Friday, September 30, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - Bound

For my sisters - Bound (1996), an awesome film noir involving a lesbian couple (Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon) in a scheme to steal $2 million from the mob.

Incredible, uncompromising portrayals by Tilly and Gershon make this movie a classic. And yes, it has a happy ending (sorry folks, but if you have read this blog, you know how I stressed the importance of members of the lgbtq community seeing positive gay-theme movies with happy endings):

Past Know Your LGBT Posts: 

NC legislator falls under scrutiny for more lies and other Friday midday news briefs

Anti-Gay North Carolina State Sen. Forrester May Have Falsified Additional Medical Credentials - For eight years, anti-gay North Carolina legislator James Forrester pushed a state constitutional to ban gay marriage. Now that the bill has passed and the voters will vote on it next year, Forrester is now learning the old adage about being careful what you wish for because you may just get it.

Seeing the Forresters for their truth-obfuscating trees - And as Jeremy Hooper points out, it is waaaay past time for folks to get hip to the homophobia and Mr. Forrester and his wife.

After gay ban repeal, Pentagon rules that military chaplains may perform same-sex unions - Good news all around for same-sex couples and for the simple fact that this will cause religious right heads to explode.

Oklahoma Paper Blasts "Perverted" Gay Election Board Member - This nasty, hate-filled attack is the type of thing that folks like Maggie Gallagher and Matt Barber consider to be "expressing the simple belief that homosexuality is a sin."

Fischer: Gays and Islamists Are Driven By The Same "Dark Energy," Anti-Christ Spirit - Aw hell! Who told him? LOL

Montana “Pastor” Blames Gays For His Legal Woes - Apparently WE are the reason why he has six felony charges against him.

Barber: Gays Know They Are Internally Disordered - Okay, while I am not trying to be stereotypical here and I am certainly not trying to make any comments regarding Barber's sexual orientation (cause I simply don't know), I am getting a little annoyed with my homosexuality being attacked by a man who poses like he is auditioning for the "Men On . . . " sketches from In Living Color:

Heeeeey, girlfriend!

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Bigot mad at government for acknowledging same-sex couples

Matt Barber of the right-wing Liberty Counsel is angry at President Obama and the Census Bureau:

A pro-family attorney says the U.S. Census Bureau's decision to include households headed by same-sex couples is just another attempt by the Obama administration to legitimize same-sex "marriage."

The 2010 census, which shows that about 20 percent of the estimated 646,464 homosexual couples in the country checked "husband" or "wife" boxes on their census forms, marked the first time the Bureau tracked information about same-sex "spouses." Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, sees the report as another tactic of the radical homosexual activist lobby in its attempt to undermine the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

"This is another attempted chip-away at the Defense of Marriage Act and to gain full federal sanctioning and government recognition of counterfeit same-sex marriage," he contends.

That's right. Apparently the secret army for the "advancement of homosexuality" met at our secret headquarters (shaped like the famed Hall of Doom from Challenge of the Superfriends) and decided that the Census Bureau is the best place to push our supposed agenda.

I won't even comment about how stupid Barber's comments are. But I will say how they underscore how nasty and mean-spirited the man is.

Apparently in his world, we should ignore same-sex couples, which means no doubt we should ignore issues involving their families and their children.

Doesn't sound very Christian to me.

I think I like Barber better when he obsesses over "gay sex."

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Teacher in the middle of 'suspended for being anti-gay' scandal exonerated, may seek further legal action

Editor's note - What is the deal about this week? First the controversy about James Forrester, then NOM's phony new victim, and now this:

According to The Dallas Voice, Kristopher Franks, the German language teacher in the middle of the controversy involving a student who was suspended for allegedly "merely stating that homosexuality is a sin" has been exonerated after an investigation and is set to go back to work on Monday:

Franks is the teacher who was became the target of ire from the religious right after he sent a student in his German 1 class to the principal’s office for saying in class that as a Christian he believed “homosexuality is wrong.” The school’s assistance principal then suspended Ary, setting off a controversy that made headlines around the country.

That student, freshman Dakota Ary, and his mother enlisted the assistance of Liberty Counsel attorney Matt Krause in fighting the suspension on the grounds that Franks and the school had violated Ary’s right to freedom of speech.

District officials quickly reversed their decision, lifting the suspension.

But Steven Poole, deputy executive director for the United Educators Association of Texas, a teachers union, said Tuesday, Sept. 27, that the allegations leading to Franks being put on leave were unrelated to the incident with Ary.

Franks, who had not spoken to the press previously on the advice of his union representative, said Thursday afternoon that he had just met with Fort Worth Independent School District administrators, who told him the nearly weeklong investigation had determined that the allegations against him were unfounded. He did not elaborate on the substance of those allegations.

Franks also said administrators had given him the option of returning to teach at Western Hills High or transferring to another school in the district.

When the controversy began, Ary's family and Krause started a media blitz, going on multiple news programs to claim that Ary's First Amendment rights were violated.

NOM's newest 'victim' of alleged 'gay intolerance' is another dud for the organization

Jerry Buell,  NOM's newest 'dud' in its attack on marriage equality
The National Organization for Marriage has posted a video of another supposed "victim" of the "intolerant gay agenda" in accordance to the new group it has helped to found - the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance.

This week the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is featuring another brand-new interview with another American hero: Jerry Buell, the 2010 Teacher of the Year in Florida who was disciplined by a public school district for posting to his private and personal Facebook account his personal objections to gay marriage in New York.

I will spare you the video (you can see it here). But in NOM's defense, the story is pretty much true. Buell was disciplined for rude comments he wrote on his private and personal Facebook account about marriage equality passing in New York. And he was reinstated.

