Monday, November 30, 2009

Ebony magazine puts out lesbian on the cover

For the first time that I can remember, Ebony magazine has placed an out-of-the-closet lesbian on the cover.

Comedian Wanda Sykes has graced the cover of the magazine as a part of its Power 150 list.

Sykes, an immensely talented Emmy-award winning comedian,  came out last year during a Las Vegas rally in response to the Proposition 8 vote. Earlier last year, she married her partner, Alex and this year, the two became the parents of twins.

Granted, her cover is just one in a collection of eight covers, including that of Chris Rock, President Barack Obama, and Al Sharpton.

And also, unfortunately, the short blurb on her in the magazine makes a highly guarded, tiptoeing mention of her orientation.

But still, it's not a bad thing.  And I should also note that the same issue of Ebony contains a very good interview with the openly gay director of the hit movie Precious, Lee Daniels in which he acknowledges his orientation.

These developments in Ebony magazine aren't necessarily the same as a door opening for lgbts of color, but they are a start.
And yes they are somewhat of a big deal.

Every lgbt issue in the media need not surround Adam Lambert or Perez Hilton.

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Rick Warren demonstrates Christian uselessness, and other Monday midday news briefs

FAIL: Rick Warren tries to take a neutral position on Uganda's 'execute gays' bill - Want to know what's wrong with Christianity in America? Rick Warren gives us a HUGE clue.

While Britain and Canada Stand Up to Uganda, U.S. Races to the Bottom - Speaking of which, the United States needs to be on the ball ourselves regarding Uganda.

Transgender officer living his dream -- as a cop and a man
- An excellent article

Gay Icon Harvey Milk to be Inducted into California Hall of Fame Next Week - Lest we forget

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters ranked #11 in the top 25 gay activists sites - A little ego-booster never hurts anyone. I am appreciative when someone notices my work.

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The voices of lgbts of color must be heard

This video, courtesy of a good friend of mine, Wayne Besen, is in response to another ignorant piece I read this weekend. The piece was about the lgbt and African-American communities and, like all pieces written about that sort of thing, chose to divide the two communities.

I've read ignorance like that before and it exasperates the hell out of me. And then more mentally defeating are the responses by wannabe gay activists who are so quick to either brand the entire black community as racist or play the game of "ignore lgbts of color" with as much finesse as the original column they were responding to.

My take on the entire thing is this - both communities are selfish in that there are elements in the black and lgbt community who need to stop boggarting the situation.

My advice to those in both communities is stop screaming so loud that you refuse to acknowledge those in your community who don't have the resources like Ebony or Jet magazine or BET or whose issues won't be on the front burner of discussions in the Advocate or on Michelangelo Signorile's show.

Your issues are important but not the only ones which should be given some degree of attention.

African-Americans should support lgbt issues because it is a black issue. African-Americans lgbts exist.

The problem is getting not only the black community but also lgbt community at large to acknowledge it.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Scott Lively: American, European gays are to blame for harsh anti-gay laws in Uganda

Apparently we lgbts in the United States and Europe are to blame for the harsh anti-gay laws they are trying to pushing in Uganda.

At least that's the case according to anti-lgbt activist Scott Lively.

An article with the right-wing said the following:

While a proposed and much-criticized anti-homosexuality law in Uganda is definitely too harsh, the law comes as a direct response to the heavy-handed pressure from international gay-activist politicians on Uganda to accept homosexuality as normal, according to one Christian expert who was recently in the African country to testify against the current wording of the bill. In fact, as Dr. Scott Lively, the President of Defend the Family pointed out, the preamble to the bill, and the bill itself contain numerous references to stopping international pressure on Uganda to accept Western sexual values that are abhorrent to Ugandan culture.

. . . Dr. Lively, a pro-family activist and attorney based in California was in Uganda in March to testify before Ugandan legislators now considering the legislation. In an interview with LifeSiteNews (LSN), Dr. Lively explained that the impetus for the bill was "a lot of external interference from European and American gay activists attempting to do in Uganda what they've done around the world - homosexualize that society." One of their main concerns, explained Lively, "are the many male homosexuals coming in to the country and abusing boys who are on the streets."

Of course Lively provides no evidence of his charges, especially the claim about gays coming into Uganda to rape street children. And I still can't shake my shock at the implications of his statements.

So we are to blame because we are "forcing" people  to "accept homosexuality."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Family Research Council caught in a big lie, Matt Barber picks on 10-year-old, and silly anti- Adam Lambert protest

I am just reposting some of the most interesting posts from this week: 

Family Research Council caught falsely accusing Congresswoman of religious bigotry  - If only the lgbt community could muster up such force to make the Family Research Council own up to all of the times it cites Paul Cameron as well as the many times it distorts legitimate studies to spin false images of our community.

Lesbian mother wins custody case against 'ex-gay' former partner - Watch out for the religious right barrage of nonsense to come crashing down regarding this case. It has been their cause celebre for a long time.

One News Now readers revolt against Matt Barber's attack on 10-year-old - It could be just wishful thinking on my part but it seems to me that Barber's comments has crossed a line that many readers of this supposed Christian publication wished he didn't.

Phony moralists show true colors with anti-Adam Lambert group: - Hollywood is pretty much all a bunch of homo's spreading their gay ideaology while hatin on Christians! (It's awful to be insulted by someone who can neither spell nor is aware of the basics of good punctuation) 

AFA tries to sugarcoat the end of its embarrassingly premature boycott against GAP - However it is nice to note that while everyone else is settling down to eat turkey this Thanksgiving, the AFA will be dining on crow.

