Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The tea party idiots - will they go after the lgbt community next?

Watch this footage and feel free to laugh or shake your head. But remember one thing:

If these folks can be easily manipulated against President Obama, just think how equally easy it can be to manipulate them against the lgbt community.

The move from "save our country from socialism" to "save our children from perverts" isn't such an impossibility when one takes into account the ignorance and gullibility of these folks

And also some people's eagerness to exploit these protests when talking about ENDA and DOMA.

It's definitely something for the lgbt community to think about and be prepared for.

Hat tip to Americablog.

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More Maine anti-gay marriage lies, Rest in Peace Miss Vida, and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Rest in peace, Miss Vida:

Video: Maine's first anti-equality ad -- it's baaaaaaaaaaaad - More feedback about the Maine ad anti-gay marriage ad. Goodasyou.org breaks down the lies.

**related article - The Maine anti-gay marriage forces tell a huge lie in its first ad

Catholic collections aimed at preventing same-sex marriage law - Again, I ask isn't this sort of thing illegal?

Disability, Gay Rights Expert Picked for EEOC - Something to make the religious right's head spin.

The Rights of Gay Employees - And the momentum for ENDA keeps going forward

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The Maine anti-gay marriage forces tell a huge lie in its first ad

Well the anti-marriage equality forces in Maine is pushing their first ad tonight for "Yes on 1" and it tells a huge lie.

At 22 seconds, the commercial cites the Massachusetts case of Parker vs. Hurley to claim that if the anti-gay marriage referendum does not pass, "homosexual marriage will be taught in public schools whether parents like it or not."

That is a huge lie. The case of Parker vs. Hurley had nothing to do with gay marriage. The case had to do with a parent (David Parker) creating a phony moral panic because he didn't want the school to acknowledge the fact that same-sex families exist. The following is a breakdown of the situation:

The Legend of the Mad Dad of Massachusetts

I've written about the David Parker controversy a few times so allow me to regurgitate my breakdown of the situation yet again. This time, however, I want to put it in another context.

David Parker cares so deeply that he is willing to go to jail and endure a lengthy court process for the right to be a parent. In a world where a myriad of social problems can be traced back to parental abuse or indifference, it is incredible that Parker is being treated as a criminal and not as the hero he is. - Wendy McElroy, Parental Rights vs. Public Schools


Well, homosexual relationships are, by their nature, sexual. The, you know, the movement is trying to say no, it's not. But you know, there's a big elephant in the middle of the room here, and we're not recognizing it. - Brian Camenker, head of Mass Resistance

I don't want the school to determine the timing and manner when this stuff is brought up. I want him to play on the swing set and make mud pies. I don't want him thinking about same-sex unions in kindergarten. - Massachusetts parent David Parker

Both comments taken from
interview with Bill O'Reilly


Does an elementary school have the right to indoctrinate children in their view of controversial moral issues without the knowledge or consent of parents?

That is the issue that the U.S. Supreme Court may decide. Matt Barber, CWA's Policy Director for Cultural Issues, speaks with David Parker, a Lexington, Massachusetts parent, who is petitioning the high court, hoping it will accept his appeal of a First Circuit Court decision on his case.

In 2005, Parker was arrested at his son's school following a classroom lesson on same-sex marriage using the book King & King. The principal at Esterbrook Elementary School in Lexington defended the King & King lesson and denied parents the right to be informed about it and to opt their kids out. - Concerned Women for America

When a controversy happens regarding gay rights, religious right organizations are quick to jump into the situation and exploit it for their own purposes regardless of what the truth may be.
A perfect example would be the case involving Massachusetts parent David Parker.

In April 2005, Parker was arrested for trespassing when he refused to leave his son’s school, Eastabrook Elementary, in Lexington, MA. He was angry that his son, who was at the time in kindergarten, was sent home with a “diversity book bag.” He objected to a book in the package because it showed a child in a same-sex household.

Parker contended that the school was encroaching on his right as a parent to talk to his son about issues of sexuality. He met with school officials and was arrested when he refused to leave after the meeting. He claimed that any mention of same-sex parents constituted a talk of human sexuality and that Massachusetts law guaranteed that he could opt his child out of the discussion. Parker also claimed that school officials were not giving him assurances that this would happen.

At first glance, it seems that the case of David Parker was one of a concerned father attempting to be able to raise his child in the way he sees fit. As you can see, religious right groups certainly claimed that was the case. And unfortunately they were aided by folks like Wendy McElroy and Bill O'Reilly who apparently never realized journalism involves more than just writing and interviewing folks. A little investigation never hurts matters.

Which is what I did. And what I found was a case a bit more complex.

Distortion—David Parker objected to his child being exposed to homosexuality because it was an issue of sexuality and Joseph Estabrook Elementary refused to accommodate him

Truth—In a January 17, 2005 email to the school, Parker said: “There is a book included entitled, Who’s in a Family (with pictures) that include lesbian and homosexual couples with children—implicitly equating this family structure as a morally equal alternative to other family constructs. We stand firmly against this book or any other subject matter pertaining to homosexuality ever being indoctrinated to our child, discussed in school, or sent home. We don’t believe gay parents constitute a spiritually healthy family and should not be celebrated.”

