Thursday, April 19, 2018

HRC campaign exposes Mike Pence as a homophobic hot mess

The Human Rights Campaign has just launched a campaign to remind folks that while Trump is an incompetent disaster, his vice president Mike Pence is a homophobic disaster.

With Donald Trump mired in lurid scandals and investigations that threaten his presidency, Mike Pence has flown under the radar, amassing enormous power in an administration hobbled by clueless advisors, inexperienced staffers and a revolving cast of lawyers. Pence is exploiting that alarming leadership void by quietly spearheading a charge to radically undermine the rights of LGBTQ people and women, attack voting rights, undercut sound science, and enable the greatest assault on American institutions in modern history. 
“Mike Pence has made a career out of attacking the rights and equal dignity of LGBTQ people, women and other marginalized communities. Now as vice president, he poses one of the greatest threats to equality in the history of our movement,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “With the world distracted by Donald Trump’s scandal-ridden White House, Mike Pence’s nefarious agenda has been allowed to fly under the radar for too long. He has become not only the most powerful vice president in American history, but also the least scrutinized. No more. With this comprehensive new report, HRC is exposing the extent of Pence’s extremism, the threat he poses to equality, and all that we’re doing to combat his hateful agenda.”
. . . HRC’s comprehensive report pulls back the curtain on Mike Pence and his inner circle to dispel the specious notion that Mike Pence is the “rational” voice in this unhinged administration. That narrative defies reality, ignoring the deeply troubling history of this deeply discriminatory politician and his aggressive agenda to advance an extremist ideology. 
HRC’s new report and microsite shine a spotlight on Pence’s inside-the-White House efforts to continue his decades-long crusade by leading the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on LGBTQ people, including those who bravely serve our nation in the military. It lays out his long record of support for the abusive practice of so-called "conversion therapy"; his relentless pursuit of a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people; his attempts to block hate crime legislation and funding for HIV and AIDS prevention; and his efforts to undermine access to health and reproductive care essential to LGBTQ people. He also keeps busy with his extremist agenda by working to undermine science, health, transparency, education, justice and public safety.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jesse Lee Peterson or Uncle Ruckus - which homophobe dislikes black people more?

Jesse Lee Peterson (top) a homophobic black man who thanks God for slavery. Uncle Ruckus (bottom), also a homophobic black man who is appreciative of slavery.

How about before the next time the African-Americans and LGBTQs get caught up in another useless skirmish about comparisons, both communities pay attention to the fact that more often than not, they have the same enemies working and speaking against their rights. That way, we can do more vital things like call them out . . . or make fun of them.

Take Jesse Lee Peterson for example. He doesn't the queer community:

And thanks God for slavery:

Instead of arguing about comparing the African-American and queer civil rights movement, I would rather compare Peterson to Uncle Ruckus, a fictional character from the television series 'The Boondocks.'

After all, Uncle Ruckus has wacky views of the LGBTQ community:

And is also thankful for slavery:

Wouldn't that be more conducive to succeeding in our struggles for equality instead of another round of the "Oppression Olympics?"

At the very least, it's funny as hell.

'Community supports gay teacher who told students about his husband' & other Wed midday news briefs

Teacher Says School Reprimanded Him After His Husband Sent Flowers - Apparently to some folks, same-sex couples are supposed to think of our relationships as purely physical endeavors of carnality. God forbid we show the simple truth that our relationships involve more than sexual intercourse. It's good that this teacher was supported by the community. 

Parents took over a school board meeting to support a gay teacher & his husband - More about this situation. 

Jesse Lee Peterson: Gay Couples ‘Are Not Mentally Capable’ Of Raising Children - I'm going to say this and I don't care who disagrees. Not only do people conveniently forget the times when being black and being queer overlap, they also forget the similar indignities the two identities have to deal with. Whenever I hear about a crime, I sometimes wish under my breath that the perpetrator isn't black because I know that it will be further ammunition for those who generalize about how all of us are criminals. This news brief demonstrates the same for the queer community. A lesbian couple did something truly awful to their kids and here comes this fool to denigrate all gays and lesbians who are raising children. 

The Trump administration is paying Focus on the Family to stop the AIDS epidemic in South Africa - And they are pushing "purity pledges" on the young folks there. 

"Tiny Beautiful Moments": One Gay Couple's Turn to Fatherhood - Wonderful story!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Basic economics helping LGBTQ community defeat bills in state legislatures

Businesses fear the connotation of this message like it's the plague.

