Wednesday, April 26, 2017

'Trump's first 100 days have been ugly for LGBTQ community' & other Wed midday news briefs

Donald Trump holds (an apparently fireproof, lightning proof) Bible.

Trump’s Record on LGBT Rights: Death by 1000 Cuts in the First 100 Days - From Lambda Legal comes an astute assertion about Trump's first 100 days. While he has claimed about being pro-lgbtq, people in his administration have quietly been either making or prodding him to make very anti-lgbtq appointment picks and policies.  

100 Days Of Trump: Delivering For The Extreme Religious Right - More info on this and other monstrosities of Trump's 100 days courtesy of People for the American Way. 

Trump Army Secretary Pick: ‘Liberal Left’ Is Making Me Seem Like An LGBTQ ‘Hater’ - Uh no, you dipstick. Your anti-lgbtq and very transphobic statements and actions make you seem like a hater.  

The Alabama Legislature Voted To Let Adoption Agencies Turn Away LGBT Parents - Because of Jesus?  

Gay man sues New York museum for anti-HIV discrimination - The stigma of HIV is unfortunately as prevalent today as it was so many years ago.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Anti-lgbtq right targeting lesbian high school teacher

This is flying under the radar (except for in religious right circles) but it is possibility that we will be hearing more about it:

From The Tampa Bay Times:

An Orlando-based religious liberties group has filed a complaint against a Hillsborough County high school teacher, accusing her of denying student rights to religious expression while promoting an LGBT agenda. 
In a letter to Hillsborough schools superintendent Jeff Eakins, the Liberty Counsel alleges that Riverview High math teacher Lora Jane Riedas barred at least three students from wearing Christian crosses on necklaces in her classroom, claiming they are "gang symbols." The organization also claims Riedas takes part in LGBT political activism in the classroom. "Ms. Riedas clearly seeks opportunities to engage in GLSEN-directed classroom activism, which has called on teachers to use its "Educator Guide" to promote GLSEN's views about homosexuality and gender confusion on "Day of Silence," and to do so this Friday, April 21, 2017," Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver wrote in his letter.

The school district is investigating the case and the principal has said she has not received any complaints from any parent or student.

Needless to say though, the anti-lgbt group American Family Association's phony new source, One News Now published a one-sided article about the situation, practically allowing  Staver of the Liberty Counsel to spin all sorts of charges against Riedas:

"What we have here are two lesbians that are promoting and indoctrinating the LGBT agenda in the classroom to their students," Staver tells OneNewsNow. "Punishing those that don't agree and targeting Christians because they won't accept her radical lesbianism."

And just in case you are not clear as to where One News Now's sympathies lie, the publication is also running a poll on the controversy:



So basically, the Liberty Counsel and One News Now is attempting to spin this situation into one in which an "intolerant radical lesbian teacher made Christian children remove their crosses while in her classroom."

That rendition tends to play better should Fox News's resident religious right liar - Todd Starnes, decides to push the story further, or the Liberty Counsel needs to exploit the incident for fnndraising, or GOP Congressional leaders need another "reason" in their quest to get Trump's signature on an anti-lgbtq "religious liberty" executive order.

But there are some who smell a rat in the entire situation. In the words of People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch:

This story . . seems a lot like the phony tales of supposed anti-Christian persecution that Religious Right groups are always ginning up.

I couldn't agree more as the following, also courtesy of Ring Watch and Think Progress, prove:

How Many Myths Of Anti-Christian ‘Persecution’ Can Kelly Shackelford Cite In One Speech? At Least Three

No, This Air Force Sergeant Was Not Fired For Opposing Marriage Equality

'GOP pushing Trump for 'license to discriminate' against lgbtq community' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Say hello to the future if some Congressional leaders can persuade Trump.

Republicans in Congress push for religious liberty executive order - If the religious right were smart, they wouldn't be pushing so hard for it. It's beginning to look like to me that the wish for "religious liberty" as they want it is a classic case of "be careful what you wish for because you might just get it." Once the repercussions come for secular businesses having license to discriminate against lgbtqs, there will be some VERY unhappy folks. And Trump is no fool, at least for now. The protests against his immigration nonsense would pale compared to the hell this sort of thing would unleash. Cause you know when it comes to expressions of outrage, the lgbtq community don't play.

'In the name of Jesus' the religious right have become Trump apologists & bootlickers - My post from last night which shows how low the supposed Christian right will stoop to kiss up to Trump so that he can give them what they want. See the post above.

Study: Trans and Cisgender Kids Aren’t That Different - Not a surprise. Children who are given love and support generally turn out okay.

Gay Men Sound Off On Misconceptions About ‘Femme’ And ‘Masc’ Stereotypes - This is some fascinating stuff. We do need to talk about images in our community.

This Is What Happened To Gay People In The Military Before The Ban Was Lifted - One complaint I have about my lgbtq community is how we should do more to remember our history . . .

Monday, April 24, 2017

'In the name of Jesus' the religious right have become Trump apologists & bootlickers

It's not a secret that various religious groups and figures are eager for Trump to push their issues (i.e. anti-lgbtq religious liberty, conservative SCOTUS justices), but it's getting embarrassing to watch how some of these supposed purveyors of values stoop to justify Trump's failures and unethical missteps.

First, there is Franklin Graham, who out the following Facebook message encouraging Trump to not reveal his taxes:


Should President Donald J. Trump release his tax returns? A lot of liberals keep demanding it. The President hasn’t asked for my advice, but I would say—No way! Even if these were published, the average American—or the average politician, including Senator Chuck Schumer, for that matter—wouldn’t be able to understand them. President Trump is a billionaire with multiple businesses in multiple states, using our very complicated and corrupt tax code that Congress is responsible for writing—that should be scrapped. It would just be another huge distraction, and a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want. We don’t need distractions. We need to let President Trump focus on what America elected him to do. We need to get on with the business of solving the problems facing our nation—Forget the tax returns! We need a simple tax code that all Americans can understand

In spite of Graham's claims of the contrary, it's more than just "liberals" who want  Trump to release his taxes. According to an April 10 edition of  Money magazine:

A  new Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll found 53% of voters say Trump should be forced to release his tax returns, and 51% say Trump’s taxes are either very or somewhat important to them. Additionally, 45% say Trump’s taxes are relevant to his job in the White House.