Charleston, SC City Council pass non-discrimination ordinance - To me this is like finding money in your pocket when you think you are penniless. While attention may be focused (sometimes too focused) on places like Maine and California, we shouldn't forget that lgbts exist in all states of the country and our fight for equality should be on more than one front. . . See what you can get when you work together.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Know your lgbt history - Gays in Primetime Soaps

I found this very interesting video on youtube which looks at a few of the gay characters in primetime soap operas and miniseries.

They include (commentary provided by the video's creator):

* CELEBRITY (February 1984 NBC miniseries based upon Tommy Thompson's novel - Joseph Bottoms plays a married and closeted Hollywood star whose son (played by a young River Phoenix) accidentally witnesses his love-making session with a male lover)

* DYNASTY (ABC's #1 program in America in the 1984/85 season - Jack Coleman reluctantly took over the role of the luxe soap's resident gay character Steven Carrington who got to profess his love for a young PR assistant played by William Campbell in January 1985)

* I'LL TAKE MANHATTAN (CBS' March 1987 miniseries based upon Judith Krantz's novel - Adam Storke is powerful Amberville family's youngest child who ends up being manipulated by a male model hired by his evil uncle to set up drugs in his studio - the awkward hug the scene ends with reflects how gay intimacy was shown at the time)

* MELROSE PLACE (Aaron Spelling's outrageously shameless soap opera - unlike his fellow bedhopping heterosexual Melrose complex tenants, the show's resident gay character played by Doug Savant finally got to kiss a man only in May 1994, more than 60 episodes into the show's run. Unfortunately, fearful of advertiser and affiliate backlash FOX censored the scene)

* DAWSON'S CREEK (The WB's teen drama finally broke new ground in 2000 when Kerr Smith who played the show's gay character Jack McPhee shared a kiss with a boy which ended up being the very first prime-time gay male kiss in the history of American television) NOTE: This clip is taken from the episode "Promicide" which aired in 2001 and features a later kiss, not the first gay male kiss which aired in 2000 (and can not be seen in this video).

* DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (In a post-Will & Grace TV world ABC's immensely popular dramedy continued to show gay characters in lighter tone, sending its troublemaking teen Andrew Van De Kamp proudly out of the closet)

* BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC's critically-acclaimed star-studded family drama broke new ground in its 2nd season finale aired in May 2008 when its popular gay couple Kevin and Scotty tied the knot in a touching commitment ceremony).

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:
Know your lgbt history - Boys Beware

Know your lgbt history - The Boondocks

Know your lgbt history - Mannequin

Know your lgbt history - The Warriors

Know Your LGBT History - New York Undercover

Know Your LGBT History - Low Down Dirty Shame

Know Your LGBT History - Fortune and Men's Eyes

Know your lgbt history - California Suite

Know your lgbt history - Taxi (Elaine's Strange Triangle)

Know your lgbt history - Come Back Charleston Blue

Know your lgbt history - James Bond goes gay

Know your lgbt history - Windows

Know your lgbt history - To Wong Foo and Priscilla

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda

'Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community

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Catholic church covered up child sexual abuse and other Friday midday news briefs

Experts: Catholic church covered up child abuse - Hypocrisy alert! Marriage equality? A big no-no. The sexual abuse of children? Something that should be covered up.

Liberty Counsel: Releasing the 2009 “Naughty and Nice” list - Apparently the true meaning of Christmas is punishing retailers who don't specify the holiday as Christian to the Liberty Counsel's exact interpretations.

Christian Leaders Scapegoat Gays on Marriage - No #!@&

Changes ahead for sperm donors? - Potential problem for lgbts and I just know the religious right can't wait to get their hooks into this one.

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Phony moralists show true colors with anti-Adam Lambert group

This Adam Lambert controversy is ridiculous - that's my take on it.

But some other folks are taking it very seriously. For example, there is a new facebook group called 1,000,000 to File an FCC Obscenity Complaint Against Adam Lambert!

Now these folks are shocked! Simply shocked about Adam Lamber's behavior at the American Music Awards. And they are so shocked that apparently they seem to want to be more shocking. Or at least more obscene than they think Lambert was. That is the gist one gets based on their comments, some which are below along with a little commentary by my humble self:

YAY! Good Morning America just CANCELLED Adam Lamberts scheduled performance due to the OUTRAGE from REAL families who make up the MAJORITY of their viewers! So SCREW YOU LAMBERT LOVIN HOMO'S! (I know. The "REAL families" comment unnerved me too. But not more than this person's ignorance. She failed to mention that CBS quickly snatched Lambert up, allowed him to perform, AND gave him a platform to comment about the controversy)

I just emailed ABC to let them know I filed an Obscenity complaint with the FCC and that my family and I will no longer buy their advertisers products or services and we will not watch ABC ever again if they continue this pro-homosexual agenda in their programming! (Well damn. She is on to us.)

 Hollywood is pretty much all a bunch of homo's spreading their gay ideaology while hatin on Christians! (It's awful to be insulted by someone who can neither spell nor is aware of the basics of good punctuation) 

I just got 12 more people to file an online complaint with the FCC against Adam Lambert for his obscene performance. I hope ABC get fined $50,000,000 for trying to shove the homosexual lifestyle onto our kids! These sick bastards! (That's right. Every child whose parents allow them to stay up late enough to watch television shows should be protected . . . but from whom)

And here is a favorite of mine. It is an answer back to a comment from someone calling the group out:

you have a real deep seated hatred towards Christians, where you raped by a priest? Is that why you hate Christians so much?

