Monday, June 18, 2018

Conservative evangelical groups & leaders care more about their fantasies than immigrant children

Evangelicals like Tony Perkins (top) & Franklin Graham (bottom) could do more to help the immigrant children the Trump Administration snatched from their parents. But they probably won't.

Religious groups and evangelical public figures have taken time out of their busy schedules of dehumanizing transgender people and spinning religious liberty panics in order to weigh in on who they feel is the real victim during this awful crisis of the Trump Administration's seizing of immigrant children from their parents

Donald Trump.

By either blaming the so-called liberal media, telling lies about "progressives" and "open borders," claiming that these children are in better circumstances, or even blaming the parents, groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, and people like Franklin Graham are clearly showing where their loyalties and values lie.

And all of them give off the same inference - "it's terrible, it's a shame, but let's pray for a solution because that's all we can do." These are the same groups and people who orchestrated national panics on the so-called idea of "religious liberty" which made it to the Supreme Court. The same folks who initiated a huge boycott of Target over the lie that men were invading women's bathrooms and got over one million signatures for a petition about it in hardly any time at all.

Franklin Graham has been known to issue Facebook statements on current issues and within a day, he would have over 100,00 comments from mostly cloying followers either echoing his sentiments or praising him.

You cannot tell me that these groups and people can't do anything about this issue. It's simply that they don't care. Just like they didn't care about Trump's language, his less than Christian behavior, the fact that he has on more than one occasion cheated on his wife, his basic incompetence  etc etc. They don't care about what psychological damage  Trump's policy will do to those little brown boys and girls or their families. They don't care how many future terrorists Trump may be creating. Their weak tea statements and defiant lies were less about the children and more about keeping themselves in Trump's good graces, while simultaneously tricking the rest of us into believing  that they are actually concerned for those families and their children.They only care about access, being invited to White House meetings, being allowed to put their imprint on national policy, and thus being able to craft the country in the image of their version of Christianity, which we are now seeing has nothing to do with humility, or love, or basic decency.

'How Trump's attack on immigrant children is connected with homophobia, racism, and Islamophobia' & other Mon midday news briefs.

Anti-LGBT, anti-Islam, anti-immigrant rhetoric featured alongside racist dog-whistles and Trump cabinet officials at WCS 2018 - As the Southern Poverty Law Center clearly shows, do not think that the xenophobia which fueled Trump's snatching of immigrant children away from their parents, the homophobia which tries to deny the LGBTQ community equality, the Islamophobia which dehumanizes Muslims, and the racism which causes black men and women to lose their lives because of corrupt policemen aren't all connected. Earlier this month, the purveyors of all of this junk converged at the Western Conservative Summit. They were all there, including Jeff Sessions.

Pope Francis: Gay Couples Cannot Make a Family - We need to stop praise dancing every time the Pope or the Catholic Church gives us a little positive whatever. In truth, this is what they think of us and our families. And we need to be firmly against anyone or any institution that seeks to disrespect us and our families.

Kathy Griffin: Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community - Kathy Griffin points out a central fact about the LGBTQ community. If you show us love, we will support you through thick and thin. She is simply the latest to learn this. 

Thousands of Ukrainian riot police swarmed Kiev Pride & arrested dozens - BUT guess who got arrested. You will be pleasantly pleased with this article. 

A record number of LGBTQ candidates are running for office. Here's why. - THIS is a way the LGBTQ community can begin to change the world for the better.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Top 10 Coming Out of the Closet scenes & a complaint

I'm beginning to like my "Sunday ease-ins," as I call my practice of posting frivolously funny or insightful things Sunday night.  The purpose is to get everyone ready for the weekly nonsense we have to deal with via the Trump Administration. Tonight is slightly serious because it comes with a small complaint:

Besides the fact that I would like to see coming out scenes involving the bisexual and transgender community, why does television portray young folks coming out as cute, whispy, or basically attractive. They tend to be "too pretty" for me.