According to the Associated Press, despite the age of Trump and the evangelical right feeling motivated to undermine LGBTQ equality, bills devoted to that effort are being defeated in state legislatures. And the reason is a fear of economic backlashes:

In the thick of this year's legislative sessions, LGBT activists were tracking about 120 proposed bills that they viewed as threats to their civil rights. Not one of them has been enacted as many sessions now wind down; only two remain under serious consideration.
A key factor in the shift: In the Republican-led states where these types of bills surface, moderate GOP lawmakers and business leaders are increasingly wary of losing conventions, sporting events and corporate headquarters. 
. . . . This year, certainly, conservatives have struggled to gain much traction at the state level on LGBT-related issues. Among the many bills that failed: 
—A Tennessee measure that would have required the state to defend schools in court if they were sued for limiting transgender students' access to bathrooms. 
—A South Dakota bill that would have required signs on some public restroom doors notifying users that a person of the opposite sex might be inside. 
—A "religious liberties" bill in Georgia that would have given legal protection to faith-based adoption agencies that decline to place children with same-sex couples. 
An ever-growing number of states — at least a dozen — have passed bills banning the practice of "gay conversion therapy" on minors. And voters in Anchorage, Alaska, rejected a ballot measure that would have restricted transgender people's access to public restrooms.  

And, according to the article, there will be a huge upcoming campaign devoted to showing the need for anti-discrimination laws. And in June, SCOTUS will decide a case which may or may not allow businesses refuse to service on the basis of religious objections.

'How anti-LGBTQ group convinced the IRS to call it a church' & other Tue midday news briefs

Here’s How Focus On The Family Convinced The IRS To Call It A Church - How the anti-gay group Focus on the Family convinced the IRS to call it a church should be a warning to us all. Focus on the Family presents itself as mainstream so much so that it generally flies under the radar and is not considered as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is very rare that I talk about it on this blog. But it is still nonetheless devoted to undermining LGBTQ equality and safety.

Debate Over Maine Conversion Therapy Ban Sees Lawmakers Shouting, Put In A Time Out - It got ugly, alright. And this fight is far from over even though we won the first round. 

‘Queer rights activist’ hosts ‘BGLTQ-accepting’ Bible reading at Harvard - This is a good idea. Too many folks are afraid to discuss the interpretation of Biblical verses. 

These Stunning Portraits Show What It’s Like To Be A Two-Spirit Native American Today - Fascinating. The more we know about our history . . . 

LGBT ‘Conversion Therapy’ Is Dying a Quick Death Across America. Good. - Yeah but it is kicking and screaming big time.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Pompeo no religious martyr but possibly a homophobic disaster just waiting to happen

Mike Pompeo, Trump's Secretary of State nominee, has ties with anti-LGBTQ hate group The Family Research Council.

On Friday during a confirmation hearing, Sen. Cory Booker heavily questioned Mike Pompeo, Trump's Secretary of State nominee, on his opposition to marriage equality and his past statement that homosexuality is a perversion. Since that time, various conservative groups and individuals have been sending out opinion pieces, tweets, etc in an attempt to cast Booker as a bully and Pompeo as a victim. They are whining that Pompeo supposedly treats everyone with respect and that Booker is imposing a "religious litmus test."

It's bull. I'm sure that several so-called news program - particularly on Fox - will feature these conservative talking heads to spin their story without any correction. But that's not going to happen in this blog. In a wonderful piece published by The Advocate, Zeke Stokes, vice president of programs at GLAAD broke  it down last week why Pompeo is not a victim, but rather a homophobic disaster just waiting to happen:

Mike Pompeo consulted with FRC during his time as CIA director and has earned its endorsement and praise throughout his career; he is even a regular guest on FRC president Tony Perkins’s anti-LGBTQ radio program. 
Make no mistake: These are the advisers who would follow Mike Pompeo to the State Department if he is confirmed — something that our nation cannot afford.

What messages would it send to the world to have our top diplomat hold such close ties to anti-LGBTQ extremism that runs counter to the State Department’s stated central goal of protecting human rights? 
Being gay is still criminalized in 72 countries. Transgender people face violence and death at home and abroad merely for living their truth. We cannot afford to move backwards on LGBTQ rights when so much is at stake. 
We are currently facing deeply troubling times with anti-LGBTQ state violence and discrimination. Authorities in Chechnya have detained and attacked over 100 LGBTQ citizens because of their perceived sexual orientation and 27 men have reportedly been killed by Chechen government officials. At least 141 people were arrested in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta during a May 2017 raid that was part of a county-wide anti-LGBTQ crackdown. In Azerbaijan, police carried out mass arrests of as many as 100 LGBTQ people. 
Similar crises are happening in Egypt, Russia, Ghana, Bangladesh, and beyond. In these deeply troubling times, our country needs a secretary of State who can address these human rights violations with good faith and credibility, two qualities Mike Pompeo has long since lost.

The entire piece is worth your time to read and Stokes is a guest worth booking on news shows when there are debates about Pompeo's credentials. It's not accidental that he probably won't be booked.

'Conservatives, evangelical right play defense for Trump nominee's anti-gay past' & other Mon midday news briefs

Conservatives and the evangelical right are angry at Sen. Cory Booker (right) for demanding answers from Sec of State nominee Mike Pompeo regarding his past anti-gay statements.