And why pick on just Adam Lambert:  

Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite (a chick with a DICK)! EWWWW! I will NOT be buying any of her albums or going to any of shim's concerts either! The same goes for that nasty fag Adam Lambert! 

So some people think that the appropriate way to hinder supposed obscenity is to engage in some of it themselves.  After this group is finished attacking Lambert for his actions, someone needs to call them out on theirs.

(Editor's note - Those comments were from the other day . Anyone venturing over to the site now would find a hilarious tug-of-war battle of comments between those who agree with the purpose of the group and those who think that the group is just plain silly.)

Now some may accuse me of unfairly publicizing this group but I don't see it that way. It's my belief that any chance we get to shine a light on how ignorant folks are regarding lgbts is a chance we should take full advantage of.

I don't know if this group will be successful. Maybe religious right groups will hook up with them, maybe the organizers will get a prime spot on Hannity or O'Reilly. Who knows and who cares.

But I say when those who claim to oppose you make themselves look ignorant, don't be so quick to break up the performance.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something completely different for Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and there is so much to talk about regarding Adam Lambert, James Dobson, One News Now, Peter LaBarbera, and the religious right in general.

But I am going to paraphrase actress Jane Fonda when she won her first Oscar and remark that while there is a great deal to say, I won't be saying it right now.

All I am going to do right now is wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy these clips from one of my favorite television shows, The Electric Company. And to answer your question - yes that's Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno.

(Editor's note - this post is null and void should something strange and spectacular happen regarding the religious right such as discovering that Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber are long lost twins and also the love children of James Dobson and Maggie Gallagher. To those just itching to make snide comments after reading that . . . hush up!)

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AFA tries to sugarcoat the end of its embarrassingly premature boycott against GAP

Today via One News Now comes this news:

The American Family Association (AFA) is suspending its Christmas-season boycott of Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic.

The suspension of the boycott is in effect until at least Saturday. A Gap official has reported to the pro-family group that it will unveil a new Christmas-themed commercial this weekend. AFA says it is suspending the boycott "in good faith" until it has an opportunity to view the new commercial.

The boycott was initiated after the clothing company refused to use the word "Christmas" in its ads and promotions. Also, some people were upset over a Gap television ad that mentioned a host of other holiday traditions along with Christmas.

Buddy Smith, a spokesman for AFA, believes the boycott has had an impact. "Our supporters here sent emails, made phone calls, wrote letters, and expressed their concern -- and so obviously GAP got the message," he explains.

It's amazing how the article tries to sugarcoat the fact that the AFA originally started the boycott because it felt that GAP wasn't using the word "Christmas" in its promotions.

From, this is what the AFA originally said:

For years, Gap has refused to use the word Christmas in its television commercials, newspaper ads and in-store promotions, despite tens of thousands of consumer requests to recognize Christmas and in spite of repeated requests from AFA to do the same.

Last year, Gap issued this politically-correct statement to Christmas shoppers: “Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.”

Christmas is special because of Jesus. It’s not just a “winter holiday.” For millions of Americans the giving and receiving of gifts is in honor of the One who gave Himself. For the Gap to pretend that isn’t the foundation of the Christmas season is political correctness at best and religious bigotry at worst.

The link goes on to expose just how mistaken the AFA was in its assessment of the situation:

AFA’s first shot in the war is a misfire, as Dan Neil of the LA Times points out today. In one of the first lines of Gap’s new holiday ad, the actors yell, “Go Christmas!” (as well as “Go Hanukkah! Go Kwanzaa! Go Solstice!”)

The link even shows the commercial:

Now that the AFA has a little egg on its face, the organization is trying to wipe it away under everyone's noses.

The sentence in the One News Now article - Also, some people were upset over a Gap television ad that mentioned a host of other holiday traditions along with Christmas - seems to be an inaccurate reconstruction of why the boycott was started.

Of course the Christian thing to do would be for the AFA to just admit its mistake.

But as we have seen in so other many cases, while the AFA talks about Christian values, it doesn't know the first thing about upholding them.

However it is nice to note that while everyone else is settling down to eat turkey this Thanksgiving, the AFA will be dining on crow.

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Charleston, SC City Council pass non-discrimination ordinance

I love it when in the midst of nonsense (hello Governor Mark Sanford), good things happen. The following is from Ray Drew of SC Equality:

The Charleston City Council passed legislation that prohibits discrimination in matters of public accommodations and housing to include protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Charlestonians.

All across South Carolina, we are celebrating this historic victory for all families as Charleston joins Columbia as the second city in the state to enact such nondiscrimination ordinances.

These pro-business ordinances are consistent with the values of Charlestonians; they send the clear message that Charleston welcomes families from all walks of life.

This groundbreaking success is a result of many months of work by a collaborative team, led by SC Equality and including representatives from the Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), Stonewall Democrats, Log Cabin Republicans, and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Working together, these five groups educated city council members on the importance of these ordinances and guided the proposed legislation to passage.

Prior to today's vote, the City did not have a public accommodations ordinance. The ordinance that was passed prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, or sexual orientation. The vote also expanded the City's existing housing nondiscrimination ordinance to add age and sexual orientation. In both ordinances, the definition of sexual orientation includes gender identity or expression.

