Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GLSEN responds to Focus on the Family distortions

Yesterday, I posted a piece on how Focus on the Family is using data from the discredited George Rekers to stop anti-bullying efforts in America's schools.

Today, Talking Points Memo gave a wider view to the entire situation. It's a good read but my favorite part is the ending where GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) head Eliza Byard gave a strong response to Focus on the Family. Her words should be a directive in how we answer the lies of the religious right. No flowery language, no automatically pushing the "bigot" card but shooting straight from the shoulder:

Focus on the Family has tried to discredit GLSEN's efforts to make schools safe for all students since our founding in 1990. These most recent attempts show that, once again, Focus on the Family either doesn't know what it is talking about or simply don't care about addressing bullying, or both. The policies we support - which, by the way, include protections for bullying based on religion - have been shown by years of research to make a difference in young people's lives. That is why nearly 70 national education, youth service and civil and human rights organizations endorse the Safe Schools Improvement Act. In terms of LGBT youth, we certainly hope that Focus on the Family agrees that the current environment in which nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment each year in school is simply unacceptable. But we won't hold our breath.

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Yet another study confirms same-sex households and other Tuesday midday news briefs

NYT Writer Demonizes LGBT Bloggers and Serves As Apologist For Ken Mehlman - Poor Ken Mehlman. Whatever happened to the good old days when and in the closet can exploit his own people for politicial gain AND get away with it?

Travesty of Justice - Whether folks agree or not, Rev. Eric Lee makes some good points on the disconnect in the lgbt community when it comes to their own people of color.

Children raised by gay couples show good progress through school - To the surprise to no one with common sense of course.

NOM blatantly appeals to homophobia - You mean they haven't been before?

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SC Pride hang rainbow banners in Columbia to increase lgbt visibility

The upcoming SC Pride festival is what everyone is talking about in Columbia and a key move by the organization coordinating the festival is a good reason why:

Displaying a multitude of colors, the rainbow flag is now hanging from lamp posts on Main and Gervais Streets. The brightly colored banner is a sign of diversity and acceptance for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens.

“It definitely will promote the event, but I also hope it makes people realize that there is a strong LGBT community that exists in Columbia,” said Vice President of Center Operations Santi Thompson with the SC Pride Movement.

Thompson adds that for the first time in the organization's 21 year history, the rainbow flags will fly in downtown Columbia in celebration of this weekend's SC Pride Parade and Festival.

The flags not only had to be approved by the City of Columbia, but the organization also had to get clearance from businesses along the two streets.

“I think the flags being flown on Main Street and Gervais Street make people excited and will help them realize it’s not as backwards as we think,” said Thompson.

For many lgbt South Carolinians who have to live with the stereotype of our state being backwards, these flags and the increased visibility they bring are a like bursts of fresh air. It also reveals the steady pace the SC lgbt leadership has been working to make things better for our community.

The banners also caught local anti-gay leaders by surprise. Oran Smith of the Palmetto Family Council was asked about the banners and all he could muster is the following:

“I think the mistake the city has made is being knee deep in agenda for a specific organization promoting a specific kind of lifestyle,” 

If you ask me, he is probably upset. Up until yesterday, he probably thought he had the easiest job in the state.

For more information on the SC Pride week, especially Saturday's festival featuring 80s diva Taylor Dayne, go here. Full disclosure time - I will be one of Saturday's speakers and will also be receiving the Order of the Pink Palmetto.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Focus on the Family cites George Rekers in fighting anti-bullying efforts

Focus on the Family is targeting anti-bullying efforts in schools, claiming that they actually push the so-called "gay agenda." According to The Denver Post:

As kids head back to school, conservative Christian media ministry Focus on the Family perceives a bully on the playground: national gay-advocacy groups.

School officials allow these outside groups to introduce policies, curriculum and library books under the guise of diversity, safety or bullying-prevention initiatives, said Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman.

"We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled," Cushman said.

This stance against anti-bullying efforts seem to be part of a larger campaign by Focus on the Family to push the inaccurate notion that "homosexuals are indoctrinating children in America's schools." This effort is led by Cushman by way of the site, TrueTolerance.org

The following article in the American Family Association's One News Now goes into more detail about Cushman's claims and efforts:

With the new school year starting up, many parents are concerned about homosexual promotion in public schools, so a prominent pro-family group is informing parents about what they can do to protect their kids.

Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family's CitizenLink, tells OneNewsNow that one simple way to stay on top of the issue is to go to the school's online library catalog.

"Enter key terms in the search function like 'lesbian,' 'gay,' 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity'...and if you start pulling up a lot of books with homosexual themes, that's a real red flag to you because technically, the library should reflect the school curriculum," Cushman explains. "It's also a place teachers can go to pull out resources for use in the classroom."

It also seems that a major bone of contention of Cushman and Focus on the Family is a booklet which was put out by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to be distributed to school officials entitled Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth.

The contention by Cushman and Focus on the Family is that this booklet is wrong and "one-sided." Eliza Byard, head of GLSEN, told The Denver Post that while GLSEN thought up the idea, the booklet was actually written by a coalition of 18 medical, mental-health and education organizations.

Now to combat this, Focus on the Family has a piece on the True Tolerance site called  Just The Real Facts Please which supposedly gives a refutation of the GLSEN booklet. Just The Real Facts Please is a part of a packet that parents are encouraged to give to school officials.

But it's obvious that Focus on the Family didn't research its facts well. Three errors stick out greatly.