Conservatives defend Pompeo’s belief that homosexuality is a ‘perversion’ - Of course they will defend this mess by mischaracterizing the issue. They would get away with it but we won't let them. Case in point regarding the deliberate mischaracterization. HUGE lie on the part of the Family Research Council and Breitbart. There was no loyalty oath asked:

LGBTQ Parenting: How Different is It from Just ‘Parenting’ - An important subject which should get lots of attention - being queer and raising children.

Federal judge shuts down Trump’s ‘new’ transgender military ban - Surprising NO ONE, this happened on Friday evening. Now who was on Pence's ad-hoc committee which gave the recommendations for this nonsense. We all know who it was, but I would like to have confirmation.

‘No Longer Alone’: LGBT Voices from the Middle East, North Africa - Again, our struggle for equality and self-determination is universal.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Video: Britney Spears, Lena Waithe steal GLAAD awards with eloquent speeches about love & acceptance

The first half of the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards took place Thursday in Los Angeles and the show was wonderful. Congratulations to all of the recipients. LOGO network will be airing it on Wednesday at 8p.m.

But just in case you aren't able to see the telecast, enjoy these speeches from Lena Waithe, who received the award for Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character) for Master of None‘s “Thanksgiving.” Waite was incredibly eloquent in her speech as she told the LGBTQ community to stick together and love each other. 

 And Britney Spears who received the Vanguard Award. Spears pretty much stole the show with her fantastic dress and awesome speech about being supported by the LGBTQ community:

 A full list of the award recipients (including my buddy Monica Roberts who became the first transgender person to receive the GLAAD award for 'Outstanding Blog') can be seen here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

'Dems seek answers from Mattis on trans ban recommendations' & other Fri midday news briefs

Democrats in Congress want to who recommended Mattis support trans ban and how decision was made.

Dems seek answers from Mattis on anti-trans military recommendations - Congressional Democrats want to know who supplied the information for Defense Secretary Mattis's recommendation to ban transgender troops. Everyone please remember this issue because it is in the backdrop and slowly simmering. If and when it explodes, it has the potential to do a lot of damage to the anti-LGBTQ industry. These are the questions they are asking:

1. Who was on the Panel of Experts?  
2. Who did the Panel consult with?  
3. Did the Panel consult with the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association or American Medical Association or any other medical professionals with expertise in gender dysphoria?
4. In your view, what are the substantial risks associated with the accessions and retention of transgender persons? Can you please provide any examples that since June 30, 2016 these issues have arisen within the military and describe how the DOD or services handled these situations?  
5. In your view, what are the specific issues that could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military? Can you please provide any examples that since June 30, 2016 these issues have arisen within the military and describe how the DOD or services handled these situations? 
 6. Were any government officials outside of DOD or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) involved in the Report or your Memorandum to the president? If so, who were these officials and what was the basis for their involvement?  

 Additionally, the letter requests “the specific medical and scientific data that supported the conclusions contained in your memorandum.” 

Army chief of staff pulls rug out from under transgender military ban - And the issue just got more interesting. We know where the anti-transgender troops recommendations probably came from - Pence and his ad-hoc committee of anti-LGBTQ spokespeople.

Evangelical Leaders Could Use Stormy Daniels To Get Even More From Trump - Thus demonstrating how calculating un-Christian these people are. 

High Court of Trinidad and Tobago Rules Code Criminalizing Same-Sex Activity is Unconstitutional - Wonderful! 

GLAAD Media Awards Honors ‘This Is Us’ As Outstanding Drama Series - Congratulations to all of the GLAAD award recipients, particularly my good friend Monica Roberts whose blog, TransGriot, received the award for 'Outstanding Blog.'

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Trump's Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo sidesteps an important question about being gay

On Thursday, Mike Pompeo, Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, answered questions in front of a Senate committee. Pompeo has a lot to answer for regarding his past Islamophobic statements and alliances as well as his anti-LGBTQ record. Naturally, this means that those on the right, particularly the religious right, support him. They claim that he will stand up for "religious liberty."

Pompeo was questioned on his past comments by Senator Corey Booker. To hear the Family Research Council tell it, Pompeo came out smelling like a rose:

Later, when Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) tried to paint Pompeo as a hater or Islamophobe, Mike asked him to stop and consider the facts. "My record is exquisite in dealing with people of very different faiths... I've heard these critiques... I promise I will treat persons of other faith or no faith with the dignity they deserve." 
Booker's attack became more intense, suggesting that Christians who believe in the Bible's definition of sexuality had no business running a government agency. Mike replied simply, "When I was a politician, I had a very clear view that [a same-sex couple] should not be married. Senator, I continue to hold that view." When Booker interrupted and asked how he could lead the State Department with that belief, Pompeo reminded him that you can disagree with someone and still treat them with respect. "We have married gay couples at the CIA, you should know. My respect for every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, is the same."

