Thursday, May 29, 2008

Boy Scouts and bull*@#

Here is something I never talked about before.

Apparently across the nation, there is a huge controversy involving the Boy Scouts and the lgbt community.

Many of you probably already know it. The Boy Scouts do not allow gays to serve as members or scoutmasters. The group's right as a private organization has been upheld by the Supreme Court in 2000.

And here is where the serpent starts to sting.

Because of the policy, the Boy Scouts have been losing a lot of support. According to Wikipedia:

About 50 of the 1300 local United Ways, including those in Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle, have withdrawn all funding. The BSA has also lost all funding from several large corporations that had been regular donors, such as Chase Manhattan Bank, Levi Strauss, Fleet Bank, CVS/pharmacy, and Pew Charitable Trusts. For example, Pew Charitable Trusts, which had consistently supported the BSA for over fifty years, decided to cancel a $100,000 donation and cease future donations. A number of public entities (including the cities of Chicago, San Diego, Tempe, Buffalo Grove, Berkeley, and Santa Barbara, as well as the states of California, Illinois, and Connecticut) have canceled charitable donations (of money or preferential land access) that had historically been granted to the Scouts.

Most recently, the city of Philadelphia rescinded its decision to allow the Scouts to use a building rent-free. The Scouts are suing, but the city isn't backing down.

Now some folks, such as our friend Peter LaBarbera, have made this an issue of gays trying to force their way into the Scouts so that evil scoutmasters can "indoctrinate" young boys into homosexuality.

Of course that argument is nonsense so I'm not even going to discuss it.

Mostly because I believe that the Boy Scouts should be allowed to discriminate. I have always felt that the case of the Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale was not necessarily conducive to the lgbt community.

If the Boy Scouts feel that they as a private group should discriminate, then more power to them.

However (and you knew this was coming), as a private group, they don't have a right to public monies or the items that are paid for by such monies.

Public monies come from lgbt as well as heterosexuals. If the Scouts have a problem with gays as members, then the organization should have a problem with taking money from gays.

If the Boy Scouts feel that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath, then how can it justify taking money from the folks who "practice" homosexual conduct.

You simply can't have it both ways.

Of course some will probably accuse me of being mean. How can I attack a group that does a lot of good things in the community? How can I attack a group that teaches young boys to be responsible citizens?

That's just it. They do not teach all young boys to be responsible citizens; only heterosexual boys.

Our gay boys are left out in the cold.

And as long as they leave our gay boys out in the cold, the Boy Scouts do not deserve money from this gay man or any other gay man.

That's the Boy Scouts, now it's time for the bull*@# courtesy of Focus on the Family.

The group has sent out a talking points list for folks who want to criticize marriage equality.

Jeremy from Goodasyou has exposed the talking points for the lies they are in the style that has made him one of my favorite bloggers.

But one point from Focus on the Family's list bothers me so much that I have to jump in. It's this one:

Same-sex family is a vast, untested social experiment with children.

Maybe it's just me but that is a vile thing to say.

The statement refuses to acknowledge the existence of same sex families, which have existed for many, many years.

And that phraseology "vast, untested social experiment," denigrates same sex family because it infers that lgbts choose to create, adopt, or take in children not because of a natural human impulse and not because we feel that we want to nurture a family, but because of a Machiavellian attempt to take over society.

The statement infers that lgbts are not humans but agreeable cogs willing to sacrifice the happiness and well-being of a child for a social endeavor.

That idea is a fiendish lie.

What's next? Accusing black women of having children simply for a welfare check?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2008 anti-gay industry greatest hits (so far)

I'm in the newspaper.

Right here is the link. Look at the row of folks holding the signs. I'm the black guy with the bad hair and white pants.

Man, I need a stylist.

Seriously though the situation down here with Irmo is still at somewhat of a fever pitch. If you read the comments under the article, folks on both sides of the issue continue to be revved up.

But I want to do something a little different today.

I noticed that June is almost upon us. Subsequently, we are getting closer to the mid-point of 2008.

And man has it been a wild year.

I blame it on the fact that its an election year. Whatever the case may be, I want to present the top (or lowest) moments in anti-gay industry hysteria in 2008 so far.

Yes this is a shamless plug for my other blog, Anti-Gay Lies and Liars.

Bear in mind, I don't have the exact months down and I know I am probably missing some incidents. Please inform me as such:


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 issues 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 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 (see the year 1987).

An article in a Focus on the Family magazine contains the following 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 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 Anthropologists Association. They call his claim a "gross misrepresentation of the position of the anthropological community on gay marriage"

Deerfield High School is again 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 the 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 claims 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. Pleasantly for a change, 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.

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.

With these folks, there is NEVER a dull moment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Irmo GSA controversy - who is at fault

I just came back from an interesting school board meeting in Irmo.

For the benefit of those who don’t know, Irmo High School Principal Eddie Walker is resigning after the coming school year because the formation of a gay/straight alliance. He says the alliance goes against his professional and religious values.

Fair enough.

However, in his letter explaining his resignation, Walker mischaracterized the organization as a sex club.

He has received a lot of national criticism (much deserved) and some local praise.

A gay rights group in South Carolina, South Carolina Equality Coalition, is leading the charge calling for his immediate firing.

Walker has much support from the area community. Both sides of the issue held rallies and prayer vigils before the school board meeting.

One guess whose side I was on.

The school board, who from what I understand was still meeting when I left, received comments from people on both sides of the issue.

Needless to say the meeting was a bit raucous at times. We heard from people who support Mr. Walker, calling him the best principal the high school ever had. We heard from parents opposing the GSA.

We heard from former Irmo students who detailed how they were picked on for being gay and how a GSA could have helped them.

And we heard from students who support the GSA.

The district is now considering guide lines for curriculum-based and noncurriculum-based clubs and organizations.

It won’t stop the GSA but it will make things a little difficult for it.

I have faith that the GSA will survive. The hardest part of establishing it is over. And as long as the Equal Access Act is in place, the GSA will stand.

But there is something on my mind that I have to say.

This entire situation took place because of a dereliction of duty on Mr. Walker’s part.

In this school board meeting, I heard a lot of good things said about Mr. Walker. He is a popular principal and very likely will be allowed to stay until his contract is over.

He has been called a man who stands up for his principles.

And one of those principles was stalling for a number of years to keep the GSA from forming.

Mr. Walker cares for all students

But doesn’t care enough to realize or investigate the reason as to why some students want to form a GSA.

He is a Christian man

Who in a public letter unfairly characterized the GSA as a sex club.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Every comment I heard that praised Mr. Walker only elucidates his failure to show true leadership in this matter.

Every assurance that he supports all students only serves to highlight the fact that in this case, he failed some of the most vulnerable students.

Every bit of praise heaped upon Mr. Walker illuminates how he did not keep the situation under control

As a matter of fact, he is the very reason why the situation got out of control. No one can blame those who support him nor can anyone call out those who want his immediate dismissal.

The fault lies at the feet of Mr. Walker.

In the backdrop of all his good works, this egregious error stands out like a scarlet letter, a sword of Damocles.

In the middle of all of his black marks is now a mark as crimson as the spot that Lady MacBeth imagined she had on her hand.