On page 22 is this claim:

According to a scientific article published in the journal Pediatrics, nearly 26 percent of 12-year-olds are unsure about their sexuality. The study showed that this uncertainty diminished significantly in older age groups. So pushing a particular sexual agenda onto children during this vulnerable time period is irresponsible, and can even amount to taking emotional advantage of youth.

The article in question is from Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. And on more than one occasion, Remafedi has complained about how it was being distorted.

Another distortion is the following on page 17:

Dr. Robert Spitzer, a pro-gay ally and former APA (American Psychiatric Association) Fellow—as well as a Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Biometrics at Columbia University—published his study of 200 men and women who had reported some change "from homosexual to heterosexual orientation that lasted at least five years." He found that "almost all of the participants reported substantial changes in the core aspects [of] sexual orientation, not merely overt behavior." He also noted that “participants reported benefit from nonsexual changes, such as decreased depression.”

The problem with this citation is that Cushman omitted the fact that Spitzer later continuously complained that his work was being distorted. In addition, in a 2006 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Spitzer said that he now believes that some of those he interviewed for his study may have been either lying to him or themselves. - Ex-Gays Seek a Say in Schools, Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2006

But the most egregious error in Cushman's piece, and it's an error that says a lot not only about her mindset but that of Focus on the Family, is the following:

According to the medical and psychological experts writing in the Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexual Problems, “The consequences of choices made with the advantage of developmental maturity are preferable to those consequences resulting from decisions made impulsively, in the absence of adequate knowledge, or without the moderating benefit of maturity. The latter choices will, of course, be imperfect, but the former regularly result in personal and social consequences that are painful, destructive, and not fully reversible.”

And just who are these experts? A quick look at the endnotes tells us the following:

Lundy, M.D., M.S., Michael S. and George A. Rekers, Ph.D., Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology. “Homosexuality: Development, Risks, Parental Values, and Controversies,” Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexual Problems, Ed. George A. Rekers, New York: Lexington Books, 1995, p.290.

You read that right. Our "beloved" solicitor of "luggage lifters," George Rekers.

Even after the scandal involving the rentboy and the knowledge that his very presence at anti-gay judicial cases almost ensures victories of the lgbt community (due to the fact that judges don't find him credible), Cushman and Focus on the Family still think of him as a credible source when it comes to lgbt issues.

The big irony is that Cushman contends that Focus on the Family wants to establish an anti-bullying program to help all students. I find that hard to believe on so many levels. The citation of Rekers as a reliable source is one reason. The entire campaign in general is another.

If they don't want schools to acknowledge lgbts, how can they talk about protecting lgbt youth?

Author's note - Focus on the Family isn't the only right-wing group seeking to influence America's schools through inaccurate information on the lgbt community. In March, the American College of Pediatricans, a shell group of phony anti-gay data, sent out information to school officials about a website featuring junk science and legitimate studies taken out of context. The organization received numerous rebukes for the false data.

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Lgbts rule at the Emmys and other Monday midday news briefs

Watch: Glee’s Jane Lynch Wins Best Supporting Actress, Thanks Her Wife

Emmy's (openly) LGBT moments - Today the Emmys, tomorrow the world! (Cue evil laugh)

Fox & Friends' latest extremist guest and convicted child abuser blames teen pregnancy on teaching evolution in school - Oh look. Fox News gives a homophobic convicted child abuser a free platform. In other words, it must be Monday.

The 'bigotry' canard: The last refuge of the 'culture warriors' - I think the fact that people like Charles Krauthammer can spin situations so basically dishonest like this (one of his claims is that the tea party movement is spontaneous) and still be thought of as a leading thinker is an indictment on the American system of journalism.

Taliban Operative: We Are Using Protests Against Park 51 To Get ‘More Recruits, Donations, and Popular Support’ - Apparently those anti-mosque protests are working . . . for the Taliban.

Fischer Blasts Beck For Siding With "People Who Want to Use the Anus for Sex" - Bryan Fischer outdoes himself again.

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SC Pride 2010 is here!!!

For all you lovely individuals who give South Carolina hell for being a stereotypical backwoods, homophobic state, check out this downtown billboard advertising our Pride Week (which started yesterday).  It may not be California or New York but it's still awesome.

And in the immortal words of former pro wrestler Arn Anderson, we aren't ones to toot our horns, but "BEEP, BEEP!"

For a list of events, including Saturday's festival headlined by 80s diva Taylor Dayne, go here.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Insane and sane: Beck's rally vs. Sharpton's rally

If you want a good picture of the difference between Glenn Beck's nonsense yesterday and a legitimate rally, just listen to the participants from both.

This is Marcy and Joe from Beck's 8:28 rally:

And this is Rita Lassiter - President of The Thursday Network at Rev. Al Sharpton's rally:

And that, my friends, is the difference between being manipulated by the forces that be and being an agent of positive change.

Hat tip to Daily Kos.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck in regards to MLK's philosophy: 'I'll talk to Alveda . . .'

Regardless of what is said about Glenn Beck's nonsense today (a blogging friend of mine called it "Whitestock"), the following exchange between he and XM radio with African-American host Joe Madison needs to be remembered.

From ThinkProgress comes the conversation in which the two were talking about Beck's comments accusing President Obama of being a racist. Then the conversation went on an interesting tangent:

MADISON: He’s not a racist?

BECK: What is he? [...] I’ve talked about this at length, and so I’m going to rehash it all. I’ve already said stupid comment, off the top of head. And I said just the other day, an ignorant comment. Now that I really understand how he grew up, where he grew up, what his influences were — it’s more of a liberation theology, a kind of attitude he has. That I immediately interpreted — because I didn’t understand him. His attitude is more of, like Bill Ayers — that America is an oppressor. And I just disagree with that.