In addition, according to poll conducted by Global Strategy Group, 64 percent of Republicans also want Trump to release his taxes.

'An exhaustive list of all Trump's pro-LGBTQ wins' & other Mon midday news briefs

What has Trump accomplished for the LGBTQ community during his first 100 days?

First 100 days: An exhaustive list of all of Trump’s pro-LGBTQ ‘wins’- Regardless of how one feels about Trump, this list is 100 percent accurate . . . 

Media Matters' Erin Fitzgerald: Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups Are Using The "Media As A Battleground" To Promote "Cloaked Discrimination" - Unfortunately, the media has been very derelict in this area. 

 I want you to know what it feels like to be a trans person in Trump’s America - Sad but needed commentary.  

Trump Transition Aide: Obama’s ‘Aggressive LGBT Agenda Will Be Unhinged’ Under Trump - Who else but Ken Blackwell from the anti-lgbt hate group The Family Research Council. 

 This Transgender Army Veteran Won’t be Silenced Under Trump - We have NOT forgotten about Trump's homophobic, transphobic pick for Army secretary.

LGBT organizations 'declaring war' on religious right lies, homophobic junk science



Late last week, the Human Rights Campaign announced a new project calling out the transphobic lies of infamous former Johns Hopkins professor Paul McHugh. McHugh has been a long-time opponent of the transgender community. His anti-transgender claims have been criticized for lack of veracity, but the religious right and their supporters still cite him.

According to HRC:

 . . .the HRC Foundation launched McHugh Exposed, a website that pulls back the curtain on the anti-LGBTQ myths and junk science being peddled by Dr. Paul McHugh, the go-to ‘expert’ for anti-equality extremists. The resource includes a detailed timeline of how McHugh’s hateful and damaging essays have been used to target and attack LGBTQ people and a new video featuring renowned LGBTQ health expert, Dr. Tonia Poteat. It can be found at www.McHughExposed.org. McHugh’s false, non-scientific assertions have been used by anti-equality activists in state legislatures and courtrooms to defend discrimination against LGBTQ people. 
 . . . “Paul McHugh’s writings continue to dangerously undermine the safety, security and wellbeing of LGBTQ people, and particularly transgender youth, across the country,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Vice President for Research, Training, and Programs. “McHugh’s junk science is still being referenced in legislative and legal battles despite the fact that Paul McHugh has no academic expertise in either gender or sexual orientation, and actively avoids publishing any of his anti-LGBTQ pieces in peer-reviewed journals. Policy makers, informed citizens and parents deserve to know that this is junk science and personal opinion - not at all in the mainstream of current medical and academic research and not endorsed by Johns Hopkins regardless of how McHugh uses his title to suggest credibility or expertise.”

HRC also launched a wonderful video (seen above) which throws "shade" at religious right groups and their phony "policy experts," i.e. the spokespeople they employ to go on news programs and in front of state and federal legislative bodies to spread their homophobic talking points.

This overall project by HRC is the latest endeavor by progressive and lgbt organizations to expose conservative and religious right groups who push lies and junk science against the lgbt community behind the facade of "religious liberty."


Friday, April 21, 2017

'FL prayer breakfast to host anti-lgbt group leader' & other Fri midday news briefs

Trash like this put out by Focus on the Family and its founder James Dobson is why the group has a homophobic reputation.

















Fort Lauderdale Prayer Breakfast Angers LGBT Activists - This article came out last week, but the breakfast will be next Friday. The huge problem is that the featured speaker will be Jim Daly of Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family doesn't have a reputation for being obnoxiously anti-lgbt like other religious right groups, but it's still spreads homophobic lies (as seen in the pictures above) via its supposed resources and the words of its founder, James Dobson.

Our Silence Will Not Protect Us: Supporting Black LGBTQ Youth - Amen!

 WATCH: Clinton Slams Trump on LGBT Rights in US and Persecution of Gay Men in Chechnya - Oh what COULD have been. The lady who SHOULD BE president even as I type this.

 There Are 18,000 Teachers To Carry On The Safe Schools Legacy When Funding Runs Out - Heroes.

These Beautiful Family Photos Prove There Is No One Way To Make A Family - Posts like this are needed. The idea of family does not exclude the lgbtq community.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 Day of Silence - Supporting our LGBT children



One of the pleasures of having this blog is the ability to amplify the issues of those in our community who deserve as much visibility as I can give them.

Such as our kids. Friday marks the annual GLSEN's Day of Silence in which high school students across America take a vow of silence to bring attention to how lgbt students are bullied . To me, this year is more poignant because of who-shall-not-be-named being our president and how he turned his back on our transgender kids while the religious right are busy portraying them as predators.


And I am glad to hear that this year's Day of Silence will culminate in an effort to urge state governors to push for full lgbt inclusive policies with an emphasis on protecting transgender youth.

More than ever, our lgbt, especially our transgender youth, need ways to make their faces be seen, their voices be heard, and to know that we have their backs.


Related post - 4 Facts about Day of Silence


'Magic Johnson talks about accepting his gay son, comedian whines that gays want their own bathrooms,' & other Thur midday news briefs

 
Magic Johnson (top photo) accepts his gay son. Lavell Crawford (bottom photo) is an example of the ignorance uttered when lgbt of colors have little to no visibility in the black  community.


Topping today's news briefs is a look at lgbts in the African-American community, positive and negative:

Magic Johnson Opens Up About His Son EJ Coming Out as Gay - A father and mother who accepts their gay son is a wonderful thing.