Unlike his fictional counterpart, he can take steps to remove the mark.

I hope that in his last year as a principal, Mr. Walker will attempt to do just that.

For the sake of all students.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day Two of the Irmo GSA controversy finds that ignorance abounds

Day Two of the Irmo GSA controversy finds a bunch of comments on the area newspaper's webpage.

Readers were asked about their opinion regarding the principal of Irmo High School's resignation in the face of a possible GSA.

Predictably, some folks are standing in his corner:

I support Mr. Walker. A gay/straight club is about one thing - SEX. Abstinence is what we teach; it's what parents and the community should support. We need more professional educators like Mr. Walker who will stand up to these perverted bullies.

I applaud your decision to stand up for what you believe in and will be praying for you and your family during these next few months. With the emergence of 24/7 media, your name is bound to be slung into the mud, but just remember that there are people out there who support you. If we are loud enough, maybe one day we will win. Remember Jesus was hated, stoned and murdered, but he stood for what he believed in and because of that we are all saved. I do not know what your personal religion is, but I always applaud a man who has the conviction to say enough is enough.

I support the principle on this one, wish we had more like him. Maybe my naked blow-up doll club will be a hit at Irmo.

It is refreshing to see a man with convictions! Thank you Mr. Walker for standing up for your moral and religious beliefs and not bowing at the alter of political correctness. If we had more men of conviction like you, this country would not be in the mess we now find it.

It is a shame that the decent students at IHS are losing such a good man. I am sure that the human garbage will be very pleased, however, we as a society will all be a little bit dumber for having to put up with it.

On an area news site, a poll revealed that 67 percent of those answering said that GSAs should not exist in area high schools.

What did Gene Wilder say in Blazing Saddles? To paraphrase:

" . . .these are people of the land, the common clay . . . You know . . . morons."

All I can say is thank God I live in a country where majority rules is not necessarily an abiding principal.

Now I know that some are going to use what I just said in a semantic game of accusing me of being intolerant, but come on folks, let's be real here.

There is no legal justification to disallow this club. There is no moral justification to disallow this club. There are only assumptions; fearful assumptions.

And how long should anyone's patience last when realizing that the folks who oppose this GSA will not educate themselves on the truth of the matter.

I respect stubborness to a point, but not to the point where one continues to be stubborn in the face of truth.

So while I respect people's beliefs in opposing GSAs, I have to question their willful inability to see past their own ignorance about the matter.

Especially when it is pointed out to them ad naseum that a. GSAs do not encourage sexual activity and b. GSAs are protected by the Equal Access Act.

In all honesty though, I should chalk it up to the greatness of this country. The right to have an opinion (no matter how bullheaded it is) is a hallmark of this country just like the practice of standing up for the minority.

I guess it's a case of taking the good with the bad.

And many who responded in the newspaper actually supports GSAs:

That Mr. Walker intentionally misrepresents the purpose for the club's formation is a good indication that he does not belong in his position. That he objects to homosexuality doesn't make him any different than most of the people I know but for an educator to make bigoted,unsupported statements about anyone,let alone his students is reprehensible; he should go!

For the record, our schools and students are not in trouble because of a lack of God; our schools are in trouble because they are laboring under outdated ideas on education,teachers are overburdened,parents are struggling to make ends meet and have less time to spend with their children. If you believe that the absence of God is the problem you can easily rectify that by placing your child in a school whose charter incorporates biblical principles - there are plenty in SC. Of course, you could also teach your children the religious principles that you believe are imperative to their growth at home.

Wow!!! People, we are not talking about beliefs...we are talking about human beings!!!!! Gay people exist believe it or not. Your son , daughter, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew all could be a struggling gay teen. After reading the post on this board I see the need for a support group for these kids, because they sure are not getting any from home! If Mr. Walker cares so much for his students, which I have no doubt he does, I have meet him and he is very dynamic and nice person, but to completely alienate and ignore a part of the student body is not acceptable, he should step down now, not later. He has put the GLBT students at Irmo High in more danger than they ever would have been joining this "club" before his dramatic resignation. I can only imagine how many GLBT students are hearing the hateful parts of this debate from their parents and friends. It just breaks my heart to know how depressed and unwanted they feel right now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Principal in MY state gets it right and wrong

It is very rare that my state of South Carolina get involved in the so-called cultural wars over lgbt rights.

But when it does, look out:

The Irmo High School Principal's announced resignation over a controversial student group is already drawing national attention.

Principal Eddie Walker told WIS News 10 his resignation won't take effect until June, 2009 - the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

Walker says it comes after he was asked to allow the creation of a Gay-Straight Alliance club at the school.

. . ."The formation of this club conflicts with my professional beliefs in that we do not have other clubs at Irmo High school based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, or sexual activity. In fact our sex education curriculum is abstinence based. I feel the formation of a Gay/Straight Alliance Club at Irmo High school implies that students joining the club will have chosen to or will choose to engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex, opposite sex, or members of both sexes.

My decision to resign is a personal choice based on my professional beliefs and religious convictions. I have prayed about the decision for a period of time and I have a peace about it. I would ask that you respect my choice as I respect your choice to disagree with me on this issue. I bear no malice towards anyone involved."

Now before the anti-gay industry zeroes in with their lies in order to make Mr. Walker seem like a martyr (and they will), please bear in mind that he choose to resign.

Mr. Walker was not fired nor was he threatened with termination. He made a personal choice to resign.

To his credit, I think Mr. Walker took the right road. He realized that legally, he could not oppose a GSA so he decided to bow out, rather than mandate some divine right to go above his employer (are you paying attention, Crystal Dixon).

Having said that, I have a huge problem with his incorrect assertions about GSAs.

I dare anyone to show me proof that GSAs encourage sexual activity. There has never been any proof of this assertion because it is a false notion created by the anti-gay industry designed to scare ignorant people.

GSAs exist so that lgbt teenagers can meet and interact with others like themselves. GSAs exist so that lgbt teenagers do not feel so isolated in a school environment, which at times can be homophobic.

I never came out while I was in school, but I had a front row seat to the daily degradation of someone I loved dearly just because he was gay.

He was bullied and picked on. With no support system to back him up, it was difficult for him to complete high school. Subsequently, he did not.

You see, that is what GSAs were created to stop. They give our lgbt children a support system and self-esteem; two qualities that are very important in completing not only high school but getting through life.

And more importantly, when schools fight the formation of GSAs, they usually find themselves on the losing end.

This is because of the Equal Access Act:

. . . the Equal Access Act provides that if a school permits students to organize clubs, then school officials cannot prevent a club from organizing based upon the subject matter addressed by the club. Although the Equal Access Act does not specifically address gay clubs, the law applies to students who want to form a Gay-Straight Alliance or other gay-rights club. Students must, of course, comply with their school's rules relating to forming clubs, such as application requirements and procurement of faculty sponsors. In other words, students who want to form a gay-rights club must follow the same rules as students who form a chess club.

It would seem to me that if these clubs were about sex, then the courts would be on the side of the schools.

So while I admire Mr. Walker's adherence to his personal beliefs and his decision to not allow those beliefs to influence his job, I think he really needs to educate himself.

