binding resolution, backed by the 27-member European Union, calls on governments worldwide to decriminalize homosexuality. France, which put forth the initiative on Human Rights Day, is expected to submit a draft of the proposal at the U.N. General Assembly next week.
More than 80 countries have laws against homosexuality, including nine that prescribe death as punishment.
The resolution has opposition from the Roman Catholic Church which claims that it would lead to same-sex marriage.
Interestingly enough due to negative outcry, the Vatican seems be opposing the resolution and giving it support at the same time:
The United States government has yet to give an answer about the resolution which is still being drafted and carries the support of 56 countries.
But leave it to One News Now and former Concerned Women for American spokesperson Matt Barber to put an incorrect spin on the story:
The decision (I think the article meant resolution) represents just one step in the overall plan of homosexual strategists, according to Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel. "It's a brave new world out there, and homosexual activists have infiltrated the ranks of the United Nations. So I will not be surprised if this resolution does in fact pass," he contends.
. . . If the resolution succeeds, Barber fully expects a push to begin for recognition of homosexual "marriage" that could become a party of international treaties, binding signatory nations to recognition.
Barber offers no proof about his claim of "homosexual strategists" and it's not the first time he has exploited the fear of the unknown as a substitute for truth. On more than one occasion, Barber has conjured up the specter of invisible hordes of "homosexal strategists" or nameless groups of "radical homosexual activists" to justify his claims.
The most recent attempt came earlier this year when he addressed how researchers were complaining as to how he and other members of the religious right were distorting their work to claim that gays have a short lifespan.
Barber said that the researchers were under "tremendous pressure" to complain. Of course he didn't offer any proof of this at the time. Just like he doesn't offer any proof of his lie about "homosexual strategists" in the U.N.
(I talk about the situation regarding Barber and the Canadian study here and here.)
Using the threat of gay marriage to oppose a pro-gay law, ordinance, or resolution is a tactic the religious right have undertaken since their success in the 2004 general election. It is said that Bush was elected on the backs of so-called values voters who came to the polls in huge numbers to oppose same sex marriage.
Since that time, the religious right have sometimes tried to beat back potentially pro-gay laws or ordinances (be it anti-discrimination laws or hate crimes legislation) by claiming that they would lead us down a slippery slope to gay marriage, polygamy, and out-and-out chaos.
It's never amusing when they manipulate this fear, but on this occasion it's downright ugly.
To hear Barber say it, the United Nations should not worry about advocating that lgbts not be persecuted by arrest or death. Gays getting torched out of their homes or publicly hanged doesn't seem to be a big deal to him.
But allowing those same gays to walk down the aisle? That's worse than the Apocalypse.
Talk about your lack of priorities.
Hat tip to On Top Magazine for help on this post.
Friday, December 12, 2008
If I ever became a Republican, it would be because of people like Colin Powell:
Powell: GOP 'polarization' backfired in election
The Republican party must stop "shouting at the world" and start listening to minority groups if it is to win elections in the 21st century, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday.
In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria for Sunday's "GPS" program, President Bush's former secretary of state said his party's attempt "to use polarization for political advantage" backfired last month.
"I think the party has to take a hard look at itself," Powell said in the interview, which was taped Wednesday. "There is nothing wrong with being conservative. There is nothing wrong with having socially conservative views — I don't object to that. But if the party wants to have a future in this country, it has to face some realities. In another 20 years, the majority in this country will be the minority."
Colin Powell is the only publicly known black Republican worth a damn. The rest aren't worth shit.
I don't say that because of what Powell said but because of the meaning behind his words.
All other African-Americans who publicly align themselves with the Republican Party (and conservatives) have no backbone. From Star Parker to Michael Steele to Alan Keyes to Ken Hutcherson to Harry Jackson to Larry Elder, they seem to be content with toeing some stupid line, taking that right wing think tank money and running interference for those who have real power in the Republican Party.
Attack Jesse Jackson or bring up Louis Farrakhan's name to inflame the white folks?
Attack gays for daring to compare the lgbt struggle to the civil rights movement even at the expense of making lgbts of color invisible in the public eye?
Exploiting the election of President Obama by allowing yourself to be in-demand criticizers of his policies on right wing sites like Town Hall and One News Now even though you know that your appeal is solely because you and him share the same skin color?
Where are the black Republicans who will demand leadership roles in the party rather than wear the token sign with pride?
Former Representative J.C. Watts tried but to paraphrase comedian Paul Mooney, he got his "Negro wake up call" and realized that the Republican Party only wanted him for photo ops or when they needed a black man to criticize Jesse Jackson.
They didn't give him any real leadership.
