Friday, January 30, 2015

'Marriage equality expected to boost Florida's economy' & other Friday midday news briefs

ExxonMobil Adds LGBT Protections - Lesson learned here. It took 17 years for this to happen and it finally did. Never give up. 

Gay Marriage Expected to Boost Local Economy - Money, money, money, money. MONEY! Good news from Florida.
Breaking: Sally Kern Withdraws Anti-Gay 'License To Discriminate' Bill - Unfortunately her two other bills, and Kern herself, remains in the legislature.  

FRC prays for judges, governors, legislators to ignore marriage equality rulings - Cause apparently praying for an ending to war, poverty, and disease aren't as important . . .  

Nick Teich's Story From The Let Love Define Family Series - A camp which helps our transgender and gender nonconforming children will always get support from me.  

When Fox News Defended Bryan Fischer’s Anti-Gay Extremism - You really don't think that we would forget, did you?

Family Research Council supports punishing clerks who follow the law on gay marriage

When it comes to these "religious freedom" bills, particularly involving clerks and government employees with regards to legal gay marriages, the Family Research Council's change of semantics is very telling.

On one hand, the group claims that marriage equality is dangerous because it pits a person's employment and livelihood against their religious beliefs:

"As more states are forced to redefine marriage, contrary to nature and directly in conflict with the will of millions, more Americans will see and experience attacks on their religious freedom.   . . .  As more and more people lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage, Americans will see the true goal, which is for activists to use the Court to impose a redefinition of natural marriage on the entire nation." - October 16, 2014.

Yet when it comes to what we are beginning to see now - state legislators introducing bills to actually punish clerks and government employees for legally issuing same-sex marriage licenses, FRC isn't so concerned by people's livelihoods (emphasis on important part of FRC's statement added by me):

Where's the resistance to same-sex "marriage?" A better question might be: where isn't it? While the Left is busy telling the media that Americans have "moved on" from marriage, conservatives everywhere are proving them wrong. In several states, the backlash to the courts' overreach on marriage is sprouting up in legislative committees faster than reporters can cover them. Even the New York Times is finally admitting that the wave of opposition isn't subsiding in states where out-of-control judges swung their gavels like sledgehammers against voter-approved marriage laws.

By large numbers, leaders are firing back with all kinds of legislation to stop the spread of court-imposed same-sex "marriage" at their borders, including some bills that take aim at officials who act against the will of the people.

In Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas, Republicans are moving quickly on measures that would penalize any government employee caught issuing same-sex "marriage" licenses -- regardless of the courts' orders. - January 30, 2015

Shouldn't FRC be as concerned for the freedom and livelihoods of employees who may actually want to issue same-sex marriage licenses in accordance to their beliefs or, at the very least, or want to follow the law.

Or perhaps this idea of "religious freedom" is yet another dodge perpetrated by FRC and other so-called morality groups. Perhaps this is about what it's always been about  - keeping the lgbt community under heel via the exploitation of fear and religious beliefs.

This idea of the preservation of "religious freedom" is merely the latest code phrase.

In the 70s, they claimed to stand against lgbt equality because they wanted to "protect the children."

In the 80s, it was all about exploiting the HIV/AIDS crisis.

In the 90s, they screamed about "special rights."

And in the years afterward, it was about "protecting the definition of marriage."

Now, it's all about religious freedom; the newest buzzword used to mask old prejudices.

This ado isn't about religious freedom any more than it was about "protecting the children" or stopping "special rights" or "saving marriage."

It's about the unfortunate special ability to wrap up old rotten prejudices in new clean packages and continue to sell them to America.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

AFA retains Bryan Fischer and then sells him out . . . HARD

The "AFA's firing of Bryan Fischer" saga just took a strange turn today.

According to Right Wing Watch:

Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio program today by refuting reports that he had been fired by the American Family Association, explaining that he has simply given up his role as an official AFA spokesman while retaining his role as a daily radio host for AFA's radio outlet, American Family Radio. Fischer said that his designation as an AFA spokesman while he also served as a radio host was creating confusion and resulting in the personal opinions he expressed on the radio being unfairly attributed to the AFA. As such, Fischer will no longer serve as an official voice for AFA but will continue to spew his bigotry from the AFA's radio station

 But Fischer's explanation omits  a letter AFA sent to the Southern Poverty Law Center - a letter which will probably be forever known as the worst cover-your-ass letter in the history of mankind.

In this letter, AFA said in the name of "free speech," the organization allows Fischer to have a radio program on its network. And then the AFA proceeded to repudiate and rebuke several claims Fischer made, as well as any association to Fischer himself:

If the AFA thought this letter solved anything, the organization is sadly mistaken because not there are more questions the organizations need to answer. Most specifically, if AFA repudiates Fischer's statements, then why give him a platform to spew them in the first place?

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch and SPLC.

'Bryan Fischer has made AFA the 'Lady Macbeth' of the Religious Right' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Editor's note - Some who have been following the firing of AFA's Bryan Fischer have pointed out  that while he lost an official title with the group, he still retains his radio show, i.e. his platform where he spews the verbal venom which got him into trouble. This is true, but don't look at it as a negative. To me, it's like birthday cake with big scoop of ice cream. After years of denying and dodging, AFA has tacitly admitted the fact that Fischer's rhetoric is vile, HOWEVER  Fischer is too bullheaded and stupid to lessen up on it. In other words, the AFA and Fischer is caught in a hole and Fischer is insistent on digging that hole deeper. Works for me.

The AFA Cannot Wash Its Hands Of Bryan Fischer's Bigotry That Easily - You had better believe that, PARTICULARLY if any of us lgbt bloggers have anything to say about it. The American Family Association just become the Lady Macbeth (i.e. sleepwalking scene) of the Religious Right.

 Alabama Probate Judges Org. Backs Down, Advises Members To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses If Stay Is Lifted - Glad to see that the group is getting smart.  

Ford employee says he was fired for anti-gay remarks: "Homosexual behavior leads to death" - And he has filed a federal lawsuit, too. Good. I want to see how this plays out.  

Houston Fox Affiliate Peddles Transphobic Attack On Equal Rights Ordinance - We are continuing to have this same problem with this same Houston television station pushing the same transphobic lies. I doubt it is a coincidence.  

Iowa Gallery Stops Hosting Weddings To Avoid Serving Same-Sex Couples - Sorry to those who disagree but we are winning the right to marry fair and square. Some folks are trying to make us seem mean and uncompromising, but I got two problems with that. One - lgbts are compromised from the day we are born and especially when we realize how we are different from other little boys and girls. Second - in all of these "religious freedom controversies," no one on the other side has given us a solution as to how our needs can be accommodated if clerks don't want to marry us and we are refused service. The "you can just go somewhere else" argument is just damn rude.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bryan Fischer fired from the AFA!