Has he talked to his lgbt students? It always amazes me that when discussions regarding GSAs take place, very few people pay attention to what the students most involved have to say.

The stakes are too high here to make unfair assertions.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sorry Peter but lgbts are raising children . . . and are doing it quite well

Our friend Peter seems to be in overdrive today with the nastiness. Today he has a feature entitled Can Homosexual Couples Have Children?

Now if you were to say that this is a balanced opinion piece with a lot of research, then I have an island I want you to buy.

Peter's piece is a ridiculous piece of tripe devoid of facts; its aim is to exploit people's ignorance regarding same sex households with children:

When we bring up the fact that homosexual couples are far from “equal” in part because they cannot produce children, pro-homosexuality activists swiftly turn to the many straight couples that are infertile. This polemical trick is as deceptive as comparing counterfeit, sodomy-based “marriages” to interracial marriages. Black-white couples — a man and a woman joined together as one — produce beautiful children. Past laws banning such marriages were wrong. (Yes, Christians and others sinned in using the Bible to rationalize racism and slavery.) In contrast, homosexual sex acts are a biological and anatomical dead end — in addition to being a rebellion against our Creator that grieves Him as He is grieved by all sin.

Homosexuality, a human wrong, has nothing to do with marriage, or civil rights for that matter. Only a fool, or perhaps a manipulative social crusader, would argue that the modern tragedy of “gay” parenthood — intentionally (and selfishly) placing helpless children in homes that are motherless or fatherless by design — is “equal” to natural, mom-and-dad parenthood and should be treated as such in the law.

Unlike homosexuals, infertile straight couples are not mocking God’s plan. In fact, they are trying desperately to fulfill it, and copy it, using methods both high-tech (invitro) and low-tech (adoption). The fact that homosexual couples have access to the same technology and also can now easily adopt babies does not make the plight of children placed in same-sex households any less tragic, or more “moral.” Rather, by turning the perversion of homosexuality into “just one more kind of love” (to quote the homosexual children’s book, Daddy’s Roommate), they are putting THEIR wants above the best interests of children.

Well in the face of that, allow me to present a few facts:

In 1990, an estimated 6 to 14 million children in the United States had at least one gay or lesbian parent (Baker v. State, 1999).

The American Psychological Association, representing more than 155,000 psychologists, states that children of gay and lesbian parents are at no disadvantage psychologically or socially compared to children of heterosexual parents.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the nation’s leading pediatric authority with 57,000 members, says that children who grow up with gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social and sexual functioning as children with straight parents.

The National Association of Social Workers, with nearly 150,000 members, agrees that research on gay and lesbian parenting shows a total absence of pathological findings in their children. “Not a single study has found children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by gay and lesbian parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.” -- Charles J. Patterson, researcher at the University of Virginia, 2004

Sixty percent of adoption agencies accept applications from gay and lesbian couples, and about 40% of agencies have placed children with parents they know to be gay or lesbian, according to a 2003 survey by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

Children of gay and lesbian parents experience no significant differences in quality of peer relationships, nor do they experience more struggles with self-esteem.

LGBTS have children through different means. Many have partaken in relationships with the opposite sex before coming out, others adopt, while others engage in surrogate parenthood.

What Peter is attempting to do is invoke that old stereotype about "the parts don't fit."

But in the case of raising and nurturing children, Peter's stereotypes doesn't fit the bill. The fact of the matter is that lgbts are raising children and are doing it well.

It always amazes me that when folks like Peter talk about lgbts raising children, they accuse us of being selfish. They use that semantic language that gays are intentionally (and selfishly) placing helpless children in homes that are motherless or fatherless by design.

Raising children is a huge responsibility. I doubt that the vast majority of folks who choose to do so (gay and straight) are doing it for selfish reasons.

And I think that those who choose that road need all of the support and encouragement they can get.

The question here is not can homosexual couples have children. The question is why should be a caste system overseeing homes that can provide a child love and support.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's never a slow news day when Mass Resistance is around

Apparently the California decision has knocked the anti-gay industry on its ass. It seems to be the only thing many of them are talking about.

And its boring.

But leave it to an organization in Massachusetts to break through the malaise.

I've talked about Mass Resistance before.

They are very shrill group in Massachusetts who are determined to beat back gay rights; so determined in fact that because of their efforts, the Southern Poverty Law Center recently declared them a hate group.

This group has done several things to make a name for themselves (albeit not a good one) amongst the gay organizations in Massachusetts.

Two weeks ago, the gay youth in Massachusetts had a youth pride day, which included a parade and a dance.

Naturally Mass Resistance was there to shoot footage to place on their webpage as an example of the "evil gay agenda."

Talk about shrill:

The state-sponsored gay "Youth Pride" day on May 10 on the Boston Common was even worse than we expected.

But among the most troubling was how the the adult activists incited the kids to "send a message" to photographers they suspected being connected with MassResistance. They whipped the kids into a frenzied, angry state, and as police watched they surrounded, screamed and cursed at, blocked and pushed the cameras, and even assaulted the photographers, including an elderly lady. It was a hideous scene.

And the group even has "footage" of the incidents.

You can check it out if you have the stomach and the time.

But if you don't want to, allow me give you the highlights.

There is no footage of adults inciting children to send a "message" to the Mass Resistance photographers.

The most you ever see is two incidents - one of a young girl holding her coat up in front of a photographer (until she was stopped by a police officer) and an older woman touching the camera while asking the photographer a question (and notice how the photographer freaks out).

There were some teens who came up to the camera shouting slogans and giving comments. Some comments were rather intelligent and not rude. But no teen made any attempts to assault the photographer.

Mass Resistance claims the following:

There were no arrests and no charges of disorderly conduct -- or Civil Rights violations. This would seem to be a very clear violation of the Massachusetts’ Civil Rights statutes. But as has happened so much in the past, normal laws don't apply to angry homosexual activists. They can do what they want.

There were no arrests because from the footage shown by Mass Resistance, there were no incidents that warranted arrests.

My guess is that Mass Resistance has made a nuisance of themselves for so long that everyone knows what to expect from them.

They are like the fly that won't stop buzzing around your head.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California pisses off anti-gay industry - a new reason to love California

I'm not going to tell you anything that you haven't heard already.

Okay, maybe one thing:

California overturned the ban on gay marriage.

Naturally this has given the anti-gay industry huge fits.

I don't know what I enjoy more; the ruling or the reactions by our friends Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber.

Peter, it's none of your business how California lgbt couples will "consummate" their victory and frankly, I'm surprised you are thinking about such a thing.

You are nasty!!!

And you need Jesus!!!!

Not to be undone, Matt Barber said the following:

The decision, says Barber, could become a big campaign issue. Conservatives and Republicans around the country, he says, can thank the California Supreme Court for what he calls an "early Christmas present.

"They have been walking around feeling pretty dejected because of some these [recent] election results," observes CWA spokesman, "but I think this will motivate the base of the Republican Party and certainly conservatives around the country to vote for Republicans or Democrats who are prepared to stand up and defend traditional marriage."

I have no doubt that the anti-gay industry will try to use this victory to rally their troops in November.

But this election will not be about marriage equality. The war looms above us all, gas prices are high, and health care is a mess. Those are the issues people care about.