Powell is not stupid. He maintains his autonomy and integrity.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm tired. And this is highly ironic because I am on the cusp of an interesting story which I hope to finish by next week. And if it turns out like I want, it will be a doozy.
But today, permit me to direct you to other interesting links:
O’Reilly’s Christmas paranoia: They want to ‘revoke’ Christmas! (oh spare me, please. And here I thought we only wanted to have Judy Garland's birthday declared a national holiday. Those damned aetheists are always butting in on the "gay agenda.)
Gay Marriage and a Moral Minority (Amen my brother! And I especially liked that first sentence.)
W. Va. Lesbian Couple Fights to Keep Baby (From Florida to this? Talk about a dance. Every time we take two steps forward, they try to drag us back one.)
On the defense, digging that hole, where they belong. (That Newsweek article by Lisa Miller has really upset the religious right. I have never felt so much the desire to kiss a woman than I do now.)
Truth Wins Out hits back with ad in Salt Lake City newspaper (Go Wayne! It's your birthday!)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appeared on the Daily Show publicizing his book, Do The Right Thing. In this appearance he yet again tried to make his opposition of marriage equality sound reasonable.
Host Jon Stewart skewered Huckabee and I rather liked that. But Huckabee did something that annoyed the hell out of me.
He made another reference to us gays supposedly "unfairly" calling people on his side of this so-called cultural war "haters."
It amazes me how the religious right and their cohorts like to flip the script. They are adept in trying to play the victim by whining how the “other side” (and that would include me) are so quick to call them “bigots” and “haters” when supposedly all they want to do is “protect traditional marriage.”
And I'm frankly tired of it.
Most of all, I don't like Mike Huckabee carousing the talk show circuit channeling Maria Von Trapp and taking advantage of the fact that he has a platform that lgbts don't have in order to distort the reasons behind our anger.
What he needs to do is check the backgrounds of some of his supporters.
Such as Jane Porter (nee Folger).
According to People For the American Way's Right Wing Watch:
Mike Huckabee willingly associates himself with Porter, praising her in his new book as "one of the main catalysts" for his success in the Republican primary and haling her as among a "new wave of leaders" who will remake the Republican Party in their own image.
This is the same woman who, according to Wayne Besen (in his excellent book Anything But Straight), falsely accused the gay organization ACT-UP of being partially responsible for pressuring the American Psychiatric Assocation of removing homosexuality from its lists of disorders in 1973. The only problem with that is ACT-UP did not exist until the 80s. The organization was formed to fight ignorance about the AIDS virus.
This is the same woman who, on a July 30, 1998 episode of the ABC news program Nightline, said she agreed with the sodomy laws that at the time could jail lgbts for private sexual behavior.
And this is the same woman who wrote a mind boggling, idiotic column in which she forecasted a future where Hilary Clinton was elected as president.
Apparently according to Porter, Christians will be placed in prisons for re-education and labor camps thanks in part to us lgbts:
When the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" ("Thought Crimes" for the Workplace) became law, businesses and ministries were targeted by homosexual activists and were forced to close when they wouldn't comply with a law forcing them to hire those opposed to their beliefs on moral issues.
When they canceled my program, banned my book and targeted my ministry, I knew it was only a matter of time before I'd be forced into "prison ministry" against my will. Unfortunately for our nation, that ministry is growing fast. A homeschooling mom was assigned the cell next to me. I try to comfort her, but she cries constantly at the thought of her kids being raised in government foster care.
The forced labor here makes me think that I should have done more for our brothers and sisters in China sent to labor camps for the crime of hosting a home church, or those imprisoned in every Muslim country for choosing Christ over Allah. We should have seen the writing on the wall when Yahoo turned over confidential searches to the Chinese government, sending people to prison, and when Google barred American Christian sites from its search engines as "haters." Finding allied ministries is now almost impossible.
And don't think Porter likes Obama either. Again according to Right Wing Watch, since his election, she has written six columns pushing the lie that Obama should not be president because he is not a natural born U.S. citizen.
If Huckabee wants to do the right thing, he needs to stop playing the martyr and look at the behavior and words of some of his supporters.
He would see that us lgbts do have a point when we refer to them as haters.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Tomorrow is Day Without Gay, in which members of the lgbt community are encouraged to take a day off from work (call in "gay") and donate time to service.
Unfortunately, certain circumstances preclude me from being able to "call in gay" at my job and donate time to service.
But I will make contributions to the cause in my own way; especially the part about trying not to spend money during the day. Although that will be partly because of necessity.
Despite it all though, I hope that tomorrow will be successful and the beginning of an annual tradition.
Speaking of which, it seems that the religious right and their cohorts are doing their best to make our protests seem like rampant acts of violence.