To me this is like finding money in your pocket when you think you are penniless. While attention may be focused (sometimes too focused) on places like Maine and California, we shouldn't forget that lgbts exist in all states of the country and our fight for equality should be on more than one front

Also, let me give a shout out to my lgbt brothers and sisters and our allies in Charleston. It took a lot of hard work to get this done and they should be commended for it for their collaborative efforts.

See what you can get when you work together.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One News Now readers revolt against Matt Barber's attack on 10-year-old

Earlier today, I talked about an article in today's edition of the American Family Association's One News Now.

The article was about a 10-year-old child in Arkansas who has refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because he doesn't agree that there is liberty and justice for all; specifically he feels that lgbts aren't treated fairly in this country.

Leave it to One News Now to publish a one-sided article featuring comments from whatever religious right figurehead who happens to be available.

In this case, the figurehead happened to be the Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber who spouted the usual "the homsexuals are trying to indoctrinate children" hokum:

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel believes the boy has been "utterly manipulated and exploited by adult moral relativists who are indirectly using him and other children as political pawns in the burgeoning culture war that is reaching a boil."

Barber further finds that "it's really a testament to the level of success that liberal and secular and homosexual activist propagandists in Hollywood and in our public schools and in much of our elitist establishment organizations have enjoyed."

The lesson this incident sends, according to Barber, is that it is time for parents to responsibly teach their children the correct, Christian message concerning homosexuality.

Here where the story gets bizarre. Apparently Barber's comments have not gone over well with some One News Now readers.

The article itself received a 2 out of 5 rating (and this is from the site where some of the wildest commentaries and articles about such subjects as lgbts in general and President Obama have received 4.5 to 5 ratings) and some of the comments are interesting.

Granted, there are a few which say the following:

Good article - Matt Barber got it right! A child that age only knows what he has been told by the adults in his life. The "massive, Hollywood-homosexual indoctrination machine" is opperating just as it intends to do, and we see the evidence all around us.

While the boy has every right to decline to say these words, there is nothing wrong with upholding the ideals of "liberty and justice for all," even if not fully achieved. In this instance the boy is obviously being spoon-fed unconventional, made-up liberal rights. Why didn’t he speak about liberty & justice for the 1.2 million who are violently aborted ever year in USA? The Declaration of Independences upholds life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (virtue), but does not say anything about a right to have sexual relations with people of the same sex, which is not the apples-to-apples equivalent of natural marriage that is available to all adults.

If he chooses to not pledge then he can do so outside of the classroom. Obvious exploitation by ignorant minds.

However for now (One News Now could choose to add or eliminate comments), a lot of the comments are in favor of the child standing up for his beliefs:

If he were refraining from saying the pledge because he wasn't allowed to pray in school, you all would be hailing him as a hero. Why is this different? Taking a stand is as American as baseball.

Those that mention the children only know what they have been told, what about all those kids in attendance at these Tea Party events this past summer holding up signs opposing this or that. What were they told?

Equal rights means they can do the same as heterosexuals, which is true. Special rights means they want something different, like marry someone of the same sex. No one is telling them they cannot marry, just not each other. I know homosexual activists will not agree, but let's at least call it what it is, which is special rights or different rights.

As a fifth grader, I knew that gays and lesbians don't have the same rights as straight couples. Just because he's young doesn't mean he can't form an opinion of HIS OWN. I applaud Will Phillips for standing up for his beliefs. He has freedom of speech, which gives him the right to speak his views. The Supreme Court has ruled that Freedom of Speech includes symbolic speech, such as not speaking at all, or not saying the pledge.

I teach in a public school and implore kids to stand as a sign of respect for our country. The vast majority do. Rarely, do the seated give any excuse other than "I don't want to" or "I'm tired" or "You can't make me." While I might not agree with this kid - I think that his aim here is a bit misguided - I doubt that he is the result of some massive, Hollywood-homosexual indoctrination machine. I think he's just a little kid in Alabama who wants to take a stand against injustices in his country. If you scream "indoctrination" every time a kid is outspoken on an issue, we'll get it back every time a kid stands up for Christian values. Loosen up, Barber.

I have a hard time understanding what it is that is Christian about Matt Barber. I saw the interview of the kid, he was not being manipulated and seemed quite educated. It simply wasn't the education Matt Barber likes. Good job on providing the link so people can watch and decide for themselves.

It could be just wishful thinking on my part but it seems to me that Barber's comments has crossed a line that many readers of this supposed Christian publication wished he didn't.

Editor's note - Here is another, much more positive perspective of the situation.

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Matt Barber picks on a 10-year-old and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Matt Barber: The Arbiter of All That Is Right - Matt Barber picks on a 10-year-old child. Gotta love those Christian values.

Jenkins gets full custody - Box Turtle Bulletin provides more detail on the Janet Jenkins/Lisa Miller custody case, including a timeline. It's an excellent source of information.

Was that praying or preying, Wendster? - More lies, more distortions from Concerned Women for America.

Bangor student holds same-sex marriage rally - More reasons to love the young folks.

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Lesbian mother wins custody case against 'ex-gay' former partner

Via and the Rutland Herald in Vermont comes this story:

A Rutland Family Court judge ordered a first-of-its kind parent custody change Friday in a child-visitation dispute involving a Virginia woman and her former lesbian partner who lives in Fair Haven.

In a 21-page order, Judge William Cohen granted sole custody of 7-year-old Isabella Miller to her nonbiological but court-recognized parent, Janet Jenkins.

Jenkins and her former partner — and Isabella's biological mother — Lisa Miller, who renounced homosexuality after the couple split in 2003, have been in and out of courtrooms in Vermont and Virginia for years arguing over visitation rights.