You know, issues that are not cosmetic. Issues that mean something.

Still though, I would love to see James Dobson and the rest make a 360 degree turn to support John McCain after calling him everything but the anti-Christ.

The ruling today trumps something that I discovered about One News Now.

Apparently the "news" site has eliminated the comments section.

Could it have been the fact that some lgbts (myself included) posted dignified but factual comments that served to counter the lies of Christian victimhood that One News Now likes to propagate?

Hmmmmm, could be (that's a lot funnier when Bugs Bunny says it).

Well at any rate, to quote the rapper Ice Cube:

Today was a good day!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And now a little bit about gay and black me

In commemoration of my blog reaching over 30,000 hits, I want to do something a little different. In my 20 months of blogging, I have noticed something interesting; our opposition refuses to acknowledge lgbts of color. It's like they are scared of us.

Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber and the rest talk about the African-American civil rights movement in halting, condescending tones that are designed to exploit the notion that the African-American identity and the lgbt orientation are two entities that can never intersect.

Now I could combat this by preaching about how we are all brothers and no group has the patent on the struggle for equality.

But I won't. I think that it would be best served to give the opposition something that they don't want; the voice and experiences of a gay man of color. By all means, tell me what you think of it:

Let me give you a few facts about myself by way of introduction.

I am a 37-year-old black male and a native of South Carolina. I remember things like the PTL Club, the birth of rap music and Cher when she was hitched to Sonny.

And there is one more fact that you should know.

I am gay.

Sometimes I take an uncalled for pleasure with informing other African-Americans about my sexual orientation.

It’s not like I shout about it from rooftops. I only reveal that part about myself when the situation calls for clearing up incorrect preconceived notions.

Like when I’m asked why I’m not married yet or what young female I’m seeing.

There is nothing quite like seeing the realization slowly creeping across the face of whomever I am talking to when they realize that they are in the presence of a genuine, dyed in the wool black homosexual.

Unfortunately it never leads to them asking for my autograph.

To the African-American community, I’m persona non grata.

It’s always interesting to run into one of my fellow gay black brothers in a public setting, especially the ones who don’t want anyone to know their sexual orientation. We tend to share the same animals trapped in a lab cage look.

It’s not that being gay is a bad thing and we are trapped in our orientation. We are just trapped in our communities.

Don’t get me wrong. I ‘m proud to be an African-American.

But there is a great deal of hypocrisy in the black community regarding homosexuality.

When I attended Winthrop University, homosexuality was one of those subjects you just didn’t bring up amongst black students. It was “a sin.”

Meanwhile, the largest black organization on campus would have yearly town hall meetings geared to deciphering the logistics of relationships between black males and females. These highly attended events would be filled with claims of cheating and long-winded speeches.

I remember one specifically due to its rather impressive title: A man is a dog and a dog is a man but what about the woman he is dogging with?

The implication was clear: unmarried black male and female students were having sex across the campus. But only the gay and lesbian students should be ashamed of it.

This reluctance to talk about homosexuality in the African-American community and the consequences of it do make things interesting.

Generally, when black women discover that I am gay, they work hard to become my friend. I like to think that they feel some kindred with me. The cynic in me though tells me that they are trying to work themselves in my good graces so that in the future I can give them some clues to tell whether or not their boyfriends or husbands are on the “down low.”

And speaking of the “down low,” (or the practice of a heterosexual man having a secret gay relationship on the side) I am so sick and tired of hearing about it.

I wouldn’t mind talking about it. But like so many conversations in the African-American community, us gays can’t get a word in edgewise with all of the books written on it by heterosexuals and words spoken in churches about it by heterosexuals, and all the forums held by heterosexuals.

The “down low” is not a new thing nor is it indigenous to race. The practice of a man with a wife or girlfriend having a boyfriend on the side is as old as the hills. It’s just that the African-American community seems to be the only group that has given it a pet name.

I once ran into two acquaintances talking about this “down low” situation. Both were in agreement that black men who were having gay relationships on the side should come out. But then I pointed out that they and the African-American community in general should do more to encourage them to come out. And they pointed out that they weren’t about to do that. That did not surprise me.

This entire “down low” situation reveals a certain meanness about the African-American community. So many became alarmed when it was presented that the “down low” could be the reason for the high HIV rate amongst African-American women.

The question that no one wants to ask is that if HIV wasn’t affecting black women the way it is, would anyone care about the rate of HIV amongst black gay men?

I am so tired of the distorted message I hear about the “down low.” In the first place, we never talk about the real issue, which is that the African-American community, through its mistreatment of the black gay man, actually encourages this sort of behavior.

History gives us such legendary black gays and lesbians as Bayard Rustin, Lorraine Hansberry, Barbara Jordan, and James Baldwin.

Black society today gives us Fantasia and Venus who fix up our hair, cousin Pookie, Jamal who is in the church choir and tries to be in the closet but just who is he kidding anyway, and that sister down the street with a can of beer always in her hand; the one who wears her pants lower than the brothers on the corner.

How in the hell did it come to this?

I’m no different from any other African-American. I get annoyed at the little subtle digs of racism in American society. I know that when people talk about the “All-American boy” or the “girl next door,” they don’t mean me or those who look like me.

So why is it that in the African-American community where me and my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are supposed to get support, we either are without a voice or have our voices so muted that no one hears us.

You never see us featured in Ebony, Jet, or Essence. We hardly ever any play on BET except for an offhand mention when people are talking about HIV prevention.

And it always astounds me when a heterosexual African-American says, “hey I don’t have a problem with gay people. I have no problem with anyone’s sexual preference,” then proceeds to overtalk us, generalize about us, and systematically exclude us from all-important conversations of the black community.

I have heard the usual about “you can’t compare being gay to being black.” I’ve heard the usual about gays never riding the back of the bus or gays not going through the same levels of discrimination black folks have.

And it’s all irrelevant details as far as I'm concerned.

All I know is that I have been accosted for being gay and I have been accosted for being black.

And after being accosted for being gay, I never walked away from the situation saying something like, “Whew, I’m glad so-and-so didn’t try to beat me up because of my color. The punches would have hurt more.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Did Cybercast News make the case against Crystal Dixon

So the right-wing are slowly catching on to the Crystal Dixon story. And with their usual candor, they are spinning it to make Dixon look like a victim:

"She has been fired," said Brian Rooney, spokesman for the Thomas More Law Center, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based legal-defense group which is representing Dixon.

Rooney told Cybercast News Service that the university had offered Dixon "another position, in a different part of the university, not in human resources" because she had argued in her editorial that sexual orientation is not an immutable characteristic like race or sex and should not be afforded the same protection under civil rights laws.

The University said the following:

According to a statement from UT spokesman Lawrence J. Burns, the university determined that there was “just cause” to fire Dixon.

“The public position Ms. Dixon took in the Toledo Free Press is in direct contradiction to University policies and procedures, as well as the institutional core values as defined in our strategic plan, and called into question her continued ability to lead a critical function within the administration as personnel actions or decisions taken in her capacity as associate vice president for human resources could be challenged or placed at risk,” Burn said in the statement.

