Friday, November 30, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - World AIDS Day

One of these days, we are going to beat AIDS, but until that time, let's not forget the talented souls we lost and also those who continue to be affected by it.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Hate group leader Tony Perkins lied about support of Ugandan anti-gay bill' and other Friday midday news briefs

FRC denies it ever supported Uganda bill; so here, again, is now-scrubbed audio of Tony Perkins saying bill 'uphold[s] moral conduct'- How did I miss this while writing my morning post about Perkins and the Family Research Council? Jeremy Hooper has proof that what Perkins said about not supporting that awful Ugandan bill was a LIE. He has the original audio of Perkins voicing support of the bill

In other news:

 Jackie Speier Introduces 'Stop Harming Our Kids' Resolution, Hits 'Ex-Gay' Conversion 'Quackery' - And slowly, the noose of truth closes around the neck of that awful practice of "ex-gay" therapy.

  Fox News Has A Meltdown Over Gender-Neutral Marriage Licenses In WA - The existence of Fox News will be one of those moments when our children and grandchildren look at us and ask "how could you have let IT happen?"

 Man fights to clear gay criminal record from 1950s - This story is incredible. All this man did was BE in a gay relationship.  

Religious Right Groups Work to Defeat Treaty on Rights of People with Disabilities, Falsely Claim it Sanctions Abortion - First they came for the gays . . .

Hate group exploits Ugandan anti-gay bill to attack press, liberals

Recently, the Family Research Council came under fire because its president, Tony Perkins, sent out the following tweet:

Many of us took it to mean that Perkins was supporting Uganda's anti-gay bill, a bill which has generated a lot of negative press.

Yesterday, Perkins attempted make the claim that folks were overreacting and thus mistaking his tweet:

 With fewer journalists able to separate the news from their personal politics, groups like FRC are no longer fighting bias--but outright deception. If you read Monday's Update or follow me on Twitter, then you know that FRC was highly complimentary of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who took the bold step of leading his country in a public prayer of confession for a multitude of sins Uganda committed over the last 50 years, including the genocide of Idi Amin. "We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice..." Not surprisingly, the U.S. media wasn't nearly as impressed by this gesture as FRC--a fact I alluded to in a tweet that same day. "American liberals are upset that Ugandan Pres is leading his nation in repentance--afraid of a modern example of a nation prospered by God?"

Fair enough for Perkins. However, there are two things wrong with this:

1. Why did Perkins wait so long to give an explanation about the tweet?
2. Most importantly, the tweet itself was inaccurate. Many of us "American liberals" were not aware of Museveni's prayer. So how could we have gotten upset over it? The controversy itself speaks to that.  If we had knowledge of Museveni's prayer, how could we have mistaken Perkins' support of it as support for that dreadful bill?

But leave it to Perkins to milk the situation:

 . . . as we learned two years ago, if you want to get the press's attention, just say the word "Uganda" and wait for the firestorm. For years, the African nation has been condemned for its severe laws criminalizing homosexuality. Despite allegations to the contrary, FRC has never supported that policy--or any policy that imposes the death penalty on homosexuals. What we do oppose is the suggestion that gay and lesbian acts are universal human rights. So when Congress introduced a resolution in 2010 denouncing Uganda's punishment for homosexuality, FRC fought--at the request of some Members--to strike the pro-homosexual "human rights" language from the final measure. Several liberals, including David Weigel at the Washington Post, chose to misrepresent our involvement as an indication that we opposed the entire bill! "Family Research Council Lobbied against Resolution Condemning Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law," Weigel's headline read. It was a convenient storyline for extremists like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) who resort to demonizing FRC when they can't compete with us ideologically. Although Weigel later posted a retraction, the damage had already been done. Now, more than two years later, the lies about FRC's position have resurfaced. After Monday's story, HRC had the audacity to post that by applauding President Museveni, FRC was "praising the 'kill the gays' bill." I challenge anyone with a half a brain to read my tweet or Update story and conclude that FRC is any way supporting the death penalty of homosexuals. But gay activists have their hooks so deeply in the mainstream media that reporters no longer bother to check their facts.

As Right-Wing Watch points out, Perkins is obviously misrepresenting FRC's position on the bill:

 . . . in 2009 the FRC admits to having spent thousands of dollars lobbying for Congress trying to revise and muddy the resolution condemning the bill because they said it would entail “pro-homosexual promotion.” “We didn’t necessarily lobby against or for the resolution but tried to work with offices to make the language more neutral on homosexuality,” FRC’s Tom McClusky said at the time, “the original language was incorrect on what Uganda was doing as well.”  

And there are two things wrong with Perkins's present explanation:

1. The current legislation still contains the provision about the death penalty for gays.
2. And regardless of that provision, Perkins didn't say a word about the other awful provisions of that bill, including the portion which makes homosexuality itself a crime for which Ugandans can receive life in prison.

Lastly, Perkins really takes the cake with the following statement:

Americans need to understand that this cozy relationship between the liberal media and unreliable sources like HRC is fostering a culture of hatred and violence--that same culture that led to the attempted mass murder of the entire FRC office. 

 The sad irony is that if Perkins was not so invested in exploiting that near tragic situation, he would have more of an understanding as to how real cultures of violence and hatred are fostered, such as how the idea for that awful bill in Uganda came to being via American religious right activists.