Of course NOM conveniently omitted the fact that the controversy shined a light on a lot of other questionable things that Buell did which he could not defend, such as comments he wrote on his syllabus and his webpage:

On his school webpage, Buell wrote that he tries to "teach and lead my students as if Lake Co. Schools had hired Jesus Christ himself."

His syllabus also offered this warning to students: "I teach God's truth, I make very few compromises. If you believe you may have a problem with that, get your schedule changed, 'cause I ain't changing!" On a separate document, he also said the classroom was his "mission field.

. . . the webpage was since removed and Buell has been instructed to remove some parts of his syllabus.

And then there were the former students who came forward with stories of Buell's anti-gay behavior in class. One former student, Bryan Blaise, told the following story of what Buell said about gays in the military:

Bryan Blaise tells The New Civil Rights Movement blog that during 11th grade at Mount Dora High School, Buell was asked by a student what he thought about gays in the military.

"I tensed, knowing full well the point of view to follow in Mr. Buell’s response," Blaise said in the interview. "I looked up when he said he supported gays in the military, stunned by the answer. He immediately followed that comment with the statement that we should then put them on the front lines, and pull back. Disgusted at the thought of violence and murder of humans being vocally supported, I shut my book and walked out of class, the only time I would ever do this during my educational career."

So basically like its first example of alleged homosexual intolerance - Frank Turek, NOM's newest example is a dud.

But not a total dud. You see, the entire purpose of NOM's Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is to pinpoint examples of how those who favor marriage equality supposedly bully/"persecute" those who don't.

But based on NOM President Brian Brown's rendition of the Buell controversy, many folks who defended Buell were those who support marriage equality (emphasis added by me):

Hundreds of Americans, even many who disagree with Mr. Buell's views on gay marriage, turned up to express support for fundamental American civil rights: to speak, to donate, to vote, to write, and to organize without fear of losing your job.

So if many folks who agreed with marriage equality supported Buell during the controversy, wouldn't that make NOM's claim of "alleged pro-gay persecution" inaccurate? Wouldn't that make the purpose of the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance moot?

Of course it would, as it should. But why should NOM let inconsistencies get in the way of making up a good story?

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Does Mitt Romney want to be president THIS BADLY?

Earlier today, I made mention of the fact that soon, several Republican presidential candidates will be sharing the stage at a right-wing conference with Bryan Fischer - a man who has said vile, homophobic things about the gay community

I also said that I am sure that these candidates are aware of the things Fischer has said but will ignore them if no one in the media brings it to their attention.

However in the case of one candidate, Mitt Romney, I am not sure that bringing Fischer's homophobic comments to his attention would do any good. This is because of the fact that Fischer has made equally awful comments about folks of the Mormon faith, which is the religion Romney practices:


My argument all along has been that the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion.

One evidence that [the Founding Fathers] were not dealing ... they weren't even intending to deal with non-Christian religions is what they did with Mormonism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Mormonism - they call themselves by the name of Christ, but it is not an orthodox Christian network of churches, it just is not. Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not. They have a different Gospel, they have a completely different definition of who Christ is and so forth, I mean, the list could be multiplied endlessly.

And it was very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths, so when Mormonism came along, they practiced polygamy, they believed in polygamy, just like Muslims do today. It was a part of their revealed religion. God had commanded Joseph Smith to have multiple wives and commanded Joseph Smith to go tell your wife Emma, look you gotta room, I want my son Joseph to be able to have as many wives as he wants so you're just going to have to accept it. So God is telling Emma through Joseph Smith, look you're just going to have to live with this deal. So multiple wives in the Mormon Church until 1890 when the Mormon Church told their folks to obey the law.

The Mormon Church, by the way, has never denounced the practice of polygamy. It has not. What it did in 1890, if you go back to the Doctrines and Covenants, what the Mormon Church did is they advised - it wasn't even an order - they advised the members of the LDS Church to obey the law which said one man, one woman, period. So my guess is that if those that are trying to legalize polygamy, and they are working on it right now ... [Fischer cites court case pushing for recognition of polygamy and says it the same as using courts to push for gay marriage] ... If there is some activist court that says you have to recognize polygamous marriages in your state, you're going to start seeing the LDS church, I believe go back to the exercise of polygamy. If it's legal, because all they told their folks is obey the law, if the law says you can have multiple wives, I believe the LDS Church will be out in the front of the pack.

I mean, not everybody in the LDS Church is going to do it any more than all the members of the LDS Church ever did it. It was a minority even in Joseph Smith's day - I mean, Brigham Young set some kind of world record for number of wives, I mean he was up there in Muhammad territory frankly. But most Mormons didn't do it, it was just a small percentage that had the resources to be able to do it. But I think it will come back, it will come back pretty vigorously in the Mormon Church, again, because all the church fathers said in 1890, just obey the law. Well, if the law says you can have multiple wives, they'll be back.

As far as it is known, Romney is still going to share the stage with him, nor has he said a word about Fischer's comments regarding the Mormon faith.

The question here is how can the gay community ask Romney to call Fischer out for disrespecting us when he won't even say a word about Fischer disrespecting his religion?

Damn, Mitt. I know you want to be President, but is getting the religious right to vote for you worth losing integrity or self-respect?

Hat tip to Right-Wing Watch.

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'Republican presidential candidates sharing stage with hateful Bryan Fischer' and other Thursday midday news briefs

According to People for the American Way, several Republican presidential candidates will be sharing the stage at the "Values Voters" summit with Bryan Fischer. Now we all know Bryan Fischer. He is probably the singular reason why the American Family Association was declared to be a hate group:

Let's be honest here - the GOP presidential candidates are probably aware of Fischer and his history of hate. However, since no media or anyone else has pressed them on the issue as they should be pressed, they are going to continue to avoid the subject. You see what happens when the gay community and those concerned with our issues don't make it a point to speak up about them?

And in other news . . .