The article also said Dixon was not initially fired. She was offered a demotion and a pay cut, both of which she refused.

So it can be interpreted that the University found that Ms. Dixon's personal beliefs could interfere with her job duties.


However, there is another side to the story.

The question may come down to that of policy, not the context of Dixon’s statements.

I have read the claim on several sites that Dixon indicated that she was speaking for herself and did not involve the University.

This is may not be true. Nowhere in her column did Dixon indicate that she was solely giving her opinion. She even indentifies herself as an employee of the university.

Even though they probably didn’t mean to, her lawyers indicate this very point:

Attorneys with the Thomas More Law Center, meanwhile, point out that Dixon, an African-American woman and evangelical Christian, was not speaking on behalf of the university, but -- as Dixon herself phrased it in the column -- "as a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and a business owner."

By that statement, it can be construed that she was in fact speaking on behalf of the University.

It all comes down to how this will interpreted.

And what about when she said the following:

The reference to the alleged benefits disparity at the University of Toledo was rather misleading. When the University of Toledo and former Medical University of Ohio merged, both entities had multiple contracts for different benefit plans at substantially different employee cost sharing levels. To suggest that homosexual employees on one campus are being denied benefits avoids the fact that ALL employees across the two campuses regardless of their sexual orientation, have different benefit plans. The university is working diligently to address this issue in a reasonable and cost-efficient manner, for all employees, not just one segment.

Was this private information? If so, who gave her clearance to make it public?

We all have been ruminating on the context of Dixon’s words. Some of us have canonized her as a martyr of political correctness and others have vilified her as intolerant.

I myself have been very disturbed by yet another example of an African-American self-righteous wannabe attacking the lgbt community.

But ultimately, the entire thing could come down to that of policy.

Does an employee have a right to involve their employer (even indirectly) in personal opinions?

Does free speech and religion cover this sort of thing?

Does the University's policy address this issue?

Can an employee not agree with the University's core mission but still fulfill the job duties that would accomplish this core mission?

All very interesting questions. I'm very curious to see how this will play out.

UPDATE - Matt Barber weighs in

Matt Barber from Concerned Women for America weighs in the situation with his usual brand of hysteria:

Don’t let this egregious and discriminatory action by the University of Toledo be ignored. Please contact University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs and respectfully request that he immediately reinstate Crystal Dixon and issue a public apology to her, the African-American community and to Christians worldwide.

Apologize to Christians worldwide? Apparently Barber takes too much on himself. I am sure that many Christians worldwide do not agree with Dixon's statements.

And speaking of apologies, if Barber wants to play that game, then he should apologize to us lgbts of color for every lie he has told on the lgbt community.

Or do LGBTs of color exist in his world?

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm buying this book!!!!

I'm not one for gossipy tell-all books, but in the following case, I am going to make an exception:

Terrance Dean, a former executive at music channel MTV, has penned a memoir of his life and times in the hip hop industry as a gay man. It is an explosive exposé of a thriving gay subculture in an aggressively male business, where anti-gay lyrics and public homophobia are common.

I don't know how I feel about Dean naming names, but I support the book for several reasons.

Hip-hop is a microcosm of African-American hypocrisy regarding the lgbt community.

With all due respect to my brothers and sisters, we are talking about a genre of music that encourages baby mama dramas, makes stars out of women for doing nothing but jiggling their butts in a video, and propagates ignorance of speech and attitudes amongst black men.

We are talking about a genre of music that creates and supports images of masculinity so extreme that you couldn't measure up to them if your blood was replaced with testosterone.

Some vestiges of hip-hop add to the problem of homophobia in the African-American community, pure and simple.

Oh yeah, that is right. Kanye West spoke out against homophobia in hip-hop. He even got on the cover of several magazines because of it.

Natually that led me to find the tallest mountain in the United States so that I could stand on the very top, twirl my finger in the air and go "whoop te do."

This book will give hip-hop and my African-American community a rude shot in the arm. And trust me when I say that both need it.

I may buy five copies, all hardback editions.

See, I bet you all thought I was going to write about Crystal Dixon again.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Crystal Dixon fired

Reports are slowly coming out that the University of Toledo fired Crystal Dixon.

Dixon had written a column this week calling homosexuality a choice and saying that she takes umbrage with the comparison of being black and being gay. She also said she did not consider gay rights as civil rights.

It was not a simple case of free speech. Dixon was an associate vice president of Human Resources at the university.

She was responsible for insuring equity and diversity at the university. Because of such, there was some concern with whether or not she could do her job adequately.

Also, as a staff member at the University, she was not entitled to the same academic freedoms that professors are.

Let me say a couple of things that will probably be lost in the flurry to exploit this situation.

As a gay black man, I was offended by yet again a heterosexual African-American speaking against their lgbt brothers and sisters. I was also offended by her very bad use of statistics and her relying on bad sources such as PFOX.

I also feel that the University had an obligation to investigate whether or not Dixon could do her job fairly in light of her comments.

And as of right now, I agree with the decision to let her go.

But I hate it when this sort of thing happens.

I wish there was some sort of compromise.

But to those who will spin this case as one of "an attack on free speech," how would you feel if her comments had been against Christians, or Muslims, or any other groups; people whose interests she was hired to look after while they are students at the university.

Ms. Dixon has a right to free speech, but that doesn't trump her responsibility to the students, whether or not they are gay. Their well-being takes precedent over everything.

She is not the victim here.

Happy Confederate Memorial Day!!!!

I kid you not.

Today is Confederate Memorial Day in South Carolina.

Confederate Memorial Day was the result of a legislative compromise in which the state agreed to recognize today as a state holiday if Martin Luther King Jr. Day was also recognized as a state holiday.

Such is life way down south in Dixie.

Now as a black man, I'm a little conflicted.

But as a state employee, to hell with it.

A day off is a day off.

Apparently our opposition has their ecumenical knickers in a twist over the online search site Wikipedia. The following is according to that bastion of Christian fairness, One News Now:

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is facing harsh criticism over the posting of sexually explicit photos and images, including that of homosexuals.

Officials with Wikipedia say they permit the smut because they have a policy against censoring anything -- but that is not true, according to Bob Peters of Morality in Media. He says Wikipedia does not post child porn on the site, and they also censor personal attacks or anything potentially libelous.

And even our lovely friend Matt Barber weighs in on the pseudo-controversy:

“Perhaps Wikipedia should change its name to Pornopedia. Providing clinical images that may assist people in research is one thing, but many of the images and videos featured by Wikipedia are gratuitous and obscene. They’re entirely unnecessary and amount to hardcore pornography, plain and simple.

Of course neither Barber nor One News Now go into detail concerning such images. In Barber's case it just adds to the notion that he thinks hyperbole substitutes as truth. The title of his piece is Wikipedia peddles porn to kids.

I thought if you make charges of that nature, you must show proof. I guess it doesn't count if you are a "fine, upstanding conservative Christian."

In One News Now's case, the lack of proof regarding the charges against Wikipedia is a fact duly noted by some of the commentators on the site. The entire issue seems to be bringing all the interesting comments out:

"As I read these comments I hear anger, bitterness, condemnation and all manner of emotions EXCEPT love. WWJD? He loves every one of us and hope this love would win us over to his way (True Christianity.)"