As it is now, Perkins either has no idea or simply do not care.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Christian' program pushes poor, biased segment against gay adoption

This piece should get you angry. From CBN's 700 Club comes an attack on gay adoption:

There is a little shuck and jive in the middle of this video.

You will notice at 1:15 of the video, a woman, Lynne Kohm, is introduced as a "family law expert." Supposedly she has a 'mountain of research' which speaks that gay adoption is not necessarily the best idea for a child.

Pause the video at 1:27.

The words under her read Lynne Kohm,  Regent University School of Law.

Regent University is a "Christian university" which was founded by Pat Robertson, the man who also owns CBN and The 700 Club. And Robertson isn't necessarily an pro-gay advocate.

And nowhere in the segment is Kohm's connection to Robertson is revealed.

In general, the segment does a poor job in attacking gay adoption.

You will notice that no gay couples with children were talked to.

It also bothers me that the heterosexual couple featured in the video allowed themselves to be used. Certainly they should be commended for taking in abused children and giving them a good home. But the point is so do gay couples. And there is no difference between the two. If we are to have a genuine discussion on gay adoption, then there needs to be a more credible report than the one offered up by CBN.

Raging homophobe Matt Barber makes point about 'War on Christmas'

Sometimes Matt Barber - raging homophobe that he is - makes sense.

 Right-Wing Watch breaks it down:

Every year, a handful of conservative pundits and Religious Right activists launch a "war on Christmas" to pressure retailers to use the word "Christmas" in their advertising and displays instead of phrases like "happy holidays" on the grounds that not mentioning Christmas is wildly offensive to Christians. So it is more than a little ironic to see Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, one of the leaders of this annual "war on Christmas" crusade, complaining about companies and municipalities that bow to the "tyranny of the minority" by changing their holiday displays "in order to not offend a kind of obnoxious few people who are looking around every corner to find some reason to be offended":

My guess is that Barber didn't mean for his words to be a dig against the 'War on Christmas' crowd.

But isn't it nice when some people commit Freudian slips?

Editor's note - If  you see that this post has a problem with an extraneous overlap, click on "links to this post" link below and you will be able to read it in its entirety.

Hate group is livid over SPLC's lawsuit against 'ex-gay' group

News that the Southern Poverty Law Center is suing the 'ex-gay' group JONAH for consumer fraud has literally sent the Family Research Council into orbit. The organization made the following statement its Washington Update on Wednesday:

 . . . In its lawsuit, SPLC says that reorientation therapy "has no basis in scientific fact." As FRC's Peter Sprigg will tell you, there's an abundance of scientific and anecdotal evidence that the therapies do work--although critics are reluctant to acknowledge it. NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) has cited "600 reports of clinicians, researchers, and former clients--primarily from professional and peer-reviewed scientific journals" which show that "reorientation treatment has been helpful to many." The left-leaning American Psychological Association (APA) says there is "no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed." 

But the APA isn't claiming that there's no evidence change is possible--only that the evidence out there is "not sufficiently scientifically sound." In other words, it doesn't meet all the criteria for "gold standard" social science research: random samples, a prospective and longitudinal design, and use of a control group. Of course, a lot of pro-homosexual social science research doesn't meet those standards! And even when studies do meet that criteria (like Mark Regnerus's recent homosexual parenting study), the Left races to discredit them. More and better research would be great--but the same people who say the research is inadequate also adamantly oppose doing more studies on the topic! In this lawsuit, SPLC also strongly suggests that reorientation therapy is not only ineffective, but harmful. What's their evidence for that? Well, it's entirely anecdotal--the same kind of evidence they refuse to accept with regard to the effectiveness of the therapy!

The bottom line is that SPLC doesn't seem interested in helping people. Their actions and bank accounts show that the organization is more interested in profiting from them. If the Left truly had homosexuals' best interest in mind, they would recognize that for many, these attractions are unwanted. For those who struggle, hope is not in limiting avenues for change--but encouraging them. 

FRC's statement is full of distortions and misrepresentations. Let's break them down in a simple fashion:

1. According to FRC, its spokesman, Peter Sprigg, can point to an abundance of "scientific and anecdotal" evidence that "ex-gay" therapy works. I've never heard of anyone grouping scientific work with that of the "anecdotal" nature. But more to the point, where are the links to Sprigg pointing out this supposed evidence. For that matter, where is the evidence of FRC's claim that NARTH (an organization with NO credibility) has provided proof that "ex-gay" therapy works

2. FRC claims that a "lot of pro-homosexual social science research" does not meet the standards of credible social science research. Fair enough, but a classic misdirection. Not only does FRC neglect to mention said studies, but also does not mention just what does these alleged studies have to do with the lack of credibility of "ex-gay" studies.

3. FRC claims that the recent study regarding gay parenting by Mark Regnerus does in fact meet the criteria of credible of social science research. Not true. Regnerus' study has been blasted as faulty and flawed - not by "the Left" -  but by credible researchers for its myriad of errors, particularly its definition of what constitutes a "same-sex" household.