 A lot of us who come out aren't exactly considered as "models of beauty." Hell, when I was young, I had bad skin and bad hair, to say nothing about a unusually skinny frame and eyeglasses so big that they could double as a helmet. And I haven't even begun to talk about my dark skin tone, which was looked at as a negative. I would love to see television shows rely on  normal, awkward folks coming out rather than folks who look so pretty, you have a hard time believing that they sit on toilets.

Friday, June 15, 2018

'Jeff Sessions creating havoc for immigrants, their children, & LGBTQ asylum seekers, but bends over backwards for 'religious liberty'' & other Friday midday news briefs

Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions just signed the death warrant for LGBTQ asylum seekers - It's not just the policy Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions is pushing separating immigrant children from their parents that's causing problems. This other policy about no longer giving asylum for victims of domestic or gang violence is also causing havoc. And to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, it's practically a death sentence.

Jeff Sessions: Trump administration will fight with faith groups on their discrimination claims - I hate to push this juxtaposition but here it is because here it is. At the same time, Sessions is ready to fight for houses of worship seeking building permits. Take these two news briefs as you will.  What's more important to God? Expanding churches and discrimination under the guise of 'religious liberty' or the safety and well-being of men, women, and children? You tell me.

ADF defends Indiana teacher who rejected his district’s transgender-inclusive policy - Of course this hate group will. Sorry but your so-called religious liberty does not rank higher than the health and well-bring of our LGBTQ kids. 

6 Homeless LGBTQ Youths Share Their Stories - Stories which NEED to be amplified.

EXCLUSIVE: LGBTQ Federal Employees Confronted Betsy DeVos Last Year - She obviously didn't listen.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Video: When faced with discrimination, elderly LGBTQ Americans can't simply 'go somewhere else'

This video by Movement Advancement Project emphasizes the fact that sometimes when faced with discrimination, some of us simply can't "go somewhere else."

If you can handle discrimination by doing that, remember that there are many who can't, such as elderly LGBTQ Americans:

This new ad illustrates the housing discrimination LGBT Americans can face in the absence of nondiscrimination protections. Nursing Home depicts an older gay man arriving to move into an assisted living facility. But when the facility director learns that the new resident is gay, he refuses to allow him to move in and tells him and his family to leave.

'Gay students rally to defense of teacher driven to the brink by homophobic bullying' & other Thur midday news briefs

After teacher comes forward about bullying, gay students in Rocklin share similar stories - This is why it is so important for the LGBTQ community to first defend our own before we look to others to defend us. A California lesbian teacher was put on mental health leave after students bullied her. The school did nothing about it. And the parents? Well they backed up their kids with the usual religious right lies by talking about the teacher "pushing her lifestyle" on students. We've all heard that explanation before and in this case, it's more infuriating because the teacher didn't mention her sexual orientation or relationships status in class. The little brats found  photos online. Well now, other gay students in the school have come forward to have the back of the teacher AND to tell their own stories of bullying. Good for them!

As trans high school athletes win state titles, parents petition to ban them - Instead of trying to keep them from competing, maybe your children need to work harder so they can compete against the trans athletes. 

Senator Hatch’s pro-LGBTQ floor speech rings hollow - Thank for Sen. Orrin Hatch for speaking up for our LGBTQ kids on the US Senate floor. However, Zack Ford makes a wonderful point here. Talk is cheap in the face of positive action. 

Athens GOP leader goes on anti-gay rant on Pulse anniversary - Trash is as trash does.

Meet the amazing gay single dad-of-3 whose husband died before their twins were born - Sad but awesome story of love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Anti-gay groups using Pulse tragedy survivor to create more harm for the LGBTQ community

Anti-gay groups are exploiting a survivor of the Pulse tragedy to fight against a pro-gay bill in California.

