Monday, April 18, 2011

A minister takes on the Black church for the crime of 'spiritual abuse'

A very good Facebook friend of mine, Gerald Palmer, sent me something he wrote regarding how the Black church treats lgbts of color. In his essay, So You Want Real Talk On Homosexuality? I Don't Believe That You Do, Minister Palmer (a heterosexual ally of the lgbt community) brings up at least six points for the Black church to ponder:

It becomes harder and harder to defend the Black Church when it comes to her mistreatment of her gay brothers, lesbian sisters and transgender brothers and sisters.

We act like starving coyotes as we attack no other issue the way in which we attack homosexuality.

We attack no other group of people the way in which we attack the LGBT community.

We have the nerve to cry about social justice, discrimination and prejudice when we have our own group of second class citizens in our churches and communities.

We use the gifts of our gay brothers and lesbian sisters and then throw them away like spiritual trash.

Our ministers beat down our gay brothers with their words; but behind close doors many are beating down their doors to have sex with them. Oh yes, you stand on your feet while the prophet is speaking with disgust on them sissies and homos; but you don't realize he is actually talking about himself with so much anger and disgust.

Real talk on homosexuality? You want it? Here it is.

1. Nobody chooses to be gay or straight. We don't choose our sexual orientation, our sexual orientation chooses us.

2. Your disgust of our LGBT brothers and sisters has nothing to do with God but more to do with man.

3. The scriptures do not support your stance against homosexuality.

4. Your negative views on homosexuality have been shaped by racism and negative views of black sexuality.

5. God has no problems with homosexuals; you do.

6. The problems that many gay people face have more to do with their mistreatment by the church than it does with them simply being gay.

Minister Palmer says that points 7 - 10 are coming soon. I personally can't wait.

Palmer is also the author of The Church Has AIDS: Essays on Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, Taboos, and the Black Church. The book:

explores the social issues and stigmas that fuel the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the African American community. Minister Palmer looks at religious based heterosexism and religiosity and it's impact over such issues as sexuality and sexual orientation in an upfront and in your face manner.

I say the Black church and the Black community in general needs more ministers like Palmer.

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Gay marriage = Satan? and other Monday midday news briefs

Jackson: Gay Marriage Part of a "Satanic Plot" to Destroy the Family - The religious right needs to get a new conduit into the black community. This one seems to be broken.

Speaking of which, the radio show which Jackson made that "interesting announcement" isn't exactly known for it's candor when inviting certain guests on. Witness the following post from a while back - Bradlee Dean and Paul Cameron - when disgustingly vile homophobes meet

NOM's Brian Brown Threatening Former Staffer Louis Marinelli for Speaking Out Against Organization
- Now just what would NOM be scared of?

TWO Calls On Uganda To Investigate Anti-Gay Activist Martin Ssempa On Possible Charges of Extortion, Perjury, and Fraud
- Apparently the "poo poo pastor" Martin Ssempa allegedly paid a gay man to say he is "ex-gay" and also make up a story about gays recruiting children. Interesting in that it's the second charge of conspiracy against Ssempa. Last year, he and a bunch of other pastors were charged with trying to falsely "label" another pastor as gay. These developments are important because Ssempa is one of the main voices pushing for that awful "kill the gays" bill in Uganda.

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'Defend Marriage' hearing doesn't go well for 'marriage defenders'

According to the Washington Blade, Friday's Congressional hearing on "defending marriage" got very contentious because Democratic lawmakers not only posed tough questions to witnesses, but also because they questioned the credibility of the hearing itself:

In testimony before the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, (Maggie) Gallagher, NOM’s chair and co-founder, said marriage should restricted to one man and one woman because such unions are the only kind that can produce children and because state voters by referenda have affirmed 31 times that marriage shouldn’t be extended to gay couples.

“Marriage is the union of husband and wife for a reason: these are the only unions that create new life and connect those children in love to their mother and father,” Gallagher said. “This is not necessarily the reason why individuals marry; this is the great reason, the public reason why government gets involved in the first place.”

. . . Following her opening statement, Gallagher bore the brunt of tough questioning from Democratic lawmakers during the question-and-answer session of the hearing.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, asked Gallagher if the children of Jen and Dawn BarbouRouske, a married same-sex couple from Iowa who were present during the hearing, should have parents who can receive the full protections of marriage or if she considers these children “expendable.”

“I think no children are expendable,” Gallagher replied. “Gay people have families that are not marital families, but they are families. I myself was an unwed mother, so I have firsthand experience with being in a family that’s not a marital family. I don’t think you need to have a message of stigmatization and exclusion to protect to an ideal.”

Nadler, sponsor of DOMA repeal legislation in the House, interrupted Gallagher, saying “the whole point” of DOMA is stigmatization and exclusion, and pressed Gallagher further on why the institution of marriage benefits when same-sex couples are excluded.

Lawmakers even challenged Gallagher regarding NOM's finances:

Nadler continued to question Gallagher on NOM’s involvement in 2010 Iowa campaign that successfully ousted three justices from the state Supreme Court who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. The lawmaker asked Gallagher, who estimated that NOM contributed between $600,000 and $650,000 to the campaign, why she would criticize the Justice Department for allegedly making a political decision while her organization politicized the judicial process.

“The National Organization of Marriage is political advocacy organization, and so I think it’s appropriate for us to be politically involved in ways that Department of Justice is not,” Gallagher replied.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), a co-sponsor of the DOMA repeal bill, asked Gallagher whether reports were true that her organization contributed $1.9 million to the 2009 campaign in Maine to abrogate the states’s same-sex marriage law. Opponents of same-sex marriage succeeded in nullifying the marriage law in the state before gay couples could marry there.

“I don’t have those figures in front of me, but we were involved in the [effort],” Gallagher said. “But that’s probably on the order [of our contributions].”

One thing about the hearing not widely known was the fact that there were no witnesses called to defend the Obama Administration's decision to no longer defend DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act).

And some members of the committee questioned the judgment behind that:

What bothers me about this hearing at this subcommittee is that the Department of Justice is not present,” Conyers said. “I was informed that they were not invited. … We have one of the leaders of the country, Ms. Gallagher, who’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars against judges … but there’s nobody here from the Justice Department.”

In response, Franks said the Justice Department would be invited to come during an upcoming hearing in May before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee on the DOMA decision. Upon further questioning, Franks maintained the panel was fair because its makeup included witnesses on both sides of the issue.

But Franks’ response apparently didn’t allay the concerns of Conyers, who said he hopes Congress can hear the Justice Department to respond to the criticisms of Gallagher.
More at the Blade

Related post:

Is the Family Research Council finally a 'damaged' brand?

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