4. Lastly, FRC omits the simple fact that SPLC is pushing this lawsuit on the behalf of four ex-clients of JONAH, all of whom were the victims of the faulty belief that their sexual orientation needed to be changed:
The complaint outlines some of the bizarre treatment the men were subjected to in sessions with JONAH counselor Alan Downing and others:
  • remove all clothing during both individual and group therapy sessions including an instruction to Levin to hold his penis in front of Defendant Downing,
  • cuddle and intimately hold others of the same-sex including between young clients and older counselors,
  • violently beat an effigy of the client’s mother with a tennis racket,
  • go to the gym more as well as bath houses in order to be nude with father figures, and
  • be subjected to ridicule as “faggots” and “homos” in mock locker room and gym class scenarios.
Michael Ferguson, one of the four young men SPLC is representing in the case, recalled his own experiences under JONAH’s care:
I watched as grown men were frenzied into fits of emotional rage against their mothers and encouraged to act out physical violence against their parents, in order to access their so-called ‘true manhood’ and become more heterosexual.
… In another exercise, a man had to break through a human barricade that I was a part of in order to seize two oranges that were meant to symbolize his testicles. He was then frenetically instructed to squeeze the juice from them and drink it and to put the oranges in his pants in order to represent ‘gaining his testicles’ the symbolic absence of them supposedly being the cause of his homosexuality.

Full story here:
Someone should ask FRC just how does the above help anyone regardless of what their sexual orientation may be.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rick Warren may not 'hate' gays, but he displays a lot of ignorance

Rick Warren
I predicted it and it happened just like clockwork.

After his interview with Piers Morgan in which he compared being gay to eating arsenic, megachurch pastor Rick Warren is now playing the victim:

"If you disagree with somebody today you're often called a hater," Warren told HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill. "I don't really hate anybody. Or you're called 'phobic.' I'm not afraid of anybody. I have many, many gay friends."

 That said, Warren added that he might not agree with certain actions, and said that there is a moral difference between love and sex. "It's not a sin to love somebody," he said. "It might be a sin to have sex with them."

If you ask me, his explanation is worse than the original statement, which was the following:

Here’s what we know about life. I have all kinds of natural feelings in my life and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling. Sometimes I get angry and I feel like punching a guy in the nose. It doesn’t mean I act on it. Sometimes I feel attracted to women who are not my wife. I don’t act on it. Just because I have a feeling doesn’t make it right. Not everything natural is good for me. Arsenic is natural. 

Let me break this down for Mr. Warren and I feel extremely safe in saying that I speak for the vast majority of the lgbt community when I say this:

Dear Mr. Warren,

I don't give a rat's ass whether or not you hate me. I don't lay up awake at night wringing my hands or crying about whether or not you hate me. What I don't like . . . what the gay community does not . . .  like is when folks like you who have an enormous platform manipulate it to trivialize us, to demean our lives, our loved ones, and our families. I don't know about any other group, but I as a gay man I don't like being compared to punching someone in the nose. And I certainly don't like being compared to the poison arsenic.

What you said about gays is no different than slurring women, or Jewish people, or African-Americans. It's not about hatred. Most of the time, it's never about hatred. It's about ignorance fueled by egotism disguised as religious beliefs and fevered imaginations about sexual intercourse. And by the way, just where in the heck are you coming from when you started talking about sex? Is that what it's about to you when it comes to gays? Those gay friends you speak of, is that what you think of them? Cases of flesh engaging in wanton sexual activity?

You are not talking about fictional characters here when you talk about gays. You are talking about real people. You are talking about mothers and fathers and children. Nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, grandparents.

The gay community don't care about your hatred. We have had to deal with worse things than an odious pastor who may or may not hate us.

But your ignorance . . . now that's the problem. If you do have gay friends, perhaps you should converse more with them. Maybe then you wouldn't be so quick to use your platform to demean them and the rest of us gays.

Remember, there are some of us who don't have a platform like you do, therefore don't you think you have a major responsibility not to come across as an ignoramous?

You have every right to believe what you want in accordance to your religious philosophy but if you think that you will insult the gay community and expect us to smile about it, think again.

We don't want your tolerance and we certainly don't need your acceptance.

AND we will NOT put up with your ignorance.

 (The sound you are now hearing is this queen dropping the microphone.)

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'Keith Ablow proves that bigotry makes you stupid' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

My gosh, what in the hell does Fox News pay so-called psychiatrist Keith Ablow for? Just listen to this non-answer he gives to an email from a woman who doesn't like how her sister-in-law allows her son to play with dolls and action figures. Other than verbally attacking the mother, he really gives no answer:

I repeat. Just who did Ablow have to sleep with to get his job at Fox News? And speaking of the sister-in-law, I personally think girlfriend should mind her own business because the children are not being harmed.

In other news: 

Rios: Penn State Child Abuse Scandal Part of the 'Whole Fabric' of Gay Rights - Apparently we are to blame for the Penn State molestation tragedy. How? Does it really matter to these folks?

Lexington Human Rights Commission Rules Against Discriminating T-Shirt Company - Cue the religious right horns of whine about . . . now.  

U.S. officials dispute media reports on Uganda anti-gay bill - Let's all keep our eyes on this one.

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Rick Warren compares gays to taking arsenic, will soon play victim

Here we go again. We've seen this so many times. A national figure disrespects the gay community. That's the first act and today,  it features nationally known pastor Rick Warren:


WARREN: Here’s what we know about life. I have all kinds of natural feelings in my life and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling. Sometimes I get angry and I feel like punching a guy in the nose. It doesn’t mean I act on it. Sometimes I feel attracted to women who are not my wife. I don’t act on it. Just because I have a feeling doesn’t make it right. Not everything natural is good for me. Arsenic is natural.
Now allow me to predict what will probably happen next:

Act II - The gay community, justifiably insulted by the comments, will make our displeasure known.

