Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Barney Frank knocks down idiotic question about DADT and men in the showers

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) is awesome. The right-wing Media Research Center-owned website CNSNews.com tried to trip him up with a question about the repeal of DADT. Of course the question had to do with "straight men being forced to shower with gay men." And Frank made the questioner look like a dummy. From Media Matters:

Frank saw this coming from a mile away. As CNS reporter Nicholas Ballasy slowly got out the words “shower with homosexuals,” Frank let out an exaggerated gasp and responded, “What do you think happens in gyms all over America?” After calling it a “silly issue,” Frank added, “What do you think goes wrong with people showering with homosexuals? Do you think it’s the spray makes it catching? ... We don’t get ourselves dry-cleaned.”

Frank then turned the tables on his interviewer by quizzing Ballasy: “I know you’re looking for some way to kind of discredit the policy. Do you think that gyms should have separate showers for gay and straight people? I’m asking you the question because that’s the logic of what you’re telling me. You seem to think that there’s something extraordinary about gay men showering together. Do you think gyms should have separate showers for gay people and straight people?” Ballasy wouldn’t answer, insisting that he was “just quoting the recommendation.” Frank responded: “Don’t be disingenuous. You’re quoting those you think may cause us some problems. You’re entitled to do that, but you shouldn’t hide behind your views.” Frank again asked the question of Ballasy, who again wouldn’t answer, trying to change the subject: “So that’s the question you would pose to people who have an issue with that part of the report, the recommendation?” Frank made his point one more time, and that’s where the CNS ends the video.

Say what you will about Frank but I for one am glad he is on our side.

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Gay community CANNOT let the religious right take over the word 'family'

I want to post something I read from the Southern Poverty Law Center's webpage which speaks to what this so-called culture war about lgbt equality is all about:

The Family Research Council (FRC), a hate group that spreads demonizing lies about gay men and lesbians, claims that it’s simply a pro-family organization.

But don’t gay men and lesbians have families, too? Don’t their families count?

We recently received an email from a supporter that raised just this issue. With his permission, we’re sharing it here. It’s one of the many letters, emails, postings and tweets we’ve received in support of our work since we’ve exposed the FRC’s hateful lies.

-Richard Cohen

Dear SPLC,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for finally branding the Family Research Council a hate group. I am a 36-year-old gay man and when I hear these people say they are "pro-family" or for "family values," I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "I have a family too! I have a mother and father and brother and sister and a partner, and they love me and I am part of that family! I am not a threat to that family; I am a full-fledged, cooperating member of that family!"

These hateful groups have so appropriated the idea of "family" we barely blink when we hear their exclusionary discourse; they are timeworn at this point. But when you sit and think about this way of describing gay people (a threat to "family"), it starts to sink in that this is one of the most intimate and emotionally violent forms of social oppression. Homophobia seeks to literally wedge itself between gay people and their parents and siblings. It also seeks to second-guess and demonize the loving relationships that gay people form between each other.

I have been lucky enough to find the love of my life. It's a rare gift in this world, to find another person who feels like home, who makes you smile, just by being themselves. There is so much more laughter and joy in my life because of him. I feel so blessed to have found this man. And how frightening that the FRC would call that love "sickness," "disorder," "perversion" and "sin." Not only would they label it as such, they would try to convince me to put myself through a process of self-denying psychological torture ("conversion therapy") that could endanger my long-term mental health in order to pry me apart from my partner and destroy what they call "sickness."

I'm writing to you in hopes that my words show you the emotional impact your heroic defense of gay people has on the lives of actual gay people. Homophobia literally seeks to strike "close to home," and because of your actions my home and my family feel a little bit safer. Tonight I'll give an extra hug to my boyfriend on your behalf.

David Hanbury

Mr. Hanbury say it all, doesn't he? 

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'Porno' Pete LaBarbera and his hate group gets called out by Chicago news station report

The national media doesn't seem to get it when it comes talking about anti-gay hate groups and the Southern Poverty Law Center. But the local media seems to be getting it.