"Well I haven't seen the wind but I can tell you its there. Just because you personally haven't seen it doesn't mean its not there. Go looking, bet you 'll find it....Also stopping children from looking at pornography is not a bad thing really its not.... Nothing wrong with keeping a youngsters mind out of the gutter..Nothing wrong with a conservative outlook on life either, if you don't like it don't become a conservative...;)"

"I don't think anyone trying to "highjack" this site can make Christians look bad. You so-called Christians are doing such an excellent job by yourselves."
(that one is by me. I feel so famous!)

"It’s pretty obvious that unbelievers are commenting here. I pity them because they are blind to their own ignorance, and will ultimately stand in judgment, with no hope of mercy. They think they can say whatever they want without consequence… Big mistake! "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed." 1 Samuel 2:3"

"I've used Wikipedia many, many times and have never encountered pornography. There are photos of human anatomy, but it would be quite sad if some people considered that to be pornographic."

"Whether it is legal or not, each and every man and woman has the right and knowledge to know if they want to venture down those paths or not. Just because I am selling something legal, like horse crap, that doesn't mean that you have to stop and buy it. If each person would just ask that little phrase......WWJD. That stands for What Would Jesus Do. The Mormon religion has one that is older then that. CTR. Which stands for Choose the Right."

"Obvioiusly the good people at AFA and OneNewsNow are NOT going to give detail so everyone else can pollute their minds and spread this around. It simply requires common sense to know this if one is geared to decency at all! It's also common sense to know your source. If you read this site then you know whether it's reliable or not."

"So I typed in the word "porn" on wikipedia's website and at the bottom of the page that came up was a "Silent 'stag' film" In which the woman becomes topless. So, yes it is there. But again I think any normal filter would catch this and this story is fruitless."

"Yes, the fools wage their war against their creator and His instructions for living the best life. The only intelligent comment posted, was the one that warns that the "comments are partially hijacked." Impostors, pretenders, liars, defenders of what God says He hates. Sad to see how self-deceived and defiled people can become, to call right wrong, and wrong right."

"Well, i just went their and it has a link to a smut video clip. That is enough. Porn is Porn and it will not detract, it will attract. People who have seen porn tend to want more and the potent material will just add to the addiction!"

""ATTENTION IF YOU ARE READING THESE COMMENTS! Please know that these comments have partially been hijacked by people wanting to make Christians look bad and defend their point of view. Its common for activist to jump on a good Christian site like Onenewsnow and make it look as if there are all kids of people that disagree with the Bible and present ultra liberal views. I have managed message boards and blogs for a long time and this is common.""

"I've never seen porn on Wikipedia. Regardless, porn is not illegal so the Justice Department is not going to do anything about it. Besides, anyone who was looking for porn on the internet would have millions of sites on which to find it easily before searching through Wikipedia. This article is nonsense."

"I have never seen "porn" on Wiki only anatomy pictures. They certainly do have links to pornographic material in the pornography articles. Wiki is for everybody, if you do not like it then get a filter because they only way you are going to see naked pictures on wiki is in an article that will have some sort of words that will block the article."

"I've heard these allegations before, but have never seen any evidence."

"Where is the proof? I use Wikipedia for a lot of research, I have thus far never found anything offensive on the website. What gives? Did they refuse to say anything nice about the AFA on their site?"

"Is it actual porn, or is it human anatomy? Or have some people completely confused the two?"

"Here's something that could stop children from accessing the site: Parenting. Start being responsible for raising your children so the rest of us don't have to."

"You can write another article and tell us what articles contain porn? I'm very interested in finding out what porn is on Wikipedia."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Homophobia creates strange bedfellows

As the Crystal Dixon controversy slowly makes it way through the right-wing of the blogsphere, the scuttlebutt seems to be that the anti-gay industry is trying to make this into a case of yet another "innocent Christian" who has been targeted by the invisible gay empire.

As chronicled here and here, the case is not so simple.

But it amazes me what I read.

One News Now has covered the situation with its usual attention to bias. Interestingly enough, Matt Barber of Concerned Women for America claims that the university violated its own policy in suspending Dixon. Of course he does not go into detail. Typical Barber; hyperbole instead of truth.

But if you want to talk about irony, consider that our friend Peter LaBarbera has weighed in on the Crystal Dixon situation.

Apparently in an email version of the story (that's not posted on his site), LaBarbera incorrectly said that Dixon was fired. He has corrected the error.

And he also published a letter from a Professor Robert Gagnon defending Dixon's comments. The very long letter reads in part:

Ms. Dixon is absolutely right that sexual orientation is not akin to race or sex. Unlike a homosexual orientation, race and sex are 100% congenitally predetermined, cannot be fundamentally changed in their essence by cultural influences, and are not a primary or direct desire for behavior that is incompatible with embodied structures.

Amazing how Peter tries to distract the argument. How scientifically Gagnon can prove that homosexuality and race is not alike is not the point.

The point is that Ms. Dixon was hired to look over equity and diversity at Toledo State University. Now there are legitimate questions as to how she can do her job in light of the fact that she has demonstrated a potential bias against a group of students.

But believe it or not, that's not the crux of this irony.

Peter has also been pushing the case of one Brett Vanasdlen. This “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” (Peter's words, not mine) has been accused of a hate crime in an altercation with another young man.

Guess whose side Peter is taking, even to the point of making it seem that Vanasdlen and his family are somehow under siege.

Peter originally got the information about Vanasdlen from Ted Pike, someone he calls a "pro-family" advocate.

But there is another side to Pike. According to Box Turtle Bulletin:

David Duke, onetime Louisiana legislator and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has a website where like-minded individuals proclaim their beliefs. They rant about the corrupting influence of Jews, how civil rights laws lead to black men raping white women, how European countries need to keep their ethnic identity free from the dilution of immigration, and radical hispanics want to return the Southwest to Mexico. Rev. Ted Pike is a regular writer who specializes in anti-Semitic screeds (he loves Jews in the same way that LaBarbera love gays).

Box Turtle Bulletin also said that Pike posted the article about Vanasdlen on this website. This is true because the article is right here under the teaser of another article that reads Zionist Sponsored “Hate” Legislation Railroading Christian Teenagers in Illinois

Other very interesting articles by and quoting Ted Pike, that "pro-family" advocate, are here. The title of one - Jewish Media Corrupts Teen Girls - gives you all you need to know about just what type of "family" Pike is interested in protecting.

Now in LaBarbera's defense, he did not get Pike's article from Duke' site. But it still speaks to Peter's character (or lack thereof) that he calls Pike a "pro-family" advocate.

In the past, LaBarbera has been very vocal against lgbts allegedly "highjacking the civil rights movement."

How ironic that he canonizes someone whose mindset made it necessary to have a civil rights movement.

Ironic but not unexpected.

In the future, African-Americans who ally themselves with the anti-gay industry would do themselves a service to pay attention to the "friends" of their "friends."

It may give them the right answer as to exactly who is trying to "highjack the civil rights movement."