Act III - Rick Warren will play the victim by either whining about how the gay community is intolerant of his opinion of them as arsenic. Groups like the Family Research Council will hail  him as "standing on Biblical principles," and the entire situation will be looked at as us gay folks not being accepting of "someone else's point of view."

What always gets my goat is how when public figures attack the gay community, they are always quick to be technically dishonest and plead ennui. They refuse to acknowledge that they are attacking an actual group of people. Not a lifestyle, not state of being, but real people with real families.

Gays are not puppy dogs who should be "tolerated" or "condoned."

 Gays are not hypothetical entities.

Gays are not streams of arguments in a philosophy class.

It's insulting enough when folks like Warren make such awful statements about our lives. It's even worse when after their attacks, they dismiss our basic and normal reaction of righteous indignation as "intolerance."

It's as if they don't think we are human beings and should take their insults with a good natured smile.

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NOM - 'Head for the hills! Gays are getting political power!'

The National Organization for Marriage is obsessed/disturbed/consumed with the fact that the gay community is obtaining a degree of political power:

Politically Powerless? HRC's Griffen Demands Obama Appoint "First Openly LGBT Cabinet Secretary, G-8 Ambassador" and "Judges as Well"

Are gay and lesbian people politically powerless, i.e. a suspect class who deserve strict scrutiny under the law?
Chad Griffen, president of the $40million-per-year Human Rights Campaign, fresh from four state vote victories and the re-election of a pro-gay marriage president, claims the political power to demand more appointments of lesbian and gay people to the highest political offices in the land:
"...The Human Rights Campaign's Chad Griffin, president of the largest LGBT equality-rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the US, is calling for inclusion in the cabinet and other positions.
'We made historic progress with President Obama in terms of our openly LGBT appointments across the board,' Griffin tellsBuzzFeed. 'We now have the opportunity, and I hope this president and this White House will seize the opportunity to have the first openly LGBT Cabinet secretary, the first openly LGBT G-8 ambassador, and across the board with administrative appointments and judges as well." -- GayStarNews

Politically Powerless? "Openly Gay Leaders Will Control Legislative Chambers in Five States"

Gay advocates often claim that lesbian and gay people should be considered a "suspect class" that deserve strict scrutiny. One of the criteria used to determine whether a class of people qualify for this designation is if they are widely considered to be "politically powerless".
Here is one example that would suggest that gay and lesbian people are not politically powerless:
Rep. Tina Kotek of Oregon will become the first out lesbian to lead a state legislative chamber after being elected House Speaker by her Democratic colleagues Thursday.
The Associated Press reports on the vote, which needs to be formally ratified in January. Kotek told the AP that she knows her success as an openly lesbian official has inspired other LGBT people.
"We all look for people out there who look like us," she said. "I have had emails and text messages from people who are very excited."
Openly gay leaders will control legislative chambers in five states, according to the AP, up from two before the election last week. -- The Advocate

No doubt NOM is implying that when our community speaks out regarding the need for measures to ensure gay equality, we are simply "gaming the referee" in an attempt to gain an advantage.

The way NOM claims it, gay equality laws are not necessary because gays have a degree of power as evidenced by the above blog posts.

The grand irony is that NOM won't acknowledge that its actions against marriage equality and other pro-gay measures is the very thing which is fueling the gay community's desire for political power.

In other words, we are seeing the need to work within a system that would ordinarily be closed to the gay community in order to change that system and ensure a positive future for ourselves and gay generations to come. There is really nothing wrong with this because other groups of Americans have followed this plan and continue to do so.

But if NOM is worried about the idea of gays working our way into the political system, then the group has  should look to its own actions to blame.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We probably won't get a serious discussion on HIV/AIDS in the media

I hate it for so many reasons when the Centers for Disease Control announces HIV rates. It is a reminder - yes we need the reminder - that AIDS is not anything to play with and we must be diligent. This particular announcement brings that point home:

Of the estimated 12,200 new HIV infections that occurred in 2010 in the 13-to-24 age group, 72 percent were in young men who have sex with men (MSM) and 57 percent occurred in black Americans.
More than half of all youths infected -- 60 percent -- don't even realize they have the disease, the new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed.

"That so many young people become infected with HIV each year is a preventable tragedy," CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, said in a written statement. "All young people can protect their health, avoid contracting and transmitting the virus, and learn their HIV status."

 . . .  Many young people also are not getting tested for HIV, the report found. Only 35 percent of U.S. 18 to 24-year-olds have been tested, and only 22 percent of sexually experienced high school students have taken an HIV test.

The reduced likelihood in youth to get tested may lead to worse treatment once infected: Those with HIV who are younger than 25 are significantly less likely to get and stay in HIV care that controls their virus than older infected adults.

The numbers spotlight how the spread of HIV/AIDS is heavily concentrated in young males who have sex with other males. The remaining quarter of new infections in this age group are from injecting drugs or heterosexual sex.

Overall, new U.S. HIV infections have held steady at around 50,000 annually. There are currently more than 1 million Americans living with HIV.