Bryan Fischer
Rachel Maddow has just reported the following:

Bryan Fischer has been fired from the American Family Association!

Details are sketchy and we don't know what the firing entails, but it looks like the entire incident has to do with a trip to Israel which would have included 60 members of the Republican National Convention scheduled from Jan. 31 to Feb. 8. The trip was going to be paid for by the American Family Association.

And the trip probably would have flown under the radar except for the watchful eye of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to Media Edge Network:

In a letter dated January 14 to RNC offices across the country, SPLC President Richard Cohen reminded RNC members of the AFA's extremism and its demonizing attacks on minorities.
"Given the AFA's public statements - including the false contention that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust, an idea undoubtedly offensive to Israelis - political leaders should not lend the prestige of their office to this event or to this organization," Cohen wrote.
Cohen's letter goes on to outline several of Bryan Fischer's (director of issue analysis and spokesman for the hate group) more outrageous anti-LGBT and racist statements including his support of Uganda's "kill the gays" bill and his statement that African Americans "rut like rabbits."
"Given that the disease of anti-Semitism is flaring throughout the world, we certainly understand your desire to show your commitment to Israel at this time," Cohen wrote to RNC members. "But accepting funding from an extremist group like the AFA would make a mockery of that commitment and legitimize its extremism."

According to the Israeli news agency Haaretz , of the 168 RNC members invited, more than one-third accepted.

Haaretz also notes that Fischer and Tim Wildmom, president of the AFA, as well as the group's external public relations representative, did not reply to multiple requests for their response to SPLC's statements.

However, according to Maddow, AFA did respond today:

 Maddow quoted AFA President Tim Wildmon as dismissing Fischer as “just a talk show host” who is no longer associated with the AFA. When asked specifically what bothered him about Fischer, he cited “the soundbite quotes, you know, the Hitler and the homosexuality one… we reject that.”

That would be a bizarre explanation by Wildmon, seeing that Fischer was, before today, AFA's Director of Issues Analysis. And as for AFA's "rejection of Fischer's rhetoric, just when did that begin? Fischer has been saying wildly inane things ever since he was hired by the organization (see video below)

In 2010, SPLC  designated the AFA and several other religious right organizations as hate groups due to their dehumanizing and bigoted rhetoric against the lgbt community.

In the case of the AFA, SPLC has on several occasions pinpointed the rhetoric of Fischer as a main reason why it considered AFA to be a hate group:

Since joining the AFA as director of issue analysis for government and public policy, Fischer has used the group's website and its radio network to promote outrageous and false claims about LGBT people, Muslims, Native Americans and African Americans. Despite Fischer's extreme views – like blaming gay men for the Holocaust, calling for the criminalization of homosexuality, and calling for the banning of Muslim immigration to the U.S. – prominent conservatives continue to appear on Fischer's radio show.

In this particular case, it is beginning to sound as if  SPLC was able to get the media in Israel buzzing about AFA and Fischer before the trip began, thus creating a possibly huge embarrassing incident not only for  anti-gay group but also the Republican National Convention.  And that may have been the thing which cost Fischer his job.

Headlines in several Jewish and  Israeli newspapers read as such:

US NGO: 'Hate group' funding Republican National Committee trip to Israel
GOP Israel trip funded by 'hate group,' watchdog says

 'Hate Group' Funds Republican Trip to Israel

Anti-Gay Group Funds US Politicians Visit to Israel

As I said before, details are very sketchy but until the entire story comes out, let's all take a look at the rhetoric of  one Bryan Fischer when he WAS employed by the American Family Association:

UPDATE - According to The New Civil Rights Movement, Fischer's replacement isn't any better:

But, and there are many buts, there is much more involved in this story, including the fact that Fischer's de facto replacement is David Lane, the head of the American Renewal Project, which is housed in and funded by the American Family Association.

Lane is so toxic that an op-ed he wrote for World Net Daily, the same site that regularly claims President Barack Obama is gay, was so offensive it was actually removed from the site.

Will the lgbt or mainstream media seriously tackle anti-gay propaganda before I reach the social security age?

It is my hope that one day in the not so distant future, the overall lgbt and mainstream media will take a look at the anti-gay propaganda spewed out by so-called morality groups and their spokespeople (i.e. the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, etc)

. It is also my hope that the overall lgbt and mainstream media analyzes how this propaganda plays a major part in exploiting religious beliefs and justifying any action which designates lgbts as second-class citizens

Propaganda like this for example:

Or this:

Or this:

No matter how blatantly or subtle it's put out there, ugly propaganda about the lgbt community plays a huge role in galvanizing folks against us.  And it's time the lgbt community demanded serious attention paid to it in a manner which would put those organizations and spokespeople who uses it on the defensive (for a change).

Until that time comes, enjoy another look at my free booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right's War on Gay America. At the very least, it's a start.

If you cannot download it via the embed from Scribd, feel free to download your copy from here or here.

'Anti-gay legislator Sally Kern defends her attacks on lgbt equality' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

'I Don’t Hate Anybody': Rep. Sally Kern Defends Her Three Latest Anti-Gay Bills (Video) - Sally Kern, the notoriously anti-gay Oklahoma legislator attempts to defend her three latest anti-gay bills. Her defense leaves me with only three explanations with regards to her homophobia  Either she is a religious right fembot - you know like the kind who fought the Bionic Woman in the 1970s tv series. Or at some point in her life, someone tied her down, held open her eye,s and made her watch those God-awful anti-gay "documentaries" they used to show in the 80s for a 24 hr period until she became totally indoctrinated by them. Or the safe and rational explanation. Kern is representative of the dangers of anti-gay propaganda in the hands of anyone with any shred of power over people's lives.

Organizers Of Gov. Jindal's Prayer Rally Retroactively Try To Cover Up Cindy Jacobs' Endorsement - And with this very quiet backslide which they hope no one will notice, the organizers of Bobby Jindal's recent prayer rally suffers a huge embarrassment.

 Rafael Cruz warns Christians: ‘God will hold you accountable’ if transgender people use public toilets - You know, I don't want to talk about anyone's father even if it is Sen. Ted Cruz (who I really can't stand in the first place) but DAMN!!!!  

Why The Mormon Church Deserves No Credit For Supporting LGBT Protections (At Least Not Yet) - The Mormon Church's possible change of attitude has been talked about for the last two days, but as the article notes, let's not be so quick to trust it as of yet. 

 Joel Grey Comes Out: 'Cabaret' Star Says 'I'm A Gay Man' At Age 82 - FINALLY! My gay ray hits a target I've been after! (Call me, Joel!)

Family Research Council have become 'ambulance chasers for Jesus'

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council
When I began this blog, I was big on catching anti-gay groups when they lied about studies or used junk science against the lgbt community.