The scuttlebutt today is a column by singer and "Christian" Pat Boone (published in World Net Daily) in which he sounds the same familiar lies that Michelle Malkin, Chuck Norris, and Newt Gingrich alluded to; that lgbts are engaging in wild acts of violence against Mormons and Christians.
Boone's claims follows a full-page ad printed in the New York Times that I talked about last week. The ad, by the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, tries to take the high road while inferring yet again that gays are a violent lot who can't abide by the due process of law.
What a crock of shit.
But I have to say something. I love the way the community has jumped on these lies and those who push them. We didn't wait to voice our opinion and demonstrate how full of it these folks are. And we are doing it in positive manners.
Wayne Besen puts it best:
In a breathtaking display of lies and hypocrisy, a group of anti-gay culture warriors and long-time Mormon bashers placed a full page ad in the New York Times pretending to be both victims of alleged homosexual “mobs” and staunch defenders of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Both claims are absurd and a cruel attempt for the victimizers to claim the mantle of the victimhood - which is a manipulative and cynical political ploy.
The dishonest Times ad essentially claimed that violent mobs of gay protesters were attacking the Mormon Church and its followers in the aftermath of California voters narrowly approving Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in that state. They even launched a website www.NoMobVeto.org. (It seems they forget that they put basic human rights up for a vote, which is essentially mob rule)
This Times ad is full of blatant lies - much like the immoral television ads attacking same-sex families during the Prop. 8 campaign. The fact is, the vast majority of the rallies across America were peaceful. Considering gay families just got stripped of their basic rights by deception and deceit, the protests were remarkably tame. If any other group had been subject to such humiliation through a multi-million dollar smear operation, there would likely have been riots in the streets - not the fake “violence” conjured in the bogus Times ad.
Besen especially points out the hypocrisy of the signers of the ad who are all of the sudden "defending" the Mormon church:
“Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.” – Bill Donohue, Catholic League
“Mormonism either affirms historic Christianity, or it doesn’t. Since it doesn’t, it can’t call itself Christianity – a fact that all the good will and public relations in Utah can’t change…“While Mormons share some beliefs with Christians, they are not Christians.” –Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship Ministries
“Most evangelicals still regard Mormonism as a cult.“ — Rich Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals
I really do hope this group shines a light of shame on those who promote religious bigotry - but they better be wearing very dark sun glasses when this occurs, as the glare from the light may be quite blinding. It appears that the only thing these men have in common with Mormons, or any other religion that they don’t agree with, is an uncommon passion for anti-gay discrimination. To watch these hypocrites act as the great defenders of the LDS church, and religion in general, is beyond laughable.
Box Turtle Bulletin also breaks down other comments these "peaceful folks" have said:
Ronald J. Sider - Evangelicals for Social Action
We cannot ignore this general truth when we come to the issue of AIDS. If the Bible teaches that homosexual practice is wrong, as I think it does, then it is right to suppose that violating God’s law in this area will have negative consequences.
This is not to say that the AIDS virus is some supernatural divine creation to punish homosexual practice; have emphasized that I reject that view. But I refuse to bow to today’s widespread relativism and deny and ignore the clear biblical teaching that some actions are wrong no matter what Hollywood or Greenwich Village says. Ignoring the moral order of the universe has consequences.
As a citizen. I insist on the right to say that and to seek to shape public policy in ways consistent with that belief without being called a bigot. [Emphasis added]
Chuck Colson - Prison Fellowship
It’s these attitudes, and the worldview that produces them, that have fueled the gay-rights movement. It rolls on because it resonates with what many Americans believe. And that means that the only way to slow it down is to change the terms of the debate: to once again establish that we are not lower than the animal species, that sex is not for recreation-it is for procreation.
This is why, for example, we need to pass a federal marriage amendment. If we do nothing, we are going to be facing the same future that Christians in the UK are facing: a future in which preaching the truths of the Gospel is against the law.
Dr. Alveda King - civil rights activist
God hates racism and God hates homosexuality.
Add to this Mr. Obama’s unprecedented support for homosexual rights and anti-procreative marriage legislation, which includes his promise to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and which would unleash a storm of sexual immorality such as America has never seen: then we can see which way the wind is blowing.
That’s what we’re facing today in the debate over homosexual rights. Homosexuals can either choose to be victims, or choose to make a change.
William J. Donohue - Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. That‘s why they hate this movie. It‘s about Jesus Christ, and it‘s about truth. It‘s about the messiah.
Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.
Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style. There are certain things that the left won’t tolerate. They are censorial at heart.
As for Pat Boone, I say we sic Little Richard on him. That is unless he has given Little Richard rightful recompensement for the songs he and racist record companies stole.
After all stealing is a sin, unlike homosexuality.