Thursday, September 19, 2019

Democratic candidates will try to engage LGBTQ voters during Friday night forum

On Friday evening, there is going to be a Democratic candidate forum focused solely on the LGBTQ community and our issues. The fact that openly gay candidate Pete Buttigieg will be there is a milestone in itself.

The event, however, will not be unprecedented. The last LGBTQ candidate forum was held in 2007. And as MSNBC points out, much has changed since then.

The last time such an event took place was in November 2007, with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama among the participants. In the 12 years since, the country has undergone a revolution in terms of LGBTQ rights and acceptance. 
The mere presence on stage of the openly gay Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is a symbol of all that has changed for Democrats since the last forum.
In 2007, the Defense of Marriage Act banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions like Buttigieg’s. Gay Navy officers like Buttigieg were banned from serving openly because of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Only two states — Connecticut and Massachusetts — had legalized same-sex marriage, and many more had recently enacted constitutional bans against it. 
The front-runners in 2007 found that supporting same-sex marriage was too risky, and only two moonshot candidates — Dennis Kucinich, a congressman from Ohio, and Mike Gravel, a former senator from Alaska — endorsed it at the 2007 forum, which was presented by Logo TV and the Human Rights Campaign. Gravel criticized rivals for “playing it safe,” while Kucinich said, “When you understand what real equality is, you understand that people who love each other must have the opportunity to be able to express that in a way that's meaningful." 
Hillary Clinton’s message to the LGBTQ community about her opposition to same-sex marriage? “I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions,” Clinton, then a senator from New York, said at the time. 
Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, promised that as president he would ensure that existing legal rights “are recognized and enforced” for LGBTQ people. 
Clinton and Obama’s positions leading into the 2008 presidential race were shared by a majority of Americans. Even in 2009, just 37 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage, according to Pew. 
Today, public opinion has swung hard in the opposite direction. Now, a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to Pew, and nearly 70 percent back nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to the nonprofit research firm Public Religion Research Institute.

As MSNBC points out, marriage is not longer the big issue.

Most candidates — if not all — have publicly supported bans on conversion therapy for minors, ending the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service, and rolling back the spread of religious “refusal” rules that allow ostensibly religious businesses to decline to serve LGBTQ members of the public. Candidates have also spoken about the need for the Equality Act as a law that would prevent LGBTQ people from getting legally married one day, then fired the next, because of state laws that still do not protect LGBTQ people from employment discrimination.

No doubt, a majority of us will be watching with much interest at what Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson candidates propose to do for the LGBTQ community.

'Is a Consumer Protection exec secretly dismantling LGBTQ protections?' & other Thur midday news briefs

The LGBTQ community could be having a problem at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And guess what hate group may be knee deep in it. Like it's knee deep in all anti-LGBTQ drama we've recently seen.

Is a Consumer Protection Exec Quietly Dismantling LGBTQ Protections? - And we got a huge problem: 

A simmering battle over LGBTQ issues is reaching a boiling point at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the government agency partly established by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and tasked with safeguarding taxpayers. The situation comes nearly three months after The Advocate published an exclusive report in collaboration with Allied Progress detailing that the head of the Bureau’s Office of Innovation, Paul Watkins, attempted to hide the fact that he worked as senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, a hate group seeking to criminalize LGBTQ people.

This Queer Veteran Is Running For Congress In California - More LGBTQ people in Congress? I love it!

It’s BiWeek. Here are some words you should know.- Happy BiWeek! 

Betsy DeVos To Promote School That Bans Transgender Students And Staff - Color me not shocked. Repulsed, but not shocked.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Arizona ruling show reluctance to label pro-LGBTQ ordinances as anti-religious discrimination

By now, many of us are aware of the ruling in the Arizona case of the studio,Brush & Nib Studios,  which sued to keep from making gay wedding invitations. We are also all aware of just how narrow the ruling was. It didn't overturn a pro-LGBTQ ordinance like the studio and its attorney was no doubt hoping.

 . . .  in the carefully worded decision, the justices refused to give blanket protection to all businesses — including Brush & Nib — to simply turn away customers because of their sexual orientation. Gould said it leaves open the question of whether the two women could be forced to produce other products, like place cards for receptions, which do not specifically celebrate the marriage.

We are all also painfully aware of how the studio's victory opens the door - even a little bit - to businesses being able to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. No doubt the anti-LGBTQ industry are planning on ways to exploit this decision.

However in the unfortunate great American tradition of going bonkers before processing all of the information, I think that many of us didn't study the details of how the justices reached the divided 4-3 decision because we were justifiably angry at the decision itself.

I am of the belief that lawyer for the studio (Jonathan Scruggs of the Alliance Defending Freedom, an SPLC designated hate group because of its attempts to undermine LGBTQ equality and safety via a court of law) may have hurt the studio's case because he was looking to either overturn the LGBTQ ordinance or get a blanket exemption What he did in pursuit of this and how the justices reacted may demonstrate why the ruling was so narrow.