I've noticed - and I hope you have too - that a lot of them don't rely on those falsehoods as much as they used to. I am hoping that future generations will credit this blog for spooking them out of that habit.

But anti-gay groups can still go for the false theatrics. Take the Family Research Council for example. The organization's president, Tony Perkins, sent out this hair-raising message:

Unelected judges and a handful of lawyers have been pushing state marriage amendments over like sleeping cows. Meanwhile, stunned Americans have struggled to make sense of a legal system that puts its own political agenda ahead of the expressed will of the people. Like most conservatives, FRC has watched in horror as the courts have robbed tens of millions of Americans of their voice on an issue of critical importance -- not just to our nation's stability, but to its very survival.

In spite of the Family Research Council's claim, Americans are not freaking out over the legalization of marriage equality. According to a Gallup poll from early last year, support for marriage equality reached 55 percent. Another poll completed earlier than the Gallup poll, but also from last year, found that most religious Americans, across denominational lines, support marriage equality Lastly, according to a poll announced later in 2014, support for marriage equality reached 52 percent.

So this idea that Americans are wringing their hands across the nation at the success of marriage equality is yet a lie in the Family Research Council's arsenal of deceptions and misdirections.

Another arsenal of FRC - and this isn't simply a weapon of FRC alone - is when they deliberately blow situations out of proportions to make it seem that marriage equality is creating a sort of last siege of the Alamo when it comes to the freedoms and rights of some evangelicals.

A wedding photographer breaks a contract because she finds out that the couple is gay and in FRC's hands, she is transformed into Joan of Arc three seconds before the first torch is added to the stake.

A cake decorator refuses to bake a cake for a gay couple even in a state where marriage equality is not yet legal, the Family Research Council parades her in front of a boardroom panel, where she sheds a few tears because of the situation which is clearly HER fault. Suddenly she becomes Mildred Pierce two seconds after her ungrateful, bratty daughter Veda slapped the color out of her cheeks.

And the worse is when the Family Research Council and their ilk create these new phrases  which bombard the airwaves.Phrases such as "religious freedom" or  "religious liberty."

Take out the essences of God and Jesus and the phrases and words become less palpable, but more familiar. They become words like "segregation," "discrimination," "homophobia," entitlement."

It's all a game created to play upon people's fears, religious beliefs, and self-righteousness which all  come from the belief that their religion places them squarely in God's favor above the so-called rabble.

The sad thing is that FRC is really good at playing the game. Worse than that, the folks they are exploiting practically beg to be taken advantage of.

Ambulance chasing for Jesus can be quite lucrative.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

AL Chief Justice Roy Moore's anti-marriage equality statement more about bigotry and less about morality or ethics

Roy Moore
For all of the whining they do about alleged "activist judges," it looks like the religious right may have found one which will allow them to make an exception.

According to The New Civil Rights Movement:

 On Friday and Monday a federal judge struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage in two separate cases, prompting state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore to issue a three-page declaration promising he will not observe the rulings.

  . . . "As Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, I will continue to recognize the Alabama Constitution and the will of the people overwhelmingly expressed in the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment," Moore wrote. "If we are to preserve that 'reverent morality which is our source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement,' then we must act to oppose such tyranny!" he added.

In his letter, addressed to Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley, Moore warned "the destruction of that institution is upon us by federal courts using specious pretexts based on the Equal Protection, Due Process and Full Faith and Credit Clauses of the United States Constitution."
"I would advise," Moore added, that any marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples "would be in defiance of the laws and Constitution of Alabama," and claimed that the State of Alabama is not bound by decisions of federal district or appellate courts.

Moore also quoted the bible in his letter, Mark 10:6-9, which begins, "But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’

Now before anyone begins spouting righteous outrage and talk about how Moore should lose his job, I should inform that he once did. In 2003, he was removed as chief justice of Alabama for his refusal to obey a federal court order and remove a  2.6 ton stone monument of the Ten Commandments he had placed at the courthouse. In 2012, he was voted back in as Alabama's chief justice.

But before that infamous incident, there were other incidents which strongly indicated that Moore was prejudiced against the lgbt community.

In 2002, Lambda Legal filed a formal complaint  with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission against Moore, claiming that he made "shockingly prejudiced statements against gay people in a recent legal opinion."

'Hearing over lgbt protections in Idaho become highly emotional' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Push for gay protections in Idaho stirs emotional debate - Even as we speak, folks are having a huge debate regarding lgbt protections in Idaho complete with testimony given to lawmakers. Included amongst those giving testimony (and also tweeting about the event) is Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council. 

You know, THIS Peter Sprigg: 

 Ted Cruz To Introduce Federal Amendment Prohibiting Judges From Overturning Gay Marriage Bans - It's a ridiculous idea which won't work but always be careful of those willing to push inanely ridiculous ideas, particularly if they have the power of being a United States senator.

Bishops Freak Out After Catholic Hospitals Consider Giving Equal Rights To Gay People - Because freaking out over such things is what Jesus would do. #snark! 

 Former Atlanta fire chief files religious discrimination complaint against city - Good grief! Kelvin Cochran isn't giving up his on persecution angle but Mayor Kasim Reed isn't cutting ANY slack either.

Court Tosses Out Prostitution Conviction For Woman Who Was Just Walking Down The Street - Good! I swear I have never heard of such a ridiculous reason to arrest someone!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bobby Jindal's prayer rally organizer: Gays encompass 'unvarnished energy of Satan'

Leave it to the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer to put an exclamation point on LA Gov. Bobby Jindal's transparent "prayer rally" held last weekend.

Why even bother to give reasons as to why Jindal was totally in wrong for holding this rally or allowing Fischer's organization, the  anti-gay hate group American Family Association, to play a lead role by footing the bill.

Why indeed, when you can let Fischer make the point for you:

'Politician wants to jail clerks for marrying same-sex couples' & other Monday midday news briefs

Politician Wants Arrests After Gays Marry - This is officially the deep end. After predicting that lgbt equality would lead to evangelicals to be arrested, an evangelical politician seem to be pressing for the same thing to happen to clerks who marry same-sex couples. 

Ben Carson Uses Poison Cake Example to Explain Why It's Okay to Discriminate Against Gays - Dear Lord, why is every prominent black conservative is crazy? 

 The Real Problems With Bobby Jindal And His Prayer Rally - Honey, I've a list a couple of miles long . . .

 Meet The U.S. Pastor Council, The Group Working To Repeal Texas's Non-Discrimination Laws - Education is power because I'm betting that a group like this is present in almost every state in the nation.

Bobby Jindal wants to change the Constitution to suit his religion

Fresh from his all-day "prayer rally," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made another move to woo evangelicals to his side just in case he decides to run for president.