Breaking: anti-gay N.C. Senator Forrester falsifies credentials – and an open letter to the lawmaker - Days after an embarrassing interview with Michelangelo Signorile, anti-gay North Carolina legislator James Forrester is exposed as a fraud.

Councilwoman Kimberly Daniels Goes On Rant About Human Rights - Truth Wins Out warned us about crazy Kimberly "Demon-Buster" Daniels and look what happens when no one paid attention.

Judge Rules Illinois Can End Contracts With Discriminating Catholic Charities - For all of their whining about religious persecution, not one person defending the Catholic Charities brought up a defense for them using taxpayer money to discriminate against the gay community.

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Daily Show calls out Fox News for making fun of Chaz Bono

Much has been said about Chaz Bono's appearance on Dancing with the Stars, with the most egregious being comments from folks on Fox News. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show takes the network to task for its hypocrisy in attacking Bono:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Areola 51
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Black community ignores gay community at its own peril

Two pieces of recent news underscores the need to bring lgbtqs of color to the forefront of the discussion of gay equality.

One is happy news while the other is a bit troubling.

First the good news, courtesy of GLAAD:

Ebony, a monthly magazine that focuses on the African-American community, features the story of Iesha McConnell and Terry Treadwell, a couple raising three children together in North Carolina, in their October issue.

“We’re in love,” Terry, 45, told the magazine. “We work hard and worry about our children. We have the same struggles as everybody else.”

The couple met when Iesha’s sons were playing on one of Terry’s athletic teams. "About a year later, after we got to know each other, it eventually led to something," Iesha explains. The two had a commitment ceremony in September 2005, and they have watched their family expand.

The U.S. Census Bureau found that same-sex couples raising children are likely to live in the South and be African American like Iesha and Terry. According to Gary Gates, a demographer at the UCLA School of Law, black gay and lesbian parents raise children at two to three times the rate of their white counterparts. Research also shows that most black same-sex couples are economically disadvantaged (black women raising children in same-sex partnerships make an average of $26,000 a year).

Writer Rod McCullom (creator of and GLAAD National People of Color Media Institute participant) also points out that while six states and the District of Columbia have marriage equality, none in the South have marriage for all loving and committed couples. The lack of protections puts families like Iesha and Terry’s at risk. The parents, for example, cannot jointly adopt their children.

The publishing of this article is a step forward for the black community where issues of lgbtqs of color is not discussed as they should be.  There seems to be a conspiracy of silence amongst many black leaders when it comes to homosexuality. This happens on the national level, where people like Tavis Smiley don't even include the black gay community in his "State of  the Black Union" reports. And it happens on local levels, such as here in South Carolina. On a black gospel radio station, the announcer can't even make himself say the word "gay" or "homosexual" when talking about the community. He calls it "alternative lifestyles."

Because of this conspiracy of silence, it is relatively easy for organizations like the National Organization for Marriage to exploit disagreements between blacks and gays to further its agenda. Being gay IS a black issue and it needs to be treated as such. It cannot be ignored because those who choose to do such aren't ignoring principalities, but people who need their attention, such as the teens in a recent Washington Post article - which is the troubling piece of news I was talking about.

According to columnist Courtland Milloy, a bunch of gay black gay teens who have been bullied have banded together. And while I applaud this, it bothers me because they are considered to be a gang. However, they are only doing what they do out of necessity:

“I just got tired of people beating on me and calling me faggie,” Tayron Bennett, 21, told me recently. He’d helped to organize Check It while a student at Hine Junior High School. Other gay youths from his Trinidad neighborhood in Northeast soon joined, followed by gay youths from throughout the city.

D.C. police estimate that Check It has a core membership of about 20 and counts between 50 and 100 others as “associates.”

“At first, I tried fighting bullies one-on-one, but they don’t fight fair; they fight two and three on one,” Bennett said. So the youths got together and “started carrying mace, knives, brass knuckles and stun guns, and if somebody messed with one of us then all of us would gang up on them.”

Those who call themselves "black leaders" need to get it together and focus on these children as well as other lgbtqs of color. At the same time, the gay community needs to expand its reach and embrace the different cultural and social aspects which come with being gay. It's not a "white thing" so the faces we see and the voices we hear which are pushed to represent our community need not be one ethnicity or one social strata.

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Fox & Friends make fun of Chaz Bono and other Wednesday midday news briefs

NOM's attack on Congresswoman stinks of hypocrisy

The fall out against Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  because of her support of the repeal of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) continues, this time with the National Organization for Marriage weighing in against her:
 . . .groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and Freedom to Marry have been quietly courting Ros-Lehtinen for months, and this isn't the first time Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen has abandoned the Republican party on important issues. She has repeatedly voted against a constitutional amendment to protect marriage, and earlier this year, she was the only Republican co-sponsor of a bill to shut down Catholic Charities and other religious adoption agencies across the nation, forcing them to violate religious convictions or go out of business.

Gay marriage activists know they don't need to persuade the Republican grassroots to support same-sex marriage – they just need to split off enough GOP elite opinion to provide cover as they force SSM on the entire nation. Several prominent GOP elites have already signed on, and gay marriage activists are spending millions of dollars to pressure and persuade more Republican lawmakers that they can support same-sex marriage without consequence.

I need you to send an email to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen today. Let her know that you are outraged that she would abandon marriage and the millions of voters who have adopted state amendments to protect marriage. And maybe it's time Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen started looking for a new job.

There is a certain irony concerning NOM having the temerity to weigh in on DOMA.  According to Joe Sudbay of Americablog Gay, the lawyer defending DOMA in court, Paul Clement, tried to cite anti-gay documents in an attempt to have the case against DOMA dismissed. One of those documents was written by former NOM chair Maggie Gallagher.