MADISON: You do not believe President Obama is a racist?

BECK: I’ve said this before.

MADISON: A mistake? Was that a mistake?

BECK: Absolutely it was. And I’ve said that before. I misunderstood — this I just said the other day — I misunderstood his philosophy and his theology, which is liberation theology.

MADISON: Which was King’s philosophy. Big time.

BECK: Didn’t know that. I’ll talk to Alveda today about it.

MADISON: Oh, talk to his father. You know who you should talk to? Talk to Walter Faunteroy. Rev. Walter Faunteroy, who grew up with King. That was his philosophy — it was the theological philosophy of social justice.

BECK: Right. I am not a fan of social justice.

MADISON: That’s where we really part. I’m a big fan of social justice.

And THAT, my friends is what we should remember about today's rally. Beck, the man who has placed himself in the footsteps of King, who has implied that he and others like him will "reclaim" the civil rights movement doesn't know a damn thing about King's philosophy.

Beck is so clueless that in order to learn more about King, he is consulting a woman who has no knowledge of anything regarding MLK, who wasn't even present at the 1963 March on Washington, whose link to MLK doesn't lie in working with him, marching with him, or consulting with him, but that only that she is his niece.

And that, my friends is the essence of Glenn Beck's hucksterism. I can't wait to see if and how he can spin his way out of this one.

Related posts:

Alveda's scheme? Reap off of MLK's dream

Alveda King's attempted claiming of the MLK legacy is sad

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Alveda's scheme? Reap off of MLK's dream

In regards to Glenn Beck's rally today, one twitter post stands out in my mind (and I am printing it exactly as it is spelled):

To everyone calling the #glennbeck #828 event a gathering of KKK raciest: are you calling Alveda King, niece of MLK, a raciest as well?

The twitter post proves the point of a post I wrote yesterday. Alveda King is at Beck's rally as a token, a bastardization of King's legacy manipulated to blunt appropriate questions of the racial motives of Beck and many of the people attending today's rally.

And a recent expose by Daniel Denvir of Salon magazine exposes Alveda King's history of not only desecrating the King name for her own purposes but also a few more revelations:

She is the head of an organization, King for Life, which has a defunct website and allegedly one staff member.

Her press literature calls her a "doctor," but her degree is merely honorary from St. Anselm College, a Catholic school in Manchester, N.H. What's worse, Alveda can't remember can't recall why she was awarded this degree:

She sued Paramount Pictures, charging that Eddie Murphy stole her idea to make his movie Coming To America. Needless to say, she lost the case.

She was vocal against an AIDS Hospice in her neighborhood.

And needless to say, her relationship with MLK's widow, Coretta Scott King hasn't been all that cordial:

In 1994, she released a letter condemning Coretta Scott King’s support for abortion and gay rights, saying it would bring "curses on your house and your people ... cursing, vexation, rebuke in all that you put your hand to, sickness will come to you and your house, your bloodline will be cut off."

To call Alveda King a sellout would be totally missing the point. I think she is worse than a sellout. She is a woman with a product (i.e. the King name) who is willing to trade it for prominence and spotlight even if it's with those who stand against what MLK stood for.

But what she is offering is something that should never be sold because you can't put a price tag on the struggle for equality against the forces of oppression.

And MLK's legacy will never be soiled by anything, especially a greedy relative who has done nothing to earn that legacy than to walk around talking about how "she has his blood in her veins."

So I say let Alveda reap the benefits of getting her name out there on the backs of those who really did suffer and die for equality.

It's her soul she is going to have to give an account for. That is if she has one after all of that spotlight.

Related post:

Alveda King's attempted claiming of the MLK legacy is sad

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Know Your LGBT History - Gay TV Now

I'm probably only gay man in America who is not aware of this excellent show by MediaWeek Video.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

Know Your LGBT History - Stewardess School

Know Your LGBT History - Up the Academy

Know Your LGBT History - Don't be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

Know Your LGBT History - A Different Story

Know Your LGBT History - Victim

Know Your LGBT History - The Color Purple

Know Your LGBT History - Making Love

Know Your LGBT History - A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

Know Your LGBT History - Noah's Arc

Know Your LGBT History - Ode to Billy Joe

Know Your LGBT History - Adorable Adrian Adonis

Know Your LGBT History - The Night Strangler

Know Your LGBT History - All in the Family

Know Your LGBT History - Tongues Untied

Know Your LGBT History - The Celluloid Closet

Know Your LGBT History - Querelle

Know Your LGBT History - Theatre of Blood

Know Your LGBT History - Strange Fruit

Know Your LGBT History - Designing Women

Know Your LGBT History - The Children's Hour

Know Your LGBT History - Sylvester

Know Your LGBT History - Once Bitten

Know Your LGBT History - The Boys in the Band

Know Your LGBT History - Christopher Morley, the crossdressing assassin

Know Your LGBT History - Midnight Cowboy

Know Your LGBT History - Dracula's Daughter

Know Your LGBT History - Blacula

Know Your LGBT History - 3 Strikes

Know Your LGBT History - Paris Is Burning

Know Your LGBT History - The Women

Know your LGBT History - Soul Plane

Know Your LGBT History - The Player's Club

Special Know Your LGBT History - Fame

Know Your LGBT History - Welcome Home, Bobby

Know Your LGBT History - Barney Miller

Know your lgbt history - The Jerry Springer Show

Know your lgbt history - Martin Lawrence and that 'gay guy' on his show

Know your lgbt history - The Ricki Lake Show

Know your lgbt history - Which Way Is Up

Know your lgbt history - Gays in Primetime Soaps

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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The Daily Show exposes Glenn Beck's phony rally and other Friday midday news briefs

Jon Stewart nails Glenn Beck's phony 8/28 rally:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Have a Scheme
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

NYT: Gay Bashing Losing Appeal for GOP - It was just a matter of time. I wonder if the tea baggers will learn what the religious right is discovering. If I were them, I would get the GOP to put the money on the dresser before leaving.