And it involved another slap in the face to the lgbt community. In an interview on the ABC Sunday news program This Week, Jindal told host George Stephanopoulos that he would support a constitutional amendment outlawing marriage equality if the court rules for it later this year.

 I don't know what disappoints me more - that Jindal would actually support enshrining discrimination in the Constitution or his reasons why he would:

 I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My faith teaches me that, my Christian faith teaches me that," Jindal responded. "If the Supreme Court were to throw out our law, our constitutional amendment -- I hope they wouldn't do that -- if they were to do that, I certainly will support Ted Cruz and others that are talking about making an amendment in the congress and D.C., a constitutional amendment to allow states to continue to define marriage."

What in the world should Jindal's faith have anything to do with it?   It should be downright embarrassing for him to say in public that he wants to make lgbt Americans second class citizens just so, at least in his mind, that God would give him a "gold star."

In reality, Jindal has been meandering pitifully ever since the news of his prayer rally. When challenged about the anti-gay, anti-Islamic nature of the American Family Association, the group who paid for the rally, Jindal played the "religious liberty" card. Now when asked about marriage equality and why should discrimination be enshrined in our Constitution, Jindal is playing the same card.

If you ask me, Jindal's shtick is getting old, not to mention annoyingly transparent.

Friday, January 23, 2015

'Anti-gay right pushing idea of 'payback' over possible SCOTUS marriage equality ruling' & other Friday midday news briefs

GOP State Rep. Sally Kern Announces Trifecta Of Anti-Gay Legislation - Folks, if you are sitting on your tuckus waiting for the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling, I've got news for you. There are plans in several state legislatures to make us pay severely for that possible victory. I've talked about a few, but the one in Oklahoma sponsored by perennial anti-gay legislator Sally Kern is the worst. She is proposing three bills - one which would bar state employees from recognizing marriage equality. One which would give parents approval to abuse their children via the quackery of "ex-gay" therapy. And last but not least, one which would allow broad discrimination against lgbt citizens in businesses: 

An LGBT person could literally be shunned by their entire town, unable to purchase food, rent or buy a home, buy a car, gasoline, insurance, clothing, or even electricity. They could find no doctor in their town will provide medical attention. If an LGBT person were to have a heart attack, a private ambulance service or EMT could legally refuse to assist or take him or her to the hospital. That hospital, if private, could legally refuse them service under Kern's law. 

 What can be done about this? Well calling Kern ugly names online is not a thing to do. Get organized, keep a look out at your own state legislatures, meet various legislators, write letters to the editor. In other words - raise complete %$!@ 

North Carolina’s planned ‘religious freedom’ bills waste time, money on unfairness - Second verse. Same as the first.  

Fox News Darling: Do Whatever It Takes To Stop 'Evil' Gays From Marrying - Verse number three. It is getting scary. So what do you do? You have two choices. Go home and hide under your bed or stay and fight with dignity and resolution that you will win. My choice has already been made.

Staver: If People Accept A SCOTUS Ruling In Favor Of Gay Marriage 'Then America Is Gone' - You know, I would generally be spooked at Staver's comment but he has put America at death's door so much that the Grim Reaper has given us our own key.

 Major Iowa caucus player calls on next President to 'politely reject unjust SCOTUS opinions' - ANOTHER major religious right figure is calling for a pro-marriage equality ruling from the Supreme Court to be ignored. If there was the right amount of media on this, these statements would be a major story.  

Pro-LGBT Campaign One Million Kids Launches Ahead Of Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Ruling - In all of the negativity, something positive. I support this tremendously. 

 Bobby Jindal's Extremist Prayer Rally Brings Together Prophets, Bigots And Far-Right Activists - And let's not forget "baby." Bobby Jindal's prayer rally is this weekend. For those who are interested, here is a "line up" of the folks Jindal consider "Christians" who will help supposedly put America back on course.

'God's brats' should stop throwing tantrums over marriage equality losses

Somewhat disturbing incidents are taking place across America when it comes to marriage equality.

As the lgbt community win battle after battle, certain folks are showing their true faces, or in street vernacular, their behinds.

Possible presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is now claiming that states can ignore Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality if they  don't agree with them. Another possible presidential candidate Ben Carson is talking about removing judges who rule in favor of marriage equality. Both Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have come out and said judges have no power to overturn marriage equality ban.

And several state legislatures are fluctuating between passing laws which would "protect" clerks from marrying same-sex couples if they don't agree with gay marriage to punishing them severely for marrying same-sex couples if in fact they do agree with gay marriage.

So what's going on here? What's with all of the madness. What's with the quiet, but nonetheless, bothersome rebellion of our system of governance.

No matter what these folks may say, what soundbites and talking points they may throw out, there is nothing noble about their behavior.

It basically comes down to them throwing a tantrum because they can't get their way. I mean really . . .  all of this stuff about "the will of the people," "unelected judges," and the rest of the vicious phrases they throw out is the equivalent of a little brat screaming and crying when their parents won't let them have a piece of candy.

They seem to wanting to blame lgbts for their shortsighted stupidity. When all of this "we have to protect marriage" mania got stoked up in 2004, it amazes me that no one seemed to think that the actions taken to supposedly protect marriage back then (i.e. the anti-gay marriage statewide laws) would be challenged. After all, it's generally what happens when folks feel that a law violates the Constitution.

And once these laws were challenged in court, where were these righteously indignant people? Where was Mike Huckabee or Ben Carson? For that matter, where were the religious right groups such as the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage? For all of their talk about marriage "being the joining of two halves of humanity" or "marriage being ordained to be between a man and a woman by God," they never volunteered to take the stand, They never volunteered to testify.

Probably because it's easy to spook people into voting the way you want by spinning implied horror stories of "gay recruitment" or "anti-Christian persecution." Not so much when you are in a court of law.

When the time came for them to defend their positions, they couldn't because they didn't have any positions worthy of defending. They had nothing. Nada. Bupkiss.

How can their inability to defend their position translate into a so-called gay fiat on marriage?

It doesn't.

So to all of these folks throwing tantrums. The Mike Huckabees, the Ben Carsons, the Mark Rubios, etc, I have some advice.

Stop crying, wipe your eyes, fix your face, and above all, get over yourselves. You had every opportunity to defend these laws and you chose not to. Maybe because you knew you had no defense, Maybe because you didn't want to be questioned on the tactics you undertook to get these laws.

Whatever the case is, you lost and hopefully you will continue to lose. If you want to blame someone, have a good long look in the mirror.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

#TBT - Anita Bryant was not funny

I heard a while back that someone is going to write about the infamous campaign Anita Bryant waged against the lgbt community in the 70s as a comedy.

That would be a slap in the face to lgbt history because Bryant was not funny. She was one of the first to create the vile mixture of Biblical beliefs and horror stories about lgbts. The things she said and the tactics she undertook are still used by the anti-gay right today.