Big thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin for help with this post.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

One News Now tries to sneak a lie past us all

Almost two weeks after the 2008 Day of Silence, One News Now is trying to push the lie that Ken Hutcherson's protest of the event at his child's high school was a success

The recent "Day of Silence" event promoting homosexuality was a bust at one Washington State high school thanks to the efforts of pro-family students, parents, and community leaders.

The Day of Silence is promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) as an event to draw attention to alleged persecution suffered by students who claim to be homosexual or confused about their gender. But Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Washington, claims the event was actually designed by homosexual activists to promote their lifestyle to students. So Hutcherson worked with other parents in the area of his daughter's Mount Si High School to protest the event.

Hutcherson and his wife purchased a half-page ad in the local newspaper urging concerned parents and Christians to join them in protest of the event. "Then the word went out," he explains. "It went out to my prayer warriors. And they prayed about it ... and last Friday [April 25], we had probably about 250 to 300 parents there," he contends.

Let's take the truth from the top yet again, boys. According to the Seattle Times:

About 100 people joined the Rev. Ken Hutcherson outside Mt. Si High School this morning to protest the Day of Silence being observed inside the school. The group prayed and sang as a noisy group of counter protesters tried to drown them out by beating on drums and chanting, "Go Home."

That's right. Just 100. Of course One News Now did not bother to cite another source other than Hutcherson.

Hell, even the title of the article is wrong:

'Day of Silence' walkout a success

No one walked out of the school in protest of the Day of Silence.

Hutcherson also contends that he was responsible for the absences during the day. This is not true. While one-third of students were absent that day, there has been no indication that the absences were in support of Hutcherson's protest.

The article is a whitewashed lie. And I think One News Now is aware of this fact. Why, after all, did this daily publication wait till almost two weeks to publish it?

Who was it that said - “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. "

Excellent news for lgbts of color

I got another hero for Black History Month:

Webb becomes Virginia’s first openly gay African-American elected official

Last night, while most political onlookers were watching the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Indiana and North Carolina, a Virginia resident quietly made history as he became the state’s first openly gay African-American elected to public office.

In his first bid for elected office, Lawrence Webb won a seat on the Falls Church City Council by a margin of 39 votes. He joins two other candidates on the City Council: Nader Baroukh and Robin S. Gardner.

“I am grateful that the citizens of Falls Church have entrusted me with the responsibility to help guide the direction of our city’s future, and I thank them. I look forward to working with Council to make Falls Church an even better city than it is now,” Webb said.

“I also hope my election opens the door for others to get involved in public service. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or black or both. What matters is your dedication to building a better community, and your willingness to work hard at it. . . "

more here

It's nice to know that in a world where people are trying to exploit our differences, others are stepping up to point out our similarities.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More thoughts on the Crystal Dixon situation

In my eagerness and anger over the racial connotation regarding Crystal Dixon's comments (see yesterday's post), I omitted a crucial part of the story.

This was brought home to me when I see the headlines in various anti-gay industry publications concerning the situation:

Black University Employee Suspended for Objecting to Comparison between Black and Homosexual Discrimination

University suspends staffer over view of homosexuality
African-American condemned for stating in local paper being 'gay' not the same as being handicapped or black

How very predatory. Emphasizing the fact that Ms. Dixon is black in a pathetic attempt to set the gay and African-American communities against one another.

My guess is that they are going to try to make Ms. Dixon look like a victim; the latest cause celebre in the so-called "war on Christianity."

But let's not forget the more practical elements of this story.

Ms. Dixon wrote the column on her own time, but she placed her own employment in jeopardy because her opinions had to do with a crucial part of her job.

Let me put it another way: what if I were employed with an agency that sends out Medicaid applications. On my own time, I write a piece that gives the impression that I have a bias against a group of people who receive Medicaid applications (let's say the Latino community).

If someone pointed what I wrote to my supervisor, doesn't he have an obligation to investigate whether or not my bias infringes on my work?

It's the same thing in this situation regarding Ms. Dixon.

As a human resource officer at the University of Toledo, she is responsible for ensuring equity and diversity on the campus.

College campuses thrive on diversity, which means attracting potential students from different backgrounds, including gay students.

What Ms. Dixon wrote (especially the way she misrepresented statistics to prove her position and relying on the unsubstantiated claims of PFOX), shows a potential bias against lgbt students.

In light of this, can she be trusted to do her job adequately?

I don't know the answer to this question, but the University of Toledo has a responsibility to investigate whether she can or can't.

Please bear in mind that I said investigate, not fire. Ms. Dixon has not been fired.

Nor is she a victim here. People talk about free speech but many always forget that free speech comes with responsibilities. Sometimes you just can't say what you want. Or if you open your mouth, you should be prepared to face the consequences (especially if you are pontificating on something that has to do with your job).

In many cases it's unfortunate and unfair, but it's still a fact.

In short, Ms. Dixon has a right to free speech, but she really should have used a bit of common sense.

This situation is not about her. This situation is about the students. Their needs should not take a backseat to anyone's personal opinion.

No matter what happens in the end, the students are the only ones who matter.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Black, gay and mad as hell

I was reading something today that really bothered me.

An African-American by the name of Crystal Dixon wrote a piece criticizing homosexuality. Nothing wrong with that because this is her right.

But Ms. Dixon, unfortunately, takes the road that so many African-Americans opposed to homosexuality do:

I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are "civil rights victims." Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex Gays) and Exodus International just to name a few. Frequently, the individuals report that the impetus to their change of heart and lifestyle was a transformative experience with God; a realization that their choice of same-sex practices wreaked havoc in their psychological and physical lives.

This paragraph is wrong on so many points. First of all, the "thousands" of ex-gays is an illusion. It's a talking point that has no basis in fact.

When PFOX and others pushing for reparative therapy are asked to back this point up, they never seem to be able to.

Ms. Dixon didn't back up her points with concrete facts either. She listed two examples; one being our old friend Charlene Cothran. You remember her? She is the one who says she is no longer gay but she has no attraction to men either.

Ms. Dixon goes on to cite statistics regarding economic means of gays in comparison to African-Americans. But her comparisons remind me of an anti-gay industry study in that she compares apples and oranges:

The normative statistics for a homosexual in the USA include a Bachelor's degree: For gay men, the median household income is $83,000/yr. (Gay singles $62,000; gay couples living together $130,000), almost 80% above the median U.S. household income of $46,326, per census data. For lesbians, the median household income is $80,000/yr. (Lesbian singles $52,000; Lesbian couples living together $96,000); 36% of lesbians reported household incomes in excess of $100,000/yr.

So to her, the majority of gays have bachelor degrees. Fair enough. But check out this next portion:

Compare that to the median income of the non-college educated Black male of $30,539. The data speaks for itself.

Yes the data is speaking for itself. It's calling out Ms. Dixon's distortion of comparing the income of gays with possible college degrees to the income of African-Americans with no college degrees.

That is shabby as hell.

Ms. Dixon also claims that it is her faith that leads her to say these things? She freely quotes from the Bible in her column.

Isn't her faith the same one that white racists used to justify slavery, segregation, lynchings, murders, and the outright suppression of the African-American community? How can she justify using her faith to demonize the lgbt community the same way it was done to her people?

Any African-American (Ms. Dixon included) who uses the Bible to criticize homosexuality is either ignorant or intentionally turning their back on their own history.

