Friday, February 08, 2008

Well that didn't last long - Distorting the Creating Change conference

Truer words were never spoken.

Leave it to the anti-gay industry to wake me up.

Our friend Peter LaBarbera, in attempting to make everyone forget his huge faux pas about the MRSA infection, is on another kick.

This time, he is railing against the Creating Change event put on the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

And knowing Peter, he is taking the "sadomachistic angle:"

Well, folks, the Party of Perversion is at it again. This time the DNC (Democratic National Committee) — as a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s(NGLFT) “Leadership Council” (Advocate’s Circle) — gave at least $2,500 to the Task Force, whose “Creating Change” conference in Detroit is presenting its “Leather Leadership Award” to Guy Baldwin, an advocate of “erotic” and “consensual slavery.” How sick is that?

Please note the fact that while Peter whines about being called "Porno Pete," he has no problems throwing out ugly names.

And apparently, he is proud that Rush Limbaugh is talking about "his discovery." Here is what Rush Limbaugh is saying:

DNC Sponsors S&M Event

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is holding its annual 'Creating Change' conference in Detroit this week. Its sponsors claim to have trained more than 30,000 activists since 1988. Peter LaBarbera with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality has reported on the event in the past. The event's handbook even addresses 'transgender restroom etiquette.'" The Democrat Party is endorsing this event where they will be presenting an award, this is in Detroit, the Creating Change Conference, they will be presenting an award for sadomasochism. "A sponsorship acknowledgement notes that the Democratic National Committee gave at least $2,500 to help pay for the event. The recipient of the 'Leather Leadership Award' is Guy Baldwin."

Of course this is going to elicit an interesting dialogue about certain facets of the lgbt community and such. Already some is happening here.

But here is the thing I am concerned about:

Rush Limbaugh and Peter is distorting the story. The Democratic National Convention is not hosting an S&M event. The Creating Change conference is NOT a sadomaschistic event.

Creating Change is the one and only time each year that more than 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates from every corner of the country converge to strategize, socialize and mobilize for LGBT equality.It features top-level trainings, workshops, networking sessions and action-planning with our movement’s best thinkers and brightest innovators — oh yeah, there’s also tons of opportunities for socializing, meeting up with old friends and making lots of new ones.

In the grand scheme of things, the Creating Change conference is no different than that ridiculous gathering where they booed John McCain yesterday. Nor is it different from "Justice Sunday" or any other event where people gather and strategize.

Peter, Rush Limbaugh, and maybe others are taking one possibly objectionable action (i.e. giving an award to Guy Baldwin) and trying create an ugly controversy

Now whether or not it is advisable to give an award to Guy Baldwin would be an interesting discussion and frankly I would like to hear both sides rather than insane caterwauling by Peter and Rush and hasty reactions to this caterwauling.

After all, other folks are being honored:

Barbara Satin will receive the Allan Morrow Community Service Award, for outstanding leadership and advocacy in aging and elder concerns.

Mandy Carter will receive the Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for longevity in the movement. (And I have a personal happiness over this. I know Mandy Carter and she is one of my mentors. She deserves every honor she receives.)

Mia Mingus, a reproductive rights activist, will also be honored with the Creating Change

Jon Stryker, founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, will receive the Creating Change Award...Arcus is a private foundation that supports groups advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights and groups working globally to promote great ape conservation.

I repeat, whether or not Baldwin deserves an award is a good discussion. But please let's not get so caught up in the discussion that we don't recognize Peter's tactics. They are same ones he used to brand all lgbts via the MRSA infection. Remember in that case, he took a portion of a study and used it try and link the infection to lgbts and HIV:

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;

In this case, he is taking a debatable award and trying to use it to negatively brand a very good conference and all lgbts in general:

And if he has to backtrack, he will probably create a straw man argument in this case just as he did in the case of the MRSA infection.

I can see it now:

I did not try to say that people would be having sadomachistic sex during the awards banquet, I was merely pointing out that they were giving an award to Guy Baldwin.

Peter's exploits just reinforces my belief that he is a generous person.

The more he opens his mouth, the more he gives away his ignorance.

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