Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Senator DeMint will not address the lie he told about hate crimes legislation

So many things happened today that I was almost didn't know what to write about.

First there was this:

Commentary: The APA Says ‘No Evidence’ In Support of Ex-Gay Therapy

then there was this:

BREAKING NEWS: ENDA introduced in Senate

So while "everything was coming up roses" so to speak, it looked like I would have to play "eeney, meeney, miney, mo" to decide what to write about.

Then a certain email hit my box from Sen. Jim DeMint. It reads in part like such:

Dear Mr. McEwen,

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for S.909, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. As you may know, this bill would create a new federal crime for willfully causing bodily injury to any person because of their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Like you, I believe all criminals who commit violent crimes should be severely punished. However, I also believe all crimes are hate crimes, and have concerns that expanding federal hate crimes law would turn almost any crime involving willful bodily injury into a federal felony.

Additionally, the broad language of this hate crimes legislation will unnecessarily extend federal law enforcement beyond its constitutional bounds. Expanding federal involvement in an area that is truly a state and local law enforcement responsibility undermines the authority and effectiveness of those officials, and creates conditions for arbitrary and politicized prosecution of certain cases.

I will spare you the rest of the email because it's as boring as what I have shown you.

And totally off the subject of the email I sent him. My email addressed this letter that Sen. DeMint sent to pastors around the country telling them that hate crimes legislation would lead to them being arrested for preaching that homosexuality is a sin.

I even wrote a post about it.

But Sen. DeMint wouldn't even mention the letter he wrote nor did he continue to tell the lie about pastors being arrested.

Maybe I should be glad that it seems as if DeMint is abandoning that lie. But I'm not.

To me, the thing worser than telling a lie is pretending that you never said it.

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LaBarbera launches nasty attack against transgender community, Joe Jervis makes Linda Harvey mad, and other Wednesday midday news briefs

The Autumn of Pete's discontent - One of the main things I don't live about religious right spokespeople is their blatant hypocrisy. They like to say that lgbts are meanspirited while at the same time trying to piss away their own nastiness. Not only is Peter LaBarbera misleading in his latest ramblings, but he also attacks a very intelligent online buddy of mine, Autumn Sandeen. Jeremy from doesn't let him get away with it.

Linda Harvey: JMG Is A Liar - Joe Jervis has got Linda Harvey running scared. Damn I'm jealous!

Amsterdam mayor marries U.S. gay couples on canal - This is awesome!

Tempers flare over benefits for gay, unwed city employees - It's ridiculous that certain things are brought up for a vote, like people's benefits for example.

After Third Day of Counting, Washington Signature Fail Rate is 13% - Speaking of which, the Washington petition may have problems. Good!

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Religious right spokesperson who wanted to 'export homosexuals' nominated for an award

PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays), that bastion of ex-gay phoniness has just nominated Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg for an award for "distinguished service in public education."

PFOX head Regina Griggs said the following:

For the past four years, Mr. Sprigg has served on the school board's Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development. The 15-member Committee consults with professional educators within the public school system in developing and evaluating the student sex education curriculum.

Mr. Sprigg has spoken out in favor of including former homosexuals in the county's "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality" school lessons. These lessons promote tolerance of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, cross-dressers, and the intersexed, yet failed to include ex-gays, which is the only disfavored group within the public school system. Without Sprigg, the ex-gay community and parents would not have a voice in the public schools.

Mr. Sprigg also enabled public school staff to promote a positive learning environment that holds mutual respect for others by participating in PFOX's flyer distribution program. PFOX distributed flyers to every high school student in the Montgomery County public schools urging the elimination of bias and prejudice against former homosexuals and their supporters. Students also received factual information on sexual orientation and resources on alternatives to homosexuality.

How sweet.

Griggs doesn't give the name of the award but based on his past history, nominating Sprigg for any award having to do with the tolerance and the advancement of education is like nominating one of those really bad American Idol rejects for a Grammy.

Isn't Peter Sprigg the SAME GUY who said the following:

" . . . I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society."

And you don't have to take my word for it, isn't that right, Peter:

Also based on some of the papers he has written for the Family Research Council, Sprigg wouldn't know factual information if it came to life and kicked him in the keister.

He helped to write the paper Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples and the book Getting It Straight, both of which have a plethora of inaccurate information (including numerous studies taken out context) regarding the lgbt community.

