Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hate Crimes Bill announced in South Carolina General Assembly

Good news from my state, South Carolina:

Hate Crimes Bill Introduced in SC General Assembly

Columbia, SC May 19th, 2011- Today, South Carolina Equality, the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) education and political advocacy organization, working with representatives and other community leaders, is pleased to announce the introduction of a fully inclusive Hate Crimes bill in the South Carolina General Assembly. When last introduced, the bill failed in the House by only four votes.

Passage of Hate Crimes bill will represent a giant step forward to ensuring that all South Carolinians may live their lives safely and freely without threat of biased-based crime. It also creates assurance that those who commit hate crimes are adequately punished.

Christine Johnson, Executive Director of South Carolina Equality said, "The South Carolina General Assembly has a brilliant opportunity to make a clear and unequivocal statement that people who live in and visit our beautiful state are as protected as they are in 45 other states and the District of Columbia. Rejection of a statewide hate crimes bill, when other similarly conservative states have passed such legislation, would do nothing more than speak an endorsement of bias and hate-based crimes."

South Carolina currently has no statute to protect its citizens against violence brought about because of their real or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government all have Hate Crimes statutes similar to the one introduced in South Carolina today.

Hate Crime laws are important tools for law enforcement and the criminal justice system, providing expanded prevention and breadth of prosecution. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Federal Hate Crimes Act applies exclusively to felony crimes, often leaving a gap where lesser hate crimes go unpunished. Having a statewide Hate Crimes bill would close the gap and allow for the first responders, our local law enforcement agencies and solicitors, to support victims adequately and fully investigate and prosecute Hate Crimes that occur in South Carolina.

Recent reports of alleged of Hate Crimes in York County and Spartanburg County are examples of crimes that may not merit Federal prosecution, but would potentially qualify under a state hate crimes law.

South Carolina Equality lauds Representative King and Representative Smith for the introduction of this statewide Hate Crimes bill. South Carolina Equality will work throughout the remainder of the 2011 Legislative Session and into the 2012 session to educate and foster support for this much needed bill.

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Concerned Women for America = hate group and other Thursday midday news briefs

In the 80s, the Concerned Women for America endorsed a comic book featuring vile anti-lgbt images such as the following:

Now the organization creates its own images connecting homosexuality and pedophilia:

And they wonder why the Southern Poverty Law Center considers them to be a hate group.

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper

And in other news . . .

Equality NC's faith leaders press conference challenges anti-gay lawmakers, counters fundie rally - Good for North Carolina!

NOM Freaks Out About Slavery Comparison Two Days After Making It Themselves - The National Organization for Marriage are hypocrites Part 1.

NOM: You’re Only A Bully If You Support Gay Rights - The National Organization for Marriage are hypocrites Part 2.

Nugent ‘repulsed’ by gay sex - Why is it that ugly heterosexual men seem to be more obsessed with gay sex than gay men? Maybe that's why I can't get any.

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Family Research Council's whining stinks of blatant hypocrisy

As I have long pointed out, it's not enough to make a few concessions to these extremists. Once they have a foothold, a little bit of acceptance turns into a full-blown demand to co-opt your business. They want corporations to join them in the assault on real tolerance. Unless you cower and give them what they want, these activists will make sure you can't function in society. Over the years, gay activists have perfected this kind of corporate terrorism. And until companies stand their ground and refuse to negotiate, homosexuals will continue to bully businesses.

That was Family Research Council president Tony Perkins yesterday in an email. He was referring to campaign jointly conducted by Media Matters and several national lgbt groups which called on the company Orbitz to stop advertising on Fox News in light of the channel's viciously negative approach to covering lgbt issues.

There is one strange thing about Perkins's statement, however.

It flies in direct opposite to the Family Research Council's actions in several cases, such as when the group supported the boycott against McDonalds because the company gave money to some lgbt organizations:

The Big Mac attack on family values is finally over! After a five-month boycott, Americans finally got what they ordered-McDonald's agreement to stop financing the homosexual agenda. Back in May, the fast food giant joined the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to the dismay of millions of customers who did not feel served. At the time, company Vice President Richard Ellis refused to back down, even calling conservatives "haters" in a public statement. The American Family Association launched a national campaign to force McDonald's to eat its words. And eat them, they did!

Or the threatening language it used against the Coca Cola company when it was suspected that the company persuaded the law firm King & Spalding to drop the DOMA case:

 Rumors are flying that one of those companies was Coca Cola. People closest to the story are suggesting that the soda king did most of the arm-twisting. "Sources... confirm that one of King & Spalding's top clients, Coca Cola, also based in Atlanta, directly intervened to press the firm to extricate itself from the case." A spokesman for the company refused to comment. But if the allegations are true, I guarantee that FRC won't hesitate to!

Or even now when FRC is supporting an anti-abortion group giving grief to the Girl Scouts for supposedly supporting Planned Parenthood. Apparently FRC have been picking on the Girl Scouts since 2004.

I guess being an "economic terrorist"  is all dependent on the spin.

Hat tip to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch.

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For 'Christian news service,' homophobia replaces ethics

I would never say that the American Family Association's One News Now practices decent journalism.

The online publication claims to speak for the "Christian perspective," and it probably would if this perspective was  totally devoid of accuracy or integrity.

Two articles point this out clearly.

One, Clinton's cries against pro-family 'hate', attempts to take Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to task for issuing a proclamation for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

And the article's only source is "Porno" Pete LaBarbera (so named because of his penchant of taking photos of gay men at "subcultural events" while ignoring the heterosexuals in attendance):

"A day against homophobia and transphobia -- what they're saying is Judeo-Christian morality is the equivalent of bigotry and irrational fear, and that is a false message."

And he points out that Clinton made a statement at the event that decried the cycle of hate.

"What they're saying essentially is if you are a Christian...a Muslim or a Jew, and you oppose sexual perversion or gender confusion, you are a hater; you are a bigot," LaBarbera assesses, adding that "this is the liberal message."

That's not what Clinton's statement said. It doesn't even mention religion. You can read the entire statement here but in part it says:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am proud to reaffirm our support for LGBT communities at home and abroad, and to call for an end to discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT persons wherever it occurs. Whether by supporting LGBT advocates marching in Belgrade, leading the effort at the United Nations to affirm the human rights of LGBT persons, or condemning a vile law under consideration in Uganda, we are committed to our friends and allies in every region of the world who are fighting for equality and justice. These are not Western concepts; these are universal human rights.

Another article in One News Now - 'Gay' lifestyle = higher cancer rates - distorts a recent article in a medical journal which talks about gay men and cancer. On May 9th, I said that some in the religious right would exploit this study:

A study published in the journal Cancer reveals homosexuals are twice as likely to have had cancer than are heterosexual men.

While it is not the first research to come to that conclusion, Dr. Andre Van Mol of the Christian Medical & Dental Association says the one published in Cancer serves as verification.

“The study's main author, a Dr. Boehmer from Boston University, noted in an interview she did on this that the higher rates of cancer are both HIV-related and not,” states Van Mol.

In 1979 the book The Gay Report -- written by two authorities on homosexuality -- pointed to the lifestyle as a heavy contributor to cancer. “What the authors found was that the sexual practices common in the gay and lesbian communities were of a nature that would have unhealthful consequences,” according to Van Mol.

Van Mol, by the way, is the article's only source and it doesn't give a clear indication of his supposed expertise. It does say that he is a member of the Christian Medical & Dental Association.  However, this organization is not legitimate. It is a shell group created to give anti-gay lies a veneer of respectability.