Bear in mind that this is the Family Research Council; a group which has been called out for lies and distortions time and time again by myself and so many others.

In this particular case, FRC chose to dance around an important part of the Booker/Pompeo exchange, i.e. the part where Booker asks Pompeo does he still think that being gay is a "perversion." The video below is timed to that exchange (1:40):


The fact that Pompeo refused to directly answer the question says much about why he is opposed. And FRC's attempt to use religion as a way to sidestep the exchange makes the situation even more problematic. Religious views have paved the way to anti-LGBTQ persecution in other countries.  And many of those views are the same as the one Pompeo earlier expressed. So where specifically would he stand on speaking out against this persecution. Evasive answers about treating people with respect isn't enough here. Would Pompeo speak out against international anti-LGBTQ persecution or will he  (to cite FRC president Tony Perkins's favorite word) give it a "mulligan" on the grounds of  "religious liberty?"

'Will Uganda reintroduce bill which could put gays in jails for life?' & other Thur midday news briefs

Ugandan MPs want to reintroduce anti-homosexuality law that could imprison gay people for life - And we are HERE again. Just in case you need a reminder, this monstrosity was originally unveiled thanks to American homophobes coming to Africa and scaring the heck out of people.

Related post - Slouching Toward Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate - GLAAD Media Award nominee Box Turtle Bulletin was the first and only news source to give an entire break down on what happened in Uganda to cause this mess. 

Column: You’re not alone: LGBTQ students face dual stigma regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health - Whenever we get blase or jaded about fighting for equality and especially calling out the anti-LGBTQ industry, we need to remember that our kids are depending on us.

Extremists compare so-called ‘Must Stay Gay’ bans on conversion therapy to Jim Crow - OH HAIIIL NO! 

Mat Staver: Media Is Waging Satanic ‘Psychological Warfare’ Against Trump - Well dang! I thought we in the LGBTQ community was waging "Satanic Psychological Warfare."

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Kissing or holding hands in public - video shows how complicated simple PDAs are for LGBTQ community

This video from BBC Scotland is a brilliant look at how and why displays of public affection from the LGBTQ community causes lots of discussion.

 From LGBTQ Nation:

 BBC Scotland‘s “The Social” touts itself as “comedy, lifestyle & more from fresh talent in Scotland,” but it’s newest video “Time for Love” is anything but funny. The video is quickly going viral as thousands of queer men and women see themselves in the spot and share it on social media. Instead of laughs, the piece is striking a deep chord for many in our community who see themselves, their lives and their fears expressed so eloquently and raw. Most LGBT people have said in numerous studies that they are uncomfortable holding hands or kissing their romantic partner in public. This is why.

It's already caused a lot of comments on the LGBTQ Nation webpage and for good reason. Displays of public affection in the our community causes lots of debate. In fact, I am willing to predict that someone, voicing an objection, will conflate simply hand holding or short kisses with slobbery French kisses, deliberately missing the point that we are talking about simple public displays of affection, not gay recreations of the movie In The Realm of the Senses.

'White House refuses to turn over emails which may prove it worked with anti-LGBTQ hate group on trans ban' & other Wed midday news briefs

Forget Hillary's emails. What about emails involving the Trump Administration and the Family Research Council?

White House refuses to turn over emails proving it works with hate group - I got my EYE on this situation with baited breath and sharpened claws in lovely anticipation. 

Gay Georgia Couple Can’t Be Prom King and King, School Says - This is what I was talking about last night when it comes to the media showing positive images for the sake of our LGBTQ kids. They get enough junk like this as it is. 

Georgia school refuses to let gay couple compete for prom court together - More about this issue. I know that to some folks, this may not seem like a big deal. BUT IT IS A BIG DEAL to our kids and those of us seeking to not allow a repeat of how we were brought up in second class status. 

Gay ‘Dreamer’ stuck in Mexico after green card application denied - Point blank. This simply ain't right.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

AT&T 'This is Me' commercial is a wonderful statement on being your queer self

This AT&T LGBTQ-inclusive commercial about being proud of yourself is easily one of the best things I've seen in a while. Now I know there are some concern trolls who will whine about having such commercials supposedly shoved in their faces.

 Get over it.

We got our LGBTQ children to think about and the more positive images they see of themselves, the better. Secondly, and maybe not of equal importance, but still important, if I can get over not being able to have a decent relationship in high school and college because of societal homophobia, you can get over a few LGBTQ-themed commercials.

'Family Research Council backs activist's claim that gays are trying to 'rape the minds' of children' & other Tue midday news briefs

This above tweet by the Family Research Council makes this sound like a noble effort. But look to the first article below to remind yourself of what it actually is - yet another version of the "gays want to recruit children" lie.