Don't take my word for it. Check out this short interview from the 70s while she was in the midst of her power:

'Why are anti-gay hate groups held to a different standard of legitimacy' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Why Does The New York Times Give Equal Time to a Hate Group? - An excellent question and an excellent argument. However, allow me to throw in an opinion. Anti-gay hate groups are treated differently from religious and racial hate groups because I don't think the lgbt community has made a strong enough case to bring these groups out from the aura of legitimacy which they don't deserve. The Southern Poverty Law Center did the important groundwork.  However, that groundwork is not enough. It is up to the lgbt community via our blogs, our news sources, and our journalists to dig deep and bring a lot of things to light. The actions and tactics of groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, etc. go back over 30 years. Subsequently, we are going to have to overturn every stone - the junk science studies, the false testimonies in front of congressional bodies, the distortion of legitimate research, the constant lie after lie which brazenly conjured up false images of gay men dragging innocent children into bathrooms or deliberately infecting folks with AIDS.  All of these things were done, said, or implied by these so-called morality groups, their spokespeople, and  their supporters.  But as long as our community allows this stuff to stay buried, we will never make the media hold these groups accountable.

Ted Cruz: Courts shouldn’t overturn gay marriage bans - Unbelievable. Why are people ignorant of the Constitution elected to public office? If you think the headline is bad, wait until you read what Cruz is going to attempt in order to "remedy" the situation. 

Starkville aldermen vote to rescind equality resolution - Pay attention to this madness, folks. As we slowly and steadily win the marriage equality fight, our opponents are going to attempt to strip us of basic rights.  

Sponsor Of Most Ridiculous Anti-Trans Legislation In America Tries To Justify It, Hilarity Ensues - I absolutely never thought I would be on the same side as that South Park television show on this issue.

Mike Huckabee & Jim Bakker: Christians Are Second Class Citizens In America - Excuse me but doesn't the majority of Americans consider themselves Christians? Doesn't the majority members of Congress consider themselves Christians? If, taking those two facts into account, Christians are "second class citizens" in America, it's obviously because they are a bunch of wimps.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bobby Jindal wants you to pray with THIS MAN

Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal's little prayer thing is coming up this weekend, so I thought I would remind folks just who Jindal is teaming up with in this little venture of his.

I'm doing this particularly because according to Right Wing Watch, the conservative magazine National Review is deliberately distorting the situation when it comes to the sponsors of this event, the anti-gay hate group American Family Association:

The National Review’s Eliana Johnson has taken note of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s hosting of this weekend’s “Response” prayer rally as well as the protests it has sparked on the campus of Louisiana State University. Johnson’s article accurately portrays the rally as part of presidential hopeful Jindal’s political outreach to evangelical voters, but it mischaracterizes the reason for the protests:

The event has already sparked controversy because the group underwriting it, the American Family Association, has organized boycotts against companies that do not use the word “Christmas” in their holiday advertising and communications as well as those that participate in gay-rights events or donate to gay-rights causes. That included a one-month boycott of PetSmart last November and a three-year boycott of Home Depot that ended in 2013. 

People aren’t protesting Jindal’s partnership with the American Family Association because it has organized boycotts. Boycotts are the least of the problems with the intensely anti-gay AFA, whose chief spokesperson Bryan Fischer is a font of broadcast bigotry and has argued that only Christians — and certainly not Muslims, Hindus or Mormons (whom he does not consider Christian) — are covered by the First Amendment’s religious liberty guarantees.

In other words, roll the video footage of Fischer's "greatest hits and while viewing it, ask yourself, "Would you pray with this man?"

Or better yet, "Would you want the person who sees nothing wrong with praying with this man anywhere near the White House?":

'Mike Huckabee - states can ignore SCOTUS on marriage equality' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Mike Huckabee: States Can Ignore Supreme Court On Gay Marriage - Huckabee needs to check himself. The states CANNOT ignore the Supreme Court on marriage equality. And broadly speaking, Huckabee is a perfect reason why EVERY lgbt who is of the voting age should be registered and ready to cast their ballot. We are winning but people like him are going to make sure we can't secure what we win.

Wedding Planner Goes Out Of Her Way To Tell Couple She Does ‘Not Feel Comfortable’ Helping Them - The Family Research Council is trying to make this wedding planner seem like a victim. However, one should read the entire story, PARTICULARLY the part which details why the gay couple has no legal case against her. 

 Pennsylvania governor-elect names transgender woman as Physician General - Wonderful news indeed!

 In Wake Of Controversial 'Ex-Gay' Billboard Lawmakers Introduce Ban On Conversion Therapy - Sweeeet!

 Ben Carson: Congress Should Oust Judges Who Rule For Marriage Equality - Because . . . . I guess he doesn't need a reason. 

And finally . . . . 

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for a 2015 GLAAD Media Award, including THIS BLOG in the category of Outstanding Blog. It was a delightful shock to wake up to the news that I received my second consecutive nomination and it is certainly an honor. I am in good company with The Art of Transliness, Autostraddle, Box Turtle Bulletin, and My Fabulous Disease

And allow me to be honest. I am hoping to win. However, even if I don't win, I am so overwhelmed by the honor and very thankful to everyone who have supported Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters over the years. 

You all are the best supporters anyone can have.

Obama leaving silly anti-gay right behind to wallow in self-righteous madness

Last night, President Obama's State of the Union speech was groundbreaking in so many ways, particularly when he praised marriage equality and pushed for the rights of the lgbt community in general. It was the first time our community had been directly mentioned in a State of the Union address:

"As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we're threatened, which is why I've prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained," said Obama, adding, "That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We do these things not only because they're right, but because they make us safer."

Meanwhile, poor Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association sits in front of his lonely microphone and pretends that he is God's appointed judge in terms of who is or isn't a Christian:

Fischer is indicative of the anti-gay right - deliberately using semantics, talking points, and dodgy terms to avoid treating lgbts as human beings, something which Jesus would do.

Pathetic self-righteous trash, but so indicative of a group of people who can't seem to understand that they are losing the fight.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Conservative gay author has interesting story to tell about working with religious right

A very good friend of mine has just published a book which should be of much interest to us all:

Ever wonder what it is like to be a longtime member of the Christian Right and a married gay man? Ever believe that such a combo would make Ozzie & Harriet look like Oscar & Felix?

Joe Murray was a longtime cadet of the Christian Right and spent the early years of his life building a resume that might make Goldwater envious. He served as a member of Pat Buchanan's Presidential campaign staff in 1999 and was appointed to the Alliance Defending Freedom's prestigious Blackstone Fellowship for budding Christian attorneys in 2000. He spent a number years working on the front lines of the "Culture War" as a Staff Attorney for the American Family Association. He worked with the Pennsylvania Pastor's Network and was a columnist for the conservative Philadelphia Bulletin. Murray, a Conservative Catholic, also happens to be gay.