From The Arizona Daily Star:

During legal arguments in January, attorney Eric Fraser, representing Phoenix, conceded the city could not force the women to produce custom invitations with obvious endorsements of same-sex marriage. But he told the justices that they could not refuse to produce all invitations based solely on the sexual orientation of the couple. 
Jonathan Scruggs, an attorney for the alliance, sought a broader legal shield. 
He also introduced several samples of the kind of invitations that Brush & Nib produces. And that apparently paved the way for the justices to decide the issue on narrow grounds — and limit the scope of their ruling.

The Arizona Daily Star went on to say that one of the justices made it a point to say that the studio will not get a blanket exemption from the ordinance for all of its "business operations." Scruggs later claimed said that a broader ruling wasn't his extent.

Still, because he tried to make the case that ordinances protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination can be considered as anti-religious discrimination, the Arizona justices shot that argument down.

Again, this is not to say that this ruling will not be used against the LGBTQ community in the future because it probably will. But it does show that there seems to be a reluctance to declare  that pro-LGBTQ laws and ordinance are automatically anti- religious discrimination.

It's definitely what the ADF wants to happen, but the group is going to need a better way to weave that poisonous thread.

'Don't let Franklin Graham get away with his attacks on Pete Buttigieg' & Wed midday news briefs

Sign this petition if Franklin Graham does not speak for you - Something different as a news brief. Trump supporting hypocrite Franklin Graham is obviously targeting presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg because he is openly gay and has the nerve to talk about his own faith. Folks constantly wonder why Graham and his type seem to bogart the conversation about faith. It's probably because those of us on the left who have faith aren't noticed. Here is your chance, even if you aren't a person of faith. Sign this petition from Faithful America and let everyone know that people like Graham don't have own the patent on faith and religion.

Mormon Leader Reaffirms Church’s Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage - And now that same note, neither does the Mormon Church own the patent on faith and religion. This is their beliefs but who cares what they think. We won marriage fair and square. 

Shawnee Mission district adds LGBTQ protection despite majority speaking against it - Some of the things these folks were saying is just insane. It's not all about sexual intercourse. Luckily folks spoke in favor of it and the protection was passed unanimously.

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union launch LGBTQ T-shirts after supporting 12-year-old son - I love this!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Nine Times 'The Golden Girls' Brought the LGBTQ Pride

I was never a big fan of  The Golden Girls. I tried and while I found some episodes enjoyable, I can't honestly say that I have a love for the series like some of my other LGBTQ brothers and sisters do.

Still, I can respect how The Golden Girls was ahead of its time when it came to addressing LGBTQ issues. I think this video, Nine Times The Golden Girls Brought the LGBTQ Pride, is a perfect summation of that fact. And like the video implies, you don't have to be insensitive to make people laugh. Too bad a certain Saturday Night Live almost cast member couldn't get that point.

'Arizona anti-LGBTQ ruling is very narrow, but still troubling' & other Tue midday news briefs

The Alliance Defending Freedom is attempting to create this future.

Arizona Supreme Court: Business doesn't have to make invitations for same-sex weddings - The Alliance Defending Freedom failed to get a pro-LGBTQ ordinance overturned even in victory. But it is still a dangerous precedent:

 But in the carefully worded ruling, the justices refused to give blanket protection to all businesses — including Brush & Nib — to simply turn away customers because of their sexual orientation. The decision is limited to the ability of this business and presumably others to refuse to produce wedding invitations and similar items that could be seen as celebrating a same-sex marriage. That leaves open the question of whether business owners could be forced under a city's anti-discrimination ordinance to produce other products for gay weddings, like place cards for receptions, which do not specifically celebrate the marriage.

Rwandan gospel singer who came out as gay says reaction has been ‘horrible’ - Say what you will, the brotha is brave.

New ‘SNL’ Cast Member Fired After Using Racist And Homophobic Slurs - the moral of the story is being vulgar just be to vulgar isn't funny. and it could bite you on the ass. 

‘Pose’ Actress Angelica Ross To Host Presidential Candidate Forum On LGBTQ Issues - Awesome.

Monday, September 16, 2019

'Former 'Ex-Gay' leaders apologize. The LGBTQ community should, at the very least, recognize.

This video by  Truth Wins Out features former leaders of the "ex-gay" movement who are apologizing for their past exploits against us.

I can predict what some of you are going to say. I can feel the anger rising in you and the bitter words forming in your mouths. That's why I posted the video. Your anger is justified. Keep that anger if you must. But at least listen to what these folks have to say and recognize.