Activist Mommy claims LGBT groups ‘sneak into schools to rape the minds of our children’ - A way out there right-wing blogger called "Activist Mommy" is starting a movement attacking sex education in schools as well as the LGBTQ community. She claims that we are trying to "rape the minds of children." Now the Family Research Council and other anti-LGBTQ hate groups are piggybacking on her mess.  Notice the tactic here - they aren't that quick to outright accuse gays of trying to "recruit" children so they are piggybacking on someone else doing it while attempting to make her madness sound reasonable.  Don't laugh this off so quickly. It has the potential to damage our LGBTQ kids by preventing them from getting accurate sex education.

Brian Dodge Is on a Mission to Make America Understand Bisexuality - Much needed because bi-erasure and bi-stereotyping are real.

Sweet Home Alabama (and Georgia and Mississippi, Too) - Author and activist Khafre Abif helps young bi and gay black men address HIV in the Deep South — and in their own lives - Good because it's one of those issues which gets unconsciously swept away.

Pittsburgh blogger up for national GLAAD media award - Mega props to my friend Susan Kerr on her GLAAD Media Award nomination in the category of 'Outstanding Blog,' as well as the other nominees. All of them deserve to win.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Stormy Daniels controversy demonstrates how much Trump controls the religious right

The Stormy Daniels controversy probably will not cause a break between Trump and the religious right  because they fear losing the access he gives them.

According to a recent edition of NPR, evangelicals will be meeting with Trump in June and the controversy regarding his alleged payout to porn star Stormy Daniels may come up:

As allegations continue to swirl about the president and a payout to a porn star to cover up a sexual encounter, evangelical leaders are organizing a sit-down with President Trump in June, four sources with knowledge of the planned meeting tell NPR. 
"We're very concerned" about the allegations, said a leader of a faith-based ministry. The leader is involved in hosting the gathering, which organizers are aiming to take place June 19 at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The source said the combination of the Stormy Daniels sex-scandal allegations and Trump's continued reputation for divisive rhetoric could suppress evangelical turnout in the November midterm elections. 
"It is a concern of ours that 2018 could be very detrimental to some of the other issues that we hold dear," like preserving religious liberty and restricting abortion rights, the source noted. The source, like the others with knowledge of the event, spoke to NPR on the condition of anonymity so as to not jeopardize the meeting.

However, those associated with the meeting are denying this. On Friday, Christianity Today reported:

 . . .  Johnnie Moore, who acts as convenor for the evangelical group, has denied the allegations in the report. He told Christian Today the June meeting was 'at a conceptual level only' at present and that there had been no serious discussion about the format of the event. He added that 'attaching the planning of the meeting to any past, personal accusations against the president is entirely farcical, that isn't the purpose and it has never been a point of discussion ... it would be about the issues'.

'Trump supporting black pastor attacks Black Lives Matter for having lesbians in leadership positions' & other Mon midday news briefs

Harry Jackson Says Black Lives Matter Can Never Achieve True Justice Because There Are ‘A Few Lesbians’ In Leadership Positions - Oh hell no! Harry Jackson, a black pastor who is bought and paid for by white religious right groups, is the last person to rag on anyone for any designations regarding black people, social movements, etc. Not only that but he is a proud supporter of Donald Trump. Look at pictures of Donald Trump with the pastors who support him regardless of his garbage. Jackson is one of the few black pastors there and smiling like a slave whose "master" let him live in the "big house." (And to answer a question hopefully not asked - those lesbians ARE black. It sounds stupid but you would be surprised how many folks would read the headline and assume that the lesbians are automatically white.)

Sex Education and LGBT groups 'rape the minds of children' says Activist Mommy Elizabeth Johnston - This right here is a stupid woman. But she has enough of a following to make Newsweek, unfortunately.

Is Ted Cruz in trouble from a pro-LGBT challenger? - That would be nice. 

Popular Gay Media Is Still Focusing On Straight Acceptance, Rather Than Celebrating Queer Difference - The eternal internal fight in our community. Where I stand is that both sides should be heard because of the diversity of our community. Some LGBTQs do seek so-called normalcy while others do want to embrace a queer identity. I think the important thing to remember is that no one has the patent on what we should be, even folks in our community.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Evangelical pastor calls Trump a strong leader. You can laugh now.

For one reason or another, enjoy the nonsense below of evangelical Christian pastor Robert Jeffress explain why folks like him will most likely still support Trump no matter what he does:

Simply a hot mess. Just one more reason why I hope their support of Trump will blow up in the face of the anti-LGBTQ right-wing evangelical community. Their explanations of why they supported him will be EPIC.

Friday, April 06, 2018

'Franklin Graham gets dragged on twitter for attack on progressives' & other Fri midday news briefs

Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham goes on a twitter tear attacking progressives - And is getting dragged for it on twitter. 