There is a bill in CA, AB2943, which would outlaw marketing or selling the fraudulent practice of ex-gay therapy.  The religious right have been fighting like mad to create a narrative which would allow them to fight the bill. First, they tried to portray it as something called a "must stay gay" ban. That didn't resonate. Then they falsely claimed that the bill would ban the Bible. That narrative failed.  The two attempts to falsely portray the bill failed because its supporters consistently pointed out that it has to do with financial practices and transactions rather than personal beliefs.

So now from the religious right comes this new direction which is simply downright vile - exploiting a survivor of the Pulse tragedy to wreck the bill.

From the Family Research Council:

It's been two full years since it happened. People were still dancing at a nightclub on the south side of Orlando, when a gunman walked through the doors and brutally ended the lives of 49 people. India Goodman says she can still feel the body slumped against her in the dark, shielding her from bullets. She's just one of the survivors who says their story changed forever. 
Luis Javier Ruiz is another. Like so many others in the Pulse nightclub that night, Luis thinks a lot about what could have happened. He looks back on his struggles then, identifying as a gay man, and believes -- without a doubt -- that it was the lowest point of his life. "I should have been number 50," he posted after the tragedy. An emotional Ruiz talked about how difficult things had been, even before the horror that June night.  
"Going through old pictures of the night of Pulse, I remember my struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV. My struggles were real! The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ... I've grown to know His love in a deeper level. Two out of the 49 were my close friends and are no longer with us. They lost their life that night. I should have been number 50, but now... I know who I am and I am not defined with who the enemy says I use to be -- but who Christ Jesus says I am."  
Luis went public with his story, joining the Freedom March in early May with other people who've walked away from a lifestyle that brought nothing but pain. "It's not a gay-to-straight thing," he tells reporters, "but a lost to save[d] thing." During his recovery, he remembers, members of a local church came in and prayed with him. They shared portions of Scripture and told him about the love of God. Through that, he says, "I was able to not only just be free of the lifestyle but be free of me in general -- from every type of sin."

'South Carolina pro-Confederate flag, anti-LGBTQ candidate in runoff for Congressional seat' & other Wed midday news briefs

This guy right here, former SC state senator Lee Bright, who in 2015 (seen in the above video)  interrupted a vote to remove the Confederate flag from atop the State House to rant insanely about marriage equality, was one of the candidates who won enough votes last night to participate in a run-off for a U.S. Congressional seat. Bright will be competing against present SC state senator William Timmons. Bright, who by the way opposed removing the Confederate flag, pushed an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2016 which failed and subsequently cost him his seat in the SC Legislature.

 In other news:

More than 100 youth activists played dead on the Capitol lawn to raise awareness for gun violence - An issue very pertinent to the LGBTQ community.

Who Are LGBTQ Americans? Here’s A Major Poll On Life, Sex, and Politics. - Fascinating. We are all so quick to talk about "the community," yet we know very little about each other.

This Pastor Disrupted a Drag Queen Story Hour: ‘There’s No Such Thing as Transgenders’ - What an absolute dumbass.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trump/Golden Girls mashup featuring Putin, Pence, & Kim Jong Un is kinda spooky now

When I posted this a long while back, it was simply funny and campy. But based upon what we now know about Russia's involvement in the 2016 election which got Trump in the White House and after Trump's recent summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, we probably should ask can something be campy and spooky at the same time.

News brief special - Two years after Pulse, LGBTQ community will continue to combat physical & spiritual violence

The Stories of the Victims of the Pulse Gay Nightclub Massacre in Orlando - Never forget.

No, We Cannot Weep Together - An appropriate post written two days later.

Jim Obergefell, Marriage Equality Plaintiff: Religion Is Being Weaponized Against Us - Meanwhile, the fight for our dignity and rights continue. Those who try to take away what is ours don't always use physical violence. Spiritual violence is just as bad.

Why Are Antigay Ads Running Before LGBT Videos on YouTube? - See commentary on news brief above . . .

