Tuesday, September 01, 2009

NOM-affiliated lawyer cites Paul Cameron. What would Maggie Gallagher say?

Does NOM-affiliated Charles LiMandri actually believe that gays ingest blood and feces during sex? What would Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown say to that?

By now, everyone knows that former Ms. California Carrie Prejean is suing pageant officials for libel, slander and religious discrimination.

But there are some things you don't know about her counsel.

According to Jeremy from Goodasyou.org, she is being represented by the National Organization for Marriage's counsel Charles LiMandri.

Goodasyou.org further says that LiMandri has a history of anti-gay "activism."

Jeremy also posts one of LiMandri's position papers, The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage On Religious Freedom.

I downloaded a copy and looked it over.

You have to see it to believe all of the discredited and misused studies LiMandri uses. Allow me to break down a few of his inaccuracies:

From pages four to 11, he lists anecdotes of incidents in which Christians are allegedly discriminated against because of a "gay agenda." Not only do a lot of these incidents have nothing to do with same sex marriage, but LiMandri gets the facts wrong.

Included in LiMandri's examples is my favorite, the David Parker incident, as well as the Repent America incident in which a group of people protesting a gay pride celebration were arrested in Pennsylvania after they wouldn't comply with the police at the scene. LiMandri claims that they were "peacefully protesting."

LiMandri lists another case of so-called persecution:

The Oakland city government found the words "Marriage the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values" to be a hate crime and reprimands a group ofOakland city government employees for using these words on a flyer in the workplace.

LiMandri is obviously distorting the case. Oakland city government did not say that those words were a "hate crime." What happened was this:

Gay employees working for Oakland's government formed a group. In response, two Christian employees formed their own group. In the flyer advertising the Christian group, terms like "integrity" and "natural family" were used in ways that attacked the gay employees.

The Christian group was told to revise the flyer. They refused and sued the city of Oakland. They subsequently lost their case.

LiMandri even has the temerity to mention the initial controversy with Matt Barber. You will remember that before Barber became an anti-gay spokesperson, he was fired from AllState for using the company's equipment to write anti-gay columns as well as including his employment at the company in his bio. LiMandri omits that fact but makes sure to note that Barber wrote the pieces while away from work.

But the "real choice meat" of LiMandri's work comes after those inaccurate anecdotes.

In the rest of the 31 pages of his piece, LiMandri manages to reconstitute and rehash the most popular anti-gay propaganda out there, including:

Family Research Institute, “Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do” by Paul Cameron, Ph.D, www.familyresearchinst.org

That's right. LiMandri is citing Paul Cameron's discredited work as a link that people can use to "stay informed." And not just any Paul Cameron work, but the one that accuses gay men of ingesting blood and using gerbils and feces as sexual instruments.

Other bits and pieces from Cameron's distortions are throughout LiMandri's paper including claims that lgbts are more likely to molest their children.

Also, LiMandri uses the following from the Family Research Council:

“Homosexuality and Child Abuse”

This study is no longer on the Family Research Council's webpage because, as I was told in this link, the studies used in it are outdated.

Other distortions in LiMandri's paper include:

1. The distortion of Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women by Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg as a correct assessment of gay men's sexual behavior even though it was published in the late 1970s. Homosexualities looked at gay men in the city of San Francisco in the early 1970s and the authors even said that their work could not be generalized to include all gay men:

“. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

2. The life expectancy at age 20 for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men - The distortion of the 1997 Canadian study that claims that gay men have a short life span. In 2001, the authors of this study complained about how it was being distorted.

LiMandri did not say where he got this statistic but odds are the 1997 Canadian study was the place. The only other place he could have gotten this was the discredited Paul Cameron study on the supposed gay life span.

3. Citing The Health Risks of Gay Sex by John R.Diggs even though it uses some of the same distortions that LiMandri used in his paper (i.e. the Bell and Weinberg book and the 1997 Canadian study distorted to claim that gays have a short life span. So in essence, LiMandri is inaccurately double dipping.)