. . . After finding Miller in contempt of court earlier this year for denying Jenkins access to Isabella, Cohen said he decided the only way to ensure the child equal access to both parents was to switch custody.

Watch out for the religious right barrage of nonsense to come crashing down regarding this case. It has been their cause celebre for a long time.

Despite how they will spin it, there are a few facts that I am sure the religious right will not tell anyone about this situation.

I covered these facts here and here.

When they were a couple, Miller and Jenkins decided to raise Isabella together.

When they split,  Miller agreed to let Jenkins have visitation rights. Jenkins was even paying child support.

Miller refused to allow Jenkins to have unsupervised time with Isabella claiming that Jenkins was harming Isabella. The Virginia Child Protective Services investigated and found the charges to be false.

Unfortunately the case is not over yet. Matt Staver of the Liberty Counsel will appeal the case on two fronts:

. . . appealing Cohen's decision to the Vermont Supreme Court while continuing a battle in the Virginia Court of Appeals regarding the state's authority to enforce Vermont orders that conflict with Virginia's laws.

In other words, expect to see and read more lies about this case from Staver and company.

My hope is that despite all of this, the best thing is done for little Isabella.

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A quick look into the Sarah Palin camp of supporters

Not necessarily an lgbt issue per se, but trust me when I say that all things are connected. Just how many of these lovely folks are pro-lgbt? I was just waiting on at least one of them to start spouting off about "traditional marriage is under attack."

Editor's note - Forgive the bleeding of the video into the sidebars. Apparently my blog is acting strange this morning.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Mark Sanford charged with 37 ethics violations. Where the heck are the tea partiers!

The situation with my state's governor, Mark Sanford, continues to get more interesting:

The S.C. Ethics Commission has charged S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford with 37 counts of breaking state ethics laws. The commission filed its charges last week but only released them Monday.

Those charges allege that, in 18 instances, Sanford authorized, approved or allowed the purchase of business-class airfare so that he could travel to and within the continents of Europe, Asia and South America.

Four of the flights cited involved a 2008 state Commerce Department trip to Brazil that Sanford extended to Argentina so that the married, two-term Republican governor could see his Argentine lover.

 . . .  The charges also allege that on 10 occasions Sanford took money from his campaign account and spent it in violation of state ethics law.

Sanford took a total of $2,940.68 from his campaign account and spent it improperly, the commission alleges.

Sanford may actually remain governor even after all of this. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if he did. But he won't come out of it smelling like a rose..

If anything, the situation with Sanford just proves the basic emptiness of the tea party movement.

If the teabaggers are all about being upset over government waste, then why haven't any of them in South Carolina said a word about this controversy which has been brewing for several months?

Oh wait. Mark Sanford isn't Barack Obama.

Now I get it.

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Is James Dobson threatening to leave the country and other Monday midday news briefs

The Manhattan Martyrdom Declaration: Dobson Vows To Leave America - Bye!!!!!

How many fundie parents passed out when Adam Lambert did this on the American Music Awards? - Adam! You naughty boy! Grip the head, never mess up the hair!

Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell Hearing To Be Delayed Indefinitely - This ain't good!

Nurses apologize to woman who couldn't visit dying partner - A little too late but I suppose it's nice. It reminds me of the ending of  the miniseries Three Sovereigns for Sarah when the court ruled that Sarah and her sisters (victims of the Salem Witchcraft Trials) were unjustly accused of being witches. The court gave her three sovereigns - one for her and one for each of her sisters who had been hanged. A lot good that did!

GOP candidate for Mass. gov. picks gay running mate - This ought to make things VERY INTERESTING. I can hear Brian Camenker's head explode.

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Family Research Council caught falsely accusing Congresswoman of religious bigotry

A story that seems to be under the headlights but very appropriate involves how  the Family Research Council got caught inaccurately accusing a Congresswoman of being a  religious bigot.

The entire story is here in Faith In Public Life:

 . . .  the Family Research Council sent out a press release with the headline "FRC Calls On President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid to Repudiate Diana DeGette's Religious Bigotry," which stated

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins today called on President Obama and Congressional leaders to repudiate comments made by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) to The Hill's Michael O'Brien that "religiously-affiliated groups...should be shut out of the process" in the health care debate because of their support for the Stupak/Pitts amendment. She told The Hill, "Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country," she said. "I've got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn't have input."

Faith in Public Life refutes this:

1) ) Congresswoman DeGette's remarks didn't come from an interview with The Hill's Michael O'Brien. Rather, they came from O'Brien's report about DeGette's appearance on ABC News's "Top Line" broadcast today.

2) In that Top Line appearance, Congresswoman DeGette said religious groups should have input in the debate.

The webpage Tracking American Evangelicals adds more context to FRC's deception by juxtaposing the organization's truncation of Congresswoman DeGette's comments to what she actually said:

Congresswoman DeGette's comments - “I gotta tell you, last I heard we had separation of church and state. I don’t think the Catholic bishops are in charge of writing our healthcare bill. I think that they are one of many groups that we should listen to, but in the end they should be concerned that 36 million more people in this country will get healthcare. Many of them are their parishioners.” 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Racist image conjures up unfair resentment

An interesting situation is brewing in Philadelphia regarding this "lovely" image to the right.

It was given to a middle school algebra class on a math worksheet to illustrate an assignment question.

The image itself is hideous. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that the there is only one black student in the algebra class. And to make the situation worse, the student was teased by another student who asked was the man in the image his father.