22 Incredible Photos Of LGBTQ Pride Celebrations Over The Decades - But we will not lose. As we commemorate and weep and fight, we are still here. We will continue to be here.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Franklin Graham would rather rail on the trans community than comment on Jeff Sessions asylum block

So today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that there will be no asylum for people from foreign countries attempting to escape domestic or gang violence. One would think that the evangelical community would be up in arms about it. After all, they are so into exact interpretations of the Bible, which contains many verses admonishing folks to care for strangers.

Think again. Better yet, allow me to focus on one prominent evangelical leader, Franklin Graham. Do you think he has anything to say about this? Sometimes, simple tweets tell a sad, but pertinent message:

Hours later, no such luck:

'Andrew Garfield's Tony Awards speech takes on gay cake debate' & other Mon midday news briefs

Andrew Garfield’s Tony Awards Speech Takes On Gay Cake Debate - Of course the religious right would rather throw attention to Robert DeNiro's words about Trump, Andrew Garfield's words are a bit more appropriate to this blog, seeing that the Masterpiece decision is officially a week old.

  Adoption, Foster Care Agencies That Shun LGBTQ People Get Millions From Taxpayers - "You ain't nothing but a nasty dirty sinner. God doesn't love you and you're going to hell. Now gimme your money, bitch." - That line isn't in the article, but that's what the article makes me feel like what these "religious" adoption & foster care agencies are saying to me.

Patrisse Cullors On The ‘Legacy Of Queer Black Women’ This Pride Month - PREACH!! 

Indiana GOP scraps proposal to move away from Pence-era marriage equality opposition - All of that nasty symbolism. In spite of it all, we worked hard to gain the right to marry and we aims to keep it.

‘Shame Is A Good Thing’: Dave Daubenmire And Crew Will Be Protesting A Mosque, An Abortion Clinic, And A Pride Parade This Weekend - At the same time?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Beware of the homosexuals . . .

Just a little comedy to get us ready for the week, courtesy of filmmaker and photographer Ivan Bellaroba from 2014. Did you know there is no vaccine for homosexuality and . . . it's rather easy to catch.

 According to the bio on youtube, this video was inspired by certain 1950s "educational" films on homosexuality, as well as events taking place in Russia, Nigeria, and Uganda with regards to the persecution of the LGBTQ community there.

Friday, June 08, 2018

'Did SCOTUS give the anti-LGBTQ right a dreaded 'white elephant' gift in Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling' & other Fri midday news briefs

As of now (things could change), it's looking more and more like SCOTUS handed the anti-LGBTQ right a "white elephant" when it gave them the victory with its 'Masterpiece cakeshop' ruling. 

Let me explain - there is a legend about a certain king of Siam who would give a white elephant as a gift. The reason for the gift was to show his displeasure because the upkeep of the white elephant would eventually bankrupt the person he gave it to. 

It seems to me that SCOTUS gave the anti-LGBTQ right a win in Masterpiece solely on a technicality. As to the general question of using "religious liberty" as an excuse to engage in anti-LGBTQ discrimination, though the court did not touch that subject, Justice Kennedy specifically affirmed the rights of same-sex couples and the LGBTQ community. This had a serious effect on a ruling in Arizona right after Masterpiece. So while SCOTUS handed the anti-LGBTQ right a victory, the win has thus far undermined their eventual goal - the right to use "religious liberty" as an excuse to allow anti-LGBTQ discrimination by secular entities. SCOTUS is very secretive regarding its rulings and such but maybe the Masterpiece ruling was Kennedy's way of saying to the anti-LGBTQ right - "We see you! You ain't slick!"

My point:

Fury and despair over the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling are misplaced 

Masterpiece case used by AZ court to reject anti-LGBTQ discrimination

‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ just totally blew up in the face of the hate group that argued it

Wedding Invitation Business Can’t Shun Same-Sex Couples, Arizona Court Rules

 In other news:

Iowa judge overturns state’s ban on Medicaid covering transgender medical procedures - Wonderful!