Comedian Lavell Crawford Says His Father Is Gay, But It's Still 'F**king Weird' and Now 'They Trying to Get Their Own Bathrooms' - Meanwhile, Lavell Crawford is a big bowl of stupid. Look what the Gay Mafia did to Tracey Morgan? Sorry but joking about beating up your gay child doesn't strike folks as funny, gay or otherwise. I'm not even GOING to touch the line about us supposedly wanting our own bathrooms. 

So basically this is what needs to be learned. It's all about who is being heard and seen in the black AND lgbt community, just like other communities. While I think Crawford is an idiot, before anyone starts going on a tangent about the supposed homophobia in the black community, answer this question. How many high profile lgbts of color do you see or hear, if any, in both the black AND gay communities. They are there, but are you paying attention to them? Or better yet, is there ANY focus on them. Yeah, yeah yeah. RuPaul, etc. BUT who else? And is there a diversity in the black lgbt voices and faces you see and hear? Not all of us are entertainers or singers. Some of us are community organizers, intellectuals, etc.  Also, before you ask the dreaded "how can blacks be oppressive when they were oppressed themselves" question, let me ask you a question. Why do you fail to acknowledge the fact that some people are both black and gay? We aren't talking about separate communities. Unfortunately, we are talking about two communities which, either overtly or covertly, will not recognize the fact that lgbts of color exist.  As long as neither community will acknowledge their commonality, i.e. lgbts of color, ignorance like Crawford spewed will be prevalent in the black community because there will be very few to challenge it. An lgbt of color doing this would have more resonance and credibility in the black community. Instead, white lgbts will wring their hands and speak ugly about the black community without realizing such thoughts and words only add to the problem.

Be prepared: Same-sex married couples are healthier than opposite-sex ones - I kinda like this article, but another part of me doesn't like it very much. Couple compatibility and health between gay couples and heterosexual couples shouldn't be seen as a competition. But here we are . . .  

Kremlin denies reports of ‘gay concentration camps’ in Chechnya - Russia in general persecutes the lgbt community. It's not like its going to acknowledge what's happening in Chechnya. 

 Sports Have Been An Anchor For This Transgender Teenager - I love this profile. 

 This is how you win a campaign against transphobia - I would say this is common sense, but you would be surprise how, in some situations, the simplest most accurate thing to do escapes people.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hate group spokesman's ramble bizarre ramble about gays and witches in DC

So while anti-lgbt hate group the Family Research Council is celebrating Neil Gorsuch becoming a SCOTUS judge, helping to cause all sorts of anti-transgender mayhem in Texas, and basically indulging in its usual attempts to make the lgbtq community second-class citizens under the guise of "religious liberty," one of its spokesman is going on a bizarre fact-free ramble about gays and witches populating DC.

From Right Wing Watch:
Earlier this month, Family Research Council senior fellow Robert Maginnis appeared on SkyWatchTV to discuss “the occult influence on D.C. elites.” Maginnis warned that even the most well-intentioned people who go to Washington, D.C. to work in public service are susceptible to the evil forces that he said dominate the city, citing both witchcraft and homosexuality. “If you look around Washington, you have Dupont Circle, famous for being the center of homosexuality in Washington, you have all sorts of activities down there that are pretty souring,” he said. “You have a lot of witchcraft. You have a lot of hedonism. You have all the issues that—when I think of Sodom and Gomorrah, I often think of Washington, D.C. in the same thought.”

Hey Robert, isn't your organization (Family Research Council) situated in DC and "have a lot of power" in the Trump Administration? Just asking.

'Inane ideas of masculinity are damaging to us all' & other Wed midday news briefs


 Twitter Hashtag Reveals Just How Damaging Expectations Of Masculinity Can Be - Interesting piece which resonated with me. There were and still are certain expectations of me as as male which are a drag. What am I? An uncaring, unfeeling commodity for someone's idea of bliss? Some uber masculine black "stud" reject from a 1970s blaxploitation movie?

 Why Russia’s Persecution of its LGBT Community Matters - Wonderful piece which speaks directly to why we should all be concerned about the gay purge in Chechnya.  
 
2nd Circuit (again) finds anti-gay discrimination legal under Title VII - We win again. I am seriously loving these under-the-radar but very crucial wins.  

Human rights groups slam NCAA for bringing tournament back to North Carolina - Oh for crying out loud, NCAA!  

Alabama Governor urged to reject bill protecting anti-LGBT adoption agencies - We can only hope . . .

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Transgender students in TX speak out against SB6

With the religious right and their supporters attempting to overwhelm the conversation regarding transgender equality with their lies, anecdotes, and horror stories, it is crucial that a voice be given to transgender men, women, and especially transgender youth.

From GLAAD:



Students across Texas are voicing their grave concerns about Senate Bill 6 (SB6), a bill threatening harm to transgender people across the Lone Star State. Join the movement today at glaad.org/texas. SB6, which is similar to the widely-covered HB2 in North Carolina, bans local governments from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances that protect transgender people, or from requiring companies with city contracts from having similar protections. It also restricts restroom and locker room access for transgender people in government buildings, public schools and universities. 

GLAAD met with students on the ground at the University of Texas at Austin to discuss how the anti-transgender animus behind SB6 impacts their well-being as students, LGBTQ community members, or allies to their trans peers. The students also shared ways in which they are rallying support for those most targeted by SB6, like encouraging allies to safely accompany trans students to public facilities.

'Haley condemns Chechnya gay purge. Trump, Pence still silent' & other Tue midday news briefs

Haley
Nikki Haley highest U.S. official to respond to reported gay purge in Chechnya - Thank you, Ms. Haley. However, I would like to hear from others. Trump? Pence? Tillerson? Surely you can take time out of your schedules to condemn genocide.
If y'all need instruction, this is how you condemn the situation in Chechnya:

 Joe Biden condemns gay Chechnya arrests

International outrage over gay Chechnya arrests mounts

In other news:

 The ‘LGBT Trump Fallacy’ Exists Because The Media Created And Promoted It - Preach!! 