Religious right groups and spokespeople will be sure to exploit these numbers. And the mainstream media will most likely aid these liars, making sure to invite someone like Tony Perkins or Peter Sprigg from the Family Research Council - neither having any medical degrees - to attack the lgbt community for our supposed promiscuity. And of course they will advance the "homosexuality is an unhealthy lifestyle which leads to ruin" lie which they have perfected so well.

And everyone will omit the following detail as they always do when these things come up:

 The CDC said several factors contribute to the disparities in infection rates. Some communities have higher HIV rates to begin with, increasing the chances for infection with each sexual counter. Additionally, socioeconomic factors such as poverty, lack of access to health care, stigma, and discrimination may contribute.

Which means while we will endure all sorts of comments and questions regarding the supposed promiscuity of gays, I sincerely doubt someone will ask a question regarding what needs to be done to combat the socioeconomic factors which lead to high HIV rates.

No one will ask any questions about poverty, how can young gays get access to good health care, and how can young gays receive higher self-esteem so that they are not so desperate to engage in negative behaviors in hopes of feeling better about themselves. Most of all, no one will discuss how can we eliminate the stigma of being gay, which continues affect our lgbt youth.

In other words, there will be no serious discussion as to how we can combat this problem of HIV rates with regards to our children.

Until we start, expect nothing to change.

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'SPLC suing 'ex-gay' group for fraud' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

SPLC files groundbreaking lawsuit accusing conversion therapy organization of fraud - The Southern Poverty Law Center just filed a lawsuit against an ex-group on the grounds of fraud. Oh this is going to be GOOD!

  SPLC Files First-Ever Consumer Fraud Suit Against An Ex-Gay Group - A breakdown of the lawsuit by Zach Ford of Think Progress. 

 NOM's 'anti-defamation' guy rails against 'idiot' Chris Kluwe - NOM spokesman attacks Minnesota Vikings player and marriage equality supporter Chris Kluwe.  

Chris Kluwe responds to NOM's Damian Goddard - And Kluwe proceeds to dismantle him on twitter. Good fun!

 Cleveland Browns linebacker Tank Carder Tweets ‘faggot,’ doesn’t agree with being gay - Oh for crying out loud!

 Hagee: Gays Defiling America's Purity - There are just so many FUN ways to respond to that headline. 

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Morgan Freeman, HRC team up to support marriage equality

Stunning ad from the Human Rights Campaign featuring Morgan Freeman


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Monday, November 26, 2012

Tony Perkins salutes gay persecution while his group cries about Christian persecution

Check out this nauseating tweet from the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins:

What Perkins is referring to is the Ugandan anti-gay bill which would give persecute people in that country simply for being gay. This awful bill may pass the Ugandan Parliament very soon. When it initially introduced, the bill contained a provision for the death penalty. According to Think Progress:

Many news outlets — notably the BBC, among others — reported last week that lawmakers had dropped the death penalty provision, but without confirmation of a language change, it’s impossible to conclude whether this is another bait-and-switch that basically isn’t true.

According to the BBC, “substantial amendments” were made, but MP Medard Segona could provide no further details. It is just such a proposed amendment that has repeatedly caused confusion about the fate of the death penalty in the bill, replacing the word “death” with a reference to a preexisting Penal Code Act that does allow for the death penalty. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda; the sole purpose of this bill is to enhance the extent of the punishment and number of ways offenses can be prosecuted. It is irresponsible to suggest that the death penalty has been removed without a thorough investigation of the bill’s new language.

Think Progress also points out that the site Box Turtle Bulletin "dissected the bill" and found some alarming facts, including:

But apparently Perkins and FRC doesn't see this as persecution. That's bad enough.

However, we get into seriously ugly territory when we see the following on FRC's homepage:

If, while on FRC's homepage, you clicked on that graphic, you would be taken to a page entitled The Cry of the Martyrs: The Threat to Religious Liberty Around the World. 

The page includes a webcast and information and links regarding the worldwide persecution of Christians worldwide. One link, Voice of the Martyrs, includes  stories of Christians being persecuted in other countries. The page is also called A Global Perspective on the Persecution of God's Children.

That confuses me. I thought we were all God's children.

Let me be clear. No one should be attacked or persecuted because of their religious beliefs. And by that same token, no one should be attacked or persecuted because of their sexual orientation.

Hate is hate and violence fueled by that hate is just as wrong when it is aimed at a Christian, a gay or lesbian, or a gay or lesbian Christian.

There is no difference between the two. And any true Christian person or organization would recognize this.

So perhaps Perkins and FRC would be best advised to hush up before they drown out the voices of the true Christians.

Hypocrisy on its own is bad enough. Brazen hypocrisy, particularly on the part of people calling themselves Christians, leaves an especially pungent stench.

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'Religious right members ecstatic over Uganda's anti-gay bill' and other Monday midday news briefs

 American Family Association Leader Praises Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law - When it's all said and done, we will discover that Bryan Fischer was actually a plant of the gay community (shut up Alvin).

‘Kill The Gays’ Bill Instigator Scott Lively Praises God For “Cleansing” City With Violent Explosion, Takes Credit - First Lively claims he means gays no harm. Then when the lights go out, the boogeyman in him rips off his mask.