10 tips for LGBTQ couples hoping to foster children - Yep! This is very needed!

Victory! Mississippi Supreme Court Rules That Lesbian Spouses Are Both Legal Parents to Their Marital Children - Complicated case with a good ruling. 

Parents face many challenges in discussing sex with LGBTQ children - THIS is a serious situation because it is part of the trepidation some parents have when their children come out. They need resources to help them. And there are a lot of entities just chomping at the bit to scare them with false information. 

AARP Survey: Many LGBT Elders Fear Long Term Care Facilities - Another very important issue we need to remember.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Anti-LGBTQ activist angry at 'Love, Simon' for showing a positive image of gays

Peter LaBarbera is angry at 'Love, Simon' for showing a positive image of the gay community.

I haven't written about anti-LGBTQ activist 'Porno' Peter LaBarbera in a long time. I don't find him relevant anymore. The only reason why I'm posting about him today is because of the audacity he has to whine about the hit movie, "Love, Simon."

From Right Wing Watch:

Peter LaBarbera
Anti-LGBTQ activist Peter LaBarbera was, unsurprisingly, not a fan of the new gay teenage romance film “Love, Simon,” complaining to Religious Right radio host Janet Mefferd on Tuesday that the film fails to promote a “religious message” and does not warn audiences that gay people face a life of physical and mental illness “and of course the judgment of God.” 
LaBarbera joined Mefferd on Tuesday to weigh in on the release of “Love, Simon,” which is a romantic comedy film that features a 17-year-old boy who reveals his sexual orientation to his friends and family and falls in love with a classmate. LaBarbera, who has long been livid about the entertainment industry advancing LGBTQ causes, shared with Mefferd what he saw to be “three myths” promoted in the film. 
“Number one is that being homosexual—quote-unquote ‘gay’—is basically who you are, intrinsically who you are. You know, if that line just happens to be gay. That’s number one. Number two, that there’s a total mutual equivalence between homosexual romances and the gay lifestyle and normal, heterosexual living, so it’s presented as totally equal. 
Number three, that parental love, the way they love their son after he comes out and declares his homosexuality or they find out, the parents, is they just basically express regret they didn’t know earlier,” he said. “There’s no sorrow. There’s no religious message at all in the movie, Janet, and there’s nothing that says any disapproval.” 
LaBarbera said he believed the movie was “like a Disney gay movie” that was made for teenagers before complaining that “there’s no aftermath after this boy finds his quote-unquote ‘gay’ romance.”
“We’re never going to hear later about the diseases associated with homosexuality that he likely would get, mental illness, and of course the judgment of God,” LaBarbera said.

LaBarbera deserves to be mocked, but I still find him amusingly insulting. He seems to think he has the right to tell the LGBTQ community who we are. He thinks he knows us better than ourselves to the point where he gets to determine the stories we tell. We know the horror stories about our lives LaBarbera wants to tell - evil yarns about oversexed, unhappy, multi-diseased gays who waste away in pools of their own excesses.

Too bad for him. It's not our job to coddle his religious beliefs or buttress his hate. The way we tell our authentic stories is for us to decide, not someone who is ruled by delusion springing from internal things I would talk further about if I had any experience in psychology. LaBarbera is so indicative of the rest of the religious right who get angry at us for daring to tell our stories truthfully and away from the lies and stereotypes they generate about us. How dare we take control and not fall for the web of self-hatred they craft for us out of their twisted version of religion, cherry-picked and junk science, and plain hatred.  They have a right to believe whatever they want about us, but they don't have the right to make us believe  their lies. Nor do they have the right to control how we tell our own stories.

LaBarbera will just have to get over his anger at "Love, Simon.". If not, he knows where he can go.

'No medically valid reason' - AMA strongly opposes ban on transgender troops' & other Thur midday news briefs

‘No medically valid reason’ to exclude transgender troops, AMA chides Mattis - Religious right groups and folks on the right are quick to bring up medical reasons to support the banning of transgender troops. BUT when a legitimate medical group - such as the American Medical Association -  weighs in opposing the ban, these folks are quick to omit and ignore. It's not accidental. It's Standard Operating Procedure with folks and groups who work to smear the entire LGBTQ community.

Doctors’ group slams trans military ban for rejecting ‘wide body of peer-reviewed research’ - More details about this latest development, including the fact that other legitimate medical associations are standing with transgender troops.

The Next Census Will Ask About Same-Sex Couples - I'm all for this.

A Republican dramatically came out to pass a conversion therapy ban in Maryland - This was brave of her to tell her story while voting for the ban. Her parents tried to change her from bisexual. And the story is even sadder. Her father, also a legislator, voted against the ban and denied her story.