Ugandan MP David Bahati Wants to ‘Kill Every Gay Person’ - Surprisng NO ONE of course.

Power Ranger David Yost: I'm Gay - David Yost, the Blue Power Ranger from The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has come out. Damn my gay ray keeps missing Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Report: LGBT Youth and Smoking - Yes it's linked to stress and homophobia - a thing that the religious right will omit when they distort the data.

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Right-wing attack on Elizabeth Hasselbeck is the essence of hypocrisy

On the heels of her pitiful attempt to connect same-sex marriage to the plight of black students, Concerned Women for America's Janice Crouse has a new target for her ramblings - The View's Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Hasselbeck's recent revelation that she supports gay marriage didn't exactly make Crouse a fan of hers. And Crouse manages to a dig at Miley Cyrus and Julie Andrews at the same time she goes after Hasselbeck:

"You can go all the way back to Julie Andrews up to [today] to Miley Cyrus," Crouse remarks. "You have all these people who win a reputation for being conservative and straight down the line in terms of morals and being the kind of person that mainstream America admires -- and then when they get famous, they have to back away from it and say 'Oh, that's not who I really am'...and Elisabeth Hasselbeck is just following in those footsteps."

. . . In the same Fancast article, Hasselbeck says she considers herself more of a federalist than a conservative "always trying to mandate the way to live."

"That's one of the things that I think characterizes the left," states Crouse. "They don't want there to be any authorities [or] boundaries or any demands on their own opinions.

"They want to be able to go in any direction they want to go, and for their word and their stances [and] their opinions to be the final thing -- and they've set up their own intellect as the ultimate authority rather than the Word of God, rather than the principles of conservatism."

Crouse's silly nonsense would be more credible if she, at the time she was making her comments, pointed out just who gave her the right to decide the parameters of morality and conservatism.  For a woman who makes her money on the illogical talking point that folks like her are constantly forced to change their opinion to conform to lgbt acceptance, Crouse's attack on Hasselbeck is high hypocritical.

Hypocritical, that is, to the normal person. But for Crouse, it's just another way to make a trip to the bank.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Alveda King's attempted claiming of the MLK legacy is sad

Many black leaders oppose the comparisons between the African-American civil rights movement and the gay rights movement. But few are as vehemently opposed to the comparison as Martin Luther King Jr's niece, Alveda King.

However, as her recent behavior demonstrates, it could be that Alveda King doesn't like the so-called appropriation of the black civil rights movement because it hones in on her action.

Witness her comments in defense of her joining Glenn Beck's 8-28 rally which will be held 47 years to the date of the 1963 March on Washington which featured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech:

"It is absolutely ludicrous that abortion supporters would accuse a blood relative of Dr. King of hijacking the King legacy. Uncle Martin and my father, Rev. A. D. King were blood brothers. How can I hijack something that belongs to me? I am an heir to the King Family legacy."

Alveda King's statements in this press release (which is titled Pro-Abortion Blacks Attack Heir to King Legacy) isn't the first time she claimed that "blood" entitles her to be an "heir to the King legacy."

Last month, during an anti-gay marriage rally, she said pretty much the same thing during a verbal attack on her late aunt, Coretta Scott King. Her exact words then were:

She (Coretta) was married to him (Martin Luther King, Jr.). I've got his DNA. She doesn't.

Alveda King's constant yammering that the "King blood flows through her veins" reminds me of Saturday Night Live comedian Tracy Morgan's hilarious send-up of Star Jones on The View in which he would constantly pepper the conversations in various skits with assurances that his character was a lawyer in an effort to lampoon questions of Jones's relevancy.

King would be equally funny except for the fact she has made a career out of being MLK's niece. What she has to say is not important. No one cares. It's the symbol of MLK that's more important. This is something she knows and is not ashamed of.

Why care when there is so much spotlight to be grabbed?

And in this particular case, i.e. Beck's rally, Alveda King is soiling the King name and legacy by aligning it with someone who, if he had been around during King's time, would be one of the first to denigrate him with as much ease as he is now denigrating what King stood for.

I don't think the King legacy has anything to do with blackboards, conspiracy theories, and charlatans who can cry crocodile tears at the drop of a hat.

And Alveda's chirpings about her sharing the "King blood" is like me using an alleged familial relationship to a rock star to demand a recording contract even though I can't carry a tune.

MLK's legacy should never be used like a commodity  nor should it be determined by blood relationships. MLK's legacy is about truth, integrity, and most of all, love.

So while the King blood does flow through Alveda's veins, she seems to be sorely lacking on the other points. Especially integrity.

Hat tip to People for the American Way.

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Ken Mehlman and Glenn Beck for your Thursday midday news briefs

Self-proclaimed civil rights leader Glenn Beck's history of racially charged rhetoric - The so-called inheritor of Dr. King's "Dream" is a circus clown with a large retinue of sheep. Where are these black leaders who bristle at the comparison of the gay rights movement of the black civil rights movement?