Joseph Estabrook Elementary principal, Joni Jay, wrote Parker an email clearly saying homosexuality is not a part of the kindergarten curriculum. She also said she cannot control what students say to one another and that many children attending Joseph Estabrook Elementary live in same-sex households.

Point of fact: The entire controversy began because Parker’s son brought home a “diversity bookbag” with several items in it. Among them was a book showing certain types of families, including same-sex families. It was the only book in the packet that talked about anything of a homosexual nature.

Distortion—Parker was well within his rights because Massachusetts laws says parents must give permission to have their children discuss any issue involving human sexuality.

Truth—Parker was not well within his right because discussions of differing families, including gay-led households are not included in the parental notification policy. This is because it is not an issue about human sexuality. Principal Jay informed Parker of this on March 4, 2005. Jay said she confirmed this with the district assistant superintendent and the director of Health Education. She was answering an email in which Parker said that neither he nor his wife authorize any teacher or adult to “expose” his sons (Parker has two sons) to “any sexual orientation/homosexual material/same sex unions between parents.”

Point of fact: The night before Parker’s arrest, he addressed the Lexington School Committee during their public meeting. In his speech, he attempted to link gay-led households to sexual behavior:

“Children who are successfully indoctrinated that same-sex marriage is normal and correct will eventually understand that sexual intimacy is a part of this union. Let’s not be naive about the implied human sexuality aspect of same-sex unions. Let’s be honest with ourselves. When we accept same-sex unions, we accept its implied . . . sexual intimacy. These concepts are indeed inextricably linked.”

Distortion—David Parker was arrested because Joseph Estabrook Elementary did not respect his rights as a parent.

Truth—David Parker was arrested for trespassing. Even though his initial questions were answered, Parker persisted and finally received another meeting with school officials. According to a press release issued by William J. Hurley, Interim Superintendent of Schools and Christopher Casey, Chief of Police in Lexington, Parker and his wife requested that the school, in the future, ensure that teachers automatically remove their children from discussions of same-sex households, even if the issue rises spontaneously. It was explained to Parker and his wife that the policy allowing students to opt out of discussions of human sexuality was not relevant here and the Parkers’ request was “not practical” because children could discuss “such matters among themselves at school.”

When Parker and his wife were told that they could appeal the response to the Commissioner of Education, Parker did not want to. It was then that the two decided not to leave the school. The Lexington Police were called. Parker’s wife went to the couple’s car but he stayed. Two plain-clothed detectives came at 5:20 p.m. and a police lieutenant came at 6 p.m. All asked Parker to leave but he refused.

Distortion—David Parker did not intentionally get arrested. According to his lawyer, Jeffrey Denner:

“He (Parker) was invited to come in, he came in, there was a dialogue going back and forth, there were faxes sent back and forth to the school committee. His intent was not to get arrested. His intent was to establish a dialogue to protect his own children and other children as well.”—Father faces trial over school’s ‘pro-gay’ book, WorldNetDaily, August 4, 2005

Truth—According to the press release submitted by Hurley and Casey, Parker said “If I’m not under arrest, then I’m not leaving.” The press release also said Parker began calling people on his cell phone and a small group of people began arriving with cameras. Parker was finally arrested at 6:24 p.m. The group with the camera was waiting behind the police station and photographed his arrival.

Mass Resistance (Massachusetts conservative group) claimed that Parker was using his cell phone in order to keep his wife up to date with the meeting while she sat in the couple’s car.
Point of fact: There are pictures of Parker being arrested and led away by police on the Mass Resistance web page. Now how could any of this have happened by chance? For that matter, there are pictures of Parker addressing the Lexington School Committee the night before his arrest. The fact that these pictures are on the web page do give an impression of premeditation by Parker and Mass Resistance.

Distortion—David Parker got into this fight solely because of his concern for his children and what they are being exposed to in school.

Truth—Since his arrest, Parker has been speaking against gay rights in other states. On June 13 and 14 of that same year, he was the speaker in a six-town “Wake UP Maine” tour with Brian Camenker, the head of Mass Resistance. The purpose was to aid a Maine referendum against the recently passed bill outlawing discrimination against the gay community. A flyer was distributed showing Parker in handcuffs. The flyer also claimed that Parker “questioned the homosexual rights movement.”

The image of Parker in handcuffs had made its way around several web pages like some sort of bastardized picture of Che Guevera. He also appeared in a commercial in another effort to overturn the Maine anti-discrimination bill. In addition, the Family Research Council filmed an interview with Parker as a part of a successful effort to pass Proposition 8 in California. The organization referenced the Parker controversy in writings about gay marriage in California.

And then don’t forget this interesting addendum:

In May 2006, Parker’s son was involved in a fight at school with a friend over seating in the school cafeteria. His son and the other student made peace with each other and continued to be friends. They even had a play date later that week. In addition, Parker was informed as to what happened.

