Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday evening news briefs

Washington state passes DP rights - Good news out of Washington.

ACLU asks schools to stop blocking gay Web sites - The next time you hear the religious right talk about computer blockers to "shield" children from pornographic sites, keep this article in mind. The devil is always in the details.

NY Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. Calls 'Emergency Summit' on Gay Marriage - New York Governor David Patterson makes heads spin.

Why Read It Yourself When You Can Take The Right's Word For It? - Witness how the religious right go apeshit over a report from the Department of Homeland Security. Right Wing Watch breaks down how they lie.

Gathering Storm Spoof - Oh come on. One more won't hurt.
The Illinois Family Institute and Paul Cameron again

The Illinois Family Institute continues to throw humorous tantrums about being designated as an official hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

IFI was given this designation because it apparently uses the discredited work of Paul Cameron.

In the latest screed on Opposing Views, IFI member Laurie Higgins talks about a conversation she had with Mark Potok of the SPLC over this designation:

Mr. Potok stated in his voice message that we, IFI, "publish and promote the work of a man named Paul Cameron." This grossly misrepresents the nature of our involvement with Cameron's work. It suggests that we regularly or continually publish and promote the work of Cameron, when, by Potok and Beirich's own admission, we published only one brief article.

More troubling yet, this one article contained no statements remotely like those that Mr. Potok articulated in his voice message: "gay men are, something like, 20 times more likely to molest children" or that "they're so sickly and, ya know, sorta do such terrible things."

Mr. Potok then digs himself in even deeper when he says on tape that it is the SPLC's view that "the Illinois Family Institute promotes these (emphasis mine) complete falsehoods." "These" is a demonstrative pronoun referring back to the statements he just made. The problem is that he is suggesting that IFI promotes falsehoods that the SPLC's own evidence proves we did not promote. The SPLC's own evidence is the one three-year-old article that did not include any references to "child molestation," or "sickly homosexuals sorta doing terrible things." Mr. Potok was either stunningly careless with his rhetoric or deliberately manipulative.

I also explained to Mr. Potok that the one article from three years ago contained no hate rhetoric, and that it alone cannot possibly justify labeling IFI a hate group. I told him that simply quoting a source once does not mean that an organization supports or endorses everything that a source says or does.

The point is not a specific article by Cameron. The point is that his research tactics are extremely suspect. And while the article may not have had "hate rhetoric" per se, it creates an inaccuracy about lgbts - that we have a short life span.

This inaccuracy is no different than distorting FBI crime statistics to claim that African-Americans on the whole are a violent people.

Regardless of what Higgins says, when an organization cites a source, the organization is supporting that source. The organization is saying that the source is credible.

And an organization that cites Paul Cameron is saying that he is a credible source for information despite the fact that he has been rebuked and censored by several different groups including Exodus International (yeah, I can't believe it either), the American Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association.

What Higgins is trying to do is have it both ways.

If she and the IFI really care about the SPLC's designation (as well as truth and accuracy), they would take steps to remove the material from IFI's webpage, or at least investigate the claims about Cameron - which, by the way, the group has said it would do.

When you are two-faced, it's best not to speak out of both your mouths. You reveal your duplicity.

And yet, this is the group that is helping to sponsor the Day of Silence Walk out in defense of "Christian values."

Who knew Christian values included lying and evasion?
Illinois Family Institute doesn't have a clue

The Illinois Family Institute, the organization spearheading the supposed Day of Silence walkout, got into trouble recently over an anti- Day of Silence video.

With the way things are going with religious right groups and videos (i.e. NOM), one would think that they wouldn't have pushed it.

But they did and got tremendously embarrassed. The video was originally removed because of a few errors on the part of IFI.

From Box Turtle Bulletin:

JoeMyGod seems to have some of the details leading up to its withdrawal. The IFI originally listed a Baptist Church in Glendale, Arizona as a producer of the video. In fact, the video referenced that church’s web site. But that church denied having anything to do with the clip. They have posted a note, which reads:

Please note: The Illinois Family Institute posted an article on its site April 15, entitled Dare to Stand regarding a video produced by a church in Illinois. Because the radio ministry of Northwest Valley Baptist Church coincidently [sic] bears the name Dare to Stand, we were mistakenly connected with it.

Neither Dare to Stand radio nor Northwest Valley Baptist Church is in any way involved with the development of this video or with the web site connected with it ( Our website is Please contact the Illinois Family Institute at for more information.

The IFI’s web page was then changed to identify the video’s creator as Grace Gospel Center in Bensonville, Illinois. And then sometime after that, the video and the web page both vanished into thin air.

JoeMyGod has kept up with the situation, including the fact that the video is back up.

It's full of outrageous images, including child being threatened by a teacher because he opens a Bible in class. Of course the semantics about the "evils of the tolerance crowd" are played to the hilt. And while the Day of Silence isn't mentioned by name, negative inferences to it are throughout.

The video has the same problem that the NOM video had - it's too intense and in your face with its inaccuracies. Most likely, it will do more to galvanize support for the Day of Silence than against it.

This is becoming a standard mode of behavior - those who are against us are consistently cutting their own throats due to their stridency.

And personally, I'm all for it.

For more about Day of Silence, go here.