Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday news briefs

Steele Elected RNC Chair - Who would have thought? Black is the new black. However, before anyone starts popping the champagne, please be aware that Steele isn't exactly a good guy. How long will it be before he possibly starts exploiting the divisions between the lgbt and African-American community?

They're organizing to protect DOMA already - John Aravosis is spot on when he says "This is indicative of the difference between conservatives and liberals: The right organizes years on an issue years in advance, the left organizes after we've lost." And, if I might add, they don't think that studying the tactics of the opposition is beneath them (the opposition in this case being us). If only some of us took the same frame of mind when it comes to them.

Anti-gay Arguments We Don’t Bother With (And Should): Part 2 - The continuation of the Box Turtle Bulletin series.

Lesbian couple wins court round - Ending the week on a happy note.

and now for something having to do with absolutely nothing . . .

Rainn Wilson auditions for PARANOID PARK - The only thing I know about Rainn Wilson is that he is a cast member of The Office. I don't know what Paranoid Park is. But this is strange, especially at 1:04. But I figure a little homoeroticism never hurt anyone.
Laurie Higgins - yet another phony expert

One of the most annoying things about the religious right is how they seem to anoint every Tom, Dick, and Harry as an "expert" on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Credentials such as degrees and such are not needed here. All you need is a so-called Christian mind and the temerity to lie in the name of God.

I've seen this sort of thing before with Linda Harvey of Mission America. Harvey, a former ad executive who supposedly accepted Jesus in her heart, took it upon herself for develop some sort of "risk management" test for high schools who dared to acknowledge the existence of lgbt students and teachers.

I'm glad to say that her nonsense was pretty much ignored.

Now comes another phony expert, Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute.

She is angry that two transgendered women are suing the state in order to change the sex on their birth certificates. And she takes it upon herself to diagnose these two women with a medical condition, despite the fact that she has no expertise to do so:

In the Jan. 28, 2009 edition of the Chicago Tribune, there is a story about the two sexual amputees who are suing the state over the refusal of the state to change the “gender” designation on their birth certificates from “male” to “female.” Several important points must be made. First, it’s utterly reprehensible that anyone in the medical community would be complicit in facilitating a psychological disorder by amputating healthy body parts. There is a condition known as either apotemnophilia or Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) that is characterized by the desire to amputate a healthy limb. It is useful for comparison in that it is thought by many to be closely related to Gender Identity Disorder (i.e., transsexualism), which society is increasingly accepting as a valid identity that emerges from biological influences and whose behavioral manifestations are morally legitimate.

Sexual amputees? You mean ugly language.

Higgins's unhinged commentary shines a light on just what direction the religious right will be going in order to exploit people's ignorance of the transgender community.

Oh these folks want to mutilate themselves. They want body parts sliced off.

What Higgins is doing is the old tactic of nauseating instead of educating. It's a cynical ploy and fits very well with the modus operandi of these supposed pro-family spokespeople.

The issues involving the transgender community have nothing to do with body mutilation. They are more complicated and frankly I think that there should be more education on who our transgendered brothers and sisters are.

That way, ignorant seeds, like those planted by Laurie Higgins, won't be allowed to sprout.

By the way, for more information about Higgins, including her unwarranted attacks on Illinois's Deerfield High School, go here.
Conflict resolution - it's a good thing

Joe Brummer has a new site .

Brummer, a good friend and supporter of mine from day one, has in the past brought an intelligent and calm perspective to this so-called cultural war.

Via his old site, Brummer consistently refuted religious right lies in a manner that gave the purveyors of these distortions respect but called them out for their dishonesty.

On his new site, Brummer wants to solely focus on conflict resolution and nonviolence training. Other services he provides are communication training, mediation, conflict coaching, facilitation, and web design.

I say more power to him, especially in this climate.