The local media in Chicago, Fox Chicago News, recently presented an excellent report about our friend, (and Paul Cameron enabler) Peter LaBarbera and his hate group, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. Words can't do this report justice but I will try. The report is clear, concise, and gets to the heart of  the matter. Just watch it and spread it around online.

Editor's note - Another reason to love this report? LaBarbera is NOT happy with it.

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Religious right plan to reinstate ban on gays in the military and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Yea NOM? It's just about marriage? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight - Because you know the National Organization for Marriage don't like same-sex households either.

False Equivalence in Media Debate over Antigay Military Ban - Just more proof that if the media won't do the job in exposing anti-gay liars, it's up to us to do it. And we must do it every chance we get without apology.

Staver Lays Out Religious Right's Plans for Fighting DADT Repeal - Okay this is a DUMB move by the religious right. The American people aren't on their side with this one.

Cupcakegate: The finale
- Another religious right cause celebre is shut down.

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Robert Knight: DADT was repealed because Republicans wouldn't get gross about homosexuality

For some, the need to stigmatize the lgbt community based on their constant desire to remind folks about gay sex never goes away.

Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries has made a career out of spreading anti-gay propaganda and lies, even to the point of citing the discredited Paul Cameron in front of Congress. And in a recent piece in The Washington Times - one of the only places that will publish his nonsense -  Knight is claiming that Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed because Republicans refused to get nasty about homosexuality:

Instead of using the military debate to bring to light many suppressed facts that could cripple the homosexual juggernaut if Americans only knew, they played by their opponents' rule book.

In "After the Ball," a 1989 gay-strategy manual, two Harvard-trained public relations experts warn that "the public should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself. Instead, the imagery of sex per se should be downplayed, and the issue of gay rights reduced, as far as possible, to an abstract social question." Elsewhere, the authors say, "first, you get your foot in the door by being as similar as possible; then and only then ... can you start dragging in your other peculiarities, one by one. You hammer in the wedge narrow end first ... allow the camel's nose beneath your tent, and his whole body will soon follow."

For the record, the majority of lgbts never heard of After the Ball, but for some reason, the religious right continues to claim that the lgbt community is using this book as some sort of manual to take over America by utilizing tactics, i.e. planning groups, money, secret organizations, that the religious right themselves are guilty of.

Knight then proceeds to catalog a bunch of things he feels Republicans should have brought up:

* Flawed science has been misused mightily. From Alfred Kinsey's fraudulent research in the 1940s to UCLA Prof. Evelyn Hooker's cooked psychological studies in the late 1950s to misreported "genetic" studies of the 1990s, the public has been browbeaten into ignoring biology, common sense and thousands of years of moral teaching about human sexuality.

* The obvious threat to the military blood supply. According to the Centers for Disease Control, men who have sex with men are 44 times more likely to have HIV and 46 more times to have syphilis. Even if gay men enter the services testing negatively, they're going to have sex in the most likely pool in which to become infected.

* Data compiled by the Family Research Council showing that homosexuals commit a disproportionate number of sexual assaults in the military, even with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Notice how he never says just how the studies of Kinsey and Hooker were flawed, how he gives himself an out in talking about the blood supply by the "even if" addendum, and how he cites the Family Research Council's useless study, which no one else cited. Knight conveniently forgot to mention the "coincidence" of the discredited Paul Cameron coming out with the same type of study a week before FRC did.
The irony of Knight's position is the realization that 17 years ago, Republicans and those who didn't support gays and lesbians serving openly in the military did pull out the horror stories. They talked about "gay sex," "the gay agenda," "fisting," and even pulled the "gay assault" card.

But things have changed.  Homophobia still exists but for the most part, more of us are out and unashamed of who we are despite the efforts of those like Knight. Americans know more of us and the lies about us being an invading horde of Godless creatures just isn't resonating like they used to.

The sad thing is that no one told Knight. But I don't think he would care if anyone did tell him. He seems to be willfully stuck in the past.

Editor's note - In the Southern Poverty Law Center's profile of anti-gay hate groups, Robert Knight's name comes up many times.

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