However, the lawyers trying to strike down DOMA asked the court to dismiss those documents because they would not have the opportunity to cross-examine those witnesses. Sudbay said the following:

. . . Clement tried to be very clever. He wanted to get Maggie's testimony into the record with having Maggie deposed. And, if we noticed one thing about Maggie Gallagher, she really doesn't want to go under oath.

With that in mind, the fact that NOM criticizes a Congresswoman for wanting to repeal DOMA while tricks are used to keep its former chairwoman from testifying in the DOMA court case stinks of hypocrisy.

Members of the gay community and allies should write Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (her address is generously provided above by NOM) and thank her for her support of DOMA's repeal.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NC legislator can't back up anti-gay claims when pressed on them

This is so sad that I almost feel sorry for NC legislator James Forrester. Earlier today, he was on the Michelangelo Signorile radio show attempting to justify his support of the ballot amendment in that state which would outlaw marriage equality.

Earlier this month, Forrester made the claim that gay men have shorter lifespans than heterosexuals. Signorile challenges him on this (starting at 6:11) and when push comes to shove, Forrester can't back this up. Forrester initially says that his claim came from the Centers for Disease Control, but this is not true.

And Signorile ain't having none of it. Forrester then tries to pull up Frank Turek's name and Signorile calls him out for citing a phony expert. And that's just one of the gold nuggets of the interview. According to Think Progress:

The senator also couldn’t explain how same-sex marriage undermined the institution and even threatened to end the interview when Signorile asked if Forrester would be introducing legislation to ban divorce. “I can’t answer all these questions you have,” he conceded:
SIGNORILE: Why don’t you ban divorce, why not?
FORRESTER: That wasn’t my intent of the legislation.
SIGNORILE: Is divorce a good thing? I’ll ask you some yes or nos, how’s that? Divorce a good thing?
FORRESTER: I think I’m going to end this conversation right now because I see you’re completely negative, on the other side, trying to set me up.

There was no set-up, Mr. Forrester. The simple fact is that you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

The interview in general  is a bit long but is a joy to listen to. It also underscores that when anti-gay folks are up against those who are schooled in refuting homophobic lies, they crumble like a new cookie:

Hat tip to Think Progress.

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Student's story of suspension for speaking against homosexuality may not be true

The gay community has allowed ourselves to be bamboozled again.

Last week, a controversy erupted over a student, Dakota Airy,  at a Fort Worth High School who claimed that he was punished for merely stating in class that homosexuality is a sin. The student was allegedly suspended for his comments, his family retained the services of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel, and both the student and the Liberty Counsel made the round of right-wing blogs and sites claiming that what happened to him is the end result of "persecution by the gay community."

And on some pro-gay sites, some folks flocked to the student's defense, declaring that his First Amendment rights were being violated and that the situation hurts the gay community by demonstrating that we are as "intolerant" as those on the right.

Some of us flocked to the student's defense even though we had seen this situation play out before - a controversy happens involving someone supposedly oppressed by the gay community, the person in question retains the services of a right-wing group who makes a media blitz, thereby getting publicity for the person. And when everything at its peak, the other side of the story comes out. Usually the supposed "victim" of the gay community did not tell the entire story, which when told, makes him or her look less like a victim and more like someone who got what they deserved.

Well you can file this story of the "oppressed student" in that category. According to Marvin Vann, a member of the group LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S, in an interview with the Dallas Voice, the suspension may have been due to a history of harassment against the teacher who called out Airy for his comment.

Bigot's anti-gay press conference fails and other Tuesday midday news briefs

What happened at Rev. Lou Sheldon’s press conference opposing the FAIR Education Act - Hate group leader (Traditional Values Coalition being the group) has a HUGE fail of a press conference.

Video: An 'ex-gay' pushing governor? Better know your candidates, NH! - Pushing someone who support "ex-gay" crap as New Hampshire's governor? How nauseating.

Timothy Dolan Claims He’s Not Anti-Gay, Compares Same-Sex Marriage To ‘Polygamy, Adultery, Forced Marriage - Uh Mr. Dolan . . . I got news for ya. Comparing marriage equality to adultery, polygamy, and forced marriage DOES make you anti-gay.

Related post - Will the Catholic Church declare war on Obama over gay equality?

Land: Gay Activists Seek Full-Blown "Sexual Paganization Of Society" - Okay, who told him? Can't us gays stop revealing "our plans?"

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Hate group angry at Republican for wanting to repeal DOMA

The anti-gay hate group, the Family Research Council is furious that a Republican in Congress is co-sponsoring a bill which would repeal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).

On Friday, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) became the first Republican to co-sponsor the legislation that would repeal DOMA and yesterday, FRC attacker her position, claiming that she is harming children:
Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) has joined the dark side by becoming the first Republican to co-sponsor bills that boost counterfeit marriage while effectively closing down most Christian adoption services.

. . . What the Stark/Ros-Lehtinen bill, (deceptively named "The Every Child Deserves a Family Act") would do is shutter Christian adoption agencies nationwide, despite the large number of lives these organizations impact. Put in a dramatic but truthful way, supporters of the bill would rather see orphans kept without parents than to see them placed in loving homes with a mother and father!

Of course FRC fails to mention that the problem is that these "Christian adoption agencies" receive tax dollars while specifically barring gays from adopting children - a position having to do more with religious beliefs than with actualities. And it's not that these agencies are "forced" to close down, it's that they refuse to function without these tax dollars.

But the most ironic statement with FRC's attack is the following:

The GOP leadership has done a lot to protect marriage, mostly by appointing a top-notch lawyer to defend DOMA . . .

FRC omits the fact that this "top-notch" lawyer (Paul Clement) has been called to the carpet by Democratic legislators for his use of junk science in defending DOMA.

In all honesty, however, seeing that FRC itself is no slouch when it comes to utilizing junk science, maybe not mentioning that Clement is doing the same is an "innocent oversight."