In his new book, Odd Man Out, Murray tackles the misconception that one's identity should predetermine one's politics. Murray's background has provided an excellent opportunity for a frank discussion on a number of social policy issues that are presently dividing the nation. Building upon his experiences working deep inside the Christian Right, Murray discusses how public interest politics has led to a perverse politics in which profit overtakes principle. He shines a light on some of the not-so-Christian events he witnessed while working for the Christian Right and he talks about some of the rivalries that existed (and continue to exist) on the Right. Murray uses his personal story to take the reader behind the scenes of Christian and gay politics and, in doing so, offers new insights on how to frame the controversial discussion.

Though a piece of political nonfiction, Murray's new book is also intimately personal. Murray shares a number of stories that have molded his life and shaped how he sees the world. He opens the door for readers to see how a Catholic, Libertarian-leaning, Irish-American, gay attorney is able to fully operate in society, despite the political perception that he is an ideological inconsistency. Murray uses his personal experiences to argue that people should use their identity to expand their ideas, not limit them.

You can buy a copy here or at Joe Murray Enterprises

'TV show will blow the lid off of homophobia in African-American community' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Lee Daniels Is Using 'Empire' To 'Blow The Lid Off' Homophobia In The Black Community - Oh this is going to be gooooood! And it's a perfect example of why there needs to be some representation of the lgbt community when it comes to the television and movie industry. Do you really think a heterosexual white guy would be able to do this?

 Gay Marriage Foe Calls For Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan To Quit Marriage Case - While I am not counting my chickens before they hatch with regards to how the Supreme Court will rule on marriage equality later this year, I must say that the smell of anti-gay desperation is mighty intoxicating.  

University bathroom posters claim transgender people ‘rape women every 9 minutes’ - Uh excuse the heck out of me!  

This Is What Transgender Locker Room Harassment Looks Like - The true story behind transgender locker room harassment. The wrong folks are being "protected." 

Finally, some great news. I have been tinkering with new ways to make it easier for folks to download or read my booklet How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America (even on their mobile phones) with much success. Clicking the link below will give you direct access to How They See Us as a google document when you can read, save, or download. Please take advantage. Let's educate and arm our community with knowledge because knowledge is the only thing which can defeat the religious right as well as their attempts at an oncoming backlash:

How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America

Monday, January 19, 2015

HERO signature controversy could sink 'religious liberty' argument in Houston

Image from last year's anti-gay rally in Houston may come back to haunt supporters.

Remember last year when the controversy over a trans-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in Houston led the press to label the city as "ground zero" in the so-called war over religious liberty?

Remember when the Family Research Council, Fox News personality Todd Starnes, Mike Huckabee  and that man from the television show Duck Dynasty (whose name I am deliberately forgetting) rallied a throng of folks in a huge televised rally which called attention to the supposed persecution of Christians and the so-called encroachment of the vicious "gay agenda."

Remember the portents of doom and fear which came from the rally ; the horror stories of Christians being put into jail for professing their faith, being forced to (gasp and swoon) serve gay customers at their places of business, of men being legally allowed to go into women's restrooms and locker rooms and sexually harass at their leisure.

Surely you do. And if you don't, you should dig into archives for these memories. Savor and cherish them because, it's beginning to look like those folks responsible for these lies and moral panics are about to get a huge goose egg on their faces.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Anti-gay leader Tony Perkins proves it - his side has NOTHING to refute marriage equality

This morning, Prop 8 lawyer Ted Olson and Family Research Council head Tony Perkins had a debate this morning on Fox News with anchor Shannon Bream as the moderator.

Personally I don't see how any reasonable person can have a debate on Fox News, particularly with someone like Shannon Bream (who is the typical Fox News female anchor - talentless eye candy with a decayed center), but I think Olson did rather well for himself.

With the news that the Supreme Court will be hearing cases which may decide marriage equality in the United States once and for all (keep your fingers crossed and no celebrating UNTIL it's all said and done) and with somewhat of a homefield advantage for Perkins (Fox has interviewed him numerous times without anyone else giving an opposing opinion), one would think that the FRC head would at least try to bring some type of A-game to the debate.

Not so much. It was the same tired old arguments, fear tactics, and misdirections that we are familiar with. Not even Bream could help Perkins as Olson effortlessly beat him down.

Even giving Perkins the last word didn't help because Olson had refuted the point Perkins (i.e. the courts should respect the "will of the people") made in the last word at the beginning of the debate.

Friday, January 16, 2015

'Hate group leader to debate Prop 8 lawyer on Fox News' & other Friday midday news briefs

Fox News Sunday Invites Hate Group Leader For Debate About Same-Sex Marriage - Just in case you haven't heard, this upcoming Fox News Sunday will feature a marriage equality debate between Ted Olson, one of the attorneys who successfully beat down Prop 8 in the courts and Family Research Council head Tony Perkins. And I do agree with the article's lament that Perkins can be considered anywhere - even on Fox News - as a credible voice on lgbt issues in spite of him and his organization's history of outrageous lies and inane comments against the lgbt community. In fact, below are two guides to remind you about the negative history of Perkins and the Research Council. Please read and pass around if you see fit: 
Tony Perkins's most homophobic statements - GLAAD has compiled a list of statements made by Tony Perkins while contradict any notion that he is a credible leader on morality. 

 16 reasons why the Family Research Council is a hate group - And then there is my post from August 20, 2011 in which I compile a concise list of incidents, comments, and claims which more than proves the notion that the Family Research Council is a hate group. It is a post which continues to be relevant. 

 Huckabee, Santorum join professional 'ex-gay' as conservative conference headliners - Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum will be teaming up with an 'ex-gay' speaker at a conservative conference. That would be awful within itself. But remember that Huckabee and Santorum will most likely be running for president. Even though they don't have a chance, it should scare folks that such a nasty element could be anywhere close to the White House.  

Have You Ever Had to Convince Someone You're a Woman? (VIDEO) - Fight on, my brothers and sisters. I will ALWAYS have your back.  

Wyoming Pastor-Lawmaker's Bill Allows Discrimination Against 'Oppression' Of Gay Marriage - You wanna run that by me again . . .

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Atlanta Kasim Reed will not back down from 'religious liberty' controversy

I have to give MAJOR PROPS to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.  He is catching a huge amount of flack for his dismissal of former city fire chief Kelvin Cochran.

While Cochran's supporters claim that this is an issue of religious persecution, Reed has contended that this is an issue of bad judgement and behavior by Cochran.