The most comical of LiMandri's claims when he says lgbts "demonized" certain people for saying that homosexuality is immoral, including Anita Bryant, Dr. Laura and Michael Savage.

For the record, even though there were a lot of protests against Dr. Laura's show, it failed because it bombed with audiences, Bryant's rhetoric (gays are trying to recruit children) eventually became her undoing because it turned off a lot of fair-minded people

And (I was saving the best for last) Michael Savage lost his television show after he said he wished that a caller would catch AIDS and die.

Basically, Carrie Prejean's lawsuit is as vapid as her continued pursuit of the spotlight and NOM's exploitation of her controversy.

But the lgbt community needs to look past Prejean and take the fight to NOM.

Its head, Maggie Gallagher has made an artform out of turning the argument of marriage equality on its head.

According to her, the argument about same sex marriage is not about protecting lgbt couples or lgbt families in general. Gallagher claims that the argument is about keeping her and those who believe like her (i.e. that only correct family structure is the "Leave It To Beaver" family image) from being "unfairly" labeled as "bigots."

NOM is no different than any other religious right group. Beneath its veneer of family, faith, and traditional values that are a lot of lies, discredited studies, misused studies, and appeals to fear and ego.

And there are many unanswered questions as to where the organization is getting its funding.

The lgbt community has done a lot of laughing at NOM because of the missteps the organization has taken, especially with its "Gathering Storm" video. But as NOM continues to make its presence known in same sex battles across the country, it is time we stop laughing and start asking questions and demanding answers.

And the first question we should ask is why is the organization affiliating itself with a person who puts out such filthy lies about our community?

Ms. Gallagher, if you are knowingly affiliating yourself and your organization with someone who thinks that gays are a threatening horde of interlopers who engage in dangerous sexual practices and molest their children, then you are, in fact, a bigot.

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Sex scandal number three brewing in South Carolina?

I interrupt today's news briefs to ask a very pointed question:

What in the hell is with my state of South Carolina?

After weeks of a sex scandal involving Governor Mark Sanford (who admitted cheating on his wife and calling his paramour his "soul mate") and after rumors of a closeted Lt. Governor comes more news of a conservative politician who may have deep tire tracks in their pure as the driven snow image:

Kristin Maguire, Governor Sanford's appointee to the State Board of Education and it's chairwoman has resigned.

According to FitsNews.com:

Kristin Maguire, an Upstate evangelical and one of South Carolina’s most respected social conservatives, has been one of the governor’s closest education policy advisors for years.

Maguire has also homeschooled her four children.

The scuttlebutt was that she resigned to devote more attention to her family.

However, more news is coming out. Maguire is supposedly:

the prolific author of hardcore erotic fiction on the Internet, according to documents provided to the governor’s office earlier this summer and later obtained by FITS News.

Maguire, a professed Christian who home-schools her four children, declined to comment for our story but did not deny that she had previously frequented websites that feature such X-rated material. Maguire believes that a former friend is leaking the information to the media in an effort to ruin her political career.

As for the specific writings alleged to have flowed from Maguire’s pen, most have been deleted from the Internet.

FITS was able to use conversations in various Internet chat rooms, however, to link at least two “erotic stories” to Maguire’s alleged pen name, “Bridget Keeney.” From there, numerous similarities between “Bridget” and Maguire emerged, including commonalities in age, geographic location, engineering background, hobbies (knitting, for example) and number of children. One comment left in an erotic chat room by “Bridget” even reveals the name of a professor who was at Clemson University’s College of Engineering at the time when Maguire was a student there, while another comment references a specific medical procedure that Maguire underwent several years ago.

More information here

Fits News was quick to point out that nothing Maguire allegedly did was illegal and it also did not coincide with her tenure as Chairwoman of the State Board of Education.

But the blog also says:

Maguire’s involvement in S.C. politics goes well beyond her leadership of the S.C. Board of Education or her involvement with the Sanford administration. She is an executive committeewoman of the S.C. Republican Party, as well as the woman responsible for drafting the party’s education platform.