Religious Right Activists Are Working ‘Behind The Scenes’ To Get The White House To Protect Ex-Gay Kidnapper Lisa Miller - This awful situation mostly fueled by the religious right hasn't been forgotten. The Liberty Counsel has yet to meet justice for its part in it. But we are patient. Getting Trump involved will insure that all hell will break loose. And we will be ready with the pitchforks.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

A little advice before you exploit MLK's assassination, Family Research Council

Only the Family Research Council would have the audacity to depart briefly from its daily bout of Trump butt-kissing to mourn the 50th anniversary of MLK's assassination and exploit the occasion for its own purposes:

The world was a different place after that horrible day in Memphis, when Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped out on his hotel balcony and took what would be his last breaths. Just 39 when an assassin's bullet killed him, Dr. King had already accomplished a lifetime of transformative work. How much more he could have done, we'll never now. What we do know is that he changed the arc of history -- forever. 
Taken at the height of his influence, Rev. King would never live to see his dream of racial harmony realized. Even now, 50 years later, Americans feel the familiar strain that threatens some of Dr. King's greatest accomplishments. In the five decades since his death, our country made progress, but the gulf between black and white still remains one of the most intense divide in America. And while the times may have changed, the solutions have not. There is one path to true racial reconciliation: the church. 
"The church," he wrote in Strength to Love, "must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state." What motivated Rev. King and powered his movement was Scripture -- an understanding that "darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that." Civil rights could not have been achieved if that light, powered by the religious freedom to shine it, had been extinguished. It's what enables the church to speak out today on behalf of marriage, the unborn, the downtrodden, and the persecuted. It's what powers the truth that everyone, regardless of race, gender, or social-economic status, has value. 
When Dr. King almost single-handedly turned the tide against racial segregation in this country, he did it from the pulpits of America's churches. Imagine where we would be now, as a nation, if pastors like the Reverend King didn't have the freedom to make their voices heard on the cultural issues of the day. He understood then, as we do know, that religious liberty was the key to every other freedom on earth. Without it, he could never have advocated for the cultural change that took root in the hearts of people across this great land. If we want to preserve his memory, we have to start by defending the church's right to speak into the racial gap -- and to stand, as unbiased representatives of Christ.

Little advice, Family Research Council? First, let's not be so quick to patronize. Turning the tide of racial segregation was a group effort and Dr. King himself would probably say that he didn't come anywhere close to almost single-handedly doing it alone. There were a multitude of folks involved from prominent African-American leaders to vibrant, brave marchers, to especially the black maids and other domestic workers who gave their nickels and dimes and other assorted monies to fund the movement. And let's not forget Bayard Rustin, the black gay man who coordinated the 1963 March on Washington. You should especially take him to heart before you begin your usual tangents about "radical homosexual agendas."

Secondly, instead of pretending to mourn King while exploiting his assassination to push for your bastardized version of "religious liberty," how about you unattach your lips from Donald Trump's rear. Stop providing a cover for his racially insensitive actions and comments. Stop using the "we all need to pray" card as an excuse to weasel out of being a true moral voice. Stop cheerleading  Trump's attempts to divide America by lies and resentment. And stop cheering his attempts to disenfranchise the poor and wreck health care.

On the risk of sounding presumptuous, I tend to think that if Dr. King were still alive, he wouldn't necessarily be a fan of yours.  So stop pretending that you are a fan of his.

'Fox network personality Tucker Carlson claims the transgender community doesn't exist' & other Wed midday news briefs

These days, Tucker Carlson has a constant "did I must mistake something messier for silent flatulence" look.

Tucker Carlson: There is no trans community - I don't know with that boy. He used to be somewhat of a decent journalist.

Anchorage, Alaska’s anti-transgender ballot initiative is defeated - Boom!

Laura Ingraham Once Sent A Student Reporter To Secretly Tape LGBTQ Group - If it were me she had done that to . . . 

NBA star makes big LGBTQ reveal - Way to go, Reggie Bullock!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Conversion ('ex-gay') therapy is a fraud and should be done away with

A bill in California could completely end the practice of conversion therapy, or attempting to convert one's sexual orientation from gay to heterosexual, in the state. Right now, the state outlaws this sort of therapy for minors. But this bill would label the practice of conversion therapy itself as a fraud.

Anti-LGBTQ groups such as the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom are fighting the bill by arguing that the bill is against freedom of speech and religious liberty and could lead to increased suicides, etc.

Really? Exposing people to danger via fraudulent therapy has nothing to do with freedom of speech or religious liberty. And it is actually fake methods like "ex-gay" therapy which sow feelings of inadequacies and depression which in turn leads to suicides.

As these two videos demonstrate:

'Anti-LGBTQ groups determined to keep 'ex-gay therapy' from being declared a fraud' & other Tue midday news briefs

These are the national anti-LGBTQ groups fighting California's conversion therapy fraud bill - The fraudulent practice of "ex-gay therapy" is dying a slow death. But anti-LGBTQ groups are determined not to let it die. It's the usual folks who claim they are attempting to "protect Christians."