Of course the black student's mother is livid over the entire situation.

But the real story to me is reading some of the ignorant comments left on a message board. Apparently some folks got angry because the mother dared to complain and dared to call the NAACP:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Signer of Manhattan Declaration wanted to jail gays and lesbians

By now we have all heard about the Manhattan Declaration put out by various religious right figures and groups urging, among other things, non-cooperation with laws that in any way recognize same sex couples.

It has been condemned in many circles and for good reason.

Wayne Besen of said the following:

“This is a disturbing call for anarchy from a group of radical clerics and activists who believe they don’t have play by the same rules as other taxpaying Americans."

And according to the blog Instaputz, there is another reason to not only oppose this document but also raise the alarm about it.

Some of the names those signing the declaration aren't a surprise. They are the usual folks who oppose lgbt equality - Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Maggie Gallagher, Gary Bauer, etc.

But here is a name which you may not be familiar with:

Rev. Peter J. Akinola
Primate, Anglican Church of Nigeria (Abika, Nigeria)

Akinola is the Anglican Primate of the Church of Nigeria. He is also Bishop of Abuja (Nigeria's capital) and Archbishop of Province III, which covers the northern and central parts of the country.

According to Instaputz,  he supported a 2006 Nigerian anti-gay bill which: 

called for five years imprisonment for anyone who "performs, witnesses, aids, or abets" a same-sex marriage, and anyone who engaged in public advocacy or associations supporting the rights of lesbian and gay people.

Know your lgbt history - Boys Beware

 Editor's note - I inaccurately included another silly "educational" film, Girls Beware into this entry. It had nothing to do with the lgbt community. Since alerted to that fact, I eliminated it out of this post.

Throughout the years, the lgbt community has had to deal with being portrayed in some of the most offensive manners.

The "educational" film, Boys Beware  is probably one of the most egregious.

The film, created in 1961 by Sid Davis Productions (Davis portrays the "homosexual pedophile murderer) plays out like an Anita Bryant Twilight Zone dream. It features lgbts as predatory monsters out to take the innocence of children in a manner that leaves nothing (absolutely nothing, not a single solitary thing) to the imagination.

Nowadays this film may seem funny except for the fact that there are some people who still believe these awful lies about lgbts.

And let's not forget how much damage this film did to the psyche of young and old lgbts back in the day in which they were made.

Past Know Your LGBT History postings:

Know your lgbt history - The Boondocks

Know your lgbt history - Mannequin

Know your lgbt history - The Warriors

Know Your LGBT History - New York Undercover

Know Your LGBT History - Low Down Dirty Shame

Know Your LGBT History - Fortune and Men's Eyes

Know your lgbt history - California Suite

Know your lgbt history - Taxi (Elaine's Strange Triangle)

Know your lgbt history - Come Back Charleston Blue

Know your lgbt history - James Bond goes gay

Know your lgbt history - Windows

Know your lgbt history - To Wong Foo and Priscilla

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda

'Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community

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Two videos - Transgender Day of Remembrance and protecting our young allies with a little help from the Daily Show

Transgender Day of Remembrance - It's about all of us:

Now for another video. This one is from the Daily Show in which Jon Stewart nails our issues with his usual excellent degree of clarity with a little help from pro wrestling legend Mick Foley:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaywatch - Peter Vadala & William Phillips

Daily Show
Full Episodes

Political Humor
Health Care Crisis

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Report refutes attempt to pit black and gays against one another in marriage fight

The Center for American Progress has just come out with a new report detailing and refuting the lies told about marriage equality in D.C. by minister Harry Jackson.

Jackson, a black minister, is probably considered the most visible person of color in religious right circles. His highly unsuccessful efforts to push a referendum on gay marriage in D.C. has given him even more press.

And as the report shows, he doesn't seem to know or care that he is stretching the truth:

Recent and credible research has convincingly shown that Jackson’s views of the “privileged”—and largely white—gay and lesbian community are completely untrue and inaccurate. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has extensively analyzed credible government data comparing families in D.C. headed by same-sex couples to those headed by heterosexual couples.

The Williams Institute researchers found that same-sex couples living in the district are diverse in terms of race and income, among other factors. There are about 3,500 same-sex couples living in the district, including 225 who are legally married and 3,300 who are not married. The district has by far the highest concentration of unmarried same-sex partners of any state—13.2 per 1,000 households in DC; the next highest is Maine at 6.8.

Annual earnings of same-sex couples v. straight married couples in DCA 2007 analysis found that same-sex couple households can be found in every part of the district, and comprise 1.5 percent of all households and 5.1 percent of all coupled households. More than a quarter of these couples are African American, as the table-figure below shows. All told, one-third of same-sex couples living in the district are not white.

And contrary to Jackson’s claims of the gay community’s privilege and ability to earn more money than straight people, yearly earnings of men in same-sex couples are actually lower than those of married men, as shown below. Men in same-sex couples in D.C. earn about $67,000 on average each year, while men who are married to women earn $70,000. And women in same-sex couples in the district earn $43,000 on average, while women married to men earn $45,000.

While I seriously doubt that Jackson will respond to this report, it is important that people are educated, particularly African-Americans about what he is doing.

Jackson's comments are meant to exploit false resentment against the lgbt community by the African-American community.

When he goes on about "privileged rich white people," he conveniently forgets the lgbts of color who are also in this fight.

I can't but wondering if his convenient forgetfulness is meant to be intentional.

The report in it's entirety is here.