"Greenleaf" Makes Space On TV For Queer Black People In Church - Love this! Repeatedly! 

 Victims Of Bullying Don’t Need To Change, Bullies Do - Amen to that.  

Texas wants to allow contractors to issue marriage licenses over the phone - What's with Texas? Seriously?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Does 'religious liberty' include anti-lgbt harassment?

Could religious liberty laws allow clerks to verbally upbraid gays couples seeking marriage licenses?

From The New Civil Rights Movement (NCRM) comes news of a lawsuit which poses questions the lgbtq community should ask about potential "religious liberty" laws. Would these laws also give marriage clerks the right to verbally upbraid gays and lesbians seeking licenses under the guise of  "personally held religious beliefs?"

Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover originally tried to marry in 2014, after their home state of West Virginia legalized same-sex marriage. At the time, the couple, high school sweethearts together now over six years, were denied a license in Gilmer County by a clerk who told them that they each needed an in-county driver's license in order to get a marriage license.

In February of 2016, seven months after the Obergefell decision that made same-sex marriage legal across the U.S., the couple applied for their marriage license a second time. According to a new lawsuit from Americans United, a religious freedom watchdog group, the couple was harassed over their marriage application.

County Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen allegedly harassed them for several minutes, calling their relationship an “abomination” and citing her religion as a reason for her objection to the couple. Another clerk allegedly joined in, calling the abuse Allen’s "religious right." Brookover’s mother called the office of County Clerk Jean Butcher to report the incident, but Butcher allegedly stood behind the actions of the deputy clerks.

"Allen launched into a tirade of harassment and disparagement. She slammed her paperwork down on her desk, screaming that the couple was an 'abomination' to God and that God would 'deal' with them," court documents claim. "Samantha was brought to tears.

According to The NCRM, Abramovich and Brookover  received their license but will be suing with the help of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. No doubt if anti-lgbt organizations get hold of this case, they will attempt to spin it into one of free speech. Granted, I don't think that such an argument is plausible but obeying rule of plausibility has never been the religious right's strong suit.

New York Times exposes, buries 'The LGBT Trump Fallacy'


This tweet was the biggest lip service since the movie 'Deep Throat.'

Just in case there are some "folks" out there who still think that Donald Trump will be an ally for the lgbt community (and unfortunately there are), The New York Times just published a wonderful opinion on the matter which itemizes the ways Trump has done us dirty since taking office. Part of it is as follows:

. . .the nomination of several key officials, who have disparaged the L.G.B.T. community and sought to curtail the rights of its members, has exposed the narrative that Mr. Trump would be a champion of gay and transgender people as a fallacy. “It has been a catastrophe,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and a leading strategist behind a string of legal and policy victories the community achieved during the Obama administration. “Every twitch we’ve seen from the administration has been anti-L.G.B.T.” 
At the Department of Justice, where former Attorney General Loretta Lynch last year delivered an impassioned speech telling transgender Americans, “We see you; we stand with you,” her successor, Jeff Sessions, wasted no time reversing course. The Justice Department in February withdrew guidance issued to schools on the treatment of transgender students, signaling that it would no longer consider their rights to be protected under a 1972 civil rights law. 
The Department of Health and Human Services, which worked to expand access to health care for gay and transgender Americans, is now being led by Tom Price, who was a vocal opponent of gay rights as a congressman. The agency’s civil rights office, which oversaw regulatory changes that made it easier for transgender people to get insurance coverage for medical care, is now run by Roger Severino, an ultraconservative activist who last year accused the Obama administration of attempting to “coerce everyone, including children, into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology.”

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hate group spokesman forgets that his organization has extensive paper trail of homophobia


Yesterday, I posted about the Eliminate Hate campaign, a new initiative designed to bring attention to anti-lgbtq hate groups and the propaganda and actions they take against our community. This morning, an article by Reuters focused on the campaign. It also quoted a spokesman from Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the groups the campaign is targeting:

"ADF doesn't have time to respond to organizations who do nothing more than call names, create division and incite violence across the country in order to raise money," spokesman Greg Scott said in a statement.

That was a nice quote, but allow me to make a few changes. Not to the quote itself, mind you. But just putting in some additions which will bring some irony to Scott's words:

 ADF doesn't have time to respond to organizations who do nothing more than call names,

“As the homosexual agenda continues to sexualize our culture, other once-forbidden behaviors are exalted as just more alternative lifestyles. The result is that the well-being of millions of children is at risk, along with the right of parents to protect their children from sexual exploitation.” —Alan Sears and Craig Osten, The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, 2003. Alan Sears is the founder of the Alliance Defending Freedom


create division

The international arm of the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ organization that has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, sought to intervene in the case, arguing that states have the right to address transgender rights based on national contexts and tradition. ADF also argued that the court should not consider the Yogyakarta Principles, which relate to sexual orientation and gender identity, when determining if forced sterilization violates transgender people’s human rights. - European Court demands end to forced sterilization of transgender people, April  11, 2017

The ADF, which has argued that removing anti-LGBT sodomy laws from criminal codes will pave the way to same-sex marriage, has worked to keep those laws on the books, but mostly overseas since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in this country. The group has advised anti-LGBT organizations in countries like Belize that were trying to keep the law that criminalized homosexual sex on the books. That law was declared unconstitutional by the Belize Supreme Court in 2016. In other instances, ADF leadership has defended criminalization, as when Benjamin Bull, director of ADF Global, applauded the Indian Supreme Court’s decision in 2011 that recriminalized homosexual sex, making it punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The court did the right thing, Bull said, choosing to “protect society at large rather than give in to a vocal minority of homosexual advocates.” - Southern Poverty Law Center

 and incite violence . . .