American Legion decides to allow transgender teen attend Boys State - As an alumni of Boys State, I wholeheartedly support this action. 

Grindr Will Stop Sharing Users’ HIV Status With Outside Companies After Security Flaw - Uh they shouldn't have been doing that in the first place. 

Imagine Dragons, Mike Shinoda to Headline Festival for LGBTQ Charities - This is a good thing.

Christian Colleges Are Tangled In Their Own LGBT Policies - An old article but still a fascinating one.

Photo take from Political Research Associates.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Anti-LGBTQ hate group having a problem staying relevant

Lou Sheldon
From the Southern Poverty Law Center comes a story which should give optimism to the LGBTQ community as we go through the Trump years. It would seem that we are outlasting another hate group whose purpose was to end our struggle for equality:

For those who can't remember back in the day, the Traditional Values Coalition, led by Lou Sheldon, was one of the meanest, most vindictive anti-LGBTQ hate groups in America. Forget subtleties because TVC made its objective clear. According to it, the LGBTQ community were a bunch of diseased, Morlockian monsters who needed to be stamped underfoot:

(Lou)Sheldon, a protégé of Christian Right evangelist Pat Robertson, launched TVC in Anaheim, California, before moving its headquarters to Washington, D.C. His anti-LGBT rhetoric — calling homosexuality a “deathstyle;” claiming child molestation is the real “homosexual agenda;” suggesting AIDS victims should be forced into leper-like colonies — pushed TVC to the forefront of the battle against equal rights in the 1990s. 
In 1993, TVC distributed a video, featuring Sheldon as well as then-Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, called “Gay Rights/Special Rights: Inside the Homosexual Agenda,” as a propaganda tool to galvanize opposition to LGBT rights. The film attempts to contrast the civil rights movement of the ‘60s with the fight for LGBT equality, with one speaker condemning the “high-handed attempt of the gay and lesbian movement to highjack the 1964 Civil Rights Act in trying to give national credence to their immoral lifestyle.” The video also attempts to conflate homosexuality with pedophilia, a common refrain from TVC (the TVC website, when it was online, claimed “[t]he effort to push adult/child sex… is part of the overall homosexual movement”). 
A December 1994 New York Times article titled “Minister Brings Anti-Gay Message to the Spotlight” heralded Sheldon’s influence with the incoming conservative congress elected the month before. The next year, Sheldon was part of a push to support a senate bill to cut federal money for public schools “encouraging or supporting homosexuality.”

Supposedly, in 1995, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich promised Sheldon that there would be Congressional hearings looking at the so-called promotion of homosexuality in public schools.

That's how powerful TVC was back then. Twenty years later, things have changed tremendously. SPLC's article points out that Sheldon's daughter, Andrea Lafferty, seems to be having problems keeping the group relevant and afloat.

The poor dear (sarcasm intended.) I guess there is no room for unbridled, free-range homophobia in the now passive-aggressive world of the religious right.

'Judge tosses ridiculously homophobic rainbow flag lawsuit' & other Mon midday news briefs

Judge Dismisses Homophobe’s Lawsuit Claiming Rainbow Flags Are Religious Symbols - We have more important fights so I'm glad this anti-LGBTQ mess was thrown out of court. 

FBI National Academy Accepts First Transgender Applicant - In the face of ignorance and stupidity, the transgender community keeps on shining and achieving.

In photos: The private lives of India’s LGBTQ community - I've said it once and I will say it again - our fight is universal. 

Alaskans set to vote on bill that would ban transgender people from using the bathroom - And of course the group pushing this is reading from the script of inaccurate anecdotal horror stories of transgender women using the restroom.

New Amazon ad features gay couple getting ready for their wedding - Sweet!

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Do you find this offensive? Or funny?

Let's ease into Monday with another somewhat "frivolous" post. Seeing how successful my recent post on Prince at the 1985 Grammys was, I may post things from time to time to bring up a bit of nostalgia or make you think about internal issues regarding the LGBTQ community.

Do not worry, though. The main goal of this blog - to expose the religious anti-LGBTQ right and their tactics to undermine our equality and safety - remains and will be the subject of the majority of posts here.

That being said, let me ask a question, mostly to the younger folks. The above clip is from a legendary 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles. In a wild, madcap way, Blazing Saddles, and its director Mel Brooks,  makes fun of Western movie cliches, as well as racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry and stereotypes of all kinds. And let's not forget homophobia. 

Do you find this scene in which the cast of Blazing Saddles end up in a brawl with the gay men shooting a musical (don't ask) offensive or funny? Personally, I find it hilarious and I doubt I'm alone among those who grew up watching this film. Still, I want to know what others think. Please, do not go on any tirade about "political correctness" or nonsense like that. Just simply, what do you think and why?