Wednesday, December 01, 2010

'It's just fairness, y'all' - Illinois State Senator Rick Hendon on why he voted for civil unions

If you haven't seen this video yet, you had better.

The Illinois Legislature passed a bill for civil unions and state Senator Rick Hendon gives a speech on why the bill is important.

This speech breaks it down on a level that's sorely missing in the national debate over marriage equality. Watch it and be impressed.

And yes (I don't mind saying this), it does my heart good to see that this is coming from a black man.

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SUCCESS! Chris Matthews addresses distortion of Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council

Chris Matthews: On Monday night's edition of 'Hardball', we had a debate of course between the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok and the Family Resarch Council's Tony Perkins. The Southern Poverty Law Center labelled the Family Research Councel a hate group over its position on homosexuality. Well, during the debate Monday night, Perkins made this claim about what he says is the risk posed by homosexuality to children.

FRC's Tony Perkins: If you look at the American College of Pediatricians' research, they say the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a risk to children. So, I, uh, Mark is wrong. He needs to go back and do his own research, because this evidence is out there.
(end clip)

Matthews: Well, we need to note right now that the group Perkins sourced, the American College of Pediatricians, is not the same as the American Academy of Pediatrics, but a group of about 100 conservative-minded doctors that formed in 2002, in response to the Academy's support of gay parental rights. We like to straighten these things out.

Thank you everybody for your emails and correspondences to Matthews. While I would have liked for Matthews to have gone further in addressing what Perkins said, I think he made it quite clear that the group Perkins cited has a serious bias.

And just in case you need more evidence of this, check out these two past posts on the ACP:

The American College of Pediatricians and the Laundering of Junk Science

Phony Medical Group Attempting to Peddle Anti-Gay Propaganda to Schools 

Big hat tip to my online buddies at Pam's House Blend and Americablog.

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The dangers of anti-gay propaganda - A personal story

In continuing to talk about the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation and profiling new anti-gay hate groups, the lgbt community needs to demonstrate just what harm these group commit with their lie. Here is a little bit of my story:

As an African-American, I was constantly inundated with positive reinforcements while growing up.

I attended schools which celebrated Black History Month when it was Black History Week and Dr. King's birthday long before it became a national holiday.

I was constantly assured that my racial heritage was an asset rather than a liability and it was something which I should be proud of.

It wasn't the same with my sexual orientation.

Instead of positive reinforcements, I was bombarded with vague, negative statements regarding the "sinfulness" or the "danger" of my supposed lifestyle. This confused me because at the time, my life consisted of going to my college classes, studying, or socializing with friends. I hadn't done anything which could have been construed as a "lifestyle," gay or otherwise.

What made it worse were the claims about gay men and sex, or gay men and child molestation, or the supposed automatic connection between gay men and death by AIDS.

And a lot of these claims were emanating from these so-called Christian groups now declared as anti-gay hate groups.

I remember a time in particular when I was reading a magazine at my university's library. The article in question was about gay rights and one of the interviewees was a wife and mother who talked about God, her country, and her children.

She made it a point to talk about how she would protect her children from the "homosexual lifestyle," making sure to list a number of "studies" and "talking points" about the dangers of homosexuality to back her up.

In a later moment of lucidity, I discovered that she received her claims from the Family Research Council.

Bear in mind that I said a later moment of lucidity. At the time which I read the article, I wasn't lucid. In fact, I was downright upset and almost moved to tears because a certain reality struck me in the face.

Here was a woman who considered herself a mother and a Christian and though she didn't know me, she considered me as an outsider, a threat to not only her family, but the notion of family in general. And not because of what I had or hadn't done, but because of what some group, which clearly exploited her religious beliefs and fears, told her I was.

The last time I was ever that upset was in the ninth grade when some ignorant fool called me a "stupid n - - - er."

Because of the positive reinforcement I received as an African-American, I quickly got over being called that racial slur. Unfortunately, it took me some time to get over being thought of as an "oversexed, diseased pedophile."

All of us try to get through life the best we can, hoping to be successful and leave some type of positive legacy. But you can't do any of that when your self-esteem is crippled.

You see that's the problem with the so-called information put out by organizations like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the American Family Association. The information is not factually based nor does it serve to properly educate the American public but rather to shock and scare them.

It's also designed to cut the lgbt community off at the knees, to psychologically strip us of our self-worth and dignity, thereby creating a type of self-actualizing dichotomy in which we have no other recourse (because these same groups also attack credible information pertaining to the gay community) but to be the monsters they predicted us to be.

Let's be honest about what's going on here. These statements, talking points, and "studies" about the lgbt community put out by groups like the Family Research Council are lies and nothing more. They are no more valid than a racist group distorting FBI statistics to claim that black men are more violent than white men or distorting CDC statistics to claim that AIDS in the black community is indicative of African-American inferiority.

But what makes religious right lies even more insidious is that they are done in the name of God.

The groups peddling these lies whine about "deeply held Christian beliefs" regarding homosexuality. But what about the Christian beliefs regarding lying or bearing false witness?

Just where in the Bible did Jesus say "Obey ye the word of God unless you are talking about homosexuals. In that case, then go forth and lie with impunity."

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Republicans don't want to vote on DADT repeal and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Republicans May Be Pressuring Reid To Drop DADT Repeal In Return For A Vote On START And Bush Tax Cuts - As if we didn't know that they would do this.

The Failure Of Cable News To Follow Up - Wayne Besen on the failure of cable news to show journalistic standards regarding their guests.

Illinois House Passes Civil Unions Bill - Good news from Illinois. NOM's money can't win all of the time.

Audio: Peter LaBarbera is single-minded and sick, says Peter LaBarbera - Are we getting to Porno Pete?

Elected Official Says TSA Pat Downs Promote 'Homosexual Agenda'- Yep. It's on the list right aftre getting Judy Garland's birthday declared a national holiday.

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A sad poem for World AIDS Day

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