And he is not back down. In the following interview with MSNBC's Tamron Hall, Mayor Reed makes his points eloquently  but forcefully. In doing so, he is a model for us all when we are called anti-Christian bigots because we believe in fairness and respect for all:

Related posts:

 Atlanta's Mayor Dismantles "Religious Freedom" Defense Of Terminated Anti-Gay Fire Chief

Does Kelvin Cochran's definition of religious liberty justify his dismissal? Probably so

Stopping an anti-gay smear BEFORE it gains power

Today comes news that a pro-lgbt cake shop in Colorado is being sued on the grounds of religious discrimination.

But all is not what it seems. According to The New Civil Rights Movement:

If you want a wedding cake, the Azucar Bakery in Denver wants to make one for you. Gay, straight, they don't care. A walk through their Facebook photos shows a vast assortment of cakes and desserts, which may be one of the reasons owner Marjorie Silva (photo above) won an award for Best Wedding Cake at the 2012 Colorado Chocolate Festival. Recently, an older man walked into the bakery and asked for a bible-shaped cake, which was "no problem at all," Silva tells OutFront. In fact, she says she makes Christian-themed cakes "all the time."

The man pulled out a piece of paper with the words he wanted written on the cake, but he would not hand it over.

"He wanted us to write God hates …" one of the employees, Lindsey, told OutFront. "Just really radical stuff against gays."

"He wouldn’t allow me to make a copy of the message, but it was really hateful," Marjorie says. "I remember the words detestable, disgrace, homosexuality, and sinners."

"I told him that I would bake the cake in the shape of a Bible," says Marjorie. "Then I told him I’d sell him a [decorating] bag with the right tip and the right icing so he could write those things himself."

"He told me I needed to talk to my attorney about this," Marjorie adds, saying he then left the bakery, only to return a few hours later, to ask if she had contacted her lawyer. She had not. Lindsey says she thinks the man "was looking for trouble, and describes him as "being really pushy and disruptive."

Silva has since been notified by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) that a discrimination complaint against the bakery has been filed. In the response to the complaint, Lindsay wrote that the man "wanted an open book with the words 'god hates homosexuality' and a 'no' sign over two men. He also wanted a scripture and the Ghostbusters logo."

This man doesn't have a legal leg to stand on. The bakery didn't refuse his service even when the owners felt what he wanted to put on the cake was offensive. And it even offered to sell him a cake bag so he could do the writing himself.  It's clear that the man was looking for a reason - however unjustifiable - to sue. I cringe to think how far he would have taken it if the bakery had agreed to decorate the cake.

Now reasonably, this would be the end of it. However,  add an anti-gay network of bloggers, organizations, and fake news sources, you have the recipe for an homophobic cause celebre which would flood the airwaves and state Congressional halls with cries of anti-Christian persecution before the truth even has a chance to put on its shoes.

'Republicans FINALLY censures Dave Agema for racist, homophobic posts' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Mississippi schools under fire over efforts to curb Gay-Straight Alliance - It's amazing how ignorant some folks are when it comes to students wanting to start gay/straight alliance clubs. The sad thing is that all it would take is for these folks to establish a dialogue with the students wanting to start the clubs. But as it is, they want to do things the hard way. Have at it. 

GOP Censures Anti-Gay Republican - I am SO not impressed. This should have happened to Dave Agema a long time ago. It was when he demonstrated himself to be a racist as well as a homophobe that Republicans are getting "alarmed" enough to censure him. 

More information from 2013 - Dave Agema saga exposes the lies of the anti-gay right

Lawmaker Wants To Pay Students $2,500 If They See A Transgender Person In The ‘Wrong’ Bathroom - Oh good Lord! I think we should get more alarmed at lawmakers stirring up fear about this nonexistent issue of our transgender brothers and sisters using bathrooms.  

Judge: Michigan Must Recognize 300-Plus Gay Marriages - Decision stayed for 21 days but still an awesome victory.  

Anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ discrimination bill on way to N.C. - Oh brother! Here we go, here we go!  

World Congress of Families Spokesman: 'Russia Is The Hope For the World Right Now' - What in gay hell . . .

Anti-gay leader Tony Perkins prefers hyperbole to actual debate

Far be it from Family Research Council Tony Perkins to discuss the actual facts when it comes to the dismissal of former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran.

He prefers hyperbole and false claims about how folks would rather shut down "Christians" like him rather than debate issues. Of course one of the grand ironies is that Perkins pointedly refuses to debate lgbts on issues:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

'Religious right learns not to call out Ellen DeGeneres' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Ellen DeGeneres Fires Back at Christian Post for Alleging Hollywood Gay Agenda (Video) - The religious right learns the hard not to call out Ellen DeGeneres because she is NO shrinking violet and WILL answer. As satisfying as the incident is, it also underscores a sad reality. To some people, us lgbts being open, honest, and proud of who we are is a violation of their so-called "religious liberty" Not living our lives in accordance to their ignorance is a violation of their so-called "religious liberty." 

A New Center In The Bronx Will Focus On Gay Seniors - Awesome and much needed!

Colorado church under fire for stopping woman’s funeral because she was gay - Tacky. Just plain tacky as well as wrong.  

Texas Republican Lawmakers Aim To Nullify LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections Covering 7.5 Million People - When there is a backlash to the advancement of equality, don't get scared. Fight harder for equality.  

Texas Lawmakers Already Have Three Different Ideas For Anti-LGBT Laws - More on that issue. These folks are running scared.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Anti-gay leader Tony Perkins despises Nazi, Holocaust imagery . . . unless HE gets to use it

Tony Perkins of the anti-gay Family Research Council reached the pinnacle of blind audacity tonight. In an email blast, he sent the following:

If anyone is guilty of "virulent views," try the Left! It's a prime example of the pot calling the cake pan black in Colorado, where member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was caught on tape calling Christian baker Jack Phillips a "Nazi" for politely turning down a same-sex "wedding" order.
Diann Rice, part of the board who is deciding Jack's fate, is the one on the hot seat now that audio of her July comments have leaked to the press, in which she said the "freedom of religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust...(T)o me, it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use..."

I should point out that Rice is not on any hot seat. The claim that she is in trouble is a tactic used by conservatives and the anti-gay right. Their allies on right-wing blogs, fake news sites (such as The Daily Signal via the Heritage Foundation) and various other propaganda sites (i.e. Fox News or The Washington Times - where the story is coming from) will play up the story, giving the false idea of a controversy.

In the mainstream media, no one really cares.  What's more, if one reads the article, he or she would discover that Rice never called anyone a "Nazi." The word never came out of her mouth. She said:

"I would also like to reiterate what we said in the last meeting [on Mr. Phillips]. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust."

I personally fail to see how Rice is wrong here I made that same statement two years ago in my booklet, How They See Us (pg. 2). 

But there is rich irony in the fact that Perkins can dare take the high road and "grasp at the pearls" in shock  because HE has used Holocaust and Nazi imagery in the past.