In 2014, Alliance Defending Freedom was one of several anti-lgbtq and religious right hate groups to travel to Russia and meet with Yelena Mizulina, the author of the infamous Russian anti-gay bill:

 Mizulina is the head of the Duma’s committee for family, women and children and coauthor of Russia’s new ban on speech in favor of gay rights to minors. The World Congress has been one of the most vocal international defenders of that law. The fact that the World Congress and its members are working directly with her to plan an exchange with members of the Russian parliament shows that the summit’s location in Moscow isn’t just an accident of geography. In fact, as we have reported, WCF has built up a structure of activists in Russia to push anti-gay, anti-choice policies throughout Eastern Europe in the year’s leading up to the 2014 summit, and it was “activists working with the World Congress of Families” who invited Brown to speak to the Duma in favor of the adoption ban.

in order to raise money . . .

ADF Boasts A $48 Million-Plus Annual Budget And Over 3,000 “Allied Attorneys.” In 2015, ADF had a $48 million-plus annual budget. In addition to its staff of over 30 staff lawyers, the group marshals what it calls a “powerful global network” of over 3,100 ADF-trained “allied attorneys,” many of whom are expected to provide at least 450 hours of pro bono services within three years of attending one of ADF’s training programs. ADF’s elite “Blackstone Fellows” have worked or interned in at least nine state governments. [Media Matters, 1/25/17; Alliance Defending Freedom, accessed 2/15/172/15/172/15/17; Rewire, 5/13/14]

For all of his deflection, Scott  cannot hide the Alliance Defending Freedom's paper trail of  homophobia and bigotry.

Related posts:

This Right-Wing Legal Powerhouse Wants To Make Gay Sex Illegal

 10 Facts About The Nation's Largest Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group

 18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda



 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Don't fall for the anti-lgbtq right's 'tolerance trap'

Linda Harvey
Hate group leader and columnist Linda Harvey is what I like to call an "old school hardcore homophobe." Forget the deceptive and flowery language, because Harvey has no problem smearing, in very blunt language, the lgbtq community as pedophile sinners out to cause havoc and mayhem .

While her candor is nauseating, I consider Harvey a "useful idiot" in helping me to expose the true face of the religious right. Today, she is going to assist me demonstrating the hypocritical talking point about "gays not showing tolerance."

I'm sure you've heard of the talking point so many times that you can repeat it from memory. It goes like this "gays are always asking for tolerance for their lifestyle but won't show any for people who disagree agree with it." It's cute and very widely used semantic trick. Harvey uses it in a recent column, Jesus Rose To Save Homosexual Sinners:

People often comment on how vicious and intolerant the homosexual movement has become. “Where’s the ‘respect’ they said they wanted for everyone?”

Don't get out the weeping towel just yet. Harvey answers her own question in a way which demonstrates the hypocrisy of herself and the anti-lgbtq right in general

 . . . it’s easier to understand – and even scarier – once we see what is going on at a deeper level in the anti-God orientation that produces same-sex attraction in the first place. They repudiate heterosexuality. They resent marriage, motherhood and fatherhood as designed by God. Newly legalized homosexual couples sometimes want a family, but it will be of their own crafting, eliminating either a father or mother in the process. It moves beyond sexual sin into a rejection of the design of God.

Seems to me that if you are whining about a group of people's intolerance to your viewpoint, the viewpoint in question shouldn't be one which smears them. But that's what we are talking about with Harvey and the religious right's viewpoint about the lgbtq community.  When they whine that the lgbtq community isn't "tolerating their viewpoint," what they are actually upset at is that we aren't acting like the docile half of an abusive relationship.  They cry foul because we aren't acting like the self-hating oversexed creatures they conjure up then hide behind their religious beliefs. They seem to think that we should take their demonizing language, lies, and attempts to deny us equality with good nature aplomb because they are supposedly "only expressing their religious beliefs" and we are nasty, dirty people who know that what we are doing is supposedly wrong.

Please.

No one can honestly say that any group, while being attacked and smeared, will just take the abuse in the name of "tolerance." Why should we?

Eliminate Hate campaign's goal is to call out & expose anti-lgbt hate groups


To paraphrase Addison DeWitt in  'All About Eve,' I am now available for dancing on rooftoops and singing in the streets. The reason? The war against anti-lgbt propaganda just got a bit more serious:

On April 13, Media Matters For America, in coalition other organizations including the National Center for Transgender Equality, The National LGBTQ Task Force, SoulForce, The Equality Federation, and The Matthew Shepard Foundation, launched the Eliminate Hate campaign — a new effort aiming to expose, undermine, and mitigate the increasing influence and harmful impact of anti-LGBTQ hate groups while empowering and supporting local leaders and community members confronting extremism in their daily lives. The Eliminate Hate Campaign is a broad-based nationwide coalition of organizations, faith leaders, and local community members who are united in our commitment to increase media accountability and public awareness of the growing influence and extremism of anti-LGBTQ hate groups; provide resources to empower grassroots actions to combat hate and extremism; and mitigating the harm caused by discrimination and bigotry. 

The Eliminate Hate campaign features wonderful site with resources which our community and allies need to support. And it makes the point about how we need to stop being so cavalier about anti-lgbt groups, spokespeople and their propaganda. If we ignore them, they aren't going away. While we make fun of them, they are working behind the scenes to make us second-class citizens. And if we march in the streets against them, they will simply plead victimhood while kissing up to legislative bodies to pass more laws against us. We are talking about groups and individuals with budgets in the millions who are dedicated to eradicating our equality, right to self-determination, and dignity. Defeating these groups will take discipline and focus, not silly and vulgar comments and definitely not attacks on religion as a whole.

No more pussyfooting around. This battle is bigger than single entities. This battle is about us, our future, and most of all, the future of our lgbt kids. The big question is are you "down?"