I talk about both the paper and the book and their numerous errors here and here.

At the time in which I wrote the two posts, I inaccurately gave another employee of FRC, Timothy Dailey, sole credit for writing these pieces. As you can see here, Sprigg had a hand in writing these pieces.

The only reason why Sprigg exists on this committee is to undermine anything that would benefit lgbts in a positive manner. He doesn't speak for tolerance and understanding but lies and obstruction.

From what I understand, his appointment was the result of a long and drawn out lawsuit over the school board's sex education program.

Also, there are enough reasonable members of that committee to cancel out any madness he may bring up.

But isn't it alarming that this man who would like to export gays and lesbians from the United States, who has no problem with creating junk science on gays and lesbians is on a committee that is supposed to look after the well-being of children, including those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender?

I don't know what award PFOX nominated Sprigg for but I've got one for him.

But to say what it's called would cause me to "lose my religion."

Peter Sprigg's "research:"

The Family Research Council continues to use 'outdated' work

Another flawed piece of work courtesy of the Family Research Council

The lies of PFOX:

UPDATE - PFOX answers my question. And someone is still distorting the issue

Another update from yesterday's post: PFOX caught distorting study

UPDATE - The following letter from David S. Fishback, Member, Board of Directors, Metro DC PFLAG and past Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee (2003-05), gives a very good view of the situation regarding Sprigg's appointment to the committee:

While Peter Sprigg was appointed to the Montgomery County Board of Education's Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development in 2005 as part of the settlement of a court suit seeking to stop the Board from implementing changes in its health education curriculum setting forth accurate information on sexual orientation, the settlement agreement has expired, and the Board was under no further obligation to seat Mr. Sprigg.

Readers should be aware, however, that after the 2005 lawsuit was dropped, the Board started the process over again and, after winning a second lawsuit in 2007-08, implemented curriculum revisions that, in most respects, were even better than the curriculum that was derailed by the temporary restraining order issued by a federal court judge in May 2005. Mr. Sprigg's presence on the Advisory Committee failed to stop the Committee from recommending and the Board from implementing the curriculum improvements.

Mr. Sprigg's presence on the Committee is irrelevant to what PFOX says about the flyers it distributes: "Mr. Sprigg also enabled public school staff to promote a positive learning environment that holds mutual respect for others by participating in PFOX's flyer distribution program. PFOX distributed flyers to every high school student in the Montgomery County public schools urging the elimination of bias and prejudice against former homosexuals and their supporters. Students also received factual information on sexual orientation and resources on alternatives to homosexuality." These flyers are distributed pursuant to a quarterly program by which any non-profit group may distribute flyers in the schools. In fact, most of these flyers -- which assert nonsense that is contradicted in the curriculum and is contradicted by the information provided to the Guidance Offices -- are simply tossed in the trash can by the students. Indeed, Metro DC PFLAG also uses the flyer distribution program to pass out accurate information for students and parents.

It is worth noting that it appears that none of the other 14 members of the Advisory Committee (including members of the Metro DC Chapter of PFLAG and (a grassroots group formed to support comprehensive, accurate sexuality education in Montgomery County), as well as the immediate past and now present Chair and Vice Chair) share Mr. Sprigg's views. Indeed, PFOX conveniently omits from its press release the fact that Mr. Sprigg has been remarkably unsuccessful in convincing his fellow Committee members or the Board of Education or the MCPS staff to follow the fringe views of PFOX and of his employer, the Family Research Council.

The advantage, I suppose, of having Peter Sprigg on the Advisory Committee is that it gives the other members a preview of the right-wing party line. Those members are well aware that they have to examine closely everything he says and examine any "authority" he cites.) Indeed, by having him on the Advisory Committee, the right-wing is deprived of the argument that their views are not even being listened to. What we have done in Montgomery County over the past 6 years is to give Mr. Sprigg and his allies every opportunity to make their case. The rest of us listen, check out their sources, check out what the mainstream medical and mental health professional associations have concluded -- and then roundly reject the PFOX/Family Research Council nonsense.

As long as Mr. Sprigg does not engage in the kind of obstructionist tactics that his allies in Montgomery County sought to use in years past, his presence is not a problem. In dealing with public policy, there is no reason not to listen to many sides -- as long as no one acts like the shouters at the current Congressional recess town hall meetings. I have debated him on a state-wide news program, and I have never seen him behave in such a manner.

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