Ken Mehlman - the story of the former Republican National Committee chairman who came out (surprising no one) which has played extensively for these past two days on numerous blogs. It's not that I've been ignoring it more than I don't think I can add anything new to the conversation at this time. So with that in mind, I am attaching links to folks who have been deep in this story:

From FMA supporters to FMA scapegoats: Ken schmoozes with a new kind of Advocate

Ken Mehlman Is Still Funding Anti-Gay Politicians

NOM's Brian Brown: 'Mehlman abdicating core Republican beliefs' - and more on the self-outing

Welcome Out, Ken Mehlman

Mehlman '05: Activist judges 'remov[ed] a pivotal decision from the hands of voters'

On Mehlman, I'm more interested in equality than revenge

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Peter LaBarbera's symbol of Biblical love and truth is all wet

 Editor's note - I actually have two posts for you this morning. Check out the post on gay adoption following this one.

Our friend Peter LaBarbera posted a video on his Americans for Truth site with the following lead in:

Authentic Christianity in action cannot hide the truth…

Molotov Mitchell of Illuminati Pictures (and WND.com) created this “For the Record” video about loving a homosexual friend enough to tell him the truth from the Bible (1 Corinthians 6). PFOX’s Greg Quinlan, a former homosexual himself, shared this video at the recent AFTAH Truth Academy.

The video is supposedly of Mitchell talking about how he "ministered" to his gay friend. You'll forgive me for not posting it. And I didn't do it to be mean.

I've looked at the video and it's nice and smarmy but I can't shake the image out of my head of ANOTHER video Mitchell made in which he defended that awful Ugandan "kill the gays bill." Now THAT video is something which should be remembered:

Mitchell goes into detail as to why he thinks Uganda is correct for pushing this bill, which goes as far as punishing gays and lesbians with the death penalty.

Amongst Mitchell's points:

The Bible is totally on Uganda's side,

Uganda is merely reacting because an "evil homosexual king, Mwanga" raped young boys and murdered a group of them who would not have sex with him (never mind that this incident took place between the years of 1885-1886),

Uganda "doesn't want to kill homosexuals, they just want them to stop practicing homosexual acts,"

If gay Ugandans don't like the law, they can leave,

and the Founding Fathers would have agreed with Ugandans. I believe his words were (at 2:51): "Ugandans are making decisions that our very Founding Fathers made so long ago but we are terrified to touch today."

But the most offensive item from this video comes at 3:00 when Mitchell actually evokes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to justify not only this bill but his labored defense of it: "Like the great Dr. King told us, 'the moral arm of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.' Ugandans, stay on the right side of history."

Mitchell's diatribe is probably the most disgusting thing I have ever seen and the fact that he actually evokes the words of Dr. King, a man who died for the causes of justice and nonviolence, to support a bill which would create genocide is beyond foul.

And THIS GUY is LaBarbera's symbol of Biblical love and truth?

Truth Wins Out breaks down Mitchell's "love video" with the usual attention to skill.

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Gay adoption in Britain gives religious right another chance to make fools of themselves

In Britain, there has been a recent incident involving gay adoption and the Catholic Church:

A Roman Catholic adoption agency has lost its fight for the right to continue its policy of refusing to place children with same-sex couples based on religious principles.

The agency, Catholic Care, saw its battle to limit its adoption services to heterosexual-only parents collapse in a ruling Thursday (August 19) by the powerful Charity Commission, an independent watchdog in England, although funded by the British government.

After a lengthy legal wrangle, the Charity Commission decreed that Charity Care's stance amounted to discrimination based on sexual orientation because it "departs from the principle of treating people equally."

Of course those opposing ruling (religious right groups and spokespeople) will trot out the same hackneyed talking points, i.e. " a child "has a right to a home with a mother and a father." But like so many things they delve into, the religious right deals in idealistic situations and not reality. The mother and father dynamic may be good in some cases, but not all cases. The fact of the matter is that there aren't enough mother and father homes for children and also, not every home with a mother and a father is a good home.

I wish these folks would say something like "a child has a right to a good home which gives him or her love and support."

But instead of that, we get distorted studies and statements like the following from the Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber.

"The goal here of the homo-fascist, anti-Christian left is both chilling and transparent -- and that goal, of course, is to push the practice of, and ultimately any reference to Christ or Christianity, off the cliff's edge," explains Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel.

Does Matt Barber think he serves any purpose other than providing the lgbt community with adequate proof of just how nasty and homophobic those on his side of the argument are?

He takes a complicated issue (adoption) and tries to simplify it into a global conspiracy on the part of the lgbt community propagated to destroy Christianity.

Does he really think that he is doing anything other than being a sort of ecclesiastical Abbott to Pete LaBarbera's Costello.

He's so over the top, I've long since stopped getting angry at whatever he says. In fact, I look forward to his stupid comments because with "enemies" like him, just who needs allies.

Editor's note - By the way, Matt. I know that you google your name and at times come by my site to read what I wrote. On the behalf of the lgbt community, I would like to say !@$* with a cherry on top.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ugandan community speak about anti-gay bill

Breaking the Chains from Alyssa Eisenstein on Vimeo.

This video is the very essence of bravery. It is required viewing for everyone, especially those who make awful claims about the lgbt community and specifically for anyone claiming to be an lgbt activist. From Breaking The Chains:

A year ago, three American Evangelicals traveled to Uganda for a conference on “the gay agenda” to speak about curing homosexuality. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was proposed just a few months later and introduced some of the harshest punishments in the world for homosexuals. It calls for lifetime imprisonment for all LGBT people, death to homosexuals who are HIV positive and prison for any Ugandan who fails to report LGBT Ugandans within 24 hours of the Bill passing.