Check out just a few the site's resources:

How The Media Covers Hate Groups: Six Years of Studies

Reuters Foundation Exposes An Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Representing America At UN Women’s Rights Event
 
List of Active Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups  

10 Facts About The Nation’s Largest Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group 

 LGBTQ Groups To Journalists: Stop Conflating Bigotry With Religious Faith

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Alliance Defending Freedom attacking lgbt community with more than just 'bathroom bills'

The Alliance Defending Freedom is also behind nationwide 'religious liberty' bills

A few days ago, NBC published a wonderful article which exposed the Alliance Defending Freedom as the anti-lgbt hate group behind the crop of anti-transgender bathroom bills bubbling up across the nation. It should be required reading:

Bills have been introduced in 15 states nationwide this year that aim to restrict transgender people's access to sex-segregated facilities. From Minnesota to New York, many of the legislative bills awaiting votes focus specifically on schools as kids and teens find themselves at the center of a battle over bathrooms. 
But many of the so-called "bathroom bills" filed across multiple states closely resemble each other. That's because many used language strongly similar to the model legislation called the Student Physical Privacy Act drafted by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a powerful conservative Christian law firm with a decades-long track record of litigating against LGBT rights. It's also been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 
. . . The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Alliance Defending Freedom mission differently: "Making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally" by fighting against same-sex marriage and transgender people's access to private facilities. In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated ADF an "active hate group" in a list that includes Westboro Baptist Church, KKK chapters, and Neo-Nazi groups. In a report, SPLC cited ADF's briefs in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case in which the firm argued for criminalizing gay sex through sodomy laws, and claimed ADF was behind efforts to keep sodomy laws on the books in Belize.

The article primarily focuses on ADF's attack on the transgender community via "bathroom bills." However  we should remember SPLC's words about how the group is doing what it can to make life difficult for the lgbt community.

 Remember the SB1062 fight in Arizona in 2014? SB1062 was the so-called "religious liberty" bill which was so extreme in allowing anti-lgbt discrimination on the grounds of "religious beliefs" that it caused huge protests and then-governor Jan Brewer to cast a veto.

I'm sure you remember the controversy:



The fight over SB1062 was so brutal that it is still being felt today by the Arizona legislature.

Guess who was behind SB1062?

Using the same tactics back then it now uses to push "bathroom bills," the Alliance Defending Freedom was behind it, as well as other "religious liberty" bills.  ADF even had a hand in "advising" Indiana lawmakers during that state's disastrous attempt to create a "religious liberty" law.

I would venture to say that the Alliance Defending Freedom has become one of the most, if not the most dangerous anti-lgbt organization in the nation. It's one thing to utilize petitions, junk science, and homophobic rhetoric. It's quite another to gather together and plan a behind-the-scenes physical strategy to actively create discriminatory laws and keep groups in second-class status.


Photo courtesy of Media Matters.

'Is Trump's anti-lgbt Army Secretary nominee also a birther?' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Mark Green
Army Secretary Nominee Mark Green’s Anti-LGBTQ Bigotry Is Only the Start of His Disqualifications - Continuing the articles on Trump's secretary of the Army pick, Mark Green. Turns out not only is he homophobic, but he is also transphobic, Islamophobic, and has a problem with the Latino community. And all of that may pale when one reads this passage about him speaking in front of a tea party group last year. Is he also a birther:

Green agreed with a questioner that President Obama is not a citizen and he refused to answer whether the former president is really a Muslim

Nevada Gov. Signs Law for Transgender ID in Foster, Court Case - Damn right he had better sign it.

 Beyond the bathroom: Report shows laws' harm for transgender students - Like so many other times, the religious right spins horror stories about the lgbt community to distract how their actions actually harm us.

 New Reporting Exposes Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Suing This Pennsylvania School District - Some journalists are pointing out the fact that the Alliance Defending Freedom is an anti-lgbt hate group. Good.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Debunking anti-lgbt myths - a refresher video

Editor's post - I ran this video two years ago, but with a certain orange encrusted you-know-who in office causing religious right groups to grow eager, anxious, and hungry to cause all sorts of anti-lgbt havoc, a refresher Debunking of LGBT Myths is way overdue. It serves to remind us to not get taken in when religious right groups and their spokespeople seek to control the narrative of this so-called culture war.

'Official involved in Bush-era purge of gay employees now in Trump Administration' & other Tue midday news briefs



Official Involved in Bush-Era Purge of Gay Employees Now in Trump Administration - What's scarier? An official involved in the Bush-era purge of gay employees is now in the Trump Administration? Or the fact that probably very few of us remember the Bush-era purge of gay employees? 

LGBT advocates launch effort to block Trump’s ‘appalling’ Army secretary nominee - This is about another wannabe Trump appointee and you better believe we are going to fight against him.  

Fake “Radical Feminist” group actually paid political front for anti-LGBT James Dobson organization - Simply disgusting!  

Trey Pearson Sends Hopeful Message To Gay Christians In New Video - With the religious right bogarting all talks about the lgbtq community and religion, this video is DEFINITELY needed.  

Bigoted Christians Are the Most Special Snowflakes - As of now, the lgbt community needs to send a message to the Trump Administration: "We did not come to play with you #@%!"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hate group demonstrates how its anti-lgbt propaganda undermines fight against HIV/AIDS

Hate group American Family Association undermines fight against HIV/AIDS

For National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, anti-lgbt hate group the American Family Association decided to push some old, but reliable semantic garbage about gay men and AIDS. What the group actually achieved was to demonstrate a textbook case of the anti-lgbt propaganda which has been used to undermine the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Via an article in its fake news site, One News Now, AFA accused the lgbt community of ignoring what it claims is the root cause for HIV/AIDS:

Today is "National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day," and the message should be going out that sexual behavior is spreading the disease, says a conservative activist.
"I hope that they will point out that it is the behavior that causes AIDS," observes attorney and writer Matt Barber. "That it's aberrant sexual behavior - male on male homosexual behavior - that is the catalyst for this horrible disease, that it is something that can be prevented simply by not engaging in the behavior that causes it."
Homosexual activists say the purpose of the day is to help young people make "informed and responsible decisions" about their "sexual health," and planned activities include a visit to Capitol Hill, a Facebook Live chat, and various programs and events. But a message of self-control is unlikely to get far, however, since homosexual activists downplay their own role and point to heterosexuals and drug users, and blame Ronald Reagan for failing to address the disease early on.

