Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ABC News's complete but inaccurate coverage of Uganda's anti-gay bill

ABC News has finally given attention Uganda's anti-gay bill.

But like so many things, there is good news and bad news to the coverage.

In talking about the global effects of the bill and nailing the ugly cast of characters (i.e. Martin Ssempa, Scott Lively, etc.) for their creation and support of this genocidal bill, ABC gets an A:

Standing onstage in black velvet robes, despite the stifling heat in the open-air church, Pastor Martin Ssempa's face is a mask of disgust.

"Anal licking!," he shouts, directing the crowd's attention to the images of hardcore gay pornography that he's projecting via his laptop. "That is what they are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms."

"Everything having to do with eating of poop…heterosexuals do not eat poop," Ssempa said. "And if they do, they are misguided, they are not real heterosexuals. We don't practice, that's an abomination. It's like sex with a dog, sex with a cow; it's evil."

Homophobia In Uganda

Ssempa's animated style has made him one of the most popular preachers in the African nation of Uganda. But it's his virulent homophobia that's put him at the center of an international uproar. The pornographic images, which reduced some of the churchgoers to tears, were meant to whip up support for a bill under consideration in Uganda that would make some gays and lesbians eligible for the death penalty.

ABC News makes no bones about just who is responsible for bill, making sure to place the blame where it belongs. Furthermore, the article also casts a light on the gay Ugandans in the middle of this crisis:

Val Kalende, a lesbian, said it's dangerous just to walk down the street. "Just the other day a colleague of mine was detained and questioned by police," she said. "Every time you come back home safe, you thank God you are safe. But then you don't know what's going to happen the next day."

Kalende said that while Uganda has always been a homophobic country, things got worse after the conference the American evangelicals spoke at.

"So those guys should be held accountable for what is happening to us," she said. "And I hope that the people in America can hold these guys accountable for what is going to happen to us if this bill ever passes."

But, as I said before, there is bad news to the coverage and it has to do with the subheading of the article:

The Proposed Bill Could Punish Homosexuals Who Marry With Life In Prison

Like my online buddy Wendy, who brought the story to my attention said, that nasty bill has nothing to do wih gay marriage.

And to add a little more to her statement, this bill is about genocide; the murder of a group of people under the guise of law and order and Christianity.

The desire to marry is the least of the problems our lgbt brothers and sisters in Uganda face. We must never forget that.

And ABC News owes it to them to get the story right.

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The Daily Show addresses anti-gay Virginia happenings and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Virginia's Governor and Attorney General seems to have declared war on the rights of the state's lgbts and Jon Stewart declares war on them - in his own asskicking style:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaywatch - Virginia Edition
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

In Fourteen Words, Peter LaBarbera Loses All Credibility as a “Christian” - Between you and me, I was unaware that LaBarbera had any credibility as a human being, much less a Christian. A short background is in order here. LaBarbera is trying to get a professor fired for daring to disagree with his interpretation of homosexuality and Christianity.

Washington Post Ombudsman Sticks It to Homophobes Complaining About Same-Sex Kissing - Apparently some folks aren't happy that the Washington Post ran a picture of a kissing gay couple. Oh well, they can get over it.

Scott sticks to plan of targeting transgendered - Homophobes don't change. They just think they can run for office targeting lgbts.

'I was bullied by an entire school' - This is awful and a demonstrates a great need for GLSEN on an international stage.

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CWA's Janice Crouse crams a bunch of anti-gay lies in one statement

The following is from Concerned Women for America's Janice Crouse:

"In actuality, homosexual unions have a very short lifespan; many of the same-sex “marriages” in Massachusetts are already being dissolved. Further, the health risks associated with homosexual practice are very real and very much in evidence in the emergency rooms of hospitals. There is no denying: Homosexual sex is dangerous and destructive to the human body. Both HIV and HPV are epidemic among homosexual men. Domestic violence is a common problem — twice as prevalent among homosexual couples as in heterosexual ones.

I miss the good old days when folks like Crouse used to try and back up their nonsense with "actual proof." Who knows? Maybe the lgbt blogs which look at how religious right groups distort statistics have scared them.

You will notice that Crouse doesn't even supply any proof to her statements.

Allow me to point out a couple of things:

1. Domestic violence is not twice as prevalent among gay couples as in heterosexual couples. Crouse doesn't even provide proof of this. But it is known that this lie stems from a distortion of a book by gay author Patrick Letellier called Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence. Letellier has gone on record  complaining about how his work was being distorted.

2. Crouse is also wrong about gay marriages dissolving in Massachusetts. According to writer Bruce Wilson, not only is gay marriage not dissolving but Massachusetts on a whole "retains the national title as the lowest divorce rate state, and the MA divorce rate is about where the US divorce rate was in 1940, prior to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor that triggered the US entrance into World War Two."

3. Where is Crouse's proof regarding her inference about gay sex causing folks to rush to emergency rooms. Her tale reminds me of the lie that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums. And the sad thing is that I suspect she meant for her statement to have that connotative effect.

4. While HIV does affect the gay community in ugly numbers (of course Crouse omits how homophobic attitudes stand in the way of HIV prevention), she is not totally honest about HPV. HPV is not an STD totally indigenous to the gay community. According to STD Facts:

Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.

 . . . Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it. In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years

. . . Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. Another 6 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that at least 50% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.

What's more pathetic than the distortions which Crouse tells is the fact that some people actually consider her as some type of "expert."

Modesty and a respect for my elders precludes me from stating what I think about her "expertise."

Related post:

How religious right groups distort legitimate research to demonize the gay community

Hat tip to People for the American Way

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