Despite the security risks, Ugandan activists are raising the alarm about this human rights abuse. Recent Northwestern University graduate Alyssa Eisenstein traveled to Uganda this spring to hear from these inspiring men and women. With interviews from LGBT activists, legal and political authorities, university students, village leaders and even a traditional healer, "Breaking the Chains" profiles these activists as they tell this story in their own words. 

Hat tip to Box Turtle Bulletin.

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Did Rekers 'rentboy's scandal cost Bill McCollum the election? and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Rekers Failed To Lift McCollum’s Luggage - The story of how a rentboy cost the Florida Attorney General the chance to be the state's governor.

The Ex-Gay Industry Hits The Skids - We can only hope so.

No judge left behind: Even deeply GOP Bush appointees earn 'activist' ire -Perhaps instead of railing against the alleged "homosexual agenda," the religious right should watch out for Republican appointed judges.

WaPo Endorses MD Delegate Candidate Dr. Dana Beyer - An intelligent woman whom voters would be stupid NOT to elect to office.

Jennifer Keeton Appeals Right To Be Anti-Gay Ruling - Guess who's not going away anytime soon. Ugh.

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Two ways One News Now picks homophobia over accuracy

The American Family Association led phony news service One News Now seems to be on a tear about the lgbt community right now.

There are two articles in today's edition about us and both of them are slightly twisted.

The first one is about Jennifer Keeton, the Augusta State University graduate student who unsuccessfully sued the university claiming that she was forced to compromise her beliefs about homosexuality in order to receive her degree.

What it boiled down to was the fact that Keeton didn't want to read material on counseling gays nor did she want to counsel gays at all.

Of course One News Now makes her sound like a martyr:

Dr. Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America sees judicial activism in action.

"The really horrendous part is that one single judge is able to make a decision that influences so many different aspects of our culture. And we're seeing it over and over again where that judge is imposing his own personal views -- which is such a contradiction and is so ironic when this young woman's rights are being taken away from her."

The judge has placed a gag order on the case. But in an interview last month, Keeton's attorney -- David French with the Alliance Defense Fund -- said one of the elements in the remediation plan called for Keaton to attend a "gay-pride parade" and write about her feelings. He called it "ridiculous."

"She should be free from thought reform," the attorney argued. "She should be free from sensitivity training merely because she holds Christian beliefs. Just respect her First Amendment rights."

Of course the article omits the fact that during deliberations, Keeton neither testified on her own behalf nor offered up any witnesses to prove her case.

The second article involves Bradley Manning, the solider in the middle of the Wikileaks scandal.Wikileaks is a site which has displayed classified documents of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Manning, a 22-year-old soldier suspected of leaking documents to Wikileaks. He is currently awaiting court martial.

In the midst of this scandal, there is a claim, propagated by anti-gay activist Cliff Kincaid, and pushed by One News Now, that Manning is an angry gay activist who leaked information because he was angry at the military's policy on gays in the military. This was from the One News Now article from a couple of days ago:

The British newspaper Daily Telegraph first reported that Private 1st Class Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, was not only openly homosexual but also considering a sex change. Manning could face more than 50 years in prison for passing secret documents to WikiLeaks, whose founder Julian Assange has an anti-American and anti-military bent.

But the Daily Telegraph never reported that Manning was seeking a sex change operation.

The claim about the sex change, as well as the entire narrative of Manning being "an angry gay soldier who leaked documents because he is mad at military's policy on gays and lesbians" is a concoction of Kincaid.

Today has been a slight change to One News Now's pushing of the article:

Cliff Kincaid, president of America's Survival and editor of Accuracy in Media is concerned about reports that Manning had been blatantly open about his homosexuality for more than a year and apparently held a grudge against the U.S. military because of its ban on homosexual military service. He thinks the military should have recognized that Manning was a security risk.

There is no mention of a "sex change" operation and no claim that the "Bradley Manning is an angry gay activist" narrative is being pushed by the Daily Telegraph. Nice change, but the inaccurate narrative of Manning being an angry gay soldier, i.e. a security risk, is still present.

It's a shame that One News Now feels that truth and accuracy are allowable casualties when it comes to defending the so-called opinions of God.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What the heck does Glenn Stanton know about gays and lesbians anyway?

I must be on a tear when it comes to responding to anti-gay ignorance today.

This morning it was Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America and her sad attempt to demonize lgbt households by using data having nothing to do with them.

This afternoon, it's Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family.

The point of annoyance for me is an article in today's USA Today talking about how Hollywood is  showing more lgbt characters and families.

Stanton, along with the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, is quoted as the voices who disagree with this increased visibility.

Now Fischer has a history of making asinine anti-gay comments (which unfortunately the article did not talk about) so there is a paper trail which destroys his credibility as a rational voice on the matter.

But Stanton is a bit more problematic. He tries to make himself sound reasonable but comes across as insulting:

"When actual gay and lesbian weddings are shown on TV (as in news coverage), we win. When they're shown through the lens and creativity and artifice of Hollywood, we don't. Hollywood is succeeding, but they're doing so by not representing reality."

First of all, Stanton's statement is gibberish. Secondly, as far as I know, Stanton is not gay so the question has to be just who is he to decide what is reality when it comes to the lgbt community.

Furthermore, I really don't understand the USA Today can push him as an expert when he has clearly gone on record saying the following:

I don't know of anyone who has referred to me as an "expert" on homosexuality. I have never referred to myself on this, simply because I am not. But I would describe myself as an expert on the issue of same-sex marriage. I have published a book and had many of my articles on the subject republished in numerous mainstream volumes.