Why Some Gay Men Hate Pride Parades — And Ourselves - A controversial but needed debate.

Trump Finally Has An LGBTQ Judicial Nominee - And with no catch! I know. Get up off the floor.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Maryland ad becomes first in the country to show political candidate kiss same-sex partner

After seeing this bold ad, I sincerely hope Maryland state senator Rich Madaleno does win the gubernatorial election. Alas, however, he is polling in fourth place for the Democratic nomination.. But even if he doesn't win, he's already made history in a positive way.  Something like this goes way beyond politics because it sends a message of openness and pride - something which is wonderful for our LGBTQ children to see.

 From The Huffington Post:

 Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D) wants two things: to be elected governor of his state and to irritate President Donald Trump. The gubernatorial candidate’s most recent TV ad begins by listing accomplishments, including sponsoring legislation to support Planned Parenthood and a measure to ban assault weapons, which he says “infuriate” the president and his conservative allies. “Take that, Trump,” Madaleno’s supporters, including several children, chime after each item. For the kicker, Madaleno turns to husband Mark Hodge for a kiss. 
 . .The ad is the first in the United States to show a political candidate kiss a same-sex partner, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Madaleno’s campaign.

'Closed CrossFit gym, fired executive, & transphobic Congressional candidate learn the wages of bigotry' & other Thur midday news briefs

 Jazmina Saavedra (top picture) and Russell Berger (bottom picture) both learned that people don't like hate, no matter  if it's hidden behind supposed concerns for safety or religious beliefs

Indy gym closes, CrossFit exec fired after Pride event canceled - In the recent controversy involving the CrossFit gym chain, it wasn't just the high level official who lost his job. The franchise which began the homophobic mess by attacking Pride and disrespecting its gay customers has closed. Well that solves it all. If you think Pride and homosexuality is sinful, you no longer have the option to take our money.

A Republican who filmed herself harassing a trans woman lost her election. By a lot. - On that note, a certain wannabe elected official who had the nerve to film a transgender woman attempting to use the restroom lost her primary. And it wasn't even close. 

Shop Owner Who Posted “No Gays Allowed” Sign Celebrates Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision - Okay. Even though he is wrong with his thinking that the decision allows him to do that, go right ahead and prove our point. We can always count on the religious right and their supporters to prove their point when they go overboard and show their proverbial asses. 

When 'religious liberty' breeds homophobic entitlement - Reposting this post is very appropriate. It's like I said in it - "When someone calls the LGBTQ community sinners and then tries to play the victim by accusing us of being intolerant when we call them out, it's the equivalent of an abusive relationship where your partner blames you for him giving you a black-eye, a busted lip, and assorted bruises." 

Bermuda’s repeal of marriage equality lasted less than a week - Hehehehe!!!

LGBTQ Russians Are Fleeing To NYC, But They Still Face Hostility - It's been a good day on my news briefs. But don't celebrate so much that you forget that we still struggle worldwide.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

When 'religious liberty' breeds homophobic entitlement

An ugly incident involving homophobia at a national gym chain gives a sad, but needed lesson in the false entitlement which comes with today's definition of "religious liberty."

From Buzzfeed:

A high-ranking CrossFit employee told BuzzFeed News that he has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence after tweeting his support for a CrossFit gym’s cancellation of a Pride event, citing his belief that celebrating LGBT pride is a “sin.”  
 Russell Berger, the mega-successful fitness company’s chief knowledge officer and often its de facto spokesperson, said he does not know how long his leave of absence will last. But his work — including his writing for the Russells, a blog about scientific misconduct that he maintains with colleague Russell Greene — has been put on hold at least temporarily, he told BuzzFeed News. 
Berger got into hot water Wednesday afternoon when he tweeted about a CrossFit gym in Indianapolis, Indiana, where owners canceled a workout in honor of Pride Month. Many of the coaches and employees quit in protest, raising the possibility that the gym could shut down, according to WTTV TV in Indianapolis.