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Democratic lawmakers not happy with Boehner's DOMA defense

Hot damn! This is BIG!:

Democratic lawmakers don't like the "harmful and unreasonable arguments" being used by House speaker John Boehner's lawyer to keep the Defense of Marriage Act on the books.

A contingent from Congress, including all four of the gay members, wrote to Boehner demanding a chance to confront the lawyer with what they say is "discredited" and "biased" research on homosexuality that was used in a legal brief representing Congress in court.

 . . .several Democrats — Tammy Baldwin, David Cicilline, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Jerrold Nadler, and Jared Polis — say Clement doesn't represent them or even the scientists he cites in his legal arguments.

 . . . They cite, for example, professor Lisa Diamond's complaint that Boehner's lawyer has "completely misrepresented my research." A lot has changed since DOMA was passed 15 years ago, they say, but Clement's ideas on why it should remain "do not withstand the test of time or scrutiny."

The representatives are asking Boehner, for the second time, to grant them a briefing about the case so they can hear more about a court strategy they say isn't based in fact.   

Why is this big? Because a while back, not only did Diamond complain that Clement was distorting her work, but at the same time, I published a post clearly showing that Clement was also using junk science and bad studies in his defense of DOMA.

In his defense of DOMA, Clement cites the work of Case Western Reserve University law professor George W. Dent, Jr.

But Dent's work - which Clement uses -  cited both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, two discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies and Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year's scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a "rentboy."

Also, Dent cited the work of Walter Schumm's study Children of Homosexuals More Apt To Be Homosexuals? A Reply to Morrison and to Cameron Based on an Examination of Multiple Sources of Data.

Schumm's study was criticized for using the same false methodology as Cameron's work. i.e. citing sources "from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on"

Furthermore, Dent cited a book called Straight & Narrow by Thomas E. Schmidt to make criticisms about gay health. However, Schmidt is not a credible researcher in the field of gay health. He is a professor of New Testament Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and according to Rev. Mel White of the group Soulforce, Schmidt cited Cameron's discredited studies many times in Straight & Narrow (5th letter to Jerry Falwell.)

And last, but not least, Dent cited the work of the American College of Pediatricians. The American College of Pediatricians is not a credible organization, but an organization created to give credibility to junk science about the gay community. Last year, over 14,000 school district superintendents in the country were sent a letter by ACP inviting them to peruse and use information from a new site, Facts About Youth. The site claimed to present "facts" supposedly not tainted by "political correctness."  Of course these were not facts, but ugly distortions about the gay community, including:

Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes

As for now, it is not known how or if Boehner will respond to the Democratic legislators. But still, their actions of questioning Boehner on the material that his lawyer is using is a good thing because it puts a spotlight on the distortions those on the right use to defend anti-gay laws.

And it's about time. 

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President Obama condemns booing of gay soldier and other Monday midday news briefs

Obama: Booing of Gay Soldier 'Not Reflective of Who We Are' - Thank you, Mr. President.

Toledo Pastor Erects 9 Gay-Hating Billboards, Says He Loves Everyone - Cause we all know that it's not The Church's duty to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and provide comfort, but waste a bunch of money on anti-gay billboards.

NEW YORK: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs Landmark Bill Aiding LGBT Seniors - Way to go, Gov. Cuomo.

Retailers Are Put on the Spot Over Anti-Gay Aid - I like what the Southern Poverty Law Center said about this - "Calling out groups for their hatred isn't offensive. Claiming bigotry as a Biblical value is."

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s Opposition To DOMA May Be Guided By Personal Experience, Transgender Son - Fascinating piece on Republican representative who opposes DOMA.

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Bigot - gays are winning 'culture war' and taking prisoners

Scott Lively
"Many Christians are only now awakening to the seriousness of the threat to our society posed by the homosexual movement. But, unfortunately for us all, it is only the sounding of the victory trumpets by "gay" activists that has stirred Christians from their slumber. The watchman's walls have been broken and breached, the village is in flames, and triumphal "gay" culture warriors are leading a long string of young prisoners by their necks into the woods. Most disturbingly, many of the captives, including some of the children of these still sleepy-eyed Christian parents, seem happy to go."

The above ramblings is paranoid homophobic bigotry of the highest order. And it would be hilarious except when one realizes who it is coming from.

Scott Lively, head of the SPLC-declared hate group Abiding Truth Ministries and author of the discredited piece of garbage, The Pink Swatiska (a book claiming that gays were responsible for Hitler's Nazi Party), wrote the piece which appeared last week in World Net Daily.

And it is pretty much the same vein of trash which Lively has made a living in declaring - i.e. claiming that gays are secretly plotting to take over America, "indoctrinate children," and cause all sorts of mayhem.

It's the same trash one would hear from folks like Matt Barber and Peter LaBarbera, except for one thing. As odious as LaBarbera and Barber are, neither person has the death of an innocent on their heads.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Don't believe Santorum's claim about not hearing the audience boo the gay soldier

There continues to be so much fall out from the recent Republican presidential debate in which the candidates stood by and said nothing while members of the audience booed a gay solder. The gay soldier was merely asking will the candidates make it harder for folks like him to serve openly in the military in spite of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Now a few candidates, John Huntsman and Gary Johnson,  have gone on record saying that they thought the booing was inappropriate. Others, such as Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney, have dodged responding to the controversy. But one candidate, Rick Santorum, really stepped into it with his answer:

“I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear the boos,” Santorum told ABC News. “I heard the question and answered the question, so I’ve heard subsequently that happened. I’ve heard varied reports about whether they were booing the soldier or the policy.”

“I don’t know what they were booing,” he said. “If you can go out and find the people who were booing and find out if they were booing because a man was gay or because of a policy they don’t agree with.”

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson simply isn't buying Santorum's explanation:

Johnson added that he could hear the boos from the stage and believes that the other candidates – despite Santorum’s denial – could as well.