Recognize that they are not the enemy. Their past exploits are examples of just what society and the anti-LGBTQ industry has done to us as a people. Recognize that the internalized homophobia which led some of them down their past roads is the same which plagues our community of so-called proud and out folks. How is the racism, transphobia, biphobia, etc that some of  us throw at our own any different from what these former "ex-gay" leaders once threw at us?

'Mike Pence fundraises with group which once called gay relationships 'diseased'' & other Mon midday news briefs

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Family Research Council isn't helping Mike Pence by defending his homophobic career

Mike Pence
In spite of a recent campaign against reality by his allies, we all know that Vice President Mike Pence is a homophobe who has made a political career off of stigmatizing the LGBTQ community behind the veneer of  simple religious beliefs.

A recent article by CNN only underscored this:

Vice President Mike Pence once argued that homosexuality was a choice during his fight in the early 1990s against local efforts in Indiana to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Pence's opposition to LGBT equality has long drawn the scorn of gay rights activists and made him a champion of the Religious Right. 
But scrutiny of Pence's record on LGBT issues intensified recently when White House Deputy press secretary Judd Deere suggested last week in a tweet that the vice president wasn't anti-gay because he was having lunch with the Irish prime minister, who is gay, and his partner during a state visit. 
The little-explored episode in the 1990s, unearthed in local newspaper clippings during a deeper KFile review of Pence's record on LGBT issues, highlights an early window into the now-vice president's public activism and views in opposition of gay rights. Darin Miller, a spokesman for Pence, told CNN in a statement that the vice president "has always opposed discrimination in any form and defends the Constitution's protection of the rights of all Americans regardless of race, sex or religion." 
 Pence argued in the 1990s that, unlike protections for African Americans, homosexuals choose or learn to be gay and was part of a "grassroots-generated movement for recognition of homosexual rights" nationwide.

. . . The American Psychological Association said in 1992 that data did not support the view that homosexuality was a choice and studies at the time in the 1990s suggested homosexuality was biological and genetic. The arguments made in the 1990s by Pence would echo those he later emphasized when he ran for Congress in 2000 when his platform protested extending civil rights protections to gay Americans. But the 1990s comments show for the first time Pence calling homosexuality a choice and offer a clearer view into Pence's view on gay Americans at the time. 

Hoping to offer some type of defense to Pence, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council attempted to play down the revelations of the CNN article in a piece on FRC's webpage. It's a rather boring piece except for this part:

Most of the arguments Pence offered in 1993 are the same arguments that we at Family Research Council and other social conservatives make today in opposing radical LGBT rights legislation like the proposed federal Equality Act.   What would be news is if Mike Pence had ever taken any other position.

No, Peter. The news is that you freely admit that the position FRC takes against the LGBTQ community is old, antiquated, and totally against science. Not to mention rooted in fear stories and out-and-out lies, such as claiming that gays shouldn't be employed as school teachers.

Keep it up, Peter and FRC. Pretty soon folks like myself won't be needed with y'all telling on yourselves.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Gay conservative owes happiness to making LGBTQ community miserable

A prominent gay conservative got married recently and as you can tell by my retweet, I'm not necessarily ready to throw the rice:

Guy Benson is an openly gay conservative writer who contributes to Fox News network and is also political editor of the site Townhall.  He recently married his boyfriend, Adam Wise.

Let me repeat that last part. He is a contributor to Fox News - the network whose anchors have given anti-LGBTQ groups uncontested platform time via softball interviews.  That is when they aren't demonizing and misgendering the transgender community, lying about Trump's horrible anti-LGBTQ record, or helping to plant the idiotic notion that LGBTQs are attempting to "sexualize" or "groom" children.

And then there's Townhall, home of writers such as

Ben Shapiro: No, the gay rights movement and the broader American left celebrated the same-sex marriage decision in wild fashion because the decision established two fundamental notions: First, that government has replaced God in the moral pantheon of the United States; second, that the new god-government has the power to root out and destroy any God-based institutions, destroying the social capital and fabric that holds together the nation.
Dennis Prager: Virtually every week, there seems to be another issue that preoccupies the country. But while our attention is focused on President Donald Trump, Google, Charlottesville, Russia, impeachment, Jeffrey Epstein, the next elections, racism, a trade war with China, the #MeToo movement or something else, LGBTQ organizations are quietly going about their work dismantling ethical norms, making a mockery of education, ruining innocent people's lives and destroying children's innocence. 
and John HawkinsGay scoutmasters would be more likely to molest Boy Scouts: There's a lot of back and forth on whether gay men are more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals, but in the end, it really doesn't matter very much when it comes to the Scouts. Why is that? Because a teenager in the Boy Scouts shouldn't be spending a lot of alone time out in the woods with someone who could potentially be attracted to him. This is so basic we don't even think about it when teen girls are involved. If a thirty year old, strapping male P.E. teacher took a group of 15 year old cheerleaders out in the woods, their parents would GO INSANE. Incidentally, they'd be right to be upset. Similarly, a gay man has no business being in the woods with a bunch of teenage boys. In fact, if the Boy Scouts ever allowed gay Scoutmasters in their organization, it would kill them as dead as Disco because most parents don't want their child spending a lot of alone time with an adult who could be sexually attracted to him. In fact, that is so obvious it's clear that the people pushing this idea the hardest are primarily concerned with destroying the Boy Scouts, not enabling "gay rights."