 NOM Now Warning Against Young People Having Gay Friends - Cause if straight young folks have gain friends, they might learn style, humor, and other stuff that they don't need. Sarcasm intended. 

NOM's Ruth Institute now offering tattoos; they're temporary like org. itself - Homophobic tattoos for Christmas? Sorry but my heart is still set on that G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip.

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Michigan bill could harm potential same-sex families

It looks like potential same-sex families may have a serious upcoming problem due to the Michigan legislature. According to Equality Michigan:

Extremists in the Michigan House of Representatives have scheduled a hearing on November 27th for a bill in the House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors, which would allow adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency's moral or religious beliefs. However, the bill acknowledges that denying a couple based on religious or moral convictions does not imply "that the proposed adoption is not in the best interests of the adoptee."

Additionally, the bill protects public funding for agencies choosing to discriminate. Giving any government-funded agency a license to discriminate is immoral and unethical. With 14,000 children in Michigan seeking a safe home to prosper in, our focus should be on cultivating stable environments to raise these children, and not turning away capable and willing families eager to love and support a child in need. The strength of one's convictions alone is not justification in and of itself for any action - it is a despicable excuse for damaging another human being. The fact that the proposed bill specifically states that this biased filter does not imply the couple are unfit to adopt shows this is merely providing a license to discriminate based on an unlimited array of arbitrary criteria and not actually an attempt to protect children.

The primary sponsor, Representative Kenneth Kurtz (R-Coldwater), is wasting our money on a bill which does nothing to help the 14,000 children residing in foster care in Michigan. Rather than addressing that actual problem, they are fabricating a new one by offering this vile solution. 

As far as I know right now, this is purely a legislative move, rather than one finagled by religious right groups. However, one wonders as this situation gains attention, just how many so-called pro-family groups will come sniffing.

The bill itself is ridiculous but any inclusion of religious right groups would make it worse because it would be yet another attack on gay families thus revealing yet again the contradiction behind the mindsets of these groups who attack the gay community.

Allow me to explain - some  believe that based upon religious grounds, homosexuality is a sin and should be not looked at positively, but instead should be shied away or stamped out in all forms. This includes pro-gay laws, actions which would protect our lgbt children from bullying, and anything that would advance same-sex families.

The problem with this idea is that when they do this, these folks (whether they be by themselves or formed in groups) who have a religious belief against homosexuality are acting as the aggressors because they are demanding that their personal beliefs be codified in law, regardless of the fact that there are millions who do not believe as they do.

And many of these religious folks recognize this, so what do they do?  They create a false medicinal belief that homosexuality is a "dangerous lifestyle." Based on upon lies, junk science, and legitimate science that are in some cases deliberately cherry-picked, they have created a body of medicinal quackery that compares to the belief that lobotomies are healthy.

Lastly, when they can't turn to this, they create false media panics, such as this one  - i.e. adoption agencies should not be "forced" to violate their own personally held beliefs, even if this means they are allowed to discriminate against same-sex households even if said households pose no danger to children and that there are many children waiting to be placed in good homes.

This is the grand contradiction of the religious right when it comes to homosexuality - in order to hold what they feel God's commandment against homosexuality, they willingly break His commandment against lies, deception, and bearing false witness.

It makes as much sense as tossing a pocketful of dollar bills up into the air and expecting more than you tossed in the air to land magically in your hand.

We should all keep our eyes on Michigan. It may be a bellwether for future actions against gay families.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Anti-gay pastor scorches NOM in choice interview

Ken Hutcherson
Anti-gay Washington state pastor Ken Hutcherson has been described by many (this blogger included) as a homophobic, self-conceited loudmouth.

How strange it is that two of those attributes which has been seen as a bane to lgbt equality has now become positive qualities.

Whatever the case may be, the National Organization for Marriage has clearly done something to infuriate Hutcherson and he does not plan to go "gently into that good night."

 Instead, he is becoming vocal as to how that anti-gay group lost their fight against marriage equality in Washington state two weeks ago, including hurtling charges of racism against NOM

In probably his most public interview to date on the matter - with gay activist Michelangelo Signorile on Signorile's SiriusXM OutQ radio program - Hutcherson continues not to hold back anything back.


 "I said to [the National Organization for Marriage], 'You think I’m controversial because I don’t look white. I don’t talk white. I don’t act white. And I am not that milquetoast-looking kind of guy that’s is going to be calm about everything. I’ve got a passion on what’s right. I’ve got a passion, and I will stand on what I think biblical principles are. If that’s controversial, then we’ve got a problem, and we’ll never win another election on anything.”

 “I think they (NOM) went weak, extremely, to the point where the national organizations wanted to be a little bit more loving, to look more to point of putting no bad taste in anyone’s mouth.”

“The National Organization for Marriage tried to win the moderates. And if you’re going to win the moderates then you got to stay away from what they call hard-line biblical principles.So they tried to come with the psychological and sociological argument." 

Hutcherson claimed he was especially against NOM's infamous wedge strategy of pitting the black and gay communities against each other on the subject of marriage equality:

 "I was totally against that approach, because it’s wrong. That’s not what we do to win, is to show our prejudice." 

You can listen to the entire interview here (and might I suggest that you wear a bib because it is CHOICE!)

I'm personally interested as to how NOM going to taper this down. The lgbt community has dealt with Hutcherson as an antagonist, so he can't really hurt us.