Before he was put on unpaid leave, Berger taunted folks who voiced their disapproval in now deleted tweets. He played the victim, claiming that the LGBTQ community and its allies were being "intolerant" of his religious views:

'We have entered the stupid phase of the war on LGBTQ rights.' & other Wed midday news briefs

Most Americans Oppose Businesses Refusing To Serve LGBTQ People, Poll Finds - We still have the public mostly on our side. Build on that. Tell our stories. Show our faces. 

Masterpiece Cakeshop was just the beginning. ADF is pushing several other license-to-discriminate cases through the courts. - Because the opposition isn't going to let up. 

The Christian Right’s bizarre plan to destroy civil rights laws by trolling - And it seems their new tactic will be "trolling" to create incidents of "anti-religious hostility."

Masterpiece: A (dangerous) nothingburger that will change nothing (and maybe everything) - Jeremy Hooper ( comes out of hiatus to talk about Monday's Masterpiece ruling and drops probably the best analysis of the entire situation. His perspective is one which we sorely need - from a person who has tracked the anti-LGBTQ industry and knows their language (yes, I know I do that but Hooper is much better than me.)

Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Is Not As Limited As Some Might Think - And a warning for the future.

As a teen, Zach Wahls once spoke out for marriage equality. He could now become one of Iowa's youngest state lawmakers - A young man who gained fame for speaking boldly for same-sex families, including his own, Mr. Wahls would a fine addition to any Congressional body. He won his primary last night. Good luck in the election. 

The US has an HIV epidemic – and its victims are gay black men - And unfortunately, it's being kicked aside.

An Indiana Teacher Says It’s Against His Religion to Call Trans Students By Their Names - The teacher feels emboldened by Monday's ruling, but his explanation is junk. Using the "homosexuality and transgenderism are dangerous lifestyles" will derail his mess should he try to push it further.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Don't let the recent SCOTUS decision fool you. The anti-gay right are the ones who are the bullies.

The anti-LGBTQ industry is still celebrating Monday's SCOTUS decision and already seems to be planning their steps for future attacks on the gay community. I have it on great authority that they are pushing the idea of "anti-religious hostility" as a key to them winning more cases and p[ossibly undermining the entire concept of marriage equality by claiming that it in itself is an attack on "religious liberty."

Today, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said in part:

Hopefully, that will be a little easier now that the court seems willing to hold the anti-faith bullies accountable. It's exactly, David French points out, the kind of pushback Americans have been waiting for. "Since the rise of the gay-marriage movement, it has become fashionable to decry dissenters as haters and bigots, to attempt to write them out of polite society in the same way that the larger American body politic has rightfully rejected the Klan... This week, the Supreme Court said 'enough.'"

First of all, let's clear something. The Supreme Court didn't say anything anywhere near what Perkins and the slop artists writers he employs and cites conjured up.

Secondly, the idea of attempting to prove "anti-religious hostility" on the part of those who won't let people discriminate on the grounds of religion is a good idea. It  sounds desperate because it implies that the religious right were more disappointed with the narrow scope of Monday's ruling than they let on.  However, they are on to something, even though I don't know if it will lead to success or open embarrassment for being so pathetically obvious.

But, like almost everything Perkins and the rest of the anti-LGBTQ industry undertakes, this tactics is highly deceptive. Perkins epitomizes this lie when he said:

Since the rise of the gay-marriage movement, it has become fashionable to decry dissenters as haters and bigots, to attempt to write them out of polite society in the same way that the larger American body politic has rightfully rejected the Klan..