These columns were published after Benson became editor. In the spirit of being a "conservative," he aided and abetted  this mess.  And in the spirit of "tolerance," the LGBTQ community is supposed to be silent. We are supposed to take this abuse like Celie in the The Color Purple before she found her sister's letters

Damn that.

Call me intolerant if you want, but I refuse to celebrate the wedding of a gay man who gets his coins by creating a platform for lies about gays  destroying religion, ruining lives, and recruiting children.

In a cushy interview with Buzzfeed after he came out, Benson said the following:

“Gay rights is not something that dominates my attentions — or my passions . . ."

No shit.  Benson doesn't have to worry about gay rights. He's upper-middle class, white, and male. He is insulated in a world which simultaneously kisses his ass and rewards him for simply existing.  We are all generally defined by our experiences in life. But in Benson's case, he is defined by his lack of experiences and not only that, is made to feel that his privilege is something he earned instead of being born into. It's a totally different reality than being a transgender woman being attacked while minding her own business or a young gay man or lesbian being bullied to the point of wanting to commit suicide.

Don't get me wrong. I don't wish Benson or his husband any ill will. They deserve happiness, as we all do. However no one should ignore that Benson owes his income to creating circumstances which undermines the ability of the rest of the LGBTQ community to be happy.

And that his marriage is due to the efforts of people who Benson gets a very nice paycheck for helping to disparage and smear.

'Must-See TV for LGBTQ Viewers in Fall 2019' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The 'Dangers' of Homosexuality in 1966

Call me sadomasochistic for it, but there are times in which I like to look read past articles or look at past videos which show the world when things weren't as positive towards the LGBTQ community. That's not to say that things are all okay for us at the present, but a look in the past adds perspective to where we are and where we need to be going.

And this video is a doozy. It's a clip from a PBS special (American Experience) about the Stonewall Uprising and it features a police office, John Sorenson, lecturing 8th graders on homosexuality in 1966. Needless to say Sorenson is not a fan of our community. During that time, homosexual acts were against the law in a wide majority of states. And Sorenson was determined get across these laws would be prosecuted to their fullest extent.


Detective John Sorenson, Dade County Morals & Juvenile Squad (Archival): There may be some in this auditorium. There may be some here today that will be homosexual in the future. There are a lot of kids here. There may be some girls here who will turn lesbian. We don't know. But it's serious, don't kid yourselves about it. They can be anywhere. They could be judges, lawyers. We ought to know, we've arrested all of them. So if any one of you, have let yourself become involved with an adult homosexual, or with another boy, and you're doing this on a regular basis, you better stop quick. Because one out of three of you will turn queer. And if we catch you, involved with a homosexual, your parents are going to know about it first. And you will be caught, don't think you won't be caught, because this is one thing you cannot get away with. This is one thing that if you don't get caught by us, you'll be caught by yourself. And the rest of your life will be a living hell. 
Virginia Apuzzo: I grew up with that. I grew up in a very Catholic household and the conflict of issues of redemption, of is it possible that if you are this thing called homosexual, is it possible to be redeemed? Is that conceivable? And that, that was a very haunting issue for me. I entered the convent at 26, to pursue that question and I was convinced that I would either stay until I got an answer, or if I didn't get an answer just stay.
There are people and groups who want to bring this horror back. If not via letter of the law then definitely by spiritual connotation. They want us to be so scared that we don't live our lives authentically for fear of repercussions which would serve to remind us of how supposedly undeserving we are. Psychological cages are just as awful as physical ones.

Don't fall for it. And don't let the fear stop you from being who you are and for fighting for us all. It says a lot that if someone like Sorenson made such a speech today, all hell would break loose. That's what our community did. His nonsense is what we have defeated time and time again. And will continue to defeat in all of its ugly forms.

'LGBTQ self-defense classes gaining worldwide popularity' & other Wed midday news briefs

LGBTQ self-defense classes are gaining popularity around the world - Yep. I totally approve of this. People are becoming stupider than before.

E.W. Jackson: ‘Homosexuality Is Not Normal and Normal People Find it Disgusting- Yet he can't stop talking about gay sex. 

Brazilian YouTuber Hands Out Free LGBTQ Books in Protest of Censorship - Try to hold us down and we find new ways to rise.