Does Kelvin Cochran's definition of religious liberty justify his dismissal? Probably so

The situation involving former Atlanta chief Kelvin Cochran heated up today with a rally in his honor, new details about the investigation which led to his firing, and what I would call mind-bogglingly ignorant comments by Cochran which underscores just why his firing may have been appropriate.

From Think Progress:

The leader of the Family Research Council (FRC), a socially conservative organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled an anti-gay hate group in 2010, plans to join conservative pastors and “religious liberty advocates” at an Atlanta rally on Tuesday supporting a former senior city official who was fired after he expressed hostility towards gay people. Last week, Atlanta’s former fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, was dismissed due to a self-published book Cochran authored entitled Who Told You That You Were Naked? In that book, Cochran attacks “uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion,” and he describes sex between two men as a “vile, vulgar and inappropriate” act that “defile[s] their body-temple and dishonor[s] God.”

In announcing his decision to fire Cochran, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) cited the city’s nondiscrimination policy, adding that anyone who “creates an environment where that is a concern” will not remain a city employee.

FRC is presenting this as a case of religious discrimination — “If a government will fire someone for their religious beliefs, no beliefs are safe from government regardless of how sacred those beliefs may be,” accorrding to FRC’s press release — but that’s a red herring. Cochran was not fired because the city objects to his identity as a Christian. Indeed, Mayor Reed is also a Christian. Rather, Cochran was fired because of concerns that his now very public anti-gay views would create a work environment that was not welcoming to his gay subordinates. Mayor Reed also claims that Cochran published his anti-gay book without following protocols for seeking approval from city officials.

Meanwhile, according to a local Atlanta newstation, details came out about just who Cochran distributed his book to on his job, which contradicts his original story:

The 30-day report says that Cochran did not have the authority to publish the book, which is required by the city's code of ordinances. The report also says Cochran distributed the book to at least nine subordinates at work. According to the report, at least three of those who received the book said it had been given to them unsolicited.

In addition, the report says Cochran gave the book, unsolicited, to a battalion chief during a professional one-on-one meeting. The purpose of the meeting, the report said, was to discuss what the battalion chief needed to do to prepare himself for appointment to the position of assistant chief. The assistant chief's position in the Atlanta Fire Department is the only sworn position that a fire chief may appoint at his sole discretion. All other sworn positions in the fire department are filled through a pre-determined selection process.

The report describes a consensus among employees interviewed in conjunction with the investigation that publication of the book undermined Cochran's ability to lead the fire department. According to the report, continued assertions that Cochran was fired for his religious beliefs were demonstrably false.

"Mr. Cochran and I are both men of faith," Reed said in a statement released on Tuesday. "My decision has nothing to do with his religion and everything to do with his judgment and conduct as the leader of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and a member of my Cabinet. Mr. Cochran ignored the City's Ethics Code which establish a clear protocol which must be followed before a Commissioner may engage in private activity for pay. Mr. Cochran made numerous judgment decisions regarding the book that are unacceptable for a leader in City of Atlanta government: he sold the Book without the requisite approval; he authored the book identifying himself as the Atlanta Fire Chief; he distributed the book at work, despite the fact that its content expressed opinions which are contrary to the City's and my personal commitment to nondiscrimination; he exposed the City to potential litigation from employees; and he published the book without ever mentioning it to me. Mr. Cochran's decisions as a City official, not his religion, resulted in his termination."

But what caught my eye were comments Cochran made in this story:

"LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their belief regarding sexual orientation and deserve to be respected for their position without hate and discrimination, but Christians also have the right to express their beliefs as well," Cochran said.

Cochran seems to think that lgbts and Christians are diametrically opposed to each other.  His statement reveals a troubling mindset with regards to lgbts.  He seems to be saying that the rights of gays to live our lives openly and freely in the workplace is the same as his nonexistent right to denigrate us for doing so.

Is Cochran saying that if gay employees have the right to talk about, put pictures up, or even receive visits from their loved ones and children at work, he is perfectly justified in labeling them as sinners in the same environment?

If that is the case, then Cochran has a very screwed up idea of "religious liberty." People should be free to talk about their families and their marriages at work without fear of being denigrated simply because another employee has a religious belief against these marriages and families. And if being proud of your loved ones and family is somehow a slight to someone's religious beliefs, that's not your problem. That problem lies with the person espousing the religious belief.

I don't see how Cochran can compare the two scenarios and I would love for him elaborate on what he meant.

Editor's note - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is taking a lot of heat from ignorant people because he stood up for the lgbt community. Please show him your support by retweeting the following editorial by the New York Times which supports his actions and tweeting support at @kasimreed #IStandWithKasim or #ReedWasRight 

Seriously, folks. We need to stand up for those who go to bat for us. Lord knows it's not easy .

'Is Mike Huckabee backing away from anti-marriage equality position?' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Huckabee backs away from opposition to same-sex marriage - Dear Mike Huckabee, you can pretend that you are "coming around" when it comes to marriage equality but no self-respect lgbt will support your possible bid for president. We aren't stupid and even if some of us were "born yesterday," when it comes to you, those who were "born yesterday" was up all night studying. 

God, Gays and the Atlanta Fire Department - The New York Times lays the smack down on this fake case of violated "religious liberty" in Atlanta involving former fire chief Kelvin Cochran: 

"Imagine that Mr. Cochran, who is black, were an adherent of a religion that avowed the inferiority of white people, and that he distributed literature to that effect. He would not have lasted another day in a job that requires him to manage and protect the well-being of a large and diverse work force. It should not matter that the investigation found no evidence that Mr. Cochran had mistreated gays or lesbians. His position as a high-level public servant makes his remarks especially problematic, and requires that he be held to a different standard."

Speaking of which, go here to freep this poll. Cochran SHOULD have been fired.

Megapastor T.D. Jakes aligning with extremely anti-gay Harry Jackson, Family Research Council - For the record, I never did like T.D. Jakes. He teaches people fear and encourages ignorance disguised as "The Gospel." Just another dime-a-dozen fake preacher growing fat on his own ego. 
A Teacher Was Fired From A Russian School After Being Outed By An Anti-Gay Activist - Handle yo' business, girlfriend! 

Finally, I have a celebratory announcement to make. Today marks the two-year anniversary of the publishing of How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America. In those two years, my online booklet has over 1,000,000 views and over 2,000 downloads.

As this year progresses and hopefully the lgbt community wins more victories to ensure our equality, the anti-gay right will rely on ignorance and the reluctance of the media to fully investigate them in order to play "victim" to a supposed "encroaching gay agenda."

That entire point of view is a lie. For over 30 years, anti-gay groups and spokespeople have made the lgbt community scapegoats and victims in their campaign of distortions and misdirection. 

How They See Us has the goods on them. It is free and I encourage every one to download a copy from either this site , this one, or get a direct link to the booklet here.