However, less than a month later, the Mass Resistance sent out a press release claiming that Parker’s son was set upon by eight to 10 students who did not appreciate his fight against Joseph Estabrook Elementary. The press release generated considerable buzz with the anti-gay industry, as it was either run or referenced by many so-called “pro-family” web pages, including the Traditional Values Coalition and Concerned Women for America.

Joseph Estabrook Elementary School explained the true story in a press release. However, none of the so-called “pro-family” groups, including Mass Resistance and the Traditional Values Coalition, apologized for any of their claims about a conspiracy to hurt Parker’s son nor did they correct the error.

By the way, in 2007, a federal judge dismissed Parker's case against the school and in 2008, the Supreme Court also denied his case.

However, it is clear that when controversy involving us take place, the lgbt community must be highly vigilant in getting the truth out as soon as possible.

Otherwise the situation becomes another file in the religious right cabinet of lies.

Other articles and web pages used for this post:




Arrested father had point to make, The Boston Globe, April 29, 2005

Wake UP Maine Tour announced, www.MaineToday.com, June 10, 2005

Massachusetts Men Speak Against Homosexual Rights, www.MaineToday.com,
June 14, 2004

Coalition for Marriage to host David Parker at Littlefi eld Baptist Church, www.
MaineToday.com, November 3, 2005

Father faces trial over school’s ‘pro-gay’ book, WorldNetDaily, August 4, 2005

Report: Christian Parent Arrested After Being Denied Say-Son in Son’s Education,
Agape Press, April 28, 2005

Dad Becomes Icon in Battle over Homosexual Agenda in Schools, Agape Press,
May 18, 2005

School dispute persists after plea deal is struck, The Boston Globe, October 27, 2005

Press release, Lexington Public Schools, May 2, 2005

David Parker’s Son Beaten Up on the Playground, Traditional Values Coalition,
June 15, 2006

New liberal strategy: Assault 7-year-olds, Kevin McCullough, June 16, 2006

Press release, Lexington Public Schools, June 16, 2006

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Just what the tea party movement needs - Peter LaBarbera

As if the teabaggers didn't shoot themselves in the foot by lying about attendance numbers at last weekend's anti-Obama protest, they receive more help with that gun courtesy of our friend, Peter LaBarbera:

Just in case you are still relying on establishment liberal media like the Associated Press (AP) to get your news, here are some startling photos and links documenting the mammoth, conservative “Tea Party Express” march in our nation’s capital Saturday, September 12th. This was a grassroots taxpayers’ protest of historic proportions — not in the “tens of thousands,” as AP misreported, but between one and two million people coming to make their voice heard in Washington.

That's right. It's not the fault of Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, who spread the lie that ABC News had reported that between 1 million to 1.5 million people had gathered to protest.

Nor it is Michelle Malkin's fault even though she helped to spread this lie. Nor is it the fault of the assorted nuts of conservative talking heads and bloggers.

It's the "damned liberal media" again.

And LaBarbera has "proof " of this.

But like so much of his information, his "proof" is inaccurate:

Obviously moved by the enormity of the 9/12 march, the British newspaper Daily Mail — hardly sympathetic to American conservatives — reported (emphasis added): “A million march to US Capitol to protest against ‘Obama the socialist.’” However, the Daily Mail’s original headline was: “Up to two million march to US Capitol to protest against Obama’s spending in ‘tea-party’ demonstration” (it appears that the DM’s editors made some politically correct revisions);

To dwell on the alleged political leanings of the Daily Mail is an evasive tactic. If one looks at the article, they would find that it does not cite any sources for its claim

Malkin’s follow-up web article: “Celebrating the 9/12 rallies; Turnout estimated at 2 million” ;

If you clicked on this link, you would see that Malkin updated the "article" saying that the 2 million number was inaccurate - something that LaBarbera conveniently omits.

WorldNetDaily.com story on 9/12: “A million or more rock Washington: Taxpayer march could be biggest rally ever in capital”;

WND founder Joseph Farah’s column: “The shameful non-coverage of 9/12″;

Isn't World Net Daily the same group that's pushing the "Obama is not an American citizen" lie?

Rather than pushing factual information courtesy of Politifact, such as this piece questioning a photo of the event, and Mediamatters.org, which tracked the attendance number lie put out by conservatives, LaBarbera does a poor job of trying to bring relevancy to this madness by reprinting refuted information and then blaming the media for the ineptitude of the tea baggers in their attempts to deceive.

And of course he tries to link it all to lgbts:

What does all this have to do with the fight against the Homosexual Lobby? Well, for one, beyond the health care debate, the Obama Administration is pushing to enact a comprehensive “gay” agenda that would greatly expand the government’s power to effectively force businesses and individuals to approve of or subsidize homosexual and “transgender” lifestyles. The Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) — slated for hearings next week — would create federal homosexuality- and transsexuality-based “rights” for employees. This would invariably circumscribe the liberties of business owners who oppose homosexuality as a matter of conscience.

We trust that the same people who oppose Big Government intruding into our lives will resist the idea that the Government should be forcing businessmen and businesswomen to support homosexual behavior and gender confusion or risk getting sued.

This is the point where I usually attempt to bring clarity to LaBarbera's nonsense.

But I can't right now because I'm too busy laughing.

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