Yet the statistics are hard to ignore. Citing sobering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, the website for the Human Rights Campaign story about "Awareness Day" acknowledges that HIV rates increased 87 percent among black and Latino homosexuals and bisexuals from 2005 to 2014. The rate increased 56 percent among white men during that same period.

The story blames a lack of "comprehensive sex education," "stigma" about HIV infection, and "feelings of isolation" as barriers to preventing HIV/AIDS.

The truth is that AIDS is a "gay disease" because it has disproportionately devastated the homosexual community, columnist David Benkof, who is homosexual, wrote in a February column at The Daily Caller.

Homosexual activists, he explains, claimed that "AIDS is not a gay disease" at a time when they were fighting "haters" who misunderstood the virus. He writes:

But of course AIDS is linked with homosexuality. Even today, gay men receive more than two-thirds of HIV diagnoses, and earlier in the epidemic that number was even higher. Gay men are maybe 2 percent of the American population, but 55 percent of Americans living with HIV.

Benkof goes on to admit that HIV has spread so quickly because homosexual men have multiple sexual partners.

Notice the deception here. The One News Now article cites CDC data with regards to statistics about HIV/AIDS. However, the article's author chooses to then discard the reason for the CDC statistics (lack of comprehensive sex education, "stigma about HIV infection, feelings of isolation), even though the reasons themselves come from the CDC.

It used to be back in the day when religious right groups cited negative gay statistics, they would omit the reason for these statistics if it didn't fit their ugly narrative about lgbts. Thanks to intrepid bloggers like myself, they now acknowledge the reasons, but then verbally undermine them.

This leads me to ask why should groups like the AFA even bother citing the CDC in the first place? It shows blatant dishonesty to use statistics to craft a narrative, then discard reasons behind said statistics because they refute the case you are making.

And what makes AFA's blatant lying even worse is who the organization chooses to refute the research it doesn't like. David Benkof is columnist who, as far as I know, has no background in medicine or research. A columnist whose big "add" to the article is that he is gay and published a piece in a  right-wing publication.

Matt Barber is even worse. Many, myself included, have written extensively  about the various ways he has attacked the lgbt community, including his vile fascination with talking about the so-called mechanics of gay sex (or as Barber puts it - "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love'").

Barber is a veritable treasure trove of homophobia,  including when he:

 called marriage equality "Satanic,"

said that marriage equality is about "persecuting Christians,"

implied that he was sent by God to tell gays that HIV was a punishment for sinning.

So that's who the American Family Association has to refute the Center for Disease Control information which doesn't comport with the narrative it is trying to create about gay men and HIV/AIDS - a gay columnist with no medical background and a religious right spokesman who seems to have an obsession with gay sex on the level that some like to claim that gay men have for Barbara Streisand.

It's important to realize that what the AFA spewed by way of One News Now isn't information designed to educate or spread truth. The article was created to justify prejudice and homophobia. It was created to demonize, stigmatize, and isolate, i.e. creating and exploiting conditions which the CDC has clearly said contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

If we are to have an honest debate about HIV/AIDS, how the AFA and other religious right groups distort information and spread propaganda  must be included as one of the topics.

'How Wonder Woman saved a gay boy's life' & other Mon midday news briefs



How Wonder Woman Saved A Gay Boy’s Life - WONDERFUL story which resonated with me because I played Wonder Woman as a child. Sue me already, but the male superheroes were so boring.

Chechnya has opened concentration camps for gay men - We've got a problem in Russia. A SERIOUS problem.

Hawaii LGBT couples seek equal access to fertility treatments - I agree with this and fortunately the religious right haven't gotten their grubby mitts of opposition on this . . . yet.

Marriage Equality May Provide “False Sense of Security” About Parental Rights - Unfortunately, it isn't just parental rights which receive the false sense of security.

Irrelevant anti-lgbt group takes credit for Gorsuch being confirmed

From the Department of "I Didn't Know They Were Still Around" comes an old adversary of the lgbt community taking credit for Neil Gorsuch becoming the latest Supreme Court justice:



While I've always been one to advise folks to never discount anything, I feel safe in saying that a refrigerator containing cobwebs and a bottle of gin  has more credibility AND relevancy than NOM right now. The organization really didn't do anything to get Gorsuch confirmed. NOM's gloating is merely a thinly disguised ask for donations:

Our push for the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch made a real difference, but has depleted our funds. Please make a financial contribution today to help us replenish our coffers. Thank You.

Pathetic.

Friday, April 07, 2017

'Gorsuch confirmed to SCOTUS' & other Fri midday news briefs

Gorsuch confirmed to SCOTUS
Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court - The end of this tale was already predetermined, but still expect some religious right gloating over this. They got their wish with the help of a stubborn GOP Senate majority and strange electorate. However, please spare me the handwringing. Now is not the time to throw up hands in defeat and whine. What's our next move? Every victory - and in this case - every loss yields a new battle. It's always about the next move. 

 OutFront: Medical Student Brings Health of LGBTQ Youth to Forefront - Gorsuch or no Gorsuch, this is why we cannot give up. Our kids need us.

Losing Employer Won’t Ask Supreme Court To Overturn Landmark Gay Rights Ruling - Sweet!

Finally, A Definition Of ‘Complicit’ Ivanka Trump Can Agree With - Vicious, but accurate. Now may be the time for more of us gay men to pull out our inner Truman Capotes.

Bryan Fischer Really, Really Wants The LGBTQ Community To Give The Rainbow Back To God - I've got something I can give him. Fischer, that is.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Anti-lgbt congressman tells religious right pastors that America is their 'turf'

Any other time, some you would probably take the following video and write up with comical annoyance. However, in this age of Trump and in light of today's news of the nuclear option being pulled in the Senate voting of Supreme Court justices, comical annoyance (and especially predictions about right-wingers being caught in gay trysts) are distractions from the actual trouble we are seeing.