It drives me insane when I see people of my own race refusing to acknowledge certain commonalities amongst all struggles for equal rights.

And it bothers me I hear things like "gay rights are not civil rights."

What the hell does that mean anyway? Gay people are not oppressed?

That we are not marginalized by lies, distortions, and systematic attempts to devalue our lives?

That when we hear about crimes on television, we don't send up a prayer hoping that the criminal is not gay because if he was, then he will be featured in a religious right email blast designed to generalize us in the eyes of Christians?

That there aren't forces actively working to psychologically dehumanize us and trick us into reducing our lives to sexual encounters?

That we are not muzzled by well-meaning but ignorant folks who are so busy telling us how wretched our lives are that they will not allow us to educate them?

Ms. Dixon will probably swear up and down that her column was not written out of hatred, but out of love.

No, Ms. Dixon.

Your column was written out of ignorance. It is the same quality that has kept all oppressed groups under the heel of the oppressor.

UPDATE - It turns out that Ms. Dixon is the Human Resources Officer at the University of Toledo. The university has put her on suspension until further investigation. Now some may think that Ms. Dixon's first amendment rights have been violated.

I disagree. In light of the fact that it is the Human Resources Officer who is responsible for promoting equity and diversity, I have no problem with the university investigating whether or not Ms. Dixon can do her job effectively (i.e. promoting equity and diversity) in light of her comments.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Concerned Women for America lies about the Day of Silence . . . are we surprised?

A few days ago, I ruminated as to how the anti-gay industry would spin their failure to undermine this year's Day of Silence.

To recap: they wanted parents to keep their children from schools that day.

I speculated that the anti-gay industry would make various claims that students were barred from "'protesting the gay agenda."

Apparently Matt Barber and Concerned Women for America decided on a course of action as old as the hills: lying like a cheap rug:

The DOS Walkout was an overwhelming success and far exceeded the expectations of the dozens of participating pro-family organizations, such as Concerned Women for America.

And just what example does Barber put forth to demonstrate this "success?"

Take the Seattle area's Mount Si High School for instance. Out of 1,410 students, nearly half (638) reportedly walked out of school on DOS with a unified voice saying, "No! We're here to learn. We refuse to be subject to radical homosexual indoctrination at school or anywhere else!"

The Rev. Ken Hutcherson, a former pro-football player, current pro-family champion and pastor of Antioch Bible Church, led the charge in defense of God's moral standard at Mount Si. He organized a prayer rally outside the school – which his daughter attends – and was joined by hundreds of parents, children and community members.

That is a lie.

Hutcherson's protest only had 100 people. Furthermore, no one walked out of school in support of Hutcherson.

According to the Seattle Times, More than one-third of students didn't show up for classes Friday. Principal Randy Taylor said 495 out of 1,410 students weren't at school, including 85 athletes whose parents had asked that they be excused for their personal beliefs.

Some students (and their parents) may have wanted to avoid the entire controversy with Hutcherson's protest all together.

Whatever the speculation is, it was NEVER DETERMINED by any source that any student walked out of school in support of Hutcherson's protest.

So to spin a story that students walked out in a protest reminiscent of the last scene of Dead Poets Society is just insane.

What Barber did here was to use one protest to make it seem as if there is a groundswell of opposition to Day of Silence:

. . . Kids at schools all over the country stood tall and said, "Enough is enough!" Untold thousands of students participated in a peaceful, pro-family counter effort called the "Day of Silence Walkout."

I bet I know why Barber said "untold thousands of students." It works much better for his lie to be vague than to give exact numbers.

But whether Barber and company like it or not, the Day of Silence was a monumental success:

Students from more than 7,300 middle and high schools will take a vow of silence today during GLSEN’s 12th annual National Day of Silence to bring attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) name-calling, bullying and harassment. The event is being held this year in memory of Lawrence King, a 15-year-old from Oxnard, Calif., who was shot and killed in school on Feb. 12 because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.

Hundreds of thousands of students are expected to participate, from middle school to college. Students from more than 1,000 colleges also have registered.

I don't know what's worse; that Barber lies or that he talks about morality and Christian principles at the same time he is doing it.

It just goes to prove that yet again when push comes to shove, the anti-gay industry are a bunch of sleazy fearmongerers who, when the facts don't go their way, will intentionally repeat a factoid in an effort to stamp out the truth.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

And now for something completely different

Usually I talk about the anti-gay industry, but today, I want to spotlight the efforts of the lgbt of color community in South Carolina.

South Carolina Excited about Third Black Pride

The African-American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of South Carolina and its allies will be out and proud during the month of June as the state holds its Third Annual SC Black Pride, June 25-29, 2008 in Columbia, SC.

With a provocative theme of “Black Pride: 365,” it promises to be better and bigger than the groundbreaking first and second prides. Organizers anticipate a record 2,000 South Carolinians and out-of-town guests will participate in its many special events, official parties, and a Community Expo.

The official week begins Wednesday, June 25th with a “Welcome Reception” at the chic Tappas Bar and Restaurant, Club Hush (1004 Gervais.) It will reach a climax at the day-long Community Expo on Saturday, June 28th, 11- 5:30 PM, at the Margarette Miller Center (1509 Fontaine Rd), and the “Community Awards and Jazz Reception”, on Sunday, June 29th, 3-5pm, Eau Claire Print Building (3909 Ensor Ave.) Featured at the Expo will be a bevy of local talent and a few rising stars.

To further stir up the buzz there will be “fun-raisers” leading up to Black Pride including:

Friday, May 16th – Pre-Black Pride Party during SC Black Expo (Club Fusion)
Sunday, June 15th – Free Volunteer Training & Appreciation Dinner, 6-8pm (Harriet Hancock Center)
Wednesday, June 18th – Pre-Black 70’s Party (Club Fusion)

“Our purpose is to celebrate the often subjugated creativity, beauty, dignity, and brilliance of South Carolina’s Black LGBT community,” says Dr. Todd Shaw, Chair, of the SC Black Pride Committee. “The double whammies of racism and homophobia attack we same-gender loving sisters and brothers. And now’s the time the Black community understand how much we contribute to the larger freedom struggle and the larger society understand how much we contribute as loving mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers, and young leaders.”

Speaking of preachers, one of the events that promises to be highly informative is the Thursday, June 26th, 7:00-8:30pm, Town Hall Debate at the University of South Carolina Law School Auditorium: “Because the Bible Told Me So: Is Homosexuality a Sin?” WIS News 10 anchor Craig Melvin has agreed to serve a moderator. Among an exciting and diverse panel of ministers and theologians will be the dynamic Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, one of the first two women newly elevated to bishop in the Unity Fellowship Church Movement --- the largest Black gay-led Christian Church in the United States. Bishop Rawls believes, “I look forward to an open dialogue where we really have an opportunity to explore how together as a community we can move to place of being more affirming, welcoming, and supportive of families [lgbt and otherwise] as a whole.”

All are welcomed! To learn more about this Pride’s many empowering events refer to:

South Carolina Black Pride
P.O. Box 8191
Columbia, SC 29202;

Anyone seeking more information can call Todd Shaw at 803-799-9190.