I don't mind being critiqued, but at least get it right.

Apparently part of Stanton's "expertise" on same sex marriage is to push inaccurate data on the lgbt community like he did in his piece Why Homosexuality Falls Short of the Ideal.

This piece,  Stanton not only cites the work of the discredited Paul Cameron (via secondhand through Thomas Schmidt) but he also says the following:

In addition, because of the extremely high rate of incidence among homosexuals, a group of rare intestinal diseases have been grouped together under the title "gay bowel syndrome."

There is no such thing as "gay bowel sydrome." In the late 70s, there was a belief that there a series of intestinal disorders which was supposedly related to male sexual activity. However as time went on, it was discovered that the problems that made up "gay bowel syndrome" were not specific to homosexuals, not confined to just the bowels, nor did the term itself meet the medical definition of a syndrome.

There are a myriad of cases where this term has been expunged from usage in various places from the New York Times to the National Institutes of Health.

However, people like Stanton, i.e. phony religious right experts, continue to push the term to the ignorant and unassuming.

But that is the crux of the religious right's war on lgbt America. It's not enough for them to have a negative view of the lgbt community. They seek to force that view on society, even if it means beating back the voices of the lgbt community.

It's pretty much the equivalent of allowing a Klansman to dictate the public images of the African-American community.

Hat tip to People for the American Way.

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Ex-gay organization facing financial troubles and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Exodus International Lays off Staff, Cuts Benefits - I hate the fact that people are losing their jobs, but what they are selling is a hideous lie.

Calif Senate approves ending effort to 'cure' gays - What took them so long?

What Rush Limbaugh and Peter LaBarbera Have In Common - Don't you dare. Just read the piece.

True To Misogynistic Roots, NOM Blames Ted Olson’s Liberal Wife for His Support for Gays - And we should be surprised because?

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Black males aren't graduating like they should? Blame the gays

A column I read this morning in the American Spectator by Concerned Women for America "senior analyst" Janice Crouse had me reeling due to its audacity to deceive.

The goal of Crouse's piece was probably to demonstrate just how the recent Proposition 8 decision and gay marriage in general is hurting the black community.

However, what she accomplished was showing yet again how some on the right, especially the religious right, dishonestly manipulate facts and figures.

In her piece, Why Young Black Males Are Not Graduating High School, Crouse seems to be trying make a correlation between a recent report by the Schott Foundation (in which the overall 2007-08 graduation rate for Black males in the U.S. was only 47 percent) and the recent Prop 8 ruling:

Nancy Pearcey, in an article on American Thinker, identified certain "facts that Judge Walker claims are now established by the 'evidence' presented in his courtroom." Those "facts" presumably will be deemed as "truth" far beyond the courtroom. Among those "facts," the following three are especially relevant for young black boys' futures:

• "Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage."

• "The gender of a child's parent is not a factor in a child's adjustment."

• "Having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted."

Those three general false principles that Judge Walker supposedly established in his arguments in favor of so-called "same-sex marriage" are equally faulty when applied to the more than 40 percent of today's children who are born to single mothers. They are doubly relevant when the majority of those children are black.

What Crouse is doing is a tactic done by many on the right after the Prop 8 ruling went down - cherry picking parts of Judge Walker's statements to imply that he said "fathers don't matter" and then using data having absolutely nothing to do with his decision or same sex marriage in general to make an unfair correlation.

It's a diversionary tactic designed to take attention away from the fact that the Prop 8 folks lost because their case was poor.

To a bigger extent, Crouse sad piece is a part of a grander tactic by the religious right to unfairly brand same-sex parents as selfish or to imply that lgbts who seek to parent children are causing these children to be "denied" something vital and important despite the fact that studies have shown just the opposite.

Crouse lists a number of problems facing black youth including poverty, bad schools, and family breakdown. Same-sex marriage and equality didn't make the list, but it doesn't stop Crouse from trying to push it in as best as she can.

The irony is that Crouse actually does provide an excellent solution:

Common sense tells us that there is no surer recipe for the child to lag behind in learning than having to contend with the strain and disruption of a broken, dysfunctional family, where the parent or parents are so focused on themselves and their needs that they have little emotional energy to spare for the child's needs. Before we can address the problems of public education, we have to address the problems of marriage and family. Only then can we begin the massive overhaul of cultural values that will be necessary to close the educational gaps in America.

Too that good point got obscured by a bunch of anti-gay garbage.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Is Jennifer Keeton being left out in the cold by her anti-gay allies?

It may be too early for such speculation, but I find it interesting that it's been a couple of days since Jennifer Keeton lost her lawsuit against Augusta State University and not one religious right talking head has commented on it.

Keeton, a graduate student, sued the university because, as she put it, it would have forced her to compromise her "Christian beliefs" on homosexuality.

It really came down to the fact that Keeton didn't want to read material on counseling gays nor did she want to counsel gays period.

The courts ruled against her on Friday.

Seeing that it's Monday, I would have thought to hear at least the usual slate of anti-gay lies from our friend Peter LaBarbera, but he seems to be on an Elizabeth Hasselbeck/Ann Coulter kick.

One News Now has been silent about the Keeton case. And there isn't even a statement from her lawyers at the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund.

Before the case went to court, we were bombarded with lies about how Keeton was unfairly targeted, how she was forced to choose between her Christian beliefs and her degree.

Now that the courts ruled against her, all we are hearing are the crickets.

Maybe the folks are in shock over the loss. Or could it be that they have deserted Keeton because they recognize just how ridiculous her case was (and they wouldn't be alone in this regard because Keeton neither offered witnesses nor testified.)