Related posts:

Sorry Harry Jackson, but lgbts of color do exist

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Family Research Council gearing up to fight ENDA with distortions

I don't know why the Family Research Council continues to keep me on its email list. I received one today about ENDA.

Like so many things put out by the Family Research Council, the email is full of distortions and doublespeak. I want to highlight two of the most egregious:

President Obama wants to punish Christians by . . .
November 19, 2009 | Share with Friends

Dear Alvin,

A grave threat to your traditional values and religious freedom is resurfacing.

Deceptively, it's called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Truthfully, it should be called the "Discrimination Against Christians in the Workplace Act."

I know that sounds far-fetched, but this is what ENDA will do . . .

ENDA will redefine your faith as illegal workplace bigotry . . . make the government a full partner in the homosexual rights movement . . . and force churches, small businesses run by Christians, and faith-based charities to hire nonbelievers or face federal investigation.

Apparently FRC hasn't learned anything from the unsuccessful attempt to make it seem that hate crimes legislation is an attack on Christianity. Now its making the same inaccurate case about ENDA.

First of all, as I understand it, ENDA does have an exemption for churches and faith-based charities. But as for small businesses run by Christians, I find that argument weak.

What's next - allowing a small business to discriminate in the case of race, gender, or religion?

I'm betting that FRC wouldn't appreciate that last point.

But here is where FRC trips up in its email:

This law would punish anyone in the workplace who dares oppose homosexual behavior, cross-dressing and other unhealthy behaviors. The liberals intentionally want to define "discrimination" very vaguely so that their allies in the courts and federal and state agencies will have broad latitude to silence traditional moral viewpoints about sexuality.

Just how would someone "oppose homosexual behavior in the workplace?" And should they be defended no matter how scurrilous the opposition?

We have just seen a case of a young man in Massachusetts fired for calling his fellow employee (a lesbian) a "deviant" simply because she was bragging about her upcoming wedding.

Should his type of  "opposition to homosexuality in the workplace" be defended? I don't think so.

Seems to me that the threats resurfacing here has less to do with the lgbt community and more to do with a christian (small "c" intended) group pulling out fear tactics  in order to scare people about a simple law that will allow lgbts to work and live freely.
You know, like normal people do because in terms of wanting to work, be free from discrimination, and provide for our loved ones, we are normal people.

Despite what FRC says.

Contact your Congressional leaders and tell them to support ENDA.

Related posts

Should the right to call a fellow employee 'a deviant' be protected under law?

Traditional Values Coalition distorts marketing statistics to attack ENDA

Family Research Council head misrepresents credible information to hurt ENDA

Bathrooms, Church Exemptions, and Lies: Five ways the religious right misrepresents ENDA

Exposing an anti-gay ENDA lie before it gains traction

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Anti-gay marriage governor facing ethics charges regarding visits to his mistress and other Thursday midday news briefs

Panel finds probable cause for charges against Sanford - Sorry Marky Mark but I haven't forgotten your eagerness to sign that dreary anti- marriage equality amendment. Apparently you think marriage should only be between a man, his wife, and his mistress.

Wave of anti-gay mailers attack Parker in Houston mayoral race - It just got ugly in Houston.

Exporting the Anti-Gay Culture War - While the religious right lies about not being able to preach against homosexuality in this country, they are also sowing the seeds for anti-lgbt violence in other countries.

Adam Lambert: 'I Don't Want to Be a Gay Poster Child' - Honey, you are sooo late in declaring your intentions on that one.

House Committee Passes Partner Benefits Bill - This is good news.

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Some people don't know the difference between criticizing Obama and hoping for his destruction

Not necessarily an lgbt issue per se but still an important one.

I am so sick of people minimizing the nasty rhetoric against the President. The hateful rhetoric emanating from supposed mainstream venues such as television shows and radio talk shows, the nasty signs at those teabagging rallies, the constant comparison to President Obama and dictators of the past such as Hitler and Mao, the taking everything he does and making a huge issue out of it; all of it is going in an ugly direction.

And while this is happening, you have the other group playing that straw man argument - "waaah, I am being accused of being a racist because I am simply criticizing the President. Why can't you criticize the President without being thought of a racist"

It's nonsense. Maybe if they were as quick as to condemn the hateful rhetoric against the President as they are to making stupid jokes regarding him receiving a Nobel Peace Prize or whatever else, their comments would have more credibility.

To me, these folks playing the straw man argument are just as bad as those who would carry the ugly signs and make the ugly comments. They see the nastiness taking place and more often than not, they try to overlook it.

And that whining about "well they did it to Bush too" is ridiculous. I personally don't agree with anyone calling for or inferring for the death of a President.

But let me ask you this - just when did you ever see a commentator on a major news network compare Bush to Hitler or Stalin?

Whiny comments made about how Bush was treated intended to lessen the impact of ugly things said about Obama merely proves my point.

And it only proves my point about the abject absence of decency coming from some circles who attack Obama.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Religious right anti-hate crimes rally featured person from actual hate group

Submitted for your approval and laughter, scenes from the anti-hate crimes rally:

For those who are not aware of this fact, the first speaker at .09 seconds is Scott Lively, the head of Abiding Truth Ministries. Abiding Truth Ministries is an officially declared hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and mostly because of Lively.

A while back, Lively wrote a book, The Pink Swastika, which  incorrectly affiliated the Nazi Party in Germany with the lgbt community. The book has been repeatedly discredited, including in 2005 and in 2007:

Stephen Feinstein, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, said the book was "produced by a right-wing Christian cult and is as correct as flat earth theory."