Prior to being elected Chairwoman, Maguire led the panel responsible for approving education standards taught in South Carolina classrooms, including what textbooks were to be used and how teachers were to be certified. She has been a strong supporter of “abstinence only” sex education, as well.

When Maguire was elected to lead the S.C. Board, her appointment was hailed as a victory for social conservatives and feted on Christian blogs and websites across the Southeast.

And now there seems to be more writings.

Now if these allegations are true, again Maguire did nothing illegal and to some people's eyes, nothing unethical.

But in light of the Sanford controversy, the rumors about Bauer and the Bible belt image this state portrays, one has to wonder like I asked, what is going on with South Carolina.

If you ask me, this state suffers from a Blanche DuBois complex. You know Blanche DuBois, don't you? She is the character from the Tennessee Williams play, A Streetcar Named Desire. She is the character who put up the fascade of innocent Southern purity while seething with repressed white hot passion just below the surface.

I'm a little scared of what other South Carolina public official may face sexual scrutiny.

Guys, you need a lesson in hiding your proclivities!

Or at least tell me again just why it would be a bad idea to allow lgbts to marry?

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Liberty Counsel uses bad logic to deny lesbian the right to see her child

I will have updates on the Andre Bauer thing as soon as they come. For the time being, however, I need to focus on other equally important situations regarding the lgbt community and the religious right.

Maybe Liberty Counsel's Matt Staver is working too hard.

How else can one explain how he maybe thought he could pull a fast one in the latest religious right update of the Lisa Miller/Janet Jenkins custody case.

A little background - Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins entered a relationship. Miller had a child, Isabella, and the two agreed to raise her together.

However when Isabella was 17 months old, the couple split up with Miller becoming a "born-again Christian" and "ex-gay." Since that time, she has refused to allow Jenkins to see Isabella, even though she initially agreed to allow Jenkins to see the child. Jenkins was even paying child support.

Courts have consistently ruled against Miller, even though she had engaged in ugly tactics in an attempt to deny Jenkins her rightly visitations, including moving to another state.

Enter the religious right. You see, Miller retained Liberty Counsel lawyers for her counsel and they and other members of the religious right have continuously milked this case for propaganda purposes, making it seem that Jenkins has no right to any parental claims.

Meanwhile they continue to drag this case through the courts from hearing to hearing.

Which comes to the crux this post. In his latest update of the case courtesy of One News Now, Staver says the following:

Meanwhile, Staver believes Janet Jenkins' purpose in the custody battle is to push the homosexual agenda -- not to gain a relationship with her former partner's daughter.

"The last time that she wrote a letter or tried to call [Isabella] was five years ago when she was age two," he notes. "She's never tried to send a card of any kind for any reason to Isabella. She has never sent her an e-mail. She has never come to any of her church recitals or plays or Christmas programs."

For one thing, it's ironic that Staver is implying that Jenkins isn't trying to gain a relationship with Isabella. And here I thought Staver's group was saying that Jenkins has no right to a relationship with the child.

And secondly, and this is confirmed by the Newsweek article and the Liberty Counsel itself, the couple split up when Isabella was 17 months old. And since that time, Miller has been engaging in chicanery to keep Jenkins from seeing Isabella.

Maybe that's why Jenkins hasn't been able to come to any of Isabella's church recitals or plays or Christmas programs?

And no one knows whether or not Jenkins sent Isabella a card. It stands to reason that if she did, Miller would have kept Isabella from receiving it.

Lastly, Staver's point about email is just plain dumb. Isabella isn't even 10-years-old. How many children under the age of 10 have their very own email accounts? Or anything computerwise that isn't supervised by their parents or guardians (in this case that person would be Miller - the very person who is keeping Jenkins from seeing Isabella.)

Staver is trying to argue insignificant points to obscure the big picture. Of course Jenkins cares about Isabella or she wouldn't be fighting this long and drawn out (thanks to the Liberty Counsel) case to try and get at least visitation time with the child.

And I hope she gets it for not only her sake but for the sake of little Isabella.

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