Frankly, I don't buy Santorum's explanation either. And even though Santorum later went on record condemning the boos, I think the entire situation reveals something about his character; or lack thereof.

Folks like Santorum claim that they are ridiculed because they believe in "values" and "morality" in a society in which such things are not trendy.

But that's a lie. Folks like Santorum are ridiculed because so many of us don't buy their chest thumpings and phony martyrdom. You see folks like Santorum talk a good game when they can attack other people and call other people's values into suspect. But when it comes down to showing a little integrity, little humility or - in this case - a little honesty, they fail miserably.

To them, Christianity is merely a pedestal to place themselves above others. Christianity is merely a club used to bash others. Christianity is like a barrier which separates them from those of us they consider "untouchables" or the "undesirables" who shall never - at least in their minds - be seen at the same level as them.

But it's always about actions, never words. And  Santorum's actions in this situation - claiming that he did not hear the boos of the audience - is an outrageous lie.

In other words, Rick my friend, many of us don't like you because you are a hypocrite and a liar.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Frank Turek is a liar

The National Organization for Marriage has began a new project which it calls Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance. This project will spotlight folks who are the supposed victims of imaginary gay intolerance:

“If you have been threatened, harassed, or made to feel afraid because you believe in the great, foundational truth of Genesis –we are born male and female and called to come together in love to give children mothers and fathers—Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is here to help you: you are not alone.

We want to hear your story, connect you with others who share your deepest beliefs, with legal and other practical help, and with other Americans of good will, who (regardless of their views on marriage) want to put a stop to the shaming and the fearmongering of our fellow citizens. The goal of the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is to create a supportive community for those who have been threatened for standing for marriage, to nip the climate of fear being created in the bud, to expose for fair-minded Americans on both sides of the debate the threats being made, to conduct high-quality qualitative and quantitative research documenting the extent of the harm, to develop legislative and community proposal to protect Americans right to engage in the core civil rights: to organize, to vote, to speak, to donate, and to write for marriage.

Isolated and alone, we can be suppressed and intimidated. Together we are too many to be treated as second-class citizens.“

In other words, this group will exploit controversies to create new religious right cause celebres who have been supposedly victimized because of their "morality" and push them hard on the American public before the truth comes out that these folks are not victims but individuals who think that their beliefs regarding homosexuality should shield them for normal consequences of acting like homophobic fools.

And first up in the MADA spotlight is a man called Frank Turek. Turek was consultant who lost several lucrative gigs because of his sidework of denigrating the gay community. Take the following video with a grain of salt.

Turek makes himself sound like a pitiful victim. I am of the belief that private companies - who employ gays - have every right to pick and choose who they have as consultants. Some may disagree.

But what we cannot disagree with is the simple fact that Turek is being highly misleading. He makes it seem that his dismissals and inability to get gigs is due to his stance on gay marriage. But he omits the time when he:

said that gays and "radical Muslims are teaming up to destroy Western Civilization because they hate "Judeo-Christian natural law"

Or the time he compared homosexuality to alcoholism and pedophilia:

[B]eing born a certain way is irrelevant to what the law should be. Laws are concerned with behaviors not desires, and we all have desires we ought not act on. In fact, all of us were born with an “orientation” to bad behavior, but those desires don’t justify the behaviors. If you are born with a genetic predisposition to alcohol, does that mean you should be an alcoholic? If you have a genetic attraction to children does that mean you should be a pedophile? What homosexual activist would say that a genetic predisposition to anger justifies gay-bashing? (Don’t blame me—I was born with the anti-gay gene!) Certainly, those that oppose alcoholism, pedophilia and gay bashing are not “bigots”—they are wise.

Or the time he compared gays to sociopaths and gay bashers:

 The question is why didn't Turek - or NOM for that matter - mention his other comments on the video.

But the real fact of the matter is this - Turek has every right to speak his mind, but no company is bound to hire him, particularly if the company has lgbtq employees.

Furthermore, if Turek had said the same awful comments about African-Americans or people of the Jewish faith, we would not be having this conversation.

Is Turek a victim of "gay intolerance?" No. He is a liar who tries to make himself out to be a victim. And he is a man who seems to think that he should be shielded from the normal consequences of being a homophobic bigot - i.e. ostracization from the job market.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - Gay characters from children's television show and movies

I found the following hilarious video on youtube which looks at characters from children's television shows and movies who supposedly show lgbtq sensibilities.

What do you think of the choices?

Past Know Your LGBT Posts: 

GOP candidates condemned for not sticking up for gay soldier and other Friday midday news briefs

Conservatives And Media Criticize GOP Candidates For Not Condemning Audience Boos Of Gay Soldier - How is this for a day of miracles? Me, GoProud, and the Christian Post actually agree on something.

NOM's new Chair: Homosexuality is modern day 'barbarism'- NOM's new chairman is channeling Marcus Bachmann . . . shut up.

Ugandan First Lady Affirms Support For “Kill The Gays” Bill - Here is a first lady we all can dislike.

LaBarbera Joins Mefferd To Lash Out At "Homo-Fascism" - A day we can drive Porno Pete crazy is always a good day.

Perry Endorser Suggested New Hampshire ‘Sold’ Adoptees To Same-Sex Couples - Lord, hammercy!

FLASHBACK: Before He Was At Fox, Keith Ablow Embraced Transgender People On Television - Can you say phony, boys and girls?
Gay people, get your heads in the game! - I am only adding this because I don't think that I pissed off a sufficient enough amount of people when I posted it this morning. LOL

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Gay people, get your heads in the game!

The moment that everyone is talking about regarding last night's Republican debate is below when the audience booed a gay soldier who asked a question about DADT:

And candidate Rick Santorum didn't help matters by giving a sleazebag answer conflating gays serving openly in the military to sexual intercourse.