Only time will tell. 

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Ugandan official proud of his persecution of gays and other Monday midday news briefs

Ugandan MP: Homosexuality is an abomination punishable by death - Sad, sad, sad.

Gay Muslims exist, and they need solidarity too - Amen.

Hong Kong Residents: Beware Of Fraudulent Information By Discredited Ex-Gay Therapy Group - Junk science is global my friends.

Coulter on fundie Take Back America confab: 'They're a bunch of fake Christians' - Well duuuuh.

Tensions Rise in Guadalajara - With the Catholic church unfortunately leading the way.

Breaking the taboo over the mental health crisis among Britain's gay men - And when the religious right manipulates this information, they always conveniently omit how homophobia causes these things.

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One News Now and Cliff Kincaid demonstrate homophobia, ability to lie

The sad thing about homophobic lies (or any lie in general) is the ease which people repeat them even after they have been refuted.

Take the case of Bradley Manning, the soldier in the middle of the Wikileaks scandal. Wikileaks is a site which has displayed classified documents of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Manning, a 22-year-old soldier suspected of leaking documents to Wikileaks. He is currently awaiting court martial. The fact that Manning is allegedly gay has brought the wolves out, so to speak. This is from this morning's edition of One News Now:

An conservative activist and author says members of the Senate need to made aware that the U.S. soldier accused of leaking classified information to the WikiLeaks website is an open homosexual who apparently held a grudge against the U.S. military for its law excluding homosexual military service.

The British newspaper Daily Telegraph first reported that Private 1st Class Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, was not only openly homosexual but also considering a sex change. Manning could face more than 50 years in prison for passing secret documents to WikiLeaks, whose founder Julian Assange has an anti-American and anti-military bent.

Cliff Kincaid, president of America's Survival and editor of Accuracy in Media, says that information is finally getting some notice.

But the Daily Telegraph never reported that Manning was seeking a sex change operation.

The claim about the sex change, as well as the entire narrative of Manning being "an angry gay soldier who leaked documents because he is mad at military's policy on gays and lesbians" is a concoction of Kincaid.

And basically, anything Kincaid says about the lgbt community should be taken with a grain of salt.

He leads the right-wing group Accuracy in Media, the same group which had to retract a blog post falsely accusing a gay Obama appointee, Kevin Jennings, of being a pedophile. Kincaid has also made the vile claim that disease-tainted gay blood threatens our troops.

In addition, Kincaid has unashamedly defended Uganda's infamous "Kill The Gays" bill.

As we have seen last week with the situation involving Peter LaBarbera, Glenn Beck and Chai Feldblum, little things like accuracy usually get pushed out of the way when there is an anti-gay meme to be repeated.

And it's up to the lgbt community to beat down these memes before they can become the "official story."

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Insanity defined: Man is accosted for 'looking like a Muslim'

This anti-Muslim sentiment in this country is heading to a level of insanity and the above video proves it.

At the anti-Islamic Center rally held today in New York, a man walking through the crowd of protesters gets mistaken for a Muslim and madness ensues.

Luckily no one gets hurt but it's still sad.

It reminds me of the Shakespearean play Julius Caesar where a mob of citizens is looking for a certain group of men to murder. They come upon an innocent poet and butcher him because he has the same name as one of the men they are looking for.

If this country doesn't pull back from hysteria and those chosen by whatever "powers-that-be" to be leaders and spokespeople don't stop feeding into this hysteria (i.e. Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, etc.), then someone is really going to get hurt.

Enough already.

Hat tip to the Political Carnival and my online pal Evan Hurst.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Second 'I don't want to counsel gays' lawsuit struck down by the courts

How did I miss this one:

Augusta State University's requirement that a graduate student read material about counseling gays and increase her exposure to that community after she objected to counseling homosexual clients was "academically legitimate," a federal court judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Randal Hall's decision enables university officials to expel Jennifer Keeton if she does not follow the remediation plan, which professors designed to "address issues of multicultural competence and develop understanding and empathy."

Hall said the case is not about "pitting Christianity against homosexuality," but rather the constitutionality of the school's requirement.

This denunciation comes at the heels another case in which a student claimed that she was "forced" to choose between her religious beliefs and her vocation. Last month, the courts ruled against Julea Ward, a student at Eastern Michigan University who claimed that she was removed from the school's counseling program because of her strong religious views against homosexuality.

Ward has refused to counsel lgbt clients because of her beliefs. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh said:

" . . .the university had a rational basis for requiring its students to counsel clients without imposing their personal values.

In the case of Ms. Ward, the university determined that she would never change her behavior and would consistently refuse to counsel clients on matters with which she was personally opposed due to her religious beliefs -- including homosexual relationships."

Keeton and Ward were both made as cause celebres by the religious right as victims of a so-called "gay agenda" which would punish Christians for expressing their beliefs.

However many others, myself included, disagree.

My feeling is that if you can't do the job completely and for everyone then we have a serious problem, especially if you are seeking to be a healthcare worker.

And those who seek to make Keeton and Ward into martyrs would be advised to remember that this sort of thing has a habit of coming back in a nasty way.

If people are allowed exemptions in the counseling of the lgbt community today, who's to say that tomorrow exemptions won't be given in the counseling of the African-American or Latino communities?

Or even the Christian community?

UDPATE:  The article also going on to say something which should be remembered should Keeton's name come up in religious right talking points (and it will) - the university presented three professors as witnesses but Keeton presented no witnesses. And she didn't even testify.

Hat tip to Daily Kos.

Related post:

Court knocks down latest religious right cause celebre

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