In addition, Lively has been known to sanitize the reputation of  the discredited researcher Paul Cameron even to the point of lying about Cameron's work being published peer-reviewed journals (it wasn't) and claiming that Cameron's critics have no scientific merit to criticize him (they do):

While Cameron has been the subject of intense, unrelenting criticism (and mockery) by “gay” activists and their allies, he has produced an impressive body of work related to the homosexual issue, much of it published in peer-reviewed journals, and I do not believe the criticism of his work is merited on scientific grounds.

Also, according to Box Turtle Bulletin:

(Lively) is associated with not just one, not two, but three of just eleven organizations identified by the SPLC as a hate group (He co-founded Watchmen on the Walls, founded Abiding Truth Ministries, and he is now the leader of the School of Christian Activism). If that weren’t enough, he spoke at a banquet last winter for a fourth SPLC hate group, Mass Resistance.

This year, Lively was amongst the number of anti-gay figures who journeyed to Uganda for a three-day conference. In this conference, Lively helped to stoke a myriad of anti-gay lies and myths.

And anti-lgbt sentiments in Uganda are totally different than they are in America in terms of how the government embraces them.

Last month, the Uganda government was pushing an anti-gay bill which favored :

  . . .lifetime imprisonment on conviction of homosexuality, and defines a new category called “aggravated homosexuality” with provisions for the death penalty upon conviction. Among the factors which can lead to “aggravated homosexuality” is if one partner is HIV-positive. This bill would mandate HIV testing to determine eligibility for “aggravated homosexuality.”

The bill also pushed :

a complete ban on all LGBT activities — including blogging — which could be construed as “promoting homosexuality.”

So even after all of that, Lively didn't get arrested for what he said Monday. It's further proof that religious right claims about hate crimes legislation is inaccurate.

But it still bugs me how he tries to make himself into a noble soul during his speech when he goes on about how he will continue to say that homosexuality is wrong regardless of whether or not he gets arrested.

He needs to focus on his eagerness to lie.

Or does he think lying is okay.

One would think so based upon his history.

More than anyone could ever do, Lively puts the absolute hypocrisy of these folks on center stage. He is a perfect example of the old adage that action speaks louder than words.

The type of love that he and his cohorts claim to have is the type that no one needs.

More information about Scott Lively and Uganda can be found here at Truth Wins Out.

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Family Research Council attacks Obama appointee with sliced footage and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Video: FRC invited Chai to speak; now slicing both her footage and her back - Family Research Council tries to smear EEOC appointee with sliced video footage.

Catholic Report: Homosexuality Not a Factor In Clerical Sex Scandals - A surprise to everyone but us.

Transgendered aide turns to law she helped pass - A bad situation involving an online friend of mine. Give em hell, girlfriend!

DC Elections Board Rules Against Prop.-8 and Question 1 Style Ballot Initiative - Harry Jackson and company loses another one.

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Join the group 'Expose religious right’s history of anti-gay junk science'

Expose religious right’s history of anti-gay junk science is a facebook group that I am helping to start.

When we talk about lgbt rights, we sometimes forget to emphasize the fact that for over 30 years, religious right groups have either relied on junk science or distorted legitimate research to weave an inaccurate anti-lgbt narrative.

We don't emphasize, among other things, their continued reliance on the studies of discredited researcher Paul Cameron nor do we mention the large number of physicians and researchers who have in the past complained about the distortion of their work by these groups.

Subsequently, these groups (i.e. the National Organization for Marriage, the Traditional Values Coalition, the American Family Association, etc.) and their spokespeople are not questioned or called to the carpet for their lies as much as they should be.

A lot of us know that these groups are phony but we aren't doing enough to emphasize the point.

It is because of our lack of attention that religious right groups are either able to push the phony notion that they are somehow upholding "traditional values" while distorting science or push tacit approval of vile  homophobic images, such as the above Concerned Women for America endorsed comic book (of which several pages are present on the facebook group)

This group is meant to be a call to action. It's a call for the lgbt community to start changing the narrative in the fight for our equality.

Seems to me if organizations are either deliberately relying on junk science or truncating legitimate science, they should be the ones whose credibility should be questioned rather than the people who are the victims of their inaccurate invectives.

As we have seen with Monday's silly sideshow rally against hate crimes legislation, we are dealing with organizations who will push a point even after said point has been continuously proven wrong and refuted.

And while we laugh this time at religious right groups falling on their faces in public embarrassment, let's not forget the times when their tenacity to push inaccuracies have harmed the lgbt community.

The point of this so-called culture war is not lgbts having to explain why we are deserving of basic rights. The point should be why are these so-called moral groups lying to deny lgbts our basic rights.

Click here to join.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Congressman pushing Carrie Prejean for public office?

This is just too funny not to post about. From TMZ:

Carrie Prejean has a serious congressional supporter who thinks she should pursue a career in politics ... and it's not just because she has her finger on the hot-button issues.

TMZ spoke with Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) who tells us he thinks Prejean could be a serious contender in the political arena: "[Carrie] has the ability to draw crowds and if she has a strong message to go with that, who knows what she can do? She has star power which can open doors.

"We've all made mistakes when we were 17. [The sex tape] is going to be an impediment, but people are excited about her convictions and her beliefs."

For the record -- Carrie was 20 when she filmed her world famous solo mission.

Well in terms of faces of the Republican party, she'd be much prettier than Rush Limbaugh.

Palin/Prejean in 2012? What do you think?

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