This piece is not a sell for Obama but a plea for the gay community to recognize who our true enemies are. I know that so many of us are angry at the president because we think he has not moved fast enough on our issues. Fair enough. But those always ready to lodge a comment on how worthless Obama is forget one thing:

Electing Obama was only half the work.

Let's be honest. So many of us expected that when Obama won, the sky would open, heavenly choirs would cascade down from the skies, and automatically the lgbtq community would gain instantaneous equality.

It doesn't work like that. It never has and it never will. The mistake of so many of us in the community is the simple fact that we viewed Obama's election as an end rather than yet another facet in the plan which would ensure our equality.

We sat back as if we ordered a meal in a restaurant and expected Obama, as the waiter, to bring us what we ordered, specifically to our specifications.

The struggle for equality is not that easy. Obama needed to be prodded to do the right thing, but instead of recognizing this simple fact, some of us complained about it.

I personally didn't give a crap that he needed to be prodded. I did care that he responded to our prodding. You think "President John McCain" would have cared that several folks chained themselves to the White House fence? You think any Republican president for that matter would respond to any protest by Get Equal?

Of course not.

Last night's shameful moment should send a signal to the lgbtq community that our equality is not dependent one person, no matter how powerful they are. Furthermore, if we are waiting for a magical moment such as when President Lyndon Johnson adopted the language of the civil rights movement during one of his presidential address in a show of solidarity, we are going to be waiting for a long time.

It's time we stop expecting a hero and be our own heroes. It's time we start talking into account the cold fact that our struggle for equality is like a game of chess.

And it's time we stop pussyfooting and start mastering the game.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Good riddance to Maggie Gallagher

This afternoon, as probably many of you have probably heard, Maggie Gallagher has stepped down as chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage.

Details are extremely sketchy, but NOM has put on a brave face on the announcement by giving accolades to Gallagher and introducing, with much fanfare, her replacement - law professor and tea party favorite, John Eastman.

Personally, I am not impressed. Most likely, Gallagher stepping down is probably the best thing for the organization. I for one have never bought into the idea that Gallagher herself personally founded NOM.

Let's face facts - Gallagher was probably more likely a figurehead, a puppet picked by shadowy individuals out to stomp out the progress of marriage equality. And if that was the case, she wasn't a good one.

Gallagher had an awful television presence in that she was combative and evasive. She did well in front of audiences who agreed with her opinions regarding marriage, but on televised debates when faced with someone from the Human Rights Campaign or any other lgbtq group, Gallagher came across as phony. She tended to talk over folks, shout a bit, and if all else failed, pretended to be personally offended when someone actually called her out on her lies.

Other times when questioned about NOM's tactic, she deferred to an absent Brian Brown - NOM's president, leaving folks to wonder how much was she in the loop as NOM's chairwoman if she couldn't answer basic questions about how the organization is spreading its message.

It didn't matter to the lgbtq community that Brown was president. With her faults outnumbering her attributes, we did good job of "gingriching" Gallagher, i.e. making her the persona folks would think of when NOM's name came up.

Any success NOM has had is due to only one thing - its deep pockets. When it's all said and done, one could easily pinpoint NOM's finances as the reason why the organization is able to motivate so many "leaders" to its cause and blanket each area of its choosing with so much inaccurate literature via brochures and commercials.

To this day, NOM continues to fight tooth and nail in order to hide its funders even after losing several court cases. So in hindsight maybe it is a good idea for NOM to pick a lawyer to lead it. I have a feeling that the organization will need a good one very soon.

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The Catholic Church and the 'political process' and other Thursday midday news briefs

North Carolina's leading 'protect marriage' group: Gays die early -- see, Paul Cameron says so! - Ugh. Do you notice a trend amongst these "morality groups" and junk science?

NC Anti-Marriage Amendment Language Leaves Off Key Provision - Speaking of NC, look what those "we need to protect marriage" dunces forgot to do.

Thomasson Suggests Larry King Provoked His Own Murder - Blaming a murder victim for his own death. So classy.

Catholic Priests Removed Over Anti-Gay Remarks - From the article - "The Catholic Diocese condemned Rodriguez’ 'intervention in the political process,” saying that it “is not permitted under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code.'" Oh really? Well what's the explanation regarding NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan's letter to President Obama? We need some clarification here.

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Focus on the Family is having justifiable money problems

According to media reports, Focus on the Family - the anti-gay group started by James Dobson - has been having revenue problems and subsequently was forced to layoff several employees:

The antigay ministry Focus on the Family announced . . . it will eliminate 49 more jobs, reports Denver Post.

The Colorado Springs-based organization had a $105 million budget this fiscal year ending September 30, but its officials now estimate it will receive donations of only $90 million to $95 million.

No one likes to hear about layoffs, but it's hard for me to feel sorry for FOF when it pushes nonsense like the following:

What better way to capture a child’s imagination than with a heart-warming story about cute, fuzzy little animals?

That’s the latest method homosexual-advocacy groups are using in their efforts to reach the youngest minds in our public school system.

Whether it’s stories about penguins, guinea pigs or even elephants, they’ve figured out how to use fun anecdotes about animals to familiarize children as young as preschool with the idea of homosexuality and gay marriage.

After all, they know if they can capture the hearts and minds of the young, they can permanently change the culture.

So according to FOF, the gay community is intentionally using stories about "cute, fuzzy animals" in order to "indoctrinate" children.

And here I thought we were using Spongebob Squarepants.

No, I don't feel the least bit sorry for FOF for its money problems, particularly when its executive director, Tom Minnery is begging for funds.

That's the same Tom Minnery who was publicly embarrassed by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) during a Congressional hearing for misrepresenting a study to make the case against same-sex households.

No doubt the irony using a man who lies about studies in an effort raise money is lost to FOF.

But not to me and certainly not to others.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will the Catholic Church declare war on Obama over gay equality?

NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan
In something which should be remembered - because I have a feeling that it may be the opening salvo to something huge and sinister - NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan has sent a letter to President Obama claiming that he is alarmed about recent actions by the President's administration that supposedly "escalate the threat to marriage and imperil the religious freedom of those who promote and defend marriage."

These "threats" named by Dolan are positions made by the Obama Administration to ensure lgbtq equality. They include:

1. The Justice Department no longer defending DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) and raising questions about the law's constitutionality.

2. The Obama Administration supporting the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in foster care and adoption placement

3. Sexual orientation sensitivity training for federal employees

4. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Dolan claims that these actions undermine what he calls the "natural family:"

In sum, these recent actions undermine certain fundamental truths about the nature of the human person—the equal importance of mothers and fathers to children, and the unchangeable meaning and nature of marriage as a communion of the sexes. They also oppose the deeply rooted consensus among the American people in support of the authentic definition of marriage and laws that reflect it. These actions also harm the common good by imperiling the religious freedom of those who hold these truths and defend these laws.

Dolan also makes what can only be seen as sort of a passive-aggressive threat to the President in regards to Catholic bishops speaking against the Obama Administration:

The Justice Department's move, in addition to other troubling federal decisions occurring recently, prompts me yet again to register my grave concerns. The content of this letter reflects the strong sentiment expressed at a recent meeting by more than thirty of my brother Bishops who serve on the Administrative Committee of our episcopal conference. I know they are joined by hundreds of additional Catholic bishops throughout our nation. My observations are offered in the spirit of respectful, but frank dialogue.

The Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by you and your Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. We cannot be silent, however, when federal steps harmful to marriage, the laws defending it, and religious freedom continue apace. 

In lieu of how the Catholic Church is suspected of funding the National Organization for Marriage - an organization attempting to stomp out marriage equality in all 50 states - and the fact that next year is an election year, one would be dumb not to take Dolan's words as a threat.

While I respect Dolan's beliefs and his position, he is way out of his bounds here.  Furthermore, I think Dolan is dangerously stuck in the past. We no longer live in the time of the Middle Ages where government decisions had to be agreed upon by the Catholic Church before they are made.

The laws of this country are governed by the Constitution, not papal authority. No one elected Dolan to public office and he has no standing - other than that of an ordinary American citizen - to demand that the President reverse his standing on DOMA or any other law or decision.

 Dolan forgets that he does not live a theocracy, but a secular country which is home to many different people with many different religious beliefs.

And also different families.

Not every family has the mother and father dynamic but that does not make them inferior to those who do. All families which provide love and support to their children should be embraced and supported.

That's the most obscene thing about Dolan's letter. It is totally disrespectful to these families. It sends a message that since they don't abide by his definition of what makes a family, they are automatically inferior.

That same message of inferiority is also sent to those of us who are lgbtq. Granted, Dolan's letter includes the customary "we value all human beings and reject any hatred or unfair treatment of all people" line that's present in all religious right dogma in regards to the lgbtq community right before they lower the boom on us.

But the fact of the matter is the boom is still lowered, making us feel that we are not worthy of equal treatment.

So as a gay man, I don't buy Dolan's phony platitudes of love.  And as a citizen of this country, I am highly offended by his letter.

Lastly, I would suggest that before Dolan or any Catholic official takes it upon themselves to attempt to dictate policy to our elected officials, they follow the homily about "tending to their own gardens."

Based upon what I hear in regards to the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church, some folks have been letting their gardens go to rot. 

Related post:

Is the Catholic Church overstepping its bounds in marriage equality fight?

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Bigot sending nasty tweets about DADT repeal and other Wednesday midday news briefs

The Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber just can't help himself with the nasty tweets. The following is what he said last year during President Obama's State of the Union address when the President promised to overturn DADT:

The sad thing is that as you can see, Barber hasn't stopped sending hateful tweets. But he did block me from seeing them after my post on his attack of  the DADT repeal last year. It's just as well though. Ignorant #^! like Barber only make our victories taste sweeter.

In other news:

Maggie Gallagher Attends Staged Reading of “8″ In New York
- Good. As much money as she makes off of our community, it is about time that she give some of it back.

Fox News Largely Ignores Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal - Color me surprised.

Gay Buffalo Teen Kills Himself After Years of Bullying - UNACCEPTABLE! Pray this young man's family. And also let us work to do more to protect our children.

Nashville paramedic suspended for anti-gay postings - I DARE the religious right to make this new man their "gays are persecuting Christians" cause celebre.

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Hate group promising to 'monitor' DADT repeal

As I noted yesterday, several folks on the right aren't happy with yesterday's repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

But now, the SPLC-designated hate group, the Family Research Council, has weighed in with a nonsensical scathing attack on President Obama and an ugly promise to "monitor" the effects of DADT:

FRC will continue to monitor the consequences of this reversal of 236 years of American military policy, limit the damage--and demand that the Defense Department do the same. Expect to see celebrations from homosexual groups and fawning stories in the media about how "the sky has not fallen." That's only because there will be no press releases from the new victims of sexual harassment or assault, the soldiers exposed to HIV-tainted blood, the thousands of servicemembers who choose not to reenlist rather than forfeit their freedom of speech and religion, and the untold number of citizens who choose never to join the military. It's clear this President is more interested in appeasing sexual revolutionaries than in fighting America's enemies. 

Knowing FRC's history, the organization's definition of "monitoring" will probably mean passing along inaccurate anecdotes about gay soldiers allegedly "harassing" heterosexuals or gay soldiers allegedly "harassing" chaplains, etc.

Case in point seen here is FRC's resident phony researcher and spokesperson, Peter (gays should be deported out of the United States and 'homosexual behavior' should be made illegal) Sprigg in a one-sided interview with Pat Robertson's 700 Club:

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