From People for the American Ways's Right Wing Watch:
Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia spoke yesterday at a “Congressional Pastors Briefing” in Washington, D.C., organized by Religious Right pseudo-historian David Barton, where he told the gathering of conservative Christian pastors that “this is our country.” After celebrating Republican plans to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, from explicitly endorsing or opposing candidates for elected office, Hice told the pastors that God has given this country to Christians. “If there is anything I want to leave you [with] today, it is a genuine, heartfelt thank you for just the deep awareness that we are in this thing together,” Hice said. “This is our country, it’s our turf and God has placed us here to be stewards at such a time as this and to stand in the gap.”

 Hice, by the way, doesn't believe that there should be a line of separation between church and state.  He once said that the separation of church and state was a false belief and another time, he blamed Satan for it. And for all of his talk about God, he sees nothing wrong with eliminating The Johnson Amendment; an elimination which has the potential of making churches into conduits of political dark money and more political corruption.

Just in case you are wondering, Hice isn't necessarily fond of lgbts, either. In 2014 when he was a candidate for public office, Buzzfeed called him out for a 2012 book he published, It’s Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America.

 Buzzfeed said that Hice represented a point of view based upon "pseudoscience" and "outdated views of the lgbt community"  His book ran the gamut from "gays want to recruit children" to "gays want to destroy society," making it practically a storehouse for all of the anti-lgbt propaganda and talking points this blog has repeatedly refuted.

Hice has no business being a dogcatcher, much less a Congressman. But he is in Congress and he is publicly advocating for making America a Christian theocracy; a place in which lgbts will no doubt be denied equality.

Spooky, isn't it?

'Johns Hopkins moving past shadow of transphobic psychiatrist' & other Thur midday news briefs

McHugh
Long shadow cast by psychiatrist on transgender issues finally recedes at Johns Hopkins - An issue which a lot of us aren't familiar with but is still important. It demonstrates how one physician with a personal anti-lgbt bias can cause problems and how the medical community needs to recognize and take action. Paul McHugh has more credibility than infamous junk scientist Paul Cameron. But he is OR WAS just as dangerous to the lives of lgbts. 

Young LGBTI People Are Invisible In Australia's Homelessness Crisis - Reminder that our fight for equality and safety is international.  

Trans Teen Gavin Grimm Slams Trump Policy at Congressional Meeting - "Out of the mouths of babes" indeed. 

 Federal Judge Rules Fair Housing Law Protects Colorado LGBT Couple - Hot damn! Another federal court victory!

  E.W. Jackson: LGBTQ Activists Are ‘Not Satisfied To Go To Hell, They Want To Take The Whole Country With ‘Em’ - Lawd, hammercy!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Hate group furious that court says civil rights laws protect gays from job discrimination

The Family Research Council is furious at a recent court ruling.

Recently, the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

Existing civil rights laws protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation, a federal appeals court ruled in a historic nationwide first on Tuesday. It is a "common-sense reality," the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held, "that it is actually impossible to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without discriminating on the basis of sex." Specifically, the court held that the sex discrimination ban in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes a bar on discriminating against gay, lesbian, or bisexual people. 
 The 8-3 ruling represented a reversal of the court's past decisions on the topic, and makes it the first federal appeals court to rule in favor of protection for sexual orientation-based discrimination under existing federal law. "[A] person who alleges that she experienced employment discrimination on the basis of her sexual orientation has put forth a case of sex discrimination for Title VII purposes," Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote for the full court. The Seventh Circuit covers federal lawsuits out of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The ruling comes on the heels of two other federal appeals court rulings, in which three-judge panels held that prior rulings of the courts made clear that sexual orientation discrimination is not covered under Title VII. Tuesday's ruling, however, was the first time a court had sat en banc — meaning the full court — in hearing such a case. When an appeals court sits en banc, it can review — and reverse — its prior rulings.

It didn't take long after that before the anti-lgbt hate group Family Research Council issued a hysterical disagreement with the ruling, with the usual hurtling of wild accusations without any shred of proof.:

If Congress won't rewrite the law, liberals will find a court who will! That's been the M.O. of the Left for decades: packing the bench with wannabe legislators who'll impose the agendas they could never pass democratically. It worked on school prayer, abortion, and marriage, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) bragged last year. Now, the Left is using the same playbook on the gender debate -- knowing full well that it's the only way they can force their vision on an unwilling America. Fortunately, there are some judges who agree with us that if the Left wants to change the definition of discrimination, it's asking the wrong branch of government. Unfortunately, those judges aren't in the majority on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. In a mind-boggling decision yesterday, the judges not only stole Congress's job -- they admitted they were doing it! 
For years, liberals have tried to pass legislation making "sexual orientation" a protected category under the Civil Rights Act -- first with ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) and then with the "Equality Act." The House and Senate rejected them every time. They recognized, as we do, that sexual orientation wasn't on the minds of legislators 53 years ago when it was trying to weed out prejudice -- and more importantly, it wasn't in the text of the law that passed! No bother, liberals said. We'll just rewrite the policy through our activist courts. 
And Tuesday, the 7th Circuit was more than willing to comply. "For many years," Chief Judge Diane Wood admitted, "the courts of appeals of this country understood the prohibition against sex discrimination to exclude discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation." So by her own admission, there's absolutely no justification for rewriting the law. Still, she goes on, it's the court's responsibility to take a "fresh look" at its position. And in doing so, she writes, "we conclude today that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination."

FRC is attempting to argue that it disagrees with the court making this decision rather than leaving it up to legislators and Congress. The organization probably is angry over this fact. The rule has the potential to circumvent legislative bodies - places where religious right groups like FRC have success in hindering pro-lgbt laws.

And to me, that's what makes this victory even sweeter. It proves what I said yesterday about why anti-lgbt laws generally fail to get sanction by the courts. Courts are all about fairness and logic, not lies, horror stories, junk science or religious entitlement.

If you can't use logic to sway courts, you generally fail.