Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 - The year of Glenn Beck and the anti-lgbt crazies

Just a precursor to my own 2009 Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Misinformer of the Year awards. Can last year's champion Matt Barber hold on to his title or will he be outdone by a group effort not unlike the one that gave the Saturday Night Fever album the Grammy award in 1978? Stay tuned for more details.

Media Matters (who will probably be sending me a bill) has just announced their 2009 Misinformer of the Year award and to the surprise of no one, it's Glenn Beck:

Now while Beck gets the major award, Media Matters also gave a host of minor awards for outrageous statements.

And again to the surprise of no one, many of those statements had to do with comments made against the lgbt community:

In addition to a sustained assault on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, right-wingers made outrageous attacks based on sexual orientation:
Of course I'm disappointed that the Media Matters list omitted the dust-up between Matt Barber, Peter LaBarbera, and Exodus International which recently came up.

However, it just occurred to me that our biggest strength in this so-called cultural war is the mouths of our opposition. Give them enough time and they verbally hang themselves.

And in this case, a public hanging is just what we need. After all, why keep the craziness of the religious right to ourselves. In the spirit of holiday generosity, everyone needs to see just how crazy these folks are.

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Another day, another batch of lies about Kevin Jennings and other Monday midday news briefs

David Limbaugh continues right-wing smear campaign against "known homosexual activist" Jennings - Another day, another bunch of lies aimed at Kevin Jennings.

A Gay Wedding Ceremony In Uganda - Lgbts in Uganda are some of the bravest people in the world. Love will always conquer fear.

Parent Files Complaint Against Gay Teacher for Corrupting Child’s Innocence - Oh give me a break!

The Pathetic State of the Anti-Gay Right - More on that lovely religious right catfight between Exodus International, Porno Petey and Matt Barber. Why don't they just all kiss and make up?

India holds first Miss India Transgender beauty pageant - This sounds highly interesting.

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Two black pastors supporting gay marriage break it down in the Washington Post

I's always annoying to me how so many, the media included, write off the black community when it comes to whether or not it supports lgbt equality, particularly gay marriage.

There is too much of a need to create conflict between the lgbt and black community without examining the nuances of just the black community feels regarding gay rights.

And there is generally an unfortunate omission of the thoughts and opinions of lgbts of color.

With that in mind, I am very pleased with yesterday's editorial in the Washington Post with Rev. Dennis W. Wiley and the Rev. Christine Y. Wiley, pastors of Covenant Baptist Church in Washington.
They are also co-chairs of the organization DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, a group which helped get marriage equality passed in D.C.

It's an excellent read, particularly this part:

We are sometimes asked what accounts for the homophobia within the African American community. This question seems to assume that the community is disproportionately homophobic compared with other racial and ethnic groups. We are not aware of any credible study that has conclusively proved this assumption. However, our first-hand experience has convinced us that homophobia within the black church and the wider community is real. And the factors that have nurtured these beliefs over the years are complex.

When issues of gay rights and gay marriage come up, the first question many black people ask is, "What does the Bible have to say about it?" This seemingly innocent question doesn't acknowledge that when we approach the Bible, our perspective has been shaped by where we were born, by whom we were raised, what Grandma taught us, where we went to school and what our pastor preached in church -- usually conservative ideas on matters such as homosexuality. Therefore, we tend to interpret the Bible not objectively, but through the lens of our cultural and historical context.

The conservative strand of black religion is evident in what Harvard professor Peter Gomes calls "bibliolatry" -- the practice of worshiping the Bible rather than worshiping God. It is also found in a "literal" interpretation of the Bible that focuses more on the letter of the text than on its spirit, and concentrates on passages about domination, oppression, hierarchy, elitism and exclusion rather than on the major themes of love, justice, freedom, equality and inclusion that run throughout the Bible.

A more complicated element of black homophobia is the lingering influence of sexual stereotypes that originated during slavery. According to theologian Kelly Brown Douglas, the myth of "over-sexualized" black bodies portrayed black men as violent "bucks" who posed an ever-present threat to white women, and black women as "Jezebels" who seduced white men.

All I can say is that we need more of these editorials and more of these discussions AND in places like Ebony and Jet magazine, AND The Advocate magazine. Preferably as a magazine cover story.

Editor's note - in an aside that has absolutely nothing to do with this piece, I want to give a quick shout out and congratulations to my online friend Jeremy Hooper, whose marriage to his partner will be included in the Winter 2010 edition of Martha Stewart Weddings.

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