However, as a seemingly ally of NOM who has turned his back on the group and is now labeling them as racist, Hutcherson is like a nuclear bomb.

Pretending like Hutcherson doesn't exist will not help NOM's image. And Hutcherson has never been one being quiet about his "existence."

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Poor NOM. The anti-gay group is slipping BADLY

Maggie Gallagher of NOM
A friend showed me the following tweet from the National Organization for Marriage:

Problems with  in the Netherlands: little demand, instability, losing rights to religious exemptions..  

The tweet links to New Zealand version of an anti-marriage equality webpage (which I am certain NOM has a lot to do with. The title of the page is called Protect Marriage - One Man. One Woman. That's Marriage.)

The page in question outlines supposed problems with marriage equality in the Netherlands by spotlighting certain statistics. One in particular stood out. It was about the supposed instability of gay men:

Instability of relationships

Recent research from a major British medical journal AIDS on male same-sex relationships in the Netherlands — arguably one of the most gay friendly cultures on earth — indicates gay men have a very difficult time living by the values of marriage. This study found that steady homosexual relationships in the very gay-friendly city of Amsterdam, on average, last only 1.5 years. The study also found that gay men in steady relationships there have an average of eight partners a year outside of their current relationships.

The footnote says this citation is:

Maria Xiridou, et al., “The Contributions of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection Among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” AIDS, 17 (2003): 1029.38.

Now some of you will point out the easy distortion with this study, i.e. the date. The study is nine years old.  So much "recent research."

However, don't leave it at that. There are so many other morsels of distortion behind the usage of this study.

Xiridou's study was not designed to look at married gay couples. It was designed to "access the relative contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam and to determine the effect of increasing sexually risky behaviours among both types of partnerships in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy."

No lesbian couples were interviewed. For this study, Dr. Xiridou received her information from the Amsterdam Cohort Study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS Among Homosexual Men. To gain this information, researchers studied 1,800 gay men between the years of 1984- 2000. Same sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001, thus making the information irrelevant to points about gay marriage. Information for the Amsterdam Cohort Study is found here.

In other words, Xiridou's study is being used to demonize married gay couples when in fact no married gay couple took part in the study.

Way to go, NOM.  In your eagerness to demonize same-sex couples, you take part in a distortion that easy to refute.

Happy Thanksgiving, you turkeys.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let us all commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance and with that in mind, let us ALL remember that "justice" does not mean "just us."

Please click on the graphic to learn some history. I enjoyed reading it myself.

And while we celebrate history, let's not forget those who were deprived of their right to make history due hatred. Let's all do what we can to protect all of our brothers and sisters:

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'Christian magazine claims that demon rape can cause homosexuality' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Can You Be Raped by the Devil? - An interesting article from the "Christian" magazine called Charisma. A choice excerpt for your edification: 

The two most identifiable sexual demons are the incubus, which is a male sexual demon that traditionally assaults women, and the succubus, which is a female sexual demon that assaults men. Sometimes they also lure people into homosexual behavior. (Contessa)Adams notes that one evangelist, whose name she would not divulge, was so troubled by the sexual pleasure the succubus gave her that she even contemplated suicide.Adams says the succubus spirit that used to attack her confused her so much that she contemplated becoming a lesbian. 

Years from now when lgbt equality is a reality, our sons and daughters will ask us "How in the hell did you lose to these people for so long?" 

 New ridiculous talking point: More out gays = less credibility for science of sexual orientation - Aw Peter Sprigg, I miss your bad studies. On the risk of blowing my own horn, I like to think that since  I have debunked your lies numerous times  (and you have mentioned it in an offhand manner) that I've spooked you from playing researcher. Still, this latest explanation of yours makes no sense AT ALL.

 HIV Testing Will Now Be Covered Under Obamacare - As it should be! 

 Liberty Counsel: God's Judgment is on America for Electing Obama and 'Adopting Sin as Official Public Policy' - In other words - blah, blah blah, whine, whine, whine. 

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Homosexuality can be explained through plumbing and extension cords

Everyone is talking about how the Republican Party needs to do some "soul searching" after its electoral humiliation. If you ask me, I think the same holds for some folks who call themselves Christians. In three states, voters clearly showed that they have no problems with gays getting married. However, to hear Franklin Graham (a whisper of a shadow of what his father Billy Graham ever was) breaks down why these voters are supposedly wrong. And it all has to do with plumbing:

And the reduction of gay relationships to matters of sex even filters down to the obscure pastors blessed with a camera and a youtube account as you will see with this guy who not only uses props (extension cords) but links Obama with the anti-Christ in a manner which reminds one of PBS programs Sesame Street and The Electric Company:


I am of two opinions about this entire thing. I am thrilled that members of the religious right are going bonkers over the re-election of Obama.

But then I get a little spooked about the conviction of their mania.

Second clip courtesy of Joe Jervis.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Thank you Bryan Fischer for all you are doing for gay equality

Forget 'Porno' Pete LaBarbera, Matt Barber, Linda Harvey. Forget Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher. This guy above is the one we need to spotlight more than the others. By his ignorant words and egotistical nature, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association is doing more for the cause of lgbt equality than Cher with magic powers.