Perkins and the writer he cited deliberately failed to note that when marriage equality dissenters are called haters and bigots, it's probably because of the things they have said and sent out about marriage equality and the LGBTQ community at large. However, by whining that they are unfairly being called haters and trotting out easily exploited people like the baker, Jack Phillips, they rarely have to address their long history of attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ community. This "anti-religious hostility" talking point is merely the latest tactic. But the truth is on our side, as well as the "receipts" concerning their anti-gay hostility and animus. The solution is to bring that animus into the debate. Goodness know that we have more than enough evidence. The following are just an example of the things which need to be a huge part of the "cultural conversation."

'Anti-gay right celebrate, spin tales of evil gays and slavery in wake of SCOTUS decision' & other Tue midday news briefs

Religious Right Ecstatic Over Supreme Court Ruling On Baker Who Refused Wedding Cake For Gay Couple - Of course the religious right has to crow about yesterday at SCOTUS. After all, they still need to fundraise, even at the point of lying about what the baker's victory meant. Don't be put off by their statements of how the decision is the "greatest victory since (feel free to insert)." They do that all of the time they win something.

"Open season on Christians": Hate group leader Tony Perkins says LGBTQ activists are "targeting" Christian wedding vendors - Meanwhile the lies which prop up their game continue and on Fox News where there will be no proper pushback. Notice the language Perkins uses. It's no different than when they say we "recruit" children. It's all about deliberately creating a connotation which paints gays as the "shadowy other" other instead of tax paying Americans, some who are raising families. Of course his lies must be refuted BUT when we don't also draw attention to the language he uses, we fail to properly direct people's attention to the propaganda. 

NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch compares an anti-gay baker having to serve a gay couple to “slavery” - Lawd, hammercy. I swear the longer they talk . . . 

These Gay Men Have Spent 30 Years Learning How To Be Long-Term HIV Survivors - These guys are wonderful. Listen to them. 

The Next Generation Of LGBTQ Leaders Is Here - In spite of the madness, we are in good shape. We just need to mentor them well.

Monday, June 04, 2018

The anti-LGBTQ right did not get the victory they wanted in the Masterpiece ruling (and they know it)

The spin from today's Masterpiece ruling varies. Some have said that while it was a victory for baker Jack Phillips, it was so narrow (not focusing on the argument of using religion to discriminate under the guise of "religious liberty but instead focusing on how the Colorado Commission treated Phillips's religious beliefs) it did not give the anti-LGBTQ right a solid victory.

SCOTUS didn't address the argument of "religious liberty."  And while some prognosticators have made good points on this being potentially negative for the LGBTQ community,  others claimed that the court actually affirmed our rights and dignity. This is something which cannot be omitted.

But of course the anti-LGBTQ right bypassed the possible affirmation of gay rights and tried to make the case either seem like a complete victory or incentive to come back in other cases. Their responses  struck me as very lukewarm. There was very little general crowing on how the supposed concept of "religious liberty" won the day.

The Family Research Council: 
Like us, Justice Clarence Thomas knew this crisis was coming. "In Obergefell, I warned that the Court's decision would 'inevitabl[y]... come into conflict' with religious liberty, 'as individuals . . . are confronted with demands to partic­ipate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.' This case proves that the conflict has already emerged. Because the Court's decision vindicates Phillips' right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day. But, in future cases, the free­dom of speech could be essential to preventing Obergefell from being used to 'stamp out every vestige of dissent' and 'vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.' If that freedom is to maintain its vitality, reasoning like the Colorado Court of Appeals' must be rejected." The time is coming -- and soon -- when the court will have to wade into the bigger clash between religious liberty and same-sex marriage. When it does, let's hope it agrees with the majority of Americans, who understand that -- regardless of what you think about marriage -- no one should be forced to violate revealed and established biblical truth. 

Anti-gay baker wins but the LGBTQ community does not lose in 'Masterpiece' case

Anti-gay baker narrowly wins at SCOTUS, but the LGBTQ community did not lose. Time for another round.

By now, the news of the SCOTUS ruling for Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who wouldn't bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, has reached pretty much all of us. And with that reach comes less of a freak-out and more of a realization.