In this particular juncture, he is being interviewed by an online buddy David Pakman, who has this incredible talent of letting members of the anti-gay right make themselves look like fools by simply asking questions and allowing them to bloviate on and on.

According to Pakman:

“Today I interviewed Bryan Fischer, and it was quite extreme. He repeatedly cited the Regnerus study regarding gay parenting even though I continued to tell him the study is bogus. I also asked him which other anti-gay ideas he agrees with. He DISAGREES with “God hates fags” and that gays and lesbians should be put to death, but AGREES that gay exorcisms like those discussed by former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt are a valid way of “helping” people. He also said that he isn’t worried about more and more states passing marriage equality, that most states still DON’T allow it.”

Ah yes the Regnerus study, which continues to be destroyed for its lack of credible information about gay families.

And that's just a tidbit of Pakman's interview. Let the title of the video clip, Anti-Gay Exorcisms Work, People Never Born Gay, Gay Parents Bad, clue you in.

Thank you Bryan Fischer for all of the work you have done to progress the cause of lgbt equality.

You dumbass.

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'"Ex-gay" youth minister suspected in sex cult murder of wife' and other Monday midday news briefs

“Ex-Gay” Christian Youth Leader Suspected In “Religious Sex Cult” Murder Of Wife - Does the religious right want more discussion of these "ex-gay" ministries? Let's start here.  

Secrets of Tyler Deaton's prayer group emerge - And here is more information about the above scandal.

 Black support for gay marriage growing - Good for us. Now let's have more discussion of lgbt of color issues in the black community. And be sure to include us in those annual "State of Black America" reports.  

Florida Lesbian and Gay Adoptive Parents Tell Their Stories - These stories are important to tell and to hear so that SOME FOLKS don't get to boggart the conversation in regards to gay parenting. 

 Conservative ‘Justice’ Group Encourages Clerks To Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples - Do it at your own electoral peril my friends. 

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Anti-gay pastor's charges of racism ignites a verbal feud with religious right

What was once a war of words between anti-gay Washington state pastor Ken Hutcherson, the National Organization for Marriage, and Focus on the Family has now developed into a full-scale ugly feud complete with charges of racism.

 On election day two weeks ago, NOM lost four ballot initiatives. In Minnesota, voters turned back efforts to add an anti-gay marriage amendment to that state's constitution. In Maryland, Maine, and Washington state, voters approved ballot initiatives which would legalize gay marriage.

NOM faced criticism over what was called "moderate" tactics in opposing marriage equality. Ken Hutcherson, senior pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, WA and an extremely vocal opponent of gay equality in general,  said groups like NOM and Focus on the Family practically handed the victories their opponent:

"Their intention was to be moderate, non-controversial," Hutcherson told OneNewsNow in an exclusive interview, pointing out that the National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family and Family Policy Institute's unbiblical strategy was a severe departure from the state's churches' aggressive campaign to stop same-sex marriage using the weight of family values and Scripture. He notes that the groups essentially told him and other local Christian leaders' that their message on marriage and social issues was too offensive. "They did not want me involved basically in the top leadership, so I took a back seat and let them run with it," Hutcherson shared. "And that really hurt our unity out here." 

Hutcherson later turned the criticism up a notch in an interview with The Christian Post by accusing the organizations of racism. He said he was excluded from the fight because he is an African-American:

"When I knew my involvement was going to generate controversy, I offered to step back and suggested others who were on the frontlines do so as well for the sake of unity. They refused, leaving me as the odd man out. If you look at them, they were all the same color with the same moderate views. It just didn't make sense why they would not include a person of color who was willing to fight." "I believe there are conservatives of all colors, but the leadership from NOM, Focus and Mission Public Affairs, wanted to run being a moderate campaign where everyone felt warm and fuzzy. But we know that sin is never satisfied and always wants more. These guys just looked and acted too much like the GOP – old and white."

Brian Brown, president of NOM, told The Christian Post that Hutcherson's charges were reckless:

Brown . . . called Hutcherson's comment "absurd and reckless," and that he never heard any complaints from the Washington pastor. He also pointed to others such as Maryland's Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. who is also black and was out front in his state's effort to overturn a new state law. "In the body of Christ I think if we have differences they need to be aired out between us and not in the public arena." 

Of course Brown omitted the fact that NOM has been paying Jackson for his efforts.  According to Mother Jones, Jackson has received $20,000 from the National Organization for Marriage's "education fund" for his efforts to exploit the opinions of those in the black community who do not agree with marriage equality. In addition, in 2010, Jackson attempted to get a measure on the ballot opposing marriage equality in D.C. In pursuit of that effort, he led the group Stand for Marriage DC. According to documents attained by Mother Jones, NOM gave $60,000 for that effort.

In the same Christian Post article, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family also voiced a disagreement with Hutcherson's claim of racism. Both he and Brown expressed the wish that Hutcherson should have come to them with his complaints.

Though Hutcherson has a point when it comes to the small number or lack of African-American in leadership positions in these organizations, those familiar with the pastor's past antics - myself included - should probably chalk up his accusations of racism to sour grapes that he wasn't given a larger role in the fight against marriage equality.

Still, the fact that Minnery and Brown made a point to tell Hutcherson to keep disagreements "in house" definitely proves that he struck a nerve.

And I think that's what Hutcherson wanted. Don't be surprised if he attempts to strike more nerves.
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