The ruling for Phillips was narrow in that the court merely looked at how the state commission in Colorado supposedly showed a hostility to his religious beliefs. SCOTUS did not settle the question of can "religious liberty" be used as a way to discriminate. The court did not give the religious right what it wanted - a blanket religious liberty exemption. However while the religious right may use this case to pursue more cases, we have an enormous amount of wiggle room - particularly in cases involving tax monies going to entities which freely discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Granted, the religious right is going to spin the hell out of this case. After all, they have to fundraise. But in the general sense, they have won nothing.

Nor have we, except for one thing.

We have a chance to stare into the abyss of negative possibilities and hopefully we are learning from this. No matter how many victories we win, there are groups and people out there who will exploit,  manipulate, and spin to take it all from us. No longer should we be saying "just ignore them," "don't give them any attention." Maybe it's time we start taking these folks seriously.  We need to start engaging in the political process and educating ourselves and others about these folks and groups with as much exuberance as some of us watch 'RuPaul's Drag Race' or argue about "intersectionality" and "privilege." This is a war, folks. It was the reason why I began this blog in 2006. Let's all start acting like warriors. Patient, pragmatic, hot-fired, whatever it takes. We didn't lose this round. But there will be more rounds coming.

The Supreme Court Just Ruled (Narrowly) In Favor Of The Baker In The Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case - Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed has been the only reporter has been consistently ON POINT about this issue. I read his article before anyone else's and with good reason.

Supreme Court sidesteps major ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop case - Washington Blade also nails the situation

The Supreme Court’s opinion in the anti-gay baker case is a stupid, waste-of-time punt - ThinkProgress says the same thing, but makes a wonderful point of the inanity of it all.

Supreme Court upholds basic principles of nondiscrimination, reverses Colorado Civil Rights Commission decision - ACLU spin is generally accurate.

 And let's forget the opposition. Like I said - Spin, spin, spin:

Sunday, June 03, 2018

The History of Queer Dance is simply too fierce to handle

Watching either or both of these videos are wonderful ways to begin this week, which may be one of the pivotal in American LGBTQ history. They are reminders of how strong and powerful our community is, in spite of whatever adversity ignorant folks throw at us.

The revolutionary history of ball culture in the LGBTQ community is not just about fabulous dance styles. It's a profound intersection of sexuality, race, and gender nonconforming individuals defiantly living their truth in a safe, celebratory space. A group of iconic dancers and a young boy represent this fierce array of queer choreography in a story about the ongoing struggle to freely express your pride. Four legendary choreographers: Derrell Bullock, Kumari Suraj, Jonte' Moaning, and Brian Friedman, take you on a spectacular journey through the diverse history and massive influence of queer dance, from the underground voguing battles in 1960s Harlem to the fierce, powerful diva styles that permeate pop culture today.

Friday, June 01, 2018

'Anti-LGBTQ hate groups, conservatives desperately trying to hide communication with Trump Administration on trans ban' & other Fri midday news briefs

Conservatives who crafted transgender military ban claim they’re the victims of bullying - Those who follow this blog know that I've been monitoring this situation with drooling anticipation as anti-LGBTQ hate groups futilely attempt to hide their coordination with the Trump Administration in pushing that ridiculous trans ban in the military. Now the Liberty Counsel has jumped in. Works for me. They can run all they want but Lambda Legal is on their tail with the subpoenas.

HuffPost Celebrates LGBTQ Pride, Love And Resistance In 2018 - It's Pride Month for the LGBTQ community and the Huffington Post has wonderful coverage of it. 

Soccer star confirms she quit national team because God didn’t want her to wear a LGBTQ Pride jersey - Oh well. Bye, girl. It's your free choice. No one forced you to do anything in any direction.

Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes mocks disabled gay man: "As far as sex goes ... you're a giant, small loser" - Trash is as trash does.

#Pride30: Black trans lawmaker Andrea Jenkins is bringing diversity to politics - A role model for everyone.